Alrighty, I'm trying something a little new today. (Suuure, that's it. :D) This next chapter is all from the point of view of our mysterious killer, and I'm going to be dropping a serious amount of hints throughout this chapter. Five Forbidden points to whoever can get me a legitimate guess! Whoever gets the right guess, gets to guest star in the story. (Lame prize, I know.)

Ugh... can I be more obvious?

Of course, I could just be screwing with you all.

Disclaimers: Story's mine, characters (except Raiden, Dante, and so on) are Disney's or Square Enix's.


Chapter Seven: Fragments

He sobs into his hands, screaming soundlessly into his palms as the blood drips from his body, soaking away in the water. The hot shower hurt him, the pounding of the water on his back splitting open the cuts on his arms. He hisses softly, growling as the fresh blood is cleaned off of him and then replaced by fresh gore.

His master was waiting for him, waiting for him... He had to get to his master... The mysterious figure grabs at his hair, letting out a howl of pain as the tears flow down his cheeks. A deranged expression takes hold of his face, his eyes filling with a strange brand of anguish.

He had to remember his objective.

A cruel smile slowly turns up his lips as he hums softly to himself, humming the song that they had taught him so long ago... as he remembers the games they once played together.

"M...as...ter..."

Beneath his hood, the man's dark green eyes gleam ominously, as if he was about to lose every last bit of sanity that he had left in his thin frame. He reaches up to where his heart was and gently squeezes the chain that now hung from his neck, silently allowing the tears to drip down his cheeks.

His raspy voice, hoarse from crying, echoes softly in the dark alleyway. "Why? You just... answer me why!" He screams viciously, slamming his clenched fist into the wall. The bricks, despite how he obviously didn't put much strength into the blow, tremble slightly.

In front of him, the boy only looks at him beneath his mask, bowing his head as he sobs into his hands. Axel glares at him, grabbing the front of his jacket and hurling him up into the air with only a loud grunt to show how much force it took to throw him.

The boy hisses softly as he lands, growling as the fresh scabs are stripped off of his back and then replaced by fresh gore. The boy tumbles into the ground, his arms splaying loosely besides him. The impact causes nothing but that low, mechanical sound to emerge from his lips, despite how his previous wounds suddenly began to burst open from the sheer power behind the attack.

He couldn't die here, not now, not by the Eight's hands.

His master was waiting for him, waiting for him... He had to get to his master... The mysterious figure grabs at his hair, letting out a howl of pain as the tears flow down his cheeks. A deranged expression takes hold of his face, his eyes filling with a strange brand of anguish.

He had to remember his objective.

A cruel smile slowly turns up his lips as he hums softly to himself, humming the song that they had taught him so long ago... as he remembers the games they once played together.

Axel slowly walks closer, holding his hand out to his side. Black tendrils begin to crawl up his knuckles, the darkness summoning the beginnings of the sharp edges of the Eternal Flame chakrams. In his other hand, he clutches at the pendant from the jacket his best friend had left behind, his sole reminder that the Arugami-Minami siblings were dead.

He would be making sure that they didn't die in vain.

The boy chuckles softly, lifting his head slightly to look at the enraged pyromaniac. "M...as...ter..." He says softly, closing his eyes shut beneath the mask. He sighs softly, beginning to drift off into his own dreams... even as Axel's blood splattered against the dank alley walls.

The boy just watches as the now frail figure collapses against the floors, the crimson hue dripping across his black boots.

The figure smirks as the man moans from the floor, struggling to force himself up. His arm slips and he collapses again, slamming his head facefirst into the cobblestones. The boy crouches down, tilting his head at him. He sneers, laughing coldly. "You really are a loser! Go back to playing with your toys, boy!" He tells him softly in a sickly sweet voice, reaching out to touch the blood-soaked ground.

When the thick red liquid soaks into his gloves, his eyes widen and the scream tears itself from his throat. He clutches at his arms, screaming his head off as Axel bleeds violently besides him.

He had to do something, he had to help, what had he done? He had to help Axel, he couldn't leave him here to die, he was one of his best friends- SHUT UP.

The boy goes slack as the torrent of thoughts in his head suddenly screech to a stop, leaving his head blissfully empty of the angry and hateful voices that seemed to plague him. Instead, he just bows his head, reaching his hand up over the almost unconscious Organization member.

Axel swears softly, looking up at him with pitiful eyes. The boy growls in his throat, refusing to accept that pity. He'd never liked those looks, not even when he had been little. "I'll... pr...otect you... I promise..." Axel says softly, as if he had guessed the identity of the young killer. He laughs softly, closing his dark green eyes slowly. "I promised you... before... when you were younger... we'd be... best friends..." Axel breathes this out so softly that he barely even could hear it.

The boy smiles. "You never forgot your promise? It's been a long time since Radiant Gardens." He says quietly, flexing his fingers above Axel's head. The soft light of a Healing spell begins over the duo, even as another figure watches from the shadows of the alley, his eyes hardening with grim acceptance.

The healing complete, the boy clings to the rooftops of the hundreds of buildings of the city, jumping from one and then onto another as the ambulances scream under him. It was nigh impossible for someone to get up onto these rooftops, especially without the use of a ladder.

Besides him, the other figure carefully helps the smaller one up, watching him with an almost parental guardianship.