Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: It's early morning...the sun has yet to start to peek its way out from the horizon. Within the house, everything remains silent. Nathanael lies asleep in the bed, a strong arm curled around his Angel. Tetra is out patrolling the house...all is completely silent.

Angel Hope: She curls into Nathanael's chest, sleeping peacefully, her pale cheek cradled on his strong shoulder.

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: Suddenly, out of nowhere, Angel is ripped horrifically from her placid dreams, as she feels her soul being strip-mined. Waves of terror roll through her mind, reaching deep inside and pulling primal, deep-seeded fears out. Visions of torment and and drowning fill her thoughts, to the point of almost being real...she can practically taste the water drowning her, her Faith being vomited out as she tries to cough out the water that isn't there.

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.] -> Angel Hope: ((You've lost 2 Temporary Willpower points))

Angel Hope: She screams and coughs, gagging, choking as she begins to thrash wildly on the bed, her body spasming. Slim hands claw at the covers, flailing for whatever she can grab hold of.

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: He starts awake at Angel's scream, eyes wide, almost looking ready for battle. Unfortunately, there's no battle to be had...just one exquisitely beautiful woman in convulsions and mental anguish. "ANGEL!" He immediately assumes his Apocalyptic Form, almost instinctively ((1 Faith Point Spent)), and tries to restrain Angel as best he can without hurting her.

Angel Hope: Her eyes are wide, frantic, locking on Nathanael's beautiful, blank face and seeing precisely nothing but whatever is happening in her mind as it slowly slips away. She struggles to breath, her hands catching at Nathanael's arms, curling tightly, nails pricking as she tries to get his name out, knowing he'll save her if only she can get to him, can break the surface of the water and call for him.

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: After about thirty seconds (which seems like an eternity to poor Angel), the feeling is abruptly gone, and she finds herself free of the agony, the immediate pain fading away, leaving only the emotional torment and knowledge that her soul has just been ripped open.

Angel Hope: A ragged, shaking sob escapes her lips as her eyes focus on Nathanael's beautiful not-face. "He...he...."

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: Slowly, the Fallen's image tempts changing, becoming darker, but he holds it off, and merely gathers her up. He runs his hands over her hair, trying to soothe her. "Angel...shhh...calm, love. Please, love, stay calm...." Murmured words of comfort, words he knows are pointless.

Angel Hope: She curls into him, clinging desperately, her face pressing to his chest as the sobbing threatens to break her apart, thick, heavy sounds slipping past tightly clenched lips. It seems to take forever for her to calm enough to even for a thought, her voice ragged and raw. "He raped me..."

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: "Shhh...I know what he did, Angel. I know...I'm sorry, my love..." His mirrored fingers caress her temple, her cheek, brush over her brow as he holds her. "I'm sorry."

Angel Hope: Angel slowly tips her head back to stare up into Nathanael's face. "The babies would die if he...if he ever did that to Tansy..."

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: "Which is why she is safe from him, until she has those children, or until he believes she is too great a risk." It nods slightly, and holds her head close to it's chest.

Angel Hope: "Please don't make me go back, Nathanael," she whispers, voice breaking with the threat of fresh sobbing. "I love you. You're what I want...please, please don't make me go back."

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: "I won't." It shakes its head. "But I can't let that thing hurt you again." He pauses, considering. "Love...I need you to get dressed. We have to go somewhere."

Angel Hope: She nods and reluctantly, shakily, slips from Nathanael's arms, moving to the closet to pull on the simplest, softest and warmest of her gowns, her whole body shaking.

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: He lets his mortal shell slip back on, flesh replacing divinity, and moves to get dressed himself. ((Roll Per+Alertness))

Angel Hope: d10: : 9,4,2,8,4,7,

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: Angel, however distracted she may be, notices the glint of steel as he straps a knife on, then puts his vest on over. He wasn't specifically hiding it from Angel...that much is clear. But he's definitely concealing it from public view.

Angel Hope: She glances at him, blinking in vague befuddlement as she pulls her thick, heavy braid from inside the dress. "Where are we going, love?"

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: "I'm taking you to the one place he cannot do this to you...holy ground." He gets his suit-jacket on. "And then I'm going to go find a resolution to this problem."

Angel Hope: She moves to him, fingers smoothing across his chest, curling in the lapels of his coat as she presses her face against him.

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: His arms wrap around her, and he kisses her forehead, before calling out. "Tetra. I need you. Now." There's less request then their is command in his voice.

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: d10: Co-Locate: 6,10,2,7,5,9,2,

Angel Hope: She curls close to him and fights back a fresh wave of tears as she clings.

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: The doorway shimmers, and Tetra steps through, in her host's body. Nathanael wastes little time before guiding Angel toward the doorway. "The Shrine in the Gardens."

Tetra nods and focuses to open the portal and send them through.


Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: d10: Co-Locate: 8,3,2,5,3,5,6,

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: The doorway shimmers again, and Nathanael looks to Angel, speaking gently. "This may be a bit...disconcerting. Bear with me, my love." He moves to guide them through the doorway.

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: ((Disconcerting = Disorienting. One of those Dis-ing things. :P))

Angel Hope: She follows blindly, clinging to her lover. She doesn't meet Tetra's eyes as they pass.

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: As they step through the doorway, Angel finds herself, suddenly, outside. They've just, it appears, stepped out of the doorway to the viewing pavilion of the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, one of the oldest and most visited Japanese-inspired gardens outside Japan, located in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The area just has a sense of serenity, peacefulness. It presents a condensed idealization of nature: trees and shrubs, carefully dwarfed and shaped by cloud-pruning, are surrounded by hills, a pond, and forest-sized trees.

Nathanael [11/1 c. 4:00 a.m.]: Tetra does not follow them through...they appear to be alone in the Garden, it being well past visiting hours. Nathanael looks to her, to make sure the sudden change hasn't thrown her too much.

Angel Hope: A slow, shuddering breath slips her lips and she sags against Nathanael's side, wide eyes staring out over the Garden. "Its beautiful.."

Nathanael: He nods, his expression somewhat...wistful, is the best way to describe it. "It is. There is a Shrine dedicated to Shintoism nearby...it readiates with Faith. You will be safe there. Come..." He takes her by the hand, leading her genlty along.

Angel: "I love you, Nathanael," she murmurs, her hand tight in his. "With all my heart."

Nathanael: "I love you too, dear Beauty." He smiles, and takes her along, through the Japanese Irises and tree peonies, which skirts the pond that dominates the Japanese garden. They pass further on, through exotic trees and plants, heading on toward the Shinto Shrine.

Angel: "Are you going after him yourself," she asks softly, fingers drifting out to touch the flowers as they pass. "Or..?"

Nathanael: "That depends on whether his friends have any sense of decency," he says. "I don't have any qualms over the fact that I am no warrior, and, as much as I would happily go after him myself, what's important is that you're both freed. If his friends are not the monster he is, they'll aid...otherwise, I'll deal with him."

Angel: She stops walking and tugs gently on Nathanael's hand, turning him to face her, her expression very serious. She cups his face gently between her palms. "Nathanael, I know that you love me. I know that deep down in my bones. So you have to know that I love you to. That I would do anything for you. I promised to ground you, to keep you sane...If you go after Eli it will hurt you, won't it?"

Nathanael: He nods as they move along, taking the upper path past a tall, stone Kasuga-shape lantern, elaborately carved with the animals from the Chinese zodiac: rat, bull, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, lamb, monkey, rooster, dog, and wild boar. "It is possible. I may be hurt, physically as well as through my own Torment rising. But I may not, as well...we will see."

Angel: "Nathanael..." She sighs. "Please don't do anything that would make me lose you...I'd rather die then have you become some dark thing."

Nathanael: "My love...at the worst thing I would do, it would only start a slow slide. One that is easily halted." He looks back at her, smiling reassuingly. "And that is a last resort anyway."

Angel: She nods and curls her arms around his. "We don't have long until christmas," she murmurs, trying to lighten the mood.

Nathanael: "Which means that the dream is that much closer to reality," he says with a smile. He looks ahead, to where the Shrine is just now coming into view, situated in a tranquil grove of white pines. The wooden shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of harvest, and two stone foxes on either side of the entrance gate represent messengers of the deity. It is built of white cedar, ash, redwood, and cypress.

Angel: Her hand splays across her smooth, flat tummy. "I don't know if I am...Or if i even can...But I hope for it. Pray for it and i'm not much for praying," she murmurs, slowing as they near the shrine.

Nathanael: "I'm not one for praying myself, Angel," he responds. "But I am one for faith. And faith is the important part of prayer. Do not pray...have Faith." He looks to the small temple and sighs. "Angel..I must ask you to wait inside for a while. I will contact Tansy...tell her to come see you, while I attempt to talk to the others."

Angel: "I have Faith in you," she says softly, turning to face him, her fingers curling tightly around his.

Nathanael: "And I in you," he says with a smile. He pulls her gently to him, into a hug, arms wraping tight around her. "I do not know how long I will be...but I will be back," he murmurs. "I promise."

Angel: Her arms slide around him and she rises up on her toes to give him a long, sweet kiss, tears rising in her eyes. "You have to come back to me. I don't believe that there is an alternative."

Nathanael: He returns the kiss, holding it for a long moment or four, before he finally breaks it. "I will. Have no doubt." He smiles adoringly to her. "But for now...I must go. The faith of the place radiates a few yards away...technically, we are protected even here. But do not stray more then a few feet from the walls."

Angel: She nods, sighing softly as she reluctantly lets him go and steps back, her head held high, shoulders squred but trembling. "Be safe, Nathanael..."

Nathanael: "I will." He nods. "I will let Tansy know as soon as I can. Farewell, dear Beauty." He steps away, and offers a loving smile before he turns and walks away, toward the Garden's exit.

Angel: Her shoulders sag as his back turns and she wraps her arms tightly around herself, moving to sit at the base of the shrine, her knees pulled up, dress smoothed down over her calves.

Angel: And once Nathanael is gone from sight she begins to cry softly.