Author: TwistedInkIncorporated PM
Daniel, a homeless teenager from Alabama, is chosen to be an Ishim, a mortal angel that's job is to protect humanity and close every window that opens between Earth and Hell. He was a rather ordinary angel, and harbored a healthy hatred for the demons they destroy. To him, they were beings of chaos and evil. That is, until one began to change his mind. Warning: Boy Love, M/M.Rated: Fiction M - English - Fantasy/Romance - Chapters: 6 - Words: 20,577 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 04-06-13 - Published: 01-21-13 - id: 3094088
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: Chapter two! Hurray~! Thank you to everyone who reviewed, favorited, and followed Concrete Angel! You guys are what keeps me writing. You're the gasoline to my Chevy. You're the apple to my worm. You're the... you're the frosting to my cake. I would be nothing without you! :D
Alrighty, I'll leave you alone now. Go, go my lovelies, read~
CHAPTER TWO: FRIENDS
As you are a smart boy, I need not explain what you have been given. You know that I have been watching you for over two years… journaling every instance in which I have stumbled across you in the street. Worry not, for you are not the only one being documented. I have chosen you for something greater than where you are… something only you can do, and something only you can understand. You are special, Daniel. You think you are not, but you are, very much so. Please, take the help I have handed you and use it to make it to the city of Morgantown in West Virginia. You will want to find your way into the downtown area, and into the Blue Corner Cafe. A representative will meet you there at midnight. They will be there every day for fourteen days, until you arrive. If you do not go, we will take that as your refusal. Understand, Daniel, that we only want what is best for you. You can have a life of happiness, of companionship, of love… but I will not lie to you… it can be difficult at times. The things you will have to do will be hard on you. There will be hard choices to be made. But what matters most is that you will be helping people that truly need it. Only you can help people in this way. You and a few choice others. But like I said, Daniel, you are special. I feel like I have known you, have been close to you, for eternity, but unfortunately it is my time to move on… I am sorry to not have talked with you more, Daniel. Goodbye.
Remember, the Blue Corner Cafe, midnight, Morgantown, West Virginia.
They will be waiting.
After he finished, all Daniel could do was drop the letter from numb hands and stare down at the floor between his feet.
'What's going on? Who is this guy? And the people he wants me to go to?'
He didn't understand, and the thoughts circling his mind were beginning to hurt his head. The dim yellow glow of the lamp was suddenly cutting and threatening, the soft bed a false comfort, the warmth of the room a promise of cold.
The money wouldn't last forever. Daniel knew that, yet he was terrified of what was happening. He was being given a choice that he didn't come close to understanding. To meet a stranger who probably knew him already.
'What have I been chosen for, exactly and really. Who the heck was that guy? Some kind of weirdo stalker? But this is too strange if it's just that.' Daniel thought, absently chewing on a hangnail.
The hours he remained awake that night, he never reached an answer to his musings. The night faded, and with it the dark anxiety that had practically choked him. If anything, he knew that he had almost two weeks left to decide what to do. In that time, he decided he could have a little fun.
Heart lifted for the moment and belly full from the hotel's kitchen, Daniel set out into the cold with the journal and money tucked into his pockets securely.
Hours later, he was struggling under the weight of many bags full of clothing and other living items. After stumbling out of the rotating doors of the mall he'd visited, he collapsed on a nearby bench and began to tear clothes and other items out of the bag and stuff them into the brand new travel bag. His heart was beating loudly, roaring in his ears, as if he had done something wrong. He kept having to tell himself to calm down, that he'd legitimately bought all this. It was inconceivable, though. And Daniel could tell others felt the same way by their suspicious looks. Giving a weak smile, Daniel tried to summon up his usual cheer, but a buzzing at the back of his skull and the base of his spine was distracting him.
Panic. It was everywhere in his body, and no matter how many times he urged himself to relax, those sensations still remained.
As soon as he finished shopping Daniel went straight back to the hotel room and locked everything away for the time being. He changed out of the grungy street clothes he'd been layering on over the years and into a new outfit consisting of a large blue jacket with some logo or other on the front (like he was supposed to know what the hell Abercrombie meant), a t-shirt with an interesting urban design under that, and then dark-wash jeans tucked into a pair of heavy black boots. The most embarrassing part of his afternoon was shopping for jeans, he recalled. He was so thin and underweight that he had to shop in the girls' section of Macy's. His face was flushed beat red the entire time, to the amusement of the girl that was assisting him, and he would receive a chirping giggle whenever he stuttered out some half-hearted joke.
Daniel liked that girl. She was the only one that didn't give him a strange look. She was pretty, too, even though she was a little plump. Brighter than even her multi-colored hair was her radiant smile. She told Daniel to come back sometime.
He wished he could.
After dressing and making sure he'd gotten all the tags off the clothing, Daniel took a look in the mirror and decided to brush out the long, ink-black tangles. That took another thirty minutes of pain, but by the time that was finished he looked pretty decent. Like any ordinary teenager with too-long hair and too-skinny of a waist. He grimaced at his reflection but shrugged it off after a moment and grabbed the key to the room before setting out once more.
Daniel knew the streets so well by now that he felt completely comfortable wandering down the safest alleyways and downtown Chicago. There wasn't anything very interesting around, since it was so far from the waterfront, but there were plenty of skyscrapers and second-hand shops that he adored looking at for hours on end. Architecture always fascinated Daniel, since he'd had glimpses of the separate styles of the country, small towns, to this city's.
It took about twenty minutes to walk to his destination, even taking all the shortcuts he knew. This place he knew better than the back of his hand. It was tucked in between a small Italian restaurant- not very popular because of its location, so its appearance was, accordingly, a little dingy- and a store that sold books for half price. He'd spent many hours before sitting in that store and reading book after book in the chairs seen just beyond the window. Of course he was chased out once he was noticed, but the homeless teenager couldn't help it. Those chairs were just so comfy and tantalizing when he gazed through the window.
They held no appeal to him now.
Daniel stepped into the alley with his hands tucked into the pockets of his jacket and gave a cursory glance around. Everything was the same; right down to the over-filled dumpster and grime of the city scattered around the cement and up the brick walls. Shadows were thick here, even though the sun was just inching its way past noon, because of the overhanging roofs of each building. Still, though, Daniel could spot the small figures lounging around against the walls and could immediately smell the thick, cloying musk of nicotine. Once his eyes adjusted, he could see the smoke trails and went to them without trying to mask the sound of his footsteps.
The figures straightened when they became aware of his presence, pushing off of the walls and up from the dirty ground.
"The fuck? Damien, 's that you?"
A smile came to his lips reflexively, and he drew his hands out of his pockets to raise them at his sides in a sweeping gesture before dropping them down again, "Yep, it's me."
The girl speaking broke off from the others and loped over to Daniel with shoulders hunched against the cold and mascara-smeared cheeks. She was heavier than him, but still obviously bony underneath the scant clothing. She dropped her cigarette and ground it into the cement under a viciously heeled boot, her deep brown eyes staying locked on Daniel the whole time, her red-painted lips pouting slightly as she finished closing the distance between them.
"What the hell happened to you? We were worried, y'know? When you didn't come back last night…" she trailed off when she finally noticed how clean and fresh he was, "what the fuck? Damien, what the hell is this?"
Wincing at the foul language, Daniel shrugged and plucked absently at a stiff sleeve, "Rose, it's kinda hard to explain…"
The ruffled brunette crossed her arms and raised an expectant brow. The others behind her stepped forward as well and Daniel waved at them. Despite their suspicious and confused looks, they greeted him back in varying degrees of relief. Of the group of four, there was only one other boy besides Daniel. The blonde male grabbed Daniel in a quick hug and held him at arms length, grinning pleasantly.
"Wow, you smell like a girl!"
"Shut up, Alex," Daniel smiled, shoving the blonde away playfully. Then everyone else was descending on Daniel, picking at his clothes and poking his face in disbelief.
"Didja get a pig to take you home or somethin'?" a dark-skinned woman asked. Shanna was the oldest of them, nearly forty, and felt like she had some sort of responsibility to watch after the younger ones. She always preached about staying together and staying safe. Oddly enough, for a drug-addicted prostitute, she was the best mother figure Daniel had ever had or- he believed- ever could have.
"Naw, some weird stuff happened yesterday. Which is why I came here. You guys gotta come with me."
"What?" Allie and Andy asked at the same time. They were best friends, but with their matching blonde hair and shy attitudes, they may as well have been twins. Allie's pretty blue eyes stared at Daniel speculatively while Andy's had a trace of anxiety in their hazel-green depths.
Daniel motioned for them all to follow and began walking, out of the alley. They followed, if hesitantly.
"I have a hotel room," he explained as they walked, "thought I was just gonna get it for the night, but I thought 'what the heck', might as well give you guys a few nights there too. You're my family, right?"
Rose quickened her pace so that she was at the ravenette's side, her heels clicking loudly on the sidewalk. She spoke while eyeing the passing cars nervously,
"Damien, what are you talking about? A hotel? And how did you get the money to get all this stuff? You didn't rob anyone, did you?"
Daniel's expression was more than a little hurt when he looked at her. She shook her head quickly, a small hand reaching out to touch his arm, "Dame, you gotta see it from my point of view, hon'."
"Will you just wait a sec? I'll explain it to y'all when we're at the hotel."
The rest of the walk was mostly silent as Daniel's makeshift family digested the situation. They didn't seem too pleased right then, but he knew they would change their minds once they saw the room he was staying in.
Walking through the lobby proved to be interesting, as many pairs of eyes watched the group of homeless teenagers- plus Shanna- with shock and thinly-veiled disgust. Daniel just beamed at everyone that looked their way, even giving the desk attendant a little wave. The woman looked completely stunned; Daniel didn't think she would have been able to call anyone to complain with the way her mouth seemed stuck off its hinges.
The small group crowded into the elevator and when the doors shut Daniel finally realized how very discomfited his friends were. They were all fidgeting, and the anxiety was practically tangible in the air between them. Daniel just kept smiling, working at calming their nerves by exuding a patience to counterattack the negative atmosphere.
Though his fingers still shook when he fumbled the key into the door to his room. Whether from excitement or fear, was anyone's idea.
"Holy. Fucking. Shit."
Daniel frowned at Rose once again, not comforted when Shanna whapped her upside her head.
She didn't even appear to notice as she slowly stepped into the room, looking around with wide eyes. The rest followed her and Daniel stood aside, watching them soak it in.
"We… we can stay here?" Alex whispered, just as wide-eyed as the girls were.
"I got it booked for the next three days," Daniel said, looking around with them, "I wanted to give you more, but I don't have that much money after shopping. Which reminds me!"
He strode over to the bed and kneeled, bending over so he could pull the rest of the shopping bags out from beside his travel bag. The bags rustled in the silence as Daniel pushed them onto the top of the mattress. There were about twelve bags full of everything ranging from clothes to deodorant to dried food like trail mixes that would last for weeks. In those bags was the majority of the money Daniel's savior had given to him.
When he looked back to Allie, Andy, Rose, and Shanna, they were all frozen in place, just staring at him.
"I got it all for you guys," Daniel smiled brightly, excited now, "come on, put something on! Shanna, I got this real nice purse for you. Rose, this one scarf is awesome, and really soft and warm. Allie, Andy, I got you these real fluffy hats that'll keep you warm, too. Alex, you have boots that match mine. A little clunky, but they're warm. I got all of you coats, sorry if they're too big. I just grabbed whatever looked warmest, y'know? Come on, don't just stand there!"
They blinked as Daniel addressed each one of them, but otherwise they stayed quiet. And then Andy started to cry.
To Be Continued...
Reconstructed Version Posted On March 25, 2013.