“Fuck it. I’m going home!” He snapped all of a sudden, slapping both of his hands on top of the wooden counter, “What kind of a music store opens until this late, anyway?!”
Irritated, he went further back into the staff’s room to get his belongings. He found it unfair that he had to be the last person leaving the store. Even Shou—his co-worker—was allowed to leave early just because he said that he must pick up his cousin from Hokkaido—Nao—at the airport.
Everyone knew that Nao never visited Shou again after his last visit on Christmas last year. It must have had something to do with the prank Shou pulled on him on last Christmas’ Eve, which resulted in Nao being locked up outside during snowfall. The poor man was angry and had been avoiding contact with Shou ever since. Moreover, Tora never saw the chance of those two making up, not any time soon. So yeah, Shou’s excuse was a lie. Too bad their boss had no idea about the Christmas incident at all.
Having locked all the access to the store, Tora pocketed the keys again and stepped into the pavement. The wind blew quite strongly that night; he had to put on his reversible hoodie, even though he had already worn two layers of clothes underneath. It was an hour before midnight. By the time he reached home, it would already be his birthday. Not that he was looking forward to it. At his age, who would be excited about getting older, anyway?
September the 17th, 2014, would mark the date when the raven head would officially turn 34 years old. He cursed inwardly at the realisation. He was old, for God’s sake! Worse still, he hadn’t made his dream come true. In fact, he had begun to give up on his dream for becoming a pro guitar player. The farthest he could go was being a mere clerk in a music store. Well, at least he could play guitar during his free times, which was more like always since not that many customers visited the store!
How Tora hated his boring life.
At some point, the raven head halted and looked up at the dark sky. There weren’t so many stars tonight, but the moon was still visible, although it was half-hidden behind the grey clouds. Often he felt like he just wanted to disappear from the world he was living in. He was not the brightest person, he admitted. Often he succumbed into depression when despair consumed him too much and he forgot that he still had people who cared about him, even his boss. However, Tora hid his feelings all too well, being an introvert as he was. Only his best friend, Shou, would know when he was feeling down and when he was happy enough to go to work. Or so he thought.
The wind blew stronger; his hood fell back, revealing his short black hair. It was odd, but for a moment, Tora felt like someone was watching him. The tall man turned on his heel, only to find nothing behind him. Not even a random pedestrian. Had he imagined things? He shrugged and resumed his walk.
Squatting down on the rooftop (the brunette preferred to travel by rooftops to watch over his human when he was not in the mood of flying), the guardian angel leant forward when he finally saw his human catching up with him. He could see his tall slender figure from afar, slowly but surely making his way towards the entrance of his small apartment block. Not long after, his human had unlocked the door to his flat on the third floor and gone inside. Saga heard the sound of the key being turned, and the door was locked once more.
It was time for him to enter the flat as well. Therefore he rose up, much too fast for his liking; he ended up losing his balance. His feet slipped from the roof tiles; he wanted to grasp onto something—anything—but there was nothing for him to hold onto and so, with a rather loud thud, Saga landed on his human’s porch, butt first.
The sharp pain went straight to his spine; Saga was having difficulty standing up. His eyes watered, as he had never known falling could feel as painful as that! No wonder those he knew had become fallen angels dreaded the punishment Kami-sama had bestowed upon them. No pun intended.
Not yet overcome his shock, he was startled again when the door suddenly swung open, revealing the dark-haired man. His human. Gasping, Saga put his hand over his mouth. Their eyes met.
“Calm down, Saga. He can’t see you, after all. Calm down…” The guardian angel muttered quietly, still having eye contact with his human, as if to make sure that the man could not see him.
The raven head was still holding his doorknob, when he said, “Who……the hell……are you?”
It looked almost comical, when the brunette angel’s eyes widened upon hearing his human’s question.
“Yo-you…! To-Tora…you! You can see me?! That’s…that’s absurd! You…you’re not supposed to be able to see me!” Said the angel, stuttering in another wave of shock.
“How the fuck did you know my name? Are you…a stalker?” The man—Tora—narrowed his eyes at Saga.
“No no no no no!!! No, I am NOT a stalker. Well, technically…yes. But no! Trust me!” Pleaded the brunette, now standing up as he had forgotten about the pain.
“Then, who are you?!” The raven head snapped, startling the brunette angel.
“I’m…” Saga sighed, “Tora, I’m your guardian angel. My name’s Saga. I was sent from Heaven by Kami-sama…to guard you in your entire life.”
Neither of them spoke a word after Saga’s revelation. The guardian angel almost felt awkward by the silence surrounding them. Next thing he knew, Tora had turned on his heel to go back inside, muttering “God….I’m going crazy.”
“Wait wait wait!! Tora, listen to me!” Saga grabbed the doorknob from outside before Tora could close the door. He even stuck one of his feet in the gap, preventing the door from closing, “Tora, please…You must listen to me.”
“No, I mustn’t! Go away, you stalker!” Shouted the raven head, still trying to close the door whilst kicking Saga’s foot out of his doorway.
Before he knew it, the guardian angel had landed on his ass again. Groaning in pain, he stared helplessly at the closed door.
Just as he was about to get a towel from the hanger nearby, Tora caught sight of somebody’s figure from the corner of his eye. He nearly jumped a few feet from the ground, before he managed to balance himself by holding onto the sink.
“Yo-you! H-how did you get in?!” The raven head asked, eyes widening in the shape of saucers at the sight of a certain angel before him.
“Through the wall,” Saga answered truthfully, believing that it would sound normal to a human’s ears.
“B-But…people can’t get in through the wall!”
“Well, I just did. And I’m not those people. I’m an angel,” the brunette sounded a bit offended.
“Ha…ha ha ha,” Tora laughed dryly, “So I suppose you have wings too?”
Before Tora could make another sassy comment, the brunette angel revealed his white wings, knocking the raven head’s shampoo bottle off its stand.
“Oops, my bad. Your bathroom is too small, Tora,” Saga commented, bending down to take the said bottle from the floor. Although by doing so, one of his wings managed to knock yet another bottle—body soap, this time—off its stand too.
The raven head looked frustrated, “Can’t you control them?! You’re messing up my bathroom!”
“Well, I’m sorry my wings are enormous and too gorgeous for you to behold,” the angel said sarcastically, for he had expected the man to be impressed. Nevertheless, he made his wings vanish afterwards.
Massaging his temples as he closed his eyes, Tora then proceeded to exit his small bathroom. The guardian angel followed him from behind. He approached his sofa in the living room, sitting on it whilst Saga decided just to stand before him. He was not in the best shape to sit after all.
“So, guardian angel,” Tora started, “You had better explain everything to me now.”
“Oh thank you for finally deciding to listen to me,” the brunette replied yet in another sarcastic tone, but the raven head’s gaze was dead serious now.
Tora was waiting for the angel to speak up.
“Oh c’mon, Tora…Don’t make me nervous,” whined the brunette all of a sudden.
“I didn’t do anything!” Defended Tora, raising an eyebrow.
“You’re so tensed, my wings can feel it. They’re twitching inside my shoulder blades.”
“That is not a funny joke, angel.”
“Saga! My name is Saga!”
“Well, fine. Saga…who are you?” Asked the raven head, sounding calmer this time.
“I told you who I am, for Kami-sama’s sake!”
“No need to shout. Okay, let me rephrase that. What are you?”
Saga’s eyes went wide and his mouth was open to voice out his disbelief of the man’s capability to remember things. However, Tora raised up a hand before the angel could say anything.
“Okay, okay! You’re Saga, my guardian angel. But why…and how?”
“What do you mean?” The brunette angel looked bewildered, “Everybody has their own guardian angels, Tora.”
At this point, Tora went silent. Only after Saga urged him to say something, did the raven head speak up.
“Alright……Say that I believe you—”
“Oh you’ve got to believe me,” the angel crossed his arms over his chest, looking annoyed.
“Stop interjecting me, angel.”
The angel’s mouth opened again, but he swallowed down his protest.
“So, if you really are a guardian angel,” Tora continued, “……then how the fuck can I see you?!”
“Good question,” was all the brunette said in response.
The raven head was staring at the brunette angel in disbelief now.
“Well, I have been questioning it myself, Tora! I don’t know why you can see me either! You’re not supposed to!”
“Can’t you ask somebody? Your God, maybe?”
“Kami-sama is busy,” replied Saga quickly before Tora could make another silly suggestion.
“You’ve got to have some methods to find out what’s wrong, though,” said the raven head again.
“Tsk. Mendoukuse…” muttered the brunette under his breath.
“What did you just say?”
“I didn’t say anything!” Lied Saga.
“I just heard you!”
The two of them were about to start yet another quarrel, but at the same time, loud knocks were heard from the door. Exchanging glances at each other, Tora rose up from the sofa at last, Saga following him from behind again. Before he could ask who it was, an angry voice was already shouting at him.
“Open the door, young man!”
“It’s the proprietor,” whispered Tora to the angel.
The brunette angel didn’t say anything, hinting to the raven head to open the door instead. Once he did, both of them had to cover their ears, for the shouts were getting louder now.
“Don’t you know what time it is?! It’s fucking midnight, you asshole! You’re bothering your neighbours by your loud argument!”
“But you are shouting yourself,” commented Tora, not realising the outcome.
“You’d better shut your mouth, kid. Or else, you’d find yourself sleeping in the street the following day,” threatened the fat proprietor.
“Yeah, yeah. Now, can you please leave? I don’t need to face some shit this early, especially on my birthday.”
The proprietor raised his hand to hit Tora, but Saga made a move at the right time. Using his mind power, he froze the proprietor’s movement. His fat hand now hung in the air, his eyes grew bigger at the odd sight and he looked confused.
Chuckling beside Tora’s ear, Saga said, “Don’t worry. He can’t hit you now.”
However, the proprietor shifted his murderous gaze to Saga.
“What did you do to me, you fucking delinquent?!”
At first, the angel was not aware that the proprietor was shouting at him, and not Tora. Until he saw that he was looking directly into the brunette’s eyes. Realising what it meant, the brunette moved behind the raven head’s larger body, attempting to hide himself. Before the proprietor could do some harmful things to the both of them, the raven head had already closed and locked the door, yelling his half-hearted apology to the fat man as he did so.
Now, they were back in the living room, with the angel panicking over what just happened.
“D-did you see that, Tora? He could see me! He looked me directly in the eyes!”
The raven head threw himself onto the sofa, sprawling on it, face down; instead of responding to his guardian angel. By this time, Saga had already crouched down on the floor, looking so stressful.
“Kami-sama, what have I done wrong? Why are humans able to see me now?” The angel asked nobody in particular desperately.
“Shut up…I’m trying to sleep,” Tora’s voice was muffled by the cushion.
“Tora! You can’t sleep now! Tell me what’s wrong!” The brunette was now kneeling beside the sofa Tora was lying on, tugging at the black-haired man’s T-Shirt.
Completely annoyed, Tora sat upright all of a sudden, pushing Saga backward accidentally.
“How the fuck do I know?!” He gazed sharply at the angel, “You explain to me!”
“B-but…” The angel was at a loss for words.
“I’m so exhausted. I just want to sleep. I deserve some rest. Got it?”
“But Tora…What about me?”
“I don’t know. Go back to your Heaven, maybe?”
“You don’t have to be so mean! I’ve guarded you for 34 years, you know!” The brunette angel pouted.
The raven head sighed rather exaggeratedly.
“Fine! We’ll figure it out later. Now let me fucking sleep for at least an hour!”
The brunette seemed hesitant, but he was considering Tora’s words.
“You know, maybe it’s just Heaven’s mistake,” the black-haired man reasoned, “Or maybe it’s just a dream. Yeah! I am dreaming about my guardian angel whose existence I’ve never known of in my entire life. And by the time I wake up, you’ll disappear. Because you never existed.” His gaze went wild when saying this.
“You sound like you’re in denial, but okay…I’ll play along. What if when you wake up, I’m still here?” Asked Saga.
The only response the angel got was Tora banging his forehead against the cushion out of frustration. To be honest, Saga pitied the man, if only he wasn’t stuck in the same situation. He let the man sleep, though. Unlike him, humans did need rest.
Getting up to his feet, Saga occupied the other sofa—the single one—as he rested both of his hands on his knees. His fingers tapped the fabric rhythmically, as he whistles some random tunes. His enhanced eyes scanned the room. He was way too familiar with everything in it. He knew where Tora’s TV stood, where Tora’s cat—named Chicken, which only Tora and God knew why the man would give such a name to his pet—usually slept, where Tora hid his AVs at the back of the second drawer of the TV stand. Saga knew nearly everything about this place.
He stopped whistling when he sensed some movements from Tora’s direction. He watched as the raven head opened his eyes abruptly, as if he was woken up from a nightmare.
“Why are you still here?!” Complained the man.
“Tora! It’s not even an hour yet!” The angel only rolled his eyes.
Then after that, Tora resumed his restless sleep, somehow managing to mutter under his breath, “You’d better disappear once I wake up, angel.”
“My name’s Saga, yo…” Replied the brunette angel in a boring tone.
It had only been half an hour, but it felt like hours to Saga. Tora was still asleep on the sofa, and the angel was thinking how to entertain himself whilst waiting for his human to wake up. He then leapt from the sofa, landed on the floor gracefully, and headed to the small balcony. The brunette extended his hand to touch the glass door when suddenly, he heard a voice speaking to him from behind.
“Looks like you’re in some deep shit, Saga…”
The brunette spun around, only to face his fellow guardian angel. The one who had small feature and blond hair, a face so cute that sometimes it made Saga jealous.
“Hi there, Saga. Long-time no see,” said the shorter angel with a smile.
“We just met this afternoon, Hiroto. But how did you get in?” Asked Saga, crossing the room with a few long strides to approach his fellow angel.
“Through the wall!” Hiroto grinned.
“I shouldn’t have asked,” the brunette’s eyebrow twitched, “Anyway, why are you here?”
“I’m running an errand,” answered Hiroto matter-of-factly.
“You know. I’m acting as a messenger here.”
“But why? Aren’t you supposed to guard your human? What’s his name again? …Shou?”
“My baby’s sleeping now.”
Saga snorted, “Your baby? Hahaha!”
“Don’t you agree? Humans—even when they have grown up—are like babies. Why else do they need us to guard them then?” The blond angel replied, sitting on the single sofa.
“You have a point. But hey! So what’s it that you have to inform me about?”
“Well…” Hiroto stole a glance at the sleeping figure—Tora—on the other sofa, “It appears that Uruha has sent his reports to Kami-sama and Kami-sama seems to have reviewed them.”
“And…?” The brunette angel gulped, dreading the answer.
“Your grades are failing.”
Almost in a mere second, Saga dropped dramatically onto the floor, imitating the famous ‘OTL’ emoji that was so popular in the internet. Hiroto watched in an amusement as the brunette angel’s shoulders started shaking and he began weeping.
“Why, Uruha…why? Isn’t it enough that I bribed you with Aoi’s nude selfies? Why are my grades still failing…? Why?!”
“Well, you know how devoted Uruha is to his job. He won’t give Kami-sama false reports just because you bribed him with Aoi’s nude selfies. How did you get them anyway?!” The shorter angel looked disbelief.
~Meanwhile in Heaven, Uruha sneezed several times, it sent his papers flying to all directions. A certain photograph caught his attention and the beautiful angel quickly flew to grab it before any other angel could notice, his face turning really red.~
Saga lifted his head up a bit, “That’s my secret.”
“Seriously, Saga. You need to set your priorities. Do you even have any idea why else I’m here now?”
“Why?” Asked the brunette angel curiously.
“Is he—” Hiroto jerked his head towards Tora, “—all of a sudden, able to see you?”
“Yes! How did you know?!” Exclaimed the taller angel, standing up to his feet so fast.
He was now leaning forward to Hiroto, shaking the other angel’s shoulders to demand an answer.
“Calm down,” the blonde gently removed Saga’s hands, “Let’s say that this is your punishment.”
“Yeah. Kami-sama has lowered your status from an angel to a human. For a day.”
“Wait, what? So I’m a human now?”
“Not completely. I mean, you can still use your power. But you lost your invisibility. Meaning, humans can see you. Also, you can feel pain.”
“So that’s why my ass still hurts until now. But hey! If humans can see me, doesn’t that endanger our kind?!” The brunette’s eyes grew wider in surprise.
“Yeah. And that is why, this is your punishment. Kami-sama wants you to learn how to be responsible. Can you keep the secrecy of our kind?”
“I…” Saga felt weak on his knees, he stumbled backward, “…I don’t know, Hiroto.”
“That was a rhetorical question, silly! You have no other choice but to keep our secrets, even when humans can see you!”
“But how, Hiroto? I never…I never even tried blending in with human beings before!”
“You’ll figure it out. It’s only for a day after all.”
“Easy for you to say,” the brunette sighed.
This time, Hiroto didn’t make a response. The taller angel had become quiet himself. Within the next second, silence surrounded them. Neither of them spoke, nor moved even just a bit. That was why when Tora shifted on the sofa, the noise he produced sounded oddly loud in the room. Both Saga and Hiroto turned their heads to the slowly awakening form before them.
“Who are you talking to?” asked the raven head sleepily, stifling a yawn.
“Tora, you’re awake.”
The brunette stood closer to him, whilst Hiroto crossed his arms over his chest, still eyeing his fellow angel’s human.
“I said, who are you talking to?” Repeated the man, sounding more awake now.
“Oh, it’s just Hiroto,” Saga pointed at Hiroto, “My fellow—”
“I see nobody else but you in this room,” interjected Tora, staring at the empty space the brunette was pointing at, where Hiroto exactly stood.
“He can’t see me, Saga,” the blonde pointed out.
“Oh…” was all Saga said in response.
Tora raised an eyebrow. He truly didn’t understand what was going on. Although he seemed to have a bit clue now, his mind still denied it. In result, he came up with a rather silly theory.
“You know, I think you are actually a stalker, Saga. And you’re breaking and entering into my flat without my permission. What do you want from me?”
Saga’s mouth gaped open in disbelief. He even glanced at Hiroto to make sure if the other angel heard Tora too, but the blond angel merely shrugged his shoulders.
“Tora, are you for real?!”
“Because it’s just…it’s nonsense!” Defended the taller man.
“But you’ve seen my wings! You even witnessed my power earlier!”
“Wait, what? You showed him your wings and power, Saga?” Hiroto butted in.
“Yeah, I had to. He wouldn’t believe me and the proprietor was threatening him. I had to protect him,” explained the brunette.
“Whoever you’re talking to is still here?” Tora asked, looking surprised.
Hiroto rolled his eyes, “Humans.”
“Is it…is it your kind? I mean—”
“Yes, Tora. Hiroto is a guardian angel too, but you can’t see him,” replied Saga, not even bothering to hide their secrets anymore.
“Why can’t I see him? And why can I see you? I really don’t understand a thing here!”
The brunette averted his gaze to Hiroto, as if asking for help; but the blonde raised a hand first, “No, I can’t stay here any longer to explain everything all over again. You explain it to him, Saga. Gotta go. Bye!”
With that, a pair of enormous white wings emerged from Hiroto’s back, and he leapt into the thin air towards the ceiling, vanishing completely afterwards.
“Hiroto, wait! Ah, he’s gone!” Saga exclaimed, reaching his hand out to the ceiling.
All the time, Tora was observing him quietly. The raven head didn’t even say anything when the brunette seated himself on the sofa, hiding his face behind his palms.
“Hey, you okay?” Asked Tora carefully.
“Not sure,” the angel heaved a sigh, looking Tora in the eyes afterwards, “But let me explain everything to you now.”
“So,” he said whilst chewing, “It is only for a day. Not bad for a punishment, if I may say.”
After the long explanation and the angel’s effort to assure Tora that what was going on was real—with Tora denying the news as best as he could—the raven head finally came to a point where he decided to accept the truth. In the end, he didn’t look as stressful as earlier. In fact, he was now finding the situation interesting. Definitely something he had never dreamt of occurring in his life, something he would look forward to, just to get him out his boredom.
Now, Saga was sitting in front of him, eyeing Tora’s food as he answered, “But I really don’t know how to pass this day. I mean, even before Hiroto informed me, I have already revealed my power to other human beside you.”
“You didn’t do that intentionally, though,” the raven head sipped his milk, “Besides, that fat asshole deserved that.”
“But what if he told other people? Your neighbours? We could’ve been kicked out!”
“Fine with me.”
The angel sighed, “You’re so hopeless, Tora.”
“You don’t want to be found or seen? Stay at home. Problem solved,” the black-haired man took a bite of his sausage, not noticing the angel’s gaze on him.
“You know, I always wonder…Does that taste good?” Asked Saga out of the blue, swallowing his saliva.
Tora paused, “What? This?” He pointed at the slice of sausage on his fork.
The angel nodded vigorously. Before him, the raven head did nothing but offered his food to Saga.
“Why don’t you taste it yourself?”
“Can I?” A wide grin was spread on his androgynous face.
“Of course. Here,” with that, Tora leant forward so he could feed his guardian angel. It was strange, but he felt a sort of contentment in his heart when Saga looked delighted eating humans’ food, “So, how was it?”
“It’s really good! Can I have some more? Please~”
Pushing his plate towards Saga, Tora nodded, “Go ahead.”
Whilst Saga was devouring Tora’s breakfast, the black-haired man pulled out a cigarette, put it in between his lips and lit it. After one full drag, smokes escaped the little gap of his mouth. He inhaled deeply, simply enjoying the peaceful morning. He hadn’t yet noticed that the angel was now watching him.
“I’ve heard other humans talking about it before,” commented the brunette.
“About what?” Another full drag.
“That smoking kills people.”
“Yeah. Sounds challenging, doesn’t it?” Replied Tora in a mocking tone.
“Well, it doesn’t affect me. But it affects your health, Tora,” said Saga again, sounding concerned.
“Don’t you worry. Nobody will miss me even if I die young, anyway.”
“That’s depressing. If you die, I’ll be appointed another human to guard. What a shame. I really like you, you know,” the brunette went on, playing with the fork.
It was a good thing that Saga wasn’t looking at him. Otherwise, he would witness how red Tora’s face had become upon hearing his words. The raven head wasn’t one for a romantic relationship. He wasn’t used to hear anybody say that they liked him.
“A-anyway,” Tora cleared his throat, “I think I found a way for you to pass this day.”
“Really?” Saga’s face brightened, “How?”
“If you are a human now, I think you should act like humans. Let’s go outside.”
“Eh?! B-but…won’t they notice me?” The brunette looked worried.
“If you haven’t seen yourself, I must tell you that you look very human right now. Why don’t you check? There’s a mirror in my bedroom.”
Almost in a dash, Saga fled to the raven head’s bedroom. Tora was just about to begin doing the dishes when he heard Saga yelling from his bedroom. Sighing, he put the unwashed plate in the sink, approaching his guardian angel.
“I’m coming! Stop yelling, okay!”
The raven head entered his bedroom with a bit of irritated look, “What now?”
“Just see it yourself!” Saga pointed at the full-body mirror that was attached to Tora’s wardrobe, pouting.
Standing beside the angel in front of the said mirror, the black-haired man’s expression changed from irritated to amazed, “You don’t have a reflection.”
“Exactly! What if people notice it when we’re out?”
“They won’t. Trust me,” convinced Tora, “As long as you avoid mirrors and glasses, you’ll be fine.”
“Are you sure?” Saga’s forehead creased in doubt.
“Yes, I am.”
“Why do you insist on going out though? For these 34 years I’ve been observing you, you’re not fond of being outside with lots of people. Why now?”
“Because it’s my birthday. This year, I want to celebrate it. For a change.”
“Ooh!!! Riiiighhhtt….!!! 34 years ago, a chubby baby was born! It was you, Tora. I remember how loud your crying was. Hahaha!”
“Can we not discuss it?” Tora said, deadpanned.
“…Okay. So, what to do now?”
“I’m going to take a shower first. If you want, you may borrow my clothes. They’re in—”
“Oh there’s no need! Check this out, Tora!”
Then, Saga clicked his fingers and his usual attire changed into casual white T-Shirt, black vest, red scarf, and a pair of blue jeans. Tora gasped in surprise.
“How could you do that?”
“Oh it’s magic~! Teehee!”
“You can do magic too?” The black-haired man looked interested.
“Sort of…This trick comes in handy when I need to be undercover, you know.”
“Why the hell would you need to be undercover, though? Like you’re some kind of a spy or something.”
“Err…let’s say that I run some business besides guarding you.”
“So that’s why your grades are failing. Because you did a terrible job in guarding me. What a lazy and irresponsible guardian angel,” Tora shook his head.
“I don’t need you to lecture me now,” the angel pouted even more.
Tora only laughed and messed up Saga’s silky brown hair with his fingers in response. Then, he headed to the bathroom, leaving the angel perplexed at the small affection that felt alien to him.
“Can’t you stop that?” Asked Tora out of the blue.
“Stop what?” The brunette asked back, confused.
The raven head had spun around and both of them came to a halt. Saga raised an eyebrow.
“What, Tora? I really don’t understand.”
“I told you to act like human, didn’t I?” Tora lowered his voice, although there wasn’t anyone else but them on the street now, “So stop doing that now.”
“Stop doing what precisely?”
“You’re hovering! Your feet don’t touch the ground! Humans walk with their feet on the ground, Saga!”
“Oh…” Now that the black-haired man mentioned it, Saga lowered himself onto the ground, until his boots touched the pavement, “I do walk like humans do, you know. It’s just that sometimes it’s faster this way~ don’t you agree?”
“Just cut the crap now. Or we’ll go back to my flat.”
“Okay, okay…” The angel complied, his head lowering in defeat.
“That’s better. Now…” Tora suddenly took Saga’s hand in his, “Stay close to me. We’re entering a busy street. Right after that turn.”
The angel found it funny that Tora acted like a protector towards him, where he should be the one being protected. Saga wouldn’t be—couldn’t be harmed by a mere human being. Therefore, Tora didn’t really need to hold his hand like that. Nevertheless, he let the man do what he wanted. Today was his birthday, after all.
As the black-haired man said just now, they made a turn and entered a much busier and wider street. Vehicles ran endlessly on the main road. The angel knew this route of course. Tora used this route every day to go to work. Usually, Saga would hover over Tora’s head whilst the man headed to the station. Once, Saga had even flown alongside the moving train, watching his human who got a seat near the window. All just for fun, and it was a good experience. He told Tora about it with a low yet excited voice, lest someone overheard him.
“Do you know Death Note?” Asked Tora in response.
“Yeah! That anime you watched a few years back. I was there the whole time,” Saga grinned, “What about it, though?”
“You remind me of Ryuk,” said the black-haired man.
“The Shinigami?! How mean! I don’t look anywhere like him! Hmph!”
“Of course you don’t. I meant the hovering over a human’s head part.”
“Do they have Shinigami in, you know…up there?” Tora asked, entering the train station.
“Yes, we do. But only two. One that will take you to Heaven, and the other that will take you to Hell. Depending on your deeds and sins.”
“Which of them both do you think would take me?”
“How should I know? And can we please stop discussing this matter? You sound way too depressed for a birthday boy, Tora! Cheer up!”
The black-haired man snorted, “Can’t help it. Wait here. I’ll go buy your ticket.”
The angel nearly called out to Tora to tell him that he wanted to try buying the ticket himself, but remembering that he was not really familiar with the currency, he closed his mouth and stayed on his spot. Besides, he spotted a few CCTV on the corners of the high ceiling. He wouldn’t dare making a contact with another human but his own. After a short queue, Tora was finally back with a single-trip card in his hand. He handed it to Saga who accepted it with great interest. The black-haired man himself owned the multi-trip one, for he was a regular passenger.
Then, the two of them approached the gates and tapped their cards to get in (Tora gestured to Saga to examine him first before he did it, which the angel complied without protest). Once they got inside and arrived at the platform, Saga cheered, “I’m going to board a train, yaay~!”
His guardian angel looked so happy; it brought a smile to Tora’s usually grumpy face. It was strange how Saga could bring joys to him as if it was a piece of cake, whereas other human beings weren’t able to. He also felt closer to the angel than to anyone in his life—Shou included—although it was the first time he had ever seen Saga. He thought that maybe it had something to do with Saga having been with him in his entire life, even though Tora didn’t know about his guardian angel’s existence before this day came.
An announcement was heard, informing them about their train’s arrival. Both Tora and Saga prepared themselves, standing behind the yellow line whilst waiting. It didn’t take too long for their train to arrive, and then the two of them boarded it. There were already a good number of passengers inside the train, but Saga managed to spot two empty seats. The raven head followed the brunette to claim those seats. As soon as the automatic doors closed all at once, the announcer’s voice could be heard again, informing the passengers that the train would take them to a few stops, before reaching Shinjuku Train Station.
“So, we’re here,” announced Tora.
They had arrived in one of the largest shopping districts in Tokyo now. As Tora said earlier, there were indeed too many people; they wouldn’t even take a second glance at them. Everyone was busy attending their own business. Nearly half of them held smartphones in their hands, eyes glued to the screens. Tora always wondered how those people could watch where they walked without bumping into each other.
Meanwhile, Saga was clinging to Tora as close as possible. He didn’t want to make a direct contact with other humans, as best as he could. It seemed like he was still a bit paranoid. Hiroto’s words kept ringing in his ears too; about how Kami-sama practically demanded him to protect their kind by exposing him to the most dangerous creatures in Earth: Humans. It was a tough punishment he had to endure for a whole day. The angel felt like he was facing a dilemma.
“Oi. You don’t look excited,” the black-haired man elbowed Saga.
“I don’t know, Tora. I…”
“Just think of it as a day off. I thought you wanted to experience new things?”
“You’re right. Okay, let’s have fun, Tora!”
The brunette angel grinned widely, making the raven head smile in return.
“That’s the spirit.”
“Says a man who’s grumpy constantly,” teased the angel.
“You’ll regret that, Saga,” Tora tried to sound intimidating, but failed.
At the same time, something caught the angel’s attention.
“What’s the commotion over there?”
“There,” Saga pointed to a group of people surrounding what seemed to be a small stage below a huge digital screen.
“Why don’t we go there and find out? C’mon.”
The raven head held Saga’s hand tighter and they both half-ran towards the commotion. Turned out there was a surprise live performance from a certain rock band in Shinjuku that day. The banner spread on the artificial pillars on either side of the stage read: The Tokyo High Black. Both Tora and Saga were taller than average people were, so they didn’t have any difficulty seeing the band’s members. The band consisted of six men. All of them wore similar leather jackets. They had two vocalists and two guitarists, whilst the bassist stayed further at the back of the stage near the drums set. It appeared to them that both the bassist and the drummer were additional members.
“Tora, look. Their guitar playing is nice, isn’t it?” Asked Saga excitedly.
“Yes. Both of them are synched to each other. Like they’re meant to play guitars together,” commented the raven head, looking interested.
Then, both of the guitarists pressed their backs on each other during their solo. Audiences were thrilled. Fan girls screamed their names as loudly as possible. From them, Saga found out that their stage names were Mon Marshy and Tomorrow Joe. He burst into laughter at the funny and uncool stage names. At one point, the shorter guitarist—Tomorrow Joe—turned around and gave a peck to his fellow guitarist on the cheek. Those girls screamed louder. Even worse, when Mon Marshy responded to it by grabbing the shorter guitarist’s neck and kissed him full on the mouth.
“Tora, why did they do that? Aren’t they both men?” Saga asked, perplexed at the surprising sight.
“It’s a fan service. Rock bands do that a lot to please fan girls,” explained the raven head.
The angel nodded at Tora’s explanation. The two of them then heard one of the vocalists announce to the audience about their last song. The shorter vocalist also said that it was their new song, called ‘Wanna See U’. The song was catchy and Tora and Saga found themselves enjoying it. When the performance ended, the members thanked the audience for coming. Mon Marshy even threw his guitar pick to the crowds, and Saga—ever so eager than Tora would’ve imagined—jumped to catch it, which he succeeded!
“I got it! Tora, I got it!!”
“Yeah, I know!” Even the raven head laughed at the angel’s excitement.
“It’s so small, though. I’m afraid I’d lose it. Besides, maybe I won’t need it. I think I’ll give this to you, Tora. Here, keep it!” The brunette took Tora’s hand and put the guitar pick in the black-haired man’s palm, “Mon Marshy’s guitar pick. Who knows one day you’ll become a pro guitar player like him!”
The taller man smiled bitterly, but he slipped the guitar pick inside his wallet, after all.
“Thank you,” he said to the angel.
Saga grinned in return and then dragged the black-haired man away from the crowds. Once they arrived in a less crowded place, the angel turned to face Tora.
“So, Mr. Guide. Where to go now?”
“Hmm…” The raven head put his two fingers under his chin, “You choose.”
The brunette rolled his eyes, “So creative.”
“Well, how would I know where you want to go?” Retorted Tora.
“Fine. Let’s go to a Purikura booth!”
“You do realise you won’t appear in the printouts, don’t you?”
This time, Saga puffed out his cheeks in annoyance.
“You.Are.Not.Supposed.To.Ruin.My.Happiness!” The angel said each word whilst hitting his human’s chest simultaneously.
“Hey, I thought today is my birthday!” Tora tried to avoid every one of Saga’s punches, but to no avail.
The brunette turned around and crossed his arms on his chest. If the black-haired man watched it closely, he’d find the veins in the angel’s forehead twitching furiously.
“Okay, I’m sorry. Let’s go to a Purikura booth then,” the raven head sighed in defeat.
“Really? Yatta!!” The angel cheered loudly, but somehow calmed himself down quickly, “It—it’s not like I’ll forgive you for ruining my happiness, baka…”
Surprisingly, Tora snorted at that, “Seriously? I didn’t see you as a Tsundere type, you know!”
“Wh-what’s Tsundere, anyway? Geez, Tora. You watch too much anime for your own good.”
“I’ve been there the whole time, duh!”
“Yeah, right. But hey, do you still want to go or not?”
“Of course, I do! Let’s go!”
Once again, the angel dragged the other man, their arms linked.
“Tired already?” Saga tilted his head in a way that made him look innocent.
“How am I not tired? You’ve made me run up the hill! After a long and tormenting walk from the shopping district!” The raven head complained like an old man.
“Well, you wouldn’t allow me to fly, so…”
“There are public transportations, for God’s sake!”
The angel merely stuck out his tongue mischievously. It took Tora a great deal of patience for not strangling him on the spot. Anyway, they had been to the Purikura booth and as Tora said, none of the printouts had Saga in it, which put the angel in yet another bad mood. Not until Tora dragged him to a convenience store and bought a notebook and a pen there, and then drew a quick sketch of the brunette, did Saga finally show a smile again.
He became cheerful again and then demanded the raven head to stop by a ramen shop, whining about how his mouth had always watered every time he watched Tora eat a ramen. Then after they finished their lunch, Saga said that he wanted to go to the beach and tried surfing. Of course, the black-haired man declined the idea all at once. The good thing was, the angel didn’t show him his immense pout this time. Although somehow his enhanced eyes spotted a hill at the much too far distance after that. As soon as Tora saw the sparkle in those eyes, he quickly said, “No.” with great determination. Nevertheless, Saga just wouldn’t stop pestering him. Therefore, here they were now, at the base of the hill. After about three hours walking by foot.
“I’m gonna kill you for this, damn angel,” whispered Tora.
“I heard that,” the brunette replied from his spot.
“Heard that too.”
Not wanting to waste his energy on a silly quarrel, the raven head resumed walking. He quickly caught up with Saga who had gone ahead. It was near twilight, and the sun was setting too. Its marvellous orange light shone on the angel’s brown hair, forming a halo on top of his head. For a moment, Tora thought his eyes had tricked him. Because somehow it seemed as if the gorgeous angel’s wings were spread gloriously on his back. Then, the angel halted and turned around to face him. The beautiful sight disappeared.
“Faster, Tora! We don’t want to miss the sunset, do we?”
“Hai, hai…” was all Tora said, before he walked faster.
After several minutes later, the both of them arrived at the top of the hill. From there, they could see the skyscrapers of Shinjuku with Mount Fuji behind it. It was beautiful scenery that Tora had never seen before. The angel smiled secretly when he found how amazed the raven head looked right now. His eyes shone and his mouth was slightly opened, as if he wanted to say something, but too speechless to do so.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Saga voiced out Tora’s thought.
“…Yeah. Very much,” replied the raven head after he got his speaking ability back.
“Let’s sit here, Tora!”
Saga grabbed Tora’s wrist and gestured to him to take a seat on the green grass. They sat side by side now, knees rising up as they enjoyed the view. Neither of them spoke a word. They simply sat there in peaceful silence, watching the sunset. Only after the sun had completely disappeared and the moon started showing itself on the now grey sky, did Tora snap loudly.
“Damn! I should’ve filmed it! Argh…”
“Well, you can always film it tomorrow. Or the day after tomorrow,” suggested the brunette.
“It’ll not be the same as today,” the raven head said weakly.
“Hey, don’t be sad. Here, a flower for you.”
When Tora lifted his face up, he saw Saga extending his open palm to him; and with a graceful motion of the fingers of his other hand, a stem of flower magically appear. The angel held it in between his thumb and index finger, before he handed it to the black-haired man. Smiling, Tora accepted it.
“You’re welcome,” the angel grinned.
Then, Saga lay himself down on the grass.
“Aahh…it’s so tiring~ doing so much activities in a human form is so tiring. How do you cope up with all these things, Tora?”
“Tons of practice, I guess?” He said in response, lying down beside his guardian angel. He put one arm under his head as a makeshift pillow, whilst his other hand was still holding the flower. He twirled it with his fingers, examining the petals.
“How is it like up there?” Tora asked, all of a sudden.
“…You do realise that I had been told to keep the secrecy of my kind, don’t you?”
“I won’t tell anyone. I promise,” said the raven ahead again.
“Well…” The angel looked up at the clouds, “It’s so peaceful in Heaven. Lots of angels, all with their own charm. There is one angel whose job is to keep an eye on the other angels. His name is Uruha. He’s the one who wrote a report about me and informed it to Kami-sama.”
“Technically, you got punished because of him?” Commented Tora.
“…Yeah, but not really. I…I guess I realise something now.”
“They were right…about me having been so irresponsible in doing my job. Had I been more responsible, you wouldn’t have been feeling down all the time.”
“It’s not your fault.”
“No…you wouldn’t have...tried to kill yourself that day. I’m so sorry. If I had arrived a second late, you would’ve been—”
The raven head sat up, Saga did the same.
“It is really not your fault. In fact, I must thank you…for saving me that day. Yeah, I was aware of something…something powerful that prevented me from jumping off the bridge. I didn’t know what it was. But now that I do, I…”
Tora turned his head to Saga, reaching his hand out to caress the angel’s cheek as he leant his forehead with Saga’s afterwards.
“Thank you so much, my guardian angel.”
Saga was speechless. He had never been that close with anyone before. With Tora, though, he felt safe. As if he wasn’t the only one to protect the other. As if they were both meant to protect each other. His cheek felt moist and only after the raven head said his name in a soft whisper, did the angel look at Tora in the eyes.
“Saga, are you…crying?” Asked the black-haired man, worried.
“I…I don’t know. It’s just…this tear just fell. I’ve never…I’ve never felt such emotion before,” he wiped the single tear with the back of his smooth hand, chuckling.
“It must have something to do with you being a human now, right?”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“Do you like it?”
“Being a human.”
The angel laughed.
“It’s not even a day yet, Tora. I don’t know if I like it or not.”
“It will end in six hours…this day,” said the raven head, looking at the night view of the city.
“Then let’s count these remaining hours with something unforgettable!”
At the same time, Tora’s stomach grumbled. His face turned red in embarrassment, whilst the brunette burst into laughter.
“How about dinner first?” Suggested the angel between his laughs.
“You mean, going back home and making me cook dinner?” The taller man raised an eyebrow sceptically.
“You forgot I can do magic, human.”
“Oh? Impress me then,” challenged Tora.
“Fine. Don’t tell anyone, though.”
Tora made a gesture as if he was zipping up his mouth. The angel scanned their surroundings first, to make sure that there was nobody else but the two of them at the hill now. Convinced that they were safe enough, Saga once again made that graceful hand motion and in a blink of an eye, dinner was served. The raven head widened his eyes at the magic trick. He took one bowl of rice and examined it.
“Is it really edible?” He sounded more worried than the angel would like him to.
“Just try it.”
Grabbing the chopsticks, Tora tasted the rice.
“Of course!” The angel sounded proud of himself.
Then together, they started eating. It was like a picnic in the evening.
“You know what, Saga? Now you remind me of Genie.”
“Oh Kami-sama…would you please stop making a reference?” Saga rolled his eyes.
The raven head only laughed.
Saga had let the black-haired man rest his eyes for a moment after they finished dinner. It had been a tiring day after all. Tora’s head was comfortably placed on the angel’s lap, whilst the brunette himself was combing his human’s black hair with his fingers.
After a while, Saga thought that maybe Tora had fallen asleep; but out the blue, the raven head opened his eyes and reached out a hand to touch the angel’s neck. With a gentle pull, Tora made the angel bend down until their lips met. The kiss lingered and Tora could even sense Saga smiling.
“How do you feel, Tora?” The angel asked after their mouths parted.
“…I’m not sure, but…I don’t know. Happy…?”
The angel smiled.
“I haven’t given you my present, right?”
“What? You prepared something for me?” Tora chuckled.
Instead of answering, Saga gently removed Tora’s head from his lap and helped the man stand up afterwards. Then, he took the black-haired man’s hands and put them on his hips, whilst he encircled his own around the raven head’s neck.
“This is my present for you.”
“Err, you wanna dance? I can’t dance, though,” said Tora with an awkward chuckle.
“Just shut up and close your eyes.”
Tora did as Saga told him. He waited for a good few seconds, and then he heard some rustles, followed by flappy sounds. He wanted to open his eyes, but the angel warned him not to. Before he knew it, his feet had risen from the ground. He tightened his grip on the angel’s hips, now that he had an idea of what was happening. By the time Saga told him to open his eyes, both of them were already floating in the air, quite far from the hill.
“I hope you’re not afraid of height,” said Saga.
“No, I’m not,” Tora’s gaze fell on the colourful lights of the city, “Wow…”
“Amazing, isn’t it?”
“Yeah! It really is amazing. This is the first time I’ve ever experienced this. Flying! Can you imagine that?”
“Hohoho…I don’t just imagine it, Tora.”
“You’re right. If only…if only I were an angel too.”
“Tora…really? And here I am thinking if only I could stay with you as a human.”
“What’s so fun in being a human? Humans are weak.”
“Because when this day ends, I’ll vanish.”
The raven head dropped into silence. The sparkles in his eyes were gone too.
“Wh-what do you mean? I thought your punishment—”
“Well, not literally. I will still be by your side. But…you won’t be able to see me anymore.”
“Isn’t that the same? I won’t be able to see you, nor talk to you anymore. Knowing that you’ll still be here with me makes it even worse. Like, I’m hopelessly trying to grasp something that’s unreachable.”
Saga caressed Tora’s cheek with one hand, “Please don’t say it like that.”
“But it’s the truth, right? In the end, I’ll be alone again.”
“Tora…” The angel rested his head on Tora’s shoulder, “I will always be with you. Please believe that.”
The raven head heaved a sigh. He caressed Saga’s hair, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be selfish.”
“Don’t be sorry,” the brunette lifted his head, only to let out a gasp, “Oh Kami-sama! What time is it now?”
“A few minutes before midnight, I think.”
Then without further ado, Saga brought them back to the ground. Once their feet touched the grass again, the angel clapped Tora’s hands together.
“You haven’t made a wish! Quickly, make one! Before this day ends!”
“As if it’ll be heard,” muttered the black-haired man.
“Oh you don’t know, Tora. C’mon, just make a wish!”
Tora closed his eyes again. He could still feel Saga’s hands holding his own together. He thought it was silly, but he did make a wish, after all. When his eyes fluttered open again, the angel’s figure had begun vanishing slowly. He looked more transparent now, like a ghost. The warmth that previously radiated from his skin also began to disappear. Tora’s eyes widened.
“It’s almost time, Tora…”
“No…Stay longer, please. Just a bit…”
“I’m not leaving you. Remember that, Tora. I’ll still be here…with you. I promise.”
Tora tried to embrace the angel, but he only met thin air. Before the brunette completely vanished though, he managed to say, “Happy birthday, Tora.”
Nevertheless, the angel had really vanished now. The raven head dropped onto his knees, feeling as though his heart shattered into pieces.
“I…Damn it!” He punched the ground angrily, “It’s not like I have fallen for you, you lazy angel!”
Saga—now invisible again for Kami-sama had lifted up his punishment—stood there watching his dear human. Tora’s words made him smile, but a single tear fell down his cheek. He stepped forward to the kneeling man, slowly bending down to embrace him from behind. His enormous wings covered them both. Tora could not feel him at all, though.
“And you said, I’m a Tsundere,” the angel tightened his embrace, “I love you too, baka…”
Saga was startled by the voice. He quickly turned around, only to face Hiroto.
“Yes. Acting as a messenger again. Kami-sama summons you.”
“Good. There’s something I want to discuss with Kami-sama too, anyway.”
“What about him then?” Asked Hiroto, jerking his head towards Tora who had now hidden his face in between his raised up knees.
Saga averted his eyes to his human again.
“Do me a favour, Hiroto.”
“Please watch over him while I’m gone.”
“Sure. My baby’s is sleeping again, anyway. Now, go.”
“No big deal,” the blonde winked.
The raven head rolled onto his side, only to feel something on his face. It was as if he was being tickled by a feather. Then, he opened his eyes. What he saw before his eyes made him blink a couple of times. Until he heard that lovely laughter.
“Wake up, handsome. You want to sleep for the rest of the day?”
The feather tickled him again. Then, he sat bolt upright. He caught the hand that was holding the white feather, as if to make sure that the figure before him wouldn’t vanish again.
“Sa-Saga…how? I thought…I thought it was just a dream.”
“No, it wasn’t, Tora. It was real,” the angel smiled to convince him.
“But how…aren’t you supposed to—”
“I returned to Heaven as soon as I vanished. Kami-sama summoned me and we…well, we talked.”
“Kami-sama was not pleased about my failed grades,” the brunette sighed, “But Kami-sama said that I have done well during my punishment and so…I discussed some conditions with Kami-sama.”
The raven head took Saga’s hand in his, “Tell me.”
“Kami-sama accepted my conditions, which is to continue protecting you in a human form, as long as I resolve and do my tasks better.”
“Really? That’s…that’s great!”
Seeing the happiness in the raven head’s again warmed the angel’s heart. He stood up, offering his hand to Tora.
“So now, how about we go home, Tora?”
Accepting the hand that was offered to him, Tora smiled wider.
“Yes, let’s go home, Saga.”
Then, they started walking down the hill hand-in-hand.
“You know what, Saga?”
“My wish has been granted,” said Tora with a sincere smile.
“Yeah. You came back. That’s how I knew my wish has been granted.”
The angel gasped.
“Kami-sama heard it! That’s why Kami-sama summoned me and accepted my condition without asking me about my reason!”
The raven head smiled again, “Yokatta.”
“Those three words you wanted to say to me before I vanished.”
Almost in a second, the raven head’s face reddened. He released Saga’s hand and walked ahead in embarrassment. However, the angel’s enhanced hearing could hear it. He could hear Tora whispered as he walked away, “I love you.”
“I said this before but you didn’t hear it, of course,” the angel shouted, “I love you too!”
“J-just hurry up! I thought you wanted to go home,” the man responded, his cheeks still had those tints of red.
Tora heard the angel laugh. Then suddenly, the angel hopped onto the raven head’s back. Tora was surprised, he nearly lost his balance.
“Carry me till we reach your flat, Tora. Teehee~”
“What the…can’t you just fly us?!”
“I can, but…I want you to carry me, please~”
Despite that, Tora adjusted Saga’s position to a safer one, though. It made the angel grin and he gave him a peck on his new lover’s cheek.
“Now, off we go!”
“You’ll pay for this, Saga!”
The angel only laughed harder whilst Tora carried him back home.