Author's note:

Rozen Maiden is a property of Peach Pit. I do not own the anime or the merchandise.

This chapter is an alternate representation of the author on how Corinne and Hinaichigo first met. This has no means related to the original plot or storyline of the creators of the manga/anime Rozen Maiden.

For those keeping up with my fic, lots of thanks to all of you :D

Btw, as a personal reference, I dubbed this chapter as part 1 of the HinaKira origins Arc

I would like to thank Gary A for proof reading, sharing his thoughts, and sending the copy of this chapter (with my laptop stolen last 4/16/07 and the original copy of this chapter not backed up, I feared that all would be lost) I really am grateful to you man. I owe you this chapter.

O O O O O O O O O O

Rozen Maiden: Eternal Play

Act 15: Corinne

The wind hummed a silent melody as the dolls slept soundly in the Sakurada residence. Tomoe ran a finger on Hinaichigo's bangs and cast it aside so as to have a cleaner view of the doll as she was deep in her slumber.

Kirakishou's rose eye protruded as she watched an old friend sleep peacefully. A malicious grin drew along her lips.

'Do you remember?' Kirakishou hissed. 'Hina… Ichigo?'

O O O

It was like any other day for Corinne Fosse, daughter of Lord Eldritch Fosse and Lady Sophia Eulanda Jocarte. Her parents were away as her father, being a famed politician as he was, was invited for banquet to celebrate some other political friend of his. And so, as it is customary for any French gentleman to introduce his wife on such gathering, Corinne found herself alone in their mansion. Well except perhaps for the company of nana Mathilda, the young lady's guardian who was the child's observer ever since she was born.

Corinne, for her age of sixteen, was a fine young lady. She was educated as what should've been amongst all French royalty. She attended school that taught not only the basics of mathematics but also in the fields of aesthetics, music, and proper courtesy. She was molded to be a true French noble indeed.

During times as such, Corinne found herself in the company of her violin. She was very skilled at it as her music, echoing all over the empty house, portrayed a serene visage that would calm even the quarrelling squirrels on the nearby tree. The birds who cried for hunger piped down so as to listen and the raging wind would calm down a bit as if paying respects to the delightful tune.

Other than the audience outside, Corinne had avid fans her own that being nana Mathilda, who, upon hearing her play, would smile as if her burden were eased by the sweet melody, and Corinne's beloved cat whom her father named as Sir Lambert, a sleek Serengeti feline, that would be lulled to sleep upon hearing her mistress play… not much of an audience is he?

O O O

And so like the situation beforehand, Corinne walked the hallways of their mansion, with Sir Lambert purring on the embroidery of her hemline along the way, until she finally reached the music hall.

She complacently placed her hand on the knob as she slid the door open. The morning sun greeted her as its rays penetrated even the defenses of the full-body windows and the birds landed on a nearby tree. Sir Lambert found his favorite spot, a soft pillow for him to rest, as Corinne reached for the violin.

There was an awkward silence as Corinne rested her chin on the violin's chinrest and positioned the bow. The birds chirped, the wind cheered, the leaves ruffled as she finally began.

The sweet tune she played echoed as she gently stroked the violin with its bow, the melody made the world she knew stand still. The cat began to yawn and minutes later, was purring in its sleep as Corinne continued to play.

From an open window entered a familiar pink glow. The wisp danced happily on the air without Corinne's notice. It flew past the lady as she continued to play only to stop upon hearing a soft sound of paper landing on the ground. Corinne opened her eyes to see the window blinds being caressed by the wind. She turned to her cat which was deep in his sleep. Corinne smiled and was about to continue when she found something odd with the scenery. Opening her eyes again, she found a parchment resting on the floor. She swore it was not there earlier.

The lady rested her instrument on a chair as she walked to the paper and picked it up. It had a rose insignia engraved as its wax seal. Corinne turned the parchment aside to see who it was from only to find her name solely written on the back

Lady Corinne had that puzzled look on her face. Who could've sent it? No one came inside through the door. She turned to the windows to see none of them fully opened. She looked at the emblem thoughtfully. There is not a chance that this would come from a suitor… would it?

Lady Corinne found herself a seat and gingerly scraped the wax seal with her nail. If her mother would've seen what she was doing, the lady would've shrieked and fainted. A lady of her stature could never accept such preposterous act done by her daughter, to scrape away a letter's seal with a nail, how graceless!! Yet, with a slight nudge, the seal was cast away, no taint of wax caught under Corinne's nails, as excited fingers found its way inside the envelope's contents only to pull a folded sheet from it. Corinne set the envelope on her lap as she unfolded the piece and were greeted by two separate words.

Wind

Not Wind

And from below, were instructions telling that good fortune would come to those who would make the right choice. As Berrybell, liaison to the spirit world would bring abundance of joy in her life. After encircling an option the reader is prompted to place the letter in her drawer.

A huge sweat dropped beside Corinne… what kind of foolishness is this? She sighed and was about to crumple the rubbish she held only to be stopped by the word 'wind' flashing in her mind. She looked thoughtfully at the piece as the word flashed again. She sighed.

O O O

After making her way back to her room, leaving her Serengeti cat as it slumbered; Corinne made her way on a small, round table where a flask of black ink and feather quill stood by. She placed the letter neatly on the table, opened the flask and dipped in the quill. As instructed, Corinne placed the envelope back on the drawer and headed back to her recital.

O O O

The lady finished her violin session at around lunch, hinted by nana Mathilda's invitation. The lady ate along with her cat, which was served with a scrumptious piece of steamed fish, an ironic feat where being a cat as he is, lost his entire predatory prowess in exchange for royalty as he began indulging in his meal appropriately, like how trained cats should.

Lunch came to pass as Lady Corinne walked back on her room to rest, with Sir Lambert trotting joyfully, signified by his happy expression and twitching tail, perhaps of the lunch he just ate. When Corinne opened her door, she was greeted with a familiar case lying on the floor. The lady exchanged a quizzical look with her cat before deciding to inspect it. Coming closer, she found a familiar insignia engraved with elegant markings embedded on its design. Realizing where she has seen such, she gave a suspicious look at her drawer and slid it open to find the letter gone. Widened eyes of shock looked back at the case which was being sniffed by Sir Lambert, probably due to his predatory nature or perhaps as an act of being tough (he was knighted as Sir after all).

The lady knelt before the box as she slowly reached for the lock. Upon touching it, she heard a faint click. Implying that the box has been unlocked, she placed her hands on the sides and turned the cover open. Her eyes widened with what greeted her from within…

O O O

Corinne held the doll carefully as if it was her own child. She cradled her comfortingly as she studied the beauty before her. Sir Lambert sniffed the doll and poked her chin lightly with her paw. Corinne, observing this, noticed how soft her cheeks are and so are the rest of her features. The doll she held was warm as if it was indeed alive. She looked again at the box to find a key. Taking it from its place, Corinne examined the little girl for any lock of sort, chancing upon a small hole on the back, the lady gently placed the key inside until she heard a click. She wound the mechanism thrice and watched what would happen. The doll remained still until, much to Corinne's surprise, her eyelids twitched. Sir Lambert hissed as Corinne threw the doll away as it sprung to life. The brave cat awaited the next phenomena to occur as the doll shuddered and managed herself on the ground which was too much for Sir Lambert as he fell dead on the floor, his eyes stricken with white horror and a large sweat beside his face, leaving a horrified Corinne to handle the situation.

The doll began to wobble towards her, Corinne's eyes struck with fear, her lips quivering as sweat trickled down her smooth face. When the doll came close it finally opened its eyes

O O O

Corinne's scream was muffled by the strange gust that hobbled nana Mathilda's laundry as she hangs the rest on the clothesline.

"Wh-What are-" Corinne began with trembling lips.

The doll looked at her then noticed the fainted cat on the side. A huge smiled formed on her lips.

"HUWAH!! NEKO!!" the doll cried as she hugged Sir Lambert… tight… very tight… If the idea of a cat having nine lives were true, then this cat has seven lives left.

"H-huh?" Corinne's fear subsided.

"Y-you… what are you?" Corinne asked, anxious in her tone.

The doll looked at her and smiled, the cat still under her embrace.

"I am Hinaichigo –nano!!" She introduced, albeit quite happily "Sixth doll of Rozen Maiden –nano!"

"Hi-Hina-Ichigo?" Corinne mused.

"You neko? What's your name -nano" the vivid doll asked the cat who was now all white and just exhaled probably one of his remaining lives.

"He's Sir Lambert, Hinaichigo" Corinne said now with a smile on her lips and her tone now calm.

Hinaichigo turned her attention back on the cat and greeted him. "It's nice to meet you Neko-san Sir Lambert –nano!!" in which the cat replied with another exhale of white puffy white smoke mixed with an attempt of 'miao'.

O O O

After carrying a tray of tea and cake, much to Hinaichigo's extreme delight, the doll narrated who she is, the Rozen Maidens, her idea of Rozen, Alice and the Alice Game. She also asked Corinne to swear on her ring so as to keep her moving,explaining that without a medium, her spring would unwind and she would finally stop and be put again in her sleep. Corinne pledged her allegiance and soon enough, Kleine Beere had herself a new master.

She showed Corinne and Sir Lambert her N-field and for awhile Corinne played with a doll she first met along with her most trusted cat in a place full of flying stuffed pigs, soft cushy bears, toy soldiers and houses made of fancy colored bricks. For the longest time she could keep track of, it was the best day of Corinne's life since she was cooped up in her mansion with nothing else to do but play the violin and drink some tea.

They kept Hinaichigo's secret from everyone, even from nana Mathilda. Every time Corinne's parents were home, or Corinne would go out of her room, she would instruct Hinaichigo to stay in her box and sir Lambert to keep watch, much to the doll's and the cat's dismay. But after awhile, after Corinne's parents had left or she would have returned, she would call the doll again and together with Sir Lambert, would traverse over the mirror to reach Hinaichigo's N-field to play.

On one occasion Corinne invited Hinaichigo to hear her play the violin. She instructed the doll to hide in her box for awhile as she would fetch the instrument. Upon returning, she summoned her again and she would begin to play. Ever since Hinaichigo came, Corinne would play her the violin every morning in her room rather than in the usual music hall. Hinaichigo was a loud doll but even her hyper nature was no match for the beauty of Corinne's talent and, after every performance, Hinaichigo would applaud along with Sir Lambert which, instead of sleeping usually, was forced by Hinaichigo to listen by riding onto him during the whole performance, much to Sir Lambert's disappointment.

Everything was perfect. The painted smiles on their faces and the happiness they had by sharing each other's company. They managed to keep Hinaichigo's secret for five months now, still going along with their routine and such.

On one occasion Corinne was forced to leave Hinaichigo for four days due to her father's request to show off his daughter's talent to the governor. This news saddened Hinaichigo as she was forced to stay in her box for four long days.

"Promise me that you'll be back -nano"

Hinaichigo whimpered. Corinne smiled and nudged a tear off her eye.

"I promise I will be back Hinaichigo" she gave her a reassuring smile as she closed the case. "When I return, we'll play again like how we used to"

Hinaichigo took good care of that promise as her sight was slowly engulfed by the darkness… little did they know that it was their last meeting…

O O O

Whenever Hinaichigo was prompted to stay in her box, she would reside in her N-field, watching as time goes by. She was still wound after all thus; the rules implied by their Father still applied. Since all Rozen Maidens do not sleep while wound, they have no choice but to reside in their N-field.

On the fourth day, while Hinaichigo waited for Corinne's return, she decided, probably as a whim, for walk along a yellow brick road in her domain. She spotted something unusual from a corner and decided to check it out.

O O O

After the social gathering, Corinne and her family head back home onboard a ferry. The weather was fine and blessed the cruise as the ferry made its way.

"Where are you going dear?" Lady Sophia, who was knitting during that time, asked as she noticed Corinne headed for the cabin door.

"Out for some fresh air Mother"

"Don't stray too far dear" said Lord Eldritch under his pipe.

"Yes Father"

Outside, Corinne leaned on one of the deck's railings running a finger through her hair as the wind swept it gently. She saw some seagulls flying in formation as they pass by the horizon.

'If Hinaichigo were here, she would've cheered those gulls as they flew by' Corinne thought under a giggle.

She thought of Hinaichigo and regretted not bringing her as she played her violin before the governor. She remembered the applause she received from the governor and from the royalty present during the party. She chuckled at the thought and remembered Hinaichigo's applause. It is true that the praise she received from the audience in the party was overwhelming but nothing beats the applause Hinaichigo gave. She was her number one fan, with Sir Lambert in the second spot, speaking of which, was purring on her hemline again. Corinne smiled at him and picked him up as they watched the sea.

Everything seemed fine until a crash shook off the ship violently. Sir Lambert jumped off Corinne's embrace as Corinne fell on the wooden floor of the deck. The impact was loud that everyone's attention was caught in the chaos.

O O O

"Sophia, stay here" Lord Eldritch ordered his wife "I'm going to look for our daughter and ask what this ruckus is"

"Yes dear and please, be careful" her mistress pleaded.

The lord nodded as he opened the cabin door and headed out.

O O O

According to the sailors whom Corinne overheard, the steam engine of the ferry failed and they must now evacuate as many of the passengers as possible before the whole ship exploded. Unfortunately, this conversation was heard by one of those passengers who tend to panic a lot, probably due to much caffeine intake and such, that he became hysterical and shared his thoughts to his fellow passengers. Thoughts about death and flames and the ship going kaboom! Thanks to his intellectual approach to the situation, it wasn't long before the ship was put in disarray.

Corinne, being hindered by the annoying numbers of panicking people, ordered Sir Lambert to find her father before it's too late. The cat hesitated but carried on his task at hand.

"I'm counting on you… Sir Lambert" Corinne feared as she tried to fight her way against the swarming mass by pushing against them but her efforts were to no avail.

Parts of the ship began exploding; people were hurled dead over the sea while the others managed to escape. Flames took over the ship as Sir Lambert finally found his lord and guided him to his daughter. They came back to fetch their mother and continued with their escape. Along their way, Corinne noticed falling debris aimed for her parents. She lunged at them and pushed them aside so as to save their lives at the cost of her own…

O O O

Hinaichigo spun around as if she felt Corinne cry her name

"Corinne?"

Gazing upon a parade of mechanical monkeys having each an instrument, Hinaichigo shrugged her thoughts aside and continued to inspect the oddity of her N-field. In the corner, she found a small rift cut open, another doorway in her N-field. Who could've put it there?

Kleine Beere cautiously proceeded and entered the realm. Minutes later, she found herself falling on a white sky under a meadow of filled with a multitude of white dots (dots since everything is small when viewed a few feet above the ground).

Hinaichigo shrieked as if her life depended on it, crying out the name of her medium.

O O O

When Hinaichigo came to, she found herself on a soft bed under a gazebo. She turned over the sheets as she sprang up.

"You shouldn't move yet" said a low, calm voice.

Hinaichigo spun to her side to see a figure hooded in white, her face covered except for her obvious glimmerings eye.

Hinaichigo was spooked upon meeting her mysterious gaze that she hid under her sheets

"Wh-Who are you –nano? Where am I –nano?" Hinaichigo mused in a scared tone as she examined the place.

"I should be the one asking that" the gold-eyed figure corrected.

Hinaichigo, realizing her mistake, blinked twice before she sprung off her bed and introduced herself in a happy tone as if she entirely forgot her fear, much to the gold-eyed figure's surprise.

"I am Hinaichigo, Sixth doll of Rozen Maiden –nano!!" she exclaimed cheerily.

The gold eye widened.

"You're a… Rozen… Maiden"

"Hai!!" Kleine Beere nodded.

"Then that means, we're sisters."

"Unyu?" Hinaichigo hung her head on the side as a huge question mark popped.

"I-" the figure hesitated. "I am Kirakishou, Seventh doll of Rozen Maiden"

"Hweh?" Hinaichigo smiled as she ran to her and gave her a hug, much again to Kirakishou's surprise.

"What are you-"

"I am happy to meet another sister –nano!"

"B-but" Kirakishou pulled her away "Aren't you afraid?"

"Huh?"

"We are Rozen Maidens… we are forced to fight each other… to become Alice… to meet father"

Hinaichigo shook her head. "I am not afraid –nano for you are my sister –nano!!" she hugged her again

"H-Hina-Ichigo"

Hinaichigo felt something wrong and pulled away from her and shot Kirakishou a troubled glance.

"Wh-What is it Hinaichigo?"

"Unyu-.. Why are you hiding in that robe –nano?"

Kirakishou casted her eyes away, humiliated to reveal here secret.

"B-Because I am not like you Hinaichigo"

"Hweh?"

"I am ugly"

"B-but that's impossible" Hinaichigo argued. Kirakishou spun her attention to the doll probably of what she heard.

"Impossible?"

Kleine Beere nodded. "We are created by Father and I believe that he loved us so much that he made every one of us beautiful –nano!"

The gold eye widened under the hood. Unable to accept perhaps the truth that escaped from Hinaichigo's lips

"Please I want to see my sister -nano" Kleine Beere pouted.

Kirakishou was hesitant to take off her robe but seeing Hinaichigo's determined eyes; she could not do anything else but comply. A doubtful hand grabbed on the cloth as she flung away her cover.

Hinaichigo's eyes widened as Kirakishou revealed herself, her only eye closed as the wind blew gently, fluttering her cloak and some loose parts of her dress. When Kirakishou opened her eye however, she met Hinaichigo's fazed look and mistook it as a form of fear. Kirakishou's eye widened in horror as she hid her face and turned aside.

"I told you I was ugly!" her voice was mixed with pain, rage, and humiliation.

"N-no. You're not ugly -nano" Kirakishou's eye was shocked upon hearing this as she glanced at Hinaichigo slightly now observing the painted smile on her face.

"I think you're beautiful –nano."

Kirakishou's doubts ceased as she took her hands off her face and faced Hinaichigo, a bit bolder because of what she heard.

"Y-you really think I'm beautiful?"

Kleine Beere nodded. "You're very much beautiful"

"Aren't you afraid of my rose eye?" Kirakishou asked as she protruded it a bit.

"I think it's cool -nano" the doll smiled happily.

"C-Cool?" Kirakishou blushed a bit. Never before had she met one of her sisters nor hear a weird compliment coming from them, especially such term coming from this little one.

O O O

"Do you have a medium –nano?" Hinaichigo asked as the doll sat on the bed's edge, swinging her legs to and fro.

Kirakishou shook her head after she sipped her tea.

"It is impossible for me to find a medium" she forced a smile to the doll who now stopped swinging her legs.

"H-How come –nano?"

"Unlike the rest of you, I am different"

"Hweh?" a question mark popped again.

Kirakishou took another sip. "All of you have a physical form when Father created you. I on the other hand do not have one."

"But I am looking at your body right now -nano" Hinaichigo said, her tone confused with Kirakishou's statement.

"What you are seeing is a figure of my body as it was projected by my Rosa Mystica. In truth, I, the seventh doll, am only a Rosa Mystica… Do you understand now Hinaichigo?" she smiled at her, probably expecting that the small doll would not comprehend.

And sure enough, Kirakishou's hunch was right as Hinaichigo had a couple of question marks popping beside her head, giving her a very much confused look. The doll in white giggled at Kleine Beere's ignorance.

Hinaichigo's eyes shrunk. "I'm hungry -nano"

"Oh forgive me Hinaichigo, I do not have any sweets to offer you. I do have these though" Kirakishou offered white rose petals.

"Unyu?"

She looked at it doubtfully. Who in the world would eat rose petals? She looked at Kirakishou then at the petals then back at the doll. A reluctant finger reached for a piece and ate. Hinaichigo's eyes widened. Kirakishou noticed this and gave a curious look.

"Is anything wrong Hinaichigo?"

"It's sweet –nano!!" Hinaichigo cried joyfully as white roses flew on the background.

"They taste like sugar –nano! What are they called -nano"

"Actually I call them… sugary snowdrops"

Hinaichigo blinked an eye. "sugary snowdrops –nano?"

Kirakishou turned outside and showed her the field of snowdrops.

"Ever since I came to, I was surrounded in these field of snowdrops Hinaichigo. As you can see, my world is mainly filled only with this shade and with Snowdrops" Kirakishou narrated on how she perceived her vast field where Snowdrops were abundant and the spring fresh water ran all over, the sun shone brightly but not too warm and the breeze blessed the earth.

"On one instance, out of curiosity, I picked a snowdrop's petal and ate it. Is was sweet and indeed called it Sugary Snowdrop as with the fact that you really could not eat a snowdrop's petal"

"Oh…" Hinaichigo mused, her voice mixed with awe.

The doll hopped down the bed and held her hand. "Do you want to go to my N-field –nano? There are many toys there such as stuffed bears and pigs and toy soldiers too!!" the doll invited giddily.

"But Hinaichigo-" Kirakishou's message was cut off when Kleine Beere dragged her outside and searched for the rift she came from.

"Where was it –nano? Ah there!!"

Hinaichigo gathered power from her medium so as to enable her of flight.

"Grab tight Kirakishou" she said as she pulled her off the ground and flew to the rift.

"Here we are –nano!" the doll said as she flew inside, crossing her form with the dimension after the rift. When Kirakishou's hand, pulled by Hinaichigo, hit the transparent aether, a spark emanated that harmed both Hinaichigo and Kirakishou slightly but strong enough for Kleine Beere to release her grip. She snapped her head around to see a terrified Kirakishou falling to the ground. Hinaichigo crossed the portal and used her medium's power to fly at top speed.

O O O

Elsewhere, Corinne's rose ring began to crack as the lady lay under the rubble.

'W-Warm' she whispered as she came to.

"Corinne!! Corinne dear, speak to me" Lady Sophia pleaded, crying at the misfortune on her child.

'Th-that voice'

"Damn I can't pry her free" complained Lord Eldritch. He noticed a sturdy looking metal bar on a nearby debris and grabbed it so as to help free her daughter, whose legs got pinned from the wreck.

"Mama, I want you to pull Corinne with all your might. I'm going to free her"

Lady Sophia nodded as Lord Eldritch placed the metal lever and tried to free his daughter.

"A little more papa" Lady Sophia pleaded.

The scorching heat and the effort he was exerting made sweat trickled down Lord Eldritch' chin but he can't give up. His daughter needs him. They need to escape with their lives. Slowly, the debris bulged and a little gap between it and Corinne's legs were found. As instructed, Lady Sophia pulled her daughter to safety just as Lord Eldritch lost his grip.

Their daughter was free from the rubble but they have to escape yet as the family, along with Sir Lambert headed for the remaining escape boats.

"Hinaichigo" Corinne whispered.

O O O

"I'm sorry Hinaichigo, I cannot go" Kirakishou said sadly after Kleine Beere saved her from the fall.

"Only you can escape for you have a physical body. I on the other hand, had none, making me trapped in this place forever"

Hinaichigo caught notice of Kirakishou's sad eye and frowned. "I'm sorry -nano"

"Don't be Hinaichigo. It's not your fault" she comforted her sister.

They decided to head back to the gazebo to rest, during the trip filled with silence, Hinaichigo noticed a white butterfly pass by. She stopped walking. Kirakishou noticed this and turned to her.

"What is it Hinaichigo?"

"Aha!" the doll said triumphantly.

"Huh?"

"I know!"

A large question mark popped beside Kirakishou as she gave Kleine Beere an odd look. The doll smiled at her and waved her hand, signaling to come closer. Kirakishou complied and leaned. When her face was within Hinaichigo's reach, she placed a finger on Kirakishou's nose. Kirakishou looked at it curiously.

"BOOOONK!! –nano!" then the doll ran away yet stopped from a distance and waved at her. "Catch me if you can –nano!!" and continued fleeing. Kirakishou giggled and yelled back, her rose eye extended slightly, "You better prepare yourself Hinaichigo!!" as she ran after the doll.

They played all day under the comforting sun and the calm field. They played catch, made a crown out of snowdrops, ran together after a butterfly, and had fun under the fresh spring. For the first time, Kirakishou knew what the word 'fun' meant.

The two rested their backs on a hill, watching the whole plain world as clouds came by and the flowers would sway under the command of the wind.

"It was fun -nano" Hinaichigo said happily.

"Yes" Kirakishou turned to her. "It was fun indeed."

They rested there for awhile, silent as they tried to catch their breath. Hinaichigo looked as a cloud came by and as if some magical thought, she remembered Corinne. She turned to Kirakishou and began telling her everything about her… and Sir Lambert of course. They both giggled when Hinaichigo narrated her adventures while riding Sir Lambert, how she was fascinated by Corinne and her violin, and how they played in her N-field.

"I wish I could come, Hinaichigo" Kirakishou said.

"Don't worry –nano. There must be a way for you to have a body –nano!"

Hinaichigo lifted her gaze on the sky. In the corner of her mind she remembered that she ought to be somewhere and must do something. Hinaichigo's eyes widened as she bolted straight up. Kirakishou noticed this and sat upright.

"Are you alright Hinaichigo?"

"I just remembered -nano"

"Huh?"

"Corinne must have returned. She must've been waiting for me -nano"

Kirakishou's smile faded and turned into a frown. "Is that so" she said dryly.

Hinaichigo looked at her and nodded. "I'm sorry but I must go –nano" only then did she notice Kirakishou's sad face. Kleine Beere came to and hugs her sister, much to Kirakishou's delight. Honestly, this is the first time she met a loving sister who is very much carefree about life, too ignorant of the sad destiny laid before them. Deep inside, Snowdrop Kristallfelt disheartened. After her years in isolation, for the first time, she met a sister, a product of Rozen, a Rozen Maiden. Alas, she met a sister for the first time only to watch her leave.

"Don't worry -nano" Hinaichigo pulled away. "Next time, I'll bring Corinne and Sir Lambert here -nano" Hinaichigo thought deeply. "Maybe if she lends you her power, you might be able to form a body -nano"

Kirakishou's eye widened while her rose eye extended, eager, it seemed, with the hope of Kleine Beere's promise. Hope that she might be free from the isolation she is in.

"I-" Kirakishou blushed. "I would love that"

Hinaichigo smiled.

O O O

Kirakishou waved as Hinaichigo flew away. Her eyes sparking with much hope from what Hinaichigo promised her. The wind blew gently as Kirakishou ran a finger through her hair. As she turned around to head back to her home, she was faced with an odd looking fellow.

"Wh-who are you?" Kirakishou asked.

The gentleman looked at her with deep-red eyes. He doesn't have a mouth but rest assured you would've known that he smiled at the unknowing Kirakishou.

O O O

The rift glimmered as Hinaichigo returned to her own N-field.

"Huwah!! Corinne must've been waiting for me –nano!!" she cried happily.

"I must…" Hinaichigo felt something wrong with her. Her vision blurred all of a sudden as she fell, knee first on the ground. She held her head wit her left hand.

"Wh-what's wrong –nano?"

Only then did she notice her glowing ring.

"This light?... CORINNE!!"

Hinaichigo tried to stand up but fell the second time, this time falling completely in the floor.

"Corinne…" she managed as she looked at the ring whose glow slowly faded, Kleine Beere's vision becoming more blurry.

"Wha-What's…Wr-Wrong… Cor-inne…"

Corinne's image flashed in her mind before she completely fainted so was Kirakishou's in which she managed her apology until she finally fell unconscious, as she did, her N-field that teemed with toys slowly began to vanish, one portion at a time until all that was left was Hinaichigo and the unending darkness…

O O O

Corinne lay cuddled under a blanket as her parents and Sir Lambert watched as the ferry sank in flames without anyone even noticing a faint light glowing off of Corinne's rose ring before it vanished into nothingness.

O O O

End of Act 15

O O O O O O O O O O

The term 'nana', as used by some countries, refer to a 'nanny'

Sir Lambert, nana Mathilda, Lord Eldritch and Lady Sophia are my OCs in this chapter and has no relation, whatsoever in the manga/anime Rozen Maiden.

Due to the theft of my beloved laptop (TT.TT) and my PC monitor gone berserk (causing extreme depression on my part) the next chapter may be withheld for awhile… until I fix my monitor or get over my depression.

Btw, for those annoyed by my varying writing style, gomenasai! I am trying to develop a style that would suit me best. Please bear with me.