|| A_F_O_R_G_O_T_T_E_N_P_A_S_T ||

||SUMMARY|| Arianna- a young Cherokee girl from America. Mana and Neah- two orphan brothers trying to survive on their own. Follow these three youngsters as they live their lives to the fullest while being shunned by society. JOINT STORY WITH SONG OF THE FOURTEENTH

||WARNING|| There will be some bad language in these next chapters (courtesy of Neah).

||CLAIMER|| All things not mentioned in DGM are copyright to me unless posted otherwise.

||DISCLAIMER|| I do not own DGM or any characters, plot-lines, sayings, etc, that are in DGM.


Blue paint splattered all over his face...

Neah twitched violently. Arianna and Mana burst out laughing. And then Neah was letting out a string of curses- jumping up, slamming the paint brush on the floor.

"Bugger—fuck! What the Hell! Garrgh!"

"B-brother—calm down! Calm down!" Mana tried to break out of his fit of laughter as he stumbled up and tried to hold his brother down from releasing his anger on any inanimate objects—quite possibly the paintbrush or paint bucket.

Arianna, meanwhile, enjoyed the show through fits of laughter, once again feeling as lighthearted as ever.

For once, her room didn't feel like a cage…

Not anymore with her new friends here with her.


/| CHAPTER 6 |\

Family Issues

After an hour of paint-slapping and cursing, the brothers and Arianna had finally finished painting the young girl's room.

Sort of.

Mana didn't say so, but he was quite certain Arianna's parents were going to blow a gasket when they saw the messy streaks and haphazard blotches of paint all over their daughter's floor and walls. It was a miracle that the blue paint managed to miss her bed, of all things. Her dresser and bookcase, however, were another story.

Now they were all sitting in a circle, trying to pick the flaking blue paint off their respective clothes.

Suddenly, a mischievous voice spoke up -

"Neh, Silver Eyes, lemme help you with something-"

"Wha? What are ya doing wit' that brush? O- OI! DON'T COME NEAR ME WIT' DAT!"

Mana turned his brown gaze just in time to see a certain, small Cherokee girl and his younger brother tumble to the ground, Arianna brandishing a paintbrush and Neah struggling to ward it off.

"GE' OFF O' ME!"

"I just wanna give you a smile!" trilled Arianna a little too cheerfully, managing to successfully place a blue streak across Neah's already paint-smudged cheek.

"LIKE HELL!" all but screeched Neah, arms flailing as he tried to throw the girl off. Her dress, unfortunately, was getting in the way, as it was quite poofy in today's style. "Frackin' dress!"

Mana sweatdropped as the two continued their battle. It seemed as if the young nine-year-old Cherokee had an evil side after all. But then, his dear, spiky-haired brother was quite good at provoking the vengeful side of people . . .

A startled yelp broke Mana out of his contemplations. Reverting his attention back to the other two in the room, he found Neah had managed to get a generous handful of Arianna's wavy, almost black hair. Mana, admittedly, was horrified. His brother was pulling a girl's hair!

"N-Neah! Let go of her!" he exclaimed, scrambling over to the struggling pair.

"Not 'til she gets off!" argued Neah, now grinning evilly as he turned the tables, Arianna now struggling to get out of his grasp.

"Pulling hair is mean, Jack Ass!" whined Arianna, one hand latching onto Neah's arm and the other still waving around her paintbrush, determined to finish her work on the older, spiky-haired boy's face.

Neah scowled. "Stop callin' me that, dumb ass!"

"It suits you too much, JACK ASS!"

Mana tried in vain to separate the two. It was hard, since Arianna was on top of Neah, and Neah was reaching up with his grip on her hair. Between the constantly tugging two and Arianna's dress, Mana feared they were all going to get tangled together. To make things worse, the paint can nearby had been disturbed and was now spilling its remaining contents all over the floor, trickling down to soak anything on its surface.

The older brother grappled with Neah's grip on Arianna's hair as he joined in their shouting fest, "Please stop it, you two!"

"HE/SHE STARTED IT!"

"DID NOT!"

"DID TOO!"

And then Mana was caught in the cross-fire. He stumbled back on his butt, holding his now aching head, hands rubbing at his brown hair and messing up his already messy bangs. Whoever's fist had swiped out at him, it hurt!

Suddenly, the sound of a door slamming shut downstairs cut through the air. Mana looked up, eyes wide, just as his brother and Arianna froze, Neah still fisting the girl's hair and Arianna's paintbrush just completing the last side of Neah's painted smile.

Heavy footsteps thumped through the silence. Arianna let out a happy trill, yanking herself out of Neah's grip and staggering up.

"E-'do-'da!" called out the little girl excitedly as she ran out of the room.

As her footsteps echoed down the steps, Mana and Neah shared a glance - wariness reflected in their expressions. Someone was home, and by process of elimination, it had to be one of Arianna's parents. What were they going to think about the two dirty orphan boys in their house? Or better yet, about Arianna's messed up room?

"The kitchen is by tha steps," muttered Neah quietly. "We could slip through the window-"

"They'll see us from the entrance hall," frowned Mana, clearly worried and indecisive. "And what if Arianna gets in trouble for her room?"

Neah scowled. "Who cares? She didn't seem worried 'bout it!"

"Brother-" before Mana could chastise him, however, Arianna's voice echoed from the foot of the steps.

"Uhm, Kind Bear? Jac- er- Silver Eyes?"

Both brother stiffened. Was it just them, or did Arianna sound worried? At Neah's almost panicked glance, Mana swallowed thickly -

"Yes?" the older brother called down, trying to keep his voice steady.

However, Arianna's call back was interrupted-

"You let them upstairs?"

"Shit," Neah muttered. "We're fu-"

"Shhh," hissed Mana, trying to catch more of what sounded like Arianna's father's voice. He definitely didn't sound pleased . . .

"-invited them . . . to help with my room."

"What were you thinking? I know nothing of these boys-"

"E-'do-'da! I told you yesterday-"

"Arianna Song, don't you interrupt me!"

"Fuck dis shit," whispered Neah harshly, clear fear in his voice. "I'm outta here!"

Mana's heart was pounding wildly in his chest. He couldn't help but agree with his brother, but there was no way he would ever forgive himself for leaving little Arianna to fend for herself!

"We need to go down there!" he insisted, standing up and straightening his dirt and paint-smudged shirt.

"Are yeu mad!" hissed Neah as the voices downstairs continued, Arianna's getting more and more tear-stricken.

"C'mon, brother - not even you could be so cruel as to leave her like this!"

"Watch me!"

. . . .

Arianna could feel hot tears pricking her eyes as he dear, usually kind father snapped at her. His hazel eyes were aflame with anger - she had never seen him like this!

"What do you not understand about not talking to strangers?! Letting them in the house, of all things! For all you know, they could be looting everything we have-"

"They would never do that!" insisted the little girl, hands fisted by her sides as she shouted back. "Kind Bear and Silver Eyes aren't like that!"

"You don't know that!"

"I do! I do - I do - I DO!"

"DON'T SHOUT AT ME, YOUNG LADY-"

"A-ah, excuse me?"

Both father and daughter turned to look up the staircase. Two young boys were at the top, looking down with a mix of wariness, determination, and all out annoyance.

Arianna felt her breath catch in her throat as she flashed a glance at her oddly enraged father. He had straightened up, his flaming eyes narrowed at her friends.

"And who are you boys?"

Mana spoke again, much to Arianna's relief.

"I apologize for the confusion, Mister, ah-"

"Hugh Mallory," supplied the still-angry father.

"-Mr. Mallory. My name is Mana D. Campbell, and this is my brother, Neah."

"Campbell?"

"Yes, sir."

"And why are you in our home?"

"E-'do-"

"Quiet!"

Mana shifted from his spot at the top of the steps. Arianna couldn't help but notice that the two brothers looked about to flee the scene. She couldn't really blame them - her father was right terrifying when angry. She barely recognized him, let alone knew how to respond to him when he was like this.

"Your daughter invited us over to help paint her room this morning," supplied Mana warily. "We-"

"And you decided to accept her invitation, despite the fact that neither I, nor her mother, were home?"

"Well-"

"E-'do-'da!"

"Did you think it was alright to take advantage of our daughter's clearly naive invitation-"

Arianna couldn't take it anymore. Tears burst from her eyes as she shouted at her father, anger and frustration pulsing through her, "DAMNIT, E-'DO-'DA, LEAVE THEM ALONE! I AM NOT NAIVE! THEY'RE MY FRIENDS! I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ARE BEING SO UNFAIR TO THEM!"

A surprised silence met the nine-year-old's outburst. She was panting from raising her voice without a breath, and tears continued to trickle down her cheeks. Finally, her father's indiscernable look met her enflamed one. However, before he could say anything, Neah's voice, surprisingly enough, broke the silence.

"We were leavin' 'anyway."

Arianna felt her heart skip a beat. She looked up at the two brothers, now carefully picking their way down the steps.

"I-"

"The next time you want someone to come over, Arianna, ask me first."

All three kids froze, looking to the once-enraged man that was now oddly calm.

"E- E-'do-'da?" inquired Arianna very carefully, eyeing her father with clear wariness. "What-"

"I do not like being uninformed," he amended, his hand landing on his confused daughter's head. "When a father comes home to find his daughter has invited two boys he knows nothing of, he tends to be rash in his outbursts."

A tearful smile bloomed on Arianna's paint-splotched face.

"Sorry, E-'do-'da - I'll remember next time."

Her father nodded once before turning to the two boys, who were currently sporting clear "WTF-just-happened" expressions. A hard look returned to his eyes.

"You take care of my foolish daughter, you hear? If you harm one hair on her head-"

"E-do'-da'!"

"Yes, sir!" interrupted Mana quickly, clearly deciding to keep on everyone's good side in this odd situation. Neah scowled, but seemed to decide against responding to the fatherly threat. Arianna, meanwhile, was just happy everything was "fixed" now.

"I'll be showing Kind Bear and Silver Eyes out now, if that's alright."

"Do what you wish."

. . . .

The orphan brothers, Mana and Neah, had never been happier to be outside.

"The hell is wrong wit' tha' geezer?" hissed Neah, eyeing the house warily as if Arianna's father might somehow hear.

Mana shook his head, completely at a loss as well. One moment, the young girl's father had been ridiculously angry; the next, absolutely calm. It didn't make sense. However, before the oldest brother could respond, Arianna caught up to them.

"I'm very sorry about all that," she said quickly, all in one breath. "I don't know what got into my e-do'-da'!"

"He's bloody mad, that's what!" snapped Neah, much to Mana's disapproval.

Arianna frowned, though she didn't really defend her father, much to both of the brothers' surprise.

"I think he's just . . . stressed. He's had a lot of, ah, you all them 'mood turns?'"

"Mood swings, dumb ass."

The dark-skinned girl scowled, but didn't take up the insult war that threatened to start brewing between her and the spiky haired boy.

"He's had a lot of mood swings since we got here. He really is a kind person, though-"

Neah snorted.

"-promise!" added Arianna, almost desperately.

Mana could see Arianna was troubled over her father's mental health, so he decided to turn the conversation elsewhere, lest she start crying again. The poor girl looked absolutely frazzled and in a mess of worry about Mana and Neah's opinions of her family.

"I'm sure you're right," started Mana, ignoring his brother's scoffing sound, "he was probably just worried about your safety."

The young Cherokee nodded, eagerly accepting this idea. She began twisting her dress a bit as she looked from Mana to Neah, then to the ground.

"Ahm . . . I . . ."

"What?" snipped Neah, crossing his arms. He'd had enough surprises for the day, and his patience was wearing thin as a result.

Arianna though bit her lip, looking up sharply at the spiky haired boy, her cheeks red.

"Please feel free to come again!"

The brothers stared at her, clearly surprised.

"I- I had a lot of fun," insisted Arianna. "And I . . . I'd like to play with you again sometime-"

"Getting into a brawl with Sebastard, running from the police, screwing your room up, and shouting at your nutcase of a father was fun?" spoke up Neah, a look of absolute disbelief on his face.

Arianna scowled. "Yes, it was all a lot of fun, you jack ass! I especially enjoyed painting that marvelous, blue smile on your face!"

Neah was about to shout back at her choice of nickname, but then the rest of her statement sank in. He froze, reaching at his face. When his hand met the drying paint that curled up from the ends of his lips, an enraged expression took over his face.

"YEU LITTLE-"

Mana sighed as the two went at it again, this time with Neah chasing a cackling Arianna around the yard. The young girl's earlier words echoed in his mind, and Mana couldn't help but crack a smile. As crazy as their day had ended up, and as upsetting and surprising as their meeting with Arianna's father had been, he couldn't deny that today had been quite a lot of fun.

And that painted smile on Neah's face was, indeed, quite marvelous.


A / N : Told ya updates would be slow -flops- Honestly, the only reason I updated was because I noticed I had so many reviews for it, despite it only being five chapters. And then I started rereading and was like "this needs to be updated :I"

SO HAPPY UPDATE -shot-

And thank you very much for all the reviews~! :D

I'm still unsure in how this fanfiction will continue, especially with the recent revelations of Mana and Neah's pasts. I'll either edit their background in this fanfic, or I'll just go with an AU version. I doubt I'll go with the AU version. :T

Oh, and I guess I'll start giving tidbit info out here like I am in the new, rewritten version of SOTF . . .

1. The name "Hugh" means "mind" or "intellect."

2. The name "Mallory" is an English surname transferred to unisex forename use, from a Normal French byname for an unfortunate person, derived from Old French malheure, meaning "unfortunate, unhappy, unlucky."

derp :D