Title: Constant Rain

Author: Elonrae Arevn

Word Count: 1259

Universe: 'Angels' universe

Warnings: Hints of femslash, some swearing.

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I'm walking down the sidewalk. Rain's falling, but it shouldn't get past my skin to short-circuit my wiring. My hair stays over my one mech eye to be on the safe side, though.

It's a bad part of town-always was, even before the revolution. Now it's gone even more to the dogs than before. Heh, more to the dogs? Not the right term-not even dogs like to live here, but it's where my supplier lives.

Angel dust. Not the drug, stupid-actual angel dust. Ketu gets it for me from his lover cheap-doesn't make me pay too much for it, not like Zarathustra does. Keh, stupid half-angel, acting like everyone's dying to get their hands on dust from his wings. Altair doesn't care who uses his dust, that's why he's more tolerable. Ji Nu needs more dust, it's been helping with her cough. Stupid best friend, making me run everywhere for her. Whadda I look like, a dog?

Ketu's here, usual deal, drop the bag and walk off, I drop the money and grab the bag. No talking necessary, lovely. No transmissions to be picked up on by the police, even better. Nothing's gonna save you if you're picked up by the police with angel dust on you. Stupidest think to do, talk during an angel dust transaction.

Back at the warehouse, usual song and dance with Ji Nu. Thanks, Ciara, I'm sorry to put you through all this trouble. I'll pay you back when I get well, I promise. All the while smiling the stupid smile of hers. Stupid friend.

Gwen's waiting to talk. Dunno why. Stupid rich girl, wanting to know what 'the common people' live like. Same you do, just without the fancy trappings. We eat, we sleep, we breathe. Same basic shit. I sign off without exchanging a word. Let her talk to Ji Nu if she wants, I'm off again.

Rain still falling. Kyoko's on the street corner, singing in that weird foreign language of hers. Nod and walk on by. No one's around otherwise, wonder why she's still singing. Not like the rats are gonna give her money.

Few streets down, we're into Red Light District. Albiona's out working tonight, I note disinterestedly. Third night in a row. Funny place, Blanche's-all the girls have white hair, dyed or natural. Work names are all white names, too.

Turn the corner and there's Abda's. Opposite of Blanche's-everything's black. Ciarán's working tonight. She's a looker-top girl at Abda's.

Past the Red Light District now. Blue Light instead-cloth merchants. Nice how the angels laid out the city, all the cloth here, all the gold here, all the whores here. Nice and neat and tidy.

Into Gold Light, here. You've gotta be careful here-richer district now, all the gold's centered here. No clue why it's right next to Blue Light, but it's damned inconvenient when you're trying to get to Green Light and Gold Light's right in your way. I'd be tempted to snag a piece, but the alarm would go off and I'd be caught right away, and with this eye, it'd be a while 'fore I'd be out again.

Damn, it's still raining.

Into Green Light-finally. Nothing to do here, really, but it sure as hell beats sitting on my ass back at the warehouse. I slouch against a wall for a minute, hands dangling at my sides, sweatshirt sleeves hanging past my fingertips, watching the world go by-or at least the shoppers. Green Light's plant district, right at the edge of the city. More goddamn life in this section than in the rest of the whole fucking city.

Someone's wallet drops a few meters ahead of me. I dart out to get to it first. Jackpot-enough to last a week with three meals per day. Tuck it into one of the pockets in my cargo pants inconspicuously, keep on walking, nice and natural. Works like a charm.

Arinna's around somewhere. I'd like to run into her, but I'll live if I don't. It's not like she's my sole reason for living or anything. Not like Eliava was for Ji Nu. I'd hate to have that kind of pressure placed on me, or to me the cause of that pressure. To be the only thing keeping someone from just picking up a gun-or on the other end of the stick. To only have one stupid human life keeping me sane. I'd crack under the pressure.

Well, speak of the devil. There she is now, in all her green-and-gray glory. Brown hair, darkened by the tears the sky cries, tumbling over one shoulder, spilling across water-soaked green cotton, gray eyes glowing contentedly. According to Liluye, she's my Éše'he-my sun. Or one lover, she said both. 'Course, Liluye's drunk or stoned most of the time anyways, so you can't take what she says as anything necessarily relating to the real world. It could be she's looking at you and talking to you but not hearing a word you're saying.

Arinna's turned, but she hasn't seen me yet. Still up to me if I talk to her or just watch, but I know what choice I'll make already.

She's turned again, this time with her back to me. I walk up behind her and wrap my arms around her waist, burying my face against her neck.

This is becoming a bad habit, one that neither of us can help-or want to help.

Another five minutes with her, a stolen kiss, and we separate for the night again. Both of us know I'll be back to see her again tomorrow. My life's nothing but routines, piled layer upon layer to create patterns that dance around each other.

And it's still raining!

I stand for God knows how long, watching Arinna continue on down the street. I'll be damned if I don't want to run after her and throw my arms around her and never let go, but it won't happen. Not today, at any rate.

Turn around, my one normal eye surveying the crowd. Blonde hair sticking damply to my neck, tickling my shoulders. Head back the way I came, through Green Light, to Gold Light, to Blue Light, back through Red Light, and into Gray Light. Kyoko's still singing on the corner, just the way she was when I left. Just the way she always is. And when I get back inside the warehouse, Ji Nu will be smiling gently in welcome, just like she always does. She'll tell me about her day, in that soft geisha-trained voice of hers, as we get ready to try to sleep with the rain thundering down on the roof, with that stray cat of hers, Kiku, curled up on her stomach for the extra warmth. She'll try to prod some conversation out of me, and it won't work, as usual.

She'll cry herself to sleep over the loss of her lover, as usual.

Here we're all made up of failed dreams-dreams of making it out of the Gray Light District, out of this drug and despair riddled existence, of climbing out into a lighter world. We run on dead and dying dreams, dreams and drugs. That's all we have to cling to. And sometimes, it's not enough.

Oh god, I hope with all my heart Arinna doesn't get sucked into my existence. She's the last bright thing there is, and I don't want that to leave. I learned from other people's experience and my own, being in the dark is no fun, because you're always in the dark alone.

And still it rains.