Chapter 16:

Archangel Goes Christmas Shopping

The Legend of the Pervy Archangel

Standing in the bathroom, Alice stared at herself in the mirror.Bookmark here

She had just finished taking a shower. Her bangs, still wet from the warm water, clung to her face, sticking against both forehead and cheeks. Dark eyes stared out from underneath raven locks, frowning. Her eyes went down to her chest, then her stomach, followed by her hips. They came back up, the unpleasant tug on her lips deepening into a scowl.Bookmark here

How come women like Clara had all the luck? While her former friend had grown in all the right ways, the only way Alice had grown was up. While that damn blonde had a womanly figure girls their age would kill for, she remained thin like a twig. Oh sure, she had breasts, and they were more than just a pair of pre-pubescent lumps, but for a woman of eighteen, they were pathetic.Bookmark here

Sighing, she wondered if this was why Michael never stared at her like he did Clara.Bookmark here

N-not that she cared or anything! It... it wasn't like wanted him to stare at her. Of course not! It was… um, ah, it was pride! Yes, pride! Alice couldn't allow herself to be beaten by Clara! Not in brains. Not in maturity. And not in, well, ‘maturity.’ There was no other reason. Absolutely none.Bookmark here

Nodding to herself, Alice got her blush under control and wrapped her towel around her waist. She exited the bathroom and walked over to the brand new dresser where all of her panties were now stashed. The drawer was about half-full. Some of her underwear were dirty and in the wash.Bookmark here

Speaking of which, Michael should be hanging out some of the laundry right... about... now...Bookmark here

Oh, crap.Bookmark here

Alice hurried up to get dressed, putting on her panties, a pair of black pants, and an equally black shirt. She didn't both putting on any socks, instead rushing out of the room and into the living room.Bookmark here

What she found there horrified her—and embarrassed her, but mostly horrified her.Bookmark here

“Bwahahahaha! I am El Trasca!”Bookmark here

Michael was standing in her living room, his hands on his lips, laughing like someone who should have been put into the loony house years ago but somehow escaped notice and only got more deranged as time went on. If that were the only problem, Alice could have probably dealt with it, but there was another problem that made the situation unbearable.Bookmark here

One of her panties had somehow gotten in with the mix of clothing Michael had been hanging up. It was a pair of white cotton panties with cute frills.Bookmark here

And Michael was wearing it.Bookmark here

On his head.Bookmark here

“Look out, world of panties! I'm coming to get you! Bwahahahahaha!”Bookmark here

“What are you doing?”Bookmark here

“Urk!”Bookmark here

Michael, upon hearing her voice, made several strange choking noises. His face also grew quite pale, almost sparkly vampire pale, which Alice would have found amusing if he wasn't wearing her panties on his head. The rather pretty man turned his head with mechanical slowness toward her, his blinking owlishly.Bookmark here

“A-Alice!?” He sounded surprised for some reason, and fearful.Bookmark here

That was good. Alice wanted him to be afraid.Bookmark here

“Michael.” Alice felt a strange calm settle over her, almost like some kind of defensive mechanism to keep her from going postal on the utterly doomed wannabe angel standing before her. “Can you explain to me why you're wearing my panties on your head?” It had better be a damn good explanation.Bookmark here

“Uh...” Michael looked stumped, and frightened. His eyes, still wide, flickered from side to side, making her wonder if he was searching for an escape route. He didn't honestly think he could get away, did he? “Well, I was, um, doing the laundry just like you told me to. And, uh, well, these were just sort of, ah, in the basket.”Bookmark here

“Go on.”Bookmark here

Michael licked his lips, wetting them. His eyes had taken on the look of a rabbit staring down the barrel of a shotgun. “Well, you know, I-I was going to just put them in your room, but, ah, I thought you might be in there, so I didn't.”Bookmark here

“I see.” Alice nodded her head, her mind still utterly calm, utterly focused. “And why are you wearing them on your head?”Bookmark here

“Um, magic?”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“I'm gonna get hurt now, aren't I?”Bookmark here

Alice gave him a dry look. “You think?”Bookmark here

In that instant, Michael knew only one option was left to him.Bookmark here

“Mercy?”Bookmark here

“Grayfield Fist!”Bookmark here

“Barakiel!”Bookmark here

~The Archangel Michael~Bookmark here

Michael, a large bump the size of Texas on top of his skull, stood outside, shivering, while behind him, Alice proceeded to lock the door to their apartment. The air was chilly, extremely so. It didn't help that he didn't have a coat or anything. Or, well, he did, because he had bought one, but he decided to let Alice, who didn't have a coat, wear it.Bookmark here

He was nice like that.Bookmark here

“Alright,” Alice said, turning to him. “You ready?” Michael nodded, still shivering. Alice gave him a look. “You know, I don't mind letting you wear this.” She gestured to the jacket. “It's yours anyway.”Bookmark here

“T-that's alright.” Michael's teeth chattered as he spoke. “I'd rather let myself be cold than force you to stand out in this weather without something to keep you warm.” Alice stared at him, causing the Archangel to frown. “Are you alright, Alice? You're face is red.”Bookmark here

“I-I'm fine,” Alice mumbled, huffing as she walked past him, her raven hair, which she had grown out, whipping against his arm. “Let's go. Christmas isn't going to shop for itself.”Bookmark here

“R-right.”Bookmark here

It was December twenty-second, just two days from Christmas. Because of her sudden influx in funding, Alice had decided that she would actually spend some money on Christmas. And since she and Michael lived together and were close, she felt that the best way to waste money on presents was not buying a gift for herself, but rather, her and Michael buying a gift for each other.Bookmark here

On a side note, Alice had been forced to spend at least thirty minutes explaining the concepts of Christmas to Michael.Bookmark here

Just how someone who claimed to be an angel didn't know about Christmas was beyond her. However, Michael had informed her, repeatedly, that Christmas wasn’t about giving gifts. It was about the birth of Jesus Christ. He didn’t even know who came up with the idea that Christmas was about giving people presents.Bookmark here

Long Beach mall had a lot of traffic. As Alice and Michael walked around the mall, checking the windows of stores, they were forced to push their way through a horde of people.Bookmark here

Michael had never seen so many people packed in one place. The hallways were bursting with pedestrians. He could hardly make out individual faces among the mass of humanity.Bookmark here

Holding his hand, Alice forced her way through the crowd, pushing and shoving and shouldering through the throng of people. Her hand was warm and soft and small in his. He never really thought of it before, but her hands were surprisingly delicate and feminine for such a rough and abrasive young woman.Bookmark here

At some point, after using much force, the pair found themselves standing in a shop that sold dvds, music, and movie posters.Bookmark here

“How should we do this?” asked Michael. He was still confused about this whole Christmas thing. When did the birth of Lord Christ become a time for people to buy gifts? “I mean, you said that we're not supposed to know what the other person's buying right?”Bookmark here

Maybe they should have thought about how they should do this sooner. But then, how were they supposed the know the mall would be so crowded?Bookmark here

Alice opened her mouth, then closed it. Her nose scrunched up. Michael thought she looked cute.Bookmark here

“I guess we'll just split up?” She said, making the words sound more like a question. “Yeah.” She nodded, mostly to herself. “We'll split up while searching for each other’s present, and then meet up on the first floor near the...” her eyes narrowed, lips pursing. “Manda Panda,” she finished, naming her favorite Chinese fast-food restaurant.Bookmark here

“That should work fine,” Michael agreed. After all, how hard could it be to shop on his own?Bookmark here

~The Archangel Michael~Bookmark here

Why was this so hard?Bookmark here

Michael had been wandering the mall forever, spending more time getting shoved around than he did looking through the stores. He had no clue how Alice managed to make way through the crowd, especially as she had also been making way for him too, but he was finding the task impossible.Bookmark here

That wasn't even the worst of his problems. No, while bad, his biggest issue was the actual choosing of a gift for Alice. He wanted to get the raven-haired friend something she would like, as well as something that would adequately express his gratitude.Bookmark here

Unfortunately, Michael didn't even know what to begin looking for. As strange as it seemed, he had no clue about what kind of things Alice liked.Bookmark here

“This is because her apartment is so spartan,” Michael muttered to himself. When in doubt, find something else to blame. “All she has are clothes and panties. How am I supposed to buy her something good when she doesn't have anything else.” He paused in his thoughts. “Maybe I should buy her a pair of panties...”Bookmark here

“Merry Christmas, Alice!”Bookmark here

“You bought me a pair of panties? You pervert! Grayfield Fist!”Bookmark here

“Ayil!”Bookmark here

The image of short, cubby version of himself presenting an equally short and chubby version of Alice with her gift―a pair of lacy black lace panties, flitted through Michael's mind. As he saw chubby Alice cracking her fist down on chubby Michael's head, a shudder passed through his body, traveling from the crown of his head, all the way down to his feet.Bookmark here

“Okay. So maybe that's a bad idea.”Bookmark here

Bad idea or not, that still presented a problem. Namely, what to get Alice for Christmas.Bookmark here

At some point Michael finally managed to force his way into a store. It looked like some kind of girl store. At least he assumed it was a store for ladies. The walls were pink, and the floor had white tiles. It also smelled. Not a poor of foul stench, mind you, but rather, it smelled of a hundred different scents that probably would have been pleasant on their own, but combined caused him to nearly gag.Bookmark here

Deciding to brave the stench of a thousand different aromas wafting around the shop, Michael descended into the belly of the store.Bookmark here

Turned out the shop really was made for women. The walls were lined with racks, and inter-spaced throughout the store were shelves and tables, creating an unorthodox configuration of asymmetrical design. Sitting on those racks and shelves and tables were bottles. Bottles filled with lotions and potions and who knew what else. All of them had a unique fragrance to them. Some were fruity, others were sweet, or tart, or any number of different scents. All of these aromas were enough to befuddle Michael's senses, leaving him in a state of dazed bafflement.Bookmark here

“Excuse me, sir. Can I help you find anything?”Bookmark here

Turning around, Michael found himself staring at a mildly attractive but ordinary woman. Her brown hair, drawn up in a tight bun, allowed her somewhat flat, large forehead to be on display. Brown eyes stared at him from within a cheerfully smiling face, and her hands were clasped in front of her in a position of polite indifference.Bookmark here

Michael absently noted that she had a decent chest on her, but it was nowhere near as large as Clara's.Bookmark here

Then he registered her words.Bookmark here

“Um, no thank, uh.” He looked at her chest. “Gazelle. I'm just looking around right now.”Bookmark here

“Very well, then.” Was that a tic mark on her forehead? He hoped that didn't mean she was angry. Alice had a tendency to hit him when angry, and the last thing he needed was someone else smacking him around. “If you need anything just call me.”Bookmark here

“I will.”Bookmark here

As the woman walked away, Michael took a moment to admire her backside. He preferred Alice's rear to this woman's, but a butt was a butt was a butt, or so he'd heard Azazel say once.Bookmark here

Getting back to the task at hand, namely, shopping for Alice's gift, Michael wandered the store, looking at all of the items they had. This store seemed to specialize in fragrance oils. He had no idea what those were, except that they were apparently bottles filled with some kind of scented oil―although the concept of scented oils and their uses were lost on him. They all came in a variety of different shapes and sizes, along with different scents. He didn't even know what some of these scents were. Just what was “alien” supposed to smell like?Bookmark here

While wandering around the store for his fifth (or was it sixth?) time, Michael ended up bumping into someone who had just entered the store herself.Bookmark here

“Clara?” Michael looked at the young woman, and then looked again, for good measure.Bookmark here

That day, Clara had taken to wearing dark blue jeans that conformed lovingly to her hips, a white shirt with a tan leather jacket thrown over it, and a scarf around her neck, as well as a pair of tan boots. She looked very pretty, he thought, although a part of him wished she would ditch the jacket. That shirt looked tight on her, but he couldn't see it straining against her bust because the jacket was in the way.Bookmark here

“Oh, Michael.” Clara sounded pleasantly surprised. Her lips quirked into a delightful smile a moment later, after she paused to look around. “I see Alice isn't anywhere near you. This is a surprise, although a very nice one, I must admit. I wonder if it's fate that has brought us together on his day? Oh ho ho ho!”Bookmark here

“Yeah.” Michael ignored the way Clara began laughing. By now, he had plenty experience in dealing with her laughter. “Alice and I didn't think it would be a good idea if we shopped together for each other’s presents.”Bookmark here

And just like that, Clara's shoulders drooped. “I should have realized you were shopping for Alice's Christmas present,” she sighed.Bookmark here

Micheal had a harder time ignoring the depression she blatantly exhibited. Better change the subject.Bookmark here

“Are you doing your Christmas shopping as well?”Bookmark here

“Yes.” Clara perked up at the mention of shopping. Her smile even returned. “I'm shopping for Katie's and Michelle's gifts. Katie likes scented oils, so I thought about getting her a designers set.”Bookmark here

“Oh.” Michael didn't even know what a designers set was, but felt he was better off not asking. “That's nice of you.”Bookmark here

“They are two of my best friends,” Clara said, shrugging. “While I have other friends, I wouldn't call any of them real friends. Just people I spend time with. Katie and Michelle are the only real friends I have.”Bookmark here

“Alice is a real friend,” Michael couldn't help but point out. When Clara just stared at him, her face deadpanned, he looked away.Bookmark here

“Like I said, Katie and Michelle are my only real friends.”Bookmark here

She walked into the store and Michael, not sure what else he should do, followed her.
“That reminds me, how did you, Katie, and Michelle meet?” he asked.Bookmark here

“I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but my dad's a doctor,” Clara said. “He owns a private hospital that caters mostly to professional athletes, and I used to visit him sometimes when he was at work. I met Katie and Michelle there about, I'd say, two years ago.” She paused, then nodded. “Yeah, about two years. Anyway, I'm sure you noticed that Katie and Michelle are kind of weird, right?”Bookmark here

“I wouldn't say they’re weird.” Michael watched as Clara picked up a bottle, taking a gentle whiff of it, before putting it back down. “But they are a little quiet.”Bookmark here

“Both of them suffer from a mild form of autism,” Clara told him. “They have trouble expressing their emotions. It's why their faces always look so blank.” She paused, then added, “That's also the reason why Michelle has never been able to get a boyfriend despite being so beautiful. Guys are put off by her expressionless face.”Bookmark here

“I actually did notice that,” he admitted, “but I hadn't realized it was some kind of… sickness?” He didn't really know what autism was. Diseases didn't exist in Heaven.Bookmark here

“I suppose you could call autism a sickness,” Clara said. “Though it's actually a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.” And she lost him at neurodevelopmental. “Katie and Michelle are actually quite lucky that they only suffer from a mild form of it. I've seen some people who have more severe cases, and it's generally very hard on them, both the parents and the children who suffer from it.”Bookmark here

“Y-you know an awful lot about that, huh?” asked Michael, already feeling his brain swell. Ugh, just thinking about terms like that made his head hurt.Bookmark here

Clara set another bottle back on the table and shrugged. “I'm studying to be a neurologist when grow up so I can help people like Katie and Michelle. Contrary to popular belief, I'm not just a pretty face.”Bookmark here

“I never thought you were just a pretty face,” Michael said. “I always felt you were an intelligence and compassionate woman.” His first estimation of this girl had definitely been spot on. While she acted rude and selfish, she was actually a good person.Bookmark here

Clara's cheeks turned a dark shade of red. “I-I… it, well, t-thank you,” she stuttered. “B-but I never, um, never thought that you believed I was, well, you know...” She trailed off unsurely at the end. When Michael just stood there, staring at her and making the woman's blush grow in both vibrancy and power, she coughed into her hand. “A-anyway, I was just saying that most people tend to think that I'm a bitch because I'm on the varsity cheer squad and am really popular.”Bookmark here

Michael twitched at the bitch comment. Even though he’d stopped telling Alice not to swear anymore, he still didn't like it when people swore. Or used the Lord's name in vein. Or swore and used the Lord's name in vein at the same time.Bookmark here

“S-so!” Clara decided to change the subject, apparently, because she did so with haste. “You mentioned you were shopping for Alice. If that's the case you're in the wrong store. Alice doesn't like fragrance oils, or anything that would be considered girly.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, I kinda figured that.” Michael's shoulders slumped. “But I don't really know what I should get her.”Bookmark here

Clara looked genuinely confused. “But aren't you her best friend or something? Shouldn't you know what she likes?”Bookmark here

“It's not like I've known her for very long.” Less than a month, all things told. “And besides, we've never really talked about things like that.”Bookmark here

When she wasn't pounding on him for being perverted or lecturing him on various worldly aspects, they were talking about serious topics, such as her mother's drug abuse or work.Bookmark here

“That's definitely a problem,” Clara admitted, grabbing another bottle. She took a gentle whiff of this one, pausing. A second later she smiled and did not put it back down. “And one that I think I can help you with.”Bookmark here

When Michael gave her a look that clearly expressed his ignorance and confusion, Clara's smile widened.Bookmark here

~The Archangel Michael~Bookmark here

“What is she doing here?”Bookmark here

Those were the first words to escape Alice's mouth as Michael and Clara walked up to her. The woman with raven hair looked back and forth between the two, as if she were unsure of which one to glare at and decided try glaring at them both.Bookmark here

“I ran into her while I was shopping,” Michael explained, holding up the nondescript bag in his hand. “She's doing some Christmas shopping for Katie and Michelle and we decided to shop together.”Bookmark here

“After that, Michael decided to invite me to lunch,” Clara said, her voice sly. Alice gritted her teeth while Michael just looked confused.Bookmark here

“When did I do that?” he wondered out loud.Bookmark here

“Not that I blame him,” Clara continued, clearly ignoring him. So did Alice, for that matter. “After all, between the two of us, I am much sure that Michael would prefer looking at me.” To emphasis her point, the blonde female thrust out her chest, causing them to “boing.”Bookmark here

It probably didn’t need repeating, but Michael did indeed stare.Bookmark here

“Grayfield Fist!”Bookmark here

“Erathaol!”Bookmark here

He also ended up getting hit.Bookmark here

“Now why did you do that?” asked Clara, frowning as she knelt beside Michael and wrapped her arms around his torso, lifting him and bringing his face to her bosom.Bookmark here

A dopey smile soon came to Michael's insensate face.Bookmark here

He also began drooling.Bookmark here

“Let go of him!” Alice's eyes narrowed to dangerous slits. If only looks could kill, Clara would have been dead a thousand times over.Bookmark here

“And why should I?” Clara challenged. “As far as I am aware, you two are not dating. That means I can do whatever I want with him. And you can't stop me.”Bookmark here

“Maybe he doesn't want you hugging him like that,” Alice said. “Have you ever thought of that?”Bookmark here

“Oh, please.” Clara rolled her eyes. “He's clearly enjoying this.” Her smile turned playful and mischievous. “I mean, just look at him.”Bookmark here

Alice did look at Michael. She looked at how his head rested almost lovingly against Clara's larger than average chest. She looked at the girly hand run down his hair while his face pressed against her bosom.Bookmark here

She also looked at the dopy smile on his face.Bookmark here

And was it just her, or was his nose bleeding?Bookmark here

Michael sensed the danger he was in just a few seconds too late.Bookmark here

“Grayfield Fist!”Bookmark here

“Gamaliel!”Bookmark here

~The Archangel Michael~Bookmark here

Later that night, Alice found herself waking up on her mattress. Blinking, she looked out the window to get an estimation of the time, and groaned when she saw that it was still dark out. Not just dark, but midnight dark. She couldn't even see a hint of sunlight.Bookmark here

She tried going back to sleep but had little success. With sleep out of her reach, she got out of bed and made her way into the kitchen. After getting herself a cup, Alice drank some water from the tap. It tasted funky, sort of metallic and kind of gross, but she'd long grown used to the horrible tasting water. It was just one of those things she'd learned to deal with over time.Bookmark here

When she finished her drink, she put the cup on the counter instead of the dish washer (no use wasting it after one drink), and began walking back to her room.Bookmark here

She stopped, however, when her eyes caught sight of Michael. Unlike most times she saw him sleeping, he was not lying on his back with his arms and legs spread out, taking up as much space as humanly possible. Instead, he'd curled up on his side, his legs tucked into his chest. The blanket had crumpled around his form, and as Alice looked at him more closely, she saw that the bag holding her present was being held to his chest.Bookmark here

Walking over to him with slow, careful, delicate footsteps, Alice found herself kneeling next to him. Up close, she saw a few more of his features. His face, pretty in a feminine, or maybe an elvish, sort of way, looked radiant up close. Sparse rays of moonlight descended through the window to fall upon his face, illuminating his silky hair and surrounding him in an otherworldly halo effect.Bookmark here

Seeing him like this, Michael almost did look like a real angel.Bookmark here

At least he would, if he weren't drooling.Bookmark here

“Hehehe… I like 'em big and round and soft...”Bookmark here

He would also seem a lot more angelic if he weren't talking about boobs in his sleep.Bookmark here

So even in his sleep, Michael thought about tits? Really? With a vein pulsing on her forehead, timed to the beating of her heart, Alice contemplated unleashing destruction and violence upon him. She even raised her hand as if to strike him.Bookmark here

In the end, she decided not to.Bookmark here

“Hope you like the present... Alice... zzz...”Bookmark here

And no, it had nothing to do with his last comment.Bookmark here

Really.Bookmark here

Releasing a huge gust of air from her parted lips, Alice decided to go back to bed. She slipped under the covers of her bed, which was, in all actuality, just a blow up mattress she bought at walmart several years back because she couldn't afford a real bed. Alice closed her eyes and tried to get some sleep.Bookmark here

“Titties!” a shout came from the living room.Bookmark here

Her right eye twitched.Bookmark here

She was so decking Michael in the face tomorrow.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.