A/N: I've had this in my mind for a while now, and I decided to feed the potential perversion of others (as well as my own) by writing it out. This is a semi-AU fic; Kid is still a Shinigami, and Medusa is a witch, but no magic black blood is bestowed upon Chrona. Also, there is a distinct age difference between the two. Seeing as Kid has the "body of a god," it would make sense that he was a bit slow to age, so he's around the age that he is in the manga, whereas Chrona is a young girl. The other distinct difference is that Kid's job is more like that of a traditional Shinigami-- you know, taking souls when their time has come, grim reaper-style. That being said, please enjoy. Review if you have the time.
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Ohkubo, who is definitely not me. Drat.
Chrona never knew how much time would pass after the door closed before it would open again. She only knew that the first thing she would see would be her mother's expectant, blank eyes probing her, and the last before getting shut away again would be a disappointed frown. Medusa said little to her, but Chrona always knew what she was thinking.
Chrona sniffed, the sound bouncing off of each wall as she curled her small body tighter for warmth. She didn't want to be worthless. She wanted to prove that she could do something; anything. She wanted to do as her mother wished so that maybe she wouldn't be shut away again. Most of all, she wanted light. The tiny room she'd been put away in for as long as she could remember was black, filled with nothing but the sounds she made. As hours crawled by, she played with her hair, slept against the hard wall, made tiny sounds in the back of her throat just to hear them echo around her like a quiet symphony.
She knew that eventually the door would creak open and the bright light of the hall outside would blind her. When she would adjust, the first thing to greet her would be that look, and she would trudge wordlessly into the white hall where she would find yet another fated meeting with Chibi-chan. She would fail to do as Medusa requested, and then she would be guided back to her room to await the repeating cycle. The young girl didn't know how to expect anything else. She didn't know what would happen if she killed Chibi-chan, and she wasn't sure if it would be good... she didn't even know if it would be better than this.
Chrona didn't know how to deal with killing things. Medusa made it out to be normal, casual. But something inside Chrona every time she was faced with the aspect protested. It didn't feel right. She wanted nothing more than to be of use to the only soul she knew, but something deep within the girl held her back. Each time she would be sent back into her room to play with the noises once more.
Medusa called her unproductive, but Chrona wondered what prodictivity would come of killing Chibi-chan.
The girl roused herself for the seventh time since her mother had last closed her into darkness. She heard the doorknob rattle and pushed herself up, staring toward what she believed was the door's general direction. She didn't understand why Medusa was struggling to open the door, since she had the key and would not have come without it. Chrona leaned forward, curiosity piqued, and then jumped back as the raucous echo of something slamming against the metal doorknob reached her sensitive ears. If this was an angry Medusa, Chrona was more than terrified-- too terrified to move.
Then, after the fourth harsh slam, the noises stopped. The door was pushed from the outside in, and a thick line of light filled Chrona's eyes, rendering her temporarily blind. She blinked away the red spots flooding her vision and slowly, a silhouette greeted her from the outside.
One that she knew immediately was not that of her mother.
"Damn. Shinigami-sama was right. What a shame... Kid hates killing small fry."
"There was no need to get so carried away, Patty."
Death the Kid reached into his pocket and produced a hankerchief. He handed it to the bloody woman before him. "She may have been a difficult witch to defeat, but really... name-calling? Immaturaty wins not the battle."
"Is that why we lost?" Patty asked, wiping her cheek. Of course, the blood only smudged. Kid sighed.
"No. We lost because I underestimated the opponent and sent Liz to find our second target."
"Onee-san will get the job done," Patty grinned, placing the hankerchief on her head. The shinigami nodded and glanced upward. Their main target, Witch Medusa, had escaped through the roof mid-battle, leaving a gaping hole in the ceiling. Her blood dotted the room, and Kid surmised that she would not get far with the wounds they had given her. Never the less, she was gone, and they could not leave Liz in persuit of a possibly unstoppable opponent. People in general didn't like to give up life. Witches avoided death at all costs. Kid supposed pride was a bit of an issue there. In his opinion, witches were too spoiled, and tended to think that they should have more of a say in their time to go than humans. However, this viewpoint was terribly unfounded. All souls were the same to a shinigami, despite strength or power. Medusa had skillfully avoided the end. For now. But the night was not yet over.
"Come. Let's find Liz."
Liz sighed, squatting down a couple feet in front of the girl. She watched her curl up against the wall as if trying to dissolve into it to escape her gaze. The eldest Thompson attempted a reassuring smile. "Hey, little girl, don't be afraid. It won't be so bad. Kid does it clean and quick, like this." She snapped her fingers. The girl whimpered. "Ah, no... what I mean is... he's not bad or anything... and it's just your time, so, what happens happens, you know? Geez, don't cry..."
Chrona huddled as far away from the woman as possible. She didn't know what was scarier-- that she knew her mother wouldn't come for her when she was in danger, or how this person had even been able to avoid Medusa's wrath in the first place. Either way, Chrona didn't know how to handle this situation. So she cried.
Liz raked a hand through her hair and heaved another sigh. She wasn't good at this whole convince-little-kids-that-they-were-about-to-die-and-it-wasn't-so-bad thing. She'd never died, so she wasn't sure how it felt, and it sucked because kids were innocent and hadn't even been able to live their lives. She rarely felt bad for taking adults from this world, but she understood Kid's distaste about removing childrens' souls. And this poor creature...
"Oi, Liz." The demon pistol looked over her shoulder. Kid and Patty's shapes were outlined at the doorway. "You found the second one."
"Yeah." She scratched at the back of her neck. "Are you any better at this gig than I am? I think I just scared her more."
She stood and Kid approached, taking her place. He kneeled before the young, frightened child and captured her teary gaze.
"Hello. What's your name?"
Chrona stared. The lady had left and someone newer... scarier had replaced her. He wore all black, from head to toe. Golden eyes behind black bangs seemed to stare directly into her soul, making her uncomfortable. It was as though in seconds he knew everything about her, looking her up and down with those piercing eyes, and then they drew back to hers, pulling her in. She couldn't stop staring. He asked her a question and it took a moment before her mind could wrap around it. Even then, her response was little more than automatic.
The scary man nodded and gave her a tiny smile.
"Chrona. Hello, Chrona-san." His gaze didn't waver. "I'm Death the Kid, a shinigami. Do you know why I'm here?"
Chrona's lips parted. This was the man the lady mentioned. He was the one that wanted to kill her. But why? What had she done? Medusa hadn't even killed her, and she was the only one Chrona had ever made contact with. This man must have hated her. He wanted her dead. She keened, her fingers digging into her hair and tugging at the roots.
"Whatever I did, I'm sorry! I don't want to die! I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Please don't kill me!"
Kid reached out, touching Chrona's wrist. She gave a yelp, flinching. He pulled her hands out of her hair.
The girl begged. From her lips flowed a never-ending stream of promises, pleas, apologies. Almost never did he take longer than one minute to convince his children targets that the place they went would be a good one. Most he would take in their sleep. The words he spoke comforted him as well. But this girl was different. Was it because she was the daughter of a witch that she clung to life so desperately? Living inside these dark walls, why would she? Maybe, instead of a love for life, it was a crave inside of her. Perhaps. His thoughts had no proof behind them, so he could never be sure.
When her words became a single string of apologies, he stopped her, holding up a hand.
"Heaven isn't something to fear," he said, gazing at her meaningfully. "Better than life. Wouldn't you rather be at peace?"
"I know I'm useless... I know I should die... And I might not be of worth... but..." She sniffed, rubbing her eyes. "I don't want to die. I wouldn't know how to deal with it."
I see. So I was right. Kid stood, turning toward his weapons with immediate resolution. "Liz. Patty." They jumped to attention. "Find a mirror."
"Hiya, Kid-kun. What's up? Mission acccomplished?"
"I'm afraid not," Kid replied. "We'll need to find Medusa's trail again. She's injured, but it's not something that won't heal."
"And the other?"
"A failed attempt as well." Kid kept his eyes on his father. The elder shinigami bounced excitedly.
"My son is only telling a half truth, he is he is," Shinigami-sama sang cheerfully. He leaned forward. "Sooo, what's the story, Kid-kun?"
"Forgive me, Father, but I think you were mistaken. The daughter isn't ready."
"They never are," Shinigami-sama chirped. "So how is she different, hmm?"
"Is a life unlived worth taking?"
The man behind the mirror scratched his head. "I see your point. The child of an evil woman must have had it rough. A life lived in fear; a life without love; it's a life that is a lie. My smart son has caught on." Shinigami nodded happily. "So what's your plan?"
"Before I take her life away, I will give one to her." Kid looked purposefully into his father's eyes. "Please allow her to live with us. When she is older, she can go to Shibusen to learn and make friends and find a weapon. Then, she will have a fighting chance before I take her soul."
"How compassionate of you, my boy," Shinigami-sama said, waving. "I approve. Use your best judgement, Kid-kun. See you!"
His father's image faded and Kid turned, quickly exiting the room. He wished to leave as soon as possible, for any house belonging to a witch tended to raise his hackles. He was overly alert at every door and corner, following the sounds of Chrona's wails and his partners' failed methods of comfort. When he looked through his previous target's doorway, he found Patty immitating what seemed to be a giraffe, and Liz attempting to distract Chrona's nerves with wild hand gestures, describing Patty's silliness. The little girl herself was wide-eyed with a kind of fear that locked attentively on the woman contorting herself before her. It seemed to Kid that it might take a while for this depraved child to become anywhere near accustomed to the Thompsons' antics.
"Liz, Patty. Chrona-san."
All three immediately looked to him, two pairs of anxious eyes, one thoughtless grin.
"Come. We're going home."
As expected, Chrona was more than a little hesitant. After nearly ten minutes of explanation, Kid began to resort to bribery to get her to follow. She would be living in a mansion. She would have a bed. She would be safe. There would be food morning, noon, and evening, and plenty of places for her to play. He even brought out the symmetry card-- he would cut her bangs so that they rested properly, perfectly over her forehead. Somehow, even the last one fail to persuade her.
"W-why?" She looked up at the three grown-ups with trepidatious eyes. "What d-do I have to do? Aren't you going to kill me? P-please don't kill me... What about my mother? She'll be mad..."
"I'm not going to kill you," Kid said. "I changed my mind. You don't have to be worried about Medusa. I promise you, you will be safe in Death City."
Chrona looked down, picking at the hem of her dress. "But this...." Her voice was low. "This is scary. I don't know how to deal with this."
Once more, Kid kneeled on the floor at Chrona's level, his eyes enticing hers. "I apologize for scaring you. Please forgive me, Chrona-san.
"N-no!" Chrona waved her hands abashedly, shaking her head. "I-I'm sorry... I just... Boys... Girls... Grown-ups... I don't know..."
"I know," Kid said, extending his hand, "that this is surreal for you. It will probably take you awhile to not be so afraid. But I promise that I won't shut you in a dark room alone."
Chrona's eyes widened and before she caught herself and began playing with her fingers, he thought he saw a glimmer of something akin to hope. He pushed his hand farther into her line of view.
"You can take your time. You don't have to feel comfortable immediately. But if you want to be safe, take my hand."
Chrona looked up from her fingers. The whole situation was confusing, and she was having trouble completely grasping it. He was promising her things. This stranger and his odd friends, smiling down at her... they broke down her door, spoke of death and life, and without speaking about it directly, they decided that she would go with them. Chrona was afraid. But more than afraid, she was anxious. And more than that... her heart ached. She had never known anything outside of this dark room or the white hall beyond. She had never known that there were people in the world besides her own mother-- never thought that anyone would ever look at her with any emotion outside of contempt. She had never felt anything but fear, sadness, lonliness. But something else was stirring inside of her. Something she would have never known exsisted. The one who had come to take her life was instead offering one to her. She could see it there-- a life, a dream, a chance, hope, and maybe home-- there in his hand. The same part of her that made her draw back from a potential kill... the part that was stirring at the meer sight of these three... it urged her on once more. It told her quite plainly that this moment would be the one that changed everything-- that this was, truthfully, life or death... it moved her. Chrona wiped her hands on her dress to free them of tears. The girl would willingly put her life in Shinigami-kun's hands.
She reached out.
To be continued.