4:30pm Saturday Afternoon.
“WHAT????” Keiichi screamed when Belldandy broke the news to him. They were in the Tea Room standing face to face. “Belldandy, what were you thinking, opposing the Almighty like that? Do you want to lose your license? Am I that important to you that you'd risk everything for me? Please tell me this is a dream. Yeah!!!, it's all a dream. I'm really asleep and my girlfriend didn't just talk back to the Almighty, and I'm not going to Heaven and I don't have to put up with Peorth again...”
Belldandy grabbed Keiichi by the shoulders and shook him a little more violently than she intended, “Keiichi, this is not a dream, this is very real. You, I, and my sisters will have to go to heaven for this hearing before the Council in two days. I'm sorry that what I did caused you so much grief, but I love you so much that I can't stand to be without you. I'm willing to put my license, my career, and my life on the line to stay with you.
“ I confess that since I have lived here with you, my weaknesses and flaws have been made clear to me. And one of those weaknesses is that I am possessive of you and very jealous. Seeing any woman flirting with you enrages me. You've seen my jealousy storms. You've seen the destruction I can cause. Can you still stay with me knowing this?”
Belldandy collapsed to the floor at Keiichi's feet with a wail and cried out tearfully,
“I am so horrible!!, I am undeserving of you, and my goddess license. Goddesses are supposed to be kind, gentle, warm, and loving. Above all they are supposed to be selfless and I am not selfless. I am the worst kind of selfish. I want you all to myself! I want to give you all of me. Just like I want all of you. But I'm not ready for that yet.
“Keiichi, my love. Please tell me you'll forgive me!” Bell's face turned red as the tears flowed. Her shoulders heaved as she continued to cry. Her hair, always in place and immaculate, was disheveled. The ribbon holding her ponytail fell off, and her hair cascaded down the middle of her back flowing free. For the first time ever, Belldandy didn't look the perfect goddess. She looked like a frightened and traumatized young woman. All pretense was stripped away, and Belldandy's true feelings were laid bare for all to see. Keiichi was stunned. He had never seen Belldandy open up to him to this extent before. She hadn't revealed anything he didn't already know. But he never saw her in such a vulnerable state.
Keiichi reached down and extended a hand to Belldandy. He helped her to her feet. He grabbed a towel and gently wiped the tears from his goddess's eyes. He looked into those very same eyes and saw the depths of Belldandy's soul. He spoke to that soul.
“Belldandy. You have given me the greatest years of my life. You have taught me what love really is. You have stood beside me. You have protected me and saved my life many times. I owe you a debt that I can never repay. It is not just your warmth and kindness and gentleness that makes you a great goddess. It is also those weaknesses that complete you. Light cannot exist without darkness. The function of light is to dispell the darkness. Your light, your pure light scatters the darkness within you. It will always be there. But you can control it through your light. It is alright to be jealous as long as it does not consume you.
“ And being possessive, I don't mind you being possessive of me. I'm glad that you find me worthy enough to be possessive. It is good for you to acknowledge your flaws. That means that we, and I do mean we, can work on fixing them together. Belldandy, you mean the world to me and I would go through hell itself before seeing a hair on your head harmed. There is nothing to forgive. You have done nothing wrong.
“ And even though you're not ready to become completely intimate with me, I think that you need this right now.” And he pulled Belldandy to him, put both arms around her slim waist and kissed her hard on the lips. She offered no resistance, and threw her arms around Keiichi's neck. Her lips were so soft and moist. Belldandy never wore perfume, but Keiichi could smell honeysuckle, and cherry blossoms and ocean breezes. In his mind he could hear a mix of Belldandy's infectious giggles and her and Holy Bell singing a tune just for him. His mind started to drift away on a cloud of passion. He could feel Bell's love flowing through his body, radiating through his soul, Energizing him. Fulfilling him. He started to feel himself becoming aroused, and it would have been so easy to carry her to his room and make love to her. But out of respect for Belldandy's wishes, he didn't want to give into his desires just yet. In response, Belldandy drew him even closer to her. Not wanting to let go. She melted into his arms. She felt at home. She wished that they could stay like this forever. Her goddess powers started to stir within her, flushing away her despair, filling her with new hope and courage. Once again their hearts were beating together in perfect time. She wanted to give her all to him right there in the Tea Room. But she knew that it wasn't the time. After what seemed to be hours, but was only ten minutes, they released from their embrace. They looked into each others eyes, and Belldandy said “Thank you Keiichi, I did need that. I didn't want to let you go. I wanted to stay in your arms forever.”
Meanwhile, Urd was standing just outside the Tea Room watching the entire exchange. She said to herself with a chuckle,“ Good for you, Belldandy. Maybe this relationship has a chance after all.”
6 pm Saturday Afternoon.
Keiichi and the three goddesses were at dinner in the Tea Room discussing the upcoming hearing. Skuld was mad that she didn't get to hear the phone call between Kami-sama and Belldandy, and she wasn't excited about going back to Heaven because the first thing she'd end up doing was going back to work debugging Yggdrasil. Of course she blamed the whole mess on Keiichi.
“SEE KEIICHI, THIS IS WHY I HATE YOU SO MUCH!!!, IF YOU HADN'T GOTTEN SO LOVEY-DOVEY WITH BELLDANDY, WE WOULDN'T HAVE THIS PROBLEM!!! Skuld screamed, her voice ripping through the thin walls of the temple like a tornado. “I was just getting to enjoy life on Earth, Sentaro and I have been getting along so well, and now this!!! I HOPE THE ALMIGHTY ZAPS YOU WITH A THUNDERBOLT, KEIICHI!!!”
Belldandy came to Keiichi's defense. “Skuld, if there's anyone to blame, blame me. I was the one who challenged the order. Keiichi didn't put me up to this. He has done nothing wrong. As a matter of fact, he's taking a very big risk by agreeing to go to heaven with me. If the conversion spell goes wrong, he could be destroyed. Even if he wasn't and the spell didn't work, he would still remain on earth and couldn't accompany me to the hearing, and that would cause Kami-sama to implement the punishment against me. So please don't put this on Keiichi. It wasn't his fault that I fell in love with him. It just happened.”
Skuld was satisfied with Bell's answer for now. “ Well, I guess that it really isn't Keiichi's fault. It's just that he's such a convenient scapegoat for all the crap that happens around here, she said with a smirk at Keiichi.
Keiichi took this time to divert the discussion to the matter at hand. “So, what do I need to know in order to prepare for this trip to Heaven?, I mean I'll do whatever it takes to make sure Belldandy is all right, but this spell business has me a little concerned. I mean I could be scattered all over Japan if something goes wrong. I'm sure that Belldandy can do her part singing-wise, but I don't know about Lind and Peorth.”
Urd tried to add a little levity to the situation. “Well, if I were you, I'd make sure I had a will in place, for one thing. Lind's magic leaves a lot to be desired. I've got dibbs on the liquor cabinet and the TV's.” And Skuld jumped in, saying “ And I want all your tools, your computer, your motorcycle...” she was bouncing up and down gleefully in her place just thinking about the cool inventions she could make with Keiichi's stuff.
Keiichi said “All right you two, cut it out. Let's get back to the subject at hand. What do I need to know about Heaven?”
Belldandy said “It's very hard for a human such as yourself to understand what heaven is like. No offense, Keiichi, but humans like yourselves are much too limited in their senses to appreciate and fully comprehend what Heaven is like. Heaven is a ten-dimensional place. The majority of what goes on there will be well beyond your understanding. The conversion spell will most likely allow you to do the basic things like see the sights, interact with us as well as Kami-sama and the council and move around as well as understand the language. But much of the deeper aspects of heaven are simply not describable to you in a form that you can understand. I can tell you that it is the most beautiful place you will ever see, even with your limited vision. The colors are so bright and rich. You'll see things that don't make sense in this world, but make perfect sense there. Even us goddesses will look different than what you're used to.”
Keiichi said with a grin “Hmm, will you be as beautiful up there as you are here?” Belldandy blushed a deep crimson.
Urd said slyly. “If you think she's hot down here, Keiichi-boy, you haven't seen anything yet. You'll barely be able to keep your hands off her once you see what she looks like in Heaven. And if you think I'M hot down here,” Urd continued, suggestively fondling her voluptuous breasts. “I know you won't keep your hands off ME!!!” She moved in to toy with Keiichi's affections, but quickly jumped back when the teapot exploded sending hot tea all over the table. Skuld let out a scream and ran back to her room. Urd turned to look at Belldandy and could see the intense look in her eyes, her thin pursed lips. The massing energies of jealousy that were coming off Belldandy like lethal rays of radiation. “Belldandy!!, Belldandy!!” Urd cried out, panicking. “I was only joking. Settle down!!!” And just like that, the jealousy storm was over. Belldandy snapped out of her trance, blinked a couple times, and said, “Huh, Oh I'm sorry, Urd. Please forgive me.”
“Geez, Belldandy, you're going to have to get a grip on those jealousy storms. It's just me. I'm not going to take your Keiichi away. You know I like to play around with him. I don't mean anything by it.” Urd complained while wiping the tea off the table.
“ I know that you aren't serious about seducing Keiichi, but when I see other women even playfully flirting with him, It just makes me so mad. I can hardly control myself.”
Keiichi leaped up and rushed to Belldandy's side. “Are you all right?” “Yes, I am” Belldandy said. “I need to go and clean this mess up.” She picked up the broken teapot and ran off into the kitchen.
Urd grabbed a towel and finished cleaning the table and then sat down again. “Urd, Keiichi asked, “Belldandy has been under a lot of strain lately. I wonder if she did the right thing by confronting the Almighty like that. She could end up in some serious trouble if I don't make it to the hearing and also if the Council rules against her. She could end up disconnected from Yggdrasil. That sounds harsh.”
“That is the worst punishment a goddess can face, it's almost a living death. Urd replied with all trace of mischief gone from her voice. “She would literally be floating in a netherworld. Conscious, but completely isolated from everything, No one would be able to see or talk to her, and she would not be able to respond to anything. She'd be better off dead rather than disconnected from Yggdrasil.”
“How long would this punishment last?” Keiichi asked, not wanted to hear the answer.
“ It depends. For Belldandy, who has a clean record, maybe a year in heaven time which comes out to 5 years in earth time. The maximum sentence that is given is 10 years. But even the Almighty has never passed that sentence. But those who go into isolation, even for a year, never come out the same. And for a goddess like Belldandy, who thrives on being around people, it would be like slow torture. It would destroy her. But that's the extreme punishment, It's unlikely that Belldandy would be sentenced to that. Most likely she'd lose her license for a while. Which is serious because she would not be able to do her job with the Goddess Assistance Agency. Most likely, she'd be shunted off to a desk job to work off her sentence. But it would still tear Belldandy up because she loves doing things for humans.
“ Defying the Almighty is a serious offense, Keiichi. He's not known for taking kindly for such insubordination. It's a testament to Belldandy's character and to her greatness as a goddess that he's even granting her a hearing. Also, It's a credit to you.”
Keiichi looked confused “How's that, Urd?”
“If Belldandy would have been contracted to any other human when she defied the Almighty, she would have been punished on the spot. No exceptions, whatsoever. Believe it or not, Kei, the Almighty knows a lot about you. You've done quite a bit of service to Heaven since we've come to live with you. The Lord of Terror incident, the separation of my demon half from my divine half, the Angel Eater getting loose. You played a major part in all those situations and The Almighty has quite a bit of respect for you. You could almost say that he likes you. That's why he's granting Belldandy a hearing and allowing you to come along. He would never do this for any other human.
Keiichi said “Wow.” I didn't think the Almighty even knew me, much less had any opinion about me.”
“Remember one thing, Keiichi” Urd cautioned. “Belldandy is putting a lot on the line because she loves you so much. She would not have done this for anyone but you. You're a very lucky guy.” Urd then reached over and gave Keiichi a kiss on the cheek and a wink. Keiichi leaped back “Urd, don't do that, you'll cause Belldandy to go off again.” He tensed up waiting for the fireworks.
“No, Keiichi, I'm all right this time.” Belldandy said, walking into the room just as Urd leaned back. Keiichi looked like he was going to go through the floor. “ I could tell that kiss was out of respect and affection, not to flirt with you.” Belldandy then sat down next to Keiichi.
“But I may have to do this to get you back into my good graces.” She said with a touch of mischief in her tone. And she pulled him to her and gave him a very big kiss on the lips.