(prolougue)


-the traitor

"Well, well. What have you done…Basil?"

The Italian boy stared at the girl in front of him, his wide eyes glowing the same shade as the blue flames dancing solemnly on the top of his head. His outstretched arm shook, almost dropping the hand gun in his hand as he slowly aimed towards the girl in front of him. His other arm hung uselessly by his side, dislocated and broken, and his black suit was covered in rips and splotches of his blood. He bared his teeth like a beast, wincing internally at the pain racking his entire body.

"Why are you here? Le.-leave. Leave now."

The corners of her lips rose in a serene smile. "Oh my, your voice is shaking…could it be that you're afraid?" Despite the gun closely pointed at her, the sight of the wounded boy and the bloody and broken body he stood victoriously over, she did not falter nor show any sign of fear. Like the young child she was, she skipped cheerfully over towards the boy, stepping carelessly on the bloodstained body's right arm as she did so. Almost instantly Basil widened his eyes and backed away from her.

"Stay – STAY AWAY!"

The girl gazed at him with emotionless eyes. Slowly, she raised her foot and brought it down once again on the body's arm. A resounding crack filled the silence of the room, and a small giggle escaped the girl's lip as she noticed Basil's wince.

"What….what are you doing?"

The girl did not answer. Once again she brought her foot down onto the dead man's arm. And again, and again and again and again and again and again and again until the sounds of bones splintering and her crazed laughter filled the emptiness of the small room, and again and again and again until-

"STOP IT! STOP IT! DON'T TOUCH MASTER!"

Basil's gun clattered to the floor as he brought his hands up to block his ears. His soothing Rain flames died out, and the boy fell to his knees, his body shaking uncontrollably as he tried to hold himself together.

"Stop it…please…I…I can't take it anymore….Master…Master.."

The girl lowered her foot gently back onto the ground with an unreadable expression, and began walking towards the boy, her sneakers making small footprints of the dead man's blood on the dark purple carpet of the room. Basil immediately stiffened, and began shuffling backwards, watching the approaching girl with anticipation and fear. His heart sank as he felt the wall against his back – he was trapped. 'What…what do I-'

The girl slammed her foot again the wall, only a centimeter from Basil's face. His eyes widened as he realized it was the same foot she used to break the dead body's arm, and flinched as cold blood dripped from her sneaker onto his shoulder.

"You're a fool."

Basil simply stared, his voice stolen by panic.

Her expression was unreadable as she continued. "Iemitsu is dead. You killed him. Why are you fretting over it so much?"

"He…he was my master-"

"And yet you killed him with your own hands." She gestured to the body across the room, and Basil recoiled as if hit by a blow. "He is dead. He is gone. His body means nothing – he is gone. It is done. Either you can wallow in your guilt and self-pity, or you can abandon your conscience for the time being and remember exactly why you killed him in the first place, or are you having second thoughts?"

Basil turned away; the girl grabbed his chin to force him to look at him.

"You can't go back. Not anymore. The moment you landed the first blow on Iemitsu you could not go back. Do you think the Vongola famiglia will accept you now, after you have murdered their leader of CEDEF?" She looked fiercely into his eyes. "They will rip you to pieces like the beasts they are."

Basil shook his head. "No…it's not that...I won't go back….I'll go through with the plan…it's just…."

The girl's tone softened, if only by a notch. "Iemitsu's death was necessary. If you truly care for him, make it so that his death had a meaning, so that he died for a reason." She took down her foot, and offered a hand to the kneeling boy. "And for that to happen, you must succeed."

Basil shrunk from the offered hand. He stared at it with wide eyes, as if seeing it for the first time.

"I just realized….I thought I knew you….but now I realize…..who are you?" He looked up at her. "Who are you?"

The serene smile returned to the girl's lips, and a giggle escaped her lips once more. Her serious expression had left her as if it had never been there. "Look carefully at my face Basil. Who am I?"

Basil stared at her, searching for features he knew, features he recognized. "Who..?"

His eyes widened. "Mi- Miura Haru?"

Haru's playful smile widened into a fully fledged Cheshire grin.

And now let the games begin.


-the girl

The door was open. The door had been open the whole time, if only a small crack.

But that was all Mukuro had needed to watch and observe.

The pineapple-head boy's lips rose in a secretive smile, and silently he turned on his heel to walk calmly away, brushing his fingers against the pure white marble walls of the corridor. One corridor branched into another, each as empty and silent as the other, save for the numerous doors decorating the walls; some twisting and turning into corners, some leading to dead ends, some fitted with stairs that led up down, sideways, or to nowhere. Despite this, the boy seemed to know precisely where he was going, and it wasn't long until he had turned a corner to stand calmly before a brown-haired girl lying leisurely on the ivory floor, almost sleeping. Her eyes slowly opened, revealing amber depths, and slowly, lethargically, she rose to her feet, her white dress billowing around her like clouds.

It was a while before either of them spoke, both preferring to observe and regard the stranger before them. A certain wariness seemed to arise in the girl, her posture becoming tense as the boy's lay relaxed.

"You're not dead." The tone was of curiosity and demand for explanation.

Mukuro bowed, but his knowing smirk seemed to make his action a mockery of the real thing. "My name is Mukuro Rokudo. Please to meet you. And yes...I am not dead."

The girl tilted her head. "None but the dead wander these halls...save for me." Her eyes seemed to dim at the idea. "Are you like me? A Ke-"

Mukuro shook his head. "No, I am not. You may consider me...a tourist."

"A tourist?"

"Yes. A visitor. One who will visit frequently, but cannot stay."

"...I assume there is a particular reason you are 'visiting', then."

Mukuro smiled mockingly at her. "Of course. I simply wanted to talk to mysterious urban legend herself. The beautiful girl in white who leads the souls of the dead to heaven."

The girl stared at him. "...I'm an urban legend? Ah! No, wait, more importantly...how did you even get here? I mean...you can't just-"

"I saw a door in my dreams, and decided to walk through it."

"...what?"

"I saw a door in my-"

"No! I mean, that doesn't just happen! It's impossible-"She quietened as she finally caught glimpse of the boy's red eye behind his bangs. Her eyes widened, before they lowered in some kind of pseudo-respect.

"...ah...so you're one of Those Who Remember..."

Mukuro smiled again, this time with surprising gentleness. "Yes...I suppose so..." His eyes darted around, scanning the stark white walls of the labyrinth. "...It's changed quite significantly from what I remember..."

The girl shrugged. "We don't stay forever. We serve our time, and then we leave for the Gate ourselves, and another replaces us." She gestered to the walls. "The halls reflect on each Keeper's soul, so naturally, each Keeper has a different...style."

"However...it was never...this white."

The girl stared at him, surprised. "Never?" The surprise quickly turned to bitterness. "So what do you think this whiteness represents about me, Mister Rokudo?" She laughed scornfully. "Purity? Innocence? Or..." She turned around, staring conspicuously at her shadow. "Death?"

"Neither." And suddenly he was right before her, cradling her face gently with his hands. The girl had no time to scream or back away, only managing to widen her eyes. "You know...don't you? What this whiteness represents. What that shadow represents? Don't you, Kyoko Sasagawa?"

Kyoko's eyes dimmed as her pupils dilated, and her shadow writhed around her ankles, it's white grin never fading. A vicious smile appeared on her sweet face, and she whispered into Mukuro's ear.

"Insanity."


-the prisoner

Gokudera sighed as he reached into his pocket for another smoke, cursing as he found it too damp to even consider lighting. Stupid blizzard. Stupid Vendicare. Stupid Mukuro. Stupid Juudai-no no no no no no, awesome, benevolent, equivalent-of-a-god Juudaime. The 24 year shook his head violently, water and ice spraying from his silver tresses. The fur lined coat hadn't helped him from the blizzard at all, and he was freaking cold and miserable and feeling very much like a drowned rat goddammit and why the fuck wasn't he in the warm and comfortable climate of Italy right now oh because he had to do a freaking check up on the stupid pineapple head in the freaking Europe Vendicare Prison which is in the freaking mountains and why the fuck is there a constant blizzard here fuck it's not natural and he just really really wants to be back home-

"You are from Vongola?"

Gokudera whipped his head around in surprise, his sharp eyes searching around the cold, dark, unwelcoming hallway of the Vendicare entrance, stopping only when it reached the stoic figure of a guard. Tall, imposing as always, his black robes and hat and bandaged face caused a slight shiver of fear (not that he would ever admit it) in the proud Italian. Coughing to hide his apprehension, Gokudera nodded in affirmation, showing the guard his Vongola Storm Ring on his finger as proof.

"I have come to check upon the conditions of one of your prisoners, Mukuro Rokudo, as a representative of the Vongola Don, Tsunayoshi Vongola You would have received a request for this from the Don exactly two weeks ago, which you accepted. " His voice was cold, professional, a mask to his irritation and traces of fear.

The guard nodded. Of course the guard already knew this and needed no real explanation, but it reduced the chances of Gokudera being an imposter, even if they had probably already checked, double-checked and triple-checked his identity the moment he had even approached the foot of the mountain. He had heard stories and rumors in his youth about how the Vendicare even conducted discreet eye scans and DNA checks on those who approached the mountain, so that only the most skilled illusionists who could fool even DNA could infiltrate the prison. Stupid, paranoid Vendicare.

But the guard was moving now, gesturing the Italian to follow him as he disappeared into one of the dark corriders branching from the room, and Gokudera pulled himself out of his thoughts to hurriedly follow the rapidly disappearing guard.

Two hours later, he was beginning to regret this. The dark corridors of the prison was a nightnare-fueled labyrinth of titanium metal where the occasional screams and moans of some of the prisoners echoed horrifyingly. Despite the numerous twists and turns they had taken in the past, the black clothed guard seemed to know exactly where they were going. An impossible labyrinth which not only prevents intruders getting in, but prisoners getting out, I suppose. This is creepy..godammit I need a smoke..

Finally, goddamn FINALLY, they reached the heavily guarded titanium double doors of the deepest level of the labyrinth. Gokudera allowed himself to stare in amazement at the gigantic structure, his wet cigarette falling from his lips. It was a huge, gigantic thing, covered almost completely by locks, bolts and chains of every kind, from the electronic and modern code protected ones to the gigantic old fashioned padlocks there purely for power. Despite the numerous locks, it seemed to take only a minute for the door to open slowly and silently with ominous grace.

Gokudera gained composure again, walking briskly through the imposing doors to the centre of the room where a large glass tube sat vertically, filled with green, almost luminescent fluid. His pace slowed as he neared it, and with a critical eye he observed the creature floating gently inside the tube.

It was dressed in the customary white straitjacket of the prison, its wrists and ankles chained to heavy manacles. Numerous tubes were attached to the figure's face, and Gokudera noticed a strange device attached to the right eye, whilst its left was sewn shut. Long blue hair floated gently around the figure, giving the illusion of calmness and beauty. Gokudera stared, his head tilted to his left as he regarded the weak, fragile body of the once feared Mukuro Rokudo. He couldn't help but liken the image to a baby in a womb...a mentally twisted baby in a rather screwed up womb.

Sighing, he turned to speak to the guard, only to stop and whirl back towards the glass structure as he noticed something quite decidedly strange. Looking carefully through the tubes surrounding the illusionist's face, he saw again what he had glimpsed before.

That pineapple bastard...is he ...grinning?

It was creepy, downright creepy, and the silver haired man stepped back instinctively, turning back towards the guard when-

Crack

Gokudera froze. The glass?

The last thing he remembered was the world exploding around him in timeless flowers of glass, water, blood and tears.

(prologue end)


Author's note:

Yeah, so after leaving this fic for about half a year or so, I decided to come back to it, improving it, changing it and stuff. To those who had been expecting frequent updates to it...I'm sorry? Please don't kill me? *puppy dog eyes*

Yeah, so many things have changed about the fic, including where it had been going, the concepts of it, etc. My ideas about it had changed and such – it didn't really help that it was such a vague idea in the beginning. And now I've even added a new main character to my misfit crew of Haru, Basil, Mukuro and Kyoko – Gokudera! Mostly because his inner monologue swearing is kinda calming for me to write...yeah that doesn't make sense.

I'd like to say that my ideas for it have cleared and that even my writing has improved...but problem is that it probably won't be true. I'm such a bad fanfiction writer in that I can't update quickly enough and my ideas about the fic change alot – I'm so fickle.

But please bear with me. I can't promise much other than this fic will be taking up of all...well...most...some of my creative thoughts, and that I am eager to where it''ll take me. It might help that it's my holidays now...kinda.