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DATE: March 1, 2012 TIME: 11:45AM PLACE: Versailles, France
Ah, France! The founding country of french fries: Let them eat cake! In all seriousness, both Balthazar and his vessel had a bit of a natural fondness for France. In truth, it was among the most luxurious countries in the world: Rich in history, and art alike. Some of his favourite artists such as Degas, Monet, and Lautrec came from France. However, it was not the art that the angel had come to pay his respects to today. Loosely clad in his usual attire, Balthazar strolled casually among the eager human tourists who were nearing the Palace of Versailles. The sky was painted with the occasional cloud, giving an unearthly feel to the all ready ethereal location. The palace was truly a sight to behold, yet Balthazar could not understand how the garden had become such a hot spot for tourists. All of these people would make his little prank much more difficult to pull off. ”Hi-ho, hi-ho, I'm off to steal a gnome...”He sang under his breath, as he broke off from the majority of the crowd who were proceeding to make their way around the fountain.
The traditional stringed music of France was being played over the spacious grounds, lifting the moods of the scattered crowd. Balthazar was able to recall that the central window from the Hall of Mirrors was able to monitor the on-goings from the Water Parterre to the horizon. It was genius architecture, a true sight to behold, which had preceded the reign of Louis XIV. One might have been led to wonder, what would have drawn an angel such as Balthazar out to the gardens, but were he asked he would have stated his business was his own... Or simply guarded his reasons with sarcasm. Rumor had it that a Holy Artifact had been hidden within the garden, and where one finds a Holy Relic, their odds become exponentially greater of finding a Balthazar as well. However, in order to infiltrate a tourist location so grand, Balthazar would first need to make himself aware of his surroundings. Yet, there was no harm in a few practical jokes while he took the time to educate himself, was there?
Taking a seat on a bench at the base of a set of lush stone stairs, Balthazar waited patiently for the crowd to clear out. After observing for some time, Balthazar reached the conclusion that the tourists were generally spaced out by a 15 minute time frame, which gave him approximately a 5 minute window to claim the artifact. He wasn't sure that the orb that was – creatively placed in a gnomes hand – was what it had been claimed to be. However, his source had been reputable, and Balthazar liked his chances. Cracking his knuckles as the last of the crowd passed, the angel made his way up to the statue that looked like one of the seven dwarfs, and lifted it with ease beneath his arm. Yet, just as he was about to take flight, someone familiar caught his eye. This wouldn't do! Why were there always witnesses? Instead of putting the gnome down, he simply stared awkwardly into the gaze of the others face.”Oh, hi!” He called, allowing an awkward smile to claim the contours of his face.
France had always been a place Azrael tended to avoid like she avoided the plague years back. She constantly sent the Reapers to do the work and just in case she stayed close, in Germany. To be completely honest being in Germany was much to close to France for her taste anyway. Her dislike for France started mostly with Henry the first of the Capetian Dynasty. He was largely a pervert who Azrael was happy to kill them moment it was right. Sadly that moment took much too long for her taste. In retrospect she hated practically all the kings, queens and emperors that she had the misfortune of knowing. Though, Isabella the She Wolf was quite the women. And so was Elizabeth Bathory and Vlad the Impaler, both spectacular people in their own rights that led way into wonderful horror. Azrael grinned. It was quite possible she was a tiny bit mad.
But digressing back to the fact, Azrael hated France. Hated the smells, the sights (that damn tower) and the people. It just forced her to harbor bad feelings and ill intentions. She often wonders how upset Death would be if she just wiped out an entire country. She shrugged. He'd probably throw some sort of tantrum and execute her. Or something of the sort. Azrael giggled silently and quickened her pace. It was so like her to think of ways Death would kill her for going against his rules. Not that she would ever go against his rules, Azrael didn't have a death wish like most others did. For example, Henry the first.
Pushing her blond hair up into a messy bun, Azrael took a moment to take in her surroundings. Of course Versailles would be crowded in tourists. Humans had a nasty habit of dwelling in the past. Oh yes, Versailles was so important in its day but now? Couldn't these sad little creatures find something more amusing to do with their short lives than live in the past? Like invent the flying car they were all so crazy about. Or is that what the plane has become? Probably. The humans had a way of just giving up when it got to expensive. In Azrael's mind nothing was too expensive if she wanted it enough and to her, all these mortals were very regressive monkeys.
Azrael stopped her landscape scoping caught a familiar and relatively handsome face. She couldn't help the exasperated huff that escaped her mouth. What could he be doing this time? He was somehow always in trouble and tended to make her job a bit complicated when he didn't think his damn "pranks" all the way through. "Damn him. Damn him to hell." She growled and started her trek towards him. Azrael glared at him as she got closer, especially when she noticed a gnome in his hands. "Balthazar, I am going to beat you with that gnome if you don't put it down. Now." Any other time if he stole a gnome she could have cared less but she was in France, and that was enough annoyance for one day. She really didn't care to deal with a prank by the so called "glorious" Balthazar.
The woman was stunning as ever, her radiant beauty setting her apart from the locals. However, Balthazar all ready knew that his silver tongue wouldn't get him out of this one. So instead of trying to flatter his way out, he stood there smiling stupidly. Naturally there was only so many ways he could explain this. "Azzie, my darling, I can assure you this is not what it looks like." In fact, it was exactly what it looked like! The gnome had something - and it was his - His precious. In fact, it was exactly what it looked like! The gnome had something - and it was his - His precious. "You see, Snow White called in a gnome - I mean a dwarf doctor, yes - Yes! And she said this one was dopey and needed to go to rehab, so here I am! Always happy to work on behalf of Lord Walt Disney." Now there was a laugh. Balthazar could hardly even imagine a world in which Disney had been a prophet, let alone a world. At least the Earth would be filled with more quality entertainment than hairless apes. That was for certain.
Yet, the world remained the same. Spectacular in it's architecture, culture, and food; but absolutely appalling when one had to come toe-to-toe with a boisterous balding baboon. He tried to imagine how Disney would go about making a movie that detailed the events from the Old Testament to the Modern one, and furrowed his brow. He had watched so many ridiculous man made movies, due to his hobby of schmoozing monkeys, however - Veggie Tales had been about the worst thing that had ever happened to him. The damn Cucumber reminded him of Dean, while the asparagus reminded him of Sam. Two boys that he wished he had never crossed paths with: The Sinchesters.
Judging by Azrael's unamused expression, Balthazar pat Dopey on the head and set him down at his feet. "Might I say, my dear, you look fantabulous!" He tried, straightening his back and trying on one of his - nearly genuine smiles. "That scarf is amazing, is it the one I got you? How good it is to see you! I didn't expect to find you here. What brings you to France?" He wondered, pushing the gnome back into place for a moment. "Please, do not say Death, it is far too nice of a day to be dying, and I rather like it here." Maybe he could sidetrack the conversation, and invite his baby sister out to play. Azzie always seemed like she could use some time to relax.
"I have a glorious idea!" He chimed, using their unique code-word that would alert her to his devious near-future plan. "Catch me if you can!" He challenged, gripping the gnome and taking flight to Italy, quickly vanishing leaving behind only a quiet fluttering of wings. Never mind the fact that he had literally just ignored his own rule regarding being seen while stealing questionably important artifacts, it had just turned into the worlds greatest adventure! Balthazar found himself seated at a small table outside of a pizzeria, with his pet gnome sitting on the ground beside him. Deciding that he had a moment before Azrael arrive, he tied a little bib around the gnomes neck for further embellishment on his prank. Oh, this journey was going to be a riot!
Azrael folded her thin arms tightly under her breasts, glaring at the man in front of her. Many would fall for his so called "charm" while others fell for his attractiveness. And to be truthful if this was any other situation Azrael would have entertained hours of pointless flirting and playful nips and touches. But her day had began shitty and that gnome and Balthazar were in her way of going home and laying her bed and staying in it for days on end until she recovered from France. "Oh, it's not?" Azrael would already see the wheels turning in the angel's head and knew he was going to come up with one hell of a story. Maybe he'd come up with something that would amuse her just enough. "Snow White? Walt Disney? You are dumb." Any other time Azrael might have felt a bit bad for just straight out insulting Balthazar's intelligence because truly he was smart but that story was the most mind boggling thing Azzie had hear in a while and that was including the stories she'd hear little kids tell their parents while she was waiting to take someone's soul.
"Do you awaken in the morning and just spend hours coming up with the most extremely pointless, irrelevant stories you can imagine just to piss me off, Balthazar?" Though if this was any other time and place, he might have succeeded in making her laugh and allowing his the just take the damn gnome. Why did he want a gnome in the first place? If you asked her it was a creepy little bugger that should probably be locked away in Purgatory along with Eve's monsters. Azrael huffed a deep sigh and moved her weight onto one foot, allowing her posture to relax and her hands to sit on her hips.
Azrael nodded pleasingly as the gnome was set onto the ground but there was a nagging little voice in the back of her head that sounded vaguely like Balthazar told her this was not the ending to his prank. "One question at a time, Balth. No, this is not the scarf you got me. We lost that one in Rio, remember? Its almost wonderful to see you as well, pet. I'd only come to France one other way if not for Death and seeing you isn't that." After several long years of being in Balthazar's company, Azrael had learnt that when he wanted something to go his way he rambled. Or he was rambling because he was drunk. Both were high on the list as of right now since Azrael knew that Balthazar enjoyed drinking far to often for it not to be a sin by now and he just had a gnome in his hands. But seriously. A fucking gnome. What did the gnome have that was so special? Incredible, world destroying powers? Doubtful. A shiny globe in his hands? Yes. And if Balthazar was stealing a garden gnome for a plastic overrated snow globe Azrael was going to do much worse than beat him with the gnome. She'd destroy the damn globe too.
"I'm not in the mood for your 'glorious' ideas, you baboon!" The blond harbinger growled out, knowing where this was going to go. Her earlier assumptions had been right. Balthazar was up to something and the moment he through out the challenge and disappeared, Azrael knew this was going to be long day. And probably week too. "Balthazar!" and no, Azrael didn't care how bizarre she looked to other people as she yelling an angel's name in frustration at empty space. That man was so incredibly lucky that Death hadn't signed his death bill yet. Clenching her hands into fists that turned her knuckles white she disappeared, reappearing down the street from where Balthazar sat. At least Italy was better than France. She might even have fun here. Not really. Because she was pissed. And partially annoyed that she actually found herself following him. It's not like she wanted the damn artifact.
Azrael grinned slightly, relaxing her stance. She was in Italy, were the males and females were all terrific flirts and the clubs were terrific. Turning on her heel, Azrael walked the opposite way down the street. Away from the pizzaria. Away from Balthazar. If he wanted to play this game then they could. But now the tables were turned. Balth could go find Azzie if he truly wanted. They could even enjoy the clubs together. But first. Azrael looked over a man's shoulder and at his phone, smiling flirtatiously at him when he noticed her. "Looks like I need a hotel room. And a new outfit." She may hate shopping but it's Italy. Shopping was worth it in Italy.
”Do I look like I piss away my hours thinking of pointless things I can fill your head with?” He paused briefly to weigh his own words then his face broke into a crooked smile. ”Ah, Azzie, you're onto me.” He praised. Of course there wasn't much else to do these days, with the apocalypse averted in all. Oh, wait, no that wasn't true. Castiel was up to something, and Balthazar intended to figure out what, but he couldn't be bothered right this minute. Why? Because this minute held much more entertaining endeavors, such as irritating his younger sister who seemed to be on a mission to protect the little green dwarf.
”Ah, yes...” He said, his good humour clinging to his words. ”One question at a time... Very well. I Let's start with if Peter Piper Picked a peck of pickled peppers, where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?” He asked, appearing perfectly serious. Something had gotten Azrael's panties in a bunch, but he couldn't be sure what. She was normally in a decent mood when he saw her, but today something wasn't quite right. Clearly Death was overworking her, and what use Death had of an angel, Balthazar couldn't be certain, but he was old. And Balthazar wasn't completely insane, he knew better than to try his hand against the great and powerful Oz Death.
”Not in the mood?!” Balthazar gasped, dramatically throwing his hand over his heart and recoiling as if he were offended. ”There's no such thing! And I'm far too handsome to be a baboon, haven't you seen my true form? Stunning. Positively stunning, I tell you. There is no one prettier than me. Not even you.” Of course he had winked. Azrael was a very attractive creature her self, and if their father actually had a hand in their outward appearance, he had crafted his sister with the same careful precision. Yet, no matter what he said, Azrael didn't seem to budge. Oh well! ---
As Balthazar basked beneath the beautiful sun, he reclined slightly into his seat. Surely Azrael hadn't meant what she said about him being dumb. No, that just didn't make sense. Of course he wasn't dumb. The correct term was selective. He should have the right to enjoy life as well, after all, he had opted to serve Castiel in his battle for free will, and he had been a damn good soldier before he faked his own death. He deserved a vacation. It wasn't his responsibility anymore to trouble himself with the on-goings of heaven, of hell, or of mud-monkeys. For all the world knew, he was dead: Just how he liked it. He had to make a mental note not to speak of Lord Disney the Monkey King to Azrael again, there was one thing he wasn't a fan of and that was being considered 'stupid'. Of course there were other things that could have bothered him as well, but Balthazar was a master of letting things roll off his shoulders. So he did. The smell of fresh baked pizza clouded the air, and naturally on days such as these, the plaza was crowded with the few monkey couples with good taste who were out to have a good time.
Ah, there she was. It took her long enough to find him. However, as quickly as she had came she was gone. Gripping onto the gnome, Balthazar popped out, uncaring of who or what saw him go. Leaving the gnome in his home, he flew back to where he had last seen Azzie, but naturally she had vanished into the crowd. Finally spotting her, Balthazar managed to reach her in time to hear her asking for a hotel room and a new outfit. ”Actually, she's with me. She's a little drunk, never mind her.” He stated, locking his arm around hers. ”Come on Azzie, we'll go shopping.” He volunteered since she was so eager to replace her clothing. ”Unless, of course, you'd rather take those off, in which case I'll personally buy the hotel room.” He teased.
Azrael thought for a moment to walk away from Balthazar, claim he was being a jealous little boy but thought better of it. She knew she was good at pushing people away, but she didn't want to do that to him. He was practically the only one who could stand to be in the same room as her anyway. "Well it is incredibly hot out, and I am wearing too many layers." She teased him, bringing her hand up to hold onto his bicep. She was sure that to anyone who saw them that they looked like a couple. She chuckled. "You know Balth, we might just be giving off the wrong impression."
Azrael placed a kiss on his cheek before pulling out of his grasp. But then again, they had always played a game of sorts. It was normal for them to flirt and tease but to never really do anything beyond that. Like the children of today call it, Balthazar and she were in the "friend zone". But the 21st century people seemed to think this was a bad thing. Didn't most people want friends? Azrael didn't really mind this horrid thing called the "friend zone" since she was lacking in the friends department.
"Though if you do take me shopping I might just think of letting the gnome thing go. I'd like a new dress." Azrael claimed, smoothing down her own dress for emphasis. This dress was old, something bought years ago when it was in style. It was in style again but she felt a bit weird wearing something that her other life wore. She had created so many lives in the years that sometimes Azrael felt when she wore her older clothes that she was wearing a dead girls outfit.