Heya. The Enstar fandom on Fanfic net seems quite small, and so far, I don't think there's been much about Valkyrie, or the actual angel Nazunyan, so.


The sunlight is almost blinding, after so many hours in the dimly-lit train, and the slightly frayed edges of the striped circus tent blows wildly in the tearing wind as Nito watches from a few feet away, wrapping his coat around himself tightly. It is particularly windy in this town, so much more so than the grand metropolis before it, and the clean, modern-looking city before that. Nito is silent as he stands outside the still only half-set up tent, not moving. He knows that the Ringmaster, or Mentor, as he likes to be called, will most likely throw a fit when he finds out about the tent being down, but if he tries to help, another fit would be thrown, this time about how Nito should not dirty his hands with such work. Nito himself can feel his heart going out to these workers,despite his lack of the organ. The wind is far too strong, ripping away savagely at the thick fabric, and Nito knows firsthand how hard it is to try and hold down the tent long enough to pound the posts into the ground. 'You should hire proper workers', they say, 'these people are acrobats and actors, not builders'. But Mentor is proud, and Mentor is stingy, and Mentor knows that any more people, and there won't be enough money to get around.

Nito shivers, wrapping his arms around himself tightly, his clothing, though far thicker and more well-made than the workers, offers little protection against the storm. He is grateful, of course, his every outfit is handsewn by the Ringmaster himself, a honor bestowed only upon him and his partner, the brilliant trapeze Mika. There was a time when every outfit was designed and built by the ringmaster's own hands, but those times, with money flowing in and the Valkyrie name spreading all over the country, are long past. Nito knows how it feels to be the sovereign, at the very top, with tickets sought after by wealthy nobles and famous artists with far too much time on their hands. He knows how it feels to be courted, spoiled, lavished with riches and gifts. He had hated it at the time, but now, shivering in the icy wind, he honestly misses that luxury.

"Nito." He turns, watching his mentor reach out to adjust his headband and smooth back his flyaway blonde hair, tucking a thin strand behind his ear. "Are you cold?"

Nito hesitates, he is freezing, and he knows that mentor is well aware, but he also knows that his voice should never sound in the presence of his mentor, that his boyish voice, so different from what it once was, lower, harder, less angelic, will only bring his mentor displeasure. He schools his expression, shaking his head, and is relieved as his mentor smiles fondly, adjusting the doll sitting at the crook of his arm. The doll, mademoiselle, stares out at him with blank, blue eyes fashioned from cut precious stones, and Nito suddenly feels a pang of empathy. After all, didn't Mentor like to say, while running his fingers through Nito's hair, that for Nito's eyes, he had searched for the most expensive, flawless diamonds to cut? Nito glances back at his mentor, and he can feel his diamond eyes scraping against his porcelain skull. Clink.

"Good. The tent will be up soon, I trust?" Nito wants to ask his mentor why he is the one being asked, he honestly has no idea, it's not as if he is allowed to so much as aproach the other workers, but there is only one correct answer, and Nito has no need to play dumb. Nito nods obediently, and his mentor is appeased once more, turning around to supervise the other tents and workers.

"Kagehira! Do your job properly! Honestly, why can you not manage even such a simple task?" Mentor strides away, towards a nervously stuttering Mika, and Nito watches as Mentor scolds the dark haired trapeze for his clumsy incompetence, the bag Mika had been carrying lying with its contents strewn across the frozen ground, forgotten by both. Mika is genuinely ashamed, he looks down and fiddles with the hem of his coat, apologizing and smiling in such a way that seems almost like a kicked puppy. Nito knows Mika, he knows of Mika's desire to please, and even with the verbal abuse being hurled his way, he knows that Mika's loyalty to their Mentor never once wavers. Mentor sighs and opens his mouth to speak once more, but his attention is grabbed by the lion tamer before he can continue, a beautiful young lady with flaxen hair in her late twenties, and as Mentor strides away to tend to the lion's, Nito runs over to Mika, who is standing forlornly by the half-emptied bag. He points down, towards the spilled doll limbs, and crouches down, beginning to gather them into his arms. Mika brightens almost immediately, eagerly dropping to his knees beside Nito and doing the same.

"Thanks, Nazuna-nii!" His native language and accent is thick, coming out naturally in his wavering, emotion-choked voice, and Nito nods and smiles slightly, a small quirk of his lips before returning to normal. He stands and hands the doll limbs to Mika, reaching up onto his toes to pat Mika's head in a 'no problem' motion, before turning away. Mika scampers behind him as he walks, babbling 'thank you's'. He holds the bag loosely with one hand, swinging it around wildly, which had been the exact movement that had caused him to drop the bag in the first place. Nito points to the bag, and Mika blushes and mumbles his apologies, arms dropping to his sides.

"Ya know, it's been a long time since our last performance, hasn't it? I haven't practiced for along time, so I'm kinda scared of messin' it up! Nnah, but, yanno, I guess a failure like me's bound 'ta make some sorta mistake, huh… Ah, but, then Mentor would get mad, wouldn't he?" Mika laughs, and Nito smiles once more as he watches Mika babble. Mika is as cheerful as he always is, exuberant and glowing brightly, even in the gloomy outskirts of an equally gloomy town. Nito knows that Mika's 'punishment' is far from over. Mentor may have been temporarily distracted, but at night, in the tent the tent the three of them share, the largest one out of all the living-in tents… Nito couldn't be sure what would happen. For someone so delicate among crowds, their mentor had quite the temper.

Mika swings his arms, forgetting both Mentor and Nito's advice, and he all but skips to the now finished tent. It is easily the largest tent in the circus, the place where all the main shows take place, and Mika ducks in, eager to complete the task mentor assigned him. Nito follows him, blinking a few times before his eyes fully adjust to the darkness of the interior.

The insides of the tent is as grandiose as always, and the towering bleachers surround the expensive-looking podium, with not a single thing out of place The lions are in a cage, Nito knows, even without seeing, just big enough for them to stretch out, hidden away behind the curtain-covered opening leading to the lion tamer's tent. Nito looks up, surveying the swings and bars upon which his performance with Mika will take place. They seem higher than usual, with no visible net underneath, but Nito isn't fooled. Mentor would never let his two most successful dolls break, even despite his calling Mika a failure. Nito knows that once he is at the top, standing across from Mika, preparing to jump, his body will take over, and flying through the air will become natural. Nito loves the feeling of the bars hitting his hands, the jerk of his arms and the hard give of Mika's hand as he catches Nito after a moment of breathlessness where there is only air all around him. Nito tears his gaze away.

Mika is returning from behind the lion's cage, hands free of bags and doll limbs alike. He smiles widely as he spots Nito, and Nito imagines that he can see a tail, wagging eagerly as Mika approaches. Mika, the orphan picked up by Mentor on the narrow, stone streets of Venice, is far too loyal for his own good, seeing his savior as god himself.

If that was the case, Nito supposes that he would be considered an angel.

Mika comes to a stop beside Nito, chattering happily. Nito doesn't speak, he has no need to speak, Mika understands him fine even without words. He walks with Mika, past the daytime tents of the part-time clowns and jugglers, past the long time employees' cot-filled tents, the tents of the lion tamer and the magician, back, farther, until they reach the last tent, twice as big compared to any of the other lived-in tents and a quarter the size of the grandiose performance tent. Mika ducks in without a second thought, and Nito follows him with a bit more trepidation. Their Mentor's moods are swift and unpredictable, and although he uses no physical violence, his tongue is harsh and biting.

Mika sits down on his bed, humming. Though they cannot move anything larger than a cot in terms of beds, blankets are something else entirely. Mika has to have at least seven, piled onto the rickety structure. Seven different blankets, five different pillows, twelve different places from which the things were collected. There is one from his hometown in Venice, an elegantly flowered pattern from Paris, a fox-fur pillow from some small town on the outskirts of a city somewhere in the north… Their Mentor had spared no expenses on accommodations in the past, nor on anything else, but now, a few pillows and blankets are all that is left of their former glory. Nito sits beside him, quietly. There is never much work assigned to them, the hard labour is performed by the other employees and overseen by the Ringmaster himself, and as far as the aforementioned ringmaster is concerned, all Nazuna has to do is to dance and jump and to sit prettily, like a doll. Nito buries his hand into the soft fur of the pillow, wondering, briefly, about the future. Does his fate really rest on his appearance? When he changes, grows taller, and can no longer fit into the skin of a delicate, androgynous doll… Nazuna closes his eyes, changes his train of thought.

Though they are by no means poor, he knows their Mentor will settle for no less than being the absolute sovereign. Of course, isn't that an old tale though, the glory of the past? They have had their taste of power, and they have occupied that space for far longer than was proper, and now, like all legends, they have fallen. Though in name only, they now have a place in the stars…

Nito doesn't care. He knows of Mentor's desire and Mika's confidence, but just with what they have now, shouldn't they be satisfied? He wants to see the audience, happy, laughing. He wants to see dazzled, starry-eyed children and shocked adults losing the jaded look in their eyes to wonder and amazement. To Nito, that is enough, and he thinks, shouldn't it be enough for Mika and Mentor as well? Was that not what they had wanted, starting this sort of circus?

Nito doesn't speak, he has not spoken for years, and he doubts his voice will come out if he tried. Mika is still humming, cheerful, seemingly oblivious to the scolding that will definitely come. The doorway of the tent moves, rustles, and Nito looks up, just as their Mentor ducks in, Mademoiselle resting at the crook of his arm, elegant as always. Nito stiffens, waiting, but Mentor only settles down onto his bed with a sigh, bringing a single, slim hand to his forehead. Nito glances at Mika, who shrugs in reply.

"M-mentor?" Mika's voice has an undertone of worry, and their mentor raises his hand, the one that had been resting lightly at his side.

"Quiet, Kagehira. Let me think." Mika falls silent, uncharacteristically, perhaps surprised at the neutral comment, and that is how the tent stays for the remainder of the night.