AN. This is being re-written as Dragons Worse Than Nazis. You should probably read that.

I.

Night.

We were sitting at the bar, some random part of town after patrol. Everybody'd hushed down when we entered (even though we weren't the only ones there), made a real point to not look at us. Reapers. I'm not one of 'em, I wanted to tell them. Not a real one anyway.

"Not black, only gray."

"What?"

What, what, what? What a stupid parrot, this friend of mine.

"No lightning bolts. Don't worry about it."

I wasn't even sure what his name was. I'd only dragged him along because he'd been the only one willing. Seemed willing. To budge from barracks. The rest were a real cagey lot, real jumpy, mostly new guys, mostly just off the boat (metaphorically speaking – if you'll allow me).

"Yo! Over here!" I tried again.

We'd been sitting there for a while; the bartender was ignoring us. Focusing on polishing this glass, talking to this civ in front of him.

A kind of passive Resistance.

"Hey!" I waved.

At that, few of those guys in the corner (Shadows) stirred, and my companion (the kid) coughed nervously.

"Over here! I mean – " I paused, trying to remember. Those lost words.

"Hello?"

That got their attention alright. The shadows stopped talking and looked toward us.

"Hello?" The bartender edged away, if anything. "Can you see us?"

Can you hear me now?

One of 'em detached himself from the shadows, got up and walked over to where we were sitting; and the kid nearly fell out of his seat.

A real one. He looked like a real angel, standing there. With that immaculate uniform.

"Cut it out." He told us sternly.

We were getting a few glares, now that I thought of it. From the civs and the like. Why?

"You're causing a disruption."

Not like they'd do anything.

"Hey," I wasn't sure of the word though, I was really struggling here – "officer." So I think I got it wrong. Not sure what I called him at that.

Maybe that was it (probably not) or maybe my voice was just a little too loud (probably; it has the tendency to lean that way, abrasive) but that's what got the big guy up. You know who. The head, the brains of this whole operation.

"Shut up." the kid hissed at me.

But I was watching. Just my luck.

How all my troubles began.

Even here he had a presence, like even the civs couldn't help knowing who he was. He wove through the tables, parted the crowd like a shark; He came unto us.

Then He was There.

And He said: "What's the problem?"

Archangel just indicated us.

We were definitely the center of attention now, the scene. The types of things I live for.

"You." His eyes slid over our uniforms, us two slugs; sorry, didn't know this was the refined type of joint. "What are you doing here."

I focused on his sleeve. Where those two little runes were.

"I'm working on a cocktail," I told Him. "Sound of thunder, struck by lightning."

He just looked at me. And then away.

"Where are you two from?"

Animal, vegetable, or mineral?

Animal, definitely.

The kid piped up. "We're from – the s-Seventh." Ghost pale. "Sir."

Seventh layer of Hell.

"And what are you doing here?"

"We were just getting a drink, sir."

"Just doing some –" I grinned, "reconnaissance."

Angel Gabriel grabbed me up (to cast me back down).

"Sir."

That wasn't it.

"Do you know who you're talking to?" he growled.

"Me? Of course."

They waited.

"None other than the G – D. Himself."

Don't think He liked that. Just looked at us, stone cold (commit us to memory, most like. Carved in stone. Us two). Fairly young now that I think of it. Stone-colored eyes.

"Your names."

Poor kid; he looked miserable.

"V – Vail. Isaac."

"And you?"

"Pierre."

Gabriel shook me; I thought I was in for it (but no – that would be too unprofessional. We don't get into brawls, nope).

To the kid: "Is he drunk?"

"He never drinks." I declared. Considered – as the world wavered around me, universe trembled upon its axis.

"Only a little."

Angel let me go (typical; they always leave us to fend for ourselves) and I nearly fell.

"It's – " the kid elaborated.

"Reinhard," I clarified, sitting on the floor.

His eyes narrowed. "I see."

And then He was gone. Leaving us in only silence, only wind in the reeds.

Well, empty glasses. On the ground I observed the strange patterns in the tiles, traced the shape of the outline of world (their boots). Looked up as the rest of them (lesser angels) surrounded us (dressed in black, dark angels). Listened to their words as they pulled me up and forced me (us in gray) to go with them.

(Why're you doing this?)

And we walked through the bar, and I looked around at all the civs, staring at us wide-eyed (with what in them?) – and then and only then I noticed it. The piano. A grand, it was empty as we passed it; which I thought was a shame. I mean a waste of potential. What, they couldn't get anyone to play it? It was a nice one, I could tell.

(Night, all nights would've been much better. With music.)

I turned to my companion, the kid.

"Look," I told him, "we're getting an escort."