A.N. Hello again! Sorry these are so short (I like to refer to them as 'bite size'), but I'm not good at writing long parts. In fact, I'm not good at writing parts at all, so I don't know how I managed this! Also the first part is a dream Zell is having. It hasn't happened...yet...Please review!

Disclaimer: Same as last time.


Part Two - Stranger and Stranger

By Rie and Atsuko

Zell dropped to his knees and screamed. The pain in his back was unbearable, and he screamed in pain and terror. The asphalt of the courts was rough under his hands and he screeched again, the harsh sound ripping through the night. Then, as quickly as it had come, the pain was gone. Zell looked up and saw the boy from the alley looking at him with wide eyes. Zell, still on the ground, reached behind him and felt wings, sprouting from his shoulder blades, rising high above him and fanning out, still bloody near his back where they had torn through his skin and ripped twin holes in his tank top. Zell stood and looked back at the boy. Zell opened his mouth but no sound came out, and he couldn't ask the questions that flocked into his mind to that wondering face. Then he was rising, flying, into the cold, grey sky, and all around him were the clouds, icy and moist on his face and arms....

When Zell woke, he was still slumped against his door. The dusk had changed to night, and outside it was very quiet. Zell sat up, wincing at the crick in his neck. He rubbed at the ache, and stretched his stiff limbs and yawned. The events of the day hit his sleep clouded brain like a moving freight train. He jumped to his feet, aching muscles protesting violently. Ignoring the pain in his legs, Zell strode into his tiny kitchen and started to make a coffee. His curtain less windows leered at him, emitting darkness into his home. He made a mental note to buy some blinds. He fumbled with the lid of the instant coffee, successfully tipping it over the work top.


He made a feeble effort to clean it up, but in the end just left it. He made his way to his living room cum bedroom, and turned on the T.V. He needed to remember that there was a real world, not just a nightmare. One cup of coffee later, he was comfortably ensconced on his bed watching some talk show host grill an unfortunate man. A sharp knock on his door snapped him out of his happy trance. Grumbling, he left the warm nest he had created. It didn't occur to him to wonder who was calling on him until he had the door half open, and it was too late.

There was no-one there. The hall was deserted. Zell peered up and down, but the shadows concealed no hidden figures, no mystery assailants pounced on him. Puzzled, Zell's gaze dropped to the floor. He stopped. On the floor, immediately in front of him, lay knife. It's jagged blade winked at him as he lifted it. Wrapped around the hilt was a note. He was took it inside and unrolled it. It was written in red ink and he read it twice, then wordlessly slipped it into his pocket.

Take this. You'll need it.

Zell went back in and sat down. He held the dagger in his hand for a long time. He stroked the blade with his thumb, but it remained cold to the touch.

At work the next day, he was very quiet. His boss shouted at him several times, but he remained despondent. Mr. Evans usually enjoyed shouting at his workers, but this kid was different. Perhaps it was his lack of reaction, or the way he did his work with quiet perfection. Something about him annoyed him. If he wasn't careful that Dincht kid might not have a job anymore. At dusk Zell was released once more. Nervously, he started to retrace his steps from the previous night, but no footsteps followed him, no hands grabbed him. He had almost relaxed his guard when he saw a figure watching him from the shadows, leaning casually against the wall.

Zell gave a start as he recognised him as the young man in the alley. Zell stopped and studied him carefully. Chocolate brown hair fell about his almost silver eyes in the setting sun. The light cast curving shadows over his beautiful face, and a half smile lingered on his lips. His scar trailed a pale finger down his forehead, the only flaw in an otherwise flawless face. Zell moved toward the alley and the figure drew back into the shadows. Annoyed, Zell ran into the alley, but skidded to an abrupt halt.

It was empty. He was in the alley below his window. On the floor was the pentagon. Spilt wax marked the place where the candles had stood. The walls were marked with strange symbols, slashed deep into the brick. Zell traced one with his finger. It was etched over the graffiti, and Zell marvelled at the skill and force with which the carver had marked the wall. All around him he could sense an electric charge in the air. The sky hung low and brooding above, and the air was heady and warm. In the distance a film of rain clouded the horizon. Zell stood in the alley behind his flat and traced the alien symbols scratched onto the walls over and over and waited for the storm to hit.

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