AN: Sorry I haven't been submitting lately. I've just been uninspired again. This was actually just written on a whim, this chapter, and kept going until it was finished. So no, it wasn't really thought out. Sorry if it's crappy.

Kid wasn't supposed to get hurt, but I sort of wanted something to happen and so...well, it happened. I don't even know if that WOULD hurt Kid, but it seemed like something that would.

Black Star is a little OOC. I am very sorry.

Disclaimer: I don't own it.


Black Star was not happy. He scowled discreetly at the companions traveling just at the edge of his vision. The cool-demeanored Kid was staring straight ahead with the usual bored expression plastered on his face. His weapons traveled on either side of him, neither noticed the look Black Star was giving them.

He crossed his arms tighter against his chest in an effort to let everyone know just how much he disliked their presence, but nobody paid him any heed. Tsubaki did, however, elbow him in the ribs.

"Stop sulking," she whispered quietly so the others couldn't hear. "This'll be over with before you know it." Black Star growled rather obnoxiously and shot her a death glare of her own.

"If you hadn't invited them, it wouldn't have started in the first place," he hissed. "I'm too big to need any help, especially from that useless freak."

Tsubaki sighed. She knew this would happen if she'd asked them to accompany Black Star and herself. He would have been pissed even if she had invited Soul and Maka, though he would be hiding it better. Truthfully, she didn't think they needed any help either, but she got tired of just Black Star's company sometimes. It was nice to have friends, and she thought Liz and Patty were really nice. Kid was okay too, but he seemed just as reclusive as herself sometimes. Besides, though she would never admit it out loud, she thought Kid was freaky as well.

"You'll be thankful to have the help when we get there. Dark pixies are tricky when there's just one; at least a dozen were released if what Professor Stein said was true." Black Star looked away, the scowl still set on his face, but Tsubaki could see he wasn't going to complain. She smiled in relief. Not a lot of people knew this, but she actually held a lot of control over some of Black Star's actions. He listened to her more often than he let on.

"Where were those little devils, did you say?" Liz squinted off in the distance. "I see a town."

"Oh…uhm, I think it was the town of Ilok." She fished the objective out of her bag tied to the side of her leg. "That should be it. The Professor said it wasn't too far."

"Better get ready, then," Kid said, nodding to Liz and Patty. The immediately changed into their weapon forms and reappeared in his hands. "Never know what could be waiting for us." Black Star nodded reluctantly and held his hand out for Tsubaki.

She nodded and transformed into his weapon of choice; the chained double-scythe. He grabbed her out of the air and finally his scowl transformed into the grin everyone was used to seeing.

"Alright!" He yelled. "Let's go kick some pixie butt!" He rushed on ahead, despite Tsubaki's protestations and her pleading for him to slow down. Kid followed slowly behind, shaking his head at Black Star's stupidity.

--

The village didn't seem to be overly ravaged, but there was definitely an indication that there was something not quite right about it. Several trash bins were overturned; there were barrels in a fountain in the center, and the naked baby on top sprouting water was missing an arm; a few doors were hanging from their hinges and one was laying on the ground in front of a gaping doorway. Kid looked around coolly, calculating; where would the pixies be hiding?

Black Star had rushed off somewhere into the village, but Kid didn't care. It was easier to work alone, anyway. Besides, he wouldn't be the one getting his ass kicked by a bunch of pixies.

"Where are they?" He muttered to himself as he walked slowly through the town, his weapons held in front of him defensively.

"Maybe they left already?" Liz said, in that strange, echo-y voice that she always had in her weapon form. "It looks like they had their fill here; maybe they moved on to find some other victims?"

Kid nodded. It was entirely possible. Pixies were known for causing a lot of mischief, and usually when they had their fill in one place they moved on to terrorize as much as they could. Besides, they didn't know how long ago that mission had been put up.

He caught movement out of the corner of his eye and whirled round, his guns pointed in front of him. But it was only a young girl, eyes wide with horror and staring at the twin guns. Kid lowered his weapons.

"My apologies," he said. "I didn't know anyone was still here. My…companion and I are searching for some pixies that got loose and were last spotted here. Are they still here, or did they move on?" The girl shrugged, still staring up at Kid with wide, fearful eyes. Kid frowned, annoyed.

"Are there any adults around I might be able to talk to? You're parents, maybe?"

"I don't have any parents," the girl said, so quietly Kid had to strain to hear. "Auntie took care of me, but she and the others left. I'm the only one here." Kid felt a little sorry for the kid. She didn't look like she could be much older than ten, and she was all alone in a town that might have pixies. They weren't known to kill, but an accidental death might still happen if she was all by herself.

"What's your name?" he asked, kneeling down in front of her.

"Giza," she said shyly. Kid forced a small smile onto his face.

"Hello, Giza. My name is Kid. Do you know where your auntie and the others went?" If she knew, then he could just go drop her off there before he and Black Star went on a wild chase for the pixies. It wouldn't do to drag her along.

"Auntie said she was going to Taniza village, and to go there if we got separated." She looked like she was going to cry. "B-but…I was too afraid to go by myself." Kid sighed and stood up.

"I'll take you there," he said, indicating with one hand for her to follow him. Her face lit up and she hugged his leg.

"Thank you, thank you so much mister!" Kid felt uncomfortable and sort of shook his leg to detach her. She let go, the happy grin still on her face, and followed just a half-step behind him quietly. Kid was grateful for that, at least. He couldn't concentrate with someone chattering in his ear.

Kid looked around down the alleys and even in some of the vacant houses. But all of them were empty and devoid of any pixies. A small crease formed between his eyes as he frowned. He was hoping to get this mission done with as soon as possible, but it looked like that wouldn't be happening. He looked around for Black Star, but the hyperactive boy was nowhere to be seen.

"Hey, mister, whatcha looking for?" Kid growled in frustration, but it wasn't because of Giza's question.

"My…companion. He went running off into the village and now I can't find him."

"Oh…was it a blue-haired kid with a star on his shoulder?"

Kid turned to look at her. "Yes, that was him. Did you see where he went?" Giza nodded, grinning.

"He went to the graveyard," she said, pointing in the direction he assumed he needed to go. A small smile appeared on Kid's face. If he had any luck, Black Star was still there and they could leave. He wanted to just leave the other boy behind, but he knew he would get hell for it later if he fulfilled the mission.

At first, when they reached the graveyard, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. But then an explosion landed in the middle of the grave markers, sending dirt and bits of stone flying.

Kid flung an arm over his eyes to keep them from getting speared and pushed Giza behind him to shield her from the blast. In his head, he was cursing Black Star. He was probably messing around, and destroying the graves in the process. That stupid boy was going to single-handedly destroy everything the pixies had left.

When the smoke cleared, Kid lowered his arm, expecting to find Black Star laughing and Tsubaki scolding him. Instead, he found Black Star in a fierce battle with several pixies, double-scythe flying from his hand in an arc to catch a few from behind, making them explode in little puffs of smoke and be replaced by the red Eggs of Kishin.

Kid stared, almost in awe. He had seen Kid fight before, on his Father's mirror, but for some reason seeing him fight only a few feet from him…it was a different experience. He could see a few beads of sweat running down his face as he backed away, taking down one pixie after another. His face was pulled into a grimace of concentration, so different from his usual grin or pout that Kid wasn't sure at first what to make of it.

He didn't realize he had been staring until one of his guns fell from his slack grip. Startled, he stared down at what he realized was Liz.

"Ouch," he heard her exclaim. "Idiot! Pick me up and get in there! It's not like he's going to ask for your help!" Kid had to agree with her. The proud Black Star would never ask him for any sort of help, and so if he was going to, now would be the time. He nodded and grasped her handle, pulling her up fluidly and easily aiming a shot at a pixie. It disappeared so suddenly that it startled Black Star, who looked over at him. The pixies, taking the opening, immediately began attacking, clawing at his face and hair and arms with their wicked little claws.

"Ouch! Ow, ya damn…! Hold still!" Black Star was screaming as he flailed his scythe desperately about his head in an attempt to get the pixies away from him. Kid shook his head at the stupidity. If that idiot wasn't careful, he was going to chop his own head off.

"Stay back," Kid said to Giza as he stepped forward to help the other boy. He grasped his elbow to pull Black Star out of the cloud of pixies and at the same time let loose a massive blast from his gun, effectively destroying the entire fray.

Kid doubled up when all the pixies became Eggs of Kishin and fell to the ground, arms clamped around his middle at the horrible pain that ripped through him. Using that much soul energy at once was never a good idea.

Black Star stood up and loomed over him. Tsubaki, at his side and transformed back, was staring down at him worriedly. Liz and Patty also transformed on either side of him. Liz laid a hand on his forehead gently.

"Idiot," she said softly. "I've told you plenty of times not to use that much. You know what it does to you."

"Are you alright, Kid-san?" Tsubaki asked worriedly, her hand clenched in a loose fist in front of her mouth in a concerned expression. Kid nodded tightly.

"Yes, I am fine," he gasped painfully. "It will go away in a few minutes." Black Star 'humph-ed' in front of him, his arms crossed.

"You useless idiot," he said, glaring down at him. "I was doing just fine; you didn't need to step in. They were just a bunch of dumb pixies." Kid silently agreed with him, but couldn't seem to voice this as another wave of pain seized him. He groaned and gripped his middle tighter. He wished it would just be done with already. But he usually didn't release that much, so he didn't know how long it would take for the bits of soul to trickle back.

"You guys better gather up the Eggs," he heard Liz say beside him, as if from far away. "We'll look after him." He was vaguely aware of Black Star and Tsubaki walking away before pain clenched his abdomen again and he squeezed his eyes shut.

"Is he gonna pass out?" Patty asked Liz from over their master's head. Liz shook her head slowly.

"He better not," she said, with only a slight tinge of annoyance. "I'm not gonna carry him, and that Black Star kid might drop him on his head." Patty laughed, a grating sound around Kid's now-aching head. The pain in his abdomen was fading, but there was a heavy throbbing in his head that jarred his teeth with every rush. He made a mental note to not do that again anytime soon.

"Hey, you okay yet?" A foot nudged his gently. Kid opened his still-closed eyes and stared up at the annoyed face of Black Star. He nodded a little, but winced as the action made his head hurt. The other boy rolled his eyes and offered a hand to help him up. Vaguely, Kid registered reaching out his own hand and grasping the other's before he was hauled to his feet.

The world seemed to spin between his feet and a wave of nausea washed over him as his vision darkened at the edges. He slumped against something solid, and heard, "Hey…what the hell?!" before darkness fell over him.