Well, I think it's time to hit Phantom Brave again. I think iti's the most colorful of the Nippon Ichi's. Not much else to say.

I don't own Phantom Brave, or anything of NIS.

I've also remade the scenes a bit, and I'm leaning on a Ash x Jasmine coupling Pre-death. Ofcourse that's not possible now. But I'm making it pretty dark, and make it comic-relief free as possible.

Note: The Italics are thoughts and memories of the individual (Ash).

Hope you guys enjoy!


Episode Zero:

Chapter One

"Close Friends"

The sky was a purplish red, from the rising sun. The blood from the fight was on the ground, some seeping in, the rest in puddles. Ash could see the difference between Jasmine's and Haze's. Maybe it was Ash's emotions to them, and how different they were. The smell of death was in the air, the rotting corpses of his friends. what's left of them were scattered about the dry ground.

The scene was disgusting. The torn heart that Ash had felt at the moment was overwhelming. Sitting there, it had been 3 hours since he stopped. Breathing from slow to rapid. A carousel of memories ran through his head.

"I had the chance…"

He looked to Jasmine's remains, as tears ran down his cheek. His eyes had grown empty. Their shine was gone. The only thing was pain.

"I failed!! I was supposed to protect you!"

He slammed a closed fist at the ground, making no sound. Standing up, he began beating the remains of Wraith. The anger in his mind the pure hatred. He knew in his mind, they were all dead. Completely dead. Beating the corpse gave no relief, but he could not stop himself.

"Why?!"

Taking two swings at the tree again, he fell to his knees.

Looking to Haze's corpse, he shook from the trauma.

"Haze! I…we…you were supposed to protect her! Why me? You ass, we could've saved her!"

Ash's efforts were useless. It wasn't Haze's fault, nor his own. The pain was so intense, it had to find a hole. The wounds on his heart were fresh. They bled continuously, just as if it was still happening. He was forever scarred from the incident. He lost his Close Friends.

His body was unharmed, and clothes were in perfect condition. As if they never were touched. This was not relief. It only produced guilt. Endless guilt. The constant feeling of emptiness was always there. He heard nothing but silence.

The screams of pain, echoed from the distance. Yet The Island of Evil was empty. Not a soul. The anger burned in himself. The Pain tortured his heart. He was ultimately useless. Lying on the ground, he shivered from the events, frightened. He let the tears run freely, carrying his endless sorrow.

He could not speak. For awhile, the only thing to be heard was:

"I'm so sorry."

The fog began to cover the area around him. Huddled by the tree, he laid, curled into a ball. All was lost, he failed to protect her.

-

The next day…

The sun had been out for a few hours now. The light was so innocent. It pierced through the clouds, shining on the tree Ash was under. He was still asleep. The tears hadn't dried completely; it's as if they were still there. The pain in his heart was never gone. But his friends were. His love was.

Lifting his eyes, he stared at the grassy patches that were in front of him. The grass was gray, so dark. Just like the night. Some areas still were stained with the blood of his friends. They were gone. They were really gone.

Ash didn't move. Scanning the area slowly, his hands were perfectly clean. He was so intact. The fact that he was so fine, and his friends were there alone, was overwhelming. He harbored feelings of Guilt and Resentment towards himself. He went from the Guardian to the Victim. Now he is alive, and his friends died for him.

"Nothing….Nothing is emptier then being protected…"

He stood up, looking around. In the distance, he could see the boat he and his friends came on.


Flashback

The boat rocked slowly down the ocean waters. Jasmine lay back on the bench, with her arm in the water. Ash glanced at her, smiling lightly for a moment. She smiled back.

"Ash…We're just looking into a common Chroma job. Don't worry, 'kay?"

Ash nodded.


Ash was almost at the boat, since he started walking. The sand wasn't disrupted. It was as if he and his friends never came. The water healed the arks on the sand. Erasing the existence.

Sitting down in the boat, he grabbed the oar, and pushed off the shore. Oaring for only a few strokes, he tossed one into the ocean. Laid back, and drifted into sleep.


A couple of hours out, Ash lay quietly on the boat. It drifted with the tide. The sail had been slightly worn, but not enough to stop working. He tried to cover his eyes, but to no avail. He could see the sun straight through them.

It wasn't over. His friends were gone. His love was gone. He was empty, and alone. Tears began to run from his cheek, though he hadn't been screaming in pain this time.

Each reoccurring thought gave him a whirlwind of emotions. He failed, and he wasn't supposed to. Repeating it to himself was the only way to feel.

Squeezing his hand tightly, he closed his eyes. The only thing on his mind was Jasmine's smile. Her hair resembled the ocean; its gentle, wavy nature.

"Jasmine…I…"

A small flash of memory came to him.

"Hey Ash"

"I…"

"Isn't it cute Ash?"

"I…"

"Sometimes…I wonder if things would be different, you know?"

"Jasmine…I love you…"


The sun set on Ash's boat ride. He had hit land shore sometime earlier he still laid in the same position. So cold, so alone. The gentle breezes of the wind, the sounds of the ocean rolling onto the sand, the echo of birds in the distance.

He thought of Haze, for a moment. There was something he said to him, before they took the job.


Flashback

The three walked out of the office of Sienna. She had offered them a higher rank job, that of professional chromas.

"Ash, Jasmine, and me, that's three of us. Plenty enough to defeat the monsters there."

Jasmine gripped Haze's hand. Nudging him lightly.

"Haze…I don't like how this feels…"

Haze smiled.

"Don't worry Jasmine – it'll be fine."

Ash looked to the ocean from the bay windows. Watching the sun set.

"Hey Ash, c'mere"

Haze yanked Ash's scarf, bringing him to him, a little way from jasmine.

"Listen man, I need to ask a favor."

Ash looked at him curiously.

"A favor?"

Haze nodded.

"This is a big job. We're all going…but…Jasmine says that she had a premonition a few days ago about this. I don't really think it's that dangerous, but just in case…"

Ash stood erect, and let Haze's arm drop from his neck.

"Don't talk like that Haze. If anyone's going to get hurt, it'll be me."

Haze raised an eyebrow for the moment.

"Ash, cool down. We aren't going anywhere…"

Ash sighed.

"Ash, if something does happen…I need you to take care of my daughter. You're the youngest. In case something happens…"

Ash nodded, almost with a resistance.

"Haze, we'll be fine."

Haze smiled, and gave Ash a light jab to the arm.

"Yeah, you're right. I just worry about Jasmine sometimes."


Ash opened his eyes, and slowly drooped out of the boat. Taking slow steps to the island, he paced, almost as if he was crippled. Getting to the door, he reached into his pocket.

"What?"

Ash patted down his pockets lightly, and found nothing. His pockets were empty. The house key to their house was gone.

"No way…"

Ash looked at the door, and calmed his mind. He slowly reached out, seeing that his arm penetrated the door. Phantoms possessed the ability to go through solid objects. He walked slowly, through the house. Shells, pictures, bottles, all collected from their adventures. Ash looked at one particular shell. Around it was a necklace, made of much smaller shells. Ash lifted it, and held it loosely.


Flashback

"Jasmine?"

"Yes?"



Ash shook his head.

"No…it's too late…"

Ash put it down. His heart didn't beat. But the pain was so real.

He had made his way slowly up the stairs. At the top, he passed the first two rooms, the left, Jasmine's, the right, Haze's. More towards the front, his room was next to Jasmine's, and across from Marona's.

He placed his hand on the doorknob of his room, but paused.

"I…don't need anything anymore, do I?"

A light moaning was heared from the other room. He almost reached for her doorknob, but let his hand drop. He relaxed, and walked through the door. There was an eerie sound in the air, as he passed through objects.

Marona slept, quietly on her bed. Over the sheets, but still in her pajamas. Jasmine and Haze had planned to be back before dawn, the day before…but…

"Uhhh…mommy…"

Ash quietly sat down on the chair at her bedside. He lightly caressed her forehead, moving her hair to the side. He sighed, laying his head on her bed. His shoulders jerked as he sobbed.

Jasmine's premonition was true. Haze's worries were a reality. There was no turning back. Losing a person hurts, but when you're alone, and there is no where to turn, there is nothing left to do but dwell in the agony.

He now had a large responsibility. He could not fail again. For her sake, and her Daughter's.


This is when Ash and his friends died. At the last moment, Haze and Jasmine used the Miracle Chartreuse. Sacrificing their lives, what little they had, they could not heal Ash's wound from Wraith, but saved his soul from death. Resurrected as a phantom. Not alive, nor dead.

That's it for now, this is the starting chapter. I'm focusing on Ash's life from when they died, to the beginning of the game. Hope you guys enjoyed, hope to see some reviews.