The angel's eyes were dark and still as her took her in. This girl- his saviour, strangely- wore her skin like armour. Piercings flashed in the light like sparks, from her ears, nose, lip, eyebrow; one even glittered from the centre of her chest, a small jewel anchored on her sternum and visible in the v-neck of her t-shirt. She had many tattoos; some visible, some concealed by her clothing. Both arms were fully sleeved in ink. Her hair was dark blonde, short and messy, and her eyes, bright and brown, were outlined in dark metallic-green makeup.
"You're staring," she told him. He did not move his gaze as he replied.
"You are much to look at."
The girl gave a small laugh and remained standing where she was. Thumbs hooked into pockets, not offended or unnerved by the angel's stare, simply waiting for him to complete his examination of her. He appreciated her calmness.
She was a thin girl, and pale, and she had freckles wherever she didn't have tattoos. She wore plain, black, loosely fitted knee-length shorts, a plain black t-shirt, scuffed ankle-high shoes, and no jewelry besides her piercings. Dust and dirt spackled her clothes, and a grass stain smeared one knee. The energy around her was vibrant and erratic, her aura pulsing and flickering with too many colours and forms for the angel to read. It was too much, too fast- not right. He frowned, and sniffed the air. The girl smelled like dust, sweat, cut grass, adrenaline, and blood. The tang of blood was too strong.
"You're hurt," he said. She frowned.
"I am very grateful for your help," he told her. "You saved my life. I am sorry you were hurt." He didn't say how wrong this was, all of it- her aura, her smell, her demeanor- not to mention how she had even been able to see hellhounds, let alone kill them.
"What are you?" she asked, tilting her head to the side and squinting.
"Who are you?" he responded, instead of answering.
"I'm nobody," she quipped.
"What is your name, then? Even nobodies have names." She frowned slightly, then acquiesced.
"Bryn," she said. "Bryn Milton. And you?"
"Typhon." Bryn nodded, cleared her throat, then asked a question Typhon would never have expected.
"Ever been on a date, Typhon?"
He narrowed his eyes at her, confused. He couldn't tell if she was asking in earnest, or making some kind of jest. The question and its answer were both irrelevent to their present situation.
"I beg your pardon?" he said, unsure how else to respond.
"A date," she repeated. "Ever been on one? Don't matter, was just... wanted..." -she shook her head and coughed- "wondered what you'd have to compare to, cuz this is gonna be a terrible first date." She was blinking her eyes rapidly, and looked unsteady on her feet.
"I... I'm sorry?" Typhon was at an utter loss for words. In thousands of years of life, this was the strangest encounter he had ever experienced.
"Oohh, not your fault," Bryn announced in a sing-songy voice. "Me, I'm a dumbass.. Return a girl a favour and save my dumb ass?"
Then her wild aura collapsed in towards her and she crumpled to the pavement, completely unconscious. It happened so suddenly that Typhon took a step back, thinking for an instant that she'd been hit from behind. When it became clear that she had not been hit and that no other attack was forthcoming for the moment, he walked to where Bryn lay and knelt beside her. From this close, all he could smell was blood. The side of her shirt was wet with it, seeping red disguised by the black fabric. He lifted the garment to reveal the wound underneath- raw, angry red gashes where a hellhound's teeth had ripped into her flesh during that vicious, impossible fight.
Typhon felt a pang of guilt. Whatever or whoever Bryn was, he was alive because of her, and if she died, it would be his fault. She had- albeit in a very odd manner- asked him to help her. He laid his hand over the girl's injury and willed it to heal, directing energy towards the torn flesh and damaged cells. It was difficult; the hellhound bite stubbornly resised angelic healing, and another energy was present there, a magic that pulsed and mingled with Typhon's and sent stinging jolts up his arm. Tiny sparks erupted from the points where their flesh touched. When he pulled his hand away after several minutes, the wound was only half healed. He frowned.
"You will heal," he said to her unconcious body, "even if only so I can know what you are."
He drew his Beta blade from its sheath on his right hip and made a clean cut across his palm, then pressed his bloody hand upon the hellhound bite on Bryn's side. Red-hot pain immediated shot up his arm from the contact, and spread through his veins, burning, burning, like Hellfire- the angel had never experienced this kind of of pain before. He clenched his teeth and hissed, trying to pull his hand away, but found himself immobilized, unable to escaped the pain. He felt another jolt, too, equally unfamiliar- he felt fear The pain continued to burn through his entire body for long, eternal seconds, during which he could feel energy being pulled from him to mend the broken tissues, despite his no longer directing it- he had focussed his entire mental capacity on blocking the debilitating, unexplained pain that wracked him.
It stopped as suddenly as it had started. So unexpected was the relief that Typhon's entire body relaxed involuntarily and he collapsed, disoriented, on the pavement next to Bryn. For a strange, purgatorial moment, Typhon felt lost, confused, afraid, and alarmingly human. Angered by this assault of unexpected sensations, he forced himself back to his knees and then up to his feet, although the harsh movement left him dizzy. He blinked determinedly several times and shook his head to shake it off, then looked down at Bryn.
The bite mark was gone. The gouges had been deep and wide, and would most likely have been fatal if Typhon had not intervened, but the only evidence that remained of them were pale pink scars, two of which marred the tattoo of a rearing black stallion that ornamented the girl's ribs. Blood from the wound was still crusted on her skin, but it was black and charred, smoke rising from it as if Bryn had just been roasted over an open flame, and yet her skin showed no burns.
For several moments Typhon stood over her body, frowning. What had just happened was distinctly Hell-ish. Bryn could not be human. Although she was breathing, and clearly alive, her aura was still gone; people's auras didn't disapear unless they were dead, and Bryn was only unconscious. He nudged her with his foot- no response. Typhon realized he was clenching his teeth again, and tried to relax his jaw. Whatever Bryn was, she wasn't a threat at the moment.
"I should probably kill you," he mused aloud. Bryn opened her eyes.
"That would be rude," she said. Typhon did not reply, but watched in silent fascination as her raucous, chaotic aura reformed around her, colours bleeding invisibly from her pores as if, sensing danger, Bryn's aura had pulled itself inside her body in an act of self-defense. When a person is asleep or unconscious, their aura is very vulnerable to various kinds of supernatural beings. It seemed as though Bryn's aura- or Bryn herself, maybe, if she was Aware- had evolved a defense mechanism to counteract this vulnerability.
When Typhon re-focussed his gaze on Bryn's face, he saw that her now-open eyes were fixed upon him. She was wary. Inexplicably, Typhon felt the corner of his mouth twitch up.
"You're staring," he told her.