"Oi, Shizuka! SHIZUKA!! Wait up!" A high school girl called to her friend. Shizuka looked round and smiled as she saw her friend Megumi run up to her. School had just ended for the day and students piled out of their classrooms and the building. Megumi caught up with her, slightly breathless.

"Thanks for waiting," she said sarcastically taking deep breaths and they stood at the gates waiting for the others to arrive. A while later after the school grounds had cleared, three people came up to hem walking casually. One was Ying-Wai, the Chinese student who moved to Japan, sensible, teasing and always giving out the impression that she was flirting with the boys. Next was Tatsuya who was slightly clumsy but funny and considerate. The most recent in their group was Sho always having a mysterious aura around him, with a slight 'bad boy' image, occasionally breaking the rules. Shizuka was shy, a total opposite to Megumi the loud and outrageous out of them all, though both were jokey and friendly. They were a close group of friends in their second year of high school aged 16 to 17.

Megumi and Sho led the way followed by the rest, all walking home and discussing their latest Maths coursework as they did so.

"The coursework's horrible, the questions are horrible, the teachers are horrible for setting the damn thing in the first week back at school and I'm going to fail," Tatsuya said miserably. Ying-Wai and Shizuka both smiled. He always took things too seriously and even though he always did fine in his work, it didn't stop him from thinking it wasn't good enough.

"Just forget it, you don't need to do the work. Anyway, since when has the maths problems they set us ever helped us in the real world, huh?" Sho told him.

They stopped at the end of the road where Tatsuya went into his house. He charged upstairs and walked to his desk – or more accurately stumbled into his room and tactfully jumped from one small square of space on the floor to the next until making a final leap towards his chair where he heard a large crunch and pain ran through his foot. He dropped into his chair; checking his foot quickly then turning to his desk stared at the pile of books and folders.

- I'm going to fail again. I need all As for University and I have to get in otherwise my whole life is going down the drain… Oh God, please let me get good grades in this coursework, and then on the next one… and of course the exams –

"Need my help?"

Tatsuya swerved round, noticing a boy his age grinning and leaning by the doorway. He stared at him, paralysed with shock for several seconds, trying to figure out who he was and what he was going in his room. Then-

"GET THE HELL OUT OF MY ROOM!! WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!"

Tatsuya attempted to move to the door to escort him out, but looked lost as he wondered where to put his footing. He stared back at the boy.

"Hey, I'm here to help you out." He took a large step forward and closed the door. Then taking a look around the room he added, "You really need to tidy up around here."

Tatsuya was about to speak but the boy held his hand up.

"Let me explain. You've just spent the whole of your life praying and now your prayers are coming true. Isn't that great?"

"What?! What are you talking about? What would you know about me? Get out of my room!!"

"Look. You want to be smart, and I can help you. Don't you want my help?"

Tatsuya faltered a little.

"…Who are you?"

"Let me introduce myself. I am the answer to your prayers, your immortal guardian, your-"

"Look, man, I didn't ask for a thesis, I wanted a name."

"Do you want my help?" He asked, slightly annoyed at having his introduction interrupted. "In one word, or more accurately four, I am an angel."

Tatsuya breathed in deeply and help it for a few seconds.

"Ok, I really think you should leave now. I don't know any numbers for psychiatrists or mental institutions, but when I do find them out, I'll let you know."

"I can prove it to you."

The boy closed his eyes, took a deep breath then…

Nothing happened.

He frowned. That wasn't what was supposed to happen. He looked behind him and there was only the back of his coat. He summoned his book to him, making the room become closer to zero degrees and Tatsuya shivered as the room started to frost over, confused as to why it was suddenly this cold in the beginning of September. The boy, also known as Satsuki, flicked through the pages of the ice book, looking through the laws.

"Death… Life… Prophecy… aha! Prayers." He quickly read through to the bottom of the guidelines and frowned. He did everything as he was told. He looked at the page again and the second time round noticed a star. Going to the end, he read the tiny small print.

All prayers are considered important, yet some are useless and therefore should be discarded immediately. These will be noted with an X on the right hand corner.

Satsuki froze. He checked his note and sure enough there was an X on the right hand corner.

Oh damn…

But wait I should have been found out ages ago which means…

"They're on vacation!!!" Satsuki shouted triumphantly. Tatsuya raised his eyebrows at this outburst and decided to wait patiently for him to leave. Satsuki then flicked several pages back, his eyes scanning for the rules and wondering why his powers were useless.

Rule 1834 B xii: in their first assignment alone, apprentices must cope in this situation without help from their powers to educate them in the values of righteous use of power and not to frighten the mortals down below.

The book disappeared. The room returned to the normal temperature. Satsuki came to several conclusions.

He was not the official Angel of Prayers; therefore this ranked him as an apprentice.

He could also not use any of his powers. Apart from summoning the book and possibly few other things if he found loopholes.

If he was found out he would be in big trouble.

But the others were all on vacation. Although slightly annoyed by the fact he wasn't invited, he decided that they wouldn't find out what he had done and so by the time they returned then he would have sorted everything out and have completed two missions in one go without any use of his powers. Yet, there was still the problem of the mysterious partner.

***

"Say that I actually believe you. How exactly can you help me?" Tatsuya asked as he sat down in the kitchen. They had moved from upstairs to downstairs and even though Tatsuya was still cautious about this boy in front of him, he was willing to try anything that was thrown at him. Even if it meant believing (or pretending to believe) a guy his age claiming to be an Angel of Love who took an assignment off an Angel of Prayers which went wrong because now he can't use his powers but it doesn't matter because everyone went on holiday. Presumably.

So returning to the present, he stared back at this so-called Angel. It was clear he wasn't normal. Anyone with royal blue hair was going to be questioned as being normal. It was styled and layered to perfection, leading him to believe that he was extremely cautious with his looks. His non-sleeved open top revealed a perfect six pack, beating Brad Pitt's and his blue stone wash jeans were old and looked like it was about to tear. His accessories included silver clasps and a necklace with sapphires around them. He didn't know what to think about the over-the-top outfit but decided there were more important things to talk about.

Satsuki paused, took a sip from his coffee, then shrugged.

" I don't know. If I had powers then I could sort something out for you but with nothing here, there's nothing I can do."

- Some Angel you are.

"Anyway," Satsuki continued. "It doesn't matter if you fail your life as you can start all over, but me, if I get caught, there's not telling what might happen. And then I have another assignment where I don't even know who this girl's meant to fall in love with. The systems collapsing I tell you."

"So. You're an Angel of Love. Er, what exactly do you do, shoot a couple of arrows?"

"Are you kidding me?! That is so last season! The latest gear involves a machine gun. Took ages to make it but I tell you it was totally worth it. But I can't do anything with it even if I did have it because I don't know who she's meant to be with! And I can't go back without helping you. How hard can it be to revise anyway?"

"The stuff they set you is really hard. I'd like to see you try and succeed."

"Ask the teachers."

"They are no help."

The two sat in silence thinking over their problems.

"Well, if you help me out with this girl, then I'll help you revise. How about that?"

- You're meant to help me revise without a deal.

But seeing as he had no other option he agreed.

"By the way, I sorted out a place to stay and it's here. I had to make a couple of fake calls but it's all sorted out."

"What?! You can't stay here!"

"Try telling your mum that. So anyway, it's a long shot, but you wouldn't happen to know who Shizuka Matsuoka is would you?"

Tatsuya became wide eyes.

"What? Shizuka.