ASN (Author's sister, otherwise known as Ryn's, note): Wow, it's been a while.

AN: But we have a wonderful excuse!

ASN: We've been working on an EPIC. And we've branched out into something other than Artemis Fowl.

AN: sulky Only because she wouldn't let me write that AF/HP crossover.

ASN: sigh That's because we needed to branch out. Anyway, this is our DNAngel EPIC. The story is pretty much complete, so it will have regular updates. Probably Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday.

AN: Unless we're feeling evil. Or we forget due to exams and theses and other college-related crap.


AN: Why do you keep saying 'epic' like that?

ASN: Cause it took us months to write, and it's long (fair warning guys, over 50 chapters). Besides, it's more fun to say it like that. And watch you twitch.

AN: sigh

ASN: Anyway, this EPIC basically follows anime canon, with the tiny addition of the cross-dressing scene from volume 3 of the manga.

AN: Because it's too much fun not to use.

ASN: This story essentially begins right after the Second Hand of Time arc and rewrites the last two episodes.

AN: Because they sucked.

ASN: Indeed they did. And now for the obligatory warnings: This EPIC is rated PG 13 for language, minor violence, and suicide references. This story will deal with the relationship between Satoshi and Daisuke—

AN: Such as it is…

ASN: Yes, thank you. And, not to ruin the story for you, it will become increasingly slash-y as the relationship between Satoshi and Daisuke changes—

AN: To what it should be! yay

ASN: blinks at insane sister

AN: smiles innocently

ASN: RIGHT then, you have been warned. Enjoy.

AN: Wait wait wait! You forgot the two most important things!

ASN: Oh, right. Of course. Disclaimer: DNAngel is not ours. It belongs to Yukiru Sugisaki. turns to sister What was the other one?

AN: Our rabid—I mean, devoted betas.

ASN: Of course. We dedicate this EPIC to our three betas. Without their undying support and unending harassment, this story may never have reached its full potential. We couldn't have done it without you.

AN: You can stop beating us now.

Interesting Times

Prologue—Hikari Akio

Once upon a time, there was a clan of artists who suffered from the sin of pride.

Once upon a time, there was a clan of thieves. Their sin was the same.

The Hikari, the ice-hunters, my clan, are artists without equal. Perfection is our only goal, and we pursue it with single-minded intensity. The Hikari pour a little of their souls into each artwork they create, and our spirit gives the art power.

The Niwa are thieves whose passion for art drives them to steal that which they deem worthy. The worthiest of all art is the art of the Hikari, and nothing we could do could prevent the Niwa from taking the best of our work.

For taking what is ours, we, the Hikari, hate the Niwa with an icy passion matched only by our drive to create new and better art.

The story began over three hundred years ago, with one Hikari Taro and one Niwa Yuudai. They were both the same age, both the best that their clans had produced thus far. And they were both in love with the same girl. The girl chose Taro. Although popular theory assumes her choice was made when she could not accept that the Niwa was a thief, history does not reveal the true reason for her choice, only the consequences.

In his arrogance and heady, triumphant passion, Taro was not satisfied with merely imbuing his art with power. To truly impress his love, he led the rest of the clan in creating a supreme artwork, the masterwork of the Hikari. They planned to make an artwork that would truly be alive. It would be called the Black Wings.

When Niwa Yuudai heard about the Hikari masterwork, he knew it would be an artwork without compare to anything else in the world. In his arrogance and furious, rejected passion, he set out to steal it.

During the ceremony in which the Hikari were investing the Black Wings with life, the Niwa master thief slipped in to steal the work at the very moment of Hikari triumph. As soon as he touched the piece, however, he disturbed the delicate balance of dark and light, good and evil. The life of the Black Wings was split in two, and entered the closest vessels: the Hikari master artist and the Niwa master thief.

And thus Dark and Krad were born, from love and pride and rejection.

The two beings possessed their hosts, becoming phantom thief and thief hunter. Whenever the two halves met, battles ensued that left both hosts drained and injured, as well as portions of the countryside in ruin.

Confronted with the power of the two beings, separate and apart, the Hikari of that time finally realized their sin and folly. The power of the Black Wings, even split and set against itself, was extraordinary. In their pride, they had unleashed a being too powerful to control, and the Black Wings could not be counted on to be benevolent. The ceremony could never be completed. The two beings must remain separate. At least separate, the two halves were weaker, and their Tamers had some semblance of control. Should the ceremony be completed and the Black Wings brought to life, death and devastation beyond comprehension could occur.

The Hikari of that time realized that the Black Wings could not be destroyed; Dark and Krad gave it too much power. Those Hikari sealed it, and hid it away where it could not be found. Not even the Niwa have been able to locate it.

When Niwa Yuudai found a love that accepted him, as well as the being that he carried within him, Dark lost his vessel.

Hikari Taro committed suicide, after the murderously possessive being within him strangled the girl he loved, and Krad lost his vessel.

Both beings drifted in time, waiting for a new generation of Niwa and Hikari so that the cycle could begin again.

As decades passed and generations suffered from the manifestation and possession of their mysterious curses, knowledge about the appearance of Dark and Krad was slowly obtained. Today, we believe that we finally understand the manifestation.

The Niwa males, when their love is rejected by the girl they care for, suffer a change in their genetic makeup and become the host of the phantom thief Dark. Feelings of love cause them to change into Dark. Only when the girl they love returns their feelings and accepts the Niwa as he is does Dark disappear for another generation.

We Hikari are similar. Care and love and the softer feelings trigger the same transformation in us, but with much harsher consequences than the appearance of a harmless though irritating phantom thief. The first appearance of Krad is often triggered soon after the appearance of Dark, drawn out of limbo by the thief's reemergence.

The two beings are halves of one larger being and have to be in balance. If one appears, the other soon follows. If Dark vanishes due to the death of his host or when the host's love accepts him, Krad vanishes soon after. They are driven to defeat each other, yin and yang, eternal opponents.

The only way to break the curse and end the cycle, most Hikari believe, would be to seal one of the halves forever. Since the two halves have to remain in balance, these Hikari believe that if Dark could be caught and sealed away forever, then Krad would be trapped in timelessness as well.

However, Krad cannot be sealed by our clan, for the simple reason that he will not allow us to do so. We tried to seal Krad, once, at the beginning of the century. An entire branch of the clan was destroyed in Krad's anger, and his then-Tamer died in the backlash.

The chances of the Niwa being able to seal Krad are so slight as to be ludicrous.

The goal of the single-minded Hikari clan has shifted from creating art to capturing and sealing Dark.

But I believe that there is another way.