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Chaos

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0.0

It felt like the shortest of booms. There one moment and gone the next. Over so quick, one couldn’t have said for sure if it had truly happened or not.

Reyanna’s eyes opened in a flash. She had felt the earth shake. The feeling had awoken her from her long slumber. How long had she been sleeping? What had woken her? Where was she? What was she? Such knowledge left her like a fading dream.

1.1

It had been easy for Aizawa Shouta to learn Reyanna’s schedule. Too easy. She walked to town every Wednesday. Arrived at a local coffee shop at seven, where she indulged in a beverage and baked treat. She then headed to the towns private library, which opened promptly at eight; and held a rather extensive selection of occult and supernatural themes, due to the Head Librarian being a witch. Reyanna then spent the entire day housed within the library’s walls, not even leaving to have a lunch.

Shouta never followed her in. Witches feared his kind, and with good reason. Instead he watched and waited, occasionally viewing her through the buildings windows. It was always a few minutes after six, the hour the library closed, that Reyanna finally exited, carrying a stack of six books, the limit allowed for check out. From there she would proceed to the grocery store to get what she needed to sustain herself for the week. Not much, Shouta had noted early on, as she usually came out carrying a single bag, and never more then two. She would then make the trek back to her protected cabin and not leave the warded property till another Wednesday rolled around.

Shouta always followed her back. In her unknowing state, the things that lived in the light of day might prove as much danger to her as anything else, but he didn’t worry much about them. It was the creatures that came out at night that concerned him for her. Heaven and hell were still looking for her. And without her memories. Without knowing who and what she was. She was in danger.

At least the land the cabin was on was protected. Warded against any possible thing that might try to enter. Reyanna had done a good job adding to the property’s warding's, before she had gone to slumber. Before she had wiped her mind.

She had actually done too good a job, as even he couldn’t cross. Then again, after all that had happened, maybe she had meant to keep him out. Still, Shouta knew how to gain access. He just didn’t know how to go about making it happen...yet.

Shouta watched Reyanna openly while she drank her coffee and picked at her savory treat. He knew she knew he was staring and didn’t care. He had spent a month in this town, watching and protecting her. Having to kill ever more demons and supernatural creatures as they arrived. It had gotten to the point that something appeared almost daily. Attracted to the sense of her unique power. Hidden. Locked away as that power was, it was no wonder that they came. Unable to sense its full force. If they had, such beings would skitter away in fear; but then other, more powerful and menacing things would have been drawn in.

Shouta could handle the riffraff that came, interest piqued. He dispatched them easily enough. It had even been fun, at first. But after a month, it had grow old. Tiring. The only thing more tiring was dealing, with the arguments he had with himself. Waiting, as he troubled over how to go about tying himself to her. Preforming a Tie was a tricky business for one who wasn’t in that line of work. Exchanging services for a soul had never been Shouta’s thing. Not that he was going ask for Reyanna’s soul in this bargain.

Just go over and tell her, Shouta scolded himself. You’re acting like some human school child. Stop it. Simply explain to her that she’s in danger and needs your help. That you can help her fill in the blanks of her memory. That you can teach, or more correctly remind, her how to use her power.

With a growl of determination, Shouta pushed himself to his feet. He stopped, seeing Reyanna quickly do the same, and watched her rush out of the cafe.

1.2

Reyanna walked the darkened streets carrying a bag of groceries and six library books. She had had another long, fruitless day of searching the library itself. The Head Librarian hanging around and watching her as openly as the man in the coffee shop had this morning. Since the first time she had visited the cafe, he had been there. Tall, pale, and handsome. His dark hair and eyes as black as the clothes he wore. He was there every time she visited, and wondered if he lived in the area. She figured he had to. Unlike her, he was likely a daily patron. She had caught his name once, when the barista had called it with his order. Aizawa. There was something about him.

Reyanna turned the bend in the road and came upon that house. It stood far back from the street, and sat alone on an overgrown block. Set nearly a mile away from everything else in town, it interested her. The place looked abandoned. If she moved in there, then she could visit the library everyday. It was a thought she had had the first time she had seen it, and the idea tempted her every time she passed.

It wouldn’t hurt to have a look, Reyanna thought. Just to see if it was even suitable for living. Not that she needed much. Decided, she leapt over the five foot fence as if simply taking another step. Landing softly, she continued on without pause, picking her way through the tall grass and brush with silent ease. She climbed the three steps up to the patio, and set her grocery bag and books down by the door.

Looking through the window, Reyanna saw that it was dim inside. The low sun affording minimal light even outside, as dusk slowly settled in. Still, Reyanna’s eyes didn’t need much light to see clearly. Chalk it up to one of the many things she was capable of, that wasn’t humanly possible.

She tried the door, and found it unlocked. Venturing inside, she took in what appeared to be a living, or maybe dining room. She walked down a hall, passed a set of stairs that led to a second floor, and found herself in a kitchen. It struck her then that no, the house wasn’t abandoned. That someone did indeed live there. Or if not so, then had followed her in. It wasn’t so much a smell, as an essence. An aura. That Reyanna felt. Cold. Calculated. Menacing. And yet alluring.

“Well if this isn’t a surprise.” A low, almost amused, voice said.

“You! You live here?” Reyanna questioned, unsure whether she was relieved or further distressed that it was the man from the cafe. She looked him over and instantly wished she hadn’t. Averting her eyes, and shielding her gaze for good measure, she demanded. “Where the hell are your clothes?”

Shouta smirked at her innocent blush. “Yes. Dirty.”

Reyanna glanced at him through fanned fingers. “What?”

Shouta sighed and stepped closer to her. “Yes. I live here. And my clothes are dirty. Will you look at me.”

It was more of a demand then a request, and Reyanna found herself obeying, though she did her best to keep her eyes off of his bare chest. At least he had bottoms on, she told herself. Black boxer briefs that they were.

She huffed. Of course they were black. Did the man wear any other color? Not fair, she scolded. You’ve only see him at the coffee shop every Wednesday, and it’s only been four Wednesdays at that. Who knows, maybe there’s a reason he wears all black that day. Maybe his a widower or had recently suffered some other kind of loss. The thought, coupled with the fact that he was in nothing but his underwear, made her want to leave his presence as quickly as possible.

Slowly, Reyanna took a backwards stepped, eyes searching for another exit. There was a door five feet to her left. From the view of window beside it, it presumably led to the backyard. She’d take it. One of her curious, non-human abilities was speed, she’d be at the door and out of sight before the man could bat an eye.

Reyanna turned and promptly fell back, the man suddenly blocking her path. Dumbly, she looked to where he had been stationed.

“Where do you think you’re going, Kitten?”

Looking up at him, Reyanna crawled back on her hands and knees. “I--”

“I suppose I should have clarified that this was a good surprise.”

Reyanna barely felt her palm being cut by a piece of glass, but Shouta caught sight of fresh blood smeared on the floor. He cast out a thread of darkness that wrapped around her waist and lifted her to her feet.

Reyanna squeaked and thrashed. “Wha-- Let me go! Get off me!”

“Calm down, child. You’re hurt. Let me help.”

Reyanna noticed a hint of tired, bitterness in the censure, though his eyes held an almost worried softness. “I’m fine. Let me go. Please. I promise I won’t tell anyone about this.”

“That you broke into my place of rest?” Shouta smiled, showing too many teeth.

Reyanna would've found the expression almost cute if the situation was different. If some dense, dark shadow wasn’t wrapped around her, holding her as firmly as any chains or rope might. After having skimmed through countless books and reading the entirety of numerous others, she knew that this was powerful spell work. That was if the man was a witch. For her sake, she hoped he was a witch, the other possibilities too heart stopping to think about.

“I’m—I’m sorry. I--” Reyanna’s words cut off in a yelp of surprise when the man grabbed her bleeding hand and licked it.

“There.” Shouta said, with a self satisfied hum. “All better.”

Reyanna stared at her healed palm in awe. The wound hadn’t been big, but it had been deep. She opened and closed her hand, testing it out. There wasn’t so much as a lingering sting of hurt. It was like the gash had never been there.

“H—how did you--”

Shouta’s eyes dilated. He growled, realizing his mistake. The feel. The taste and scent of her. It was near impossible, but he managed to resist the urge to wrap his arms around her and taste her further. Instead, he gritted his teeth and took a step back.

Reyanna saw his blown pupils. Heard his deep, rumbling growl. Was the man a vampire? Please, fuck, don’t let him be a vampire!

Shouta didn’t want to waste time talking. He wanted to tie himself her. And not just because of the pack of three Were’s he had killed in the alley behind the grocery store, while Reyanna shopped, blissfully unaware. Or the Red Cap that had found its way into his home, that laid dead at the top of the stairs. His want. No. His need to tie himself to her, was more then merely wanting, needing, to protect her. Shouta wanted her. And after everything that had happened before. After the time spent alone during her long slumber. After watching her from a distance for a month. Shouta didn’t much care that act would be for a pact.

He had slowly begun releasing his essence the moment he sensed Reyanna enter the house. But now, he allowed it to ooze out of him without limit. Daimon's had an easy time manipulating humans to their will since humans found them irresistible. Their looks The tone, timber, and cadence of their voice. The gaze of their eyes. Hell, even watching them move could captivate lesser beings and bend them to a daimon's will. After all, daimon's were nothing more then fallen angels.

But Reyanna was far from a lesser being. She wasn’t even fully human. Such charms alone wouldn’t work on her, if at all. His essence on the other hand. That was what daimon's used to get difficult, principled people to give in to their deepest, darkest desires. Shouta wasn’t even sure that it would work. Then again, given their history, he may not have needed to release his essence to get her going.

He smirked at that, his own desire growing. Even though she had purposefully wiped her memories, he knew some fragment of their past had to be there. Memories could be wiped. Feelings couldn’t. Which was both a good and bad thing in his case.

Reyanna waited. Unsure what to do. Caught between wanting to struggle and fight to free herself, and wanting to see what he would do. Hoping, to her shocked embarrassment and shame, that one of the things he would do was touch her.

Shouta walked around her, eyeing her from behind. He brushed her dark brown hair back from her shoulder, and hummed at the tiny shiver she gave. Stepping closer, he dipped his head over her shoulder and inhaled deeply, taking in the scent of her.

“Surprising as it is, even my kind is blessed from time to time. If I was the praying sort, I’d be doing so right now. Thanking Him for my good fortune.” Shouta’s breathed ghosted over her ear as he spoke. He ran his nose along the outer shell, before stepping back again.

Reyanna squirmed. She had felt an intense heat seeping into her back, when his bare chest had been pressed against her. No. Not a heat, but a cold so frigid it practically burned. To her surprise, the temperature hadn’t been uncomfortable. If anything, it had felt good. She released an audible breath of disappointment at the loss of contact.

The wooden floor creaked under Shouta's bare feet as he walked around her. Reyanna stared straight ahead, refusing to look at him. She closed her eyes and shook her head, trying to clear her mind of the sinful thoughts that kept invading it. If only he’d put some damned clothes on. If only he’d quit standing so close. If only he’d pull her to him and kiss her.

Reyanna watched his feet as he stopped in front of her. Lifting her eyes to a point over his shoulder, she asked. “And what is this good fortune of yours?”

“Don’t play coy, Anna. I know you caught me staring this morning. Did you rush out because you saw me make my move? Or was it simply bad timing?”

Reyanna blinked. Her eyes finally focused on his. Her racing heart skipped a beat. She hadn’t told him her name. Swallowing, she told herself that he must have overheard it the same way she had caught his, at the coffee shop when the barista had called it with her order.

Shouta gave a thin smile, having gotten what he wanted, her eyes on him. A low growl rumbled from his throat in satisfaction. He didn’t want to ruin it, but this was going far easier then he had expected. Apparently, she hadn’t been as furious as she had seemed, the last time he had seen her before her slumber. When she had told him to stay away and that she never wanted to see him again. Didn’t want anything to do with him. Apparently, a greater part of her still wanted him as much as he wanted her. Whether she remembered it or not. Maybe her wiped memories wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. Sure, it would still be a hell of a hassle; but it would also afford him, them, a new start. The slate of her mind wiped clean of his previous wrong doings, of which there were many.

Caught in the black, bottomless void of his eyes, Reyanna’s breath hitched in her throat. The warmth in the pit of her stomach grew tenfold, a moisture traitorously building between her legs. Blinking, she gave another sharp shake of her head, trying to make her mind to focus. She had to keep him talking, and hope he got caught up enough in his words to become distracted. She had to bide her time, and look for an opportunity to break free of this black tendril-like smoke, and get out of here.

“A bit of both.” Reyanna said, answering his question.

“So you were done and getting up to leave when I made my move; but what? Got startled when you saw me heading in your direction and rushed out?”

“Something like that.” She muttered, lowering her head.

When he put it that way it made her actions seem foolish. Like that of a nervous school girl. Then again, here she was bound by some other worldly power while he toyed with her, and there was no mistake that that was what he was doing. So maybe, she had been right to run away, even if she hadn’t known it at the time.

Shouta captured her chin between a thumb and index finger, and lifted her face. “Look at me, Lovely.”

Reyanna did as he bid, embarrassed to find herself leaning into his touch. Shouta gave a wicked grin at that. His hum of approval reaching her ears. Catching herself, she pulled her face free of his hold and glared up at him.

“Tell me, Aizawa. Are you the one that’s been following me?”

“Shouta.” Shouta growled, his eyes darkening.

“I’m sorry.” Reyanna said, in confusion. “You’re name’s not Aizawa?”

“It is.” He allowed. “But—” Shouta huffed at the truth. “Let’s just say that it is my given name.” The name He had given him before time was time and the earth began. “Here. Right now. You are to call me, Shouta. It is the name I chose for myself.”

Reyanna’s eyebrows knitted together. Even first names weren’t chosen by the person baring it, at least not usually. Parents picked their children's names. Then again, she wasn’t sure about the social workings of other worldly creatures, and Aizawa Shouta was very likely not human. At least he didn’t strike her as a witch. Not that she knew any witches to base that off of.

“Shouta.” Reyanna sighed, lashes fluttering. She made a face, chastising herself. What was wrong with her! She needed to get out of here, not moan the mans name. Her hips swayed, legs pressing together as she tried to feed the growing need between them.

Shouta’s eyes lowered. The small, pleased smile he had given when she said his name, grew at the sight of her dance. His hand lifted once more, caressing her cheek. Again, Reyanna found herself leaning into the touch, reveling in the feeling of his rough, calloused fingers. She sighed, eyes closing slightly as his hand traveled down her neck. She didn’t even realize that the black mass that had bound her had evaporated, till he pulled his hand away and her eyes had fluttered open to see it gone.

He gave a smug, crooked grin at her dazed expression when she realized she was free of his binding. “Tell me, Kitten. Do you wish to go, or would you rather stay?”

Reyanna stared wide eyed. Was he really giving her a choice? She was free of his bonds. Of course she was going to choose to go. Why then were her feet not moving to take her away from here? Her legs trembled unsteadily beneath her; tired from being squeezed so tightly together in her effort to satiate the hungry throbbing of her core. Her slick, having long since seeped to her panties, continued to pool.

Quicker then the human eye could see, Shouta reached out. One hand grabbed a fist full of Reyanna’s dark brown hair. The other gripped her waist. He pulled her to him. Her body slamming into him with enough force to knock the air out of her. As Reyanna gasped for breath, Shouta rumbled.

“I’m done playing games. Answer me, Kitten. Tell me you want to stay, knowing full well what happens when you do.”

When, not if. Reyanna wondered if the man was that sure of himself, or if her struggle was just that obvious. She stared at him, hating both his surety and her neediness.

Shouta’s eyes lowered to her lips. He licked his own, watching as she mimicked the action. His dick twitched at the sight, a groan escaping him.

“Don’t make me ask again, Anna.”

“Stay.” Reyanna said, sounding much more sure then she felt.

As soon as the word was out, Shouta's lips crashed against hers. He gave another groan as her mouth opened, her tongue eagerly meeting his. Hands fisted, Shouta pulled away before he lost himself and took to ripping off her clothes, ruining the whole thing. His desires, wants, needs, and preferences were not the goal that was to be met here. He had to tie himself to her. If he gave in and lost himself, he may not get another chance.

Panting, Reyanna stared up at him in open disappointment. Why had he stopped? Was he still toying with her? And after he had said he was done playing games. That was just plain rude. She stepped after him, giving a low, hungry growl of her own. Her hands reaching out toward him.

Shouta pressed a hand to her shoulder, holding her at bay. “Well, aren’t you suddenly sure and demanding. How about you be a good little Kitten and strip for me then?”

Reyanna’s mind balked at his words, her cheeks burning as her pride raged at his nerve. Her hands, on the other hand, practically flew to her jacket, tearing it off.

Shouta grabbed her wrists, halting her movements as she made for her top. “Slowly.” He ordered, huskily.

Reyanna eyed him as he stood back, his gaze raking over her. She did the same to him, taking in the bulge that was his hard imprisoned cock. An anger rose up in her. First at herself for doing this. Then at him for stopping her, even if it only was to slow her down. She remained motionless as she tried to will herself to walk out. To reason out what had come over her, and why she was doing this. Sure he was handsome as all hell. His voice, movements, and confidence intoxicatingly hot. She had even had a few dreams about him. And yes, shamefully, most had entailed sex. But this wasn’t a dream. And stripping for a man whose first name she had barely learned, in the hope of having sex with him was...well it was ludicrous. Even so, the deepest part of her that should never have been allow to roam free, wanted this. Wanted him. Wanted him from the first moment she had laid eyes him. A self loathing blossomed and burned inside her as, instead of leaving, she proceed to undress herself to the tempo he had commanded.

Shouta had held his breath as he watched her, silently willing her to resume. When she did, he exhaled in relief, and began soundlessly saying the words that the Tie required.

Reyanna let out a shaky breath, her heated gaze never leaving him. His captured hardened cock enough to tell her that he wanted her as much as she wanted him. So why should he have all the fun? The dark pools of her chocolate eyes took on a mischievous glint as she warmed to the idea. She ran her hands over her clothed body, hips swaying as she as teasingly exposed her flesh with exaggerated slowness.

Shouta found it difficult to remember to words needed to tie himself to her. And it had nothing to do with the fact that he had never used them before. No. The problem was her. Reyanna’s teasing display was distracting, to say the least. His eyes blinked rapidly as he began to walk a circle around her, forcing himself to focus and do what needed to be done. There would be time enough later for such heady enjoyments once this deed was complete. That was if she opened herself to allowing it, as he had sworn to himself that he would never again use his essence to bring forth her inner wanting in order to have his way. That this would be the first and last time he ever did such a thing. Necessary as this was, it still felt wrong. Still felt like a betrayal. And after his last betrayal… He found himself faltering.

No. Shouta shook his head, steadying his nerve. This had to be done. It was for Reyanna’s protection. It was in her best interest. So had the other, he thought. Shut up! He silently snapped at himself, the words that would tie him to her never halting.

Reyanna lost sight of him as he walked around behind her. Hands halting, she turned.

Shouta's eyes lowered to the half pulled zipper of her pants, then back up to meet her gaze. His black eyes hard, almost cold, annoyed at his internal argument.

“Did I tell you to stop?” He questioned, voice and face expressionless.

Reyanna shivered under his burning gaze. She wondered, yet again, what the hell she was doing. With a swallow, she resumed.

Shouta continued to walk a wide circle around her, his near inaudible mummers resuming. Standing in front of her once more, he watched her unhooked her bra.

Reyanna let the garment slide off her shoulders and fall to the floor. Gone was the confident, playfulness she had momentarily felt midway through undressing. Eyes lowered, she found that she could barely look at him, a shy nervousness over taking her.

The Daimon watched her nipples pucker, exposed to the cool, almost cold, fall air of the drafty, unheated house. “Look at me.” He commanded.

Her chest shook as she drew in a deep, shuddering breath. Hesitantly, Reyanna’s eyes lifted; but as they did, so did her arms.

Shouta’s lip twitched in annoyance at her shielding her breasts from view. “Come here.”

Reyanna stepped to him in a daze. Shouta smirked down at her.

“And here I was thinking you’d be a difficult little Minx.” Shouta rumbled softly, his hand reaching up to caress her cheek. His eyes locked with hers a moment, before lowering to take in the cleavage of her covered breasts. His gaze lowered further still. The sight making him groan. “Damn, Kitten. You’re soaked through. Aren’t you?”

A part of her foggily remember that she never took off her panties and moved her hands to remedy that, intent on obeying his command to strip.

“Leave those for now.” Shouta snapped, taking her wrists and drawing her hands away from the garment.

He pressed his face into her neck, his longing for her making him groan. Focus. He scolded himself. Straightening, he firmly pressed her arms to her sides, silently tell her to stay that way. The next words needed came to mind. He began to circle her and utter them. His lips barely moving. His voice the barest of breezes.

After completing another full circle, he stopped and smiled. Now came the fun part. Still, he couldn’t completely loose himself. There were points of the contract he had to meet. Deed. Feed. Seed. Shouta had never had trouble pleasing Reyanna before her slumber, so getting her to orgasm first by his hand, then mouth, and lastly his cock shouldn’t be an issue. The problem was, denying his own desires after so long a time without. Damn. How he had missed her.

Shouta paced around her once more, his hand reaching out to trail along her stomach. Stopping behind her, he stepped close. One hand slowly traced up to cup one of her breasts. While the other traveled down, along hip and gripped her thigh.

Reyanna released a soft sigh, her head rolling back against him. His touched felt like fire and ice. Like electricity arching. It felt wonderful.

Chin hovering over her shoulder, Shouta took in the of the rise and fall of her bounty with every breath she took. “You’re perfection. You know that, Kitten. Fucking perfection.”

“Shouta.” Reyanna whined, turning her face toward him.

Unable to resist, he clasped her neck and pulled her into a kiss. Reyanna eagerly kissed him in return, rocking her hips back, pressing her ass against his trapped, leaking cock.

Shouta groaned a soft, drawn out curse. “Fuck.”

Cupping just beneath her chin, he turned her face away, exposing her neck to him. Reyanna whimpered at the long, hot stripe his tongue drew up the curve of her neck. Shouta smirked into her skin, kissing and nipping his way to her ear. Releasing her thigh, his fingers climbed up her leg to her clothed sex. There, he pressed against the wet fabric and into her folds.

Reyanna gave a sharp gasp, which quickly turned into moans as he began to rub.

“To be honest.” Shouta said, as he continued his ministrations. “I have been troubling over how to go about this for a while.”

Long before she woke, in fact. From the moment he had learned she had wiped her memory in order to stay in hiding and await the arrival of the Llaes. For years, Shouta had gone over, planned out, dreamed, and even fantasied about how he would manage to get a memory wiped Reyanna to allow him to preform a Tie.

Reyanna’s muddled mind could barely put his words together. Was he saying that he had wanted to ask her out, or simply have sex with her? And for a while now? How long a while? Having basically begun her life four weeks ago, in a cabin in the woods, Reyanna could only remember the events of the last four weeks. Was that the time frame he was referring to? Or was it possible he had come across her before that four week time? If so, he had her at a disadvantage. Then again, given the situation, he already did.

“But in the end,” Shouta continued, “I need not have concerned myself with all that, cause here you are. Ripe, and ready to receive me.” At that he pushed the sodden fabric aside and drove a not so gentle finger into her.

“Ah!” Reyanna’s back arched. Her walls clenched around the digits sudden intrusion.

Shouta’s hand lowered from her neck and wrapped around her waist, holding her to him.

“This, Kitten, represents the body, the act of the Deed.” He told her as he slid another finger in and pumped into her at a brutal pace. He had meant to go slower. Intended to be more gentle. But his own need was beginning to become painful. “Doubt any of the books you read in that Witch’s library explained this sort of thing to you.”

Reyanna heard him speak, but had no idea what he was talking about. The deed? What was that? Was that how he referred to sex? Wait a minute. Did he say Witch’s library? And how did he know she was going to the library in the first place? All thought left her when his thumb swiped against her clit. She gave a moan, her hips pushing forward in search of further contact.

Shouta grinned into her neck, and gave her what she wanted. Now was not the time to tease. His fingers gave a half twist every time they pushed inside her. Alternating between scissoring open and curling to hit that special spot within, before pulling out to the first knuckle, only to plunge into her again. All the while his thumb, symbol by symbol, wrote the binding characters upon her clit.

Reyanna was a spasming mess in no time. Thrown back against his shoulder, her head rocked back and forth as she cried out, toes curling underneath her bare feet.

“That’s it, Kitten. Sing for me.” Shouta encouraged, loving the sounds of pleasure she made.

His words were all it took to drive her over the edge. Reyanna buried her face into his neck, shuddering underneath the weight of her orgasm. Shouta lifted his thumb, but continued to slowly pump his fingers in and out, letting her ride the ebbing waves of her peak.

Nuzzling against her sweat beaded brow, he praised. “You did so well. But we’re not done yet, Love. Next comes the mind, the attention of the Feed.” Shouta’s eyes danced as he looked at her out of the corner of his eye, a smug smirk playing on his lips. “Try to keep your legs.”

He pulled his fingers from her. Keeping his index and middle fingers together, Shouta wrote her name over his heart with her juices. He then pressed the pad of his arousal coated thumb to the center of his forehead, muttering a few words. Opening his mouth, he lowered his hand and pressed the pad of his thumb against the roof of his mouth.

Necessitates of the Tie out of the way for the moment, Shouta sucked his fingers clean. His eyes closed, a groaning sigh escaping him, as if he had just sampled the most delectable thing on earth. Pulling his fingers from his mouth, he kissed his way down her back.

Reyanna’s body burned with further wanting at every lick, kiss, and nip. She had no idea why he had done what he just did, or what he meant by attention and feed. Though as he continued to move lower and knelt on the ground, she began to get a pretty good idea what he meant by feed.

Shouta’s hands gripped her hips. He turned her to face him, licking up one thigh and then the other, throat rumbling at the taste of her juices that had rolled down. Eyes trained on her, he hooked his fingers into the waistband of her panties and pulled the drenched garment off.

Legs already unsteady, Reyanna stumbled as she stepped out of her underwear. Her eyes followed the fabric’s flight as Shouta tossed them aside.

“Eyes on me, Kitten.” Shouta said, lips brushing against her lower ones as he spoke.

Reyanna returned her gaze to him.

Shouta smiled against her as he breathed in her musk. He licked up her slit, causing Reyanna to squeaked in response. With a low chuckle, he licked at her again, his tongue sinking deeper and deeper into her folds with every swipe. His eyes closed with a hum as he savored the taste of her. It had been far too long since he had had such nectar. His hands gripped her hips securely while the tip of his tongue traced around her entrance. He pushed the muscle inside, feeling her entire body shiver in response.

Reyanna whined at the wonderful intrusion, trying not to grind her hips down onto him. He certainly knew what he was doing. Soon she was panting again, easily worked up after having just come down from the heights of pleasure.

“Nice to know that alluring deep voice isn’t the only arousing thing your mouth is capable of.” Reyanna praised, staring down at him through hooded eyes.

Shouta latched onto her clit and hummed his thanks. After all, it had been a while since he had used his mouth for such purposes. His last time with her, in fact. Meaning, as far as he was concerned, far too long.

Reyanna’s gasp turned into a moan as his tongue lightly traced upon her sensitive clit.

Like he had with his thumb, Shouta wrote the words needed with his tongue, the concert that was Reyanna’s pleasured cries spurring him on. She was close. Her hips constantly trembling beneath his hands. Watching her from below, Shouta saw her eyes roll back.

Unable to control herself any longer, Reyanna grabbed a fistful of his long, black hair. She pulled him to her, her hips bucking into his face, as another all consuming wave crashed over her.

Her legs began to buckle. Second part over, Shouta held her up, quickly getting to his feet to hold her against him. They stared at each other a moment. Reyanna sweaty and panting. Shouta face a glistening mess. He lovingly brushed her damp hair out of her face, tucking it behind an ear.

“You’re doing so well, Anna. But, I need you to keep your legs for me. One more and we’re finished.” He licked his lips clean, the thought of finally sinking into her making his throbbing dick twitch. “I can help steady you. But you need to hold yourself up by your own power. You have to bare and take what I offer or else this will all have been for not. Can you do that for me? Hum, Kitten? Can you keep your legs for one more go?”

Reyanna’s eyes roved over his face in a daze. They weren’t finished? Somewhere in the back of her mind she had known they weren’t. He still hadn’t seen to his own needs. His cock, still trapped in his underwear, probably painful by now. Though she felt spent, the thought of his cock filling her up made her hungry from more. Despite how hard each orgasm had hit her, she still felt unsatisfied. She needed more. She needed him pumping inside her. Not his fingers or his tongue, but him.

Shouta’s smile widened at her mute nod. “Good.”

He kissed her, Reyanna moaning into his mouth at the taste herself on his lips and tongue.

Shouta’s hands released her. He pull down his underwear and hissed as his cock sprung free. It hurt, but it wouldn’t for long. Turned on and denied as he was, he wouldn’t last long, but neither would she. After two back to back orgasms, the barest of touches to her overstimulated clit would likely set her off.

“Lastly, my Love, comes the soul, the affirmation of the Seed.”

Reyanna’s eyebrows pulled together. The part of her mind still capable of clear thought puzzling at his words. But all that left her as soon as she looked down at his pulsing cock. It was about the length she would have expected from someone his height, but thicker then she imagined. The thought of him stretching her open as he filled her with his length made her groan. Licking her lips, she reached out to touch it.

Shouta grabbed her wrist and pulled her hand away. Shaking his head, he told. “You do that and we’ll have to go through this all over again.”

Reyanna didn’t understand, but she didn’t have time to ponder on it cause he was once again kissing her.

Shouta pressed his body against her. He ran his length through her slit, covering it in her juices. Back and forth. Back and forth. He bared his teeth, wanting nothing more then to push into her tightness and feed his aching need, but he needed her to ask for him. To voice her want and acceptance. Even if she didn’t know what he was doing. So long as the necessary points of the contract were met, the details, such as awareness of even the contract itself, didn’t matter. It wasn’t as if he was doing this in exchange for her soul. This was a one-sided contract, Shouta more then fine with that.

Reyanna tried to angle her hips to receive him, but Shouta’s strong hands kept her from doing so. His fingers bruising her hips as he gripped them. He was far past smirking at her mewl of wanting. His need for her beginning to blind him to what needed to be done.

Pressing their foreheads together, Shouta continued to tease the both them, sliding his cock along her folds. “Tell me what you want.”

“Mm.” Reyanna moaned, eyes closed at the delicious feeling of his shaft rubbing against her. She wriggled her hips, trying to grind against him in silent answer.

A rumbling growl came from Shouta’s chest. His voice low as it rasped. “Speak, Reyanna.” He reached a hand up, ran his thumb over her lips and across her cheek. His eyes bored into her. “I need you to use your words. Tell me what you want.”

“You.” Reyanna breathed, eyes opening to met his searing gaze. “I want you, Shouta.”

“Then me, you shall have.” Shouta said, thrusting into her.

They both moaned. Reyanna’s head fell into the curve of Shouta’s neck. Her fingers clutched at his shoulders, chest heaving as she felt herself stretched wide. Shouta clenched his teeth, struggling to keep his hips still. To give her a moment to adjust.

Hand at her throat, he lifted her face till she looked at him again. “You good, Kitten?”

“Mm.” She sighed. Then blearily remember he wanted her to voice her answers. “Yes. Please, Shouta. Move. Fuck me, please.”

Reyanna’s back arched as he complied with her wish. Both groaning as he began to pull out and push into her at a slow, hard pace. Shouta lowered his hand and gripped her thigh, only to release it with a growl. He couldn't lift her leg to get a better angle on her. She had to have both feet on the ground for this. Something about her control, ability, and some other reasoning that failed him at the moment.

Reyanna’s legs faltered. She took a half step back, vertigo and exhaustion hitting her. Shouta gripped her hips and pulled her to him, steadying her but not holding her up. He felt her body rapidly weaken. Her consciousness beginning to dwindled.

“Stay with me, Kitten.” Shouta panted, snapping his hips.

He was tempted to waken her senses with a bite, but he couldn’t mark her till it was time to seal the contract. He pressed his forehead against hers, the two staring into each others eyes as they breathed the same air. Shouta picked up his pace, thrusting more fiercely into her. Their hips slamming together with enough force to make her teeth chatter.

Reyanna sucked a sharp breath in between her teeth. “Please. Please, Shouta. I—ahh.” Her words fell off in a cry. The tightening coil in the pit of her stomach nearing its breaking point.

Shouta’s thrusts became more violent and erratic, as he too neared his peak. His breath became a labored chorus of grunts and growls. His own legs trembling in the effort to keep him upright.

A moaning mess, Reyanna clutched at him, nails raking his skin as she orgasmed for a third time. Her clenching walls took Shouta with her.

Shouta pressed back against her forehead, and dived to down to her chest as he released hot spurts of cum into her quivering cunt. He latched onto her the top of her left breast, just above her heart, and bit down, sucking in a few drops of blood that oozed from broken skin that his incisors had punctured.

Lips brushing against her bruised, bitten chest, Shouta declared. “I am yours.”

Contract sealed and complete, Shouta pulled out and sunk to his knees, taking her with him. Reyanna’s head lolled against his chest, her hand falling from his shoulder to paw feebly at his arm.

The Daimon curled her onto his lap. “You did so well, Kitten.”

Reyanna blinked up at him with heavy lids.

Shouta brushed her sweat soaked hair off of her brow. “Get most rest. You earned it, Love.”

Unfocused eyes slowly closed, and soon Reyanna was asleep. Shouta gave a sigh of relieved contentment. This was far from the only difficulty he would face, but at least he was tied to her. The first and all important hurdle was done and out of the way. His mind began to think about the next, but he quickly silenced it. There would be time enough for that. Right now he wanted to soak this in. Soak her in. Reyanna. In his arms. He held her tighter and bent to kiss her brow.

“You’re mine too, Kitten. Whether you remember it or not. Whether you want it or not. As angry as you were, you never broke our bond.” He looked down at her in amazement. How could one person could mean more then time and creation itself? “Now I’m not just bonded to you. I’m yours body, mind, and soul. Even if you wish to break the Bond between us once you begin to remember. I’ll still be yours.”

His finger absently rubbed at the Vim ring on his left thumb, dark eyes taking in the absence of hers. Of course he had instantly noticed her bare right thumb the first time he had seen her. And while the sight had wrenched at his gut, the fact that a bit of her Vim, her life force, was still housed in the ring he worn, meant that their bond had not been broken. It was the Bond that had led him to her. Would always lead him to her. So long as it continued.

He stayed like that, holding her sleeping form till she began to shiver. He thought about taking her upstairs to the bedroom, but remembered the dead Red Cap at the top of the stairs. He had been angry at the creatures intrusion and toyed with it, drawing out its death instead of turning it to ash on sight. By the time he had noticed Reyanna’s nearness, it had been too late to dispose of the thing without her smelling the tell tale char. Left with the choice of confronting her in nothing but his underwear or greeting her in clothes covered in Red Cap blood and bits, he had opted on the less gruesome of the two.

Heaving a sigh, he lifted Reyanna in his arms and rose to his feet. She would be out for a while. The act of the contract taking more out of her then mere physical. In a blink of darkness, Shouta flinted to the perimeter of the woods that surrounded Reyanna’s cabin. With the added wards she had put in place, he hadn’t been able to get any closer. He eyed the wardings cut off line, every symbol and casting glowing in the night. With a blink, his vision returned to normal the spells, charms, and runes no longer visible, even though he could still sense their presence.

Tied to her as he now was, he should be able to cross the line. Should... Well, Shouta thought, no way to know for sure without trying.. He took a step and then another. When nothing happened, a wide toothy grin crept upon his face. He flinted inside the cabin. A chuckle of accomplishment rumbling in his chest.

“We did good, Anna.” He told, looking down at her.

Shouta walked down the hall, heading straight for the bedroom. Gently, he lowered her onto the mattress and covered her naked frame. Placing a hand on the crown of her head, he bent over and kissed her temple.

“I’ll get our things and clean up the mess over there, then be back. Alright, Love.”

He brushed his nose against her brow and gave her one more kiss before flitting away.

Chapter Text

2.1

Reyanna woke up feeling sore and disoriented. What the hell happened? The memories came back like a dream. But how then did she get home? Unable to remember, she figure that maybe that’s all it was. A dream. Gingerly, she sat up in bed and stretched. The covers fell off her torso, exposing her unclothed skin. Now she was really unnerved. She never slept in the nude. Panties and a tank top was what she wore to bed.

Memories gone. Knowing that there were things other then humans walking the earth and that somehow she was a part of that life. Reyanna didn’t want to be caught naked and drowsy, should something other worldly break in during the night.

Then she saw the bruise and four small puncture marks at the top of her left breast, and her heart seized. It had happened. Did she somehow make it home after in a daze? Naked? Did he bring her home? But that meant he had to have known where she stayed. Unless she had told him and simply didn’t remember.

Having woken up once lacking a lifetime of memories, the thought of further missing memories unsettled her more then anything else. What was happening to her? Would she eventually remember nothing ever again? Just existing day by day. Hour by hour. Second by second.

She jumped out of bed and fell over, her legs sore and weak. Kicking her feet free of the blanket, she righted herself on the floor with a huff. Angered. Annoyed. Scared. Heart pounding so hard she felt it beating in her temples. She tried to gather her thoughts.

Water. She needed water. Reyanna got to her knees, intent on going to the kitchen to get some. But she didn’t have to. Sitting on the nightstand was a glass of water, along with a bottle of pain killers. A note sat propped up against the glass.

The bottle’s new.

~Aizawa S.

Reyanna cautiously popped the bottles cap off. Sure enough the foil seal was still in place. Breaking it, she tapped two pills out and tossed them in her mouth. She swallowed them dry before gulping down the glass of water without pause.

She glared at the note, a torrent of emotions welling up. Who the hell did the man think he was? At least he had seen her safely home. Still, she didn’t think she could bare ever seeing him again. Maybe if she changed the day she went to town? She’d had to take another route too. She didn’t want to chance happening upon him as she passed his house. But whether he had already known or she had told him, he knew where she lived. She shook away such concerns. She could defend herself should he come sniffing like some stalker.

Pushing to her feet, Reyanna headed for the shower.

2.2

Shouta flinted into the cabin carrying a stack of heavy tomes and a bag of groceries. Stepping to the dining table he set the load down. After disposing of the Red Cap, gathering Reyanna’s clothes, and the few things he had kept in the house, he had dozed for a bit. Daimon's didn’t need much sleep, but the contract had taken a toll on him as well.

At least he had meant to only doze; but when he had next opened his eyes the sun was already greying the sky. Knowing how such wipes, like the one Reyanna had used on herself, worked, Shouta had then gone to collect some instructive books that could be of real assistance and returned the six good for nothing books she had checked out.

The Witch who owned the private library, had glared at him the entire time. Obviously displeased. Though Shouta wasn’t sure whether it was from having a Daimon in his library, or that he was returning books Reyanna had only just checked out the evening before. Most likely both. Not that Shouta cared. It wasn’t as if the library had wards against daimon's or other hell spawn, though that obviously didn’t mean his kind were welcomed patrons.

Hearing the shower running, Shouta took the groceries he had bought and began to make breakfast. Even though Reyanna rarely ate before all this, he had seen the solitary bag that was the sum of her groceries for each week. After last nights ordeal, he was certain that she would need to eat. Even he was hungry, and he required far less nourishment then she did.

He was nearly finished setting the table when the sound of running water stopped. Stepping around the table, Shouta stared expectantly at the closed door and waited. Suddenly, the bathroom door burst open, Reyanna springing out with—was that a toothbrush? The Daimon quirked an eyebrow and huffed.

“What are you going to do with that? Teach me good dental hygiene?”

Reyanna blinked. Her shock was quickly replaced with relief, before anger finally settled in. “What the hell!”

“Come.” Shouta beckoned, moving back to the table to pull out a chair. “Have some breakfast. Then I’ll explain.”

“No. You’re going to explain yourself right now. Just cause we—we did what we did and you saw me safely home doesn’t give you the right--”

“Let me stop you right there.” Shouta interrupted. “What exactly do you think we did last night?”

Reyanna stared at him, dumbfounded. What was he? Some kind of idiot? Suddenly feeling very exposed, the hand holding the toothbrush clutched her robe further shut, just below the base of her throat. “Look. I didn’t mean to break into your place. I thought it was abandoned. I was merely checking it out cause I was interested in something closer to town.”

“So you could visit the library more often.” Shouta surmised with a shake of his head. What a waste of time.

“So I could--” Reyanna had gone on. She paused at his words, a chill running down her spine. “So you have been the one following. Watching. Me.”

“Someone has to, Kitten. Without knowing who—what you are. You’re in danger. As well as a danger to yourself and others.”

Her eyes widened at that. “Yo—you know me?”

The corner of Shouta’s lip twitched. He snapped a hand at the air before him. A rolled parchment appeared and unfurled, held at the top between two fingers. “This will explain some. The rest we will get to after we eat.” He set the paper representation of the Ties contract on the table, and gestured to the chair. “Feel free to read while you eat.”

2.3

“So,” Reyanna said, sinking down into the center of the sofa, “you’re a demon.”

“Daimon.” Shouta corrected.

Reyanna had gotten dressed before partaking of breakfast. Done eating, they had moved to the comfort of the living room, dirty dishes left on the table. Shouta sat down in the chair across from her with a sigh, feeling very much at home.

“What’s the difference?”

“Daimon's were once Angels.”

“As in before the Fall? Lucifer and all that.” Despite knowing in the core of her being that other worldly creatures existed, there was a hint of skepticism in Reyanna’s voice.

“Most of our numbers came from the revolt and ensuing war coined simply as the Fall, yes. But there are others who came after. Disenfranchised with the absence of—Him, and the resulting so called leadership heaven has fallen under.”

“So God’s not there? Where did He--”

Shouta cute her off. “That’s not important right now.”

“Which are you?”

“Which what am I?”

“Did you side with Lucifer during the Fall or join him later?”

Shouta’s eyebrows knitted together. Despite the fact that she had once known all of this, her prodding irked him. As a result, it made his voice sound harsh. “What does that matter?”

Reyanna shrugged. “I guess the only thing that truly matters is that you’re sided with hell now. Wait! Am I sided with hell? Am I evil?”

Shouta snorted at that. Though he had to admit he found her innocent horror cute. “I am no longer tied to hell or in its services. Nor are you aligned with it.”

Reyanna placed a hand to her hammering heart, relief washing over her. “So I’m a good guy? On the side of heaven and all that.”

Shouta blinked rapidly, in effort not to roll his eyes. “Heaven is currently not synonymous with good, nor are you sided with them.”

“So whose side am I on?”

Fighting a growl of irritation, Shouta told her. “Currently, you are on no ones side. And it will stay that way until you have remastered your power and relearned the way of things.” And even long after that, if I can help it, he thought.

“So if you’re a Daimon. Are there demons? And how do they differ—wait! What power?” Reyanna knew on an instinctual level that she was different from humans. Stronger. Faster. And a whole host of other things. But power… What did he mean by power?

Shouta smirked. He would ignore her last question for now. For both their sake's. Making himself more comfortable, he told. “Demons are nothing more then tortured souls of broken humans who have bargained or proven themselves worthy of being taken off the Butcher’s Block.”

Reyanna gulped down the lump her throat. She didn’t know what was worse. The fact that he was a fallen Angel or the casual way he had described what demons were. As if broken humans, tortured souls, and butcher’s blocks were of little to no consequence.

“I—I didn’t sell my soul. Did I?”

Shouta stared at her. Was she serious? One look at her told him she was. He remained silent for a moment, not trusting himself to speak. Indignant that she would think, let alone ask such a thing.

“I know a lot happened last night and you were pretty worn out after, but was it so terrible that you’ve already wiped it from your mind?”

Reyanna blushed. “I—you—we—I don’t—I don’t normally do things like that.”

Her statement gave her pause. Could she really say such a thing if she couldn't remember anything before the last four weeks? She shook her head. No. She’d definitely know if she was that kind of person. Wouldn’t she?

Shouta's low voice disturbed into her thoughts. “Breaking and entering or striping down and--”

“Both!” Reyanna cut in overly loud, her already flushed cheeks reddening further.

Shouta chuckled. “I’m glad.”

“I—I don’t know what came over me. I--”

“You didn’t bargain your soul. Nor do I want it.” Shouta informed before she said more and possibly asked if he had done anything to effect her.

“You know what side I’m on and mentioned my power, saying you want to help me master it and learn—relearn, the way of things. So, do you do know me?”

“Did you have trouble understanding the contract?”

Though the Daimon's return was nearly as expressionless as his handsome face, Reyanna heard a slight ill-tempered lilt in his words. She pressed her lips together and eyed him.

“Questions regarding either of our pasts or possible futures will not be answered--”

“I can read.” Reyanna snipped, pouting.

Shouta raised an eyebrow at her petulant sulk. He had known she would ask. Even without her memories, she was still the same person.

Sitting back, Reyanna looked away and crossed her arms. “How then are you suppose to help me if you are unable or unwilling to tell me about myself?”

“By instructing you.”

“Instructing me? I’m not going to play school with you.”

Shouta smirked at the idea. She would definitely be a naughty student in need of discipline. He wiped the thought away and focused. “You’re not human. You know that much, right?”

She nodded.

“There’s a whole other world that you obviously don’t remember. Seeing as you’ve been going to that Witches library--”

“Witch?” Reyanna said, perking up.

“See what I mean.” Shouta huffed.

“So—last night. It was nothing more then you doing this contract thing to tie yourself to me.”

“Do you want it to be more then that?” Shouta asked, eyes slowly raking over her.

Reyanna cleared her throat. “If all you want to do is teach me, like you claim. Why tie yourself to me? Why go through all—that?”

Shouta stared at her long enough that it made her squirm under his gaze. Sitting forward, resting his forearms on his knees, he told. “There are dangers. Creatures. Packs. Factions. Entire hosts of beings. Sure, I could fight and kill to protect you. Given how sorely lacking your knowledge is--”

“I can take care of myself.” Reyanna bristled.

Shouta’s fingers lifted in an appeasing gesture. “I said lacking knowledge. I didn’t say incapable.”

“So—you’d fight to protect me?”

“If I must.” Shouta answered, his bored, almost monotone voice belying just how fiercely he would fight for her. “But my being tied to you will give most things pause, if not deter them completely. Thus forgoing the need to do so.”

While this was true, the main reason for the Tie was so that warding's, like the ones she had put on this place before her slumber, wouldn’t work on him. It meant that even less things could shield her from him; so he would be able to sense where she was. It meant a vast number of things both great and small, but he wasn’t going to go into detail.

“And what do you get in return? For teaching and protecting me.”

Hopefully your goodwill and forgiveness, Shouta thought as he leaned back in his seat. “The benefit of you not wreaking havoc and causing no end of problems before their time.”

“What’s that suppose to mean!”

“Exactly what I said.”

“What if I don’t want your help?”

Shouta gave a short, dry chuckle. “Good luck getting rid of me and breaking the Tie.”

“So there is a way to do so.”

Damn, Shouta silently cursed. Placing his hands on his knees, he pushed to his feet. “First lesson. Dishes. I’ll wash, you rinse. Then you can begin reading the books I brought that will actually be of some use.”

“What did you do with the books I checked out?”

“Returned them.”

“But--”

“Chalked full of feckless trivialities, those books were nothing but a waste of time. They didn’t contain even a single speck of serviceable information.”

“You can’t just go deciding things for me.” Reyanna told, hating that she sounded like a child on the verge of a tantrum.

Shouta stopped his steps and spun around. Having followed at his heels, Reyanna walked right into him. She winced, the bruise on her chest aching when it struck his muscular one. Shouta gripped her elbows, steadying her. His eyes softened at the shadow of pain that crossed her face.

“You alright?”

Reyanna stared up at him, a hand lifting of its own accord. She had almost touched him. Almost tenderly placed her hand on his chest. Shaking her suddenly clouded mind clear, she pulled free of his hold. “I already told you. I can take care of myself.”

Shouta lowered his hands and turned around, swallowing a sigh. She was going to be like that, was she. Petulant child.

Chapter Text

3.1

Reyanna burst out of her bedroom. She raced down the hall, tripping down the stairs of the two-story craftsmen in her hast to find and tell Aizawa. It had been two months since he had tied himself to her, and nearly as long since he had moved them out of the cabin and here.

Having heard the disturbance, Shouta stepped out of the kitchen brow raised. “Reyanna.”

“Aizawa.” Reyanna breathed.

Since that first night, she had refused to call him by his chosen name. Not that he had corrected or instructed her to call him Shouta, as he had that evening. Still, she could tell it annoyed him. An occasional tightening around his eyes when she used, what he called, his given name. It was one of the few things she had to irk him with. Though at the moment she hardly cared about such grievances.

“I remembered something.”

Shouta’s shoulders tensed. This wasn’t good. In her wiped state she was completely shielded from the greater powers that wished to find her. If she started remembering, that shield would begin to weaken. And with his luck, the chances that she would remember something of use for a fight, or simply to defend herself with, was highly unlikely.

Face a mask of disinterested skepticism, Shouta questioned. “What?”

“I’m supposed to be somewhere. Do. Something.”

Of course, he thought morosely. Or course she would remember the thing that would cause them the most trouble, and likely end with them dying horribly.

Shouta's bored tone belied his urgent need to know. “Where? What?”

“I—I don’t know.”

Needing to hide his relief, Shouta turned away and walk back into the kitchen.

“Aizawa.” Reyanna followed at his heels. “Didn’t you hear me? I’m suppose to be somewhere.”

Shouta went back to crushing dried rue with an obsidian mortar and pestle. “And?”

“And,” Reyanna drew out, “shouldn’t we--”

“What? Go.” He turned back to her. “Where? Hum. Where would you have us go?”

“I--”

“--don’t know.” Shouta finished for her. He returned to his task, grinding and pounding more fiercely then necessary. “Just because you remembered a fragment of a thing. Less then a fragment actually. You would have us leave the safety of this place and roam the earth looking. Is that what you’re trying to say? And for what? No, Reyanna. Until you remember something of real use we stay here, unless circumstance or I say otherwise.”

“But I’m suppose to be somewhere!” Reyanna all but shouted. Her hands fisted at her sides, the shadows in the room lengthened, pulling toward her.

She didn’t notice, but Shouta did. Even if he hadn’t seen the movement, he had felt her power flare. His gaze became distant, as he focused his other senses on her. Her display reminded him of another time and place when her power had also been volatile.

“Calm yourself."

“I am calm!”

Shouta stared at the young woman before him, both of them knowing she was far from calm. The outburst of her power merely the most telling and obvious marker.

“If you weren’t such a pigs ass.” Reyanna remarked, turning her head away to avoid his tired gaze.

“If dealing with a—pigs ass, as you so crudely put it, is all it takes for you to lose control, then we have our work cut out for us.”

Reyanna turned back to him, her brown eyes widening as they locked on and searched his. “We?”

“That’s what I said.”

A hint of a smile graced her lips. The light in her eyes brightened. Reyanna stepped to him, scrutinizing him further.

It took everything Shouta had not to take a step back. Took everything he had not to take a step closer.

“And just how far does this ‘we’ go?”

Brought back to the present, Shouta wondered if she had already known that he was hers. If so, she would’ve known long before he had begun to realize his feelings, let alone personally admit his devotion. Turning his head, he looked at her out of the corner of his eye. The present Reyanna clearly had no such inkling. Otherwise she would have trusted him more. Her obvious misgivings and continued hesitance whenever he asked her to do something had gotten to the point that a part of him wondered if she had remembered his betrayal and just hadn’t said anything.

As far as what she had just remembered was concerned, of course there was somewhere she needed to be. Something she had to do. That was the reason she had woken from her slumber in the first place. But in her current state, she would be of no use to who she wanted to protect. She couldn’t even protect herself. At least not without loosing herself.

“Where?” Shouta asked dryly. “Where are you suppose to be? What are you suppose to do? Hum?”

Reyanna glared at him.

Sighing, Shouta picked up a set of garden shears. “I’ll tell you what you could do. Go out and cut some verbena from the hot house. Then go upstairs to the library and begin the days lesson plans. You’re starting to fall behind the schedule I set. It’s unacceptable. As you are now, if you were to remember something of value you’d be found lacking. Unable to do much, if anything about it.”

His words stung. Much as she hated it, she cared what he thought about her. To be found lacking. A disappointment to him. It shamed her and made her want to do all she could to please him. At the same time, another part of her chafed against his words. Her pride wounded, she wanted to show him how wrong he was and make him eat his words. She hated him and hated the part of her that didn’t, wishing she could rip out the betraying emotions.

Hands still fisted, Reyanna’s eyes lowered to the scissors and then back up to him.

Gripping the tip of the blades, Shouta bobbed the handle of the shears at her. “Go on. Get going.”

Reyanna took the cutters, glaring as he resumed his task. As she passed him, she turned the scissors in her hand, the point facing the same as her pinkie, and stabbed the air behind him, stopping well short of his back. She knew it was childish but couldn’t help it. At least it served to make her feel somewhat better. They had to have known each other from before. She couldn’t imagine hating someone she had only known for two months this much otherwise.

At least he had lit a fire in the library sometime before she had woken up. The room was nice and toasty compared to the rest of the drafty old house, that the hollowing winter wind seemed to blow right through. Problem was, Aizawa was in there waiting for her.

Reyanna stepped to the fireplace and warmed her icy hands over the flames. “You’re a supposedly powerful Daimon. Can’t you heat the whole house to a more comfortable temp.”

“How would you wish for me to go about such a thing?”

“I don’t know. Hell fire sounds nice right about now.”

Shouta huffed, placing the book he had pulled on the table. “That’s only because you don’t remember what hell fire is like.”

Reyanna eyed him. It was statements like that, that made her sure they had known each other from before. How else would he know what she had known and thus didn’t remember?

Shouta cleared his throat aware he had messed up, again. Even though she rarely asked questions about their past anymore, he knew she was ever alert to hints of it. That she stored such things away in her mind. Laying them out to examine like pieces of a puzzle.

“I was wondering when it would get so uncomfortable for you that you would say something.”

“You mean you can heat this entire place? That I’ve been bundled up in mittens and layers for nothing!”

“You could have warmed the place too.” Shouta told.

Though he wasn’t dressed any different then usual, he had to admit that it was a bit cool. He had all together stopped pushing up his sleeves while he worked. His mass of wavy, black hair always remaining loose, as if to shield his neck from the chill.

Reyanna stared in angry disbelief.

“Don’t look at me like that. I told you at the start, intelligent questions that further your learning and know how are always welcome.”

Except questions, that if answered, would truly be of help, Reyanna thought sourly. Like my past. Or who and what I’m. She had done a months worth of reading, trying to figure out what she was, before Aizawa had tied himself to her and taken the reigns of her life. In doing so, she had learned the basics of various other worldly creatures. If he would just tell her what she was, she was positive it would help her progress. That she would be able to better harness and control her power. Hell, it might even help her remember something about her past. At the very least, it would give her a better idea of what her abilities and limitations were. But no, Aizawa refused to answer such queries. Most of the time he ignored them. Occasionally, he would ask her if she was having further trouble with her memory and needed to reread the Ties contract. Ass.

She almost mentioned that her intelligent questions regarding who and what she was had never been welcomed, but knew it for the futile cause that it was. Instead, she focused on her newest grievance and stormed. “So you’re saying it’s my fault that I’ve been freezing my ass off all this time.”

Shouta’s dark eyes flicked down her body. “I assure you, your ass is still there and as fine as ever.”

Reyanna sucked in a sharp breath. She felt a warmth grow across her cheeks and turned her head, letting her hair fall over her face in an effort to hide her blush.

The only tell that Shouta was enjoying himself was a light that danced in his eyes. “Bet you don’t feel chilled anymore. Do you, Kitten?”

“You’re such an ass!”

Crude, basic language. A sure sign of a lost argument, Shouta sighed.

“And I told you not to call me that.”

His lip twitched. It was both cute and annoying how upset she got. “Do you want to learn how to do this or not?”

Practically pouting, she gave a single sullen nod.

Damn. He wanted to kiss and nip at that lip so bad. His mind conjured up other things he wanted to do to her, causing his dick stir. Focusing back to the task at hand, Shouta said. “The house is old and drafty as a screen door, no?”

Reyanna nodded.

“So first. We seal it. Compared to the wards and protective seals you helped put in place when we first moved here, this should be easy.”

Keyword, should. Reyanna was a powerful being. Whether she remembered that fact or not, her body and soul knew it. Basic wards and seals of protection—such mundane things were almost instinctual for her. Sealing the envelope of a house to keep warmth in and cold out, then creating a burst of heat to warm the place—Shouta wasn’t sure Reyanna had ever done such a thing before.

For a moment he was tempted to take the easy, less dangerous path and show her how the witches did such things. But Reyanna wasn’t a witch. And if she was already beginning to remember, then they had even less time then he thought. Shouta just hoped she didn’t implode or incinerate the house. Having to set protections over a new place would be tiring.

“Come here.”

Reyanna hesitated.

“Come. Here.”

“Hey!” Reyanna complained, trying to dig her heels into the floor as a black, dense tendril wrapped around her waist and dragged her over.

“Close your eyes.”

“Why?”

“Just--”

Reyanna closed her eyes.

Shouta breathed out a tired sigh of relief. Why did she insist on making the simplest things difficult? He waited a moment, making sure she wouldn’t open her eyes.

“Now focus. Use all of your senses to seek out every hole, crack, and gap in the exterior of the house.”

“You say to use all of my senses but you just told me to close my eyes.” Reyanna snarked.

Shouta flicked her forehead with his middle finger. Flinching, Reyanna opened her eyes and glared at him. Giving him one last wary, disgruntled look, she slowly she closed her eyes back up.

“Your supernatural senses. Child.” The last word muttered under Shouta’s breath.

“I heard that.”

“Look at me.”

“You told me to--”

“Look. At me.”

Reyanna did as he bid, having to pull back and lift her head. Had he been this close at the start?

Shouta stared down, looming over her. Fuck, he wanted to grab her and kiss her. To lay her out on the table behind him and--

“Do I look like I care?” Shouta asked, tone and expression indifferent. “I’m perfectly fine with the temperature. We don’t have to do this. In fact I’d rather move on and--”

“Fine. Fine. I’m sorry. Please. Teach me how to seal and warm the house.” Taking in a breath, she closed her eyes and declared. “Senses are looking for drafts.”

“Hush.”

Reyanna felt silent. Her breathing deepened, as her inner senses opened and expanded. She could see Shouta, or more correctly his power, in her minds eye. Strong. Powerful. Ominous in its darkness. It gave off a feeling of coldness that almost burned. She focused beyond him and the room, to the exterior walls. A smile lighting her her face.

Shouta’s own lips tugged upward at her emotion. Moving behind her, he asked. “You see it?”

“I do.”

“Good.” Shouta hummed, stepping closer. His eyes darted over her profile. “Now seal the leaks.”

“H—how?”

“Simply do it. Will it to be done and it will obey, sorting itself out. Just—“ he grimaced, “--don’t put too much effort into it.”

Reyanna exhaled, shoulders relaxing. Just will it to be done. Tell it what you want and it’ll obey. It would be foolish of anything not to, her mind went on without conscious thought. You are power. You are might. You have ended scores of men and crushed civilizations.

Shouta cursed. as the walls began to tremble and creak. “Too much!” He used his own power to pushed opposite of hers before she brought the house in on them. “Anna! Too much. Stop.”

She barely knew how she had begun to do anything. She certainly didn’t know how to stop it. Reyanna’s heart raced, as she began to panic. What would happen if she couldn’t stop? Her head swung back and forth, eyes squeezing shut with effort. Though effort in what, she did not know.

“I—I can’t. Aizawa, please. Stop me. Make me stop.”

“No.”

“What!”

“You can do this, Anna.” Shouta gritted his teeth against the strain, eyes darting about as plaster began to fall off the walls and ceiling in great chucks. “Stop yourself. Do it. Now!”

You are power. You are might. You are the end. The true death.

“No!” Reyanna screamed.

Her eyes flashed open, and for an instant she saw everything and nothing at all. Then it was over. Woozy, she reached back and held onto Aizawa, leaning against his frame.

Shouta waited a beat, expecting hell to literally descend upon them. When it didn’t happen, the tension in his muscles eased. Maybe he had imagined it. It had happened and was over so fast that he could almost convince himself of that. But he knew better. Brief as it was, Reyanna had tapped into her full power. He had seen her eyes change. Was it enough for Lucifer to have sensed? He couldn't be sure. Thankfully, it wasn’t long enough for anyone to pinpoint their location. If it had been, they’d be dealing with unwanted company already.

“You alright?”

Reyanna pushed off him and spun around. “No.”

He lifted a hand, intent on steadying her; but stopped short when she jerked away, stumbling further.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. I’m fine, Aizawa. Just—leave me alone.”

“This wasn’t your fault.”

“No, it wasn’t. It was your fault.”

“You have to learn, Anna. There are things like this, that you can only learn by doing.” He watched her a moment, before the need to assure her forced him to say. “You were never in any danger. You did good.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“Then what did you mean?”

“You know more than you’re saying. You know me. From before. You probably know what I am. Who I am. Why won’t you just tell me?”

“What happened now has nothing to do with that.” Shouta bristled.

“It has everything to do what tha--”

“Enough.” The sharp, low word sliced through hers. “Do you need to read the contract again?”

Reyanna ground her teeth, lip curling.

Shouta stared back, unfazed by her daggered gaze. “No? Then heat the house so we can move on.”

“What?”

“Look into the flames and tell its warmth the permeate the house.”

“But--”

“While a mindful respect of your power it healthy, you can’t fear it. That’ll only make matters worse. Now heat the house. Less effort this time, please.”

Knowing he was serious, and would simply let her continue to freeze if she didn’t, Reyanna stepped to the fireplace. There was a part of her that wanted to show him she could do it. That she didn’t need him. Despite what he said. Despite what she knew. But there was another part of her that simply wanted to please him. To see him give that small smile he gave when she succeeded at something.

Staring into the dancing flames, she blew out a breath and muttered to herself. “Less effort.” How the hell was she to do that? Rolling her eyes, she waved a dismissive hand at fire. “Warm the house to seventy-six degrees.”

Shouta’s lip twitched upward. Firstly, because of her complete lack of effort. And secondly, because it had worked. The house warm to the temperature she commanded. No more. No less.

“Was that so hard?” He smirked.

There it was. That little smile that made her heart flutter in her chest. It took Reyanna a full second after seeing it to process what he had said. That she had been successful. A wave of delight overcame her. She did it! And though she wouldn’t acknowledge it, seeing his pleased expression was the cherry on top.

Forgetting herself, she rushed to the Daimon, throwing her arms around him. “I did it!”

Shouta's arms wrapped around her in turn. Smile growing, he gave her a gentle squeeze. “I knew you could.”

Reyanna pulled her head back, looking him in the eye. Her arms loosened, but remained around his neck. “You know I don’t really hate you, right? It’s just—you can be so trying.. I know you mean well. I mean, I know your a Daimon and all; but still, for some reason you mean well. It’s just—I know you’re keeping things from me. Why can’t you just tell me, Shouta?”

Shouta nearly hummed in pleasure, at the sound of his chosen name on her lips. It was the first time she had said it since the night he had tied himself to her. He lifted a hand and caressed her cheek. Personally, he was torn between wanting her to remember their past together, and fearful she would remember his betrayal. But none of that mattered, because her lacking memory kept her safe. With the exception of the blip just now, not knowing what she was kept her from tapping in to her full power, which in turn kept her shielded from Lucifer.

He swiped a thumb along the front of her chin, just below her lips. “The contract--”

Reyanna’s tender, searching eyes hardened in a flash. She shoved him away, only she was the one forced back, Aizawa barely swaying. “Damn your fucking contract. And damn you!”

Shouta watched her turn and storm out of the room, longing and tiredness making him heave a heavy sigh.

Chapter Text

4.1

It was the well past eleven when Shouta flinted outside the perimeter of the house’s wards. Reyanna had gone to bed nearly an hour ago, exhausted from the punishing lessons. He had pushed her harder than usual to make up for the mornings delay; and maybe, if he were honest, out of spite.

It was inconvenient, how much she needed to sleep. The physical combat and lessons on using her power taking a lot more out of her than they should, given who and what she was. Still, it was better that she remain more in touch with her human side. For now at least. And so Shouta suffered her excessive need for rest.

“Have you found the boy?” Shouta asked, as soon as he appeared.

“Aizawa. How goes the training of our friendly Ne--”

“The boy.” Shouta interrupted, not in the mood for the Angels cheery personality, or questions about Reyanna. “Have you found the Llaes?”

The bright green eyes, and pearl white smile of Hizashi Yamada dimmed. “No. Sorry.”

Shouta sighed. He didn’t have many friends. He didn’t have any actually. Well, he had two. At least he use to, before he had essentially betrayed Reyanna and ruined everything they had together. That left him with no one but Hizashi.

While some might think it strange, even unfathomable, that a Daimon and Angel could be friends, it wasn’t that far fetched. Before the Fall, Shouta had been an archangel. More than that, he had been a high ranking archangel in the Seraphim Order and had served directly under Lucifer. Shouta had been a Chief, in command of a host of angels. One of those angels having been Hizashi. Loyal to a fault, Hizashi had repeatedly sought Shouta out after the Fall. Unable to be fully rid of him, Shouta eventually gave in and accepted the Angel as a sort of friend. But it wasn’t until Shouta had begun working to keep Reyanna safe, that the Hizashi had taken to occasionally helping him out.

Hizashi never did anything blatantly against heavens orders, nor did Shouta ask him to. That said, Shouta had talked the Angel around to looser interpretations now and again. The Daimon didn’t like those instances anymore than Hizashi did. It wasn’t as if Shouta was looking to twist Hizashi and bring about his fall from grace. If such a thing were ever to happen the sunny, golden Angel would surely fade away to nothing. As annoying as Hizashi’s effervescent personality was, it would be a great loss to Shouta to see it dim and die.

A slight tightening of Shouta’s lips told of his concern and disappointment. “Keep looking, if you would.”

“Of course, Shou.” Hizashi said, as worried about the kid as his friend was. “The Child of Hope is important. He cannot be found by Lucifer.”

“Thank you, Zashi. I know this can’t be easy for you.”

“You mean because I helped you see the last Child of Hope into Lucifer's hands which resulted in her death?” Hizashi said, a slight bitterness entering his tone.

“You did no such thing.” Shouta assured, repeating the words he always did when Hizashi’s guilt made him bring the topic up. “All you did was tell me where to find Reyanna. I’m the one who effectively handed the Llaes over to Lucifer.”

Hizashi took in the tension in the pale Daimon’s shoulders. “How are things? With Reyanna, I mean.”

“You’d think she remembers more than she does with how difficult and hostile she continues to be.”

Hizashi gave a small crooked smile. “She was always a difficult one.”

He missed her. More correctly, he missed the way things had been between her, Shouta, Hawks, and him before the mess with the last Child of Hope. He wondered where Hawks was, what the released Archangel was doing. Surely Hawks had felt what they all had. That the new Child of Hope, that Shouta had shielded and hidden away at birth, had used his power for the first, three months ago.

Unable to stop himself, Hizashi asked. “Have you seen Hawks since...”

“Not since the time you and I saw him together.” Shouta answered, recalling how murderous the released Archangel had been.

It had been shortly after Reyanna had put herself under. Emotions had been high. Blades had been drawn. The only reason he and Hawks hadn’t come to blows was because of Hizashi's pleading. Even so, Hawks had sworn to kill him the next time they crossed paths; and Shouta firmly believed the Archangel would try. The two had never liked each other in the first place.

“So, he hasn’t come looking for her?” Hizashi asked, glancing toward the house.

“I doubt he knew where she had hidden herself. The cabin had warding on top of warding. There was no way anyone would find her, let alone get in, unless she wanted it.”

“But you did.” Hizashi said. “You found her. You got in.”

“I got in only after I tied myself to her.” Shouta reminded.

“And knowing where she was?” Hizashi questioned.

Shouta looked away, not wanting to share his last bit of hope. That the place Reyanna had hidden herself away in, had been their place. A remote cabin in the middle of the woods. Warded from every creature imaginable. Shielded from sight and sense. Known of by no one else but the two of them. The fact that she had chosen to keep herself there. Had felt safe enough to wipe her memory and slumber there. Despite all that had happened. All he had done. All she had said. It had barely matter that she had added protections that kept him out. Her staying there, coupled with the fact that she hadn’t broken the Bond between them... It was enough to make him think that she might accept him once again. That they could recover what they had had. That if he helped her and this Llaes. Proved himself capable of her trust. That things could, if not pick up where they had left off, begin anew.

“What does the Word of heaven say?” Shouta asked, ignoring the Angels query. “They still want to force their will upon the Llaes?”

“The Child of Hope is capable of closing the gates of either heaven or hell. What do you think?”

“I’d think heavens hierarchy should be smart and disciplined enough not to give orders that go against His teaching.”

Hizashi didn’t remind Shouta that he, and the rest who had revolted with Lucifer, had done that very thing; instead he said. “With God silent, our Word has to come from somewhere.”

“So heaven blindly follows Toshinori’s orders in God’s stead.” Shouta shook his head. “Pathetic.”

“We have to do something against the evil in the world.”

“And trying to force the Llaes into closing the gates of hell it that something? For fucks sake Yamada. Even Lucifer knows such a thing is an impossibility. He may play otherwise, but the real reason he wants the Llaes is so he can force Reyanna to heel. Either that or see the child dead like the last one so heaven has no hope of using him.”

Hizashi made a face, not at Shouta’s words or language, but at the use of his chosen name, meant to be used when interacting with humans who weren’t suppose to know he was an Angel.

“You’ve said before that Lucifer knows keeping humanity for himself will never happen but that isn’t entirely true. Is it? If it were he would cease trying to get Reyanna to do his bidding.”

Shouta had to agree there. Lucifer’s plans regarding Reyanna were close kept. It bothered Shouta to no end that Lucifer seemed to accept his inevitable defeat, yet focused so much on Reyanna. As if she were the one thing that could change that outcome.

He shook such thoughts away. It didn’t matter. Lucifer wasn’t going to get his hands on her. Reyanna was his, and Shouta would do everything in his power to keep her safe. He had proved the once already. Much to Reyanna’s misery.

“Find the Llaes, Hizashi. Time is short.”

4.2

“Again.”

Reyanna remained planted in place, panting.

“I said again, Anna.”

“I heard you.”

“Then come at me.” Shouta looked over her sweaty form. His voice dropped an octave. “You don’t want me coming after you, Kitten.”

The fucking tease. Reyanna charged, disappearing when she was halfway to him. Flinting, she reappeared behind him, blade raised.

Shouta’s weapon swung back, blocking her strike. He spun on a heel, arm and blade rotating to disrupt the angle of her. He tossed his blade up into the air and grabbed her by the shoulder. Falling backwards, Shouta pulled her down with him, kicking out a leg to flip her over. He rolled, landing on top of her. Sitting up and straddling her hips, he raised a hand, caught his blade, and pressed the tip to her neck.

“You came in distracted and too aggressive.”

Looking up at him, Reyanna wiggled her hips. “Can you blame me?”

Shouta tried to ignore the enticement. Blade disappearing from his hand, he declared. “You can’t rely on your power alone. You have to become proficient in combat.”

Reyanna shrugged. Stretching out her arms above her head, she arched her back, letting out a not so innocent moan.

Shouta’s eyes went straight to her breasts. The darkened peaks of the twin mounds easily visible through the thin, soft linen of her sweat soaked top.

Too easy, Reyanna smirked. One hand grabbed the back of Shouta's knee, the other striking him in the center of his chest as she reared up and threw her weight against him.

Shouta landed on his back with an umph.

Moving her hips more than necessary, Reyanna sat up, straddling him. “You were saying?”

Shouta tisked, hungry eyes pulling over her body. “Not everyone will be taken so easily.”

Reyanna smirked, fingers trailing down his torso to graze his growing erection. “Are you saying my charms have limits?”

Shouta grabbed the back of the neck, and pulled her down to him. “No.” He rolled them over, regaining top spot. Nestled between her legs, he rubbed his hardened length into her core. “I’m saying that if you use such charms against anyone else, you won’t have to worry about defending yourself. I’ll kill them.”

“I can take care of myself, Shou--” Her words ended in a gasp, Shouta dipping downing to bite her neck.

“Mm.” Shouta hummed, sucking a bruise into her flesh. “Tempting as the thought of watching you tend to yourself is, I think it’d be more enjoyable if you let me take care of you. Those pretty fingers can only do so much.”

“There you go taking my words and twisting them again.”

“I’m a Daimon, Kitten. What do you expect.”

Reyanna nipped at his scruffy jaw. “I expect you to make good on your word and see I’m need is tended to.”

“I’ll take good care of you, Kitten.” Shouta ripped open her shirt, and nuzzled her breasts. “Such good care.”

Reyanna woke up sweaty and trembling, a familiar tight coil in the pit of her stomach and telling slick between her legs. She had had another dream about him. Aizawa. Shouta. It was practically a regular occurrence now. And another reason why she had to get away from him. To leave before she lost control of herself and acted on these urges. The problem was, she had tried to leave him and this house once already.

Not long after Aizawa had moved them here, Reyanna had gone out for a walk intent on never returning. Once far enough away, she had ran as fast as she could, for as long as she could, taking random turns so the Daimon wouldn’t be able to follow and find her. But find her he had.

To make matters worse, Aizawa had had the nerve to chuckle at her attempt. Yet again, calling her a child. He had told her that her efforts were in vain. That as long as he was tied to her, he would be able find her in an instant. That he would always find her. He had asked her if she felt like a prison, telling her that she could leave the house for walks or other outings whenever she wanted. That he was only trying to help her. And that he didn’t have to waste his time doing so if she didn’t want to learn how to access and use her power. It had made her feel silly to feel held captive by him and the Tie. Especially when the Tie required nothing of her, and Aizawa, as he said, was only trying to help. But she did feel captive. The Daimon was always there. Always with her in the rather large house that felt too small; that never gave her enough space to distance herself from him. Even when Aizawa wasn’t there, he was but a flint away. And then to have learned that because of the Tie, he would always know where she was. Would always able to find her...

Reyanna hated him. No. She didn’t hate him. And that was the main issue in all of this. She desired him. And with each passing day that desire only grew. Try as she might to bury it all beneath her feelings of animosity and misgiving, her carnal want for him invariably bubbled back to the surface. It hit hardest in the dead of night when the house was quite and she was in her room, alone, with nothing but her thoughts; or when he stood too close, or they happened to touch. Especially when they touched. Having already felt his touch. Tasted his lips. Experienced the heady bliss he was capable of giving her. It was too much. It didn’t matter that she didn’t planned or want to do anything like that first night, with him again. Her body wanted it. Craved it. And that craving was becoming harder and harder to ignore.

Reyanna threw the covers off, knowing there was no returning to sleep. That there was only one thing for her troubles.

If the Daimon would always find her because of the Tie, then she would have to break his tie to her. Aizawa had all but told her there was a way to sever the Tie, when he had wished her luck in getting rid of him and breaking it, the morning after that night. So all she had to do was find it.

Reyanna slipped on a silken robe and exited the bedroom. She knew Aizawa didn’t sleep much, often using the time that she did to do other things. Things that sometimes saw him leave the house. Hoping that now was one of those times, Reyanna moved down the hall.

“Aizawa?” She paused at the top of the stairs and called down. “Aizawa. Are you here?” Descending halfway down, she peaked through the banister. “Aizawa?”

Climbing back up the stairs, she turned right. A low light shined through the partially open door of the library.

“Aizawa?”

Reyanna pushed the sliding door open and released a breath, finding the space empty. Her luck continued when she saw the books, that they had used this afternoon, still on the table. She opened the one that contained the spell she had glimpsed earlier in the day. With the Daimon present, she hadn’t been able to read it through, but a few key words had caught her eye, perking her interest and giving her hope.

Aizawa sniffed every time she asked him about learning how to cast spells, as if such magic was beneath him. Beneath her. But Reyanna had no such qualms. Especially if it meant breaking the contract that tied him to her.

After the scare she had with sealing the house this morning, it was safe to say she was more than a bit nervous to be trying this without him. What if something went wrong like it had this morning? What if he couldn't get here in time to help her? What if the spell worked and his tie to her was cut? Reyanna shook head. Sure things had gone wrong this morning, but she had proven she could stop herself and put the right amount of effort in. Nothing was going to go wrong. And if it did, she could take care of herself. She didn’t need Aizawa to swoop in and save her. As for her final worry. She wanted the Tie to be broken. That was the entire reason she was doing this in the first place.

Finding the spell she had seen, Reyanna easily read the archaic script. The spell was for ‘help with ones greatest desire’. That should do the trick, she thought. Breaking the Tie and getting away from Aizawa was what she desired. Even if it didn’t break the contract directly, it might tell her how she could do so. Trying was certainly better than going back to bed, only to have her unconscious mind accost her with dreams of him.

Reyanna summoned the necessary ingredients, not wanting to waste time physically fetching them. She had no clue how long Aizawa had been gone, or when he’d be returning. The last thing she wanted, was him coming in to find her halfway through the spell. Ideally, she would be finished and back in bed, with him none the wiser. No, she corrected. Ideally, the Tie would be cut and she would be long gone.

Reyanna wrinkled her nose as she spit into a basin of crushed lava rock. Maybe this was why Aizawa rebuffed her quires about learning how to cast spells. It was gross.

Picking up the vessel, she closed her eyes and spoke the incantation.

Shouta appeared, his conversation with Hizashi cut short as he flinted to her side.

He knocked the bowl out of her hands. Reyanna gasped in surprise, the last part of the spell completed as she breathed in the ash the Daimon sent flying.

Before either could say or do anything, a cerulean blaze engulfed the rooms perimeter, barring any exit.

“Fuck.” Shouta cursed, eyes darting around the room.

Reyanna watched in trembling horror as a man—no, a demon stepped through the flames, that didn’t spread or destroy. Part of the Demon’s skin, from his chest to his chin, appeared burnt. As did the area below his eyes; like the bags of an overly tired person, only his were wrinkled, shriveled, and discolored instead of puffy. The seams between the burnt and unburnt skin was held together by staples; but the Demon’s marred flesh wasn’t what unnerved her. It was the mans eyes. Dancing like the flames that still surrounded them, his gaze bore a malicious intent that was palpable.

“Your summoning was a mistake. Go back where you came, Dabi.” Shouta told, the bored calmness of his voice belying his distress.

The Demon turned his overly bright eyes on Shouta, as if just now seeing him. “As I die and breath. If it isn’t the great Aizawa Shouta.”

“I said you are not needed. Go. Now. Before I send you back.”

“Give me a break man.” Dabi almost whined. “I’m just a humble Demon stuck in the service industry, trying to do a job.” His eyes turned to look Reyanna over. “Though the task of servicing that one would be more of a pleasure than a job.” He gave a commiserating chuckle. “Am I right--”

Shouta flinted in front of Dabi, black eyes tinting red. The only reason he didn’t kill the Demon here and now was because of the trouble it would make when others came searching.

Dabi laughed further. “Aren’t we possessive.”

Reyanna blinked at the scene, entire body feeling numb with fear. What had she done? What if Aizawa couldn’t get rid of him? No. Aizawa was a Daimon. A fallen archangel. This man was merely a Demon. A tortured and twisted human soul. Of course Shouta could deal with him. What she should be worried about was how Aizawa was going to deal with her once he got rid of the Demon.

Dabi’s eyes glowed, taking in what normal eye sight couldn't. A look of shock crossed his face, soon replaced with humored smugness. He made a show of feigned disappointment and tisked. “The great Aizawa Shouta. Once one of hell's most feared Princes and Lucifer's Third General. Tied himself to a woman with nothing in exchange. Is this what you left hell for Aizawa? To play pet to--”

Dabi’s eyebrows pulled together. His glowing eyes flicked back to the robed woman, taking a better look of her. Head tilting in curiosity, he questioned. “What are you? You’re not human. Not fully. But your different from--”

The Demon moved to take a step toward her, but Shouta barred his way.

“She’s mine.”

“Correction.” Dabi said. “You’re hers. Should’ve gotten payment for your services if you wanted the Tie to go both ways.”

Blue flames engulfed Aizawa.

“Shouta!” Reyanna screamed, rushing to the burning Daimon.

Dabi caught her up in his arms and spun around.

“Never you mind him, Pretty. I’m with you now. And I’ll take such good care of you. Just tell Daddy what you want, Precious. What is it that you desire?”

Terrified brown eyes met the Demon’s cerulean gaze.

“I want you to bring Aizawa back and leave.”

Dabi clicked his tongue. “I’m not a genie, Doll. I don’t grant wishes. I bring out and satiate what you desire above all else.” He brushed her hair back from her shoulder, the staples along his wrist snagging the fabric of her robe. “Do you even know what your greatest desire is? What you want so bad it hurts? Most folk don’t. Nero didn’t. He cried before he gave into the madness and fiddled as his great city burned.”

“You—you where the cause of the great fire of Rome?” Reyanna said, in distant disbelief. Just how old was the Demon?

“As well as the Great Fire of London. And the Second Great Fire of London, after that.” Dabi said, as if the events were of little consequence. “Lust is nothing more than a flame after all. A burning desire that’ll eat you up if you don’t acknowledge it.”

His eyes were hypnotic. Reyanna could not, not look into them. Loose herself in them.

“That’s it.” Dabi purred, seeing her pupils dilate. He sensed her will to fight diminish as she breathed in the Mist of the Lust. “Tell me, Pretty Pet. What it is you want above all else. What desire do you keep hidden? Lock away from even yourself?”

“I--”

“Shh.” Dabi hushed, pressing a finger lightly against her lips. “Let me taste for myself and see.”

His lips replaced his finger in an opened mouth kissed. Reyanna’s eyes widened. A grunt of complaint sounded from her throat. She tried to shake her head. To pull away. But Dabi wrapped a hand around her throat and squeezed threateningly.

Reyanna’s eyes prickled with tears as she felt the Demon’s hand heat. Where was Shouta? Had Dabi killed him? No. Shouta was a Daimon. Something like that shouldn’t have able to kill him. Then where was he? Expelled from the house? For how long? Forever? What was it she wanted above all else? To be free of Aizawa? To have her memories returned? Deep down she knew it was neither of those, and truth scared her.

Dabi pulled away, exhaling a breath of turquoise air that Reyanna unwittingly breathed in. The Demon’s eyes dimmed, loosing their glow.

“You want your Daimon dog.” Dabi stated.

“What! No. No, you’re wrong.”

“I’m afraid not, Pet. You want Aizawa to rip off your clothes, throw you against the wall, and--”

“Stop!” Reyanna yelled. “Stop it. You’re wrong. I want to be free of him. I want his tie to me cut. I want--”

Dabi pressed a knee between her legs, cutting Reyanna’s words off in a yelp.

“You have no idea what you want.” He tilted his head, scrutinizing her. “Or maybe you do and that’s why you were willing to do a spell you didn’t know the full consequence of. Hum?” His eyes danced over her. “This kind of thing isn’t as easy to satiate as Nero giving into his madness, or giving Henry Tudor the means to become supreme ruler of England. This lust of yours depends fully on another accepting and wanting you in return.”

Dabi smirked, certain that Aizawa would willingly and happily fulfill her need; but where would the fun in that be? Sure, he could let the Daimon return. Leave Aizawa with her as the Lust took over, breaking down her self control till she acknowledged and gave into her desire, throwing herself at him. Or, Dabi could wait till the Lust drove her to such a painful frenzy that she would be willing to accept anyone. That she would allow him to fulfill her need, as she closed her eyes and pretended it was Aizawa.

Reyanna shivered as he ran his fingers down her right side. Dabi slowly twirled one end to her robes belt around two fingers and pulled. He gave a knowing smirk when she didn’t complain as he slid the robe off her shoulders, letting it puddle on the floor.

“Such a pretty pet.” Dabi cooed.

He pressed hot kisses to her collar bone and shoulder, his lower lip leaving a slick, damp line as it pulled up the curve of her neck.

The contact sent a fevered wave through her body. Reyanna bit down on her lip, swallowing a sigh. What the hell was wrong with her? It similar to that first night with Aizawa, but also completely different. Back then she had felt the walls of her self control weaken, as if intoxicated. This… This was more like a consuming fever. Her control not being weaken, but broken down entirely. There was an arousal within her that was quickly building. Try as she might, she couldn't tamp down. Couldn’t ignore it. It was rapidly getting to the point that it was all she could think about.

She closed her eyes in an attempt to focus her thoughts on something else. Anything else but the hunger and moisture steadily building in her core.

Dabi’s teeth plucked at her flesh. His voice a husky whisper as, in between nibbles, he voiced his inner musings. “Why did Aizawa tie himself to you? And without any form of payment. Cast out of hell as he may be, he’s still a Daimon.”

Reyanna pulled away from him at that. “Cast out?”

Dabi slowly lifted his head. She should have been beyond the capability of coherent thought by now.

Reyanna blinked taking in this new information, wondering what it meant. She knew Aizawa was no longer connected and working for hell. That much she had asked, and he had told her, the morning after...

Dabi stared into her eyes, taking in the different emotions that passed through them.

“Interesting.” He muttered, wondering yet again what she was. He watched her ponder for a moment longer before her thoughts slowly faltered, the Lust taking over her ability to think. “Kiss me, Doll.”

Reyanna moved to comply, her lips brushing his before she regained some semblance of control. She pushed him away. “No!”

She was strong, Dabi thought. Even with the Lust in her system causing her not to put much effort into it, she had managed to push him several steps away. What was she?

“You’ll have me, Pet. Soon enough you’ll be begging for my touch.”

“Go to hell!”

He was on her in an instant, long fingers tangling through her hair and yanking her head back. “Been there, done that.” He snarled. He pulled her to the table, throwing her onto it. “Got the mark on my soul to prove it.”

Reyanna yelled, spitting curses. Her hands reached out to hit and claw as she tried to get back up.

Pinning her down, Dabi climbed over her, chuckling out blue-tinted air. “I know I’m not who you want, Pet. But you can close your eyes and pretend. I won’t mind. I promise.”

Reyanna held her breath. She didn’t know what the stuff was, but knew it was what was effecting her.

Dabi barely had time to notice his blue flames along the library’s walls being smothered in darkness, when the door exploded.

Standing in the doorway, Shouta made a fearsome sight. His usually neutral, black eyes were filled with death and fury, and glowing red. While his black wavy air, floated above his head.

“Get the fuck off of her.” Shouta’s deep rumbling voice echoed throughout the house making the foundations tremble and shake.

Dabi released her, holding up his hands. “I was just doing my job, Zawa. It was nothing person--”

Dabi’s words ended in a gurgle. Aizawa had flinted to him and wrapped a hand around his throat. He pulled the Demon off Reyanna and lifted him in the air. Dabi clawed at Shouta's hand, toes brushing the floor, trying to bare some of the weight off of his airway.

Shouta’s hair fell back around his shoulders, his eyes returning to normal. His voice was even, almost emotionless, as he told. “I don’t usually get this physical. I normally fight with my blade and power but you—you crossed a line. I don’t have many lines that shouldn’t be crossed, but once they are--”

“Shouta!” Reyanna gasped, her muddled mind just realizing he had returned. She tried to sit up, but ended up falling to the floor.

Shouta’s grip on Dabi’s throat tightened, his arm lowering enough so that the Demons eyes were level with his. “What did you do to her?”

Dabi gurgled and croaked, pawing feebly at the hand that choked him.

Shouta lowered him to his feet and loosened his grip. “What, did you do?”

“The Lust. I breathed the Mist of the Lust into her.” Dabi wheezed.

Cursing, Shouta flitted away, taking Dabi with him.

They appeared in a windowless, Shouta throwing the Demon against the opposite wall.

“That was fast.” Hizashi remarked.

“An Angel!” Dabi barked, incredulously. He staggered to his feet, shaking of the dust of the concentrate wall. “I knew you were one to buck the system, Aizawa. But--”

“Shh.” Hizashi hushed, pressing a finger to his own lips.

Dabi’s mouth continued to move, but no words came out.

“Watch him.” Shouta told the Angel. “I’ll return as soon as I can.”

“Reyanna?” Hizashi questioned, but Shouta had already flinted away.

Chapter Text

5.1

Shouta reappeared in the library to find Reyanna still on the floor. He moved to her, kneeling at her side.

“You alright?”

“No!” She snapped, her voice cracking with fear, anger, and need. “Where the hell did you go?”

Shouta could have pointed out the irony of her being mad at his disappearance when she had obviously been trying to get rid of him, but didn’t. “I had to set a few things up. So I let Dabi think he had expelled me. You made quite the mess, Kitten.” He glared at her, hurt and angry at what she had done, tried to do. Never mind the fact that he had a demon in a hastily sealed cell waiting for him to deal with. She had attempted to break the Tie. To get away from him.

“I said I’m sorry.” Reyanna snipped, defensively.

“No. You didn’t.” Shouta told, surprised she hadn’t berated him for the pet name. “But don’t worry, it’s not as if we didn’t have enough to worry about without adding a Demon you summoned in effort to get rid of me into the mix.”

His tone dripped with acidic sarcasm that made Reyanna burn with guilt and shame.

Closing her eyes, she banged the back of her head against the table leg, trying to smother the overwhelming urge to crush her lips against his and shut him up. “Get over it already, Aizawa. It’s over. He’s gone.”

Shouta’s eyes flashed red at that. Was she serious? This was far from over. And not just because they still had to quench the thirst of the Lust in her. If Dabi were to get free, he would return to hell and speak of what had happened here. Even if Dabi hadn’t figured out who Reyanna was, whoever he reported to might. Either way, word would eventually get to one of the higher ups and be pieced together. Simply killing Dabi wouldn’t solve the problem either. Hell might not care about its demons on a personal level, but that didn’t mean tabs weren’t kept on the tainted souls. Further demons would be sent out to discover what had befallen one of their own. Hell hounds might even be put to use.

Reyanna fanned herself. “Is it—is it hot in here or is it just me?”

“It’s you, Anna. You’re burning up from the Mist of the Lust. If you don’t feed your desire you’ll go mad.”

“Mad?”

“Crazy.”

“I know what mad is, Aizawa.” Reyanna snapped. She felt even hotter, blushing as she thought about her need. “But—you can stop it, right? I mean—you know of a way to reverse the Lust. Right?”

Shouta shook his head. “There is no way to reverse this. Once it Mist is in you, you either burn it out doing whatever your greatest desire is or it burns you up.”

Reyanna stared at him in horrored disbelief. She pushed herself away from him, blinking the stinging sweat out of her eyes. She shook her head unwilling to accept it. Then did so again in an effort to clear her thoughts.

“No. No, there has to be another way. There has to--”

Shouta crawled after her. “Reyanna, stop. There is no other way. But, that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. I’m here. We’ll deal with whatever it is together. I know I worried you. Made you think I was incapable of protecting you when I let it appear as if Dabi had expelled me. I’m sorry. But I promise you I can and will--”

Reyanna pressed her fingers to his lips, silencing him. The sound of his deep, rumbling voice too much. She closed her eyes and shook her head, her need for him now physically painful.

Shouta took her hand and lowered it from his mouth. “Let me help, Anna. Tell me what Dabi said your greatest desire was and we will see it fulfilled together.”

Reyanna’s humorless, laugh was almost manic.

Worried, Shouta laid a hand on her shoulder, intent on giving her a shake to get her attention.

Sucking a harsh, quick breath between clenched teeth, Reyanna jerked away, as if his touch had seared her flesh. “Don’t. Touch. Me.”

Hand left hovering between them, Shouta apologized, thinking that she was still on edge because of the scare Dabi had given her. Or worse, just that angry at him. “Sorry.”

Slowly, his hand fell back to his side. Reyanna closed her eyes and turned her face away from him. His image followed her, branded into her mind. Into her soul.

Her intense need made her entire body tremble. Just give in, she internally screamed. It’s not as if you haven’t done it once before. At least this time you know him. You’re not someone off the street that broke into his home, just learning his chosen name. That only makes it worse, she argued with herself. Cause I do know him. Cause I want him all the more. Back then it was lust and only lust. This time it’s more than that. Even if we don’t share a past, I’m falling for him. I have true feelings for him. I want more than mere sex.

“Anna.” Shouta said, becoming truly worried for her. She was the kind of stubborn, prideful person that would fight the Lust till it drove her insane. He had heard of the Lust slowly killing people after it drove them mad. Granted those people had been full humans, but he wasn’t taking any chances. “I swear, I won’t judge you for your need. I’m a Daimon. I’ve seen it all. Just tell me what it is. Let me help you.”

She gave another laugh. This one sounding even more maniacal.

Enough of this, Shouta thought, his own mind and emotions fraying. He grabbed her shoulders and shook her roughly. “Damn it, Reyanna. Tell me. Tell me what your greatest desire is.”

Her laughter ceased. Eyes flashing open, they met Shouta’s own as she screamed. “You! Alright!”

Shouta’s head jerked back, hands tightening her shoulder’s. Heart hammering in his chest, he could barely hear his single word query for the blood drumming in his ears. “Me?”

She nodded, lowering head, no longer able to look at him.

An exultant smile crept onto Shouta’s lips. Her greatest desire was him. His very being thrummed in celebratory rapture. Even after all this time. After everything he had done. Even in her state of lacking memories. Reyanna wanted him. Needed him. Desired him above all else.

“I want you too, Anna.”

Reyanna shook her head, eyes squeezing shut. “No.”

“Yes. I do.”

“No. No. No! I don’t want to want you, Aizawa. I don’t--”

He reached out and cupped her face with both hands, her words to catching in her throat.

“We don’t always get a say in what we want, Love. But it’s better when you just accept it. Believe me. I know.”

He thought back to a time when he had fought against his own desire for her. When he had wrestled with a longing that he didn’t want to have, that frightened him in its level of intensity. The relief he had felt when he had broken down and given in to it...

Shouta leaned forward to tenderly press his lips to hers. Without breaking the kiss, he crawled closer, till he couldn’t get any nearer without crawling on top of her.

“Let me help you, Anna.” He muttered against her lips. “Let me give you what you need.” He nuzzled her nose. “What we both want and need.” Black eyes stared into brown. “Let me please you before the madness of the Lust burns up your mind and leaves you insane.”

Reyanna threw her head back against the table leg with a long, drawn out groan. It felt as if she was slowly drowning from the crashing waves of an incoming tide of arousal and frustration. Her body had never felt so alive. Her senses hyper aware to every sensation. Especially the sight, sound, touch, and taste of the Daimon in front of her. Even the smell of him was all consuming, both easing and exciting her like a lovers caress as it entered her nostrils and muddled her mind. It was all too much. And it was amazing and dreadful all at once. She trembled and whined at the thought of him doing exactly as he said and submitted to her desires.

“Please, Aizawa. Help me. Please. I—I need you to--”

Shouta took her into his arms and flinted them to her bedroom. He could scarcely believe how things had turned out. Yes, there was still the mess of Dabi to deal with; but if it meant having her, Shouta would gladly deal with that and more. His thoughts and urges had become increasingly harder to ignore. Lately, it had felt as if every time he looked at her. Thought of her. He was fantasizing about being on top of her. Under her. Intertwined with her. He certainly wasn’t going to complain about an opportunity to make those thoughts a reality. Especially when she was all but begging for him. It would be cruel, he reasoned. Still, as he set her down on the bed, a wave of guilt washed over him.

He stood over her, hands gripping and rubbing circles into her thighs. Reyanna’s legs spread on instinct, a moan escaping. Eyes closing, she rolled back her head. His touch felt heavenly, but it was far from enough.

“I’m sorry, Anna. You deserve better than this.”

Like the night he had tied himself to her, Shouta wished that her mental state hadn’t been played with. That she was truly accepting him, mindful of what she was doing; not just blindly succumbing to her deeply hidden thirst for him.

Once again, he wouldn’t be able to do this his own way. At his own time and speed. He would have started off slow. Worked his way down from her from the crown of her head to the tips of her toes, worshiping her body. He would have teased her. Gotten her worked up naturally. So worked up that she would still beg him for release. He would have laid between her legs and feasted on her for as long as she would have allowed, for as long as she could have stood it. He would have slowly brought her to the edge and let her back down, only to do it all over again. He would have done so time and time again, till she could think nothing else but him and the feel of his touch. Till they were the only two in existence and the only thing on her lips was his name. But like the time before, he didn’t have much of a choice in the matter of how this was done. Reyanna needed him, and needed him now.

Reyanna whined, hips rocking on the bed. “Please, Aizawa. Please. I need--”

“Call me, Shouta, Kitten.”

“Shouta.” Reyanna breathed his name, as if it was a gift.

His eyes closed, a humming sigh sounding from his throat. The sound of his name on her lips was sweeter than the Chorus of heaven had ever been before his fall from grace.

“Right yourself on the bed and lay back.” He instructed.

Reyanna gulped at the domineering glint in his onyx eyes, but was all too quick to do as she was told. She pushed back, and turned her body to lay properly in the bed, resting her head on a pillow. Shouta climbed in after her and knelt between her legs.

He stared down at her, not bothering to try and hide the possessive hunger he felt. He ran his hands up from her ankles to her shin, then wrapped them around to her calves, giving a firm but gentle squeeze. The feel of his touch had Reyanna giving a soft buck of her hips.

Shouta smirked, relishing in the feel of her soft skin and quivering muscles. He liked how she trembled and squirmed, mewling and bucking at the mere touch of his hand.

As ready and aching as she was, Shouta couldn’t help himself from doing a bit of teasing. He plucked at the waistband of her shorts and asked. “Can I take these off?”

Reyanna’s words came out in a heated rush. “You can do anything you want.”

Shouta released a groaning growl, and nearly ripped the fabric open. But he managed to resist, waiting a single before trusting himself to move. Even so, he yanked her shorts off harder than intended, pulling her soaked underwear off along with them.

Reyanna brought her legs up to assist in the removal, allowing them to fall back down once the garments were off. She sat up and pulled her tank top off, throwing it without a care to where it landed.

Another rumbling growl sounded from Shouta's throat as she settled back down, laid out naked before him. His fingers dug into her thighs. Reyanna moaned, back arching.

“Fuck, Kitten. You’re beautiful.” Shouta rasped, drinking her in.

She was so wet she was dripping. The sight made saliva pool in his mouth, dick straining against the confines of his pants as it twitched in eagerness. The urge to plunge into her and pound away like an animal was so prevalent that it took every ounce of his self control not to.

Reyanna held her breath as he ran his hands over her body. His touch felt like heaven and hell at the same time. The feel of his fingers tracing over her skin was absolutely incredible, setting every nerve in her body on fire. But it was also torturous. It was far from enough. She needed more.

Her hands moved to his pants intent on taking matters into her own hands. But Shouta caught her wrists and pinned her arms above her head. Reyanna pressed her breasts up into his chest and wiggled her hips.

“Shouta. Please.”

“I don’t want to hurt you, Anna. I’ll take care of you. I promise. But let me prepare you a bit first.”

Reyanna groaned in disappointment. Her great need, coupled with his delay causing tears to well in her eyes.

The sight of her sparkling, tear welled eyes caused Shouta’s heart to ache. Tenderly, he caressed her cheek and kissed her lips.

Reyanna rutted her center up against his hard length, moaning into his mouth.

Shouta pulled away and sat up on his knees. He grabbed her legs and hooked them over his shoulders lifting her up to his face.

“Fuuu-aaah!”

The touch of his warm mouth latching onto her clit sent a bolt of lightening through her that forced her spine to shoot ram rod straight. Slowly, she melted back into the bed, Shouta swirling and rolling his tongue in movements that kept her head spinning.

Soon, her entire body was spasming. Every movement of Shouta's mouth causing another sound of pleasure from her. Shouta hummed his approval at her vocal enjoyment, the sound vibrating through her. Her hands tangled in his mass of wavy hair, too unthinking to be mindful of how hard she pulled.

Shouta didn’t care. If anything it spurred him on, making him groan as his own need grew. He brought his right hand up and circled the tip of a finger at her entrance before plunging the digit inside. The arm he had wrapped around her hips tightened to hold her still as she tired to rock against him. He quickly added a second, scissoring and twisting his fingers for a time, before slipping in a third.

Reyanna cried out all the louder when he pushed his fingers in as deep as he was able and curled them finding the spot that drove her wild. Once she hit her high, Shouta pulled his mouth away. His fingers slowed, but continued to pump in and out, lengthening the wave of her pleasure. Never before had she orgasmed so quickly for him. Shouta found it insanely hot.

Reyanna sighed in contented relief, but her reprieve was fleeting. She hadn’t even caught her breath when the Lust crashed over her like a heavy tidal wave. It hit her so hard, her muscles to seize. Her body forced to curl up in on itself in a way that left her gasping, the air squeezed out of her by her own spasming core. As fantastic as his mouth and fingers had been, it hadn’t been enough. She needed more.

Tears once again welled in her eyes, only this time they spilled over. She was so physically frustrated it hurt.

“Shouta! Please. Please, I—I—” Her head thrashed back and forth unable to think clearly enough to form a coherent sentence.

Shouta tore his long sleeve pullover off over his head. “It’s alright, Kitten. I got you.”

Reyanna drunk in the sight of his chest and abs. She watched him unbuckle and undo his pants, shoving them off his hips, along with his boxer briefs. He grunted as his cock sprung free. Reyanna moaned, the muscles of her core squeezing at the thought of his thick dick filling her up. She reached out, wanting to touch it.

Unlike the night he tied himself to her, Shouta didn’t stop her this time. He groaned at her touch, his eyes on hers as she watched her hand work him. A bead of precum dribbled from the slit of his cock. Licking her lips, Reyanna swiped her thumb, collecting it. Releasing him, she brought her hand to her mouth. She moaned, eyes rolling as she sucked the pad of her thumb clean, tasting him.

Shouta’s dick twitched at the sight, bobbing in the open air. “Fuck.”

Quickly, he kicked his pants and underwear completely off and pulled her hips up to meet his own, positioning himself at her entrance. Even without entering her sex, he could physically feel her moist throbbing heat. The feeling clouded his mind and he pushed into her without another thought.

He grunted at the tightness, Reyanna whining beneath him as he stretched her open. His teeth clenched painfully together as he tried to remained still, giving them both a second to adjust. He needed to last for her, and if he pumped away without giving himself a moment of gain control, there was no way he would.

“Shouta.” Reyanna tried to move her own hips, willing to do all work if he but released his iron clad hold on her hips and let her. “Please, Shouta. Please. Fuck me.”

Shouta leaned down and kissed her, his teeth pulling at her bottom lip. “Rest easy, Kitten. I’ll fuck you real good.”

Her walls tightened further around him at the promise. Shouta grunted scarcely able to believe how tight and wet she was. He pulled back and rolled his hips into her, intending to set a slow, steady pace and build up. But all that went out the window when she wrapped her legs around him and used them in an attempt to dictate a quicker speed.

Shouta complied, all too happy to concede to her wishes. Sinful noises poured out her at his every thrust.

“That’s it, Kitten.” Shouta encouraged, as he pounded into her finding a rhythm. “Sing for me.”

Reyanna chanted his name in between cries and moans. She clawed at his arms, chest, back, and ass. Anywhere she could reach. She was like an animal in heat, all higher thought beyond her. Her instinct and need were the only thing that remained. The only thing that matter. The only thing that drove her actions. With his every thrust, she ground her hips against his. His cock hitting that place inside her that made her see stars.

Reyanna wailed as her orgasm hit her, sinking her nails into the meat of his shoulders.

“Don’t. Stop.” She panted, still needing more. “Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Please! Don’t stop.”

“Wasn’t planning to.” Shouta grunted.

No. He definitely wasn’t planning on stopping. He wanted to see her cum multiple times on his cock. And refused to stop till she did. He knew she had it in her. Especially right now. He heard her breath become erratic once more and felt her thighs tremble, telling him that she was near the edge again.

“Oh! Fuck! Shou—Shout—ahh!”

Two, Shouta ticked off in his head not counting the orgasm she had from his mouth and fingers.

His speed and ferocity increased as he continued to rock into her. “You’re so good, Anna. Fuck!” His hips hammered harder punctuating the word.

Shouta kissed, sucked, and bit at her neck, shoulders, and breasts not caring what marks he left behind. His length rubbed against that spot inside her with every one of his forceful thrusts.

Reyanna could barely breathe as the pleasure once again mounted and spread from the crown of her head to the tips of her curled toes. She threw her head back as another earth-shattering orgasm ripped through her, lifting her back off the bed.

Shouta reared up to his knees, his dark eyebrows knitted together in concentration as he tried to keep a rhythm. Reyanna’s tight convulsing walls making it near impossible.

As Reyanna slowly melted back into the the mattress, Shouta slammed into her so hard that her head nearly hit the headboard. Her need from him flared like a stoked fire. Reyanna whined, fearful it would never be out of her system.

Shouta detached her legs from around his waist and slung them over his shoulders. He dipped back down, pressing her legs up against her chest, and holding himself up on hands planted to either side of her.

A hoarse moan escaped her at the new angle, as Shouta continued his brutal pace. He leaned down nipping at her chin and neck, hot breath fanning her skin. Reyanna’s nails ranked down his back, drawing a few beads of blood before the wounds healed.

Shouta growled, muscles jerking in a dance at the slight pain that only served to heighten his pleasure. He began to grunt with each thrust.

Dipping his head, he bit down on her collarbone, sucking yet another claiming mark. He kissed her passionately, tongue swirling with hers. Reyanna moaned, as she was yet again driven to the edge. She tried to pull away, needing more air; but Shouta followed her, bruising her lips as he deepened the kiss. The coil in the pit of her stomach snapped, and she screamed into his mouth as another orgasm racked her body.

Shouta broke the kiss, the feeling of her cunt spasming and squeezing around him once again, making him moan. His thrusts became erratic, and soon he found his own release deep inside her.

His movements became slow and gentle, but he didn’t stop until they had both ridden out the waves of their pleasure.

Reyanna’s body relaxed beneath him, spent.

Slowly, Shouta pulled out and rolled to his side, his eyes never leaving her. He watched her catch her breath, as he did the same.

Reyanna opened her eyes and found Shouta’s own staring back. She was completely sated, the overwhelming desire of the Lust, that had threatened to burn her from the inside out, gone from her system. Her greatest need had been filled.

Shouta’s gaze was as intense as the Daimon himself, and Reyanna blushed at the thought of how easily he had gotten her to reach such peaks. Even if he had had plenty of experience with countless others during his many years, it still didn’t explain how well he had played her body. As if he knew it like the back of his hand. As if he was a master musician and she his instrument. The thought that they had known each other before her lost memories struck her once more.

Shouta smirked, seeming to have read her thoughts. Reyanna looked away and tucked her chin, suddenly feeling very exposed.

“I—um—I’m sorry for all this.” She said, her exhaustion hitting her hard and making her yawn despite herself.

Shouta chuckled. “Don’t be. It would have been better if you hadn’t summoned Dabi, but--” His eyes roved over her. “I’d gladly feed this need of yours any time.” His lips twitched upwards in a crooked grin at his tease. “Preferably without the effect of the Lust threatening to make you insane.”

Reyanna pushed at his chest in angry embarrassment, feeling made fun of. Weakened and exhausted as she was, her shove did nothing to move Shouta, who gathered her into his arms and laid down on his back, pulling her to his chest.

“No. That’s—” Reyanna fussed and fought against him a moment, before her tired muscles made her give up.

“Hush now, Kitten.” Shouta soothed, his right hand combing through her damp hair, while his left arm held her against him. “Get some rest. We still have a Demon to deal with.”

“I’m not a kitten, Aizawa. I’m certainly not your kitten.”

Shouta sighed heavily. So he was back to being Aizawa was he? If he hadn’t enjoyed himself so thoroughly, he might’ve felt used. As it was, her words annoyed and mildly amused him. Thanks to the events of tonight, Shouta now knew, without a doubt, that she wanted him. Whether it was some latent emotion from before, that was unconsciously effecting her, or she was falling for him all over again, he didn’t know. Nor did he care. All that mattered to him was that she returned his desire. Soon enough she might even return his love.

He felt her body relax, heard her breathing deepen and even out, and smiled up at the ceiling. There was still the mess of Dabi to deal with but for now he was going to indulge in holding her as she slept.

Chapter Text

6.1

Dabi heard the door of the sealed room open, cracking open an eye to watch Aizawa and the Angel he left him with enter. He didn’t lift his head, his chin resting on his chest as he sat in a chair, feet kicked up on the table, knowing it was futile to make a go for the door before it was closed.

“It’s about time. I was beginning to think you forgot about me.” Dabi remarked, his tone bored. He opened his other eye and lifted his head when the only response he got was the sound of the door closing and locking tightly shut. Seeing the Daimon and Angel, his eyes sparkled with smugness as he taunted. “Figure out what to do with me yet?”

Shouta stepped to the opposite end of the table from Dabi, while Hizashi remained by the door. Warded and sealed at it was, it was the rooms biggest weak point; especially since they had had to make the room a cell so quickly.

“The silent treatment. I get it. You were never one for idle conversation anyway, were you Aizawa?”

Shouta's dark eyes lifted to the Demon. The urge to kill him was still great. The image of Dabi on top of Reyanna flashed through his mind. His hand tightened around the sacred pen as he struggled to think rationally. It was over. Done with. Reyanna might’ve been frightened by the experience for a moment, but she was safe now; and the best method of keeping her that way was to do as he had planned, which meant not killing Dabi outright.

Grip loosening on the holy instrument, Shouta resumed laying everything out that was required for the task at hand.

“What do you got there?” Dabi asked letting his feet fall to the floor as he sat up, trying to get a better look at the items the Daimon was setting down. When Shouta didn’t answer him, Dabi sat back and went on. “You know, I’ve figured it out. Who she is.”

The Demon smirked as this got a reaction, not just a look, from the pale Daimon across from him.

“You’re Mistress.” Dabi drew out, the end coming as a long hiss.

Recovering, Shouta’s hands began moving once more. “Took you long enough.”

“Well, in my defense, she’s been MIA for some time.” Dabi studied the Daimon across from him. “You know I had heard whispers. Rumors. That you had some kind of thing for her. That you weren’t actually cast out of hell but struck some kind of deal with Lucifer in order to be with her. Which was why our Lord never ordered you to be hunted down and brought back for...reconditioning.” He paused, watching Aizawa straighten the implements. and sighed. “Never believed such tales myself. Until now. But I can see why you would. Want her, that is.” He smirked. “She’s a pretty little thing. The Bo--”

Shouta produced his blade and slammed it flat on the surface of the table, stopping Dabi short. Hizashi pushed up off the door, eyeing his friend nervously. The three edged, triangular short sword that had appeared to have dropped from the Daimon’s right sleeve radiated a cold, oppressive energy that weighed upon the room, and those in it, as if a menacing presence unto itself.

With a swallow the Angel turned to Dabi, and told. “If you wish to live, I suggest you remain silent.”

“What? Don’t want to make me this time, Halo?” Dabi looked between Hizashi and Shouta, his bluster returning with effort. “What’s the deal with you two anyway? Even if he’s no longer working for hell, he’s still a Daimon. What?” He turned his eyes on Shouta. “Trying to enter heavens good graces and earn your way back?”

The question was so ludicrous it didn’t bare a response, even if Shouta had been inclined to give one. Heaven was a place of absolutes, and its residence, at least those in power, were even more unconditional. There was no reentering their good graces, or earning your way back; even if that’s he had wanted. Which it wasn’t.

“Tell me, Dabi, have you heard of an Archangel’s Bid?” Shouta asked, adjusting one last item before lifting dark eyes to the Demon.

“Who hasn’t? Why do you think my sort doesn’t go messing with an archangel’s charge?”

“But you did.” Shouta replied, calmly.

“Who? Him?” Dabi laughed. “I don’t know what you take me for, Aizawa; but I’m no fool, I know the difference between an angel and archangel and Halo here is no archangel. Even if he was, what archangel would take a nephilim, especially that Nephilim, as a charge?”

“You’re right.” Shouta allowed, smoothly. “There likely isn’t a single archangel that would take any nephilim under their protection. That is, any archangel under heaven.”

Dabi blanched. “You’r—you’re a Daimon not an archangel.”

A sadistic glint lit up Shouta's near black eyes. “What’s a daimon of my sort but an archangel without grace.”

“But you can’t preform an Archangel’s Bid.” Dabi said, the words providing himself with little comfort.

Shouta arched an eyebrow. “Why not?”

“Cause—It’s never been done.”

“True. But there’s a reason for that. You see, in order to do an Archangel’s Bid the offended archangel must write their name on the tongue of the offending demon. But this mark can’t be written with any mere instrument. It must be written with a sacred pen, an item that can only be found in heaven and can’t exist long outside it; and there is no daimon alive, including myself, that would be foolish enough to try and enter heaven.”

Dabi felt himself relax; that was until the Daimon went on.

“Lucky for me, I happen to be one of the few, if only daimon’s in existence, that knows an Angel willing to allow him to borrow a sacred pen.”

Dabi’s head turned to Hizashi, his horror growing once again. Hizashi smiled and waved his fingers.

Swallowing, Dabi said, though his voice had lost its mock and surety. “But daimon’s don’t have charges. Protecting another soul, it’s not what they do. It neither serves them nor Lucifer’s purpose.”

“While that is true for daimon’s under hell's command, I am no longer in hell's service, remember.” Despite Shouta’s sedate demeanor, there was a hint of red in eyes as he intoned. “I told you, she was mine and to go away. You should have listened.”

Dabi made to rush to his feet, but a black tendril shot out from a shadowed corner, wrapping around him and binding him to the chair.

“You never should have answered that summon.” Shouta told, making his was slowly around and down the length of the table. “That was your first mistake. But you’re greatest...” He stared murderously at the Demon. “You should never should have touched her.”

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry. So, so sorry. Aizawa. Please. Have mercy! I beg you to understand. I was just doing my job. It was nothing personal. Please! Understand.”

“Like you understood when I told you, your being summoned was a mistake?”

Dabi shook his head, eyes bouncing from the rage filled Daimon to the Angel, blue orbs pleading with Hizashi for help.

Hizashi lowered his gaze. Seeing others, even sinners, suffer had never brought the Angel anything other then discomfort. Where some of heavens Host enjoyed seeing righteous judgment fall upon the wicked, a few of his brethren even feeling a sense of satisfaction at carrying out such punishments, Hizashi had never been one of them. Shouta had instantly gathered as much from the first moment Hizashi had been assigned to his garrison; but instead of setting him up to fail and shipping him off to the next unfortunate troop that he landed in, Shouta had had the will and heart to take the time to figure out what Hizashi was good at.

Hizashi stood beside his Commander, grief and shame stricken. He had failed once again. Terribly so this time. And he was certain that Aizawa would finally realize his mistake. That he would see that all the Commanders Hizashi had served under before were right. That he was hopeless. Useless. And Aizawa would simply give up and ship him off like all the rest had done.

It hurt. Not just because he had failed, yet again, but because he had failed someone who had given him a chance. Truly given him a chance; not like everyone else who had given him a chance to fail. No, Aizawa, for some reason, had believed in him. And yet Hizashi had failed him. Failed. Just like he always did.

“I’m sorry.” Hizashi mumbled, his usual boisterous self nowhere to be found.

Aizawa inspected the Angel out of the corner of his eye. It annoyed him to no end how loud and happy Hizashi always was. It wasn’t that he didn’t care about his troops morale. But for an Angel who was assigned to the Powers, the angelic order that served under Chiefs of the Seraphim. The order that guarded heavens gates, defended the cosmos, and battled beings such as Chaos, and Death, and their spawn. Well, Hizashi was… irregularly sunny.

More irritating than that, the Angel never seemed to shut up. As a Seraphim who had spent his existence commanding a garrison of Powers, Aizawa was a stoic archangel of few words. As such, Hizashi was his polar opposite. But, to see the sunny Angel so down and quiet displeased Aizawa.

“I know you’re sorry, but being sorry alone will do none of us any good.”

Hizashi flinched at the words.

Aizawa sighed, and went on. “While this mistake is far from alright, so long as you learn from it, it has served a purpose.”

Hizashi turned to the seemingly dispassionate Archangel. “You mean you aren’t shipping me off?”

“After all the effort I’ve put into you? The time I’ve spent trying to suss out your strengths and weakness? That would be illogical.”

The light in Hizashi's green eyes glimmered back to life. “Thank you, Aizawa. I promise I’ll do better. I won’t let you down again.”

But he had. Time and time again it seemed. Till Hizashi had become despondent. So wracked with guilt at his continued failures that he wondered why Aizawa even bothered with him any more. Entering the Archangels office, he asked his Commander exactly that.

“Aizawa. Why to you continue to keep me in your garrison? Haven’t I proven countless times that I’m a hopeless cause? I mean, I’m obviously not cut out to be in the Order of Powers. So why continue trying?”

Aizawa lifted his head, his hand stilling from writing a report of their recent skirmish. It struck him how similar Hizashi’s words were to that of his Chief concerning the Angel; only Lucifer had commented that an Angel who didn’t like fighting and dispensing judgment would never make a good warrior of the Powers.

“Do you wish for me to seek your transfer elsewhere?”

“No!” Hizashi said. “This place has become a home, the first time I’ve ever felt that way. I’m happy here. I finally have friends. True friends.” He shook his head. “I don’t want to leave.”

He looked down and plucked at his fingers, a fidgeting habit and another thing that bothered Aizawa to no end went it came to the Angel.

“Then what? Why bother me?”

“I--” Hizashi took in a fortifying breath and said the words that stung in a rush. “It’s just that I know I bring you and the garrison down. You would rank all the higher, be all the better, if it weren’t for me.”

Aizawa heaved a weary sigh. He had too much work to do to be dealing with this nonsense. But the emotional and mental health of his troops mattered just as much, if not more, than their physical health.

“While being victorious in battle and successfully completing a mission do matter, I care nothing about rank or standing.” Aizawa folded his arms on top of the desk, aggravated with how the Angel continued to fidget and avoid his gaze. “Look at me, Hizashi.”

Hizashi did as his superior commanded.

"Yes, you have failed numerous times while serving under me. But I have failed you just as many times, if not more. At least you have done me the service of recognizing your failings and apologizing for them. Where as I have never once apologized to you. It is not something I am good at and I will not make the false promise of getting better. I doubt I’ll even try. But I can promise you this. I am not giving up on you, Hizashi. You have been placed you in the order of Powers and assigned to my garrison for a reason. So far I have failed to figure out why. But I swear, you and I will figure out what role in this garrison your strengths play best to and utilize them to their fullest potential.”

"Please!” Dabi’s cries echoed in the room, and Hizashi's ears making the Angel close his eyes and grimace.

“You mocked me for tying myself without receiving payment.” Aizawa’s low, steady voice cut through as he went about the process. “Called me a pet. Well you’re going to be my dog for a bit, Dabi. And you’ll quickly learn, I am not a kind or gentle master.”

“I serve Lucifer!” Dabi shouted. “To serve anyone else would be death.”

“Correction. You served Lucifer. After this, you will serve me. And you should know that there are a great many things worse than death.” Shouta's eyes shined darkly as he stared down at the bound Demon. “Or have you done that well a job repressing your days on the Butcher’s Block?”

Dabi shook his head, uncontrollably. He wasn’t one for pain. Didn’t do well or last long once it started. Giving pain, well that was an entirely different matter. But receiving… Dabi hadn’t lasted long on the Butcher’s Block, giving himself and his will over to the whims and wishes of hell's Lord and Master the very first time his torturer had given him the chance.

“Open your mouth and stick out your tongue.”

Dabi clamped his mouth shut as tightly as possible.

Shouta sighed. Why was it that everyone always insisted on making more work for him? It wasn’t as if Dabi’s lack of cooperation would stop him from doing what he set out to do. Though he may have over stated when he said that Dabi was going to be his dog and serve him. The Archangel’s Bid would only compel for twenty-four hours, and only in matters that directly pertained to the safety, well being of an archangels charge.

Another thick tendril of blackness formed around Dabi’s head covering everything but his mouth. As soon as the Demon opened his mouth to take a breath, part of the black mass slipped in. It stretched his mouth wide, pulling out and lifting his tongue.

“I’ve heard this stings.” Shouta said, as he pricked his right thumb with the scared pen, red liquid collecting in the ink well. “As I’ve only seen it preformed once and never experienced it myself, I couldn’t really say. But, I’d brace yourself if I were you.”

Dabi thrashed wildly; the dense, coiling blackness around his body tightening. Shouta couldn’t help the sinister smile that curled his lips, as he bent, preparing to write his name on the underside of Dabi’s tongue. Dabi watched Aizawa near, eyes widening only to squeeze shut, as muffled shrieks filled the room.

Stings, was not the right word to describe it. Not even close. Dabi had felt less pain during some of his sessions on the Butcher’s Block. His eyes rolled back, his consciousness threatening to leave him, which would have been a mercy. But no, of course the once feared Prince of hell wouldn’t have allowed him such reprieve.

“Stay with me.” Shouta said, as he pulled back and righted. The black mass holding the Demon’s tongue and prying his mouth open turned into a vaporous smoke that dissipated and vanished. “It’s done. You alright?”

“That fucking—of course I’m not alright! You--”

“Hush.” Aizawa silenced, Dabi choking on his words. “I wasn’t talking to you.” He turned his head, eyes leveling on Hizashi.

The trembling Angel nodded vigorously. “Yep. I’m good.”

“No you’re not.” Shouta said, turning fully around to face his friend. He stepped to the Angel, holding the sacred pen out to him. “Thank you.”

Green eyes lifted to met black.

“Anytime.” Hizashi said, taking the holy instrument. “Well, not anytime. But anything for you, and Reyanna. I mean, not anything. But--”

“Yamada.”

Hizashi grimaced at his chosen name. But it got Shouta what he wanted, Hizashi focused on how much he hated the use of that name, instead of what had just happened. What he had helped Shouta do.

“Aizawa.” Hizashi said, repaying kind for kind.

Shouta huffed. “Take that thing back and met me at the house. We’ve got more to discuss. Circumstance has unfortunately seen things happen before we’re ready, but at least fate has been kind enough to give us an unsought for thrall.”

“When you say, at the house, you mean...”

“The way was always open for you.” Shouta told.

“I know.” Hizashi said.

Shouta had told him as much, in case anything ever happen and Hizashi needed to get in for whatever reason. Still, Shouta had explicitly told him to keep out unless calamity demanded otherwise. The Daimon didn’t want Reyanna exposed to others from her past, worried that it would make her begin to remember and weaken the strongest thing keeping her from heaven and hell's radar.

Shouta turned away from the Angel. “Yes, Hizashi. Inside the house.”

“And him?” Hizashi's eyes flicked over to Dabi.

One corner of the Daimon’s lips curled slightly upwards as he took in the recovering Demon. “I’ve got to make sure the Archangel’s Bid is in place and working properly.”

Having never done such a thing, Shouta still had his doubts. Especially since he wasn’t technically an archangel any more. But a good leader didn’t show that to his men or the enemy, at least not while out in the field.

Still bound to the chair Dabi watched Aizawa stalk back towards him.

“You bastard! You’re gonna pay for this. Lucifer is gonna have your--” Dabi’s words cut off in a scream, the smell of searing flesh filling the air.

Aizawa chuckled softly. It had worked. He looked back at Hizashi, who gaped in amazement. So, Shouta thought, he had had his doubts too. The Angel’s gotten better at hiding his feelings than I realized. Good to know.

Fixing his eyes on Dabi, Shouta watched smoke seep from one of the seams between the Demons marred and unmarred flesh, and explained. “There are a few inherent commands built into the Archangel’s Bid. Threatening your commanding archangel or their charge is one of them. The result of disobedience is—well, you tell me.” He leaned down, leveling his eyes with the Demon’s. “Unpleasant? Painful?”

“Fuck you!” Dabi seethed.

Aizawa shook his head and straightened. Crude language. A sure sign of a person who’s lost. “I’ll try to remember and tell you all the inherent commands before I send you on your way, but let’s get to my direct orders first shall we.”

Dabi turned his head.

“Look at me.”

Dabi tensed expecting the burning from within to happen again, when it didn’t he barked a laugh, feeling relieved. That was until a black tendril crept near his face again. It branched off into four smaller ones that pried open his eyes, as his face was forced to turn to the Daimon.

“You still here, Hizashi?” Aizawa called, to the Angel behind him. “I suggest you leave. Things are about to get a bit, unpleasant.”

Chapter Text

7.1

Reyanna woke up to a somewhat darkened bedroom, the sun just beginning to grey the sky. Thankfully, Shouta was no longer in bed with her. Last nights events felt all too real, and yet like a dream at the same time. She winced remembering the mess she had made in summoning a demon, though at the time she hadn’t known the spell she cast would do such a thing.

Damn it. In trying to get rid of Aizawa she had only furthered her connection to him. How could she have been so stupid? Why hadn’t she waited? Taken more time to study. Be sure of what she was doing, before she tried it. Instead, Shouta now knew what she could barely admit to herself. She had no clue how she would be able to face him after all that. In no hurry to do so, she sluggishly rolled out of bed, showered, and got dressed. Though the now sealed and warm house didn’t require it, she picked a long sleeved pullover and ivory scarf.

Fucking Daimon, she thought as she wrapped the scarf around her marked neck. She could imagine him smirking that infuriating smile of his when he saw her covered so. With heavy, dragging footsteps, she made her way downstairs, her purposeful delay quickly changing over as she reached the final step. The desire to get this over with as soon as possible now filling her.

She peaked into the living room and then the kitchen. Both were empty. She made her way to Aizawa's personal study. The rooms entrance at the end of a long hallway that was formed between the stairs and a wall that bore the kitchen on the other side.

He kept the door shut and locked when he wasn’t in there. And, Reyanna had only been in once. She remembered the shelf behind the desk, filled with books and cursed. If there was any book in residence that would tell her how to break the Tie, he wouldn’t have left it in the library for her to look through and access; it would be in his office. Fuck! She was so stupid! But in her frenzied rush to be free of him, she hadn’t been thinking rationally.

The door to the study was cracked open, and she figured that’s where he was. She would've called out, but something made her decide against it.

Her vision felt tunneled, the hallway seeming to stretch, but knew that was just her emotions playing with her. She wasn’t looking forward to seeing him. Not after last nights events. But it had to be done. And once out of the way, she and Aizawa could move past what had happened. And, hopefully, never to speak of it again.

Reyanna didn’t mean to stop and eavesdrop, but when she heard voices, her steps slowed. Other than her unintentional summoning of the demon Dabi, no one else had ever come up the front walkway, let alone enter the house. Not a paper boy or mailman. Not even a dog, cat, or bird.

“So you’re sure it took? You trust him.” A male voice, that wasn’t as deep and gruff as Aizawa's, said.

“Trust?” Aizawa’s voice echoed. “Only as far as I can throw him.”

“Which is what? Universes away.”

She heard Aizawa huff. “More like galaxy's.”

The door abruptly opened completely. Reyanna gave a yip of surprise, guiltily meeting Aizawa’s eyes. The Daimon must have flinted to the door, since she hadn’t heard any movement.

“I thought I heard you.” Shouta stepped out of the doorway and into the hall. He looked her over, smirking as he took in the scarf around her neck. “How are you, Kitten?”

“I told you. I’m not your kitten.”

Shouta sighed. Now wasn’t the time or place to toy with her. Not with Hizashi in the room, watching and listening. “We have a visitor.”

“So I heard.” Reyanna said, grateful for the change in subject. She rose to her tip toes and tried to peer over his shoulder, leaning forward as she did so. “Who are they? More Daimon’s?”

Shouta looked down at her, taking in the scent her nearness brought. Her straight, brown hair was still damp from her shower and though the most prominent smell was of her cleansing products, he could still smell her. The almost mead-like scent that had driven him crazy with wonder, before he had broken down and kissed her to see if she tasted as she smelled.

“No.”

Shouta opened his mouth to say more, but decided it’d be best just to let her into the office and explain after. He wondered if seeing Hizashi would cause her to remember anything. Well, he sighed, if Dabi failed such worries would be the least of their problems.

“Come in.” He beckoned, standing aside. “I’ll—introduce you.” Considering she knew the Angel already, it was more of a reintroduction, but still.

Hizashi had risen from the seat in front of Aizawa's desk, and was standing when Reyanna entered. Though he knew what she had done, and Shouta had told him that the only thing she seemed to recall thus far was that she was suppose to be somewhere, the sunny Angel couldn’t help but give a hopeful smile as he asked.

“Do you remember me? My name?”

Reyanna stared at the bright, blonde and tried to place him, or at least come up with a name. When nothing came, she shook her head feeling bad when she saw his smile waver. “Sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Hizashi soothed, his green eyes a mixture of wistful sadness and something else that Reyanna couldn’t quite place. Guilt? Relief? “Everything will come back eventually.”

“Unfortunately.” Shouta grumbled, positioning himself along the wall between the two chairs and front of his.

He wished that Reyanna could stay like this for a more sizable amount of time. Not just because of his concern about what would happen when she remember what he had done; but because, in this state she was safe and shielded from Lucifer.

“The sooner I remember, the easier it will be for me to defend myself from these dangers you keep on going about.” Reyanna challenged.

“You’re lacking memories is a great part of what’s keeping you safe from those dangers. Shielded. I tied myself to you so I could defend you. You are--”

“And what a stellar job you’ve done.” Reyanna snapped, cutting in over Shouta’s words. “You couldn’t even keep that Demon a bay.”

Aizawa's eyes darkened. Was she honestly trying to fault him for that? Seriously? She was going to stand there and complain about his level of protection when she had sought to end it.

He pushed off the wall, coming to his full height. “You mean the Demon you summoned.”

“Stop it! The both of you.” Hizashi exclaimed.

Reyanna’s head spun to the blonde, in shock. Shouta slumped back against the wall, head thudding on the wooden panels as his eyes closed.

Looking chagrined, Hizashi apologized. “Sorry. It’s just—I don’t like conflict.”

A hint of amusement sparked in Reyanna’s eyes at that. The man hated conflict yet was here with Aizawa and her? What was his a glutton for discomfort?

“You’re hanging with the wrong folk then.”

Hizashi gave a huffing chuckle. “You couldn’t be more right there.”

Reyanna cracked a small smile, a sense of familiarity striking her at their interaction. “So—I’m sorry, I still don’t know your name.”

“Hizashi.” Shouta answered for him. “He’s an Angel that’s still tied and answering to heaven.”

Reyanna barely had time to wonder what an Angel working for heaven was doing visiting a Daimon, when she looked at the green eyed Angel and said.

“Zashi.”

The shortened name feeling right.

“Yes!” Hizashi beamed.

Shouta winced at the Angel’s bellowed joy. As the two talked, the Daimon turned away, brooding silently as he wondered if Dabi would cross Sakamata in the Index; and what Sakamata would do considering Shouta had, years ago, called in the sole favor the Daimon had owed him. The favors use had been worth it though, Shouta thought eyeing Reyanna out of the corner of his eye.

Spent, Shouta released his hold on Reyanna’s legs, gliding his fingers up to massage her hips. He leaned down to kiss her, but that didn’t last long; not with the way they both were panting. Laying on her, he took to nuzzling her neck instead, as they came down, recovering from their respective highs. He smirked thinking about how many times he had driven her over the edge and…

“Heavy.” Reyanna groaned.

“Too bad.” Shouta said, against her skin, still wanting to be as close to her as possible despite having been one for the greater part of two hours.

“Shouta.” Reyanna drew out, whining. “I can’t breath.”

“If you couldn’t breath you wouldn’t be disturbing my nap by talking.” He mumbled, his low voice rough and lazy.

“Nap? Daimon’s don’t sleep unless they’ve expended a sizable amount of energy and power.”

“And after exertion like that, I definitely deserve it.” His eyes fluttered closed as he buried his face deeper into her neck, breathing in the scent of her.

Reyanna couldn’t help but smile at that. “Worn you out, did I.”

“Um.” He hummed.

It was difficult for her to say whether he had nodded or was merely nuzzling against her, but either way she loved it. If only he weren’t so damned heavy.

Patting his back, she squirmed. “Well, you’re not napping on me.”

“Fine.” Shouta expelled. He rolled off her, pulling her against him. “Come here.”

They smoothed each others damp hair out of the others face.

Eyes darting over her face, committing it to memory for the billionth time, Shouta felt a peace he hadn’t even before the Fall. “So beautiful.”

As many times as she had heard the praise from him before, it still made her cheeks grow warm. “I love you, Shouta.”

Shouta caressed her cheek, a small, easy smile perking his lips. Such things as peace, happiness, and smiles came easy when he was with her. He loved her so much it hurt. Loved her so much it scared him. The thought of being without her scared him more than anything else in existence ever had.

“Bond with me, Anna.”

Reyanna blinked, pulling her head back slightly. “What?” She asked, sure she hadn’t heard him right.

Unfazed, Shouta stared into her eyes. “You heard me.”

Speechless, she stared back in shocked wonder.

“You’ve told me love me. Have said you’re mine. Reyanna, my heart and soul belong to you. Belonged to you long before you accepted it. I love you, Anna. Bond with me.”

Still in shock, Reyanna could only nod her answer.

“I’m going to need a verbal response there, Kitten.” Shouta said, holding fast to his heart that was ready to soar away.

“Yes.” Reyanna nodded. She gave a smile so big that felt as if it would split her face, and hugged him. “Yes, Shouta. Yes!”

They had taken further delights of each other, celebrating their intent to be bonded. Hours passed.

Head on his chest, Reyanna’s fingers drew lazy patterns into Shouta's bare chest when a realization struck her. Turning to look up at him, she questioned. “Doesn’t a Bond require kind for kind to bare witness?”

Shouta’s gaze left the ceiling to focus on her. Pillowing his head with an arm, he wrapped the other more tightly around her. “It does. But Amajiki should suffice for you, half Nephilim that he is.”

Amajiki would have to. As badly as Shouta wanted to be bonded with her, he wasn’t about to chance contacting one of the lesser aligned Nephilim to see this done. Not when even that may not work as none of them were truly kind for kind with Reyanna.

“That’s not--” Reyanna pressed her lips against his chest, shaking her head. “What about you?”

Ah, that’s what she was worried over, Shouta thought. Smiling down at her, he plucked up a lock of her hair, rubbing it between his fingers. “Don’t worry about that, Kitten. Someone down there owes me a favor.”

Even back then, Shouta had known it was foolish, selfish, to call in the sole debt a fellow Daimon owed for such a thing as witnessing a Bond. Especially a Daimon of the rank and position as Sakamata. But he had. And even standing here now, hoping that fate would continue to twist circumstance in his favor, Shouta would have done so again.

Chapter Text

8.1

Dabi cursed as he stalked the long front hall of hell's Index. Fucking Aizawa, he thought. Sure, compel me to go to the one place worse than the Butcher’s or deaths ether, and tell me to be grateful that you told me how not to loose myself in there. Easy for the fucking Daimon to say, he wasn’t the one being forced to go into the place that had broken more minds than earths Inquisition’s had bodies.

The front hall of the Index wasn’t what scared him, though being there was hardly pleasant. His cerulean eyes panned right and left as he walked. He wondered which of the countless plaques lining the towering, wide, long hall bore his name, with his soul bound in a cramped compartment behind it.

He reached the large double doors, that a Leviathan could probably fit through, and took in a deep, fortifying breath. Placing his hand on the handle of the much smaller, human-sized door cut within, Dabi slowly turned the knob.

The records room of hell's Index was where the every thought and deed of those in the service of hell was housed; written and stored on its own, as if done by unseen hands. It was similar to the Symphony of heaven, or so Dabi had heard. Only the Symphony was said to be melodious as it perpetually wrote the past, present, and future of every being that had, was, or would ever live. It was said that after the Fall, God had allowed the records of hell's residences to be moved and housed there as a reminder to Lucifer of His omnipotence. That, that was why the Lord of hell hated to visit the place. As for everyone else. They avoided the Index because once you stepped into the stacks of records room, everything occurring in hell was directly put into your mind, as it occurred. It was an experience that was known for making visitors mad. If they were lucky.

There was also another reason demons, and even lesser daimon’s, kept clear of the place. The Index’s Chief. Sakamata, the Daimon of Death. Or so he was secretly thought of by many in hell, and even a few among the earth who knowingly honored him in their atheism. The Daimon was a token Prince of hell, only titled so because of his great power and ability. He was honored, or more accurately feared, because of the Word he had been tasked with before the Fall; that coupled with the job Sakamata had, self-appointedly, taken on in hell saw the Daimon strangely detached from hell's works.

Dabi shuddered at the thought of the dark skinned, red eyed Daimon, hoping he wouldn’t cross him. He took in the vast room with its seemingly endless rows of shelves that disappeared into the dark void above and beyond stretching taller, wider, and farther than the eye could see.

Even standing outside the stacks, his mind itched with the whispers of everything. Every experience every being in hell was having, what they were doing and thinking at that very moment, the scratching sound of countless quills against parchment buzzing in his ears like an over populated hive.

He wanted nothing more than to turn around and try to forget the place even existed, but the Archangel’s Bid compelled him to obey Aizawa's command. Fucking Aizawa. He was gonna kill the fucking-- Ah, fuck! A burning for within halted all thought.

Dabi hissed, wincing as the pain slowly subsided. Damn it! He couldn’t even think about killing the Daimon without the curse activating and punishing him. While the Archangel’s Bid wasn’t strictly classified as a curse, Dabi considered it one. He had only been subjugated to it for a handful of hours and the thing already felt like an unbearable. unbreakable curse, even though he knew it came with a a time limit.

Giving himself a mental shake, Dabi focused on the task Aizawa had set him. Find his chronicle and wipe the record of his being summoned by Reyanna. Apparently, the Archangels Bid would shield his dealings and doings from the time of the bids placement till it wore off, so at least there wouldn’t be record of Dabi’s traitorous deeds. Compelled or not, he’d be sent back to the Butcher’s Block for sure, if found out.

Dabi wasn’t sure how he would go about erasing the entry, should his mind last long enough for him to find his chronicle in the first place. Annoyingly, Aizawa hadn’t been any help in that regard, simply telling him to get rid of the log in his chronicle mentioning Reyanna. Fucking Aizawa.

At least the Daimon had told him how to go about not loosing his mind once he entered the stacks, not that it seemed all that clear or helpful. How was one to, let the tide of it all wash through you?

Aizawa had told him that it was impossible to brace his mind against the onslaught of everything. That it would break him. But that it was also not wise to allow the tide to wash over him. That he would drown. Aizawa said that riding the tide wouldn’t work either. That there was no coming back from the places it would take him. That the only way for Dabi to survive the experience, with his mind in tact, was to let it wash through him. That if he managed to do that, he would soon discover that he could move about. That the only way for him to get out of the stacks with his senses or move to past occurrences, so he could do away with the event in question, was to let what was happening to everyone in hell at the very moment wash through him.

“Yeah.” Dabi huffed, almost inaudible. “Real big help there, Zawa.” Fucking Daimon.

Well, Dabi thought, I’d like to stand here and delay forever, but the compel is heating further with its insistence and it’s starting to become painful so…

Without ceremony, the Demon stepped into stacks; the hint of whispering that had made his mind itch, instantly becoming deafening. Dabi covered his ears to no avail. It wasn’t so much heard, as implanted into his head. As if the sounds, or maybe the happenings driving it, were so powerful that the only way they could be received was directly in his mind.

It filled Dabi’s head to bursting.. He heard, saw, smelled, tasted, and felt it all at once. Everything that was going on in hell at that very moment. The pain and agony. The hate, anger, and senseless rage. The all consuming fear and overwhelming sorrow. It was endless. As soon as one moment passed another began; too fast and too slow, all at the same time.

He felt himself drowning. Felt himself being carried away. Felt himself breaking under the onslaught. Dabi screamed, or at least tried to. Or maybe it was someone else entirely who was trying to scream. His body seized as bones were broken. His soul cried out as it was seared, the contract of a deal written and sealed into his every being, services for a soul. He was everywhere and nowhere. Everyone and no one. And the it was over.

Dabi doubled over and vomited. His over crowded mind, bit by bit, becoming less saturated with the experiences of everyone else; as slowly, slowly, slowly, like the ebbing of a tide, all that was left was him, feeling all too small in his head. Or was it that his head now felt too large, having been jam-packed to the point of over-fill with what everyone else in hell had been going through.

Dabi righted himself, his body complaining, feeling atrophied and overexerted all at once. A sense of vertigo hit him causing his stomach to roll. He swallowed the urge to throw up again, bile stinging his raw esophagus. His mind felt both numb and overstimulated. As if it was both stuffed full of cotton-balls and being electrocuted at the same time.

“Fucking Aizawa!” Dabi expelled, as he stumbled forward, trying to catch his balance. Eyes still too unfocused, he may as well have been sightless.

“Aizawa?”

A chill like no other shot up Dabi’s spine.

“I pulled you out thinking you had taken a wrong turn.” Sakamata said, staring down at the Demon.

It happened from time to time, people too stupid, or too focused on their task to pay attention to where they were going and what was around them. With the way hell folded in on itself, what appearing to be empty space actually a doorway to somewhere else, it was a wonder it didn’t happen more often.

Dabi didn’t dare look directly at Sakamata, though the Daimon was all he could focus on. He waited, fully expecting Sakamata to push him back into the stacks for his mind to be carried away and torn apart.

“Why are you cursing, Aizawa?”

Dabi’s eyes shifted, looking fully at Sakamata. But he quickly fixed his gaze away, the Daimon too fearsome, and resumed watching him through his periphery.

“I—I—”

“I wasn’t talking to you.” Sakamata said, as he held up a hand, palm up.

Dabi blinked in startled confusion. Was the Daimon wanting him to place his hand in his? Why! Dabi sure as hell didn’t want to do it, the mere thought of touching Sakamata making his skin prickle and crawl. But to deny a superior’s order, even a silent one… Dabi was just about to lift his own hand and place it in Sakamata’s when a large tome came flying out of the stacks, and into Sakamata’s hand.

Dabi released the breath he had been holding. Sakamata had been summoning a chronicle, not asking for his hand. Knowing this, Dabi felt stupid for thinking the other, he should have known the hermitish Daimon wouldn’t seek any form of physical contact. It was then that Dabi realized that Sakamata had summoned his chronicle and froze.

“There are gaps.” Sakamata commented, as the pages flipped backwards, into Dabi’s recent past. “Interesting.” His ruby eyes scanned the pages as they were turned by some unseen hand. “Only a handful of things would cause such an occurrence.” Another page flipped, and he paused.

Dabi watched as the Daimon stared at the page, noting a slight tension that hadn’t been there before.

Lifting his eyes, Sakamata said. “Lucifer would reward you handsomely for this. Have you informed him?”

“I would, if I could.” Dabi answered. An idea struck him. Sure Sakamata played by his own rules. Working for hell, but not necessarily for Lucifer; but if… “But now that you’ve seen. If you were to—ah! Fuck!”

Unfeeling, Sakamata watched as Dabi curled in on himself from some unseen pain. A smell seared flesh wafted through the air, reaching his nostrils. “So that’s the reason for the gaps. Interesting. Very interesting indeed.”

Sakamata had had no idea such a thing could be done, a Daimon preforming an Archangel’s Bid. He doubted the idea to try such a thing would have ever entered his, or any other daimon's mind; even if they had had access to a sacred pen. But Aizawa… Aizawa had always been a clever one, with a perchance for the grey areas.

“Where will you go?”

Sakamata turned at the sound of his brothers voice. Ex-brother? Late brother? Since those that had been cast out of heaven were no longer part of the Brethren such words and emotions no longer applied, if they ever had in the first place. Lucifer was saying that they would form their own brotherhood. A host of Daimon’s that would turn man to their bidding and show God the mistake He had made in creating such weak, feckless, disloyal creatures. For Sakamata, the fallen Archangel may as well have been speaking of himself. Was Lucifer not weak for his lack of faith in God? Feckless for using his power and influence to twist so many of heavens host against their Creator? Disloyal for rising up against God?

Sakamata halted his steps, and sighed. “I have no idea.”

“It’s a decent deal.” Aizawa said, stepping beside him. “Lucifer merely wants a show, a sign that you are no longer sided with heaven.”

“Being cast out with the rest of you isn’t enough?” Sakamata questioned, bitterly.

Aizawa remained silent, his gaze fixed on the rocky, dissolute expanse beyond.

Regaining his composure, Sakamata went on. “The side of heaven doesn’t want me. Kicked me out. And Lucifer wonders why I do not seek to join another side?” He turned to the pale, dark haired Daimon. “I didn’t align with Lucifer. Never picked up a weapon against any of my brother's. I didn’t--” He stopped, unable to speak the words.

I didn’t do anything wrong, Sakamata thought. But he had. His Word. His orders had been to simply watch and listen to the chords of the Symphony. Not to speak of them, and certainly not to do anything. But he had done something. Upon hearing the coming dissonance that the Fall would bring about, Sakamata had told two of his brothers; and in doing so had gone against his Word. He had ceased being a silent listener as his orders had dictated, and became an active part of the Symphony itself.

Aizawa turned to face him, his long black hair whipping about in the cool, dry wind. Tucking the strands behind an ear, he calmly asked. “Do you think I betrayed you?”

“No.” Sakamata answered, instantly. “I know you didn’t.”

Even if he hadn’t seen Aizawa’s cords in the Symphony. Hadn’t know his every thought, deed, and emotion when he focused on those cords. Sakamata would never have thought Aizawa had betrayed him.

Returning the Daimon’s gaze, Sakamata questioned. “You were uncertain. What made you decide to follow Lucifer?”

“You mean you don’t already know? Didn’t see it in my cords?”

“I was focused on other things at the time. It’s not all about you, Aizawa.”

Aizawa gave a small crooked smirk. “Is it not now?”

“No. And you best remember it. Heaven forbid we have another Daimon who thinks as much. Lucifer is more than enough.”

The two Daimon’s sobered at that, their gazes returning to the landscape below.

“So what are you going to do?” Aizawa asked, at length.

“I didn’t pick up a weapon against my brothers before. I see no reason to now. If Lucifer's price for my entering the sanctuary of hell is coating my weapon in my Brother’s blood, then I shall roam the earth.”

“Then you will be forced to take up arms against your brother's soon enough. For neither angel or daimon will let you go when they happen upon you.”

Sakamata considered this. He knew Aizawa's words to be true, but fighting for his life was different than fighting for Lucifer. He wasn’t even sure he would lift his weapon then. There was an apathy growing in him that had no care about what it consumed. Things that once meant so much to him, slowly beginning to mean nothing. Life. What was life? He had no life without his Word. And if that was true, then he was already dead. Why fight to defend what was already dead?

“Sakamata.” Aizawa prompted.

Sakamata shook his head clear, and stated. “I will not fight for Lucifer.”

“You won’t have to. Not after this. All he’s asking is that you do this one thing. Prove you are not sided with heaven. And then you can exist in hell and do as you will.”

“What does it matter to you, Aizawa?”

“You told me of Lucifer’s plans before he enacted them.”

“And what good did it serve either of us? We were both cast out.”

Aizawa felt bad for the Daimon. At least he had chosen a side. Had clearly gone against heaven and was therefore deserving of being cast out. Sakamata had done no such thing.

“It gave me time to ponder. If not for you, my decision likely would have been made for me while I simply stood about dumbfounded, trying to decide what to do.”

In truth, that had come all too close to happening anyway; but Sakamata need not know that.

“So it was me that sealed your demise.”

“You sealed nothing.” Aizawa said, fiercely. “I make my own decisions.” Calming, he told. “But I am grateful for your telling me. Though I’m sorry it was the reason for your downfall.”

Sakamata’s lip twitched. “It would have happened anyway. Before I told you, I spoke of it to Enji.”

Aizawa blinked at that. Enji had been Sakamata’s Chief. Though his duties had likely been expanded by now, Enji was the Archangel that purified the Symphony. The fact that Sakamata had told Enji. That Enji had known, and yet all this had still been allowed to come to pass…

“And now Lucifer wants me to drench my weapon in Enji’s blood and bring it to him as a show that I am not sided with heaven.”

Aizawa thought long and hard. Sakamata had a point. Facing ones Chief, especially for one like Sakamata who hadn’t picked a side, who hadn’t been a warrior…

“I’ll do it.”

Sakamata’s eyes snapped to the pale face, that shined in the moonlight. “What?”

Not one that liked to repeat himself, Aizawa merely returned the gaze. “You heard me.”

“But how?”

“Lucifer never said that you, Sakamata, were to be the one to bloody Enji. He simply said that you had to bring your bloodied weapon to him.”

“But we all know what he meant.”

Aizawa’s eyes danced, mischievously. “Do we?”

Sakamata stared at his brother flabbergasted. Of course the answer was, yes. Yes, they all knew what Lucifer had meant.

“But, you will have to use my weapon.” Sakamata said, uncertainly.

“And?”

“And, I use a fiery rod. Not a typical blade.”

Aizawa shrugged. “What is a rod but a really long blade? I’ll choke up on it.”

They both knew it didn’t work like that. That the weapons were too different. Even if Aizawa had been Commander of a garrison of Powers and Lucifer's second hand within the Seraphim order. It was still too much. Sakamata couldn’t let the Daimon do this. Take a chance of death. He began to shake his head when Aizawa stopped him.

“How about this, I do this for you and you owe me a favor?”

Aizawa had returned slightly battered and burned with Sakamata’s weapon. Tossing it to the Daimon, he informed. “Your rod is capable of becoming a fiery blade if the wielder wishes it.”

Sakamata had mourned the passing of his previous Chief and Brother; admittedly surprised that Aizawa had managed to kill Enji and return with so few wounds. That was until it was learned that Enji still lived.

Lucifer had been furious, proclaiming that Sakamata had failed. Had tried to trick him. But, Aizawa had calmly stated that Lucifer had never said he wanted Enji dead, merely that Sakamata’s weapon be drenched in Enji’s blood and presented to him.

In the end it had been sufficient for Sakamata’s allowance into hell; where he took up the position as Chief of the Index, a job nobody wanted. No one but Sakamata, Aizawa, and of course Enji himself knowing that Sakamata had still not raised a weapon against any of his brothers.

"So what has he sent you to do?” Sakamata asked, looking down at Dabi.

The Archangel’s Bid compelled him to speak the words Aizawa had instructed him should he cross Sakamata. “He wishes to call in the favor owed and have you keep this as he has kept something of yours. To have you do something for him, and get rid of the pages with her in it, as he had long ago done something for you.”

Sakamata raised an eyebrow. Call upon the favor owed? But he owed Aizawa no other favors except the one; and he had long since repaid it.

Eyeing the pages of Dabi’s chronicle, Sakamata considered. The thing Aizawa had done for him had been great. And, if one looked at it a certain way, could actually be considered two favors. The act of the deed itself, and coming up with clever ways around what Lucifer had really had wanted. Bearing witness to a Bond, even a bond between Aizawa and Reyanna, had been of no danger to him. As such, it had sat unwell with him to call his debt paid. But, this… This, if it were discovered, would be of great danger to him.

Decided, Sakamata called. “Shigaraki.”

A few moments later a tall, lanky Demon appeared shuffling out from between a row of shelves. “Master?”

Dabi eyed the Demon as he drew near.

Sakamata threaded his fingers through several pages of Dabi’s chronicle, lifting them. “Touch these pages for me.”

Shigaraki did as he was told, without question. Dabi watching as the pages disintegrated to dust.

“On your way now, Shigaraki.” Sakamata ordered.

As the Demon shuffled off back into the stacks, the Daimon turned his red eyes back on Dabi.

“Tell him it is done. And that if he ever is in need of another favor, to call upon someone else's debt or be prepared to be indebted to me.”

Chapter Text

9.1

A slow, deliberate clapping sounded from a darkened corner of Aizawa's study. Reyanna turned and fell back at the sight. She would have hit the floor if Shouta hadn’t been there to catch her.

“It’s alright.” Shouta soothed.

Reyanna pushed off of him and righted herself. “What the hell is he doing here? How the hell did he even get in!”

“I told you, you made a mess.” Shouta said. “We’re still working on getting it cleaned up.” He looked passed her to Dabi. “How’d it go? You don’t appear any more senseless than you already were.”

“Haha.” Dabi scorned. “It’s done. Your favor’s been called in. He says to call on someone else or be prepared to owe him one next time.”

“Hopefully there won’t be a next time.” Shouta uttered, feeling a great sense of relief wash over him.

“How’d what go? What favors? Aizawa, can’t you just send him away or—or you know...” Reyanna glanced from Dabi, back to Shouta, and whispered. “Kill him?”

“No, Anna. We can’t do either of those. Sadly.” Shouta fixed his on on Dabi.

Shouta would have liked nothing better than to kill the lesser Hell Spawn. It had been centuries since he had tortured someone for no other reason then inflicting pain. But for Dabi, he would have gladly picked up an implement and worked off his rust.

While the two had talked, Dabi had made his way to Hizashi.

“Still hanging around, Halo. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you are an Angel under heaven. Yes? Cause to me it seems you’re working for Aizawa here. Say, Sakamata owed him a favor so is that what this is? Aizawa got something on you too, Feathers? Must be really juicy to--”

“Shh.” Hizashi hushed, smirking at the Demon when Dabi unwillingly fell silent.

Dabi’s mouth continued to move but no sound came out. Reyanna, having kept a watchful gaze on the Demon, eyed him warily.

“What’s he playing at?”

Shouta turned to see what she was talking about. When he saw Dabi was trying to speak, he shook his head and explained. “Hizashi must’ve muzzled him. No doubt in everyone's best interest. Yamada.”

Shouta looked at the Angel and tilted his head.

Hizashi wasn’t pleased to be addressed by his chosen name or that Shouta had called what he had done, muzzling. Still, he did as his friend wanted and returned Dabi’s ability to speak.

Dabi sensed Hizashi’s hold over his voice release. A wolfish smile curling his lips, as hungry turquoise eyes pulled over Reyanna. “I see Aizawa took care of you, Pretty Pet. Too bad. We could have had so much fun, you and--”

Shouta flinted to the Demon, and wrapped a hand around his throat. “Just because it would be more of a hassle if you were dead doesn’t mean I can’t be convinced to kill you and deal.”

Dabi gurgled a response that was unintelligible. Shouta eyed him a moment more, tightening his grip before finally releasing him. Dabi coughed and gasped.

“So wound up, Zawa. No one would guess that you got some last--” Dabi stopped, seeing the red glint in the Daimon’s eyes.

Truly, if he were to be vassal to someone, couldn’t the person at least have a sense of humor. Aizawa, Daimon that he was, was likely no better than an Archangel. He looked over at Hizashi, who had muted him thrice in the short time he had know him. Scratch that, maybe Aizawa was easier to get on with than an Archangel.

“Look I--”

“Shut up.” Shouta ordered, shortly.

Dabi’s words were cut off in his throat. It hurt, unlike the silencing the Angel did that merely made his voice inaudible. The Daimon's gagging made it feel as if his throat was being crushed.

Dabi glared daggers at Aizawa as the Daimon explained to Reyanna what he had sent Dabi to do. Dabi rolled his eyes, Aizawa hadn’t even done that. Did the Daimon do everything with the speed of a sloth? Well, everything other than let his temper rise. No wonder Reyanna’s greatest need had been for sex; though why she desired to have it with a Daimon like Aizawa was beyond him.

“So, this Archangel’s Bid means he has to listen to you.” Reyanna said, at length.

“Up to a point and only for twenty-four hours.” Shouta said.

Dabi’s eyes widened. Unable to speak his outrage, he stomped a foot. Only for twenty-four hours! Why the fuck did nobody tell him that!

Hizashi chuckled in amusement at Dabi’s fit. Serves the little Firestarter right.

Shouta went on. “The Bid only works for basic things that pertain to a charges safety and well-being. I was able to compel him to destroy record of you in his chronicle.”

“An ordeal worse than death is hardly what I’d call basic.” Dabi said, voice horse.

Reyanna’s eyes darted to Dabi. “What’s he talking about?”

“He’s a Demon.” Hizashi reasoned, with a shrug. He knew what Dabi had meant, and would agree. Loosing ones mind in the hell-scape of experiences that was the Index would be worse than death; but Reyanna need not learn such details before their time. “They say a lot of things. Most of it nonsense.”

“Enough.” Shouta grabbed Dabi roughly by the shoulder and walked him over to Reyanna. “If Dabi were to return to hell as is, he would make trouble.”

“No, I won’t.” Dabi assured. “I was summoned to provide a service.” He eyed the scarf around Reyanna’s neck, a lewd knowing grin creeping onto his face. “And it looks like you were serviced right good t—ah!” He cried out against the burning cold that seared his shoulder. “Fuck! Man! Ease up.” He barked at Shouta, whose frigid hand bit into his flesh. “Hate to see what you’re like when you don’t get som—Ow! Fuck! Sorry. Sorry! Let up, already. I said I was sorry!”

Hizashi winced in empathy. Sure the Demon had been crass and asking for it, but Hizashi had been on the receiving end of a burning cold touch. There were only three Daimon’s that burned cold. Shouta and Lucifer, two of them. But it was the third who had once burned and scarred Hizashi. The wound ached at the memory, even though it had healed centuries ago.

Slowly, the cold ceased. Dabi took a heavy breath of relief.

“Once the time of the Archangel’s Bid is up, Dabi will go straight to his superiors and tell them of you.” Shouta went on, eyes on Reyanna.

As guilty as she felt, Reyanna refused to appear so. She stared back at Shouta, and asked. “So what are you going to do?”

“I am going to do nothing. You, on the other hand, are going to tie him to you.”

“What!” Reyanna exclaimed.

“I will not!” Dabi declared, trying to break free of Shouta's hold. “I’d rather die.”

Shouta turned to Dabi, eyes glowing red. “So be it. But know that I will be ending you. This will not be some short lived death in which you return, spit back up from hell's ether. I will obliterate your soul.”

Dabi quaked at Aizawa’s words. He knew full well that the Daimon was both entirely capable and had no qualms about doing such a thing; other than the minor inconvenience Aizawa had mentioned his death would cause him.

Dabi doesn’t think he’s ever change his mind quicker. “I’ll do it. I’ll submit to it.”

Shouta looked at Hizashi out of the corner of his eye, feeling smug. The Angel had voiced his doubts about Dabi’s willingness, but Shouta had known better. Demons like Dabi were always prepared and eager to kill, but rarely prepared to be killed. At least in the complete sense he had just threatened.

“Tie him to you, Anna.” Shouta said.

Reyanna shook her head. “No.”

The Daimon sighed. They didn’t have time for this. Even with hours left to the Archangel’s Bid, the longer Dabi was gone, the more questions would be asked of him.

“This is not similar to how I tied myself to you.” Shouta told, impatiently. Did she really think he would suggest she do such a thing if it were?

“I don’t care.” Reyanna said, though her relief was clearly evident. “I don’t care how it’s accomplished. I don’t want someone else tied to me. You should know that considering what I did to try and break your tie to me.”

“What you foolishly did.” Shouta remarked, pinning her with a tempered glare. “Yes. I figured as much. But it doesn’t matter what you want or don’t. It has to be done.”

“No!”

“Damn it, Reyanna. This is your doing. Your fault. You summoned the damned Demon. You made this fucking mess. Now deal with the fucking consequences of your actions and tie the fucking Demon to you. Now.”

Never in Reyanna’s memory had Shouta come close to speaking to her in such a way, and she had done many things over their two months together to warrant it. She blinked at him, swallowing the lump that grew in her throat.

Even though he didn’t apologize, Shouta instantly regretted his outburst. His inner emotions were a turbulent storm making it difficult to keep up his facade of indifference. Anger, hurt, and disappointment over what Reyanna had done. Had tried to do. The mess with having to deal with Dabi, and not give into his desire to torture and kill him. His worry over hell beginning to question Dabi’s long absence and sending others out to track him down. His fear over what might happen when Reyanna began to remember. What would happen when she remembered his betrayal. His jealously over Dabi being tied to her. Even if it wasn’t done in the same manner. Even if it wasn’t the same sort of Tie as his. All of this and more, bubbled and churned within him like a boiling pit of sticky, black tar that threatened to explode.

Reyanna’s eyes hardened as she stared at Shouta. She had no idea how to do what he demanded, but her hurt and pride didn’t let her ask for assistance. Turning her gaze to Dabi, she stepped to him knowing that there was no further room for argument. She wanted to fail, so Aizawa wouldn’t get his way. But she wanted to succeed more. She wanted to do this without trouble, or the Daimon’s help. She wanted to show Aizawa just how capable she was. That she didn’t need him.

Whether it was that desire, or that having met Hizashi had triggered something in her memory, Reyanna suddenly knew what she had to do. She wouldn’t have been able to tell someone if they asked. The steps were too fleeting for that. They were like a word on the tip of her tongue. Like knowledge that teased in the swirling misty outreaches of her mind. Solid one moment and vaporous the next, disappearing whenever she reached for it. It hung there, tantalizingly close. But like a timid animal, it shrunk back every time she tried to look directly at it in order to get a better idea of what it looked like.

Fine, she thought, I don’t need to grasp you and understand. I just need you to make me move, do, and say all that is needed. I just need you to help me show him, she glanced at Aizawa, that I can manage on my own.

The room darkened, the shadows within growing as they lengthened and pulled towards her. Reyanna’s eyes closed, her hand reaching out and pressing flat against the center of Dabi’s chest. She muttered something under her breath.

Dabi tensed, feeling a coolness grow between his chest and her palm. When it didn’t burn, as Aizawa's cold touch had, he eased.

Reyanna’s hand broke contact with his chest, as if something had appeared between him and her palm. With one last mumbled word, her eyes flashed open. She pushed. The coolness entered Dabi, her hand once again flat against his chest.

“There. It’s done.” Reyanna said, turning and stepping away from the Demon.

Dabi placed his hand to his chest, the dissipating coolness chasing itself as it circulated throughout his body.

Shouta and Hizashi shared a glance, a look of concern tinting the Angels green eyes.

“Mind testing it out?” Shouta requested.

Reyanna looked over her shoulder at him. “Don’t trust me? Or believe me?”

“Neither.” Shouta answered, easily. “I’m just the sort of creature who likes to make certain of things.”

Hizashi nibbled his lip nervously. Reyanna had tied a demon to her before, both he and Shouta having witnessed it. The act had been distinctly dissimilar to the one she had done just now. Granted the freewill and power a nephilim had, especially an unrepeatable nephilim such as her, meant that the way they did things was often changeable.

Reyanna almost inquired what he would have her ask Dabi to do; but she thought of what the Demon had done, had tried to do, and commanded. “Turn around and grab your balls so hard it hurts.”

Dabi’s eyes widened as he unwilling did a one-eighty. A word of protest barely forming, before it was replaced by a cry of pain.

Shouta looked at her, dark eyes alight and dancing as a devilish grin slowly graced his lips. There was his beautiful, fearsome girl. The decisive, slightly twisted, occasionally merciless woman that he loved. Fuck. He wanted to grab her and kiss her, as Dabi’s screams echoed in the background.

“Ah—Reyanna. Can you—uh—make him stop. Please.”

It wasn’t just the sound of someone crying out in pain, and the knowledge of why, that made Hizashi cringe. It was the fact that Dabi was facing him. The Demon’s crotch almost level with his face. He would have gotten up and moved away; but with the chair already in the corner and Dabi standing right in front of him, he had nowhere to go.

Shouta glanced over and saw his friend, face averted, hand lifted to shield his eyes. His smile grew. When Reyanna opened her mouth to do as Hizashi requested, he lifted a silencing finger to her lips.

Eyebrows pulling together, Reyanna pulled back her head. Her glare fixed on his finger a moment, before rising and focusing on him.

“Leave it a moment longer.” Shouta bid, voice a soft rumble.

Reyanna’s expression smoothed, a dark smile curling her lips at his words.

Their eyes darted over the others faces, taking in every minute change and detail of expression. Shouta watched her eyes brightened, his hand slowly reaching out. He was about to snake it around to her waist, when Hizashi interrupt.

The disturbance had Reyanna breaking their shared gaze with a blink as he took a step back, away from him.

“Please, Reyanna.” Hizashi implored.

“Dabi, stop.” Reyanna commanded.

As if Dabi’s body had been forced to bare itself up through the course of the torment, he instantly collapsed upon releasing himself.

“Thank you.” Hizashi breathed, lowering his shielding hand.

“You did good--” Shouta praised, swallowing a name of endearment. He looked her over, voice softening to the point of almost sounding tender. “I’m sorry I was so--”

“What would you have him do?” Reyanna cut off, shortly. The moment they had just shared only making her harden herself against him further.

Shouta clamped his mouth shut. The muscles of his jaw visibly working under his skin, as he struggled with his annoyance. Sealing his emotions tightly within, he assumed his studied mask of non-expression and said. “Tell him to obey me and go have some breakfast. You’re bound to be hungry after--”

Reyanna’s eyes snapped back to his, daring him to finish his sentence.

Yes, it had been her fault; but that didn’t mean she wanted to be reminded of their act together. She certainly did want him mentioning it. Too bad the Tie he had made with her didn’t work like the one she had created with Dabi; she could have simply ordered him to never think, let alone speak, of what had happened between them last night.

Her desire to get away from both the Daimon and Demon eclipsed that of wanting to know what Aizawa would order Dabi to do. As if on cue, her stomach growled.

With one last, lingering look over, Shouta turned his eyes to Hizashi. “Angels may not eat any more than daimon's do, but Hizashi knows his way around a kitchen. Ask him to make you his famous omelet. I think we have most, if not all the ingredients.”

“Do as Aizawa bids.” Reyanna commanded Dabi, as she turned and made for the door without giving any of them another look.

Focusing his gaze back on Hizashi, Shouta tilted his head towards the door, silently instructing the Angel to follow her out

9.2

Reyanna sat in one of the two chairs situated on either side of a small, high table that was pushed up against the kitchen’s wall. Back facing the backdoor that led out to the yard, she watched Hizashi prepare the many ingredients he had pulled to make his so called famous omelet. Trusting that the Angel meant what he said when he declined her offer to assist, Reyanna wondered how long Aizawa would be. Would she have time to question Hizashi about the things she wanted to know so badly, that the Daimon refused to tell her? Would the Angel even answer such questions, let alone know the answers?

“So, how long have you known Aizawa?” Reyanna questioned, starting off with an easy one. Maybe if she tried for more conversational instead of interrogative, the Angel would lower his guard.

Hizashi pulled a knife from the block and started chopping. “Since before the Fall.”

“Right.” Reyanna said, feeling stupid. Daimon’s were nothing more than fallen angels after all. She twisted a willow leaf off a bunch that had been hung to dry, and began tearing it into small pieces. “How long have we known each other?”

“Since forever.” Hizashi said. “Well, not forever. But most of your life.”

Reyanna straightened in her seat. “Since I was a girl?”

His back to her, as he chopped, Hizashi made a face Reyanna couldn’t see. Maybe this was why Shouta had told him simply to not answer anything about her past. How was he to explain that Reyanna hadn’t been a child for long? Though admittedly far longer than she had been a babe. Still, she had been fully grown into the woman she appeared as now by the time he had met her for the first, though she had been been living for what? Seven? Eight years? And like her appearance, her knowledge and maturity far surpassed those years.

“That’s difficult to say.” Hizashi chuckled, nervously. “Depends on how you look at it I guess.”

Eyes narrowing, Reyanna wondered if he was being purposefully evasive. She decided to go back to questioning about Aizawa and return to queries about her if she had the time.

“Granted I don’t know, or forgotten, or whatever. So my knowledge on how everything works is lacking. Still, I find it curious. An Angel being on friendly terms with a Daimon. Does that happen often?”

“Oh, no.” Hizashi answered, giving another laugh. “As far as I know, Shou and I are the only two on speaking terms, let alone friendly.”

“Is that because he’s no longer working for hell?”

“No. Though that certainly eases my conscious. Not that I’ve ever acted against heaven or my Word. Nor would Shouta ask me to.” He nibbled his lower lip thinking about the grey areas he had skirted in the past, and even now.

He pushed the disquiet feelings down, and resumed his slicing. There were reasons why he did what he did. Why he let Aizawa convince him to go along with and do certain things.

“So what is it you do? For Aizawa, that is. Other then being on friendly terms and all.”

Hizashi whipped up the eggs and checked the heat of the skillet. “Nothing much.” He shrugged. “A few things here and there, every now and again.”

“Such as?” Reyanna prompted.

She silently cursed seeing Hizashi tense up as he poured the eggs into the pan. She had pushed too far. Been too obvious. And he had clammed up pretending he hadn’t heard her over the vent he had turned on.

She waited, watching as he rinsed the bowl and moved back to the stove, tending the pan, and adding ingredients. Once the omelet was done and plated, Hizashi garnished it with a few clover leaves and walked it over to her.

“There we go.” He stood back staring at her with barely contained excited expectance. “Have a taste and tell me what you think.” My omelets were one of your favorites, he thought to himself.

But instead of picking up a fork, Reyanna stared back at him; her gaze far from excited or expectant.

“Did you know?”

Hizashi smile faltered. “Know what?”

“What Aizawa planned on doing?”

“I don’t--” He shook his head. “I don’t know what ‘doing’ you’re referring to. But I can assure you, whatever Shouta does, he does for a reason. And that reason is usually to protect you. While I might not agree with some of his methods, in my mind, his desire to protect you is a just and noble one. In that case, I support him wholeheartedly.”

“So when he tied himself to me, altered my mind to make me compliant so he could fuck me three different ways, you supported that wholeheartedly? Call that just and noble?”

Hizashi grimaced, he had known what Shouta had planned to do. And sure, he might not have liked it. Still didn’t. But, he knew the reasoning and need for it. It wasn’t as if Shouta and Reyanna had never been intimate before. They were bonded. The amount of times he had happened upon them having sex…

Hizashi pressed his lips together and shook his head. “He didn’t alter your mind. A daimon’s essence can only lower inhibitions. Breakdown the walls of ones self control. It’s similar, though not entirely the same as a human being intoxicated; because in your case, you were still yourself, doing what you--”

“Stop.” Reyanna silenced, not wanting to hear what she knew deep down to be the truth; that she had wanted the Daimon from the start.

She had wondered since that night if Aizawa had done something to her. Over time she had brushed it off, figuring the situation, coupled with the obvious hints that they had had past dealings with one another, had been the cause. But with the arrival of Dabi… With what the Demon had done to effect her. Reyanna’s questions about that first night with Shouta had returned.

She felt foolish. Stupid. Duped. For believing, thinking, that night had simply been her. That Aizawa hadn’t done anything to get his way. Her mind fired off in all directions. If Aizawa was willing to do such a thing, what other things was he willing to do? If they shared a history, like she was so sure of, what all had he done before that she didn’t remember? Was that the real reason he refused to tell her about herself or answer questions about his past?

“Reyanna--” Hizashi tired, falling silent when Shouta entered.

“Dabi’s been sent on his way, his silence secured. We won’t hear from him unless he should learn something of--” Shouta paused, feeling the tension in the room, and sighed. What had Hizashi done? The Angel simply couldn’t make Reyanna an omelet and keep quite? It’s you’re own fault, he thought, you sent Yamada off alone with her knowing he likes to talk and she would take the chance to ask questions. Seeing the food on the table in front of her, he urged. “Eat. Before it gets cold.”

The plate flew at Aizawa without Reyanna having touched it. Hizashi squeaked in surprise. Shouta was barely able to turn his body to avoid being hit.

“You fucking eat it! You sick, fuck! I hate you!” Reyanna spewed, right before she disappeared from sight.

Hizashi’s head snapped back to Shouta. “I thought you said she hadn’t remembered how to flint yet.”

“She hadn’t.” Shouta answered, dryly. His eyes panned over the mess of food and broken pieces of porcelain.

“Aren’t you—aren’t you gonna—you know, go after her? She’s probably scared.”

“You mean on top of being mad as all hell at me.” Shouta remarked, biting off the sighing word, again.

“But—she just flinted for the first time. Well, the first time that she can remember. There’s no telling where she is and--”

The Daimon's brusk reply cut off Hizashi's words. “I know exactly where she is and--” He stopped. His fingers rubbed the Vim ring on his left thumb.

“Right.” Hizashi eased, somewhat.

He eyed the ring on Shouta's hand that contained a bit of Reyanna’s power and life essence. The Tie might’ve told Aizawa where Reyanna was, but it was the Vim ring that told him she was alive and well.

“Still.” Hizashi pressed. “She’s probably scared, having flinted for the first time in memory.”

“Good.” Shouta turned away to toe at a piece of broken plate before stepping to the broom closet. “She could use a dose of healthy fear. Though you’d think last night would’ve been enough.” He finished under his breath.

“Shou...”

“What?”

Hizashi closed his mouth and watched his friend begin to swept up the mess.

“I can clean that up with a thought.” Hizashi offered.

“And I can’t?”

Deflating further, the Angel slid into the seat Reyanna had been in and muttered. “I was only trying to help.”

“You want to help, Hizashi? Be of help and tell me what you said that set her off.”

Chapter Text

10.1

Reyanna had been so surprised, that she had simply stood about in her new surroundings in a daze. Then came the self hate and shame, washing back over her like the wave of a broken dam. No. She shook her head, eyes squeezing shut. She refused to believe what Hizashi had said. That her mind and desires hadn’t been altered. That the only thing that Aizawa had done that night, was lower her inhibitions, giving her the freedom to do as she truly wanted. No. Aizawa had to have done something more to her. She didn’t want him. Not from the first, and certainly not now.

Quit lying to yourself, her inner voice scolded. Shut up! I hate you too. You hate yourself? Yes. If I really feel anything for him. If I really wanted. Want him. Then yes. I hate myself.

Relief came next. Relief that Aizawa hadn’t followed. That she had some time to herself. That she could breath in a space that didn’t feel cramped by his presence. Maybe he would never follow. Maybe flinting away from him was what broke a Tie. Maybe she was free of him.

Then worry had set in, accompanied by further self hate. What if she was free of him? What would she do? Who could she trust or go to? What if she never saw him again? Fear followed soon after.

And so the cycle went, around and around, spiraling up and down. Sometimes so bad, to the point that it felt crippling. Others, barely there, allowing her to pay attention to her surrounds as she walked. She had appeared near the outskirts of a small town. A town obviously closer to the equator as it was far too warm for the scarf she wore.

Forgetting her reason for wearing it in the first place, Reyanna had shed the accessory; dropping it to the sidewalk as she spun around till she faced a direction that felt right and walked in it.

The sun had long since crested its highest peak. And still, no Aizawa. Reyanna continued to walk, now trekking down a dirt road, well outside of town. Suddenly, she halted and turned to a wooden post, wire fence. Taking a small jump, she leapt the six foot width from the road to the opposite side of the fence and resumed walking.

It was near sunset when Aizawa appeared some twenty feet ahead of her, tempting Reyanna to turn and walk back the other way.

Shouta took in the vast meadow that held no structures or trees for as far as the eye could see and quirked an eyebrow. “Where you headed, Kitten?”

“I told you,” Reyanna breathed, as she trudged passed him, “I’m not your kitten.”

Swallowing a tired sigh, Shouta turned and walked beside her. “I brought you water and a snack.”

Reyanna ungratefully took the offering, downing half the bottle of water in one go. She tore open the wrapper of peanut butter crackers with her teeth, spitting out the plastic.

Shouta watched the clear film flutter in the breeze as it slowly burned away to nothing, wondering when she re-learned that trick. Or maybe it was something unintended on her part. He didn’t speak again till she was done with her snack and had finished the water, the bottle going the same way as the wrapper.

“Hizashi told me what you asked. Do you really think I would force such a thing on you?”

They walked on in silence, Shouta waiting for a response. After a ways he pressed.

“Reyanna.”

Reyanna halted. “I don’t know, Aizawa. I don’t know what you’re capable of cause I don’t know you. Or at least don’t remember you. And seeing as how you refuse to answer any of my questions… Well, it doesn’t really imbue one with a sense of ease or readiness to trust, now does it?”

Shouta remained planted in place as Reyanna continued on. He hadn’t really thought of it that way. Sure he had known, had figured, she would lack initial trust in him. It was to be expected, seeing as she lacked memory and didn’t remember him. He had accepted that she would be upset for a time, when her continued questions weren’t answered. But that in not answering, he was furthering her lack of trust… That he hadn’t considered.

Unfocused eyes on the tall, swaying grass, Shouta wondered what the best course of action was. They couldn’t continue on like this. It was tearing him up inside. But beyond that, when things started happening and the dangers truly came, he needed Reyanna to trust him. Maybe not to the extend she had before his betrayal, that was a selfish desire he wasn’t sure would ever come to pass. But, she had to trust him in so far as she wouldn’t second guess him in a battle or pivotal moment. For all their sake's, she had to know that he meant her no harm, and that what he was doing, he was doing for her well being.

His middle finger rubbed at the Vim ring as he thought. His mind running through countless scenario’s at once. A crash of thunder rumbled in the distance, bringing him back to himself. Seeing Reyanna several hundred yards ahead, Shouta sighed. Was she still that upset? Did she plan on walking forever? He walked, instead of flitting to her side, his longer steps quickly catching up to her.

They walked together in silence. Shouta continued to consider what, if anything, to tell her to help fix this rift and secure some semblance of trust. The sun descended further, painting one half of the sky in a brilliant riot of colors; while the other end of the sky churned with dark, dense clouds. The scene and quandary brought to mind another time when he didn’t fully have her trust.

Shouta flinted into a small, open meadow that was surrounded by towering trees. He senses quickly told him that he was alone, much to his agitation and disappointment. He didn’t have much time. Hours, at most, before his presence was missed. Hell would hardly send out demons and hellhound's for him. But, if he were gone overly long others would pose questions. Questions he would rather avoid, for both his and Reyanna’s sake.

Sighing Shouta looked up at the small patch of night sky. It was divided almost completely in half. One side clear, with a shining full moon. The other churning darkly with thunderclouds, illuminated by occasional flashes of lightning.

Why was she late? It wasn’t as if she had scores of eyes watching her. It irritated him that their time together was being cut short by her tardiness. Didn’t she realize how difficult it was for him to get away? What he was risking coming here in secret? Didn’t she realize what their time together meant to him? What she meant to him?

As if she had planned it, Reyanna appeared with a crash of thunder that shook the earth.

It took every bit of Shouta’s self control not to rush to her and take her up in his arms. Instead, he forced himself to remain planted in place; his voice belying the swell of emotions he felt at the sight of her.

“You’re late.” He commented, flatly, “Was begining to wonder if you would show at all.”

“I almost didn’t.” Reyanna admitted.

Damn he looked good. Reyanna thought. Far too good for her to keep her word to Hawks and have this be the last time she met with him.

Shouta's heart lurched in his chest. The prospect of her not coming made his palms sweaty and mouth go dry. He didn’t need to ask why. No doubt the released Archangel had been warning her against him. As if Hawks could talk. The bastard probably just wanted Reyanna for himself anyway. Shouta's fingers twitched at the thought. He’d like nothing better than to find the damned Archangel and kill him. Heaven and hell would thank him for that, even if Reyanna didn’t.

“So you’re listening to the Archangel that tried to kill you, are you now?” Shouta questioned, stalking closer. “I thought I taught you better than that, Little One.”

“If I was listening to Hawks, I wouldn’t be here.” Reyanna said, ignoring how much she hated when he called her that. Now was not the time to bicker over such inconsequential things. Not when they hadn’t seen each other in so long and didn’t know when they’d see each other again. Still, she couldn't help a slight lifting of her chin as she told. “I do as I please now. Answer, to nobody.”

Shouta flinted, instead of taking the last two steps.

Reyanna gasped when he was suddenly on her, pulling her roughly against him. Her steps staggered, sinking into the soft squelching earth. She would have fallen if not for his firm grip.

“And what would please you right now, Kitten?”

Reyanna shivered, Shouta's deep, rumbling voice feeling more like a caressing touch.

“I--” She faltered, trapped in his gaze.

Shouta's eyes panned over her face, the lightning of the fast approaching storm casting odd strobing shadows across her features. As well as he had memorized every inch of her, his memory was nothing compared to reality. His hand reached up and tenderly lifted her falling hair, exposing the scar on her left temple.

“I will never forgive him for what he did.” Shouta told, eyes turning distant and deadly as his thumb caressed the mark. “One day, I’ll kill him for hurting you. For ever touching you.”

“Considering I’m the one he tried to kill--”

“He took you away from me.” Shouta went on, her words falling on deaf ears.

“Even before Hawks, you were trying to figure out a way to get me out of hell and Lucifer's clutches. The way I see it, Hawks did me a favor.”

Shouta gave a huff of disgust. His hand lowered from her face to grip her waist.

Maybe if he abducted and tried to kill her she would think so kindly of him; her doubts about him quashed like they apparently were with Hawks.

“You could always leave hell and join us.” Reyanna tempted, pulling him out of his thoughts.

Shouta pressed his forehead against hers, eyes closing with a soft growl.

“You don’t think I want to? I do, Anna. I would like nothing more.” His eyes opened and stared into hers. “You know that, right?”

Reyanna shrugged.

Even with nothing more then the dark brown of her eyes filling his vision, he knew she was pouting. Indulged, petulant child. He had been charged with teaching her. Readying her for Lucifer's plans. Preparing her, only to give off to another. But during their time together, she hadn’t been to only one being instructed and molded. Whether she realized it or not, she had bent him and trained him far better than he had her. He was hers. And he could deny her nothing. Not for long, at least.

He pulled his head back, to see her more completely, and told. “I have to make sure you’re safe, Anna. I can’t leave--”

“I’m never going to be safe.” Reyanna cut in. “And your saying you won’t leave hell till you’re sure I am is just another way of saying that you’ll never leave.”

She tired to step away from him, but his arms held her fast.

“Don’t.” Shouta pleaded, though his tone was sharp and firm.

“Shouta--” She pushed at his arms and chest, but his hold only tightened.

“Reyanna, stop.” A hand lifted and gripped the back of her neck, pulling her closer to him. “When have I ever told you something and not made good on it?”

When she continued to struggle and didn’t answer, he kissed her roughly, crushing her lips with bruising force. He didn’t let up till she gave in to his affections, kissing him in return. She was breathless when he finally pulled back.

“My sweet, stubborn, impatient Kitten. The answer is never. Never have I told you something and not made good on it.”

“What difference does that make?” Reyanna retorted.

Shouta chuckled, his grip on her neck easing as his hand slid around to cup and tilt her face up to him.

“Such a bratty little Minx.” He said, lips ghosting over hers. “If anyone in hell dared question me, or use such tone of voice, the kindest outcome they could hope for is a quick, true death.”

“Is that why you won’t leave? Because you like your power and position. You like others bowing and scrap--”

Her words cut off in a yelp. Shouta having grabbed her ass and lifted her to her toes, pulling her against his half hard cock.

“I’m leaving hell, Anna. What will it take to make you believe and trust me in that?”

“I--” Reyanna shook her head.

Shouta leered over her. A single hand released her and lifted to wrap lightly around her throat. “You’re mine, Reyanna. And not hell or anything else will keep me from what is mine. Not for long.”

Shouta privately admitted that he was hers more completely than she was his, but she need not know that. What he needed her to know, was that she could trust and believe him completely.

Reyanna leaned up to him, lips seeking his and Shouta gladly gave her what she sought.

Her hands were on him. Tugging. Grasping. Pulling.

Breaking the kiss, Shouta stood to his full height and sucked in a breath. His own grasping hands, coupled with her previous struggle, had further exposed her breasts from the confines of her corset. It was a beautiful sight, and one he vowed only he would ever see.

“Promise me, Shouta. Promise me, you’ll leave the first chance you get.” Reyanna’s brow pinched in worry.

She knew it wasn’t safe for him in hell. That if Lucifer found out he knew how to contact her. That Shouta could get her to come to a meeting place, alone and unprotected…

Shouta tilted her head and buried his face in her neck, deflecting her demands.

Of course he wasn’t going to leave the first chance he got. He had to make sure she was safe. And while she had been right in that she would never fully and truly be safe from Lucifer's designs, so long as he was certain she had some modicum of security, he would leave. He wanted nothing more than to be with her. But first, he had to make sure there was a her for him to be with.

Reyanna pulled him back with a sharp tug of his hair, and made to take her turn at his neck, scrapping her teeth against the scruff of his jaw as she did so.

The sensation sent a jolt down Shouta's spine. His hands fumbled with the lacing of her corset.

“I’ll leave as soon as I’m certain enough of your safety. Then there will be no need to meet like this in secret. No rushing or limit on time. You’d like that, wouldn’t you, Kitten. For us to be together like this, all the time.”

“Yes, Shou. Yes!” Her hot breath rolled over his neck as she spoke between soft kisses and hard bites.

She ended the affirmation with a rather harsh, biting suck that had him groaning and ripping the last of her stays. He dropped the corset to the ground without a care, and palmed her breasts. His thumb and first finger rolled a pert nipple; as his mouth latched onto the other.

Reyanna ached up and into him. His hot, wet mouth feeling glorious compared to the sweltering, sticky air. She clawed at his back, pulling at his shirt. She needed the top off. Now.

Wanting the same as she, Shouta straightened and pulled his shirt off. He needed his skin to be in contact with hers. He needed to touch her and be touched. To feel her. Taste her. Smell her. Nothing was enough. And yet all of it was overwhelming in its ecstasy.

Reyanna bit and sucked claiming marks into Shouta’s neck and chest.

Shouta hitched up one side of her skirts intent on untying the waist of her underclothes. Instead of more fabric, his hand found the bare skin of her thigh. And in response, it felt like his hammering heart pumped his blood directly to his trapped dick.

His cock throbbed, aching as it strained against its confines. A long, deep groan reverberated through his chest as his hand traveled up her silken thigh.

“No undergarments? Such a naughty Kitten.”

Reyanna blushed. “It’s not like I go abou—ah!”

Shouta pushed a finger into her wet heat.

“So eager and ready for me.” He husked, curling the digit inside her.

Shouta smirked at her whine, slowing pumping his finger in and out.

“Did you try to prepare yourself a bit for me too? You know, my fingers are thicker, longer and will always feel better. And my cock...”

He added a second finger, his words and the feeling making Reyanna’s breath hitch as she shivered against him.

“My cock will make you feel better yet. It’ll always stretch you wide, and stuff you full. You’re just that tight, Anna.” He slipped a third finger in, humming at the feeling of her walls clenching around him. “So tight and perfect.”

They fed on each others mouths as Shouta’s fingers worked her. He had little interest in taking things slow. He wanted her. Needed her. It had been nearly two months since he had last seen her and he was pent up and frustrated. If they had time after this, he might tease her and drawn it out. But right now, he wanted nothing more than to be buried deep inside her as soon as he was able.

Reyanna must have felt the same, cause her hands were working to unbuckle his belt, pulling at the lacing of his pants.

Withdrawing his fingers, Shouta lifted her up into his arms.

Reyanna wrapped her legs around his waist; her hands pulling at her skirts, bunching them up so there was nothing between them.

The skies opened up. Heavy, fat drops of rain falling in mass as Shouta sunk to his knees. He aligned himself with her and pushed halfway in.

Moaning, Reyanna released her skirts, and clutched at his shoulders.

Shouta lapped at her breasts and growled. The tiny streams of rain that ran down her flesh were diluting the taste of her. He growled again when she tried to move. His hands tightened around her hips, holding her firmly in place.

“Shouta. Please!” Reyanna’s hips wiggled and rolled, trying to sink further down onto his cock.

Mercilessly, Shouta refused, no matter how much her want aligned with his own.

“Tell me who you belong to, Kitten.”

“You!” Reyanna said, without hesitation. “I belong to you. Aizawa Shouta.”

“That’s right. If ever you doubt me again, just remember that. Remember you’re mine. And I always come for what is mine.”

Shouta could hardly tell her that now. That she should trust him, because she was his and he was hers. She wouldn’t believe it. Or maybe it would trigger a memory and she would. That couldn’t happen. It would weaken the block shielding her from Lucifer.

Yeah, and that’s the only reason you don’t want her remembering, a part of him drawled in his head. Face it, the real reason you’re not helping her memories along is because as soon as she remembers what you did, she’s gone for good. Keeping her shielded for as long as possible is just a convenient excuse. The truth is, you know that she’ll leave you and don’t want her to. You don’t want to loose her, again. Can you blame me!

Needing to get out of his own head, Shouta spoke. “Anna. It’s getting late and a storm’s coming. Let me take us back home.”

“Just a little bit more.”

He puzzled at this, eyebrows knitting together. Just a little bit more what? Time away? Air? Stretch of her legs? She’d been away and out here all day…

“If you’re not ready to return and want to walk some more I can take you wherever you want to go. But, the sky’s about to open up and I’d rather not get wet.”

Reyanna gave him a sideways look, a smile curling the corners of her lips. “What’s the matter, Aizawa. Afraid you’ll melt?”

“Yeah. Cause I’m just that sweet.”

“I was referring to the witch of Oz but...”

His eyes snapped to her, the sudden tension in his shoulders easing when he saw the playful glint in her eyes. “You’re a mean little Minx, you know that.”

She didn’t instantly bristle at his words, laughing instead. When she caught herself, she couldn’t bring herself to look or be upset. It would have been foolish and, if she were honest, she didn’t really want to. Rather, she cut her humored reaction short and sped her steps in an effort to pull away from him.

The clouds rolled over them quickly, the wind picking up. The fading light of the sun now nothing more then a squat swath along the horizon. Maybe now she would see what he said about the storm was true and choose to return home, or at least allow him to take her somewhere else. But no. She continued to walk.

Fine, Shouta thought, if she wants to get drenched then so be it.

“It’s not that I don’t trust you.” Reyanna said, breaking the long silence. “I mean I don’t, but I do. If that makes any sense.”

Shouta held his breath and waited, wondering if she would go on. Afraid to break the spell.

Her head was down, eyes focused as if watchful for something. “I’ve been nothing but difficult and ungrateful, and yet you’ve done what you can to teach me. You’ve housed me. Protected me. Been exceedingly patient, never once snapping. Well, except for this morning.” She turned to him. “What was it you ordered Dabi to do?” Her eyes darkened, the soft openness that had shone in them just a second ago, gone in a flash. “Or is that something else you can’t or won’t tell me.”

“Reyanna.” Shouta's voice pleaded.

She looked away thinking that meant he wouldn’t tell her, and steadied her trembling lip feeling silly for feeling so emotional about such a denial.

“Hizashi’s been looking for someone.” Shouta huffed, adding. “All of heaven and hell too. We need to find him first.”

“Go on.”

“I instructed Dabi to discover what he could about hell's search and inform us.”

“So that’s the real reason you had me tie him to me.”

“No. The reason I stated was the real and only reason, but to not make full use of the Tie would be illogical. Do you think I wanted this? You’re the one who summoned him. Trust me, Anna, I don’t like him being tied to you anymore than you do.”

“I doubt that.” Reyanna mumbled.

Shouta sighed, fighting down his aggravation. They would keep on like this if something didn’t change. One of them needed to bend.

“I’m not the best, when it comes to explaining myself.”

Reyanna huffed. He could say that again.

Gazing at her, he offered. “I’ll try to do better.”

There had been a time when he was much more accustomed to talking over things with her on a daily, or more correctly, nightly basis. It had taken him time to get there. To learn how to open up and share his thoughts, plans, and wants. Without her, he had apparently reverted back to type more than he had thought.

“I’d appreciate that.” Reyanna admitted, begrudgingly.

“Now can we return home? I know you were hungry this morning and that snack couldn’t have done much.”

He eyed her exposed neck. The marks he had made last night were gone. Given her rapid ability to heal, he had expected as much, but was nevertheless disappointed by their disappearance.

“Soon. We’re almost there.”

Shouta halted, staring after her. Almost there? So she wasn’t just having a stroll or not wanting to return home; but was going somewhere. Where? So was that why she had flinted to this area of all places? Her unconscious mind had brought her here.

He began walking once more. Studying her as he stayed a step behind her. Though he wondered terribly, he didn’t ask questions regarding her destination; afraid that doing so would pull her out of it like waking a dreaming sleeper. Instead, Shouta just let her be. Even as the sky darkened completely and it began to drizzle.

Finally, Reyanna stopped.

There was an occasional streak of lightning, illuminating the blackened sky and shrouded landscape below; but Shouta didn’t need it, easily seeing her and their surroundings in the darkness. She gave him a fervent smile and dropped to her knees as the droplets that fell on them grew in size. Shouta stepped closer, but kept a short distance. Watching with interest as she placed her dominate, left, hand on the ground and closed her eyes.

She was summoning something, he realized; and stepped further back, not knowing what to expect. His stance readied for a fight. He called upon his blade, the short sword seeming to slide from his sleeve, and down into his right hand.

Shouta need not have worried though; because soon Reyanna was standing., dusting her hands and pants off.

Shouta stared at her in wonder. His stance relaxed. The rain picked up, plastering his hair to his head and face. Before he could question her, she pointed to his blade.

“I have one too.”

Reyanna called upon the weapon she had sealed away before wiping her memory and going into slumber. The blade she had just released, having called it from its protected place.

Like Shouta’s own blade, the weapon seemed to slide down the length of her arm and into her hand. She blinked at the three-sided short sword that was no longer than a gladius. Looking between the two weapons, she noticed hers gave off a different feeling than his. The color was also different, as if made from different materials. His was a shining, cold silver that looked like solid, polished mercury. Where as hers was dark, appearing more like wrought iron.

Shouta was too incredulous to wonder what had drawn her to her blade, now of all times. He stepped to her and demanded in accusation. “You left it here? Anyone could have found it.”

Squinting against the rain, Reyanna shrugged. “Obviously no one did, so...” Her eyes lowered to the weapon in her hand. “But you said I wasn’t a daimon.”

“You’re not.”

“Then why...” She lifted her blade, looking from it to his.

“All angels have one. We,” he paused feeling weird including himself when speaking about heavens host, “were created with them. Forged at the same time, if you will. One could say our blades are a like of piece of us. I suppose that’s why those of us who fell still have them. Were allow to keep them.”

“But--”

“You are not an angel or archangel.” Shouta cut in.

“So, what else carries such a thing?”

Shouta's lips twitched, blade disappearing from his hand. “You.”

“Me and?”

“You.”

Reyanna looked up at him, blinking against the falling rain. “Only me?”

He nodded, tempted to lift a hand and caress her cheek, but refrained.

“And what about this?” She lifted her right hand, examining the ring that had appeared on her thumb at same time as her claiming of the blade.

As Shouta’s eyes fell on the Vim ring on her hand, everything else faded. She had kept it. More over, she had kept it with her blade. Where she had thought it would be safest. Three months ago, when he saw her in town for the first time and hadn’t seen the ring on her person, it had wounded him. Wounded him far more than he would ever admit, even to himself. But there it was, back where it belonged.

Too bad she doesn’t remember the meaning of it, an unwelcome part of his mind thought. Shut up, he told it. Wonder if she will before she remembers your betrayal. Shut. Up. Or maybe having the ring back will be what spurs her remembering…

“It—it’s a personal thing that has nothing to do with what you are.” Shouta told. And everything to do with who you belong to, he finished silently.

Chapter Text

11.1

Hell was hardly known for its relaxed atmosphere; but after leaving Lucifer's brooding presence, Nemuri’s tension was ratcheted up to near unbearable levels. She needed a release. She thought of Kai, wondering what the fellow Daimon was doing. No. Even if Kai was game, hell’s second in command liked to tease.

A suitable prospect appeared, having walked through on of hell’s many unseen doorways. As their strides brought them closer to each other, Nemuri’s eyes roved over him. He would do.

As soon as Dabi noticed Nemuri walking down the other side of the hall, he lowered his head. The beautiful Daimon might not have been known for her cruelty, but she was quite changeable. Rumors were that she and Kai had an understanding, if not exactly a relationship. And given his last dealings with Lucifer's top General, Dabi would rather not chance offending the Daimon's fuck buddy by staring at her incredibly exposed form.

As they drew up beside each other, Nemuri called. “You. With me.”

Dabi turned, pausing for a brief moment before falling in behind the Daimon. His heart hammered in his chest. What had he done? In trying to show his deference had he offended her by not staring? Not admiring her body? Or was there another reason he was being made to follow her into her office? Sweat beaded on his brow as he recalled that she and Aizawa had been close, before Aizawa had left hell. Had his dealings with Aizawa and Reyanna been found out? Fuck! What should he do? It wasn’t as if he could tell Nemuri it wasn’t his fault. The Tie and Aizawa’s thoroughly worded commands left no room to so much as hint about the events of two weeks ago.

The office door closed with a slam, making Dabi jump.

“Looks like you’re pretty tense yourself.” Nemuri noted, laughing.

She looked Dabi up and down as she stepped passed him. She considered sitting at her desk, but decided she’d rather dissociate completely from work. Moving to the sofa, she plopped down with a sigh. She kicked off her stilettos and leaned back into the soft purple leather. In her tired frustration her usual smooth, seductive movements and mannerisms fell away, now that she was alone. Her blue eyes focused on the handsome, scarred Demon. Alone with her toy anyway.

Dabi hadn’t moved, his nervous demeanor making Nemuri smile.

“Have you ever had the pleasure of tending to me before?”

Dabi’s eyes lifted to hers. Tending to her? That’s what this was about? Well that certainly changed things. His worry fell away, lustful interest taking its place. It wasn’t as if she and Kai were exclusive; Nemuri well known for taking other daimon's, demons, and even humans to bed. So, incurring Kai’s wrath was far from a concern.

Licking his lips, Dabi shook his head. “No.”

A purple whip appeared in her hand, Dabi flinching as it lashed out and struck him. “No what?”

“No, Mistress.” Dabi yipped, shuddering as he exhaled around the stinging pain.

“Good boy.” Nemuri purred. “Now, come here.”

Dabi stepped to her.

“On your knees, pet.” The Daimon ordered, moving to the edge of the sofa and pulling up her skirt.

Dabi dropped to his knees. Nemuri’s spread legs acted as a path for his eyes; aiding in his vision’s tunneling, as he took in the wiry, dark purple curls of her cunt.

“Like what you see?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Want a taste?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

She reached out. A hand stroking over his hair. Her thumb wiped over the slash her whip had cut along his forehead. “Such a good little pet. So submissive and eager to please.”

Dabi watched as she brought her thumb to her mouth and sucked the blood she had collected from his wound.

Closing her eyes, Nemuri moaned around her thumb. “You taste how you look. Hot and peppery. Are you a spicy little Demon, luv? Are you sharp tongued and irritable?”

“Not with you, Mistress. Not unless you want me to be.”

Nemuri chuckled at that. “Maybe next time. And, maybe next time I’ll get a better taste of you too. But right now,” she sat back and spread her legs wider, “Mommy needs you to be a good boy and eat your dinner.”

Dabi wasn’t known for his foreplay; though he wasn’t adverse to taking his time if the mood struck and the partner was worth it. But this… Stuffing his face between a woman’s legs and eating her out without so much as a teasing touch. This was new even for him.

“Don’t be shy.” Nemuri encouraged.

It might not be much, but it was better than diving in face first. Leaning forward, Dabi nuzzled against her inner thigh. He kissed the soft skin of her leg, lips pulling along her flesh.

Nemuri’s hand buried in his hair, long nails scrapping bloody scratches into his scalp as she closed a fist and pulled. “Don’t tease. If I wanted further frustration, I would have gone to Kai.”

Dabi blinked the excess moisture in his eyes away, as the sharpness of the biting pain abated.

Nemuri released his hair. “Don’t rush, but don’t tease. Just get to it.”

“Yes, Mistress.”

Dabi had barely begun when the door opened without so much as a knock.

“Nemur—” The scene gave Kai the smallest of pauses. “Really?”

“You try--” Nemuri stopped. Her blue eyes snapped down to Dabi. “Who told you to stop?”

Dabi quickly resumed his ministrations.

Kai looked over his shoulder, making sure no passersby had stopped to gape. Finding the hallway clear, he closed the door with a quiet click.

Fixing her gaze back on the smartly dressed Daimon, Nemuri began again. “You try being the one who has to tell Lucifer that the Llaes is being hidden away by Hawks and see if you don’t need some stress relief after.”

Kai lifted an eyebrow as he took in Nemuri, spread out with a Demon between her legs. They clearly had very different forms of stress relief. He stepped around Dabi and sat down beside her.

“Protected by Hawks you say?”

“That’s what my boys tell me.” Nemuri said, watching Dabi work.

“Wonder how Hawks found him.”

“Your guess is as good as mine. Mmm.” Her hips wiggled up, eyes closing and opening slowly. “At least Hawks is unfriendly with heaven and hell or else my ass would have been roasted. You know how the boss is about flaying the messenger.”

Kai didn’t comment that she did the exact same thing whenever she got bad news. Instead, he said. “What a shame that would have been. Beating your ass is one of my favored pastimes.”

“Flirt.” Nemuri smiled.

Kai watched Dabi for a moment before saying. “This one has a fire affinity. I had him in my lab a while back. More than a while I suppose. Back in the thirteen century, when the Leviathans got out because that ditsy, tall angel Takeyama got distracted.”

“Uh.” Nemuri made a face at the mention of the blonde. “That was a mess for everybody. Though it goes show what a common enemy can do. I for one never would've imagined we’d be fighting along side heavens host again. But as Aizawa likes to say, never say nev--” Her body jerked at a too hard suck between unyielding teeth, her clit thrumming from the over-stimulating sting. She gave a harsh yank of Dabi’s hair. “Watch it!”

“I’m sorry, Mistress.” Dabi apologized, keeping his head bowed. He was afraid to look up at the Daimon’s, least one of them discern the reason for his sudden roughness.

Nemuri tugged Dabi back towards her without a word.

“In any case.” Kai said. “I was tasked with finding fighters capable of flames hot enough to burn a Leviathan.”

Nemuri raised an eyebrow, her gaze turning back to Dabi. She couldn't see much of his face, only his spiky black hair, and an occasional glimpse of his forehead and closed eyes; but she had felt him grimace against her as if Kai’s words were bringing back unpleasant memories.

Her hand turned gentle, and she patted Dabi’s head in understanding. Even she did her best to avoid Kai’s lab. To have been in there as a subject... She felt an interest in the Demon blossom to life, and maybe a bit of respect too. It wasn’t often that one of Kai’s subjects survived the experience with their mind and body intact.

Sweetly smoothing back Dabi’s hair, Nemuri asked. “So how did the little Demon do?”

Kai watched Nemuri’s affections with a facade of distant disinterest. Maybe it was time to bring Dabi back to his lab. See if the Demon had grown any in ability. Further test his hardiness and stamina.

“Poorly.” Kai clipped. “His body can barely tolerate his affinity. That’s why half of him is burned and stitched up.”

He didn’t mention Dabi’s incredible ability to produce white flames when pushed to his limits. The Demon had barely survived the feat anyway, so it wasn’t that remarkable.

“You poor baby.” Nemuri cooed, stroking Dabi’s head. Suddenly, her body shivered and tensed. “Oh! That’s it, darling. Yeah. Right there. Just like that.”

Kai’s gold eyes glittered darkly, as they lifted from Dabi’s head to watch Nemuri’s expression.

Her head roll back, breasts heaving as her breathing quickened.

The sight of Nemuri’s mouth opening, moans and pants escaping, had Kai’s own mouth parting slightly, tongue darting out to wet his lips.

When the tightening coil snapped, the hand in Dabi’s hair clenched, pulling out several strands. Nemuri’s other hand reached out, grabbing Kai’s arm. A loud, drawn out keen sounded as her back arched off the sofa. Slowly, her grips on the Demon and Daimon loosened.

Kai watched her another few seconds, but looked away before she collected herself enough to notice his gaze.

Orgasm leaving her over-sensitive and satisfied, Nemuri pushed Dabi’s head away. She leaned over to the Daimon beside her, hands tugging at his shirt and tie.

“Kiss me, Kai.”

“Ask your Demon dog.” Kai said, tilting his head away from her.

Nemuri pouted. “Please.”

Kai looked at her out of the corner of his eye, considering. “No.”

“Tch.” Nemuri pushed away from him, snuggling back into the couch. “What’s the matter, Baby. Jealous?”

Dusting himself off, Kai stood and straighten his tie. “You’re a mess, Nemuri. Go get yourself cleaned up. You smell like demon dog.”

11.2

Dabi had been hoping to never see Aizawa, or Reyanna, ever again. But after what he had heard, he was literally compelled to. His sudden appearance startled Reyanna, who tossed a pot of boiling water and noodles on him.

“What the fuck!” Dabi cursed, flicking his hands and wiping his face free of hot, starchy water.

“Sorry! Sorry.” Reyanna apologized. Wrinkling her nose at the mess she had made, she looked to Aizawa. “Sorry.”

While still not great, and certainly not as well as he would have liked, their relationship had eased since the day she had flinted away and recovered her blade. True to his word, Shouta had made a concerted effort to open up a bit more. He had begun to tell her various things, including some of his plans, though he still kept the details from her. He also continued to leave her burning questions about their past, and that of who and what she was unanswered. And though that plainly irked her, Reyanna had taken note his effort at a sort of compromise, and showed her appreciation by being less hostile. Which Shouta was exceedingly grateful for.

“You don’t have to apology.” Shouta told. There was a shine to his eyes, the only sign of his amusement as he turned back to the Demon, taking in the noodles still sticking to his hair and jacket collar.

“I could’ve been hurt.” Dabi dissented.

“You’re a Demon with a fire affinity. Blue flames at that. Boiling water would do nothing but possibly give you a chill.” Shouta dismissed, in a bored, instructive tone.

“I know that.” Dabi gritted.

“Then why are you complaining?”

The Demon glared at the Daimon. Shouta gazed back without expression. It wasn’t till a noodle in Dabi’s plastered, wet hair slid down, making him flinch as it grazed his cheek that Reyanna broke the lengthening silence with a giggle.

“Come.” Shouta beckoned Dabi. “We’ll go to my study and you can tell me what you’ve learned.”

“Why can’t he just tell us here?” Reyanna questioned, already knowing the answer.

Dabi gave another disgusted flick of his wrist then snapped his fingers; his hair, skin, and clothes instantly drying.

“Us? You have a mess to clean.” Shouta pointedly looked over the wet, pasta laden floor. Grateful he hadn’t taught her how to clean such messes with a thought; liking the nearness the act brought when they did it together. He turned away and called to Dabi. “Let’s go.”

Since Reyanna had instructed him to do as Aizawa said, Dabi couldn’t help but follow. Still, he saw her unhappiness at being left out and quietly reminded. “I obey you, Pet. Remem--”

“Shut up.” Reyanna snapped, mad at Aizawa and revolted by Dabi and his pet names.

Dabi made a noise as his words halted in his throat, the feeling not all that dissimilar from when Aizawa silenced him.

Reyanna’s eyes brightened, realization dawning. “Dabi, stop.”

Dabi halted, a smug smirk on his face.

Turning back around, Shouta was tempted to replace the Demon’s expression with that of tortured pain, or better yet wipe all expression from his face forever.

“Reyanna.” Shouta said, carefully. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“Dabi, clean up this mess.”

Dabi’s grin grew. Damn, he liked how this chic worked. Bright blue eyes glowing, the mess disappeared with a snap of his fingers.

Shouta's tone was droll as he huffed. “Cute. Rather then learn how to control your own power and try cleaning the mess yourself, you order the Demon dog to do it. Are you really that lazy? You going to order him to learn the way of things for you too? Cause that one’s not going to work, Kitten.” He stepped so close to her, she had to tilt her head back slightly to look at him. “There are a great many things you will have to do for yourself. Dishing out simple task to the dog when you’re still lacking and learning is a disservice to yourself.”

Dabi was far too interested in watching this dynamic play out to comment on how Aizawa was basically Reyanna’s dog too.

“It’s called prioritizing, Aizawa.” Reyanna said, easily. “My need to know what’s going on is greater than that of learning how to clean up a mess with a snap of my fingers.”

Shouta grumbled something to himself and shook his head, before saying aloud. “After nearly four mouths you’re still this unknowing. Didn’t your lesson with sealing and heating the house teach you anything? You wouldn’t have to snap your fingers to right the mess. You don’t require a physical trigger to implement your will. As for needing to know what’s going on. I believe you are confusing need with want. Typical, for the child you are. You may want to know what’s going on, Reyanna, but you don’t need to. What you need, is to learn the days lessons I planned out for you. So go on up to the library and begin. I will be there shortly.”

“No. And, I’m not your kitten.” She felt weakened for addressing the name nearly a full minute after he had used it, but telling him she wasn’t his kitten sounded less childish than telling him she wasn’t a child. She turned to Dabi. “Go on. Say whatever you came here to say.”

“Hush.” Shouta silenced the Demon. To Reyanna, he said. “I thought we found a sort of peace and understanding. Can’t you see that I’m trying?”

“Try harder.” Reyanna told.

“If that’s what you wish then I will. But not in this.”

Lip curling, Reyanna turned away from Aizawa and ordered. “Dabi, speak.”

“Silence.” Shouta commanded.

Dabi sputtered and choked. Damn it, these two were going to be the death of him. On top of being caught between obeying the one he was tied to and the one his Mistress had ordered him to obey, there was Aizawa’s ability to muzzle to contend with. The back and forth made him feel haywire. And he didn’t doubt it would fry his brain if the two didn’t get on the same page soon.

Given that she was the one he was tied to, it surprised and unnerved Reyanna that Dabi’s obedience to her didn’t automatically outweigh Aizawa's. Even so, she crossed her arms and stared up at the Daimon feigning self confidence. “I can do this all day.”

A gurgle of of dissent sounded from Dabi, his wide eyes alight with beseeching distress and angry fear.

“No you can’t.” Shouta said, ignoring Dabi without a care. “You have lessons to do and Dabi must return to his usual routine, whatever that is, before he is missed.”

“Then you best let him speak.” Reyanna said, without blinking.

Shouta ground his teeth and growled. “Brat.”

Reyanna didn’t much care what Aizawa called her, so long as she got to hear what Dabi had to say from the Demon’s own lips. Sure Aizawa had been making an effort to open up and tell her things; but those things remained severally limited. He was still keeping a lot from her and she wanted to know what it was.

“Go ahead.” Shouta allowed, certain he was going to regret this. But at the moment, it was better than a full on argument with her, and Dabi’s further delay.

A flash of surprise crossed Reyanna’s face. She quickly turned to Dabi before Aizawa could change his mind. “You heard him.”

Shouta couldn’t help the small upturn of his lips at the sight of Reyanna’s near giddy victory. Damn, he was too easy. The woman owned him, and if he wasn’t careful she would figure out just how easy it was to bend him to her will.

Chapter Text

12.1

Two days after Dabi’s visit, Shouta entered Reyanna’s bedroom. There was a reason the only time he had been in there was the night she had summoned the Demon. Even now, the desire to join her in bed was almost too much.

He smiled at her sleeping form. Her face looked so sweet and peacefully, and she made the cutest noise with every exhale. A soft puff between barely opened lips.

He had the urge to rouse her in a fashion more to his liking, but pushed it down. He couldn't have her mad at him. Not today. Still, that didn’t mean he had to completely deny himself. A sampling treat before she woke wouldn’t hurt anything. She was his after all. And, he had earned it.

Stepping to the side of the bed, Shouta took up some of her dark brown hair, rubbing the silken tresses between his fingers. Leaning over, he pressed his nose into the strands and inhaled. His eyes closed at the comforting honeyed smell. He brushed her hair back and ran his hand down her shoulder. He skimmed slowly around the curve of her breast; thumb stretched out to caress over a nipple.

Reyanna shivered. Her hand fisted in the thin covering sheet and pulled at the material, lowering it.

It was as if she were encouraging him, Shouta thought. His cock took interest in his doings and her reaction, and began to stir in his pants.

When her breathing returned to adorable puffs of air, Shouta's hand continued its downward trend. His fingers skated over her waist, pulling the sheet even further down. He unwittingly dug his fingers into her hip and quickly let up as soon as he caught himself.

One of Reyanna’s legs kicked out; but then she squeezed them together, pressing her squirming hips into the bed.

Shouta smirked at the little dance. But the movement soon stop. Wanting to see more, he placed the flat of his hand on the lowest part of her abdomen and slowly, but firmly rubbed back and forth.

Reyanna’s muscles tensed. It wasn’t long before she began to push up against his palm. The lifting of her hips was erratic, as she unconsciously sought to direct and further the contact. Her breath became uneven. But it was her needy whine that made his cock stand to full attention, making Shouta growl. She gave a soft disgruntled growl in return when the friction didn’t move lower.

“So needy.” Shouta whispered, hand running across the area one more time before sliding around and down her thigh. “All you have to do is ask, Kitten. I’d gladly give you what you want, and more.”

His hand roved up and down the outside of her thigh, then boldly slipped between her legs and gently tried to urge them apart.

Reyanna took in a sharp breath and stirred.

Shouta quickly stepped back, footsteps silent. He pushed his hands into his pockets, balling his fists. Shoulders slumped, he turned his body toward the shadows, away from first rays of morning light that entered the window. Anything to try and hide the bulge in his pants.

“Wake up, Kitten. We’re going on a field trip.”

His voice was huskier than usual, but Reyanna didn’t seem to notice as she rubbed her eyes and drowsily grumbled. “I’m not your kitten, Aizawa. Get out of my room.”

Shouta smirked, tempted tell her that she hadn’t minded his presence the last time he had been in here. But he held his tongue. He needed her in good humor if he had any hope that she would follow his direction with little question.

Yawning, Reyanna stretched.

Shouta's eyes moved freely up and down her form. His pulse jumped when her stretching exposed a swath of skin between the tangled bed sheet and her bunched tank top. One would’ve thought that such a sight wouldn’t excite him, given the amount of times she’d been laid out before him naked; but they would’ve been wrong.

Reyanna paused and pulled the sheet up to her neck. “Excuse you.”

Shouta stared back at her a moment before turning away. “Get up. We’re leaving in twenty minutes.”

“Leaving? Where? Not to another house?”

“Depends on how lucky or unlucky we are.” Shouta said, making for the door. “Don’t worry about your things. Just get dressed and meet me downstairs.”

“But—Aizawa! Wait. Where are we--”

But the door had already closed, giving her, her privacy to get ready.

12.2

They were back in the town Reyanna had visited every Wednesday before Aizawa had tied himself to her. It felt odd to be back. She hadn’t returned during the few days they had remained in the cabin. There had been no reason to, though she doubted Aizawa would have let her if she had tried. Now they might not return to the house he had moved them to. It depended on how things went today. What things? Once again, Aizawa was being tight lipped.

“So the only reason you brought me is because I’m acquainted with the Head Librarian, who happens to be a witch.” Reyanna said, irritation leeching into her voice.

They had gone to the library she had visited once a week. The Head Librarian had looked none too please to see Aizawa, though had been polite enough to her. She had told the man, the Witch, exactly what Aizawa had instructed her to say. The Daimon had kept the message short and simple, but had been adamant that she not deviate from the words or order. Aizawa’s stressing of the point had bothered her, and she had snapped at him that he should speak to the Witch if he was so worried she would screw up. Aizawa had told her that they wouldn’t get a meeting with the man if he did; but, if they were lucky, that she just might. Apparently they had been lucky; because they were now seated inside the cafe they had separately visited every Wednesday morning, waiting for the Witch to join them.

Coffee ignored and growing cold, Shouta replied. “I brought you because, if the Witch proves useful things will move rather fast for an instance and I want you close.”

And if the Witch proves exceedingly useful, you will be the one who has to meet and earn the Llaes’ trust, his thoughts added as he turned to look out the window. A part of him hoped that the Witch didn’t prove exceedingly useful. As badly as they needed to find the Llaes, Shouta didn’t look forward to sharing Reyanna’s attention and time.

“I’m glad he remembered you and was willing to meet and hear us out.” His eyes moved back to her, as he leaned back in his seat. “That first month might not have been a complete waste after all. It seems to have earned you some goodwill.”

“You’re an ass.”

“That’s if the Witch doesn’t prove hopelessly incapable. In which case, that month will have been a complete and total waste.”

“Four full days in a library and twenty-four books checkout and presumably read through. Well eighteen I suppose, since I doubt the lady was able to fully read through the last six before you returned them the morning following their checkout. Nevertheless, I would hardly call that a complete and total waste.”

Reyanna turned to the newly arrived Witch. She hadn’t known what to make of the Head Librarian during her visits. The man had kept his distance but had often appeared to be watching her. Knowing what she knew now, she supposed that made sense. Though it didn’t make his watchfulness any less unnerving. Even now, knowing what she knew, she still felt still uncomfortable in his presence. As if he were studying her, like she was one of the books housed in his library.

“The books in the unrestricted section of your so called library are trash and you know it.” Shouta said, bluntly. “The fact that you knew she wasn’t human, or full so, but still allowed her to waste her time makes you more loathsome than most of your kind.”

The Witch, known as Nighteye, pushed his glasses up with a finger. “How was I to know what she was seeking? I get all sorts coming in. Their reasoning as varied as they are. Heaven, hell, or Third spawn she may be; but being non, or part human, doesn’t preclude one form an interest in basic mythos.”

“Basic mythos based on human understanding, imagination, and perspective. Most of which is wrong.” Shouta put in.

“I don’t judge what patrons come to my library seeking. Knowledge, even wrong or misrepresented knowledge, can still be of use.”

Shouta huffed in disgusted. Witches. They were worse than demons, in his mind. At least one knew a demons basic agenda. And that no matter what a demon said or did, they were working toward that core goal. Witches on the other hand, were harder to suss out. Their motives as varied as a humans might be; which most witches were. Shouta would rather not deal with witches, but after what Dabi had said, he had no other choice if he hoped to find the Llaes before heaven or hell did.

“It’s your lunch break. Can we get you something as thanks for agreeing to meet with us?” Reyanna questioned.

“Tea, please. Thank you.” Nighteye replied, dipping his head to her in gratitude as he took a seat at their table.

Reyanna looked across the table at Shouta, eyebrows lifted.

Shouta stared back.

Reyanna returned the Daimon’s contentious look with a pointed one of her own, giving a small, tight smile for the Librarian’s benefit.

Releasing a sharp, disgruntled breath, Shouta pushed up out of his chair and made for the counter.

“So, you’re looking for someone.” Nighteye began. “And require my help of sight.”

“Uh.” Reyanna supposed that was the gist of it.

That was what Aizawa had told her to say, but she didn’t know who this Llaes they were looking for was. Not that it mattered since Aizawa had explicitly instructed her not to mention the terms Llaes, child, or hope while in the Librarian’s presence. She didn’t even know what this help of sight the Witch could provide was. Though she had several ideas what it could possibly be.

Shouta returned to his seat, having placed and paid for Nighteye’s order. He hadn’t asked the man what kind of tea he wanted, figuring he’d have the barista pick; but apparently the Witch visited regularly enough to have his preferences known.

Small towns, Shouta thought. They had their pros and cons. The worst con being, nosy people who seemed to know everyone’s business. He wondered if the people knew Nighteye for the Witch he was. Doubtful. It was more likely they thought him a somewhat strange man with an unhealthy interest in supernatural folklore.

“Yes.” Shouta said, his keen ears having heard Nighteye’s query. “We are willing to pay. If you are not interested in coin, then possibly rare supplies.”

Nighteye waved him off. “That we can discuss if I decide to assist your search for this…?”

Reyanna’s eyes flicked to Aizawa.

Shouta felt the questioning in her gaze. He had only needed her to gain them a discussion with the Witch. Despite her very adamant and vocal displeasure, he hadn’t told her more then the simple words he wanted her to say to get them this meeting.

Witches were tricky, no better than a Trickster at times. Shouta needed the Librarian’s eyes on him. So he could gauge the mans motives and willingness. He needed to be the one to respond and question, knowing how important a single choice of word, or its placement, could be in deals such as these.

“An old enemy.” Shouta answered. He glanced across the table at Reyanna before fixing his eyes back on Nighteye. “The reason for her visits a few months back is because some key memories have been wiped.” He paused, as an employee set a covered cup before Nighteye, resuming when the girl departed. “Including that of a certain someone who has something of meaning to her hidden away.”

“And this certain someone is an old enemy? An old enemy that has taken and hidden something of hers that she considers of value?” Nighteye questioned.

You could say that, Shouta thought. He gave a small nod.

Nighteye watched the Daimon on his right for a moment, considering.

Daimon’s were far more calculating and devious than demons could ever hope to be. The only thing one could be certain of when it came to them, was a daimon's driving force. Serve Lucifer. Though how they defined that service was as motley as the daimon's themselves were. That said, this Daimon came off as vastly different from the rest. Not that Nighteye had crossed more than a small handful of daimon’s. Still, it was curious. A Daimon making a pact with someone... Nighteye still couldn't tell what the woman was. But whether she was connected to heaven or hell, or was some kind of Third didn’t matter. Daimon's weren’t known for tying themselves to someone, no matter who or what they were.

But, Nighteye could sense that there was a Tie in place. A Tie that hadn’t been there the last time he had seen the woman or the Daimon. It was a shame. Her giving up her soul for some service. But that was the way of things. And lacking memories or not, it had been her choice.

Standing up, Nighteye fished a flip phone out of his pocket and tossed it on the table in front of Aizawa.

“I have some work I need to see to at the library. When I’m finished, I’ll text you an address. We can discuss further then. I’ll expect payment before service so be prepared for that. Not that it’ll take you long to fetch it and return, should you agree to my fee.”

They watched Nighteye take his cup of tea and exit the cafe.

Looking back to Aizawa, Reyanna couldn’t help be needle. “After all that time spent griping that he probably wouldn’t help.”

“He still hasn’t. He said we’ll discuss further.”

Shouta took phone and stuffed it in his pocket. Damn Witches. Making him carry and use such a device. He was tempted to take Nighteye into hand and force him to comply, either by torturing him or those he loved. But such things could take time. Time they didn’t have. He already knew Nighteye didn’t have a family, at least not one that lived with him or in town. Nor did the man appear to have any close friends. Shouta cursed himself for not looking further into the Witch during the month he had spent watching Reyanna. If he had… But here they were. Even if it wasn’t preferable, it was quicker to try it this way first. He just hoped Nighteye wouldn’t take long in contacting them.

“Only heaven and hell spawn can easily tell whether a soul has been marked. Given in exchange for a deal.” Shouta told, taking a sip of coffee. His nose wrinkled at the tepid temperature. Setting the cup back down, he went on. “A few other sorts can. If they focus their senses and know the telling signs. But witches, especially human witches, can not. Not without a spell, a seeking, or touch. My Tie to you. He will have been able to sense it with ease, but there’s no way for him to know it’s one sided. We will kept that fact between us, unless I or situation dictates otherwise. That goes for now and on ward, until I say different. Understand.”

Reyanna nodded.

“Tell me you understand, Anna. Use your words.”

Reyanna rolled her eyes. What was with it and him needing to hear her say things? Was it some daimon thing? Or did he just like the sound of her voice? She flushed at that, scolding herself for thinking such a stupid thought.

“I understand.”

Shouta watched her blush. It was a good look, even if he didn’t know the cause.

“So,” Reyanna said, clearing her throat, “where do we go while we wait?”

“Nowhere. I’d rather not flit you about more than necessary.”

In his well rested state, the time might’ve been for less than a half second, but flinting left them open and incapable of defending themselves.

“Well since I can flit myself...”

Shouta scoffed. “You mean you suddenly mastered the ability? Cause last training session you never once arrived at a desired location. Never mind that nearly half of your attempts left you standing in place unable to travel at all.”

“Maybe I just need a reason to do it. Somewhere to go or something to get away from.” Reyanna shrugged, undeterred.

Shouta had no doubt that such a need would make her power conform to what she asked of it, but he was loath to do such a thing to spur her progress. Not only was doing so reckless, but it might cause more of her memories to waken.

Eyes on her cup, he jerked his chin. “If you’re done.”

“Yeah.”

“There’s a park not far from here. Some fresh air would be good. No?”

“Definitely.”

As they walked Reyanna looked about. “I didn’t know all this was here.”

“The park or the rest of town?” Shouta questioned, a playful glint in his eyes.

“Both, I suppose. I mean, it’s not as if I didn’t know there was more to the place than my singular route. And common sense would dictate there was likely at least one park-like area. But--” She shrugged.

“You had other things on your mind. Though you should have scouted about once. Or at the very least looked at a map, in case you were set upon and had to run and hide.”

“Now why would I have had to do that when I had a Daimon stalker looking after me?”

Shouta noticed the hardening of her eyes, despite the teasing tone she managed to keep, and said. “I wasn’t stalking. I was protecting. Which,” he went on over the words she tried to get in, “was obviously necessary given the fact that you didn’t take any precautions, leaving yourself open to attack from Thirds and lesser demons that continually appeared. Drawn in by the sense of you. Thus leaving me with the tiring duty of constantly having to deal with their infringement.”

Shouta caught himself too late, the words already out. Damn it.

Reyanna’s eyes widened.

A part of her wanted to snap that she had never asked him to do such things; angered at whatever measures he had taken. That she didn’t need some unwanted Daimon shadowing her about, protecting her. That she could take care of herself. But there was a less wanted part of her that trembled at the thought of the unknown dangers she had garnered, grateful for his efforts and continued presence. A more middling emotion anchored between the two opposing feelings. It reasoned that asked for or not, his efforts had helped her during a time when she was obviously unknowing and weak. Rationalizing that he was right in judging her incapable, given the fact that she had foolishly set and stuck to a routine without ever scouting a differing route.

In the end, all she did was lamely mumble. “I didn’t know.”

“You weren’t meant to.” Shouta grumbled, as he breathed a silent sigh of relief and scolded himself.

While she may have wondered if he could simply kill Dabi the morning after the Demon’s summoning, Shouta doubted that, in her current state, she would have stood by and let him do such a thing. She certainly wouldn’t have appreciate his ending scores of others for simply entering town; whether they had shown any interest in seeking her out or not.

“What?” Reyanna’s smile, was disarming in its tease. “You didn’t mean to say as much? Does this mean the great Daimon Aizawa is actually capable of making mistakes.” She gave a mocked gasp of horror.

Shouta smirked, expelling a humored huff. But his amusement didn’t last, his mind reminding him of his greatest and most costly mistake.

He sobered, deep voice rumbling. “You have no idea.”

It wasn’t that he regretted his betrayal. If faced with the exact same options. In the exact same scenario. With the exact same time, pressure, and ability to think. Shouta would have done the same a hundred thousand times over. Still, he had known, even back then, that there had to be another way. Logic dictated that there always was. The problem was, for the life and death of him, he hadn’t been able to figure out what that other way was. Even Hizashi, for all his goodness, loyalty, and intelligence hadn’t been able to come up with another way. That was why the Angel had helped him.

It wasn’t so much his betrayal that hounded his conscience. Though the devastating consequences of it had torn him apart. No, what bothered Shouta far more than his actions was knowing that there had to have been another way. That he had simply been unable, given the time and events, to devise what that way was. His mind had worked furiously on the problem up until the point that Reyanna had broke. After, he had tried his damnedest never ponder the problem again. It was finished. The deed done. He had made his choice, not that he had had one in his mind. He didn’t want to think on it any more. To do so would only add stinging salt to the bitter, open wound that was his failure and betrayal. No. He didn’t ever think of what he could have done differently; fearful that the answer that had eluded him when he needed it most would come and haunt him.

He looked at Reyanna out of the corner of his eye. Mistakes. He had certainly made his fair share over the course of his existence. But the one that had wounded him the most. Had cost him the most. The one that continued to haunt him. Was the one he had made with her, that she currently didn’t remember.

“You have no idea.” Shouta said again, eyes flicking away from her.

Reyanna puzzled at his words but assumed that as one older than humanity itself, Aizawa was bound to have made his fair share of mistakes. Even so, it had been a joke and he had taken it as such for a brief moment…

“Aizawa.”

“Hum?”

“Tell me about Thirds.”

Shouta turned to her, leading her through a shaded path. “What do you want to know?”

“What are they?”

“Anything that isn’t of heaven, hell, or the earth.” He saw Reyanna’s questioning eyes and answered before she could ask. “You are not a Third. Thirds are Were’s, Jinn’s, Redcap’s, Gargoyles. What humans would call monsters. They come from a different realm, feasting and wrecking havoc on humanity.”

“And fight heaven and hell.” Reyanna assumed.

“No. Not usually. Usually Thirds steer clear of heavens Host and hell spawn. Though there have been occasional battles. Leviathans are Thirds. They were the first to break through into this world, opening a gateway for the rest. The Leviathans would have destroyed the earth and everything in it but the Host of heaven fought them and locked them away. That was before the Fall. As a rule, heaven doesn’t deal with Thirds. And hell,” Shouta huffed, “like everything else, hell views them as lesser creatures.”

They had walked about the park for well over an hour, finally coming to a stop at a picnic table. Shouta straddled one side of the bench seat, trying not to care that Reyanna had walked around to sit across from him rather than beside. Sure, he missed the mind blowing sex. What creature wouldn’t. But it was the easy closeness that he missed the most. That wounded the greatest when it was denied due to her obvious lack of comfort and trust.

Lost in thought, a buzzing feeling made him jerk. He brought a hand down on the unexpected sensation, intent on killing or knocking off whatever bug was on him.

Once again, Shouta caught himself too late.

“Fuck.” He muttered, stuffing his hand into his pocket hoping he hadn’t struck the device hard enough to destroy it.

Thankfully, he hadn’t put much strength behind the effort. His reaction more surprised than determined. His relief instantly gave way to annoyance.

Another muttered curse fell from his lips as he pulled out the phone and flipped it opened. “Fucking witches.”

Reyanna giggled behind a hand.

Shouta read the address and closed the phone with a snap, his ill humor diminishing at her continued laughter. Standing up, he moved around the table and held a hand out to her. “Let’s go.”

She had barely placed her hand in his, when they appeared in an average looking basement.

Shouta noted the items on top of the cloth covered table Nighteye stood in front of. Though they were the ingredients necessary for a seeking spell, he knew better than to get excited. He tossed the phone at the Witch.

Nighteye caught it without fumble, despite his back being turned to them.

“Next time we do this, you can contact me like a normal person and beckon.” Shouta told.

Nighteye looked over his shoulder at the ill tempered Daimon, the lens of his glasses catching in the light. “There will be a next time?”

“Circumstance willing, no.”

“Circumstance?” Nighteye turned to face them. “Interesting. Your sort usually say something more along the lines of hell or Lucifer willing.”

Reyanna opened her mouth to tell the Witch that Aizawa wasn’t connected to hell, but stopped short at Shouta's sharp silencing look.

The look wasn’t missed by Nighteye, who watched the two for a minute before questioning. “This old enemy of yours who has taken and hidden something, what sort are they?”

Though the query was directed at Reyanna, Shouta stepped forward and answered. “An archangel.”

Shouta had to hand it to the Witch, the only sign of distressed surprise was a slight widening of the mans yellow eyes.

“I’d rather not incur the wrath of heaven.” Nighteye said, ready to dismiss them.

“You won’t. This Archangel has been released from heaven.”

Released from heaven. Not fallen? What did that mean? Unable to hold her tongue any longer, Reyanna spoke up. “What does--”

“Hush.” Shouta silenced.

Reyanna glared at him, but closed her mouth, teeth clenching.

Eyes on her, Nighteye apologized. “I’m sorry, Miss…?”

Reyanna opened her mouth to reply, but Shouta’s response was quicker.

“Names are unnecessary for what we’re asking of you.”

The Witch blinked slowly, yellow eyes sliding back to the Daimon. “You don’t find it rude? You have my name.”

“If Nighteye was your actual name, I still wouldn’t care or consider giving you ours.” Shouta told, without apology.

“I usually like to know a bit more about my clients, or at least their reasoning for what they ask--”

“No you don’t.” Shouta interrupted. “Asking too many questions is bad business. And knowing too much can be deadly. You’ve lived this long, so it’s logical to say that learning about your clients or their reasoning's is something you actively do not take the time to do.”

Nighteye’s expression soured. “I don’t like you.”

“I’m sure you don’t like any of my sort.” The Daimon said, without offense.

“True. But you, I really do not care for.”

“Not many do.” Shouta said, lips parting to expose his teeth in a too wide grin.

“The Seek will cost you.” Nighteye told, suddenly wanting them gone as quickly as possible. His interest in what the woman was, hardly as important as being rid of the Daimon.

“I told you--”

“Yes, yes.” Nighteye waved Shouta off, cutting over his words. “You said, you were willing to pay. If not interested in coin, then possibly rare supplies.” He repeated the Daimon's words from the cafe. “What I’m saying is, despite my usually fairness when it comes to price, I am going to be far from fair. I don’t like you. And therefore what you ask will cost you.”

Unfazed, Shouta blinked at the Witch as if waiting. When Nighteye didn’t go on, he prompted, tone sounding bored; though there was a hint of accepted challenge in it as well. “Your price.”

12.3

“Where do you think you’re going?”

Hitoshi Shinsou stopped in his tracks and muttered a silent curse. Did the Archangel have a bell on him or something? That was a rhetorical, exasperated question. Of course he hadn’t let the Archangel near enough to put or take anything from his person. His mentor had taught him better than that. Still, Feather’s, as Hitoshi silently called the Archangel, always seemed to be watching. Even when the Archangel wasn’t around, he seemed to know what had gone on. What had been discussed in his absence.

Hitoshi turned back around and tried. “We Were’s need space. You know? Space. Something that isn’t a stale, closed up old barn. Drafty as it is.”

Hitoshi wondered how something with so much daylight shining between the cladding could remain so musty. The stagnant sour air alone was torture, never mind the forced company. His sensitive nose both stung and felt deadened due to the constant assault. It made his tired eyes water and instantly left him with a headache upon their arrival. A headache that had only gotten worse as the days wore on.

“I said to stay put.”

“I’m not going far, Hawks. I just need to stretch my legs and breath some fresh air.” And get away from you so I can try to contact my mentor, Hitoshi’s thoughts added.

“If you go, we won’t be here when you return.” Hawks said.

“Damn it, man! It’s rank in here. I need to stretch my legs. I haven’t turned in over a month and I can’t do it in here. My nose is even more sensitive in cat form.”

“I’m not stopping you. I’m just telling you what will happen if you go.”

The two eyed each other. Neither trusted the other, but seeing as Hitoshi had been with the Llaes when Hawks had found him, Hawks couldn’t exactly take the boy away from the Were and hope to keep the Llaes’ paltry trust in him.

Shinsou and the boy hadn’t exactly been friends. But when the Llaes had used his power for the first, Hitoshi had been there. Acting more on his training than thought, he had taken the Llaes away before heaven and hell descended upon the scene. With the guys life turned upside down, Hitoshi had become a sort of lifeline in the raging, predator filled waters the Llaes had been hurled into. They still weren’t what either boy would call friends, but Hitoshi and the Llaes had become more than the acquaintances they had started off as.

“Let him go.” Came another male voice.

Hitoshi smirked at the Archangel. “You heard the Llaes.”

“Don’t call me that.” The boy said.

“Todoroki.” Hawks turned to the Child of Hope, ignoring the smug look that had crossed Hitoshi’s lips at the boys allowance. “That’s not wise, kid. This place is warded. Protected. Who knows what dangers Shinsou might cross out there.” Or seek out and bring back with him, he finished silently, glancing at the purple haired Were.

“Fine.” Todoroki said. “Then at least let him open up a door for a while. It’ll allow some fresh air to flow through and ease Shinsou’s senses.”

“A compromise. I can work with that.” Hawks turned to Shinsou. "How about you, Kitty Cat? Unless there was other reason you wanted out.”

“What other reason would there be?” Hitoshi asked, cursing Todoroki’s reasonable suggestion.

Shinsou couldn’t blame the guy for wanting to foster a bit of peace between the only two allies he seemed to have; but, it had been four months since Todoroki had first used his power. Four months, and Hitoshi had managed to get no more than three steps away. He was at his wits end. He needed to get a message out. It was obvious that Hawks didn’t know what to do with the Llaes, other then change locations ever few days. The Archangel had them moving so often it was no surprise why no one had found them yet. Not that Hitoshi wanted just anyone to find them.

Before Hawks could make a suggestion that all but accused Hitoshi of wanting to go out and contact someone, Shinsou pushed the heavy barn door open, changed into his cat form, and plopped down in the threshold.

Todoroki walked over and sat on the ground near him. “You never told me how you can change forms without worrying about your clothes.”

Hawks flapped his wings, calling out on his way up to the hayloft. “I’m gonna head out and scout around. Make sure no one and nothing is too close, yeah. Be back with dinner.”

Hitoshi’s huff sounded more like a cough. “You know angels don’t always wear their wings.” He thought, the words sounding in Todoroki’s head. “Most of the time they keep them concealed. They don’t even need them to get around. Hawks is just vain, or likes showing off, or both. Wonder if that’s why he was released from heaven. Vanity.”

“So you are purposefully avoiding the question.” Todoroki spoke. “Cause last time I asked, you said we were eating and you’d tell me later.”

“It’s not that big a thing.” Hitoshi answered, batting a paw at a beetle that crawled near the barns exterior wall. He caught himself and turned to Todoroki embarrassed.

Todoroki was kind enough to pretend he hadn’t seen.

Tucking his paws under him, Hitoshi went on. “It’s just kinda gross.”

Todoroki looked at him expectantly.

Hitoshi sighed. “So I told you about my mentor, yeah.”

Todoroki nodded. Shinsou hadn’t told him much, other then he had had a mentor and some of the lessons he had been taught.

“Well, he’s the one that came up with the fix. I hadn’t completely learned how to control changing over and one day exhaustion, stress, and a fright had me unintentionally changing into my cat form. I hid right away. I mean a human sized, lavender cat isn’t something people ignore, even in a big city. But I still had to contend with getting home. Let’s just say, I’m thankful people still hang clothes out to dry. That ten block rush home would’ve been a whole lot worse if they didn’t.”

Rather than laugh, Todoroki nodded, in understanding.

“When I told my mentor about it he agreed I needed a quick fix, till I learned to control my changing. So despite not likely spells, he came up with one. Well, more like he amended a spell to suit the purpose I needed. I don’t know all that went into it and considering the two parts I do know of, I don’t wanna know the rest.” Todoroki’s eyebrows furrowed, and Hitoshi explained. “The brew I had to ingest contained two quarter sized hair balls. One from my human form and one from the cat.”

Todoroki wrinkled his nose.

“Yeah. Gross. And the concoction was thick, like old dried out oatmeal, so it wasn’t a chug and done kinda thing either.” Hitoshi’s rough tongue scrapped against the roof of his mouth as he stuck it out, the mere memory making him want to gag. “Oh! And to make matters worse, it only spelled the clothes I was wearing at the time.”

“Which is why, with us on high alert, you rarely wear anything else.”

“And, they’re not immune to regular wear and tear.” Hitoshi added, grateful his mentor had had the forethought to tell him to pick clothes that were a size or two too big. His latest growth spurt would have left him without, if he hadn’t.

“So, unless you come up with another way to get a set of clothes to shift with you, you’ll have to do it again.” Todoroki supplied.

“Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll be doing it again even if I haven’t found another way. I mean, changing back to human and being naked-- Yeah, that’s no fun and I don’t see myself ever not caring if anyone’s around. But--” Hitoshi stopped, seeing Todoroki squeezing his eyes shut. “Talking directly into your head giving you a headache.”

“A bit.” Todoroki admitted.

“Hawks won’t take long. What do you say we cut the chat and chill in silence?”

Todoroki nodded. “Sounds good.”

Chapter Text

13.1

“So Hawks has the Child of Hope?” Hizashi blew out a puff of air. “That explains why none of us can find him. Hawks can keep the kid hidden forever.”

“He’s far from faultless.” Shouta remarked.

It was the night of the same day Dabi had arrived, telling of the news he had overheard. Shouta had cursed himself for caving, letting Reyanna hear what Dabi had to say. Naturally she had had questions. Questions Shouta hadn’t answered. That definitely hadn’t made her happy. At least she was in bed asleep now, so he and Hizashi could talk in peace.

“Well sure.” Hizashi said. “Hawks made that one mistake that led you to him back when he had been tasked with killing Reyanna. So, yeah, he’s not faultless. But, come on Shou. The chances that Hawks will make a mistake. That you or I will catch it when heaven and hell are searching too. When hell now knows Hawks has the Child of Hope and will be looking for the same mistakes we are that leads us to him...”

“I may not need to wait for him to make a mistake.” Shouta said.

“Oh?”

“Will you tell heaven?”

“That Hawks has the kid? Yeah. I kinda have to. Why? What’s this thing you got that might mean you don’t have to wait?

“Would you give me a day before you tell? Two would be better, but I’ll only ask for one. Please, Zashi.”

“I’ll try to give you two if you tell me what’s up your sleeve.”

Shouta smirked. Lifting his arms above the desk, he pushed his shirt sleeves up to his elbows and made a show of turning his arms for Hizashi to see.

“Smart ass gremlin.”

Shouta's barely there smile grew as he bargained. “If you can guarantee me two days, I’ll tell you.”

“I said I’d try!” Hizashi exclaimed.

“Quiet.” Shouta scowled. He waited a beat, listening for any sign that the Angel had woken Reyanna.

“Sorry.” Hizashi whispered, hoarsely. “I thought you said you were trying to be more open with her.”

“If not two days, then how about this--” Shouta said, ignoring Hizashi's comment. Reyanna had already chewed him out for his so called failing efforts, he didn’t need Yamada remarking on it. “You go on standby for me for a few hours.”

“Standby?”

“Hawks once gave Reyanna a feather from his wings.”

Hizashi's eyes widened, knowing the significance of that. He wondered when Hawks had given it to her. If either of them had known that Shouta had been aware. It was hardly like the Vim rings Shouta and Reyanna wore marking their Bond, but to have an angels feather… Suffice it to say, one could find Hawks easily enough if they had one of his feathers. No matter if the Archangel was hidden behind layers of warding's. All they would need was a witch with an affinity for sight to do a seeking spell.

Shouta’s eyes tinted red, lips moving as he silently told Hizashi the Witch’s price and where to find the items. He would have to move the locations of his stockpiles later. Some of the vaults he had just sent Hizashi to, had things useful and dear to heaven stored in them. While he trusted Hizashi not to outright steal the things back, it would be illogical to test the Angel’s loyalties and chance straining their friendship, when Shouta could simply and easily move everything.

Slowly, one by one, the things Nighteye had asked for appeared on the end of the table.

“Have one of your demon lackeys on standby? Am I suppose to be impressed?” Nighteye asked.

“You’re suppose to do the spell.” Shouta answered.

“A seeking spell for an Archangel is a difficult thing. Especially if that Archangel has taken measures to hide themselves away.” Nighteye told.

“If it were passed your abilities you wouldn’t have wasted all our time and stated your price.” Shouta said. “You will need two things. A thing belonging and a thing given.” He produced a bright red feather that was almost the length of his arm. “What if that thing had both belonged to whom we seek, and was given away?”

“The spell doesn’t work that way. Two eyes. Two items. And I need both my eyes to see clearly enough to get a proper location.”

“Fine.” Shouta placed the feather on the table and reached for Reyanna.

Reyanna pulled her head away, when the Daimon looked like he was going to touch her face.

“Calm down.” Shouta said, lowly. His hand on her arm rubbing comforting circles.

His other hand slowly reached back up to her face. Fingers tenderly brushing across her skin, he lifted her hair out of the way, exposing her left temple.

“Will this do?” Shouta asked, looking over his shoulder at Nighteye.

Nighteye stepped closer, pushing up his glasses as he examined the scar. “The one you seek gave that to her?”

“He did.” Shouta said, voice deepening as his eyes darkened. The pad of his thumb unconsciously caressed the long healed wound.

Reyanna pulled away from him, her hand reaching up to touch the small scar. An Archangel had done that? The same Archangel they were seeking out now? Aizawa had said the person they were looking for was an old enemy of hers.

“It will do.” Nighteye nodded, and moved to the alter to get to work.

Shouta turned back to Reyanna, his eyebrows pulling together. “You’re trembling, Kitten.” He whispered, low enough that Nighteye couldn't hear. “Why? What’s the matter?”

“I’m not trembling.”

“You practically are.” Shouta argued.

Reyanna huffed and looked away. “I’m not your kitten, Aizawa. How many times--”

Shouta grabbed her fidgeting hands, stalling her words, and pulled her to him, sandwiching their hands between their bodies. Dark eyes drilling into her, he bent his head down to the point that their noses almost touched.

“Tell me what’s the matter.” When she didn’t answer immediately, Shouta's voice sharpened. “Now.”

“This Angel—Archangel. Why are we enemies? How did I get the scar? Was—was it in some fight?”

A low rumbling growl of annoyance sounded from Shouta’s chest as he straightened to his full height. He had made his love worry. Fear. And there was absolutely no reason for her to do so. At least not in this.

“You’re perfectly safe from him.” He assured.

“But--”

Shouta cupped her face. “Listen to me, Anna. You are perfectly, safe, from him.”

“You’ll protect me?” Reyanna asked, looking up at him.

Her dark brown eyes were wide with worried innocence and hopeful trust. It made Shouta's heart squeeze. He could have told her she didn’t need to fear Hawks. Should have told her that she didn’t need protection from him. At least not the kind of protection she was talking about. But he didn’t.

Instead Shouta nodded and kissed her brow, near the scar Hawks had made. “Of course. I’ll always protect you.”

Feeling a set of eyes on him, Shouta turned around. “Something else you need?”

“I’m ready.” Nighteye announced.

“Could have said so.”

“Looked like you were busy. I didn’t wanted to interrupt.”

Shouta's lip curled. Fucking Witch. He turned back to Reyanna, expression softening.

“He’s going to need to touch your scar for the seeking spell.” Shouta told. “It won’t hurt.”

Nighteye smiled almost kindly. “All you will feel is a bit of tingling warmth at the contact point.”

He extending a directing arm and Reyanna left Shouta's side to stand before the Witch’s alter. She tried to be brave, but found herself looking back at Aizawa for reassurance.

“If he so much as appears to be thinking about harming you, I’ll kill him.” Shouta promised.

Nighteye turned back to the Daimon but didn’t say a word.

With that hanging over his head, Nighteye closed his eyes and said the incantation. His hand hovered over a crystal bowl of prepared ingredients as he allowed his greater senses to open up and expand.

Reyanna watched the contents of the bowl smoke and liquefy. The bubbling mixture the color of dirty water that had had too many paintbrushes cleaned in it. Slowly the murky soup began to clear.

She fully expected Nighteye to get burned when he submerged both his hands into the steaming vessel. And flinched when he reached two fingers out to the scar at her left temple.

Nighteye’s hand ran back and forth over the length of the feather, while the other remained in contact with Reyanna. Eyes closed, he saw nothing but darkness, until suddenly he was blinded by the light of day. He looked around, or at least he did in his minds eye. There was a red winged Archangel on the rooftop of a barn…

They had been right, Reyanna thought. It didn’t hurt. There was a mildly permeating warmth, only slightly greater than the warmth of the mans touch. And the light prickle she felt was like that of something stiff, like starched fabric, brushing up against the point of contact. Her heart rate slowed as she began to calm, but then she saw the feather begin to disintegrate. Surely that wasn’t going to happen to her. Aizawa had said…

Nighteye drew his hand away and inhaled, eyes opening.

“That’s it?” Reyanna asked, turning back to Aizawa.

Shouta was tempted to tell her how well she had done, but the Witch had seen enough compromising interaction between them. He nodded at Reyanna and focused on Nighteye.

“Did you get it?” He asked.

“Of course.” Nighteye said, writing the last numbers of the Archangel’s coordinates. He torn the paper from the pad and held it up between two fingers. “I’d hurry. Angels and daimon's aren’t known for staying in one place long, and the price was for one spell only. Though I doubt you have another feather to try--”

Shouta ripped the paper from his hand, grabbing a hold of Reyanna’s hand as he read the location.

13.2

Shouta and Reyanna appeared in a dried riverbed.

“A little warning.” Reyanna complained.

Shouta held her steady, till she found her footing. “Sorry. Nighteye was right though. Time is of the essence. And I don’t have another feather to try again.”

He scanned their surroundings. There were heavy warding’s to their right. But as he had figured, Hawks had left the way open for Reyanna.

Shouta sighed. This would hardly be a pleasant trek for him.

“That way.” He pointed. “Go first, I’ll follow.”

“I’d appreciate the gentlemanly gesture more if we weren’t on our way to face an old enemy of mine.” Reyanna said.

“I asked you to go first because there’s protections in place against daimon's. But the Tie will allow me to follow you no matter what.”

Reyanna walked in the direction Aizawa had pointed, looking over her shoulder every now and again. The first few times, she had noticed the hard set of his jaw. But after looking back and seeing him grimacing as if in pain, she stopped.

“Aizawa. Are you alright?”

“Fine.” Shouta gritted.

Just because he could follow her passed the barrier didn’t mean the warding's didn’t have an effect. Shouta was walking against a wall of massive pressure, as if the space was trying to shove him out. It crushed against his entire body, pressing against his chest, making it difficult to breath. The effort it took to simply put one foot in front of the other was exhausting. And the pain…

“Aizawa.”

“Just--” He swallowed thickly, blinking sweat out of his eyes. “I’m fine. Just keep going.”

Reyanna turned and kept on, though she continued to worry about him. He had said that there were warding's in place. Was it possible they were causing him some kind of harm? The thought distressed her more than she cared to admit.

Not knowing what else to do, she hurried her steps hoping to quickly accomplish whatever he had brought them here to do, so they could get him out of there.

They crested the steep rise and saw a dilapidated barn about twelve yards away. One of the big, main doors was open and a large lavender cat laid in its entrance. It raised its head and looked at them, tail flicking, ears upright.

“I’ll take it from here.” Shouta panted.

His legs dragged as he stepped forward, ahead of Reyanna. His chest ached and blood boiled. But now that their goal was in sight, the pain and pressure were more easily ignored.

Reyanna remained frozen in place, staring at the cat. Was that the thing her enemy had taken from her? She didn’t feel a connection to it. No memories returned at the sight of it. Then again, she hadn’t remembered Hizashi and apparently had known him.

Suddenly a winged man appeared behind Aizawa.

Hawks grabbed the Daimon.

Shouta stumbled backward into the Archangel, and was barely able to produce and lift his blade in time to block Hawks’.

“I don’t know how you made it passed the barrier but it’s made you weak and slow, Aizawa.” Hawks added strength to his arm, his feathered blade pressing against Shouta's.

Shouta’s arms trembled as he pushed back. But fatigued and fighting against both the pressing force trying to push him out and Hawks’ strength, he wasn’t able to keep the weapons from nearing.

“Give me one reason not to do as I promised and kill you where you stand.” Hawks said, eyes focused on Aizawa's struggle.

Face grimacing from exertion, Shouta looked at Hawks out of the corner of his eye and cracked a snarling smile. “Cause if you do. She’ll kill you.”

As if on cue, Reyanna pressed the tip of her blade to the Archangel’s jugular.

Lifting his chin, Hawks turned his head a fraction, eyes following the line of the short sword to its wielder. “Reyanna! I’ve--”

“Drop the weapon and the barriers.” Reyanna growled.

Todoroki didn’t know what was going on, or who the two newcomers were; but for some reason he trusted this woman more than the two he had spent four months in hiding with. He had no idea why she wanted the protecting barriers down or how to go about such a thing, but he wanted to help her. Like that day four months ago, when the world he had known crumbled away and turned on its head, instinct took over.

Shouta was the first to feel the Llaes’ power, Hawks too distracted by Reyanna.

“Shinsou, stop him!” Shouta hollered, at the Were.

Hawks’ eyes snapped back to Aizawa. The world slowed as his thoughts quickened. He knew that the Were couldn't be trusted. Though if Aizawa was asking a child Third for help in stopping him, the Daimon must have been in dire straights. Then he felt it. The Llaes’ power. Fuck! What was it Reyanna had said, drop the weapon and the barriers. Shit!

“Todoroki! No!” Hawks yelled.

But it was too late. The Child of Hope had unsealed all of the protections that had been carefully put into place.

There was a still brief moment, that couldn’t have lasted for more than half a second, before Shouta moved. The pain and pressure from the barriers gone, but exhaustion laying heavy on his shoulders.

Shouta’s blade pushed against Hawks’. The two weapons circling as Aizawa forced the Archangel’s weapon down and away. Reaching out he grabbed Reyanna by the arm and pulled her to him.

“Get in the barn!” Shouta shouted, at Shinsou. “Seal it up.”

Back in human form, eyes wide with fear and concern, Hitoshi called back. “And you?”

“Now!” Shouta's eyes burned red.

For a moment Hitoshi thought that it was the Daimon's voice that cause the earth to shake, but then the ground exploded and out leapt vaporous black dogs. Hitoshi didn’t ask further questions as he pushed Todoroki inside, slamming the door shut behind. The weak structure would barely slow a normal person; but enclosed spaces were easier to seal and shield.

Okay think. Those were hellhound's. So he needed to shield the place against them, demons, and daimon's. But heavens host would surely come on their heels. So he needed to protect against them too. Shit! Aizawa was a Daimon, if he shielded the place…

“What do we do?” Todoroki asked, cutting into Hitoshi’s spiraling thoughts.

Right. Hitoshi took a steadying breath. One thing at a time. Aizawa said to seal the place. That must mean his mentor had a plan. The Llaes had to be protected.

Hitoshi cut a long, deep gash into the palm of his hand and spit in it. “I’m gonna do as I’m told.”

Todoroki's bi-colored eyes widened. Something in him had sensed the there was more to Hitoshi than his being a Were. Something in the way he smugly hassled Hawks, saying there were easier ways to go about certain things the Archangel did. But that wasn’t his concern right now. The woman he had just seen. The woman he had instantly felt a connection to. She was still out there.

He grabbed Hitoshi’s hand, stalling whatever he was about to do. “Wait!”

Hitoshi yanked his hand away. “There’s no waiting! Hell has literally sprung up and heaven will soon fall upon us, and they both want you!”

“But the woman.”

“Aizawa knows what he’s doing. If she’s important, he’ll protect her.”

And with that, Hitoshi began his spell work.

Chapter Text

14.1

Enji stepped passed the already battling angels and demons. “Grab to boy. Kill the bitch.”

Shouta released a feral growl that rivaled the hellhound's surrounding them.

“Tsunagu,” Enji addressed the fellow archangel, “end Ryuko and get rid of these beasts.”

Ryuko, the Daimon Master of Hellhounds, would provide Tsunagu a fun fight but otherwise little issue; if he could reach her. It wasn’t as if the hellhound's posed much of a threat to heavens second most powerful Chief; but Enji would rather not have the pests getting in the way.

The beasts were practically untouchable. Living things made of noxious black smoke, that could bite and claw without being touched themselves. There was little that could actually touch a hellhound, let alone kill one. The blades angels and daimon's carried were one such weapon. And while angels and daimon's could physically touch a hellhound, it took a measurable amount of energy and concentration to do so.

But the hounds weren’t there to just be a nuisance. If the beasts got a hold of the Child of Hope, the boy was as good as dead. And this particular child meant more to Enji than any of the previous ones they had strived to keep alive and take into hand. This Child of Hope would be the one. Enji was certain of it.

Shouta eyed the approaching Archangel and Daimon. “Hawks, get Reyanna back. If you see an opening, get her out of here.”

“But that kid!” Reyanna exclaimed, fighting against the winged Archangel’s grip.

She didn’t know why Aizawa was suddenly trusting her enemy with her care, but none of that mattered. She had felt a connection to the red and white haired boy. An instinct to protect him at all costs.

“He’s safe for now.” Shouta eased. “Shinsou will see to that.”

Kai reached Shouta first, his golden blade clashing with Aizawa's silver.

“Still messing with what is mine, I see.”

Shouta snarled at the Daimon General's words.

Blades locked, they fought to overpower the other. Seeing Enji near, Shouta pushed off, ducking away from the Archangel’s strike.

Kai took a stab at the Archangel’s back, but Enji shifted to the side at the last moment.

“Lucifer’s right hand and the troublesome Aizawa.” Enji sent a blast of flames at Shouta, while slashing his blade down towards Kai. “This day has been blessed.”

“And here I thought heaven valued the Llaes more.” Shouta said, bending back away from a thrust of the Archangel’s blade.

“Toshinori give up trying to seal hell’s gates? But still felt the need to make a show for the troops, and sent you?” Kai questioned, echoing Shouta's sentiments. “You’re right, Enji. The day has been blessed. We’ll be taking Reyanna and the Llaes to hand. With her in custody we may not have to kill the boy outright. Who knows? In her unknowing state, we might just get her to convince the child to close the gates of heaven.”

Kai’s words had Enji and Shouta focusing their attacks on him.

“Stay behind me.” Hawks instructed, pushing Reyanna further back.

“The kid!” Reyanna contended, eyes on the barn.

Hawks’ wing fluttered. “Trust me, Anna. I won’t fail you again.”

Trust him? He was leading her further away from where she needed to be. Further away from the boy she had seen. He was the one who had given her the scar on her temple. Aizawa had called him her enemy. Had said he had taken something of hers. And now Aizawa had left her in his care to battle what looked like two formidable foes.

She peeped over Hawks’ shoulder. There were two groups stalking closer, cornering them against a tree. The only reason either hadn’t rushed them yet, was because they were warily eyeing each other.

Hawks spread his wings and adjusted his grip on his blade. Three angels, two demons, and five hellhound's. He would have been offended if he didn’t have two people to protect now. At least Shinsou was looking after Todoroki. He might not fully trust the Were. But after seeing who he worked for, he now trusted Hitoshi to seal the barn and do whatever else he could to keep the Llaes from heaven and hell.

The released Archangel scanned his foes. He wondered how much Reyanna remembered. She clearly didn’t remember him. Of course, if she were directly threatened instinct would kick in and… But nobody wanted to chance that.

Something dripped on his sleeve from the branches above. Hawks was in the mist of looking up, when a hellhound leapt from the tree, tackling him.

Make that six hellhound's, Hawks thought distantly. Concentrating his energy, he rolled and flapped his wings throwing the beast off. Three of the five stalking hellhound's took his being down as invitation to pounce. On his knees, the Archangel stabbed one and gutted another, but the third knocked him to his back and sunk its teeth into his right arm, jaw locking in place. His blade fell from his hand as he hissed and cursed against the pain. The hellhound's venomous saliva sizzled as it pooled in the open wound.

Reyanna turned her blade in her hand. She was about to drive the weapon down into the hellhound on top of Hawks when she was grabbed from behind and pulled back. Her legs lifted into the air as she kicked and screamed.

The two surrounding demons engaged two of the three angels. Hawks made a grab from his blade; but the hellhound he had thrown off recovered and attacked before he could reach it.

The third Angel faced off against the other two hellhound's. She easily killed one and cut the other, kicking it in Hawks’ direction. With the hellhound's attention diverted to Hawks, the Angel made her way to Reyanna and the Demon holding her.

“Hand the Bitch over and I may let you liv--” The Angel didn’t get to finish her sentence. She exploded.

Reyanna shrieked behind the hand clamped over her mouth. Eyes manic, she took in the golden eyed Daimon, Aizawa had been fighting.

Standing behind the bloody mess that had once been an Angel, Kai stared back at her. Despite his proximity, there wasn’t a chunk of flesh or speck of blood on his finely tailored suit.

Blinking away the dead Angel’s sprayed blood, Reyanna’s eyes panned over to Aizawa, terrified of what she might see. But Shouta was still alive and in one piece, battling the hulking Archangel.

Her struggle heightened as the sinister Daimon stalked closer, his gold eyes dancing with malicious interest.

“Fuck!” The Demon holding her, dropped her.

Reyanna fell to her knees. The Demon’s hand came down on her face so hard, it whipped her head around and sent her sprawling out on the ground.

“Fucking bitch, bit me.”

Those were the Demon’s last words. With a snap of Kai’s gloved fingers, the Demon exploded.

Kai’s eyes turned to Hawks, who was still on his back.

The released Archangel was exerting a great amount of energy so he could make physical contact with two of the hellhound's, trying to keep them from getting a good bite that the beasts could lock their jaws around. His blade laid tantalizingly close; and would have been easy to reach if his right forearm hadn’t been locked in the maw of a snarling hellhound.

Hawks twisted, and kicked one of the beasts off of him. The hellhound that had him by the arm shook its head, jerking his body side to side. His foot and wings reached, trying to catch his blade and drag it closer. But the hellhound gave another vicious thrash that made him knock the blade well beyond reach instead.

Kai smirked down at the scene. It would be a sad end for the once feared Assassin of Heaven. The Archangel deserved better than to be done in by three mere hellhound’s. But Kai felt no compulsion to give Hawks a better death. Not when the Archangel had taken something of his.

Lifting his eyes, Kai stepped passed Hawks. “Reyanna.” He stopped a few paces away from her. “Are you alright? That Demon didn’t hurt you, did he?”

Trembling, Reyanna wrapped a hand around the hilt of her blade. She tried not to think about the sticky, warm liquid that covered her, telling herself that it was sweat. Slick blood and leaf litter made her grip all the more unstable. Pushing back onto her haunches, she pointed the weapon at the Daimon and backed up against the tree trunk.

“Forgive me.” Kai went on. “I try to imbue my legions with a sense of proper respect, but I’m afraid your being gone for awhile has made some forgetful of the care and deference you’re due. You look well, by the way. Do you remember me?”

Reyanna looked down at Hawks, still on the ground, struggling behind the Daimon that stood in front of her. Her eyes lifted and turned to Shouta, who continued to fight Enji. She was alone and helpless. How could she have thought that she could protect the boy she had seen? She couldn’t even protect herself.

Kai’s calm, silken voice turned sharp and threatening. “Look at me when I’m talking to you.” With her eyes back on him, he questioned again. “Do you remember me?”

Reyanna shook her head.

“I suppose Aizawa thought it best to keep you unknowing and shielded for as long as possible.” Kai did his best to effect a sympathetic expression. “Frustrating, isn’t it? Being asked to trust someone when you know they’re keeping things from you.” It was an easy, educated guess. “I’ll have you know, I would do no such thing if you came with me. I would answer all your questions. Tell you exactly who and what you are. I could do so better than Aizawa ever could. For I knew you from the time you were born. I was there when your mother birthed you. Looked after her as she carried you in her womb.”

Reyanna stared into the Daimon's shining gold eyes. “My mother?”

“I could tell you all about her, if you’d like.” Kai offer her a gloved hand. “Just come with me and leave this fighting behind.”

Having led Enji into a mass of demons, Shouta tried to break away and go after Kai. He got half a dozen yards away when he had to stop and fight off a team of angels.

“Kai’s a Prince of hell, Reyanna!” Shouta called to her. “One of Lucifer's Generals.”

“So were you.” Kai said, eyes turning to him. “Once.”

“Once.” Shouta ducked and drove his blade into an angel. He cursed seeing Enji barrel his toward him. He’d rather not bring the Archangel anywhere near Reyanna. But Kai didn’t want Enji within striking distance of her either.

“Time is short, Reyanna.” Kai said, a hint of impatience in his voice. “I don’t want to harm you and kill your… friends. But I will.”

Reyanna looked around. The area was nothing short of a battleground. Numerous warriors on both sides were fighting, and falling. Handfuls more were mobbed against the barn trying to get in. Aizawa had said she wasn’t on either heaven or hell's side. But to see so much death. To see Aizawa struggling...

“Anna, no!” Hawks gritted.

He fought against the hellhound's. His attention and strength failed him, and a second locked its jaws around him. His leg burned as poisonous saliva entered his system from a second location. Still, he fought with all his might. He had just gotten his friend back. There was no way in hell he was going to let her go with Kai and be delivered into Lucifer's hands.

“She’s not going anywhere.” Hawks spat, at the Daimon.

Kai smirked down at him. “As if you could do anything to stop me. Released and restrained as you are. You can’t even fend off three hellhound's.” He turned to Shouta, eyes sparkling in mirth, and questioned as if taking a vote. “What say you, Aizawa? You always were the more rational.”

“What he said.” Shouta answered with a grunt, flipping a demon over his back.

Kai turned back to Reyanna. “Are you really going to let them die for you, Reyanna?”

Shouta grabbed a lunging demon, using him as a shield against an angels strike. Shoving the wounded demon at another, he snapped. “She doesn’t get a say.”

“There you go again, Aizawa. Trying to make all the decisions.” Kai smiled, darkly. “I wonder what this one will cost you. Care to make a deal? The Llaes is right over there in that barn. But I warn you, my offer won’t be as sweet as Lucifer's was. The boss may still have a soft spot for you, but I don’t. You took and defiled what was promised to me. I don’t take kindly to others attempting to lay claim to what is mine.”

Shouta growled as he slashed at one demon, and drove his blade through another. His path diverted from a direct line toward Kai and Reyanna. Two more steps and he was but a few feet away from Hawks’ blade.

He ducked under the swipe of an angels blade and danced around the thrust of another, angling his steps closer to the weapon. Focus diverted between Reyanna, Kai, the barn, those he was fighting, Hawks, and Hawks’ blade, it was only a matter of time before something was missed. That something just so happened to be a hellhound. The beast bounded straight for him, and reared up.

Shouta turned out of the way, but one of the creatures paws still made contact. Razor sharp claws sunk into his flesh just below the collarbone and scratched long, deep, jagged lines down. He grunted, and sunk his own razor sharp weapon into the hellhound, killing it. He kicked Hawks’ blade over to him, and continued fighting.

Hawks grabbed his weapon. Having to wield his blade with his left hand might have made the kills sloppy, but they were quick kills nonetheless. The hellhound that had its jaws locked around his right arm fell with a thud, wrenching his shoulder at an odd angle till the creature faded away.

“Thanks!” Hawks called, giving Aizawa a nod as he pushed to wobbly knees.

“It was in my way.” Shouta dispraised, striking down a demon and an angel. “Quit laying around and be usefu--”

“No!” Reyanna screamed, watching in horror as Enji kicked Shouta off of the blade he’d driven into the Daimon's back.

She didn’t know what could kill a Daimon like Aizawa, but that strike looked like it might have been near his heart. It was difficult to say. Still, it was enough to make her fear the worst when Shouta staggered to the ground.

Kai stepped toward Reyanna, only to take a step back when he saw her eyes turn black.

“Fuck.” He cursed, and flinted away.

Hawks hit the deck, and used the last of his energy to flint behind the barn. His exhaustion and the hellhound's venom made the travel increasingly slow. Before he managed to fully reach his destination, his wings were singed by the burning tidal wave of heavy, frigid air that rolled off Reyanna.

Everything stopped, then returned to motion in a rush.

Enji’s eyes widened. He flinted away, but not before the first reaches of the blast hit the side of his face. Others weren’t as lucky. Angels and demons froze and shattered in an instant. Archangels and daimon's were burned and scarred. Many of them passed recognition or healing.

Reyanna dropped to her knees, tried to get up, and fell again.

“Shouta!” She called, voice raw and cracked with fear.

She flinted to him without thought.

Shouta groaned as she rolled him over onto his side. He was the only one who wasn’t burned by her blast, though there were icicles in his hair and his lips were a purple-ish blue.

His teeth chattered as he spoke. “What are you trying to do, Kitten? Kill me?”

Tears rolled down her cheeks and onto his face. She wanted to kiss him. Wanted to hit him. “Don’t you ever scare me like that again!”

“I never say never. But, I’ll try. Promise.” Shouta tried to sit up, and fell back against her. The exhaustion and wounds taking their toll. “We have to get out of here. They scattered like roaches but they’ll be back.”

His muddled mind only now remembered to call. Eyes tinting red, he silently beckoned: Hizashi.

Thinking he wanted her to flint them away, Reyanna shook her head. “I don’t know if I can.”

“Where’s Hawks?” Shouta asked.

A part of him hoped the released Archangel had been killed in the blast.

“Got him.” Hizashi called, carrying Hawks on a shoulder.

“Where have you been?” Reyanna demanded. “We could’ve used your help.”

“I’m still attached to heaven, yo. Couldn’t very well fight my own brothers and sisters.” Hizashi set Hawks’ unconscious form down near Shouta and Reyanna. “Someone wanna call the kiddos out so we can break this joint?”

They appeared in a sleek modern penthouse that was very much not the cozy, craftsman Reyanna had been hoping to return to.

“Where are we?” Todoroki asked, watching as Hizashi laid Hawks out on a glass dining room table.

“Who cares. It doesn’t smell like rat or waste.” Hitoshi said, taking in a clean, deep breath for the first time in months. A part of him swore that Hawks had been picking ever worse places for them to hide out in, just to spite his sensitive nose.

“My place.” Hizashi said. He look at Shouta. “You’ll be safe here. I’ll see to Hawks.”

“No.” Shouta said, sinking into a dining chair. “You have to get back. Too much went down. They lost the Llaes and a chance to kill Reyanna. They’ll be looking for you and suspicious if you can’t be found.”

“But...” Hizashi gestured to the wounded Hawks; dark black webbing from the hellhound's poison already prominent on the Archangel’s right hand.

“Shinsou will be able to take care of him. So long as you’ve got a fully stocked kitchen.” Shouta said.

Hizashi looked over at Hitoshi.

So the purple haired boy was a Witch. A Witch and a Were. A Witch Were. Were Witch. Hizashi gave a mental nod; that sounded better. He wondered what Shouta and Were Witch’s story was. Daimon's and Third’s didn’t have the best history. And, human or not, Aizawa didn’t care for witches. In truth, even witches didn’t care for other witches.

“Uh, yeah.” Hizashi nodded and pointed the way.

Shinsou headed in it, Todoroki following.

“I got a fully stocked kitchen for both craft and eating.” Hizashi called, loud enough for the two boys to hear. He cringed, voice softening. “Might not be the freshest stuff...”

Hizashi didn’t go into the kitchen unless he had visitors. He recalled the last visitors he had had, and grinned. Oh, to be of such service again. He could almost hear the women's laughter. Feel their hands roaming his body. Their mouths…

“Zashi.” Shouta’s voice broke into the memory. “You should get going.”

Hizashi looked over Shouta's torn shirt and bloody chest. “What about you?”

“I’m fine.” Shouta dismissed. “Just need some rest.”

Hizashi nodded. He didn’t know what all went down before his arrival, but had little doubt Shouta had expelled a lot of power and energy. As that energy was recovered, the Daimon's ability to heal would strengthen and speed.

“You’re not fine!” Reyanna argued. “You were stabbed in the back.”

“Stabbed?” Hizashi echoed, voice rising higher than hers and making Shouta wince. “By a blade?”

Shouta’s lips pressed together, eyes closing. All he wanted to do was sleep. Just let him sleep and he would be fine.

Reyanna nodded.

“Who?” Hizashi demanded.

“Some massive, red haired Archangel.” Reyanna told.

“Enji?” Hizashi asked. Green eyes turned to the dozing Daimon. “Shouta. Did Enji stab you?”

Shouta nodded. Eyes slowly, blinking open he said. “I knew he was a bastard that didn’t give two fucks. But stabbing someone in the back… That seems low even for him.” He tried to lift a shoulder, the pain making him stop and grimace. “Caught me off guard is all.”

Hizashi felt his blood run cold. Enji had been there. He had figured some higher ups would be there. It was for the possession of Child of Hope after all. But, heavens second in command…

Shouta was right. He had to get back. But first...

Hizashi reached for Reyanna’s hand as he spoke. “Enji’s been on edge.”

“You mean more than usual.” Shouta huffed, eyes slipping closed again.

Hizashi placed his other hand on Shouta's shoulder. “Something about this Child of Hope has him--”

“Yamada. What the fuck!” Shouta scowled and pushed the Angel’s hand off him. But it was too late. The pain in his back had diminished to a dull ache.

Feeling faint, Reyanna held herself up against the table. And to think, she had thought she was tired before.

“Sorry.” Hizashi apologized, to her. “I couldn’t expend my own energy. They’d ask too many questions.” He looked at Shouta and scolded. “You know wounds from a blade will fester and scar if not tended to.”

Before Shouta could snap a reply, Hizashi was gone.

Good, Shouta thought. Now he could sleep. He got up and stumbled, knocking the chair over. He didn’t bother to pick it up, as he turned and staggered over to the guest bedroom he had crashed in once before.

Reyanna followed, leaving the unconscious, winged Archangel laid out on the table. So maybe he wasn’t the kind of enemy she had been expecting. He had tried to help her and Aizawa, which only added to her ever growing list of questions. But none of that mattered right now. Aizawa was hurt and needed tending to. As tired as she was, she would see to his wounds, then get some sleep. And then, once they were both rested and recovered, she was light the Daimon's ass on fire and demand answers. Who knew, with three others added to the mix, she might just get some answers this time.

Shouta fell into bed.

He felt Reyanna’s presence. Heard her close the door.

“What’s the matter Kitten?” He asked, voice muffled by a pillow. “Looking to snuggle? Afraid that’s all I’m good for at the moment.”

“Shut up.” Reyanna moved to the en-suite bathroom.

It didn’t take much searching for her to find a first aid kit. She stepped to the bedside, setting the kit on the nightstand, and turned on the lamp.

“Sit up and take off your shirt.”

Shouta turned his head. A single dark eye stared out at her from beneath a curtain of black hair. “It’s fine, Anna. I’m fine. I just need some rest.”

“Sit up. Shirt off.”

Shouta closed his eyes and growled into the pillow. Why did she have to be so damn stubborn. She had to be just as weary as he was. Possibly more so, given the amount of energy she had expended in that single inhaling burst. Despite his rare ability to burn cold, if he had been any closer it would have harmed him too.

“Come on, Aizawa. The sooner I clean up those scratches. The sooner we can both sleep.”

Both sleep? Now there was a thought. He rolled to his side, groaning in complaint, pain, and the wonderful thought of her body tucked up against him. Just the idea of it had him forgetting his exhaustion long enough to make him wonder why was he being so difficult when she wanted to put her hands on him. To have him undress for her.

He sat up quicker than his body was ready for and wobbled.

Reyanna gripped his arms, holding him steady.

Her touch felt so good. Shouta's eyes closed, as he practically melted at the contact. Her hands would feel even better against his bare skin.

He moved to take off his shredded shirt, the pain making him hiss and stop half way through the task. Thankfully, the stab wound in his back had been healed enough to only be a consuming dull ache, or else he might have passed out. Apparently Hizashi had only used Reyanna’s energy to heal the wound just to the point that it wouldn’t fester and scar. That explained why she was still able to stand.

“Here. Let me help you.”

Shouta wordlessly allowed Reyanna pull his shirt off the rest of the way.

She dropped the garment to the floor, wincing in sympathy at the four deep cuts etched into his chest. This man had been nothing but kind and patient with her; tolerating the worst she could throw at him in her an attempt to drive him away. And the worst he was guilty of was not answering a few stupid questions. Okay yeah, her questions were actually quite important and not at all stupid; but still...

Shouta heard her sniff. His bleary eyes slowly focused on her. “Anna. It looks worse than it is. I’ll be fine. I promise.”

Embarrassed, Reyanna quickly blinked away her unshed tears. “I know. It’s—it’s just—sorry. It’s just been a lot. You know?”

Shouta ran a comforting hand up and down her arm. “It’s definitely been a day. What do you say we sleep the rest of it away?”

Reyanna nodded.

When Shouta made to lay back down, she stopped him. “Let me clean your wounds first, Shouta.”

Shouta made a face. He was about to deny her; but the words died in his throat as his sluggish mind slowly realized that she had called him by his chosen name.

“Please.” She pressed.

Mouth suddenly dry, Shouta swallowed and said. “If you could wash the cuts out and make sure there’s no fabric or debris, they’ll heal up on their own, without scar.”

Reyanna nodded, tenderly brushing his hair off his shoulders and out of his face.

Though she now knew he would be alright; in her mind, she almost lost him. And from the look of concern on Hizashi's face and initiative he had taken in healing the wound in Shouta's back, it was obvious that it had been worse than the Daimon made it seem.

She couldn’t stop her eyes from wandering over his bare chest and abs as she gently cleaned and flushed the wound. Bending down she moved her face closer, keen eyes searching for bits of cloth and ground litter. This close, she could feel the heat radiating off him, smell his intoxicating musk over the sweat and blood. He smelled like oat stout and tasted of the same. Her mouth watered at the remembered taste she had swiped off of him, the night she had summoned Dabi. Focus, she chided herself.

Turning, she took up a pair of tweezers and set to work, wincing when Shouta's muscles jerked and tensed.

“Sorry.” Reyanna apologized. “Almost done.”

Eyes closed, Shouta could have stayed like that forever, despite the sharp stabs of pain. Reyanna was so close her breath washed over him, warming his skin with her every exhale. And her touch... Her touch was so light and tender, it was almost maddening. But at least her hands were on him.

All too soon he felt her pull back. Shouta opened his eyes.

Reyanna pressed the tip of the tweezers handle between her lips and clasped his shoulders. Leaning forward, she moved right and then left, eyes carefully searching for any pieces she may have missed.

“There.” She said, around the tweezers. Satisfied.

A jealousy welled up inside him. He wanted to pull the tweezers from her lips and crush them to dust; while he pushed his tongue into her mouth in their place. He moved to do just that, but Reyanna turned away.

There was a nervousness about her, as she set the tweezers down, that told she had some idea what he had aimed to do.

Undeterred, Shouta grabbed her wrist and tugged her back to him.

“How can I thank you for taking such good care of me?” He asked, eyes slowly rising from her breasts to her face.

“By letting us both get some rest.” Reyanna said, hand pushing against the unharmed side of his chest.

Shouta wrapped his right arm around her waist, and stretched up.

Tucking her chin, Reyanna leaned back and away.

Legs lifting him a few inches off the bed, Shouta chased as she turned her head one way and then the other.

“Aizawa. Don’t.”

Shouta stopped. Though his hold didn’t loosen, his attempts to kiss her ceased. He sunk back down onto the mattress, the small burst of energy his desirous excitement had caused gone in a flash.

“Come on, Kitten. Let’s get some sleep.”

Shouta pulled her with him as he fell back into bed.

Reyanna squawked and squeaked in complaint and surprise. “Aizawa!”

Shouta found it telling that even as she struggled to break free and get out of bed, she remained mindful of his injuries.

He curled onto his side and tucked her against him, wrapping his arms and legs around her.

“Hush, now.” He soothed, eyes already closed. “Sleep.”

How could one exhausted Daimon be this strong? Reyanna squirmed and fussed a bit more, but soon gave up.

Shouta released a contented, approving sigh. Despite being covered in sweat, dirt, and dried demon and angel blood, he could still smell her sweet scent. It would have been almost perfect, if not for her final words.

“I’m not your kitten, Aizawa.” Reyanna mumbled, eyes drifting closed.

Chapter Text

15.1

Angels and archangel’s rushed to get out of Enji’s way as he marched through the spacious columned halls of heaven. At the first sight of the heavens second in command, they instantly averted their eyes, afraid to catch his gaze. Many suddenly remembered that there was somewhere else they needed to be and flinted away.

Enji ignored them all. They were all beneath him. Unworthy of his time or attention. Especially now.

The Child of Hope had been so close…

No one dared to try and stop him as he burst through the doors of Toshinori’s office.

“Out!” Enji roared, at the Assistant within.

When Naomasa hesitated, Toshinori gave the Angel a nod.

“Enji,” Toshinori stood, giving the other Archangel a sympathetic smile, “I heard what happened. Terrible shame, loosing the Child of Hope. But you should really see about that burn. It’ll scar--”

Enji slammed a fist on Toshinori’s desk, halting the Chief of Heaven’s words. “Terrible shame! Is that all you have to say?”

Toshinori’s small comforting smile fell. “I... have no doubt you did the best that you...”

The blood rushing through Enji’s ears deafened him to whatever Toshinori was saying. His heart hammered so hard, it made his eyes pulse in their sockets. The searing pain of the burn on the left side of his face was nothing compared to raging well of emotions he felt at loosing the Child of Hope. This Child of Hope.

“You should have been there.” Enji seethed.

Toshinori shook his head. “I told you long ago that I would have nothing to do with portents and prophecies. This Child of Hope business is yours to oversee, if you so wish. But I will not send Brother’s and Sister’s to fight and die for something I do not believe in.”

“But you will let me send them? They’ll fight and die just the same! If you had been there they probably wouldn’t have died and we would likely have the Child of Hope in hand!”

“Your confidence in me is flattering. I--”

“Shut the hell up!”

Toshinori looked sadly at his Brother. “I am sorry things did not work out the way you wanted, Enji. I’m even more sorry to have heard that Reyanna was there and yet still lives. But given that your motives and attention were diverted between my will and your own, such an outcome is to be expected. Please. Do me a favor, and see to your wound. It would sadden me greatly if it were to scar.”

15.2

“What happened?”

“She used her power.”

“You don’t think I know that? Felt it.” Lucifer stepped around his kneeling General. “In her current state she could have lost herself completely. Where would we be then? Dead. All of us. Everything. Dead.”

Head bowed, Kai didn’t say a word.

“You went for the Llaes and happened upon Reyanna, yet managed to bring me neither. You put Nemuri’s information to waste and failed me.”

“Nemuri’s information was of little use when we had no way to find or track Hawks. It was the shielding spells going down that led us to them.”

Lucifer nodded slowly. “So you are saying you were incompetent in finding the Llaes. Even after you were told who had him. What happened to the protections? Who took them down? Heaven?”

Kai shook his head. “I don’t know.”

“What do you know?” Lucifer asked.

The condescending tone made Himiko giggle from her position atop Lucifer's massive, shining black desk. Her legs swung as she leaned back, heels kicking against the paneling.

Kai stared daggers at the intricately woven rug beneath his knee. His gloved hands clenched so tightly that his fingers bruised his palms. Himiko might be favored by Lucifer right now. But, like all the rest, that favor would eventually end. And once it did, Kai would take the déclassé nephilim into his lab and take her apart, cell by cell.

No matter how many Lucifer went through, none of the demon-human bred nephilim would take the place of Reyanna. None of them were Lucifer's own blood. Created from his seed. None of them would the take place of his Daughter.

Kai found it sad. Pathetic even. That Lucifer wanted to be a father so badly. That when Reyanna was taken, and willfully didn’t return, that Lucifer had taken to ‘adopting’ daughters in her stead. Of course these nephilim could never take Reyanna’s place. And not just because they weren’t Lucifer's true born daughters.

Reyanna was a singular creature. The only Nephilim born of a daimon and a human. As such, none of the other nephilim had her power.

Of course, other daimon's had tried to do as their Leader had done. But even Lucifer hadn’t been able to replicate the results. The women rarely got pregnant. And even when they did, they either died unable to tolerate the power of the child they carried, or killed themselves. And as for the female daimon's, like Nemuri, none of them had once gotten pregnant.

It was likely due to the fact that demon’s had once been human that they were able to bred with humans as well as they did. That wasn’t to say that nephilim births were a regularity. But there were enough of them to have made their mark on history and be of service to hell.

“Aizawa is with Reyanna and has tied himself to her.” Kai said.

“Tied himself to her?” Lucifer chuckled. “Isn’t that something. Maybe if I promised my Daughter’s hand to him, things would have turned out different.”

Kai lifted his eyes for the first time since having knelt before his Master.

“Don’t look at me like that.” Lucifer said. “What’s done is done. When Reyanna is brought back home, I will break the Bond between her and Aizawa and give her to you.”

Kai didn’t mention that Lucifer had once had a chance to do exactly that, but had made a deal with Aizawa instead.

“I won’t fail you again, Sir. I will find Reyanna and bring her to you.”

“The Llaes takes priority.” Lucifer said, moving around his desk and sitting. “Now that the so called Child of Hope has come into his power, he must be quickly dealt with. We cannot have heaven getting their hands on him. Kill him or bring him in. Then, we can focus our attention on Reyanna.”

“The two will likely stay together, now that they have found each other.”

“Just don’t disappoint me again, Kai.”

“Of course not, Sir.”

Dismissed, Kai got to his feet, thankful his Master had been in relative good humor.

“Oh, and Kai.” Lucifer called. “Take Himiko with you. You can obviously use the help.”

15.3

Shouta's eyes fluttered open to find Reyanna on top of him.

“Good morning, Handsome. I was wondering if you’d ever wake up.”

Eyes closing, Shouta rolled his neck and stretched. “Mmm.”

His bare chest reverberated under her hands at his hum.

Opening his eyes, Shouta focused on her, his hands running up her straddling thighs. “And what would I have missed if I hadn’t?”

Reyanna smirked down at him and rolled her hips against his naked erection.

Shouta sucked in a sharp breath, trying to hold her against him when she let up.

“Oh, no you don’t.” Reyanna said, taking his wrists and leaning forward to pin them above his head. “What is it you’re always telling Tamaki? Gotta finish what you start. Well I started this and I fully intend on finishing. So you just lay back and be good.”

Shouta barely heard her, his attention focused on the hanging fruit of her breasts that swung gently over his face. He lifted his head off the pillow and opened his mouth. But before he could latch onto his prize, she moved.

Sitting back up, Reyanna tisked. “So naughty, Shou.”

“Anna.” He bucked his hips up to her.

Unmoved, she pressed down on his abdomen. “Be good for me, Love. It’s only fair that you behave as good as you demand.”

Shouta scoffed. “Are you trying to say you take my teasing so well? Don’t make me—f—uck!”

Reyanna chuckled as the hand that had wrapped snugly around his cock twisted. “What was that?”

“Fuck me.” Shouta said, pumping up into her fist.

Leaning forward, Reyanna tilted her head and pretended to consider. “Um… I’ve got a better idea.”

Shouta nipped at her lips, growling when she pulled back every time he got near. “No more teasing, Anna. I’m serious. I’ll roll you over and fuck you into the bed so long and hard, we’ll both need another nap.”

Nuzzling against his neck, Reyanna tauntingly complained. “So demanding, Shadow. Where’s your patience?”

Shouta rolled his eyes at the nickname. He was going to murder Hizashi for ever putting the idea in her head. He was far from Reyanna’s shadow. Shouta was his own person. A person who admittedly remained in her presence whenever he could. But still his own person. He didn’t have to be this devoted to her. It simply suited him. The rewards far outweighing anything anyone else could ever hope to offer.

Reyanna kissed him, her tongue pushing into his mouth and exploring.

Who the hell was he kidding? He belonged to her utterly and completely. There was no longer any choice in it, if there ever had been. He was hers. Hers to do with as she pleased. Lucky for him, her pleasure was to have him in every way that he wanted her.

Shouta buried his hands in Reyanna’s soft, shining hair. His tongue pushed back. The kiss quickly grew rougher as they each fought for dominance.

Reyanna gave a hard bite to his lower lip, raking her nails down his chest.

Shouta pulled back a fraction, hissing at the delicious pain. His hands moved down to her hips and gripped them with bruising force. The slick from her pussy seeped between her fingers, easing the up and down slide of his cock as he rutted into her hand.

Reyanna licked at the drop of blood on Shouta's lip, the only remaining sign that her bite had broken the skin. Kissing and nipping her way down his jawline, she sucked and bit new marks into his neck, the ones from last night long gone.

“Mine.” She rasped, teeth and lips latching onto his earlobe. “You’re all mine, Shouta.”

“Then take me.”

The idea was tempting, but she had said she had a better idea. And it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity just because she couldn’t deny herself for a little bit.

Sitting back up, Reyanna moved a leg between his.

To Shouta, it looked like she was going to get up and leave him. Fingers digging into her, he asked. “Where do you think you’re going?”

Reyanna smiled like the cat that got the canary. “To get some breakfast.” She moved her other leg between his and gave his lips another kiss as she scooted down. “Be back in a few.”

Shouta's eyes fluttered open. He found Reyanna partially on top of him, her head rested on his bare chest. His left hand ran over the arm she had thrown over him, his right arm tightening around her. Dried blood cracked and flaked from her serene face. It matted her dark brown hair, making it appear almost black. Still, she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

He smiled lazily, before remembering the sense that had woke him. His eyes drifted over to the door and narrowed. Giving her brow a gentle kiss, he flinted to the bedrooms entrance and opened the door, startling the person on the other side.

“What is it, Shinsou?”

“Just wanted to make sure you were alive, is all.” Hitoshi said. He gave a nervous smile and rubbed the back of his neck. “Did I wake you? Sorry. I tried to listen for noise. Didn’t want to knock, in case you were still recouping. Crazy day, huh? Not today. I mean-- It’s tomorrow, in case you didn’t realize. I mean, it’s today but-- What I mean is yesterday, was the day everything went down, and today is today. So yesterday was the crazy day and--”

“Shinsou.”

“Sorry. It’s just...” He hadn’t seen his Mentor in what felt like ages. And after everything, with his classmate turning out to be the Llaes. He was just so happy and relieved to see Aizawa.

There was so much Hitoshi wanted to know. Wanted to say. So many questions he wanted to ask the Daimon. He wanted to know if his Mentor had known at the start that Todoroki had been the Llaes. If that was why Aizawa had set him up in that warehouse apartment four years ago.

Instead Hitoshi peered over the Daimon's shoulder at the woman sleeping in the bed beyond.

Shouta noticed and quickly moved in the way of Hitoshi’s vision. “Start breakfast. I’ll be out in a bit.”

Shouta entered the kitchen, hair still wet and dripping from his shower. Thankfully he had some clothes stashed here in case of situations like this. So he wasn’t forced to wear one of Hizashi's many band shirts or novelty pajama pants.

The place had once had three bedrooms but Hizashi had long since converted one of the rooms into a walk-in wardrobe. The Angel had band t-shirts dating back to the late sixties. Shouta was almost positive Hizashi had the first band shirt ever made. Hell, he wouldn’t be surprised if Yamada had been the one that incited the idea.

“Hawks dead?” Shouta asked, silently hoping the answer was yes.

“Alive and sleeping. ….Still.” Hitoshi answered, rolling his eyes. He truly questioned if Hawks was an Archangel. The guy seemed more like a mid-level angel given the power and ability he had displayed thus far.

Shouta sighed in disappointment. Damn. Well at least that meant he still had a chance to make good on his promise to kill Hawks one day. Too bad that day wouldn’t be today.

“The Llaes?”

“Sleeping as well.” Hitoshi said, dishing up two plates and setting one before Shouta.

The two sat at the counter seating that overlooked the mess Hitoshi had made while cooking.

“I see you haven’t gotten any better at cleaning up after yourself.” Shouta remarked.

“I--” Hitoshi turned to the Daimon in mild offense. “I’m eating. I’ll clean up after I’m done, alright.”

“And still don’t have a thick enough skin.” Shouta added.

Hitoshi scowled. He had a thick skin. His life had seen to that. It was far from irregular for one to be a solitary Witch. But to be a Were without a pack, and a Witch on top of that… Add to that, that he was a created Third. Scratched and made to be a Were, not birthed. He didn’t fit in anywhere. And, other than Aizawa, he didn’t have anyone. He had been picked on, scorned, beat up, and feared simply for being who he was.

He took a sullen bite of food and sniffed the air, but stopped when Shouta paused mid-chew, turning his dark eyes on him.

After a while Hitoshi ventured. “So, that woman...”

“What about her?” Shouta asked, when Hitoshi didn’t go on.

“Back at the barn, Todoroki was worried about her. I told him that if she was important you would protect her… You did. And then you went and slept in the same bed as her...” Hitoshi gave a couple quick sniffs.

“Is there a question I missed somewhere in there?”

Hitoshi sniffed. “You’re tied to her, but--” He sniffed again wanting to be sure.

“Stop that, it’s rude. You’re not a dog.”

“It was a one sided contract, wasn’t it.”

Staring straight ahead, Shouta criticized. “Logic could have told you that quicker and easier than your nose, if you but took the time to think. I don’t work for hell. So, why would I make a deal in exchange for a soul?”

“Did you make the deal in exchange for something else?” Hitoshi asked.

“Eat your food.”

“It’s her, isn’t it?”

Shouta remained silent.

“The one you always, yet never talked about.” Hitoshi pressed.

It was a curious thing, how Aizawa could mention something or refer to someone in passing yet never directly speak of it. There had been someone in particular that his Mentor had done this quite often with. A woman. No longer around, yet still alive. At least from what little Hitoshi had been able to piece together. This woman was, or had been, of great importance to Aizawa. Of course, the Daimon had never told him that, or what had happened between the two of them. Aizawa had never openly talked about her at all. But as far as Hitoshi could gather, the woman had hurt his Mentor gravely.

Hitoshi was certain that Aizawa would ignore him like he always did when he tried to get information out of him. It was one of the more annoying aspect about the Daimon. At least as far as Hitoshi was concerned.

“It’s her.” Shouta said, after a long pause.

“Hey, can I ask you something?”

“If it’s about Reyanna and I, no.”

Though there were a million questions Hitoshi wanted to ask on that subject, he had already known he wouldn’t be getting any more answers on the subject. He was honestly surprised that Aizawa had confirmed the single, small fact. But as soon as he had, Hitoshi had felt the need to change the subject, for his Mentor’s sake.

“What’s Hawks’ deal?”

Huffing, Shouta’s lips twitched, pulling down a smirk. “You’re going to have to be a bit more specific.”

“I mean. He’s gotta be the weakest, good for nothing Archangel I’ve even seen.”

Shouta found himself strangely offended on Hawks’ behalf. It was a feeling he did not like. Not in the least.

Scowling, Shouta questioned. “Seen many Archangel’s, have you?” Sighing, he pushed away his plate and went on. “Hawks is released from heaven.”

“I know that.”

“Then you obviously don’t know or remember enough of my teaching.”

“Well it’s been a while since I last had a lesson.” Hitoshi bristled.

“And if the effort is so easily wasted to the seas of forgetfulness, then it will be a good while longer till you receive another.”

Hitoshi rolled his eyes.

“Think logically, Shinsou. Hawks didn’t fall. Unlike me, or any other daimon, he still has his grace. That grace affords him the ability to effect humans in a certain way and to enter heaven unnoticed. Or at least it would... Do you really think heaven would allow one of their own to break from the fold and keep their grace, and not be put in check?”

15.4

“Do you know who I am?”

“Of course I do. Do you know who I am?”

Reyanna scowled up at her abductor. “Some senseless Archangel that will shortly die if you don’t undo this sealing circle and let me go on my way.”

Hawks chuckled. The child had pluck, he’d give her that.

Shaking his head he told. “That ain’t gonna happen, Princess. I’m the one known as Heaven's Assassin. And you have been on my hit list for quite some time.”

Unmoved, Reyanna crossed her arms and stared back. Shouta would find her. He had sworn to Lucifer that he would instruct and protect her. More than that, he had told her he would never let her go into another's hands. He had been referring to Kai at the time, but she was sure Shouta would come. She just had to engage this Archangel and live long enough for him to do so.

“All of heaven wants me dead?” Reyanna asked, dubiously. What had she ever done to them?

“Well I didn’t take a poll or anything.” Hawks smirked, bemused. “The order came down from Toshinori. He’s the one I answer to up there.”

“So why do you call yourself heaven’s assassin if you answer to a single, I’m assuming, Archangel? Wouldn’t it be more apt to call yourself Toshinori’s Assassin?” She shrugged a shoulder. “Doesn’t have the same ring to it but at least it would be true.”

“Toshinori is heaven. And I don’t call myself Heaven’s Assassin. Those that know of me do.”

“Not much of an assassin are you.”

Hawks’ wings ruffled. “Excuse me?”

“Assassins work in secret. To be a known assassin… Well, you’ve failed step one. Haven’t you?”

“I’m pretty such step one is killing people.”

“Pretty sure? You mean you don’t know?”

Reyanna turned in her sleep, eyes moving beneath their lids.

“Move.”

“Trust me. You don’t want to do this.” Reyanna stumbled. For the first time since being taken, she was truly afraid. The runes on the bindings around her arms and wrists glowed as she pulled against them, trying to break free.

Hawks gave her another shove, the point of his feather shaped blade prodding her in the back. “I said move!”

The Archangel made her stop in the middle of a barren field, littered with colorless gray rocks.

Suddenly a Daimon appeared, some fifteen feet away. He held a shining sliver blade in his right hand, the left wrapped tightly around the back of a tear stained woman's neck.

“Shouta!” Reyanna stepped toward him.

Hawks pulled her roughly back.

“Hawks!” The woman cried, trying to doing the same as Reyanna.

Shouta’s grip held her fast. The sight of Reyanna bound and threatened, caused his hand to radiate cold, making the blonde yelp.

“Abril!” Hawks yelled. He sneered at Shouta. “If you so much as pull a hair out of her head.”

“I’ll pull more than her hair out.” Shouta stated. “I’ll rip her guts out if you don’t hand the Nephilim over.”

Despite his rage, and fear for Reyanna, Shouta appeared calm and collected. He couldn't afford to show Hawks how much Reyanna personally meant to him. If he did, he would loose the upper-hand.

It took every ounce of his control not to let his power and emotions tint his eyes red. He was going to fucking kill the Archangel for taking Reyanna from him. But first, he was going to end the woman that meant so much to Hawks, right before the angelic assassin’s eyes.

Right arm wrapped tightly across Reyanna’s chest, Hawks angled his blade toward the left side of her head. “No! You hand Abril over or I brain the Bitch. Try going back to hell and explaining that to your Lord and Master. How you stood by and watched as Lucifer's precious little girl was killed right in front of you and...”

The scene of the dreamed memory faded away, dispersing like smoke in the wind, leaving nothing but blackness.

“And you truly are.” Said a voice, from somewhere within the void. “You are and always have been my precious little girl. Come home, Reyanna. Come home to me and like the prodigal son of old, I will welcome you with open arms and celebration. I will slaughter those who harmed and hunted you. Torture those that harbored and helped you stay away. We will feast on blood and agony. And--”

“Kitten?” Shouta entered the room and sat on the edge of the bed. Smiling down at her, he caressed her blood crusted cheek.

Stirring beneath him, Reyanna made a face, as if she were having an unpleasant dream.

“Wake up, Anna.” Shouta urged, giving her shoulder a gentle shake.

Reyanna’s eyes cracked opened and found his.

“Gonna sleep the day away?”

“No.” Reyanna rolled onto her back and stretched.

“Good.” Shouta purred, watching her body move. “There’s breakfast if you’re hungry.”

“Starving.”

“Then get up and showered. I’m afraid you’ll have to wear what I was able to find for you from Zashi’s things. We’ll see about getting something else for everyone after we get settled.”

Sitting up, she looked him over. “How are you? You’re injuries?”

“Perfectly fine. And you?” His eyes skimmed over her. “Sleep well?”

Reyanna felt her cheeks warm. Thankfully, Shouta probably wouldn’t be able to tell with all the stuff caked still on her face.

“Better than I have in a while.” Reyanna answered, before she could stop herself. Fuck! She silently cursed. Blushing all the more, she stuttered. “I—I—I mean—I was so exhausted an—and--”

Shouta smirked. “I slept well too, Kitten.”

“I’m not your kitten.”

Shouta would have loved to toy with her some more but the others, including Hizashi, were out there waiting. He normally wouldn’t have cared, but they had a lot to discuss. On top of that, he had to find a secure a new place for all of them to stay. Preferably by tonight, though he would settle for tomorrow morning. Hizashi wouldn’t mind their presence; but for safety and friendship’s sake, Shouta would like to be out of the Angel’s place as soon as possible.

He got to his feet and stepped to the door. “I’ll leave you to get cleaned up.” Eyes shining, Shouta looked back at her. “Unless you need help.”

15.5

“I want to see Reyanna.”

“What you want doesn’t matter.” Shouta said.

“I want to see her now.” Hawks pressed.

Sitting on the couch, Shouta arched an eyebrow at the Archangel’s temper. Hawks had no right to make demands. If he hadn’t taken and hidden the Llaes, yesterday’s mess never would have happened. The danger Reyanna and Todoroki put in never--

“It’s bad enough you abducted and tied yourself to her.” Hawks went on, breaking into Shouta’s thoughts. He swung a hand at Hizashi. “And you let him. Some Angel of heaven your are. Enabling a Daimon. And I’m the one released and restrained!”

“It was necessary for her safety and the well-being of the Llaes.” Hizashi said.

“If you two had left her.” Hawks pointed at Shouta. “If you hadn’t taken her and tried to twist and win her to you again, Reyanna would have found her way to the Llaes.”

“When?” Shouta questioned calmly.

“What?” Hawks asked.

“When would she have found her way to him? Before the pack of Were’s that came stalking into town did? Are the small colony of Gargoyles? Because I was watching her for a month before she found her way into my place of rest; and she had showed no sign of going anywhere but from the cabin to the library. And where were you? Hawks? Where were you when these things came sniffing around enticed by the sense of her? Nowhere.”

“I was with the Llaes. Protecting--”

“Someone other than Reyanna.” Shouta finished.

“Come on you two.” Hizashi pleaded.

Hitoshi and Todoroki watched the back and forth from the same sofa Shouta was seated at.

Reyanna entered the living room wearing a shirt with four painted cat faces and ‘HISS” written on top. As if that weren’t bad enough, the pajama bottoms had playful cats printed on them.

“Went for one of the parody tees.” Hizashi commented. “That’s cool.”

“It wasn’t my choice.” Reyanna gritted, scowling at Shouta.

The smile Shouta had been fighting at the sight of her, broke through. She looked so damn cute. Her sullen face with hiss printed below. It was just so fitting. Maybe now she would learn. He always got his way...eventually.

Seeing Todoroki, Reyanna’s expression warmed. She moved to sit beside the boy. But before she got there, she was forced to stop, Hawks in her way.

“Reyanna.” The Archangel beamed. When she shied away, Hawks’ fluttering wings drooped. “You don’t remember me.”

“No—not really.” Reyanna said, nervously. She had a vague memory of being in his...care. Captivity?

Sliding between Hawks and the arm of the sofa Reyanna sat down next to Todoroki.

“Leave her, Hawks. I told you she didn’t remember anything.” Shouta said, from the opposite end of the sofa.

“You said he was my enemy.” Reyanna remarked.

“Enemy!” Hawks exclaimed.

“Shouta.” Hizashi censured.

Shouta ignored the Angel and told Hawks. “You did try to kill her.”

“Once!” Hawks yelled. “Over a dozen centuries ago.” He turned away from the Daimon. “Reyanna. I am not your enemy.”

“He’s not.” Hizashi affirmed.

Shouta frowned at his so called friend.

“If anyone here is your enemy, it’s Aizawa.” Hawks went on.

Shouta turned to the Archangel. “As if she’d believe you. The ex-assassin she just re-met, that tried to kill her.”

“That tried to kill her, once!” Hawks moved to stand over the Daimon, voice lowering as he threatened. “And I’d think she’d believe me, if I told her the truth about yo--”

Hawks’ words were cut off in a gurgle. Eyes raised to him, Shouta slowly got up to his feet.

“Care to finish that statement?” Shouta asked, turning an ear to the choking Archangel. “What’s that? At a loss for words?”

“Shouta.” Hizashi called, watching in concern as Hawks clawed at his throat, slowly reddening.

Shouta slide his hands into his pockets and leaned forward. His lips no more than an inch away from Hawks ear. “I ask that you remember who’s in control here. And, whether she remembers it or not, who that Mistress belongs to. You are no more than her willing servant. So be a good little vassal and don’t speak unless spoken to.”

Shouta waited another second before his power released its hold over Hawks, and sat back down.

Hawks glared at the Daimon as he regained his breath, but didn’t challenge him further.

An uncomfortable silence followed. The ticking of the second hand on a wall clock in the den easily heard.

“So,” Hitoshi ventured, trying to break the unbearable tension, “what’s with the band tees and novelty pants?” He looked at his own pants, paw prints, mildly jealous of Reyanna’s.

“Oh!”

Hizashi's overly loud voice made Shouta winced.

“You like them? They’re just something I like to collect.” Hizashi said.

“You like to collect band t-shirts and pajama pants?” Todoroki questioned.

“And parody shirts and boxer briefs.” Hizashi added. “All of the pj pants have a matching set of underwear. Though admittedly, I don’t wear the sets together. I like to mix it up. Like those.” He pointed at the pants Hawks was wearing that had fried chicken legs printed on them. “I usually wear those with the waffle briefs.”

“Dude! Over share much.” Hitoshi groused.

Hawks laughed. “Cool.”

Reyanna looked from Hawks to Todoroki and Hitoshi noting they all wore t-shirts and pajama pants. That made it somewhat better she supposed. Though she had no doubt Aizawa had purposefully picked the cat ones he had left out for her wear. She looked passed the two boys to Aizawa and found him staring. There was a smirk on his lips and gleam in his eyes that all but screamed how pleased he was with himself.

Ass, Reyanna thought looking away.

Hitoshi leaned over to Todoroki and whispered. “Are you going to talk to her?”

“Shh.” Todoroki hushed.

“Dude.” Hitoshi pressed. “You were so worried about her yesterday.”

Reyanna turned to the red and white haired boy. “You were worried about me? I was worried about you.”

Todoroki looked at her. “I feel… It’s not so much that I feel I know you, but I feel a connection to you. As if I could trust you with my life. It’s why I took down the barriers when you asked.”

“Yeah, thanks for that.” Hitoshi quipped.

“I don’t even know how I did it,” Todoroki went on, “but I knew I wanted to help you. That I could trust you implicitly.”

“More than me and Hawks who have looked after and protected you for nearly four months.” Hitoshi griped.

What was it about this woman? Hitoshi wondered. First his mentor and now his friend. Friend? When had he started thinking of Todoroki as a friend? Guess being surrounded by a significant portion of heavens host and hell’s legions would make friends out of anybody. He looked from Aizawa to Hawks. Well, almost anybody.

Hitoshi didn’t know Reyanna, but he didn’t like her. She had hurt Aizawa. And Aizawa was like a father, brother, friend, and teacher all rolled into one. The Daimon was the closest thing Hitoshi had to family. He would be dead if it weren’t for Aizawa. For Aizawa's sake, he would make an effort and show Reyanna basic kindness and respect. Though he wondered why Aizawa still cared so deeply for her if she had hurt him so.

Todoroki looked apologetically at Hitoshi. “I don’t know why, but yes. I trust her more than anyone.”

“This might explain some of it.” Shouta said, calling forth a journal and handing it to Todoroki.

Outraged, Hawks charged. “You have the annals of the Llaes! Reyanna--”

“Reyanna doesn’t remember.” Shouta cut off. “If she had she would have taken the annals from the cabin they were hidden in or asked to go back for them by now.”

“Hidden? Why did you go searching for the annals, when you hadn’t found the Llaes, in the first place?” Hawks hounded. “Looking for weakness’ in the Llaes’ nature for you to exploit?”

“I didn’t go searching for the annals.” Shouta said, eyes on the wall straight ahead of him.

Hitoshi looked down at his Mentor’s hands, noting the way Shouta rubbed the ring on his thumb. It had taken him a while to figure out the Daimon's tells. This one was something Aizawa did whenever he was in deep thought or trying to calm himself. It was easy to figure, that it was the later.

“I happened upon them when I was searching for something else entirely.” Shouta went on.

“Yeah?” Hawks drawled, in clear disbelief. “And what might that have been?”

“Your feather.” Shouta answered, dark eyes snapping to Hawks.

Hitoshi suddenly wished he was sitting anywhere other than beside Aizawa. The vengeful, bitter, barely lidded fury that rolled off the Daimon may as well have had a substance in and of itself.

All this interaction was lost on Reyanna and Todoroki who looked through the journal Shouta had given him.

“Abril!” Reyanna read the name over Todoroki’s shoulder. “I know her.” It was then that she noted the date at the top corner of the page and deflated, sure this Abril couldn't be the same one she had known.

“Of course you do!” Hawks said, quickly turning away from the murderous Daimon. “And Aizawa said you didn’t remember anything.” He laughed and gave Shouta a taunting glance. “Seems like she only wiped that which she’d rather forget, Zawa.”

Shouta’s hand itched to call forth his blade, but he refrained. Damn, fucking Archangel. He hated him.

“I--” Reyanna shook her head. “I don’t know--” She stopped and wracked her brain for how and where she knew the name. What this Abril looked like. It had all been there a few seconds ago but was now gone, like a fading dream.

“It’s alright.” Shouta said, not wanting her to remember too much too soon. Granted they were nearing the end of their time of quiet, shielded safety. But that didn’t mean it was over and done with just yet. “Don’t try to force anything.”

“Leave her, Aizawa.” Hawks dismissed, sitting on the arm of the sofa, beside Reyanna. “Quit trying to hold her back for your own sake.”

“That’s not what I’m doing.” Shouta snapped, too quickly. He glared at the Archangel, a tint of red in his hard black eyes. “Fool.”

Biting his nails, Hizashi’s foot tapped out a tune against the plush area rug.

“That’s all he ever says.” Reyanna complained, about Shouta. “He never answers any of my questions.”

Shouta turned to her, betrayed. He knew he had coming but...

“That’s gotta be a real drag.” Hawks sympathized.

Shouta was about to stand up and silence him, possibly for good, but the Archangel’s next words stayed his movements.

“But,” Hawks sighed, “much as I hate to admit it. Zawa’s right. At least in this one small, single thing.”

Shouta sneered at the nickname.

“Sorry, Anna.” Hawks said. “The less you remember right now, the better.”

Chapter Text

16.1

It had been a month and a half since the battle at the barn, and thankfully things had been relatively quite. The small group had settled into some semblance of routine, if not normalcy. Shouta had found a house able to fit them all and their needs. It even had a room for Hizashi should the Angel choose to stay and use it.

Though Hizashi visited at least every other day, he never stayed overnight. Not that he, Shouta, or Hawks required nightly rest. That said, the Daimon and Archangel did take to bed more than they normally would have. Both of them doing their best to train Reyanna, Todoroki, and Hitoshi into proficient combat fighters.

Shouta had doubled Reyanna’s other lessons as well; and included Todoroki and Hitoshi in on them. A necessity the Daimon accepted, but didn’t like. Where once it had been just him and his Love, now there was Hawks and Todoroki vying for Reyanna’s attention. Attention she willingly gave, and even sought out to give. The only one that didn’t seek time and conversation with her was Hitoshi. Something Shouta was grateful for, but wondered at.

The five of them were currently sparing in the spacious courtyard, that was nestled in the center of the house. Shouta faced off against Reyanna and Hitoshi. While Todoroki went up against Hawks.

“Quit looking over at Todoroki.” Shouta told Reyanna, blocking a cat clawed swipe from Hitoshi. He thrusted his blade, Reyanna knocking it off course at the last moment, with a swing of her own. “If the Llaes can’t handle himself in a friendly fight, he’s as good as dead.”

Reyanna’s eyes snapped to his, and Shouta smirked. There, he thought; seeing a fire in her that hadn’t been present before. Now show me what you got, Kitten.

Aizawa hadn’t directly threatened Todoroki; but even so, his words ignited her need to protect the boy. The feeling was damned near compulsive and, at times, unwarranted. Poor Hitoshi could attest to that.

Reyanna had once flinted over and thrown the poor boy against a wall for shoving and knocking Todoroki over. It had been a bit of rough-housing on Hitoshi’s part that Todoroki hadn’t been expecting. But nevertheless, she had acted before she could stop herself. Hitoshi had barely come in contact with the wall when she realized what she had done, apologizing profusely. But the damage had been done. Where before, Hitoshi had subtlety avoided having to talk to or be near her. After the incident, that subtlety morphed into something far more blatant. Now, Hitoshi often left the room as soon as she entered.

Maybe that was why Aizawa had teamed Hitoshi and her against him. If so, Reyanna appreciated the Daimon's attempt.

Reyanna cut and thrust, turning and dipping away from Shouta's strikes as she pushed him back.

“You’re wasting energy, ducking away so much. Deflect or redirect.” Shouta told, bringing his blade down with half of his strength.

Reyanna tried to do as he instructed, staggering against the force as her blade clashed with his. Somehow her weapon absorbed the energy, cushioning her hand against the reverberating jolt. Blades locked, she tried to match Shouta strength for strength, and push his weapon back. A foolish move on her part.

“I said deflect or redirect.” Shouta swiped a leg, kicking her feet out from under her.

Reyanna experienced a brief feeling of weightlessness before she landed hard on the ground.

Shouta was on top of her at once. “You can’t match my strength head on. Not unless you’re using your power.”

“Heavy.” Reyanna wheezed.

Straddling her waist, Shouta lifted a few inches off her. The action wasn’t so much done because of her feigned discomfort, but because to her wiggling.

Ignoring the urge to take in her heaving breasts, Shouta locked his eyes on hers and directed. “Figure a way out.”

Fuck, he looked good with his hair tied back, Reyanna thought. She could barely meet his dark unreadable gaze as he stared down at her. His chest rose and fell with deep measured breaths. It brought her attention to his pecks, covered by a lose fitting, black shirt. Having seen him without a shirt thrice before, and countless times in her dreams and imagination, she knew well enough what was hidden underneath. She would have given anything to see the sight again. ...Well, almost anything. Anything, but tell him or give into him. He was still keeping secrets. And, she still had her pride.

Hitoshi knew when he was in the way. Even though this was suppose to be a training session with Reyanna and him trying to take Aizawa down, he knew better than to try and make a move.

Suddenly, a demon appeared not five feet behind his Mentor. Already in his cat form, Hitoshi coiled and made to pounce.

“Shinsou, stop.” Shouta ordered.

Hitoshi’s hind legs locked in place making him fall to the side as he tried to stop his forward momentum.

Hawks, who had pulled Todoroki safely behind him, spun around to Reyanna. “You tied a Demon to you!”

Reyanna pulled her hand from Shouta's and stepped awkwardly away from him. Bits of grass still stuck to her back and hair. She turned to the incensed, accusatory Archangel and pointed back at Aizawa. “He made me--”

Her final word ended in a startled squeak as the butt of Shouta’s blade came down and struck her wrist. The blow hadn’t been overly hard; but coupled with her surprise, Reyanna dropped her weapon.

Shouta grabbed her arm and pulled to him.

Reyanna stumbled backward a couple feet before her back met up against Shouta's chest.

Shouta wrapped his left arm around her waist and held her securely to him. He placed his blade near the base of her throat, breath ghosting over her neck as he spoke. “Never. Lower your guard. Especially when there’s a weapon directed at you.”

Reyanna’s heart hammered in her chest, but it had nothing to do with exertion. She bit back a groan and hoped her shiver was missed in her struggle to get free of his grip. “Dabi--”

Shouta tightened his hold with a firm jerk. The action made him growl, as it pressed her ass against him.

“Never. Lower. Your. Guard.” Shouta clipped, voice lower in pitch and volume.

His voice and hot breath had been bad enough. But to have his lips against her ear… Reyanna wanted his lips elsewhere. On her mouth. Her neck. Her breasts, stomach, and thighs. Her…

Her squirming too much to take, Shouta released her and stepped back. “What is it, Dabi?”

Dabi’s turquoise eyes hadn’t left Hitoshi, since they had fallen on the Were. “What’s the Third doing here?”

“That’s none of your concern.” Shouta said.

“You still had him doing stuff?” Reyanna asked Shouta. “After his last visit, I had hoped we would never see him again.”

Shouta looked back at her. He felt a small thrill at how she said ‘we’, not ‘I’. Though it was hardly as often as he would have liked, Reyanna had started to call him by his chosen name. The small changes excited and annoyed him. Sure, it was progress; but it was happening far too slow for his liking.

Dabi turned his gaze on Reyanna. “Hey ya, Doll. Relive any good memories lately?”

Memories? Reyanna’s eyebrows pulled together. It was true, she had remembered a few things regarding Hawks that had subsequently led her to trust him. But other than that, the only things she had remembered was how to do certain things, or random general facts.

Reyanna shook her head.

“Get to the point.” Shouta commanded.

Dabi grimaced as the Tie compelled him to obey. “Lucifer’s visited Doll-face in her dreams.”

Fuck! Shouta grabbed Reyanna’s hand and flinted inside.

“A little warn--”

Shouta shoved her against the wall, cutting off her complaint.

“Why didn’t you tell me!” He demanded, hands gripping her arms like a vise.

Reyanna shrunk further back against the wall and stared up at the Daimon. “I—didn’t...”

Slowly, Shouta’s hold eased. His hands fell away. Was this his fault? Had he failed to express how important it was that she report any memories or forms of contact from outside sources? Did she still not trust him enough?

“Anna. Even if you don’t trust me--” He swallowed down the lump in his throat and started again. “Lucifer contacting you. Entering your dreams. It isn’t good, Anna. You should have at least told Hawks.”

“I trust you.” Reyanna told.

“Then why?”

“Cause I didn’t know—don’t know—don’t remember.” She shook her head in agitation. Tired to remember and failed, and shook her head again. “If Lucifer had visited me in my dreams—if I had remembered such a thing. Don’t you think I would have told you? You would have been the first person I would have gone to, Shouta.”

Though his worried tension remained, the stinging hurt faded away. Shouta pressed his forehead against hers, eyes closing as he sighed. “Sorry. It just—this is--”

“Important?” Reyanna finished.

He opened his eyes. “Yes. Really important.”

“You seem to think a lot of stuff is important.”

“Only everything that has to do with you.”

Reyanna’s eyes darted over his. This close she could see every speck of color and thin red, bloodshot lines that spoke of his exhaustive efforts to teach and prepare her, Todoroki, and Hitoshi. He gave so much of himself without complaint, and never once asked for anything in return. It was obvious that she had meant something to him. Still meant something to him. And strangely that, more than facing the forces of heaven and hell, unnerved and frightened her more than anything. Maybe that was why she continued to battle against her wanting of him. Because she didn’t know, didn’t remember, what he meant to her. And the last thing she wanted to do was lead him on and hurt him.

She shifted the angle of her face. The bridge and tip of her nose slowly meeting his as she tilted her head up to him. Her eyes darted over his face, taking in ever curve and line, and hint of expression.

“Tell me, Shouta. Were you as important to me as I am to you?”

Shouta stared at her, entranced. If his voice hadn’t failed him in that moment, he likely would have told her no. No one, not even his sweet Beloved, could care for someone as much as he cared for her. Where once her love and devotion might have come close. Something, someone, else had taken priority.

For Shouta, there was nothing and no one more important in all of creation than Reyanna. But for Reyanna, the person that meant more to her than everything else wasn’t him.

He had long since grown use to being her second. And though it would have been a lie to say it didn’t bother him. After so long without her while she slumbered. After months of being so close, yet still so far. Shouta couldn’t find it in him to be jealous. Not right now at least. Right now, with her this close and her eyes focused solely on him as they breathed the same air, Shouta would unenviously accept whatever she was willing to give.

His soul begged her to kiss him. And, as if she had heard. She did.

Reyanna pressed her lips to his. The kiss was gentle and closed lipped.

She pulled back, when Shouta didn’t move. Reyanna stared up at him, uncertain. Maybe she had been wrong. Maybe he didn’t want her. Love her. But she wanted him. Was slowly falling in love with him. Her pride and rational would argue against this course. Tell her to stop before she did something she regretted. But those aspects of her person were nowhere to be found right now.

Slowly, Reyanna went back in. Lips parting.

The kiss was timid and tender. Too tender for Shouta's liking. But he let her do as she willed, moving in time with her. Reciprocating, but not pushing for more.

Reyanna had expected him to push his tongue in her open mouth. Had wanted him to. But he didn’t. He didn’t even pull her to him or press his body up against hers. His hands simply rested on her hips, as he kissed her back.

She would have pulled away and apologized if not for the soft groan he gave. The noise emboldened her.

Her hands lifted from his arms to his chest, and then wrapped around his neck as her tongue leaked out and entered his mouth.

Shouta's tongue swirled with hers then followed back into her mouth. With the kiss deepened, he allowed himself to truly move. His arms wrapped around her waist as he leaned down and into her, pressing her back against the wall. He licked and nipped at her lips, and sucked gently on her tongue.

Reyanna broke away, breathless.

Shouta moved on to her neck. Teeth scrapping against her skin in between every kiss.

“Shouta.” Reyanna’s voice was still raw, still fighting to catch her breath.

Shouta groaned against her. The sound of his name, spoken so breathlessly by her, sent a jolt straight to his cock. He pulled her tighter against him.

Hands that had once pulled moved to his chest and pushed. “Shouta.”

Shouta’s arms loosened slightly as he made his way back to her lips, silencing her. He felt her relax, and slowly return his affection. There, he thought. He had moved to fast for her. He had to control himself.

Reyanna’s pushing hands, fisted in his shirt. She tugged him closer, teeth nipping at his lower lip.

“Sorry! Sorry.” A newly arrived Hizashi shielded his eyes and turned and flinted away.

Reyanna ducked her head and pushed Shouta away.

Shouta growled. He was going to murder Yamada.

16.2

When Shouta and Reyanna returned outside, a knowing grin crept across Dabi’s face. He looked over to Hawks and told. “I got them together.”

“You did no such thing.” Hizashi retorted. “You’ve been nothing but trouble.”

“You all wouldn’t have known who had the Llaes, if it weren’t for me.” Dabi argued. “So, you’re welcome for that. Though if I had known you’d find and keep a pet Third, I never would've told you.” He shot Hitoshi a disgusted glance.

“As if the choice was yours.” Shouta said, his ire at Dabi’s comment about Hitoshi well hidden. “What are you still doing here?”

“Reyanna didn’t release me.” Dabi casually tried.

“And she won’t be.” Shouta said. “The Tie will stay. But I will send you on your way.”

“Before you do that.” Hawks said, quickly. “There’s been a development.”

Another one, Shouta thought. He and Reyanna had been gone, what? Ten, fifteen minutes. What could Dabi have done or revealed between then and now.

“We learned what the first step to Todoroki closing one of the gates is.” Hawks continued.

Shouta went still. His eyes turned from Hawks to Hizashi and back.

“You’re not gonna like it.” Hizashi told.

“Shouta.”

Reyanna looked across the distance at the Daimon that had come to mean so much to her. The Daimon that had told her he would protect her. That he loved her and wouldn’t let her go to anyone else. She loved him too. Aizawa Shouta was the most important thing in existence to her. If freeing her meant putting him in danger, she would rather die at Hawks’ hand.

As the Daimon and Archangel continued to threaten and make demands of each other, Reyanna’s eyes landed on the woman in Shouta's custody. For the first time since their appearance, Reyanna truly looked at her. She was just like her. Taken and threatened. But there was something else…

Shouta had had enough. He would kill Abril and use the split second of Hawks’ shock and grief to take Reyanna back.

Knowing the Daimon's tells, Reyanna realized what Shouta was about to do. She had to save this woman from her Lover. The bindings that had held her securely all this time crumbled to dust as if nothing but dried, old rope.

Hawks’ eyes widened. His arm jerked tight around his now unbound prisoner.

The blade in his hand sliced a small cut into her left temple, but Reyanna didn’t even feel it.

“Shouta! No!” Reyanna cried, flinting to the woman and Daimon.

Shouta's right arm drove forward. His blade aimed to plunge up and through Abril’s side, puncturing her lung and heart. But Abril was pulled from his grasp at the last moment.

Reyanna yanked Abril away from the Daimon and struck Shouta in the chest with the flat of her hand, knocking him several feet back...

The memory changed.

Reyanna and Abril lounged on a grassy knoll under the shade of a tree. The later was weaving flowers into a crown.

Abril caught Reyanna frowning at her. “What?”

“Nothing.”

“Fine. Don’t tell me.”

“It’s just--” Reyanna plucked one of the flowers from the pile and twirled it. “I still find it hard to believe its all over.”

Abril scoffed. “It’s far from over.” She said in a knowing tone that Reyanna had grown accustomed to.

It annoyed the Nephilim that Abril knew more than she said; her words often holding a deeper meaning that Reyanna couldn’t hope to fathom. But for her sanity and friendship with the Llaes, she didn’t think too much about it. And she certainly didn’t ask for details. That would have been begging for an argument. And after all they had been through, Reyanna wanted nothing more than to enjoy the peace of this day. The first one of many, if she and her friends were lucky.

“You know what I mean.” Reyanna said, throwing the flower at her. “The Leviathan’s. All the battles and steps we went through so you could seal them away. I can’t believe it’s over.”

“They were locked away only two days ago.” Shouta said, appearing and sitting behind Reyanna.

“Listening in on our conversation?” Reyanna accused, playfully. “Do you men have nothing better to do?”

“It’s not as if Hawks and I have much to say to each other.” Shouta told.

“Yeah.” Hawks said, flying up the small hill and away from the trickling creek he and Shouta had been near. “It’s not as like Aizawa is a great conversationalist.”

“Be nice.” Abril scolded, lightly.

Hawks plopped down beside Abril. “What I can’t believe, is that after all the fighting and steps we had to take, all Abril had to do was stand at the great pit they escaped from, say a few words, and the Leviathan’s were sucked back and sealed away.”

“Too bad we can’t do the same with all Thirds.” Shouta said, blinking heavily.

“Shouta.” Reyanna pushed back against his chest.

Shouta hummed at the added pressure, finding Reyanna’s weight comforting as she leaned back against him. “I’m merely pointing out that, Leviathan’s may not be a problem anymore but other Thirds can and will continue to come through and wreck havoc.”

“As if that’s our problem.” Hawks shrugged.

While heaven and hell constantly battled over control and sway of humans, both sides ignored Thirds; even when those Thirds attacked, ate, or otherwise effected humans. The only reason Leviathan’s had warranted heaven and hell’s attention was because they had been a threat to their host and legions.

Crown of flowers finished, Abril placed it on Hawks’ head. “Who knows.”

“Who knows what?” Hawks asked, straightening the circlet on his head.

“Who knows anything.” Abril said, vaguely.

“You do.” Reyanna said, eyes narrowing. “Why don’t you share what you see.”

Abril smiled warmly at her friend. “I see you and Shouta together in a little cottage somewhere. Happy.”

Reyanna blushed.

Shouta turned and tilted Reyanna’s face to him. Wearing a small smile, he muttered against her lips. “I can see that too.”

The couples kiss didn’t last long. Reyanna was still too shy and uncertain about their relationship. And, Shouta didn’t like openly showing he had a softer side. He especially didn’t like people seeing Reyanna in certain positions, the chance that their thoughts might conjure other images of her making him wrathful.

Hawks glanced wistful at Abril before saying. “Hell knows we earned a break and some happiness. Our little team battling Leviathan’s, going through the paces, and locking them away. You’d think heaven and hell would thank us.”

“I didn’t do it for the thanks.” Abril said.

“Well neither did I.” Hawks stressed. “But a little gratitude would be nice. Maybe in the form of heaven untying the fetters that restrain me.”

Abril smiled sadly at the Archangel. Hawks had given up a lot in listening to her and giving up his course to kill Reyanna. He had done it because he loved her and she had asked it of him. But Hawks had a wandering eye. Even now, his gaze strayed over Reyanna a little too long, making Shouta tense and glare.

Before she had met Reyanna, it had been that wandering eye that had given Abril pause. Hawks was ancient and unaging. Unless struck down, he would live long after her body had turned to dust. She had been certain that she would never be able to hold such a creature’s interest after she had given herself to him.

Then she had met Reyanna, and her sight and senses had awakened. And suddenly, along with countless other things, Abril knew what she meant to Hawks. That the Archangel might have looked and flirted but that he was hers and would have been faithful. But it was too late… No. Not too late. It had never been meant to be.

“Maybe someday, my brave, sweet Hawks.” Abril said, knowingly. “Be sure to thank them for me when they do. After all, I’m the reason you were released and restrained.”

“If he hadn’t given up the order to kill Reyanna, he would be dead.” Shouta rumbled. “So Hawks should be thanking you.”

Hawks retorted something, but Shouta tuned him out, scowling at the beckon that whispered in his head.

‘Aizawa.’ Nemuri’s voiced called.

“I got to go.” Shouta sighed.

“Yeah! Run away.” Hawks gibed.

Reyanna turned to Shouta and frowned. “Do you have to?”

“I’m being beckoned. They’d wonder if I didn’t answer.” Shouta told, running his hand down her back.

Looking away, Reyanna tentatively ventured. “Maybe if you broke away from hell.”

“Maybe some day.” Shouta said, and flinted away before he made her any promises.

“So much for that cottage together.” Reyanna uttered. She looked at Abril and tried for a light, joking tone but failed. “And you said you’re knowledge and sight was faultless.”

Again, the memories flooding Reyanna’s mind changed.

It had been no more than two hours after Shouta had left that they were attacked by a small host of angels. The Archangel Tsunagu led the angels in a fight against Hawks, Reyanna, and Abril.

It had come as a shock when the warriors of heaven left, mid-battle. Especially when they had been winning.

Reyanna wiped her brow, smearing the blood from a cut across her face.

“Everyone alright?” Reyanna asked, looking about warily. Why had they left?

“Where the hell did they go?” Hawks wondered, swiping the back of his hand across his bloody nose.

“They got—what—they wanted.” Abril panted.

Before Reyanna or Hawks could get to her, she collapsed to the ground.

“Abril!” Hawks fell to his knees and pulled her onto his lap, wings fluttering in worried agitation.

Reyanna was at her friends side. “What happened? Hawks, stop her bleeding.”

Ever since he had been restrained, Hawks didn’t have the ability to completely heal someone. He had trouble healing himself, at times. But closing wounds to stop someone from bleeding out, that he could do. Except, this time he couldn't.

Hawks eyes widened at the feeling of something within Abril resisting his power.

“He can’t.” Abril said, taking Reyanna’s hand. “This is—meant to be.”

“Stop that!” Reyanna pulled her hand away. “Hizashi!” She beckoned. Hizashi was a friend and Angel still under heaven. He could heal Abril.

“He won’t come.” Hawks said.

“He couldn't—help—even—if he did.” Abril said, weakly.

Reyanna scowled, not understanding.

“The angels that attacked. They were part of his garrison.” Hawks told, bitterly. “If Hizashi was willing to help, he would have informed us of their plans. Warned us...”

“Anna.” Abril’s hand searched for her friends. “Listen to me. Please. Before—the poison sets in.”

Poison! That was why Abril had said Hizashi couldn't have helped. They needed to find a witch. Reyanna moved to stand, but Abril’s voice called.

“Anna. Please. It’s my—time. I—served—my purpose. Please. Just—listen.”

“Shut up.” Reyanna gritted. She took Abril’s hand and squeezed it tightly, as if in doing so she could keep the woman’s soul tethered to her body. “Save your strength.”

“Listen.” Abril summoned her last bits of energy. “There will be—others… Llaes’. The gate—must be sealed.”

“What gate?” Reyanna asked.

“A Child of Hope—will—seal one of the gates.” Abril told.

“The gates to heaven or hell?” Reyanna stared at her friend in wonder.

“Promise me—promise you will protect—them. Help them. Like you—helped and protected me.”

Reyanna shook her head. “I failed you.”

“And you will—fail again.” Abril informed, without denouncement. “Don’t give up. Promise me, Anna. It can’t—be done without you.”

“Don’t die.” Reyanna croaked.

“Promise me!”

“I promise.” Reyanna said in a rush.

Abril… The first Llaes. As Hizashi and Hawks told Shouta what had happened in their absence, Reyanna remembered her dear friend and the promise she had made to her.

Reyanna felt breathless as she stared at Todoroki. The wave of memories washed over her like the ice cold waters of a hammering waterfall. Their crushing weight nearly knocked her to her knees as they unlocked and flooded her mind like an upturned bucket.

The day following that of the barn, Shouta, Hawks, and Hizashi had explained to them what Todoroki was meant to do. Why heaven wanted him so badly, and hell wanted him dead. But it hadn’t really sunk in. Nor had she gathered why the boy was so important to her personally. Why she felt this instinct to protect and help him. Until now...

Reyanna had promised Abril that she would protect and assist the Llaes. Only she had failed to keep her word six times before. It didn’t help that Abril had known she would fail. Had told her as much, and to not give up. The fact that she couldn’t remember the lives and deaths of these six Llaes’, let alone their faces, made her guilt and sorrow all the worse. All she could remember about the Llaes’ that had come after Abril was that they had died before ever learning the first step they had to take to complete their task.

“So, this is the first step to closing the gates of hell?” Hitoshi asked, filling the silence that followed Hawks and Hizashi's telling.

“One of the gates.” Reyanna corrected. “It’s up to the Llaes to choose which one he closes.”

“As if he’d pick anything other than hell.” Hitoshi huffed.

Reyanna shrugged. While she thought, even hoped, the same; it wasn’t her place to say or try to effect Todoroki’s decision.

“And why are you all acting as if you’re just learning about this first step? Does it differ for every Llaes?” Hitoshi knew there had been Llaes’ before Todoroki, though he didn’t know how many. But they had obviously died before doing what they were destined to do.

His regular volume nowhere to be found, Hizashi replied. “Todoroki’s the first Llaes to come into his power, since Abril. The first Llaes.”

The feathers of Hawks’ wings bristled and puffed. “You don’t get to say her name.”

To say Shouta hadn’t been pleased with his so called friend back then would have been an understatement. Hizashi had known about the attack, and his lack of warning had put Reyanna in danger. Still, as far as Shouta saw it, it was in the past and Hizashi had long since redeemed himself. It certainly helped Shouta’s forgiveness that the attacking host had had no designs on Reyanna and she had come out with only minor injuries. Minor physical injuries at least.

Hitoshi lifted a hand. “Wait a minute. So, you’re saying that, other than the first, Todoroki is the longest lived Llaes?”

“Yes.” Shouta answered.

“The one before you, was slain the day before her sixteenth birthday. She likely would have presented her power some time within that year. Had she lived.” Hawks told Todoroki.

Scowling, Hitoshi looked to Reyanna. “I thought you were suppose to protect the Llaes. Help them along and all that. What happened to her? The one before Todoroki.”

Since these memories had invaded, it was as if a blunt, jagged knife was plunged into Reyanna’s heart. Hitoshi’s accusatory words twisted that proverbial dagger. What had happened to the last Llaes? Reyanna searched her mind, trying to remember. But nothing came. If it weren’t for what Hawks had said to Todoroki, she wouldn’t even know that the previous Llaes had been a girl. She had obviously failed her. Had obviously failed all of the ones before. Would she do the same with Todoroki? Fail him and watch him die. The thought was too much to bare.

“It’s not her fault.” Shouta said, fiercely.

“Then what happened?” Hitoshi asked.

They were talking about the Llaes that had come before Todoroki. Who had died... Who had presumably been killed, while supposedly in the protective and helping care of Reyanna. Hitoshi wasn’t against giving people a second, and even third chance. But to have seen six lives lost. And all before the age of sixteen… Even going up against heaven and hell, that wasn’t a good track record. It certainly didn’t put him at ease about trusting her with his friend or warm his feelings toward her.

“Look kid, it just wasn’t her fault. Alright.” Hizashi said, echoing Shouta's defensive sentiments.

Hawks glared at the Daimon and Angel. Shouta stared right back. Hizashi refused to look at anyone.

There was a long silence.

Shouta turned away from Hawks and fixed his eyes on Reyanna. “It doesn’t matter. What matters is, Todoroki is here, alive and well. This time we are prepared. I prepared.”

“Is that why you set me up in that school and apartment?” Hitoshi questioned his Mentor. “Because you knew Todoroki was the Llaes and that with me there...”

“Why ask things you already know the answer to?” Shouta inquired.

“So it is true.” Hitoshi stated, needing to hear Aizawa say it.

“That I managed to find the Llaes before his was born and hid him and his mother away? Yes.” Shouta admitted. It had taken nearly every favor he had, and costed him a hefty price, on more than one occasion; but he had managed to do what no one had never done before. Find the Llaes before birth. “After I found him, I put a shielding spell on him that would hide him from heaven and hell till he used his power for the first. This Llaes deserved some semblance of a normal life after...everything.” He turned to Todoroki. “I’m sorry your mother was so unwell. I did what I could to see you placed in a good home after her death. That you were well treated and wanted for nothing.”

“You were my benefactor?” Todoroki blinked as realization dawned. He had always thought it was some wealthy relative that didn’t want him and had felt guilty for not taking him in after his mother’s death.

“I couldn't be there to look out for you,” Shouta told, “so I placed Shinsou nearby. He was a good sort and I knew he would step in and help if you were ever in trouble. I didn’t tell him about you. I didn’t tell anyone. Not until after you used your power and I needed Hizashi's help in finding you.”

Hitoshi felt a knot form in his throat. So it had always been about Todoroki. The Llaes…. Did he mean nothing to his mentor? Would Aizawa have even saved him if he hadn’t been Todoroki’s age?

“Is--” Hitoshi’s voice cracked. He stopped and cleared his throat, then began again. “Is that why you took me in and taught me?. So I could look after the Llaes for you?”

“Part of it.” Shouta confirmed, indifferently.

“Aiza--” Hizashi fell silent and shook his head. He knew his friend had difficulty reading and showing emotion; but there was stoic, and then there was callous. Couldn’t Shouta see that the boy needed reassurance?

Shouta recalled a young child’s cries and the smell of blood that had drawn him inside a somewhat rural house. There had been an openly displayed alter within; but what had almost made him leave was the picture of a man and woman standing behind a cauldron in ceremonial attire. The couple had been leaders of a coven.

“I guess you could say, the one and only good thing to come out of the attack was that the assailants were Were-cats. Though both your parents being witches did give me pause. In the end, my liking of cats over ruled my reservations.” Shouta shrugged a shoulder and reasoned. “You were young enough that I could curb your annoying witch tendencies.”

“And replace them with your annoying tendencies in their stead.” Hitoshi shot back, his heart lightening a bit.

Shouta's expression was a mix of genuine and playful affront. “Hush, you. I don’t have annoying tendencies.”

At that everyone, including Dabi, scoffed.

“Moving on.” Shouta directed.

“So no Llaes has lived long enough to figure out how to seal one of the gates.” Dabi remarked. Ancient demon that he was, that was news to him. Then again, most of his time as a demon had been in the sales department, so to speak.

“Till now.” Hizashi said, looking to Todoroki.

Dabi’s brilliant blue eyes met Todoroki’s dual colored gaze. “No.” He shook his head, waving a hand as he took a step back. “This has nothing to do with me. I don’t care what you say. You got it wrong, kid. I’m no relative of yours.”

Chapter Text

17.1

After adding to the list of things he couldn't mention or speak of, Shouta had given Dabi a detailed set of instructions and sent the Demon on his way. Despite what Todoroki had said, Dabi still refused to believe that he and the Llaes were related. But Todoroki sais he was certain. Dabi was a great ancestor of his, on his mother’s side.

One look at the two was enough to make Shouta feel stupid for not noting the resemblance before. But even if he had picked up on the ancient relation, he never would have fathomed that the first step to closing one of the gates was freeing a soul from hell.

Alone in the courtyard, Shouta sunk down onto a bench with a sigh. How the hell were they suppose to get into hell unnoticed? How the hell were they supposed to get Todoroki into hell? Only the souls of the dead and hell-spawn were able to enter the place. And Todoroki, the one who had to do this thing, was very much alive.

He felt a shadow fall over him and raised his head, opening weary eyes. Seeing Reyanna, he slid over and made space for her to sit beside him.

“How’s Todoroki?”

“Adamant.” Reyanna said, taking care to leave some space between them.

She hadn’t had a chance to unpack her recently revealed memories, and was unsure how they would effect things between her and Shouta. Or if they should at all.

Shouta noticed the distance she kept between them and huffed, both at it and her answer. “Good for him. Kid got any idea how to go about getting it done?”

“Hawks says that the Llaes is meant to complete the steps and close the gate. But that as the one sworn to help him, it’s up to me to come up with the how.”

“Hawks is not only wrong. He talks too much.” Shouta grumbled.

Shouta didn’t like it in the least. Hawks toying with Reyanna’s compulsion to help and protect the Llaes. It might lead her to act foolishly and endanger herself. It might even make her remember more things. But if Lucifer was already entering her dreams, then they were passed all that. The only reason to hold her back now, was to keep her from remembering his betrayal. So why hadn’t Hawks told her all about it yet? He knew the Archangel would like nothing better than to see him gone; opening up a chance for Hawks try and take his place with his Love.

Cause Hawks knows they need you, Shouta thought. Especially if the first step was freeing a soul from hell. Shouta shook his head. He had never heard of a surer way to get killed.

“You shouldn’t spend too much time with Hawks.” Shouta told her.

“Why?”

Because I don’t like it, he thought. Even if Hawks wasn’t going to tell Reyanna about his betrayal anytime soon. He still didn’t like her being around the Archangel. He never had. It was bad enough that Todoroki was taking up her time and attention. At least Shouta could trust the boy not to try anything. Hawks on the other hand...

“I remembered something.” Reyanna said, when he didn’t answer.

Shouta looked at her out of the corner of his eye, breath held in his chest.

“More like I remembered someone, and every moment I spent with them.” She amended. “Abril. Though, there were parts where others… You were present in some instances.”

Shouta turned to face her, both relieved and disappointed that the person she had remembered hadn’t been him. “So you’ve remembered Hawks trying to kill you.”

“You put more effort into killing Abril than Hawks did in trying to kill me.” Reyanna commented.

“I didn’t leave Abril with a scar.”

“The only reason I was left with a scar was because the cut was from a blade and I expended so much energy breaking free of those bonds.” She argued.

“You were amazing.” Shouta uttered softly, his adoring gaze the only sign he meant what he said. “Before that moment I doubt even Lucifer could have guessed you were capable of such power and wit.”

“But… How did I do it?” Reyanna asked.

Even back then she hadn’t known. All she had known was that she had surpassed her ability, and it had left her falling unconscious soon after she had wretched Abril from Aizawa's grasp.

“Because you’re you.” Shouta said, hiding his fondness behind a dismissing, patronizing smirk.

“Real helpful, Aizawa.”

Shouta grabbed her by the back of the neck, and yanked her to a hairs breath of his glaring face. “This is the third time, Anna. I won’t tell you again. Call me, Shouta.”

Too surprised to act or speak, Reyanna merely stared into his hard, shining eyes and shivered. She often forgot that he was a Daimon. That he had killed and tortured people, and worse. She thought about her uncertainty regarding his feelings for her that last, fateful day with Abril; and wondered once again at his motives for tying himself to her. If his reasoning truly had been what he had told her.

A part of Shouta wondered what had come over him. But the other half knew well enough. Reyanna had remembered enough for Lucifer to enter her dreams. She had remembered Abril. It was only a matter of time before she remembered his betrayal. Before she possibly drove him away and was done with him for good. Before that happened, he wanted to be with her again. Maybe, if they were together, she would be more forgiving. More willing to hear him out. Either way, time was short and he wanted her before things between them broke again. He had already wasted valuable time. Been too patient with her. He needed to be more forceful if he was to have some amount of time with her again. And he would have her again.

“Let me hear you say it, Kitten. What name do you call me?”

Still too shocked by his sudden change to make a fuss, Reyanna’s mind tried to sort through what had happened. One moment they were talking about her memories and the next he was making demands.

“Answer me. What do you call me?”

“Shou—Shouta.”

“Good. And you will call me that from here on. Yes.”

She nodded.

“Speak, Anna. Let me hear you say it.”

“Y—yes.”

“Yes, what?”

“Yes. Shouta.”

“Very good.” He praised.

His focus shifted from her eyes to her lips.

Reyanna tried to pull back as he tilted his head and moved closer, but he held her firm.

When she turned her face away, Shouta halted and tisked. “How would you have felt if I were so difficult when you kissed me?”

Reyanna’s heart raced in her chest. She was conflicted. Her growing feelings and desire for him mixed with those she had recently remembered. She wanted this. Wanted him. But there was still something holding her back.

“Sh—Shouta, please. Don’t. Not like this.”

His hold on her neck eased, and she pulled free of his grasp.

“Alright.” He closed the distance between them on the bench. “How would you like it?”

“What?”

“You said, not like this. So, how would you like it?”

“I—I--”

“Come now, Kitten. Use your words.”

Reyanna swallowed. She didn’t argue that she wasn’t his kitten. Too uncertain what he would do if she did.

Shouta grinned at her lack of rebuffing counter, and suggested. “How about you kiss me?”

“What!”

“You’ve done it twice today already.” He reasoned, as if it were the most sensible thing in the world. “Why not make it three?”

Reyanna stared at him. She felt tangled up in too many emotions. There were those that had grown over the course of spending the past four months with him. Then there were those from centuries ago, that her newly acquired memories had revealed. She tried to keep the two separate till she could properly examine these new thoughts and feelings, and acclimate to them. But, despite her best efforts, they bled and blended together. As if that weren’t enough, there was also the indescribable feeling that told her not to trust him.

It left her unmoving. Internally struggling. Half of her was torn between uncertainty and being totally against. While the other half wanted nothing more than to assent, and gladly do as he asked.

As if he knew this, Shouta said. “I know you want to. Aren’t you getting tired of playing hard to get, Anna? I know I am. Give in, and kiss me.” He thought how she had behaved back in the house, when his hands had roamed over her body and he had moved to her neck. “I won’t push for more. I promise.”

Her eyes moved from his twin dark orbs to his lips. For some reason, she was even more nervous kissing him now than she had been when he hadn’t asked her to.

Tentative, she slowly leaned in, her head tilting up and slightly to the side. Her eyes closed at the last couple inches, but Shouta’s remained open.

He thrilled at the initially feeling of her soft, sweet lips pressed against his. But when she didn’t do more, that soaring feeling came to a halt. He watched her and waited, giving her a moment to do more than simply press her lips to his. Where earlier in the day, during her first kiss, he had wanted more but had been to surprised and grateful to press; now he was willing to take what he wanted. Still, he had to be mindful of his promise.

Softly, Shouta exhaled as his tongue barely pushed between his lips. The muscle didn’t move out far enough to touch her. Just enough for her to feel the radiating warmth and moisture.

At the sensation, Reyanna’s lips parted, sucking in a sharp breath.

That was all the invitation Shouta needed. With her mouth open to him, he slipped his tongue in and fed on her.

Reyanna’s eyes flashed open.

“Mm!...” The sound, at first startled, changed into a throaty moan, as her hand lifted to grip his shirt, her eyes fluttering closed.

Shouta's entire being thrummed with excitement and further wanting when she kissed him back, her tongue moving with his.

All too soon, Reyanna had to break away to take a breath. And, despite what they both wanted, she didn’t return for more.

“What happened to your promise?” She asked, lips red from the pressure and shining from their mixed saliva.

“I didn’t hear you complain.”

Though there was no real bite to her words, Reyanna maintained. “You said--”

“--I wouldn’t push for more.” Shouta finished, a bit of haughtiness seeping into his expression. “Can you tell me what this ‘more’ I said I wouldn’t push for was?” He waited a beat. “Can’t, can you?” He smirked, eyes smug and proud. “You’ve got to be more careful when making agreements, Kitten. Not all oversights will be as pleasant as this one.”

Reyanna scowled. “I’m not--”

“What do you think?” Shouta asked, before she could finish the hated phrase.

She paused uncertain, and nervous what he might be asking about. Slowly, she inquired. “Think about what?”

“About Todoroki wanting to break into hell and free Dabi’s soul.”

Grateful he hadn’t meant their kiss or what she felt about him, she responded. “I don’t think he wants to break in. Actually, I’m pretty sure he’d rather stay as far away from the place as possible.”

Shouta inclined his head. She was learning.

“So what do you think about the task?” He asked.

“Well,” Reyanna sighed, “it’s definitely more challenging than the first step we had to do to seal away the Leviathan’s.”

Shouta shook his head, staring down at his interwoven fingers. “It can’t be done, Anna.”

“Really, Shouta. And, I thought you said you never say never.”

“Anna…” He exhaled heavily. “Fine. Let’s forgot about successfully freeing the Demon’s soul for a minute. Do you have any idea how to go about getting in and out of hell that would give us even a one percent chance of survival?”

Reyanna had known the task was near, if not completely, impossible. But for Todoroki’s sake, she had tried to remain optimistic. Yet, Shouta was a Daimon who had been and lived in hell for a time. He knew better than any of them the difficulty of what they had to do. After hearing his words, it made staying hopeful almost as impossible as the task itself.

“Honestly?...” A scheme suddenly struck her. Smiling, Reyanna stood up. “I don’t have the faintness clue of an idea.”

Shouta scoffed. “See--” He stopped and squinted as the wind started to pick up.

“But I’m glad you asked.” Reyanna said, over her shoulder as she stepped away from the bench. “Thanks to you, I know who to call that will give us not just an idea but a way.”

“Anna.” Shouta called.

His loose hair whipped around in the gale as he got to his feet.

The force shook the windows of the house, getting the attention of those inside.

“Reyanna! What have you done?” Shouta shouted over the wind.

“What the hell!” Hawks yelled, tucking his wings tightly against him as he stepped outside.

Todoroki, Hizashi, and Hitoshi followed.

“Todoroki said the Demon that Dabi sold his soul to had been nefarious in his dealings.” Reyanna said, moving further out into the yard.

Shouta followed protectively behind her. “Nefarious is part and parcel for demons, Anna. I doubt there’s a soul that’s been bargained that hasn’t been given due to some sort of nefarious methods. It’s not something you call the Erinyes for!”

Just when it felt like the wind would blow them and the house away, it stopped.

“Did they leave?” Hawks asked.

Or maybe the call for them had failed, the Archangel hoped. He had never dealt with the Erinyes. Spirits of vengeance weren’t something an assassin actively looked to meet and hang out with. Hawks had slain people who had families to care for. He had even ended young innocents. At the time he had thought of it as heaven doing these things. He had been Heaven’s Assassin after all. He had merely been Toshinori’s arm. But after being released…

“Speak your grievance.” A mass of voices that sounded like dry rustling leaves said all at once.

Shouta grabbed Reyanna’s arm and pulled her back, stepping in front of her. Fuck! This was Dabi all over again. Only he wouldn’t be able to whisk the Erinyes into a sealed room and force their compliance.

“There’s been a mistake.” Shouta said.

“No.” Reyanna pulled her arm free from Shouta’s hold and moved to his side. “There’s been no mistake.”

“Speak your grievance.” The Erinyes echoing voices repeated.

“Right.” Reyanna muttered.

Suddenly, she felt less certain. But the Llaes was needed her help. She had to keep her promise to Abril. She had to find a way for Todoroki to do what he needed to do.

“The Demon Dabi has been wronged.” Reyanna said. She tried to take a step forward, but Shouta’s finger tucked around her belt loop and held her in place.

Shouta was watchful, muscles coiled. Ready to respond to any threat that came Reyanna’s way.

“His soul must be released.” Reyanna went on. “As the spirits of vengeance, I ask that you help us avenge him.”

“Dabi sold his soul for power.” The many voices of the Erinyes said. “And for the month of life he had after the deal was made, he was given great power.”

Power that ultimately saw Dabi dead, Shouta thought, as he furiously tried to bring the details of Dabi’s contract to mind. It had been Hizashi, and his dealings with Dabi during the American Civil war that was the reason Shouta had once looked over Dabi’s contract.

Shouta lifted his head, opening his eyes. He had woken because of a presence.

‘Shouta.’ The voice of Hizashi beckoned in his head.

Shouta let his head fall back onto the blanket beneath him. The stars above seemed to wink at him between the swaying, overhang of branches.

What did Hizashi want now? Couldn’t he see he was busy? Shouta lifted his head, and smiled softly down at Reyanna who slept soundly on his bare chest. His hand caressed her silken hair.

‘Shouta.’ The beckon came again.

Heaving a heavy sigh, Shouta gave Reyanna’s head a kiss and carefully rolled out from under her. He found his pants and slipped them on, pulling on his boots, and taking up his shirt. He looked back at Reyanna, covered by his cloak, and smiled once more. Turning away, he trudge lazily toward where he sensed Hizashi, brushing leaves and twigs off his shirt as he did so.

“What is it, Hizashi?” Shouta asked, pulling on his shirt as he neared his friend.

“I could use your help.”

Shouta glanced back the way he had come. Despite the protections in place, he didn’t like leaving Reyanna out in the open alone. “Get to it. What do you need?”

“There’s this Demon. Dabi. He’s been causing some problems.”

Shouta ran a hand through his mussed hair, fingers finding and brutally combing through tangles. “Yeah, well it’s war, Zashi. Demons cause problems in the best of times. Wars are just an excuse for them to go wild.”

“But these are my charges, Shou.”

Hizashi looked so pained and worried that it twisted at Shouta’s gut.

“Fine.” The Daimon grumbled. “You stay here and watch over Anna. Anyone or thing gets near her, you kill them.”

Hizashi looked uncomfortable at that, but nodded just the same.

Shouta looked back in the direction of his sleeping love one last time. Then, with a muttering complaints, he flinted away.

He returned some time later with a copy of the contract Dabi had made when he had sold his soul. Before Shouta had left hell for good, he had made and hidden away copies of all of hell’s souls. Lucky for Hizashi, Dabi was one of the many souls sold before he had left.

In his absence, Hizashi had moved to a position closer to Reyanna. Stepping passed the Angel, Shouta moved closer still. He leaned against a tree and looked over the Demon’s contract before handing it off to Hizashi.

“Nothing special.” Shouta said, eyes lifting to the still sleeping Reyanna. Wanting to get back to her arms and warmth, he pushed off the tree. “Hope it gives you something of use. It’s a copy of my copy, so dispose of it properly when you’re done.”

Shouta tried to recall any and everything from that contract, hoping to find something that would be of use to them now. But it was Hizashi who came up with the tidbit.

“The contract stated that he would have power for the rest of his life.” Hizashi piped up.

“And so he did.” The Erinyes said.

“No.” Hizashi challenged. “The agreement stated that it was for the rest of his life. Not the rest of his human life.”

The Erinyes were quiet, as if checking Dabi’s contract for themselves. After a brief pause they said. “As a demon, Dabi still has great power.”

“But the power isn’t his.” Reyanna argued. “He works for and answers to hell.”

“He still has power.” The Erinyes replied.

“Dabi.” Shouta called, using the Tie to summon the Demon. It was a risk. The Erinyes might give them a way to kill him. Or just kill him themselves. But it was a calculated risk.

Dabi appeared.

“And after you’ve been so careful! I was in the middle of a conver--” Dabi’s scalding words fell off as he sensed the Erinyes presence. Slowly he turned and saw their vaporous, swirling forms. “What the hell sort of mess have you brought me into now!”

“Dabi, you are not to use your power. From here on, the ability your are allowed to use and display is that of the most basic human child.” Shouta told.

“What the hell!” Dabi exclaimed. He suddenly felt weak. The stiff, occasional gust of wind coming off of the Erinyes making him bend and sway like a young sapling. “You--”

“Hush.” Shouta commanded. He looked out at the billowing spirits. “You were saying?”

This pause lasted much longer than the one before. After a time the wind picked back up.

Dabi tripped to the ground and hunkered down, fearful he would be blown away.

Shouta held onto Reyanna, squinting and ducking his face into her whipping hair, as she buried her face into his chest.

Then, as suddenly as they had arrived, the Erinyes were gone; a single sheet of parchment left behind.

Shouta watched it flutter to the ground. On it were three words, ‘The Great Rock.’

Fuck. Shouta thought. Could nothing ever be easy…

17.2

Reyanna entered the den. For a moment she thought the room was empty. Then she saw Hawks seated on the floor, leaning against a wall.

“You hang out in the weirdest places.” Reyanna said, as she made her way toward him.

Hawks stretched out one of his wings, as she sunk to the floor.

Reyanna leaned back, felt the Archangel’s wing and quickly sat forward.

“It’s alright.” Hawks grinned at her. “You won’t hurt it. Relax.”

Slowly, Reyanna leaned back against his wing. It was interesting. The vane’s of his feathers were strangely silken and yet coarse, depending on which direction her back rubbed against them. The shaft of the feathers were firm, but gave slightly under her weight. What surprised her most was the warmth that came off of them. Somehow that warmth made it feel more intimate.

Hawks sensed her growing discomfort and sought to disarm it, not wanting her to sit up and pull away. “So, what embarrassing things about me, did your recent memories reveal?”

“Embarrassing?” Reyanna looked at him. She saw the playfulness in his eyes and toyed back. “All of it. I don’t think there was a memory you were a part of that didn’t leave me cringing in sympathetic humiliation for you.”

Hawks’ mouth opened and closed. Finally he huffed, feigning hurt feelings. “I see how it is. Cruel and heartless as ever.”

“If I were cruel and heartless I would have laughed and mocked you behind your back.”

“You never did that.” He thought of the taunts and insults he had gotten when battling his ex-brother’s and sisters after he had been released and restrained, and shrugged. “At least not as far as I’m aware.”

Talking with Hizashi out in the chill, night air, Shouta happened to glance through a bright window as they walked passed. As soon as he saw Reyanna smiling and rested against one of Hawks’ wings, he flinted inside. His hand wrapped around Hawks’ throat and squeezed, lifting the startled, flailing Archangel up into the air.

Forget about his blade and power, Shouta was going to rip Hawks apart with his bare hands.

“Shouta!” Reyanna pushed to her feet. “Shouta! Let him go!”

Eyes glowing red, Shouta didn’t even feel Reyanna pulling and hitting at his arm.

“Shouta!” Hizashi flinted inside. He didn’t know what had set the Daimon off, but he knew of a sure way to defuse him. “Kiss him, Anna.”

“What!” Reyanna balked.

“Kiss him!” Hizashi repeated.

He’ll kill Hawks if you don’t, the Angel thought. Shouta's been looking for an excuse for centuries...

“Kiss him, Anna.” Hizashi insisted.

What the fuck was wrong with these people? One moment she was having a pleasant conversation with Hawks, and the next Shouta was trying to kill the Archangel and Hizashi was telling her to kiss the Daimon. Couldn’t things around here just be normal for once?

Releasing Shouta's arm, Reyanna cupped his face and rose up to her tip toes. Unlike the times earlier today, she wasn’t slow or tentative. She crashed her lips against his and plunged her tongue into his snarling mouth.

There was a brief moment where Reyanna moved against unyielding lips but, in an instant, that changed.

Shouta's released Hawks and wrapped his arms around Reyanna, pulling her to him as he bend her back.

Hawks dropped to the floor with a thud. Sucking in ragged gulps of air, he tenderly lifted a hand to his bruised throat.

“Sure.” Hawks croaked, from his place around the two pairs feet. “Don’t mind me. Just continue swapping spit.”

“You’re welcome.” Hizashi told the Archangel from a few feet away.

Shouta broke the kiss, and glared down at Hawks, baring his teeth.

Hawks knew better than to chance his luck and be caught watching. He kept his gaze averted, like some fearful, submissive dog. Damn, fucking Daimon, Hawks thought. If he wasn’t restrained… But he was. And to go up against Aizawa head on, as he was, without plan, backup, or a plethora of assisting items would mean a certain and quick death.

“You’re coming with me.” Shouta told Reyanna, his hand moving from the small of her back to her hand.

“What! Why? You haven’t even explained yourself, or apologiz--”

“Lucifer’s been entering your dreams.” Shouta’s low rumbling voice cut Reyanna off.

“And?” She demanded.

“You’ll be sleeping with me from here on.” Shouta told.

Reyanna stared at him in disbelief. She couldn’t even attempt to convince herself that he was joking. Aizawa's humor was dark and dry, and something she truly loved. But this was far from some joke. Shouta's eyes were still shining with murderous wrath. His expression hard and showing small signs of the barely controlled storm raging within.

“Ex—excuse me?” Reyanna took a small step back.

Shouta's hand tightened around hers. “We can’t allow Lucifer to enter your dreams, Anna.”

“And what’s that have to do with me...” She couldn’t say it. Could barely think it. Could imagine it all too well.

“I can block him. But I have to be in contact with you.”

Reyanna looked at Hawks and Hizashi for confirmation.

“It’s true.” Hizashi said. “He’s done it before.”

“Come.” Shouta beckoned, turning and tugging her hand. “We’ll sleep in my room. Unless you’ll feel more comfortable in yours.”

Reyanna’s feet remained planted.

“Wait!” She pulled against his hold, but his hand remained firmly around hers.

“What?” Shouta asked, turning back and tilting his head. “Want a late night snack first?”

“I—I--” She looked to Hawks and Hizashi for help.

Hizashi gave her an encouraging smile, while Hawks still refused to look up.

Anything to delay, and hopefully find a way out of this, Reyanna nodded. “Snack! Yes. I’d like a snack before...”

“Let’s go then.” Shouta urged, tugging once more at her hand. “I think there’s some packages of jellied fruit. If Hitoshi didn’t eat them all.”

“Night!” Hizashi waved after them. “Rest well!”

As soon as they were out of the room, he turned back to Hawks.

Though his expression remained bright, the Angel’s voice took on an edge of warning. “It’d be best for everyone if you didn’t antagonize. Flirting and trying to get too close will only cause unnecessary problems.” Hizashi sighed and shook his head as he extended a hand to the Archangel. “You tried this once before and failed, Hawks. Just because Anna doesn’t remember, doesn’t mean it’ll work this time. You can’t win her affections and steal her away.”

Hawks slapped Hizashi's hand away and pushed to his feet.

Aizawa may have once wooed and tricked Reyanna into believing him better than he actually was; but that was before Shouta had shown himself as the villain Hawks knew him to be. Even if Reyanna didn’t consciously remember Aizawa's betrayal, something inside her had to remember. Something within her had to be warning her against the Daimon.

Hizashi was right. During the time after Abril’s death and before Shouta had left hell, he had tired and failed to earn Reyanna’s affections. But, this time he didn’t have to steal her away from Aizawa. Aizawa’s own actions had driven Reyanna away.

“Aizawa--” Hawks fought to say the words.

“They’re bonded.” Hizashi said. “She had a chance to break the Bond and didn’t.” He crossed his arms and lifted his chin, staring down at the shorter man. “Yet you would tell her everything about the incident before she remembers on her own. Before she’s fully capable of understanding and making her own, informed, decision.”

These weren’t questions being posed, and Hawks realized why his voice had failed him.

“You amended the provisions of my Restraint.” Hawks stated. He lunged at Hizashi. “Why didn’t you free me!”

Hizashi flinted out of the way and reasoned. “It was difficult enough to add that simple, little clause. Unassuming as the addition was, it still required some degree of power. Naomasa nearly sniffed me out. Anything else and Naomasa definitely would’ve known. What do you think would have happened then? Huh? He would have immediately told Toshinori. And the Head Guy would have sent me packin’. That’s if I was lucky. What use would I be to then? Dead or released?”

“Even alive and attached to heaven, you’re still less help than I would be if you had dissolved the Restraint!” Hawks fumed.

Hizashi's eyes dimmed.

The two remained silent for a time.

Hawks knew he had hurt Hizashi's feelings, but was too sour over everything to apologize. Hell! The Angel’s crazy Daimon friend had tried to kill him minutes ago and neither of them had apologized for that.

Finally, Hawks grumbled. “I thought you didn’t like getting your hands dirty.”

Hizashi chuckled, his smile overly bright. “You got it wrong. I don’t like violence. Getting my hands dirty… Well that I have no problem doing. So long as it’s for the right cause.”

“Right cause? Aizawa's a fucking Daimon! A Daimon that--” Again the words failed to be given voice. “What does he have on you, Hizashi?”

“Have on me?”

“Aizawa. Hell knows he’s got something on everyone. It’s how he works. How he deals in his so called favors.”

“Most of the time.” Hizashi admitted, with almost proud amusement. “But no. Shouta's got nothing on me. Unlike the rest of you, I’m a good little Angel.”

“Then you need to get away.” Hawks advised.

“Get away? Why?”

“Cause you’ve obviously spent too much time with him. You never would have been alright with doing this before.”

“And how would you know?” Hizashi asked, the friendly lightness in his voice evaporating. “You never sought me out when you were up there. You and everyone else in heaven actively avoided me. Called me loud. Good for nothing.”

“Aizawa called you loud.” Hawks contended. “Still does.”

“Yes. But always to my face. And he’s never once called me good for nothing.”

Chapter Text

18.1

After trying to claim that she didn’t need to sleep, and every other excuse and reason she could think, Reyanna had opted to sleep in Aizawa's bedroom. And sleeping was all that was going to happen. Full stop. Period. No if, and, or buts.

While Shouta had been in her bedroom back at the craftsman house, he had yet to enter her room here. She told herself that was why she chose to sleep in his room, that she wanted to keep that small bit of privacy. But if she were honest, a great part of her was curious what the Daimon's bedroom looked like.

Reyanna had peeked in all of the rooms when Shouta had first moved them here. But that had been nearly two months ago. Since then, changes had no doubt been made to suit his needs and preferences. Just as she and the others had done to their rooms.

Shouta closed to door behind her and made his way to the bathroom to wash his face. After combat training and the dirt that had been kicked up by the Erinyes wind, he would have preferred a shower. But that would have to wait till morning. He wasn’t chancing Reyanna slipping away while he was in the shower. And he doubted she was ready to join him in getting clean.

“Make yourself comfortable.” He told, over his shoulder.

Standing just inside the bedroom, Reyanna took in the changes Aizawa had made. Nothing. The Daimon hadn’t done a thing. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. If she remembered correctly, there had been a cushioned chair with a comfy looking blanket in one of the corners, and a storage bench at the foot of the bed. But they were both gone. Even the dresser was missing. Instead of adding comforting things to the room, Shouta had taken things out. All that remained was a single nightstand, and the large king sized bed. There weren’t even two pillows.

She wasn’t sharing a pillow with him.

“I’ll be right back.”

Reyanna turned to the door. But Shouta, having flinted, already stood between her and it.

“Where do you think you’re going, Kitten?” He asked, face dripping with water.

Reyanna distantly wondered how she was able to hear that the faucet was still running with the way her heartbeat seemed to drummed in her ears.

“I—I was ju—just gonna go get my pillow.” She stuttered, unable to meet Aizawa's gaze.

“You can use mine.” Shouta said, flatly. He looked her over. She had to feel more grimy than he did. And it wasn’t like the last time, when both had been too exhausted to care. “Want to take a shower first?”

“What!”

“I’ll wait out here. Go on.” He tilted his head toward the en-suite. “Can you turn the sink off for me.”

Reyanna nodded dully, her steps slow and measured.

Shouta watched her disappear into the bathroom and listened to her turn off the sink and start the shower. It was incredibly tempting to follow her in, but he knew just how far he could push her. If he joined her, all the progress they had made today would be undone.

Shouta scowled as he recalled Reyanna smiling as she leaned against Hawks’ wing. Lucky for Hawks, Hizashi had told him what he had done to the Archangel’s Restraint moments before he had seen the two together. If Hizashi hadn’t, Shouta would have killed Hawks just to make sure the Archangel didn’t retaliate by telling Reyanna about his betrayal. But thanks to Hizashi's initiative, Hawks got to live another day, and Shouta no longer had to worry about Hawks telling her. That was a relief.

His eyes fell on the bed and the single pillow. He didn’t need much and would happily let her use it. But she would probably be more at ease with her own.

He walked over to her bedroom, which was next door to his. Reyanna hadn’t been pleased at that, but Shouta had made sure she had chosen hers and gotten settled before he had picked his own bedroom. He had had to kick Shinsou out of it, but the boy hadn’t put up much of a fuss. With the room to the left of his having been claimed for Hizashi, he and Reyanna had this entire side of the house to themselves.

He took his time, ears listening to the water running, wanting to be back before she got out. It occurred to him that she would need something to sleep in.

Pulling open the top dresser drawer, Shouta found her bras and panties. She wouldn’t be needing a bra, but his hand still reached out toward them, fingers caressing over one of the garments cups. He heard the tap turning and water shut off. Hurriedly, he grabbed a pair of underwear, and opened the next drawer grabbing a tank top and shorts. He rushed to her bed, snatched up her pillow, and flinted back to his room.

“Anna.” Shouta called, brushing his hair out of his face. “I got clean clothes for you.”

Silence answered him from the other side of the door. Then Reyanna cracked the door open an inch and peeked an eye through.

Shouta stepped closer and held out the clothes, her pillow falling to the carpeted floor.

“You got my pillow.” Reyanna stared, unmoving.

“Yeah.” Shouta said, bending to pick it up. “Thought you’d be more comfortable with it.”

She opened the door a fraction more, extending an arm out.

As Shouta handed her, her clothes he caught a glimpse of a towel wrapped tightly around her.

“Thank you.” Reyanna muttered, grabbing the clothes. She retracted her arm and brought them inside, quickly shutting the door behind.

Recovering from his own inexplicable shyness, Shouta smirked in amusement. Silly, skittish Kitten.

He place her pillow beside his, sat on the bed, and waited.

She took overly long. At one point Shouta had even heard water from the sink running and considered knocking on the door. But he decided to leave her be, not wanting to push.

Finally, Reyanna appeared.

She felt stupid for feeling so exposed in nothing but a tank top and short set of sleep shorts when he had seen her in far less.

“I opened up and used your extra toothbrush.” She told him.

“That’s fine.” Shouta said. “Sorry. I didn’t think about that. You’ve always been a bit obsessive about dental hygiene.”

“I have?”

He grinned at the sudden brightening of her eyes and patted a spot on the bed beside as he spoke. “Yeah. You flossed way before that human dentist ever thought up the idea.”

Reyanna made her way to the bed, drawn in by his voice and the information it gave.

“And when the stuff became commercially available.” Shouta practically rolled his eyes and huffed. “You were ridiculously happy. Well I say ridiculously. But I find the notion of being happy about being able to buy floss ridiculous in and of itself.”

“Shut up.” Reyanna laughed, giving his shoulder a light push. “I’m not ridiculous, you big meanie.”

“How would you know?” Shouta teased. “It’s not like you remember.”

Reyanna sobered at that.

Shouta instantly regretted his words.

“But now that Lucifer can enter my dreams you can help me. Tell me. Right?”

“Not--”

“You said!” Reyanna interrupted. “You said the reason you didn’t, couldn't, help me remember was because it would weaken and undo the thing shielding me from Lucifer. But that shielding is gone! He can get in my head. My dreams. So it doesn’t matter anymore. There’s no reason not to help me remember.”

“You have a point.” Shouta conceded.

“A very good point. And--”

“Anna.” The slight sharpness of his tone made her fall silent. “Let me finish.” Shouta sighed. “The mind is a delicate thing. What you did to wipe it--” He shook his head. “It was foolish. Dangerous. You were lucky you didn’t severally and permanently damaged yourself.”

“Why did I do it? If it was so dangerous.”

“I won’t tell you everything simply because Lucifer can now enter your dreams. But I will open up a bit more and answer questions I believe will help your memory along, at a safe pace.” He said, stressing the last words.

She knew that he was avoiding her question, but didn’t pester him about it. Thinking about the invasion of memories involving Abril, she was grateful for his caution and care. Reyanna would rather not be beat down under the battering weight of a mass of memories like that again. Even now, her mind felt frayed and bruised. It was as if these memories, and emotions they invoked weren’t entirely hers.

Remembering experiences was far different than remembering information. She had discovered that from the few memories she had had that invoked Hawks. It was as if the feelings of her past self and present self swung between bleeding together completely, to mixing together was well as oil and water. But to have had so many memories, and consequently emotions, dumped on her all at once… She would probably be recovering and coming to grips with the fallout for days to come.

“Sounds fair enough.” Reyanna said. “You’ve done nothing but help and protect me. You have no reason to hold me back, other than to make sure I’m not overwhelmed and broken by a swarm of memories.”

A wave of guilt washed over him, but Shouta quickly shoved it to the bottom pits of his soul. He could feel guilty later. Right now, time was limited.

Getting up, Shouta pulled the blanket back. “Let’s get into bed, shall we.”

Reyanna stared at the bed, as if just now realizing what she was sitting on. “Uh. Aiz—Shouta...”

Shouta hummed his attention, silently pleased that she had caught and corrected herself.

“Can you tell me how this works? You keeping Lucifer from entering my dreams.”

“Easy.” Shouta said, gently pulling her to her feet and pushing her back down once he fully pulled the blanket aside. “I need to be in contact with you.”

“Contact?”

“Relax. It’s nothing we haven’t done before.”

“I know. Hizashi said. But I don’t remember.”

“I meant us sleeping together in each others arms.” Shouta said, eyes glittering at her blush. “It’ll be no different than the night we recouped from the fight at the barn.”

“So--” Reyanna watched as she picked at a loose thread on the hem of her shorts. “You just—have to hold me?”

“Or you could hold me.”

Her head snapped up.

Shouta chuckled at her scowling pout. Damn. She was so cute.

“Scoot over.”

Reyanna’s eyes widened. Looking to further delay, she asked. “Aren’t you going to change into your sleep clothes?”

Shouta crawled into bed.

Reyanna scooted over, least he crawl on top of her.

Pausing on all fours, he replied. “I sleep in my underwear. If you’d like--”

“No! Please!”

Shouta turned and flopped onto his back.

Still sitting, Reyanna looked everywhere but at him.

The back of his hand brushed her bare arm, making her jump.

“Lay down, Anna.”

Gulping, she slowly did as he bid.

Shouta turned his head, sighing as he watched her lay on her side, facing away from him. Fine, he thought. He’d spoon her. But, it would be her own fault if she woke up with a hard on pressed against her ass.

As his body wrapped around hers, Reyanna tried to distract her racing mind. “So what’s the Great Rock?”

“Who.”

“The Great Rock.”

“I heard you, Ktten. The Great Rock is a who, not a what.”

For a second, she couldn’t think. The feeling of his breath on her neck, along with his chest rumbling against her back as he spoke, was too distracting.

She blinked away the depraved thoughts the sensations sparked, and inquired. “So who’s the Great Rock?”

“Later.” Shouta mumbled, snuggling closer.

“You said that already.”

“And I meant it. I’ll tell you later.”

Heaving a long suffering sigh, Reyanna relented. “Fine. But at least tell me why the Erinyes said this Great Rock could help.”

“That I don’t know. Though I have an idea what it might be.”

She turned her head, face looking up toward the ceiling. “So tell me.”

“Later.”

“Ai—tch. Shouta.”

“Tomorrow, Anna. We’ll talk about it tomorrow.”

“You’ll tell me tomorrow.” She pressed.

“Yes.”

“Promise?”

“I already said yes, didn’t I.”

Reyanna turned her head back and stared at the distant wall, sullenly.

Shouta held her, waiting in the darkness till her breathing evened out. He hadn’t lied when he had said that he needed to be in contact with her to keep Lucifer from entering her dreams. Out of all the archangel’s, and daimon's that had once been archangel’s, Lucifer was the only one powerful enough to enter someone’s dreams without needing to be in physical contact with them.

What Shouta had purposefully left out, was that, he would need to enter her dreams to keep Lucifer out. It was the easiest and only way they had available to them at the moment. It was also how he had kept Lucifer at bay before. Though back then Reyanna had welcomed his presence in her dreams. Now, she could barely accept sleeping in his arms. Shouta seriously doubted she would have accepted this if she had known that he would be entering her sleep in Lucifer's stead. But keeping Lucifer out was vital. Not only could the infiltrating dreamer interact with the host, meaning Lucifer could pry Reyanna for information; but, if the host dreamer wasn’t consciously aware they were dreaming, the infiltrator could possibly effect things the host did in the waking world.

Over time, Reyanna had learned how to remain consciously aware while she slept. Meaning Shouta hadn’t needed to join her every time she slumbered. But right now she didn’t have access to such knowledge. And, given the connection it afforded him, learning how to be consciously aware in her sleep was one skill Shouta wouldn’t be helping her relearn or remember. At least not anytime soon.

Nuzzling his face into the back of her neck, Shouta closed his eyes and entered her sleep.

Abril wrapped a long strip of fabric around a still seeping gash on the back of Reyanna’s arm.

“I’m suppose to be taking care of you.” Reyanna grumbled in complaint.

“You already did. You turned in front of me and took this cut.”

“It’s nothing.”

“It needs tending.” Abril argued.

Even with everything she knew, Abril still felt bad, responsible even, for Reyanna’s injury. Never mind her heartache over all the troubles her friend had still yet to face.

“It’ll heal.” Reyanna dismissed. “I just need to get some rest.”

Once Hawks returned from securing all the warding's, she could sleep. No doubt Abril was tired too. Shouta wouldn’t be happy about their recklessness. She definitely wanted to be well rested for that scolding. But, it wasn’t as if they could have waited for him before acting. It was as annoying as it was worrying, the two different lives he was forced to lead, still connected to hell.

“You’re not a daimon or an angel, Anna. The wound might be closed up when you wake, but it won’t be completely healed.”

“So long as it isn’t open and bleeding everywhere...”

Abril made a noise of irritated disgust and shook her head. “If I didn’t know better, I’d blame Aizawa for you being the way you are. But with the way that Daimon cares for you. He’s probably the only reason you’re not covered in scars.”

Reyanna looked away, blushing. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“You forget, I know things.” Abril teased. “There.” She said, lowering her hands. “The bandage will keep the salve from rubbing off so it’ll heal without scar.”

“You know that too?” Reyanna asked. Her query only half playing.

Abril smiled knowingly. “Ask what you want to know, Anna. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to answer you this time.”

“Be able to? I don’t see anyone but you stopping you from sharing all that you know.”

All that she knew. It wasn’t as if she knew everything, Abril thought. If she did, she would have avoided this conversation and aggravating her friend. She would have gotten out of the way of that strike so Reyanna wouldn’t have had to shield her, getting hurt in the process. But she didn’t know everything. Most of what she knew she couldn’t even hope to effect, the events happening long after she was dead. The thought frightened her. Her death. What the future Llaes’ , who’s eyes she saw through, would experience. What her friends would have to face…

“Some things shouldn’t be known.” Abril murmured, wishing she didn’t know half of the things that she did.

“Then why do you know them?” Reyanna questioned.

Abril didn’t have an answer. She wished she did. Instead of explaining, she posed her own query. Something else she didn’t know the answer to, but hoped her friend could give.

“Why did you decide to protect me from Aizawa's blade?”

Reyanna blinked a moment. “Because...” She thought back to that day. Her bound and held by Hawks. Abril, Shouta's captive. “Because you’re the Llaes. The one who will seal away the Leviathan’s.”

“I had no knowledge or power before then. I certainly wasn’t the one who would or could seal away great monsters.”

Reyanna’s brows furrowed at that. “What are you saying?”

Abril shrugged. “It’s one of the few things regarding all this that I don’t know. Which is why I ask. Why did you surpass you ability and save me from Aizawa's blade?”

“I--”

“Your doing so widened the rip. Because you surpassed your ability and chose to save me, it’s even easier for Thirds to pass from Oblvi to earth.” There was no accusation or censure in Abril’s tone. She was merely stating a fact.

It wasn’t as if Reyanna didn’t know what surpassing her ability would do. She had done it twice before. Once during the Nephilim War. And again when Kai had pushed her down and…

She shook the memory away. She hadn’t told Shouta. Too afraid of what he would do. Though Lucifer wouldn’t have been pleased with Kai’s forcefulness. Her Father would have seen it as a form of courtship. She was promised to Kai. If Shouta were to attack hell’s top General he would died...or worse. Either way she would never have seen Shouta again.

“I—didn’t mean to.” Reyanna said, speaking about having surpassed her ability. On all three occasions she hadn’t acted with intention. “I just saw you. Knew what Shouta was going to do and had to protect you.” She looked at Abril. “I did it because you were the Llaes.”

And I’m telling you I wasn’t the Llaes till you chose to protect me, Abril thought. It was a conundrum. If Reyanna had decided to save her because she was the Llaes, but she wasn’t the Llaes until after Reyanna had decided to save her… She shook her head. It didn’t make sense. One had to have come first. Even if it was by a fraction of a second.

~Shouta watched from a distance not wanting to disturb anything. He had done this enough times to know that what he was seeing was a memory not a dream.

So this was where Reyanna was remembering, he thought. That explained a lot. Even after her assurance earlier today, he had continued to think that she had remembered more than she had admitted to him. At the time, it had been the only explanation for what Dabi had revealed. The few memories Reyanna had informed him about weren’t enough to unblock her mind, opening the way for another mind to enter. But if she was remembering in her sleep, and not conscious of it…

Reyanna remembering things in her sleep also explained how various skills and knowledge suddenly came to her. It wasn’t just instinct rising up. It was her doing things she had unconsciously remembered how to do.

The memory changed.

What Shouta saw gave him a thrill. He was a part of this one.~

Reyanna passed the last line of trees as she came down the path, Shouta and Tamaki coming into full view. The two sparred along a grassy portion of the otherwise pebbled shore of a lake.

Shouta wasn’t using his blade, or even his power; yet Tamaki still struggled.

“Be more certain in your follow through.” Shouta told, blocking the half-nephilim’s strike with ease.

Tamaki pulled back and tried to do as the Daimon said, putting all his strength into his hit.

Shouta pivoted out of the way, extending a leg out. He watched the young man stumble, eyes wide, as he tried to pull up and stop.

Tamaki tripped over Aizawa's leg.

“You are meant to use your momentum to your advantage. Not let it be turned into an enemy. Don’t give so much that you can’t redirect or counter your own move.”

“You just said told me to follow through.” Tamaki blurted from the ground.

Shouta quirked an eyebrow at the temper in the young man’s words.

Tamaki was terribly shy. But occasionally, if Shouta agitated him in the right way, he could get Tamaki to break through that shyness.

“You must--” Shouta halted, sensing and then seeing Reyanna. Returning his gaze to Tamaki, he began again. “You must find a balance. We’re finished for today.”

Tamaki took Shouta's extended hand and was helped to his feet.

“Thank you.” Tamaki mumbled, head tucked, eyes lowered, back to his usual self.

Shouta shook his head and sighed. He wasn’t looking to turn Tamaki into Hizashi. Hell knew Shouta himself avoided others at all cost. But Shouta didn’t see how he could train Tamaki up into a competent fighter if the young man couldn’t even manage to look his foe in the eye.

“Good session?” Reyanna asked Tamaki as he passed her.

Tamaki nodded, his eyes remaining downcast.

As the half-nephilim hurried up the path, Reyanna made her way toward Shouta.

“You didn’t have to trip him, you know.”

“I tripped you enough times during your training.” Shouta taunted, eyes raking over her.

He hadn’t seen her since early morning. And though it was just now nearing the height of day, it felt as if he hadn’t seen her for weeks, the sight of her doing things to him.

“Exactly why I can empathize.” She stopped in front of him, her own eyes looking him hungerly over.

“I missed you.” Shouta confessed, softly.

“We saw each other no more than six hours ago.”

“Six hours and forty-three minutes.”

“Did you count the seconds too?” Reyanna teased.

“I counted nothing. It was simple math.” He looked up at the angle of the sun as if to prove his point.

Ignoring his response, she swung her hips back and forth, drawing closer. “Was I not enough this morning, Shadow?”

“You’re always enough.” Shouta told, fingers twitching, wanting to grab her and pull her against him.

“Then why did you miss me?”

“I didn’t leave hell to take in and help unwanteds.”

“I thought you liked instructing them.” Reyanna said, forgiving his calling Tamaki and the others unwanted.

“I left hell to be with you.”

Reyanna smiled. “I missed you too, Shouta.”

~Shouta remembered vividly what happened next. There was no way he was going to stand in the shadowed periphery and watch as he enjoyed his Love.

It was a new and strange experience for him. To be jealous of himself. But he was.

He got a bit of satisfaction at stepping through the image of himself, making it disappear as he broke into the memory, turning it into a dream.

“Anna.” He smiled, standing in front of her.

Reyanna’s expression was puzzled for a moment. But soon, she was smiling back at him. “Shouta.”

While the surrounding scenery remained the same, it had taken on the aspects of a dream. This was no longer a memory. Still, Shouta did his best to continue as he had that day. It was the least he could do.

“Care to show me how much you missed me?” He asked, paraphrasing what he had said back then.

Reyanna lifted up to her toes and kissed him, pulling away when Shouta lowered and tilted his head.

“You know. I loved our training sessions together.” She confessed.

“Did you now?”

She nodded and hummed her affirmation.

“What did you like about it?” Shouta asked, recalling their combat training earlier in the day. How he had made a point of pinning her.

“How you knocked me onto my back and pinned me to the ground.” She said, without shame.

He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her hips against his cock, already stiff and aching for her attention. “I could pin you down now if you’d like.”

She pretended to consider this for a moment then shook her head. “I don’t think so.”

“No?”

“I’d rather to go down on you right now.”

It was Shouta's turn to pretend to consider.

In the past he hadn’t given her many chances to suck him off. At least not half as many turns as he had taken feasting on her. As much as he loved her pretty lips wrapped around his length, he loved his lips wrapped around her clit even more. He loved tasting her. Driving his tongue as deep as he could inside her. Hearing her scream and moan his name as she writhed beneath him, driven to further heights. He loved how she melted for him. Was putty in his hands. How she begged and pleaded with him. Was totally reliant on him and what he was willing to allow her to have in that moment. He loved the control.

Before he could respond, she threw her arms around him and pressed her lips to his. The kiss was damn near feral, mostly teeth and tongue. Something it hadn’t been on the actual day he had cut Tamaki’s training short.

Kitten must be pretty pent up, Shouta thought returning the kiss with equally rough fervor.~

In the waking world. Shouta laid behind her. Eyes still closed, he buried his face into her hair, arms pulling her tighter against him.

~Though the day in the dreamscape was nice, the high sun shining off of the lake. There were no signs or sounds of life, other than the two of them.

Reyanna broke away from Shouta's hungry mouth, moving to his neck.

“I need you.” She rasped, hot breath against his skin.~

Though the perceived feeling wasn’t the same as if she were truly kissing and marking him, Shouta's mind tricked his nerves enough so that there was a ghosting of a sensation. The feeling wasn’t nearly enough. But it would have to do.

~Reyanna’s hands tugged at his shirt, pushing it up to reveal his torso. Her mouth moved down to his chest, and then lower still to his abs. Soon she was down on her knees, nuzzling her face against his bulge, while her hands fumbled with his belt.

Shouta stared down at her, no longer interested in being faithful to the events of that day. But Reyanna had been the one who started it. Sure, she had been desirous that day, but she had been far more teasing and slow.

He reached down, his hand caressing over her hair.

Reyanna paused and looked up at him. She gave him a shy smile and resumed undoing his belt and pants.

Shouta could have gotten rid of his clothes with a thought. But where would the fun in that be? This was the first time since his betrayal that he could truly indulge himself with her. Yes, the Tie and night Dabi had breathed the Mist of the Lust in her had been highly satisfying. But, both had been directed by something other than his own design.

Tongue darting out to lick her lips, Reyanna stared at her unwrapped prize.

“Like what you see, Kitten?” Shouta asked, gazing down at her.

She glanced up and nodded.

“So do I.” He murmured, caressing her cheek.

His Love before him on her knees. His cock in her face, dripping pre-cum, just begging her to suck till he was spent and dry, with nothing else to give. Yes. He had imagined this sight often when she had been away from him during her long slumber. And even though this was only a dream. To be sharing it with her. To not have to be completely reliant on his own imagination. It was a wonderful thing. And the sight… The sight was nearly perfect. The only thing that would have made it better was it if were happening for real.

His hand smoothed over her head. “Don’t be shy. Let’s see if you can bring me to my knees.”

At that, Reyanna wrapped a hand around the base of his cock. She lapped up the bead pre-cum with the flat of her tongue, before swirling her tongue around the head. Pulling off, she gave the head a kiss.~

The events within the dream caused Reyanna’s thighs to squeeze together, her body seeking some sort of friction.

Shouta hips pressed forward, hard cock rubbing against her ass.

~She peppered the length of his shaft with kisses, all the way down to the base. There, her tongue leaked back out and gave long, flat licks up. She did this several times, moaning at the delectable feel of the long prominent vein that ran along the underside of his cock.

“Tease.” Shouta rasped, fingers threading through her hair and giving a tug. “Open up and take me in. Else I’ll leave you a begging mess when I take my turn.”

Lips wrapped around the head of his cock, Reyanna chuckled.

The vibrations, even if they were perceived, were enough to have Shouta’s muscles tensing in an effort not to thrust forward.

Reyanna’s eyes were shining and smug as she looked up at him. Mouth widening, she took even more of him in.

Shouta watched her take more of him in with ever bob of her head. “Can you swallow me whole, Kitten? Come on, Beautiful. I know you can. Take a deep breath and try.”

Drool already beginning to drip down her chin, Reyanna pulled back. She licked her lips and emptied her lungs with a long exhale before filling them up with air. Mouth opening, her lips wrapped around him once more.

Shouta let her go down at her own pace. He didn’t want to hit her perceived gag reflex and wake her. Even so, when she made to pull up, his hand tightened in her hair. While the other moved to the back of her head and held her in place.

Her eyes shot open and lifted back up to him.

“There.” Shouta grinned, shivering in pleasure. His hold loosened, letting her back off and breathe. “Again. Eyes on me this time.”

Reyanna licked the tip of his cock teasingly, before doing as he wanted. As the head of his cock breached into her esophagus, her vision of him staring down at her seemed to shutter as she blinked rapidly. Her throat closed around him as it tried to swallow the intrusion. She grabbed his legs, needing to stabilize herself and found them trembling beneath her hands.

“Fuck, Kitten.” Shouta groaned, struggling to keep from thrusting further into her tight, wet throat.

She pulled back, eyes trained on his cock, and tired again before he could say anything to encourage her. Her desire to get further reaction out of him spurring her on. She wanted to turn him into a spasming mess. To hear him groan in that delicious deep timber of his that went straight to her core and made it flutter every time she heard it. She wanted to do as he had challenged, and bring him to his knees.

This time she managed to swallow him all the way. Wiry black curls tickled her nose as it was pressed against his pelvis. Eyes watery, she blinked up at him in proud victory. Her contracting throat elicited more deep groans from him, making her hum in delight.

The vibrations from the tight sleeve of her throat caused Shouta's hips to buck of their own accord.

“Fuck!” Shouta pulled back. He reached down to her, silently cursing himself. “You alright, Kitten?”

Reyanna sputtered and coughed as she sat back on her haunches. Hand to her chest, she nodded and rasped. “Yeah. But, let’s move on from that.”

“Agreed.” He held a hand out to help her up. “Come here.”

She shook her head, her eyes not meeting his as she swallowed a few more times. It was strange. It wasn’t that her throat didn’t feel tender. But after swallowing something the size of Shouta's dick, she would have expected more soreness than what she was left feeling.

When she didn’t give him her hand, Shouta moved to get down instead.

Reyanna’s arm shot up, hand pressing against his chest, making him stop. “No!”

“What’s the matter, Anna?”

“I—I want to finish.” Reyanna said, shyly.

Shouta couldn’t help but chuckle at her timidity. Dream or not, she had just swallowed his cock for fuck sake.

“I don’t know about finishing, but I’ll let you have your fun.” He said, as if he were graciously allowing her some great indulgence.

Reyanna only smiled at him. Eyes locked on his, she went back to work. One hand held onto his muscular thigh, while the other cupped and played with his balls, rolling them in her hand. She licked and sucked up and down his length, before taking him back into her mouth.

His fingers wove through her hair once more, helping her find a rhythm that best suited his pleasure.~

Shouta’s chest rumbled against her back. Between the perceived sensations of the dreamworld, and him rubbing his imprisoned dick against her ass… He could definitely get off like this.

~Reyanna loved the feeling of his leg trembling under her hand. And his cock… She couldn't get enough. It felt hot and heavy in her mouth. Pulsating and twitching. Alive and responding to her ministrations in the most delectable way that had her pussy thrumming in tandem.

Her tongue, pressed between the bottom of her mouth and underside of his cock, was continuously rubbed in such a way that it stimulated the production of saliva. Unwilling to stop, and unable to swallow while she worked, pooling drool dripped down and coated her chin and neck.

The hand that had been toying with his balls, had long since wrapped around his cock, working the length she couldn’t easily fit into her mouth. Her hand moved up and down in time with her mouth, giving a small twist around the base with each descent.

She didn’t need to be told to look up at him. She couldn’t take her eyes off his face. He was so handsome. His pale cheeks flushed. Long stray hairs caught in his scruff. Dark eyebrows pulled together in pleasure; and maybe a bit concentration, not wanting to cum too soon. Truly, he was a sight to behold.

Shouta's wavy, black hair acted as blinders, curtaining off the rest of the dreamscape as he looked down at Reyanna. Not that he had eyes for anything other than his Love at that moment. He bit into his lower lip, a futile effort to keep his noises to a minimum. Perceived or not, it had been too long since he had experienced the sight and feel of her blowing him.

He sucked in a ragged, sharp breath through clenched teeth, muscles straining to keep his hips still and legs from giving out. Damn it! He was close. Too close. Tugging at her hair, Shouta pulled her off him. The sight of his shining, saliva coated cock, and Reyanna sticking out her tongue in effort to latch back onto him, made him groan.

He dropped to the ground and pulled her onto his lap.

“Congratulations, Kitten. You succeeded. You brought me to my knees.”

“I wasn’t finished.” Reyanna opposed, somewhere between a complaint and pout.

Shouta smoothed back her hair, his hand coming around to cup her face. “I never said I’d let you finish.”

“But--”

He tapped a silencing finger to her lips. “You had your fun. Now, it’s time for mine.”

Slowly, he laid back into the grass, his hands moving to grope her straddling thighs.

Suddenly, she was naked.

Shouta's eyes and hands roamed over her body. Fuck, he thought. He loved how dreamworlds worked. Before he could imagine his own clothes away, Reyanna ripped his shirt open. Fuck! He loved this woman.

“A body like this shouldn’t be covered up.” Reyanna said, hands running over his exposed abs and chest.

He still could have done away with his clothes. But, he liked the feel of the fabric of his torn shirt pooled at his sides. A constant reminder that she couldn't wait even a second to have him.

Reyanna leaned down and kissed him.

Shouta eagerly met her lips.

Breaking away to catch her breath, she moved on to his neck, biting and sucking claiming marks. Satisfied, she made her way down, giving his chest the same treatment.

Before she got too caught up and tried to go even lower, Shouta cupped and lifted her face.

Placing her hand on top of his, Reyanna turned her head and took his caressing thumb into her mouth, giving it a hard suck and bite.

Shouta rolled his hips, his cock sliding against her wet heat. “Use me, Anna.”

Biting her lip, she stared down at him and wiggled her hips down onto him in return. “I thought you said it was time for your fun, Shou?”

“That’s what this is.” He bucked up again, his voice more commanding this time. “Use me.”

“Well, when you put it that way.” She smiled.

She wrapped a hand around his length. Her other hand resting flat on his chest, to help balance herself.

Shouta's hands held onto her hips steadying her. He lifted his head, watching as she rose up and positioned his cock. When the head of his dick slipped between her arousal slicked folds, it sent a jolt throughout his entire body, making him shiver.

“Slowly, Anna.” He directed, fingers digging into her flesh. “I want to savor watching your pretty little pussy taking me in.”

His words made her entrance clench around the head of his cock. She whined, struggling to do as he said. She wanted nothing more than to be stuffed full of him. To pound herself away on him until she couldn't see straight. Couldn’t move. She was so damn needy. So wound up and horny.

Inch by inch, Shouta watched Reyanna slowly impale herself on his swollen, aching cock. If this had been reality. If the sensations had been real, and not perceived, he probably wouldn’t have been able to lay back and be so passive.~

As it was, the sight in the dreamworld had him pressing his clothed cock all the harder against the swell of her butt.

~Finally, Reyanna reached his hilt. Seated atop his pelvis, she wiggled her hips, grinding into him. Her eyebrows knitted together. As amazing as this was, something wasn’t right. Somehow it wasn’t enough. The feel of him was somehow lacking. Distant. There, yet not there.

“What’s the matter, Kitten?” Shouta taunted, a knowing smirk tugging at his lips.~

Unlike her, Shouta was fully aware that this was a dream. Able to consciously act in both worlds, his hand, his real hand, snaked down her stomach and slipped under her shorts and panties.

“So wet.” He murmured, eyes moving beneath their closed lids.

His fingers slipped between her tightly squeezed thighs and arousal slick folds.

Reyanna’s body shivered against his chest, hips jerking forward when his thumb brushed her clit.

Shouta slipped a thick finger into her quivering entrance. The digit pumped in and out a couple times, before a second was added.

~In the dreamworld, Reyanna moaned as the sensations she was feeling seemed to heighten. Her head fell back, eyes closing, as she rolled her hips.~

Shouta drew his fingers slowly out, smirking against the back of her neck when she whined in both her sleep and the dreamscape.

He timed the thrust of his hips in the dreamworld to coincide with his plunging three fingers into her dripping cunt. Smiling when she gasped in her sleep, her thighs squeezing together, trapping his hand in place.

He pressed his thumb lightly against her clit, for her to rub against at her pace and pleasure.

~“Use me, Anna.” He said again, dark eyes practically begging her to fuck him into the ground.~

Reyanna rubbed against Shouta's thumb. Her hips slowly began to move back and forth, as she started to work herself off on his fingers.

~Back in the dream, she lifted and lowered on him, setting a rhythm that soon had her moaning.

“Shouta.” Reyanna’s fingers clawed down his chest.~

Shouta’s hand was drenched.

With every rock of her hips, there was a beautiful squelching noise that filled the room. The smell of her essence permeated the space, making his mouth water.

Reyanna’s breathing became more ragged. Her feet twitched in her sleep, pointing and flexing, toes curled.

~“That’s it, Kitten.” Shouta encouraged, hands holding her hips as she bounced on his cock.

With a ragged cry, her orgasm crashed over her.~

Reyanna angled hips so that his thumb no longer pressed against her clit. Slowly, her toes unfurled. Her tight, trembling muscles eased. Yet still, she continued to fuck herself on his fingers.

~In the dream, her erratic grinding gradually returned to a rhythmic pumping. The pace she set was sedate, almost languid.

“Such a greedy girl.”

“You’re the one—who said this—was your fun.” She quipped, the breathy words pushed from her with every drop onto his cock. “I don’t—want to—disappoint.”

Shouta's hands and eyes skimmed over her body. “You could never do that, Kitten.”

He was contented to lay back and watch her pleasure herself on him, till she was spent. His eyes moved from her from sweet face to her bouncing breasts. Gaze lowering farther still, he took in how his cock disappeared and reappeared over and over again as she plunged down and lifted.

After her third orgasm, he teased. “Just how many times are you looking to cum on my cock, Anna?”

She blushed, already flushed cheeks reddening further.

Shouta watched her, enthralled. She was beautiful. The fine layer of sweat covering her making her body glisten in the sun. Her long, dark hair clinging to her pale face and shoulders. The tips occasionally brushing against her pebbled nipples.

He gripped her trembling thighs, and gave a sharp thrust up, making her gasp. “You love it don’t you. Using me like this.”

Reyanna nodded. Her mouth slightly open as she panted.~

Her hips tilted yet again, seeking the pressure of his thumb on her clit. She pushed against his hand, trying to get his fingers
deeper inside her.

~“You like my cock, Anna?” Shouta punctuated the query with another upward snap of his hips.~

He drove his fingers as deep as he could inside her.

~“I love it!” Reyanna cried, legs quivering against him.

“I know you do.” Shouta hummed. “You practically worshiped my cock earlier.”

She looked away, blushing.

Shouta reached up and cupped her face. “But what about me, Anna? Do you love me?”

Reyanna’s eyes snapped back to his. Her hands glided up his abs and chest. “You know I do.”

His hand moved around to the back of her neck, pulling her down till they breathed the same air. “Say it. Tell me you love me.”

“I love you.”~

Shouta pressed the pad of his thumb harder against her sensitive clit, rubbing small tight circles. Her body jerked and trembled, adding to the friction against his rutting cock.

~“Say my name.” He commanded, hips coming up to meet her every drop. “Tell me you love me and say my name.”

“I love—you, Shou—ah!--Shouta! I love you! I love you—so much! You’re every—thing—everything to me. Please. Please!”

Her final orgasm left her collapsed on top of him, a panting, spasming mess.~

Shouta pulled his hand away and out from under her clothes.

Close to his own peak, he had to resist the urge to bite into the curve of her neck. Instead, he turned his face into the pillow and bit down on that as he continued to hump against her ass, letting himself go.

~“You’re so good, Anna.” He rasped, thrusting up into her. “My good, sweet girl.”

She buried her face into his chest, blissed out fatigue making her licks and kisses sloppy.

Shouta wrapped his arms around her. Bending his knees, he planted his feet against the ground and fucked up into her, seeking his own release.~

18.2

“Dabi!” Himiko waved at the Demon. “Where’d you disappear to?”

“Yeah.” Jin said from beside the Nephilim. “Your rude ass self never says bye. But to peace out in the middle of one of your own scathing replies. That’s a new one, even for you.”

“Still hanging around Himiko, Jin.” Dabi drawled, knowing exactly how to divert the other Demon’s focus. “You know the Boss won’t always favor her.”

“What’s that matter?” Jin questioned.

Dabi huffed, eyes sliding away from the two. “Just that you won’t be climbing up the ladder by climbing up on top of her.”

“That’s not what this is!” Jin shouted, in a rush. “Himiko and I haven’t— My love is pure!” He turned to Himiko and swore. “My love is pure. You know that, right? I would never...”

Dabi tuned out Jin’s sappy professions of love to the young Nephilim, his turquoise eyes scanning the over-large, mostly empty lounge. He caught sight of the Demon he had seen in the Index a few months ago. What had his name been? Shigaraki. Why was the creeper staring at him?

“Dabi’s just sour cause he’s overworked and has no time for fun.” Himiko dismissed.

“Whatever.” Dabi said, turning and walking away.

“Where you going?” Jin called.

“Away from you losers.” Dabi replied, over his shoulder. “We can’t all date the Boss’ favorite. Some of us have work to do.”

It wasn’t true. But, Dabi was perfectly happy perpetuating their belief that he was overworked. Anything, so they wouldn't think twice about his sudden disappearance in the middle of a conversation.

Fucking Aizawa. Summoning him without giving him a chance to make some sort of exit. And then making him as powerless and frail as a human child. The Daimon had retracted that particular command, allowing him to be as he ever was, but still...

Then there had been the Llaes claiming that he was some ancient ancestor of his. And that in order to close one of the gates, he would first have to free Dabi’s soul from hell.

Dabi shook his head and muttered under his breath. Utter nonsense. He never should have answered Reyanna’s summoning that night. If he hadn’t, he never would have suffered the Archangel’s Bid or been forced into hell’s Index. He wouldn’t be tied to Reyanna and forced to obey her and Aizawa.

Fucking Aizawa. It was as if the Daimon still wanted him dead for trying to screw Reyanna that night; but was going about it this way just to draw it out and torture him. If only Aizawa would just get it over with and end him. Cause, let’s face it, that’s where all of this was headed. His death. And, likely all of theirs if they listened to Todoroki. Though that prospect, unlike the thought of his own demise, put a smile on his face.

Still, Dabi couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if the Llaes was right.

He shook his head again. Even if Todoroki was right, and the kid was somehow some familial descendant of his. There was no way Todoroki would be able to free his soul. The boy couldn't even enter hell unless he was dead and his soul marked for hell. There was a reason no soul had ever been freed from hell. The task was impossible.

Still. What if...

Chapter Text

19.1

“I still don’t know about this, Shou.” Hizashi said.

It was three days after the Erinyes, and everyone but the Angel was getting ready to be go to Purgatory Chasm.

Shouta rubbed his eyes. “What don’t you know, Zashi? We’ve been through this countless times.”

“But to drop in on the Great Rock. To take Reyanna to see the Great Rock! Especially when she doesn’t remember what she did to the last one.” Hizashi stressed.

Shouta sighed and assured. “I told her.”

“Yeah! But still!”

“Voice, Yamada.” Shouta winced. “It’s too early for that.”

Hizashi cringed. “Sorry.”

“I’ll be with her.” Shouta said, tempering his foul mood, as he continued down the hall Hizashi had stopped him in.

Of course, Hizashi had picked last night to be the night he had made use of his token bedroom. Shouta instantly regretting that he had been the idiot who had claimed the room to left of his for the Angel.

Last night had been his and Reyanna’s second night slumbering together. But thanks to Hizashi being next door, their shared dream had been much tamer than the first. Shouta hadn’t cared all that much who had heard them in the past. His wanting for Reyanna overruling his jealous care about what images might be conjured by a listeners mind. But with Hizashi knowing that he and Reyanna weren’t back to that point... Shouta could have handled the earful his friend would have given him. But, it was concern over what else Hizashi’s sense of morality might’ve led him to do, that kept him from satiating his carnal need within the shared dreamscape. Shouta didn’t want Yamada telling Reyanna there was a way for her remain conscious in her sleep.

As such, the Daimon once again felt pent up and frustrated. And, none too happy with Hizashi.

“Do you doubt, I’ll protect her?” Shouta asked.

“No. But who will protect you?” Hizashi questioned, following Shouta down the hallway.

“I don’t need protection.”

“Fair point. But you’re going into the home of the largest colony of Rock Bats, this side of Oblvi. You’re gonna need someone to watch your back. And we both know Hawks isn’t gonna do it. Particularly after what we both did. You trying to kill him, again. And me...you know.”

“If you feel so guilt about it. Why’d you do it?” Shouta wondered, turning into the study. “It’s not like I asked you to.”

“I did it for you and her. I did it cause you’re my friend, and I want you to have a chance at being happy again.”

Shouta stopped and spun around. The scathing reply he had been about to deliver died at the sight of Hizashi's hopeful, and openly honest green eyes. Fuck. It was like the Angel knew he was cross with him and was trying to make amends.

“I appreciate what you did.” Shouta confessed, looking away to busing himself with something needless. “Knowing he can’t tell her… It takes a really big concern off my back.”

“Good. But that still doesn’t answer my question. Who’s gonna watch your back this afternoon?”

“Anna and Shinsou.” Shouta answered.

“Reyanna’s gonna be too concerned with Todoroki, and the Were Witch is… Well, a were witch. And a kid.”

“You can’t go, Hizashi. You know what it’ll mean.”

“Might mean!”

“No member of the Host of Heaven is to have any form dealings with any type of Third, without permission or order from a ranking Chief of an Order.” Shouta quoted. “Even if it is to stop a human from being attacked--”

“I know the damned rules!” Hizashi cut it. “But in case it slipped your notice. I’m in a house with a Third right now. I even helped save that Third and took him to my place of rest. Where was your worry for the stupid rules then?”

“The day at the barn, there were far more pressing concerns.” Shouta remarked, humored by the Angel’s temper.

“Pressing concerns that had me breaking dozens of heavens rules.”

“They’re not broken unless you get caught and someone interprets it as breaking them.”

“Cut the shit, Aizawa.”

Shouta turned back to him.

“You need me.” Hizashi went on. “The four of you can’t go into Purgatory Chasm and survive. Not after what happened the last time Reyanna saw the previous Great Rock.”

“Hence the peace offering.” Shouta said, looking at the long, cylindrical shaped stone on the center of the desk.

“That is to try and spare your lives at the door and get you an audience with the Great Rock. And I’m still not convinced they won’t kill you on sight.”

Shouta huffed at the challenge. “They can try.”

“You damned, arrogant Daimon. Just cause you’ve survived this long taking such chances doesn’t mean you’re invincible.”

“Trust me, Hizashi. I know all too well that I’m far from invincible. I’m taking Anna there. That should be enough to tell you I have some faith they won’t kill us on sight, and contingency plans if things turn dire.”

“And where were your contingency plans the day at the barn?”

Shouta ground his teeth, tired of this conversation.

“Plans fail, Shouta. Even contingency plans fail.”

“What do you want me to do? She’ll go with or without me. Her desire to protect the Llaes outweighs her sense of self preservation. And Todoroki will do what he must to complete his task. You remember how Abril was. I could try locking Reyanna away...”

Honestly, that was still an option; but things would have to get really bad for him to do that.

Hizashi shook his head. He didn’t mention how Shouta's need to protect Reyanna outweighed the Daimon's own sense of self preservation. He could see how stressed and tired his friend was. Maybe not physically tired; but emotionally, mentally. Shouta was exhausted. After Reyanna had gone to slumber, shortly after their betrayal, Shouta had begun planning and preparing. But nothing could have prepared them for Todoroki’s revelation. That the first step to closing one of the gates was to enter hell and free a soul.

Hizashi just wanted his friend to be happy again. To live through this and be happy with Reyanna. Was that too much to ask? Then again, given their sins, even the smallest bread crumb was too much to ask.

“Let me go. Let me help.” Hizashi pleaded.

“You’ll be cast out of heaven. Released and restrained, like Hawks.”

“Only if they find out.”

“The answer’s no.” Shouta couldn’t do that to his friend. Couldn’t ask that of him. “You’re of more help attached to heaven.”

“What help will that attachment be to you all, if you all are dead!”

“You don’t like fighting, Hizashi.”

“But I can if I have to. You know that. You saw to it.”

“No. That’s final.”

“You’re not my Chief!”

“Then go ask Tsunagu and see what he says.” Shouta suggested, dryly.

“Ass.”

Shouta smirked. Cursed responses, the sign of someone who’s lost.

“If you want to be released from heaven so badly...”

“I don’t want to be released!”

Shouta winced at the over loud reply.

There might come a day when he would have to ask for, or accept his friends offer of help that would see Hizashi released. The prospect of that day, loomed large and dark over Shouta's conscience. He had seen what it had done to Hawks. The thought of an angry, bitter, weakened Hizashi was one of the few things capable of making Shouta’s heart ache and fear. He would do anything to keep that day from occurring. Anything but chance Reyanna. But, despite where they were going and the dangers they would face, Shouta wasn’t lying when he said he had a contingency plan.

“What is it, Todoroki?” Shouta called.

“Sorry.” Todoroki stepped into the doorway. He hadn’t meant to listen in. He just hadn’t wanted to disturb their conversation. Still, he had found what he had overheard intriguing. “There’s breakfast, if you want.”

“I don’t need to eat.” Shouta told.

“But thank you.” Hizashi added, giving the Daimon a pointed look. One day he would see Shouta well mannered.

“Whatever.” Shouta sighed, taking a cloth and wrapping the stone on the desk.

Hizashi had been trying to turn him into what the Angel defined as a proper, polite being since before the Fall. It was irrational, how Yamada kept on at an obviously hopeless cause. Shouta wasn’t going to change who he was. If he were, he would have done it for Reyanna; and yet he hadn’t. Instead he had betrayed her.

19.2

Left alone with Hitoshi, Reyanna felt ill at ease. She knew the boy didn’t like her, but had no idea why. Okay, she had thrown him against the wall that one time. But, that had been ages ago. And she had apologized. Profusely. She considered asking him, but a part of her was afraid of the answer.

It wasn’t that she needed, or even wanted, everyone to like her. But they were living and training together. They would be heading into a potentially dangerous place. And if they survived, would definitely enter into deadly places. Such as hell... While liking someone wasn’t a requirement for trust, it certainly helped.

Summoning up her nerve, Reyanna began. “Hitoshi--”

“Shinsou.”

“Pardon?”

Hitoshi stared down at his food, moving it around his plate. “If Aizawa doesn’t call me by my first name, you don’t get to.”

Reyanna turned back to her breakfast, shuffling in stool she was seated on. Had Hitoshi asked Shouta to call him by his first name? As distant and unmoving as the Daimon could be, or at least seem, she knew Shouta cared about the boy. And Hitoshi obviously looked up to and admired Shouta.

“Hi—Shinsou. Do you want Aizawa to call you by your given name?”

Hitoshi lifted a shoulder.

“If you do. You should--”

“Who’s ready for a road trip!” Hawks burst in, voice too loud and jovial for the non-morning people seated at the counter-top bar, never mind the task before them.

Reyanna and Hitoshi scowled at the Archangel.

“It’s too early to be so loud.” Shouta grumbled, entering with Hizashi and Todoroki in tow.

Hitoshi nodded and went back to eating.

Reyanna suddenly became very interested in her food. Last night had been the second night she had slept in Aizawa's arms. Thankfully the night before, she hadn’t required sleep. She hadn’t really needed to bed down last night either. But given where they were going today, they all needed to be in top form, and that meant being fully rested.

It was strange, how sleeping in the same bed with Shouta made her more comfortable and yet more nervous around him. Simply sleeping together somehow felt weirdly more intimate than the two times they had fucked. It also, in some way, helped ease her sexual frustrations; though she still felt quite needy.

Reyanna shook her head. She needed to focus, not think about what she wanted Shouta to do to her in private. Shouta, Hawks, and Hizashi agreed that this would be a dangerous undertaking. But, if the Erinyes said that this Great Rock could help, then they needed to go. And, they needed to succeed.

“You alright there, Kitten?” Shouta's deep, quiet voice came from behind her left shoulder, startling her.

Reyanna jumped. The fork in her hand flinging food onto the counter. She would have knocked over her drink if not for Shouta’s quick action.

Seated to Reyanna’s right, Hitoshi gave her a look of disgruntled disgust at the mess she had made. Todoroki had cooked today, that meant he was on clean up.

“Yep.” Reyanna nodded, pressing her lips together.

She leaned away from Shouta's nearness entering Hitoshi space. The young Were leaned away from her encroachment, even though she was nowhere near touching him.

“Obviously.” Shouta taunted, hand releasing her drink and moving to rest on the counter. “Don’t know why I wondered otherwise.”

Even though the way to her right was free, Reyanna still felt caged in. It both thrilled and agitated her. Shouta's chest felt strong and warm against her back. And, after just two nights with it pressed against her while she slept, she was familiar enough with the feel of him that she noticed the presence of something new.

“Shouta. What’s that?” Reyanna found herself leaning back against his chest, trying to figure it out.

“Hmm?” Shouta hummed, breath tickling the side of her neck.

“Are you wearing some sort of pendant? Why?” She turned her head to face him, and found a lustful hunger in his shining dark eyes.

“For a second there, I thought you were asking about the other.”

“The other?” She tensed as his right hand moved to rest on her hip.

“Lower.” Shouta whispered against the shell of her ear, purposefully dropping his voice an octave.

Reyanna’s eyes widened. She would have fallen out of the stool, if not for Shouta's grip.

“Fucking hell!” Hitoshi cursed, as Reyanna’s plate and his drink were knocked over.

There was a still moment where the tinging rattle of a single fork against the floor echoed throughout the space.

Hizashi smiled widely at Reyanna’s telling, beet red blush.

Hawks glared at the same sight. If they were short a daimon when they returned from Purgatory Chasm, the Archangel would consider the endeavor a success.

“Language.” Shouta lightly scolded Hitoshi, shooting the Were a glance.

“You alright, Reyanna?” Todoroki asked, wondering what had startled her.

He hoped it wasn’t a bug. He didn’t think his ears could handle Hizashi reacting to an innocuous insect like it was the devil himself.

“She’s fine.” Shouta gruffed, wishing the kid away. “Go check your weapons.”

With one last look between the two, Todoroki turned to do as he was told.

“You too, Shinsou.” Shouta dismissed.

“Fine.” Hitoshi grumbled, wiping his mouth and tossing down the napkin. “But I’m not cleaning up this mess.”

“No problem.” Hizashi said.

Suddenly the mess was clean, dishes back in their cabinets, leftovers stored in containers.

“What!” Hitoshi looked from the Angel to the Daimon. “And I’ve been--”

“Builds character.” Shouta interrupted.

“Character can suck it. Can you do that?” Hitoshi asked his mentor. “And all that time before when...” He thought of the dishes and floors he had scrubbed when he had lived with Aizawa for a time.

“Weapons. Check. Now.” Shouta commanded.

Muttering complaints, Hitoshi slipped off the stool and left.

With the two young ones gone, Shouta turned back to Reyanna. Lifting a hand, he made to smooth and tuck her hair out of her face and behind an ear. “You’re little jumpy today, Kit--”

Reyanna slapped his hand away.

Shouta grabbed the wrist of her swatting hand.

“I’m not your Kitten, Aiza—Shouta.” She tried to pull her wrist free. Gritted her teeth and tried again when he didn’t let go.

“Mine.” Shouta rumbled, jerking her arm to him, his hold tightening. “Just like the rest.” His eyes raked over her.

From near the doorway, Hizashi beamed as he watched the the two. Quietly, he gushed to the Archangel beside him. “Aren’t they cute together.”

“You’re just as sick as he is.” Hawks uttered, more to himself than the Angel. And here he had always thought Hizashi was the sweet, sane one being duped and twisted by Aizawa.

Hizashi scoffed. “You forget what she’s really like. Did her blowing away battling forces, and singeing your wings at that barn not act as reminder enough?” He turned back to the Daimon and Nephilim, and dreamily sighed. “They were made for each other.”

Hawks glared at the Angel. He didn’t believe that. He may have been stupid enough to think that he and Abril had been made for each other, once; well before she was discovered to be the Llaes. But he didn’t think that he and Reyanna were made for each other. He certainly didn’t think she and Aizawa were. Yeah, Reyanna could be sick and twisted; but she could also be caring and kind. He wanted to bring more of that warmth and kindness out of her before Aizawa had a chance to once again mold her to suit him. It was why he hadn’t helped her remember more than the little that he had. Knowing that once Lucifer could enter her dreams, Aizawa would have even more access and chances to turn and effect her as he joined her in her sleep to keep Lucifer at bay.

Shouta held her wrist against his chest as she struggled to pull away once more.

Reyanna gave another half-hearted attempt then gave up, submitting to his hold.

Eyes locked on hers, he held her a moment longer, thumb caressing the inside of her wrist. Then slowly, his grip relaxed and he let her go.

“There.” Shouta said, the barest hit of a smirk on his lips. “Was that so hard?”

Reyanna’s stare was heated, but far from scathing. “You’re an ass.”

Shouta merely stared back, blinking slowly at her. Cursed insults. A sure sign of a lost fight.

“Do you remember what I told you?” He quizzed.

“You tell me lots of things.” Reyanna remarked.

“Not all of which you listen to. Unfortunately.” Shouta gently censured. Before she could make a return, he elaborated on his query. “In the cafe. Before we picked up the three unwanteds. What did I tell you about the Tie? Specifically my tie to you.”

“That others can sense it but only heaven and hell-spawn can easily tell that it was a one sided bargain.” Reyanna said, wanting to tell him that Todoroki, Hawks, and even Hitoshi were far from unwanted.

“That others couldn’t easily sense that a soul was marked for hell, therefore wouldn’t be able to tell that you hadn’t given your soul in exchange.” Shouta clarified.

“That’s what I said.”

“And?” He encouraged. “What else?”

“That if they assumed I exchanged my soul, I wasn’t to say otherwise unless you told me to.”

“Very good.” He praised, dark eyes smiling down at her.

“So, if these gargoyles assume that I sold my soul to you...”

“We will not be correcting them.” Shouta affirmed. “No matter what they say.”

“Even if they challenge that I sold my soul? Sniff it out.” Reyanna pressed.

“They won’t be sniffing anything out.” Shouta dismissed. “Gargoyles have terrible senses. Though be mindful of what you say or how you move. Their hearing tops nearly any other thing in existence.”

“They’re like bats.” Hizashi commented.

“Ready?” Shouta asked Reyanna.

“No.” Reyanna sighed. “But it has to be done.”

“No it doesn’t.” Shouta tempted. He would like nothing better than for Reyanna to forget her efforts to assist and protect the Llaes.

Oblivious to his meaning, she disputed. “Yes it does. Todoroki has to free Dabi’s soul, and the Erinyes said the Great Rock could give us a way that would help us do it.”

“Right.” Shouta looked away, grumbling to himself. Turning to Hizashi, he suggested. “You should get some of your real work done.”

“You mean my work for heaven?” Hizashi questioned. “All caught up.”

“Then just go there and visit with some friends.” Shouta snapped.

“I don’t need an alibi, Shou.” Hizashi argued. “I’d rather stay here and wait for you all to get back.”

“What are you stupid? Of course you could use a witness to your whereabouts.” Shouta said.

“Use, Not need. I want to stay here. And we both know, I’m smarter than you.” In book smarts at least, Hizashi thought but didn’t add.

“Go away or I’ll cast you from the house.” Shouta glared, eyes flashing red.

“What he means is, we don’t need to be worried about you possibly getting called into question, on top of all our other concerns.” Reyanna soothed.

Giving up, Shouta turned and walked away, grumbling under his breath. “That’s not what I meant.”

“That’s exactly what he meant.” Hizashi whispered hoarsely, giving Reyanna a thumbs up.

Reyanna couldn’t help but chuckle.

Hizashi seemed like a nice enough soul. It was definitely easy to like someone so bright and cheery. Unless, it was early in the morning. Still, there was something about the Angel that made Reyanna wary. It was curious. The man was an Angel. Though with her memories surrounding Abril returned, she no longer needed Shouta to tell her that heavens Host were not synonymous with right and good. Much as she wanted to, she couldn’t stay angry at Hizashi for not informing them of the attack all those years ago. If he had, he would have been in the same position as Hawks, released and restrained; and of little help to them now. Maybe that was why Abril had be okay with Hizashi not telling them; she had known they would need Hizashi's connection to heaven here and now.

It was clear Shouta trusted Hizashi implicitly. And she trusted Shouta. So, even after her forgiveness for his lack of warning them, why didn’t she trust Hizashi? Rather, why did she feel as if she personally couldn’t trust Hizashi? Maybe it was because Hizashi was clearly Shouta's friend and under his command. But she had no doubt that Shouta would do whatever was necessary to see her safe. So...

“Be careful, Anna.” Hizashi said, breaking into her thoughts. “You and Shouta need to take care of each other. He’s not as tough and hard as he may seem. He’s capable of getting hurt.”

“You don’t need to tell me that.” Reyanna said. “I saw him clawed and stabbed.”

Hizashi gave her a weak smile and nodded. That hadn’t been the kind of hurt he had meant, but now was hardly the time.

19.3

“You know Aizawa just wanted us outta the way, right.” Hitoshi said, watching Todoroki check through the weapons he would be carrying.

“No. But, that doesn’t mean he didn’t want us to also do this too.” Todoroki replied as he continued with his task.

Social cues, Todoroki thought with a sigh. They were a tiresome and troubling thing. That was one of the reasons he liked Aizawa. The Daimon said what he meant and meant what he said. Anything that might have been hidden within his words were just extra and, because of that, unnecessary. Aizawa also didn’t talk overmuch, only telling people what they needed to know when they needed to know it. Todoroki appreciated that. His mind was already so full of the things that he did know, that less information was actually a relief. It was less pressure added to the near unbearable weight of the task he had to complete. It might have been selfish, but he was content to let Aizawa bare the burden of knowledge. Todoroki trusted Reyanna. And Reyanna trusted Aizawa. Therefore, Todoroki trusted him. And that trust included believing Aizawa would tell him things when his knowing of them was necessary, and not a minute before.

“May I ask you something?”

“You just did.” Hitoshi grinned.

Todoroki blinked at the other boy as he considered what the Were said. “Then, may I ask you something after this?”

Hitoshi snorted and laughed. “Dude. You really need to loosen up.”

Todoroki pursed his lips. He knew well enough not to take the others words literally. He was actually quite relaxed, given the cautions they had received about where they were going.

The Llaes took in a measured breath. Hitoshi was his friend. The only friend he had ever had. He wouldn’t completely change who he was for Hitoshi. But, he would try to do as his friend suggested.

Making a mental note to try and loosen up, Todoroki questioned. “What do angels have against Thirds?”

Hitoshi looked away, uncomfortable. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“I overheard Aizawa and Hizashi talking.”

“You eavesdropped on Aizawa?”

“No. I went to inform them breakfast was ready and didn’t want to interrupt their conversation.”

“Did you enter the room and make yourself known?” Hitoshi inquired.

Todoroki shook his head.

“Then you eavesdropped.”

“Should I, apologize?”

“This is what I mean about loosening up, Dude. No. You don’t apologize. Trust me. Aizawa knew you were there. The Daimon knows damn near everything that goes on. Even if you’re extra careful. Oh, he might let you think you got away with it. That he didn’t know what you where up to. But he does. He always does. He just doesn’t always let you know right away that he knows. He likes to store stuff as ammo for later. And believe me, he will always use that ammo against you eventually. Aizawa never forgets. And will always make you pay.”

Todoroki stared at the floor as if taking in this information. He was like Aizawa in that, always storing things away for later use. But in that particular moment, he was merely trying to figure out the proper amount of time to wait before returning to the subject he wanted to talk about.

“So, I heard Aizawa recite some rule about how no angel is suppose to have any kind of dealings with Thirds. He got interrupted by Hizashi, but it sounded like the rule would keep angels from aiding and protecting humans who were being attacked by Thirds.”

Needing to busy himself, Hitoshi started going through his own weapons. Damn, he sighed. He had hoped the whole eavesdropping thing would have diverted Todoroki’s attention. He should have known better.

“You said you had a question.”

“What do angels have against Thirds?” Todoroki asked, again.

Hitoshi shrugged. “Same as everyone else, I guess. Thirds are abominations.”

“You’re far from an abomination.”

“What I mean is… Thirds are from a completely different realm. A place that was never meant to be connected to earth. Thirds weren’t even created by God.”

“Nether were demons, if you think about it.” Todoroki put in.

“This isn’t some splitting of hairs. Demons were once humans who sold their soul. Yeah, they were turned into a sort of new creation on the butcher’s block. Losing even more of what made them human when they gave up their freewill to get off the block and join the services of hell, becoming fully demon. But--” He sighed and shook his head. “But at their core, demons are still human. The foundation that the broken, twisted thing they are now was build upon. Thirds. Full, actual, born Thirds. Have no connection to humanity. Nor like daimon's who fell from heaven, God.”

“So, if God didn’t create Thirds. Who did?”

“Chaos.”

19.4

“We’ve been looking for nearly a month and a half, Enji. There’s been no sign of the Child of Hope, Aizawa, Hawks, or Reyanna.” Tsunagu stated. His green eyes stared into the Second Chiefs blue. “We are spread thin and ignoring other tasks.”

“What would you have us do, Tsunagu? Give up looking? Let hell take hold of the Child of Hope and close the gates of heaven?” Enji questioned, a beefy hand fisted on the polished table.

Heaven's second and third in command sat across from each other, their places flanking the great, ornate throne-like chair at the head that was conspicuously empty.

“No.” Tsunagu stated, calmly. “But to continue wasting so many resources--”

“Wasting so many resources!” Enji echoed, a flicker of flame sparking along his shoulders and dying out.

Rumi’s red eyes slid to the side. She had visited with Enji before this meeting. Urging him to remain calm. She owed her position as fourth ranked Chief to him. But, her loyalties to Enji ran deeper than gratitude. He never would have seen her given such a place if she hadn’t earned it.

Glaring at Tsunagu, Enji ground out. “Do you realize how many resources will be saved if. When! The gates of hell are closed. Hell, Tsunagu! You’ll be out of a fucking job! Maybe that’s the problem you’re having here.”

“That’s not what he’s saying, Enji.” Rumi dismissed, giving the massive Archangel beside her a pointed look. “No one has a problem searching for the Child of Hope. We all want hell's gates closed. Heaven knows we could use the vacation it’ll give us.”

“Speaking of vacations. Where’s Toshinori?” Higari questioned, from further down the table.

Enji ignored the lesser Chief's inquiry, wondering why they had even been invited. “I know everyone’s troops are tired.” He said, addressing the small gathering that should have been much smaller. “That you all are tired. But think about what Rumi said. How we’ll be bored. In want of fight and trouble once the Child of Hope is found and the gates of hell are closed. Think about--”

“Sir! Sir!” Some random Angel, Enji didn’t bother remembering the name of, came bursting through.

“This is a meeting of the Chiefs of Heaven. If you must interrupt. You fucking knock!” Enji roared.

Wide-eyed, the Angel backed out, closed the door, and knocked.

Rumi snickered behind a hand.

“Enter.” Enji growled, tendrils of smoke wafting off his shoulders.

The Angel entered.

“Yes. What is it?” Enji demanded.

More muffled laughter sounded from around the table, dying out at the Angel’s words.

“The Child of Hope has appeared.” The Angel said.

Enji shot out of his chair. “Here?”

“No. Sorry, Sir. Our—your trackers have--”

“Where! Damn it!” Enji shouted.

“Purgatory Chasm.” The Angel answered.

Purgatory Chasm. What the hell was the boy doing there? Did he have a death wish?

“Tsunagu, assemble the top garrisons.” Enji ordered.

“The garrisons? Enji. Purgatory Chasm is home to Thirds.” Tsunagu said.

“Not just any Thirds.” Sosaki murmured, from beside Higari. “The Great Rock.”

“I really hope we don’t start a war with the Thirds today.” Higari muttered.

“Child of Hope or not.” Tsunagu went on. “We can not go in there. No angel can. Not without Toshinori’s say.”

Enji ground his teeth. He didn’t know why Reyanna had taken the boy to Purgatory Chasm. But he knew Aizawa was smart enough not to step more than one foot out of there. Just enough not to antagonize the gargoyles by flinting in or out of the Thirds claimed space.

“You’re right.” Enji nodded. “You,” he pointed at the Angel, “have the trackers stand down. Tell them… Tell them good job. And... And to… To take a much needed break.”

“Sir?”

“You heard me!” Enji bellowed. “Everyone out!”

Everyone quickly cleared out of the meeting room, leaving the second and third ranked Chiefs alone.

“Enji.”

“I’m not asking you to come, Tsunagu.”

“Good. Because I wouldn’t if you did.”

Chapter Text

20.1

Shouta and Hawks flinted them just outside of the gargoyle colony’s claimed space. Reyanna had nearly re-master the form of travel, but Shouta wanted her in hand while they left the safety of their shielded house. For the briefest of moments, the Llaes would be able to be sensed and tracked. There was no helping that. But once they entered the Thirds territory, the gargoyles own shielding would conceal him.

They might have had to enter that way. Flinting directly into the gargoyles space would have been seen as an act of aggression that would have had them met with violence. But, Shouta didn’t plan of leaving the same way. Whether this meeting went well or turned sour, they would be flinting from the gargoyles shielded space, back into their own. He just hoped that hell didn’t want a war with earths largest colony of gargoyles any more than heaven would.

As soon as they stepped over the invisible line that marked the border of the colony’s claimed space, Hitoshi expected to be greeted by a team of gargoyles. But instead, nothing happened.

“Where are they?” He whispered, violet eyes darting about the rocky, forested landscape.

“Watching.” Hawks whispered back.

“Hush.” Shouta silenced, steps purposefully crunching against the path as they walked.

Even if they had tried to be quiet, the gargoyles sensitive ears would have heard them. Shouta simply didn’t want it to appear as if they were trying to be stealthy.

He had told Reyanna to stay near him, but noticed how she slowly drifted farther from his side and closer to Todoroki with every step she took. Suppressing a snarl, Shouta shifted the covered stone he was carrying over to his right arm and reached out, grabbing her wrist, and pulling her back to him.

“We’re going to have a long conversation about you following commands after this.” Shouta growled out against the back of her head. His hand tightened to near bruising strength. “Disobey again, and I’ll make your sweet ass sorry.”

“Take another step and it shall be your last.” Said a gravely voice from Hitoshi’s left.

Only, when Hitoshi looked, there was nothing there. Just a wall of towering granite, some fifty, or so, feet high.

They all stopped.

“We wish to see the Great Rock.” Shouta said. “My Mistress has a gift.” Keeping his movements slow, he uncovered the stone he carried.

There was a long pause, and then a Gargoyle stepped out of a boulder a few paces ahead of them. “Weapons. Hand them over.”

At the same time, a form stepped out of the wall of granite to Hitoshi’s left. The Were barely suppressed a startled jump. But the Gargoyle only had eyes for what was in Shouta's hand.

Dozens more gargoyles appeared. Many stepping out of the granite wall, or various boulders. Others dropping from their perches among trees.

Shouta looked to Hitoshi and Todoroki, giving them a nod.

Hitoshi scowled. Aizawa hardly appeared displeased by the order, as if the Daimon had expected that they would have to hand their weapons over. It wasn’t so much that Hitoshi felt he would be defenseless. He would still be able to shift; and he was still a capable witch, with an affinity to manipulate things with his voice. But if Aizawa had known their weapons would be confiscated, why had he bothered having them bring them in the first place? Hitoshi had brought his favored short sword. The one he felt most comfortable wielding, that somewhat resembled Aizawa's own blade. He didn’t want to lose it if they had to make a quick exit.

“I remember you. Though young, I was there when you fought the last Great Rock and took this.” The lead Gargoyle, who had demanded their weapons, said, staring at Reyanna.

“And I remember you, Ishiyama.” Shouta said, bringing the Gargoyle's attention back to him.

Ishiyama pulled his eyes away from the slayer of the last Great Rock, and looked at the Daimon a moment before demanding. “Blades.”

“No.” Shouta said.

“We both know that those are the only weapons that truly matter. That pose any actual threat, such as it is.” Ishiyama said.

Shouta gave a lazy, almost bored smirk. “We both know that we,” he glanced at Reyanna and Hawks, “are the weapons that truly matter. That would pose an actual threat. You have my word, such as it is, that we will not raise hand or call forth blade, unless one of us is struck first.”

The Gargoyle considered this for a moment. Without further word, Ishiyama turned. They followed him down a path, flanked by armed gargoyles.

Hitoshi tried not to think overmuch when the Gargoyle they were following informed them that the cave they had entered was called the Coffin. Even as a witch, Hitoshi wasn’t much of a believer in signs and portents; but first Purgatory Chasm, and then the Coffin… It was all a bit much. If it wasn’t for the tension and seriousness of the situation, he would have laughed at the places names. Instead, the foreboding made the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. As for his nose, it was overwhelmed and quickly deadening. The damp caves moldy, stale air making his nose burn and eyes water. So much for the advantage of his sense of smell, he thought. At least had better sight than their surrounding foe. And though his hearing wasn’t as good as theirs, it was still acute enough to be of benefit.

After a long descent, the dark caved path opened up into a vast cavern that was almost the size of a stadium arena. In the center there were three circular, stair-stepped platforms. The top, and smallest, only large enough to fit the chiseled, high-backed throne of granite that jutted from the ground.

Hitoshi turned and saw the way out sealed up, the stone seeming to grow and expand. He, Hawks, and Todoroki were left at the foot, just off of the first and largest platform; while Shouta and Reyanna were allowed onto it.

“Ishiyama. I see you have brought the slayer of my Father before me. But why is she not in chains?” The Great Rock questioned, red eyes staring down at Reyanna.

As if on cue, the guarding gargoyles that surrounded the bottom platform, crossed their spears.

“Easy.” Shouta rumbled, sensing the tension of his comrades ratchet up several notches.

He had been expected the gargoyles to want to take Hitoshi and Todoroki’s weapons, and was glad for it. Shouta wasn’t sure the young ones would have been able to stop their hands from moving to grip their weapons. He felt the pendant, that hung around his neck, warm against his chest as it worked to show him the actions of so many individuals a split second before they were made. It was a useful and very rare charm that he had long ago slain a Druid to have. Too bad it would be burnt up and rendered useless after this. But to keep Reyanna safe, it was far from a waste. He just hoped that the power sealed within it lasted till they were safely home.

Eyes locked on the woman on the throne, Shouta unwrapped the stone in his arms, letting the cloth fall to the bedrock floor. “A gift, from my Mistress.”

The cavern went silent as the gathering stared in awe.

Swallowing, the Great Rock turned her gaze on Reyanna. “Daughter of Lucifer. You bring me my Father’s chin. And call it a gift?”

Reyanna’s eyes widened. Her vision hyper-focused for a moment, only to unfocus. What had this woman, this gargoyle, called her? Daughter of Lucifer? But...surely if she were the daughter of Lucifer, Shouta would have told her. Hizashi. Hawks! Someone. Someone would have told her. No. This woman had to be mistaken. Wrong. She—she wasn’t the daughter of the Devil.

Shouta cleared his throat, sensing Reyanna’s inner turmoil. Shit. He should have figured the Great Rock would address her as such. “If the late Great Rock’s chin displeases you, or is too painful a reminder, I will crush it to dust and cast it--”

“No!” An older male Gargoyle, standing to the left of the throne shouted.

“Daughter of Lucifer.” The Great Rock intoned. “Come forward. And bring me my Father’s chin.”

Shouta looked to Reyanna. Though she still wore a distant expression, she moved to take the stone from him. Passing it to her, he made to follow, but was barred by the gargoyle that guarded the second platform and access to the throne.

When she didn’t stop on her own, Shouta cast out a black tendril that wrapped around Reyanna’s waist, halting her steps. What was it about his commands that she found so hard to understand? Nor more than two feet. He had told her not to step more than two feet away from him. That, unless he told her otherwise, she was not to leave his side.

“My Mistress, doesn’t go more than two feet from me.” Shouta told.

The General, to the right of the Great Rock’s throne, began. “You have no claim--”

“I have every claim.” Shouta shot back, glaring. “Surely you can sense the Tie. Daughter of my Lord she may be. But no daimon would call her their mistress without cause.”

“He’s right.” The Advisor to the thrones left said. “Daimon’s are prideful. They would not willingly put themselves in a place of subservience. Even if it was in a simple form of address.”

Shouta’s tongue pressed against the roof of his mouth. It felt weird, after all this time, to call Lucifer his Lord. But, it got him what he wanted.

There was a murmur from the surrounding gargoyles.

The General, looked between the Daimon and Nephilim. “So she’s your Mistress and the brat’s soul is claimed for Lucifer, but… Did you take anything for yourself?”

A few gargoyles chuckled. One looked Reyanna over, licking his lips.

Shouta's hand twitched, then started to tremble. It was a physical effort not to call forth his blade and drive it through the leering Gargoyle’s skull. But one look at the General's stare told that that was exactly what the Gargoyle wanted. For him to make a move so they could attack.

“Let the Daimon through.” The Great Rock allowed.

Shouta pushed his way passed the throne guard, the dark tendril around Reyanna’s waist vanishing.

The second platform was large enough to hold six people at most. But, with only the Great Rock’s General and Advisor standing on it, there was enough room for Reyanna and Shouta without them feeling crowded.

Stopping in front of the throne, Reyanna greeted the woman before holding out the stone. “Great Rock.”

“Daughter of Lucifer.”

Reyanna cringed, furious at Shouta for not telling her. The Daimon had to have known. There was no way he couldn't have. She stared at the stone, as the Advisor carefully took it from her hands. Was it really the previous Great Rocks chin? Shouta hadn’t told her that either. But he obviously still had trouble sharing key information. One look at the male gargoyles told her that it likely was the actual chin of the last Great Rock. Though none of the males around them had chins as long or big around as the stone she had held. The realization made her skin crawl. Much as she tried to imagine it, she couldn't picture herself cutting it off and taking it as a prize. Why would she do such a thing?

The Great Rock squinted at the item as the Advisor turned and placed in the waiting hands of another gargoyle, who disappeared, marching ceremoniously away with it.

“My Father’s chin. Larger than most, but somehow smaller than I remember. Then again I had barely come of age when you killed him and took it as your prize.”

Reyanna stared back, swallowing the words ‘he had threatened what was mine’. She blinked. Where had that come from? Foggy memories played in her head. Too unclear to be helpful. Yet, clear enough to draw her to distraction.

Shouta had told her the broad strokes of the events, but hadn’t gone into detail. When she had asked Hawks, the Archangel had merely grumbled that she had once cared about things that she would be better off forgetting about.

“Your so called gift has been accepted. I will hear why you have come.”

“Great Rock.”

“Silence.” The woman ordered her General, without look or raise of voice. “Why have you come, Daughter of Lucifer?”

Reyanna wished she would stop calling her that. It was unnerving. The emotions it made her feel, distracting. And with the distraction of the hazy memories swirling in her head, it was all a little too much.

“Anna.” Shouta whispered, even though he knew every gargoyle in the cavern could hear him with ease.

“Uh.” Reyanna bit the inside of her cheek, the pain sharping her thought process. “We need a away into hell.”

The Great Rock chuckled and, once she did, several others followed suit.

“You are Lucifer's daughter. You and the Daimon you are tied to can enter hell whenever you like.” The female Gargoyle said, as if speaking to a child.

Damn it! Reyanna think! Reyanna internally scolded herself. Todoroki needs you to find a way to get him in and out of hell so he could free Dabi’s soul. When asked, the Erinyes directed you to the Great Rock. Meaning this woman had a way to accomplish what Todoroki needed to do. He’s counting on you. Abril trusted you to do this. You promised her.

“I need to get the Llaes in and out of hell.” Reyanna said. “I’m willing to—“

Seeing, or in this case hearing, what she was about to say before she said it, Shouta grabbed and jerked Reyanna’s arm. “Reyanna!”

“--do anything if you can help.” Reyanna finished.

Fucking hell! Shouta thought. He was going to kill her if they survived this. He released her. Left hand sliding into his pants pocket. Right hand ready to call forth his blade. In his pocket, his fingers clutched around a two-faced gold coin.

“Anything?” The Great Rock asked.

“No.” Shouta snapped, before the Great Rock’s single word query had finished.

“Yes.” Reyanna answered.

“Fight me.” The Great Rock said.

“Great Rock!” The General to the right, and Advisor to the left exclaimed.

“No.” Shouta stated. firmly.

“Fight you?” Reyanna questioned.

“No.” Shouta ground out, again.

“A friendly duel.” The female Gargoyle said, eyes focused on Reyanna. “Unlike the one you had with my Father. Whoever surrenders. Loses.”

Reyanna stared at the Great Rock, considering her words. “And is your assistance based on the outcome of this friendly duel?”

Shouta stepped into her line of sight. “Anna. Remember what I said earlier about commands and listening.”

“No.” Reyanna clipped, glaring back. “But I do remember you once saying that you would make an effort to share and tell me things.”

Shouta's eye twitched. The little…

The Great Rock also had to deal with a few private words from her Advisor and General. But, done with that, she looked to Reyanna and said. “No, it is not. Agree to the duel and, whether you walk out of here or not, your group will leave with the assistance I can offer.”

“Reyanna.” Shouta growled.

“And what is this assistance?” Reyanna asked.

Fucking hell! Shouta’s mind raced. He was tempted to grab her and flint her back to the safety of their home.

“General. Fetch the item.” The Great Rock ordered.

The General wanted to argue, but didn’t. Instead he turned on his heel and left the throne room.

Still standing in front of Reyanna, Shouta looked over her shoulder at Hawks. The Archangel wore an expression of concern, but the shared look was far from communicative. At least as far as Shouta could tell. He wished he had brought Hizashi. He and the Angel could practically hold entire conversations by expression alone. He and Reyanna had once been that way too… Now she didn’t even know when to listen to him for her own good. Though that wasn’t all that much of a change, he supposed with irate displeasure.

The coin in his hand was a comfort at least. Shouta had brought it thinking that he would only use it if it were to save Reyanna’s life, sure that they wouldn’t be getting out of here without a fight. Never had he imagined that the fight would be a duel that Reyanna willingly agreed to.

The General returned carrying… Shouta stared in unblinking awe. Was that really…

“A hair from the head of Clotho.” The Great Rock said, confirming Shouta’s thoughts.

“As in one of the Fates?” Hitoshi whispered, to no one in particular.

“I’m glad to see the made Third is something of an intelligent pet.” The Great Rock said, having heard Hitoshi as clearly as if he had spoken directly in her ear. “Still. Pets should be trained to speak only when spoken to.”

Hitoshi glared at the woman, his fists clenching.

“Shh.” Hawks calmed.

“Yes. Little pet.” The Great Rock said. “Clotho was seen by humans as the Fate who spun the thread of life and decided when a person should be born or die. In truth, she and her sisters are nothing more than made Thirds who were already powerful witches. Circumstance and events eventually saw them become even more powerful. That power had them becoming ageless and practically immortal. It also gave them sight of… Well, literally everything. This obviously made them insane. Now, they are nearly impossible to find. Not that one would want to, as they would rip you apart. But it does make this single strand of hair, imbued with their power, as rare and valuable an item as… Well as my Father’s chin is for us. This hair will snap a soul back to its body, no matter where it is, or what measures are put in place to keep the soul there.”

Reyanna didn’t need to look to Aizawa for confirmation. She somehow knew the throned Gargoyle spoke true.

“We have an agreement then.” Reyanna said. “The hair, for a duel. No matter the outcome.”

The Great Rock nodded.

“Reyanna.” Shouta tried, despite the futility of it.

“Whatever happens, make sure you get that hair.” Reyanna told him, not bothering to lower her voice. The gargoyles would have heard her anyway.

“I’m not leaving you.” Shouta told her flatly.

“What about your promise to keep Todoroki safe?” She questioned.

“I never promised any such thing.” Shouta replied. “I said I would do what I could to assist you in that. My promise, was to protect you, and you alone. If you’re looking for someone who will do as you wish, at the expense of your own life and well being. You’re looking at the wrong person.”

Reyanna knew it was true. That Shouta would never act, or agree to something that put her out of his range of protection. It was one of the reasons why she trusted him. Yet, also why she trusted Hawks. Where Shouta would do whatever was needed to see her safe and alive; Hawks would do whatever she asked, so long as it was for the sake of the Llaes, even at the cost of her own life. Somehow that struck her as vitally important, but she didn’t get a chance to dwell on it.

“Look at me.” Shouta commanded.

She lifted her warm brown eyes to him, attempting a small, reassuring smile.

Well, at least she’s not outright ignoring everything you say, Shouta thought, a muscle in his jaw ticking. “I’m letting you do this. But the moment--”

“We need that hair.” Reyanna interrupted, wincing when Shouta grabbed her tightly by the arm.

“Will you fucking listen.” He growled out.

It was then that she saw it. The monstrous rage swirling in the Daimon's eyes like a great black storm. How had she missed just how furious he was? Furious at her. It made her want to look away and hide. But she forced herself to keep his gaze.

Shouta stared at her, struggling to keep his grip loose enough so he didn’t harm her. The weight of the coin in his left pocket provided him with enough sense of security, that he wouldn’t be taking her home and taking her over his knee. Not yet, anyway.

He would let her do this, but--

“If you are finished, Daughter of Lucifer. I would like to begin.”

Reyanna turned back to the Great Rock, seeing her red eyes dance in taunting delight, and realized that the bitch knew she didn’t like the title. The Gargoyle was doing it to spite her. To purposefully throw her off. Her lip twitched into a curl at that. She yanked her arm free of Shouta's hold and stepped forward.

“Disappointing.” Reyanna said, noting that the top platform and throne were gone. She knew, or more correctly remembered, that gargoyles could manipulate the type of rock that most closely resembled their own make up. It took a lot of effort on their part, but it meant that she would have to be mindful of the ground beneath her feet.

“What’s that?” The Great Rock asked, slashing the two stone swords at the air in front of her, warming her cold limbs.

Reyanna watched the somewhat sluggish action. The Gargoyle's movements would get quicker as her body began to warm, but her body’s heating would turn her mind dim and dull.

“That you don’t have a chin for me to slice off and take.” Reyanna answered.

The Great Rock charged, one sword stabbing outward, while the other swiped through the air. Reyanna turned out of the way, easily stepping over a hole in the ground that hadn’t been there moments before.

Despite his anger, Shouta huffed in amusement. He was still going to give Reyanna a lesson she wouldn’t soon forget. He couldn’t have her trying something like this again. He would be obeyed. Especially in situations like this. Still. To see his girl taunting and sure... Damn. She was sexy as hell. She hadn’t even called forth her blade yet. It was an intimidation tactic. His Kitten was trying to get in the Great Rock’s head. And from the way the Gargoyle hesitated to strike again, it was working.

Reyanna smirked. She had two options. She could use her speed to get in close and try to end the fight quickly, or she could hold out till her opponent had worked herself to the point that her mind had turned slow. She knew which one Shouta would want her to go for. But either way, the Great Rock had said that they would be given Clotho’s hair. That’s if this Great Rock could be trusted.

A fragmented memory struck her as hard as any blow.

It was a dark, overcast day that seemed more night than afternoon. Heavy black clouds churned overhead.

“No matter what happens, my people will obey my command.” A hulking Gargoyle with a long, proud chin said.

“But what about you? Will you keep your word?” Reyanna questioned, staring up at the Great Rock. Honestly, she didn’t care. She just wanted to kill the Third for endangering Shouta.

“As if you will live to worry over such things.” A Gargoyle, from the sidelines, said.

“I will honor my word.” The Great Rock told.

The memory shifted.

The Great Rock was laying on the ground, grey blood pouring out of several wounds. Reyanna’s own blood dripped a steady red line onto his prone form. Her body, standing over his, did nothing to shield him from the cold pounding rain that came down in sheets.

Reyanna lifted her blade.

“Wait.” The Gargoyle croaked.

She paused, part of her wondering if the Great Rock would plead for his life. It wouldn’t matter if he did. While she may have worked her anger out, she still needed to set an example. No one threatened what was hers.

But the Great Rock didn’t speak to her at all. Instead, he turned to his subjects. “Remember my word. You honor me by honoring it.”

He turned back to Reyanna and nodded.

Her blade came down, severing the Great Rock’s head in a quick, clean death that befitted a warrior such as him. In the process, she had sliced off his chin.

Tilting her head, Reyanna bent down and picked the chin up. It was heavier than she would have imagined. The thing, like the Gargoyle's own dead body, already growing hard as it turned to stone.

She didn’t regret her choice to end him. But he had proved brave and honorable. Lifting her head, she turned to the surrounding gargoyles, She would honor the late Great Rock by handing his, and his families, sense of pride over to the Advisor who had heckled her.

Her blade disappear. She didn’t want them to think she was going to attack. But, before she could take a step. The gargoyles attacked her.

Stupid, unworthy beasts. She called back her blade and killed a few before flinting away with the Great Rocks chin. Let them live in shame. They didn’t deserve to have it.

Reyanna barely ducked out of the way of a sword swipe, calling forth her blade to divert the thrust of the other. The memory left her mildly confused and reeling. Her footsteps hurrying back. She almost tripped over a bump in the ground created to make her do exactly that.

She shook her head, trying to clear it of the untimely memories. It didn’t help that the Advisor who had heckled her in the past was advisor to this Great Rock, and watching the fight now. Or that she recognized several other spectating gargoyles, including Ishiyama, who had witnessed her battle their previous leader.

The cavern seemed to spin around her. The face of her foe, shifting between this Great Rock and the last.

Okay, maybe a drawn out fight wasn’t the smartest thing at the moment. If more memories came…

Reyanna grunted, forced to block both swords.

The Great Rock bared down with all her strength. She saw the Nephilim’s arms tremble underneath the weight, and gave a grinning snarl. Baring down harder, she muscled Reyanna lower, forcing her to bend farther at the knee.

Shouta ground his teeth, eyes narrowing as he watched the fight play out a second before it actually happened. All the while his thumb rubbed over the coin in his pocket. Reyanna was better trained and had remembered more of her fighting skill since the day at the barn. But even so, she was nowhere near ready to go head to head against the Great Rock.

Gargoyles were warriors. The title and right to lead a colony was earned in battle. Not handed over, passed down from parent to child. Yes, this Great Rock might be the daughter of the one Reyanna had killed; but she had fought who knows how many challengers to claim the throne. And who knows how many more to keep it.

Glancing back at Hawks, who was still barred from getting nearer, Shouta saw the Archangel looking at him. Though he hadn’t been able to read any message in the last look they had shared, Shouta could interpret this one easily enough. It told him to do something. He turned back to the duel in disgust, wanting to yell at the Archangel. As if he needed to be told to do something. How about offering a suggestion on what to do.

Hizashi would have had countless ideas. Most of them terrible, but that was part of his charm; not that Shouta would have ever admitted that. Even so, tucked somewhere in that brilliant brain of his, Hizashi would have some nugget of information that would be of use. That would, at the very least, help Shouta come up with a better idea than the painfully obvious one he currently had.

The coin in his pocket was only be good for one more use; and he’d really rather not use it to get them out of this stupid mess. Thankfully the pendant he wore would show him any dangers coming Reyanna’s way a split second before they actually happened. That second of foresight, allowed him to direct his attention to the General holding Clotho’s hair. It was what the Erinyes knew would help them in freeing Dabi’s soul. It was why they had come. Why Reyanna was fighting. All of this would be for nothing it they were to leave without it.

Fuck! Shouta tensed, head whipping back to the fight as he saw one of the Great Rock’s swords cut a short, deep line in the meat of Reyanna’s right shoulder, a second before it happened.

Reyanna gritted her teeth against the stinging cut.

“I expected better from the Daughter of Lucifer.” The Great Rock taunted.

“Daughter of Lucifer. You are a worthy foe.” The Great Rock praised.

The two had separated to catch their breath.

The icy rain, cooled the Gargoyle's body enough to keep him in that perfect balance between fast moving and quick of thought. Even so, they had been fighting for over an hour, if not two. Where before he had been certain of crushing this small, prideful Nephilim, now he was uncertain.

“You’re not half bad yourself.” Reyanna breathed.

It felt like her bruises had bruises. She had long since stop keeping track of every open and bleeding wound. Everything hurt. But when your opponent could pick you up and slam you into the ground with ease, and had done so several times already, pain was to be expected. Still, she could stand. And if she could stand, she could finish him.

“I’m still standing.” Reyanna said, fighting to keep her mind focused on the present.

She had bested far better than this young Gargoyle. She had slain the last Great Rock. She refused to lose to this one, simply because she was hounded by memories of the past. A part of her saw the irony of it. To remember was currently one of her greatest desires; yet here she was, wishing these memories would stop flooding her mind and senses.

Suddenly there was a shout from the sidelines, followed by some sort of scuffle.

Reyanna turned. Shouta was at the General's side, when he had previously been several paces away. She saw the General go for his weapon. Watched as three others, quicker than the rest, rush to aid the Gargoyle.

Clotho’s hair snapped, the General keeping the longer portion of it. It would have to be enough, Shouta thought. There was no way they were sticking around to try and get the rest. He was in the mist of flinting to Reyanna’s side, when the pendant showed her flinting to where he had been. Fuck!

Shouta cast out two dark tendrils, the ends wrapping around the Great Rock’s wrists. With a thought, the two tendrils pulled together to make one, locking the Gargoyle's hands together in front of her.

The black, dense bands tightened around the Great Rock’s wrists, making her lose hold of her weapons.

Smokey tendrils pulling her toward him, Shouta growled out. “The exit. Open it up. Or I’ll shave what little chin you have off and see you choke on it.”

“You still won’t get far.” The Great Rock said.

Shouta's blade lifted to carry out his word.

The Great Rock grimaced against the pain, as her flesh was cut to the bone.

Shouta's blade hit bone and kept on going, with little extra effort on his part.

Too afraid to speak, the Great Rock began to open the caverns exit.

Shouta turned to call Reyanna to him, but the pendant showed her flinting to Shinsou. “Anna! No!”

Reyanna barely heard her name called as she flinted to Hitoshi. Wrapping her arms around him, she bent them forward, the stone sword of a gargoyle embedding itself into her shoulder blade, knocking her over. It hurt like hell, but it was better than the Were loosing his head.

Hitoshi’s head shot up and spun around. He saw Reyanna go flying off, tumbling to the ground; and an angry gargoyle snarling at him, his sword covered in blood that Hitoshi could only assume was Reyanna’s. His hand lifted, middle finger tapping against the gargoyles forehead, the usual itchy feeling in his throat coming to life as he called upon his affinity.

“Sleep.” It was the first and shortest compel that came to Hitoshi’s mind. But it was enough to have the gargoyle falling over, asleep.

Reyanna rolled to her knees and launched up, sprinting. Halfway there, she realized she wasn’t going to make it and flinted, driving her blade through a gargoyles skull and kicking the legs out of another.

Hitoshi turned. Again the Nephilim had had his back, saving him.

The floored gargoyle gouged Reyanna’s side with its claws.

“Sleep.” Hitoshi said, finger hitting the gargoyles forehead.

“That’s nifty.” Reyanna commented, barely feeling the pain that would catch up to her all too soon.

“Not as nifty as having you around.” Hitoshi returned. “Thanks.”

Shouta appeared beside them. Hands darting out, he grabbed a hold of the both of them and flinted them home. Or at least he tired to. There was some sort of barrier in place.

Instead of flinting home, Shouta had only managed to travel them sixty or so yards away. He saw Hawks up ahead with Todoroki. Though the sight didn’t give Shouta any comfort. The Archangel was clearly having the same problem as he was.

Shit! What kind of spellwork or item had the gargoyles used to accomplish this? The Great Rock’s smug words echoed in Shouta's mind, you still won’t get far. Fuck!

Trying again, Shouta got them closer to open space. He could see daylight.

He flinted them again, and they were outside, several yards clear of the cave.

“Close it up, it up kid.” Shouta ordered Hitoshi.

The cave in wouldn’t prove much, if any, delay to the following gargoyles; but the ear-splitting cry would stun them. It might even even knock out, possibly even kill, those closer to the mouth of the cave. In any case, it would give them some much needed time to get farther away.

Hitoshi stepped forward, three fingers touching his throat as he murmured an incantation.

Shouta covered Reyanna’s ears, tuning out his own hearing for a time. Hawks did the same, hands over Todoroki’s ears.

At Hitoshi’s echoing roar, Reyanna’s hands moved over Shouta's, the noise still deafening. The amplified cry lasted but a few seconds, but it was enough. Granite cracked. Loud pops and snaps sounded, reverberating through the chasm. A single chunk of rock fell. And then another. And then…

Shouta didn’t stick around to watch the cave in. Hands once again wrapped around Reyanna and Shinsou’s wrists, he flinted them away. Or at least as far as whatever the gargoyles had in place allowed him to travel.

He and Hawks, flinted a couple more times before Shouta paused watching Hawks carefully. The Archangel was only traveling with one person, but he was already panting. The Restraint that heaven had put on him, made even simple tasks an effort. But traveling like this… Even Shouta was beginning to feel fatigued. Whatever was limiting their ability to travel freely, was also weighing them down. Making it harder to flint. And, they weren’t even a quarter of the way to the border of the gargoyles claimed space.

Suddenly the ground opened up. Shouta flinted Reyanna and Shinsou as far away as he could. Hawks took to the air, lifting Todoroki up with him.

“Hope you’re not afraid of heights, kid.” Hawks said.

“They already recovered and found us.” Hitoshi said, his tone sounding amazed and offended.

“Not likely.” Shouta said, flinting again. “Largest colony this side of Oblvi, remember.”

“Right.” Hitoshi nodded. “Guess we should count ourselves lucky we’re not swarmed by Rock Bats.”

“Don’t jinx us, kid.” Shouta said.

He flinted again. Looking up, Shouta tried to measure the height of the wall of granite to their right.

“That look about sixty yards to you?” Shouta asked.

“What?” Hitoshi questioned, turning to follow the Daimon's line of sight.

“Give or take.” Reyanna said.

“Good enough.” Shouta said, the pendants foresight showing them making it.

“No! Wait!” Hitoshi pulled against the Daimon's hold, but they were already on top of the granite wall. Hitoshi releasing a breath of relief.

Shouta stepped to the ledge and called. “Hawks.”

Hawks flew up with Todoroki and landed. “They’re slow, but they’re still coming.”

“I can help with that.” Todoroki said. He moved to the edge and looked down.

Hawks was right. The mass of gargoyles were slow and, thanks to the walls of the chasm, they were bunched together. Stretching out a hand Todoroki chilled the air of the chasm below, freezing it. He watched, smirking as the gargoyles became near immobile.

“They’ll be smart but unable to act on any ideas that come to mind.” Hitoshi grinned. “Clever. Since when have you been able to freeze stuff?”

Shouta and Hawks shared a look.

The Llaes was capable of sealing and unsealing things. Nothing more. Or so that’s what Shouta had thought. He could tell by Hawks’ expression that the Archangel hadn’t been aware of Todoroki’s extra ability either. It left Shouta caught between being relieved and further disturbed by it. Hawks had spent four months with Todoroki before he and Reyanna had found them at the barn. Yet, apparently, in all that time Todoroki hadn’t displayed any other kind of special ability.

His thoughts echoed, Shinsou’s question, wondering when the Llaes had discovered this other ability. Tabling that for latter, Shouta held his hand out to Reyanna, placing a hand on Shinsou’s shoulder. “Let’s get moving.”

“I can flint myself.” Reyanna said, shooting the Daimon a glared.

Shouta reached out making a grab her left forearm. They didn’t have time for this. “You’re wounded, Anna.”

Reyanna pulled away before he could wrap his hand around her. “Don’t touch me. You fucking ass. I hate you.”

Shouta blinked at her, his fury rising once more. This. Again? Now of all times.

“Reyanna.” Shouta made to try and grab her again, saw himself missing and halted. “What the fuck! Now’s not the time to be act the child.”

“You should have told me.” Reyanna snapped back, balling her fists. She didn’t care if Shouta called her a child. She didn’t care what he thought of her at all.

“Now’s not--”

“You should have told me.” Reyanna gritted, voice trembling.

Shouta stared back at her. Was she really going to do this now of all times? Now. When they were out in the open and still in danger. When the Llaes was still in danger. After all, that was all she truly cared about. Right? The fucking Llaes and her promise to Abril. Not her promise to him. Not how much he loved her. Or what he had and would do for her. All of that came after her care and desire to help and protect the fucking Llaes. Fuck! He wished he had let the kid die. If Lucifer didn’t pose such a threat to Reyanna, he probably would have. But even if he didn’t really believe the doors of hell could be closed, Shouta couldn’t pass up a chance to seal away the greatest danger his Love continued to face.

There was a red tint to Shouta's eyes as he stared at her and inquired, voice and expression far too calm for the situation. “What did you think you were to the Devil? Why else would Lucifer be so interested in you?”

“I don’t know!” Reyanna shouted. “Who knows why you sick fucks do what you do.”

“Sick fucks?” Hitoshi repeated, offended on Aizawa's behalf.

“Hush.” Shouta snipped at the Were. Being called a sick fuck was one of the least wounding things Reyanna had ever said to him.

“You should have told me.” Reyanna said, eyes swimming in unshed tears.

She hated herself for having to fight against crying. For showing Shouta any sign of weakness. She wanted to be angry. To rage at him. And though she was extremely mad, the greater part of her was hurt. Why hadn’t he told her? He had said he would be more open. Said that he would slowly, carefully, help her remember things about herself. Why was he still holding her back?

“Sorry for interrupting.” Came a female voice. “But if you could hand over the Child of Hope, we’ll be on our way and you can continue whatever--” She waved a hand. “--this is.”

“Rumi.” Hawks’ wings fluttered at the sight of his old friend.

“Hey ya, Hawks.” The Archangel smiled. “Just step aside, Sweetie. It’d be a real shame to have to kill you.”

“Reyanna.” Hawks reached out to her, wings spreading. “We need to go.”

“Take her.” Shouta told, blade dropping into his hand. “Shinsou. Get you and Todoroki down.”

“Huh!” Hitoshi balked at his mentor’s words.

How the hell did Aizawa expect him to do that? He was a witch, not a frigging magician!

“I got this.” Todoroki said, stepping back to the drop off. Once again he extended a hand. Only instead of chilling the air, ice formed.

“A slide!” Hitoshi exclaimed. If not for them running for their lives, this would have been fun.

“Go!” Hawks told the two.

Todoroki and Hitoshi sat and slid down.

“Come on, Anna.” Hawks called, holding out a hand to her.

Reyanna didn’t even glance Hawks’ way. Remaining at Shouta's side, she tugged at the sleeve of his black pull over. “Get us out of here.”

Now she wanted to flint with him, Shouta thought. He growled, seeing Enji flint closer from some distance a second before it happened. Then pulled free of Reyanna’s hold, as the Archangel known as the Purifier the Symphony actually flinted, standing a few paces in front of Rumi.

“Go, Anna.” Shouta said, nudging her away. “I’ll be right behind you.” When she drew closer, he said the one thing he was sure would have her leaving his side. “Get Todoroki out of here.”

Reyanna stared wide-eyed at the massive, red haired Archangel that had stabbed Shouta. She pulled at the Daimon's arm. “I’m not leaving without you.”

Shouta's eyes darted to her, only to quickly refocus on the Archangels who were a little over a hundred yards away. He could scarcely believe she insisted on staying after he had mentioned the Llaes. It made his heart race, both in both joy-filled excitement and irate displeasure. When was she going to learn to listen.

“Don’t make me tell you again.” Shouta growled out, watching the Archangels stalk closer.

The fact that the two hadn’t flinted, told him that they had likely been searching the gargoyles space for a while and were tiring from the travel too.

Reyanna refused to leave Shouta to face the Archangel that had stabbed him. The unwelcomed scene played over and over again in her mind, making her fear even more for him. “I’m not--”

The pendants foresight showed Shouta shoving Reyanna off of the ledge and Hawks catching her. And so, that’s exactly what Shouta did.

Chapter Text

21.1

Hizashi had returned to the house a few hours after mid-day, unable to stay away any longer. There he had gone between pacing and sitting, growing ever more worried as the day progressed. No one from heaven had been sent to Purgatory Chasm. But word was that heavens second in command had cut the meeting of Chiefs short after receiving the news. And not long after, Enji had disappeared.

It didn’t help Hizashi's nerves that along with earths largest colony of Rock Bats, Shouta, Reyanna, and the Child of Hope might be facing heavens second in command. The fretting Angel had bitten his nails to the quick nine times over, the skin healing and nails growing back to a suitable length after a short amount of time.

Hizashi sat in the living room, staring out into the courtyard as his foot tapped out, yet another quick tempo song. What was keeping them?

The sun was nearing its descent beneath the horizon when suddenly, Hawks and Todoroki appeared. The Archangel tripped over the leg of the coffee table and skid across the floor.

Such sloppy flinting was a sign of either inexperience, extreme fatigue, or massive injury. Hizashi shot to his feet, relieved that there wasn’t near enough blood to fear the later.

“Where’s--”

Shouta flinted in, with Reyanna and Hitoshi, staying the rest of Hizashi's question.

“What--”

Before Hizashi could finish his next question, Shouta pushed Hitoshi away, and slammed Reyanna against the nearest wall.

Shouta's hand wrapped beneath her chin, fingers digging into the line of her jaw. “When I tell you to do something, you damn well better do it.”

Hizashi stared open mouthed and wide-eyed. Reyanna had liked to push Shouta's buttons, but he had only ever seen the Daimon this harsh with her once before.

Reyanna glared back. The fucking Daimon had some nerve being mad at her after what she had learned. She pushed against his arm, clawing at his hand.

Shouta released her face, only to grab her upper arms and press her against the wall.

Though hours since her learning of it had passed, Reyanna brought up greatest current grievance. “You should have told me--”

“I will be obeyed.” Shouta growled out over her, struggling to not grip her too hard and truly harm her. “You. Will obey.”

“Alright.” Hizashi said, loud enough to be heard, but soft enough to hopefully not disturb the arguing couple. He’d rather not incur one, or both of their wrath. “Come on, kiddies.” He waved Todoroki and Hitoshi over as he stepped to the rooms exit. “Let’s get you feed and tended to. Hawks. Come on.”

“You threw me off a cliff!” Reyanna shouted.

“It was barely more than sixty yards.” Shouta dismissed. “And I saw Hawks catching you.”

“Yet another thing you should have told me and didn’t. I even brought up feeling the pendant this morning.”

Shouta paused. He had been focused on other things this morning. Namely getting their task safely done, but also…

“You need to learn to listen.” He said.

“And you need to learn to share!”

“Why bother telling you more when you don’t listen to what I do say?”

Was he serious! “If you told me anything worth my time, maybe I would listen.”

Shouta gritted his teeth, upper lip twitching into a snarl. “What I do and do not tell you is for your own good, Little One.”

“You have no right--”

He lowered his face to hers. “I have every right.”

She pulled her head back as far as the wall would allow. “I need to kno--”

His chest brushed against hers. “I decide what you need and when you need it. You... You are nothing more that a spoiled, petulant child in dire need of discipline.”

Reyanna opened her mouth to fling another retort, but closed it. What the fuck? Was she really turned on by this? No. She closed her eyes giving herself a mental shake. No. She was furious. And, no. Shouta was not insanely hot when glaring and pissed. And, no! She definitely did not want to imagine what kind of kinky punishment he would give her.

Shouta took in her halted comeback and closed eyes as a sign of submission, but was still too angry to soften. It had been bad enough when she hadn’t listened to him when the pendant had been showing him a second into the future. But to have her ignore his orders after the thing had ceased being of use…

“If it weren’t for me you’d be dead, or worse.” Shouta rumbled down at her. “It is through my efforts, in spite of your willfulness, that you are alive. Whether you have full knowledge and memories or not, it is because of me that you are safe, well, and still breathing. You should be grateful. You will be grateful. And you will learn to listen and obey.”

Opening her eyes, Reyanna looked up at him. “You--”

“If the next words out of your mouth aren’t thank you, or I’m sorry. I don’t want to hear it.”

Reyanna’s eyes darkened. She had been about to admit that he had been of help. That she probably would be dead, or worse, if not for him. That she was grateful. And that she would try to be better; but ask that he try to be better too. All she wanted as a bit of openness from him. Instead, she ground her teeth and glared.

The too proud fuck, she thought. It wasn’t as if she were the only one guilty here. He had said he would try to share. That he would help her remember. Yet he hadn’t so much as bothered to tell her that she was the daughter of the fucking Devil.

Slowly, Shouta released her. “Go get showered and into bed. I’ll be there shortly.”

“I’m--”

“Now.” He snarled.

As soon as Reyanna was gone, Shouta released a breath. He pressed his forehead against the wall, closing his eyes. She had given in too soon. No. He was glad for that. He didn’t want to fight her. But, even after battling Enji, Rumi, and mass after mass of seemingly endless gargoyles, he still needed to fight. The adrenaline of anger and fear that still flooded his system, made him itch. He needed to let loose. Get his rage out. He needed to hurt and torture and kill…

“Shouta?”

Shouta’s fingers dug inside the collar of his shirt, pulling out the used up pendant. With a jerk, he snapped the chain, ripping it off of his neck.

Hizashi watched the Daimon toss the item without care or glance. “Hawks and the boys gave me the run down.”

Even though his senses told him Hizashi was only a few feet away, the Angel’s voice sounded distant in Shouta’s ears. Hell, he hadn’t even heard Hizashi come back into the room.

“Everything alright, Shou?”

“No.” Shouta gruffed out, head still pressed to the wall.

“Anything I can do to help?” Hizashi asked.

Shouta was about to rebuff him, but stopped. “Can you stay a bit longer? Look after Anna for me.”

“Yeah.”

“I won’t be long.”

“Where you headed?”

Shouta didn’t even hear his friend’s query, his mind already on the death and destruction he was about to lay waste.

21.2

Wanting to give Reyanna plenty of time to get dressed, Hizashi waited a good twenty minutes after he heard the water from the shower stop running. Knocking on the door, he couldn’t help but chuckle at how she had opted to shower in Shouta's bedroom instead of her own.

Thinking it was Shouta, Reyanna twisted the knob and swung the door open. “It’s your room. Just cause we fought doesn’t mean—Hizashi.” She blinked up at him in surprise. “I’m sorry, I thought you were--”

“Yeah.” Hizashi smiled. “Sorry to disappoint. Shouta should be back soon though.”

“Back?” Reyanna’s eyebrows knitted together.

He left without telling her? Or even saying bye? Why was she hurt by that? She shouldn’t have expected anything different. He never told her anything. Always doing his own thing without a care of what she thought, felt, or wanted.

Not wanting to think of him, she pushed the door open and invited. “Wanna come in?”

“Nah, it’s alright.” Hizashi shook his head, knowing better than to do such a thing.

Friendship only went so far. And with Shouta, any goodwill ended where his jealously began. One hardly needed to be as smart as Hizashi to know that being in a bedroom alone with Reyanna was far from a wise decision. Especially when Shouta was in such a frightfully hellish mood.

“How are you? Hawks and the kiddos filled me in on everything.”

Reyanna leaned against the door jam and sighed heavily. Her will to talk about all that went down had left when Shouta had dismissed her. More like ordered her to her room, she thought venomously.

“Aizawa healed the worst of my injuries. The rest will be fine by morning.”

“That’s not what I meant.” Hizashi said. “Though I can help fix you up right quick.” He booped her nose. “How’s that?” He asked, stepping back and leaning against the wall opposite her.

Reyanna touched the worst of her wounds finding the pain gone. “Lot’s better. Thanks.”

The two were silent for a time.

Finally Hizashi asked. “Do you remember what I told you this morning?”

“I looked after him.” Reyanna said, defensively. “He’s the one who shoved me off a cliff. Who--”

Hizashi shook his head, wanting to make his meaning clear. It was important that she knew just how vulnerable Shouta was when it came to her. Sure Shouta, and he, had hurt her with their betrayal; but she had hurt Shouta in return. The things Reyanna had said to him. Had threatened to do. Locking herself away, wiping her memories, and going to slumber. She was still hurting Shouta.

Hizashi wasn’t one of heavens host that looked to repay kind for kind. He was more of a forgive and forget type of Angel. But even so, Reyanna had definitely made Shouta pay for his choices.

“Oui, Yamada.” Hawks called, turning the corner. Seeing Reyanna, the Archangel smiled, light brown eyes looking her over in appreciation. “Hey, you.”

Hizashi scowled at Hawks’ leer. “What do you want?”

The Angel glanced back at Reyanna and gulped, noticing for the first time that she was in short shorts and a tank top. He had conditioned himself not to really look at anything other than her face.

Grinning at Hizashi's temper, Hawks replied. “Spets txen.”

It took Hizashi half a second to realize Hawks was speaking in daimon tongue, Gnos, which was just a reversal of the language of heaven, Song. Hawks wanted to talk about, next steps. The hair of Clotho might have provided a way to get Todoroki’s soul back from its trip to hell; but it hardly gave them a clear plan of how to go about everything else necessary to free Dabi’s soul.

“Right.” Hizashi breathed, already feeling tired about the inevitable arguments to come.

Reyanna didn’t understand what Hawks had said. But she knew that had been the point of him saying it that way, so she wouldn’t understand. Fed up and tired of everyone sheltering and keeping things from her, she turned back to the bedroom slamming the door behind her.

It was two and a half hours later when the bedroom door opened, Shouta returning. Not that Reyanna had been staring into the low glow of the digital clock counting.

Entering, Shouta saw Reyanna tense under the blanket. He smirked at how she held her breath and badly attempted to feign sleep. Silly Kitten, he thought, huffing softly. Still, he was glad for her pretended sleep. Grateful she didn’t turn around. He was no doubt a sight to see, though far from a pleasing one. Covered in demon blood as he was.

Quietly closing the door, Shouta made his way to the bathroom.

Instead of getting in bed as she had expected, Reyanna heard Shouta’s clothes fall to the floor and tensed further. Her back was facing him and, as much as she wanted to, she didn’t dare turn around. The next thing she heard was the shower door open and a knob being turned. The sound of running water drowned out everything else but the shower door closing.

Lips pressed together, Reyanna’s feet tapped out a restless tune against each other. She tried to reason, badger, and even yell at herself but the urge to look wouldn’t go away. Unable to resist any longer, she chanced a look back over her shoulder.

The bathroom door was open wide and she could see movement within the shower stall. Though the steam that fogged the glass blurred the image of Shouta’s naked body.

Fuck! Reyanna flopped back around, tucking the blanket tighter around her. As if him slamming her against the wall and getting in her face hadn’t made her horny enough. Her mind conjured up indecent images of him. He had no hope of getting clean with her laying right there thinking the things she was about him. She imagined the way the water rolled off his naked body. How she would follow those small streams, down his chest and abs, all the way to his…

Shit! What was she doing to herself? Stop it! She close your eyes and-- Nope! That didn’t help. Fuck!

All too soon the sound of running water stopped. Reyanna could practically hear her heartbeat pounding away in her chest. Fuck. Just close your eyes and pretend to be asleep. But when I close my eyes… Close them! She silently yelled at herself, seeing the very top of his long shadow before it disappeared with a flick of a switch.

Shouta turned off the bathroom light, hair still dripping wet. Making his way to the bed, he shook his head, amused. She was still trying to pretend sleep? Though he guessed it was better than possibly arguing again.

There was a small chill of entering air as the blanket was lifted, breaking the warm envelope around her. She felt the mattress dip under his weight. Back still to him, Reyanna’s rapidly thrumming heart skipped a beat at the feel of his bare legs against hers. He cuddled closer, the top of his thighs meeting the back of hers. What was he wearing? Shorts? The last two times they had slumbered together he had stayed in his regular day clothes.

Shouta released an easing sigh as his head hit the soft pillow. He had raided three different demon dens. All of them under Kai’s command, and containing various members of his legions. He no longer had a couple of choice items in his vaults; one of the dens having had more numbers than he had been expecting. But that was why he had taken the items. Just in case. Their use and loss from his stores had been worth it. While he was far from fully calmed, Shouta felt relaxed. Content. And tired. He wrapped an arm around Reyanna, curling his body into hers as he pulled her closer.

Reyanna nearly jumped and squeaked at the feeling of his bare stomach against the small of her back, where her tank top had ridden up. Her flesh prickled, tickled by the line of dark hair that trailed down to his… She squeezed her eyes shut. Don’t think about that! Too late. The image of the proud package that the trail of hair led to had her almost groaning in need. Her thighs clenched together. The effort it took not to rock her hips back into him had her silently cursing at herself. She was better than this.

“Good night, Kitten.” Shouta whispered, smirking at the way she shivered when his breath hit her neck.

He kept on finding himself nodding off, and had to bite the inside of his cheek to stay awake. But in order to join Reyanna in her dreams, she had to first be asleep. Finally, her breathing even out and slowly deepened. Closing his eyes, Shouta let his mind link with hers, checking. Finding her truly asleep and not just dozing, he nuzzled his face against her and joined her.

~”Shouta.” Reyanna smiled at him, her look of puzzlement quickly fading as he neared.

Shouta took in the dreamscape. No memory this time.

“What were you doing, Kitten?”

Reyanna blushed.

“Anna?”

“I—I was...”

Still cross with her, Shouta quickly became stern. “When I ask you a question, I expect an answer.”

Reyanna stepped closer to him, her hands running up his chest.

“I was thinking about you, okay.” She whispered, one hand moving up to the back of his neck, the other clutching his shoulder.

Shouta stood still, unresponsive as she lifted up to her toes, lips seeking his. He let her kiss him, barely reciprocating, though his hands trembled and twitched wanting to grab her and take her into his arms.

She moved on to his neck, barely noticing his lack of returned affection. “I want you so bad, Shou. It hurts.”

Ah, his sweet Kitten was kind enough to give him a segue into what he wanted, needed, to do.

“Speaking of bad.” Shouta said.

Reyanna pulled off him and looked up.

Staring down at her, he raised an eyebrow and questioned. “You’ve been a naughty little Kitty, haven’t you?”

Reyanna’s eyes widen, trying to understand what he meant.

“Not listening to what I tell you.” Shouta supplied, helping her slumbering mind pull the needed facts for use.

Slowly, she nodded.

“Tell me what you’ve been.” He commanded.

“I—I’ve been a—a...”

“A naughty little Kitty.”

Reyanna nodded again, tongue darting out to lick her lips.

“Say it.”

“A naughty little Kitty.”

“All together.” Shouta instructed, his tone and expression neutral, if not bored. His eyes on the other hand, were alight with sinister interest.

“I—I’ve—been a—a naughty—little—Kit—Kitty.”

“Again.”

“I’ve been a naughty little Kitty.”

“Good.” The word was short and flat, far from a cooing praise. “Do you know what happens to naughty Kittens?” He waited a beat. “Answer me.”

“They’re—they’re punished?”

Shouta gave a smile that had too many teeth. “Exactly.”

She would have found his smile cute if it weren’t for the menacing spark in his eyes.

“Strip.” Shouta ordered.

Reyanna’s eyes widened, staring speechless at him.

“You’re already in trouble for not listening to me, Kitten. Do you really want to make your punishment worse by continuing to disobey?”

Hesitant hands moved to do as he said.

Shouta watched her undress, his cock stirring at the sight. Behind her, he created a bed. Thinking better of it, he changed the bed into a large desk, making it look like the one in his private study. Slowly, the dreamscape morphed into that of his study.

Reyanna didn’t take much notice of the change, her slumbering mind going along with it without question. Fully undressed, she turned her hips and lifted a hand trying to shield herself from his predatory stare.

“Stop that.” Shouta chastised. His eyes raked hungrily up and down her body, then directed. “Turn around, and bend over the desk.”

“What!”

Suddenly he was standing directly in front of her, as if he had flinted. His hands grabbed her hips and spun her around. A single hand lifted and gripped the back of her neck, shoving her down over the desk.

“When I tell you to do something, you do it without question. Understood.” Shouta snarled, his body leaning over hers.

Reyanna’s legs kicked out, the surface of the desk cold against her naked breasts and stomach. Feet finding purchase on the floor, she tried to push up; but Shouta's hand on her neck tightened, keeping her down.

“Under. Stood.” He growled out against her ear.

“Y—yes.”

He lifted up some, his hand loosening but remaining in place. “Tell me you understand, Anna.”

“I understand!”

“And what is it that you understand?”

“That I listen to you.”

“Say it again.”

“I listen to you without question.”

“Good.” He stood up fully.

As he did, the front of his pants rubbed against her bare ass making her shiver. He noticed and pressed harder against her, letting her feel the outline of his slowly stiffening cock.

Her breath hitched, a moan escaping her, despite her efforts to stay quite.

Biting his lower lip, Shouta pulled his hips back before his dick took too much of an interest and directed his actions. “So long as you remember that and obey. We won’t have to go through this again.”

“Shou--”

“Hush.” He silenced, the dispassionate word belying his boiling stew of emotions and terrible need.

His tone and low rumbling timber of his voice only heightened Reyanna’s wanting for him. She whined feeling slick arousal begin to seep out of her cunt and moisten the sensitive lips of her pussy.

Looking down, Shouta admired the curve of her ass, his hand stroking over the soft, tender flesh. He internally smiled at how she lifted her hips up to his touch. She was being so good and sweet, he almost lost his will to punish her. Almost.

“You’re such a pretty little Kitten.” Shouta murmured, more to himself than her. “It’s a shame. Just how bad you can sometimes be.” His hand stilled and slowly lifted, dark eyes flicking up to stare at the back of her head. “But bad kitty’s need to be taught. Disciplined. How else are they to learn.”

“I’m sorry.” Reyanna apologized, hands pressed flat against the surface of the desk. “Really, I am.”

The hand around the back of her neck released her, moving to gently caress the side of her face.

“I’m sure you are, my Love.” He said, looking down at her profile. His fingers lightly smoothed back her hair, tucking the silken strands behind her ear. “But not as sorry as you will be when I’m done with you.”

A sting slap hit her right butt cheek, fire blossoming in its wake. Reyanna cried out. She tried to push off the desk and right herself. Tired to crawl on top of it. To push it and her farther forward. Anything to get away.

Shouta’s hand was once again on the back of her neck, holding her down. Damn. She was beautiful like this, he thought, his cock beginning to tent his pants. Bending over the desk, he leaned over her, taking in the sight of her wide, wild eyes. He waited till her gaze focused on him.

Despite the thrill within, Shouta's tone was dull, his face impassive. “Do you trust me?”

“Wha—what?”

“Do. You. Trust. Me. It should be an easy enough question to answer, Anna.”

“Y—y—yes.”

“You didn’t sound all that certain. Try again. Do you trust me?”

“Yes.”

The very corners of Shouta's lips twitched upward. “Good.” His eyes panned over her. “You’re beautiful. You know that, Kitten.”

“Th—thank you?”

He couldn’t stop the small smile that crept upon his face at the question in her tone. Blinking slowly, Shouta cemented this moment to memory. Lifting slightly, he pressed his nose against her head and inhaled, savoring the scent of her.

“Beautiful, and mine.” He growled, tongue coming out to lick up the side of her face. “Say it. Tell me who you belong to.”

Another stinging spank came down on her still smarting ass cheek.

“You!” Reyanna yelled.

“Again.” He said, giving her other buttock a sharp slap. The sound of his hand meeting her ass nearly as sweet as her resulting cry.

“You! I belong to you! I’m yours! And yours alone! Shouta! Please!”

“Then why don’t you obey me?” Another strike.

“I do! I will! I won’t do it again! I promise, Shouta. I promise, I’ll listen to you. I’m sorry. I’ll do anything. Please. Please, Shouta! I’m sorry.”

Shouta growled, the memory of her promising the Great Rock that she was do anything flashing through his mind. Not only had she disobeyed him. She had told another that she would do wherever they wanted; words that she should only ever say to him.

“You’re mine alone.” He snapped, hand coming down in three quick successions.

“Yes!”

“Tell me.”

“I’m yours! I’m yours. Totally and completely. I belong to no one else. I obey no one else. I live for you. I obey you! Please, Shouta. Please. I’m sorry. So, so sorry. I’ll never do it any. I swear. I want nothing more than to make you happy. I exists for nothing more than to make you happy. Please. Please, my Love. I’m sorry.”

Much as he liked hearing her beg, Shouta was somewhat disappointed she broke so quickly. Then again he wasn’t holding back. This was a dream after all, he couldn't truly harm her here. Even so, he gave it about ten more strikes before the perceived pain woke her up.

“You plead so pretty for me, Kitten. It almost makes me want to go easy on you. But that would be a disservice to us both. You won’t learn without the sting of consequence. And I truly want you to learn this lesson well. Neither of us want to go through this again. Do we?” When she didn’t respond, his repeated query rung out along with that of another sharp spank. “Do we?”

“No! We don’t!”

“Can you be a good girl and count for me, Anna?” He asked, hand coming down again.

“What!”

“Count.” Shouta ordered, with another spank.

“Two!”

“Numbers starts a one. Try again.” Another spank.

“One!”~

It might’ve been a disappointment, but Shouta didn’t care if his actions in the dream woke her up. Though it was fear of waking her up, that kept him from pulling down his underwear and driving his throbbing hard cock between her soft, tightly squeezed thighs.

It was one thing to have the dream wake her. He could feign sleep, far better than she had. But to wake her up fucking into her thighs… He didn’t want to chance the penalty that might bring. Not after the progress they had made.

His arm held her tightly to him, while she squirmed in her sleep, mercilessly spanked in the dreamworld. Eyes closed, Shouta felt her hips jerk and sway, pressing back against his needy dick. His little Minx was getting off on her punishment. So much the better.

~“You’re taking your punishment so well, Kitten. I might just give you my dick after.” He dropped his hand and pressed his erection against her blazing ass. “Would you like that? Do you want my cock tonight, Anna?”

Reyanna whimpered at the mix of hot pain and raw need. The fabric of Shouta's pants felt like licking flames against her ass. The feel of his dick made her drenched pussy ache. Wanting. Needing to be pounded into and filled with his cum. She was caught between wanting to press back against him and pull away. Torn between pleasure and pain.

“Yes.” Reyanna exhaled.

“Yes what? What do you want?”

Her cheeks heated. Though with the way her ass burned, she hardly felt the blush. “Yes. I want your cock.”

“Ask me for it. Beg as sweetly as you did earlier.”

She turned her face into the desk, trying to salvage some speck of dignity, and mumbled. “Please, Shouta. Please, can I have your cock.”

“Is that all you got? You pleaded so much sweeter earlier, Kitten. This is hardly making me want to give into your request.”

He saw her tense shoulders tremble, heard her stuttered intake of breath, and decided a softer touch was needed.

Reyanna jerked then shuddered, muscles easing, at the soothing, tender caress of Shouta's hand over her stinging butt cheeks.

“Shh.” He comforted, at her whimpered. “I love you, Anna. You know that right?”

Reyanna nodded into the desk.

“You have no idea what I’d do for you. What I’ve done for you. You are my sweet, precious Kitten. I would do anything to keep you safe and protected. That’s why I’m doing this. You put yourself at risk today. If anyone else were to endanger you so, I would have killed them. But you, my Love. You must learn to listen to me. To not throw yourself into danger without thought. Do you understand?”

As he had spoken, Shouta's hand had traveled lower, fingers gliding between her legs.

Her breath hitched, hips angling to him as one of his digits slipped between her slick folds. “I’m sorry. Really, Shouta, I am. I don’t mean to worry and upset you. It’s just I—I--” Her hazy, sleep ridden mind searched for the reason and events that put her here.

“Shh.” Shouta hushed, not wanting her to become fully, consciously aware. “There’s no need to apologize. You already promised not to disobey me again. So long as you keep your word, we won’t have to go through this ever again. Yes?”

“Yes.” Reyanna moaned, as his finger lightly rubbed against her clit.

“Good girl.”

Her hips moved seeking more. But Shouta's finger pulled back each time, remaining teasingly light and denying her the further friction she sought.

“Now, will you continue being good and beg properly for me?” He waited a beat. His finger rubbed against her sensitive bud before dipping into her entrance. “Come now, Anna. I know you can. Be a good girl and beg for me and I’ll stuff you full.”

He felt her pussy tighten around his finger and grinned.

Nose pressed against the desk, Reyanna begged. “Please, Shouta. Please, can I have your cock. I want it so bad. I—I need it. I need it in me. Stre—stretching me. Filling me up. I—I want to feel you pum—pumping in and out of me. Pounding me, till my teeth are knocked together. I want to feel your dick twitch and throb inside of me as I clench down around you, milking you for all you’re worth. I’ve—I’ve tried to be good. You said I’ve been good. Please. Please, Shouta. Reward me. Please.”

His hand pulled away, Reyanna mewling at the loss, while the other reached forward and stroked her hair. “There. Was that so hard, my Love?”

Hot, flushed face buried into the desk, Reyanna shook her head.

“Two more, and I’ll give you what you want.”

Before she could piece together what he meant, the first of the last slaps came down on her ass.

Crying out, Reyanna shuddered on the desk.

“Last one, Kitten. Unless you make the mistake of disobeying me again.” Shouta's hand connected. The sound of his hand connecting and her responding scream absolutely beautiful to his ears. “There.” He soothed, caressing her hot, reddened ass. “All done. Now. What was it you wanted for being so good?”

Slowly, Reyanna’s teeth let up on her bottom lip. “Y—Your cock.”

“That’s right.” Shouta imagined his pants undone. “Do you think you’ve been good enough to deserve it?”

Whimpering, her answer sounded more like a question. “Yes?”

“I think so too.” Shouta said, reaching into his boxer briefs and pulling his aching dick out. “You gonna be a good girl and sing for me?” He asked pressing a leg between hers and roughly widening her stance.

Reyanna nodded, another whimper escaping her at the feeling of her stinging, sensitive bottom being bumped up against.

“What was that?” Shouta questioned, running the length of his shaft through her hot, wet slit, coating his it in her sweet juices.

“Please.” She begged, hardly knowing what she was pleading for.

“Don’t worry, Kitty Cat. I got just what you need.”

He lined himself up and plunged into her in a single, hard thrust.

His groaning grunt mixed with her moaning cry.

“Always so tight for me.” Shouta gritted.

Lashes fluttering at the pleasured pain, Reyanna gasped. “So big.”

Perceived or not, he gave her a second to adjust, then proceeded to give her exactly what she had asked for.

His hips pounding against her sore, raw ass, soon had Reyanna a drooling mess. Being stretched wide and stuff full felt amazing, especially when he was hitting that spot inside her with every thrust. But the sharp, searing pain that every hard snap of his hips brought, left her shuddering and crying out between pleasured moans. The rough bite from the zipper of his pants had her writhing, her eyes squeezed shut as they rolled back in her head. She wanted nothing more than to cum and be filled with his cum as soon as possible so the wonderful, torturous, amazing torment could be over.~

Pent up and driven to throbbing, near painful madness while he had punished Reyanna in the dream, Shouta jerked himself off, spooned against his Love. As his strokes became erratic, thighs twitching and tensing, he turned his face into the pillow, his wet hair had soaked, and bit down, muffling the groaning grunt that came with his release.

Fuck! He hated the mess, he thought, panting into the back of Reyanna’s neck.

Eyes still closed, he wiped his hand clean on his already soiled underwear, and grabbed her thigh, pulling it back and off of the other. His Kitten had been near her own climax, beginning to twitch in her sleep.

~Shouta pulled out, leaving her on the edge and wanting. He converted the dreamscape to his bedroom and disappeared his clothes. Arms wrapping around her, he turned, falling into the plush bed he created, tucking Reyanna against his chest.

Reyanna stared at him, her sleep riddled mind taking in the changes without question. She whined her need, wrapping her
legs around his and grinding against him.

“None of that now, Kitten.” Shouta said, hand gripping her hip and pulling her back enough to stop the sought after friction.

“Shou--”

“No.”

Her legs started to release him, needing something pressed against her, even if it was her own clenching thighs. But Shouta held her in place.

Huffing out a sigh, she feigned resignation, her hand tracing patterns on his chest. Slowing, her fingers trailed down to his stomach, growing ever lighter till she was no longer touching him at all.

Shouta grabbed a hold of her wrist, and pinned it back to his chest before she got a chance to touch herself. “I said no. You were just punished for not listening and here you are failing your test. Do you need another lesson?”

“No, Shouta! I swear. I can listen. I will listen!”

“Then be good. Once you’ve proven you can listen and obey, I’ll service you well. Till then--”

She squirmed in his hold.

“Don’t make me tie you up spread eagle, Anna.”

Reyanna pressed her face into his chest letting out a defeated little grunt that had him smirking down at the top of her head.

Shouta's hand came up and smoothed over her hair. “Be good, Kitten. Relax and cuddle with me.”~

21.3

Dabi stepped out of Nemuri’s office with a lazy smile on his face. The Daimon was a wild cat. And though he hadn’t dared ask, he liked to think that he had left her feeling as satisfied as she had left him. He couldn't fathom why Aizawa would have abandoned her willing arms, mouth, and… He shook his head. Reyanna must have been some special sort of fuck to tempt Aizawa anyway from Nemuri. Then again, Aizawa had left hell for Reyanna too. So either she really was something special, or fucking Zawa was just broken and wrong in the head. Given his dealings with both the Daimon and Nephilim, it could go either way.

Dabi’s good mood evaporated as soon as he saw the glittering gold eyes of Kai staring at him.

“Did you enjoy yourself?” The Daimon inquired.

Shit. There was no right answer to that question. Swallowing, Dabi said. “I exist to be of service.”

Kai gave a small, dark smile at that. “Speaking of being of service.” He turned and began to walk. “Come with me.”

Fuck! Following Kai anywhere was not something Dabi wanted to do. But demons didn’t go around disobeying daimon’s. That was a sure fire way to be put back on the butcher’s block. And, to disobey Lucifer's top General… That would probably mean a fate far worse.

Kai led Dabi down the hallway and through an unseen door that had them instantly in a different part of hell. The General had been incensed since this morning, when Lucifer had ordered him to keep his legions away from Purgatory Chasm, and to not go there himself. Ever since, Kai had wanted to hurt something. And while he had hurt several things throughout the course of the day. It still hadn’t been enough.

Dabi fought against the urge to turn away and make a futile break for it as Kai led him to his lab. The last time he had been there, he had almost burned himself to ash in one of Kai’s so called experiments. Since being ‘released from study’, Dabi had avoided the place like he, and every other demon avoided the Index. Now, no more than three months apart, he had been compelled to go to the Index, and ordered to follow Kai into his lab.

He blamed Aizawa for his string of bad luck. After all it had all started with the fucking Daimon. He could hardly blame Reyanna. Pretty, unknowing little thing that she currently was. She had just been trying to get away from Aizawa, like any sane person would do. It was Aizawa's fault for being a jealous, over protective ass. Dabi had just been trying to do his job and be of service…

To think he had come so close to discovering for himself what it was about Reyanna that would make hell's third General leave both hell and Nemuri’s warm bed…

“Do you know why I brought you here?” Kai questioned, breaking into Dabi’s thoughts.

Of course I do, you sick fuck. Your jealous ass is angry Nemuri looked to me for satisfaction instead of you. So, here you are wanting to torture me, pretending that this is something other than intimidation and revenge. Here’s an idea, quit being a cold, scary ass, distant fuck and fuck into the woman’s cunt till she’s choking on your dick, and can’t see straight. Fuck! It’s not that hard!

Sure Nemuri had had a few well known favorites, other than Aizawa, back in the day. But Dabi didn’t remember her going through all that many demons. That meant that either Aizawa had known how to please the woman, and leave her sore and satisfied for days. Or Aizawa was just as thirsty as she was. Possibly even both. In any case, there was nothing Dabi could do about it. And Kai knew it. Dabi couldn't deny Nemuri. Even if he wanted to. She was a Daimon.

“No.” Dabi shook his head.

“I brought you here--”

“Kai!”

Kurono entered the lab, followed by Himiko.

“What is it?” Kai asked, eyes never leaving Dabi. “I’m with a case study.”

Dabi flinched at that, mouth suddenly dry. Sure, he thought Kai would make him pay. But… Hell no! There was no way he was gonna be one of Kai’s experiments again. He’d rather be put back on the butcher’s block.

“Three of your dens have been attacked.” Himiko informed, her cheery tone and smile contrary to the troubling news she gave.

“What?” Kai demanded, eyes snapping over to his Lieutenant.

“It’s true.” Kurono affirmed.

An eyebrow twitched, Kai’s gloved hands balling into fists. Who would be so foolish? Who would dare?

“Who?” Kai questioned.

“I don’t know.” Kurono said. “I came to you as soon as I got word. I’ve yet to inspect--”

“What do my legion members who were present say?”

“Nothing. None that were there survived.”

“Can I go see the damage with you?” Himiko asked. “I wanna see the blood and bodies!”

Kai’s lip curled as he stared at the Nephilim. He’d show her blood and--

“General.” Kurono called, knowing his master well enough to stop him before he ended the Nephilim.

The day would come when Kai would be free to torment and torture Himiko to his hearts content. But right now Lucifer was still fond of the child.

“You.” Kai gritted at Dabi. “Come with us. The girl is your responsibility.”

“Yay!” Himiko clapped. “Come on, Dabi. Let’s go see some death and destruction.”

It wasn’t that Dabi had anything against a bit of death and destruction. But after the near miss of being one of Kai’s lab rats, he’d rather not follow the Daimon General around while he visited his decimated dens.

They flinted into the very image of a massacre. At least Himiko was happy. But, Kai, Kurono, and a few other brave or unfortunate souls that were brought along looked far from pleased.

Dabi took in the gruesome scene wondering how many had attacked the place.

Kai stepped through the carnage. Though the assailant hadn’t signed his name in blood, or left some other sort of obvious marker, there was no doubt in his mind who had done this. He had fought beside Aizawa long enough to know his work.

“I am going to obliterate him.” Kai seethed, his affinity taking the building and dead bodies apart atom by atom. “I will take what has been promised to me. Fuck! Her in front of his eyes. Break her before him. And then obliterate him.”

Chapter Text

22.1

Reyanna woke up to the feeling of Shouta's warm body curled against her back. And something else… Opening her eyes, she looked down to find his arm wrapped around her. That was nothing new. What was new, was his large hand cupping her breast.
Her breath stilled, muscles tensing. The easy relaxed feeling of dream she had woken from evaporated. Not that she could have said what the dream had been about. Her hands clenched, resulting in a groan from the Daimon behind her. Shouta's groping hand lightly squeezed in return, his hips pressing harder against her backside. It was then that she realized her arm was reached back and around him, her hand on his ass. Her hand on his bare ass. Was he naked!
Without thought, she flinted out of the bed. The travel was clumsily, leaving her falling hard on her butt a couple feet from the bedside.
She winced, grunting. That actually hurt for a moment. For a second it had felt like her butt cheeks were on fire. The sensation, and too murky events that could have told her why her ass was sore, leaving her like a fluttering leaf in a sharp gust of wind. She blinked, trying to clear and orientate her thoughts. The untimely memories that had come to her during yesterday’s duel must still be messing with her. She had only just reconciled the onslaught of memories that had been her entire dealings with Abril the afternoon before they had gone to Purgatory Chasm. And now, thanks to her remembered fight with the previous Great Rock, she was dealing with that same conflicted and confused feeling again.
She thought of why she had fought the last Great Rock. Her fury and possessiveness over Shouta being put in jeopardy.
On his side, Shouta lifted his head from the pillow. Black eyes blinked heavily as he looked over at Reyanna, who was still on the floor.
Shouta groaned as his head dropped back down. “At least I have the decency to be quite when I wake up before you.”
Reyanna’s head shot up. Her eyes sharpened into focus, even if her mind didn’t completely follow suit.
“You’re naked!” She accused.
Shouta buried his smile into the bed as he rolled onto his stomach. “I highly doubt you would have wanted me snuggling up against you with as filthy as I returned.”
“So put something else on!”
Or take something else off me, she thought. Shit. Where had that come from? Why was she feeling so needy? Well, you did go to bed angry and horny and then… No! Don’t think about Shouta naked and wet in the shower again. Too late.
“Need to do laundry.” Shouta said, simply.
That should be enough to leave her thinking he was out of clean clothes. It wasn’t as if his words were a total lie. He thought about the cum stained underwear tucked underneath his pillow. His pillowcase would need a wash as well. Hell, it wouldn’t hurt to just change the bedding.
Turning his head, he looked at her from behind a curtain of hair. “You’re rather tense and sour this morning. Unfulfilling night?”
Reyanna’s eyes narrowed, he seemed taunting and smug about something, but she couldn’t figure out why.
“I slept just fine. Thank you very much.” She snipped, pushing to her feet.
“I hope so.” Shouta called, rolling onto his side and propping himself up to watch her make for the door. “You got a long hard day ahead. Your antics from yesterday haven’t been forgotten.”
Face screwing up, Reyanna spun around.
Before she could say anything, he went on. “I’m a man of my word, Anna. First, I’ll make that sweet ass of yours sorry for disobeying me. Then we’ll work on seeing that it never happens again. You will learn to listen.”
She opened her mouth to challenge him, but the only sound that came out was a disgruntled. “Uh.”
Shouta smirked, as she slammed the door behind her.
A few seconds later another slam sounded from the room next door. His keen ears were able to hear her muffled mutters. Though, disappointingly, her words weren’t clear enough for him to understand what she said.
He flopped back into bed with a smile and a sigh. Depending on how well she behaved today, he might let her cum in their shared dreams tonight. If not… His grin grew wicked at the thought. Could he make his Kitten pent up and frustrated enough that she pounced and begged for him in the waking world. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t done so before.

22.2

“You nearly started a war. I had go down to earth. Meet with the Great Rock. And apologized for your actions. Me. The Guardian of Heaven. Apologizing to a mere child. And a Third at of that! I’ve never known such humiliation. Heaven, has never known such humiliation.”
Rumi could feel the heat radiating off Enji as they were dressed down by heavens first Chief. She found it eye rolling that the Archangel who was also known as the Angel of Earth, had added having to go to earth among his list of complains. Then again, she couldn't recall the last time Toshinori had been to earth.
“And where is this Child of, so called, Hope that you nearly started a war to go fetch?” Toshinori questioned, already knowing the answer.
Enji’s eyes moved from Toshinori to Tsunagu, who stood beside Toshinori’s desk, facing them. The third ranked Chief hardly looked as pleased by all this as Enji would've thought he’d be.
“The good thing is,” Rumi ventured, having to take a side step away from Enji, the heat too much, “that hell didn’t get him either.”
“Hell didn’t even make a showing.” Naomasa, Toshinori’s assistant, said.
“Your pet should be taught not to speak back to a ranking Chief unless his opinion is sought.” Enji growled out.
“Naomasa is member of heavens host. You will treat him with the respect that is due.” Toshinori told.
Rumi looked over at Naomasa. For a mere Angel, he held a lot of pull and power within the bureaucracy of heaven. Though she hadn’t seen the Angel blatantly abuse the position Toshinori had given him; she had seen Naomasa respectfully address Archangel’s out of turn, and even question them. Something no other angel in their right mind would do.
When Enji and Rumi were finally dismissed, Tsunagu followed them out.
“You were rather quite in there.” Enji grumbled, ignoring how angels and archangel skittered out of his way. “I’d thought you’d be playing up the part of I told you so.”
“Just because I didn’t want a war with the Thirds, doesn’t mean I wanted you to fail.” Tsunagu said, as he and Rumi followed in Enji’s wake.
“Well we did fail.” Enji said, the words bitter on his tongue. “We might not have if you had come. What did you think? That Toshinori would give you my place as second if you stayed.”
“I do not want your place, Enji. Unlike you I do not covet power and position.”
Enji huffed. Tsunagu had to be lying. Everyone wanted power. If Tsunagu didn’t, then the third Chief would have supported him without question in all of his decisions, just like any lesser should. Then again, Tsunagu had supported him against Toshinori in a great number of things; thus being the factor that had swayed the top Chiefs mind… Okay, so maybe Tsunagu didn’t always set himself against him. But that only proved that the third Chief was clearly working for himself and therefore wanted Enji’s, and eventually Toshinori’s position.
“It’s curious.” Tsunagu said.
“What’s that?” Rumi asked, looking from the third Chief to Enji’s broad, tense back.
“That hell didn’t make a try for him.”
Enji spun around. “What are you saying! That Kai and the rest of those low lives follow orders better than me? I don’t follow the rules, Tsunagu. I make them and everyone else follows.”
Tsunagu’s green eyes blinked at the enraged Archangel. “What I meant,” he stated calmly, “was that Lucifer would hardly care if a war was started. Not if it got him both Reyanna and the Child of Hope.”
“So why did no one from hell show up?” Rumi wondered, aloud.
“Exactly.” Tsunagu said, grateful that one of the two fellow Archangel’s had enough brains to catch on. “What did Lucifer know that we didn’t?”

22.3

“So, Aizawa took out three of your dens.” Lucifer said, unable to hide his proud amusement.
Kai’s eyes narrowed. He knew Lucifer had a soft spot for Aizawa, but to actually smile at the Daimon's work. It was too much, especially after Lucifer had called him off from going to Purgatory Chasm. If the Devil had let him go, Aizawa might be dead; or at the very least too wounded and distraught over loosing Reyanna. Cause Kai would have brought the Bitch back, no matter what.
“In any case, it hardly matters.”
“Hardly matters!” That was it. Kai had had enough.
The General tired his best to bow and do as his Lord commanded, without complaint or question. But to have missed a chance at Reyanna and the Llaes. To grin like a proud benevolent father at Aizawa's destructive work… Kai couldn't take it any longer.
“If--”
“I suppose I should inform you.” Lucifer began, at the same time.
Obediently, Kai fell silent, letting his Lord speak.
“After all, you proved you could follow and obey without question. Unlike Enji. Then again, since God’s absence, heaven’s turned into more of an oligarchy. Where as down here, things are run as our betraying Father intended. With one supreme voice ruling over the rest.”
“Master.” Kai inclined his head, under the force of Lucifer's power.
“Besides. Our numbers, great and ever increasing as they are, are far from infinite. Another day of your raging and we’d be in want of demons.”
“I--”
Lucifer waved off the General’s words. “Never mind your stewing tantrums. So long as you don’t speak against me, I don’t care how you deal with your distaste for your orders. All that matters, is that you follow them.”
“I would never speak against you.”
“I know.” Lucifer said. He got to his feet and came around the great, dark desk. “And if you ever did, I would know that too.”
Kai knelt on a knee, bowing his head in subservience. “You need not inform me of anything, Sir. It is an honor and pleasure to sever you. I exist for no other reason than to meet out your command.”
Lucifer stared down at the Daimon, nodding at the response he had wanted. “You’re right. You exist at my will and I need not tell you a thing. That said. It pleases me to include my loyal General.”
Kai looked up expectantly at his Master.
“The reason I kept you and your legions from going to Purgatory Chasm, is because it was wholly unnecessary.” Lucifer smiled, barely able to contain his wicked thrill at what the angry Erinyes had told him. “My Daughter is coming home, Kai.”

22.4

“Focus.” Shouta chided, as he side stepped Reyanna’s lunge.
A black tendril formed and smacked her ass, adding momentum to her movement.
“You are meant to use your momentum to aid you, not let me use it against you.” He said, as she tripped passed him.
An all too clear image of Shouta spanking and then fucking her, his hips pounding against her raw, stinging, red ass came to mind. Reyanna shook her head, cheeks heating in embarrassment. Damn it. She knew she should had taken care of herself while he was away last night. But she hadn’t known when to expect him back. And the last thing she had wanted was for Shouta to catch her masturbating. He’d probably look at her…
She spun around, her glare transforming into a look of pleading wanting as she suppressed a moan.
...He’d probably look at her the same way he was looking at her right now. Smug and hungry.
Still, given the predicament she was currently in, getting caught with her hand between her legs would have been worth the risk. She was so pent up and needy. It took every ounce of will not to mewl and roll her hips against him every time he pinned her to the ground. Something he seemed to take great pleasure in doing today, if the number of times he had done so was any measure.
“It’s not fair that you get to use your power and I can’t.”
“Life’s not fair Anna. The situations we’ll face in hell will be far from fair. You have to get better and learn to listen, Kitten.”
Her lip curled, feet moving as she sprint toward him. “I’m not your--”
Suddenly she was on the ground. Once again pinned under him.
“You’re mine. Therefore, you’re whatever I choose to call you.” Shouta said flatly.
Reyanna groaned, squirming uncontrollably as his weight sat heavy on her pelvis.
“Are you listening to me?”
“Yes!” She snapped, shoulders lifting off the ground in an effort to stop from grinding against him.
“I told you yesterday what would happen if you disobeyed a command of mine again. Yet you went on and did so several times over. You will learn to listen, Anna. This training and treatment is for your own good. I can’t protect you if you don’t listen and obey me.”
“I’m not some child that needs your protection. Or some pet that has to obey. I’m far from helpless, Shouta. I was the one who thought to call on the Erinyes for help. I was the one who got the Great Rock to tell us what they had to offer and fought her.”
Shouta stared down at her. “No.”
“No? No what?”
“No. You are far from helpless.”
Reyanna gave a sharp nod.
“But that hardly means that you don’t need protection.” He went on. “Yes the Erinyes’ proved to be of help. But your summoning of them was reckless. You should have discussed it with me first.”
“Like you discuss all of your plans with me.” She stated, incredulous.
Shouta’s lip twitched, he really needed to try and make more of an effort in that with her. But now was hardly the time for that.
“As for you fighting the Great Rock. It was the height of foolishness and not something you should be boasting about.”
“My fighting her is the reason we have Clotho’s hair!”
“If I remember correctly, I’m the reason we have it. I’m the one who stole a portion of it from the General.”
“Only because I provided the distraction by fighting--”
“We could have got it another way.” Shouta cut in.
“We wouldn’t have even known what it was they had if I hadn’t agreed to fight.”
“You know how I hate repeating myself, Anna. But since you’re so proud and insistent, I’ll say it again. We could have got it another way.”
“Tch. Get off me, already. You’re heavy.”
He considered making her figure a way out, or continuing as they were. Instead, Shouta got to his feet, pulling her up with him.
“Let’s take a break.”
“Break?” Reyanna questioned, dusting herself off. “How about being done for the day.”
“What part of this is lesson and punishment for not obeying don’t you understand?”
“Lesson and… Fuck, Aiz—Shouta. What? Are your feelings hurt? Want an apology?” She was hardly sorry. But if it meant being done with training, and the entire mess in general, she would swallow her pride. “I’m sorry, alright. I’ll try to do better and listen to what you say. Happy?”
Hardly, Shouta thought. Sure he had gotten her to promise and beg in their shared dream; but it was her promising now that really mattered. He wouldn’t to allow them to enter hell till he was sure she would obey without question. Even then, he’d rather forget it all. But he had had his chance to let Todoroki be put down, back when the boy was a child, and chose to save him. On top of that, he had his own promise to Reyanna to keep. Whether she remembered it or not.
“Take a seat. Have some water. We’ll start again in a bit.”
She blew a long breath out, and mumbled. “You’re never this hard on Todoroki or Hitoshi.”
“Shinsou and Todoroki don’t have a problem with obedience.” Shouta said, handing her a bottle of water.
Reyanna snatched the offering from his hand, and snapped. “Maybe if you were more open and honest--”
“I already apologized for that. I won’t do so again.”
“You never apologized for not telling me Lucifer was my father.”
Shouta blinked at that. He hadn’t? He was sure he had. Who was he kidding? What she said sounded more like him than his actually, verbal apologizing. But he had thought it. Wanted to apologize. Wasn’t that enough? That had to count for something. Right?
Shaking his head, Shouta turned away. “This is getting us nowhere. Talking won’t make you a more proficient fighter or see you learning to listen. Drink your water.”
Sighing, Reyanna stared at Shouta's back as she downed half the bottle. She didn’t know if it was the Daimon calling Hitoshi by his family name or what, but she recalled her short conversation with the Were from yesterday’s morning. ‘If Aizawa doesn’t call me by my first name, you don’t get to.’ She thought of the boys face when she had asked if he wanted Shouta to call him by his given name.
“Shouta.”
“Hum.”
“Come sit down next to me. Please.”
Shouta’s throat bobbed, his mouth suddenly dry. Reyanna wanted him next to her. Sought out his nearness… Trying not to read too much into it, he went to the bench and sat down, his leg touching hers. He felt her slightly tense at the contact, but she didn’t move away.
Clearing her throat, Reyanna wondered how to proceed.
“You,” she began uncertainly, “and Hitoshi have known each other for a while. Right?”
Shouta's brow furrowed. This wasn’t what he had been expecting. “He was six when I found him.”
“So, nearly eleven years.”
He nodded.
“Don’t you think it’s time to call him by his given name.”
Shouta turned to her. “What? Why?”
Damn, she sucked at this. Maybe she should have left well enough alone. She obviously wasn’t adept enough to act on another's behalf. What had she been thinking? She was barely suited to acting on her own account. But she had already meddled, so she had to try to salvage this somehow.
“Uh… Cause I think he would like you to and it would make him happy.”
Shouta looked away. “Who cares what makes the kid happy.”
“You do.”
“There are more important things--”
“It would make me happy too, Shou.”
He looked at her out of the corner of his eye.
A part of her had been sure it wouldn’t have worked. But seeing that it did, she felt a thrill. “You want me to be happy. Don’t you, Shouta?”
He lowered his head, in an attempt to hide his pleased expression behind his hair. But, his mass of wavy, black locks had been tied back for their sparring session; and the few tendrils that had fallen loose provided little in the way of shielding.
“You think I’m so easily manipulated.” He grumbled.
“No. Honestly, I doubted it would work. But something told me to go for it.”
So she still doubted what she meant to him. What he would do for her. That was both good and disappointing, Shouta thought. Disappointing because the more she understood the extent of his feelings, the greater the chances she would give in and reciprocate. Good, because it meant that she had yet to remember just how far he would go to see her safe and protected. That her happiness came second to her well-being. That he would even betray…
“So will you?” She asked. “At least try.”
“You want me to call Shinsou by his given name after eleven years of addressing him by his family one.”
“Are you saying you’re old and set in your ways?” She teased. “I understand it might not be easy or change over--”
“What do I get?”
“What?”
Sighing, Shouta turned his body to face her. “After eleven years, it will take effort to make such a change. You said as much yourself. So, what do I get for my effort?”
“Are you really trying to bargain in this? You should have dropped the formality years ago.”
“I’m a Daimon, Anna. Bargaining is what we do.”
“I didn’t try and bargain when you asked me to call you Shouta.”
“You’re not a daimon. And, that was different.”
“How so?”
He leaned closer. “It was hardly a request you could bargain with.”
She looked up at him, eyes swirling in a mixture of uncertainty, playfulness, and wanting. “So you’re admitting that you’re demanding.”
Shouta arched an eyebrow, the barest hint of a smirk gracing his lips. “Hardly the first or last demand I’ll make of you, Kitten.”
“I told you--”
“I got it.” He cut in, before she could say the hated phrase. “I’ll call the kid by his given name if I get to call you Kitten without you, wrongly, telling me you’re not.”
“What!” She shook her head. “You shouldn’t require anything. You care about him. It’ll make him happy. That should be enough.”
“It’s not.” Shouta said, flatly. He looked her over and cajoled. “Come now, Anna. You obviously care enough about Shinsou to go through all this. Don’t you want the kid to be happy? A change of address for the simple allowance of calling you one little name. Sounds like a fair exchange to me.”
Reyanna stared at him, regretting that she ever broached the subject and got involved.
Shouta let her think, already knowing the decision she would make. His thirst for her lips had left him almost asking for a kiss, but this bargain would carry joys and benefits far longer than a single kiss. It wasn’t as if he wouldn’t be tasting her lips again away.
“Fine.” She relented. “But, not in when someone else can hear.”
“I can agree to that.”
“Then we have a deal? You will call him Hitoshi?”
Shouta nodded once.
Reyanna pouted. Even if she hoped the kid never found out it was through her doing, he better appreciate it.
Eyes on her lips, Shouta questioned. “Care to seal the deal with a kiss?”
Reyanna glared and got to her feet. “I’m going inside.”
“No, you’re not. We’re not done here.”
“I’m not sealing anything with a kiss, Shouta.”
As disappointing as that is, Shouta thought. “I’m aware. But, I haven’t dismissed you.”
She turned back around. “Are you serious! We’ve been at this since morning.”
“And?”
“And it’s nearly fucking night.”
“It’s barely close to dinner time.”
“Dinner’s an hour and a half away!”
“So then we have an hour and a half left to train.” Shouta said, flinting to the center of the courtyard. “Enough rest. Come at me.”
Reyanna snarled at him from across the yard. She’d like nothing better than to knock him on his ass…
She flinted behind him, but he had been expecting the move. Suddenly, she was on her back. Again.
“You forget, that even well rested and in peak form there’s a split second where flinting leaves you open and unable to react to attack.” Shouta said from above her. “Don’t flint in so close that your adversary can use that moment to take you out.” He ground his hips down onto her core, before getting to his feet and instructing. “Again.”
They trained for two more hours, till both were sweaty and panting and in need of nourishment.
So much for not needing to sleep tonight, Reyanna gloomily thought. She looked at the Daimon out of the corner of her eye as they made their way inside. Maybe that had been his intention all along. To make her tired enough that she required sleep again so soon. It wasn’t as if sleeping in his arms was such a bad thing, a traitorous part of her mind thought.
She thought about his warmth and the comforting weight of his arm over her. She really did feel safe and protected nestled against him. As if he truly would do absolutely anything to keep her safe. She recalled last night. When his bare thighs had pressed up against the back of hers. The feeling of his happy trail tickling the small of her back as he pulled her close. Waking up to his hand on her breast, and hers on his ass...
“Anna.” Shouta's voice broke into her thoughts.
“Hum? Sorry. What?” She had heard him talking, but her mind had been elsewhere.
“I told you to take a seat. I’ll serve you.”
“I can--”
“Sit.” He ordered, sternly. Turning away, he rumbled. “You’ve earned the rest, despite clearly not learning how to listen without word or question.”
Reyanna scowled at him. Her cheeks heating in temper and embarrassment, as she felt the eyes of everyone else on her. “I--”
“It’s alright.” Shouta said, making his way around the island counter-top. “We’ll repeat today as many times as it takes for you to learn.”
“We don’t have time for that.” Reyanna argued. “We have to help Todoroki free Dabi’s soul.”
“I’m not letting you out of this house till I’m certain you can listen and obey in dangerous situations.” Shouta said, serving two plates.
“Let me?” Reyanna stormed.
“The gates of heaven and hell have been open this long. It’s unnecessary to rush when the person who knows exactly what we’ll be walking into doesn’t think we’re prepared.” Todoroki said, seated to Reyanna’s left.
They all turned and stared at the Llaes.
“What?” Todoroki questioned, looking at the four set of eyes that were on him. “Am I wrong?”
“No.” Shouta said, moving once more. “I’m glad someone here has some sense.”
Reyanna bristled at the Daimon's words. Her expression softened as she turned back to Todoroki. This was his task. If he said they should listen to Shouta and wait, who was she to argue. “Whatever you say.”
Shouta huffed, setting a plate down in front of her, and sitting in the chair to her right. What he wouldn’t give to hear her say those words to him.
Not liking her eyes on anyone else, Shouta looked across the table. “Hitoshi. Pass the hot sauce.”
Hitoshi’s eyes widened. For a moment he stared at his mentor, unmoving.
“Did you hear me, Hitoshi?” Shouta questioned, seeing Reyanna’s smile in his periphery.
“Uh—yeah.” Hitoshi slid the sauce across the table.
Dinner went by without any further bickering. Finished, Reyanna wanted nothing more than to shower and relax the rest of the evening.
“Get showered, and meet me in the library.” Shouta told her as she excused herself from the table.
Reyanna opened her mouth to challenge him, but caught sight of the sparkling dare in the Daimon's black eyes. Shouta had said that they wouldn’t be going anywhere till she had proven she could listen and obey him. On top of that, Todoroki had agreed to his judgment. She snapped her mouth closed. Her need to fulfill her promise to Abril and help Todoroki, kept her from speaking out.
Turning away, she ground her teeth. And to think she had been tempted to allow Shouta to sleep as he normally would, so he would be more comfortable.

22.5

Reyanna left the study, finally released from training and studying for the day. She had two hours before bedtime and intended on spending it out of Shouta's company. She needed to clear her head. Maybe even hang out in her bedroom alone for a time, to take care of this distracting need…
Shouta hadn’t been of any help. It was almost as if he knew exactly how pent up she was. She had thought it would be better, studying in the library as he quizzed her. It wasn’t like his hot, sweaty body would be constantly bumping and rubbing against hers like it was when they were sparring. But somehow, it was worse. His breath tickling her neck and ear, as he leaned over her asking and telling her various things. Damn, she had wanted him to throw her over the table and…
“Aizawa still in there?” Hitoshi asked, coming from the opposite way of the long hall.
“Yep.” Reyanna answered.
“Thanks.”
Hitoshi paused at the library’s door, watching Reyanna turn the corner. He knocked once, on the partially opened door, waiting for a response.
“Enter, Shinsou.”
“Ah.” Hitoshi grinned, as he entered, closing the door behind him. “You’re suppose to call me Hitoshi now, aren’t you?”
Shouta looked at the boy for a moment, before resuming his task. “Changes like that take time.”
Hitoshi stepped toward the table. Picking up a book his mentor had just pulled, he read the spine. The Making of Masks, the title read. Why was Aizawa interested in making a Mask? He hoped the Daimon didn’t plan on asking him to try his hand at such spellwork. Not that he would deny Aizawa if he did direct him to.
“Gotta say, hearing you call me by my given name was kinda weird.” He said, setting down the book. Weird and nice, he thought. “So,” he looked at his mentor, “care to tell me what you bargained with her for agreeing to the change?”
“No.” Shouta said, reaching for the book and adding it to the small stack he had taken from the shelves.
Hitoshi had to give it to Aizawa. The Daimon certainly knew Reyanna well. When his mentor had told him to act the wounded kid and drop the hint, he had doubted Reyanna would pick up on it; let alone think twice about it. He most definitely hadn’t thought she would bring up his pretend wanting for Aizawa to call him by his given name, or be willing to bargain something for it.
If he were honest, the entire thing hadn’t been a total act on his part. Still, after eleven years he had grown accustomed to Aizawa addressing him so formally. Hell, after eleven years, the name was hardly formal any more. At least not when Aizawa said it. Even so, a part of him had always wanted the change. Had wondered what it would be like to hear the Daimon he looked up to and admired call him Hitoshi. The answer was, it felt nice.
He had little doubt that Aizawa had known of his secret wanting, and had used it to get him to do as he wished. Hitoshi wasn’t upset by that. It was part of Aizawa’s nature. He was a Daimon after all. Sure, his mentor was capable of good deeds; but that hardly meant that he was a good person.
“What did you tell Todoroki?” Shouta questioned, after a time.
“About what?”
“To get him to wait.”
“To go to hell you mean?”
Shouta gave a single nod.
“Nothing. I was just as surprised as anyone.”
“So it was all him.” Shouta said, more to himself.
“Yeah. I guess.”
The Daimon's eyes snapped back up to glare at the boy. “Go away. I need to think.”
“About Todoroki being in no hurry to go to hell? I might not have had anything to do with what he said. But I’m hardly surprised. Who wants to go to hell?. And to do it to free a soul like Dabi’s...”
“That’s not what I need to consider. Go away. You’re distracting.”
“Me? Capable of distracting you.”
“Do you want extra lessons on obedience too?”
Hitoshi left quickly at that, without further word.
Closing his eyes, Shouta released a heavy sigh. Taking a seat in the hardback chair, he took the top book off the stack he had pulled from the shelves, opened it, and began to read.

Chapter Text

23.1

It had been nearly three weeks since Purgatory Chasm, and Aizawa was getting ready to do something, Reyanna could tell. For the first week or so after their visit to the gargoyle colony, and their resulting argument, Shouta had made an effort to open up and share things with her. But four days ago, he had begun to once again close up. It was an obvious tell that she felt stupid for not noticing; how the Daimon reverted back to type when he was planning something important or potentially dangerous.

She sat in the library watching him pull books off of shelves. Damn, he was handsome. She had since suggested he might sleep more comfortably in his usual sleep clothes, which he had taken to doing without comment and only the barest flash of surprised glee in his dark eyes. And the last two times she had needed to sleep, she had woken up facing him, her head on his bare chest.

Reyanna found she didn’t mind these small changes. Only mildly embarrassed by her ever growing show of ease and acceptance of him. For his part, Shouta hadn’t pushed. Over much. Well...at least not enough to scare or drive her away. It was clear the Daimon knew what he wanted and was impatient to have it. To have her. But he never forced her. Yeah, he pressured, bribed, and bargained. But, he always stopped, or slowed down, whenever she asked him to stop.

Her cheeks warmed at the memory of the last heated kiss they had shared, yesterday afternoon. How it had quickly led to their hands roaming under each others clothes. Hitoshi had been right, when he had passed them in the hallway, telling them to get a room. If they had been in one, who knows how far things would have progressed. Part of her was relieved at that. The other part disappointed.

Shouta placed a small stack of books in front of her. “You are to read through these till Hizashi gets here.”

“Hizashi?”

“He will be overseeing your lesson for today.”

Reyanna watched Shouta turn away. The time where Todoroki and Hitoshi had been included in the academic part of Shouta's teaching had ended the day after their visit to Purgatory Chasm. While Shouta still worked with the two boys on combat training, Hawks had taken over the rest. It was nice, and occasionally daunting, to once again be Shouta's sole pupil. Their recent closeness didn’t make him a kinder, less exacting teacher. If anything, it had made him sterner.

“I know you’re up to something.” She said. Shouta slowed his steps, but she got no further reaction out of him. “What happened to sharing?”

“What happened to listening to what I tell you?”

“You haven’t told me anything. That’s the point here.”

He looked over his shoulder at her. Then turned completely to face her and crossed his arms. “I told you to read those books till Hizashi gets here.”

“Well, Hizashi's not here yet. So...”

“So you read.”

“Shouta.” She knew she was whining and didn’t care. She wanted to know what was going on.

“I’m going to see a Witch about a Mask.” Shouta said, giving her enough to encourage and further pique her curiosity.

“A mask? Nighteye?”

“No. I’m not going to see Nighteye. His dislike costs me too much and his affinity can’t give me the exacting detail that I need for this.”

“And what is it you need?” She asked.

“For the Mask to be flawless.”

“I’m guessing this isn’t some Halloween thing.”

“Correct.” He turned and made for the door. “Oh. And don’t tell Hizashi.”

“About what? The mask?”

Shouta nodded.

Reyanna grinned. How kind of him to give her the leverage she needed to accompany him. “Take me with you.”

“No.” Shouta said, from the door. “Read those books till Hizashi gets here.”

“But...”

He turned back to her, daring her to say the words he knew were coming. Wanting her to show that she could push properly.

“What if I forget and mention to Hizashi that you’re seeing a witch about a mask?”

“Don’t forget.”

“But, what if I do?”

“You’ve been so good at listening of late. Do you really want to set yourself back and start all over again for this?”

“I want to do as you say, Shouta. These books look really interesting. But you know how Hizashi is. How he talks and talks and talks. Asking questions, on top of questions. Would you really hold my breaking against me when even you’ve caved to him in the past?”

Shouta pretended to consider for a moment before relenting. “Fine. Come on.”

He watched her dully, internally smiling at her glee. His Kitten was learning. Or re-learning. How to pay attention to words and phrasing. How to manipulate and threaten to get her way. He could have done without the serious dose of overacted innocence that screamed she knew exactly what she was doing; but he let her have it cause it had been damn cute to watch. Also, he didn’t want to have to beckon Hizashi, and see if the Angel could come by earlier than expected to feign a fake lesson.

Shouta held out his hand for her to take, so he could flint them. But, Reyanna was so happy to be allowed to go that she threw her arms around his neck, stretching up to give him a quick peck on the lips.

“Thank you for telling. And for taking me.”

Shouta wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer. “You seem to forget how unaccustomed I am to sharing things.”

“Why do you think I thanked you?”

“My point is, I think I deserve more thanks than that.” He murmured, a hairs breath from her lips.

She pulled her head back, pressing a finger to his lips. “How about I thank you some more, later.”

Shouta stared at her, not liking being put off. If a corpses freshness didn’t directly effect the quality of a Mask, he would have sought for more then and there.

“Fine.” He grumbled and flinted them away. “But I’m going to hold you to that.”

They appeared in front of, what could only be described as a mansion.

“Stay next to me and don’t say anything unless I give the okay.” Shouta told her.

He gave her a sideways look, wondering if he should tell her that this was a test of her obedience. While this visit was hardly as dangerous as the one to Purgatory Chasm, nothing was without its hazards. Knowing he could protect her against a couple of Witches, Shouta decided not to tell her. Secretly, he hoped she failed. Anything to delay their going to hell.

A few moments after he had rung the bell, someone opened one of the two grand double doors.

Yellow eyes scanned over the both of them. “You’re not delivery.”

“No.” Shouta said.

“Wrong house. We don’t want any.” The blonde boy said, closing the door.

Shouta moved his foot in the way. “Let me in and tell Momo, Aizawa's here to see her.”

Yellow eyes looked down at the black boot, then back up to the Daimon. With his foot crossing the threshold, the spell that was in place would have made the Daimon's eyes shine with his power if he had ill intent.

Giving a smile, the young Witch opened the door fully. “You know Momo. Why didn’t you say so? Come on it.”

Shouta guided Reyanna through the door, holding onto her arm in case the Witch was stupid enough to try and bar him from the house after her entry. Once inside, he released her and looked about. With the exception of the mess, the massive place looked much the same as it had the last time he had been there a few years ago. No doubt the small group of young witches that were running wild were the cause of the mayhem.

A squeal sounded from an auburn haired girl who ran down the back hall. A black haired boy carrying a seemingly never ending length of water hose, chased after her, water spraying everywhere.

“Hey! Denki! Watch this!” Echoed a voice from above, right before the voices owner jumped off the third floor banister. The jumper landed, belly flop style, on the entryway floor.

“Dude! That’s killer.” Denki laughed.

The jumper, a red haired boy, lifted his head and grinned. “I know. Right! Hey.” He got to his feet. “What did I tell you about trusting delivery's if the drivers were demons?”

Denki rolled his eyes. “He’s not a demon, Kirishima. He’s a Daimon and she’s...” He scratched the back of his head, looking at Reyanna. “I don’t know what she is. Anyway,” he turned back to his friend, “they’re here to see Momo.”

Shouta turned and walked to the room on the right. “We’ll be in waiting in the study.”

In the study, Reyanna moved to one of the chairs positioned in front of a desk. “For someone who supposedly hates witches, you seem to know quite a few of them.”

“Over here.” Shouta said, directing her to one of the twin sofas that faced each other.

Reyanna moved to the more relaxed seating area.

“I didn’t expect her to have company.” Shouta said, choosing to remain standing. “But you’re not wrong. Live outside of heaven or hell for long and you can’t avoid them. Witches are like Thirds. They’re everywhere.”

“I still don’t understand why you’re calling upon a Witch when we have a talented one at home.”

“Shin—Hitoshi.”

Reyanna smiled at him for the catch, and his heart skipped a beat at the sight.

“He might be a capable Witch,” Shouta went on, seemingly unaffected, “but his affinity is to manipulate things with his voice. This Mask has to be perfect. Flawless. Momo’s affinity is creation. So long as she has a sample of what she’s aiming for, she can make an exact duplicate.”

“But…” Reyanna shook her head not understanding. “It’s still a mask.”

“You were clever enough to gather that it wasn’t a typical mask, yet are still thinking in those terms.”

“Well what do you expect me to think?” She bristled. “You’re calling it a mask.”

“Cause that’s what it’s called.” He watched her a moment, internally smirking a her temper. Sighing, he questioned. “What is a mask? What’s it for?”

“To cover your face so no one recognizes you.”

“Close. It’s a change of identity. It’s to make those that see you believe that you’re someone else.”

Her brows knitted together at that. “You’re wanting--”

The study door opened.

“Momo.” Shouta's eyes snapped over to the Witch, then panned to the two others that followed her in. “And others.”

“This is Jiro and--”

“Don’t care.” Shouta cut Momo off.

“We already met anyway.” Kirishima said. He made his way to Reyanna, holding out a hand. What was she? “Hi. I’m Kirishima.”

Reyanna moved to shake his hand, but stopped short and looked tentatively at Shouta who gave her a slight shake of his head.

There was really no reason not to allow her to shake the boys hand, other than he didn’t like it when anyone else touched her.

Looking apologetically at Kirishima, Reyanna gave him a small smile and a wave instead.

That cemented it. Kirishima didn’t like the Daimon. He was clearly dictating what this woman, whatever she was, could and couldn’t do. His amber eyes focused on Shouta in a glare.

“So… I didn’t expect to see you so soon.” Momo said, taking a seat on the sofa facing Reyanna. Truth was, she had hoped never to see the Daimon again.

“Trust me. I had hoped not to see you again either.” Shouta told gruffly. Getting down to the point he went on. “I require a Mask.”

“A Mask!” Momo balked. “Like a—a face?”

“Full body.” Shouta said.

Momo swallowed. “Tha—that wou—would re—require--”

“I know what it requires and I have it.”

Momo flinched. It was bad enough Aizawa wanted a full bodied Mask. But to speak of it without a hint of emotion…

“You will do this.” Shouta said. “You owe me.”

“Hey!” Kirishima challenged.

“Hush.” The Daimon silenced.

Kirishima grabbed his throat, choking on his words.

“Stop that!” Jiro shouted.

Shouta turned his eyes on her. “Want to be silenced too?”

“It’s alright, Jiro. Aizawa's right. I owe him.” Momo silently cursed herself. She didn’t know why she had brought her friends in here with her.

No. She knew exactly why she had brought them. Aizawa terrified her. And she hadn’t wanted to face him alone. But seeing this, she realized her error. She should have come in alone. It wasn’t as if the Daimon would harm her. Not unless she gave him cause to. But even then. Even if she, or all her friends had tried, it wasn’t as if they could actually pose any real threat to someone as old and powerful as him.

Jiro turned to the black clad Daimon. “Aizawa? I know you. My friend told me all about you after you attack his home.”

Shouta arched an eyebrow in curious amusement. “I don’t often go around attacking young folk in their homes. Who might this friend of yours be?”

“A Gargoyle.” Jiro said. “From the colony at Purgatory Chasm.” She turned to Momo. “He can’t be trusted. He gave his word he wouldn’t pose their colony a threat and then he went after their General.”

Shouta scoffed, grinning toothily. “I never said I wouldn’t pose a threat. In fact,” his eyes glittered darkly, “I distinctly stated that I and two others with me were the weapons that needed to be feared. Your friend is either a liar or was gone that day an told a tale of lies. I kept my word not raise hand or weapon unless I or those I was with were struck first.”

“So you didn’t attack their General?” Jiro questioned, her disbelief clearly evident.

“No. I did indeed attack their General. But their Great Rock struck first.”

“You mean the duel tha--” Jiro glanced at Reyanna realizing that she had to be the woman who fought the Great Rock. “The duel that--”

“Duel or not. The Great Rock still struck first.” Shouta said, tiring of the amusement. He looked to Momo. “I have all that is required for the Mask.”

“And then we’ll be even?” Momo questioned, hopeful despite knowing better.

“Hardly, Child. But it will be a start.”

Momo got to her feet and gestured to the hidden door along the wall behind him.

“I’ll be back.” She told her friends.

“We can go with you.” Jiro offered, eyeing the Daimon warily.

“No. It’s alright.” Momo said, with a shake of her head. Neither Jiro or Kirishima were advanced enough to know what Masks were. And she would rather they not learn about them by watching her make a full body one.

“Stay here.” Shouta told Reyanna. He glanced at the other two Witches then back at her. “Don’t tell them anything personal. And try not to make friends.”

Reyanna had hardly been as bad as Hizashi, but she had definite a soft spot. Hence the reason why he had constantly been forced to accept and train the various unwanteds she had taken in...before he had ruined everything.

Shouta looked at her mournfully. To think he had scorned those days. He hadn’t liked sharing her. He had hated how the teens and young adults had yelled out her name, and vied for her attention. And when they had banged on their bedroom door, disturbing their time alone together, he had wanted nothing more than to kill each and every one of the brats. Now, he would give anything to have those days back. He’d gladly share her with those unwanteds if it meant having her. Truly having her again.

Reyanna saw the sadness in Shouta's eyes and wondered at it. Her hand reached out and clasped his.

Shouta paused and gave her hand a gentle squeeze then pulled away, leading Momo to the door that would take them down to her craft room.

Kirishima blew out a puff of air and crossed his arms. “The least he could have done was give me back my voice.”

Reyanna and Jiro turned to him.

“Ah...” Reyanna ventured.

Jiro raised a staying hand. “Give him a moment. Let’s see how long it takes.”

Kirishima blinked once. Twice. A large, toothy smile broke out onto his face. He lifted up his arms in victory and hollered. “I can talk again!”

23.2

“They weren’t so bad.” Reyanna said, letting go of Shouta's hand now that he had flinted them back home.

“I told you not to make friends.” Shouta grumbled.

“You said, try not to make friends.” She tugged at her hand, Shouta not letting go. “I tried. I can’t help it if they were friendly.”

“You at least didn’t tell them anything personal. Right?”

“No, Shouta. I told them my whole life’s story. Or at least all I can remember of it.”

“I’m serious.”

“No! Of course I didn’t Whatever they know about me might put them in danger. They’re just kids.”

Shouta stared at her. That was her reasoning for obeying? He released a breath. At least she had listened, even if she didn’t gather that the purpose had been for her protection.

Yes, whatever she might have told the young witches would have put them in harms way. But whatever dangers came looking wouldn’t kill the kids straight away. The witches would have been questioned.

It would have been a somewhat unpleasant task to have to kill the small group of witches because Reyanna had shared something personal with them. But to keep her safe, he would have done it without hesitation.

“Maybe,” Reyanna said, giving her hand another tug, “when this is all over we could take Todoroki and Hitoshi there for a visit.”

“Why? Cause Shin—fuck—Hitoshi is a Witch and they were all witches. You forget he’s a Third, and the stigma that carries.”

“That girl, Jiro, is friends with a Third.”

“A Gargoyle who we could have easily killed.”

“But didn’t.” Reyanna said, pulling at her hand.

“Sure. Let’s give up helping the Llaes with his task, and set up play dates for the kiddies.”

“I said, when this was all over, Shouta. Don’t be an ass.”

“Who says--” He stopped.

No. He wouldn’t make his Love fear by questioning something she had no doubt already considered. He wouldn’t bring up that the two teenagers might not survive. Reyanna would surely survive. He would make certain of that. But everyone else… There were no guarantees. Nor would he make any.

Frowning, Shouta looked down at her tugging hand. “What are you doing?”

Reyanna stopped pulling. “Can I have my hand back please?”

Shouta tightened his grip. “No.”

“Shou-- Tch. You’re just as bad as any kid. You know that.”

He tucked her hand against his chest. “Mine.”

She chuckled, smiling softly at him. The Daimon might seem like a cold, unfeeling sort; but behind that flat tone and unaffected expression was a man who felt a great deal.

“Alright, Shouta.” She allowed, stepping closer to him. “So what do you plan on doing now that you have me?”

A wicked grin, that had too many teeth, crept onto Shouta's face. “That’s a dangerous question, Kitten.”

She tensed slight, still unaccustomed to not disputing the pet name.

“For starters. I’ll take that thanks you promised before we left.” He murmured, closing the space between them as his arms slid around her waist, pulling her even closer.

Reyanna willingly lifted her face to him, eyes closing as his lips met hers. When next she opened her eyes, they were no longer in the library. Her eyes widened slightly, taking in the bed behind him. He had flinted them to his bedroom.

Shouta realized his mistake. Kissing her once more, he quickly, but smoothly turned them so she was facing the door, hoping that with the bed out of view the skittishness he saw in her would dissipate.

It wasn’t as if they hadn’t had sex within the space of what she could, consciously, remember. But Shouta knew well enough that this time would be different. If-- When she accepted him, she would be accepting him of her own clear and free will, with nothing effecting her. Unlike the times before, there was no Essence or Mist of the Lust breaking down her barriers, making her give into her inner most wanting. This was all her. And for that, it made it all the more different and important for him too.

“No pressure, Anna.” He murmured against her lips. “Just kiss me. Just be in this moment with me. Right here. Right now.”

He felt her relax in his arms. Brushing his nose against hers, he fed on her mouth as she drank from his. He left her breathless and moved on to her neck. The warmth of his breath and scrape of his teeth and stubble making her shiver.

“Tell me what you want, Kitten?” He asked, between nipping kisses and hungry sucks.

Her hands, on Shouta's chest, clutched at his shirt, tugging him closer as she pressed her hips against him, whining her need.

Shouta gave her jawline a reprimanding bite. “I said tell me, Anna. Use your words.” He sucked hard against her neck, leaving a claiming mark that would be gone far too soon for his liking. “You don’t have to be specific. Just tell me what you want, Kitten.”

She took in a shuddering breath, teetering on the edge of giving into her desires. This was so different than the first two times. Her mind was clear. And though she had a great wanting, she wasn’t ferally driven by lust alone. Her every action and acceptance of his affection carried a certain thrilling spark that hadn’t been there during the previous two times. It also carried so much more weight. Then again, given that this was all her. That she had no excuse to fall back on and blame. It stood to reason that her giving in would mean that much more.

“You.” Reyanna sighed, taking his head between her hands and moving him to face her. “I want you, Shou. Ever since I woke up and saw you in that cafe for the first.” She thought of everything she had yet to remember. “Probably even ages before that. It’s always been you. I—I--” She faltered. Much as she felt it, she still couldn’t say the words, I love you.

Shouta noticed, but hid his disappointment well. His heart squeezed in pain, as he kissed her.

She would tell him soon enough, he thought. She had already told him several times over in their dreams. Her love for him was still there. She just wasn’t ready to openly admit it. Much as Shouta wanted to hear her tell him in the waking world. He wouldn’t demand so much of his Love right now. He didn’t want to chance her closing herself back up. Not after she had been so good and told him what she wanted.

Arms tightening around her, Shouta lifted her off the floor and stepped toward the bed. If anything, his sweet Kitten deserved a reward for being so honest and brave. And he knew just the kind of reward he wanted to give her that would make her mewl and yowl, and leave her contented and purring in his arms.

The back of her legs brushed up against the foot of the bed as he put her back down. Suddenly, things became all too real. Was she ready for this? Was anyone ever truly ready for this? Even though they had had sex and slept in the same bed together, this felt much more substantial. In this, they would be taking a step that couldn’t be backtracked.

Thanks to the things she had remembered thus far, she knew without doubt that she and Shouta had had sex in the past. That they had definitely had some kind of relationship. But this wasn’t the her from the past. She wasn’t even the her she had been three weeks ago. Not completely anyway. With every added memory she became something new. Neither the person she had been before she had remembered, or the person that her memories had shown her.

“Anna?”

“Sorry. I--” She blinked and shook her head, eyebrows pulling together.

Shouta’s chest tightened. Was she about to deny him again? After she had just told him that she wanted him. That would be cruel. Even for her. Even if she was a conflicted minx and confused brat. He didn’t think he could take it. His trapped, straining cock certainly wouldn’t. He’d have to leave her to take care of it, or take a cold shower. Neither option nearly as satisfying as being sheathed in her warm, wet tightness.

Reyanna looked up at him, her fear clearly evident on her face. “I don’t know who I am. What I’ll become. Who I’ll be when this is all over. I—I wanted my memories back. I still do. But they’re changing me, Shouta. I’m not the person I was when I woke up, or the person these memories are showing me. I don’t know what I am.”

Shouta eased at that. Silly Kitten. Was that what was bothering her?

He cupped her face, gazing tenderly at her. “I know exactly who you are, Anna. You’re mine. And I love you. And nothing will ever change that.”

“But--”

“Listen.” He said, sternly over her. “Experiences are part of what makes us. It’s natural that you’d change the more you remember. But given everything that’s happened since you wiped your mind and went to slumber...” His expression darkened at the chance she had taken with herself. “Of course you’re not going to be the exact same person you were before. Your memories are joining with your recent experiences. Not to make something new. But to make you whole. There’s nothing to fear from that. If there were, I wouldn’t let it happen. You’re mine, Anna. And so long as I have breath, no one, not even yourself, will be allowed to put you at risk.”

His left thumb brushed lightly over her plump, pink lips; the Vim ring on his thumb coming into view and bringing to mind the promise of their Bond. He was tempted to say the words they had said to each other back then, but was afraid it would be too much. Instead he kissed her.

Lips still connected, Shouta eased her onto the bed, straddling her right thigh.

“Shou--” Her voice broke off in a gasp, as he pressed the front of his thigh against her center.

Reyanna’s legs clamped around his muscular leg, hips moving to grind herself against him. She felt him smile against her lips and pulled back, breaking the kiss, to scowl up at him.

“Feisty little Minx.” Shouta grinned down at her. His hand traced the line of her shirt collar, fingers trailing through the valley between her breast, and down her stomach. “If you’re really worried about who you were not aligning with who you are, why don’t I treat you to something you use to love and see if you still enjoy it. Hmm?”

He chuckled darkly at her widened eyes, as he worked her belt and pants open. He gave her another tongued kiss before working his way down her neck and body, pushing up her shirt to claim her stomach and chest. His mouth latched onto her puckered nipple, growling at the barrier of her bra.

“Off.” Shouta commanded, tugging at the offensive fabric.

“So impatient.” Reyanna laughed.

Her laughter ceased in a sharp intake of air, followed by a hiss.

Shouta eased his pinch of her nipple and soothingly rolled the pebble. “You have no idea. Now take it off, before I rip it off.”

He didn’t give her any room to sit up, so she arched her back, hands reaching behind her to unhook her bra.

Shouta groaned at the display, rubbing his hardened cock against the top of her thigh.

Reyanna gave an echoing noise at the feeling of his trapped length, the entrance of her cunt clenching hungerly around nothing.

He pulled her shirt and bra in one go. Hands traveling up and down her sides he took her in.

“You’re beautiful.”

“You’re wearing too many clothes.” She complained.

He grinned, leaning back down to kiss the swell of her breast as he palmed it.

“Now who’s impatient?” He taunted, nuzzling her breasts, dark eyes shining at her shiver.

Reyanna inhaled sharply at the feel of his facial hair rubbing against the sensitive bud. She whined, hips bucking up against his thigh.

Shouta's tongue leaked out and flicked the nipple before taking it into his mouth. He didn’t ignore the other, his fingers rolling, pinching, and tweaking it. He placed hot kisses and hard marking sucks on her on chest and breasts and all down her torso, stopping at the waistband of her panties. Planting one last firm kiss to her abdomen, he raised up and hooked his fingers into her pants.

“Shouta!”

“I told you to relax.” He chided, tugging at the garment.

“But...” She tried to close her legs but couldn’t, not with him now kneeling on the floor between them.

He gave another tug, this one rougher. “I said I was going to treat you to something you use to love. Now lay back and let me.”

“Shou--”

“I’m a man of my word, Anna. Don’t make me tie you up just to make good on it.”

He smirked at her whine, knowing he had won.

“Hips up.” He directed.

Covering her face, she did as he told. Why was she so damned embarrassed by this? She wanted this. Wanted him. They had had sex twice before, that she could remember. And who knows how many times before that she couldn’t. He had said that she loved this. And from the two times before, she knew she would. But… Maybe it was because she couldn’t remember all those times before, while he did. Maybe that’s what was making her so nervous.

“Damn, Kitten. You’re soaked through.” Shouta said, tossing her pants aside and taking in her clothed cunt. His eyes lifted to hers. “And what pretty panties you have on.” He gave her a crooked smile. “Did you wear them just for me?”

Having forgotten what she had put on, she lifted her head. The flushing heat in her face grew. They were black novelty panties that had cat eyes, ears, nose, and whiskers printed on the front. Like the rest of her clothes, she had no idea where they had come from. They were simply in her drawers. That wasn’t to say she didn’t like them. But the look in his eye…

Aw hell! Just admit it, she silently yelled at herself. You love it. You love the predatory look he’s giving you. You even love the smugness in his smile. You love everything about him, because you love him.

Tamping down her nerves, she swallowed and answered. “Maybe I did.”

He ran the tip of his nose up her inner thigh, basking her in scent as he breathed her in.

“That would make me very happy indeed, my Sweet.” He said, then placed a kiss at the junction of her thigh and pelvis.

Reyanna squeaked as he licked up her clothed slit.

Smirking against the slick dampened fabric, Shouta’s eyes danced as they meet hers down the line of her body.

“I should give you another treat for that alone.” He murmured, his lips brushing her lower ones as he spoke.

She whined, his hot breath and vibrations of his voice making her press herself toward him.

“Hmm.” He hummed at her action, the tip of a single finger sliding underneath the waistband of her underwear. “Such a needy little Kitty Cat.”

She made to cover her face.

“Hands down.”

“Then don’t tease me.” She snipped, practically pouting as she turned her face to the side, the heat in her cheeks rising again.

“You’ve hardly been good enough for that.” Shouta told as two, too light fingers brushed against her folds. “But how about this. I promise not to torment.” His tongue darted out, licking above the line of her panties. “We’ll call it your treat for wearing these.” He bit and plucked at the waistband of her underwear, teeth grazing her skin as he did. “What do you say, Kitten?”

Reyanna mewled as he pressed a single finger between her folds, stroking up and down her slit.

“Use your words, Kitten. Agree that I can tease you all I want. But as a reward for wearing such pretty panties. When you ask for my cock, I’ll give it to you.”

“What!”

“You’ve made me wait for so long, Anna.” He bit at the tender flesh of her inner thigh, loving the gasping cry she gave. “Let’s see how long you can hold out before you cave.”

“N—I—I...”

What had just happened? How had it changed over to this? One moment he said he was going to give her a treat, and now she was having to ask for it. She had already told him she wanted him. Being teased to the point of breaking till she begged for his cock didn’t sound like much of a treat to her. What made it even worse, was that she knew he had twisted things to get this outcome, but was to the point of wanting him so badly, that she didn’t care. Or at least care enough to put an end to things.

Shouta watched her sullen, frowning pout. Damn. She was beautiful.

Her underwear were soon peeled off, leaving her laid completely bare before him. Meanwhile, Shouta had yet to take off a single thing. The disparity between their coverings left her feeling exposed and at his mercy. But, much as she hated to admit it, it was also insanely hot.

She had already experienced how skilled he was with his mouth. But a part of her had wondered if the sensations she had felt might have been heightened like her desire had been; skewed and tainted in a similar fashion to how her inhibitions had been lowered. But after feeling his tongue worm its way into her tight hole, and having his lips wrapped around her clit, she could definitively say with clear headed authority that no. Aizawa Shouta was just that fucking good.

Mouth latched onto her clit, Shouta's fingers pumped in and out of her, curling to hit that spongy spot along her wall before pulling out with a slight twist. Fuck she was delicious. And the noises she made. His ears would never hear a sweeter tune. She was so sopping wet that there was a lovely squelching sound every time he drove his fingers into her. He had already edged her twice, only to pull her back and leave her pleading. But despite his prompting, she had to say the words that would cease her torment. Both their torment, as his dick was near dripping pre-cum and near painful

He could feel her thighs begin to tremble around his head. Hear the change of pitch in her moans, as her mewling cries became louder and more frequent. When her cunt tightened around his fingers, her wall fluttering, he couldn’t help but thrust into the air, grateful for the small bit of friction his boxer briefs brought. Fuck, if she didn’t beg this time he was gonna turn her over, and a seek his own release in her pretty pussy, and leave her wanting.

To think he use to be able to do this for hours and deny his own need. But that had been when they were, as Hizashi put it, fucking like rabbits. His eyebrows pulled together in a scowl at the remembered words. He hadn’t liked Yamada commenting about such a thing. Even if it had been an innocent joke. To talk about it meant that the Angel had thought about it. And Shouta definitely didn’t like anyone thinking about his Love in such a way.

He pulled away, tongue licking around his lips to savor every bit of her. Ignoring her cries of appeal, he sucked clean the three fingers that had been in her.

“Shouta! Please! You said this was a treat. That you wouldn’t torment me.”

“This is hardly torment, Kitten.” Shouta lied. Fuck. It was fucking torment. He needed his little Minx to break. “If I were tormenting you, I wouldn’t give in when you ask for my cock.”

Reyanna whined.

“If you find this torture, you only have yourself to blame, my Love.” He licked up her dripping slit, taunting her.

Her hips bucked up, but he had already pulled back once again.

“Ask and you shall receive, Anna. Tell me what you want.”

“I already told you I wanted you! This isn’t fair!”

Wasn’t fair? She didn’t know the first thing about unfairness, or at least remember it.

“Life isn’t fair.” Shouta told, darkly. “Think of how long you’ve kept me waiting.”

She pouted.

“I could feast on you and leave you teetering for months.”

Her eyes widened at that, breath catching.

“I could deny you my cock when you ask. But I won’t. Those panties were cute and you deserve a treat. All you have to do is ask for your milk, Kitten.” He ran a knuckle over her swollen cunt. “I’ll fill you up and pump you so full, your pretty pussy will be drooling my seed before I even pull out.”

Well if that didn’t do it. Her pride crumbled like a tin can under an anvil.

“Shouta, please! I want your cock! Give it to me.”

Much as he wanted to take off his clothes and thrust into her, Shouta shook his head and tisked. “I said ask. Not demand.”

Her eyes hardened and for a brief moment, he was afraid he had lost her. But instead she turned her head away and mumbled.

“Please, Shouta. Can I have your cock?”

Shouta gave a toothy grin and that. He was tempted to make her ask properly and look at him, but his own need was too desperate to chance her pride returning. His pulled off his shirt and rose to his feet. His aching cock and heavy balls thankful when finally freed of their confines.

Reyanna scooted back from the edge of the bed as he climb in. Suddenly, Shouta’s hand wrapped around the back of her knee and pulled her down to him.

Tall as he was, he could've used more room to work. But he’d fuck her higher up the mattress soon enough. He needed to be in her, now.

Despite what he had wanted. What he had planned. Shouta’s throbbing cock dictated his actions. Instead of teasing her a bit more by slowly inching in and out until he was fully sheathed, he drove into her without ceremony.

Reyanna shuddered, back arching. Even soaked and dripping, and after all his time of prep, he was just so thick. She was grateful when he didn’t pound away like she had foolishly wanted him to do. As good as the stretch felt, she needed the moment he gave her to adjust.

Shouta held himself rigid, trying not to give into the urge to simply ram her to oblivion. The vise-like tightness alone told him she needed a second. He took in a measured breath, collecting himself before opening his eyes.

“You good, Kitten?” He asked, hearing the strain in his own voice.

She nodded, reaching up to him and bringing him down for a kiss. She groaned at the taste of herself on him.

Shouta swiftly pulled out to the head and drove back in, grinding his hips against her when she encompassed him to the hilt. The action had her crying out and he took the opportunity to lap at her mouth. He pulled back much slower the second time, but pumped back in just as hard and fast as the first.

“Shouta!”

He hissed at the beautiful pain of her clawing at his back. “That’s it, Kitten. Sing like a cat in heat for me.”

For some reason, Reyanna had thought this time was going to be something a bit more sweet. Not that she was complaining. Fuck, she loved it. She loved him.

“Harder, Shou. Fuck me harder. I wanna choke on your cock.”

He obviously took that as a challenge. Reyanna was soon forced to press her hands against the headboard least she find herself concussed.

He changed the pace and eased up after her first orgasm, but by the end of her third he was back to ramming her.

Reyanna had thought she was done. But the sensation of his cock coming alive as his thrusts became erratic. The feeling of his hot ropes of cum pumping her full. The look in his eyes, and sound of his growling grunt that reverberated through his body and straight into her. It sent her off again.

She cried out again, nails raking down his shoulders and arms as he took her over the edge with him.

Shouta remained hilted in place, practically purring at the feeling of her walls fluttered around him, milking him for everything he had.

He pressed his forehead against hers, and tenderly kissed her in between panting breaths.

“Still wondering if it was a treat?” He questioned, smugly.

She tugged at his hair. “You’re an ass.”

Nipping at her lips, he pulled out and rolled onto his back, taking her with him. “Give me a minute and I’ll treat you again.”

“A minute.” She laughed, into his chest.

“Doubt me? Start counting.”

True to his word, Shouta was ready to go again in roughly a minute. She hadn’t bothered counting.

After, they had dozed and gone another two times. Damn, the Daimon was insatiable. Then again, she wasn’t complaining. If anything, she was kicking herself for waiting so long.

Resting once again in his arms, Reyanna traced patterns on his chest. “This is nice.”

“It’s perfect.” Shouta whispered back, looking down at her in possessive adoration.

He was ready to go again, but sensed Hizashi’s arrival at the house.

Sighing he kissed the top of her head. “I need to talk with Yamada. I was serious about you reading those books I pulled this morning. It’s important.”

She rolled her eyes. “Most of what you do and ask you view as important.”

“Only everything that surrounds or deals with you.” He muttered, tilting her face up to him and kissing her properly before sitting up. If he stayed in bed with her much longer, he would never leave. “Shall I bring them from the library for you?”

She shook her head, disappointed that they couldn’t stay like this forever. “I’ll wash up and go out. I want to check on how Todoroki’s training went today.”

Shouta's face twitched at her mention of the Llaes. He gave her another long, claiming kiss before begrudgingly getting out of bed.

Reyanna watched him get dressed, enjoying the view.

Shouta walked to the door and paused, hand on the handle.

“And in case there was any doubt. You’re sleeping with me tonight.”

“What if I don’t need to sleep?” She asked, voice overly innocent in its tease.

Shouta grinned at her from over his shoulder. “So much the better.”

23.3

“I went to see a Witch about a Mask today.” Shouta told, standing in front of his desk in his private study. He had closed the door, and sound blocked the room with a spell, not wanting to chance anyone overhearing what he had to say.

“A Mask?” Hizashi frowned in disapproval. “Shou. That’s nasty business. Blood magic.”

“I’m aware.” He looked at the Angel and shrugged a shoulder. “It’s not as if I haven’t killed for less.”

“Killed! Shouta! Wha--”

“I needed a flawless, full body Mask. Something capable of fooling the third Chief of heaven and any other angel that might be able to easily recognize you.”

“Me? The Mask is for me?” Hizashi blinked.

Shouta gave a single nod.

Hizashi swallowed. Well that made this infinitely worse. It was one thing for the Daimon to end someone and Hizashi know about it, yet remain so closely connected to him. But, to make use of a Mask created for him that had required the taking of a life… Then again if the Mask was already made. The life already taken. To not make use of it would make the persons death futile. Wouldn’t it?

Conflicted as to what to do, Hizashi asked. “Who?”

“Some Angel I didn’t know the name of.” Shouta said.

The Daimon's dismissive tone only exasperated Hizashi's distressed indignation. “Angel! Shouta!...”

Shouta grimaced at Hizashi’s ear-splitting cry. This was the second reason he had sound blocked the room.

Shouta cringed occasionally, ears ringing, as Hizashi ranted and raved at him. He didn’t try to explain or calm the furious Angel. He simply stood there at took the too loud assault, hardly listening to the barrage of words. He could have lessened his hearing and literally tuned Hizashi out. But he had killed one of Hizashi's brothers. He was asking that Hizashi wear a Mask of that dead Brother. Even though it had all been done for Hizashi's sake, the least Shouta could do for upsetting his friend was suffer the subsequent headache he would get from the scolding.

His lips curled ever so slightly upward as he realized that he was feeling rather generous. But after what he and Reyanna had shared, and would share again tonight, he had every reason to be.

Shouta tugged down the smile. Smiling right now was definitely not the wisest course. Not if he wish to keep his friend or his hearing. He thought about the ticking clock he had started and frowned. His expression and mood instantly switching over to something more appropriate for the moment at hand.

After this step he and Reyanna had just taken in piecing back together what they had had, Shouta was tempted to delay a few weeks. Or better yet, indefinitely. But with an Angel dead and missing, and the Mask only viable for sixty-six hours, the countdown for their entrance into hell had begun.

Chapter Text

24.1

Two days later and everything was ready, or as ready as it and they would ever be. Shouta and Reyanna had been the last to join the small group in the living room.

Hawks hadn’t taken kindly to the change in the two’s relationship. But he had, as yet, said anything to Reyanna against it. Not that he could, even if he tried. Damn Yamada adding to the restrictions of his Restraint.

“You two sure took your time.” Hitoshi said, with a knowing grin.

The Were still wasn’t overly keen on Reyanna. But her having saved his neck at Purgatory Chasm, and seeing how his mentor seemed, dare he say, happy. It was enough for Hitoshi to treat her kindly till she gave him cause not to. After all, whether manipulated by Aizawa or not, she was the reason the Daimon now called him by his given name.

Shouta scowled at the boy. “Do you want to stay behind?”

“Ooo! Can I?” Hitoshi grinned, overly bright. Who in their right mind wanted to go to hell?

“I meant stay behind down there.” The Daimon deadpanned.

“No thanks.” Hitoshi grumbled.

“Go easy on the kid, Shou. He’ll be put through enough when I take the curse from him.” Hizashi said.

Hitoshi frowned at that. Take the curse from him... Yeah, he had often thought of his being made a Were as a curse, but to learn that’s how heaven termdescribed it. That a member of the Host of heaven could so easily take away the blessed burden of his being a Were, yet no one ever had because of some order from some head Archangel…

“Hizashi said it would hurt.” Todoroki whispered to his friend as the others talked.

“I’ll be alright.” Hitoshi said, trying to swallow his bitterness. “It can’t hurt any more than the mauling I took that left me a Were.”

Shouta had managed to snag barely enough length from the hair of Clotho to be tightly tied around Todoroki and Hitoshi’s wrists. the Daimon would have preferred enough length to tie around Reyanna’s, but seeing as she would be entering hell as is and not as a soul it would've been pointless anyway. Still, faulty as it was, it would have given him some semblance of a back-up.

Giving the hair to Hawks, Shouta left the Archangel to tie it around the boys wrists and made his way to Reyanna’s side. “You alright, Kitten?”

She scowled at him. Despite the amazing added factor of sex to their relationship, she didn’t like him calling her by the pet name when another might hear. When they had made the bargain, she had distinctly told him not to call her that when others were around. Just because they were having mind-blowing sex didn’t change that.

Rather than scold him, she responded. “Killing the Llaes feels wrong.”

Shouta thought of the previous Llaes’. Particularly the girl that had come before Todoroki.

“After all the torment and trouble we’ve been through because you wanted to keep—them,” Fuck, he had almost said ‘her’, “safe and alive, I’d have to agree. But it’ll only be for a short time, and you won’t be doing the deed.”

How was that suppose to make her feel any better? Just because she wouldn’t be the one taking Todoroki’s life didn’t ease her conscience. She would still be standing by and watching Hawks kill the person she swore to protect. What if something went wrong? What if the hair of Clotho didn’t snap his soul back to his body? What if Hawks and Hizashi weren’t able to fend off the Host of heaven and they took Todoroki’s body? Worse, what if Death came and fed on Todoroki’s body, making it impossible for his soul to return because the empty shell was now tainted?

“Anna.”

Shouta's deep, gruff voice cut through her spiraling thoughts. She looked up at him.

“We don’t have to do this.” He said, more than happy to call the entire thing off and live in some cabin with her forever.

“Yes, we do.” She said.

“You two lovebirds all set?” Hizashi asked, coming beside them.

Shouta held up a vial. “The Mask. Best you take take it now. Give you time to become accustomed to the change before you have to fight in your new form.”

The shields around the house had been considerably added to. But it wouldn’t hold heavens Host at bay forever. Much as Shouta wanted this to be a quick trip. Much as he wanted to be back before anyone broke through. Realistically speaking, Hizashi and Hawks would have to face off against the Host for some amount of time. All Shouta could hope was that they returned before the two were overrun.

Hizashi's nose wrinkled. He was still mad at Shouta for having the thing made. Even if he knew and understood the Daimon's reasoning had been solely to protect him.

Taking the small bottle, Hizashi pulled out the stopper and down the spelled, bitter blood in one go. One of his brothers had died for this, and he still didn’t know which one.

Shouta grimaced in sympathy as Hizashi doubled over, crying out in pain. He had tried to find an angel with a similar height and build to Hizashi’s, to lessen how much of a change his friend would have to go through. But even with a close match, reforming ones body was still an excruciating ordeal. Or so Shouta would imagine. He had never had need to wear any level of Mask himself. But he had experienced Kai’s affinity firsthand and figured it likely felt something similar. The muscle in his jaw ticked at the unwelcome memory. Coincidentally, the last time he had endured such torture was also the last time he had had cause to visit hell.

“I struggle with deciding whether you’re insanely brave or insanely stupid for coming here.” Kai’s smooth voice said over Shouta’s panting form. “Either way, you’re insane.”

“Lucifer.” Shouta bit out.

“You think our Lord wants to see you. After what you did. What you took.”

“I took nothing.” Shouta gritted.

“You took what is mine--”

Shouta futilely tried to lash out. But even if his right leg and part of his left arm hadn’t been broken down into particles smaller than dust, floating around the vacant area that had once been whole like a haze, the rune carved bonds would've enough to hold him down.

With a grimacing grunt, Shouta threw his head back against the steel surface that held him at a forty-five degree angle.

“Giving up so quickly?” Kai taunted, piecing Shouta's leg partially back together, only to slowly take it back apart.

“Lucifer.” Shouta croaked, between harsh, heavy breaths. “I want—to see—Lucifer.”

“And I want what was promised to me.” Kai said. He sneered, his affinity pulling Shouta’s left arm apart down to the Daimon’s wrist. “But you took the Bitch and made her your whore.”

Shouta yelled out in pain and rage.

Kai’s eyes landed on the Vim ring on Shouta's thumb. Such bonds weren’t easily broken. Even if—when they got Reyanna back, she would never truly be his so long as she was bound to Aizawa. After they had learned what the two had done, Lucifer had told Kai that once he found and brought Reyanna back, he would break her bond to Aizawa. But...if Kai could do so now…

The General's hand reached out towards Aizawa's.

With Kai’s mind focused on the ring, Shouta’s arm and leg became whole once more. His body slumped in relief, the too tight bonds cutting into his flesh even more as they bore all of his weight. Mind unfocused from the lingering wealth of pain, Shouta took a moment to collect himself, drawing in deep, ragged lungfuls of air. He flinched at the feeling of the other Daimon's touch on the back of his left hand.

“I wonder.” Kai muttered, mostly to himself.

Shouta's eyes moved to his hand, eyes widening at the sight of Kai’s glove less fingers stretching toward the ring on his thumb. He jerked, muscles trembling from the tension as he uselessly tried to pull away.

“Don’t.”

“Could I take it apart the same way I did you? Break the bond.” Kai went on, as if Shouta hadn’t spoken.

The General's glittering, gold eyes flicked up to meet Shouta’s shining black.

Gritting and baring his teeth, Shouta snarled.

Kai’s hand lifted to hover over the Vim ring, eyes beginning to glow with his power.

“You fucking-- I’ll kill you!” Shouta thrashed. “I’ll fucking kill you!”

“I know you like your experiments.” Came a voice. “But, I wouldn’t test that theory, General. I doubt you’d like the outcome.”

The two turned to see Lucifer standing in the doorway, dark brown eyes boring into Kai.

Kai quickly pulled his hand back. “My Lord.”

“We’ll discuss your lack of informing me that I had a caller later. Right now.” Lucifer turned his gaze to Shouta. “I want to hear about this deal Aizawa seeks to make.”

Hitoshi lifted his wrist to better look at the hair of Clotho, Hawks had tied around his wrist. He could feel the power imbued within the single strand. It burned his skin a bit, making the area itch. He made to scratch his wrist, but Hawks slapped his hand away.

“None of that. You don’t want to chance breaking the strand before its time.” The Archangel told.

At Hizashi's cry, they turned to the Angel.

Hitoshi saw the telltale rolling beneath Hizashi's skin and looked away. He knew all too well the pain involved in changing forms. Though he had long since learned how to tune out during a shift. Basically turning off, or more correctly ignoring his pain receptors. If he wasn’t focused, or didn’t have time to use the technique's Aizawa had taught him, the change was still capable of hurting like a son of a bitch, and leaving him dazed and breathless for a bit.

Shouta wanted to look away. He didn’t like seeing his friend like this. But he was the reason Hizashi was suffering. He was the one who had had the Mask made. Who refused to let Hizashi be found helping them and cast out of heaven for it. Forcing himself to watch his friend was a small, pathetic suffering compared to what Hizashi was going through, but it was the only penance he could currently make.

It felt like forever for the change to finish. The pain leaving the Angel panting and wanting to puke. With a trembling hand, Hizashi wiped the spit from his mouth. He didn’t give a damn if Aizawa ever demanded him to go through such a thing again. He’d rather die. He’d rather be released and restrained like Hawks.

Shaky hands lifted to his face. Someone else’s hands. Someone else’s face. No. His hands. His face. Fuck. This was confusing. Hizashi straightened and took a step, wanting to see whose face he worn. But these feet, weren’t his feet. The legs weren’t his legs. His balance was different.

Shouta was at Hizashi's side in an instant, holding him steady. “I got you.”

“Thanks.”

Hizashi's eyebrows furrowed. He had said the word, but another voice had spoken it. He pressed his lips together, noting for the first time that his mustache was missing. He touched his head. His hair. It wasn’t nearly as long, or soft as his. Whoever this was, they clearly didn’t take care of their hair, he thought and quickly scolded himself for such vain, snide thinking. This Angel. This brother of his was dead. The least he could do was think kindly of them.

“Take your time.” Shouta directed.

“I wanna see.” Hizashi said, and scowled. He already missed his voice. His beautiful voice.

“I don’t--”

“Now! Shouta.” Ooo! He liked that. The stern, biting snap of the deep voice he used. Maybe this wasn’t so horrible.

Hizashi may have looked different. Moved and sounded different. But all Shouta saw was his friend. Yes, the voice had sounded harsher than Hizashi’s usually did. But the words had still been said by Hizashi. Due to that, despite what his ears had heard, Shouta’s mind processed it as what it truly was. Hizashi's near whining plea.

With a huff of disapproval, Shouta helped the Angel to a nearby mirror.

Hizashi stared at himself in awe. He had seen others in Masks before, but had never donned one himself.

“So, who is he?” Shouta finally asked.

“I...” Hizashi shook his head. “Don’t know.”

He looked down at his hands, then back at the unknown face in the mirror. He didn’t know how to feel about that. Was it better or worse that it was someone he didn’t know? Sure, he wouldn’t be haunted by memories he had shared with the Angel. But he also wouldn’t be able to honor and remember them if he had no dealings with which to remember them by.

He looked back at Hawks, with hopeful eyes that were not his own. “Do you know him?”

Staring somberly at the foreign face, Hawks shook his head. Countless unknown angels had died long before this one. Countless more would die after. Hell. He had even killed a few scores that he had never known, or never bothered to learn the names of. So why did not knowing this one dead Angel bug him so much?

Because, dead as he may be, he’s staring you in the eye hoping that you knew him, Hawks thought.

“For fuck sake, Hizashi. It’s not that big a deal.” Hawks snapped, turning away.

Shouta glared at Hawks. Turning back to Hizashi, his expression softened a bit. “If it matters that much, I’ll help you figure it out after.”

Hizashi nodded, stopped and shook his head, then stopped and nodded once more. He was so conflicted. Did he really want to know who this was?

“Hizashi?”

Shouta might not have appeared or sounded concerned, but Hizashi knew the Daimon well enough to know that he was. He tried to give his friend a reassuring smile. “I’m fine, Shou. I just don’t know if that’s something I want.”

Shouta nodded his understanding. Turning his eyes on Hitoshi, he asked. “You certain about those three barriers you put in place? Yamada and Hawks might be too busy fending off angels to notice Death’s arrival.”

“It’ll do its job. So long as another force doesn’t tear it down or weaken it” Hitoshi told. It was his, and Todoroki’s, bodies on the line. There was no way he’d be leaving the shells without being absolutely positive the barrier would keep Death at bay.

“What if they’re swarmed and someone breaks through the barrier?” Reyanna asked, eyeing the circles and runes carved into the floor.

Shouta sighed, his fingers unconsciously rubbing at the Vim ring on his thumb. Reyanna had posed that and endless other questions like it during their time going over the plan and preparing. “There will always be what ifs. This is the best we got.”

“I won’t let anyone break through that barrier, Anna.” Hawks promised.

Shouta glared daggers at the Archangel. The best thing about seeing the Llaes seal one of the gates was that there would no longer be a reason to keep Hawks around. Okay, maybe finally killing the Archangel wasn’t the best thing about seeing all this finished. But it definitely ranked within the top ten, if not the top five. Then again, Shouta would only get to end him if Hawks lived to see the end of the this. A part of the Daimon wanted that to happen so he could make good on his long ago word to kill him. But another part of him wouldn’t be opposed to returning from hell to find that Hawks hadn’t survived.

“I’m gonna hold you to that.” Hitoshi said, lavender eyes moving from the Archangel over to the three, nesting circles that were carved into the floor. Re-checking his work on them had become a compulsion by this point. “They’d be able to keep passive forces out for the rest of time. But they won’t last long under any kind of direct beating.”

They all stared at each other waiting for someone to direct the next move. Everything was in order. Everything had been done. Todoroki’s soul had been sold to Dabi; under a very strict and detailed contract that Shouta had written up. And once Hizashi had taken the curse from Hitoshi, the same deal would take full effect for him.

It was time, Todoroki thought. He had been patient. Holding off his task till Aizawa had felt that he could trust Reyanna to listen to his direction.

For a while he had wondered if she and the Daimon's relationship would suffer because of the delay’s reasoning. But the opposite appeared to have occurred. The two’s relationship seemed to have grown and strengthened. Todoroki was glad for that. Not only would their deepening relationship help in the success of his tasks; but he wanted her to be happy, and Aizawa seemed to make her so.

Pushing to his feet, Todoroki stepped through the lines of the three circles and sat in the center.

“Kid’s ready to go.” Hizashi mumbled, somewhat awestruck by the Child of Hopes bravery. They would be killing him after all. “Come on, Fuzz Ball.” He beckoned to Hitoshi, making his way to the core circle. “Let’s make you fully human again.”

“Don’t call me that.” Hitoshi snapped.

Shouta appreciated Hizashi's needling of the Were. Other than Reyanna, Hitoshi was the most visibly nervous.

“It’ll be alright.” Shouta soothed, running a hand down her arm. “It might not be a quick trip, but it’ll be short. I’ll be with you the entire time. And the Janus will see you and I brought out soon after Todoroki and Hitoshi break Clotho’s hair and breath their first again.”

“I’m not worried about that, Shou. What if--” She looked at the Llaes. So many things could go wrong. “What if something happens to his body? What if the hair of Clotho doesn’t work? What...” She swallowed, what if she stood by and watched Hawks kill Todoroki, and the boy stayed dead. This was wrong.

Shouta gave a growling sigh. Why had he even thought that she was worried about herself going back to hell? All she really cared about was the Llaes. That, without question, would be the best thing about all this finally being done and over. Seeing the end of her care for the Llaes and her promise to Abril.

He reached into his pocket, hand clasping around a two-faced gold coin. Reyanna had mentioned before how killing Todoroki felt wrong to her. Well for him, it felt insanely wrong to let her go back to hell. And on top of that, it felt wrong to use his greatest safeguard when she wasn’t being directly threatened. But, there was no surer way of making certain that they both got out of hell. If things went bad and they were caught…

Shouta shook his head, taking in a sharp breath. He wouldn’t think of that. Such unpleasant imaginings were pointless when he was using his greatest asset to make sure they were taken out of there before such things could happen.

Taking the coin out of his pocket Shouta flipped it in the air and caught it. Forcing the Janus into the coin had been an ordeal to say the least. The endeavor had left him recovering from his injuries for days, along with a scar as a reminder.

While Janus’ as a whole weren’t all that fearsome, they fought like bloody murder to remain free. Getting them into a coin for use was near impossible. Partially because the spell involved was difficult and long, requiring quite a few rare items that were hard and dangerous to come by. But also because the smaller a Janus got the stronger and more powerful they became.

Hizashi and Hawks stared at the coin in gaping awe. Neither of them had ever seen a Janus coin. Hizashi had never seen an actual Janus. Janus’ were rare. And to force one into a coin…

Hawks’ eyes moved from the coin to the Daimon and back, wondering what Aizawa had used, what was effectively one of his two wishes on. The only thing Aizawa cared about was Reyanna and maybe, to some extent, Hizashi.

Shouta smirked down at the two angels, tossing and catching the coin again. He hadn’t told either that he had used the coin to find Todoroki. That the entire reason he had gone through the trouble of getting the coin was so that he could use it to find and hide away the Llaes. At the time he had been distraught and desperate. He had betrayed Reyanna and she had threatened to break their Bond. His Love had hidden herself away, wiped her memory, and went to slumber to await the next Llaes.

Wiping ones memory was dangerous. Despite all his efforts to see her safe, he had driven her to do such a reckless thing. He had driven his Kitten away. His betrayal had ruined everything. He had needed to make it up to her. Not that he had been sorry for what he had done. But if he were to have any hope of having the consequences of his actions forgiven, he would have keep his word.

In those early days, figuring out how to find the next Llaes before anyone else, had been the only thing that had kept Shouta from crawling into a small cave with nothing but a sleeping bag and forgetting about the world. It had been the sole thing that had kept him sane. Finding the Llaes before the child used their power for the first was difficult. Though far from impossible, for those with the numbers and reach that heaven and hell had. But for a single solitary Daimon... Shouta never would have found Todoroki if not for the Janus coin.

Tossing the coin one last time, Shouta looked at Reyanna and directed. “Hold out your hand.”

She did as he said, and when he caught the coin he slapped it in her hand, clasping his on top of it.

Reyanna winced and tugged, trying to pull her hand away; but Shouta's grip only tightened.

“I know it burns, my Love. I’m sorry.” He murmured.

His eyes glowed red as he silently told the creature in the coin what he wanted. What the Janus would have to do to see itself freed. Their going to hell depended on the Janus accepting to do this. There was no way Shouta would allow Reyanna down there without the Third’s agreement.

‘Two faces. Two paths directed.’ The Janus thought back, his voice scratching within Shouta's mind. ‘You already chose one path years ago. You only have one more path to alter. Pick. You or her. Who’s journey shall I change by opening the door from hell?”

‘Both.’ Shouta thought back.

‘That’s not how this goes. Rules are--’

‘Screw your rules. You can bring us both back and you know it.’

‘I could.’ The Janus’ voice hummed in Shouta’s head. ‘If I wanted to. But spending over half a century in this thing hasn’t made me inclined to help the one that forced me in here.”

‘Fine.’ Shouta thought. ‘Spend a thousand more half centuries in there.’

Shouta began lessen the connection. Secretly, he was glad. Perfectly happy with the Janus’ denial. He’d rather call this whole thing off and keep Reyanna out of hell. As for the Janus. Shouta didn’t care how long the Third was left to rot in the coin.

Intentional or not, the Daimon's personal thoughts were strong enough for the Janus to hear.

‘Wait!’ The Janus shouted in Shouta's head, making the Daimon flinch, eyes squeezing shut. ‘I do this and I’m out.’

‘Those are the rules.’

‘The rules are two paths directed.’ The Janus grumbled.

‘Seal the deal or I break the connection and speak to you in another five thousand decades.’ Shouta thought.

His nose wrinkled at the smell of cooking flesh.

Reyanna whined, tugging all the harder at her hand. The searing pain to her palm may have hurt, but it was the boiling feeling of her blood that make her squirm, teeth clenching.

Seeing her in pain made Shouta want to kill something, but this was certainly better than the chance of her being caught and held in hell.

His heart squeezed as he held her hand, the Janus marking the both of them to find and open a door when needed. “I know, Kitten. I’m sorry.”

24.2

Kai was restless. It had been exactly three weeks since Lucifer had told him that Reyanna and the Llaes would be coming to hell. Where the hell were they? If only the damned Erinyes had told his Master when to expect them, or at least why they were coming. But all the spirits of vengeance had said was that the Nephilim whore, the traitor Aizawa, and the so called Child of Hope would be visiting.

Since learning of this news, Kai had gone through a number of emotions and desires. One even had him using his affinity on Nemuri as he fucked her, deafened to her screams for him to stop. He hadn’t meant to hurt her, at least not to that extent. But he had done something he had never previously done during their couplings. He had imagined she was Reyanna. That single change had changed everything. Even now, the remembered sound of her weeping and fearful as she laid broken beneath him while he imagined it was Reyanna put a smile on his face. But soon, imagining would be made reality. And that reality would take place in front of Aizawa. Once Lucifer broke the two’s bond, and he had broken the Bitch, Aizawa would meet his end. Reyanna’s cries as he fucked her, making her watch Aizawa’s life slip away, the last thing the Daimon saw and heard. But first, Aizawa and the Whore had to get here.

It wasn’t as if alarms would blare at their entry. Both Aizawa and Reyanna were creatures from hell and as such could enter whenever they pleased. Because of this, Kai had doubled up on patrols, even tripling them in some areas. If only they knew why the two were coming. It would have given them some clue as to where in hell they would go.

Kai still didn’t understand how they planned on bringing the Llaes with them. While the kid being dead would be of benefit to hell, it went against everything Reyanna had tried to do with the Llaes’ that came before. There was also the fact that for Todoroki’s soul to enter hell, it would have to be tainted by some grave deed or bargained in a deal.

Any daimon, including Aizawa could deal in souls, but Kai had been watching for anything that bared his mark. Even if it was a last second deal before they appeared, Kai would instantly be informed if Todoroki sold his soul to Aizawa.

In want of something to take his mind off everything, Kai had ordered Dabi be taken to his lab. It wasn’t as if the General didn’t have a waiting stack of other things needing his attention, but he needed a more pleasant diversion. And thanks to his last encounter with Nemuri, seeking her out for a bit of fun was out of the question at present.

But before he could hole himself up in his lab and lose himself in testing the limits of his subject, there was one thing Kai had to first do for his Master.

Even after all this time, Lucifer was still sour about how Sakamata had gained entry into hell. Or more correctly, how Aizawa had helped the Daimon gain entry. Unlike every other daimon from the Fall, Sakamata hadn’t revolted and sided with Lucifer. That alone was enough reason for Kai to find the Daimon suspect. But for Lucifer, it was something a bit more personal.

Lucifer's dislike and avoidance of Sakamata, and the Index in general, meant that Kai was often left relaying orders.

Entering the Index, Kai called out. “Sakamata. A word.”

Sakamata’s eyes lifted. Quickly, the Daimon closed the two chronicles that were laid out on his desk. Their pages empty, having yet to start being filled. The owners, two teenage boys who had sold their souls a day ago.

Normally Sakamata wouldn’t have paid the chronicles any mind, leaving them in his office on the shelf behind his desk. Though he alone was aware that new chronicles appeared when someone sold their soul, not after their soul had been harvested, the occurrence was hardly a rare thing. New chronicles appeared all the time. Sakamata usually ignored them till the soothingly scratch of words being written began. Then he would mark the tome with his seal and send it out into the stacks with the rest.

But these chronicles had grabbed his attention because of the name of the dealing Demon on the cover sheet. Dabi. The Demon that had come into his Index a little over four months ago. The Demon, Aizawa had compelled into his Index...

On further look, Sakamata’s interest had been piqued all the more. One of the boys was a Third. A made Third, but still a Third. While it wasn’t strictly against the rules to bargain with Thirds, no demon or daimon had ever bargained with a Third for their soul. It was effectively a one sided deal since a Third’s soul couldn’t enter heaven or hell.

With a flick of his hand, Sakamata sent the two chronicles floating back to the shelf behind his desk. Flinting out of his office, he appeared behind the General.

“Just a single word?”

Kai didn’t so much as twitch. No one liked the Index. But unlike most everyone else in hell, Kai didn’t fear it or the Daimon that called it home. Though the scratching of so many unseen quills did make the his brain itch.

Without a hint of friendliness or word greeting, Kai relayed Lucifer's message thinking about how much he hated feeling like a carrier pigeon. Done, he turned on a heel and made for the exit. His hand reached for the doors handle, mind already on Dabi, bound and waiting in his lab. The things he would put the Demon through. They were going to have so much fun…

Suddenly a thought struck him and his hand halted. Looking over his shoulder Kai commanded. “Give me Dabi’s chronicle.”

Sakamata stared unblinking at the General and informed. “A chronicles log will be disrupted if taken from the Index.”

“I know how the things work.” Kai said, turning to face Sakamata. “The Demon is currently bound in my lab as a subject. I will see the tome returned before he is released, so you need not worry about him getting up to anything.”

That was hardly Sakamata’s concern. Face impassive, the Daimon summoned Dabi’s chronicle from the stacks. At the same time, he sent his own chronicle to Shigaraki.

24.3

“You ready, Kiddo?” Hizashi asked, kneeling at Hitoshi’s side.

Hitoshi’s head thumped against the floor as he laid back. “Just get it over with.”

To think the kid was so glib about this. But Hizashi knew better. He would be ripping out Hitoshi’s curse and taking his life right after. No one would be at ease with such a thing. At least not on the inside. The kid had obviously learned more than combat and academic studies from Aizawa, cause Hitoshi hid his fear well enough. But the Were was no Shouta, and Hizashi could easily see the nervousness in the teens eyes. Saw the way his throat bobbed as he settled on the floor, trying to make himself more comfortable.

“Got Clotho’s hair in place?” Hawks asked Todoroki.

Todoroki held up his wrist, showing the Archangel the hair tied around his wrist.

Hawks nodded, wings fluttering. If anything went wrong, he would be the one responsible for the Llaes’ death. Even though his Restraint made it impossible for him to remove Hitoshi’s curse, he couldn’t help but wonder if Aizawa had planned it this way. For him to be the one to take Todoroki’s life. So that if something did go wrong, he would be the one who had killed the Child of Hope. He told himself that Aizawa was a fool if he thought that Reyanna would view it that way. That she would hold it against him. But a part of him worried that she would.

“It’ll be fine.” Todoroki told, staring up at Hawks. “And if it’s not. Know I don’t blame you.”

Todoroki rested his hands on his stomach. The floor was cold, but that hardly mattered. He’d be dead and unable to feel it soon enough. Yes, it would be a terrible shame if it all went wrong and he stayed dead. But his entire purpose was to close one of the gates. If they failed down there. If he was unable to free Dabi’s soul… He knew he wouldn’t get another chance. If he failed at this first step to completing his task, it was better if he stayed dead. It would give another Llaes and chance to do what he couldn’t.

“Hey.” Hawks placed a hand on Todoroki’s shoulder. “I’m the one that’s suppose to be easing your nerves. Not the other way around.”

Todoroki blinked up at the Archangel. “Sorry. It looked like you needed to hear it.”

Hawks smiled down at the kid feeling a fondness that went passed that of him being the Child of Hope. Even though none of the Llaes’ were related, Hawks had use to see a resemblance to Abril in them. But that had long since ceased. Yet, Todoroki was so different from his smiling, sweet Abril that, in a strange way, he brought her mind more than any of the ones before.

“Do it.” Shouta commanded Hizashi.

24.4

“There are pages missing.”

Sakamata didn’t respond to the General's words. Dully, he watched the other Daimon flip though Dabi’s chronicle, all the while thinking of orders for Shigaraki. Damn, he hoped the Demon kid was clever and bold enough to open and read through his chronicle.

Kai skimmed over the page that was being written now. It showed that Dabi was bound to a table in his lab and was terrified…. Everything looked in order. Wait. What was that? The Daimon's eyes narrowed. Why were words and entire thought processes being left unwritten? What was Dabi thinking that wasn’t being recorded?

The General lifted his gaze to Sakamata.

Sakamata saw the low glittering burn in the other Daimon's eyes roar into a glowing blaze that felt as if it could burn through his very soul.

“What is this?” Kai demanded, demonic voice causing the walls of the Index to quake.

Sakamata took a moment to answer, teetering on what he should do. Either way he was dead. But he had never lifted a blade against a brother. Even after his fall, he had sworn to himself that he never would. There really wasn’t a single thing that he cared about. Still, he would rather go down having kept his personal oath. He had broken his Word of heaven after all…

Ready to submit himself to Kai’s pleasure and tell what little he knew, Sakamata opened his mouth.

“A little over four months ago--” Sakamata stopped, he felt two new, very particular chronicles come alive. Aizawa was coming.

Kai glared, waiting. The missing pages from Dabi’s chronicle were from roughly four months ago.

“Aww hell.” Sakamata sighed, heavily. “I never really viewed you as a brother anyway.”

24.5

Pain. The word didn’t even come close to describing the excruciating feeling. It felt like Hitoshi’s entire being was being split apart. That every cell in his body was being spliced, a piece of it torn way.

The only sign that Shouta's heart ached for the boy, was his hand tightening around Reyanna’s at Hitoshi’s anguished screams.

Despite Todoroki’s consuming need to see his task done and the knowledge that Hitoshi’s presence in hell would be of great help, he sat up and tried to pull Hizashi's hand away from Hitoshi’s chest.

“Stop it!” Todoroki shouted. “You’re hurting him!”

Hawks wrapped his arms around Todoroki, pulling him back. “He’s strong. He can take it.”

“He’s killing him!” Todoroki yelled, voice cracking as he struggle against Hawks’ hold.

What had he done? What had his purpose driven him to do? Hitoshi was his friend. His only friend. The fellow teen wanted to help him so badly that he was willingly following him in death. Follow him into hell. This world was wrong. Angels, daimon's, Thirds. It was all just so wrong. He didn’t just want to seal one of the gates. He wanted to seal away both heaven and hell. Two sides of the same family that were so caught up in bickering and battling one another that they didn’t see the pain to humanity that their fighting caused. That they didn’t see the pain Thirds were causing the humans that all of them had once sworn to protect.

“He deserves better.” Todoroki told the world, a single hot, angry tear breaking its bank and rolling down his cheek. “You owe him better!”

Shouta didn’t know who Todoroki was addressing, but the words cut him deeper than any blade. Over the years he had developed a fondness for Hitoshi that he did his best to never show. But in the beginning…

Taking in the young Were Witch had been a means to an end. He had barely been able to check in on the Llaes with some regularly. But after the incident with Todoroki’s mother, it had become obvious to Shouta that the boy needed someone continually nearby who was knowledgeable enough to step in if Todoroki was in danger.

Shouta stared down at the crying child. What a waste, he thought. The boy was a mess. His flesh flayed open by claw and fang. By the look and smell of it, the attack couldn’t have happened more than twenty minutes ago. Though he felt no needless guilt over the timing. Nothing would have changed if he had happened by any sooner.

He gave the still seeping wounds another glance, then turned away. If the child was lucky he would bleed out and die. If he wasn’t, infection would set in and take him. Either way, it was a sad end to such a short life. The kid couldn’t have been more than six or seven years of age.

Shouta stopped. The kid couldn’t have been more than six or seven years of age. Todoroki was six.

Turning back to the boy, he squatted bring himself down, closer to the kids level.

Hitoshi stared wide-eyed at the weary looking man. Everything hurt. On top of that, his flesh and insides burned worse than the time he had burned his hand on a cookie sheet. Despite being drenched in sweat and practically panting, he was so cold. His body wouldn't stop shivering.

He wanted his mom. But no matter how loudly he called her, she wouldn’t come. He could see her feet through the doorway of his bedroom. She was laying out in the hall. Why wouldn’t she come? Was she asleep? She’d never slept on the floor before. His mind refused to acknowledge what he had seen and heard. A large, human-sized cat bounding into his bedroom. The hiss and yowls of other large cats. His parents yelling. Screaming. And then falling silent. If only he had enough strength to walk, or even crawl to her.

The boy jerked away when Shouta reached out a hand.

“Do you want to be healed or not?” Shouta questioned, gruffly.

Shouta recalled being both annoyed and grateful at his happening upon Hitoshi. He remembered thinking that it was bad enough that the kid was a Witch. But instructing a newly made Were would require extra time and effort he’d rather not put in. The small good thing he had seen at the time, was that the child was young enough to be molded; but old enough to survive on his own for days, possibly even weeks, without his care.

Whether Todoroki’s words had been spoken to him or not, Shouta couldn’t help but agree. Hitoshi had deserved better. He still deserve better. And yet all Shouta did was demand more and more from the boy, while barely ever giving anything in return.

Sensing the last of the curse leave Hitoshi’s body, Shouta gave Reyanna’s hand a squeeze. “Let’s go.”

24.6

Kai wiped the blood from his lip, appreciating how the red liquid beautifully stained his white glove. Smirking he lifted his eyes to Sakamata. He told himself the hit had been lucky. That it was his fault for discounting the Daimon. But, he knew better. The connection hadn’t been luck.

Pulling at the fingers of his glove, Kai said. “That’s shame on me for thinking you didn’t know how to fight. Though I can hardly be faulted for that considering you’ve never lifted your blade in battle.” He smiled, pulling off the other glove with less care. “Honestly.” He eyed the fiery staff. “I’m surprised you even remembered where you left the thing.”

Sakamata tried to flint again. He had to get out of hell and tell Aizawa not to come. Fuck. What a time to realize that his lack of care only went so far. That when it came right down to it. That his friendship with single Daimon, and pride in a solitary Demon meant everything to him.

Even though his chronicle would convey his feelings to the hopefully reading Shigaraki, Sakamata thought the words for good measure. He would die in this. But that hardly mattered. What mattered was that Shigaraki knew how proud he was of him. That it had been a pleasure teaching him.

Sakamata was perfectly content to meet his end. What sat ill will him, was dying as he had lived. With countless regrets. If he could leave a few final words for his Demon protege and warn Aizawa off, it would be enough. Maybe not enough to cancel out the rest. But, enough for him to die with a sense of peace.

Kai was there before Sakamata could flint away. Sakamata ducked, his face nearly grabbed by Kai’s outstretched hand.

From within the stacks, Shigaraki watched his Master fight. He held Sakamata’s chronicle open, in his arms, eyes darting down to skim the words as they were written. He ignored the words that told him how proud the Daimon was of him, his affinity acting up at the swell of emotions and nearly dusting Sakamata’s chronicle. Instead, he focused on the rest. His Master wanted him to…

Yes, Sakamata was a better fighter than one would have imagined. But that wasn’t all. Kai quickly caught on to how the other Daimon was keeping up with him. Sakamata might not be reading directly from his chronicle. But somehow the Daimon was tapping into it, getting a glimpse of his thought processes. Smiling, Kai cleared his mind and simply acted.

With nothing to go off of, Sakamata didn’t know Kai’s next move.

Sakamata was still reeling from the lost advantage when Kai flinted in close.

Facing Sakamata, Kai grabbed the others left shoulder, activating his affinity.

“Gimmicks will only get you so far, Brother.” The General said, spitting the last word.

Sakamata gritted his teeth as his shoulder started to pull apart atom by atom. Much as he didn’t want to break and cry out, the pain was too much. With a howl, he made to strike Kai with his staff.

Kai sneered at the clumsy move. Still holding onto Sakamata’s shoulder, he called his blade forth and sliced off Sakamata’s right hand in one smooth move. “Pathetic.”

Shigaraki made to charge from the stacks and assist his Master; but Sakamata’s thoughts, written in the chronicle, told him to stay. To do ask he had asked.

The Demon was conflicted. He had never disobeyed an order from his Master. But, Sakamata had told him to assist another and simply watch him die. It felt wrong. More than that, he wasn’t sure he could obey. His ruby eyes panned over to the two glowing chronicles on the shelf in Sakamata’s office. Two new souls were about to join the ranks of hell…

“Now.” Kai rumbled, in Sakamata’s face. “You can tell me everything. Or you can die the same way as you were cast out of heaven. With it meaning and getting you nothing.”

“I will die as I lived. Not doing a damn thing to help you or Lucifer.”

Kai lifted his blade. “So be it.”

Suddenly countless chronicles came flying out of the stacks. Kai lost his grip on Sakamata. And then Sakamata was gone.

24.7

Shouta flinted them to hell before Hawks moved to take Todoroki’s life. Even if it was a temporary death, Reyanna didn’t need to witness it. And, if he were honest, he didn’t want to watch Hizashi end Hitoshi.

As soon as Hizashi had finished pulling the curse from Hitoshi, he stopped the boys heart. His eyes shifted to take in Todoroki’s still form, and then lifted to look at Hawks.

A silent moment passed. The two staring at each other. Then the first resounding bang sounded, telling that the Host of heaven had begun to arrive.

Finally, Hawks moved. He needed to get up. To put some distance between himself and Todoroki’s unmoving body. Even if it was only by a few feet. His legs felt weak and shaky. Halfway up, they wobbled and gave out. He fell back, wings flapping then folding over himself. What had he done? He had just killed the Child of Hope.

Chapter Text

25.1

Hizashi lifted his head at the at the second bang of what he knew was the Host of heaven coming to rain its righteous wrath down upon him. He had taken the curse from a made Third. If caught, there would be no release or fall from grace for him. The soldiers of heaven would kill him. The only thing that would save him was Hitoshi coming back to life, and him returning the boys curse. Till then, the telling mark of his deed would cling him like the smell of a smokehouse did to ones clothes.

At least heaven didn’t know that the Child of Hope was laying dead on the floor of the cleared out living room. So long as the barrier around the house held, there would only be a small team of angels trying to get in and meet out judgment. But as soon as one of those angels broke through and saw Todoroki’s body, word would be sent and a swarm of angels, probably even Enji himself, would descend.

Hawks pushed to his feet first, grateful when his legs held him this time. Hizashi followed suit, the two stepping out of the three rings carved into the floor.

It wasn’t that Hizashi had doubted the young Were Witch. But he felt a wave of relief when he turned back and saw the carvings glow a bright purple. The spell that would keep Death at bay activating.

Hawks ran a trembling hand through his hair. He needed to take his mind off the still body of the Child of Hope behind him and poking Hizashi's buttons seemed like just the thing.

“What do you say to a game of Black Jac--” Hawks stopped short at the appearance of a Daimon.

Hizashi and Hawks’ blades dropped into their hands, the two watching the Daimon skid across the floor, blood trailing in his wake.

Sakamata hit something and came to a stop.

Breath held, Hawks and Hizashi waited for others to follow. When even the angels outside didn’t enter, it became clear that the Daimon hadn’t broken through the houses barriers.

Though interested in how the Daimon got through, Hawks wasn’t about to take the time to let him explain.

“Aizawa.” Sakamata rasped.

“Wait!” Hizashi rushed protectively in front of the Daimon, hands held out in a useless attempt to fend off Hawks’ lifted blade.

Hawks was tempted to strike the foolish Angel down, then dispatch the Daimon. Given what Hizashi had done. Adding to his Restraint. Not informing them of the team of angels that had killed Abril. Helping in Aizawa's betrayal…

The two stared at each other, Hawks’ raised blade hovering in the air.

“Aizawa.” Sakamata said again.

Even if the two didn’t know who he was, it was highly doubtful that daimon's missing a hand and half a shoulder were clumsily flinting in here on a regular basis. Yet there the two were, staring each other down like it was some kind of contest and the winner got some great prize.

Sakamata growled. This was why he never left the sanctuary of his Index. Third, human, angel, daimon, or demon. It didn’t matter. People were nothing more than irritating fools.

Slowly, Hawks lowered his blade.

Hizashi turned, eyes widening at the sight of the two books that had fallen from the Daimon's coat. Chronicles.

“You’re Sakamata.” Hizashi said, kneeling down in front of the Daimon. “You were Shouta's witness for his Bond with Reyanna.”

Well if that wasn’t reason enough to kill the Daimon, Hawks thought crossing his arms.

Damn it! They didn’t have time for this. “Aizawa.”

“He’s not here.” Hizashi said, not trusting the Daimon enough to tell him where Shouta went.

Shit! Sakamata silently cursed. He was too late.

25.2

Todoroki stared at his hand, opening and closing it. He looked solid enough. Felt solid. At least he felt solid to himself. He hadn’t been sure what to expect, so he had done his best to expect nothing. Still, having a solid form would make things easier.

Hitoshi pressed his hand to his chest. The horrible pain had barely ended and then he was here. He found himself disappointed that he hadn’t had at least one brief moment of life as a full human.

“You alright?” Todoroki asked, Hitoshi. The fellow teens anguished screams still rang in his ears.

Not wanting to talk about it, Hitoshi looked around. This was hell? It looked more like a rocky, barren wasteland. At least the five feet of it that he could see. He scowled, eyes squinting. Even though it was dark as night and there was a thick blanket of fog, he should have been able to see clearly. With a blink he remembered that he was no longer a Were, and that the abilities that came with being a Were were gone.

Maybe it was because he was dead and on some impossible stealth mission in hell, but Hitoshi would have given almost anything to be a Were again.

If his twelve year old self could hear him now, he thought with an inner scoff. At that age Hitoshi had often dreamed of what it would be like to be fully human again. Certain that, if given the choice, he would opt to do so. He wondered now, if he wasn’t in this situation, what he would have wanted. If given a choice, would he have taken back the curse?

Hitoshi shook his head. Such thoughts were a pointless rabbit hole. He didn’t have a choice. As soon as he broke the hair around his wrist and was back in his body, Hizashi would shove the curse back in.

“Where’s Dabi?” Hitoshi asked. “Wasn’t he suppose to meet us here?”

“Never mind that.” Shouta said. “Just remember what I told you and don’t step out of line.”

Still holding Reyanna’s hand, the Daimon began walking.

Hitoshi nodded, shivering at the thought. If he or Todoroki stepped through an unseen door, who knew where they’d end up. More importantly, there wasn’t a way for Aizawa to track them. So if they weren’t seen disappearing through a door, they were as good as lost. Following a step behind the Daimon, with Todoroki at his side, Hitoshi tamped down the urge to take both his mentor’s and the Llaes’ hands just so no one was lost. He didn’t understand why Aizawa kept hold of Reyanna’s hand. It wasn’t as if the Daimon wouldn’t be able to find her, not with Aizawa being tied to her.

Shouta might not have shown it, but Dabi’s absence did trouble him. He had worded the order for the Demon to meet them in such at way that Dabi would have been compelled to be there unless his was detained by a superior, or the act of meeting them would have in some way drawn attention and brought immediate danger down upon them. Eyes and senses alert for trouble, Shouta hoped that the Demon would meet them in the Index.

Reyanna’s feet blindly followed wherever Shouta led. Her mind felt distant. Fuzzy. The haze of the surrounding fog compounding the issue. She squeezed her eyes shut, and shook her head, trying to clear it of the swirling wave of memories.

“Daughter.”

Reyanna entered her father's office, eyes taking in the Daimon that stood by his desk.

“My, you have grown quickly.” Kai said, looking her over as if she were some sort of specimen.

“Do you remember Kai, Anna?” Lucifer questioned. “He looked after your mother during her pregnancy, and saw you born.”

Reyanna shook her head, hands balling into fists at the mention of her mother. Though she stood before her father’s desk fully grown, her mother had only been dead for seventy-one days. All she knew about the woman was that she had been human and had died birthing her.

“Kai is my top General.” Lucifer went on, coming around his desk to stand beside the Daimon.

“It’s nice to meet you.” Reyanna said, dutifully.

“Come now, Daughter. Don’t be so shy. At least give your future husband a hug.”

“My what!” Reyanna stepped back, looking at her Father.

“It has been decided that you and Kai will be bonded.” Lucifer informed.

“Decided? By who?”

“By me.” Lucifer stared at her, eyes glowing brightly with his power. With a blink, they returned to their regular brown. The Devil smiled, his sinister aura gone just as quickly. “The two of you will make a fearsome couple that will see heaven made into nothing more than a shadow of itself.”

“Father, I--” Reyanna shook her head.

“Can’t wait.” Lucifer filled in where she left off. “Neither can I. But such designs cannot be rushed. You must be patient. First we will see you properly taught.” He cupped her cheek. “You may look the adult, but you are only half a season old. You’ve much to learn about the ways of things and your own power. As your betrothed, it would be improper for Kai to instruct you.” He gave the General a conspiratory look. “He’s rather busy seeing to other assignment for me anyway. But do not fear. I have someone in mind.”

Seeing Reyanna lost in memory, Shouta chided. “Focus.”

His hand tightened around hers, as if that alone would keep her present and grounded.

“This is Aizawa. He will be instructing you.” Lucifer told.

Reyanna didn’t bother giving the Daimon a glance. “I already told you. I don’t need an Instructor.”

“Anna.” Lucifer censured. “Don’t be rude.”

She stared at her Father. Her once insatiable need to learn had plummeted since hearing of his plans.

Suddenly a dense, smoke-like tendril lashed out at her. Reyanna ducked out of the way. Too slow to be missed completely, the thing grazed her shoulder. She hissed, the dark tendril burning her skin with a frigid coldness. She spun around, blade falling into her left hand. She didn’t know what took her aback more. The sight of the scruffy, bored looking Daimon. The fact that he burned cold, something she had thought only her father able to do. Or his audacity.

“How dare--” Another black band struck out at her, stopping her words short.

She leaned back out of its way, then flinched.

Shouta flinted to her. His strong, rough hand wrapped around her wrist so tight that she was forced to drop her blade.

Reyanna clawed at the presumptuous Daimon with her free hand, trying to pull her arm free.

Shouta stared dully at her. She had immense power. He could sense it. But the child didn’t know the first thing about utilizing it. Power alone was hardly a qualifier for potential.

“Let me go!” Reyanna hollered, tugging harder against his hold.

She growled, raking her nails across his face. The scratches deep enough to leave a couple drops of blood behind the nearly instantly healed cuts.

Shouta turned his face away more out of surprise than anything else. He hadn’t expected her to be so bold and go for the eyes. The Brat had fire to go with her willfulness. He could work with that.

Reyanna saw the Daimon's eyes flash red.

Shouta turned back to her, coal black eyes meeting hers.

His dull, dark gaze made her struggled all the harder. She had no idea why she was so frightened. The Daimon would hardly do anything to harm her. Not with Lucifer standing right there.

“I said, let me go—umph!”

She pulled against his hold with her final word. Shouta, complying with her command, let her go.

Reyanna glared up at him from her position on the floor, ignoring her smarting ass and pride.

“Looks like you could use instruction in grace and manners as well.” Shouta said, eyes shining in amusement.

“Proud, handsome Ass.” Reyanna muttered.

“What was that?” Shouta questioned, quietly.

“Our first meeting. That was the thought I had of you.”

Despite where they were, Shouta couldn’t help the tease. “Your first thought of me was that I had a proud, handsome ass?”

She turned to him. “That’s not--”

“Might not have been my first thought. But I took note of your ass too.”

His words, coupled with the way he watched her in his periphery, made her blush.

“Kill him, Reyanna.”

Reyanna’s head snapped to face her father. “What!”

Shouta eyes panned slowly to Lucifer.

“Let’s see how well you’ve taught my Bride.” Kai said lowly, from where he stood beside the third General.

He scowled at Aizawa’s impassive expression. It wasn’t that Kai wanted Reyanna to be found weak hearted. But her denial would reflect poorly on Aizawa.

Shit, Shouta thought watching Reyanna being ushered by Lucifer to stand before the bound Demon. She wasn’t ready for this. She wasn’t ready to kill without implicit need. Set the Demon free and have him pose a direct threat to her or another, and she wouldn’t hesitate. But this…

Shouta ground his teeth. Lucifer was expecting too much, too soon. Reyanna had only been alive for nineteen years. A fact he found he needed to remind himself of more and more of late. That, and that she was promised to another. Promised to Kai.

“You’re hesitating, Daughter.” Lucifer said in her ear.

“Wha—what did he do?” Reyanna asked.

“Doesn’t matter.” Lucifer snapped. “You don’t question. You obey. Put him down or be punished.”

Reyanna shivered at the threat, eyes darting nervously to Kai who oversaw most of her punishments.

“Either way the Demon will be put down.” The Devil soothed. “So why not show me the progress you have made under Aizawa's instruction.”

She swallowed. Whether that was a threat or not, she couldn't say for certain. But she found she was more worried about what would happen to Aizawa if she failed to do what her Father commanded, than what would happen to her.

The memory shifted.

Reyanna hurried after Shouta. “Where are you going?”

“To talk to Lucifer.”

She caught up to him and tugged at his arm. “Please don’t.”

Shouta stopped and turned around.

Reyanna bumped into his chest. Seeing his fierce gaze, she took in an unsteady breath and slowly stepped back.

“You are my pupil.” Shouta growled out. The words meant as much for him as anyone else. He almost groaned at the lack of warmth her brief nearness had brought. Short as it was, it had been so nice. He wanted more of it. No. No, he didn’t.

Reyanna’s heart fluttered in her chest at the way he had said the word ‘my’.

“As such,” he went on, sedately, “I decide what you are and are not ready for. No one else, not even Lucifer, should be dictating what you do.”

“At least as far as her general instruction goes.” A female voice clarified with heavy handed inference.

Shouta cursed, silently. He had been so angry at Reyanna’s obvious distress over ending that demon that he hadn’t sensed Nemuri’s presence.

The female Daimon stalked to Shouta's side, hips swinging seductively.

“What do you want?” Shouta asked, turning away without so much as a glance of appreciation.

Nemuri frowned. Aizawa could be a terrible tease, but he rarely down right ignored her like that. “You haven’t visited me in months, Handsome.” She said, fingers tracing up his back till she reached his neck.

“We saw each other four days ago at--”

“Some boring meeting.” Nemuri sighed heavily. “Hardly the time or place for the kind of meeting I’ve been wanting with you. Though,” she chuckled, pressing up against his arm, “I wouldn’t have complained if you had thrown me over that table and--”

“Stop.” Shouta silenced, the word punctuated by a pointed, ill-tempered looked.

He felt Reyanna’s eyes on them, and wanted nothing more than to pull away from Nemuri. But he didn’t.

Smiling, Nemuri tucked a strand of Shouta's hair behind his ear and stretched up, breath tickling his neck. “I miss you, Aizawa. No one can satisfy my like you.”

Try as she might not to, Reyanna couldn’t help but watch. She might have had trouble killing that bound demon; but for whatever reason, she doubted she’d have any issue ending Nemuri here and now.

Pulling his arm free, Shouta stepped to the side, scowling. “I told you, stop.”

“Visit me tonight.” Nemuri husked.

He almost answered with an immediate, no. But a voice inside him reasoned that the release would do him good. He glanced at Reyanna. It was getting harder to hide his favor from her. Harder to silence his inner thoughts and urges. Still, he didn’t want to agree. Not in front of Reyanna.

Seeing him glance at the Nephilim, Nemuri laughed. “What’s the matter, Handsome? Afraid your young, innocent pupil will learn something you’re not cleared to instruct her on? Don’t worry, Aizawa. Kai will see her thoroughly taught soon enough. Our head General might be patient, but as we all know, men can only wait so long before taking what they want.”

Again, the memory changed.

Shouta reluctantly broke the kiss, pulling back just enough to clearly see Reyanna’s entire face. “Are you sure you want this? Want me?”

Trying to catch her breath, Reyanna nodded.

“Words. Anna. I need you to tell me.”

She stared up into his near black eyes thinking that she could get lost in them for eternity and never mind or care about another soul. “Yes. Yes, I’m sure. I want you.”

Shouta blinked, unmoving. He couldn’t fathom the reason for her answer. Why would she want him? What had he done to earn the blessing of her interest and desire? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He was undeserving of it. Undeserving of her. But he wasn’t about to pose those questions or ask her again, too afraid she would change her mind.

He had been instructing her for twenty-seven years. He was done denying himself. Hell. If anyone had known the level of restraint he had shown, they would have given him laurels and a Triumph for denying himself for as long as he had.

Holding her against him, he flinted them to his personal sanctuary that no one else knew about.

“Where--”

“Safe.” He murmured against her lips. He kissed her tenderly, one hand cupping her face, the other pressed against the small of her back. “You’re someplace safe. And I will do everything in my power to see you stay that way. Safe. With me.”

Sweet as his words were. As much as she wanted to believe them. Reyanna knew better. There was no safety for her. Not from Lucifer and his schemes. And certainly not from Kai, who she was promised to.

“Aiza--”

“Shouta.”

She pulled back a fraction. “What?”

Shouta swallowed. Having her call him by his chosen name felt like a far bigger step than sleeping with her. The only person who called him by the name was Hizashi, though Shouta had never asked, or given the Angel leave to do so. Shouta blamed himself, as much as Hizashi's keen intellect and outgoing presumption. If he hadn’t let the Angel get so close, then Hizashi likely never would have discovered that hearing his given name was akin to a splinter in ones flesh. That he accepted it as a form of self-punishment for siding with Lucifer during the revolt and going against his Word.

He paused, staring into Reyanna’s questioning eyes. His thumb ghosted over her plump, sweet tasting lips. Damn, she was beautiful. But did he really want to do this? The sex, was a definite yes. But the name…

If he did, he would be giving her a piece of himself he had never given to anyone. In doing this he would be giving her his heart. Nonsense, his mind gruffed. It’s just a name. The least you can do is be honest with yourself, another part of him told; she’s had more than your heart for years. She has your everything. She is my everything, he admitted to himself. But she doesn’t know that. If I do this, she will. She will know the power she has over me. The girl is oblivious to her own power, he reasoned against himself. If she doesn’t even know that and why it means so much to Lucifer, do you really think the allowance of a name is going to make her realize what she means to you?

His heart ached, thinking it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if she did know. It left him wanting to show her what she meant to him. While he might not be ready to tell her, he could show her. Words were nothing without deed anyway.

“Call me Shouta.” He said, the hand cupping her face gliding around to the back of her neck.

Rather than saying the name, his ears dying to hear her say it, she replied. “Your chosen name.”

He nodded.

Her eyes grew wider. “You want me to call you by your chosen name?”

Shouta’s mouth felt suddenly dry. Was he asking too much of her? Had he put her off? Scared her away? Fuck. Why did he feel like the nervous virgin here? Cause when it comes to love, you might as well be. Shut up! Pulled yourself together. Making a fool of yourself will hardly encourage her to seek more of you.

“Yes.” He answered, glad when his voice sounded far more controlled than he felt.

A swell of joy overcame her. But Reyanna quickly tamped it down. She couldn’t assume meaning in this, especially since she didn’t know if it was just for this occasion.

“Is that for now or...”

“Always.” Shouta answered. He paused and muttered a curse. “When it’s just us.” He amended, the words ash in his mouth.

The last thing they needed was someone hearing her call him something other than Aizawa. He was already facing increasing difficulty convincing Lucifer that she wasn’t ready yet. That she still had much to learn and needed his instruction. He had begun holding Reyanna back in her lessons. Complaining to his fellows how she had trouble grasping this or that. Anything to make the lie more believable. Though he felt a small sense of guilt at this, his conscience would survive so long as he got to have her and keep her from Kai.

“Can you do that?” He asked, stepping closer and looking down at her as the hand around her waist traveled up her side. “Can you keep my name and what we do here between us?”

Reyanna nodded, body and breath trembling under his touch. “Yes.”

“Good.”

She stretched and lifted her face up to him, fingers tugging at the fabric of his top.

Shouta leaned in closer, smirking at her sharp inhale.

Though she had sought the nearness first, she pulled back slightly at his sudden proximity.

“Would you like me to kiss you again, Anna?” He asked when she pressed back into him.

“Please.”

“Why don’t you kiss me this time?” His eyes darted over her face, gauging her nervous interest. “Would you like that?” When she didn’t answer, he dipped down farther, closing the small remaining distance. Lips brushing lightly against hers, he whispered. “I would.”

The heated desire she saw in his gaze made her heart skip a beat. She sucked in an unsteady breath, wanting but unmoving.

Shouta's tongue leaked out teasing her lips. His chuckle cut short at her moan. The sound went straight to his dick, forcing him to bite back an echoing groan. He bared his teeth at the slight opening of her mouth, wanting to nip at her lower lip. Instead, he applied the barest, encouraging pressure to the back of her neck.

“Kiss me, Anna.”

With a slowness that killed Shouta, Reyanna tentatively pressed her lips fully against his.

Shouta returned the kiss eagerly. Unable to keep from taking control, he quickly deepened it. His arms wrapped around her, pulling her closer. Damn. She was delicious. He could feed on her forever and never come up for air. But he couldn’t. He couldn’t even keep her in this private sanctuary overnight.

He growled at that, sucking possessively on her tongue.

Reyanna jerked with a strangled groan.

Shouta pulled back. “Too much?”

She shook her head, panting. Her fingers massaged along his bicep, her other hand tugging gently at the waist of his bottoms.

He took her tugging hand and slid it lower, grinning at her startled gasp and widened eyes.

“You’re...”

“All for you.” Shouta whispered roughly, into her ear, keeping to himself how often the mere thought of her made him hard.

He pressed on her hand, and groaned thrusting into her touch. He could cum from this alone. He found himself sucking a claiming mark into her neck and pulled away with a growl, scolding himself. There wouldn’t be time for her to heal from that before someone else would see her.

Later he promised himself. He would plan a training trip that took them away for a few days, maybe even an entire week. Then he would delight in and mark her to his hearts content.

“Shouta.” Reyanna whined, burying her free hand in his hair.

Hearing her say his chosen name for the first time had a bead of pre-cum leaking out of his throbbing cock.

Oblivious to the damp spot on the fabric of his pants, Reyanna nipped and sucked at his jawline, loving the prickling scrape of his stubble.

Shouta gave a toothy grin at her eagerness, tilting his head to allow her better access to his neck. He wanted to rip off her clothes and ravage her till she was so tired and sensitive that she cried for him to stop.

“I’ve wanted this. Wanted you. For so long.” She breathed, peppering his neck with nibbling kisses.

Her words had his dick twitching against her stroking hand. She pulled her hand back, the movement unexpected and surprising.

He felt a predatory thrill at her naivety. This would be an entirely different kind of learning experience for her and he would do everything he could to make it as unforgettable and pleasurable as possible.

“It won’t bite.” He told. “Only I do that.”

She huffed shyly.

“Tell me what you want.”

Reyanna swallowed. Her curiosity overcoming her nervousness. “I want to touch you. Feel you and...it.”

“Then touch me.” Shouta said, his desire to be claimed by her nearly as strong as his need to claim her.

Tentatively she reached out to him. Her fingers tracing down his clothed torso, while the other hand moved up his arm.

The touch was much too soft for Shouta’s preference, but this was her first time. This wasn’t about him. It was about her.

Her fingers grazed along the waist of his pants, watching the way the tented fabric moved when she dipped her fingers inside.

Her timid slowness too much, Shouta took off his shirt.

“Here. Let me.” He pulled the drawstring of his pants and let them fall.

Palming his cock, he let her take a good long look.

Seeing her stare wide-eyed at his aching erection, Shouta assured. “I’ll see you well prepared before you take me, Kitten.”

He blinked, pausing at the pet name. Never had he used any term of endearment for any of his previous lovers. But somehow, with her, it felt right.

Reyanna blushed, smiling at the name.

Shouta smiled softly in return. That decided it. The name would stay. Releasing himself, he stepped back to her, tilting her face up to him. “Touch me.”

The deep, husky vibration of his voice sent a jolt straight through her that had her cunt clenching. She whined, feeling her tightly squeezed thighs slip against each other, slick from her seeping juices.

As they kissed, her fingers glided over him, mapping out every detail of his shaft by feel. By the time he had moved on to her neck, she had become more sure of herself. No longer stroking him with fingers alone. Her hand was wrapped around his daunting girth, sliding up and down the length of him.

She wasn’t so sheltered that she didn’t know the way of things. Shouta was hardly the first naked man she had ever seen, though his was the first erect penis she had seen. Many of humanity’s civilizations had slaves or games where men were naked, or practically naked. Kai especially liked the fighting games of Rome, and often took her to them on what her Father called their courting days. She remembered the Third he had killed just for looking at her, and the slave he had bought and tortured to death for doing the same. To think her Father wanted her bound to such a Monster.

She shivered at the thought, Shouta's dick twitching in response. The size of him scared her. But her desire outweighed her fear. As did her trust in him. Unlike Kai who got joy out of hurting her, she knew Shouta would never hurt her.

Shouta nibbled at her ear, flicking the lobe with the tip of his tongue. She was wearing too many clothes. His roving hands needed to feel her bare skin. Pulling back, he plucked at the crisscrossed cord that cinched the fabric of her dress to her torso.

“Let’s get rid of this. Shall we?”

Reyanna stepped back, her nervousness returning. What if he didn’t like what he saw and changed his mind? Biting the corner of her lower lip, she untied the cording that gathered her dress around her. She pulled the fabric slowly off her shoulders, a flustered blush heating her face. Holding the gown to her breast, she took in a fortifying breath and let the garment slip off her body to pool around her feet. His silence lasted long enough to make her worried, yet she still avoided meeting his gaze.

“Look at me.”

Despite the sudden dryness of her mouth, Reyanna swallowed, her eyes slowly turning to him.

Shouta had imagined her like this too many times too count. He had even imagined her while he had sought release with Nemuri, Reyanna’s name almost falling from his lips on more than one occasion. But she was more perfect than he had imagined. The sight of her taking his breath away for a couple beats.

“You’re beautiful.” He told, stepping towards her.

As wonderful as she was to look at, he needed to touch her. Feel her. Once again their lips locked in a passionate kiss. Shouta's freely roaming hands all the encouragement Reyanna needed to explore his body in turn.

Wanting to take this to the bed, he picked her up. He smirked at her startled squeak, loving the way her arms latched onto him, seeking him for protection.

Relaxing in his hold, Reyanna wrapped her legs around his waist. As he walked, she kissed and sucked at his neck.

Shouta didn’t care if she marked him. In fact, he’d be happy if she did. He had long since claimed to have another lover. It had proved a more efficient way of denying Nemuri. And he had needed a quick way to rebuff the fellow Daimon; because, if he didn’t, he found himself giving in to the temptation of relieving his carnal needs through her. That was when he had known he had lost himself completely to Reyanna. Never before had he felt guilt or shame for sleeping with someone. Yet he did now. It was illogical. The enjoyment and relief it gave were far greater than when he took care of himself. Or at least it had been. Now that enjoyment and relief lasted just to the moment of his peak. His guilt and shame washing over him before he even came down and recover from his high.

He set her down on the bed and nudged her back, crawling in over her. Kissing her, his hands roamed up her torso to her breasts, tweaking her nipples.

“Shouta!”

Shouta buried his smile in her neck. Loving the sound of his name. Loving the way her back arched up to him. With one more nipping kiss to her swollen lips, he sat up on his knees, in between her legs. Eyes raking hungerly over her, he took in how wrecked she already looked, the sight shooting a sizzling heat to his cock, making it throb.

“So beautiful.” He muttered, eyes following the path of his hand as it traveled down her body.

And she was. As often as he had had the thought before, never had it been more true. She was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. What with her long, dark hair mussed. Pupils blow wide with arousal. Lips red and swollen from passionate kisses, slightly parted as she pulled in unsteady breaths that made her chest heavy. He especially liked the sight of her flushed face and pert teased nipples. Even her long, delicate fingers clutching at bedding made his cock bob in the open air.

“So beautiful.” He said again.

Reyanna whined, hips lifting up to his caressing hand as he neared her untouched cunt. But his fingers skirted around the area, trailing down her hip. Once he got to her knee, he slowly moved back up her inner thigh.

“You look delectable laid out for me like this.” He said, eyes focused on the puffy folds of her pussy.

Face heating with embarrassment, Reyanna tried to close her legs. Her arms crossing to cover her breasts.

Even though she couldn’t close her legs with him between them, Shouta’s hand pressed against her thigh, holding her open. His other hand gripped one of her arms. With a tug, he pulled it away from her chest and pinned it to her side.

She whined in protest, body rolling like a wave beneath him.

Shouta groaned at the sight.

“So good.” He murmured, the hand on her thigh gliding up to finally touch her thrumming cunt.

A moan escaped her, hips bucking up to his hand.

He bent back down, mouth closing over a hardened nipple, eliciting another musical moan her. Wanting to discover what other lovely notes he could get her to make, he lapped and flicked his tongue over the pert little bud. All the while, a single finger stroked her pussy, dipping deeper between her folds with its every passing.

It felt like lightening struck when he finally brushed against her clit, her body jerking taught.

Shouta pressed his aching cock against her thigh. Her nails dug into his flesh forcing him to swallow a moan of his own. He gave her sensitive bud a flat tongued lick and pulled off her chest.

“Have you ever touched yourself like this before?” He asked, thumb drawing light circles upon her clit. When she didn’t answer he pressed the pad of his thumb firmly against the bundle of nerves. “Hum?” He waited a beat. “Answer me, Anna.” He commanded, the finger teasing her entrance breaching her hole up to the the first knuckle.

“Yes!” She cried out.

“Yes?”

Pressing her lips together, she nodded, lashes fluttering over heated cheeks.

Lips curled in a wolfish grin, Shouta lightly scolded. “Such a naughty little Kitty Cat.”

Reyanna turned her flushed face to the side. “Don’t tease.”

“No? But that’s part of the fun, Kitten.”

He slowly pushed his finger in as deep as he could. Stroking her walls, he watched her squirm beneath him. Damn. She was tight. The thought of being sheathed in her, filling her with his load had his cock drooling more pre-cum.

“Do you think of anyone in particular when you touch yourself?”

She nodded, then caught herself and exhaled. “Yes.”

“Yes? Who?” He asked, kissing her shoulder. When she didn’t answer, he gave the shell of her ear a nip. “Who?” He questioned, voice turning dark and commanding.

“Y—you.”

Shouta hummed in pleasure, nuzzling his face in the curve of her neck. “Anyone else?” He inquired, waiting for her response with held breath. He felt her shake her head. “No?”

“No. It—it’s always you. You’re the only one I’ve...” She moaned. Legs trembling, she rolled her hips, fucking herself on his finger.

His possessiveness and pride swelled at her reply.

“I bet these sweet little fingers never reached this deeply inside you.” He taunted, free hand stroking the length of her digits. His ground his cock against her leg, voice growing rough and husky. “Just imagine how much deeper my cock will reach. How much better it will feel pumping in and out of you.”

“Sh—Shouta. Please.”

Her clenching cunt and mewled words left him unable to silence his groan.

“When was the last time you touched yourself and thought of me?”

She shook her head, lips pressed together. It was too much. She couldn’t tell him that. It was far too embarrassing.

“Tell me, Anna. Tell me or I’ll continue to tease you without relief.”

“Two.”

He barely heard the quickly breathed reply. “Two?”

She nodded.

“Two what?” When she didn’t answer after a passing second, he curled his finger. “Two what?” He questioned over her pleasured cry.

“Tw—two nights ago. After our spa—sparring session…” She moaned, trembling legs lifting her pelvis up to his ministering hand. “I—I went to my room, and imagined you followed me. Fed up over something and sa—saying I needed an extra, private lesson.”

“And did you imagine I fucked you in this fantasy of yours?” He asked, his level voice belying the heated surprise he felt.

Shouta easily recalled the sparring session she was talking about, and not just because it had been two days ago. He too had sought the sanctuary of his quarters afterward, too wound up to simply ignore his throbbing need.

Reyanna nodded.

Lowering back down, he rewarded her brave, honest answers by devouring her lips in a heated kiss. He slid a second finger into her wet heat, swallowing her whimpered mewl.

Her feet flexed, toes curling, the stretch causing the tension in her abdomen to build.

“How does that feel?” He questioned, against her lips. “Does it feel good?”

She nodded, clutching at him.

“Words, Anna.” His fingers curled seeking that special spot inside her. “Use your words.”

“Ye—yes. Ah!...” She threw back her head, body arching up to him. “Yes!”

There, he thought smiling against her neck, fingers stroking the sought for spot.

“Shouta! Ah! Please. Shou—ah!”

The sound of his chosen name sent warm, thrilling, shivers through his body. Yes. He had been right in telling her to use it. With her, the woman he had tried everything in his power not to love, yet loved more than any other thing in existence; there should be no sting or reminder of his past failures. He would begin anew with her. And he would make sure there was no sting. No failings. Only bliss. And joy. And happiness.

He added a third finger driving her to further heights as he twisted and spread them within her before pulling them out and pumping them in again. “You like that, Kitten? Fuck, you’re so tight. You’re going to feel so good. I can’t wait. I’ll show you just how good I can make you feel.”

He pressed harder against her clit, rubbing tight circles.

“Shou--” She cried out, the tight cord within her snapping.

“Fuck.” Shouta cursed, stilling his rutting hips, the impossible spasming tightness around his fingers nearly enough to make him cum.

Reyanna slumped back on the mattress, over-taught muscles now feeling weak as jelly. Her sweat dampened body had never felt so heated and alive. As the tide slowly ebbed, a heady floating feeling washed over her. He had been right. Never had her own touch driven her to such heights.

“How was that?” He asked, with a lazy grin.

“Amazing.”

Shouta pulled his fingers out of her warmth, taking them into his mouth. A humming groan sounded from his throat. She tasted so good. He had been right not to go down on her, he never would have left.

He bent and pressed her legs farther apart. With a rock of his hips his aching cock slipped through her folds, her arousal coating his length. The soft, slick heat of her had him sucking in a hissing breath of air from between clenched teeth.

“I’ve wanted you for so long. Waited for—I won’t wait anymore, Anna.”

Despite the swell of nerves, she was still blissed out enough from her orgasm to have the courage to respond. “Please, Shouta. I need you.”

“My sweet, precious Kitten.” Shouta murmured, his heart aching with love and lust for her.

He kissed her, taking his cock to hand. Pressing the head against her entrance, he slowly inched forward. It took every ounce of control he had to halt when the tip was inside. The urge to plunge in making him grit his teeth.

Brushing her hair off her brow, he watched her, taking in every twitch and change of expression. “I want you to be good and tell me if it begins to hurt.” He kissed her lightly. “I want our first time together to be pleasurable for the both of us.”

Reyanna appreciated his wording. She knew that he wasn’t a virgin. That he had been with at least one other. The thought of him like this with Nemuri made her burn with possessive jealously.

Shouta's eyes narrowed at the slight furrow of her brow. “You good, Kitten?”

She leaned into his caressing touch and nodded. It didn’t matter what he had done with Nemuri or anyone else. He was with her now. And, she would do everything in her power to see that he remained with her.

Threading her fingers through his hair, Reyanna pushed down her doubts and embarrassment. “I’m good. Please. I want to make you feel good.”

Shouta growled, gripping her hips tight enough to bruise. He pushed forward at a slow, steady pace, muscles trembling from his forced restraint. He felt her tighten around his cock, her body tensing beneath him and stopped. Cross at both her, and the effort it took to still himself, he scowled. His tongue darted out, licking up the drop of blood from the healed wound his teeth had cut into his lip.

“I told you to tell me--”

“I just--” She closed her eyes, trying to make herself relax. “I just need a moment. Please, don’t stop. Please.”

She was so afraid that he would get fed up and send her away. She cursed her virginity. What if he found her inexperience tiring? What if she couldn’t please him? She trembled at the thought. She loved him so much.

“Please, Shouta. I’m trying to be good for you. I just need a moment.”

Shouta stared at her. At first he was confused, then wonder took over him. He took in her shining, watery eyes and erratic heaving chest. She was near tears. Not from pain, but worry. Worry that he didn’t want her. Want this.

“My silly girl.” He kissed her brow. “You’re so good. You don’t have to try. Take all the time you need. I’m not going to stop. I might not even stop if you begged me to.”

He kissed her, tongue lapping against hers as he tweaked one of her nipples. Her soft moans the sweetest sound he had ever heard.

Tugging at his hair, Reyanna squirmed beneath him, calling out his name.

Damn. He was already addicted to the sound and feel of her. His mind already scheming how he could get her away more often without raising suspicion.

“Shouta, please! Please! I—I need more. Want more.”

He grinned down at her, eyes filled with wicked delight. “Are you sure?”

“Yes! Please. Shouta, I need you.”

Slowly he sunk deeper into her, keen eyes watching her for any sign of discomfort. Finally his hips met hers, the two groaning into the others mouth. When he felt her relax around him, he began a slow, almost leisurely pace. Holding himself above her, he committed her every expression of pleasure to memory.

Soon her hips were rising up to meet his rocking thrusts.

“More.” She panted, legs wrapping around him.

Shouta all too happily complied, fucking her hard enough that the sound of their smacking flesh joined the chorus of her pleasured cries. He felt her walls being to flutter around his spearing dick.

“Are you close, Kitten? Fuck.” He groaned, when she clenched around him. “Look at me. I want to see you when you cum on my cock.”

Reyanna stared into his dark eyes. The look of him. Feel of him. Sound and smell and taste of him. It made that familiar tension in her core build to near breaking point.

“Shouta.”

“You’re so beautiful like this, Anna.”

His hips staggered, her vise-like tightness pulling him ever closer to the edge. He leaned down pressing his face into her neck. He caught and stopped himself before he bit a mark into her tender flesh. Growling in annoyance, he lifted back up driving his cock brutally into her. The head of his dick hitting her cervix.

It was that hard thrust, mixed with drag of his shaft rubbing against the spot inside her that set her off. She cried out, eyes rolling back. Her back arched up, breasts brushing against his chest.

Shouta continued to pump into her, chasing his own release.

Reyanna’s body fell limp into bed. She whined between panting breaths, trembling from exhaustion and overstimulation.

“Shouta.”

The sound of his whimpered name made him snap. The sensation of dick coming alive, squirting hot, white ropes deep inside both surprised and delighted her. He remained present enough through his orgasm to appreciate her gasping, groan. Neither of them moved, Shouta remaining sheathed in place. He caressed her cheek, kissing her tenderly while she milked his already recovering cock.

“Anna.”

Shouta's stern voice mixed with his satiated breathing of the name in her memory.

“Reyanna.” He tired again, thumb rapping against the back of her hand.

“Sorry. What?” Reyanna turned to him.

It didn’t help that the face looking at her in the present hadn’t changed from that of the past. Her head was a buzz with too
many memories. It wasn’t as bad as when those surrounding Abril had flooded her mind, but it was close.

“I told you to focus.” Shouta rumbled, eyes narrowing.

He had figured that she would be bombarded with memories once she got down her. But if she failed to remain clear headed, he was taking her out of hell, task unfinished or not.

“Sorry.” She apologized.

Senses alert, Shouta kept to them in the densest parts of the fog. Occasionally he halted and waited, signaling the others to stay quite as some demon passed, no more than a few feet away.

Suddenly they were in a vast hall. Hitoshi realized that they must have passed through one of the unseen doorways Aizawa had told them about.

“Dabi sold his soul in fifteen AD, so it should be housed in this area.” Shouta said, leading them to a section. “Start looking. The plaque will have his name, date marking the contract, and day his soul was harvested.”

25.3

Kai got to his feet and dusted himself off. If Sakamata thought he had gotten away, the Daimon was sorely mistaken. He would send his legions. Sakamata would be found, and Kai would end him, painfully. But first…

From the hidden safety of the stacks, Shigaraki watched hell's top General make his way to his Master's office. The Demon’s lip curled in a snarl. Sakamata never let anyone into his office.

Still holding Sakamata’s chronicle, Shigaraki read the instructions his Master had given him. Likely the last order’s Sakamata would ever give him. He knew his Master had been wounded, but didn’t know to what extent. Given that words were no longer being written on the pages of Sakamata’s chronicle, Shigaraki had to accept the possibility that his Master was dead. That was probably for the best. Sakamata would hardly face a clean, painless end when Kai found him again.

Kai tore Sakamata’s office apart looking for anything the Daimon might have hidden in there. But nothing appeared out of the ordinary. There was nothing telling what Sakamata had been about. No sign of messages, coded or otherwise. Nothing that looked as if Sakamata had tried to hide it. But the Daimon had to have been up to something. Why else were there missing words and pages from Dabi’s chronicle? Why else would Sakamata have reacted-- Dabi. Dabi was in his lab. A perfect place to be questioned.

Shigaraki watched Kai leave, waiting several beats before stepping out into the open. His eyes traveled to Sakamata’s severed hand. Drawn to it, the Demon walked over and picked it up.

25.4

Hitoshi’s mind could barely grasp how colossal the place was. He had figured that over the ages a lot of people would have sold their soul but… Each plaque was a mere six by six inches, butted up together with barely a hairs breath between. Not only was the hall impossibly long and towering, but it was lined with plaques on both sides.

Aizawa had told him and Todoroki to focus only on what was directly in front of them, not the wider view. And after making the mistake of not following that directive, Hitoshi had instantly understood why such an order had been given. His head and spacial awareness were still messed up.

After seeing the massive expanse that was simply the year they were searching through, Todoroki had finally grasped the overwhelming impossibility of this task. Jaw clenched, he ignored the small voice inside him that told him if he didn’t give up and leave he would die. He reminded himself that he was already dead. That it would be better to stay that way if he failed. Trusting Reyanna to protect him, he focused his full attention on scanning the names before him.

Between the torrent of ever streaming memories and the way the hall seemed to pull and shrink like a rubber band, appearing one moment no bigger than a regular palace hall and the next as an endless expanse, it was little wonder why Reyanna felt sick to her stomach. Despite this, she had managed to kill her share of unsuspecting demons and daimon's that had appeared while Todoroki and Hitoshi looked for Dabi’s soul.

Shouta had said that the souls contained the original contract branded on them and that they were often viewed for one reason or another. But for this many daimon's and demons to have come by… Someone was bound to notice sooner rather than later. Killing another demon before he realized what was going on and could cry out or flint away, Reyanna silently urged Todoroki to hurry.

Apparently flinting while in hell would have somehow alerted Lucifer of their presence. Thankfully, despite how sick it made her feel, the space expanded and contracted in such a way that flinting was unnecessary. Better yet was that her learning, or re-learning curve, in making the space move at will had only taken her two tries.

The hall snapped into shape, Shouta appearing at her side. “Holding up alright?”

Reyanna turned to him. His handsome face was spattered with blood. Long, wavy hair appearing damp in several areas. Undoubtedly his clothes were also stained with red liquid, but the black hid it well enough. Though he wore his usual neutral expression, there was a sinister glee in his eyes. With a start she realized he was enjoying himself. Before she could begin to process how she felt about that, it dawned on her that she was enjoying herself too.

“Yeah.” She answered, lips curling upward of their own accord.

Shouta grinned back at her. Damn. She was beautiful. Covered in the blood of those she had slain. Dark eyes shining in wicked enjoyment. Fuck. He wanted to kiss her. To kiss her and claim her while surrounded by the blood and bodies, and souls of those being tortured.

Eyes turning red in angry displeasure, Shouta sent out a tendril of darkness. The dense band wrapped around a newly arrived demon that had dared to disturb this moment with his Love. Slowly, his hand closed, the black mass tightening. The demon’s muffled screams, and snapping bones like a song he and Reyanna could dance to.

Reyanna shivered in heated delight. Was it wrong to want him to kiss her right now?

Shouta took a step toward her, then cursed at the appearance of three more demons. “You take the one. I got the two.”

The space shrunk around him, taking him to the other end of the hall where the doors to Sakamata and the chronicles led. He dispatched the two demons, glancing over his shoulder in time to see Reyanna pull her blade from the other. The urge to return to her side and kiss her made him growl. He was in the mist of scolding himself about his lack of focus when the door to what was essentially Sakamata’s realm opened.

Shouta turned, brows pulling together. That door was the last place he had expected anyone to come from. It wasn’t as if Sakamata ever left the chronicle room or others went there with any regularity. He held breath, hoping that it was anyone but Sakamata. There was no telling how the Daimon would react to what they were doing, and Shouta would rather not have to kill him. But the person at the door ended up being so much worse than his friend.

Eyes widening in shock, the air left Shouta's lungs like a punch in the gut.

Standing in the doorway, Kai’s expression went through a transformation very much akin to Shouta's.

The two Daimon's stared at each other for a fraction of a second that felt more like an age. Knowing that it no longer mattered, Shouta flinted, blade and teeth bared.

Chapter Text

26.1

“How’d you get in here?” Hawks demanded.

“Chronicles.” Sakamata answered, fighting against the urge to possessively grab the tomes from the Angel who was inspecting them.

“Chronicles?” Hawks echoed.

“One is assigned to every soul in--”

“I know what they are, Hizashi.” Hawks snapped. “What I want to know is how one could grant him entry. You and Aizawa leave the way open for some--”

“Hey!” Hizashi complained.

“Hizashi?” Sakamata stared at the unfamiliar Angel in confusion. Then it struck him. “Mask.”

Hizashi flinched at the damning word. Crossing his arms he encouraged the Daimon. “Well?”

“What?” Sakamata questioned.

“How does having a chronicle get you a free pass passed our barriers?” Hizashi asked.

“Chronicles are essentially a piece of a person. So long as you know how, they can be used as trackers, or passes to the owners body or soul.”

“Really?” Hizashi's eyes brightened at this new knowledge.

“Not now.” Hawks complained with a sigh, knowing where things would go if he didn’t nip this in the bud. “Frigging Nerd.” He grumbled.

Hizashi's mind could often be a help. Hawks wasn’t too proud to privately admit that. But, now was hardly the time or place for the Bookworm to pepper the Daimon with questions, wanting to know more about this new discovery.

Turning to Sakamata, Hawks said. “You need to leave.”

“He can’t leave!” Hizashi exclaimed, the lower pitched voice of his Mask cracking at the volume and octave the Angel forced upon it.

Hawks spun around glaring at the unfamiliar face Hizashi wore. Damn it! Why did it still bug him that he didn’t know the name of the figure staring back. The disagreeable feeling leeched the sharpness out of his retort.

“He can’t stay here.”
“If he leaves the barrier will weaken for an instance and one of the Host trying to get in may just succeed.” Hizashi informed, voice downright surly.

Hawks’ lip twitched in a snarling curl. His regret over not knowing the dead angel Hizashi appeared like, lessening the more mannerisms he heard and saw from it.

“What kind of lame ass shielding did you and Aizawa put up?” The Archangel questioned.

“Excuse you!” Hizashi bristled.

The Angel’s angry voice and expression had Hawks shrinking back a fraction despite himself.

“All barriers have that fault.” Hizashi stated, clearly offended. “Only the length and level differs depending on how well a barrier is constricted, and what kind it is. Which means! That the ones around the house have as minimal a time of weakness as a barrier can possibly have.”

“I...didn’t know.” Hawks mumbled, tucking and scratching his head.

“That Shouta and I would put in our best work and take the time to use the strongest warding's? Or that all shields had such weakness?” When Hawks didn’t answer Hizashi criticized. “Maybe if you were more of a nerd and less of an idiot.” He turned to Sakamata. “You knew right? Everyone knows. I mean it’s like how flinting leaves up open for a brief moment no matter how quick and rested we are. It’s basic angel, daimon knowledge.”

Sakamata doubted it was basic angel, daimon knowledge. In fact, he doubt most angels or daimon's were aware of such a thing. He certainly hadn’t known. Not that he had used all that many barriers in his time.

The Daimon looked between the Angel and Archangel and declared. “You’re both idiots. After what I just told you, your first response is to bicker like children.”

That made Hawks sober. The thought that Kai could so quickly happen upon Reyanna and Todoroki, if he had lingered for any amount of time in hell's Index.

“Will you help us?” He asked, red wings dipping under the weight of his worry.

Sakamata found it amusingly presumptions that the Archangel who had wanted to kick him out to face an angry team of heavens host was asking if he’d help them. Still, wasn’t that the reason he had come? To be of help. No. He thought. He had come to warn Aizawa. But Aizawa was gone. Possibly even now facing the force Sakamata had sought to spare him from.

With a sniff, Sakamata critically looked over the Angel and Archangel. “Aizawa must desperate if he left the two of you to watch over the Llaes’ body.”

“Hey!” Hizashi and Hawks complained.

Shaking his head the Daimon tisked. “A released and restrained Archangel and an Angel that doesn’t know how to fight.”

“I know how to fight.” Hizashi argued. “I just don’t like to.”

“I was Heaven's Assassin.” Hawks put in at the same time.

Sakamata scoffed. If he stayed he was as good as dead. Then again, he was already dead. Forget the forces Kai would send to hunt him down. The General's affinity would be his death by days end, if not sooner. If Shigaraki had acted a half second sooner, he would have been fine. But he hadn’t, and Kai had pulled apart enough of him that the lining of his heart had thinned to the point that it was seeping blood with its every beat. Even connected to heaven, Hizashi, a mere angel, wouldn’t be able to heal him. Maybe, if Hawks hadn’t been released and restrained…

“I’ll help you.” Sakamata exhaled heavily. “Hell knows you two need all the help you can get.” Before they could say anything, he added. “But I ask one thing in return.”

“I knew it.”

“Hush!” Hizashi silenced. “You don’t know what he wants yet.”

“If I die before Aizawa gets back. Tell him, Shigaraki.”

“Shigaraki? That’s it?”

“Who says you’re gonna die!” Hizashi exclaimed, over Hawks’ inquiry.

“Tell him, he’s one of mine.” Sakamata stated.

26.2

The tip of Shouta’s blade barely nicked Kai’s flesh before the General was suddenly gone.

“You have seconds.” Shouta told the searching teens. He flinted back to Reyanna’s side. “He’ll be back with his legions.”

Not having seen, Hitoshi turned to Aizawa. “Who?”

Shouta didn’t need to answer. Kai had returned.

Hitoshi’s eyes widened at the mass of daimon's and demons. He rushed to the nearest dead body, taking the corpse’s weapon. Though he would have preferred a different weapon, between it and his affinity he might be able to manage. Shit! If only he had his claws and Were strength. His twelve year self had been an idiot.

“Hurry!” Hitoshi yelled at Todoroki.

Holding onto Reyanna’s hand, Shouta tried to flint them out of hell. A useless endeavor, but one he nonetheless had to attempt. Kai would have barred the way out as soon as he had seen them. Or as soon as he had gathered himself from the shock of them. Fuck! He should had flinted to Reyanna’s side and gotten her out of here the moment the General had walked out of the chronicle room. But Kai had been so close. The urge to kill him so strong.

“Snap the hair.” Shouta commanded the teens.

“No!”

“Anna.”

Ignoring Shouta's censure, she told the boys. “Keep looking.”

“Reyanna.” Shouta growled, hand gripping hers painfully tight.

“We still have time.” She said, staring pleadingly into her Lovers eyes.

“Reyanna.” Kai called. The General strolled casually down one end of the Index’s hall, his best legion behind him; his Lieutenant, Kurono, led his second best legion from the other end. “Make this easy on yourself and come here.”

As if she would obey Kai’s command, Shouta pulled her away from the oncoming Daimon.

The strange thing was, Reyanna felt an urge to comply. Her hand loosened around Shouta's.

“Hurry!” Hitoshi hissed at Todoroki, never taking his eyes off the scene.

If fighting broke out, Aizawa would focus his attention on protecting Reyanna. With the interest hell's General had in her, it was safe to say that she would be swarmed. That would leave him to watch Todoroki’s back while the Llaes continued scanning the plaques for Dabi’s name.

“Not helping.” Todoroki gritted.

“Come, Reyanna.” Kai beckoned.

For a brief instance, Reyanna’s mind cleared of all thought. A foot stepped out.

“Shinsou. Snap the hair.” Shouta ordered.

He only needed one of the boys to return to their body. Then the Janus would open a door for him and Reyanna, pulling them out of hell. Reyanna wouldn’t be happy if Todoroki was left behind. But Shouta would deal with her wrath later. His first priority was the same as it had ever been, seeing her safe. Her happiness came second. If the Llaes chose to stay behind, whatever fate he met would be his own fault.

Shouta’s words brought Reyanna back, her eyes blinking into focus. “No!”

“It wasn’t a question put up for debate.” Shouta rumbled, jerking her closer to him.

Though the General was still forty or so yards away, Kai could flint or shrink the space and be on them in an instant.

Shouta sneered. Kai was hardly one for dramatics; but in moments like this he was worse than Hizashi. It was a clear flaw in his character that had left Kai without his prey often enough that the General should have learned and changed his habits. Though hardly the main cause, it had also been an igniting spark for many of the two’s arguments, when Shouta had still been attached to hell.

“Shinsou!” Shouta barked.

Racked with indecision, Hitoshi pleaded. “Todoroki!”

Hitoshi knew what they all did, that if they left without Dabi’s soul they would never get another chance. He had started this because Aizawa had ordered him to. His obedience helped by the fact that he wanted to see one of the gates closed. But now... While those two reasons continued to be true, now he mainly wanted to help his friend.

“Just a few more seconds.” Todoroki told, tersely.

With the way Hitoshi had stopped helping him search and was rushing, it was safe to say that trouble had appeared. Not that Todoroki could have said what level of trouble since his eyes and attention remained focused solely on what he sought. He wouldn’t leave without Dabi’s soul. He just needed a few more seconds.

Teetering on a knifes edge between his mentors will and his friends, it was Reyanna’s words that pushed Hitoshi to the side that saw him disobeying Aizawa's command.

“Just give him a couple more seconds.” Reyanna told Shouta.

Eyes darting from the two oncoming legions and back to Hitoshi, Shouta ignored her.

Hitoshi turned away from Todoroki and back to his mentor, lips pressed together, head bowed.

In an infuriated realization that left him both cold and boiling, Shouta's eyes flared red. His fingers rapped across the hilt of his blade, struggling against the urge to plunge it into Hitoshi’s chest.

“You better pray to your Maker that she comes out of this untouched.” Shouta growled out, voice pitching between demonic and natural.

He was tempted to grab Hitoshi by the arm and snap the hair around the boys wrist himself. But the Fate’s hair didn’t work that way. All that would do was leave Hitoshi stranded in hell without a means of escape. Shouta’s glaring eyes narrowed. A tempting thought at present.

Despite his trembling fear, Hitoshi’s mind questioned, which Maker? God who made humanity? The Were that made him an abomination? Or Chaos, the maker of abominations that were all Thirds?

A weapon flew their way. Hitoshi barely managed to divert the short sword from striking Todoroki. Instead the point pierced through a plaque no more than half an inch to the the Llaes’ right.

Fuck! Hitoshi thought, that was far too close. Maybe he wouldn’t be able to manage. Without the speed and reflexes that came with being a Were, he would be hard pressed to fight a single demon.

Kai waved back the Demon who had thrown the sword. “That was a warning, Reyanna. Step over to me, or see the Llaes die.”

“He’ll kill him anyway.” Shouta told her.

Once again Shouta's words brought Reyanna back to herself. She shook her head trying to clear it. What was the matter with her? She knew Kai wasn’t attempting to compel her. Nearly thirty years worth of remembered training and instruction from Shouta left her certain that Kai couldn’t have compelled her even if he tried. So why was she blanking out and itching to go to him when he called?

While the voice of Aizawa and another spoke their words of warning, Todoroki’s eyes panned to the short sword embedded in the top corner of a plaque. That could have been him. It will be you, if you don’t hurry up and continue looking, he scolded himself. A combination of letters caught his attention. Turning back, he read the name and dates etched on the plaque above the battered one.

Shouta’s gaze flicked back to Hitoshi, coal eyes flashing red.

Hitoshi swallowed. It was clear Aizawa was beyond pissed at him.

“You’ve had your second. Hair. Now.” Shouta clipped.

The Daimon's voice sounded distant to the Llaes’ ears. Wait, Todoroki thought, fingers tracing over the cold metal that bore his ancestors name.

“Wait!” Todoroki spoke. “I found it!”

“He found him!” Hitoshi told Aizawa.

Eyes on the slowly, yet too quickly approaching Kai, Shouta's lip curled up in a snarl. “Don’t give a fuck. Out! Now!”

“No!” Reyanna reached out, stepping toward the teens.

Shouta pulled her roughly back to him. “For fuck sake, Anna.”

It was difficult to say if it Shouta’s low, rumbling growl, or the burning cold rolling off of him that made her shiver. Still, Reyanna argued. “It’s the reason we came.”

It’s not why I came, Shouta thought. Fuck! He never should have agreed to this. He should have locked her away and lived happily in isolation with her. Well, at least he would have been happy. As for Reyanna...at least she’d be alive. She was bound to have forgiven him after a millennia or two. They would have had to move with some regularity. Neither Lucifer, or Toshinori would have stopped looking for her; but he could have made it work. He would have, should have made it work. Instead he was here, dependent on the kid he had raised, taught, and trusted to help him see his Love safe.

Having turned back to Todoroki the moment Reyanna challenged Aizawa, Hitoshi urged the Llaes. “That’s great, dude. Mind grabbing it, or whatever so we can go?”

Todoroki paused at that. Damn. How was he suppose to do that? There wasn’t a handle or grip that would allow him to open the thing. There weren’t even any screws.

Shouta’s hand shook with the effort not to break Reyanna’s in his hold. Why the fuck had he made the teens returning to their bodies the cue for the Janus to take him and Reyanna out?

Shouta pulled Reyanna back and to the side, stepping out in front of her moments before Kurono’s blade plunged through her. He grunted, grabbing a hold of the Lieutenant’s wrist so the Daimon couldn’t slice and widen the wound in his side.

Kurono, who had flinted in for the attack, was too slow in flinting away. He hissed against the burning cold of Aizawa's bone shattering grasp.

“You dare raise weapon against your Lords daughter.” Shouta growled out between gritted teeth.

Face twitching up in a pained snarl, Kurono ground out. “I do as my General commands.”

“You’re predicable, Aizawa.” Kai said, with haughty smugness.

Shit! Shouta’s hand opened to release Kurono’s wrist, but Kurono’s other hand grabbed a hold of Shouta’s forearm. “Where you going?”

“Ann--”

Before Shouta could finish her name, Kai was before her, gloved hand wrapped around her throat. “It would have been so much easier if you had obeyed and come when I called.”

Shouta had less than a fraction of a second to decide. Grab whatever he could of Reyanna before Kai pulled her away. Or call forth his blade and force a break in Kurono’s hold. Or…

Praying that Reyanna had remembered enough of her time training with him in hell, Shouta called to her. “Strike behind!”

Reyanna didn’t think. Didn’t question. Shouta had given her a combat command and she acted, just as he had taught her. Her blade, that had been swinging up toward Kai, instantly turned and plunged back behind her.

As Shouta’s blade fell into his left hand, his body turned out of the way of Reyanna’s weapon, exposing Kurono.

Kai didn’t see Aizawa's swinging blade till it crested over Reyanna’s head. The General pushed her back, releasing her, and bent away. He felt warm blood spill profusely from the side of his head before it slowed and finally stopped. The effort it took his body to heal the wound noticeable, but far from leaving him weaken.

26.3

Hizashi was thrown against the shielding around Todoroki and Hitoshi’s bodies. The barrier gave. Shit! That was the last thing they needed.

“It’s down!” Hizashi yelled, informing his allies, as he pushed to his feet and rushed another angel.

That was bad Hawks thought. He turned in time to see half the house engulfed in flames. But it could always get worse, he thought with a curse, wing flapping in agitation.

“Bigger problems!” Hawks called, ducking the blade of a striking angel.
“Bigger than Dea--” Hizashi’s retort fell off at the first whiff of smoke. Fuck. If those kids didn’t return to their bodies soon they were screwed.

Unseen, Death watched the events before him in mild interest. With the passive barrier now down, it would be so easy to slip passed the fighting figures of his nephews and nieces, and feast on the two empty shells laid out on the floor. But he wasn’t here for that. To dine on the two, making it impossible for their souls to return, would be cruel. What sort of Uncle would he be if he did such a thing? Soon Death thought, disappearing through an unseen void. Soon, he would have would a little chat with his eldest brother's youngest child.

“Stop!” Enji commanded the fighting Host.

Hizashi, Hawks, and Sakamata didn’t pursue the Host as it fell back.

Enji marched passed his brethren, uncaring of the dead angels he stepped passed. It had been reported that the Child of Hope was here. Someone had said that the boy was dead. That had to be a mistake. Faulty intel. The Child of Hope--this Child of Hope couldn’t be dead. Not without having succeeded in his mission.

It wasn’t the sound or sight of heavens second in command that made Hizashi's stomach drop. It was Tsunagu, the Commander of Hizashi's garrison, that made the Angel turn and lower his head, backing a step behind his allies.

Heaven's third Chief walked a step behind Enji, green eyes scanning the scene. No Aizawa or Reyanna. But… His gaze fell on Sakamata. This would be interesting.

The Host of heaven waited behind their Chief for his order.

The flames coming off Enji flared, flickering blue and white. “You fools killed the Child of Hope! Were is he! Where’s the boys soul?”

“In hell.” Sakamata answered, tossing the Archangel the boys chronicle.

There would be no words for Enji to read. Sakamata had sealed it, like he had done with Aizawa's long ago when his friend had left hell. Like he had done with his and Shigaraki’s.

Enji opened the tome and read the cover page, frowning. His scowl deepened further when saw nothing else written.

“Unseal it.” Enji commanded the Daimon.

Sakamata shook his head. “I am not the Llaes who can unseal and seal at will. Nor do I follow your orders any more.”

“If you had followed them better you wouldn’t have been cast out.” Enji told.

Sakamata didn’t argue with his ex-Chief. It was true, if he had kept his Word and not told Enji and Aizawa of the coming revolt...

Enji studied the Daimon he hadn’t seen since he had helped cast him out of hell. The Daimon who had once been his closest friend. “What happened to your hand?”

“Parting gift from hell.” Sakamata answered. “What happened to your face?”

Enji’s lip twitched into a snarl. “A parting gift from the Bitch.”

Sakamata chuckled. “Well if that doesn’t make me feel better. It must kill you to look in the mirror and remember that.”

26.4

Hitoshi’s eyes darted back to the Llaes. “Todoroki. Let’s go, man.”

His lavender eyes then focused on the single strand of Clotho’s hair, tied around his wrist. It was a visible reminder that he and Todoroki had a way out. Even now, it warmed against his skin as if asking to be broken. But Aizawa and Reyanna… They clearly couldn’t flint out, or else his mentor would have already done so.

Hitoshi looked back at the Daimon and Nephilim swallowing down his worry. Aizawa never would have brought Reyanna down here if he had any doubt that the Janus would do something sneaky. Aizawa was a master of phrasing and contracts. He wouldn’t have left the Janus any way to work around and leave one of them behind.

Shouta turned away from a thrust of Kai’s blade to his throat, taking Kurono’s slash to his bicep as a far more preferable trade.

Seeing the two daimon's attack Shouta made Reyanna furious. Though the wound was already closing, the sight of his blood made hers boil.

Without thinking what it would mean for the two teens they were with, Reyanna released her blade and stretched her arms out to either end of the long hall.

Shouta caught glimpse of her movement and instantly knew what she was about to do. Sending out a band of darkness that wrapped around Kurono’s arm and pulled his strike off course, Shouta hollered at the boys. “Hug the wall!”

Hitoshi’s eyebrows scrunched together. “What?”

Shouta felt Reyanna’s power swell. What was she thinking! Did she think the Llaes could hold off against the pull? Was she trusting and expecting him to protect the boy? What would possess her to make a move that would chance Todoroki? He slashed at Kai’s outstretched hand and flinted to the teens.

Kai also felt Reyanna’s swell of power; but not knowing what she was up to, hadn’t thought to move away.

Shouta threw himself against Hitoshi, knocking the teen into the wall. He dropped his blade, the weapon disappearing till it was called upon again, and grabbed a hold of Todoroki, pressing protectively over Hitoshi.

Anchoring his feet to the ground, Shouta instructed. “Hold on.”

Looking over his shoulder at Reyanna, Shouta saw a blackness wash over her eyes, and cursed.

When it had come to Reyanna’s power, Shouta had had difficulty training her. The basics had been easy enough. But her top-end abilities were chaotic. She didn’t have a distinct affinity; because of that, what she did with her power was unpredictable. And that unpredictability made it nearly impossible for her to channel her output. Often times, after using her higher power she was left exhausted and barely able to stand. Still, Shouta had managed to help her perfect a handful of moves. The key was for her not to loose herself and let her eyes go completely black.

Reyanna felt her power expand in her till it felt like her body would burst, unable to contain it. Then, just as quickly as it had expanded, it sucked in on itself. Her eyes flashed open. Only they weren’t her eyes, they were twin voids, darker than the darkest black.

Shit! Kai, dropped to a knee, driving his blade into the floor as a hand hold should his anchoring fail.

The demons from Kai’s legions had no such recourse, but most of the of daimon's had acted quickly enough and anchored themselves.

‘Daughter.’ A voice more ancient than time spoke in Reyanna’s head. ‘You fight for someone other than me or yourself and call upon the power I have given you. This is not the plan I had for you child. Take your rightful place and make them bow. Make all of them bow.’

It took the demons a beat to notice something was wrong. Then they began to panic, while others seemed to meet their fate with acceptance, if not relief. The faint shadows of every living thing began to stretch and pull towards Reyanna, time seeming to slow.

There was a small pulling sensation in his chest that intensified to a pain that took his breath away. But what frightened him was the sight of his shadow detaching and hovering an inch away from his feet.

Unanchored, the demons shadows pulled away and flew towards Reyanna. The mass of demon bodies dropped to the floor, dead. Reyanna’s eye lids fluttered, her eyes blinking back to normal.

Shouta flinted to her side, catching her before she fell.

“I got you.” He murmured, pushing back the sweat dampened hair from her brow.

“Did I...get ‘em?” She asked, faintly.

“Enough of them.” Shouta answered. “We’re going to have to talk again about you listening and obeying.”

Reyanna nodded, trying to hold herself up on unsteady legs.

Shouta looked back at the two gaping teens and snarled. “Grab the damned soul. And snap the fucking hair. Now!”

Kai’s eyes slid to Kurono. His Lieutenant was laid out on the floor, but the rise and fall of the daimon's chest told him that his friend still lived.

Shouta released Reyanna, blade sliding down into his hand. He stepped protectively in front of her, stance readying while Kai got to his feet.

“Aizawa won’t stray from the Bitch now that she’s weakened.” Kai called to his still standing daimon's. “End the Llaes. I got the Traitor and Whore.”

“Lucifer said capture or kill the Llaes.” A Daimon challenged. “We can capture--”

Another Daimon was pulling her blade from him before he even registered the killing strike. “And the General said to end the boy. Let’s move.”

Todoroki pressed his hand against the plate baring Dabi’s name.

“I got it!” He yelled, then looked down in wonder at the wisp of iridescent light. “I got it.” He breathed.

“Hair!” Shouta barked.

Todoroki and Hitoshi broke the strand of hair around their wrist.

26.5

Todoroki sat up with a gulping inhale.

Hitoshi would have done the same, but Hizashi had flinted to his side. The force of the Angel shoving the curse back into him, left him gasping like a landed fish.

“Go!” Hawks bellowed.

Hizashi reached out grasping Todoroki by the shoulder, flinting away with the two teens.

Rumi would have ended Hizashi in that brief moment flinting left him vulnerable, but Hawks was there to meet her blade with his own.

“You need to go.” Sakamata told Hawks.

“Yeah? No shi--” Hawks’ eyes widened. Were all daimon's insane!

Everyone stopped at the sight of Sakamata’s own blade sticking out of his chest.

“Now.” Sakamata told Hawks calmly. “Before I level the place.”

Level the place was putting it mildly. When a daimon's or angels blade meet with its wielder's heart, the core of the explosion wiped out a seventeen mile radius. And that wasn’t even taking into account the destruction of the heat and shockwave.

“And remember to tell Aizawa… Shigaraki.” The Daimon told.

Hawks nodded and flinted away along with the rest of the fleeing forces.

“You’re a fool.” Enji declared, glaring at his old friend and brother.

“You should leave too.” Sakamata said, the fevered weakness making him stagger where he stood.

“Why do this?” Enji asked, hoarsely.

“I was dead anyway. At least this way it means something.”

“Kai.” Enji surmised.

“Kai.” Sakamata confirmed.

“Your name with be the last thing that Devil hears when I end him.” Enji vowed.

Sakamata couldn’t help but smile, blood dripping from his mouth. “Who knew you could be so sentimental.”

26.6

Left standing in the Index with Reyanna, Shouta's relief quickly evaporated, overtaken by fear and rage. Why were they still here? The Janus…

“Reyanna.” Kai beckoned. “Your Llaes is safe. There’s no way out for you. Come. Make this easy on yourself.”

Weakened as she was, she didn’t have the strength of will to fight the urge. She stepped out to the General.

Shouta cursed. Pulling her against him, he flinted them somewhere else in hell. Lucifer could track his flinting, but the area he had taken them to had several corridors and doorways, both seen and unseen.

Holding her hand, Shouta tugged her toward one of the doors. “Let’s go.”

Reyanna’s feet didn’t budge.

“Anna. We need to move. Now.”

Conflicted, she swallowed thickly and allowed Shouta to pull her along. Her steps were slow, hesitant. By the time they walked through an unseen doorway Shouta was practically dragging her.

It wasn’t that Shouta hadn’t noticed her stepping toward Kai, or her how her steps lagged; he just had so much more to think about. Why the fuck were they still here! He shook his head, admonishing himself. Now was not the time to think of why. Right now he had to focus on not being found and getting her out.

With the gates barred, they wouldn’t be able to flint or walk out. Even so, that’s were Shouta took them. The field near the gates was a dark, fog filled space that would provide plenty of cover till he could think of another way to get them out.

Grateful that he and Reyanna both wore dark clothing, he knelt in a dense pocket of mist, tugging her down beside him.

“Do you think it worked?” Reyanna asked. “Do you think they’re back in their bodies.”

Shouta clamped a hand over her mouth, grimacing at her volume. His eye twitched, his aggrieved aggression making his silencing hand hold her far firmer than necessary. That was her first question. They--she was stuck in hell. And the first thing she asks is about in the Llaes.

26.7

“Where are they?” Todoroki asked, sounding more distressed than Hitoshi had ever heard him.

Hizashi ripped off his Mask, looking wildly about their new home for any sign of Shouta or Reyanna. Even if the Janus hadn’t delivered them here. This was were they had agreed to meet. Where Shouta had decided they would gather. He went to the backdoor looked outside.

Hitoshi followed on his heels, rubbing at his sore chest. Getting the curse back hadn’t been nearly as painful as its removal, but he was pretty sure Hizashi had bruised a rib or two with the force he had used to put it back.

“You have the coin. Right?” The Were asked.

Hizashi reached into his pants pocket with a shaky hand and pulled out the two-faced coin.

Looking out at the forest that laid beyond the back lawn, Hizashi beckoned. ‘Shouta.’

26.8

Shouta drew his blade from the dead demon, holding onto her body and quietly easing the dead weight to the ground. He reached back for Reyanna’s hand, already eyeing the next dense patch of fog he would shelter them in. When she didn’t place her hand in his, he turned, fearing the worst. What he saw was so much worse that what he had imagined.

“Anna?”

Reyanna stood rooted to the ground, eyes unfocused. Her mind becoming as foggy as the surrounding landscape, and then completely blank. A voice. Lucifer’s voice spoke in her head as a past connected dream replayed in her mind and made her act.

‘When next you find yourself back home, Reyanna. Don’t leave without making sure you see me. It would be a shame to miss reuniting with my beloved and only Child.’

Reyanna backed away from Shouta’s outstretched hand, her mouth opening in a scream that told their location.

Chapter Text

27.1

“Where is she?”

“You should be more worried about yourself, Aizawa.”

Shouta pulled against the rune inscribed manacles that dug into his skin. “Kai. If you--”

Kai stepped to the to hog tied Daimon laid out on the floor, and gave a swift, hard kick to his side.

Shouta’s words cut off in a shudder of pain. The sick sound of ribs cracking met his ears.

“Don’t go making useless threats. Have some semblance of dignity and pride for our kind, if not yourself.”

“Reyanna.” Shouta croaked. “Where is she?”

Kai stared down at him. “You really don’t give up do you?” He sighed and squatted down near the other Daimon's head. “Do you really think that after waiting so long to get her back that Lucifer, or I would kill her?”

Kill her? No. But there were things far worse than death. And Lucifer was far from the dotting father he pretended to be.

Shouta glared up at the General. “I want to see Anna. Now!”

Kai lowered his face to an inch of Shouta's. “And I want to know what all you had Sakamata do.”

Shouta’s eyebrows knitted together. Sakamata? He remembered Kai coming out of the chronicle room.

“Where is Sakamata?” Shouta questioned, carefully.

“In another cell.” Kai lied. “One of you will break.”

Shouta scoffed. He wasn’t sure what Kai thought was going on, but one thing was for certain. Sakamata would never break. And neither would he. Even if there was nothing to tell. He would keep quite and let Kai think there was.

“I came to you first, cause I know your weakness and have her in a cell not all that dissimilar from this one.” Kai went on.

Shouta snapped at the Daimon. His teeth gnashed together, as he bit at nothing but air. “If you touch her, you die. I’ll end you!”

Kai smirked. “I’ll do so much more than touch the Bitch. I’ll fuck her and break her.”

Shouta thrashed against his bonds.

There had been a time when Aizawa had no such clear weakness, the man seemingly unmoved by anything. Back then, it had only added to Kai’s burning hate and jealousy.

The meeting of the Chiefs of heaven over, Kai made his way to Lucifer. Before the Archangel could call out to his Commander, Lucifer called after another.

“Aizawa. Hold up.”

Shouta stopped and turned.

Kai glared, following in Lucifer's wake. The bored, almost bothered look Aizawa gave their Commander bordered on insubordination in his mind. Though Lucifer clearly didn’t seem to notice or care.

“Sir.” Shouta said, expectantly when Lucifer reached him.

“Enough with the formalities, Aizawa.” Lucifer dismissed. “This isn’t a Commander talking to his second Chief.”

“In that case.” Shouta turned away and took a step.

“I said, hold up.”

Shouta closed his eye, releasing a tired sigh. If this wasn’t Lucifer talking to him as his Commander, then why was he ordering him to stay? He had work to do. Hizashi had made a mess of what should have been an easy mission, and now Shouta and his garrison had to fight back the Nun’s and Leviathan’s of Chaos to regain the line they were forced to give up in retreating.

Lucifer placed a hand on Shouta's shoulder. “I wanted to talk to you about Hizashi.”

Shouta tensed at both the contact and Archangel’s words. “What about him?”

“He cost you the line.”

Shouta shrugged off Lucifer's hand. “He’s still finding his place. Mistakes are expected. He’ll learn.”

“He’s making you look bad.” Lucifer pressed.

“As if I care how I look.” Shouta drawled with a lazy smirk.

“He’s holding you back. You’re my second Chief. But with a few more wins under your sash, you could easily be my first.”

Kai’s eyes widened at that. He was Lucifer's first Chief. To hear his Commander candidly say, as if he wasn’t even there, that his position could go to another...

“I care little about position and power, Sir.”

“Lucifer.” Lucifer corrected.

“I just want to do my job and get some rest.” Shouta went on.

“Well you do great work and deserve recognition.”

“Unless that recognition comes as relief for my garrison, I don’t need or want it.”

“Come by my office sometime tomorrow.” Lucifer invited. “We can decide what to do about that troublesome Hizashi holding you and your troop back. Then can schedule a much needed break for you and your garrison.”

Shouta ground his teeth at Lucifer's passive carrot and stick approach, wishing his Commander would stop trying to convince him to get rid of Hizashi. He could handle the way his fellows either laughed at or questioned him why he hadn’t transferred Hizashi to another garrison yet. All he had to do to silence the questioner’s was ask if they’d take the Angel off his hands.

Bunch of hypocrites, Shouta thought in disgust. So Hizashi wasn’t a clear and accomplished fighter. That didn’t mean the Angel was useless. There had to be a reason why God had placed Hizashi in the order of Powers. If anyone should be ridiculed and questioned, it should be Hizashi's previous Chief’s. They were the ones that shipped Hizashi off instead of figuring out what the Angel was good at. They were the ones who clearly thought their perfect Father and Maker had made a mistake.

“As you wish.” Shouta sighed heavily. “Am I dismissed?”

“He has no respect.” Kai sneered, watching the tired, scruffy looking Archangel walk away.

“I know.” Lucifer murmured, thinking how an underling like that would tell him exactly what he thought without care or hesitance. “He also cares about no one and nothing.”

“Which makes him dangerous.” Kai put in.

“Only if he can’t be won over.” Lucifer grinned, liking the challenge. “A person without love or care for anything leaves the enemy without anything to use against them.” He looked Kai over. “We could really use someone like Aizawa if God continues with His little pet project.”

Kai watched the struggling Daimon. To think Lucifer thought Aizawa so necessary to their cause. To think that Lucifer still showed Aizawa such favor.

The General sneered. “I’ll break and use the Bitch, and you’ll have the pleasure of watching me do it.”

“I’ll kill you!” Shouta raged. “I’ll fucking kill you!”

“And after she’s good and broken in,” Kai went on, ignoring the struggling, cursing Daimon, “I’ll tear you apart slowly, and fuck her on the pile of ash that are your remains.”

Shouta spat a mouthful of bloodied spit in Kai’s face.

Gold eyes flashed in a bright glow. Kai’s gloved hand grabbed a fistful of Shouta's dark hair. With a yell, he slammed the bound Daimon's face into the stone floor.

“Death is too fucking good for you.” He seethed, grinding Shouta’s face down only to pull him roughly back up and slam him down again. “I’m going to make you my dog. I’ll see you broken like that Whore you claim to love. And have you submissively sitting at the foot of my bed, free to act but doing nothing while I fuck her into unconsciousness.

Shouta growled in pain and the hated image Kai’s words brought to mind.

Kai released him with one final shove to the floor and pushed to his feet. Taking out a handkerchief he scrubbed at his face, muttering to himself.

Shouta pushed aside the pain and called out, taunting the General. So long as Kai was in here with him, he wasn’t with Reyanna. Shouta would suffer anything Kai had to offer and worse to keep the Daimon away from his Love.

Kai made for the door.

Shouta yelled after him. The muscles in his arms and legs burning in his effort to break free. His straining appendages pulled the metal collar around his neck, the manacles around his arms, legs, and neck all connected by a chain. He pulled so hard it cut off his air supply. Still, Shouta fought till his burning lungs and spasming body gave, causing him to unwillingly stop.

From the doorway, Kai looked over the injured, blood and grime covered Daimon. “You’re pathetic.”

“Kai!” Shouta cursed, coughing and spitting out blood. “Don’t you fucking leave! Bring her here. Take me to her. Kai! Let me see her!”

“You’ll see her soon enough, Aizawa. She and I will put on a good show for you.”

Shouta roared.

Kai turned away, reveling in the sound of Aizawa's futile threats and curses as the cell door closed behind him.

27.2

Shigaraki peeked through the doors and out into the hall of the Index. The mass of bodies were still being cleaned away and a number of demons milled about under the supervising eye of a Daimon. As a worker directly under Sakamata, Shigaraki had never been bothered or ordered about by other daimon's. Even his fellow demons steered clear of him. Something he didn’t mind. But with all that had happened, Shigaraki wasn’t so certain that would be the case any more. The more likely scenario would be him being put in a holding cell and questioned, if not sent directly to the Butcher’s Block.

Still, his Master had given him an order. Though the words in Sakamata’s chronicle had since faded, the tomes pages looking as if they had never been written in, Shigaraki couldn’t act as if the command had never been in there. A part of him regretted not having read the sentimental words of praise Sakamata had pointedly thought. But another part was glad. His Master’s death stung enough. If he had read the words, learned what his Master had truly thought and felt about him, the Daimon's death might hurt all the more.

Tucking the chronicle he carried into his jacket, Shigaraki pulled the hood up and stepping out of the chronicle room.

27.3

The door to Shouta's cell opened a few minutes after Kai had left.

“Well, hello there handsome.”

“Nemuri.” Shouta's struggling paused, then began a new. “Where is she?”

“Sorry Sweetheart, I can’t say.”

Shouta glared up at her. “Can’t or won’t?”

“We’ll go with both since, even if I could, I wouldn’t.” She closed the door behind her and stepped to him. “My. Aren’t you a sight.” She sucked in a breath between her teeth, seeing the purple and blue bruising up and down his bare torso and sides. “Lost your shirt, did you, Handsome.”

“Fuck off.” Shouta gruffed.

She knelt in front of him, pushing his hair back. “And look at what Kai did to your sweet face.”

Shouta hissed, the scabs from the slowly healing wounds having closed around his plastered hair.

She winced when some of the cuts reopened. The rune bonds would cancel his power, and as a result slow his healing. But for him to be healing this slow… He must have used a lot of energy fighting off the forces that came at Reyanna’s call.

“It’s a shame.” She said, caressing a hand through his matted, blood stiff hair. “You gave up so much, only for her to turn against you and wipe her memories.”

“I betrayed her.” Shouta said, trembling uncontrollably from fatigue and Nemuri's unwanted tender touch.

“Ungrateful Bitch.”

Shouta snarled, jerking against his bonds.

“Still blinded by your love for her.” She noted, smirking in taunting yet disappointed amusement. “Why is it the undeserving get the good ones?” She asked with a sigh. “Kai and I sought each other out after you left hell. Left me.”

“We were never--”

“And let me tell you.” She went on over his words. “He is no you.” She caressed his cheek, ignoring his efforts to pull away. “You know I like it rough. Hell, with the amount of times I encouraged you to go harder you can’t have forgotten.”

“Nemuri--”

“But Kai… I never had to ask him to go harder.” She gave a hollow chuckle at that. “You’d think that make a girl like me happy, but… He recently used his affinity on me while we fucked, Aizawa.”

Shouta's eyes widened, snapping up to her. “Anna. Nemuri. Let me see Reyan—”

She slapped him silent, nails raking across his face. “I’m telling you about me! About how much I fear that man. About what you left me to face. And all you can do is think of and ask to see the Bitch! Fuck you, Aizawa. Fuck. You.” She grabbed him by the hair, roughly pulling his head back to see him better. “I was going to offer to tend your wounds. Maybe even talk to Lucifer on your behalf if you were good. But now...” She jerked her hand, pulling harder at the fistful of hair.

Shouta winced, sucking in quick shallow breathes of air. His bruised abs and cracked ribs screamed out against the stretch that was forced upon his already bowed back.

“Now I’m going to beat you and use you, just like Kai will do to that Whore you’re so fond of.”

27.4

The overwhelming pain of being torn apart by Kai’s affinity made nearly everything else fade away from Reyanna’s mind.

Kai watched Reyanna keen and writhe, thinking that the Bitch was perfect like this. Her pained, bloody face was beautiful. Her screams, music to his ears. And this was only the beginning. Not even a hint of a taste of the suffering he would wreck upon her.

His gaze trailed over her quivering body, strung up like a prize just begging to be taken and explored. Unlike Aizawa, whom he had commanded to be hog tied and left on the floor, like the animal that he was; Kai had seen to it that Reyanna was left standing. The chains secured to the manacles around her wrists held her arms above her head and wide apart. Her legs were likewise held apart. Even fully clothed and a mess, she was a sight to behold. The hazy, swirling mass that had once been her full, lean, long limbs only adding to the beauty of the scene.

“So pretty.” Kai murmured, his still gloved hand lifting to tenderly caress her cheek; while the other, uncovered, hovered over her frame.

His hand traveled down the side of her neck, over her collarbone to the base of her throat, and then down between her breasts.

“Tell me what you remember.” He commanded.

Between the pain and flood of similar memories of Kai punishing her at Lucifer's behest, Reyanna barely heard him.

Scowling, Kai pieced her back together. “Do you remember being promised to me? That you were mine to have and use.”

Reyanna slumped, her arms baring her weight. Shuddering, she drew in ragged breaths.

“Your Father had plans. He wanted us to take down heaven together.” Kai went on, tone accusatory.

“Shou--” Her question as to where Shouta was, cut off in a shout of pain, her arms and legs once again pulled apart.

“You don’t say that name. Not in front of me. Not ever again.” He stepped in front of her, gloved hand grabbing her tightly by the face. “Am I understood?”

His eyes lowered to her lips, then lowered still.

She suddenly found herself whole again, but her relief was short lived.

Kai groped her breast, kissing her roughly while the hand holding her face squeezed at the hinge of her jaw.

Reyanna bit his invading tongue, spitting in effort to rid her mouth of him the instant he pulled away.

Cursing, Kai struck her. Reyanna’s head knocked to the side by the blow.

“You’re going to pay for that.” He growled, eyes glowing with his power.

The cell door opened.

“There’s my precious girl.” Lucifer beamed with a wide, welcoming smile on his face.

Kai stepped aside.

“Where’s Shouta?” Reyanna demanded.

“I’m glad to see our short time together in your dreams was enough to have an effect.” Lucifer said, taking in her injuries with a critical eye. “With only two brief visits before Aizawa took notice, I had my doubts. But weakening yourself using your power, proved to be the needed factor for you to be susceptible to my implant. It’s as if you wanted to stay and be welcomed back home like the prodigal daughter that you are. Tell me, Daughter. Shall I order a fattened calf slaughtered and cooked to perfection? Command extra celebratory lashes for those on the Block? Have Kai release the new pestilence he concocted and cause a plague? What would show my precious girl, just how happy I am to have her back?”

“Let me and Shouta go.”

The disappointed timbre of the Devil’s voice carried a dangerous edge to it. “But you just got here.”

“Where’s Shouta? I want to--”

The sound of Lucifer's open-handed slap echoed sharply within the confined space as it connected with Reyanna’s cheek. The Devil took in a measured breath, wiping his hand clean of the sweat and blood from his Daughter’s face.

“I’m trying to be nice here, Reyanna.”

“Fuck you. Where’s Shouta?”

Lucifer forced a tight smile. “Let’s start over, shall we? My beloved Daughter--”

“Where’s Shouta!”

“--welcome home.” Lucifer continued, barely missing a beat.

Reyanna spit in his face. “You can take your welcome and shove it up--”

The Devil struck her, watched her turn back to face him and struck the two more times in quick succession.

Kai offered his Master a fresh handkerchief, but Lucifer ignored it, using his hand to wipe the spittle from his face.

He lowered his hand, smirking at her flinch. “I see you’ve yet to learn some manners. Yet another sign, to go with the countless others, that I made a mistake in assigning Aizawa to instruct you.”

“Where is he?” Reyanna pressed.

“Though I could hardly be faulted for the choice at the time.” Lucifer went on with a suffering sigh. “I mean who would have thought that my third General, beloved Brother, and friend would betray me so. Then again...” He met her hate filled eyes, a smug, knowing wickedness shining in his own. “Betrayal seems to be something of a habit of his.”

“Where is he? Where’s Shouta?”

“Hush, Child. Daddy’s talking.” Ignoring her useless thrashes to break the contact, he patted her head. “My sweet girl, do you have any idea how worried I was when that Archangel took you? I was so furious, I nearly killed Aizawa when he informed me of your abduction.”

She stilled at that.

Lucifer gave an ill-humored huff. “I should have killed him.”

Kai stood by, wordlessly agreeing. But, his Master had always had a soft spot for Aizawa, much to the General’s hate.

“And then to later learn that you had turned him against his Word.” Lucifer went on.

“I--” Reyanna fell silent and shook head. She hadn’t turned Hawks against his Word. She had broken free of her bonds to save the Llaes from Shouta's blade. If anyone had talked Hawks out of his orders to kill her, it had been Abril.

“I was thrilled thinking that you would be returning with Heaven's Assassin to add to our numbers. But my joy was short lived, because the next words that came from the reporting Demon’s mouth was that you were not returning.”

She swallowed, unable to meet her Father’s eyes. He had usually left her punishment for disobedience to Kai, saying that it was Kai who she would be bound to; so the Daimon needed to learn how to make her come to heel. But on occasion, Lucifer would handle it on his own. She cursed the fear those newly acquired memories filled her with; yet at the same time was grateful they had shown her that she didn’t want to anger the Devil overmuch.

“Look at me when I’m taking to you!” Lucifer snapped, grabbing her hair and pulling her head back. Exhaling, he gently smoothed her hair. “Your refusal to come home hurt me.”

Reyanna stared at him, not knowing what to say.

“I want to know why. It’s the least you can do. Tell me. Why didn’t you return? Did I not love and provide for you, like any good father should. Maybe I was too lenient and kind. I know I never replaced you, or commanded that you bow down to lesser beings, like my Father did with me. If you wanted friends you all you had to do was say. You didn’t have to make them in the form of this Llaes and stay away.”

Mentioning the Llaes made Lucifer recalled the first conversation he and Toshinori had had concerning it.

“I told you at the start that she was an abomination and needed to be put down. You should have killed her then.”

“She was child.”

Toshinori huffed. “As if that’s ever given you pause.”

“My child.” Lucifer stressed.

The Archangel tossed him a sideways glance. “Are you so sure of that?”

“She came out of a human woman I fucked.” The Devil snapped. “Yes. I’m sure. I sired her.”

“She’s doing things she shouldn’t be able to do.”

“It’s called human ingenuity. She gets it from her mother.” Lucifer said, snidely.

“She altered reality.”

“What can I say, the girl has my power.” The Devil smirked, downplaying how unnerved he was by what his Daughter had done.

“And when was the last time you created a position and purpose and got everyone in the four realms to go along with it as if it had always been?” Toshinori questioned, pointedly.

“I created fucking life!” Lucifer snapped, not liking his ability being belittled.

“And she created a lie that no one, including her, is questioning. What she did is bad enough. But for her to not even know what she did. For her to believe with the rest of them that this Llaes…” Toshinori shook his head. “I’m the only one in heaven who seems aware that it wasn’t always a thing. Some are beginning to call this Abril the Child of Hope.”

Lucifer laughed at that.

“It’s not funny.” Toshinori rumbled.

“Yes. It is.”

“Lucifer, this has gone too far. What are you going to do?”

“What do you mean, what am I going to do?”

“This is your mess. She’s your Daughter. End her.”

“I don’t think I can.” The Devil said, glad when Toshinori didn’t ask if the reasoning was physical or emotional. Honestly, he didn’t even know at that point. He shrugged. “So the Llaes is something Reyanna created and somehow got everyone to go along with. It’s not like this Llaes’ purpose is a bad one. Sealing away the Leviathan’s.” He eyed the Archangel devilishly. “If anything, I would have thought you’d be grateful. Considering it’s your mess she’s cleaning up.”

Toshinori glowered at the Daimon’s taunting play.

During his days as an Archangel, Lucifer’s personality had been irreverent and changeable; but since his uprising and subsequent fall, the pendulum of his moods swung far wider and faster. One moment the Devil could be joyous and smiling, the next crushing in someone skull with his bare hands, mouth open to savor the spray of blood.

Even as the lead Chief of heaven, it would be unwise to antagonize the Devil by speaking harshly. An all out war with hell wasn’t in anyone's best interest, especially with Leviathan’s freely roaming the earth.

“The Leviathan’s being loose effects us all.” Toshinori said.

“Agreed. But can we also agree that their being set free was your fault?”

“They weren’t set--” Toshinori sighed. “It wasn’t my fault.”

“So the Leviathan’s didn’t break free from the cell you put them in? Here’s an idea! Why not let my girl and this person she created clean up your little problem.”

“Reyanna didn’t create the woman. Abril existed before this Llaes mess. She was born and grew just like any other human. All your spawn did was create a title and power.”

“And got everyone in the four realms to believe it as if there had always been some history or prophecy that spoken of a Sealer.” Lucifer added, both proud and disturbed by what his Daughter had done.

“Exactly.”

“Everyone but you and me.”

Toshinori was sure, or at least hoped, that there were others out there unswayed by whatever Reyanna had done. Best as he could tell, want may have played some kind of factor. And though Toshinori did want the problem of the Leviathan’s taken care of, as lead Archangel of heaven, he hadn’t been looking for another to fix the issue.

“I don’t like it.” Toshinori contended.

“You don’t like much, Toshi.”

While that wasn’t true, Toshinori didn’t argue.

“Let my Daughter and this Llaes of hers have a shot. It’s the least you can do for having that Assassin of yours steal her away and try to kill her.”

Toshinori’s eyes narrowed.

“What?” Lucifer asked. “Did you think my General wouldn’t immediately inform me of Reyanna’s abduction? Aizawa is nothing if not a thorough, consummate professional.”

“Do you know where she and Hawks are now?” The Archangel asked.

Though Aizawa had thus far failed in finding her, the urgency to do so and concern for Reyanna’s life were eased when it was learned that she had somehow managed to win Hawks over, getting him to disregard his Word and leave heaven. The Devil couldn’t help but feel a bit of pride at that. His Daughter was certainly something special. But the fact that she had chosen to remain away and hidden…

Not wanting to admit that he didn’t know where Reyanna was, Lucifer questioned. “Why? So you can punish Hawks for abandoning heaven and failing the task you set him? Or so you can try to kill my Daughter again?”

“If you’re looking for an apology, you aren’t going to get one.” Toshinori replied.

“Nice as that would be. You’re too much like our Father for me to expect that sort of thing from you.”

“I take that as a compliment.”

Lucifer rolled his eyes. “You would.”

Toshinori considered Lucifer's suggestion. Letting the Nephilim and this Llaes try their hand at dealing with the Leviathan’s would allow him to give his forces a much needed break. Not that he would pull the Host back entirely. But a lessening of patrols and lengthening of recovery time would be of benefit.

“And if they succeed? What then?” The Archangel asked.

“What do you mean, what then? You want to give me and my girl thanks and a crown for cleaning up your mess?”

“What do we do with this Llaes then?” Toshinori questioned.

“You mean this Child of Hope that your Host is starting to look to?” Lucifer needled.

Toshinori ground his teeth and waited for an answer.

“Well, if they succeed. The Llaes is yours to do with as you will. But as thanks, Reyanna is left untouched.” The Devil’s eyes glowed with his power, his demonic voice causing the earth to quake. “And our absent Father help you if you make a move against her.”

“Tell me why, Anna? What will it take to make you happy here? To have you be a good, grateful, obedient Daughter.”

Reyanna glared at him, her lip curled in a snarl.

Lucifer stared back at her, thinking that Toshinori had been right to fear her. That maybe, he should have killed her as a child. But what she had done… As unnerving as it was, it also made him proud and hopeful. He had sired her. Created her. She was only capable of doing what she could do because of him. Her power hadn’t come from her human mother. It came from him. The human side of her had only unlocked the fetters God had put on him.

Seeing the power he could have had. That all his kind could have had, if God had but given them the creativity and freewill that He had given humanity. It enraged him like no other thing ever had before. It made him furious that his stubborn wretch of a Daughter had such power and didn’t even know it. That she wasn’t even aware of what she had done. And that he was left trying to win her over. That he had to convince her to use her power for his purposes. He had given her so much. Had seen her protected from Toshinori and taught by one of his best General's and closest friends. And what had she done? Thanklessly taken, tainted, and twisted everything he had offered. Toshinori had been right. She was an abomination.

“Answer me.” Lucifer sneered.

“Where’s--”

The Devil struck her, and kept on hitting her till he was breathless. Standing back, he smoothed his jacket and straightened his cuffs.

“I’m trying to be nice here, Reyanna. Your suffering is your own doing. Be a good Daughter, and submit and all of this will end.”

“I won’t hand over the Llaes.” She said, blinking blood out of her eye.

“I’m not interested in the friend you made.” Lucifer spat.

“You wanted the last one.”

“A means to an end. But now,” he brushed her hair gently off her shoulders, “I have you. My sweet, beloved girl. Why would I want the Llaes when I have you?”

She stared mutely at him. The memories from her life in hell not helping her understand his reasoning. Glad as she was for it, she couldn’t fathom why he wouldn’t want Todoroki. What prize was she compared to the person who could seal the gates of heaven or hell?

“Come now, my Dear. Come back to the fold.”

“I won’t kill for you.”

Lucifer heaved a heavy sigh. “Clearly Aizawa also didn’t instruct you on bargaining either. You can’t just take, Child. You have to give.” His eyes glowed with his power. “Give willingly. Or it will be taken.”

“Fuck you!” Reyanna barked. “Where’s Shou--”

With a snap, the chains holding Reyanna upright and spread eagle loosened from their pulleys by several feet. She barely had a chance to register that she could move somewhat freely when Lucifer’s fist connected with her stomach, knocking the air out of her. She didn’t have a chance to catch her breath as he beat her to the floor, exchanging punches for well placed kicks.

A sharp telling snap sounded at one of his kicks, and then another. Reyanna curled up on herself, biting her bottom lip bloody against the pain of the broken ribs.

Satisfied, Lucifer spat on her and turned to Kai.

“I’ll leave you to the rest, General. See she gets a warm welcome.”

Eyes on Reyanna, Kai nodded. “Of course.”

Lucifer stepped to the door and stopped. “And Kai.”

“Sir?”

The Devil glanced at Reyanna, thinking that the last thing they needed was her unwittingly surpass her normal, expected limits. “Bend her. Don’t break her.”

Once the door had closed, Kai sauntered over and squatted beside Reyanna. His gloved hand reached out smoothing her hair out of her face, with near tender fondness. “So. Where were we?”

27.5

Hawks flinted to their new home.

“Where’s Sakamata?” Hizashi asked, rushing to the Archangel.

It was doubtful, but the Angel hoped that the Daimon might have a way of discovering if Shouta and Reyanna truly were still stuck in hell.

Hawks shook his head, dully noticing that Hizashi was no longer wearing the Mask. “Anna?”

Green eyes pooled with worry and unshed tears, Hizashi shook his head. “The kids said--”

Hawks thrust out his hand, wings ruffling in fearful agitation. “Give me the Janus coin.”

Hizashi opened a shaky hand.

Hawks snatched the coin from the Angel’s hand. He was done playing games. If it weren’t for his Restraint Sakamata wouldn’t have needed to stay behind and… His eyes squeezed shut at the thought of the destruction. The seventeen miles surrounding where Sakamata had stood was now nothing but ash. All those people. Children. Innocent's

He tossed the coin and caught it. Nothing happened.

“He won’t come out.” Hizashi told. “I’ve tried--”

Snarling, Hawks threw the coin on the carpeted floor. “Get the fuck out here you good for nothing mongrel, before I melt that coin you’re in down.”

The Janus appeared in a flash of gold light. The twin faced Third stretched, groaning loudly.

“Where are they?” Hawks demanded.

“It feels so good to be out of that thing.” The Janus said. “That Daimon never once let me out since forcing me in. Not even when he used his first path to find,” the eyes on the face facing left flicked over to Todoroki, “you.”

“You’ll go back in if you don’t answer the damned question.” Hawks threatened, wings expanding. “Where are they? Where’s Anna?”

“Still in hell, I would imagine.” The Janus said.

“But you agreed to bring them out.” Hizashi said, voice pleading.

“I did.”

“So do it.” Hawks commanded.

“Make me." The left face of the Janus said. "You can’t.” The right face taunted. “Neither can you.” He gestured to Hizashi. “Or you.” He waved a hand at Hitoshi. “You.” The Janus eyed Todoroki. “You might be able to. But like the Mistress, currently stuck in hell, you have no idea what you truly are.”

“Bring them out.” Hawks growled, blade dropping into his hand.

“Kill me and I won’t be able to.”

“There are things worse than death.” Hawks told.

“I know.” The Janus said. “Which is why I just assume leave the Mistress down there for as long as I can in the hopes that we’re lucky and she dies.” He gave Hitoshi a wink.

“You can’t go back on an agreement or disobey an order from your Carrier.” Hizashi said.

“True. But like all compels, commands can be ignored for as long as one can tolerate the pain that comes with disobedience.” One of the Janus’ faces gave a wicked smile, while the other snarled. “Unlucky for that Daimon bastard. Being housed in a too small coin has left me with a fairly high threshold for pain.”

Chapter Text

28.1

Reyanna threw on a dull wool dress, wrapping a plain corded belt loosely around her waist. Today was what her Father abhorrently called her and Kai’s courting day; and because of that she put zero effort into her appearance. Hair unbrushed and still dripping wet, she sulked out of the wardrobe, stopping short at the sight of Shouta standing in the doorway of her bed chamber.

Shouta halted, staring back at her. He had woken in a foul mood, killing the first two demons that dared wish him good morning. Lies. The morning was far from good. Until now...

“Anna.” He breathed, taking her in, unmoving. He felt his face and ears heat as he realized just how foolish he was; not just in taking the risk of coming to see her, but in needing to see her, like some lovesick youth. Even so, he confessed. “I had to see you, Kitten.”

Reyanna’s smiling face had Shouta's lips quirking upward, despite the disturbing news Lucifer had just told him.

“I’m glad.” She beamed.

She ran a hand over her messy, damp hair and smoothed her dress, sorry she hadn’t at least put a brush through her hair.

Shouta’s heart melted at her worried fidgeting. His silly Kitten really had no clue how beautiful she was. She could be covered in mud, eyes blood-shot and haggard, wearing nothing but dirty, stinking rags and she would still be the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

His mind conjured up images of their last bliss filled time alone together, he expression turning predatory. He glanced quickly back to the sitting room, making sure that he had locked the entry door behind him.

Stalking toward her, he rumbled lowly. “I’ve missed you, Kitten.”

Reyanna fought a smile, her tone cheeky in its innocent. “I can’t imagine why. We were together all day yesterday for lessons and train--”

She squealed, dancing away when he lunged forward the last two feet. Shouta growled, the tips of his fingers brushing her.

“You’re going to have to do better than that.” She taunted. “I have an excellent instructor who taught me all about evasion.”

Shouta turned, the grin on his face showing too many teeth. It was a smile that Reyanna loved and she found herself momentarily distracted by the sight of it.

He made for her again, his fast, fluid movements reminiscent of his fighting style yet baring nothing but purposeful playfulness.

Again Reyanna danced away, giggling.

“I will have you.” Shouta said, shoving a lounge chair out of his path.

“Good.”

He lunged for her only to take a steadying step back when she dashed to him. His arms wrapped tightly around her. “Caught you.”

“Did you now?” She drawled, hands roaming over his shoulders.

Shouta hummed fighting down his need to kiss her. Kai was due to collect her at any moment. While the thought of leaving her lips red and swallow made him stir with wanting, it was something he absolutely could not do right now. Especially after what Lucifer had called him into his office to tell him this morning.

Shouta sobered. Reyanna would be bonded to Kai on her thirtieth birthday. While he had known time was running short, three months…

“I’m getting you out of here.” He told, holding her tighter.

Reyanna pulled back as far as Shouta's arms would allow. “What! Now?”

They had been together, in secret, for thirteen months. And over the course of that time, Shouta had told her two things she still had difficultly believing. Two things that had made her the happiness person in existence, and never ceased to make her heart skip a beat and thunder in her chest every time she thought about them. She felt a doubtful, unworthy, excitement at Shouta's love. But it was his promise to get her out of hell and see that she never went to Kai, that suffused her with hope filled nervousness.

“No.” Shouta said, regretfully. He cupped her face, thumb tracing across cheek as he took in her sweet face. “Not now, but soon. I need you to be ready and watching for my word.”

He didn’t want to worry her by admitting that, while he had plenty of ideas, there was no clear plan. All of the notions he had, had some major flaw. They would only get one chance. If he got caught, he would likely be tortured and put to death. But she would be punished and given to Kai. His jaw clenched at the thought. He needed her to be vigilant and prepared to go at a moments notice; cause if he saw an opening he would take it.

“Can you do that for me, Anna?” He kissed her lightly, lips brushing hers as he softly spoke. “Be watching and ready during these next couple months?”

Reyanna didn’t need him to tell her why it would be happening in that time frame. While there was still so much left for her to learn, it was a wonder that her Father had waited this long given how eager he was to see her bonded to Kai.

She nodded, jumping when a sharp knock sound on her chamber door.

Shouta tensed, a growl sounding from his chest. Despite the foolishness of the risk, his jealously drove him to lay a claiming kiss.

His passionate kiss was far too short, but it still managed to leave her breathless.

“Good girl.” He praised, reluctantly stepping aside and out of sight.

Kai watched Reyanna closely out of the corner of his eye. It was obvious the Nephilim didn’t like him. Her attitude, while formally respectful, always had an air of aloof distaste. It was more than fear. The fear he quite enjoyed. He likely wouldn’t have even minded her purposeful distance if she weren’t so affable with everyone else.

He recalled the easy closeness he had seen between her and Aizawa when secretly checking up on her lessons with the Daimon. Anyone else might have thought it expected given that Aizawa had been instructing her near daily for almost thirty years. But Kai knew better. He knew Aizawa. There was no getting Aizawa to warm up to a person that much, unless...

A young man carrying a pile of scrolls bumped into Reyanna. Or more correctly, she bumped into him.

Reyanna’s swimming thoughts drained away. She reached a hand out to steady the man, the other catching three rolled parchments before they hit the ground.

“Pardon! Fine lady--”

“It’s alright.” Reyanna bent to help him gather the other dropped scrolls. “I wasn’t looking where--” She stopped, a weight of dull, cold repugnance settling in the pit of her stomach.

The young man’s wide, pained, uncomprehending eyes were the last thing to break away and be taken up by the cold winter.

Dropping the scrolls, Reyanna straightened and spun around. “Why!”

“He touched you.”

“I bumped into him! You didn’t have to--”

“Are you saying you sought the touch of another?” Kai questioned, dangerously.

The subtle glow of the General’s gold eyes made Reyanna’s indignation whither, fear rising up in its stead. She shook her head, taking a step back.

Kai grabbed her arm, pulling her closer to him. “You’re mine, Reyanna.” He uttered, softly over her head. “Lucifer promised you to me. I won’t have what is mine sullied by anothers eyes, let alone their touch. If someone dare looks at or touches you, I will end them without word or question. And you will not speak out or demand answers as to why. Am I understood?”

She hated the tears that prickled her eyes, that his words and bruising grasp brought forth.

His other hand lifted and wrapped around her throat. “Answer me.”

“I...under—stand.” She gritted.

The hand holding her arm let go and pulled down the hood of her cloak, the sharp gusts of wind instantly sweeping up her loose and unadorned hair. His eyes followed her flowing tresses, watching the strands dance and tangle together. Was everything about the damned woman distracting?

His gaze returned to her face, taking in the hypnotizing twin dark pools of her eyes. He had so many wants and questions when it came to her. He was tired of waiting. He would quench some of those desires, and discover some of those answers today.

He flinted them to a vacant garden hide away that he had ordered Kurono prepare for him. “Has anyone dared touch you that I’m not aware about?”

Reyanna took in the change of location, her fear growing. “Where are we? Why--”

Kai struck her, the hand around the throat tightening. “When I ask you a question, I expect an immediate answer.”

Instinctively, she sucked in and licked at her bloodied lower lip, her prodding tongue feeling the cut slowly close.

Kai’s cock stirred at the sight of her swiping, pink tongue.

“Well?” He demanded.

“No.” Reyanna said, firmly. Her response meant for his statement about expecting immediate answers.

It was one of the first lessons Shouta had given her about lying and deception. To do everything she could to avoid flat out lies. To twist, feign, and talk about something true that was other than the truth someone sought; because no matter how good one was, lies were always more easily forgotten and caught than deceptions.

Kai scrutinized her a moment before easing his hold. “Good. I would hate to have to punish you for keeping something like that from me.”

Reyanna forced down a derisive huff. Talk about lies!

The General’s gaze narrowed. “You don’t believe me?”

She stared, not knowing what to say. Though the four marble walls and shuttered windows kept the worst of the chilling winds at bay, she shivered. Why were they here? The place was lit and freshly swept, as if people had been expected; but it wasn’t set up for any kind of gathering.

Once again his grip tightened around her throat. “Answer me.”

“No.” She said, struggling against the urge to claw at his hand, break free, and flint away.

“No what?”

“I don’t believe you.”

He dipped down, pulling her closer when she pulled her head back. “You think I like hurting you?”

“I think you like hurting people period, doesn’t matter who they are.”

Kai's expression became dull and impassive.

Reyanna swallowed, stomach dropping. Somewhere in the back of her mind she found it odd how this expression was more frightful than his usual poorly hidden malevolence.

He gave a hollow chuckle, his eyes crinkling in the corners at his smile. “Maybe Aizawa was right.”

General’s eyes sharpened and narrowed, seeing the slight widening of hers at the mention of the other Daimon's name. He felt her throat move as she swallowed. Slowly, his hand slid around to the back of her neck, feeling the tension in her neck and shoulders grow.

“I must admit, I wasn’t pleased two years ago, when he convinced Lucifer that you required further instruction. But your extra time with him has clearly been of use. Willful and proud as you are, you never would have been outspoken or brave enough to answer me so a year ago.” He pulled her closer, breathing in the air she exhaled. “Tell me. What else has Aizawa been teaching you these days?”

Looking anywhere but at him, Reyanna caught sight of a basin and pitcher of water, with fresh towels beside. Who would be needing to wash up and why?

“Reyanna.”

Kai’s stern, impatient call pulled her focus back to him.

“Why are we here?” She asked.

“Answer the question.”

Her brow furrowed. “What question?”

“What has Aizawa been teaching you these past two years?”

Her mouth went dry. It was easy to sound irritated, given the way Kai was touching her, but there was an edge of fear in her tone that made her silently curse.

“Did Aizawa put you up to this?” She let her disgust at his nearest show, pretending it was over the subject, and stepped away, trying to shake off his hold. “I know he thinks I could be doing better, but he didn’t need to ask you to check how well I was retaining his lessons.”

Kai’s hand clamped down so tightly, Reyanna winced, hissing.

Instinct took over. She pushed at Kai’s arm, ducking down and away, breaking his hold on her neck.

Kai reached out, grabbing Reyanna’s left arm, pulling her back toward him.

Her right palm struck him in the chest, her left arm rotating free of his grip. She tried to flint, but found she couldn’t. Her mind whirled at that. The room was sealed! Why? Had Kai sealed it? When? He had flinted them in, though depending on the spellwork that didn’t make a difference. Either way, this wasn’t good. She had to get out. She might be punished for her actions later, but that thought was eerily acceptable compared to her growing unease.

She glanced at the weak wooden door, but before she could take a step Kai had grabbed her again.

Blade dropping into her hand, Reyanna snarled. “Get in my way again and I won’t hesitate to show you what Aizawa's taught me.”

Kai took a step to the left. One inch more to her right, and she would be fully in the circle and his to do with and question without concern of her making escape.

He unclasped his cloak, his mind thinking over his suspicions.

“I would very much like you to show me everything Aizawa has taught you over the last couple years. But first...” He twirled his cloak off his shoulders, arms extending as the material circled forward and out toward her.

Reyanna stepped back and to the side, entering the circle that would keep her bound until he broke it and released her.

The Daimon grinned, wickedly.

Reyanna gaped, watching in breathless horror as the circle she had stepped into lit up, activating. When the glow faded, she found she had difficulty seeing the inscriptions etched into the floor, despite now knowing where they were. Even so, she was kicking herself for not noticing earlier.

She focused her glare on Kai. “Release me. Now!”

“Let’s see you release yourself.”

“What?” She asked, confusion making her scowl deepen.

Kai stepped around the circle. He could enter it without fear of being trapped himself; but she still had her blade, and he had little doubt she would use it. He would get the weapon, and so much more off her, but there was no need to rush.

“Four months ago, you made an impressive display of power.” Kai said, coming to a stop. “Power that you have never before shown. Power that you, practically speaking, should not have.”

Reyanna paused, the tip of her blade lowering an inch. She knew exactly what he was talking about, and agreed. She had no idea how she had done what she did on the battlefield. Only that it left her unconscious and drained for days. And...that the power she had tapped into couldn’t fully be called her own. It had scared her. Still scared her. And it had widened the tear that connected Oblvi to earth.

“I want to see what else, if anything, you can do that you shouldn’t be able to.” Kai went on.

He had gone to Lucifer, asking the Devil to let him have her. Wanting to take Reyanna and test her limits. Of course Aizawa had been against it, saying that this just proved his point. That Reyanna required more time and further instruction. Still, Kai had argued his case, though it had come as no surprise when Lucifer had let Aizawa have his way. Aizawa. The eternal proverbial torn in his side.

“No.” Reyanna shook her head. “What I did… Even if I knew what and how... It widened the way for Thirds to come through. No one wants that.”

Kai was on her in an instant. He took a slash from her blade across his arm with little notice. Grabbing her left arm, he tore it apart.

Her blade clattered to the floor, Reyanna screaming out in pain.

He pieced her arm back together and swept a leg behind hers, knocking her back.

The back of Reyanna’s head bounced off the floor.

Kai plopped down on her chest, straddling her, uncaring of her gasps for air.

“You have no idea what I want.” He sneered, grabbing her roughly by the face. He took in her wild, terrified eyes, a devilish gleam creeping into his own. “Or maybe you do.” He licked his lips, imagining all the things he could do to her. Things that no other has, or would ever do except for him. “Thirty years is a long time to wait, Reyanna. I’m tired of waiting for my chance to instruct you in the way of things.”

“Get--” She struggled, clawing and trying to push him off her. “Get off!”

“I don’t know if it’s because your a shy little virgin, or that you just don’t like me. But you have spurned me for long enough.”

She couldn’t flint or fight him off, so she begged. “Kai! Don’t! Please, don’t.”

“Shut up.” He growled out, knocking her head back against the floor. “You tell any stranger off the street that it’s alright when they touch you, but move away with I do.” His hand lowered from her face to her throat. “Tell me. Are you trying to be a tease and make me jealous, or are you just a little whore?”

Reyanna pawed at his choking hand, feet uselessly kicking out. All the defensive moves that Shouta had taught her, that came as second nature in battle were nowhere to be found. Her mind blank in her feral struggle to get free.

“Please!”

He slapped her roughly across the face. “Answer me. Bitch! Are you a whore or a tease?”

“No. No. No!” She tried to flint away again but it was useless. “Kai. Please! Lucif--”

His thumb and middle finger pinched against the hinge of her jaw, his affinity taking apart enough of the area that she couldn’t open or close her mouth.

“Lucifer will understand. Hell. He’d even be pleased, if you came away baring my child.” He stared down at her widened eyes, the low burning glow of his lowering to her quivering lips. “But first...” His free hand pulled at the drawstring of his pants. “If you’re not going to answer my questions, I may as well put that mouth of yours to another use.”

The sounds coming out of Reyanna’s throat turned animalistic. She tried to plead and bargain. To promise to answer any questions he had. But she couldn’t speak. Not with him using his affinity on her jaw like that. The pain became secondary to her fear. She did everything she could to push the Daimon off. It roll onto her side, or crawl out from under him. But in a straight up battle against his strength, there was just no winning, especially from the position she was in.

Kai leaned slightly back, smirking cruelly at her clawing, punching hands. “It’s better this way. I much prefer you get all this fight out of your system now, so you’ll be a submissive little bride the night we’re bonded. Still,” His eyes glowed brighter, his affinity tearing her arms and legs apart, “let’s make this a bit easier on the both of us. Hum?”

Reyanna’s screams increased, her throat becoming raw from the strain.

Kai shoved down his pants, smile widening. The sweet sound of her agony made his cock bump her face as it twitched, smearing pre-cum across her cheek.

“Such a dirty slut.” He derided, taking himself to hand and slapping her with his dick.

Tears rolled readily from Reyanna’s eyes. Shouta. No! She wanted Shouta. If Shouta were here he would protect her. He would kill Kai. He would hold the General down while she cut off his parts and...

Fun as this was, Kai could only use his affinity on her for so long before he weakened.

“I’d tell you to be mindful of your teeth, but since you can’t bite down...” He thrust his length in her mouth and down her gagging throat, groaning at the warm, wet, tightness.

Damn. He liked her like this. He should have done this years ago. Wiped away her thin-lipped, barely concealed hate and displeasure by throwing her down on back and replacing that expression for a pain pinched brow and lips that were stretched thin around his cock.

“Look at me, Reyanna.”

With her air cut off, Reyanna couldn’t even properly gag. Her stomach retched, but there was nothing in there since she hadn’t required sustenance for a few days.

Kai pushed further down her spasming esophagus. “I said, look at me.”

Her overtaxed senses and spinning mind heard and processed Kai’s words that time. Still, she kept eyes squeezed shut. Shouta. She wanted Shouta. The stinging tears seeping from her eyes increased at the thought of him and how furious he would be at the sight of this. If only he had taken her away this morning, instead of just telling her to be ready.

She recalled how her heart had soared at his words, realizing that he had been serious when he had said he would get her out of here. That fired excitement snuffed out, turning so cold it burned a hole in her chest. What if Shouta didn’t want her after this?

“Let’s see how long you can hold your breath for then.” Kai murmured, dispassionately. “Cause I’m not moving till you open your eyes and look at me.”

Bright dots of light flashed in the blind darkness under Reyanna’s eyelids. Her hyper aware, adrenaline fueled brain slowed and became fuzzy. The dots of light invading her vision dimmed with their every appearance.

The blue tint of her lips had Kai growing nervous. He didn’t want to go back on a threat, but Reyanna was just the type of stubborn bitch that would rather die than give in.

Shit. He pulled out of her throat, his cock resting heavy on her tongue.

Reyanna’s eyes snapped open. She gasped for air, head lifting. The head of Kai’s cock hit the back of her aching throat making her gag. Her lungs and throat burned. But that and the pain at her jaw, where Kai used his affinity, were nothing compared to the pain of her arms and legs, which were still a swirling mass.

Her head fell back. There was too much sensory input for her brain to handle. Despite the place being closed up and shuttered, the floor was freezing cold, making her stiff and tired. Her eyes fluttered, the sharp, searing pain and numbness from the cold causing a disconnect that she wanted to achieve in her mind.

“Prideful, Bitch.” Kai sneered, thrusting back in her esophagus.

He didn’t hold the position this time, but started a rough pace that saw him sheathed completely down her throat each time. The first sight of blood speckled saliva oozing from her mouth made his nose wrinkle in disgust, yet at the same time a sadistic grin pulled at his lips.

The taste of iron mixed with the revolting taste of his pre-cum. She wanted to kill him. To get away and pretend this never happened. To bite down and rip his dick off and shove it down his throat till he died, choking on it. But most of all, she wanted Shouta to tell her everything was going to be alright. That he would kill Kai and take her away from her. That he would be patient and stay with her no matter what this Monster did, because he loved her.

Fuck. She felt good. He really should have done this years ago. To think that if he had, Reyanna might have born him a child or two already. Lucifer certainly would have seen them bonded then, no matter what Aizawa said about her not being ready and needing further lessons.

He pulled out and stroked himself to completion, cumming on her face.

Reyanna found herself whole again. Sputtering, she wiped at her face, coughing and drawing in ragged lungfuls of air that stung like sharpened quills piercing her battered, torn esophagus. She stifled the urge to swallow, spitting instead. Still, the feel and taste of him remained. She spit and spit again, her hands roughly scrubbing at her face.

Kai moved down till he knelt between her legs. “Disgusting whore. Don’t act like you don’t love my cum dripping off your face.” He tore open her cloak and gown in one rough motion. “Filthy Bitch.”

The sound of tearing fabric and invasion of cold air that washed over her, cleared Reyanna’s mind of her dissociation. She reared up, reaching to hit and push.

“No!” She cried.

She tried the flint away, the seals in place still as solid and sturdy as a rock wall.

Kai’s hand once again wrapped around her swollen, bruised throat. He pushed her back down.

She tried to fight, claw, kick, even call upon her blade, but her arms and legs were once again torn apart.

“Still so much fight after all of that.” Kai panted, lining himself up with her. “Let’s hope the child we make today has that same spirit.”

Reyanna’s pleas and protests cut off in an agonized wail.

Kai’s hips came to an abrupt halt, wincing at the dry pull against his cock. He pulled back, and plunged a finger into her. Damn. The Bitch was tight. But she was also dry. He pulled his finger out and brought his hand up, covering her mouth.

“Spit.”

She fought the urge to bite his hand, and gritted her teeth. There was no way she was doing what he wanted, she would rather die.

The hand around her throat squeezed threateningly.

With a growl, Kai’s thumb and middle finger pinched at her jaw’s hinge once more. He had used his affinity to the point that he was damp with sweat and feeling fatigued. Still, he would have her. He took her jaw apart just enough for his other hand to open her mouth and gather her bloodied saliva. His fingers dove into her mouth three more times, coating both his dick and her entrance to his satisfaction.

Her jaw back together, Reyanna spat in his face.

Glowing gold eyes locked on hers, Kai rammed four fingers into her, grinning at her writhing shout.

Pulling his fingers out, he lined back up. “Dirty fucking, Bitch. I’ll break you.”

He slammed his hips against hers, groaning at the tight, heat.

Pain. That was the sum total of her world. The numb, yet burning cold against her bare skin, the scalding sear of her raw throat. The sharp stinging pain of being so roughly used. The overwhelming pain of her limbs being torn apart. And that was just the physical. Her mind and body were drowning in agony, but in the eye of that raging storm was the only person capable of keeping her afloat. The only reason she hadn’t given up, and was still fighting. Aizawa Shouta.

Her shame took her breath away. What would Shouta say if he learned about this? That she should have been smarter? Fought harder? What if he wouldn’t take her back? What if he found her tainted and disgusting? She started to hyperventilate. Shouta wanted her. Loved her. Wanted to be with her to the point that he was willing to risk his position and life for a few stolen moments with her. He was actively planning on a way to get her out and away from hell. Suddenly the thought of Shouta finding out had her fearful for completely different reasons. Even if Shouta survived confronting Kai, Lucifer would see him put down, or worse. She’d never see her Love again.

Kai grunted, rutting harshly into her. He no longer cared that she wasn’t looking at him with tearful eyes filled with beautiful terror. Or that her mind had slipped elsewhere. He was close.

Shouta could never know, she decided. But if Kai managed… No! She was not having that Monster’s child. The thought of Kai’s seed spitting into her, made her dead, unmoving body squirm. She couldn’t let that happen. She wouldn’t let it happen.

Having to use his affinity for such a length of time was taxing. The closer he got, the more difficult it became to hold his affinity in check, his mind focused on his trusts and pleasure.

Reyanna gasped through a sudden hole in her throat. Kai really and truly was tearing her apart. If he continued he was going to kill her.

Her eyes snapped open, twin black voids in place of the usual warm brown.

“Make them bow, Child.” A voice older than time echoed in her mind. “It’s the reason I lend you my power. To make them bow.”

Even though she shouldn’t have been able to use her power torn apart as she was, Kai felt Reyanna’s power swell.

The pain almost instantly stopped. She felt a soft warmth beneath her, the weight on top of her gone. Reyanna’s eyes cleared, returning to a warm, dark brown. Distantly, she registered that she was in her bed back in hell, Kai nowhere in sight. Then her eyes fluttered closed and she lost consciousness.

Reyanna felt infinitely more filthy than she had seconds before she had relived the memory. She found herself unconsciously scrubbing at her face, and forced her hand back down. Out of all the things her mind could have shown her, why that horrid, terrifying experience? Her body trembled, the chains attached to the manacles around her ankles and wrists rattling.

Kai watched her quake on the floor. She looked so scared. So weak and helpless. Who would’ve thought that she was capable of such power. He recalled the day in the garden hide away. How warm and tight her mouth and cunt had been. How he had both wanted to see her surpass her ability and break her into a submissive little mouse. He had gotten one of those things. Though seeing her surpass her ability hadn’t been nearly as satisfying as he had originally imagined.

Lucifer hadn’t been pleased that the tear to Oblvi had been further widened, making it that much easier for Thirds to pass through to earth.

Kai’s lip curled up in a snarl, remembering how Reyanna had left him so suddenly that he had thrusted into the floor. How he had been so close and needing release that he hadn’t even sought out some human virgin back in town, but had finished himself off. Disgusting.

He wiped his hand on his pant leg at the memory.

With a snap of his fingers the chains pulled, once again making her stand spread eagle. “We’ll get to the punishment and questioning later.” Kai said, eyes raking over her. “But first, we have some unfinished business to attend to.”

28.2

Time seemed to slow when one was terrified, but even so, Dabi knew he had been left alone in Kai lab for an extensive length of time. If he hadn’t known what Aizawa and Reyanna had been planning, Dabi might have thought it a new technique the General was using to get in his subjects heads.

The fact that he was left alone for so long couldn’t have meant anything good for the twos little excursion. Fuck! He knew Aizawa was gonna be the death of him. He knew Todoroki freeing his soul was an impossible task. He cursed his stupid, bright eyed naivety for the small bit of hope he had felt.

The Llaes was as good as dead, if not dead already. Hitoshi was certainly dead already. He found himself slightly sorry for Todoroki’s loss. The kid had seemed like a good sort. And distant as it was, he had been family. He even begrudgingly felt bad for the feisty, lavender haired Third, hateful abomination that he was.

He knew Aizawa and Reyanna wouldn’t sell him out. But with Reyanna in possession, it was only a matter of time before it was discovered that he was tied to her. That, unwillingly or not, he had played a part and helped them.

He wondered what happened after a true death. Nothingness? At this point anything would be preferable to what was in store for him strapped to a table in Kai’s lab.

A jolt of fearful adrenaline shot through him at the opening of the lab’s door.

“Such useless, woe some thoughts.” Shigaraki muttered, entering the space. “You’re as weak and tiresome as I thought. I have no idea why my Master wanted me to free you.”

Dabi’s surprise evaporated at the sight of a chronicle peaking out of the other Demon’s jacket. “Quit reading my private thoughts, you creepy ass freak! It’s rude.”

“I wasn’t.”

“Then what’s that?” Dabi jutted his chin at the tome.

Shigaraki’s hand patted the book. “A surprise.”

Dabi’s eyes narrowed. “Then...”

“How did I know you were wallowing in infantile self pity?” Shigaraki smile was the picture of needling smugness. “Cause you’re just that pathetic. And confirmed was much when you snapped at me.”

Dabi’s mind just registered the Creeps earlier words. “The Daimon of Death wants you to free me?” A chilled foreboding ran up his spine along with heated relief. “Why?”

“Don’t know.” Shigaraki shrugged. And now I never will, he thought. “Hold still.” He said, stepping over to the table and holding out a hand.

The memory of Shigaraki dusting the handful of pages from his chronicle played through his mind assuring that Dabi didn’t so much as breath.

Shigaraki quickly worked his way around the long table, touching the four bindings that held Dabi’s wrists and ankles.

Freed of the bonds, Dabi sat up and hopped off the table. “Thanks. Here’s hoping I don’t see your ugly face again.”

His chances of getting out of hell were slim, but he was dead anyway so why not try. What were they gonna do, add to the worse torment they could give him and kill him twice?

“Here.” Shigaraki shoved the chronicle he carried at him.

“What’s this?”

“It’s the chronicle you thought was yours. You really are an idiot.”

Dabi opened the book to the cover page and quickly dropped the heavy thing.

“What the fuck! That’s-- What the hell are you doing with that! You wanna get us killed!”

“My Master instructed me to bring it to you.”

“Why!” Dabi was practically screeching but he didn’t care. He couldn’t have lowered his voice if he tried.

“He didn’t say.” Shigaraki frowned. “Or, I didn’t get a chance to read.”

Dabi looked down at the chronicle, stepping away from it like it was a coiled snake ready to strike.

“Well you tell your creepy, crazy Daimon of Death master thanks for seeing me freed, but I don’t want that.” Dabi pointed at the chronicle on the floor.

“I can’t. He’s dead. Or I think he is. Kai...” Shigaraki fell silent.

Dabi gritted his teeth, eyes squeezing shut. Kai. It was always Kai. That bastard had hurt countless souls and ended countless more just for the hell of it. As hell's top General the Daimon was practically untouchable. His power and affinity fearsome. Dabi would give anything to see Kai in pain. Even if it was for only a moment.

Anything, the Demon asked himself. Even your own life? Dabi opened his eyes and stared down at the chronicle.

He bent down, scooping the book up. “I’m already dead anyway.”

28.3

Kai’s dick stirred at the way Reyanna’s breasts bounced with her thrashing.

“Tell me, Reyanna. How long has it been since Aizawa’s had at taste of you? Since before you wiped your mind and went to slumber, or has he won you over again?” The General's right eye twitched at that. The thought that someone like Aizawa would be able to win her over twice when he hadn’t been able to do so once. He pawed at one of her breasts. “Do you remember what a filthy whore you are?”

“Get--” She screamed, twisting and trying to bite at him. “--off!”

“You’re mine. Lucifer promised you to me. Do you remember that? That all of this,” his hand ran down to hip and back up to cup her breast, “is mine.”

“Fuck you! Get off!”

He ran his hand back over her, Reyanna’s heart lurching at the first sign of particles wafting off her. She braced herself for a pain that didn’t come. Instead of her being torn apart, it was her clothes.

Kai smiled at her naked frame. “Your less pleading this time.”

“Kai.” Reyanna cursed the tremor of her voice, the memory of what he had done to her, the way her fear made her muscles tremble. “Please.”

“Ah. There’s the fear. Good.” He pressed his erection against her right hip while his hand gripped her left, pulling her apart. “I’d say let’s make a child, but I now doubt you’re capable. Still, that won’t stop me from taking you over and over and over again.”

He hummed at the beautiful sound of her screams and wondered if maybe, just maybe he might be able to do what Aizawa couldn’t and fill her with a baby. Wouldn’t that wreck the Daimon. Just imagining Aizawa watching Reyanna’s belly swell with anothers child. With his child…

The cell door slammed open.

Kai spun around. “I said--”

“Let her go.” Dabi growled, turquoise eyes igniting in an eerie glow.

Shigaraki entered behind, quietly closing and securing the door.

“More forces are coming.” The red eyed Demon calmly told.

“Shut up! You’re ruining my moment.” Dabi snapped.

Kai stepped to the demon’s, his own eyes burning with his power.

Dabi flinched, backing away as blue flames ignited from his hand. It was hardly the brave hero look he was going for; but still, he managed to burn Kai’s chronicle before the Daimon reached him.

Kai fell to the ground, clawing at his head. The General writhed, howling at the burning agony. His head. No. His brain was ablaze.

Dabi tore off his coat and rushed to Reyanna. “Dust the chains! We gotta go.”

The chains baring Reyanna upright disintegrated at Shigaraki’s touch.

She fell into Dabi’s arms. “Shouta?”

“No time.” Dabi told.

She pushed against Dabi’s hold. “I’m not leaving without Shouta!”

A bang sounded at the door, followed by another.

Dabi looked from the door then down at the rune inscribed manacles still around Reyanna’s wrists and ankles. “Sorry, Doll. You don’t get a say. And with those things on, there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“Dabi. I command you to help me find Shouta.”

Even though he knew it wouldn’t work, Dabi paused waiting for the telling wrench of the compel.

Reyanna cursed. She had known the rune inscribed manacles would make her command null and void but she had had to try. “Dabi, please.” She pulled against him. “Please! We can’t leave Shouta. I won’t leave Shouta!”

Fresh warm air filled her lungs.

“We already have.” Dabi said.

He let her go, stepping back.

Reyanna fell to her knees, blind to the Demon that had hitched a ride out of hell with them.

Chapter Text

29.1

Shouta hissed at the lick of Nemuri's whip crossing over his arms and wrapping to strike his side. He had long ago lost count of the lashes, distancing his mind and focusing on how he could get to see Reyanna and get them out of here. But as the whipping continued, it became more and more difficult to detach himself from the ever increasing pain.

He sucked in a ragged breath, coughing and spitting out bloody saliva. With his face no more than six inches off the floor, Shouta stared at the swirl of red mixed spit. His mind then registered the telling taste of iron on his tongue. He hadn’t realized that he had been biting the inside of his lip in effort to keep from yelling out. All at once the weakened remainder of his shielding disconnect shattered.

Nemuri cracked her whip across him, smiling when Shouta finally cried out at her final blow. She stalked closer to him admiring the seeping red lines that crisscrossed over his bound arms, and back, and sides. It was a shame Kai had had Aizawa tied in such a way. She would have loved to better leave her mark on his back, not that it would have stayed long.

“You’re such a stubborn, prideful brat, Aizawa. I could understand and forgive it when you were Lucifer's third general. But you no longer have that position, Baby.” She squatted down beside him, a delicate hand running over the cross hatched patterns she had made. “You no longer have any position of power. Which means, you must learn how to be a good little pet.” She cupped his jaw, nails digging into his stubbled cheek. “Not everyone is gonna be as patient or kind as me, Love. All you had to do was count and I would have been merciful and given you twenty lashes instead of forty.

Shouta gritted his teeth. The angle Nemuri tilted his head forced his back to further bow, making his battered ribs and flayed flesh scream in protest. The collar dug into the back of his neck causing his left shoulder spasm. Everything hurt. He had fought like a madman to keep Reyanna safe after she had called out, making their location known. In the end he had failed. His fatigue and wounds, coupled with the overwhelming numbers, and Reyanna’s struggle to get away from him proving too much.

Even when Reyanna had broken free of his grip and been pulled away, Shouta hadn’t stopped fighting. But that didn’t matter. He probably would have suffered the same beating even if he had surrendered.

Fuck! He never should have brought Reyanna to hell. Never should have sought out and protected Todoroki in the first place. He should have taken Reyanna the first time she stepped out of the protected space, after waking from her slumber, and locked her away. But no, he had made Reyanna a promise. And after everything he had done, he had to keep that promise if he hoped of ever mending what he had broken with his betrayal. But what good was earning his Love’s forgiveness if she was locked away from him and stuck in hell?

Damn it! He was a fool. A stupid, blind, idiot. He should have known that Lucifer didn’t need but a couple entry’s into Reyanna’s dreams to leave an implant that would effect her in the waking world...

Shouta jerked, sucking in a breath between clenched teeth.

Nemuri’s finger prodded one of the many slashes she had made. “I don’t care how handsome you are, I don’t like being ignored.”

Fuck! If—when he and Reyanna got out of this, he was going to find that Janus and end him slow and painful.

“Aizawa.” Nemuri sing songed.

Nemuri's voiced grated on Shouta's ears making him wonder how he had ever tolerated the woman to begin with. The fellow Daimon was hardly the only woman he had had sex with before Reyanna; but Nemuri had certainly been a favored choice of his back in those days. Shouta blamed the ease of Nemuri's proximity and her ever ready willingness, ignoring that that was only half the truth of it.

Nemuri's fingers walked down one of Shouta's bleeding, welted arms. “I know what will get your attention.”

Shouta jerked, grunting at the hard, harsh grab of his ass. “Stop.”

“He speaks!” Nemuri cheered. “And here I was wondering if you were still lost in that sweet, little head of yours.” She lowered laying a kiss to the crown of his head.

Shouta thrashed against the contact.

Nemuri pulled back and dabbed a finger to her already healed lip. She collected the drop of blood, smearing it across Shouta's lips.

Shouta growled, biting his lips together. He tired to turn his head away, but the wide, thick collar made that all but impossible.

“I should have known, pain wouldn’t be the answer to getting your attention. You always took as good as you gave. Something Lucifer no doubt found commendable in a General, but was hardly fun for me during our private sessions.”

“Nemuri.”

“Hush, Sweetness. Mommy’s talking.” Her hand roved down the outside of his thigh as she continued her musings. “Not that you gave over the reigns all that often. Hell,” she chuckled, “I can count on one hand the number of times you let me have control, and still have fingers left. Tell me,” her hand slowly trace across his leg and glided up between, “did that Nephilim bitch have better luck at getting you to give up control?”

Shouta jerked, legs closing together, stopping and trapping her hand before it got higher than his mid-thigh. “Don’t”

“Don’t what? Touch you how you like to be touched? Or bring up the Whore?”

“Nemuri, please. Let me see Reyanna.”

“And what would you do for a chance to see your precious little Pet?” Her trapped hand wiggled between his tight, caging thighs. “Hum?”

Shouta’s shoulders shook from the tension in them. His chest heaved at his sharp, growling exhale. “You’ll let me see her? You’ll let me see Anna?”

“I’m hardly a General under hell, but you know I carry some sway.” She tilted her head toward him. “I’ll do what I can.”

Shouta's eyes lifted and turned, pinning her with a pointed glare. “I want your word, Nemuri. That you’ll let me see her. That if I--” His voice caught, throat bobbing as he swallowed. “I need to see her. I want your word you’ll let me see Anna.”

Nemuri's other hand came up to pet his hair. “Oh, Sweetness. The Bitch really has done a number on you. Hasn’t she?”

“Let me see--”

“Yes, yes.” She rolled her eyes, pulling at a knot in his hair. “If you go along with my fun, I’ll do what I can to see that you get to see your darling little Slut.”

Shouta growled at the slur and pull of his hair.

Nemuri cupped his face lifting and turning it to face her. “Deal?”

Shouta grimaced at the dig of the collar, grateful for the relief that came when she let him go. His lower lip jutted out in a pout that made Nemuri itch, wanting to pluck and bite at it with her teeth. Shouta stared dully at dirt floor.

“What does your fun entail?” He asked hesitantly, voice nothing more than a soft rumble.

Knowing she already won, Nemuri smiled down at him. “Does it matter?”

No, Shouta thought. It didn’t. He’d do anything to get to see Reyanna. Submit to anything just for a glimpse of her. He needed to see her. Especially after what Kai said he would do to her. Fuck! He squeezed his eyes shut, the muscle in his right jaw ticking from clenching so hard. The horrid imagines alone were too much.

“Let me see her first.”

“That’s not how this works, Sweetness.”

“Nemuri.” Shouta snapped. “Kai--”

“Yes.” She rasped over him. “Kai has thought long and hard over what he would do to that troublesome Bitch. And now that he’s got her… He’s probably alone with her right now, living out some of those very same thoughts as we speak.”

Shouta pulled against his bindings. “Let me see her. Nemuri! Let me see Anna!”

“Soon, Pet. But first, you’re gonna have to be good for me and do as I say.”

Shouta bared his teeth, growling when her hand moved farther up. He sandwiched her hand between his legs, stopping her once again.

Nemuri tisked. “Maybe you don’t care about Reyanna as much as you claim.”

Shouta glared, muscles trembling.

“Come now, Sweetness. Open those strong thighs of yours a bit. Show me just how much Reyanna means to you.”

He snarled, legs tightening around her hand, before slowly easing. As her hand slinked higher, his legs instinctively pressed together. Exhaling, he forced his legs to relax.

Eyes closed, Shouta thought of Reyanna. Not what Kai might be doing to her. Or imagining Nemuri's touch to be his Love’s. He pictured himself somewhere else entirely. Their cabin. The one Reyanna had added warding's to to keep him out of while she slumbered. The place had been their sanctuary. A place no one else knew about, where they could be alone together, and forget about the world-- He jumped, Nemuri's hand grabbing him.

He lifted his hips, trying to pull away, yelling out when the pulling, strain on his shoulders had the left one wrenching out of socket.

Spittle flew out, Shouta breathing heavily between clenched teeth.

“Did you do that on purpose?” Nemuri accused “Pain can be exciting, but severe pain is nothing but a distraction that leaves you… Well, it leaves you like this.” She cupped his flaccid cock. “Come on, Baby. Don’t you miss me just a little bit?” She pouted fingers tracing the outline of the dick her pussy hungered for. “When was the last time Reyanna let you dip into her? I know just how demanding this big, thick cock of yours can be.” She groaned. “Damn Aizawa, my pussy’s wet and quivering just remembering how insatiable your cock was. How it was rock hard and ready to go minutes, if not seconds after emptying out into me.” She pressed her own thighs together, hips wiggling. “I loved how much it stretched me out and filled me up.”

She found and pulled down the zipper of his pants, fingers pushing through. They curled and tugged at the flap of his boxer briefs, creeping beneath the fabric.

Shouta grunted, biting the inside of his mouth bloody. Whatever Nemuri wanted out of this, it wasn’t going to be that. He hadn’t fucked another since three and a half months before his and Reyanna’s first time together. It would have been closer to five if he hadn’t been pent so up, and in no shape to rebuff Nemuri when she had cornered and knelt before him, only for her to stop right before his peak and say that if he wanted to finish he would have to fuck her proper.

She stroked his length, sighing heavily when she couldn’t elicit the physical reaction she was wanting.

“I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.” She griped, pulling her hand free of his clothing. “Most men don’t have such level of self control. But you’re not most men. Are you, Aizawa?” She slapped his ass.

Shouta jerked, more from the contact than the force.

“You’ve had your fun.” He grumbled. “Now let me see Anna.”

“Fun? Oh, Baby!” Nemuri laughed. “If that’s what you call fun these days than you really did give up a lot to be with that Wench. We’re just getting started.”

“Nemuri--”

“You might be a fine, tantalizing specimen, Handsome. But feeling you up isn’t worth what you’re asking of me.”

“Nem--” Fuck! He felt disgusting.. “Just—hurry the fuck up so I can see Reyanna.”

“So eager.” She chuckled, getting to her feet. “Makes me wonder if you really did miss me and are just playing hard to get.”

She stepped behind him, out of his line of sight, so he couldn’t see her shimmy off her underwear. Damn. This was going to be so much fun. Just the thought…

“Nemuri...”

“Patience, Handsome.” Nemuri purred, coming back around to kneel in front of his face.

Shouta pulled back as far as he was able, body squirming in effort to create space between him and the wall of her thighs. He knew what she was about to ask—demand of him.

“No.” Shouta said, shaking his head, eyes darting away.

“No?”

“No.” He told.

“No fun. No deal. No deal. No Reyanna.”

Shouta's eyes turned and lifted to hers.

“Come now, Aizawa.” Nemuri cooed, index finger tracing the line of his jaw. “It’s not like you’ve never done it done before. Afraid you’ll take a taste and remember what you’re missing?” She grabbed his hair, pulling him to her, her hips thrusting out to his face. “I’ve almost forgotten what that talented mouth of yours feels like.” She drew in a hissing breath, grinding against his face. “Remind me, Baby.”

Shouta grimaced. He could smell Nemuri’s flowing arousal, even through the fabric of her skirt. It made him want to gag.

She released him, hands moving to lift up her skirt. Knees parting, she bared herself to him, frowning when Shouta did look at her. No matter she thought, sitting back on her haunches, the too proud ass will do more than get an eyeful soon enough.

“Eat.” She commanded.

Blood dribbled from the corner of Shouta's tightly shut mouth.

Nemuri saw this and stroked his hair. “Do it for Reyanna, Baby.” She dipped a finger between her folds. “She’s all alone, locked away with Kai. Suffering who knows what. She needs you to do this for her, Love. She needs you to eat me out right good and make me cum with that sweet mouth of yours.”

Eyes still squeezed shut, Shouta turned his face to the source of the wet heat, breathing through his mouth in effort to avoid the smell.

“That’s it, Precious.” Nemuri encouraged, guiding him to her core.

He was moving far too slow for her taste.

Shouta grunted against the choke of the collar suddenly pressing harshly against his throat. But that wasn’t the worst of it. He snarled, pulling back against the pressure of Nemuri's hand on the back of his head. His nose brushed up against her, getting coated in her juices, making him sputter and gag.

“Nemuri!” Shouta roared, thrashing against her imprisoning hold.

“Please me, Aizawa. I don’t care what you have to tell yourself. I want to feel that mouth of yours on me. I want your tongue lapping up my slick and worming its way into my pussy.” Despite him being weakened and bound, her arm shook in its attempt to keep him in place. “For fuck sake, Aizawa! It’s not like you haven’t done it before. What the fuck’s your problem?”

After a few moments more of fruitless thrashing, Shouta calmed, the right side of his face pressed against her swollen, wet need, his nose anchored in the junction of her leg and core. He panted heavily through his mouth. Dark eyes, wild as they darted around seeing but not processing.

“Nemuri. Please.” Shouta croaked. “Let my see Reyanna.”

“I will, Pet.” Nemuri promised, tenderly. She looked down at him with false sympathy. “But first, you have to do this one little thing for me.” She tucked his hair behind his left ear. “Can you do that, Sweetheart? Can you do this one, tiny little thing so you can see your precious Reyanna? So you can save her from whatever Kai is doing to her?”

Shouta turned his face to her cunt, tightly shut lips brushing Nemuri's lower one’s.

“That’s it, Baby. Do it for Reyanna. No more delays. The more you delay, the more time Kai has alone with her.”

The way he was forced to bend his head made the collar around his neck dig into his throat which only heightened his need to gag. Eyes closing, Shouta tried to pretend it was Reyanna, but that only made everything that much worse. Tears prickled beneath his eyelids. Reyanna might have viewed what he had done years ago as a betrayal, but he hadn’t. At least he hadn’t viewed it as a direct betrayal against her. But this… Unwilling or not, Shouta couldn’t see how this wasn’t a betrayal. He had made Reyanna a promise. Vowed when they were bonded, that he would love and have her alone...

“Let’s see you dip that tongue of yours deep inside me.” Nemuri urged, tugging at him. “Come on, Baby. Think--”

The cell door opened.

Nemuri's hold loosened.

Shouta pulled back, shaking his head and spitting.

Nemuri hurried to her feet, pushing down her skirt. “My Lord.”

“You little Vixen.” Lucifer smirked, chucking her under the chin. “I should have known you’d be in here.” He turned his eyes down to the hog tied Shouta and scolded. “If my Daughter could have seen you. You should be ashamed of yourself, Aizawa.”

“Reyanna.” Shouta spit, the smell of Nemuri on his nose all but making him taste her. “Where is she?”

“What? No hello? No wonder my Daughter didn’t greet me proper, what with an Instructor incapable of doing so himself.”

“Lucifer.” Shouta growled out.

The Devil watched Shouta struggle in his bindings before turning to Nemuri. “Leave us a moment, my Dear. I want to speak with my troublesome Brother alone.”

With Nemuri gone, Shouta's struggling increased. “Lucifer. Let me see her. Let me see Rey--”

The Devil gave the Shouta a swift, hard kick to the ribs.

“What gives you the right to speak, let alone ask anything of me.” Lucifer kicked Shouta again.

Shouta's body jerked and trembled as the beating continued. The roll of his spasming muscles adding to the sharp pain of the new bruises being layered over the old.

“It’s bad enough you claimed my Daughter without my permission, knowing full well I promised her to Kai; but to keep her whereabouts hidden from me...” Lucifer gave one last kick. “To come into my home after abandoning your post and service to me, just to seek out a bargain that would longer keep my beloved Daughter way from me. Well, here you are again, Brother. And this time you have nothing to bargain with. No leg to stand on. My Daughter is here. In my custody, where she belongs. And you...” He leaned against the wall, dragging the back of his hand across his forehead, and sighed. “What am I going to do with you?”

“Let me see her.” Shouta pleaded through pained, shuddering breaths.

Lucifer's eyes glowed with his power, his voice turning demonic. “No.” He blinked, eyes returning to normal. “You two kids have seen enough of each other. Too much, in fact.” He tisked like a disappointed father. “We were so focused on other things your last visit that we barely discussed you and Reyanna being bonded, without my permission.”

Shouta stared.

“What? Nothing to say for yourself?” Lucifer questioned. “I mean, Reyanna I can forgive. Even understand, up to a point. The young, ungrateful, petulant Brat. Like most hate filled children, she would do anything to hurt me. But you...” He sighed down at Shouta. “You, my Brother, should be ashamed of yourself. Taking advantage of a young, impressionable girl. Turning my only child against me after I trusted you to instruct and protect her. And after everything we’ve been through. Hell.” He laughed bitterly. “I didn’t even get an invitation to the Bonding ceremony.” He crossed his arms, asking the question he had wondered since the first few days after hearing about their Bond. “Who stood witness for you?”

When Shouta didn’t answer, Lucifer stepped to him and squatted down.

He took a fistful of Shouta's hair, pulling his head back. “Answer me. Who acted as your witness?”

“Sakamata.” Shouta answered, seeing no harm in telling after what Kai had said about the other Daimon being locked away.

“Sakamata.” Lucifer repeated, releasing his hold with a shove.

He stood and stepped away, thinking that he should have known. Even before the Fall, Aizawa and Sakamata bore a friendship that Lucifer hadn’t been able to understand or match. What was so great about sitting in silence watching the Symphony of heaven when there were Nuns and Leviathan’s to kill and celebrate the death of? Lucifer's dislike of Sakamata only increase after the Fall when Aizawa had spoken up for Sakamata, seeing that he was allowed into hell. Lucifer felt a possessive jealousy. Aizawa was his friend, and the Devil didn’t like sharing what was his. Whether that be friendship, his Daughter, power, glory, anything.

“I suppose it’s my fault.” Lucifer sighed, ignoring the sting that Aizawa had other people beside him to call upon. “Reyanna is a special girl. Anyone would be tempted by her power.”

“I love her.”

“I know you do, my Friend.” Lucifer shook his head, regretfully. “If only you had come to me. Told me. I could have… Well, I couldn’t have given her to you. I had promised her to Kai the day of her birth. But, I could have seen you were given visitation rights.”

Shouta glared, knowing exactly what kind of rights Lucifer was taking about. He snarled, livid at not just the thought of Reyanna being given to another, but seeing her passed around like a common whore.

“I still can.” Lucifer said.

It disgusted Shouta, how Lucifer spoke those words. As if he were offering some great, gracious temptation. Not only did he not find the Devil’s offer tempting in the least, but it infuriated him. Reyanna belonged to him. Whether she was willing or not, there was no way Shouta was letting her go to another.

“You obviously won’t be able to have, or see her right away.” Lucifer went on, willfully ignoring Shouta’s growing anger. “You’ll first have to pay the price of your sins, then prove your loyalty to me. But after a few centuries or so--”

“Go to hell!” Shouta barked, snapping at the air.

”Alright! Decades.” Lucifer gave in, magnanimously. “But you’ll have to break your Bond with her.”

”Never!” Shouta growled, straining against his bonds. “Let me see her! Lucifer, let me see Reyanna.”

”Fine.” The Devil sighed, smirking cruelly when Shouta paused. “I’ll be the one to break your Bond so you don’t have to. But you’ll have to be on your best behavior and really work to prove yourself, Aizawa.” He shook and stepped closer to him. “Truly, I can’t capitulate any more than that. People might think I’m playing favorites. Or worse, that I’m always so generous in my bargains.”

”Your bargains are worthless, good for nothing, lies.”

“Is this about our last deal? Cause I kept my end of the bargain.”

Shouta glared up at him. ”You told her.”

”Of course I did.” Lucifer freely admitted. “You might be my brother and friend; but Reyanna’s my sweet, precious daughter. My only child.”

Shouta huffed. The only thing about Reyanna that Lucifer cared about was her power, and his pride at being the only daimon or angel known to sire a child.

“A father must do whatever he can to protect his daughter.” Lucifer went on. “The deal you made with me had you betraying Reyanna’s trust. Of course I sent word, warning her. Telling her what the man she trusted above all else planned to do.
My warning Reyanna had nothing to do with our deal. I held up my end as soon as you made good on yours.”

Shouta sneered.

“You were the one who went through with it even after she was made aware. You were the one who betrayed her.”

“I didn’t have a choice.”

“Yes you did.” Lucifer stated. “You were the one who came to me. You proposed a bargain. Accepted the price I demanded for what you wanted. You carried it out, even after she was warned and hid herself away from you. You...” The Devil chuckled. “Oh, my Friend. What you did… It was a thing of cruel beauty.”

Lucifer's words, the reminder of what Shouta had done, it hurt more than the beatings he had taken.

“I didn’t want to hurt her.” Shouta mumbled, into the floor.

Lucifer squatted back down in front of him. “But you did. And the way you did… I don’t think she’ll be forgiving you or herself once she remembers.”

“I did it for her.” Shouta told.

But just because he had done it for Reyanna, and would do it again, didn’t make what he had done any better.

“You don’t have to tell me that.” Lucifer soothed. “I know you did.”

Shouta stared up at the Devil, eyes shining with hate and shame. “Why did you tell her?” If only Lucifer hadn’t told her...

Lucifer smiled, eyes glowing faintly. “It’s who I am.”

The Devil’s changing expression and brightening glow of his eyes was the last thing Shouta saw before he was blinded by the brightness of day.

“Shouta!” Hizashi rushed to the bound Daimon.

Shouta saw the Janus disappear with nary a care. There would be time enough to meet out vengeance later.

“Anna?” Shouta's head whipped around as best it could. “Where’s Reyanna?” He tried to get up, growling and pulling at his bindings. “Get these things off me!”

Hizashi’s hand pressed against Shouta’s back, healing him, while the other hand quickly moved to break each of the rune inscribed manacles.

“The Janus--” Hizashi faltered. “I—I don’t know-- I was hoping...”

The collar around Shouta's neck was the last to go. As soon as it was gone, Shouta’s power swelled, eyes glowing a deadly red. His matted, blood crusted hair rose up. With his tie to Reyanna no longer blocked, Shouta instantly knew where she was and flinted.

Chapter Text

30.1

“--off!” Reyanna lifted her blade, more than willing to make good on her threat if Dabi didn’t remove the manacles around her wrists and ankles so she could go back for Shouta.

Shouta appeared in the field, unaware that Todoroki had hitched a ride with him. The relief of seeing Reyanna evaporated as soon as he caught sight of her baring her blade at Dabi. What was that Demon attempting to do the his Love.

Shouta flinted between them, shoving Dabi away.

The force of the push sent Dabi flying.

“Shou--” Reyanna’s blade disappeared, her hand reached for the Daimon, but Shouta had flinted again.

Shouta grabbed Dabi by the collar, before the Demon hit the ground. Red eyes glowing brighter, Shouta's blade dropped into his hand.

Dabi didn’t even have time to call up his flames. He closed his eyes, shrinking away from the thrusting blade.

“Shouta!” Reyanna rushed to him, silently cursing the manacles that blocked her power. “Please! He saved me!”

Shouta's arm stilled, the tip of his blade pricking Dabi’s neck. “Saved you?”

“Yes.” Reyanna said, coming to a halt behind him. She reached out, tugging Shouta’s right arm down, her left arm wrapping around him. “I didn’t know-- I was so-- How--” She pressed her face into his back, not noticing the raised pink lines that still remained from his lashings.

Shouta felt her tears wet his skin. He let go of Dabi, hand coming to hold Reyanna’s against him.

“You saved her?” Shouta asked, lowering his blade further.

“You’re welcome.” Dabi spat, stepping away. “Ass!”

Shouta's blade was still pointed at the Demon. “Why is she wearing your coat and...”

He growled. So many things were wrong with what he had seen as soon as he had appeared. Reyanna yelling and threatening Dabi. Her in the Demon’s coat and nothing else. But if Reyanna had said Dabi saved her, then Kai... Shouta growled again, grip tightening on the hilt of his weapon. He was going to fucking kill Kai.

Dabi’s eyes flicked down to Shouta's blade, catching sight of something else. Crossing his arms, he lifted his gaze, a devilish smirk tugging at his lips.

“You’re fly’s down.” Dabi remarked. “Why is that?”

Shouta's murderous expression, shifted. Eyes widening, a look of fragility took over; but that openness was quickly replaced with angry bitterness that once again turned back into deadly rage.

Wordlessly, Shouta let his blade disappear. He turned to Reyanna, pulling her close as he wrapped his arms around her and flinted them away.

“Well.” Dabi huffed. “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Don’t know why I expected more thanks than that.”

“Funny, considering you never thanked me.” Shigaraki commented.

“Shut up! No one asked you. What are you even doing here? No one asked you to tag along.”

“Things went wrong. The Janus didn’t bring them out as quickly as expected.” Todoroki said of Aizawa and Reyanna.

“No shit.” Dabi turned to the Llaes, hating the relief he felt at seeing that the kid had made it out alive. “And who’s fault is that? Not mine. I told all of you that it was a stupid, impossible task.”

“It had to be done if the gate is to be closed.” Todoroki said.

Dabi stepped to him. “Listen to you. Do you feel at all responsible or sorry for what happened? For how much worse things could have went. Reyanna alone-- If I hadn’t--” He glared at the teen. “Aizawa may have done it for that woman. But she, and everyone else did it for you. For you and your stupid task.”

“It might be my task, but I wasn’t the one that set it. So why would I carry the blame?”

Dabi stared into the boys bi-colored eyes, certain that he saw a shadow of guilt despite what Todoroki had said.

So they had gotten out. But had the mission been successful? Dabi’s mouth felt dry. As badly as he wanted to know, he wasn’t going to ask. Couldn’t have asked if he had tried.

“I got your soul out.” Todoroki said, lifting and opening his left hand.

The blinding ball of light hovered.

Dabi stepped back.

Shigaraki stepped forward, staring.

“Quit gawping at my soul” Dabi sneered.

Shigaraki straightened. “What are you going to do with it?”

Dabi shrugged. He had heard souls contained an immeasurable amount of power, but that was only if they were out of a body and used as a weapon. Aside from that, he didn’t know what it was worth; other than an object that could no longer be used to compel or end him now that it was out of hell.

“Take it.” Todoroki urged.

“What? No.” Dabi backed away.

He was glad his soul was out of hell. Now he could truly be free and hidden from the place. But… Would taking his soul back make him human again? He didn’t want to be human. Humans were weak, useless creatures. He liked being a demon. He liked the power, and fear it instantly earned him.

“You’ll still be you.” Todoroki said, as if reading his thoughts.

Dabi looked from his soul, to the Llaes, and back. Okay, so he’d still be a demon. But what about the rest? Would it change the way he thought and felt? Would he grow a conscience or start to feel guilty about the things he had done?

“Quit being such a baby and take the thing.” Shigaraki snipped.

“I wouldn’t even know what to do with it if I did!” Dabi snapped back. “What? Do I carry the damned thing around in my pocket? Hide it away somewhere?”

“Pretty sure it doesn’t work like that.” Shigaraki said, though he really didn’t have a clue.

The glowing wisp began to float higher off of Todoroki’s hand.

“What is it doing?” Dabi asked, eyes narrowing as he suspiciously watched his soul. The thing was him, or at least a part of him, therefore it couldn’t be trusted.

The soul darted to Dabi.

Dabi stepped away, swatting at the glowing bundle as if it were a bug.

“Get the fuck away before I roast you.” He threatened.

Great! Even his own soul was attacking him. Did everything in this world have it out to get him?

Shigaraki backed nervously away, though a cruel smile of amusement pulled at his lips.

Dabi’s soul passed between Dabi’s fanned, shooing fingers and disappeared into his chest.

30.2

Shouta and Reyanna held onto each other, the two caught up in their own relief, loosing track of time. She nuzzled and pressed kisses to his chest and neck, while he did the same to her head and face.

Shouta tilted her face up to him, bending his head to kiss her properly then stopped. The thought of what he did. What he had almost done, brought him up short. He felt filthy. He couldn’t kiss her like this.

Shouta stepped back, eyes darting over to the en suite. A good thorough brushing and container of mouthwash was an order.

“Shouta?” Reyanna looked up at him, the fear she had felt from that horrible day, nearly two millennia ago welling up within her.

Did Shouta know what had happened back then? Or what Kai had nearly done this time? Was he mad and disappointed in her? After all it was her fault they had been found. It was her fault that they had gone to hell in the first place.

Shouta pulled her back into his arms and kissed her head. “It’s alright. I got you.” He squeezed his eyes shut banishing images of Nemuri and swallowed the lump of guilt that caught in his throat. “Nothing like that will ever happen again. I promise.”

“I’m sorry.” Reyanna croaked, tears leaking out and onto his chest.

Shouta held her tighter. “Don’t. You hear me. Don’t.” He pressed his face into her hair, heaving a heavy sigh. “Just... Don’t.”

“I love you.”

A small smile tugged at his lips at that. “I love you too, Kitten. Here.” He pulled back. “Let me get those things off of you.”

Shouta stepped back breaking the rune inscribed manacles.

As he did so, Reyanna looked him over. He was a mess, but at least it looked like most of his wounds had healed.

“Here.” Shouta grabbed a blanket off the bed and held it out to her. “Let me have that thing.”

She saw the dark way he looked at the coat she was wearing and felt the need to assure. “Dabi really did save me.” She slipped the coat off, hugging the blanket around her. “The only thing the stupid Demon’s guilty of is leaving you behind and not taking those damned things off so I could go back for you.”

“At least he did something right.” Shouta sighed, taking the coat from her.

He wanted to asked what had happened, but decided he would ask Dabi first. He’d rather not make her relive anything. A part of him was also afraid she would ask him what happened in return. And, though he’d never tell her the truth of the experience, he’d rather not lie to her.

The thought of what Kai had said he was going to do to her replayed in his mind. Shouta’s body chilled to a freezing burn. The coat in his hand cracking and falling to countless pieces.

“I got to wash up.” He mumbled, turning away. “Stay here.”

Reyanna watched Shouta go, wondering yet again if he was mad at her. She found she was able to banish the worst of her memories, grateful for the memories of Shouta's lessons that had taught her how. But the feelings that came with those memories. Namely the feelings regarding her worry over if Shouta would still want her. Those were harder to repress.

She heard the water from the sink running and looked around, taking in where they were. Then she remembered seeing Todoroki out in the field. Why had the Llaes flinted with Shouta? Shouta hadn’t said anything about it.

Reyanna flinted to the living room. “Hizashi.”

Hizashi spun around. “Reyanna!”

The Angel rushed to her, almost throwing his arms around her before he caught himself.

“I’m glad you made it out. Do you need healing?” Hizashi's eyes darted to the hall where he sensed Shouta's presence.

Hitoshi stopped before her. “How’d you make it out? The Janus--”

Reyanna’s eyes skimmed the room. “Hawks?”

“Fine. Hawks is...” Hizashi cleared his throat. “He’s just taking a moment. But he’s fine.”

“Anna.” Shouta stormed, from behind her, having flinted. He pulled the toothbrush from his mouth. “I told you to stay.”

“I know. I just--”

“No.” Shouta cut her off.

“But--”

“I said no.” Shouta grabbed her arm and tried to flint them back to the bedroom, but Reyanna blocked his attempted.

She looked back at Hizashi. “Todoroki.”

“He—he hitched a ride with Shou.”

“I saw him.” Reyanna said. “He’s with Dabi and another Demon.”

“Another demon?” Hizashi echoed.

“Anna! Now.” Shouta tried to flint with her again, growling when she once again blocked him.

Reyanna nodded, unable to stop Shouta from forcing her back in the direction of the hall.

“Now.” Shouta rumbled, tugging the blanket to better cover her as he continued to urge her back.

Fed up, he bent and pick her up over his shoulder.

Reyanna squealed and squirmed but quickly gave in to the treatment, calling out coordinates to Hizashi as Shouta walked them back to their bedroom.

“Both demons?” Hizashi questioned.

“Yes.” Shouta called back. “Lock them both away.”

“Lock—Shouta!” Reyanna protested.

Shouta kicked the door open and closed behind them.

“Yes.” He told stepping over to the en suite. A shower would do them both good. “But forget about all that for now.”

30.3

Hizashi knocked on Hawks’ bedroom door.

“Go away, Yamada.”

Hizashi opened the door, snapping. “Only Shouta gets away with calling me by my chosen name.”

“Whatever.” Hawks dismissed.

“Reyanna’s back and safe.” Hizashi offered, stepping into the room.

“I sensed her when Aizawa returned.”

Hizashi blinked at that. Wow. Hawks was in even worse shape than he thought. He moved to the Archangel’s bedside.

Hawks sat up, expanding his wings, to distance himself from the Angel. “Did you even tell him?”

“Tell who what?”

“Aizawa. Did you tell him Sakamata’s dead? That who knows how many people are dead.”

“Is that what this is about?” Hizashi asked. “Why you’re in here moping?”

“The death didn’t end in that seventeen mile radius. That’s only the distance where death was certain. You’re an Angel under heaven! How are you okay with that?”

“You think I am?” Hizashi questioned.

Hawks merely shrugged. “If I wasn’t released and restrained.”

“Oh, boo hoo! Poor Hawks!”

Hawks spun around. “What? How dare--”

“It’s always, if I weren’t released and restrained.” Hizashi exclaimed at him. “As if you didn’t have a choice. Didn’t know the the consequences of your choice.”

“Fuck you.”

“So lots of people died.” Hizashi went on. “Terrible. Truly. But people die every day. Some even at the hand and order of heaven. How many did you kill at Toshinori’s order? How many more would you have killed if you hadn’t been released and restrained for not killing Anna? Heaven is not synonymous with good any more. It hasn’t been for a long, long time. But what we’re doing. Helping the Llaes to close one of the gates. That is something good. Yeah. It gets messy and people die.” He held up a finger. “And don’t you dare bring up the last Llaes I know the part I played in their end--”

“And Tamaki’s.” Hawks added.

“--and I deal with the guilt daily.”

“Doubt Aizawa does.” Hawks muttered, sourly.

“But you don’t see me hiding myself away. Moaning and groaning about the way of things and what ifs. I don’t go bringing everyone down. So our plan turned sideways and went far from smooth. But you gotta focus on the wins not the losses. Shouta, Reyanna, Todoroki, Hitoshi... They all got out. We survived. Step one is done and that annoying little Firestarter has his soul. Take the win and recoup cause we’re not done, and if you loose yourself to wallowing then all those people that died today will have died for nothing and that would be an even greater tragedy.”

Hawks stared. He found himself wondering if aspects of the Mask Hizashi had worn had effected his temperament. Never had he seen Hizashi so forceful and authoritative.

“You’re right.”

“I know I am.”

Hawks glared. “Don’t push it.”

Hizashi grimaced, then lightened. “Sorry. I’ve never seen you like that and it kinda freaked me out. The last thing we need is to lose you to self pity and depression.”

“Fair enough. But if you barge into my room and badger me like that again--”

“Yeah, yeah.” Hizashi dismissed with a wave. “It’s not like I came to check up on you.”

“Then what did you want?”

“Remember the name Sakamata mentioned?”

Hawks straightened. “Shigaraki.”

“Yeah.”

“What about him?”

“He’s here.”

30.4

Nemuri made her way to Kai’s lab, which was the closest thing hell had to an infirmary. The halls were virtually empty, everyone either hiding or quietly going about their work. To say Lucifer hadn’t been pleased about Aizawa's disappearance was one of the greatest understatements of all time. Then to learn that Reyanna was gone too…

Nemuri had been disappointed when Lucifer had dismissed her; but was now grateful for it. She doubted she would have survived the Devil’s wrath. Everyone else in the cell block hadn’t.

She entered the lab, surprised to see that Kai was awake and sitting up. After hearing what had happened to him, she would have figured the General would be unconscious for the rest of the day, if not longer.

Seeing blood crusted in his ears, Nemuri bemoaned. “Look what they did to you. Our proud, handsome General.”

“Nemuri. Where’s Reyanna?”

Nemuri's eyes turned to Kurono.

“The General’s experiencing some floating gaps in his memory.” Kurono informed, quietly.

“I am not.” Kai stormed. “I was with her. Had her locked away in a cell. Aizawa too.” He looked to Nemuri. “Is Aizawa dead? Did I kill him?”

Nemuri shook her head. “No, Sweetness.”

“I will.” Kai told. “I’ll kill him and make the Bitch watch.”

“I know you will.” She looked back to Kurono and tilted her head.

The Lieutenant nodded and followed her out.

“He will make a full recovery. Yes?” Nemuri asked, once outside of the lab.

“The floating gaps will most likely persist for a day or two, becoming less regular. But yes, he should make a full recovery.”

“Should!” Nemuri hissed.

“Will.” Kurono corrected.

The Lieutenant hated to talk in definites when nothing like this had ever been done before. Burning a chronicle. Who would even think of such a thing. And the effect it had... Well, now that they knew what happened when something like that was done. It was highly probable that they might take up the habit.

“How’s Lucifer?”

Nemuri made a noise that was between a scoff and whimper. “I haven’t seen our Lord. Which is why I’m still alive.”

“That bad?”

“So much worse than you can imagine.”

Kurono lifted his eyebrows. Nemuri was known to over-exaggerate at times, but he didn’t sense her doing so in this.

“Lucifer was alone in the cell with Aizawa when he disappeared.” Nemuri told.

Kurono understood instantly. While Lucifer would have been just as infuriated by Aizawa's escape if he hadn’t been present; with the Devil there, and alone with Aizawa in the cell, it made Lucifer look bad. On top of that, it lessened who the Boss could blame; not that Lucifer wouldn’t find someone to blame.

“How did he manage it?” Kurono asked in a whisper.

“Aizawa, escaping?”

The Lieutenant nodded.

Nemuri shrugged. “Hell if I know.”

“Kurono!” Kai called.

“Coming, General.” Kurono glanced back at Nemuri. “See you.”

The last thing Nemuri heard as she walked away was Kai asking where Reyanna was.

30.5

Enji sat lost in his own thoughts while Tsunagu and Rumi talked; that was until Toshinori stormed in.

“Seventeen miles!” The first ranked Chief thundered. “Instant, certain death for seventeen miles.”

“There wasn’t anything we could do.” Tsunagu replied. “None of us saw Sakamata drive his blade into his chest.”

“None of us were prepared for such a thing.” Rumi added. “Never who have fathomed. To go out in such a way...”

“Leave us.” Toshinori ordered.

The third and fourth Chief’s exited the room.

Left alone with Enji, Toshinori asked. “Is there anything you’d like to say for yourself?”

Enji turned slowly to Toshinori and blinked. “Such as?”

“This obsession of yours with this so called Child of Hope has gone far enough, Enji. It has to stop.”

“You heard Tsunagu and Rumi. Sakamata’s end couldn’t have been stopped. No one saw it coming. No one saw him act.”

“But if you hadn’t been there...”

“So you blame me for Sakamata’s actions? I know he served under my command before the Fall. But in case you forgot, while sitting in your ivory office, Sakamata was a daimon. I helped cast him out of heaven. I’m the one who reported his disregard for his Word. Even if I had known what he was going to do and ordered him against it, he wouldn’t have obeyed. He wasn’t a member of the Host of heaven.”

“Enji...”

“No!” Enji rose to his feet.

“All of this is for nothing, Enji.”

“How can you say that!”

Toshinori thought of Reyanna. Of what she had done in creating the position and power of the Llaes Of how she had fooled the four realms, and herself, into believing that the Llaes had always been some sort of prophecy or promise. He now wondered if he and Lucifer were the only ones to know the truth. Sometimes he felt like the one who was wrong. That he and Lucifer had fooled themselves into believing that Reyanna had done all this.

“The Llaes has no real power.” Toshinori said.

“Compared to us may be.” Enji agreed. “But--”

“I mean--”

“No! I know what you mean. But this time it’ll be different. This Child of Hope will succeed.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Yes, I do.” Enji stated.

“How! How can you know that? The only so called Child of Hope to succeed in their task was the first one.”

“And you had her killed.” Enji challenged.

“I did.” Toshinori nodded, without regret.

“When this Child of Hope succeeds and closes the gates to hell will you order his death too?”

Toshinori shook his head. “He won’t succeed. It can’t be--”

“Will you!” Enji demanded.

Toshinori stared. There was no way he would convince Enji off this course unless he told him the truth. Even then, with him and Lucifer being the only ones who knew it, it was doubtful Enji would believe him. More than likely, Enji would use it as a grab for power. Saying that he was a weak leader, or had lost his mind.

Toshinori considered the question. As unlikely as it was that this Llaes would succeed in the task of closing one of the gates, what would he do if Todoroki somehow managed where all the others had failed? Even though all of this had come from Reyanna, it was also it’s own thing. Reyanna might have created a position and power required to see one of the gates forever closed; but Todoroki, and those before him, wielded that power. Someone with that power, who had managed to succeed in closing one of the gates, couldn’t be allowed to live. Not when their power and loyalties were so closely tied to Reyanna. Not when their power could be used to also close the gates of heaven.

“Yes.” Toshinori answered. “If Todoroki somehow manages to succeed. I will order him put down.”

Enji darkened. He had surmised as much. But to hear Toshinori say it…

“I will end any member of the Host that goes after that boy.” Enji told.

“What? Why?”

Toshinori had known Enji was near obsessed with the Llaes’ task. The second Chief had searched for and tried to take every Llaes since Abril to hand. He had even managed to do so a couple times, not that it had made a difference.

“Why, Enji?” Toshinori pressed when the Archangel remained silent. “You seem more certain than ever that this one will succeed where the others have failed. You’ve ran the Host ragged, and almost started a war with the Thirds from Purgatory Chasm in effort to take this one to hand. And now you tell me this? That you will lift blade against your brother's and sisters to protect this boy. Why? What is it about this one that you deem so special?”

Enji didn’t, couldn’t, meet Toshinori’s eyes as he answered. “He’s my son.”

Toshinori stared, certain he had misheard or that this was some attempt at a joke. But Enji had never been one for jests, and Toshinori’s ears were working as well as they ever did.

The room spun, Toshinori becoming dizzy from it and his spiraling thoughts.

No. It couldn’t be. Enji had fathered a child. Todoroki was the son of an Archangel. But that would mean that the boy was like Reyanna. A true nephilim. But Todoroki had grown and was aging like a normal human. Even as the so called Child of Hope, Todoroki’s power was what one would expect of a nephilim of his parentage. Yes, Lucifer was daimon, a fallen archangel, but that didn’t explain the differences between the two young ones. It didn’t explain why Reyanna had aged as quickly as she had or had so much more power than Todoroki. It didn’t explain how she was able to create the position and power of the Llaes and essentially change reality, making everyone, including herself, believe it ever was.

If Todoroki was a true nephilim, then what the hell was Reyanna? Surely not Lucifer's child, or Lucifer's child alone.

Chapter Text

“Anna, I’m back!” The Archangel called loudly.

“My Lord, doesn’t need to yell.” Scolded a stern looking woman.

“Luna. May I remind you this isn’t your castle, you only work here.” Hawks said, effectively telling the Chief Maid that he could do as he pleased.

“You also don’t need to fly and land in the courtyard like that.” The woman went on. “It scares the dogs and horses.”

“Don’t know why we even have dogs and horses around.”

“Because, some of us can’t fly and require regular meals.” The Witch said, pointedly.

Hawks feigned appalled shock. “You ride the dogs and eat the horses!” Honestly he wouldn’t be surprised if the woman ate horses or dogs, she was a Witch and witches were known to be disgusting.

“I’ll set those dogs to hunt you.” Luna threatened. “The Mistress asked me to make this place seem as regular as possible, so the peasantry don’t amass and storm the place thinking witches and demons live here. Though you ruin all my efforts by flying about the way you do.”

He understood why Reyanna ordered Luna to make the place seem normal. Concealing such a vast structure would be an unnecessary hassle and peak the interest of heaven, hell, and Thirds who would be able to see past such spells. It was far easier to let the humans think that they were just regular people in a regular castle, and focus on wardings that kept the Host, hell-spawn, and Thirds out.

“Humans can’t see my wings, or see me when I fly.” Hawks dismissed.

Luna crossed her arms. “I see you fly and your gaudy wings.”

Hawks glared. His wings were one of his best features. They were not gaudy.

“You’re a witch. Where’s your Mistress?”

“My Lady is entertaining a visitor.” Luna answered, concerned disapproval supplanting her usual astringent tone.

“Visitor?”

“That dark Daimon she’s so fond of.” Luna elaborated, sniffing in displeasure.

Hawks’ wings bristled at that. Aside from Lucifer, Toshinori, and Kai, Aizawa was the greatest threat to Reyanna in his opinion. Yet Reyanna always left a way open for the Daimon to get through the properties barriers.

“I don’t care one lick for you, but at least you’re not connected to hell and bringing all sorts of risks and dangerous every time you come around.” Luna declared.

Hawks lived here, but he understood what the woman meant. If Aizawa really wanted Reyanna safe, as he claimed. If he truly loved her, as he professed. Then the Daimon should stay away.

“At least your attempts at playing Lord and Master don’t threaten this place and my Lady.” She went on.

Hawks turned, feathers puffing out. Did the Witch just say he liked to play house with Reyanna? Though she wasn’t entirely wrong, that was beside the point. He spun around and made for the stairs, Luna chasing after him.

“My Lady said she didn’t want to be disturbed!”

Luna’s words just made Hawks’ feet move faster.

“I’m sure she did.” He grumbled.

“My Lord! You can’t just go barging in!”

That made Hawks pause, Luna bumping into him. He continued climbing. Should he dare? Enter Reyanna’s chambers without knocking? Surely the door would be locked. There was little doubt what he would see. The idea both enticing and distasteful considering who she’s with.

Hawks reached Reyanna’s chamber door and banged on it. “Anna, I’m back!”

Shouta lifted his head and slowly turned to the closed door, a snarl curling his lip.

Reyanna jumped