✧ In the House of Cosmos, the Cherubim - one of the High Orders of Angels in the heavenly hierarchy - are training newborn Angels to take over the posts that were left open when God threw the traitors from Heaven. But can the eternally adolescent divines ever live up to the great expectations? Will any of them be suited to fill out the posts of the High Orders, or will the Cherubim have to throw them all down to earth as Guardians? And what happens if one of them is playing with the same thoughts that once led Lucifer to his rebellion? ✧


5. Act

"Why are you so quiet?" Gabriel asked Evangeline while they waited for Charmaine to return with their food. He could tell that she was uncomfortable, sad or confused, and he hated himself for not being attentive enough to having noticed why.

"It's nothing" she said, giving him a half-hearted smile. "Did you seriously ask for two donuts and a chocolate shake? For lunch?"

"Well yes, of course I did!" he laughed, though he didn't like the change of subject. If he was just more like her. Caring, wise, understanding. If he was more like her, he'd know what to say and how to comfort her. 

"Angie... I might not be the obvious candidate, but if you want to talk..."

"Gabriel, I'm fine" she argued.

"No, it's important for me that you know. I'm here for you. And even if I don't understand everything, I'm a good listener"

"Yes, but-"

"No, tell me that you understand"

Her big, blue eyes met his and lingered for a moment, searching for a hidden truth he himself was ignorant of. Her gaze made him feel naked and vulnerable, and he was certain she could see his every thought. She nodded.

"I understand" she said, her voice suddenly softer. "Thank you, Gabriel"

"Anytime" he said with a half-smile, but he couldn't find his cockiness.

"Get a room" Leilah snorted dryly. She'd been napping in the grass beside them. Gabriel and Evangeline laughed, but they didn't look at each other.

"Lunchtime!" Charmaine announced cheerily as she closed in. Iofiel followed behind her with her face set in a determined pout. 

"What did you do to Raphael?" Gabriel asked them. Iofiel looked away.

"He went back to his dorm" Charmaine said, scratching her head. "He needed to study, I guess"

Evangeline let out a little giggle that Gabriel didn't understand. He dared a glance at her only to see a mysterious smile planted on her lips. Instead of trying to interpret her expression, he reached into the paper bag with donuts that Charmaine was holding out to him. 

"Did you hear that we're being assigned to our weapons practice-classes tomorrow?" Leilah asked, breaking the silence.

"They have more than one class?" Gabriel asked, mouth full of sugarcoated donut.

"Well of course, genius" Leilah sneered, "they have Archery, Small Weapons and Large Weapons"

"And we can't decide for ourselves?" he tried.

"Nah, apparently they already know what we'll be better at. Plus, not all of us really get to use them once we get assigned to a real post" Leilah shrugged.

Iofiel yawned. "Not that it hasn't been fun, but I'll get going. I need... A massage" she said distantly before walking off towards the dorms. Leilah made a sound that sounded like a snort, a sneeze and a laugh all combined,

"So when does our weapons practice begin?" Evangeline asked Leilah.

"The day after tomorrow"

"What?!" Charmaine exclaimed.

"Gosh, chillax!" Leilah grumbled, "I'm just saying what the poster said. Sheesh. Do your own research, then"

"Sorry" Charmaine said sweetly, "it's just that the practical part of the education wasn't supposed to start until next week"

"Maybe they're starting early and introducing it slowly instead?" Evangeline suggested.

"Either way, we can do nothing but suck it up and do the Cherubim's bidding" Gabriel said, then realized it sounded wrong when he'd said it out loud. Sometimes the words slipped. The act kept itself going. He glanced at Evangeline who sent him a knowing smile. She really always knew, didn't she?

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