Tap. Tap. Thud. Thud.

Two figures, lone in a grandly regal throne room, both held worried, anxious expressions. A young female and a considerably older man. Princess and her guard. Snow and Alan.

Running his hand through his slightly loose ponytail, the man frowned, his brows knit together in conflict. He paced, back and forth, from one end of the room to the other, brooding about a solution to their steadily increasing problem. The princess watched him, racking her own brain for an possible answer, her thin fingers delicately tapping the golden arm of her throne. Simultaneously, both sighed.

"We don't have a choice, do we, Alan?" said the girl, leaning back into her cushiony seat.

He groaned, glancing out the window to gaze at the crimson sunset. It was fitting in a way, how the bloody smears of light reflected the turmoil in MAR Heaven now. "I guess we don't. It's only a matter of time before our world becomes overrun with death. Shall I get the ARM?" he responded, voice weary.

"Yes, hurry. You know where to find Alviss, right?" Snow looked at him curiously, her tapping ceased.

"Yeah, I do." He headed toward the door, giving her a nod goodbye. Pausing as he opened the door, he added, "Don't forget to notify the others."

She smiled, waving him off. "I've already."

Alan gave her one last look before closing the door, leaving her alone in the large room. As the slam of the door resonated off the walls, her eyelids drooped wearily, her little red bow following suit. Quietly, she said to herself, "Ginta...I hope this doesn't affect the life you've made for yourself back in your world..."

"Whew, what a day." The boy flicked on the lights in his room, collapsing backwards onto his bed. A deep laugh drifted from the doorway, its owner grinning at his son's obvious weariness.

"Had a tough day, Ginta?" he asked, amusement laced in his voice.

Copying his father's silly grin, he answered, "Sure did, Pop."

Chuckling again, Danna leaned against the wooden doorframe, a hand thoughtfully stroking his goatee. "Well, you never were the studious type. I guess those exams were pretty hard, huh?"

To his surprise, a book roughly cuffed him on the side of his head. He winced, only to turn to his wife, the woman holding a irritated expression, hands on her hips. "You're not one to talk, dear," she spoke, her eyes narrowed dangerously in playful teasing. "Now come on, you're supposed to be helping me with dinner, not making conversation with our clearly tired son." Before he had a chance to protest, he was forcibly dragged into the kitchen by the ear.

Grinning, Ginta leaned back into his pillow, arms behind his head, content flickering over his features. But it was only brief.

It happened often, these feelings of sadness. No, it wasn't weariness, though it felt like it. The best term to describe it would be...home sickness. Silly really, as that world wasn't at all his own, that place that satisfied so many things he could not have here, regardless of the short amount of time he had been there. MAR Heaven, how he missed it. Earth could only offer so much, and so little at the same time, especially for someone like him. None of the same adventures, action, and certainly none of the magic he had experienced. But more importantly, he could never have the same fun he had had two years ago, with the rest of his friends, the rest of Team MAR...

I wonder how everyone's doing...he thought, a wistful sigh escaping his lips. The faces of his teammates flashed in his mind, and he sighed again, a small smile forming on his face. What am I worrying about? They're probably doing great... He laid in silence for a while, listening to the clatter of silverware in kitchen as he reminesced the events in MAR Heaven, trying to remember every detail... I wish I could see them again...just one more time...

As if on cue, the ground began to rumble, quaking the floor beneath him. Cries from his mother came from the hallway, along with words of assurance from his father. Then everything went dark, the lights extinguished. Heart pounding in excitement, Ginta bolted upright, hands gripping the sheets. This is familiar..!

Exactly as he thought, a masked face appeared before him, its blue tongue hanging out of the mouth-slit, followed by the chained, rumpled red cloak. Monban Pierrot, the GateKeeper Clown.

"W-whoa! It's you!" Ginta cried, his eyes twinkling.

His parents poked their heads into his room cautiously. "Hey, Ginta! What's going on?"

"W-what is that?" The eyes of his mother widened, her form shivering in worry. Shakily, she made to rush to her son's side, but was held back by her husband.

"Wait. Watch," he said, voice firm.

Ignorant of the two, the guardian flicked his wrist, a dice rolling onto the bedspread. Intently, Ginta watched as the dice slowed to stop. One.

"One," said the guardian. "Only one may enter." Slowly, he turned his face to stare at the boy, a silent answer to the "one".

Blinking, Ginta pointed a finger at himself. "Me?"

Slowly, Monban Pierrot nodded, his masked features resonating a strangely reassuring aura. "Prepare to enter."

"W-what? G-ginta..?" asked his mother, looking on the scene in awe, her gaze flicking between the two.

Smiling, he mirrored Monban Pierrot's assurance, and answered, "It's okay, Mom."

Although not entirely confident of his words, she hesitantly accepted his leaving with a shaky nod. "Alright. But just be careful. G-ginta?"

Turning from his post beside the GateKeeper Clown, he cocked his head in question. "Yeah, Mom?"

"Come back safe."

Grinning again, he placed his hand on the summoned doorway. "I will."

"Have fun, Ginta!" cheered his father in farewell, giving him a thumbs-up. "Whatever they need you for, we'll be rooting for you! Koyuki too!"

Waving them goodbye, he pushed open the gate, giving his parents one last look. "Yeah! Don't forget to tell her! I'll be back and I'll tell you everything, just like last time, so don't worry!" One final grin, and he and Monban Pierrot were gone.

A/N: Hello everyone. This is my first multi-chaptered fanfiction, so please forgive me if it updates slowly. Just to let you know, this is (mostly) based off the manga, NOT the anime. That means none of the Ghost Chess, yaoi/yuri/ecchi undertones (in my perspective), and unnecessary fillers. Pretend they never happened, or something. Otherwise, it shouldn't be that hard to follow. There will also be OCs in this story, five to be exact. Four are villains (of which three will die by the end of the series), and one is an ally, which is girl. However, she will NOT be paired up with anyone, unless if someone adamantly demands it, because then, we'll have to work something out. Hence, no pairings, at least, not seriously.

And by the way, this story takes place two years after MAR ends, if you didn't figure it out already. That also means four years before MAR Omega.