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Dark Paradise

Book By: karinamorelle
Young adult



Helena Nightshade is the best Sicarius - or Demon Hunter - of the Unity. Or, was since she left over two years ago. But, now they're back and on the hunt for her. With everything going on, she meets Karma, Sophia, and Tsuna - three people who she's been searching for a long time. Together, they flee and plan out how to smooth things out with the Unity. But, there are secrets that Helena has kept from them that could potentially ruin them.


Submitted:Dec 28, 2013    Reads: 7    Comments: 0    Likes: 1   


** Author's Note: Thanks to my wonderful collaborators, Deanna, Connor and Cynthia for bringing inspiration and bringing this book alive. I can't believe that it all started while making friendship bracelets in Home Ec. **

Key: *** = Flashbacks/Present Day

Sicarii are Assassins (Demon Slayers), as well as Sicarius. A common insult is Cloud Chaser.

Helena also speaks French. Matt also speaks Italian. Tsuna and Sophia speak all languages. Karma also speaks Czech. All know Latin.

CHAPTER ONE

Helena opened the tent flap, taking a deep breath full of sea salt. Coughing once, she smiled and turned to face the beach. The tent was set up for the next few days since they had been traveling extensively. It was only a quick three day break, but it should be enough time to get rest and continue down the coast before they were caught.

Taking a few steps in the direction of the ocean, Karma popped into Helena's head for a brief moment. Their bond had been getting stronger and they could easily sense each other's pain, but there was something else, an underlying feeling. It was … comfort. Helena raised an eyebrow and smiled as a flash of Karma's tail appeared in front of the sunset before going back under. Everything was alright.

Helena turned away from the beach and started to walk back to the fire that Tsuna had prepared for them. Sophia was sitting on a log, her blonde hair covering her face as she read one of her favorite books, Tale of Two Cities.

"Hey, Helena," Sophia called, looking up from her book. Helena looked over at her, an eyebrow raised. "Are you alright there?"

"Yeah, yeah," Helena said, blinking. "I'm just a little tired." She sat down across from Sophia on another log, placing her elbows on her knees as she leaned forward. Her blue eyes found fascination in the fire and then closed slowly as her mind drifted to the past.

***

Helena walked out into the street, the comforting smell of alcohol leaving her with the wind. She moved her black hair over to her left shoulder, the hilt of her blade showing just casually over her right. Her eyes glanced up to the sky, the sun setting carefully behind the buildings, casting strange shadows over the city of Seattle. Taking another glance behind her shoulder to the bar, she turned on her toes and started towards her apartment.

As she turned the first corner, a bright flash in the shape of triangles caught her attention. There was only really one real explanation for what she saw. Turning her head to the side, she swore silently under her breath and ran in the direction of the flashes. As she neared the area, she flattened herself against a wall, inching towards the corner. Her hand instinctively went to the hilt of her blade when she saw two people yelling at each other in the alley. She narrowed her eyes and started to retreat until she heard what they were saying.

"You … You cross into my territory," the man said, shaking his head. "And then try to play it off as if nothing happened?" He laughed. "You silly girl." Territory? Helena thought as she leaned forward. Not many normal people fight about territory.

"It is not my fault that you cannot claim your territory properly!" the girl countered, her hands balled into tight fists. "And besides, idiota, that happened years ago!" Helena raised her eyebrows and took a step back to retreat until she saw something that was not deemed normal. The man had released a set of black Angel wings and flew backwards, a fireball forming in the palm of his left hand. Helena's eyes flickered to the girl, who also released a pair of wings. Her's were white, with a slight ring of blue around the edges of the wings. The girl Angel launched herself backwards, using her wings as a shield to protect her from the fire of the first Angel. A white powerful color surrounded her, Helena almost blinded from its brightness.

"Hey! Hey!" Helena yelled as her eyes adjusted, running into the middle of the fight blindly. Both Angels had stopped their movements for only a moment as they stared at Helena.

"Sicarius," the man hissed, his eyes narrowing at her. "This is not your fight!" The fireball had began to grow bigger and brighter in the palm of his hand. It seemed to have been taunting Helena, threatening to fly out at her any second.

"Hell, you bet it is," Helena said as she unsheathed her blade in one swift movement, holding it out in front of her. The runes on her blade were glowing an eerie blue in the bright white lighting. "State your name, under Covenant Law."

"I do not follow the Law which your hypocritical kind follows," he said, smiling wickedly. "Therefore, I do not have to answer to you, little Cloud Chaser." Helena narrowed her eyes; she hated when people called her that.

Before Helena could retort with something witty, he threw the fireball at her at such a speed, everything became too bright to look at again. She held her blade tightly in front of her, sending a quick prayer to the Angels above as the fireball hit her blade. She slid back, nearly knocking into the other Angel, the fireball bouncing back and disappearing into thin air in front of the man's face. He hissed at her again, a smoky color hovering around his body, and it was then that she had realized that he wasn't a full Angel. His eyes were a dark purple, almost hypnotizing when compared to his red hair that was tied at the nape of his neck, one black strand in the front that framed his face.

"Stop it!" yelled the other Angel behind Helena. Her high-pitched voice was over pleading as she took the last two steps towards Helena. She placed a hand on Helena's shoulder, forcing her to turn around. "Sicarius, as he said, this is not your fight to deal with." Helena looked into the Angel's green eyes, her brows furrowing together as she tried to comprehend.

"I do not understand," she said. "Angels are under the Law, and I must uphold the Law, even if I don't always agree with it. Surely this is my fight to stop." The Angel had spread out her wings in a manner of protection, the blue ring glowing slightly. She had brushed her blonde hair over her shoulder, squeezing Helena's arm.

"The Half-Angel and I have unfinished business," she said with a soft smile. "You must leave us be, as it is stated under Covenant Law." Helena took a step back, the Angel's hand falling back to her side. Helena's blue eyes narrowed at the Angel and looked over her shoulder at the Half-Angel.

"Well then," Helena said as she sheathed her blade and rubbed her arm, right where the first mark on her skin was. "If I catch one of you guys - alone, that is - I'm holding you responsible under Covenant Law." Running her hand through her hair, she nodded at both of them, taking a step back away from them.

"Listen, Sicarius," the man said, nearing her. "Do not be so tense." Helena rolled her eyes, rolling up her sleeves, a small tattoo on the inside of her wrist. It was small enough to not be quite as noticeable, but it covered that patch of her fair skin rather harshly. "Remember, when two Angels fight, there is not much you can do but see which lives." Helena let out a sharp laugh, looking up at him.

"Just know," she said, waving a finger at both of them, "that I have one Half-Angel and one Fallen Angel on my list."

Tsuna let out a sigh, his back relaxing as the Sicarius walked away, the tattoo on her arm seeming much more prominent the farther she got. It was black, harsh against her fair skin. Her blade tapped the back of her thigh, her long hair swaying in the wind as she turned the corner and went back to wherever she was before. Tsuna wondered how many humans thought it was normal to have a blade to your back at all times. A small shiver passed through Tsuna, knowing that he would've died if Sophia, the blonde Angel and a lifelong friend, hadn't defended him; that Assassin meant serious business.

"Could you not try to bring in the Unity next time?" Sophia snapped, hiding her wings. She cracked her knuckles, keeping a watchful eye on him. He smiled, taking a step towards her.

"It was only one," Tsuna said, hiding his wings as well. She rolled her eyes, almost in the same manner the Sicarius had, turning on her toes to walk away. "Ah, ah, ah." He shook his finger at her. "We still have unfinished business, Sophia." She let out a bright laugh that was void of humor.

"You're so funny," she said. "I have nothing to finish with you. It's all done!" She shook her head. "You tried to kill me when I did nothing." She started to walk away again.

"Details, details," Tsuna said, removing a piece of dirt from under his nail before looking back up at her. "You also did tell the Assassin that we have unfinished business."

"Only to get her to go away," she said. "I'm going to follow the Sicarius." She turned to face him. "I have nowhere to go … Maybe she could give me a place to stay or some advice." She looked down. "She looks like she could use some friendly company, too."

"Dear Lord, Sophia!" Tsuna said, grabbing Sophia by her arm. Sophia shook her head and released her arm from his grip. She stared to walk away, but he took a few large steps and placed a heavy hand on her shoulder.

"Look, it has absolutely nothing to do with you, Tsuna," she said, shaking his hand off her shoulder. "Besides, aren't you a Guardian of the Gates? You're lucky she didn't recognize you." Tsuna stiffened. "And you know how I am. I like to travel, make new friends. I've been doing it for over four hundred years now." She started walking again as he slouched.

"Alright, alright," he said, sighing. "See you around then." She raised her hand, a little goodbye before they would cross paths again. He smiled and turned away, walking in the direction opposite from her.

Sophia ran behind a building, glancing around her carefully. No little mundanes were running around, and a good thing too. Rolling her shoulder back, her wings exploded from behind her, unfurling as she launched into the air, flying in the direction the Huntress left in. The air was cool in Seattle at this time, people walking back home from work or just taking care of a few last minute things before the sun would be gone. Soon, Sophia spotted someone with the same long black hair the girl had, walking in a deserted alley, headed towards an apartment complex.

"Sicarius!" Sophia called, diving down and landing a few feet away from the Huntress. She raised an eyebrow, running a hand through her black hair that reached her hips. Her blue eyes were much darker in this lighting; they were so dark that they could be described what the night sky of Hell looked like. She shifted her weight over to one leg and for the first time, Sophia realized she had been wearing heels the entire time.

"Turning yourself in, I suppose?" she asked in a sarcastic tone, placing her hands on her hips. "State your name." Sophia nodded as she wet her lips quickly before taking a deep breath as she followed procedure.

"My name is Sophia Luna," she said. "I came to you for help." She looked down, her wings going behind her back.

"You expect me to help you after all of that?" Sophia bit her lip. The Huntress gave a soft laugh, shaking her head. "What do you need help with?"

"Well, I … I need a place to stay," Sophia said. "I was wondering if you knew of any available places."

"A place to stay?" she asked. "Well, I'm sure I can find something somewhere for your kind." Sophia looked up and saw her smiling.

"You … You can?"

"Of course! After all, I may be Unity property, but I live in the one town they don't care for. Helping you technically isn't against the law, since you came directly to me. You'll be living with me, then."

"Wait, what?"

"I'm going to let you live with me," the Huntress repeated. "I mean, why not?"

"But … I thought you would turn me in!"

"But you came to me anyways," she said. Sophia held her breath, not knowing what to say. "It's a good thing, too, that you came to this Unity member." She pointed at herself and smiled. "I'll allow you to live with me until everything gets sorted out between you and your little lover from back there."

"Little … lover?" Sophia asked, tilting her head to the side. "Oh, Lord!" Sophia blushed. "You mean Tsuna!" The Huntress shrugged, the corners of her mouth pulling down slightly. "We're not together. He's just an old friend." Sophia laughed. The Huntress gave her a half-smile, a dimple showing.

"Hmm," she said. "Well, I apologize for thinking that you were." She shrugged, a sigh leaving her lips quietly.

"So," Sophia said, turning around and watching the Huntress as she walked up the remainder of the stairs to the apartment complex. "What is your name?"

"Mon nom?" the Huntress asked in smooth French, placing the key in the keyhole, turning the knob slightly. "My name is Helena Marie Nightshade. Born in and partially raised in France." Sophia smiled. Her name sounded so graceful and sweet.

"That's a pretty name," Sophia said, walking after Helena into the apartment. Helena flicked on the lights quickly, blinding Sophia for a few moments. "And, to be honest, I would've never guessed that you were French since you do not have a strong accent from there." She looked around. The apartment was pretty roomy; there was a nice sized kitchen with a table set for four, a couch in front of a T.V., and an upright piano in the corner, music stacked around it. "I, uh, speak Italian since I ended up falling in Italy." Helena removed her blade from her back and set it gently on the table, removing her heels and placing them by the door. Sophia also removed her shoes, placing them right next to Helena's. Sophia noticed that they were the same height. Helena smoothed her hands down her jeans, loosening the short-sleeved white button-down that was tucked into her pants.

"There's a room in the back," Helena said, pointing down the hall. "It's a spare. My room, though, is upstairs. Feel free to come and go as you please, because rules are boring." Helena walked over to a kitchen cupboard and pulled out a small metal object and tossed it to Sophia in one quick movement. When she caught it, she opened the palm of her hand. A key. "But, if I do find you breaking the Law-"

"Then I must be turned into the Unity as stated under Covenant Law," Sophia finished in a quiet voice as she stared at the silver key in her hand. She had known everything about the Sicarius Law as an Angel. They worked side-by-side. It was the most valuable information to use before she had Fallen.

"Oh, someone knows their stuff," Helena said, as she opened the fridge, pulling out a bottle of wine. "Do you drink?"

"A little," Sophia said as she walked over to the piano and opened one of the larger books of music. "You play?"

"Often," Helena said, walking over and handing Sophia a glass of wine. Sophia took a sip as she flipped through the pieces. Sophia knew Sicarii were fond of music, but this was the most she had ever seen a single Sicarius own. "If you need anything else, I'll be upstairs." She paused before walking up the stairs. "Oh, let me write my number down." She scribbled a ten-digit number on a piece of paper, handing it over. "There's plenty of food lying around, as well as wine." She gave a half-smile before ascending the stairs. Sophia heard a door close with a soft click.

Sophia closed the book of music and walked down the hallway, noticing three doors. She opened one, seeing a bunch of old clothes scattered around the floor and hanging on handles. Closing that door, she moved to the second door and opened that one. It was a large bathroom, neatly decorated but never used. Before she opened the last door, she noticed another door off to the side with a large rune over it. Narrowing her eyes, she creept towards it but found it best to leave it alone. She walked back over to the third door and opened it. It was a bedroom with a full-sized bed pushed up against a wall, a large closet with some clothes in there and another bathroom.

"It's like she knew this room would be used," Sophia muttered as she closed the door behind her.

Tsuna walked up the streets, not sure where to go or what to do at this very moment. Usually, he'd be talking to Sophia or be somewhere else in the United States. He never thought that he'd be back in Seattle for any reason, but there had to have been one, right? Looking up at the sky, he saw that the sun had already began to set in the distance. His black wings were hidden as he opened the door to the nearest bar that had an ethereal and secluded feel to it. Even though he had been in Seattle for a few weeks already, everything still felt foreign. But this bar had been the only thing familiar to him when he arrived here.

By the sensation he got, he could sense an Assassin - not the one from earlier, thankfully. He looked around, seeing Werewolves, Fallen Angels, Fey, Vampires, and other strange creatures of the supernatural. Coming towards the bar, there was the Assassin he sensed. He had fair hair that was very tousled, as if he had just woken up.

"Sir," the bartender said. "What's the matter?" Tsuna looked over at the Hunter in the corner of his eye. The term "hunter" was just another nickname used for the Sicarii. The bartender placed a shot in front of the Hunter. He lifted the glass carefully in his slim fingers, took the shot and slammed the glass on the counter, letting out a dragging sigh.

"Even with the help of Ensis, I cannot find Helena," the Hunter said. Tsuna could tell, with the way he spoke, that Ensis was his Angel, the Angel of his lineage, also a name familiar to Tsuna's ears. "She hasn't been answering my calls or my messages, and I've looked at her apartment, but she's never there." He placed his head on the counter, his fair hair moving in other directions.

"Who's Helena?" Tsuna asked, taking a seat next to the Hunter. Here, at the bars, rules never mattered. Anyone could talk to anyone just about anything. Everyone was just a person with a story.

"She's someone who I want to marry," he said, looking over at him. His green eyes were rimmed with red; sorrow.

"And she's another Assassin, right?" Tsuna asked. He knew that, under Covenant Law, Assassins - or Sicarii - must marry other Assassins unless granted special permission by the President of the Unity.

"Yes, she is," the Hunter said, sitting up carefully. "I don't suppose you've ran into any female Assassin's recently?" Tsuna smiled. "It's not like there are many Hunters that stay in this area, anyway."

"Actually," Tsuna said, still smiling. "I just crossed paths with one." The Hunter stopped drinking, his eyes flashing to him. "Maybe she might be the girl you were talking about …?"

"How … How did she look like?" the Hunter asked, leaning towards Tsuna. Tsuna leaned back slightly, suddenly feeling uncomfortable. Maybe he was better off keeping his mouth shut.

"Well," Tsuna began. "She had long black hair that reached her hips. She also had this blade on her back that probably weighs more than she does, but she swings that thing around like a champ. Oh, and also she has these hypnotizing blue eyes that remind me of the night sky of Hell when I look at them."

"Her!" he said. "That's her!" The Hunter stood up, grabbing the lapels of Tsuna's coat, leaning closer to him. His breath smelled strongly of alcohol, but it obviously had no real affect on him. "Which … Which way did my Helena go?"

"She went north," Tsuna said as he placed his arms on the arms of the Sicarius to loosen the grip on his coat.

"North?" he asked. "That's in the direction towards her apartment, but I was just there earlier … Perhaps I could try again. Thank you, Fall- uh, Half-Angel." Tsuna nodded, smirking at the correction made. The Hunter swallowed the last of his drink before paying the bartender, running outside with his coat halfway on.

"Crossing paths once more with Assassins, eh Tsuna?" Nic, the bartender asked, placing a glass of O'douls in front of him.

"Hah," Tsuna said, smiling as he lifted the glass to his thin lips. "I had a little quarrel with Sophia because of a few previous actions and a Huntress intervened." He took a sip of his drink. "I'm assuming that it's Helena."

"If I hadn't known any better," Nic said, smiling, "I would say that you have a little liking towards Ms. Sophia." Tsuna nearly choked on his drink, dabbing his mouth with a napkin.

"Please," Tsuna said after wiping his mouth. "Sophia is more like a bratty little sister to me than anything else." He folded up the napkin, placing it off to the side.

"I know, I know," Nic said. "It's fun to joke around with you." Just then, the bar door opened, revealing the Huntress from earlier. Everyone in the bar seemed to have stopped talking as she walked inside. She was weaponless, or at least it seemed like it. Her dark jeans hugged her legs tightly, her heels clicking softly against the wooden floor as she approached the counter.

"Now, Helena," the bartender said, preparing a drink. "You do know that you have James running around in circles, looking for you." She gave a small smile as when she reached the chair next to Tsuna, removing her leather jacket. Her tattoo was revealed again, a small crescent moon.

"Has it ever occured to you, or to anybody else," she said, adjusting herself in the seat, "that maybe I don't want to be found by James, let alone found by anyone else in the Unity right now?"

"Well," Nic said, placing a drink in front of her, decorated with pineapples. "My apologizes, kiddo."

"It's all good," Helena said, sipping her drink. Her fingers were bare, except for one little mark on the inside of her left index finger. It was the mark of her Angel. Her nails weren't too short or too long, painted a soft pink color. As he looked down at her drink, he recognized it instantly; it was more infamously known as a Zombie, which should only be consumed by experienced drinkers.

"Good evening, Huntress," Tsuna said. She looked over at him as she placed her glass down on the counter, shaking her head. Her blue eyes seemed to have lightened, or maybe it was just the lighting. Tsuna instantly found her fascinating.

"Ah, so I run into Sophia and now I meet you," she said, turning her head away from him. She brushed her hair over onto her right shoulder, tapping her nails against the counter.

"You found Sophia?" he asked. "Oh, and to be formal, my name is Sir Tsuna Izuna." He bowed in his seat towards her.

"I know who you are," she said, turning back to look at him. "Sir Tsuna Izuna, a Guardian of the Gates of Heaven and Hell." She took another sip of her drink, looking down. Her eyelashes were thick and full, casting a shadow onto her high cheekbones. "Oh, and correction. Sophia found me." Tsuna nodded.

"So," he said, giving a slight hand motion to her drink. "You like your beverages strong?" He saw her cheek raise up slightly with the hint of a smile.

"One thing about being a Cloud Chaser," she said with blatant sarcasm, taking another sip of her drink, "is that it's nearly impossible for me to get drunk and do regrettable things." He could tell she hated being called a Cloud Chaser. He guessed that in these parts, it was considered an insult.

"Oh, really?" Tsuna asked, raising an eyebrow. This fact interested him. He didn't really know this, but then it made sense since James wasn't affected by the amount of alcohol he consumed. "Could you tell me exactly how hard it is for you to get drunk enough to do regrettable things?"

"For me to get drunk," she said placing her drink on the counter, "is like being on the brink - for a normal alcoholic - of alcohol poisoning. But, alcohol poisoning doesn't affect me."

"Wow," Tsuna said, smiling. "You must really enjoy drinking." Helena gave a small smile, tucking some hair behind her ear as the bartender placed a small cup of water next to her drink.

"Helena would win the Olympic gold medal if drinking was considered a sport," Nic said, nudging Helena. She gave a tiny laugh, shaking her head again.

"Where's Sophia?" Tsuna asked, sipping his drink slowly. He had almost forgotten about her. Helena took a sip of the water, looking back at him.

"Back at my apartment," she said, shrugging. The act seemed almost a bit childish, making her look a tad bit younger. "I told her that I was heading out and she just said 'See you in a few!'" She turned away and silence began to creep up slowly behind them.

"So," Tsuna said as he cleared his throat. "How old are you, anyway?" His eyes grazed her face, down her body to her feet, and came back up again. She seemed real young and had this attractive glow about her, her skin showing no flaws of any battles that she'd been in. Any scars that were there seemed invisible.

"How old do you think I am?" she asked, running a hand through her long black hair. He caught another tattoo on her other wrist; it was two, small overlapping circles to indicate that she was an Assassin - one of the Sicarii. It was the Mark of the Unity.

"Oh, I don't know … Seventeen?" he asked, smiling. She laughed, a short crisp sound, followed by the most attractive half-smile that Tsuna could tell has driven a great deal of men - not only in Seattle - crazy. There was even an indication of a dimple. Tsuna was so infatuated that he couldn't help but smile back.

"Vous pensez," she began, shaking her head. Tsuna smiled again. She spoke French, perfectly. "You think that I, being seventeen, could walk into a bar and order a drink made for the top experienced drinkers?" Tsuna began to notice that even when she spoke English, there was a very faint indication of a French accent, one that could only be caught from trained ears. It seemed to be that she spoke it as if it were her first language. For all he knew, it probably was her first language.

"Well," Tsuna said. "Supernatural's don't really care if you're too young or anything like that …" Helena laughed again, a simple laugh. "But really, how old are you?"

"If you must know," she said, that half-smile still on her face, her eyes narrowed slightly, a flirtatious gesture, "I'm twenty-one. Us Assassins age differently, you know, which makes me look younger than I really am."

"So, let me take a guess," Tsuna began, leaning closer to her, placing his fist over his mouth slightly, his left hand touching her bicep. He could catch a faint scent of flowers and a soft powder from her perfume. "Drinking is, maybe, your third favorite hobby as an Assassin." She raised an eyebrow, that half-smile coming back, her dimple showing again.

"Hmm," she said, leaning closer to him, her left hand carefully placed over her neck, her right hand still lingering by her drink. Her eyes were still narrowed slightly, teasing him. "If you think you know it all, what are the first two?" He looked down, letting out a small laugh, smiling. There was something deadly about the way she looked, how she laughed, everything about her. With her black hair and those piercing blue eyes, she suddenly reminded him of a panther; beautiful yet so deadly. He always had a big fascination for panthers … It was strange that this girl reminded him of one.

"Number one," he began as he leaned back, still holding her eyes, "is the complete obvious." He took a sip of his drink, breaking the eye contact. He thought for a moment. "Killing things, fighting, things like that. You enjoy training."

"Close enough," she said, turning away from him to grab her drink. She took a small sip. "Do tell me, what is number two if you know everything about me and my kind." He laughed, placing his drink carefully on the counter.

"Playing an instrument," he began, glancing over at her again. A smile began to form again on her lips as she sipped her beer slowly.

"Lequel?" she asked. Tsuna smiled again at her French. It was so smooth and perfect, Tsuna was beginning to believe it was her first language. "Or, do you not know one things about me, or about Cloud Chasers in general?" Her tone was teasing, challenging his knowledge.

"The cello?" he asked. She smirked. "Or, perhaps you're more the flute type." She laughed, shaking her head. "Or, are you a heavy metal type of girl and play the bass, both types of course."

"I can play them all," she admitted, turning her head to look at him again. "But, there is one instrument that has been in my heart and blood since I was born and if I don't play at least one masterpiece a day, it will drive me fou." He smiled.

"Oh, the piano?" he asked without thinking. "I mean, many Sicarii take on the piano, so why would you be any different." In an instant, her expression changed.

"Correct," she said, as if she had grown bored. "And, I am plenty different." She finished her drink, paying the bartender. "Sicarii are hypocrites, but at least I admit my mistakes." She picked up her leather jacket from the counter.

"You … You're leaving?" Tsuna asked, almost starting to reach towards her. She looked over her shoulder. "I didn't mean to -"

"Ne pleure pas," Helena said, turning away. "Demons don't cry." Tsuna blinked at her expression. He stared at her blankly as she walked outside.

Sophia was sitting on her new bed, staring at the now empty closet. There wasn't much to do without Helena here. Sophia had so many unanswered questions about Helena and what she could do to help Sophia get what she truly wanted: her wings.

Standing up, Sophia rolled her shoulders back and released the pair of wings she was granted once she fell from Heaven. They weren't stripped away completely due to the fact that once she Fell, she had become lost on the map. The other Angels had trouble tracking her. It was a rare thing, to lose someone once they were Fallen, but it was an even rarer thing to not remove their wings before the Fall. Sophia thought of it as a sign, a thing to help her keep going to regain her rightful status back in Heaven. Without her perfect set of wings, she would just be a target for the Hunters and Guardians like Tsuna.

Sophia looked at herself in the reflection of the mirror, her fingers going up to touch the rough edges of her wings. They were stained blue along the edges, a sign that she had been found by a Guardian and that the removal process had begun, but was never finished. Tsuna had found her around that time and promised to help her regain her status. But, for many years after that, they've had trouble in training and sticking together long enough to request a summon. So, Sophia had to be careful wherever she traveled.

Helena seemed to be the only hope for Sophia. Since Helena is an experienced fighter, a prized warrior of the Unity, perhaps she could help Sophia in training her and getting the summon to Heaven to appeal for her status. If Helena won't help her, Sophia would be at a complete loss.

The apartment door opened and closed again, a pair of heels being removed and loudly falling to the floor. Sophia opened her bedroom door and hid her wings, seeing that Helena was already back and headed towards the kitchen. The fridge opened and closed, something was being placed on the counter, a loud clank against the stove. Sophia carefully creeped out of her bedroom and down the hall, and turned the corner to see what Helena was up too.

"Stop being so noisy," Helena said. "I can literally hear everything you're doing, Sophia." Sophia stood up straight and raised her eyebrows as she came into view.

"Me being noisy?" Sophia asked. "You're the one throwing things." Helena smiled, pulling out a knife from the drawer and setting to chop carrots and onions. "Wait, you're … cooking?"

"Would you like me to order high-sodium takeout and feed you all of that?" Helena asked. "Or would you rather me make a nice home cooked meal and know exactly what you're eating? I know we just started living together and all, but c'mon."

"I didn't realize you were quite the chef," Sophia said as she sat down at the table.

"My mother taught me how to cook when I was very young," Helena said. "I have all those old family recipes from both sides of my family." Sophia smiled.

"You said you're French, but Nightshade is an English lineage," Sophia said. Helena smiled as she threw everything in the pot and set it to simmer.

"Aren't you an intelligent one," Helena said, leaning against the counter. "My mother was French and my father British. They met about twenty-five years ago, got married, had me about two years into their marriage and that's that."

"Where are they?" Sophia asked. "Are they in England?"

"I'm not sure," Helena said. "When I graduated from the Academy, I lost communication with them. I haven't really talked to my family since then."

"How depressing!" Sophia said. Helena looked at Sophia and raised an eyebrow.

"Depressing?" Helena asked. "How so?"

"Well, you don't speak to your family!" Sophia said. "Family is the most important thing! It's love."

"Love?" Helena echoed, shaking her head. "My family isn't love, Sophia. They only showed me everything but love. That's why I stopped communicating with them and went on my own way. I like being alone."

"If you like being alone, then why are you letting me live with you?" Sophia asked. Helena laughed, stirring the soup.

"You may not be noisy, but you sure are nosy," Helena said, placing the wooden spoon off to the side. Sophia could feel herself turning pink as Helena looked at her again. "I let you live with me because I was commanded to."

"What do you mean?"

"When I came to Seattle, I had a vision from my Angel. He told me that I would meet these three people and I will help them and they will help me," she said. "It was weird, but I created this huge apartment with the help of the landlord and just waited for the day I'd meet them."

"And I'm one of these three?"

"Yes, you are," Helena said. "There are two that are going to live with me, and they're going to both ask me for help. And the help I offer will be to live right here, in my apartment." Sophia blinked.

"Who's the other person?"

"All I know is that they like water enough to have a huge bathroom all to themselves," Helena said. "Now, the third person may or may not live with me … That can be debated later."

"How interesting," Sophia said. "So, meeting you was fate."

"I'm sure you can call it that," Helena said. "Fate or destiny, a random happenstance. It has many names."

"I wonder who the other two could be …," Sophia said. "When do you think we'll meet them?"

"Hell if I know," Helena said. "It took me two years to find you." Sophia laughed.

"Well, I guess it's just you and me, now?"

"Yup," Helena said. "Just the two of us, eating soup, and drinking nothing but wine until the other two decide to reveal themselves."

"Such a wonderful life, indeed." They both laughed, Helena shaking her head once more, turning her attention to the soup. Sophia looked around the apartment and smiled. What a great place to call home.





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