Author's Notes: I wrote this as an entry to the OtakuOmaha fanfiction contest. I'm not entirely pleased with it, but I love KKJ and I found myself pondering one night what made Chiaki any more immune to demon attacks than the rest of humanity.
Chapter 1: Maron Gets a Letter
Maron stared out through the tiny airplane window. The last few days had been such a roller coaster of emotion. First the Petit Claire had been acting strangely and then she had been so relieved to learn that the final demon had been sealed. At last she could stop being a thief and no more kind-hearted people would be possessed!
Then came the sad realization that Finn would be departing to deliver the chess pieces to God. Maron knew her friend and guardian would not be gone long, but the separation was still difficult for both of them.
She had barely begun to feel lonely when a letter came from her mother.
A letter came from her mother.
Maron stared down at the wrinkled note clutched in her hands. She hadn't put it down since it came and she still could barely believe it was true.
Papa and I have been working hard and we just bought an adorable house outside of town. You would love it! I have your bedroom all made up. We both miss you so much. Please say you'll come home? Let's be a real family again!
Underneath was a one-way ticket to England.
And so she did what any sensible, lonely girl would do. She packed her bags, left a note for Miyako, and went straight to the airport.
Maron smiled and sighed contentedly, shifting in the small seat to find a more comfortable position. In just a few hours she would finally be reunited with her parents. Her family. And she would never ever have to deal with police or demons or Sindbad or-
A black and blue blur zoomed past the window and Maron gasped.
"What's that sneaky dark angel doing here?" she whispered to herself.
Then he was back, pressed against the window as he stared in at her. Maron jerked away from the opening in shock. Unnerved, she watched as Access began to pound on the transparent surface. The glass was thick enough that she could barely hear the noise. Recovering her poise, she glared at the little angel and deliberately turned her back to the window.
Around her, other passengers were taking their seats. The plane would be leaving soon and there was no way angel wings could keep up with a jet engine. She'd just have to ignore him for a few more minutes…
"…elp! Demons….ave Sindbad! ….Jeanne…Chiaki!"
Maron slowly turned to look over her shoulder. Could the demons have possessed Chiaki? It would be just like that Sindbad to taunt her. It was probably his idea to make her choose between her parents and her friend (boyfriend?) like this! She bit her lip and looked around the plane. A few stragglers were still filing in, but soon they would close the doors.
She looked back at Access. The poor angel was still frantically trying to get her attention, clearly exhausting himself to be heard through the thick glass. Sindbad probably will punish him if I don't come, she thought bitterly.
Just like he might be punishing Chiaki…
"Excuse me!" She was out of her seat and running for the exit, pushing past protesting flight attendants. "I forgot something," she called over her shoulder, though she knew it was hopeless that the plane would wait for Kaitou Jeanne to checkmate. She blinked back tears as she ran. Next time, Mama.
Outside the airport she paused, gasping for breath as she looked for a cab. Someone was calling her name. Not her name, but her name.
"Jeanne! Jeannnne! Emergency! Emergency! Jeanne!"
She looked up before she could stop herself.
She huffed and glared at Access over crossed arms. "What do you want? Come to gloat?"
He ignored her. "It's Chiaki! Demons kidnapped him! Jeanne, please save him!"
"What? Tell me where he is!" she demanded, trying to ignore the trickle of fear in her heart. Why Chiaki? Why now? Finn said the demons were gone.
"I don't know!" Access wailed. "The demons were so evil that I passed out, and when I woke up they were gone and so was Chiaki!"
"Huh, right," Maron muttered. "You just tell Sindbad I'll find Chiaki on my own!" She flung out her arm and a cab pulled up.
"No, wait Jeanne!" Access yelled as she hopped into the back seat. She slammed the door behind her but Access was nimble (living with Chiaki had that effect) and slipped in behind her, losing a few feathers but mostly unharmed.
Maron glared at him, but she didn't dare speak with the driver a few feet away. Access grinned. Perfect!
His grin slipped away and he took a deep breath, fixing Maron with a serious stare. "There's something I need to tell you," he began.
Earlier that day…
Chiaki was jolted out of a sound sleep by someone pounding on his door.
He stumbled blearily out of bed and pulled open the door, only to have a hyperactive Miyako descend on him. Her verbal onslaught washed over him senselessly until his sluggish brain managed to process two words.
Maron and airport.
"What ?!" he roared, startling Miyako into silence. Then the door was slammed in her face.
Exactly 30 seconds later (she counted) the door opened and Chiaki almost tripped over her has he ran out. He had donned a jacket and beat-up jeans over his sleepwear, and a baseball cap covered his tousled hair.
He pushed past her with only a "Thanks, Miyako!" over his shoulder, bypassing the elevator in favor of the stairs.
Miyako stared blankly after him for a moment. Her left eye twitched once and she gave a frustrated sigh. "Honestly, those two," she grumbled as she stormed back into her apartment.
For his part, Chiaki barely even remembered that he'd spoken to Miyako. All he knew was that he had to get to the airport. Maron was leaving. She couldn't. He still had so many things he hadn't told her. He had to explain about Sindbad, about Finn…about his feelings.
Access caught up with him as he emerged from the building. Chiaki paused to catch his breath and wish futilely that he had wings and could float down from the balcony so easily instead of having to run down all those stairs. Access looked about as awake as Chiaki had 55 seconds ago. "Sindbad, what's going on?" he asked with a yawn.
"Never mind, we have to find Maron!" He started sprinting down the street, mentally calculating how long it would take to reach the airport on foot. Hopefully when he got further into town he'd be able to catch a cab. "Access, fly ahead and look for her! There's no way I'll have time to search the whole airport."
"Wha-? Airport?" Access came awake abruptly as he perceived the situation. "Leave it to me!" He took off at breakneck speed, a dark blur against the blue sky.
"Access, good luck," Chiaki murmured. He pumped his arms and legs as he ran, trying to pick up more speed. Maron, wait for me…
He couldn't believe she would just go away without telling him. Sure, they weren't dating, but she knew how he felt about her! And besides, she told her good friend Miyako. Why wouldn't she tell her good friend Chiaki? People didn't usually take distant one-way trips without telling their friends, did they?
She's running away again. The realization burst over him and his lips thinned in determination. No, not this time. Maron, this time I'm going to catch you and tell you everything.
Unfortunately, after only a few blocks Access came zooming back.
"Sindbad, emergency!" he yelled.
Chiaki stumbled to a halt, leaning his hands on his knees as he gasped for breath. "What?"
"It's a demon! The restaurant on the corner up there, the owner's been possessed and he's been poisoning his customers. Someone caught him at it and now he's getting violent. Sindbad, you have do stop him!"
Chiaki inhaled sharply. If he stopped to seal the demon, he wouldn't be able to stop Maron in time.
Access hovered worriedly. "Sindbad!"
"Aaargh!" he yelled, running his hands through his hair. "I don't have time for this!" He took off at a jog with Access trailing behind him. As he neared the restaurant, his steps began to slow. He clenched his jaw. No, I have to find Maron!
The decision was taken out of his hands as a figure smashed through the glass store front right in front of him. Chiaki dove out of the way and into the shadows of the alley across the street. Seconds later, Kaitou Sindbad emerged, a pin ready to checkmate already in his gloved hand.
From the broken glass window, a portly chef stepped out onto the sidewalk. His eyes were shadowed and he lurched forward drunkenly. On his head was a white chef's hat with the words "World's Best Chef" in garish red letters. Sindbad's eyes narrowed at the hat. That has to be it. He stepped forward to face the man.
"You picked the wrong time and the wrong place," he told the demon coldly, raising his hand. With a practiced motion, he tossed the pin. "Checkmate!"
He was already poised to continue his run when something made him look back.
And that's when everything went horribly wrong.