The Boys Underground

Innocence and white lace

Cannot always hide the deceptive face...

Chapter Three:

The Silent Angel

There was once a boy.

He was not like other boys.

He could not speak. He was very pretty. And he always hid inside himself.

He was a priest's acolyte. He had beautiful hair, like pale sunshine and eyes of cornflower blue. He had soft, translucent skin like a baby's, the colour of the moon, pale blue-white. He had pink lips, which uttered no sound and a strange unblinking stare. His throat was marred by an awful scar that nobody could see under his high-collared robes and his heart failed him at times, making him suffer in quiet agony.

He wore the robes of the church, some were plain, others were elaborate. Some were blue and gold, others were deep, dark brown. Whatever he wore, he looked lovely in it. He had a delicate facial structure and a slim frame, and his feet were tiny, tucked into tiny slippers. He had a silver cross on a delicate chain that he always wore, no matter what the day was.

He lived in the church with some of the priests. He had no where else to live. They took him in when they found him as a young boy on their doorstep, with his neck gashed and horrible bruises on his body. He loved it here, because here he was safe. Here he was not expected to be a person he could not be. Here he was usually left alone, not bothered.

And yet, he was not happy.

He sat at the organ, his face sad as it always was when he played. His face was usually sad, though, whether he was playing or not. He seemed fine when he was with one of the priests, but even when he smiled, he wasn't quite happy.

In the middle of his song, he heard the sound of the door opening, and somebody falling onto a bench. He ignored it and played the rest of the song, then lifted his fingers from the instrument and let the echoing church lapse into silence.

That's when he heard clapping, and he remembered that somebody was in the room with him. He swiveled in his seat. The clapping stopped abruptly. He waited. There was a sharp intake of breath, and then the squeak of the bench as the person stood up. He heard footsteps moving toward him and he waited still, clasping his hands in his lap and facing forward.

"You play really well."

The voice was very musical, it had a slight lilting accent to it and an almost playful quality. You could tell the speaker was smiling, so he smiled slightly as well, though he couldn't answer.

"Aren't you... going to say something?" the voice asked, sounding a little puzzled. He could tell it was male. He had that little depth in his voice females didn't usually have.

He extended his hand to the person, trying to appear friendly. He felt the boy's hands wrap around his. A firm, warm grip, with his hand nestled between both of the boy's.

"I'm Seamus. What's your handle?"

He cocked his head in bewilderment. /Handle? Was that some kind of new slang?/

He hadn't been outside for a long time. He prefered the dark, quiet corners of the church to the loud, confusing sounds out in the city. The church was situated far enough away from the rest of the city that he could walk in the garden and still be at peace, but the garden had been changed, and change always disoriented him.

"I mean your name. It's street talk," Seamus said apologetically. "My bad. Er, I mean... mistake."

Seamus had not let go of his hand yet. He laughed and dropped it. "Sorry."

He knew he seemed very rude and unfriendly, so he moved to the plaques that hung under a small cross and indicated the last name.

"Gabriel Francois?" Seamus read aloud. "Is that your name?"

He nodded.

"Gabriel..." Seamus murmured. "That name suits you perfectly. Did you look like a little cherub when you were born or something?"

Gabriel shrugged. How was he supposed to remember that? He didn't have parents to tell the story, though he heard many times about the day he was found and why they had christened him with the angel's name. But he couldn't tell Seamus all that. He didn't think he would even if he could.

"So... Um, are you dumb or something?"

Gabriel started. /Dumb? Did I act that stupid?/ His expression must have changed back to one of sadness, because Seamus was immediately blurting out, "No! I didn't mean it like that at all! I meant, quiet! What is that word? The one...?"


Both Gabriel and Seamus turned to the new voice. Gabriel recognized it as the head priest, Kinsley.

"That's it!" Seamus said triumphantly. "Is he?"

"He is," Kinsley said gravely. "He is also blind."

Seamus spun around in shock. "You are?! I would never have guessed! I mean, there was something odd about your eyes, but..."

Gabriel turned his face to Kinsley.

"Is he bothering you, son?"

Gabriel shook his head.

"This is your kid?" Seamus asked. "But I thought priests took an oath..."

Kinsley sighed, and stepped forward, placing a heavy hand on Gabriel's head as he often did.

"He is our blessing, boy," Kinsley said in his grandfatherly voice. "He was sent to us by God."

Seamus clearly didn't agree with this thought, as he snorted.

"How is that possible?"

"I will not get into it right now," Kinsley said. "But I have no doubt that he is here by the miracle of God."

It was getting too corny for Seamus who said, "Well, bye, Gabe. I'll see you... Er, I'll talk to ya... Um. Well, bye then."

He hurried out the door.

"Gabriel, are you sure he was not bothering you?"

Gabriel nodded and tucked his hands into his sleeves.

"Well, alright, then. Carry on. And don't forget that we're teaching the Lexington boy tomorrow."

Gabriel sat at the organ and wondered what it would be like to be able to speak and see. It was something others obviously took for granted, and he wondered if he would too, if he could suddenly see and speak again. He hadn't been born that way. The scar on his throat proved that he hadn't always been mute, and he remembered having vision once. Not that what he had seen was anything that he yearned to see once again.

Gabriel suddenly wanted to go to the garden. If he didn't want to be a coward all his life, he couldn't be afraid of something like going out to the garden just because its paths had been changed around. Change was inevitable. The priests said it all the time. So, now was the time he would go to the gardens and find his way around by himself.


Gabriel woke the next morning listening to something horrible pounding at the keys downstairs. And it was then that he remembered that he was supposed to be helping Kinsley teach a rich kid how to play the organ. He couldn't imagine why he hadn't been awakened earlier. The music, if you could call it that, was awful.

Dressing hurriedly in a robe and combing his hair with his fingers, he hopped down the steps as fast as he could go without seeing them.

The "music" ceased and he could hear Kinsley telling the boy,"No, no, you must be soft and gentle with the keys."

"No, you misunderstand me," said a soft, cold voice. "My father has demanded I play this dreadful instrument and when my father demands something, I make damn sure I do it as beastly as I can."

"Well, then try for us and play badly for your father," Kinsley said, sounding exasperated. He seemed to have noticed Gabriel because he made a sigh of relief and said, "Oh, Gabriel, please help me. This boy is the most awful organ player I have ever heard."

Gabriel descended the second half of the steps and made his way over, carefully avoiding the table that stood in the center of the room. He slid his hand on the organ, feeling the smooth wood.

"Sit beside Master Jess here," Kinsley said, directing him onto the bench so that he didn't accidentally sit on the boy already sitting there.

Gabriel positioned his fingers.

"Why am I being taught by this child?" Jess asked.

"Because," Kinsley growled. "Gabriel is our finest musician. He is a little late, but that's all right. He worked hard yesterday. Now, ready?"

Gabriel felt the boy, Jess, shift so that his own hands were erect over the keys, but Gabriel could tell even without seeing, that he was doing it wrong. His elbows weren't supposed to stick out so much. So, Gabriel reached out and grasped the other boy's arms and moved them gently downward, then found his way to his hands and moved his fingers.

Jess was looking at him. He could feel his gaze, like heat, penetrating him. Gabriel blushed and moved back to his own position.

"Good, good," Kinsley said approvingly. "Do it just like Gabriel showed you. Now begin."

Gabriel moved his hands along the keys with great precision, while Jess was lazy about it and went much too slowly.

"No!" Kinsley cried. "Stop watching Gabriel and try to play!"

"But sir, I was merely watching what he was doing so I could learn from him."

"Argh!" Kinsley growled. "Get up and watch Gabriel the first time through, then. Pay close attention!"

Jess slid off the bench and Gabriel moved to the middle.

"Play now," Kinsley said, his voice notably more gentle.

And so, Gabriel played the song. He finished with a small flourish of the hands and smiled at the head priest and his new student.

"Lovely," Jess said, clapping.

"He is a wonderful-"

Kinsley's boast was cut short when he heard the sound of distant bells.

"Oh, I forgot I was going to a meeting with the other priests! Gabriel, will you please finish up this lesson with Master Jess?"

Gabriel nodded.

"Good, good!" Kinsley rushed off to the southern end of the large church grounds.

Gabriel waited. He felt a hand on his shoulder.

"There is something quite curious about your eyes."

Gabriel knew he was looking into them, even if he couldn't see the eyes looking into his own. He felt fingers in his hair.

"You are quite lovely. You radiate good charm. Are you aware of that?"

Gabriel shook his head and slid to the other end of the bench, making room for the student. Why was this boy acting this way? Didn't he know he was being improper?

Jess sat at the bench and readied his hands just as he was taught.

Gabriel played the first part of the song slowly, so that Jess could get it. He did very well.

"You are blind, aren't you?"

Gabriel moved his head so that he was facing Jess.

"You are." Gabriel felt Jess's hands on his face, touching his eyelids, closing them. "And you can't speak, either..."

Gabriel could feel him moving closer, letting his lips softly brush against his own. What was he doing? It wasn't normal. And why was he so fascinated by his shortcomings, his disabilities? Shouldn't he find them disturbing, maybe even gross?

Jess had moved his face away, but his hands were still on Gabriel's face, his eyes still drinking him in.

"You are very pretty. It's a shame that you can't see yourself."

Gabriel saw no importance in looks. He didn't know or care what he looked like. He moved off the bench in a swift, graceful motion, his robes sweeping the floor.

"But the lesson isn't over, Gabriel."

Gabriel tucked his hands into his sleeves and frowned. He didn't like to disobey Kinsley, but he also didn't like this boy touching him, either. Gabriel took a step backwards.

"Are you afraid of me?" There was a touch of amusement in his voice. "I'm sorry. I won't touch you again. It was a bit uncouth of me, wasn't it?"

Gabriel didn't know whether to trust him or not. He heard Jess patting the bench.

"I promise that I won't fondle you, or do you not believe in the word of a spoiled little rich boy?"

Gabriel cautiously came back to the bench and sat down.

Jess put his hands over the keys. Gabriel followed suit. They were at it the rest of the day.


That night, Gabriel lay alone in his bed chambers, listening to the tick-ticking of the clock at his bedside and the sounds of the night outside his open window. He wondered why things were changing so suddenly. Why had he met not one, but TWO outsiders today? He wasn't used to things changing as quickly as they did, and it disturbed him somehow.

One stranger was warm-hearted and kind, while the other seemed cold and selfish. It was no big thing, then, that he found the nicer one more compelling. Plus, it unnerved Gabriel to find that the rich boy found his ailments so interesting. Did they not frighten him away, or disgust him? Or even surprise him, at that? Gabriel turned on his side and fingered his soft hair, wondering if it was really such a lovely colour. He couldn't remember colours very well. He remembered the colour of blood, and he remembered the colour of blinding pain: white as a solar flare. But... he could not imagine this yellow he heard so much praise about. He could only remember the last colours that he ever saw...

To Be Continued!!!!

A/N: I thought it'd be fair to warn you that I'm not very religious, and know very little about any one religion, so we'll just say that the church/temple/shrine/convent- whatever- that Gabriel lives and serves is some made up religion or something. Though I'm basing it on the church variety that believes in God and has crucifixes (is that the plural form?) and what not, okay? Oh! And I'm sorry it was rather short! More to come, and the group forms! Stay tuned!