Author's note:

Thanks for the positive feedbacks lately. This will be my entry before I go into hibernation mode again as more school requirements are required for me to submit. Anyways, enjoy this chapter.

O O O O O O O O O O

Rozen Maiden: Eternal Play

Act 14: Remember

"COME HERE –DESU!!" Suiseiseki roared as she chased after Hinaichigo, still infuriated by her witty remark.

"Huwahaha… I'm being chased by the psycho -nano" Hinaichigo feinted a horrified cry

"I AM NOT A PSYCHO –DESU! CHIBI ICHIGO!!"

The two continued their game of cat and mouse until the door bell rang. Shinku sighed. She can't order either of them children to get the door as they will, without a doubt, make up another whimsical excuse of being chased by the green psycho monster or going to catch that pink little runt.

"Excuse me Kanaria, I must tend to that untimely visitor" Shinku pardoned as she hopped down the couch, leaving Kanaria with the rest of the dolls.

Shinku summoned her cane and used it to turn the handle. The mechanism snapped as Shinku turned the door open only to be greeted by…

"TOMOE!!" Hinaichigo cheered as she ran past Shinku and leapt to her arms.

"Hinaichigo" The girl greeted with a giggle.

"Hinaichigo you should behave in front of Tomoe" Shinku remanded.

"It's okay Shinku-chan"

"Hwah!! UNYUU!!" The doll said happily at the familiar box Tomoe held under a plastic bag.

"Don't you ever get tired of eating that stuff everyday –desu?" Suiseiseki said as she appeared beside Shinku.

Hinaichigo, noticing her oppressor, pleaded at Tomoe "Tomoe, Hinaichigo is being chased by the green psycho!!"

"I AM NOT A PSYCHO –DESU!!" Suiseiseki pouted beside Shinku.

"But you ARE –nano!"

"Grrr" she gave her a look where sparks could almost fly.

"Well, let's continue this conversation inside, besides, it's almost time for tea. Come, Tomoe, join us" Shinku offered.

Hinaichigo nodded. "Unyuu tastes better with tea -nano"

The girl smiled and accepted the invitation as she made her way inside the Sakurada household.

O O O

"Oh, hello Tomoe" Kanaria greeted as the group entered the living room.

"Hello Kanaria-chan. Giving your sisters a visit?"

"More of 'giving us hell' -desu" Suiseiseki chirped.

"Suiseiseki! Do I have to remind you that Kanaria saved our lives?"

"Saved your lives?" Tomoe thought out loud as she laid Hinaichigo on the couch and handed her the box of strawberry cakes.

Shinku nodded. "Actually, we were being chased by that troublesome vacuum cleaner" Shinku pointed at the infernal machine that gave their day an exhilarating start "when Kanaria came and saved our lives"

Tomoe looked at the vacuum cleaner and the shards of glass up to the broken window and chuckled.

"So this is what Nori is talking about"

"Nori?" the trio chimed.

"She told me earlier that you guys promised her that you would clean the house but she remembered after she visited Jun-kun that she forgot to teach you how to use the vacuum cleaner so she asked me to visit you guys and help"

Shinku and Suiseiseki blushed, ashamed of Tomoe offering her help.

"Thanks for coming then, Tomoe" Shinku said meekly.

"Right –desu. Thank you for helping us -desu" Suiseiseki added.

"But before we clean the house let's eat first –nano!!"

"You eat too much chibi ichigo!!" Suiseiseki snapped with renewed jest at the doll.

Shinku sighed. "Well, Suiseiseki, would you kindly serve the tea?"

"Hweh? Why me –desu?"

"Don't worry, Hinaichigo will accompany you. She'll be in charge of the strawberry cakes"

"HURRAH!"

"I'll come with them too –kashira. Letting Hinaichigo take charge of strawberry shortcakes are disastrous -kashira"

"Unyuu?"

"Hehe. Right on Kanaria. I take it back, you really are our savior -desu" she giggled deviously.

"Of course I am –kashira. Ufufufu. I Kanaria saved your lives from the evil vacuum cleaner -kashira"

A large teardrop fell beside the heads of everyone within the room except for Kanaria and Souseiseki.

O O O

"That's a nice suggestion" Kirakishou chimed. She has returned from her trip within Souseiseki's prison and was now resting on her throne. She searched around from her seat for Laplace but found no sign of the rabbit.

"Maybe he's back with Enju, working at the shop" Kirakishou sighed as she stood up and decided to fix the tea herself.

O O O

"It's really delicious –nano!" Hinaichigo said with a mouthful of strawberry cake in her mouth.

"Hinaichigo please watch your manners" Shinku said sternly.

"Sorry -nano" Hinaichigo said as she covered her mouth.

"Come on, try it Souseiseki" Suiseiseki said at her twin who blankly stared at the cake. Taking the initiative, Jade Stern sliced a piece of her own and held it before Lapis Lazuli.

"Fine I'll feed you then -desu" Suiseiseki blushed, a mix of shame and despair at the little improvement Souseiseki is showing.

'Please –desu. Please eat' Suiseiseki pleaded inside.

As if listening to her request, Lapis Lazuli opened her mouth. Suiseiseki smiled and fed her twin, almost teary-eyed with the improvement. The rest of those who were present smiled at the twins and on Souseiseki's progress. It may be slow but it's better than no improvement at all.

After the dolls ate they finally began cleaning the house. Tomoe instructed them how to properly use a vacuum cleaner when the girl knelt in front of it, she began her lecture, turning around, she found her students away from her, 10 feet away to be exact, all four of them cuddled together (with Souseiseki standing beside still unaware of what was happening), afraid of going near that monstrous machine again. Tomoe giggled and reassured them that she'll take care of the monstrous vacuum cleaner. The dolls nodded in unison and zoomed at her to hear her lecture.

Tomoe pointed out a cable and that it should be plugged in. The dolls nodded again (in unison), like children intent on learning something out of the ordinary. With every instruction that comes out from Tomoe, the Rozen Maidens nodded (except for Souseiseki). Finally the lecture was finished and it was now time for using the vacuum cleaner. Tomoe stood up and flipped the switch. The machine spun to life and the dolls who eagerly watched it near (except again for Souseiseki) scampered away as if they avoided a holocaust. Suiseiseki finally noticed from behind a couch that Souseiseki still stood there and immediately grabbed her and led her behind her hiding place. A large teardrop fell beside Tomoe's head.

O O O

Without much ruckus, the day went on with the dolls cleaning the house. Suiseiseki, along with her twin, dusted the shelves. Hinaichigo was with Tomoe while Shinku, with the help of Suiseiseki's bickering, was forced to clean the house along with Kanaria who miraculously volunteered herself.

By noon the house was finally clean. The floor shone like it was licked by the sun, the bathroom tiles glimmered like it was brand new, the living room gave off a calm sight, the kitchen sparkled with new zest, and the window that was broken earlier was fixed by Shinku. The girls felt pleased with what they accomplished… except again for Souseiseki… and decided to reward themselves for a job well done.

"Hello, Pizza Shack Delivery" the operator said. (--)??

"Ah yes, I would like to have an 18 inch thin crust Hawaiian and…" Tomoe ordered.

"YAY!! PIZZA –NANO!!"

"This is perfect –desu. A real winner –desu!"

Minutes later, the delivery man came and handed Tomoe the huge 18 inch pizza. She finally made her way into the room where the girls awed in unison.

O O O

Kirakishou giggled faintly as she saw how childish her sisters could be, drooling over that huge pan of pizza. Yet her eyes reflected a light of envy. What could it be? Did she also want a slice of that pizza or a distant memory flickered in her mind. The mirror zoomed on each of the dolls as they ate. Even at Souseiseki whom she controlled, made her eat the pizza. Every time her twin urges her, Kirakishou is obliged to play along by controlling Souseiseki's movements. Yet, while doing so, she doesn't feel agitated. It's as if she wants to be cared for like what Suiseiseki does. The image continued to shift from one doll to another until it stopped for quite some time on Hinaichigo who was joyfully nibbling down on the slice.

Kirakishou smiled.

O O O

After lunch, the dolls decided to take a break. Tomoe was intent on leaving but was swooned by Hinaichigo's plea of making her stay. The girl agreed and accompanied the dolls upstairs, at Jun's room to be more specific, and found themselves hanging out on his bed. The dolls found their posts and enjoyed the afternoon's peace.

"Tomoe?" Shinku began as she closed the Kun-Kun novel she was reading.

"Yes?"

"Can you tell me the first time you met Jun?"

Tomoe blinked twice.

"Yes –nano!" Hinaichigo chimed. "I want to know how Jun and Tomoe met -nano"

"Y-Yes –desu" Suiseiseki blushed, jealous perhaps of her background with the human. "Please do tell us -desu"

Tomoe nodded and smiled. "Okay" she paused for awhile as if reminiscing a distant past. The winds blew gently outside, comforting the leaves of a nearby tree and garden bush.

"I met…" she finally began "Sakurada-kun…"

Flashback

The school bell chimed, indicating the end of class. Wild kids poured out of the school as if they finally earned their hard fought freedom. Inside, as a small girl walked her way outside the building, a familiar mole under her left eye, she was bumped over by a pair of boys who were like the majority of the crowd, eager of escaping school. The two kids never even looked back and apologized at the poor girl. The girl shook her head and noticed a hand reaching out to her. She trailed it until she met the face of a cute boy, probably her age, smiling down at her. She reluctantly grabbed on the hand and was helped up.

"Are you alright miss?"

The girl nodded.

"Jun-kun!" a girl cried from afar, waving at the boy standing before the young Tomoe. Jun turned around and waved back. "I'm coming sis!" the boy yelled. Turning back at Tomoe, he bid her farewell and left.

End Flashback

"You met ningen while you were young –desu?"

Tomoe nodded.

"Wonderful! Tomoe and Jun has been good friends since then -nano" Hinaichigo chimed.

"Do you have a picture of ningen while he was chibier that chibi chibi –desu? Wait! Maybe Jun has something in his closet"

"I don't think we should wander around Jun's closet Suiseiseki" Shinku said. "I do hope you remember the last time…"

Jade Stern gave Shinku a quizzical look as she searched her memory for when the last time they peeked in Jun's closet. It was after their battle with Barasuishou at the factory that they decided to find clothes to lend to Tomoe. When they found one, a peculiar magazine fell under its folds… Suiseiseki blushed.

"Y-You're right -desu" she managed her head facing down with humiliation.

Tomoe chuckled as she too remembered. Then as if she was struck with a reminder. She sought for her bag which she laid beside Jun's table. Getting down, she opened it and searched something inside.

"What is it –nano?" Hinaichigo mused from the bed as she tried to peek.

"Here it is" Tomoe smiled triumphantly, as she pulled a thick leather covered notebook.

"What is that –nano?"

The girls eyed the notebook as Tomoe made her way back on Jun's bed.

Tomoe blushed. "this… umm… this is my diary"

"A diary –desu? May we read it –desu?"

"Suiseiseki!" Shinku remanded. "A diary is a lady's most valued item. Asking to read it is like stealing that lady's dignity"

Suiseiseki staggered back and apologized at Tomoe.

"Tomoe, please continue your story" Shinku urged. Tomoe smiled at her as she opened the straps of her diary and pulled out a picture.

"This is a picture of me, Nori, and Jun" she said, handing Shinku the weathered photograph. The dolls, excluding Souseiseki, cuddled beside Shinku, eager of seeing Jun as a child.

From the left stood Nori, Her hair was small back then but the curls were evident. Even as a child she wore those glasses. The girls then look at the familiar figure whom they now recognize as

"ningen…" Suiseiseki gasped with admiration. She blushed at the sight of the cute boy looking at the camera happily as the picture was taken.

"WA!! Jun-kun is cute -nano" Suiseiseki cheered as Shinku and Suiseiseki blushed.

"Y-Yes –desu, much cuter that chibi chibi -desu" Suiseiseki agreed, none taunting in her tone, as she marveled at the boy whom she admired, her cheeks as red as a rose. "He's much chibier than chibi chibi -desu" she whispered.

"Jun" Shinku gasped as she looked at her beloved tea servant. Her cheeks too as red as a rose.

From beside Jun stood Tomoe. She was small back then but Hinaichigo recognized her nonetheless.

"WA!! Tomoe's cute too –nano!!"

Tomoe blushed as she smiled at the giddy doll.

"Tomoe" Shinku looked at her.

"When was this photograph taken?"

"That was after our graduation from nursery"

"After that you went to the same school right -kashira?" Kanaria piped. Tomoe nodded.

Shinku handed the image back.

"I wonder if ningen has that picture -desu"

"I doubt it's under his closet" Shinku agreed.

Tomoe chuckled.

"So Tomoe, what happened after nursery?" Kanaria asked.

"Well…" Tomoe thought.

"Jun and I became good friends. We both excelled in school. My father began teaching me kendo while Jun… Jun became famous. He gained many friends and was very kind to them. He helped them as much as he could."

"But his friends deserted him" Shinku said.

Tomoe nodded, a frown painted all over her face.

"When we reached high school, we were still doing well in class. When the examinations came, he was ranked the highest"

Flashback

"Tomoe" Jun said at her, his spirit was undaunted "Let's do our best at the national examinations!!"

"But…" Tomoe continued her narration.

The classroom door slid open as a guy breathed heavily. "Everyone" he said, gaining the attention of everyone, including Jun and Tomoe who seemed to be talking to each other. "The results for the national exams are in!"

Hurried steps poured outside the classroom and made its was on the bulletin board to see the names who participated in the exams posted.

"Excuse me, sorry, excuse me" Jun apologized as he led Tomoe against the crowd, holding her hand tightly.

'Jun-kun' Tomoe blushed.

When the two finally made it there, they searched for their names.

"Hey Tomoe!" Jun cried happily "You got the top spot!"

Tomoe looked at him stupidly then at the board, unbelieving of her grade.

"Nice one Tomoe!!" Jun cheered.

"Thank you Sakurada-kun" the girl blushed.

"Now for my name" Jun said as he looked at the bulleting board. "Hmm… now where is it…"

The two heard a giggle from beside them. Jun, annoyed, looked at them and went over to check what they were laughing at. He shoved them aside and saw his name on the bulletin board, last in the list.

Everyone saw this and began giggling.

"No this must be a mistake" Jun pleaded. Humiliation creeping slowly under his gut.

"That is no mistake Sakurada-san" a familiar voice said.

"Principal Maeda" Jun said happily as he neared him. "Glad that you're here. Please tell them that there must've been an error" the boy pleaded, albeit despairingly at the elderly man.

The Principal shook his head and handed him a familiar paper, the national exam sheet. Jun looked at it, as it was handed to him, curiously. Upon opening the paper he found his answer.

"WOW! The genius Sakurada-san got a perfect zero!!" mocked the boy behind him. Jun noticed this and tried to hide away his shame as everyone began laughing.

"No…"

"Sakurada-san" Tomoe gasped.

Jun met her gaze. A mix of shame and self-pity swallowed Jun whole. Jun staggered back, his vision becoming hallucinations of people looking down, laughing at him.

"No…"

Tomoe inched closer, offering him her aid.

"No… step back" Jun staggered, he was cracking up from the events that unfold.

"NO! STAY AWAY! STAY AWAY!!" Jun cried as he ran past the spectators whom he knew as friends as they were now laughing their lungs out at Jun's demise.

"Sakurada-san" Tomoe gasped, feeling sorry for what happened.

End Flashback

"After he failed the national exams, Jun was humiliated" Tomoe said sadly. The wind outside blew solemnly as if a faint glimpse of a forgotten history urged them to be sad. "Jun's friends made fun of him… Jun, feeling betrayed, lost his identity. I was worried after the incident and decided to visit him but…"

Flashback

The evening crept slowly as Tomoe walked her way on Jun's house. As she came near, she heard shouts and dining ware crashing. She rushed and opened the door which was unlocked.

"JUN-KUN PLEASE STOP!!" Nori cried, keeping her distance from her brother that was throwing away plates, glasses, any utensil that his hands got hold on to.

"JUN PLEASE!!" Nori continued her plea as tears rolled down her cheeks.

"I WILL NOT GO BACK!! NEVER!"

"Sakurada-san" Tomoe whispered.

Jun stopped his rampage when he heard that familiar voice. He turned at Tomoe and found himself ashamed of what he has been doing. He dropped the glass on his hand and ran upstairs as tears flew off. Nori fell on her knees and cried as Tomoe rushed to her aid.

"What happened?"

"Jun" Nori whimpered. "Jun decided to stop"

"Stop?"

"He decided to stop going to school. He decided to stop studying" Nori cried hard as Tomoe hugged her tight.

"Sakurada-kun" Tomoe whispered worriedly at what has become of her friend.

End Flashback

"ningen… was that extreme?" Suiseiseki blinked a couple of times, shocked with how Jun accepted his failure.

Tomoe nodded.

"That exams, the betrayal of those whom he recognized as friends, changed Jun-kun and, for quite some time, I never get to see him again"

"That's horrible -nano"

"Jun…" Shinku said sadly.

"Every time I visit Nori to ask how Jun has been, Jun was always upstairs, hiding from me perhaps. I tried to console him but to no avail. Every time I talk to him from before the door I would only be greeted by silence."

Tomoe looked sadly at the photograph as she held it along with her ledger.

Shinku noticing something peculiar about Tomoe's diary asked her.

"May I borrow that Tomoe?"

"I thought 'no reading' –desu?"

"I won't be reading it Suiseiseki"

Tomoe handed her the notebook. Reiner Rubin inspected it carefully. The stitches on the leather cover, where has she seen it before?

"Tomoe, these stitches. There are somehow familiar. Did you do this yourself?"

Tomoe shook her head. "No, that notebook is a gift"

"A gift –kashira?"

"Yes, a gift from Jun."

"From Jun –nano?"

"Yes, he gave it to me as a birthday present when we were in grade school"

"So…" As Shinku handed the notebook back, a piece of cloth fell. Suiseiseki grabbed it and lifted it up. It was a white handkerchief with rose embroidery.

"It' beautiful -desu" Jade Stern looked at it with wonder.

"The stitches" Shinku gasped. "Could it be…?" she turned to Nori for the answer.

The girl smiled and nodded as she remembered another distant memory of when she and Jun were young.

Flashback

"Why are you crying Tomoe?" Jun asked.

"My handkerchief" Tomoe whimpered, "It was given to me by my mother. A strong wind came and carried it off to that tree trunk" she said pointing at the tree. "I don't know how to climb a tree"

Jun smiled and went past her and hugged the tree as he made his way to the branch.

Tomoe wiped her eyes and looked at Jun worriedly. "Be careful Jun-kun"

Jun smiled at her and nodded as he crawled on the branch. When his small body finally reached the length, Jun still can't get the handkerchief. He reached for it with all his might but to no avail.

"Forget it Jun-kun, you might fall!!"

Jun did not heed Tomoe's plea as his eyes flickered a hint of determination of retrieving the handkerchief.

"Almost…"

Jun jerked his body and grabbed the handkerchief but, in effect, found himself falling on the ground.

"Jun-kun!" Tomoe shrieked as she came to his aid.

"Oww that hurts" Jun sat up, rubbing his back.

"Are you alright Jun-kun? Is anything broken?"

"Other that a few broken ribs? I guess I'll be fine"

He unfortunately met Tomoe's concerned look and apologized. "Seriously, I'm alright Tomoe" he smiled. "Here's your handkerchief by the way." Jun said as he handed her the torn piece of the handkerchief. Jun's eyes widened as he turned up and saw the rest of the cloth.

"I-I'm sorry Tomoe. I'll promise I'll give you a new one" Jun said as he managed to get up.

Tomoe shook her head and smiled. "No need to Jun-kun" as she helped him.

"But it's my fault… I know!" Jun cried as Tomoe looked at him anxiously.

"Come Tomoe!" Jun held her hand and they were off.

"Where are we going Jun-kun?"

"At my house"

Tomoe looked at him then at his grip on her hand and smiled.

The two finally reached the Sakurada house. Nori and their parents were away, leaving the house under Jun's care.

He led Tomoe upstairs and into his bedroom. From the closet he took out a plastic box and carried it by the handle. He sat beside Tomoe on his bed.

"Here" Jun asked for the handkerchief.

Tomoe nodded and handed him the cloth.

Jun looked at it and nodded as he opened his sewing kit.

Tomoe looked at Jun as he stitched the remains of her handkerchief, his deft hands making its way on the remains of the cloth. A few stitches here, a few cuts there until Jun finally cut the thread and handed her her handkerchief.

"There"

Jun received it and looked at the brand new cloth in her hand.

"I-it's wonderful Jun-kun" she mused as she marveled over his work. "I didn't know you could sew so well"

Jun held the back of his hair as if scratching it. "It's actually a hobby of mine." He excused.

"It's really beautiful" Tomoe continued as she droned on at the embroidery, feeling it under her fingers. Jun's work was remarkable. It was neatly done as if it was made under a machine.

She turned at Jun and smiled "Thanks Jun-kun"

"Don't mention it" Jun excused, unnoticed the young Tomoe inch closer to him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Jun's eyes widened as he placed a hand on the spot "What was that for?"

"My show of appreciation for fixing my handkerchief" Tomoe smiled. "Thank you Jun-kun"

End Flashback

Tomoe chuckled at her well cherished memory.

"Unyu, are you alright Tomoe?"

"She seems to have spaced out -desu"

Hinaichigo waved a hand at Tomoe. It worked as the girl found herself back.

"You seemed to be smiling Tomoe" Shinku said. "Is everything alright?"

Tomoe chuckled. "Sorry, I just remembered something" she said, eyeing the cloth under Suiseiseki's hand. Jade Stern looked at her and then at the cloth she held and saw the well crafted rose embedded on the clean sheet.

O O O

"I'm bored…" Jun said under the algebra book covering his face. He took the time of studying while he recuperated but was finding himself bored to death.

"So silent, won't those troublesome girls come?"

Jun sighed. Finally deciding to take the book off his face, he sat up, grabbed his wallet nearby, wore on his slippers, and got out of the room.

"Man this sucks" Jun said as he wandered around, searching for a vending machine or anything out of the ordinary.

After passing by a few corners, he finally found one and decided to purchase a cola. The can rolled down from the inside and Jun found himself indulging in its crisp taste.

The youth decided to continue along with his stroll, looking at some patients along the way. After some time he finally noticed that he has wandered too far and turned around and decided to find his way back. Along his way, he passed by a door where he heard a familiar sweet melody. He stopped, wide-eyed as he remembered whose door it was. He turned beside and crept closer. Her voice echoed inside. The calm tune was soothing to his ears from beyond the door. As he leaned closer, he unwittingly turned the handle open and Sakurada Jun found himself stumbling inside.

O O O

The wind was whisking away from Suigintou's spot, always paying her a visit whenever her medium would sing. Even the wind, as it seemed, has a keen sense of distinguishing aesthetic melody. She eased herself comfortably as her medium continued her singing. She was wondering how Jun was, why mediums are troublesome, why Shinku and the rest refused to fight, why the invitation from Kirakishou, who is Barasuishou if she wasn't a true Rozen Maiden. So many questions yet no one gave an answer. The wind caressed strands of Suigintou's hair as her mind flew on its own when suddenly, a bang on the door and a cry of surprise from her medium, Suigintou spun around to see a familiar fool lying on the floor.

"Who are you?!" Megu demanded.

The familiar boy stood up and dusted himself.

"Uh… sorry about that"

"I demand to know who you are" Megu said, agitated at the wrong response.

"My, my, even the birds who are taking their nap will be disturbed with your ruckus" chimed Suigintou.

Megu turned to her and had a look painted on her face asking 'why aren't you hiding. This person might know'

Suigintou interpreted her medium's expression and smiled at her reassuringly.

"Don't worry Megu, the idiot who just fell is a medium like you"

"Ouch" Jun said as he poked his glasses.

Megu turned to him "R-Really Angel-san, he's a medium too?"

"Yes I am. My name is Jun, Jun Sakurada, nice to meet you miss…?"

"Are you here to bring harm to my Angel?" Megu asked in a serious tone. She then turned to Suigintou after hearing her giggle "Don't be silly Megu. That fool is harmless without his dolls. And besides…" the doll continued. "How many times need I remind you to not call me that"

"I haven't come here to wage an Alice Game you know" Jun smirked.

"Hmph. The inevitable will always come to pass"

"You don't want to participate in the Alice Game?" Megu awed, looking at Jun.

The boy nodded. "I have no intention of doing so miss Are-you-here-to-bring-harm-to-my-Angel"

Megu blushed at what she earlier said and cast her eyes down. "My name is Megu" she said sheepishly.

"Nice to meet you then, miss Megu. Even if our dolls have their own feud, I hope we can avoid having our own" Jun said, albeit blatantly at the sickly girl.

"Hmph. I would still kill you if I have the chance" Suigintou muttered.

Jun snickered. "Why not do it know" his teasing was replied by a feather shot beside him, cutting a single strand of his hair.

"Let's just say that letting you live for today is a whim of mine" Suigintou smiled menacingly. "Be grateful Jun-kun" A challenge which Jun accepted, as he smiled at her back, poked his glasses, and looked at her straight in the eyes.

"If you have not come here to do battle mister Jun Sakurada, why exactly are you here?" Megu cut off the staring contest between her doll and enemy medium.

"Well I was just passing by. It wasn't my intention to disturb you on what you are doing. Sorry for crashing in."

"Well then," Megu said, sternly, at Jun. "I guess it would be better if you leave and let me and my Angel enjoy this lovely afternoon"

Suigintou looked at her dumbfounded. Such a bold command coming from a sickly girl. Jun smiled at her and turned around to leave.

"Jun" Suigintou called. The boy stopped and glanced back. "Tell Shinku my regards"

Jun smirked and headed out the door. He stopped by the wall where the feather that cut off a strand of his hair struck and pulled it out. He glanced back at the doll

"Mind if I take this?"

"Do as you please"

Jun nodded and turned to the medium before he left and closed the door.

"I really thought you would be thrilled, Megu" Suigintou said after he left.

"What was that Angel-san?" Megu replied, her tone was calm again.

"To see a fellow medium. More so, the medium of my most hated enemy"

"So, he's the master of that 'Shinku' you've been talking about."

"If I remember correctly, I haven't been telling anything about her… yet" Suigintou raised a brow.

Megu chuckled. "Of course you haven't but I could hear you whisper words of rage at her name"

"Oh" 'She noticed THAT?'

"Would you mind telling me who this Shinku is?"

Suigintou pivoted on where she sat and rested her leg on the sill "Let's just say that among my sisters, she is my most hated enemy.

"So it's an issue of rivalry then?"

"You… might say that, she's my most hated rival and I will stop at nothing to turn her into junk"

Megu giggled. "Of course you can, you have me to give you power. Use it Angel-san, use all of it so that both of us could reach our goals"

'Silly girl, still thinking of death' Suigintou cast her sight away from her and back into nature.

"On one side, Shinku and her medium, that idiot Jun, avoids any confrontation through the Alice Game while Megu and I…"

Suigintou glanced at her who was beginning to hum again.

'To win, to reach our goals, we are willing to do everything but… are we really giving our all in all the things that we do?'

The wind gusted at Suigintou as she just let her hair be ruffled by it.

'Mediums…'

O O O

The dolls under Tomoe's care have slumbered to sleep after her story; even Shinku gave up reading her book and decided to take a rest. Tomoe chuckled as she caressed Hinaichigo's curls. The doll cuddled up under her lap, sleeping soundly.

Kirakishou giggled at such sight "Are you beginning to remember now? Hinaichigo…"

Her gold eye reflected of a past she and Hinaichigo shared, the light of hope and the despair of darkness, under the cool breeze of a vast, white field where she and Hinaichigo first met…

O O O

End of Act 14

O O O O O O O O O O

Chapter 15 might be delayed for awhile as I am obliged to submit some requirements at school… minna sumimasen.