An Original Novel
The thing that most people know about Lory is that she's different. Even Lory knows that. Everyone also knows how nice she is. What most people don't know is that Lory is actually from a fairly strange family as well. As a matter of fact, she's relatively normal, compared to them. Part of that is because, despite how kind she is, nobody can actually be friends with her long enough to ever get to the visiting her house stage. Nobody except Ario, that is.
In contrast, Ario's house is fairly normal. His family consists of him and his mother. His father had left the family because he had been thoroughly convinced Ario's mother had been seduced by an incubus and Ario was not his, but rather the spawn of a demon. Of course, that was ridiculous – No incubus would have been stupid enough to come within twenty million feet of Mrs. Pacrifa.
“There you go, little guy,” Lory smiled, once she'd helped the bird enough to be satisfied, “Feeling better?” The chickadee chirped in content and splashed a bit in the tin of water Lory had placed it in to bathe. Ario was beginning to think maybe he'd just imagined the birds talking. It must have just been some freak glare of the sun that momentarily made him loose his mind. Anything made more sense than birds talking.
“Ario?” Lory spoke up, “I'm gonna go get my phone from upstairs real quick and make a call. You stay here and watch the bird, Kay?” He glanced over from where he leaned against the wall with his arms crossed and this time she stood, waiting for an answer.
“Got it,” he nodded. She smiled, thanked him and ran from the room, off to take care of her task. He turned to the bird and watched it splash about. Unfortunately for the tiny thing, it didn't seem to be quite tall enough to get out of the tin and hopped, hopelessly – unable to just fly out as its wing was securely wrapped to allow it to heal. Ario smirked, and went over to help it out.
“Need a little help?” he chuckled. The bird flapped its one good wing and looked up at him.
“Yeah. Thanks, Mate,” it said. Ario dropped the chickadee in alarm and it fell to the table with a thump. He backed up until he met the wall and just stared. The bird, having been unceremoniously discarded on the table, rolled over to get upright and shot Ario an angry look.
“Was' the idea?” he demanded, “Ya think ya can just drop me anywhere ya bloody please? Where are yar manners, Mate?”
“You- You talk!” Ario swallowed
“Of course I fookin' talk, ya wanker!” he exclaimed, “Was' yar problem then?”
“Well, pardon my saying so,” Ario frowned, “But chickadees didn't talk, last time I check.”
“Oh. Right,” it looked away, as if it was ashamed, “Sorry about that, Mate.” Ario's eyes widened as, right before his eyes, the bird changed into a man. He had black hair that was swept to one side and stopped at his ears in what looks like a mom's handy work when she had remembered it needed to be done and was running late for something, already. He wore a brown leather jacket with a black and white striped interior topped over a black t-shirt. A pair of tan pants and some black shoes completed the outfit. In place of the little splint Lory had made for his wing, there now was a full out white cast with signatures, of just about a million different people, that Ario couldn't read.
“Who the hell are you?” Ario demanded, taking a deep breath. The man kicked his feet as he sat on the counter, contemplating how to answer the question.
“Hell? Nah,” he shook his head, “Those are the Titmice. Damn ugly little buggers, if ya ask me. I'm a chickadee, ya see. Working for the good guys, I can assure that.”
“I asked who you are not what you are,” Ario growled, “How did you do that, anyway? Birds can just turn into people and talk, now, I guess?”
“Ya mean ya can't change?” he tilted his head, “I just assumed...”
“Assumed what?” Ario snapped, when he trailed off.
“Nah. It's nothing,” he shook his head, “Name's Damiel.”
“Hey, Ario!” Lory chose that moment to enter the room, “Thanks for watching – Ah!” She jumped when she saw the man sitting on the counter, who turned at her voice to see who she was.
“Hey!” he smiled, “Ya're the kind lady that gave me this here bandage!” He waved the arm with the cast.
“Huh?” Lory blinked, confused.
“Lory,” Ario sighed, “I don't know how to explain this, but... This man – his name is Damiel – is the bird you brought home to care for.”
“Ha ha, real funny, Ario,” Lory frowned, putting her hands on her hips, “What have you done with the bird? I expected better of you.”
“I swear, it's the truth!” Ario insisted, a little bit taken aback that Lory would think he was lying. It was a pretty strange thing to say, he'd admit, but it definitely wasn't a lie!
“Yeah,” Lory rolled her eyes, “And I'm secretly Hannah Montana. Now, where is my bird?”
“Here,” Damiel spoke up, “Let me demonstrate, kind lady.” She looked over just in time to see him change back into the bird and chirp. She had pretty much the same disbelieving reaction Ario did.
“Who the hell are you?” she demanded.
“I told you,” Ario said, trying his best not to look smug. That would really just be rude, considering her whole world was just made a complete lie and all that.
“Yes, you did,” she muttered, staring at Damiel, who'd changed back into a human, “Sorry for thinking you were a liar.”
“Hmm,” Ario acknowledged, satisfied.
“Ya gonna ask the important question, yet?” Damiel hoped, glancing back and forth between the two.
“What important question?” Lory asked, confused.
“Ya don't know the question?” Damiel's shoulders fell, “Ya know... The question! Every time one'o'us come down here and get spotted by a person we get asked the question.”
“And what exactly does one of you mean?” Lory asked.
“Ya know! Ya were talking about us earlier!” he insisted, “How we don't want none'o'the cheap wings because ours are so pretty and the like.”
“Wings?” Lory repeated, “Like... The angels?”
“Yeah!” Damiel beamed.
“This is an angel?” Lory demanded, turning to Ario. He shrugged, “No offence, but I was expecting a bit... More.”
“Oh, well some'o'the others got prettier faces than me,” Damiel admitted, “And the bigwigs... They the prettiest. Ya can't go wrong with a chickadee, though. We considered too stupid to be 'spected to make reports, so I can stick around long as ya like. Now, ya gonna ask the question or not?”
“What question?” Ario frowned.
“Wait a minute,” Lory interrupted, “If you're an angel... How come you don't have wings?”
“There we go!” Damiel approved. He leaned forward a bit and two giant appendages sprouted from his back. They were black and silky and a little small, but he was a lower level angel, after all.
“They're beautiful,” Lory gaped, raising her hand a bit to touch them, “May I?”
“I'd prefer if ya didn't,” he leaned away, “'Course, ya a nice girl, but I'm bonded and wouldn't wanna be tempted into anything adulterous, even though the act itself ain't necessarily wrong. Ya get me?”
“Oh... I see,” she frowned, disappointed.
“Here,” Damiel reached behind him and plucked one of the outer feathers. He held it out to her, “Ya can keep it, if ya like.” She carefully took it and caressed it carefully, shocked at it's perfection.
“Thank you,” she replied, “I'll take good care of it... I promise.”
“Now,” Damiel turned to look at Ario, “I'm starving... Think ya can help an old man out some?”
“Old?” Ario raised an eyebrow, “You don't look older than twenty.”
“Humans...” Damiel laughed, “I think that's sweet, kid, but I'm near over a millennium old.”
“A millennium?” Lory blinked, “No way!”
“And I ain't even the oldest,” he insisted, “No where near, in fact. If ya could meet the archangels...”
“Can we?” Lory hoped.
“Ah, no,” Damiel shook his head, “They'll mess with ya memories, ya see. Won't let ya know about the angels or nothing. It's a big secret. It's best ya just stick with me. I won't mess with no memories. Ya're too nice to me.”
“Oh,” Lory sighed, “Okay.”
“You said you were hungry,” Ario spoke up, “What did you want to eat?”
“Ya got any bread?” Damiel asked, hopefully.