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A/N: This is actually version 1 of the Freefall theme. It's so cliché (accent mark and all), I just couldn't help myself! xD
Double hit combo beta combination of tigermare and wobaozhewo
He gave him wings but didn’t allow him to fly.
Even amidst the reverent hush that vibrated along the clouds of heaven, the angels whispered amongst themselves. If he was His heavily favored and most beloved amongst them all, why did He give him wings if he could not fly? Was this a mockery or a act of unexplained punishment?
But how could that be, for was it not here in heaven where all the angels were beautiful and all the angels were perfect, that he had been singled out by Him? Hadn’t He bestowed a name upon him that marked him as a favorite? How could it possibly be that Leeteuk, the most special amongst His winged messengers was being punished?
Nor was Leeteuk, the angel with the most divine kissed wings that sprouted from his back, marked as a fallen angel. Though his wings would never allow him to fly, a single black feather, so often the first sign of the fallen, was never found in the depths of the snowy white wings perched upon his back.
So why did He give him wings if he could not fly?
This too was a question that Leeteuk himself did not know the answer to. All he could do was line his toes to the outer most edge of the clouds and stare downward. He could never look upward for that was where his brothers and sisters took flight. Even shielding his eyes could not spare him the sight of wings lifting up in flight, so Leeteuk stared downward. He stared downward at a world where just like him nobody else could fly.
Like a muted lark bird trying to sing in a cage weighed down with fake diamonds surrounded by a gilded frame, all Leeteuk could do was look down and fold his resplendent wings back into the hollow bones of his back.
Leeteuk always smiled.
He smiled while walking as he carried out his duties. He smiled when he lifted large objects for the elders and set the younger angels on his back for a ride. He smiled when the other angels shoved him to the ground and held him there with their hard heeled sandals grinding into his back. Though he could not fly, Leeteuk feared for his wings for out of the corner of his eye he could see them start to shudder and bend under the combined weight of four angels who rose to trampled on his back. It was too late to retract them as he had been too surprised by the sudden attack to even run, and all he could do when the ordeal was over was to pick up his battered feathers and try very hard not to vocalize his anguish.
Cruel angels are rare in heaven, but they are no less rare than angels who have wings but cannot fly.
Leeteuk could only hold the tips of his bruised and burned wings closer to his chest as he lined his toes closer to the edge of heaven’s domain.
He was told that if he ever fell, he would never be able to come back.
But for he who could not fly, wouldn’t falling be freedom?
No one ever warned him not to, and one day, with his toes outlined against the narrow edge, he fell.
He landed on the ground in a heap and flexed his wings experimentally.
It had hurt, but no more than when they had caught him and stuffed their hands in his fluttering wings as they searched for his most fragile feathers. They crowed when they found it and just as ruthlessly, ripped them out. After all, what use does an angel who cannot fly need of wings? The feathers, so whisper soft in their hands never provided a shred of resistance when they burned them. Neither did Leeteuk, standing there smiling though tears were streaming down his face.
They said that angels don’t feel pain.
Though Leeteuk did not see any of his feathery brethren wondering about, he decided to tuck his wings back inside. Just for safety’s sake.
The air was strange here. Unlike the clear open skies of heaven, here, the air was heavy and sodden. It was a mixture of hot and cold and Leeteuk found the bland and unblinking stares of the wingless here searing.
“Maybe this is what happens to everyone who falls,” Leeteuk thought as he traced the outer edge of his palm against the square outline of the platform above him.
Maybe all those who fell eventually get trapped in dark stone, their faces frozen forever as they look to the high heavens they dropped from. Maybe what happened to the angel in front of him would happen to Leeteuk as well. Maybe that’s why they could never go back.
Kneeling in front of Leeteuk was an angel who also had wings but couldn’t fly. Leeteuk thought the angel probably couldn’t fly because of the dark weight that filled his wings. It wasn’t like he had been born cursed with the inability to fly like Leeteuk was.
Maybe all angels who fell eventually get entrapped in heavy lines of stone and can only beseech His favor with carved words that cry out, “In His name we pray…”
Maybe when his mouth froze over like the angel before him, that would be all Leeteuk would be able to do as well.
Before Leeteuk could fully rise and get a closer look at this frozen angel, a voice, suddenly splintered the deep silence that had enveloped him, and halted him before he could touch the motionless form in front of him.
Leeteuk turned and smiled, a habit so deeply ingrained in him that he need not think about it, and allowed the approaching stranger close the distance between the two of them.
“Hey, what are you doing?” The stranger asked, his confusion and worry reflected back in Leeteuk’s dark fathomless eyes.
Leeteuk merely smiled in response.
“Can you speak?” The stranger asked, eyebrows crinkling up in an expression Leeteuk had never seen before.
Oh, speak! Leeteuk knew how to speak. But when he opened his mouth to do so, all the angelic hymns and musical waterfalls seemed to mean nothing to the stranger.
“Are you lost?” The stranger persisted, light bouncing off the metal that hung off his ears.
Leeteuk could only smile.
The stranger ran his hand over the messy parting of his hair, exhaled harshly and mumbled under his breath, “Aish! This is what I get for coming to church early.”
“C’mon,” he said, laying a hand on Leeteuk’s white-sheathed arm. “Let’s get you inside. Someone should be able to help us out.”
As the stranger led him towards the gaping mouth of a white skinned square faced monster that seemed to have swallowed so many of his brothers and sisters, if a quick glance inside was any indication, Leeteuk felt no fear. When he directed his gaze downward, he noticed small spherical shaped objects that lined the pavement leading to the open mouth of the monster. It was what his feathers looked like when it curled up upon itself after it had been burned.
“Maybe this was where all my winged brothers and sisters went after they plummeted,” Leeteuk thought.
The stranger, noticing Leeteuk’s slowing movements looked back and tried a smile of his own. “Listen, don’t worry. We’ll figure this out. Or…they’ll figure this out. Don’t worry. Everything will be okay.”
The stranger smiled back, softly squeezing Leeteuk’s arm before leading him further on the path. “By the way, my name’s Kangin.”
Kangin, meaning strength? Leeteuk thought tilting his head quizzically as he followed Kangin’s retreating back.
Later, much later, when they asked Him why he gave Leeteuk wings but didn’t let him fly, He would sigh and respond with, “I didn’t want him to fly away from me with strength I no longer possessed. I wanted to keep his specialness close to me, so I gave him wings but did not let him take flight. But he fell, didn’t he.”
A sigh. “He fell.”