Epilogue

With another lurch, Lind's vision returned…and he found himself falling four feet vertically on his face, thankfully to grass. Izzy smirked. "That was fun. Sort of a reverse roller coaster." Lind got up, and quietly noted that he was able to do so without his usual lightheadedness. The trio had arrived on a small park at the opposite edge of campus. "What the heck was that?" The six-winged angel smiled. "A teleportation spell, naturally." "Naturally."

Izzy stared at the majestically good-looking six-winged woman that stood next to her. "I'm going to take a bit of a leap here and assume you're an angel? And judging by the appearance, you're either an aspect of Lind, Lind's an aspect of you, or you were…possessing him?" The woman calmly nodded. "The last, actually. My name is Ariel." She held out her pale hand. Izzy shook it. "Izzy Connelly." "I know." Lind gritted his teeth at the last statement.

Ross, who was still holding on to his rectangular wire frames, quickly placed them over his eyes. The long silver hair, jacket, pants, boots, and even the gloves quickly dissolved, leaving Lind in his previous clothing: he was still devoid of a shirt. It was still rather wintry outside. "Stupid wings. That's the second time I've lost clothing to them. Izzy, I hate to ask this, but do you have anything I could borrow? It's kinda cold out here." Izzy grinned weakly. "My bag is sorta…back in the Cafeteria." Ariel nodded. "That's not much of a problem. Lind, did you bring anything?" "I left my backpack in my car, if that's what you're asking."

The angel snapped her fingers, and the two bags materialized in mid-air, lingering momentarily before gravity caught up with them. Lind resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "You didn't actually have to snap your fingers, did you?" "Nope." Izzy dug through her pack and retrieved a jacket. It was an odd combination of windbreaker nylon and cloth—horizontal bars of white on a pink background. Lind examined it briefly. "I'm not even going to complain today." Izzy handed it to him. He quickly donned it, and zipped it up to the collar, placing the Durandal's scabbard over the pink and white jacket. Izzy chuckled. "You know, I figured if I could wear your pants…that it might work the other way around. I guess you're just that girly even with the glasses." Lind gave Izzy his best Izzy-style death glare.

Ariel walked between the two. "Oh, and about those wings of yours…" She held up her right palm and pressed it against Lind's forehead. It felt like a mentholated branding iron, because, in a sense, it was. "Egh…" The angel stood back and admired her work. From her bag, Izzy removed a compact (which, oddly enough, was something that Lind had never seen her carry or use) and opened the mirror. There was an additional bright blue symbol on his face, perfectly in the middle of his forehead. It consisted of the same opposed wing or featherlike crescents as on Ariel's face, though Lind's symbols were subtly connected by a small circle. Lind put his hand over his face, and the new symbols slowly appeared on the top of his right palm. "That's a wing binding sigil. Whenever you take your glasses off, you can now consciously determine whether or not to suppress your wings or even your armor. Quite handy, if I do say so." Lind was distracted by the fact that the odd sense of distance had not disappeared with either the glasses or the new spiritual tattoo. "Hey, Ariel? Even with this thing and my glasses, why do I still have this weird sense of…detachment?"

"Oh, that's simple. You're not human anymore." Ariel's wings and armor faded, revealing a heavy t-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and tennis shoes. Except for the odd symbols on her face, she looked entirely human. As mildly androgynous as Lind was with his glasses, but still human. She had placed a pair of glasses over her face—ones with familiar looking rounded rectangular wire frames. Izzy grinned. Lind shook his head. "I'm not even going to ask. Actually…I am going to ask. I have a lot of questions, and since you're the only heavenly agent I know of…and because you said that you would, I'd like my explanations. Plural." The angel nodded. "How about over lunch? I've always wanted to try eating." Izzy poked the back of Lind's loaner pink jacket. "Have you been to Watson Sandwiches?" The once-again near-blond youth thought momentarily. "Not for a while." "Good. You're buying, then." Lind opened his mouth to say something, and whether he thought better of it or simply decided he was too tired to make an effort of it, Lind shrugged, closed his mouth, picked up his backpack, and began walking to the nearby sidewalk.

Watson Sandwiches was one of those local eateries that thrived on its location—just outside campus. The sub shop was littered with small signs featuring half-serious slogans and ironic half-statements, not the least of which was the pun "Watson Sandwiches?". The sense of humor, location, and general quality of food allowed the entrepreneurship to have a chance against the various national chains nearby. Lind was simultaneously reading one of the diagonally aligned placards, checking his watch, (it just before three) and holding the door open for a man slightly older than him, carrying a folded apron. The trio entered and was met by a personable man who was on the border between twenty-something and thirty-something.

"I'd like to apologize in advance if your orders take a while. Geoff just left, which means I'll have to hold my own for the next hour until the early-dinner shift starts." Izzy nodded. The man behind the counter tilted his head and raised an eyebrow momentarily at the odd facial markings on two of his customers before looking Izzy in the eye. "So, what sounds good?" The employee took another glance at Lind. "Is…that a sword on your back?" "Probably." The man swallowed. "Well, sir, there's a…sign on the door, we don't…" Ariel had walked up to the counter, and placed her hands down on it, leaning forward and giving a very, very disconcerting, but silent stare. "Never mind. What can I get you three?" Lind had a very good idea what had happened to the street preacher.

Izzy, being Izzy, ordered a turkey sub with a slightly bewildering amount of fixings and condiments, along with a hot chocolate. Lind got the same beverage, and an almost-plain turkey sandwich. The other angel, however, took a good three minutes being verbosely excited by the options available to her before settling on a beef sub with a compromise of add-ons. Lind dug out his wallet and paid the man, who according to his nametag was named "Josh". Lind pressed his glasses against his face. "And by the way…Josh…if our conversation sounds freakishly weird, feel free to ignore it. I've just been a weirdness magnet for the past few months, today especially. I would also appreciate it if you didn't make any drastic assumptions based on my clothing, companions, or conversation." Josh slowly nodded. "Okay…"

Lind dropped his sword scabbard and bag at a table and unzipped it, removing a small leather-bound volume. He flipped it to a point a fifth through marked by a single violet ribbon. After digging in the front pocket, he removed an ink pen and began writing feverishly. Ariel turned her head, her golden locks slightly bunching. "What are you doing?" "Writing. Don't interrupt, please."

Despite the employee's warning, the sandwiches were ready surprisingly fast. Izzy found the table after looking around the corner to the other part of the L-shaped seating area. They were the only customers in the establishment, and except for a mounted TV in one corner playing a re-run of Jeopardy!, the room was fairly quiet.

Lind wafted his hot cocoa, decided it was still scalding, and looked at the newest member of the group. "Okay…Ariel…mind if I have my explanations now?" "Oh? Sure. Ask away. You might want to put the book away, though. You'll have plenty time of time later." "I think I'll leave it out, thanks." Ariel gave her intense yet holy stare. "I doubt you'd be able to keep up, and I don't want to stop too much or slow down. Sorry, but that's just the sort of person I am. I'm rather…impulsive sometimes." Lind sighed, closed the pen in his journal, and placed it next to the Durandal's cross-guard.

"What am I?" "Now, or beforehand?" "Both. All." Ariel took a deep breath. "Well, Lind, you are currently a mortal angel." Izzy looked up from her chocolate. "Mortal angel?" Ariel nodded. "Essentially, you're an angel stuck both in a mortal form and here on Earth until you die, at which point, you'll just be an angel. Other than that, you've got most all the abilities, perks, and privileges that come with the package."

Ariel took a short break for taste-tasting her food, and then continued. "Basically, it's not a matter of you, but more your soul." Lind nodded pensively. "So, my soul's the reincarnation of an angel or something?" The seraph removed a large chunk of her sandwich. "Or something. It's nothing that complicated, really. You were just born with a twin soul. Part of you was born angel, and part of you was human. As you got older, and as I'm sure you noticed, if you used your powers, it slowly caused the two to merge. It's not karmic remnants of a previous angel or anything…just a quirk of the universe."

Izzy blinked. "A quirk?" Ariel nodded. "This is pretty good…yeah; people born with the souls of angels are just a side-effect of the way the Boss made the universe. It's rare, mind you. Come to think of it…really rare." Lind practiced staying calm and not blinking, having more success at the first than the second. "Okay. So how rare?" Ariel eye's fluttered momentarily. "Let's see…if my memory serves me—you've have to excuse me, I'm a seraph, not a power, so knowledge retention isn't exactly my thing—it's only happened once before, to a woman in Judea a few thousand years back." "And what happened to her?" Ariel smiled weakly at Izzy before plainly answering her question. "She was killed by demons on her seventeenth birthday." Lind blinked. Izzy blinked and tried to not fall out of her chair.

"Well, if you think about it, had you died, Lind, before you finished transforming all the way, you would have simply died a human, but now, killing you would literally make you stronger, since it would just rid you of the restrictions of being a human." "Okay…" "So, now, hell should pretty much leave you alone—they'd only be making things worse for them if they killed you. Speaking of which, that's where I came in. The Boss has been very non-interventionist in most things as of late, seeing as he's a fan of free will and all, and well, omnipotent middle knowledge comes in handy. But in this case, He assigned you a bodyguard…me. Your abilities started in about thirteen years ago, I think." "When I was six, yes. That's when these things," Lind pointed at his hands and face, "appeared. What are they exactly?"

"I'll get to them in a minute. Anyways, the day I showed up, a good forty greater demons of Foraii's class decided to arrive and attempt to kill you off. If there's one thing to understand about angels and demons, it's that we have the quality, they have the quantity. I took them on single-handedly, and well, it almost destroyed me. Don't get me wrong, killing a seraph is almost impossible, but they came very close. So, I was weak enough that I could only manifest a simpler physical form, and then I got this seemingly great idea." Lind sighed. "Let me guess…the form was the young girl at the playground, and the clever idea was to co-opt my body?" "In a manner of speaking. I figured if I temporarily merged with you, I could leech off your abilities, which would have added bonus of not only regenerating me a bit faster, but thus suppressing your abilities for the time being. Of course, you had to unknowingly mess that up."

Lind finished off his beverage. Alex Trebek was congratulating last month's winner. "Of course. What did I unknowingly do?" Ariel smiled and tapped her glasses. "Well, I didn't know you had a pair of angelic sealing glasses in your closet. I'm sure you've figured out how they work, since they're actually pretty simple. Anyways, those suppressed me as well, and your own powers tended to keep me buried except in short spurts. I'm also afraid that whenever I did manage to overpower the glasses' suppression, that some of my power might have inadvertently bled off and sped your transformation." Lind nodded. "That would be curse number two." "Curse?" Izzy intervened. "Lind was rather annoyed at his talents and apparently your intervention, so he considered them 'holy' curses." Lind got up and got another cup with ice water.

Ariel took a moment to process it, and began laughing before it changed to a grin. "That's…that's certainly a new way to put it. I suppose though, knowing Lindsay, it fits him perfectly, doesn't it?" "You don't have to refer to me in third person when I'm ten feet away." "Yep. Wait…why did you say knowing Lind?" Ariel's smile increased further. "Well…despite having my soul shoved in a dusty corner, I was able to continually eavesdrop on his consciousness. Just for safety's sake." Lind took that opportune moment to (accidentally) choke on his water and fall backwards in his chair, hitting the floor a split second later. His two companions laughed.

Lind regained his bearings, rolled to the side, righted himself and his chair, and gave a droll grin to the higher-ranking angel. "Well, then, I guess my mild paranoia my entire life was justified. I guess you're not really paranoid if they actually are watching you." The seraph smiled. "That's the spirit."

"You said something about a wing binding sigil…what the frick are these things on my face and hands?" Ariel grinned. "Angelic markings. They're the sort of thing that are just a bit too powerful to be suppressed by sealing glasses. Can I see your hands?" Lind extended his arm. Ariel grasped his wrist and examined it. "Huh…I'll be…the sigils of spiritual warfare. You are special." Izzy turned her head. "Spiritual warfare?" Ariel gave a quick nod. "Yep. A rather rare type of angelic sigil. When active, they allow one to engage in spiritual warfare simply by touch…that is, you can exorcise any demon through just touch and damage and destroy them in the process, depending on rank of course." Ariel paused, her eyes flickering. "Oh, that's right, you have used them before, haven't you, Lind? That's all there is to it, really. My markings aren't anything special."

"So, what about my sword? You said it's the Durandal, right? What exactly is a Durandal?" Ariel's shoulders slumped. "You've never heard of the Durandal?" Izzy and Lind shook their heads. "Kids these days…well…it's most famous as the unbreakable sword of Roland, from the epic of the same name. Supposedly, he used it against Saracens to defend Charlemagne, but really, it was just a bunch of also-Christian Basques that were feeling snarky and they jumped him when Charlemagne left him. Yep, the Durandal…the Durandal cuts through just about anything—heathens...demons...mountainsides..." Lind blinked. "Mountainsides?" "Mountainsides. It's actually Gabriel's sword, though. It had been loaned to Roland, and it was still hanging out in Rocamadour. I couldn't leave you, but I talked with Gabriel, and she's essentially giving you the Durandal on 'permanent loan'."

Izzy crunched her eyebrows together. "Wait, did you just use 'she' to refer to Gabriel the archangel?" "Yes. To the extent that gender applies, Gabe is female. It's a female name." "But I thought that Gabriel was a male archangel." "Originally, it was written down correctly, but somewhere along the lines, somebody screwed up and so humanity thinks of her as male. And if you ask her, she finds it very amusing. Yep, good old Gabe. The Boss's favorite page girl. Whenever He needs some official announcement, Gabe's the first with her hand up. Apparently, it annoys some of her fellows, since some of the lesser angels can rarely get jobs. But then again, I should be singing 24/7, so I can't really complain."

"Singing?" Lind looked at her. "Are all angels as perky as you?" "I should hope not. Take a look at say Metatron: he just sings, catches up on reading, and studies magic. Or, actually, a better example might be Azrael. He's a nice fellow, sure, but he's a workaholic of an archangel. He's never once taken a vacation in the history of time, though he has rarely taken the occasional day off, but then only on off-days when his subordinates have empty schedules. And even then, he just works in another department for the day; he just isn't capable of resting. Isn't that what the Sabbath is for?" Izzy raised her hand slightly. "Who exactly is Azrael?" "Oh, Az is the archangel who's in charge of the Angels of Death." Lind nodded. "Let me guess…white hair, grey robes, black wings, and a no-nonsense look on his face." Ariel grinned, the red slash-like symbols on her face not moving in the slightest. "Yep! That's him. Oh, that's right…he reaped one of your teachers, didn't he? Poor guy had some crazy medical conditions, right?"

The pair stayed in silence for a while before Lind broke it. "So…you mentioned seraphs and archangels and all that. Explain." Ariel shrugged. "Well, there's a hierarchy of angels, naturally. I'm a seraph. Seraphs are at the very top—we're angels of fire and light with six wings, tasked with carrying the Boss's throne, leading the choir, and that sort of thing. We're also supposed to be the highest-ranking members of the Boss's Army, though not many seraphs do that sort of thing. I sure do…after all…you can only sing the trisagion so many trillion times before it starts getting old." Izzy waxed off her sandwich. "Trisagion?" Ariel nodded. "Oh, you know…Sanctus Sanctus Sanctus or holy holy holy…that sort of thing. I normally work with Nathanael and Seraphiel. Nate, he's pretty cool, and Sera's a decent gal. I'm also good friends with Gabe—she's a hoot—and Raphael."

"Below the seraphim you have cherubim. Not chubby babies, but angels of light. Not much to mention to about them, except that ol' Lucifer was sort of a weird seraph/cherub hybrid. He had a serious attitude problem. And since angels have free will—we can do anything, but we're still accountable like any other beings—he vamoosed and went evil. After that, you have dominions, virtues, principalities, rulers, authorities, powers, and thrones, in that order. They're bureaucracy and middle-management." Lind cocked an eyebrow. "Bureaucracy?" "Bureaucracy. Even heaven has its red tape. Of course, we're a few thousand times more efficient that humanity can dream of, but it's still bureaucracy. Take dominions for instance: middle management. They just delegate duties. That whole group is clustered together. Next, you have your archangels, of which there are a lot more than seven, and your standard angels. They're the messengers, soldiers, and general do-gooders, and thus hang around earth more than the rest. For example, if you hear about 'guardian angels', it's most likely it's just a standard angel."

Lind nodded. "So, you said I'm an archangel. How come?" Ariel shrugged. "Well, your predecessor was going to be one, and your wings have the classic archangel shape, so it's a good assumption." Lind sighed briefly. "Well, then, what about that Asmodeus and what was it…Foraii?" Ariel finished off her sandwich, savoring it momentarily before responding. "Ah, the Qliphoth. Lucifer kinda declared himself emperor of nasty things, so naturally, he has nine kings under him…ten, depending on how you look at it. As for Asmodeus, he's one of kings, though I'm still not sure why he personally was sent after you. He's got that huge sword, sure, but he sucks at combat. He's a bit of a fruit, actually. Gambling is more in-line with him." "Thus explaining the poker cards and the fact that he looked like part of the B Team." Ariel chuckled. "Yep. Now, Foraii was his second-in-command, much better at combat, but he's now permanently toast, courtesy of you." "And the smoke wraiths?" Ariel frowned. "Wraiths? Smoke…oh! Those are technically 'telane'; they're a type of shade. But 'smoke wraith' is a pretty good translation."

"So, anyone else in heaven or hell play cards?" Ariel grinned. "Well, now that you mention it, yes. The Son does have quite the knack for contract bridge." Lind coughed. "You're telling me that Jesus Christ plays a trick-taking four-player card game?" Ariel nodded. "Yeah, and he's good at it. Scary good." Izzy looked more than confused. "Okay, what about the whole saving of souls thing?" Ariel shrugged. "What about it? He's an aspect of the Boss; he can bring salvation, answer prayers, and play a weekend game of cards at the same time, no problems. Seriously, though, you should have seen Him when humanity invented whist. It sort of went downhill, or possibly uphill, from there. Yeah…now the Son asked his Dad if he can play in a bridge tournament during the Second Coming." Lind nodded in minor disbelief. "So…end of the world…when's that?" "Not for quite a while." "Works for me."

Lindsay got up to get the group refills of hot cocoa and ice water for himself. "So, then, what am I?" "Well, Miss Connelly, don't let this go to your head, but you're a prophet." Lind smirked from across the room. "I knew it!" "How can I be a prophet?" "Oh, don't get me wrong. You're not the questing, preaching kind…more of the clairvoyant well-wisher type." Izzy gave a weak smile. "Okay…" She indulged herself on the second cup of hot chocolate. "Mmm…You can speak Babel, right?" "I think so. Just not intentionally." Lind looked at Ariel. "I am missing something? You mean to tell me that the language Izzy speaks while in a trance is the original language of humanity?" " In a nutshell, yes. " Lind covered his ears. "Ow…that still doesn't sound right. So…"

A loud clattering sound from behind the counter derailed Lind's train of thought. He turned to see Josh picking up a few steel pans, eyes glued to the TV set in the corner. Lind's eyes tracked the distance and stared at the black box in the corner of the room. Over the slight buzz of the set was the actual sound. What should have been another afternoon game show or niche entertainment show was instead the local news desk with an obnoxious "special report" logo in the upper corner.

"So…what?" Lind gestured mildly at Ariel, and pointed at the TV. "…happened on the campus of UVM here in Burlington." The shot of the anchorwoman was replaced by that of a map zooming in, a labeled peg appearing at the appropriate position. "What was previously thought to be a terrorist-hostage standoff at one of the campus's dining halls is turning out to be more much unexplainable. Though the situation has ended safely, authorities are still unsure of what exactly happened. We go now to our reporter in the field, Robert Johnson. Rob?" Lind continued blinking, before quietly adding, "no good can come of this."

The thirty-something man in a sports coat and tie started his spiel, standing outside of a certain entrance that was curiously enough, missing a door. "That's right, Tammy. What was originally we thought to be some sort of terrorist attack, possibly a follow-up to the events of last year, is now turning out to be much more supernatural. He's what we do know: just after noon, around two hundred students and employees were somehow held captive by a…thing that some are calling a monster, or even going so far as to call it a demon. A student armed with what is described as a medieval broadsword somehow removed this door behind me, allowing most of the hostages to escape. The student then confronted this monster before disappearing." Tammy's voice was overlaid onto the image. "Disappearing?" The reporter nodded vigorously. "Oh, and we have with us Sergeant Downey from the Burlington Police Department. What can you tell us about this incident?" The camera panned over to police officer in full olive drab armor and tactical gear, an absolute rarity for the city. "Well, the situation was defused by the time we arrived. We never saw the suspect, or the supposed benefactors, so all we have to go by are some rather strange personal accounts."

The news program shifted back to the studio. Josh, Lind, Izzy, and Ariel's collective gaze was affixed at the box. "We have just received some amateur footage from one of the captives, shot on his handheld video camera. We're converting it to a type we can show, but in the meantime, we do have a bit more information on this breaking story. Apparently, this creature was described as over ten feet tall, bipedal, and roughly human-shaped. It had taken two hostages but had taken no other actions. Shortly after the door was destroyed, two people described as having…wings were attacked by this creature. The monster was somehow killed, and both it and the supposed 'angels' disappeared from sight. Wait…we should have the footage right about…now."

Much to Lind's displeasure, someone had indeed had a camcorder with them. Though the sound was spotty, it was apparently one of those new model handheld cameras with image stabilization. The user apparently also had knowledge of the zoom feature. From a position somewhat near the front of the crowd, one could clearly see Lind's glasses rocketing off his face, followed by the brief transformation. Even the separation of Ariel from Lind was outlined clearly, her form appearing insubstantial before clarifying. Lind's involuntary clothing upgrade blinded the camera's lens, and by the time it adjusted, the flash of light was over. The camera user had briefly outlined the fight before reaching maximum zoom while pointing at the two victims on the far wall, the image just barely shaking.

The man behind the counter let out a low, painful wail. Lind glanced away from the box, watching the now terrified and anguished expression forming on the Josh's face. He glanced briefly at the TV, and after deciding he knew the plot, he continued watching the sandwich shop employee. A few minutes later, Josh's eyes widened, and he gave a sigh only slightly larger than the total capacity of both his lungs. Lind heard the momentary drop in high-frequency pitch that indicated a scene change on the TV.

The news special cut back to the reporter and policeman. "Incredible…it's like something out of the New Testament, played out right here. So, sergeant, if you find these two 'angels', what is your department planning on doing?" The bulkily equipped man shrugged. "Nothing at this point. If this truly is a supernatural or miraculous event, then I seriously doubt we're going to find them. Even if we do, they performed a vigilante action and healed out the only victims of this incident. The campus police may want them for weapons violations, but if possible, my department will be giving them unofficial pardons."

Connelly and Ross's pulse rates quickly dropped as the news once again cut back to the newswoman. "We have just received reports that the student with the sword has been identified as Lindsay Ross, a freshman student at the university. It is unknown but highly suspected that she's also one of the 'angels' seen in the footage." Lind burst up from his seat. "What is it with people and assuming that I'm female just from my name!?" Sense quickly trickled back into the young man's head. "Crud." Josh was staring at his unusual customer, followed by glancing at the TV, and then back at Lind.

Josh walked from behind the counter and towards Lind, who was still standing next to his wooden chair. "So, that was you, I think?" Lind's stomach instantly contorted. He looked up at the man, whose several inches of height difference seemed to be exaggerated. Lind lowered his head, and out of glum lips came the word "yeah". Instead of the expected verbal or physical abuse, Lind was met with a paralyzing hug. "Thanks. Thanks…" Lind twitched uncontrollably. Finally, Josh let go of him, choking back mild tears, before he held out his hand. "Joshua Watson, founder of Watson Sandwiches." Lind meekly nodded and shook the hand. "That…that girl you saved, the one with the short, dark brown hair…" "Yes…?" "Joyce is my kid sister. I don't how to put it, but thanks." Izzy's eyes widened and she muttered something about the girl being half her brother's age. Thankfully, Lind missed it and Josh, still choked up, ignored it.

"Well, Ross, was it? I think you just earned yourself free sandwiches for life. It sounds crazy, I guess, but…you saved my sister's life. It's not really a fair trade, but…it's what I have." Lind continued blinking. "Okay…sure."

The tension defused, Lind's now tired eyes went back to the TV. "…have received word from our parent network in New York. This breaking story will be featured as their top story on the national news at 6:30, with the two other networks expected to at least have it listed as a major story." Lind's legs collapsed from under him. Izzy dived after him.

Once the blood returned to Lind's head, he sat up. "God…" Ariel grinned. "He's listening." Izzy held out a hand and yanked Lind to his feet, where he was still a little bit shaky. "What kind of sandwiches will you be wanting?" Lind looked at Josh Watson. "Pardon?" "Well, I figure you might want to get home before every Geraldo and news network within a few hundred miles converges on your doorstep. It sounds like you're becoming a media circus. You might want some food before you're barricaded in your own home."

Lind found a chair and sat down while Izzy took care of the necessary requisitioning. "Jeez…having that weird feeling that deep down you're not human is one thing, but to have something like this…all I would have wanted was a simple thank you." Ariel pulled up her chair and patted him on the shoulder. "Not to worry. All things are possible through the Boss, ya' know. That and I'll be sticking around for the next few hundred years to help you out."

A good ten minutes later, Lind was handed two large handled paper bags filled with a multitude of breaded rations. Josh glanced at the woman with long hair and the strange red tattoos. "You're that other angel, aren't you?" She grinned. "Yep. I am called Ariel. I'm here for on-the-job training, so to speak." Josh slowly nodded. "Nice to know the Man Upstairs still decides to visit. Take of care of that boy." "Of course." Izzy was first out the door, followed by Ariel who held it open. Josh tapped Lind on the shoulder before whispering into his ear. "Oh, and, take care of your girlfriend, you hear?" Lind was exhausted to the point where most of the request flew through his head. "Girl…?" Josh gently shoved him out the door with a smile. The first employee of the evening shift glanced briefly at the departing trio before she entered the store.

Lind, despite his packages, quickly passed his companions in the walk to the parking lot in question. "Well, Shan is going to freak when we get home. Actually, scratch that…she's probably got the whole story and she's probably done freaking out by now." Ariel poked Izzy in the shoulder. "So, are you and Lind…" Ariel trailed off into a whisper before she broke out into laughter. Izzy turned a shade of scarlet not unlike the red of Ariel's sigils. She adjusted her glasses, and took them off for cleaning. She glanced at Ariel. Behind her back were her six wings, semi-transparent in a manner that suggested that the angel's glasses were not totally effective, though Izzy doubted that other people could see the appendages. She then glanced at Lind, who had the same effect going for him.

"Hey, Ariel, you said Lind's an archangel, right? You know, he hasn't taken singing lessons." Ariel blinked. "Okay…that's an odd thing to bring up." Ariel took off her rounded-rectangle frames. Her eyes went to their deep silver and her hair went from golden blonde to an almost metallic gold, but otherwise she stayed perfectly the same. She glanced at Lind. Behind his back, his invisible blue-to-white wings stood folded. They seemed slightly different, and the angel noticed they were wedge-shaped creases at the horizontal extremes. Each wing seemed as if slowly splitting into three. "Holy…" Ariel grinned wildly before laughing. The two girls replaced their glasses.

Lind turned and began walking backwards. "What was that about?" Izzy smiled innocently. "Nothing." "I highly doubt that. I think it's something that you're simply refusing to mention." Izzy went into a cat-like grin. "You're quite right." Lind set the bags down and unlocked the driver's side door of his car. "Let's get home. I don't even want to think about Monday." Izzy smiled. "There's always Scrabble."