AN: So this has absolutely nothing to do with anything else I've written. Sorry about that. It just kind of happened. Timeline should be pretty obvious, and unless I've missed something, I haven't hideously violated canon. Enjoy.

o

Konoka was four years old. Her mother was dead.

She was very lonely.

xxx

Konoka met her father. He had a sad smile and gentle hands.

When he thought she was asleep, he would fight the servants.

They used fireworks. He had a sword.

Her father was very strong.

xxx

Konoka heard things sometimes. Strange old men liked talking to her father.

They talked about things like demons.

Once, she heard about a demon who was a human with white wings. The clan killed it.

A bird that nested outside her window had white wings. She thought it was very pretty.

xxx

The strange men would always look at Konoka when they visited. Then they talked about her mother.

Her father always got angry when they did that.

He threw them out and hugged her.

When he thought she fell asleep, he whispered to her that he didn't care if she was the most powerful person in the world; all that mattered to him was her happiness.

Her father was the most wonderful person in the whole wide world.

xxx

Konoka wondered why the strange men made her father go away.

It made him sad to leave. And he didn't like them.

He loved her. Why did he have to leave?

She was very sad.

xxx

Konoka decided that she wanted a friend.

Her grandfather told her it wasn't safe to let strange children into their home.

He gave her a ball.

She liked it.

xxx

The maids said that a doll could be a good friend.

One gave her an outline of a doll made of wire.

She said that Konoka should dress it up with things she liked.

When Konoka's father came back, she ran up to him and asked for some of his hair.

xxx

Finding things to put on the doll was hard.

A blonde boy, one her father fought with that didn't use fireworks, gave her some cloth from his training uniform.

Konoka liked his glasses. He let her wear them once.

Then he left.

Next time she saw him, she wanted to ask to use the thread on the end his sword.

xxx

The bird outside her window fell out of its nest.

Konoka ran out of her room and picked it up.

Its heart wasn't beating.

The maid took it away from her when she brought it to the dinner table.

Konoka stuck some of its feathers into the cloth the blonde boy had given her.

xxx

The doll needed a name.

Konoka asked her father how he named her.

He froze and told her that her mother named her.

That wasn't very helpful.

xxx

An older woman with a large bird on her shoulder showed up one day.

She walked over to Konoka and asked if she had any idea where her father was hiding.

Konoka said that he had gone somewhere with the blonde boy. Then she asked what a good name was for her doll.

The woman laughed and thought about it a little.

By the time she left, Konoka's doll was named Sakurazaki Setsuna. She called it Set-chan.

It was a good name.

xxx

She played with Set-chan whenever her father wasn't around.

That meant Set-chan played with her a lot.

And at night, when Konoka looked outside and saw the empty nest by her window, she would tell Set-chan about the strange things people told her father about.

She hoped they were just playing a game. Some of the things they said scared her.

She told Set-chan that, too.

xxx

Something was wrong with her father.

The woman with the bird had brought him back, but they were both covered in blood.

The servants took Konoka away and left her in her room.

She grabbed Set-chan and cried.

She wanted someone to hold her.

"I wish you were real."

xxx

Her father was better, and the woman with the bird ordered him to stay at home.

He spent all of his time with Konoka.

She was happy.

xxx

Set-chan was missing.

Konoka and her father looked over every inch of her room.

Set-chan wasn't there.

And the woman with the bird said it was okay for her father to leave again.

Konoka was alone again.

xxx

Her father came back without the woman.

He looked scared when he entered Konoka's room. His hands shook when he held her.

He told her that a guest was coming to live with them.

x

"Set-chan!"