"W-would you go out with me?"
The question rang in Issei's ears. Was this actually happening? A cute girl was asking him out? This had to be a dream, right? There's no way in hell a girl this cute would ask out a nobody like him.
Issei pinched himself. Nope, not a dream. A prank or a dare, then? Of course. Issei had almost let himself forget. Some girls used 'ask out our school's biggest loser' as a rite of passage. That had to be what this is.
"Look, I'm sorry your friends forced you to do this, but don't tease me, okay? It's hard enough to just be lonely. Sorry you wasted your time." Issei moved to walk past the girl on the bridge.
Raynare was shocked. Issei was seriously so sad that he automatically assumed she was being forced to do this? Well, she was, but that's not the point. Even if her goal was to kill him, it made her sad for him.
"F-forced? What makes you say that?" She asked, stepping in front of him. He sighed, and resigned himself to humiliation. Even if it was just a joke at his expense, he was happy it was a cute girl.
"No one asks out a huge loser just cus. Especially not a cute girl like you. Don't do this to me…" he said, bracing for the moment when her friends would jump out of a bush or something with cameras, like every other time.
He thinks I'm cute? Raynare blushed, despite herself. Even with her mission, she couldn't help feeling drawn to the boy. He was obviously depressed, and someone like him wouldn't have a soul in the world to confide in. Once again, she felt a pang of sadness for him.
"I'm being serious, Hyoud-" "Please, if you have an ounce of mercy in your soul, please don't do this to me...please…" she was beyond surprised. He had a tear in his eye. Who hurt this boy so much?
He was begging, pleading for her not to break his heart. They'd known each other for less than five minutes, and already he was terrified she'd toy with him. Just what in the world had happened to Issei Hyoudou? His face was pointed at the ground and tears fell from his eyes.
"Issei Hyoudou. Look at me. Look. At. Me." She said, gesturing to her eyes. Slowly, with all the fear of a beaten dog, he did. He looked her in the eye. She saw how scared he was. 'He's terrified.' she thought to herself. 'He is absolutely terrified that I'm going to hurt him. And, for some reason…so am I.'
Raynare looked him right in his scared eyes, and said, "Issei Hyoudou. I am asking you out for me and me alone. Whether or not you believe me is up to you, but I really hope…that you'll say yes…" she started off confident and assured, but as his face slowly started to fill with hope, she lost her momentum. She was guilty.
Fallen Angels were sinful creatures. By their very nature, they didn't often feel guilt. But Raynare, in that moment, felt worse than she had in her entire existence, even worse than when she Fell. She was asking for his trust, for his hope, and her sole intention was to murder him. She was ashamed, but nevertheless, she continued.
"Please, Hyoudou-kun." she said, desperately. Issei sighed again. He glanced around, seemingly looking for something, and his hopeful expression fell once again into despair.
"Thanks, but no thanks." He said. "You can tell your friends I said no. Again, sorry to waste your time." He pointed towards a rustling bush where the distinct shape of two humans stuck out like a sore thumb.
"No, Issei, wait! Wait…" Leaving Raynare standing there, Issei walked off the bridge, and went home. She didn't know it, but he'd cry tonight. She'd been right on the money when she guessed he was depressed.
Raynare walked to the bushes where he'd claimed to see her 'friends' hiding. Surely enough, Kalawarner and Mittlet were there, both with solemn faces. "That could've gone better…" Kalawarner said.
"That poor boy…" Mittelt mumbled. No one present really wanted to kill the boy, but orders were orders, and Kokabiel was clear on his. 'Do not allow this boy to awaken his sacred gear. Kill him before that happens.' Those had been his exact words.
The plan was easy, and only required one person, other than Issei: Raynare. Raynare would ask him out, go on a date with him, and then at the end of the day, when he was comfortable and feeling secure, she'd kill him.
But, little did they know, Issei was damaged goods. He'd probably never trust a girl again, much less a cute one asking him out on a date for no good reason. Their plan was doomed to fail.
"What are you two doing here?! I had that under control!" Raynare yelled at them angrily. She didn't, in fact, but she might have gotten somewhere if he hadn't seen them. Oh well.
"My ass you did. He was terrified of you. Probably reminded him of a something gnarly. Maybe he got tricked into pulling his pants down in front of the school?" Kalawarner suggested. Raynare sighed, defeated. No, she definitely hadn't had that under control. Truth be told, she barely had herself under control. The pure sadness radiating off of Issei Hyoudou was almost enough to have her call the whole mission off and leave him alone. Almost. No, she'd felt sad and guilty for what she was doing, but she wasn't about to risk Kokabiel's wrath for some kid.
Or so she thought.
It was the next day, at school. The lunch bell rang. Issei packed his bag, stood, and left the class. He didn't speak to anyone, and he tried not to look anyone in the eye. Looking people in the eyes only made them more likely to pick on him.
See, Issei was an average guy. He wasn't super smart, wasn't athletic, couldn't smooth talk anyone, and he definitely wasn't gorgeous. So, people tended to overlook him. He had absolutely no defining traits.
Though, for some reason or another, kids liked to bully him. Every day since he was a small child, he'd been picked on and pushed around. Today, he thought, would be no different. He was wrong.
It started off just like it normally does. He parents give him money for lunch, and naturally, the school bully smelled it on him. So, he'd ambushed Issei outside where everyone could see, right in the middle of the school courtyard. Even people on the road passing by could see the spectacle.
"Come on, Matsuda, don't take my money, man…" Issei was rewarded for the statement with a punch to the gut, knocking him to the ground.
"Don't talk to me like we're friends, chump. Now shut up and do what I say, or else." Issei sighed. It was always the same.
Bark like a dog.
"Bark like a dog!" Matsuda yelled at him.
Issei did. "Wood, woof."
What kind of bark was that? He'd say.
"What kind of bark was that? Louder!"
So Issei would be louder. "Woof, woof!"
By this point, kids would start to stare and laugh. Occasionally, the student council would reprimand Matsuda, but today wasn't one of those lucky days, so Issei had to suffer. Just like always.
Now, roll over.
"Now roll over!"
Issei didn't. Issei was thinking.
'Why is it always me? Why am I the one who has to suffer for their sick kicks? Why do I have to be embarrassed and humiliated for them to be happy? I'm sick of it!' Issei thought, fuming.
"Oi, mutt, are you listening? Roll over, I said!" Matsuda kicked at Issei's face.
Issei was ready. He grabbed Matsuda's foot, and yanked him off balance, causing the bald kid to fall to the ground. Issei jumped up, and moved to kick him in the face. Unfortunately for Issei, justice doesn't always win. Issei had landed a lucky move, sure, but just the one.
Because, as luck would have it, Matsuda was a martial artist, and he was pissed. Matsuda grabbed Issei's foot as he tried to kick, and spun underneath him in a leg sweep, knocking Issei to the ground and disorienting him. Matsuda used this time to stand up, crack his knuckles, and land a solid punch to Issei's face, knocking out a tooth. Issei crawled on the ground, trying in vain to get away. Matsuda, who was absolutely enraged, followed close behind him, laughing.
"You're pathetic, Hyoudou! You thought you'd get on over on me, huh? I can take on anyone in this school. You're nothing compared to me." He gloated, standing over Issei as he crawled on all fours. He kicked Issei mercilessly, in the ribs, in the chest, and the groin, wherever he could get his foot, he kicked Issei. After a solid minute of torture, he leaned in close to Issei, who flinched at the proximity, and spit in Issei's face.
Issei was defeated, mentally and physically. He dropped to the ground, giving up. None of the kids there knew it, but Issei was done. He'd completely quit.
He had every intention to go home…
...and end his own life.
Anything. Anything would be better than this. Even an eternity in Hell, Issei thought, would be better than his current life.
He would kill himself, and make the problems go away. But then, his saving grace appeared. And she was not happy.
There was a spectator to the violence in the schoolyard, one who didn't even attend the school there. She'd been passing the school when she saw an abnormal crowd and decided to investigate. Her name was Raynare, and she was pissed. All the kids that had formed a crowd around the two boys made way for her as she stormed up to Matsuda.
"Who the fuck do you think you are?!" Raynare yelled in his face. He snarled at her, angered at the intrusion.
"I'm a fucking alpha, bitch. How about I make you roll over, too, eh?" He said, looking at her breasts. She'd had enough. Not only had she watched this boy ruthlessly bully his supposed classmate, whom she was supposed to have a crush on, but he'd had the audacity to imply he was above her? Absolutely not.
Raynare, in the guise of a normal human teenager from a different school, picked up Matsuda by his throat with one hand, shocking everyone present. His eyes went wide as he was literally hoisted into the air with extreme ease. "W-who are you? What are you? Please don't hurt me!" He said as he writhed and struggled in Raynare's grip. She sneered at him.
"Some alpha you are, to beat up the weak and then cower when someone stronger than you shows up. Pathetic." She threw him to the ground, hard.
Then, she walked over to Issei, who was still groaning on the ground. He was face down, not looking up, but he was conscious and aware. She rolled him over, and looked him in the eye. He looked like he'd lost all his will to survive. Issei was truly a husk of a person.
Raynare is not a sentimental person. She's only had a few attachments to people, and never for long. She'd never, ever, ever, felt love or a broken heart. Not sadness or grief, not shame or anguish. But at that moment, when he looked up at her…
Her heart broke.
"Issei, get up. I'll walk you to the infirmary." His eyes focused on hers. He began to tear up again, but he struggled to his feet, with her help. He put his arm around her shoulders, supporting himself. She put her arm around his waist, and he leaned into her. They started to walk, but after a few steps, Raynare stopped.
She slowly turned toward the crowd of kids watching them, careful not to hurt Issei. "If any of you ever hurt my boyfriend ever again, there will be hell to pay." She said, looking them all in the eyes. None of the kids there knew why, but they felt like she was dead serious. She'd have no problems, not from them. Matsuda, however, who was writhing on the ground, was a different story.
He'd sworn vengeance.
Issei and Raynare walked to the infirmary, slowly, and carefully. Issei almost assuredly had broken ribs, and Raynare wanted to be careful not to cause him any extra pain. He'd suffered enough today, she decided.
Once they got to the infirmary, the nurse looked him over, and called an ambulance. It wasn't super urgent, but she wanted to move him without fear of damaging him any further, so a regular car wouldn't work. So, Issei lay in a stretcher on the ambulance, and Raynare sat beside him, holding his hand. He looked up at her with hope in his eyes.
"You...are you really this nice?" He said. He didn't know her name, so he just said 'you.' She looked puzzled. "I-I just mean...well...I've, um...never known anyone who was n-nice to me…not for a long time..." He stuttered out. Raynare's heart tore in two. This boy was truly wounded, deeper than she ever could've guessed.
"Don't worry about that right now, Issei. Just know, I'm here for you. I really do want to be your girlfriend, you know…" she said, trailing off at the end.
'What am I doing?!' She asked herself. 'I'm supposed to kill him, not comfort him! What's happening to me? Why do I feel this way?!' Raynare was truly confused. Her mission was simple as simple gets, but it was by far her hardest yet. She was just inexplicably drawn to this boy, this poor, poor, boy. He was just so...broken. It was almost like she wanted to try and fix him, but that couldn't be possible. She was a Fallen Angel, and he was just a lowly human, an insect to her kind-
Issei's hand tightened around hers, grabbing her attention instantly. "You never told me your name…" he croaked out. The pain medicine they gave him was obviously starting to work. She laughed, just a bit. He tilted his head in confusion.
"Yuuma," she said. "Yuuma Amano."
He nodded his head. He was beginning to fall asleep, she could tell; his head lolled and his eyes opened and closed slowly. "That's pretty...really, pretty...Evening Glow, huh? I love it…" He said, and his head fell back. He spoke no more. Raynare smiled, despite herself.
She was falling for him.
I literally couldn't sleep until I wrote this. I got the idea and I was like "omg this needs to be written now." No, but in this story, it's going to be strictly Raynare and Issei falling in love. There will be ups, there will be downs, there will be cliffhangers, and there will be a whole lot of fluff. Stay tuned, if you dare.
P.S. The chapter length is also going to be a lot shorter than what I normally do, because I'm still working on "Just a guy with horns". Go read that. K, bye!