Rozen Maiden: Schwarze Feder des Schicksals
typed by the.Merines
started: 07.18.06 21:17
finished: 07.20.06 09:32
published: 07.20.06
disclaimed: Rozen Maiden, its scenario and characters belong to Peach-Pit, not me. Oh no.
Author's note: As per usual I feel the need to explain myself. Knowledge of Rozen Maiden (not necessarily Traümend) is highly recommended (read: necessary). If you haven't seen/heard of it, I implore you to find it. Still unlicensed, so dl is OK. This fic is an alternate universe beginning before episode 9-ish. In other words, before Suigintou challenges Shinku. The paragraph which is italicized is from the Wikipedia.

First Thorn: A Break in the Determinism

In the dead of night, a young man sat at his desk. He drummed his pencil against the fake wood of the desktop, staring up at the full moon through his small loft's only window. This was his first night off work in ten days. He had recently moved to third shift after the end of his senior year of high school, and it had been hard on him. His spirit felt crushed, his body more worn than should have been possible. However, this was the price he was willing to accept for being independent.

The only other furniture in the single room apartment was his bed and a refrigerator. He had moved out of his parent's house after getting in a rather ugly argument with his parents over his grades. "Sure I could have done better, but they were so cheap in sending me to a lower-class high school… It's no wonder I didn't feel challenged."

"We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed; if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes."

Tsugumi Ohba sighed and set down his pencil. "Even though this is basically a resumé, the universities all expect something grandiose. Because high school was so boring and I scored poorly on the initial entrance exams, I'm going to have to overextend myself for the rest of my career. Laplace's demon… In Laplace's mind it was really a Man, not a demon. Will humanity ever progress so far? While it is possible that all hard data could be computed in a single instant someday, who can be sure of inconsistent factors such as a human's free will?

"And if something exists somewhere between the practical and the theoretical, isn't it possible that the laws of the universe could be affected? Could it be possible to prove that free will could, in fact, be an illusion caused by the infinite number of human behaviors?" The young man nodded in satisfaction as he scribbled down a long set of notes. "If I can B.S. this into a long paper, surely someone at some Dean's office will be interested enough to accept me."

Tsugumi's head fell with a dull thud to his desktop. "How annoying… The chess game which is my life… Even though I can see all the opponent's pieces and know enough rules to survive, the sheer number of moves available makes things so difficult."

Outside the aforementioned single window, the first Rozen doll, Suigintou, tried to calm her restless spirit. The silver-haired miracle of alchemy sat on a light pole in a quiet area of the sleeping city, observing the one human she had found who she deemed interesting. For what reason he seemed interesting, she didn't care to explain. She crossed her arms, then her legs, sighing angrily. That boy seemed to be looking straight at her. Of course he wouldn't be able to see her unless she decided he could. That was one of the advantages of being a miracle of alchemy. The old mystery which had only been solved by a single genius doll-maker, who was so driven and meticulous that he endowed his creations with life itself. "Father," she whispered, sighing in a more wistful way.

For so long she'd been searching… trying to find a way to defeat Shinku. The others would surely fall to her, but with that ruby doll standing in her way… Why? Why was Shinku always just that one level higher, that one bit more powerful? How could she be so lucky every time they encountered each other?

'Iwas the first one. When father first tried to create Alice, when that perfect image was so fresh in his mind, I was the result. Of all the Rozen Maiden, I am the closest to being Alice in my natural state. But of course…' She unconsciously reached back and felt the area of her back around her black wings. 'Because of these things, I am flawed. I must become Alice to overcome such a thing. Father was the one who cursed me with such a great, disfiguring power. Not only must I meet father, but I have so many questions to ask… Will Alice remember feeling such unpleasant things? Of course not; when I am that embodiment of father's obsession, such worries will be a thing of the past.'

In any case, Shinku would have to be dealt with. One way or another, she and her medium would pay. They would both be turned into junk.

The young man abruptly rushed to his window. Suigintou's eyes widened slightly as the realization slowly dawned on her… He could see her. The how and why were unexplainable. The doll took her time standing, balancing herself on top of the pole. Her worry was confirmed as his eyes followed her movements. She had to take care of this quickly.

The first Rozen Maiden spread her wings and took to the sky, rushing the young man's position. Tsugumi didn't even have time to react before her body slammed into his, knocking him to the floor and across his apartment. Suigintou took a bit of satisfaction when he didn't get up for several long moments. 'I can finally rid myself of the annoying feeling I've been feeling lately. How can I expect to beat that Shinku when I can't concentrate on battle? It's no wonder I lost even in my own n-Field… This distraction and her new medium… Anyone would face such setbacks.' The pale-haired doll sat down on the edge of his open window and gazed down at him in contempt.

The young man stared across his room in complete and utter disbelief. Sitting on his windowsill was a beautiful… 'Well, is she a girl who's playing dress-up, or is she just really short? In any case, why is she just sitting there staring at me! How did she jump so far across the sky like that?' The female was wearing some kind of extremely elaborate loli-goth costume. It was so frilly and adorned with roses in various places, he really would have classified it as gothic Victorian. Her eyes were what stood out the most to him, though. Something like a pale purple in color, they seemed to lack a certain quality, though he couldn't place his finger on it.

"You there, how old are you?" he asked in all seriousness.

"Age is just a relative term." And thus the two continued staring at each other. Suigintou was beginning to become agitated as the seconds ticked by. Never before had a human been so complacent when she appeared to them. "Disgusting human," she growled under her breath. Suddenly, her wings rushed forward towards Tsugumi, which caught him off guard of course. He thought they were just some accessory strapped onto the girl's back.

'Guess her eyes and clothes weren't the only strange thing about her,' he thought in an eerily nonchalant way. For whatever reason he didn't feel threatened in the least. As Suigintou pushed him up against the wall of his apartment opposite the window, she felt just the slightest bit of surprise. The moonlight shined onto his face, revealing not one ounce of alarm.

"Oh my, you aren't the least bit fearful?" she asked rhetorically. "I'm not ashamed in the least to tell you that I've harmed at least one human in the past. You must be an especially dense human male." The corners of her lips rose in a malicious smile as he winced in pain. However, they fell into a grimace when she saw that he, too, had begun smiling (albeit in a very somewhat goofy way).

"I think I understand now," he groaned as the wall of wings crushed his body against the wall with more pressure than he had ever experienced. Only astronauts, fighter pilots, and Formula One drivers usually experienced such forces.

"You do? Ah, for some reason I doubt you realize the depth of the situation," she stated, followed with gloating laughter. 'At least this will let me blow off some steam before I go and start the Alice Game.'

"It's ironic," Ohba explained, despite the feeling that he was getting close to becoming unconscious. "I was just writing a paper on things which could not be classified as practical or theoretical. That something can only be defined as magical, thus breaking the known rules of existence. As I pondered over such things-…" He suddenly coughed, a small trickle of blood dripping from the corner of his mouth. Suigintou relieved a minimal amount of force, curious about the boy's words. "I see you aren't without pity… I was just imagining if I could only understand those things which are deemed as magic, when you suddenly appeared on that light pole."

"Remarkable. Perhaps you aren't as dense as you first seemed." Her voice was full of satisfaction. The suspicions she had felt about this human when she began observing him three days ago were finally confirmed. 'I cannot recall the last time I felt an innate connection with any particular human. Even my mediums in the past lacked such a bonding feeling. What a nuisance.'

"Hey, do you believe in the inevitability of fate?"

Her eyes focused on the boy. She judged that he was probably less than twenty years old, and she knew from her observations over the past three days that he worked at night and slept during the day. His hair was cut close to his head. Suigintou quickly released him, leaving a trail of black wings on the floor is his domicile. The doll held up one hand to her chin and continued evaluating him. He was probably just over 180 centimeters tall, but he was scrawny, and his plain black T-shirt and blue jeans showed that he had little sense for fashion.

Tsugumi stood and brushed himself off once he had regained his breath (and the feeling in his arms), picking one of the dark feathers from his hair. "Amazing," he whispered.

"What?" He looked past the feather towards its origin. She was roughly half his size, taking up most of his window's space, but the shape of her body was a woman's, not a girl's. Her voice, too, was a woman's. How strange.

"You… You're amazing. You are something totally beyond my comprehension. In all my life there had never been anything that I couldn't understand. The things which were unknown to me were easily found out through research. However, I have a feeling that I won't learn a thing about you, no matter how much I search."

"Hmph." He suddenly bowed.

"I'm Ohba. Ohba Tsugumi. Nice to meet you. Please, make my home your own." She crossed her arms and finally folded her wings back. This human certainly wasn't a threat. She raised her chin and made a conscious effort to sneer at him, even though she was feeling very shocked by the kind reception. What kind of person greets the one who just tried to kill them with such hospitality?

"Well, at least you have some manners," she replied as he rose, smiling. "If I correctly recall, isn't Tsugumi a girl's name?" He continued smiling at her, but a small blush appeared on his cheeks.

"You're correct," he admitted with a nervous chuckle. "My parents used to kanji to make my name mean 'heir,' even though they don't really have anything for me to inherit. But it is a girl's name, and I've had to explain the reason for my name more times than I'd like to remember. They only give me problems." Although he gave his answer with a wide grin on his face, it was evident in his voice that he had strong feelings regarding his parents. "You… You must be some kind of higher intelligence?"

"Oh my, you could easily draw that assumption," she stated, not realizing that he was referring to extraterrestrials. "I am the first doll of the Rozen Maiden, Suigintou."

"Suigintou," he repeated thoughtfully. She looked down her nose at him with a mix of disdain and curiosity. "It's beautiful." Her mouth parted ever so slightly in a silent gasp.

"What a rude thing to say to a lady."

"Oh! Uh… My apologies, Suigintou." He noticed that although her general appearance portrayed a great and unwavering, confident power, her eyes in particular looked incredibly weary. "Are you tired?"

"Ignorant human. I don't require such things." She looked away from the young man and closed her eyes. 'How long has it been? How many years have passed by since I was able to trust a human enough to bring my case into a human house? Even though I said I was the first doll, I'm not even sure he acknowledged the fact that I'm not human. Perhaps… Maybe it would be rejuvenating to feel at peace once more… even if just for one night.'

For the first time in as long as she could remember (although her memories were hazy because she hadn't slept in so long), Suigintou summoned her case and gracefully floated down to the floor. Tsugumi watched in amazement as the rose-encrusted box flew through his window by unknown means. He recognized the suspicion in her eyes as she opened it. "Don't worry. I stay awake all night anyway, so I'll be sure no one disturbs your rest," he explained quietly. The doll raised a single eyebrow before stepping into her case and slowly closing it.

'To have a medium… Maybe that is the key to defeating Shinku and her own servant,' she wondered as she drifted off to sleep.

"The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness," Ohba mused to himself. He set aside all his research and notes, pulling out a book. He rarely allowed himself to enjoy works of fiction, but perhaps this one time would be acceptable. "After all, how often does one find something completely outside of common knowledge?"

Suigintou sat comfortably inside her dream world, feeling particularly nostalgic. It had been a lifetime since she had been awake at the same time as Shinku. During those years her bitter feelings had simply gotten worse. The doll set down her tea cup and sighed. The Victorian mansion which was her own special world had become quite run-down in her absence. Its windows were all broken, and the distinct odor of dust filled the air.

She sat back in her great black velvet chair. This world could return to its once beautifully dark state, but she would have to resume a somewhat regular sleep schedule. The black of night outside the mansion suddenly broke, beams of moonlight shooting through the clouds. Suigintou realized it was a part of her world which was changing, becoming brighter. 'Is this the light of hope? The hope that I can easily overcome Shinku and her servant… with my own medium? That boy has something innately weird about him.'

The doll rested her chin on a hand and stared into the mansion's depths. 'But how am I to make a contract with a human who doesn't even realize that I'm a doll? Taking him into a n-Field could prove to be more of a nuisance than an advantage. Shinku… How did you train your medium to be such an immense source of power?'

In her own dream world, which was a much brighter interpretation of a Victorian house, Shinku suddenly looked outside the window next to her table. Something was bothering her, and usually such intuitions were about her sister, Suigintou. 'You've been unusually quiet lately. Are you planning something, Suigintou?' With Jade Dream, Lempicka, and Meimei in her possession, she could prove to be an even more dangerous adversary than usual. Would she enter someone's dream and begin causing chaos? Shinku knew that Suigintou's immediate goal would be to provoke her into starting the Alice Game. 'Hina-ichigo, Suiseiseki, and Souseiseki… Even standing together, they cannot defeat Suigintou. No matter how much all the sisters treasure Father and wish to become Alice, Suigintou's ambition is an overwhelming power. She's operated for so long on her own, using her motivation as her source of power.

'If she did somehow entice a human into becoming her medium… She could become unstoppable. Everyone would be in danger.'

First Thorn's End.

Afternotes: As you can see, I've used the manga's interpretation of Suigintou's imperfection rather than the anime's. I've never written any fanfiction which takes place outside the Evangelion universe before, so if it seemed strange… please forgive me! Some of you may feel shocked by Suigintou's OOC-ness in 1) singling out and attacking a human, and 2) deciding he could become her medium. I tried to make the story read like the two had some kind of unconscious (and thus far unexplained) connection. Also, the title means "Black Feather of Fate," which is a play on the Japanese belief of the "red string of fate" which binds lovers together. Hope you enjoyed it!

Also, there has been a rumor of a RM OVA being released, during TBS's Anime Fest, on August 19th! Keep your hopes up!