Author's Notes

Main Characters: Decus and Alice.

Supporting Characters: Marta, Emil, Richter, Ratatosk, Colette, Lloyd, Zelos, Sheena, Genis, Raine, Regal, Presea and a few OCs.

Yuan, Brute and Kratos will make minor appearances unless I change my mind.

Pairings: DecusxAlice, MartaxEmil, ColettexLloyd, ZelosxSheena.

Other pairings: There will possibly be two more; I haven't decided yet.

Well, after having fun with some Decus/Alice shorts I thought it was time to do a longer fic with a plot. I made an outline and here's the first chapter.

P.S: I dedicate this fanfic to my friend Sarah.


Chapter 1: The Nightmare

In the depths of the Ginungagap, at a place known as the Monster Graveyard, two bodies lay in a pool of blood. They were presumed dead and left behind by their foes. No one cared to check: Murder hadn't been the intent but no one would shed a tear if this particular duo met their end.

Decus' head felt heavy and when he tried to open his eyes they didn't respond. His mouth was dry, and the metallic taste of blood was thick on his tongue. He coughed, trying to breathe and kept fighting to open his eyes.

When his eyelids finally parted, his vision was too blurry to see anything. After a some seconds of blinking however, he realized that his sight returning to him. He could differentiate between forms and colors now, which he wasn't able to discern moments earlier, though in his light-headed state, those moments could have been minutes, even hours. He couldn't tell.

The first thing he saw was a hand lying over his own, holding it gently. He closed his eyes and opened them again. Then with an excruciating jolt, he recognized the person next to him and froze.


He clutched his throat as he heard his own voice, less than a croak, but still audible in the silence of the Graveyard.

Slowly, bits of memory trickled back to him. That trickle steadily became a torrent. He found he could remember it all: the fight, the kid's attack, and how he had jumped in front of the last strike to protect Alice.

Yet, there she lay, her hand cool against his own.

"No." He closed his teary eyes and opened them again. "It can't be." But it was all in vain.

Her eyes were half-open, unseeing. Her face was tilted towards his, a sad smile drawn across her features and a thread of blood running down her pallid check into the macabre puddle in which they both lay.

"Alice," Decus managed to choke out. His vision grew blurry again, this time with tears.

He had failed her.

Her face looked towards him lifelessly. It was a proven fact now. He was useless. She was dead. For the last moments of his life, this image of her face, her glazed eyes staring unseeingly into his own, could serve as a reminder that he was so impotent that he couldn't even protect the one he loved most. A reminder that she died and it was his fault. The tears in his eyes spilled down his cheeks and added themselves to the blood on the ground.

He looked away, back up at the cavernous roof, and screamed with all the strength he could muster, until his throat ached, until his lungs were drained of air and felt like they would collapse under the strain. He screamed until his voice degenerated into what would be most accurately described as a death rattle. More tears as he said her name over and over again.

He couldn't take it; he wanted to die. He would have killed himself if he had the strength, but he'd just have to wait. He could remain here, contemplating his failure, knowing that Alice was dead, that the person who had saved his life all those years ago was gone forever and there was nothing he could do to change it.

Decus had missed his chance and he couldn't get it back.

He heard a wet cough and turned his head. Tears were leaking from her eyes and slowly Alice's hand tightened around his.

Or could he?

"Decus," she rasped. Joy flooded his heart. Was this even real? Had she come back from the dead? Had his screams somehow brought her back to her senses? He found he didn't care in the slightest. She was alive. "I-"

Though he was almost delirious with pain, Decus tried to stand but fell to his knees with a low scream of pain.

"Decus, I-" Alice knew that his efforts were useless, that they were going to die unless they managed to pull off something miraculous, but she was happy because if nothing else, she would at least have the chance to tell him the truth. "I lo-"

She choked and began coughing up blood, cutting herself off.

Decus tried to push the worry from his mind; he had a second chance and he wasn't going to waste it. And even though his wounds were draining his strength with each spilled drop of blood, he managed to crawl to his iron maiden. He opened it and looked inside, trying to find anything that could help her. When he finally found it, a dark look passed over his face.

'There's no other way,' he thought.

Alice's vision was getting blurry; she couldn't see anything clearly. She felt dizzy, like the ground was spinning around her. She couldn't move a muscle without suffering a wave of nausea. She'd regained consciousness just in time to for everything to end, she knew it, and she couldn't tell him the truth. She just wanted to die close to him, but now she couldn't see or feel him anymore. Alice began to cry again, tears streaming down her face.

An arm slid under her back, propping her up. Her vision had become so dark that she couldn't see the person moving her. She presumed it was Decus. She parted her lips a little in hopes of getting a kiss, but instead a bitter fluid crossed her throat. She coughed, some of the liquid spraying from her mouth, but found herself swallowing most of it. What could possibly make her predicament worse after all? As she drank it, her vision began to clear until she could finally see Decus kneeling at her side and smiling.

Decus looked her sadly as he made her drink every last drop of the miraculous liquid in the vial.

Alice blinked and smiled up at him.

Decus smiled too and tears began falling from his eyes. "It was…the last one," he said, looking at something in his hand. The meaning of his words eluded her for a moment but as soon as she saw the glass vial slip from his grasp, saw it shatter on the ground, she understood. Alice looked at him in astonishment. "I'm sor—"

Before he could finish speaking, his expression blanked and he fell to the ground.

"Decus? Decus!" But he didn't answer. "No– Not again!" Alice wailed, struggling to cast a healing spell.

Several minutes passed but Decus didn't respond to any treatment that she could provide. She began to feel dizzy, which worried her; the Monster Graveyard wasn't the best place to fall unconscious. In fact, it was a huge stroke of luck that no wayward demons had come across them while they were still unconscious. If it came down to a fight, she would need every ounce of strength she had.

She shook her head and focused. Decus needed to survive. She knew the risks of using healing spells without enough mana. They would drain the very life out of the healer in question's body, but she refused to lose him again.

Decus began to cough. Alice blinked in surprise.

"A-Alice– is that you?" but she didn't answer. As soon as Decus sat up, trying to recover, Alice embraced him with all the strength she had (which wasn't a lot) holding him tightly with her hands. "So this is heaven, huh? After all those murders I thought I was going to hell."

"Stop it, silly," she said, trying to contain her tears as she pressed her shaking head against his chest. "You're not dead."

"Alice, I didn't think that I would worry you so much."

"I'm not-I'm not worried! It's just that I thought that you were dead and– and—" She knew how stupid it sounded but she didn't know what else she could say. "And why did you use up all the life bottles on me, you idiot!"

"I was just trying to help you! Besides if I had only used half you might not have survived."

"Of course I would, you dummy!" she knew it wasn't true. "Don't you ever do something that stupid ever again!" Alice didn't hear an answer, so she let go of Decus and looked into his eyes. "Promise me that you won't do something that stupid ever again!"

"I– I will," he looked aside, avoiding the eye contact, "I won't do something that stupid ever again," he said, feeling a rush of shame for lying to Alice. Decus knew he couldn't keep that promise.

"We-we have to leave this place," she said, drying her tears and standing up. "It's not safe."

Decus moaned as he stood; even if he was alive, his wounds weren't fully healed. And he couldn't just abandon his iron maiden here. He slung it over his shoulder and followed her.

They began to walk but it didn't take a lot for Alice to fall to her knees. Healing Decus in spite of her waning strength had resulted in serious consequences.

"Alice! Are you all right?"

"Y-yeah, I'm just a bit dizzy, that's all," she said as Decus helped her to her feet. But she didn't get far before she started woozily teetering from side to side.

"Are you sure?" Decus asked.

"I'm okay. I don't–I don't need your–your–" She shuddered once, twice, three times before her muscles locked up completely. If Decus hadn't been close enough to catch her, she would have fallen.

"Alice? Alice! Are you okay?!" But he got no answer. He tried to see her face but her bangs covered it. Decus picked up her limp form and headed for the exit.

Numerous malevolent eyes watched him with close interest as he made his way out of the Monster Graveyard.

To the untrained observer, the Ginungagap seemed a cold and lifeless place. But this was not the case.

Demons of every shape and size crawled closer and closer to them, climbing along the walls and following them down passages; they slowly surrounded the pair as Decus carried Alice away.

Decus advanced in silence, trying to look menacing at the monsters surrounding them until he reached the portal. He didn't know why, but none of the demons attacked them.

Somehow, having a multitude of demons watching him set him more on edge than if they just started attacking him.

Once out of the Ginungagap he checked Alice once more: her skin had taken a gray tinge and her breathing was fast and shallow. To make things worse, it was already night, and a cold one at that.

Decus was not a healer and had no medical training. The best thing he could do was take her to a doctor. And the best lived in Flanoir.

Then a shrill whine split the air and Aramis appeared like a gift from heaven. He immediately began sniffing and nuzzling Alice, as if realizing that something was wrong.

"We have to take Mommy to Flanoir," Decus said, draping his jacket over her. "Try not to fly too high Aramis. It's cold."

Another shrill whine later, Decus sat with Alice lying across his legs. Keeping her secured with one arm, he used his free hand to steer Aramis. Decus was lucky that Aramis was her only non-brainwashed pet; otherwise it would have never obeyed him.


Outside in the snow covered streets, there were people screaming.

"Damn kids," the doctor muttered, readjusting his glasses without taking his eyes off his magazine, "Every night it's the same thing…"

"A floating monster ball!" A girl screamed.

"Yeah, and what else is new?" He said to himself as he moistened his thumb and index finger to turn a page.

"Shouldn't we check it out?" his secretary, a young woman with neatly tied brown hair said from the other side of the room. "They seem kind of…alarmed."

"They're just more drunk than usual, that's all. Damn teenagers."

Then the door slammed open from a strong kick and the cold wind entered the refurbished residence, now clinic. Startled, the doctor dropped the magazine.

"What the–

Decus stood in the doorway with Alice held in his arms.

"You have to–" Decus coughed. "You have to help her."

"I don't have time for your jokes!" The doctor said with annoyance, taking his magazine from the floor.

Decus walked, staggering a little.

"I don't think it's a joke," the woman said.

"That's why I am the doctor and you are–" But before he was able to finish his sentence, Decus fell to the floor with Alice.

The doctor and the young woman stared at them.

"Are these youngsters out of their minds?" the doctor said. "Who goes around Flanoir without coats?"

The woman took a closer look at the blonde girl and put her hand over her mouth. "Isn't she–?"

The doctor examined Alice and frowned; nothing needed to be said. "Yes, she is."

If you liked it advise it to your friends, and if you disliked it, advise it to your enemies.

Reviews will be welcomed.