Sakaki meets an old acquaintance. Drama, I-3

He was, Keigo reflected, getting better at spotting the angels. It was something
in the way they held themselves, apart from any mortal excitement around
them. At a place as excited as the courts hosting Nationals, they stood out.
The one that seemed to have caught Kantoku’s attention today, though, was
a bit different from the usual run.

For one thing, he wasn’t making Kantoku’s shoulders fall in the especially
straight line that meant their coach didn’t get along with him. That was
unprecedented, to date.

For another, he looked different. Tall and solid and dark, instead of slim
and fair. All of this made Keigo curious, so when their coach turned aside
toward the new angel, Keigo waved the rest of the team on and followed. Sakaki-san
didn’t send him back, and that was as good as permission. Still, Keigo decided
it would be tactful to stay unobtrusive. He picked one of the trees lining
the walk to lean against while he watched.

Sakaki-san stopped arm’s length away from the, really, very tall angel and
bowed, expressionless. "Uriel-sama."

Keigo blinked. He’d never heard Sakaki-san offer that kind of respect to anyone.

"Israfel," Uriel said, softly. "It’s good to see you again."

Sakaki-san gave him an extremely level look, the kind of look he gave a Regular
who had just lost inexcusably. It didn’t exactly match with the way he’d
greeted this angel, and Keigo started a mental list of questions to ask his
mentor later; he could usually get answers if he picked the right time. Uriel,
though didn’t seem too taken aback by the expression, and only sighed.

"Arariel had a few things to say to me about my absence, and those injured
by it. She mentioned you."

Sakaki-san sniffed. "Did she mention herself? I won’t say I was pleased
to have the majority of my power sealed, but it was better to come to Assiah
and work than to stay in Heaven and deal with the likes of Sevothtarte."
There was little variation in his deep, even voice, but Keigo watched his
eyes and they were narrower than usual. "Humans and angels should not
be apart. We were created for each other. I had, at least, the satisfaction
of saying so to those who had forgotten their purpose."

Uriel moved a step closer, looking down at Sakaki-san soberly. "You have
a right to your anger with them; and with me as well. But you don’t regret
your exile, then?"

Sakaki lifted one brow. "I occasionally regretted the company; I was initially
directed to Aziraphale while I acquainted myself with the mortal world. But
no. I have not regretted my time here."

Uriel turned his eyes on Keigo, and Keigo was startled at how close he came
to drowning in them. Dark eyes that didn’t challenge the way Raphael’s or
Michael’s did, or mock the way Mad Hatter’s did. Perhaps he didn’t have to
ask why Sakaki-san respected this stern, quiet person.

"From the binding between you and this young man, it seems you’re thinking
of returning soon?" Uriel asked, not looking away from Keigo.

"I am."

Keigo didn’t have to be looking to tell that Sakaki-san had slow, hot fire
behind his eyes now. It was the way he got when something he wanted was in

Uriel seemed to hear it too, or heard something that made his lips quirk. "Well,
then." He turned back to Sakaki-san. "It won’t do for you to return
with less than all your power." He spread one long hand against Sakaki-san’s
chest, and wings unfolded behind him, the color of last year’s leaves. Keigo
found his fingers itching to run though that rich darkness; bad manners,
he reminded himself.

Sakaki-san’s eyes widened and his breath stopped as something crackled around
him, something Keigo thought he might have seen had he looked just from the
corner of his eye. When Sakaki-san’s wings spread in answer, Keigo saw the
something far more clearly. It wrapped around the angel who had taught him
music and tennis and excellence, like heat haze that had coaxed a rainbow
down to play with it.

"If you return to our order," Uriel said, as Keigo blinked away formless
after images, "return as yourself, Israfel." He folded his wings
and nodded a farewell that encompassed Keigo.

"Uriel-sama," Sakaki-san called. When Uriel paused and looked back,
he bowed deeply. "Thank you."

Uriel smiled.

"So," Keigo mused as he followed his coach back toward their team,
"you aren’t actually a Principality."

"Not any more."

Keigo didn’t think it was his imagination that Kantoku sounded smug.

"What is your Order, then?" he asked, when it was clear the answer
wasn’t going to be volunteered.

"The Dominions."

Keigo recalled what his research had had to say about this, and smiled. "Those
who judge and order. I suppose I might have guessed."

Kantoku slanted a glance at him. "You have something to say, Atobe-kun?"

"Not at all," Keigo replied, airily.

The future, he decided, was looking better all the time.