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[personal profile] cosmic_book
[I am missing the best bits, including the beginning.]

"We work together then," Hikaru said. He looked between them. He breathed out, "But when we find him, you leave Ezikiel to me." The line could have been read angrily. A desire for bloody revenge. Instead, it sounded like he wanted to protect the angel.

"He's yours." Vengeful anger could have brought a feral satisfaction to the demon's promise. Instead, it was given with an almost disappointed indifference; what mattered was that Ezekiel was stopped, how was secondary. Haniel lifted a hand to touch Hikaru's face with an encouraging smile and a nod.

"Cut! Good take," the director called, waving to the cameraman. The hustle and bustle of between scenes started up and a runner approached them with water. The girl who wasn't really an angel thanked the runner with a smile no less brilliant as she accepted a bottle and cracked it open.

Hikaru… Ran blinked, looking around in confusion. He waved off the water and started walking off the set toward a less populated area.

"Wha- hold on!" Lyn called, looking surprised. The other young man didn't bother calling. He strode after Ran, taking his own water bottle with a grateful nod. The sharp edges, the bite, had slipped away with Samael. His voice was steady but lightly touched with concern as he spoke. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine," Ran said. He realized his tone sounded more defensive than fine. He tried to mellow it. "Sorry. I just thought I would take a break."

"I think I would need one, too, playing your role," was the reply. He didn't sound offended by the bit of defensiveness. "Sorry, my name is Haru. I can go if you'd rather be alone for your break."

"Haijimemashita. Fujimiya Ran desu." Ran bowed.

Haru returned the bow politely. "Hajimemashite. Dozo yoroshiku."

Ran had heard Lyn calling him. He looked in her direction. People made him uncomfortable, but he was trying not to get a reputation for being a total asshole.

The girl was bouncing a little, visible even with the robes she was wearing. She wasn't the most patient person but Haru had stepped up first. Ran looking at her seemed to count as an invitation, though, as she moved quickly to catch up. "Deyrios Islyn desu but please never call me that. I'm Lyn. Hajimemashite." She bobbed briefly in what could only be called a bow by great generosity.

Ran smiled a little. "Nice to meet you," he said in English. He looked between them and asked, "Do you want to go somewhere and talk?" Ran didn't. He really wanted to go somewhere quiet and alone and sort out the pieces of Hikaru and Ran, but they seemed to want to talk to him.

"I'd like that," Lyn said with a smile. Haru tilted his head a little and corrected "If we wouldn't be intruding." Lyn blinked and responded "Well, yeah, of course."

"No, not intruding," Ran said. He gestured to the tables at the back.

Lyn beamed brightly and dashed over to the tables. Haru opened his water and took a sip, moving at a calmer pace. "It's okay if you need some time. At any point," he said quietly.

"It's okay," Ran said. He mostly managed to keep the defensiveness out of his tone. He took a seat at the table that had been set up as a rest area.

Haru settled, too, deliberately leaving some space between them. "Kakyou's been watching since the scene started," he noted. Samael had entered with enough delay for Haru to be looking around.

Lyn blinked and craned her neck to look around.

Ran flushed a little. He tried to be subtle about looking.

Kakyou was off at a bit of a distance, partly hidden by the corner he was leaning against. He was in costume, previously pristine white robes a little torn and stained at the hems. Ezekiel did have scenes blocked....but not until later in the day. Lyn was Not being subtle; she waved enthusiastically when she saw him.

Hikaru felt a touch of concern. Ran reminded himself they were play acting. He had to get out of this business. He'd almost saved enough… Ran nodded to Kakyou.

Caught. Kakyou supposed that took care of his uncertainty. He moved to join them, bowing his head politely as he approached. "Hello." Haru nodded a greeting, sipping his water. Lyn smiled brightly. "Hi."

"Would you like to join us?" Ran asked.

"If it's alright with all of you," Kakyou replied, eyes meeting Ran's. He could see traces of the tears from the scene, a bit of red to the eyes. Ezekiel stirred, and Kakyou pushed him back. "I wouldn't have mentioned you watching if I minded," Haru admitted.

Ran looked down. He didn't ask what Kakyou thought of the scene, but he wanted to.

The older man reached out to urge Ran's chin up. A gentle thumb wiped away a spot of lingering dampness. "Thank you." Was that Kakyou or Ezekiel? The lines blurred. 'Don't look away./Don't be sad.' 'Thank you for inviting me./Thank you for caring.'

He reached up, his fingers brushed against Ezekiel's hand. He looked into the angel's eyes. There was humanity in them. He could still reach… Of course there was humanity in them, Kakyou was human. "…um." Ran pulled back.

Lyn stifled a sigh, thinking it would embarrass Ran if she let it out. Oh, they were pretty. Sadness crept into Ezekiel's golden eyes at Hikaru's desperate hope. He opened his mouth, -wouldn't it be kinder to take away that hope that would only cause him pain?- and then Ran pulled away. Kakyou let his hand drop to his side, closing his mouth and looking away. "Kakyou, you should sit," Haru said, emphasizing the name just a little.

Ran was blushing again, but he didn't dare look down in case it made Kakyou touch him again.

"Zeke likes Hikaru. That's sweet," Lyn said, settling the focus on Kakyou, who she thought could handle it better right now.

"Ezekiel." The correction was flat and disapproving, maybe a little offended, and not Kakyou.

"Don't bait him," Haru told Lyn with a frown. "Give it a minute."

Ran felt another flush of shame. The attempted deflection didn't work very well. "Are you going to sit down?"

"Ah... Yes, I'm sorry," Kakyou said, flushing faintly himself. He sat down across from Ran, smoothing his robes down carefully.

Haru tapped his bottle of water lightly on the table before offering it to Kakyou. "This will be good for the movie, at least."

Kakyou flushed pinker as he took the bottle. Lyn made a curious sound.

Ran looked confused, but like Lyn, didn't really ask anything.

Kakyou turned the bottle so his lips wouldn't touch where Haru's had before drinking. "It's... Well..."

Haru shook his head slightly at Kakyou's hesitation. "I've worked with Kakyou a couple of times. The better things...mesh? onstage, the more trouble he has keeping a strong line between himself and the role."

Ran looked away. His expression was embarrassed and slightly guilty.

"It's not a bad thing," Kakyou said earnestly, looking at Ran. His fingers curled around the bottle of water.

"If you say so," Ran replied quietly.

"It's kind of cool," Lyn said, tapping a foot against the floor. She smiled at Ran and Kakyou encouragingly. "I think so, anyway."

Kakyou glanced down and took a drink of water.

Haru leaned back in his seat. "It isn't really that unusual." He couldn't help wondering if anyone had bothered to tell Ran that before.

Ran tugged at his sleeve. He wished that he had gotten a water after all. It would have given him something to do with his hands. "Do you think Samael misses God?" Ran asked Haru. He hoped the sudden topic change didn't sound as deranged as he thought it did.

Haru seemed to consider the question seriously. Finally, he said "I don't think Samael's resentment and anger can come out of anything but pain. He's numb to it now, but there's a wound that either never healed, or just healed wrong. You could say he misses God, but the feeling has been so twisted it's not recognizable as itself."

"Maybe Samael and Ezekiel have something in common," Ran said quietly, glancing at Kakyou. "But I know his pain is more than that. It's us too. Humans and what we do to each other."

"Samael would only hate Ezekiel more for it," Haru noted quietly. "Especially since Ezekiel hasn't Fallen yet, despite his crimes."

Kakyou nodded slightly to Ran's glance. "

"That more than anything. It's a hard thing, to watch without acting. To see terrible things that perhaps you could stop, if only you were allowed to try. And...Ezekiel might welcome Samael's hate."

"How does Haniel stay joyful?" Ran asked Lyn. She must see the same things Ezekiel did.

A lot but not all. Ezekiel was set to watch everything. Lyn laughed a little and ran a hand through her hair. "This will probably sound terrible but I think Haniel's heart is not as gentle as Ezekiel's. It isn't that she doesn't care, but she looks for hope in everything. The chance for hope and joy. And she hopes FOR that joy instead of bleeding for the pain."

Ran was quiet for a few moments. "I think I can understand Ezekiel." Too well. Too much.

Lyn hummed and reached over to touch Ran's arm. "Maybe he needs someone to." Haru looked thoughtful. Kakyou bit his lip lightly.

Ran skirted away from Lyn's touch. "I should go. Homework." He was still a senior in high school with entrance exams to study for.

Lyn pouted but didn't press, drawing her hand back. She nodded to his words and said "Good luck with your work." Haru raised a hand to wave casually as Kakyou said "Balancing school and work must be difficult. I hope your homework goes well." .

"Thank you," Ran said to all of them. He wandered off to a quiet place and really did make an effort to study for a couple of hours. But he knew when Kakyou would be filming a scene. Kakyou watched him. It seemed fair to return the favor.

The set for Kakyou's scene was a beach. The shattered remains of stone heads were visible in the background. Samael and Ezekiel faced each other on the sand. Haru seemed to like Kakyou; Samael's hate for Ezekiel was raw, burning in pale eyes. "I should end you myself." Ezekiel laughed softly at the almost-threat, but it was a broken sound. "I know you can't. It's too late. I am the center of the coming apocalypse. Only a human is allowed to stop it now. If you kill me," Ezekiel's voice sank to something soft. It could have been a compassionate warning, but there was a blade hidden inside. "'ll become me. Belonging nowhere, to no Lord."

Ran moved around the crowd of people, trying keep out of the way and keep hidden while getting a better view.

A couple of people who weren't doing anything urgent shifted to let him by. One of the men working the lights pointed him to a good vantage point. Samael moved closer, his expression dark with rage. One finger stabbed towards empty space over the shoulder where a wing would be added, and Ezekiel stepped back slightly. "You know what you're doing. The rules you're breaking. You chose!" The demon's voice rose, rough with anger and accusation. "Why are your wings still white?!" Ezekiel paused, and seemed to really look at Samael and see him. His expression was almost quizzical before it became something painfully lost. "...I don't know."

Kakyou gestured in the right direction before he started heading that way. He walked slowly enough that Ran could pick whether to follow or walk beside him. Kakyou's trailer wasn't any bigger than anyone else's. The inside was neat and well-kept, with a small futon, a set of shelves mostly holding books, and a mini-fridge. There was also a hot plate with a tea kettle on it sitting on a small half-table. "You're welcome to sit," Kakyou said, gesturing to the futon.

Ran sat. He felt like there was a kind of a magic spell. If he spoke, he'd break it. "I think you might be wrong about it not being a bad thing."

"What makes you say that?" Kakyou asked, his voice quietly concerned. He got a bottle of water and poured it into the kettle. His eyes kept moving back to Ran.

Ran shrugged. He looked down. "I'm losing track."

"So do I, sometimes," he said gently, turning the hot plate on. Kakyou moved to sit next to Ran, resisting the urge to reach out, to touch. "I usually only do when I'm on the set, though. Do you ever have trouble anywhere else?"

Ran hesitated. Kakyou could get him fired. Ran could get a reputation. He looked up. "I'm having trouble right now."

Kakyou nodded a little, understanding. The tea was partly trying to press back Ezekiel with mundane things. "We're together in costume. We've been them on and off half the day. Ezekiel is....hovering." He wasn't sure that was the word, but he also wasn't sure there was a word.

Ran watched Kakyou silently for a few moments. "Is that why you look at me the way you do?"

Of course Ran had noticed. Kakyou flushed faintly, eyes moving to the kettle. "Sometimes. Not always."

"Me too," Ran said quietly.

Kakyou glanced back at him, surprised and curious and a little shy. It only lasted a moment before he looked away. "We could see if it helped to learn more about the real each other," he suggested slowly. "I don't really know Ran well at all."

"Ran isn't as interesting as Hikaru," Ran replied. "But I'd like that. I… I don't feel like me when I'm around you. I feel things. I don't know if it's me or Hikaru."

"I think you're interesting, Ran," Kakyou said, shaking his head a little. He folded his hands in his lap. "I'm... I think I know what you mean. Sometimes it's hard for me to untangle what's Ezekiel. I hope with a little time, we can both figure it out."

Ran nodded. They could figure it out in time, but he wanted to give in.