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Stranger Like Me

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Really… When the hell do towns just disappear off the map??

 

Apparently, all the time in Glenwood, according to their updated information -courtesy of the Shepherd’s ongoing journey. (Well, technically speaking, Mikleo’s updated information, as Elysia never got much news regarding the rest of the world. No surprises there, all things considered. Books saved overtime here and there could only get you so far, after all.)

 

Alisha had been directed to a small-but-holy plot of land not too far north of Pendrago where mythril deposits are said to have extraordinary qualities-- to which Edna had (with much obvious resistance) translated into “mythril possibly blessed by a crap ton of Normins, possibly bored out of their gourds.” Usually, she would rely on the strength of her friends, the silver flame, and her own spear during their travels but sometimes you just need an upgrade.

 

“And this mythril might just do the trick?” Rose tried to clarify, lifting an eyebrow. For once, she didn’t do it for the sake of haggling, or anything related.

 

She’s looking more and more the part of the strong-headed Squire. Lailah is doing her best at hiding how proud she is of her progress.

 

“Hopefully, if what the rumors Sergei informed us about are indeed true,” Lailah responds with a turn of the head.

 

“But we’ll actually have to get there first to see for ourselves before we can get our hopes up. How much further until we get there?” Mikleo looked over to Rose holding the map.

 

Tipping his hat forward to conceal his eyes, the tan exhibitionist in the group decides to voice his concerns as well. “Yeaaah, I hate to be that guy--”

 

“Zaveid, stop yourself right there.” Tap Tap.

 

Yeeesh… ” the usual comedy routine is gone as soon as comes, “but really, my wind’s not pickin’ up any signs of civilization within a good distance.”

 

“Hmmm… To be frank, I’m not sensing any sort of human settlement within the earth nearby, either. Rose, you are reading that map correctly, right?” The tapping of Edna’s umbrella on every other stone on the gravel path they tread on is becoming more noticeable and more frequent.

 

“Of course! Every member of the Sparrow Feathers has to be able to navigate whether during broad daylight or during the cover of night. Seriously, we’re going to right way,” her eyes don’t look up from the curling piece of parchment to face them all directly. The tone of her voice conveys what she needs to. “I promise.”

 

“We believe you, Rose. Let us keep our heads high, and look forward to our destination,” Lailah puts her hands to her heart, genuinely positive about the situation.

 

Mikleo felt a little bad for perhaps inferring that his teammate couldn’t handle the task of a map holder-- not because deep down he wanted to navigate for this minor mission, but because normally Rose… wasn’t always the best with what she claims to be good at, once you looked past that professionalism from being a merchant and an assassin.

 

On top of that, these forests weren’t unlike Aroundight, so the landscape was pretty simple for him to read.

 

Handling ghosts are one thing-- as is baking without setting the pots and pans on fire… ( Thank goodness either himself or Lailah was always there to control the flames. )

 

Edna’s tapping and her boots came to an abrupt stop in the middle of the road.

 

Alisha is the first to react. “Edna…? Do you sens--?”

 

“Something’s coming. Two o’clock.”

 

Adrenaline started pumping through Mikleo’s veins the second it took to summon his staff. Everyone’s ready for combat beside him as well, no matter what it could be all the way out here.

 

“What is it?” His eyes dart around for any signs of movement in the trees.

 

“I’m not sure. It’s big though-- I’d say 8 or 9 of them.”

 

“Alright!” Zaveid punches his fist into his palm, sporting a sharp smirk. “You know what they say, the bigger they are the harder they--”

 

“Hold on, this isn’t right.”

 

Lailah, her papers ready in her slender finger, looks over to Edna confused. “What do you mean?”

 

Edna put a small hand up to her ear, her feet firmly planted on the ground. She paused for a moment, listening to the sounds of the forest around them for… anything.

 

“... We should be able to hear them from this distance. If they’re as big as I think they are, then there wouldn’t be a problem.”

 

This was getting too nerve-wracking for Rose. “And why is that?”

 

“... They’re coming fast, headed straight for us!”

 

“What?!”

 

Suddenly, the earth begins to tremor beneath their feet. Animals can be heard screeching, trying to evade… whatever it is that’s coming.

 

‘This doesn’t look good…’ Mikleo thinks to himself, before tapping down the smallest doubts in order to face the threat head-on.

 

Trees are crackling as they’re getting knocked down and stepped on, birds are flying away to escape, other wildlife is running over the path and past their group like they were just stones. There’s a distant, but distinct and powerful thudding as they stand together, awaiting what’s to come.

 

If only they had made it over a few more hills…



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



Mikleo has to keep running.

 

There was no other way to help his friends, he told himself. He was tired; he was out of breath; his limbs ached from having to perform many defensive artes and physical attacks at close range. Pretty sure his upper right arm was cut, but he was still buzzing with adrenaline and did not really notice.

 

There were ten of them : some crazy type of hellion hybrid: part boar and part wolf. They were disgusting, hungry, and really big. A single one could easily tower over Zaveid and still have room to skewer him with a single fang… or tusk.

 

Alisha and Rose managed to take two out, Alisha was about to call for the Armatus before Lailah was knocked unconscious by a third. Without being quite used to the more advanced techniques of any Shepherd’s arsenal to revive a seraph, Zaveid was called to armatize instead while Edna did her best to hold a couple more down in place. It was insane keeping up.

 

Mikleo wasn’t okay with being of little help to everyone, these hellions having a high, natural defense against water, which didn’t make sense. Not even his seraphic artes were making a dent and only added to their fury.

 

So, head fuzzy with pain shooting up his body and his back as he got knocked down again, and with a sorry look over in everyone’s direction... he rouses three of the remaining hellions with a quick splash to their already wrinkled faces and takes off in the other direction.

 

‘Please, everyone…’ he prays in his mind as heavy thuds can be heard clearly following him, and fast, ‘trust me… and be safe…’

 

A lone tear rolls down his muddied and scratched face as he takes as much of the fight as he can manage further away from his dear companions, twinges of sorrow making their way into his system as he runs deeper into the forest… Perhaps more than he had meant to.



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



The maddening roars of the beasts of the forest could be heard all over the foothills. The town had the waterfall and high ground, but that didn’t mean the rest of the surrounding area was safe.

 

He looked up from setting his trap in the direction he heard the roars coming from over the cliff. The sun wasn’t at its peak anymore, and the creatures only get hungrier at night.

 

He knew the dangers of the forest all too well, despite how the majority had pitied him for his upbringing. He knew that sound, though. Those beasts had found another unsuspecting meal, possibly trying to visit the humans.

 

He grabs his gear and makes his way to where he estimated they were going-- he could tell from the multiple flocks of birds popping up one after the other that they were on the move.

 

Maybe someone was still alive. Maybe they were hurt. Maybe there was still time.

 

They would need all the help they could get.



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



Three against one… Three huge hellions with no business existing the way they did, hybrid and not mutant, with a bone to pick with little ol’ him-- or make him the bone to pick their teeth with after they were all done.

 

After effectively getting lost in the forest and still being high on adrenaline-fueled desperation, Mikleo is now backed into a corner, heavily panting. High walls made of off-white boulders were taller than three times the size of one War Fang (he isn’t exactly in a creative mood at the moment); not a chance to escape.

 

He has to think of something; they keep growling and drooling in his direction, those red eyes showing no fear or hesitation.

 

He has to think of something now.

 

Trying to catch his breath, his mind hasn’t set itself straight yet. The heart-pumping rush from before was gone, and the pains and aches all over his body were distracting again.

 

They know they have him right where they wanted him, and Mikleo can’t get himself out of this stupid bind.

 

He ran away to prevent his friends from being overtaken, knowing well that it was a stupid idea. Now, here he is in the middle of who-knows-where with little energy left and no plan.

 

How could he be so… so…

 

Mik cursed out loud to himself.



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



Just a hundred feet away from the boulders, a dusty mound that stood above the evergreen trees offers a perfect view of the clearing below.

 

Looking down and slightly to the left, a clear shot to one of the beasts would be fatal.

 

That was all it took.

 

Notching his bow with a single arrow, a shadowed figure carefully steps out from behind the cover of a lone tree, and swiftly takes aim...



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



The War Fangs are soon becoming more visibly pleased with this outcome, assuming offensive positions in case the small morsel decided to get feisty. They’re growling almost began to die down as they prepared to pounce…

 

There’s nothing he can do now, other than hold onto his staff ‘till his hands turned white. There had to be something. It couldn’t end here…

 

His eyes shut tight, his brows furrowing together.

 

‘It can’t end here… by myself…’

 

… If only there was something they were weak to that he actually--

 

A whirring sound splits through the air, and one of the hellions falls without making a sound.

 

Mikleo, the other two, and even the trees had their attention stolen for a single moment.

 

… It was dead.

 

The object that made the sound was an arrow, sticking out of the corpse’s left eye. It lay unmoving on the forest floor, nothing happening for who knows how many seconds.

 

Without even thinking, Mikleo takes his chance to bolt right then and there… and dashes past the two stunned hellions!

 

Only after they noticed the whoosh of color and the scent of blood and fear zip past them do the War Fangs realize what had happened.

 

Their snack had somehow taken out their brother and was getting away!

 

While the scent of food and death masked the scent of a second foe off the arrow, the two remaining hellions immediately give chase to the small morsel. Once they had it in their grasp, they wouldn’t let him out of their jaws.

 

Their roars give a threat to any living creature nearby to run and hide if they valued their lives, following Mikleo by the edge of his ripped, twin capes… which allow another to track their movements, who just so happens to be as light on his feet as the water seraph.

 

Navigating a place you’ve never been to is one thing, but trying to run through a forest with low-hanging branches, hidden trip-falls, and dodging two raging monsters that are basically on top of you with very little reliable energy left-- a very different matter altogether.

 

‘I can’t keep this up for much longer,’ Mik realized before he saw a little stream just further ahead. Once he can feel the familiarity of his element nearby, he gains a sudden confidence boost and uses the breath he has left to reach the stream before the War Fangs catch up. He can feel the trembling dirt beneath his feet as they’re almost upon him.

 

He’s only got one shot, and he is sure as hell to not waste it.

 

He shoots his left arm out in front of himself, his staff plunging into the clear water, and immediately begins chanting.

 

“You’re fate has been set!

Regret your wicked acts!”

 

With the mana and seconds he had left, he aimed for the closest War Fang, and let the ice crystals fly.

 

“Rime Slaughter!!”

 

He spins his head around fast enough to give him whiplash-- and barely catches a glimpse of the wailing War Fang crashing into the nearest tree, defeated, the silver flame coming into effect on the thick fog of malevolence that once afflicted the poor creature.

 

“YES!”

 

The moment of victory is short-lived and gone in a near instant. There are claws slashing his side as a burning sensation clouds his mind.

 

A loud cry rips itself from Mikleo’s throat before he even hits the ground, his staff knocked out of his grip by the force of a coarse tail whip. He flails around for a moment to reach for it, but pain shoots through his arms as he’s pinned on his back.

 

Bad breath, drool, and red eyes greet him, and he sucks in what oxygen he can.

 

It’s growling at him! He’s panicking! He’s pinned, and he’s out of mana!

 

The War Fang roared its beastly cry to him, mocking his attempt at following his survival instincts, saliva flying into his face due to its close proximity.

 

His eyes shut tightly on their own. He’s terrified , his eyes leaking warm saltwater . He tries to swallow the lump in his throat down, but he can’t even scream…

 

There’s no one to save him, let alone hear him call for help...

 

This is it…

 

A huff of warm air ruffles his bangs. It’s growls come closer to his face…

 

‘I’m sorry, everyone…’

 

He cracks one eye open one last time-- just to get it over with, and there’s a small glint of something off to the side--

 

Someone leaps out from the treeline and plows directly into the hellion’s side, knocking it over and away from Mikleo.

 

He’s gasping for breath as he’s freed like he’s coming out of a daze, his wandering focus eventually locking onto the hellion and the person who saved him. It takes only a moment of stunned realization for him to understand it’s a human.

 

A human saved him, whom which he’s never seen before. That he doesn’t know.

 

He has some awkward type of sword going up against the War Fang, yet doesn’t seem to be pulling his punches. To any regular person, it might’ve seemed like a bigger-than-average-sized boar, but that wouldn’t explain why the human looked so desperate to win. Unless--

 

Unless--

 

He could actually see the hellion’s full strength, meaning he could see the malevolence.

 

Meaning he could see him .

 

This random human is actually standing his ground against a ferocious monster, and appears to be winning.

 

A cold shudder shot up Mikleo’s spine, suddenly not wanting to stick around staring like an idiot.

 

He gets up as quickly as possible without agitating his left side too much and runs away from the clashing of fangs, tusks, claws and the sword. His staff lies forgotten just a few feet away…

 

From what he could tell earlier while running through the forest, there appear to be ruins and caves that could make good hiding spots once he found a way to disappear from the line of sight. Even with the Spectral Cloak, the War Fangs could smell him out due to his pugnant fear.

 

Making a break for the closest cave he saw, he can hear the last sounds of battle in the distance as the War Fang wails out its final cry before…

 

Wait. Did the human actually manage to--?!

 

Mik doesn’t allow himself time to think about it. He’s inside the cave, and he’s got to find a safe place to hide, just until the human leaves the vicinity. Just until his heart calms down... until the panic goes away.

 

For a moment, it seems that he can make out a clear end to the tunnel. There are a few cracks in the walls allowing sunlight to illuminate along the inside of the cave, and gaps in the floor that he takes careful note to avoid as he feels himself slow down. He rushes past faded markings and briefly wonders if the caves were used as some part of the ruins passages.

 

… Until the cave floor begins to tremble and crack beneath his feet.

 

His eyes go wide as he flails for some purchase on the crumbling ledge, his heart leaping into the throat for what seems to be another last chance within the past hour--

 

A hand grabs him at the last second.

 

… Mikleo is still shaking from adrenaline, not immediately recognizing the hand that saved him. When he finally comes back around mentally, he slowly cranes his neck to look up and see who saved him, but the light from above is shining directly into his eyes. He can only see a silhouette, a warm hand, brown hair--

 

The ground around them ripples again like shards of crackling glass, and soon Mikleo found himself in freefall once more.

 

‘Oh come ON--’

 

Crash!!

Chapter Text

They both start falling, only for more cave floor to break their fall after roughly ten feet... but now Mikleo is in very obvious pain.

 

A flare of something hot shoots up from his right ankle and makes its way throughout his body, his head bounces slightly on the stone floor renders him dizzy, and his clawed side takes the majority of the fall. All combining into a cesspool of misery, pain, and a slight concussion (with a possibly sprained ankle). An injured, weak scream gets forced out of him, leaving an additional ringing in his head in its wake.

 

“Uuughh…”

 

Neither human nor seraph was doing well, Mik managed to surmise. From audio cues, it sounded like the human was lying in shock, getting over the fall as well. He was probably in pain, too, after taking on that hellion alone.

 

Mikleo has to push through it, though. Push through the pain, through the fogginess, because he’s made it this far without dying.

 

After managing to lean on his elbows, he looks over to his right and sees the figure from before standing up-- nearly toppling over in a manic fashion, the shadows hiding his features too well, and there's a deep groaning coming from the humanoid in the dark.

 

 

Nevermind, this was too creepy for him to deal with.

 

Mikleo yelps and bolts the heck out of there in the opposite direction as fast as he can get up, escaping further into the cave. He didn't see an exit behind the tall, seemingly menacing figure, and he was too low on mana to perform any arte that could've propelled him back up to the surface from where they fell from. There are streaks of light still spilling from cracks in the ceiling, allowing barely enough light through the path.

 

He doesn’t have his staff anymore. He has to make do, has to keep running--

 

He tries looking back to see if maybe he lost the human but unwittingly ends up tripping due to his bad foot hitting some rocks at a not so pleasant angle. His world spins again before he hits his head on the wall of the cave in front of him.

 

The world spun more, his head rang, his skull hurt, everything hurt and felt sore; he wasn't moving, nothing made sense , even his own breathing was loud in his ears…

 

And then he heard footsteps. Rapid footsteps-- Running!!

 

That was enough to break Mikleo out from his trance, but he couldn't feel his legs. He quickly looked around; the space was small-- enough for 2 or 3 more of himself, there was no more tunnel, a crack in the roof of the cave wide enough to only allow sunlight to illuminate where he was sitting-- too far up from him to reach.

 

He was trapped, he was alone, his voice was gone, he was scared, he was nearly--

 

And then the figure was visible. It quickly and abruptly stopped just before the opening of the small space.

 

It could see Mikleo…

 

He curled up into a ball as his world slowly began to freeze up. Neither of them moved. Nothing was said. Nothing was heard except for their rapid breathing; Mikleo out of clear and utter fright, and the human assumably catching his breath from running to catch up with him. For a long while, nothing happened...

 

Mikleo is only able to see certain features with the small streaks of light, and they didn't come from the right angle for Mikleo to even get a good look. He could only make a scholarly guess for the rest of his appearance since his mind wasn’t in the right place during the fight: It looks like the man has tattered clothes, a belt with a few pouches, a quiver full of arrows with a bow over his shoulder, and the odd sword sheathed by his right hip.

 

This... made Mikleo feel slightly safer, his mind finally catching up to the fact that he wasn’t another monster; he didn't attack him at first glance, nor does Mikleo sense any malevolent presence from this stranger.

 

He is, however, still a stranger. Mikleo has to stay alert.

 

Now that he has calmed down some, the situation at hand hit him full force-- he was nearly eaten, he was nearly ripped to shreds, he was almost dead-- And here he is, alone, with an unknown human, that can see him, touch him, and possibly hear him, too.

 

It was too much, too much in such a short timespan, too much for him to cope with-- too much pain--

 

He feels the tears fall from his cheeks before he knows he’s crying aloud. He tries to keep his sobbing quiet, he really does, but it’s too... He’s scared and alone--

 

The human sees him crying... and takes a hesitant step forward.

 

Mikleo seizes up and looks at him wide-eyed in an instant.

 

The figure sees Mikleo's distress and both his hands shot up-- a sign a surrender, of peace, that he didn't mean any harm. He didn't say a word, didn't even appear to draw a breath from Mikleo's-- a seraph's presence. He stood there with Mikleo eyeing him (as best he could since he couldn't even see him).

 

The man slowly, hesitantly kneels to the ground, releasing the straps of his weapons, lowering the quiver and the bow to the ground with one or both hands still raised in the air. He barely made a noise, perhaps to ease Mikleo's nerves, he surmised; his tears still streaming down his face in force and his lips quivering, doing his damnedest to keep some of his blubberings contained.

 

One by one, most of his pouches along with his weapons- save from something rectangular and the emptied sheath of his sword, both strapped to his belt- were laid out onto the floor to show his intentions. He didn't mean to hurt Mikleo, or scare him.

 

Rather, he genuinely seemed to want to help him .

 

He thought it was touching to a degree, but he wasn't quite ready for any more one-on-one interactions with other living creatures, no thanks to the previous encounters earlier. Mik kept his eye on the man essentially hidden from his view. He didn't need the light to assume what his build was from their current distance (in case it was all a trick), though it didn't hit him quite right to reveal his face…

 

His hair seemed to be pretty messy. Made sense, they both just fought off hellions and fell into a dirty cave, but that was all Mikleo could guess as the man crouched down slightly. The tunnel got narrower the closer it got to Mikleo-- probably the only reason he fit so well into the small space after he fell, some part of him whispered annoyingly...

 

‘Now is NOT the right time for this.’

 

The man took another step forward, and Mikleo, this time, tries backing up as much as possible against the stone behind him until there’s no space between it and his back. The human saw this and gestured with his hands to grab his attention.

 

He still meant no harm.

 

Mikleo doesn’t give any indication that he noticed this, nor that he cared. 

 

Another pause... Nothing was happening. Mik didn't even move to wipe his face, and the human didn't seem to breathe.

 

The stranger took another, albeit a smaller step than before-- he was now about five feet from Mikleo. That makes a few whimpers slip past his lips. 

 

The man saw Mikleo's worsening predicament and waved his hands out in front of him, not saying a word, but not needing to; 'Don't be alarmed, I'm not threatening you!'

 

Mikleo didn't know what was worse: the fact that he could practically understand the intent from his gestures, or that he almost wanted to believe in them.

 

He knew this human didn't have any malevolence, but that just didn't make any sense--!

 

He takes a deep breath to try calming himself. He couldn't afford to close his eyes, only allowing himself to blink the tears and fear away. After a few tries, he feels his shoulders begin to sag… The man saw this and took it as a sign to continue forward.

 

Another step, four feet away, and Mikleo didn't know what to do. He didn't feel in danger, but he didn't know this person-- why could he perceive Mikleo--?!

 

A short pause... and then another step, three feet . Mikleo quickly started panicking again.

 

He started blubbering again, too. This made the man stop again. He stayed in place, face still shrouded in mystery, watching the seraph’s tears with a horrible taste in his mouth. It didn't seem right at all... but the more he got closer, the more the other panicked. He could do nothing, and he hated that...

 

Mikleo couldn't control his emotions. They always found a way of leaking out without his consent.

 

Ever since he rescued Alisha, guided her to the village and took care of her, even though she couldn't see him, he ended up going after her before his entire life had changed with the sword from the temple. Nothing was the same, nothing was safe. While he enjoyed getting out and seeing the world with his new friends, Mikleo hated knowing he was weaker than everyone. Alisha and Rose are a powerful duo, while Lailah, Edna, and Zaveid were far more experienced than he was as seraphim. He was the youngest in the group in every way, the weakest, and he hated it.

 

He finally looked away from the strange man, letting his sorrow overpower him for just a moment. At least he could find peace in the shadows of his mind, whatever this human intended to do. He didn't care anymore, he just wanted to cry. It was stupid. It was selfish. It was--

 

Another push forward. He was two feet away from a curled up seraph, now actually on his hands and knees in order to crawl into the small space. 

 

Mikleo had stopped silently crying, and looked up once more…

 

There was a fingerless glove on one of the man’s hands, and he’s slowly, gingerly, removing it. No sudden movements... The human recognized that he was to blame for putting him on edge more than he deserved, and he wants to fix that in any way he can.

 

Mik didn't see the point in this, whatever the human wanted. He just wanted to be alone...

 

And then the glove was gone, laid onto the floor. Mikleo eyed the glove, then the bare hands in front of him. They’re slightly closed and held close to the human's chest, almost as if he isn't sure what to do with them. This made Mikleo a little curious, so he just watched, his hiccuping subsiding for now. 'He hasn't done anything hostile, yet... might as well see how this goes.'

 

The human rubbed his fingers together for a moment... then slowly looked towards Mikleo again. He paused when he noticed Mik's eyes on him again. He seemed taken aback if the slight retracting of his head was any sign to Mik. Was it his eyes? Everyone in the group complimented him on them at least once. Of course, the man would react in such a way...

 

The human scoots closer and lets out an admiring hum.

 

Mikleo... actually almost feels flattered.

 

(His breath reeked, but he wasn't about to grimace right after an indirect compliment.) 

 

Immediately after, he carefully lifted a single finger to delicately brush the side of Mikleo's face.

 

Mikleo jerked at the sensation, so did the human. Neither of them knew what to do...

 

... And then the human tried again, more softly as if as light as a feather. His finger barely touches his lower eyelid... then he wipes away the tears from the one side of Mikleo's face, ever so gently running his hand along his soft, pale skin.

 

Mikleo can feel his senses coming back to him, thanks to the contact. Judging from their current interactions, this human must be some sort of hermit or mountain dweller. Someone who lived separated from the rest of civilized society. He thought back to his weapons and tools from what he could see before. Some of it was well crafted with simplistic designs, but nothing simple enough for a simple hermit to make without the proper equipment. He had to have had some interaction with people then, if his theory was correct, such as getting extra supplies for winter or purchasing medicine not found in the native area.

 

It didn't require much for his attention to come back, the human seeming to admire his looks. Or cleaning his face for him.

 

He had to thank him somehow for saving his life, and... 

 

The man scooted even closer, just a headspace away from Mikleo's, in order to wipe the other side of his face.

 

And then Mikleo saw him, the light directly above him catching the features of the other...

 

He was... He was...

 

(The first thing he registered in his mind with a light gasp were those piercing, emerald eyes, staring right back into his...)

 

... More of a boy, than a man. A young man around Mikleo's age.

 

(The second thing that Mikleo registered was that he was rugged and dirty, but he was... in a way, handsome. )

 

Mikleo makes an audible gasp and gulps as he watches the boy, watching him as he cleans the rest of his face off. This is done very carefully, so as to not startle him any further. When he pulled his hands away, he backs off a couple inches so the seraph isn’t tense.

 

Well, "tense" isn't the right word... He stares at him, almost as if he has seen a ghost. He’s still partially flushed from earlier alongside the boy’s ministrations, but that’s to be expected.

 

Mikleo can't tear his eyes away from him-- the boy who had rescued him twice now without even saying a word to him. It boggled his mind, a human who could see him that wasn't a Shepherd, who had chosen to save him from certain doom without hesitation despite not knowing him, and who was quite frankly very filthy, but very good looking. 

 

It didn't make much sense to Mikleo.

 

The boy didn't know what to do in this situation, the atmosphere becoming slightly awkward, but he figured that the seraph didn't see him as a threat anymore. That was what he had been trying to do, which was good.

 

He smiles with a slight tilt of his head, seeing as he has Mikleo's attention, and held up both his hands to cup his face. He had inspected him from afar, but he was much more pretty up close. Since he hadn't been pushed away, he took it as permission to continue checking to see if the ethereal being was really sitting in front of him... He lightly brushes his thumbs across his cheeks, running one gently hand through his fringe, and shyly tucking one strand of hair behind his ear. 

 

'He really is beautiful,’ the boy thinks to himself, enjoying the feeling of soft skin under his palms.

 

'He really is strange,’ Mikleo thinks to himself, even if he is slightly attractive...