Author's note: I do not own Rozen Maiden, the characters, or their original storyline so please, don't sue me coz honestly, it sucks X(

For those who eagerly wait of chapter 8's conclusion, read on

O O O O O O O O O O

Rozen Maiden: Eternal Play

Act 9: Rebirth and Baptism

Lapis Lazuli stood before the unconscious Jun and Tomoe and raised her shears above them for the finish. As she was about to strike them down, she instead leapt away to safety, evading a volley of black quills aimed at her. She found her weapon clashing away against Suigintou.

"I do not know how the hell you came back but I won't let you harm Jun!" Mercury Lampe fumed until she met the lifeless eyes of Souseiseki. "What the-"

With an agile leap, Souseiseki managed to deflect Suigintou's blade and, using her hat, flung a counterattack towards the doll, hitting Suigintou by the cheek. Mercury Lampe wiped her reddened cheek with and looked furiously at the doll.

"You're not Souseiseki" she noticed. "Who are you?" Suigintou demanded as she pointed her blade at Lapis Lazuli.

Souseiseki didn't utter a word.

"Ugh…" Suigintou got intimidated by Souseiseki's response and gripped her blade tightly as she lunged again for the gardener. Their weapons clashed against each other, the two dolls dancing madly at an intimate tune of death. In the corner of her eye Suigintou saw Jun and decided to lead Souseiseki away from him. She opened her wings and flew away from their battleground and then turned and lured the gardener as she hurled black feathers at the doll which she slashed with her shears in a single stroke. The bait succeeded as Suigintou was now being pursued by Souseiseki.

Souseiseki appeared on a part of the factory and navigated her way in the darkness. She immediately sensed danger and dodged Suigintou's volley after another. Souseiseki hid herself in one of the machinery.

"Impressive" Suigintou whispered behind her. Lapis Lazuli's eyes widened.

Suigintou opened her wings and hugged Lapis Lazuli. They both rocketed up in the ground as Suigintou spun madly in midair and swerved her flight path downwards giving Souseiseki a piledriver. Before crashing to the ground, Suigintou opened her wings, releasing her captive as she maneuvered her flight, sending only Souseiseki crashing to one of the contraptions…

O O O

The dolls that were still searching for the two felt the ground tremble. Something must have exploded underground. Shinku looked at Suiseiseki for the possibility that Jun might be down there. The doll nodded back at her and Shinku barked her instruction.

"Everyone, search for a ladder heading down or something. Jun and Tomoe must have fallen down during the explosion. We need to go down and rescue them."

Her sisters understood and nodded. They began turning over piles of heap and metal for the possible location of such an entrance.

It was awhile before Hinaichigo found one.

"Here –nano!" she signaled the others. All four of them gathered around the hole.

"It's dark –kashira."

"It's creepy -nano" Hinaichigo frightened as she clutched Shinku's sleeve.

"Hinaichigo, you need to be brave." She looked at her sisters. "All of us must go down there to save Jun and Tomoe."

Hinaichigo remembered her purpose and gathered her courage. "Right –nano!" Suiseiseki nodded at Shinku and so does Kanaria as one by one, they entered the black abyss that lay before them.

O O O

"What the…"

From the rubble where Souseiseki fell, rose Lapis Lazuli, quite unharmed by her fall.

"I-it's impossible" Suigintou held back. "H-how could you have survived that impact?"

Souseiseki looked at her numbly. She then re-summoned her Renpika and set her shears open. The weapon glowed and the once shear type weapon divided into two blades as Souseiseki began round two.

Usually, Renpika is a heavy bladed weapon when used as a whole, but, when used separately, it is as if the user is using two light katanas in combat. And Souseiseki using two light katanas is a better match for Suigintou. Not only is she fast, she moves REALLY fast…

Mercury Lampe could barely parry the attacks from Lapis Lazuli. If she hasn't had her wings she would've been scrapped in no time as Souseiseki lashed out a combo after the other, spinning, hacking, twisting and tumbling at her wildly.

Suigintou was amazed by how good the gardener is. Never have she fought the doll in this form, she barely had time to react. Suigintou managed to leap away as a blade missed her by inches. She decided to make a breather by opening her wings and hurtling herself as far as she could from Souseiseki. From a distance Suigintou could see the doll standing. Within a millisecond, she saw the doll vanish and reappeared in front of her.

"Damn it…" Suigintou hissed as she engaged herself once more against the doll. She opened her wings and conjured two dragons to smite her down. Souseiseki simply somersaulted higher, making the dragons pass her by. She landed on top of them and dashed to where Suigintou was. Lapis Lazuli leapt and delivered a 1-2-3 kick to the face of Mercury Lampe before delivering a final one, sending her to the ground. As Suigintou dragged her dragons with her, Souseiseki gracefully twirled and hacked the two beasts in their length, disabling Suigintou of her wings. Mercury Lampe lay wasted on the ground as her black feathers rained all over.

Souseiseki landed before the fallen Suigintou who was trying to get back on her feet.

Souseiseki readied her twin blades and stood before Suigintou as she steadied her pose.

"How could she become this strong?" Suigintou, aiding herself with her sword, thought of who this adversary is. This isn't the Souseiseki she fought before. Once Suigintou found her balance, she poised her blade and waited for Souseiseki's attack. The doll was breathing heavily. Her cheeks bruised all over, her back scratched and her feathers scattered.

She focused on her opponent which suddenly vanished in front of her. Suigintou's eyes widened as Souseiseki appeared again before her, delivering a twirl. Suigintou parried the first and second hit of her blade was but caught off guard by a clean kick on her gut, sending her plummeting on the side. Suigintou, despite her loss of wings, managed to recover immediately as she pressed her hand on the ground whilst she plummeted and, pushing herself off, she acrobatically twirled and landed on top of a round tank. Souseiseki watched her dully.

"Did you see that Laplace?!" Kirakishou cheered. "How graceful Onee-sama is despite her loss of wings! Amazing! Simply breathtaking, isn't it!"

"Very much indeed."

Suigintou caught her breath as she stood on top of the metal container. Emanating a purple light, Suigintou's wings began to grow back.

"See that Laplace?!" Kirkaishou cheered again from her seat, pointing childishly at the mirror. "Onee-sama is truly an angel."

"You" Suigintou spat. "I don't know who you are but… for me to use my full powers," she sneered at the emotionless Souseiseki "you should be pleased… Even Shinku hasn't seen me in this glory…"

Elsewhere, Megu's ring glowed brightly.

"Hot… Angel-san" she whispered as she looked at it worriedly.

"Come!!" Suigintou invited as she leapt from where she stood and charged at Souseiseki. The doll accepted her invitation and ran towards her. She again vanished and reappeared before her twirling again a spin attack. The first blade hit Suigintou who turned to feathers, the doll reappeared behind Lapis Lazuli who parried the incoming second blade with her sword and managed to deliver a sharp kick behind the doll, sending Souseiseki to the container.

Before smashing however, Souseiseki tumbled in midair and landed instead on the metal tank. Using the force in her legs, she hurled herself to Suigintou and began clashing with her.

Megu winced in pain as the ring glowed brighter.

"Ohoh… You aren't that fast after all" Suigintou taunted on her emotionless adversary as she parried her combos. With a sudden twirl from Mercury Lampe, she slapped Souseiseki with her right wing, closed both of her wings and immediately burst them open before the doll creating a shockwave that sent Souseiseki plunging away. Suigintou threw her sword at her which the doll blocked but was too late making her lose both her shears. Suigintou darted as both their weapons fall and delivered a volley of punches at the doll. She grabbed her and delivered a knee on her stomach then followed by a succession of twirl-slaps with her wings. Even as Souseiseki staggered from the beating, her face was still emotionless.

Suigintou finished her winged assault by creating a shockwave the way she did before, as Souseiseki was hurtled again, Suigintou poised herself for the finish.

"MEIMEI!!"

The spirit came and charged itself into a ball of energy in Suigintou's palms.

Megu held her heart as the ring singed. "Angel-san!!"

The doll held her charged spirit in both hands as she opened her wings wide and charged after the doll.

"DIE!!" she roared as she held Meimei in one hand and slammed it on Souseiseki's chest, creating and explosion that engulfed the two, causing the whole factory to shudder.

O O O

Suiseiseki was the last to come down when they felt the underground tremble.

"This is bad -kashira" Kanaria mused as she surveyed the ceiling, watching the dust and some small rocks fall from above.

"Tomoe" Hinaichigo said worriedly.

"Come," Shinku instructed. "We must make haste" The dolls nodded and followed her lead as all of them begin running.

Shinku looked at her ring which glowed dully and then continued her gaze up ahead.

"Jun, we're coming. Please be safe!!"

The dolls ran faster, trying their best to outrace time.

O O O

Suigintou stood proudly as she relinquished using her medium's power from the smoke before her. None could have survived that blast. It was…

"Impossible!"

As the dust cleared, a figure stood before Suigintou. Souseiseki stood, unharmed from all the punishment she received.

"H-How could this be?" Suigintou fumed her eyes wide in a mix of hatred and confusion. Souseiseki raised her head and looked at her like before, dull, emotionless, as if she were truly a doll. A puppet controlled by an unknown puppeteer.

Souseiseki stood blankly a few feet from the doll. With a sudden movement, she was now close to Suigintou.

"What the?!"

Souseiseki held her palm on Suigintou's chest and looked at her dully before she released a shockwave that sent the doll flying, a few feet away from her, tearing the front of her dress in the process.

Suigintou felt mind-numbing pain as her eyes unfocused as she flew away.

"I really don't want to do this Onee-sama but if you are going to interfere" Kirakishou smiled evilly. "I might be forced to punish you for being a bad girl…"

Suigintou lay before Souseiseki as the doll tipped her hat and summoned her shears as she went over Mercury Lampe. She held her blade high and prepared to strike her down.

"Souseiseki!"

She stopped when she heard the voice.

"She is not the objective Souseiseki" Kirakishou instructed, her smiled turned into a frown, "Finish off Jun and Tomoe, THAT is the objective…"

Souseiseki laid down her shears dismissed it and left Suigintou as black feathers continued to baptize the fallen doll.

O O O

Jun and Tomoe still lay motionless on the ground when Souseiseki came back for them. From behind her, an image of Kirakishou appeared.

"Go ahead Souseiseki!! Do it!! Do it now!!" Snowdrop Kristall sneered. "Off with it!! Off with their heads!!"

Souseiseki walked near them summoned her Renpika.

"Yes! That's it Souseiseki! Kill them!! KILL THEM NOW"

Souseiseki stood before the two and pointed her weapon on top of them. The doll pulled it up and was about to strike it down when…

O O O

"Jun? Tomoe?" Hinaichigo yelled.

"Ningen! Where are you?" Suiseiseki answered.

The dolls came into a clearing and were greeted by a stone that was hurled before their feet. The dolls looked where the stone came from. From a distance, a visage of a person sat and troubled itself as it lifted a stone and hurled it aside.

"Wh-Whose there –desu?"

The person didn't utter a word and continued what it was doing.

The dolls proceeded and when got close, they finally saw who it was

"SO-SOUSEISEKI?!" Suiseiseki's eyes widened in disbelief. How on earth did her sister come here? Moreover, come back?

Souseiseki was kneeling before some rubble as she took off a block of stone on top of it and hurled it aside.

The other dolls were shocked by the sudden appearance of the gardener's twin in a place like this. Jade Stern left her company and knelt before her twin and hugged her warmly.

"Souseiseki. Thank heavens!" Suiseiseki cried as she hugged her, however, Souseiseki still lay emotionless. Suiseiseki pulled from her twin and looked at her.

"Did Father fix you Souseiseki?" Jade Stern smiled at her twin who looked at her expressionlessly. "S-Souseiseki…" Jade Stern's happy changed into a frown.

"Yay!! Souseiseki's back –nano" Hinaichigo cheered when they finally reached the two. "Unyuu?"

"What is it Hinaichigo?" Shinku asked.

Suiseiseki looked at Shinku as tears fall from her face. "Shinku…" Suiseiseki sobbed. "Souseiseki… Souseiseki…"

Shinku looked at the doll and noticed immediately her blank reaction. "Wh-What happened to her?" Jade Stern shook her head. "She was already like this when I hugged her –desu. I am worried –desu" as she cried again on her twin's shoulder. Shinku looked at Lapis Lazuli again then noticed an arm under the rubble behind her. It wore a familiar ring.

"JUN!!" Shinku screamed as she ran past them and hastily moved the rocks away. The rest of them finally noticed and aided Shinku who was now beginning to cry.

"No.. No.." Shinku said under her tears as she hurled a stone from the mess. "Jun.."

"Jun-kun –nano…" Hinaicihigo was beginning to cry too as she did her best to lift a stone after another. Suiseiseki, who was also setting some of the rubble aside, cried, now both to what Souseiseki has become and this tragedy that came under Jun. She noticed a hand reach for a stone on turned on her side to see her twin helping.

"Souseiseki…" she looked at her in disbelief but then smiled as she somehow felt her twin coming back.

When Shinku finally removed a large block, she saw the back of Jun's head.

"Jun!!" She hastened her pace as she moved a block after another. When the rubble cleared, she held Jun and turned him over who concealed Tomoe.

"Tomoe!!" Hinaichigo cried as she sat beside her, her tears watering Tomoe's face.

Shinku rested her medium on her lap and as she supported his head, she felt something soft and warm on her hand. When she pulled to check what it was, her eyes widened as she saw blood. Shinku looked at her medium shakily. "No… JUN!!"

The dolls saw the stain on Shinku's hand and began to worry for Jun's safety, all except for Souseiseki.

Tomoe's eyes nudged as she was beginning to be conscious, mainly because of the water she felt on her face. "Tomoe" Hinaichigo smiled happily. Hearing a familiar voice, Tomoe opened her eyes. Her vision was shady but as it cleared, she recognized Hinaichigo who was crying on top of her. "Hinaichigo" she smiled at the doll. Suddenly, she remembered everything. As the furnace exploded, the building began to crumble and the ground she was standing at gave away. Jun raced for her and extended his hand. As she reached him, both of them fell into this hole, along with the debris on the ceiling.

Tomoe's eyes widened. "Sakurada-kun!" she spun around to see Jun rested on Shinku's lap who was crying solemnly at her medium. Tomoe noticed the gash on his forehead. She tried to sit up but found it hard as her muscles ached, possibly from the fall. She was, however, aided by Hinaichigo and has managed to sit properly.

"Jun-kun…" Tomoe said sadly as Shinku wept before him. Suiseiseki too cried and dug herself on his shirt.

"Y-You can't die -desu" Jade Stern cried as she began smacking his stomach lightly, perhaps of despair.

"Why did you leave us –desu! If you could have been more careful –desu, this wouldn't have happened –desu!!" Suiseiseki complained at the lifeless Jun.

"Jun…" Shinku cried at him solemnly. She remembered how many times they argued back then. How many times they would quarrel over simple things yet forgive him in the end. How many times she smiled because of his sheer stupidity but found herself swooned by his sincerity. "I'm sorry… Jun… I wasn't there to save you…"

"Why did you leave us –desu!!" Suiseiseki hit harder. "Why!!"

Jun's dimples twitched. "Geez…" everybody turned to him, except Souseiseki who was staring all along. "It hurts Suiseiseki…" he managed under his deep breathing.

"Jun!!" Shinku gasped.

"Jun-kun" Tomoe awed.

Suiseiseki who was hammering him stopped and pulled her face off his stomach. "Y-You're alive –desu?!"

"If you don't stop putting your weight on me, I won't be…" Jun complained as he opened his eyes.

"Yay!! Jun's alive –nano!!"

Jun's vision was shaky but as it cleared, he saw Shinku from beyond his broken glasses. Jun took off his glasses and looked at it. He touched one of the lenses and felt some of it cracked and missing. Jun sighed.

"Geez… how can I see you guys…" Jun complained. "Are all of you alright? I can't see clearly so I want to hear if you guys are okay."

"Kanaria's here -kashira"

"You baka –desu! I really thought you're a goner –desu." Suiseiseki wiped her tears.

"Hinaichigo's here –nano. So is Tomoe –nano."

"Yes."

Jun felt relieved. He then smiled at Shinku. "Hey, why didn't you say something like 'what a troublesome servant you are?' or 'honestly, you are very clumsy, Jun'" Jun sneered at the doll. Shinku chuckled as she wiped a tear. "Well then, honestly, you really are the clumsiest servant I've ever met" Shinku smiled. "…Jun…"

Jun smiled and tried to sit but felt weakened mainly due to the fall or to the blood he lost.

Tomoe looked at everyone and noticed Souseiseki.

"Souseiseki?" She bemused.

"Souseiseki?" Jun chimed in.

"Yes, Souseiseki's here -nano" Hinaichigo smiled cheerily.

"Is this for real?" Jun felt relieved. He didn't expect for the doll to be brought back by Rozen. But how about the Mystica?

"However -desu" Suiseiseki hesitated. "She seems… to have amnesia -desu" the gardener said sadly.

"What?!" Jun burst.

"On top of that it seems she has become mute -desu"

"Souseiseki" he said worriedly, finding it difficult to look at the doll.

The place trembled again as dust and small chunks of debris fell.

"We need to get out of here" Tomoe suggested. "This place won't last long"

The dolls nodded. "Suiseiseki, you take care of Souseiseki and help Hinaichigo with Tomoe" Shinku instructed. "While Kanaria and I help Jun." everybody nodded and understood. The dolls supported the humans up as they began to walk. "Suiseiseki, where's the exit?"

"Too far from here –desu. We can only reach it by flying -desu"

Shinku's eyes widened. "But flight is impossible for us now. That blast drained whatever power we had left."

"Then use mine" Jun said.

"Ningen!"

Shinku shook her head. "No. you might die"

"If we don't escape, all of us will die." He then turned at the gardener. "Suiseiseki, will we make it in five minutes?"

"I suppose –desu" Suiseiseki looked worriedly.

Jun closed his eyes and concentrated as the ring radiated a mix of red, pink, and green. Shinku, Suiseiseki, and Hinaichigo radiated their respective colors and were able for flight.

O O O

The dolls navigated the cavern with the humans in tow. Shinku looked at Jun as she felt him wince. A doll using her medium's power is draining. Let alone three who rely on one medium. They need to be quick otherwise, Jun might not make it. Shinku noticed as vines begin to grown from the ring, a sign that the medium will die if he gets strangled by it.

"Suiseiseki, we need to hurry" Shinku instructed.

Suiseiseki spun around to notice the vines "Ningen!!"

"Don't mind me," Jun managed. "Just focus on where we're headed" the doll looked at SHinku who nodded her approval. Suiseiseki understood as they sped off.

'Jun' Shinku looked at him worriedly as the place began trembling.

"This whole place is falling apart -kashira" Kanaria whined. "We won't make it -kashira"

"We mustn't give up –desu because…" She turned again to Jun who was tolerating the pain. She looked ahead and smiled "…because the exit is near!!"

The dolls found a large exit from the underground and were able to escape just as the cavern collapsed.

"There it is –nano!" Hinaichigo cheered, pointing at the exit.

"We're almost there Jun" Shinku whispered. The medium, despite the pain, opened his eyes ad saw the exit. As all of them escaped, the entire factory below them collapsed.

O O O

Megu sat sadly on her bed gazing at the starry sky. It has been awhile since the ring stopped glowing and was worried of where Suigintou could have been.

"Suigintou…" she whispered worriedly.

Megu then began to sing the doll's favorite song, praying that the winds would carry it to her Angel and would decide to come back to her.

Indeed the song reached the doll who slept soundly in a mattress fit for a princess.

Suigintou's eyes begin to move as she became conscious. She moved her body but instead felt the sheets on her. Sheets? Suigintou instinctively opened her eyes and sat on the comfortable bed only to find herself naked under the sheets. She glanced around and found curtains hanging on every side of her bed. She stood up from the mattress and, covering herself with the blanket, went by the window. She swung a curtain open and found herself shielding from the bright light. When her vision cleared, she marveled at the beautiful landscape before her. Birds sang happily as they flew freely. Roses of pure white hang on hedges. The sun graced the domain with warmth and light.

"Beautiful…" she sighed.

"Yes…" Suigintou spun beside her and narrowed her eyes. "Show yourself" she demanded as she flung a feather in the shadows.

"Such feisty attitude Onee-sama"

Her eyes widened. It was a voice she has heard before. From the darkness came the doll gowned in white.

"You…"

The doll smiled and curtsied before her.

"Who are you and where am I?" Suigintou demanded.

"Somewhere safe Onee-sama…"

"Why are you calling me like that?" Suigintou frowned.

The doll came closer, now they stand before the windows as she carefully slid a curtain open so as to let the bright sun enliven the place. The doll glanced outside and smiled.

"Marvelous isn't it?"

Suigintou however, was not amused and looked at her seriously. "Why are you calling me like that?" she asked again.

Snowdrop Kristall smiled. "That is how younger sisters should treat their older sisters right?"

Suigintou's eyes widened. As the doll neared her again, Suigintou leapt back. "Don't come any closer. I have questions and I want answers… NOW" she barked.

"My, my, you do have such a temper Onee-sama" Kirakishou smiled.

"I am Kirakishou, the seventh true doll of the Rozen Maidens" she finally said as she curtsied again before her.

"Seventh true doll?" Suigintou thought. "Then who is..."

"Barasuishou?" Kirakishou interrupted.

There was a knock on the door.

"Come in" Kirakishou instructed. The door opened and in came Barasuishou.

"You!!" Suigintou clenched the sheets.

"There, there, no need to be mad at your allies Onee-sama" Kirakishou warned as Barasuishou stood beside her.

"Allies?" Suigintou gave her a demanding look.

Kirakishou nodded. "Allies so that you can finally fulfill your dream of becoming Alice."

"Wh-What are you talking about?"

"I will explain everything Onee-sama during dinner. For the meantime, Barasuishou will accompany you as you clean yourself" she glanced at the doll who nodded obediently.

Seeing her beaten state, there is no chance of surviving against two worthy opponents. She nodded as she decided to play along with Kirakishou's game.

O O O

"Do you think she'll join us mistress?" Laplace asked.

They were watching as Suigintou took her bath in an enormous bathtub could've been used only by royalty. Suigintou neared a small waterfall mounted on one of its side and washed her hair.

"Look at her Laplace, she is beautiful" Kirakishou mused over her naked sister as she observed her curves and figures. She awed at the wings behind her as they were soaked with water.

Laplace stood unmoving and decided to ask her again later. Asking her again as she fancied over her sister is equivalent to death or rather, a fate much worse than death as Kirakishou is capable of doing such a thing.

"So perfect" she continued. "She really is the best choice of becoming Alice. Her perfection is what qualifies her in doing so."

"She is the first among us Rozen Maidens. The epitome of Father's idea of creating Alice, the perfect doll, she was the product of such imagination." Kirakishou continued.

"She was the first that came close to Alice as she was made when Father had the idea fresh in his mind. That's why she had wings, that's why she is an Angel, an entity that is close to God"

"The perfect doll… and I will make sure she becomes Alice. I will make sure of it Laplace…"

"As you wish… Mistress" Laplace agreed as Kirakishou watched her sister some more as Suigintou ran her fingers through her hair under the waterfalls that bathed her.

O O O

Echoed footsteps appeared on the opposite end of the dining table from where Kirakishou sat. From the shadows out came Barasuishou with a doll dressed in white.

"They look pretty on you… Onee-sama" Kirakishou clasped her hands. As Suigintou, who wore a white version of her original dress that was torn earlier, joined Kirakishou for dinner.

"How does it feel Onee-sama? We now wear the same dress" she smiled proudly.

"Intimidating" She shrugged off casually. It is either she found the dress intimidating or her youngest sister.

Laplace bowed before her.

"Laplace?" she mused.

"A meal is a ritual for a healthy conversation. Come," he invited as he held her a seat.

Suigintou simply obliged and helped herself. She faced Kirakishou on the opposite end.

"You really are beautiful Onee-sama" Kirakishou smiled.

"Cut with the flattery and let's get down to business" Suigintou snapped.

"Yes", she smiled "as you wish"

Kirakishou said as her gold eye reflected an image of Suigintou and a hint of insanity that comes along the way.

O O O

Megu felt the cold breeze whisk her hair. She felt troubled by the fact that Suigintou hasn't returned yet. She looked at the ring and noticed no change. It hasn't glowed again the entire day. She then glanced back at the night sky, praying for her Angel's safe return.

O O O

End of Act 9

O O O O O O O O O O