Author's note: the timeline of this fic is actually during Rozen Maiden Traumend. Some parts may be included from the series but its timeline may slightly altered. As before, I do not own Rozen Maiden and any of its merchandise.

O O O O O O O O O O

Rozen Maiden: Eternal Play

Act 2: Medium's Heart

"Jun I want you to read me a book -nano" Hinaichigo pouted.

"Neh? Why do I have to do that?" Jun asked, raising his eyebrow quizzically.

"Unyuu- because I could not sleep -nano"

"And does that make it my problem?" Jun snarled back.

The dolls hanged around with their medium in his room. Shinku sat on the bed as she continued reading her book while Hinaichigo, along with Suiseiseki conversed with Jun.

Hinaichigo sobbed. "B-but Hinaichigo gets nightmares -nano"

"Oooh… do those nightmares have monsters in them -desu?" Suiseiseki leaned over and made a scary face at Hinaichigo. "Did they creep out and eat chibi ichigo -desu? Mwahahaha!"

"sniff, no -nano. It was a nightmare about all of us -nano"

Shinku closed her book and gave Hinaichigo a quizzical look. "Tell me about your dream Hinaichigo."

"Sniff. All of us was there, Shinku, Hinaichigo, Suiseiseki, Souseiseki, Kanaria, and even Suigintou -nano. Even Jun was there -nano."

"Jun?"

Hinaichigo nodded before resuming her tale. "In the dream -nano, we were all strangled -nano by huge vines. And Jun, Jun was in pain -nano. And… and.." Hinaichigo now began to cry. Shinku had not shown any emotion however, she took notice of this in the back of her head for a doll's dream means somewhat of a distant memory and Hinaichigo's dream is no different. However, how did Jun fit in the scenario?

"Nyahaha… that was stupid -desu. That could never happen to any of us. Especially to chibi-baka Jun. He may look puny and pathetic -desu but, to be a medium to the three of us, it seems that his frail body might have enough strength after all… Kyahahaha!"

"Hey what the hell are you talking about?! You satanic, demonic, vampiric doll!!!" Jun snarled at the gardener.

"What?! Do you have a problem with that -desu?" Suiseiseki and Jun stared at one another until sparks fly. Jun noticed of Hinaichigo's serious crying however, and decided to tolerate Suiseiseki's mishief… for now. He sighed as he went to his shelf and referenced the books with his index until he found what he was searching. He pulled a book from the shelf and flipped open its pages. Jun made his way back to his desk and turned on the light. He then closed the lights of his room and sat at the middle of his bed and leaned on the wall. He looked at Hinaichigo and patted his lap. Hinaichigo smiled and found herself a seat on her medium's lap. Suiseiseki stared, open jawed, in jealousy and disbelief.

'Wha- how come chibi ichigo has to seat at chibi human's lap? I can't let this -desu' tears formed on Suiseiseki's eyes. Jun noticed this and gazed humbly at the gardener. He then patted his side, signaling for Suiseiseki a seat. Suiseiseki eagerly wiped her tears as she made to her medium's side leaning on to him for comfort. That leaves…

"Won't you join us Shinku?"

The proud fifth doll eyed her medium then shifted her gaze to the book he's holding. "Seriously, do you intend to read us bedtime stories Jun?"

"Well, if it's going to make Hina asleep, why not?" the medium smiled back, patting his free side.

"Yeah come and join us -nano" Hinaichigo pleaded.

"I agree with her -desu." Suiseiseki added.

Shinku sighed and lay down her book. She went over her medium at sat beside him, opposite to Suiseiseki, leaning to on Jun's shoulders for comfort. Jun opened his book and started his story.

O O O

It was past midnight when Jun's tale ended. Only then did he notice the dolls deep in their sleep. He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. He then closed his book and placed it below his legs, careful that he may wake up Hinaichigo. He looked at this loud doll and smiled.

-flashback-

"you and I are the same -nano"

"huh"

"they say 'stay there' " Hinaichigo said as she pointed to her box. "Whenever they are going away -nano. Hinaichigo doesn't like it there. Because it is dark and lonely -nano"

-end flashback-

Jun caressed Hinaichigo's hair and smiled at the doll. He felt movement on his right only to see Suiseiseki clutching his arm.

'chibi chibi –desu'

'I wonder what she could be dreaming?' Jun thought.

Suiseiseki would always cause him trouble. From breaking the windows to kicking his leg, even up to calling him weird and annoying names. Nonetheless, he cared for this doll who hides her sadness by making mischief.

Jun smiled at his little troublemaker and adjusted the scarf on her head, which Suiseiseki acknowledged by adjusting herself more around Jun's shoulders.

The fifth doll slept comfortably and silently on Jun's other side. He blushed at her and reached his index finger to her cheek, caressing it. He smiled. Shinku might be demanding and assuming too much of her role as his 'master' but amongst all the dolls, she is the most caring.

Jun reached for the switch to his desk lamp and turned it off. He leaned his head on the wall and gazed at the full moon.

O O O

"Can you see me? Jun?" A child-like voice said. She witnessed everything beneath her golden eye over her mirror.

"hehe…" Kirakishou sneered "Soon, the real fun begins. Until then, savor every moment"

Her laughter echoed all over her domain.

O O O

Shinku nudge herself and awoke from her sleep. Only then had she noticed that she slept outside her box and beside Jun. The doll looked at her medium and blushed as she studied him carefully, as if this was their very first meeting. She observed Jun's eyes down to his cheeks up to his lips. She knew him so well, every detail painted on his face, his mannerisms, and antics.

'You're a good boy, Jun' Shinku whispered as she leaned close and kissed her medium's cheek then poised herself back to his shoulder and slept.

O O O

The birds chirped as the new day began. Light from the warm sun bathed Jun and his dolls. There was a knock on his door.

"Good morning Jun-kun…" the door opened to reveal Nori "Shinku-chan, Suiseiseki-ch-" she was astonished by the sight that lay before her. She smiled as she saw the dolls and Jun waking up.

"Good morning Nori -nano." Hinaichigo greeted with a yawn.

"Good morning Hinaichigo"

"Good morning -desu" greeted Suiseiseki who covered her yawn with her mouth.

"Good morning Suisei-chan."

"Is my tea ready Nori?" asked Shinku as she rubbed her eyes.

"Yes it's already there Shinku-chan"

Jun awoke, stretching his arms as he yawned.

"Good morning Nori" he greeted.

"Good morning too Jun-kun" Nori smiled at her brother. "Breakfast is ready."

"Ok we're on it." Jun noticed Hinaichigo that seemed to have a peaceful sleep. "Have you slept well Hinaichigo?"

"Yes -unyuu. Thank You -nano."

"How bout you Suiseiseki? Have you slept well?"

"Unfortunately, due to your constant rambling while sleeping, MY sleep was uncomfortable." The doll lied.

Jun raised an eyebrow. "Oh really? If I recall, it was you who would shrug from time to time and would say something during her sleep."

Suiseiseki blushed and looked down her feet.

"How about you Shinku?"

"Well since I have not slept on my case, it has been an uncomfortable night. Really, you are such a useless servant Jun."

Jun raised a fist "You….."

"Let's eat breakfast -nano" Hinaichigo requested.

"Ok, climb on my back" Jun said gladly.

"Waaahhhh!! YAY!!! Thank You Jun!!"

The energetic doll never wasted a moment and leapt on Jun's back, crawling up to his head. Jun then reached for Shinku and Suiseiseki and rested each on his arm as he headed his way to the dining hall. Upon arriving, Jun noticed two familiar faces on the couch watching television. Hinaichigo leapt off Jun and went to her sisters who seated.

"Yay Souseiseki and Kanaria are here -nano" she greeted.

"Good morning Hinaichigo, Shinku, Suiseiseki."

Jun dropped off Shinku and Suiseiseki gently. "Join us for breakfast" he invited. Suiseiseki went and sat near her sister while Shinku found herself a seat and began to read her book again.

"Thank you -kashira. Hinaichigo said that Nori-chan makes good food." The musician mused.

"Yeah!! Nori's cooking is the best -nano"

"Really, Nori's tea may not be excellent but her cooking is superb" Shinku noted.

O O O

They ate dinner like their daily routine. With Suiseiseki trying to snag one of Hinaichigo's bacon or two, smacking the medium in the process, Nori showing courtesy to their recent guest, Kanaria and Shinku along with Souseiseki sipping their tea.

"I'll be going now." Bid Jun.

"You take care -nano."

"You should watch where you're going -desu. If you get hit by a car then we will lose our medium -desu."

"Y-you don't have to say such ill-mannered doll…" Jun clenched a fist.

"Be back early Jun" hinted Shinku who never left her eyes on her book.

"Alright."

O O O

Jun engrossed himself in the library, trying to catch up with the classes he missed on the semester. Sacrificing his summer was really a hard thing for him.

"Need some help Jun-kun?" a voice said behind him. Jun turned around to see Tomoe. He seemed reluctant especially for her offering her help. However, it wouldn't hurt he thought.

"Sure Tomoe." The boy smiled.

O O O

"Jun, let's go by this shop." Tomoe suggested as they were headed on their way.

"Neh?"

They walked a few miles away from their normal route home and ended up in a doll shop. "Enju Doll" it read.

"A doll shop?" Jun mused.

The bell chimed as they entered the shop. Before them lay various dolls of exquisite elegance. Jun amazed himself with such collection of dolls that he didn't notice the person behind him.

"Do you like it?" Jun startled by the voice spun around to be with a tall man possibly in his late twenties. His hair was short and he wore a presentable suit.

"Shirosaki-san" Tomoe greeted.

"Greetings Tomoe-kun, and you are?"

"I'm Jun, Sakurada Jun." The boy bowed politely.

"Well do you like our collection?" he asked again.

"Eh…"

"Its nothing to be ashamed of really." Shirosaki neared a framed doll and stood at awe before its majesty. "I'm delighted that you can appreciate such art."

The door's bell chimed and in came a blonde man. He must have been in his thirties or forties. He looked presentable and has a mild yet somewhat, troubled face.

"Welcome back, Enju"

'Enju?' Jun thought.

"We have guests?" the doll maker mused nonchalantly.

"Yes. It's Tomoe-chan from before with her friend, Jun-kun."

Enju neared Jun and leaned over his face. Tomoe looked curiously. He held Jun's chin and observed him. Feeling contented, he let go of his hold and went to the back door.

"It's a habit of his. Sorry about that" He apologized to the two.

"I-it's ok." Jun reassured.

"Well then, its almost time, forgive me but we have to close." Said the shopkeeper.

"Is that so?" Tomoe said. "I guess we're leaving then." As Tomoe headed out, she heard Jun said something.

"W-Wait." Tomoe glanced back at him. "D-Do you have…"

O O O

"Thanks for buying, come back again!" Shirosaki waved as Jun and Tomoe left.

"So he was the medium." Mused Enju.

"Yes." Replied a chilly figure from the mirror. Shirosaki entered the back room and met Kirakishou. He changed his appearance to Laplace and bowed down before her. Kirakishou smiled back.

"Thank you for accompanying Enju-san Laplace."

"It is… my pleasure milady."

Kirakishou turned to the doll master. "Well then, I suppose she is ready."

Enju nodded and went over to pick a case up. It was tainted, varnished in brown and crested by a gold rose. He placed it neatly on his desk and snapped the latch open. He pulled from it a doll created in the image of Kirakishou which she greeted with a sadistic smile.

"She's beautiful" Laplace commented.

"Of course" Kirakishou hinted. "She was after all, designed in my image. Of course, there is no greater beauty that can succeed that of Onee-sama other than me." The doll giggled.

Enju neared the mirror and laid his doll before her.

"Tell me her name Enju."

"She is Barasuishou."

Rose vines reached from within the mirror and wrapped around Barasuishou and pulled her in the mirror. From there, Enju saw as Kirakishou leaned her hand onto his doll's chest.

"Since Enju is not capable of giving you a soul, I will bestow upon you a part of my power"

Laplace witnessed as light emanated from Kirakishou's palm, enveloping Barasuishou.

"Rise my servant, my harbinger." Her eye glared. "Rise Barasuishou and bestow the beginning of the Alice Game!"

Enju's gloomy room was enveloped in a bright white light. Barasuishou floated outside the mirror. Kirakishou looked at Enju "Wind her" Enju nodded and grabbed the key from the case and went to his daughter and wound her up. The doll staggered until she finally opened her eyes.

"F-Fa-th-er" Barasuishou managed. Enju stared at his child wide-eyed. He rushed to her and hugged her tight. Kirakishou gleamed before her clone. "Should you dare double cross me, you will know the price for treachery." Kirakishou threatened. Enju nodded as Kirakishou left.

"Excuse me Enju. I have a business to conduct." Laplace added as he opened a portal and leapt to it, leaving the doll master alone with his doll.

"Barasuishou…"

"Father…"

O O O

"Would you like to have some?" offered Kirakishou as she raised her cup to Laplace.

"No thank you milady" Laplace said as he tipped his hat.

They were back at Kirakishou's rose garden. She was seated cross legged again and sipped her cup nonchalantly.

"Why did you have to go through all the trouble of making a clone milady? Won't Enju's power suffice you're need for a body? He is a maestro after all."

Kirakishou took another sip. "It is true that his power as a maestro is… strong enough to form my physical body. However…" she took a sip and stared at the rich liquid in her cup. It glimmered a lustrous red-brown color. "Why would I focus my efforts in a small scale strategy when I can…" she slowly revealed her malicious smile.

"…End the Alice Game in a single stroke"

"Everything will end, and Onee-sama will finally become Alice. And all of this will begin with the downfall of that Medium." The cup portrayed the image of Jun. She stared at him over her cup gleefully as she neared it again on her lips.

"Well then, excuse me milady. I have matters to tend to." Laplace bowed as he left her field again.

Kirakishou took her sip. "I too also have a business to conduct with." The mirror before her portrayed Suigintou and her medium. She took another sip and stood from her seat. She walked to her mirror and held her hand onto it.

"Onee-sama…"

She pressed herself causing ripples on the mirror until she finally was consumed by it.

O O O

Laplace stood on top of the pole unnoticed, observing as Jun Sakurada alongside with Tomoe passed below him.

"Ah, it seems you have grown little one." He said as he eyed Jun. "Your heart finally became clear like a glass." He held out a crystal ball. "However, a glass is still a glass. No matter how beautiful it is, it will still be…" he let the glass fall. "…as fragile…" The glass shattered on the ground. Light reflected on the shards as it displayed a broken image of Jun.

O O O

End of Act 2

O O O O O O O O O O

Some timelines in this fic might be similar to the anime. Sorry about that as I find that it can't be avoided. Anyway, please drop by and rate.