A/N: And so begins the second story in my series. The first, 'Eadoin,' can be found under my bio. It is not necessary to this plot to have read 'Eadoin,' but please read it if you feel you want to.
Author: Edana [email protected]
Rating: PG-13 (for violence, possibly strong, non-explicit sexual situations in later chapters)
Summary: His song and his power draws angels and demons to him, but soon Alexis learns it will keep him alone unless someone is brave enough to face death to keep him
Disclaimer: All owned by me I'm afraid ^_^ though it was in one of Lady Doncaster's reviews to me that she wrote 'Painful and euphoric, beautiful and terrible, heartbreaking and heart-warming.'
Warnings: Shounen ai, yaoi, male/male relationships etc
FallenChapter One – Alexis
"Close your eyes and wish upon a star . . ."
Darkness laid like a heavy shroud, reaching long fingers into every corner, the shadows flickering like candle flames. A sea of blackness, engulfing, and for a moment it caused his heart to pound in primal fear. There was a movement, he could see, flashes of light that lit up the shadows for just a moment before they faded back into impenetrable darkness.
"Keep me in your dreams and I won't be far . . ."
But that didn't matter. For just a moment the sea of shade had brought back a few memories he wished that they hadn't, everything inside him rushing and gripping and squeezing; stomach hollow as a faint nausea settled over him. But now the truth returned and he smiled a watery smile as the words left his lips in a gentle melody. The blur of nameless faces was his audience, the bright flashes camera lights, and the silence that fell heavily around him was penetrated only by his own voice.
It was hauntingly beautiful; a voice that could spark emotion in anyone willing to listen, a voice that had brought tears to eyes. Achingly lovely, natural and powerful, but somewhat fragile and gentle, a pain buried within the notes that rose and fell that couldn't be explained. There was a constant bitter sweetness to his song that tore his audience between the want to smile softly and the need to cry because of the pain that radiated from him, that left his lips. Painful and euphoric . . . beautiful and terrible . . . heartbreaking and heart-warming.
Perhaps that was the best way to describe Alexis himself.
"In every rainbow, in every fire's flame
In every hail of silver I can hear your name . . ."
Alexis smiled gently, amber eyes burning, such a beautiful liquid gold. He seemed to be a figure made from golden light, skin pale, eyelashes light blonde, the only darkness to his figure the colour of his hair. Dark strands brushed his forehead lightly and floated as soft breaths left his lips, but even that one darkness was streaked with the impossible sunlight colour, as if golden fingers had run through his hair and left their mark.
Perhaps the real darkness was inside of him.
His fingers danced down the microphone, teasing the metal with soft, warm touches, his other hand resting at his hip. He loved this feeling, this rush of acceptance, this glorious lightness that came from standing before so many people and opening his heart and soul to them. The words spilt from his lips like water and hung in the air, soft melodies, a gentle tune. The song was a beautiful ballad but it brought a slight heaviness to Alex's heart because of the words. A fallen angel destined for one person, destined to give up everything for love . . . He couldn't help but feel a pang of sadness, as if the dark angel really existed.
"Spread out your wings, spread them out afar,
We'll dance among the heavens, we'll dance among the stars."
He brought the song to a close with one long, lingering note that eventually faded into silence. And for a long time the silence remained and invisible fingers gripped his heart and stomach, fear building inside. But then an explosion of clapping hands shattered the stillness.
Every story has a beginning, and this one began with a song . . . and a boy.
Alexis was eighteen years old and attended college. Somewhat reserved, he talked to a lot of people instead of making any real friends, and sometimes that twisted isolation saddened him. But there was also the knowledge that he was different, that he was destined for something much different to those he sat beside in lessons, and that was a haunting thought. A kind of hurtful premonition, Alexis had to live with the pain inside that was nameless, but that let him know he was different.
And sometimes he saw things. He never said a word to anyone, but walking past the graveyard or the church, he would see flickers of movement. Shadows, figures, black shapes in thick veils moving quietly. Or solid-seeming people that he would watch or sometimes talk with, and they were silent. Always silent. Standing beside graves or by roadsides, never moving, sightless eyes watching something far beyond him.
Alexis could see spirits.
There was no one he could tell, no one he wanted to tell ever since his parents had died. His heart panged at the thought. When he was ten both his parents had died and Alex was left alone in the world, and that was when his isolation started. It seemed that everyone he loved was taken away from him, and it was a morbid thought for a ten year old, but it was his thought nonetheless.
He didn't know much about his parents, but he remembered that his father had a beautiful singing voice. Every time a tune left Alex's lips brought flashes of him as a child, sitting on his father's knee, sometimes joining his voice with the other man's, sometimes simply content to listen to the beautiful, haunting melodies. He was the one who had written the song, a song that had lasted so many years simply in Alex's memory, one that spoke of an angel who fell from Heaven simply to be with the one he loved. It was beautiful, and achingly sad, and Alex remembered seeing pain in his father's eyes when he sang it.
"Good going, superstar!"
A heavy hand thumped against his shoulder and the slight boy found himself physically knocked forward. Brushing gold-kissed hair from his eyes, he turned and saw the beaming faces of his two new friends. Danika and Ilo, twins, slightly insane if Alexis admitted the truth. Seeing his flustered face, Ilo grinned sheepishly. "Oops, sorry."
His sister Danika giggled behind her hand.
They both appeared very delicate and graceful, and they could be when they wanted to. Their hair the strangest shade of pale silver-blue, eyes burning light violet, they were the most beautiful creatures that Alexis had ever met and neither of them seemed to know it, or if they did they never flaunted it. If Alexis was made from gold, then these two were burning silver, ethereal and holy.
He smiled softly, that wistful smile that made so many people shiver when they saw it, and they weren't sure why. "Hey Ilo, and don't call me a superstar. I just like to sing."
Ilo flashed his friend a wicked grin. "Whatever. Did you see how many people showed up tonight?"
Alexis rolled his eyes. "Of course not. I was just the one singing on stage."
"Honestly," Alexis said, fighting his way through the crowd. "It's just a fundraiser, and it's just a song. Nothing to get worked up about."
"Tell that to the sobbing crowd," Danika said with a grin. And then they winked at Alexis, both blowing him a kiss before turning and disappearing into the backstage maze, giggling madly. He remained silent and motionless for a moment, his heart still racing from the performance before he tutted and shook his head. He was slowly starting to realise that even though the twins had been in his life for less than two weeks, they were quickly becoming his greatest friends.
The thought brought a little fear within him.
They were both so fun loving, so mischievous and outgoing, and they said it was because they were so young. He guessed they were slightly older than him, but sometimes, with the way they turned to face the sky, or the way they held each other, or with that wistful look they gave to grieving people, they seemed so much older. Ancient, perhaps: there was a lifetime already lived in their eyes.
But he shrugged off the strange thoughts and cursed himself for his stupidity. Seeing spirits was one thing, but he wouldn't allow himself to isolate Ilo and Danika from him. He didn't want to lose them.
Turning away, Alexis headed towards the room where he had left his jacket and his bag. He knew he should stay for the rest of the show, but a sudden feeling of fatigue overwhelmed him and with a pang of guilt he gathered his things and prepared to leave. He'd find out what happened tomorrow, and he'd played his part. Now the memory of his parents haunted him and it was bittersweet.
But as his fingers found the door handle to the exit, he didn't notice the narrowed amethyst eyes that watched his every move.
Minutes later Danika frowned lightly as she knocked on the door again, silver-blue hair falling into her eyes and resting gently at her shoulders. "Hello? Alex, are you in there?" She knocked again, and again, the sound growing louder as her own heart began to pound desperately against her ribs. She was genuinely concerned about the boy because she liked him very much, and she never thought she would like a mere mortal. There was nothing between them but friendship, but she valued it more than anything else she owned, any of her earthly possessions. Just the thought that something might have happened . . .
It was then that her brother Ilo burst into the scene, breaths shallow but loud and harsh, and his violet eyes wide in mild horror. And the concern inside of Danika exploded into full-blown fear as she realised the truth of what was happening. "Ilo?"
"There's something here," he gasped, resting his weight against the wall as he struggled hard to breathe. "I can feel it."
"No," she whispered in disbelief. "Not now. Ilo, I can't find Alexis. I don't know where he is!"
"What?" Ilo cried, pushing himself away from the wall, staring wildly into his sister's eyes. "But where'd he go? We're supposed to be protecting him."
"I know," she said, biting her bottom lip. "This is bad."
Alexis had never understood why, in that cliché way, all exits led into a seedy looking alleyway. Because this one did, and the violet evening was quickly fading into velvet blackness and he didn't like the thought of being alone in the alleyway as the darkness spread long fingers. There were too many shadowy corners and his heart pounded a little more with every noise that reached his ears.
But he couldn't be scared, nothing would happen.
So he took a deep breath and swung his bag over his shoulder and stepped from the relative safety of the backstage area into the haunting stillness of the alleyway. For a moment there was eerie silence until the music began to play inside and he could hear, and feel, the pounding, wordless rhythm. It hung in the air and collected at his throat and Alexis forced himself to smile as he recognised the tune, and he sped up his movements. The end of the alley wasn't too far; he could make it into the moonlit street . . .
A sharp call, someone was addressing him. Just ignore him, just keep moving, it can't be important but it could be a trap. Alex inhaled sharply, his heart pounding wildly, adrenaline pouring through his veins as primal instinct gripped him. Constantly aware that someone was behind him, someone he could hear but couldn't see, and his stomach was hollow and tied in small knots.
"Hey, wait a minute!"
A door slammed shut.
Huh? He turned slowly and saw a guy he recognised from college standing there in the dimness, confusion etched across his face. The door to the backstage had slammed behind him and what little light had enveloped the alley for that moment was extinguished now. "You . . . you forgot your tape," the boy said with a sheepish grin.
"Oh, I'm so sorry," Alex murmured, taking the tape from him and feeling more than a little foolish. "I didn't mean to ignore you, but . . ."
"I understand," the guy said, grinning. Then his fingers wrapped around the door handle but before he disappeared he said, "Great song, by the way. You have a really lovely voice."
He coloured beautifully. "Thanks."
A soft smile, a near-wistful look, and then the guy was gone. Once again Alex was left alone in the darkness and he sighed gently, pocketing the cassette of music, the song playing in his head again. He wondered what his father had meant when he wrote those words, and why they struck such a chord inside his own heart.
But Alex turned and inhaled sharply.
There was a figure, a man, standing so close before him he could barely breathe without the air that left his lips touching the man's skin. Such a terrible, aching rush inside, a fear that was unbearable, that make a sickness rise in his throat, and a need to escape, to get away, gripped him. "Excuse -"
But the word died in the air because strong arms shot forward and grabbed him and Alex screamed but the music was heavy and thumping and drowned out all other noises, including his desperate shouts. Eyes wide in horror, heart pounding in his throat, blood roaring in his ears, all Alex could see was a flash of dark blue hair and the gleam of silver eyes before a hand clamped over his mouth and stopped all noise. Heavy silence, and he struggled hard to get away but this figure, this man, was unbearably strong and Alex was so small and slight, so fragile.
He was trapped: completely at the mercy of another person.
"Hello, Dear One," a deceivingly gentle voice whispered into his ear. "Don't struggle, I won't hurt you."
Stop it. Please stop it. Oh God, what do you want?
"Ssh, calm down," he said, hands wrapped desperately around Alex's body, holding the gold-dusted boy against him, his fingers still pressed against the other's mouth, against his lips. "You have to be careful where you sing that song, Dear One. Who knows what kind of creature you'll draw to you."
Dizziness was spreading its fingers inside, and Alex fought desperately to breathe. Grey dots danced before his amber eyes as a heavy sleepiness, a loss of consciousness, began to creep inside his body. Blonde eyelashes fluttered.
That was when the hand suddenly disappeared and he gasped, drawing in breaths so hard he shuddered, trembled, inhaling like a dying man, breathing greedily. Everything was rushing inside and he was vaguely aware of the tight grip on his body as he blinked away the dancing dots, but before he could say anything the hand was replaced with a mouth. Pushed hard against the alley wall, long fingers entwined in his hair, a body hard against his, Alexis felt the lips against his own, he felt the kiss, and his eyes burned with furious tears.
He couldn't move. He couldn't escape.
It was hopeless: completely hopeless.