Chapter 15:

Archangel and Friends - Part II

The Legend of the Pervy Archangel

Classes ended several hours after lunch. Michael walked alongside a moody Alice. The young woman had not said a word to him since lunch ended. He didn't know why. You'd think she'd be happy that he complimented her chest. Hadn't she been feeling inferior to Clara just a few hours ago? He had been trying to make her feel better!Bookmark here

“Hey Alice?”Bookmark here

No response.Bookmark here

“Alice...”Bookmark here

Still no response.Bookmark here

“Alice. Hey Alice. Ne, ne, Alice. Yolo, Alice. Alice? Alice?”Bookmark here

“What?” Alice snapped.Bookmark here

“I was just wondering...” Michael looked up at the sky, scratching at his chin, unwilling to look at Alice and her sharp-eyed glare. “How come you've never tried to, I don't know, make up with Clara and ask her to be your friend again?”Bookmark here

Alice gave him a look that could only be described as “wtf.”Bookmark here

“Are you really asking me that?” she said, her voice drier than the Savannah during summer. “You've seen how we interact. We might have been friends once, but Clara and I are complete opposites now. There's no way the two of us could ever have the friendship we used to.”Bookmark here

Michael heard trace amounts of gloominess in her voice. Alice missed her friend. He knew this. He also knew that she would never admit it, and that made him wonder if he could somehow help mend their relationship.Bookmark here

“Maybe, but how can you be sure if you don't try?”Bookmark here

“Are you suggesting I make up with her?” Alice looked like he had just told her that he could shoot fairies from his buttocks.Bookmark here

“It couldn't hurt, could it?”Bookmark here

“Yes,” Alice argued. “Yes, it could. It could be incredibly painful, in fact. I'm pretty sure just the act of trying to make amends with that disgusting, repulsive women would be devastating and potentially fatal. Besides, you make it sound like I have something to apologize for. She's the one who should be apologizing to me.”Bookmark here

“It takes two people to have an argument,” Michael said, and then paused. “Unless you're like Metatron. He talks to himself a lot, but he also has multiple personalities and you don't.” When Alice stared at him with a “what the hell are you talking about” kind of expression, he just shrugged and kept talking. “Anyway, my point is this: it doesn't really matter who started it or who did what first. The fact is that both you and Clara have likely done things to hurt each other, which means both of you are in the wrong. Why not be the bigger person and apologize first?”Bookmark here

For a long moment, silence reigned. Alice stared at Michael as they walked, the only sound coming from either of them being their shoes hitting the pavement. Michael used this time to observe their surroundings.Bookmark here

It was a clear day. The sky, bluer than normal, had only a sparse amount of clouds. A chilly breeze blew down the street, causing the trees to sway and the leaves to rustle. Michael shivered. Even with a coat, he was still freezing.Bookmark here

The silence was finally broken when Alice said, “I can't believe a pervert like you would lecture me on something like this.”Bookmark here

“I may be a pervert, but that doesn't mean I'm not right.”Bookmark here

Michael didn't even flinch at the pervert comment. It wasn’t like there was much he could say to deny it. He was a pervert. No two ways around that. Even now, his eyes were able to catch sight of at least two women whose skirts were so short he could see the cleft of their butts as their skirts flipped up when they walked.Bookmark here

Why did God think sending him down to earth where all the girls wore skimpy skirts and cleavage revealing shirts was a good idea?Bookmark here

“Whatever,” Alice mumbled. “I'm not apologizing to Clara and that's final.”Bookmark here

Michael frowned, but he didn't say anything. He turned his head to look back down the street.Bookmark here

Within his mind, gears began to turn.Bookmark here

A plan was forming.Bookmark here

Whether this plan was brilliant or disastrous remained to be seen.Bookmark here

~The Archangel Michael~Bookmark here

The next day at school, Michael managed to sneak away from Alice after their first class. In most circumstances, he would have never done this, sneaking off, that is, but the situation they were in warranted it. His only real friend on earth was clearly suffering because of her lack of friendships, and the one real friendship she used to have lay in ruins because of something that happened in her past due to events beyond her control.Bookmark here

Michael aimed to correct that.Bookmark here

“Clara!” He called out to the girl he'd been following with ninja-like stealth. Michael could be very stealthy when he wanted to be.Bookmark here

The girl whirled around, her eyes wide with surprise, a hand rising toward her chest, emphasizing her breasts—and her swiftly beating heart, but mostly her breasts. When she saw who stood in front of her, she blinked.Bookmark here

“Michael?” Her eyes, still showing signs of being flummoxed, eventually went back to their usual narrow-eyed, sensual mien. “I see that you're not with Alice.” A smile touched her lips. “Could it be that you've finally decided to ditch that immature little girl and go out with a real woman? Not that I blame you, of course. I am much more, shall we say, mature than she is. Oh ho ho ho!”Bookmark here

As Clara threw her head back and began laughing, Michael gazed at the girl, more than just a little disturbed. What kind of bizarre person must this girl be to have such an unusual laugh? And this was Alice's former friend?Bookmark here

He could… actually kind of see that.Bookmark here

How depressing.Bookmark here

Shaking his head, Michael said, “I wanted to talk to you about something important.”Bookmark here

“Now?” Clara expressed her bafflement in both words and expression. “While class is going on?”Bookmark here

“Class can wait,” he said, grabbing her by the hand and gently pulling her along behind him. “This is important. Do you know of anywhere we can go that's isolated?”Bookmark here

He didn't want this conversation to be heard by anyone else, and not just because he didn't want word getting back to Alice yet. What would be happening was between Alice and Clara. It wouldn't be right if others got involved.Bookmark here

“I-isolated?” Clara squeaked. “You mean you want to go somewhere we can be alone?”Bookmark here

“That is what isolated means, yes.” Michael still hadn't looked back at the girl, busy as he was trying to search for a place they could talk. He completely ignored the people around him, who were staring at them and whispering to each other. Alice told him that you were better of not acknowledging people who whispered to others like that. “So do you know of a place?”Bookmark here

“Uh, well, um, let's see...”Bookmark here

“Clara?”Bookmark here

“I'm thinking! Don't rush me!”Bookmark here

“S-sorry.”Bookmark here

“Okay, um, I think I know of a place,” Clara said after several minutes of thinking. “The school roof of the second building. It's the only building that has a roof where―”Bookmark here

“Students can enter via a stairway,” Michael finished. “Yes, that's perfect.” He and Alice ate their lunches there all the time. It was how they avoided the crowds. “I wonder why I didn't think of using that?”Bookmark here

“W-well, it is obviously because being in the presence of someone as beautiful as me has left you stunned,” Clara said thoughtlessly. “A-Ah!” Then she gasped. “N-not that you're not also beautiful, Michael. Because you are. You're the most beautiful man I know.”Bookmark here

Michael felt a small drop of sweat travel across his face, over his jaw, and down his neck. He knew that he was beautiful because God had created him to be beautiful. But for some reason, hearing a human girl call him beautiful felt incredibly insulting. He didn't know why.Bookmark here

Maybe his HP gauge had taken a hit?Bookmark here

“Thanks, I think.”Bookmark here

The roof of the second school building was, just like Michael had suspected, empty of all life. This may have also been due to class being in session, but he decided not to waste time on semantics like that. An important discussion was at hand.Bookmark here

But before that...Bookmark here

“Are you okay, Clara?” asked Michael, concerned. “Your face is awfully red.”Bookmark here

Indeed he was correct. Clara's entire face had turned a lovely shade of pink. Strange. Was she sick? Did she have one of those fevers that Alice had told him about? She didn't have so much color on her face seconds ago. Maybe it was the elevation.Bookmark here

“I-I am fine,” Clara mumbled, hands clasped together in front her as she fidgeted. Michael tried not to be distracted by the way her actions pushed her boobs together and caused her cleavage to practically spill out of her shirt. He so did not need to be distracted right now.
“If you say so.”Bookmark here

“S-So!” Clara, in an effort to change the subject, decided to get to the heart matter. “What is it you wanted to talk to me about?”Bookmark here

Oddly enough, after she said this, the young blonde put a single, sandaled foot forward, allowing one of her long, lean, cheerleader legs to be put on display. She then leaned over, the delicate digits of her right hand resting against her knee, long blonde hair spilling over her left shoulder, and her two magnificent jugs dangling from her chest. She looked like a centerfold model.Bookmark here

Michael instantly forgot why he'd called her up there.Bookmark here

‘Come on, Michael! Don't get distracted now. Remember, God stripped you of your power and sent you down to earth because you were peeping on female angels! What would he do if you started hitting on human girls, or worse, slept with one of them? Do you want to be like Azazel?’ Michael shouted at himself.Bookmark here

With a supreme amount of effort and will, Michael tore his gaze away from the alluring pose and focused instead on Clara's eyes. A part of him felt like crying. He was sure something inside of him had died just then.Bookmark here

“I, uh, I wanted to talk to you about Alice.”Bookmark here

“Alice?” And just like that, Clara's entire disposition changed. Her posture shifted toward a neutral stance, back straight, hips slightly cocked, arms under her bust. She still looked fairly enchanting, but he found this position much easier to ignore. Her ice cold eyes probably helped. They were like glacial chips. “What could I possibly tell you about her that you couldn't ask her yourself?”Bookmark here

“I heard that you two were friends a number of years ago, but that you had a falling out,” Michael explained. “I was hoping you would be willing to tell me why.”Bookmark here

“And why should I tell you this?”Bookmark here

Michael cocked his head to the side. “Um, because I asked nicely?”Bookmark here

“That's not a really good reason, as far as I'm concerned.” She narrowed her eyes at him. “Especially when you got my hopes up.” When all her words did was make Michael scratch the back of his head, showing that he clearly had no idea what she was talking about, Clara sighed. “You're lucky you’re so cute.”Bookmark here

“Uh, thank you?” He really wasn't sure he should be thanking her, but whatever. “So, would you mind telling me about you and Alice now?”Bookmark here

“I suppose it wouldn't hurt. You may want to sit down for this. It's a bit of a long story.”
They both walked over to the fence and sat against it. Clara stretched one leg out in front of her while the other came up to form a triangle with the cement floor, her hands resting against the lifted leg. Michael just sat with his legs crossed.Bookmark here

“I first became friends with Alice about, oh, it must have been eight years ago? Something like that. I was nine at the time, and she was ten. Anyway, when she and I first met, a bunch of boys were picking on me.” Clara gave Michael a somewhat bitter smile when he looked at her, flabbergasted. “You shouldn't be so surprised. At that age, looks don't mean very much to boys, who think all girls are disgusting and have cooties.”Bookmark here

Michael actually did not know that. Having been created by God and not born naturally, he'd never had to deal with growing up that all human turned angels did when they were alive. Of course, whether he would have undergone the same thought patterns as a human child if he had been allowed to grow up naturally was up for debate.Bookmark here

“So there I was, being picked on by this group of boys and up came Alice.” Clara continued her story, a small smile appearing on her face. Michael couldn't help but notice the difference between this smile and her other ones. It looked a lot more genuine than her usual smile. “You've probably realized by now, since you and she are so close, but Alice is a pretty tough girl. Never takes crap from anyone.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, that’s definitely her, all right,” Michael agreed.Bookmark here

“Well, she was the exact same way back then.” The smile widened. “When she saw those boys making fun of me, she ran up to them and gave the largest one a sucker punch right in the nose.” To emphasis her point, Clara thrust her left fist out in an awkward approximation of a jab. “She sent that idiot reeling and made his nose bleed.”Bookmark here

Michael felt more sweat trail down his face. It seemed Alice's propensity for violent confrontation wasn't a recent development.Bookmark here

“She then stood in front of me and said 'you guys are a bunch of cowards! Picking on a girl! If any of you jerks want to mess with her, then you're going to have to go through me!'” said Clara, her voice mimicking what he imagined a ten year old Alice must have sounded like. Her voice acting wasn't all that good, but at least she had enthusiasm, if nothing else. “The boys took one look at her and then bolted.” She giggled a bit. “I don't think I've ever seen a group of boys run so fast before.”Bookmark here

“And that's when you two became friends?”Bookmark here

“Uh huh. After that, Alice and I became best friends. For nearly four years, we did everything together. They were some of the happiest moments of my life.”Bookmark here

“So what happened then?”Bookmark here

“I don't know,” Clara answered, giving a helpless shrug. “At some point, Alice just stopped spending time with me. She no longer came to my house, and I no longer saw her at the park. I would call to ask if she could come over and play, and she would always tell me that she was too busy. Whenever I went over to her house, she would never let me in, claiming she was sick.” Clara's mood darkened as she continued talking. “She kept avoiding me, and I don't even know why. Do you know how frustrating that is? To be constantly snubbed by your best friend? How much it hurts?”Bookmark here

By now, several tears had leaked from Clara's eyes, small crystalline drops of liquid that glimmered in the light of the morning sun. They traveled down her face, creating small streaks that marred her makeup.Bookmark here

“No,” Michael whispered, not really sure what to do. He just didn't know how to deal with a crying girl. “I don't know how that feels, I'm afraid. But I do know what it's like to lose a best friend.” He paused, wondering if he should continue. Clara looked at him and he decided that, after asking something so invasive, telling her about his friend was the least he could do. “I used to be friends with this one guy named Azazel.”Bookmark here

“Azazel? What an unusual name.”Bookmark here

“I know, but anyway, he and I were always good friends. No matter what happened in my life, I knew that I could count on him. We were brothers in many ways, and we always watched each other's backs.”Bookmark here

Clara wiped the tears from her eyes, heedless of the makeup staining her hands. She turned towards Michael, her legs crossing, her expression curious. “So what happened? I take it you and he aren't friends anymore?”Bookmark here

“I… I don't really know,” Michael admitted. “The society I'm from is very strict, you see. We have many laws that you're never allowed to break. Azazel broke one of those laws and was banished for it. I haven't seen him since.”Bookmark here

Michael remained careful not to mention Heaven or angels. Alice never believed that he was the Archangel Michael no matter how many times he said it, and he didn't think Clara would either. And he needed her to take him seriously. If she started laughing like Alice often did, she wouldn't get his point, whatever that point was.Bookmark here

“That's not really the same thing,” Clara pointed out.Bookmark here

“I never said it was. I only said that I knew what it's like to lose a friend.” He paused, then, in a softer voice, said, “but you know, Alice never ignored you on purpose. I'm not sure if I'm the one who should be telling you this, but since she hasn't, I'm going to anyway.” Alice would be pissed if she ever found out, but he'd deal with that issue if it ever became a reality. He wanted to help, and this seemed to be the only way he could do that.Bookmark here

“Tell me what?”Bookmark here

“That the reason Alice stopped spending time with you was because her mother got into drinking and drugs,” he said. “It seems that after her husband abandoned her and Alice, Alice's mother stopped being a very good parent. Alice was forced to not only take care of her mother, but find a way to earn money. While you were playing at the park, she was doing chores for the people in her neighborhood in exchange for payments, or taking care of her mom after she came home overdosed on drugs. It's not that she didn't want to spend time with you, but that she didn't have the time to spend. And she was probably so ashamed by her mom's actions that whenever you came over, she didn't let you in for fear that you would think poorly of her.”Bookmark here

Throughout his explanation for Alice's behavior, Clara's eyes had grown disproportionately wide, and her mouth had gone slack. She looked, for lack of a better word, completely dumbfounded.Bookmark here

“I… I had no idea that's why she stopped spending time with me,” she said, and even her voice betrayed her astonishment. “I mean, I know that her mother is a good for nothing drunk, but I hadn't realized it was that bad, or that it started when she and I were still friends.”Bookmark here

“Alice obviously didn't tell you. She's a very proud girl, and she doesn't like letting people know about her problems.”Bookmark here

“She told you though,” Clara pointed out, a hint of envy and bitterness lacing her words.
“I kind of forced it out of her,” Michael shamelessly admitted. It helped that he lived with her, but he had promised Alice that he would never tell anyone about their living arrangements. “Had you been more persistent, she probably would have caved and told you too.”Bookmark here

“I see.” Clara looked away.Bookmark here

Silence descended upon the clear. Michael waited patiently for the young woman to say something. However, when it became clear that she would not speak, it behooved him to try and get their conversation back on track.Bookmark here

“So, do you think you can forgive her for ignoring you when you were younger and be friends with her again?”Bookmark here

“No.”Bookmark here

If Michael were not sitting on the ground, he would have fallen on his face simply from the shock. As it was, his hands still slipped and he ended up cracking the back of his head against a metal pole sticking out of the ground. He came back up swiftly, though, proving that his head was harder than steel.Bookmark here

Considering the number of times Alice hit it, his skull would have to be pretty durable.
“What do you mean ‘no’? Why not?”Bookmark here

“Because even though I feel bad for Alice, I'm not that nice. I'm not kind enough that I'll just sweep everything under the rug and be friends with her again, not unless there's a clear benefit for me.”Bookmark here

“You'd get your friend back,” Michael said, stating the obvious. “Isn't that enough?”Bookmark here

“No.”Bookmark here

Michael's shoulder slumped, confusion not only besetting his features, but also his posture. “Then what do you want?”Bookmark here

“I want you to take me out on a date.”Bookmark here

Michael felt like Lucifer had sucker punched him. “A date? Us?”Bookmark here

This had to be some kind of joke.Bookmark here

“Yes.” Clara nodded. “You and me. A date.”Bookmark here

Apparently not. “Why?”Bookmark here

Clara's brow furrowed. “What do you mean ‘why’?”Bookmark here

“I mean, why do you want to go on a date with me?”Bookmark here

“Because you're gorgeous!” Clara gushed. “I've never seen such a beautiful man before! Dustin was attractive, sure, but he's also disgustingly manly! You're both manly and beautiful.”Bookmark here

Michael felt depressed, even though he couldn't for the life of him figure out why.Bookmark here

And he received another hit to his HP gauge. He was losing hit points fast.Bookmark here

“So, you only want to go on a date because you think I'm pretty?”Bookmark here

“N-not just that,” Clara admitted, suddenly acting perplexingly bashful. She looked down at her hands, situated in her lap and twiddled her thumbs. “I heard about how you beat up Dustin and his group of friends. It sort of reminded me of how Alice beat on those boys back when we were younger.” A pause. “I've, uh, I've never told anyone this.” Her cheeks were lit aflame. “But I used to have a bit of a, well, a small crush, on Alice.”Bookmark here

Michael blinked. Once.Bookmark here

“A crush? On Alice?”Bookmark here

“Y-yes.”Bookmark here

“Oh,” Michael said, right before he realized what she was telling him and what it implied. Then his eyes widened. “Oh!”Bookmark here

A blush soon lit his face. Unlike Clara, however, who simply felt embarrassed, Michael's thoughts were taking a decidedly different route, one that definitely did not fall in line with the virtuous thoughts an angel should have.Bookmark here

“Michael?”Bookmark here

“Uh, yes?”Bookmark here

“Why is your nose bleeding?”Bookmark here

“Excuse me?”Bookmark here

“Your nose.” Clara pointed to her own nose. “It's bleeding.”Bookmark here

“Really?” When Clara nodded, his hand went up to his nose and he wiped it. He then looked at his hand, which had small smears of blood on it. “Huh, you're right. Weird.” He thought about wiping the blood on his pants, but it would be much harder to get bloodstains out of his pants than it would his hand, so decided not to.Bookmark here

“A-anyway.” Clara tried to get back on track. “If you want me to apologize to Alice, then you have to take me out on a date.”Bookmark here

Michael frowned and, looking up at the sky, thought about her proposal for a second. In truth, the decision was a simple one, and his only reason for not answering right away was because he wanted to find the right words to use.Bookmark here

“I'm sorry, but if that's what it's going to take, then I'm going to have to decline,” he said, shocking Clara.Bookmark here

“But why?” The question burst from her lips before Clara even realized she'd spoken them. Heedless of this, she continued. “You just spent nearly an entire class period listening to my story and trying to convince me to be friends with Alice again. I'm offering to do that. All it will take is a single date. Why would you say no?”Bookmark here

Michael stood up, dusted off his pants, and said, “if you're only apologizing because I agreed to take you on a date, then it's not a real apology that comes from the heart. That's not how true friendship works, and if that's the kind of friendship you're offering Alice, then maybe she'd be better off without it.”Bookmark here

He gave Clara one last glance, feeling strangely disappointed. Had he been naïve in thinking that all it would take to get her and Alice back together was a simple conversation? Apparently so. Sighing, he turned around and began walking towards the door.Bookmark here

“You must really like Alice.” Clara's words, so softly spoken that Michael almost missed them, caused him to stop in his tracks.Bookmark here

He didn't turn around, but he did answer her. “Of course. Alice is my friend.”Bookmark here

“Just a friend?”Bookmark here

This time, Michael did turn, if only to express his confusion. “What else would she be?”Bookmark here

Michael didn't know why, but he didn't like the look Clara had on her face just then. It reminded him of Azazel that time he came back from earth after sleeping with his first human, which had also been the day before God banished him.Bookmark here

Talk about creepy.Bookmark here

“Nothing. Don't worry about it. Fufufu.”Bookmark here

Michael did worry about it. He worried about it a lot.Bookmark here

Thankfully, the look (as well as the creepy laughter) disappeared, and was replaced by one of genuine admiration. Looking surprisingly demure, Clara stared up at Michael from where she sat. “I didn't really think about this before, but you're a really good person, aren't you?”Bookmark here

“Not all the time.” The smile Michael gave Clara was tinged with regret. “But I've been trying to be.”Bookmark here

~The Archangel Michael~Bookmark here

It was quiet. Too quiet. Michael felt nervous. He didn't know why. He couldn't explain it, but sitting there, Alice on his left and Clara, Katie, and Michelle on his right, Michael felt very, very nervous, like he was about to be tossed into the sea without a life raft or even so much as a life saver.Bookmark here

Was this what they called the calm before the storm? How frightening.Bookmark here

“Michael.” Alice's voice was calm. Too calm. “Why are these three sitting at lunch with us?”Bookmark here

“I'm sitting at lunch with you two because I have decided to steal Michael away from you.” It wasn't an apology, but at this point, Michael would take what he could get. “I'm sure it won't take long. After all, what man can resist my feminine charms? Oh ho ho ho!”Bookmark here

Michael thought she had a point, but if she really wanted to get a boyfriend (or seduce him), she would have to do something about that laugh. It was just plain freaky.Bookmark here

“Michael?”Bookmark here

“I had absolutely nothing to do with this.”Bookmark here

“Is that so?” Alice, still calm, still collected, asked. “Then why is it that I heard a rumor about you and Clara running off together during second period, which you just so happened to miss.”Bookmark here

“Urk!”Bookmark here

“Do not allow yourself to be too upset with him,” Clara said, her voice smug. “Michael and I were simply becoming better acquainted with one another. He wanted to know a little bit about me in a more… intimate setting.”Bookmark here

“Don’t say things like that! Do you know how much trouble I’ll be in if Alice misunderstands what’s going on?!” Michael shouted, wide eyed.Bookmark here

“I don’t know what you mean, Michael darling,” Alice said, smiling. It was such a beautiful smile. Guileless. Even so, Michael couldn’t help but think it was a smile coming from the devil. “I just want to be closer to you.”Bookmark here

“Closer, you say?” a voice said from above.Bookmark here

A dark shadow soon loomed over him, causing him to turn his head and see what could only be a demon. A demon with black hair and pale skin and… were her eyes glowing red? Bookmark here

“N-now Alice. Just take a deep breath and calm down. L-let's discuss this like civilized people now.”Bookmark here

Alice just cracked her knuckles, and Michael realized that, yes, her eyes were indeed glowing a demonic red.Bookmark here

Adrenaline pumping through his veins and fear causing his heart to try and beat its way out of his chest, Michael scrambled to his feet and attempted to run away.Bookmark here

He didn't get very far.Bookmark here

“Grayfield Fist!”Bookmark here

“Abigail!”Bookmark here

Michael wondered if he would ever catch a break.Bookmark here

Probably not, he lamented.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.