From Heaven to Earth
By Amber Michelle

Chapter Two

"Why? Why would he do this to me?" Kahr stood with him on the observation deck, eyes turned from the trainees in the arena below to stare at Hyuga like two golden gems. "You say he had reason......" His voice grated on the edge of anger. "Reasons he could not explain to me?"

"Reasons he felt were too important to jeapordize." He stood before the onslaught, calm as possible under the sharp gaze of his old friend. "Your feelings were not...... unexpected. Perhaps he felt he would not be able to leave if he told you the truth."

"Damn him!" Ramsus slammed his fist into the wall, shaking with some undescribable emotion. "He betrayed us! How can you stand there and defend him?"

Hyuga turned his face away, willing himself to forget the crystalline glint of tears on Kahr's cheeks. "Understanding...... sometimes comes with too high a price......."

The Gebler ship passed overhead, showering Dazil with fuel emissions and stirring up a sandstorm outside the city walls.

But it passed.

It was foolish of him, to think that it would stop, and far too arrogant to think it would come for him...... He had spent a mere three days on the surface, and already the presence of the Lambs was addling his senses. Or perhaps the trip through the desert from Shevat's drop-off point had been too much exposure?

Shitan sighed, lowering his eyes and leaving his vantage point on the arch above the eastern entrance to the city. Cracked tiles snapped under his feet; testament to the conflict between Gebler and Elruian refugees that had been concluded here, not long ago.

He and Yui had only just missed it; he was grateful for that. She could take care of herself...... but not while also keeping Midori protected. And he could not defend three people...... not in that fashion.

Not if it became a necessity to reveal his identity.......

Yes. Many things come with too high a price......

They were his one weakness. How many times had he vowed to forsake family and love to avoid the hardships, and the pain they caused? Yet here he was...... placing his heart, his secrets, into the palm of one woman's hand, making promises...... and worse, intending to keep those promises, even if they interfered with duty.

Even if it killed him.

Aveh's heat threatened to pound him into the ground, but Shitan kept walking, passing calmly through the city as if the memories, the comtemplations, had neevr crossed his mind, heading for the small inn housing his family.

"It's dangerous, to offer one's love to another......."

"Yes, that is very true."

Very true......

"Then shouldn't we forsake it? For good? Nothing that causes pain could be good." Golden eyes, glittering. Wet?

"We can't forsake each other."

A hand, extended in friendship. Offering something more, something more important to him than even his duty...... A way to go back.

Back to his family........ to a new family.

"We won't. We won't forsake each other."



He stopped, just short of the inn.

Do I belong here?

Absurd question. Of course he did not belong here. He did not belong anywhere. He walked a blade, that ever fine point that people referred to as the "gray area" of things. On one side was Solaris; on the other...... everything else. His family. His friends. Their ideals.

Kahr....... Sigurd, Jesiah............. Yui...... Midori......

He would have to learn to leave them behind. If he chose Solaris, only Kahr would reamin; not for lack of devotion on the part of the others...... unfortunately for them, they would be slated for death.

The Ministry couldn't allow their Guardian Angel to harbor ties to anything outside their reach, now could they? Krelian would never understand....... Only one entity was close enough to understand......

But he could not help. So he was on his own.

Yes...... on my own......

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