Warnings: Probably, I can't find any but it's I who wrote it… and I dragged you into the story as well… if you want to know who you are and what I've done to you read… XD… oh, and this is a ghost story… Booooh…

Disclaimer: I have not written DNAngel. All rights to the story belong to Yukiru Sukisaki and company. This is just a non-profit fanfic. The basic storyline is an old ghost-story… you might recognize it…

The Hearse.

Krad watched you disappear out of sight before he turned to his host inside:

So now I'm just unexplainable feelings and thoughtlessness?

A moment of silence and the answer came:

No, you're what you've always been…

Hnh… He was quiet a moment before he continued; I still haven't forgiven you for forcing me to rescue all that art from the crypt you know… even if it was fun to call up a storm and burn down the house…

I know… A smile. I know…

He will not find anything…. Krad didn't have to explain who he was.

No. I feel a little bad though, giving him this puzzle when he can't solve it…

Krad sees the smile his host sends him and answers ironically: Yes, you seem very sad…

Laughter.

Silence.

Why did you tell him and why the hideous clothes?

An answer.

Oh, and you call me mean!

He rose from the bench and walked away with a small chuckle…

But all this came after you have left the scene… this were things you never got to know about… and never knew…

-.-.-.-.-.-

Let's start from the beginning shall we?

You remember how it all began?

There was a sound… and the sharp smell of newly fallen rain…

Thump…

Thump… thump…

Heartbeats echoed in your ears.

Thump…

Thump thump…

Thump thump…

-.-.-.-.-.-

You met him during a walk.

He was sitting on a bench in a quite deserted area.

After deciding he looked harmless, you sat down as well. For a moment there was silence, but then a soft old mans voice reached your ears.

"Are you new in town?"

You startle a little, wondering if it's you he's talking to or if you just missed the signal of his mobile-phone. He turns his head and sees at you, lifting a delicate blue eye-brow. Icy blue hair, quite long to be on a man, falls down into his eyes. Thin glasses are perched on his nose; shielding the most vivid blue eyes you've seen… he reminds you somehow of someone you knew a long time ago… a cold lonesome boy…

"Hmm… yeah, you could say that. Moved back here a month ago…"

"I see… Have you heard about the ghost wagon that used to roll upon these streets?"

"What? No…" you say with a little laugh. "I don't believe in ghosts… I'm more afraid of real people…"

"Hmm… understandable…" He nods as you take the time to check him out. Is this someone you should walk away from or was you first impression true? You somehow know that if you started to walk now, he would let you go… so even if the subject is a little weird, he's not weird.

"Do you… would you mind if I told the story to you? Do you have some time?"

You think on the stacks of paper that waits for your return at home… work; more work and boxes to unpack… you took this time to let the air clear your thoughts… truth to be told you don't have time for neither the walk nor the story. But you had to take this time. You had to take a break or else…

"Sure" you say. If the story is too boring or unrealistic… ghosts, yeah right… you still have the opportunity to shut your ears, breath and let him do the talking…

He nods and looks straight ahead. He will tell the story, but whether you listen or not is up to you… he knows it, you know it…

"I've lived almost my whole life in this town. I've moved away sometimes, but I've always come back for some reason. It's a small town where everyone knows everyone… or at least knows about everyone. Anyway, it all happened thirty years ago…

I had just moved back after spending some years in France… and as most people I used to talk to where no longer around, I became acquainted with a girl called Harada. She was an old classmate of mine who worked at the café where I used to eat. It was located close to the police-station where I worked so it became a habit to go there. I had never spent much time with Miss Harada in school so I don't think she recognized me, but she often dropped by my office for a chat even if she never stayed for long. I noticed that she'd gain a habit of glancing on her watch every so often. Well, I guessed she was busy and had a lot to do.

I had become quite good in the kitchen after my time in France. And to get an opportunity to dine with someone else than… myself… I often invited both her and her older sister to dinner, but she always declined my offer. Then one day she asked if I could quit my work a little earlier as she wanted to invite me to dinner at her and her sister's house. Their house lay almost in the other end of the town compared to mine and bad communications would force me to walk. The weather was warm and nice even if it was autumn, so I gladly accepted her invitation. The stroll to their newly built and very modern house was relaxing. I had calculated the time perfectly and knocked on the door at five o'clock as were appointed. The sisters were glad to have me as their guest and Riku, the older sister, had prepared a nice dinner. We enjoyed our time until we sat down for the dessert…"

You can't help but ask "Didn't the younger Miss Harada cook?"

The man glances at you with a dry smile. "Yes and no… Risa, as her name was, always loved standing in the kitchen. That's why she started to work at the café. But anything else than sandwiches had a… an exotic taste so to speak…"

You smile when he continues his story: "Anyway, it was during the dessert that I noticed that both Miss Haradas had started to glance at their watches… needless to say I was a little disappointed and wondered silently if they wanted me to leave. Nothing in their manner showed that this was the case though. But as they kept glancing at their watches I found that I had to ask them if they had planned anything else. They both denied this and explained their behaviour with 'it darkens very quickly at this time of year and you have a long way home'. I laughed and told them that I wasn't afraid of the dark. I stayed a little bit longer. But the enjoyable atmosphere had vanished, so around half past ten o'clock I thanked them both and started my walk home.

The night was warm and I glanced into shop windows as I passed them on my way home. The town was strangely deserted but I assumed that most people had to work in the morning and went to bed early. The church-clock rang to mark that only one hour was left to midnight and I quickened my pace as I began to feel tired. I had walked well over half the distance when I started to hear an odd sound. It was the sound of hooves on asphalt and the creaking of a wagon made of tree. I told myself that it was probably one of the farmers attending the market that had gotten drunk and forgotten the time and only now was on his way home. Even if it was odd to have a horse-drawn carriage, there were one or two farmers that kept the traditions to the tourists' pleasure.

As I continued my walk I noticed that the carriage seemed to have the same way as I. It was even more odd as I knew that my house where the only one that was lived in down the road. The other buildings were offices, museums… official buildings… and even closer to my home was the church with its large graveyard just outside town. There was no farmer that lived in my direction. Still, the sound of hooves came slowly closer. Finally I stopped and waited for the carriage… I thought maybe the driver was still drunk and didn't know which way he was heading…

But what came out from the darkness was not a stray farmer, it was a black hearse drawn by four black horses. I cannot say I was petrified or even afraid of the sight. But something made me back up to the display-window of the post-office as the horses slowly passed by. The charioteer was also wrapped in black. The only colour was his hair; long violet bangs that peeked out from under his high hat…"

He stops talking and glances at you as you make a sound in the back of your throat. You only know of one… person that has violet hair… only one… and he disappeared thirty years ago…

"I see I don't need to tell you who it was." He nods and continues his story with a sigh: Anyway, the hearse passed me by and turned left when it came to the next crossroad… when it had disappeared behind a building; I ran after it… nothing was there… the road was empty… I continued straight ahead and reached my home without any troubles except the ones inside my head…

The next day dropped Miss Harada by my office as usual. I thanked her for the dinner but I said nothing about what I had seen that evening. Idle chat filled the room for some time, but I soon realized why she had come… and it didn't take long before she carefully asked if I had come home as I planned. I said yes. She asked me if I had seen anything unusual, but I only mentioned that I had found the town strangely deserted. She didn't say anything else and silence surrounded us. After some time she nodded and prepared to leave. I told her to sit down and said:

'I saw it. The hearse…' She sighed and wiped her forehead with a tired gesture. She nodded and said 'Oh… so you saw it too…'

'But what does it mean?'

'I don't know.' She said and shook her head. 'It started suddenly for two months ago. I was one of the first ones to see it. I tried to walk up to the carriage. But I couldn't, something stopped me, like an invisible wall around the hearse. I tried to talk to D… the driver, but he didn't answer. The hearse just passed me by and was gone. In the beginning it wasn't something you told people about, that you had seen the hearse that is... But then superintendent Saehara saw it one night… and he made things hum when he tried to find out why it had come… It came out that there were many that had seen it, always after dark and in roughly the same area. Saehara and some men tried to locate the carriage for five nights. They did only see the hearse the last night. But they could neither walk up to the hearse nor talk to the driver… and it has stayed this way ever since… as you can understand we don't go out during the dark hours….'

'But there has to be something that can be done to stop it…'

'Well what?' she looked sad.

'Well, we're both grown ups that don't believe in ghosts and hallucinations…'

'Would you call this a hallucination?' She asked me sweetly. I sighed and admitted:

'No, I guess I cannot do that. Several people, including myself, have seen it. Was it anything special that happened when it started?'

'…No… not what I can remind me of…'

'Listen, tomorrow let us visit the registrar's office and ask if there were any deaths two months ago…' I could see that Miss Harada wasn't too happy about this prospect, but she nodded anyway.

The next day we met the priest, Mr Fukuda. He was very sceptical about the hearse since he was one of those who hadn't seen it. But he nevertheless gave us access to the information we wanted without any complains. I went through the information; everyone was common and normal citizens. I stopped at one name…

'What about this one; Daisuke Niwa, age 20?'

'Ah, yes.' Said Mr Fukuda. 'I remember him. A classmate to my wife and Miss Harada here.' Miss Harada nodded with tears in her eyes. 'He was a nice man, sociable and… nice… his parents and his grandfather died last year in a boat-accident at sea… they never found the bodies so they couldn't be buried… we had a ceremony for them of course but… no real funeral and that… that was quite hard for Mr Niwa. He lived his whole life here and… and… well, you would have thought he would do great things in the world…after all, he had his whole life in front of him.'

'How did he die?' I had to ask.

'Very suddenly. A heart-attack, at home. The doctor said he died within seconds. It was his girlfriend, Miss Riku Harada that found him on the floor… That makes you feel a little bit better though. Knowing that he didn't had to suffer… Poor soul.' Replied Mr Fukuda. He shook his head and added with a bit of sarcasm 'But you seriously don't think it Mr Niwa that is the one driven around by the hearse, do you?'

'That is what we're trying to find out. Where did he live?'

'In his parents' old home.' Said Miss Harada. 'we tried to get him to move out of it… there were too many memories attached to that house… but he refused to listen to us…'

'What will happen to the house now?' I asked them.

'I think it's planned to be torn down… and a new, modern house will be built on the ground…'

'Had he money to the funeral?' I suddenly asked… why I don't know.

'No, since he was so young and he lived on the insurance money from his parents…'

'He didn't work… he grieved his parents too much and had taken the time to settle down… to get an idea what he could do…'

'…Yes… anyway, the parish stood for the funeral…'

I don't know why I was so thoughtless and muttered 'in that case it can't have been much of a funeral…'

I noticed my little slip when the priest straightened up and said in a short tone 'It was a very honourable funeral'.

I didn't answer, but suggested that we should go to Niwa's old home. Mr Fukuda wasn't too keen to come with us but Miss Risa Harada agreed with me. After we had arranged to pick up Miss Riku Harada, who had the key, even Mr Fukuda agree to come. 'Only to make sure that there was one sane person in the group' as he put it. It turned out that Miss Riku Harada had seen the hearse a couple of times… and she was more than willing to help us in finding the solution when we had explained the situation to her.

The house was a bit worn down but it wasn't in a condition that it had to be torn down. One could see that no one had been here since Miss Riku Harada had cleaned for the last time. The dust hung in the air and filtered the sunbeams that had managed to sneak through the windows' curtains. We searched through everything from the clothes in the wardrobe to the plates on the shelves. But there was nothing unusual with the place.

Miss Riku Harada confirmed that the house was destined to be torn down and every personal item in it would be burned since there was no one who would inherit the building. There hadn't just been time to fix everything yet.

A thought that it was short of time ran through my mind, but, I couldn't understand what I meant with that…

We reached an agreement that all four of us would take a stroll the next night, just to show Mr Fukuda that we weren't crazy and made things up and left the building.

The next night at eleven o'clock we met up outside Niwa's home and started to walk in the direction of the church. It was in this area where the hearse was usually seen. Usually. It was a chilly evening; fog rose from the streets and hung in the air. We couldn't see any one else outside, they were at home, warm and safe.

The priest muttered to himself as he walked a bit behind us. And truth to be told, I felt a bit silly where I walked. Four grown ups on a ghost hunt… maybe the hearse wouldn't show up this night… maybe it was a hallucination… even if I had seen the same as those who had lived their whole life in this town… We'd walked almost fifteen minutes when we heard it; the sound of hooves and a wooden carriage. All four stopped as on a given commando.

And out from the fog and the darkness came four black horses and behind them, the black hearse. The charioteer sat in his black cloak that didn't give any indications to the lean body underneath it. I saw Mr Fukuda try to walk up to the carriage with an arm raised as if he wanted to take the reins of the nearest horse. But he stopped a meter before it and stood shock-still until the carriage had passed us by. Only then, sank his arm down again. He turned around and watched us; his face was white. He couldn't say anything; he just shook his head every now and then.

None of us could sleep very much that night. I lay awake in my bed and thought about the strange things I had seen and what they meant. In the early morning I got up, left a note about that I would be late to my office and went to Niwa's house. I didn't have the key, but I got in with the help of a couple of tools I had brought with me. Yes, what I did was illegal but I needed to get this puzzle solved. It was like there was something inside me that needed the conclusion. The door soon opened and without any witnesses I got in.

Inside I stood still for a moment to gain an idea where I should look since I had no idea what I searched for. A basket of wood beside the empty open fire soon caught my eyes and I started to empty its contents. Log after log was lifted down to the floor and in the bottom of the basket was a box of steel. I reached down, took the box and sat down on the nearest chair. I opened the box and was glad that I already sat down; the box was full with paper money, bundles of them. On top of the money was a letter from Mr Daisuke Niwa addressed to the finder. The letter read about his parents and his anguish that they weren't properly buried. It also stood that when he was about to get buried, he wanted a grand funeral with lots of flowers, a nice coffin, lots of singing, lots of people and afterwards should there be dinner and coffee.

I rose from the chair. I knew I had found the solution to the mystery of the hearse. Mr Daisuke Niwa was just unsatisfied with the funeral he had had. He had saved his money so he could get a grand funeral. A funeral like the one his parents couldn't have. But he had been cheated because Death had come too quickly and far too soon… And Mr Niwa had probably assumed that someone would find the letter and the money before the first funeral…

I put down the letter into the box and took the box under my arm. I went straight to the police-station, met Mr Saehara and told him about my findings and what I thought about them. It turned out that Mr Saehara agreed with me that I had indeed found the solution that this was why Mr Niwa hunted the streets of the town.

'But what should we do now, how can we make him stop?' wondered the superintendent.

'Dig up Mr Niwa and re-bury him according to his wishes. That's the only option.' I told him.

After a lot of formalities and red tape, Mr Daisuke Niwa was granted his grand funeral. Sure, there weren't any hearse drawn by four horses, instead there was the undertakers car. But there were the procession and the choir sang as good they could. There were a lot of people and flowers. After the funeral was there dinner and coffee. And the people could yet again go out during the dark hours."

The blue-haired man stops talking and you notice you have a small smile on your lips.

You watch as the man gets up and starts walking away without any other word. You watch him go down the street. After all, he has told you about your old classmates. You lean back on the bench and thinks back on Niwa, both Harada-girls and Hiwatari. You heard about Daisukes death a couple of weeks after you had moved away from this town. Suddenly you realize that the old man isn't older than you and that he indeed is the one person you thought he reminded you of. Hiwatari. His clothes and his speak-pattern screamed old man, not the face and not the body. For crying out load, he even told you that he was your classmate… or classmate to Harada, which was your classmate…

"Hey! Hiwatari, wait up!" You call out. He halts for a moment to wave at you before he continues his strides. You get up and start running after him as he turns around a street-corner. But when you turn around the same corner no blue-hair is there to be found… only an eighteen-year old boy with long golden hair and a cross tied into the strands of hair. He smirks as he passes you where you stand in the middle of the road. You think he looks… not familiar but there is something… You also know you haven't seen him before… You ask him if he has seen your old classmate. He has not. Your phone calls and you answer it:

"Yeah, Saehara here… Oh hi dad… yeah, I'll drop by you tomorrow, after I've sent the papers the photographs they want to have… yeah, okay, I'll do that… bye dad…"

You turn around again, heading back the same way you came. The boy is sitting on the bench. The thought that he looks like an angel runs through your head… and you know you have seen him somewhere… or rather, someone just like him… someone you wanted to see… a long time ago…

It will take days before you remember the white winged… person that hunted Dark… when you were a teenager…

Dark… why did he drive the hearse with Dai-chan inside? The questions come like a waterfall… and even when you hear the same story from your dad and other classmates' mouths you realize something…

Satoshi Hiwatari didn't solve the puzzle why Dark where driving Daisuke around the town… he just buried the most important pieces together with Niwa… and that you are so very far to late to be able to solve it… and yet, you can't let go of it…