Summary: When Shinku fails to find a way to wake her fallen sisters, Father provides another way to resume the Alice Game. "I take it that it didn't go too well?"
"What's in the box, desu?" Suiseiseki walked up to her younger sister, placing a hand on her shoulder and staring at the dark case that looked like a Rozen's case. The two dolls exchanged looks before the older one took a step back. They usually let Jun handle this, but since he was at school, he wasn't going to be the one who'd open this case.
"Should we, desu?" Suiseiseki asked. Shinku had a very void look on her face, the same void look she always had. There was no changing it, she knew, but neither of them had a clue on what the box could contain. What more if it was another Enju doll? What would happen then? Jun had three dolls as their medium and it would do little to no good to find him on the floor in the middle of his Chemistry class.
"Should we open it?" Shinku whispered out loud, letting a hand swipe across the case. It was new, it had no dust, and it was a darker brown than their own. Something was telling her that this wasn't just another Rozen Maiden.
"Maybe, desu." Suiseiseki knocked on the case. What she didn't expect was for someone to knock back. Startled, she fell back a step, dragging Shinku with her. The two fell and stared at the box that seemed to contain something that no longer slept. Had Jun already wound this new sister before they'd even gotten the change to meet her? "Shinku… open it, desu."
"Me?" The crimson doll stood up and dusted herself off before sparing her older sister a glance. Suiseiseki pointed at the box with a small encouraging smile, and Shinku summoned a little bit of courage and walked towards it once more. Tapping it, she was no longer surprised when it tapped back. Cautiously, she lifted the case and stared at a… doll, sure, but it was different.
When Shinku said it was different, her mind wasn't playing tricks on her. The new doll was currently sitting on the sofa, eyes fixated on the blonde doll sitting beside it. Shinku took the time near it to observe it. With hair as white as Suigintou's, and a blue and white color scheme, Hayate, or as he'd introduced himself, seemed very… off.
"You're saying that Father sent you?" Suiseiseki repeated for what seemed like the tenth time. Hayate nodded, strands of white hair falling over his ice blue eyes. "But you are… a boy."
"He asked me to advice you, to watch out for the next set of dolls." Shinku tensed. "We aren't here to be Alice, we are only here to help one of you become Alice."
"Help us become Alice?" Suiseiseki's brow furrowed. "But there are two of us who are sleeping."
"Yes, I'm aware of that." Hayate stared at Shinku for a bit. "I am also aware that Father asked you to wake them."
"Yes he did."
"And now I understand you've been unable to do so." That was a low blow. Shinku returned Hayate's slightly taunting stare with a soft glare, before blinking it away. Now was most definitely not that time to argue with the new doll. Father brought him to life for a reason. "Father asked us to awaken the two dolls. He's sent me their Roza Mystica, but on my way to your medium's house, a white haired doll took them from me."
"Suigintou?" Suiseiseki gasped, anger filling her mismatched eyes.
Hayate shook his head. "Is she the first?"
"Then, no, it wasn't her."
Suiseiseki brought her hand down and bit her lip. "Then who?"
Hayate's settled himself into his seat even more, eyes still staring at Shinku who now felt very uneasy. "The seventh… Kirakishou."
"Why are we even discussing this, desu?" The green dressed doll glared a half-hearted stare towards her younger sister. Shinku saw it as an act of defeated spirit while Suiseiseki insisted it was annoyance that fueled such stares. Her younger sister contemplated the question before answering.
"Suiseiseki... Has it ever occurred to you that this could be yet again another of Enju's plots?" Shinku placed her teacup back on its saucer. "Ever wonder why only now did Father allow such a visit, in my N-Field no less?"
Suiseiseki stared at her sister for a moment before plopping back down on the floor, hands gripping fistfuls of her dress in an irate manner. She did think of the consequences, but Shinku would never understand. She didn't have a twin, sisters, sure. But a twin who knew everything about you... No, not by a long shot.
To her, Souseiseki was everything. She was the reason Suiseiseki never did participate in the Alice games, and that reason had been more than enough...
"Shinku, desu?" The blonde doll looked up to her older sister. Suiseiseki seemed to be having difficulty at saying what she had in mind. Finally, she decided on her words. "You see Shinku... I've always known Father favored you- don't get me wrong, desu. I still love you and I never wanted to hurt you or any of our sisters, desu. But Souseiseki... Souseiseki was my twin, desu. It's different... between us, desu. We've always been together, even if she'd been decided on killing me and taking my Rosa Mystica, desu."
"I... understand, where you're coming from Suiseiseki." Shinku placed a hand over her sisters and stared at her with probing sapphire eyes. "But what do you want me to do?"
"The only thing you have an advantage on..."
A maddening laugh filled the air.
There was more to it than Shinku took in as she leaned back, dress in tatters, each breath a heavy burden to take. Her blonde hair was disheveled, part of it nearly burnt. She hated it. Golden hair, locks of it, given to her by father and half of it was now black and ashen. Her sapphire blue eyes stretched out to gaze at the destruction she, and a few others, had created in just a matter of minutes.
Oh father... There had to be more than just violence.
"Shinku~" there it was again; her voice. It sent shivers up her spine and the blonde doll wasn't even sure how that was possible. Kirakishou appeared in front of her, the white rose that served as her eye twitching madly. "Don't run away! It takes patience to play hide and seek of this level and I'm pretty sure we all know just how young I am. Come; give your little sister a big hug!"
Shinku didn't move, and instead fixed Kirakishou a steely gaze. She'd hoped it would buy her enough time to think of a plan out of this, but the white haired doll had other plans. The smile on Kirakishou's face froze, and her golden eye twitched in obvious irritation. Shinku held her breath and not a second later did long, thorny vines come to wrap around her body. She cried out in shock, whilst a smile spread on Kirakishou's face."Come now big sister let us all be friends. Father would have wanted this."
"Don't... I'm not sure if you've read behind the lines, but Father wouldn't have wanted this. You coming into our lives suddenly proposing for the real Alice Game to come together just about ruined everything. Even if you did revive Souseiseki and Hinaichigo with ways no one knows about, you returned them to their former state. Or might as well have because now they're all but gone." Shinku glared at her sister before grabbing at a vine and pulling at it to break free. Kirakishou winced at the destruction of her vines but showed no other discomfort at being mishandled. She smiled a slightly vexing smile before shaking her head.
"I see that you will never understand me or my purpose in reviving our sisters." Kirashikou's vines retreated, and Shinku found herself on the floor. The white haired doll was turned away from her, already walking away. "Farewell dear sister... I do hope you'll take my words into consideration."
Shinku watched Kirakishou move away before glancing around herself, Souseiseki and Hinaichigo's Roza Mystica floated about her and she smiled in relief. Slowly, her N-Field moved to fixing itself, assuming its previous glory that was an entire replica of the former Rozen manor. All signs of destruction disappearing, gone without a trace.
Sighing, she stood up and stared at herself. The same couldn't have been said for her clothes or her hair. It didn't help matters that Jun's worry filled her mind.
It was time to go home.
Jun was mad. No, he was beyond mad, he was downright angry. One of his hands clutched the other that still burned with fire that had been the results of Shinku's death match against the just-now-introduced seventh Rozen Maiden. His brown eyes shone with obvious anger and irritation and his cheeks were a bright pink.
"Shinku that was reckless!" He regarded the blonde doll with a sort of lecture-like air that was usually around said doll. "How could you think of going against a doll we hardly know just because she says she's a Rozen Maiden?"
"I didn't." Shinku inspected the damage done to her dress, though she glanced at Jun everyone once in a while to let him know that she was being serious. "Suiseiseki convinced me to face Kirakishou because she'd wanted to see Souseiseki again."
"That doll is such a pain." Jun mumbled, but only meant it half heartedly. He knew Souseiseki was missed, more so by her own twin. He fixed Shinku with a small glare as he reached a hand out for her to give him her torn dress. "I still can't believe you did that. What did she even say that got you to start the Alice Game yet again?"
"Father would have wanted this." Replied Shinku as she unbuttoned her red studs to rid off her red petticoat. Jun paused from his sewing and took the time to stare at the red doll. The fifth Rozen maiden was finding it very difficult to avoid looking at her medium when he looked at her with such concern.
"I know that it was wrong for me to challenge my… sister. But I had no other choice. Suiseiseki has been so gracious, so helpful that she's never complained once that Father revived the rest of us yet never woke her twin. She's extremely civil, even towards Suigintou. How am I suppose to be so selfish when my sisters have been so selfless?" Jun shook his head, slightly angry with himself for once again hurting his doll's feelings. He placed Shinku's bonnet which he had been mending on the bed and wrapped his arms around her.
"I'm sorry." Shinku gave no other response other than gripping his shirt all the more tightly. "I'm sorry that I had to say that. I'm sorry you had to tell me. I should have just taken your word for it, I'm sorry."
There was the sound of small footsteps, and Jun disregarded it as Suiseiseki but was completely caught off guard to hear a different, and slightly maler voice. He turned his head to see Hayate leaning against the open door, staring at medium and doll. He took in Shinku's slightly defeated expression and sighed.
"I take that it didn't go too well."
Kirakishou stared at the blonde, hiding behind the shadows as she left. Hurting her sisters... hurt her as well, so to speak, but it had to be done. If no one started the Alice Game, what with everyone now being friends, how would Father find peace? Find happiness and joy?Of course there was the added factor that Father absolutely dreaded seeing Shinku get hurt. She was the favorite, there could be no doubt, what with eyes as blue as Alice's very own, and flaxen hair as beautiful as spun gold. It was a miracle Father'd let Shinku participate in the Alice Game at all!
The gentle stroking of her hair made the white haired doll look up. Her golden eye melted at the sight of him, and a smile- a normal, sane, yet sweet smile- graced her doll features. "Hello Father, did I do a good job?"
Rozen chuckled a bit at his daughter's enthusiastic welcome, gently taking her in his lap and fixing her tousled hair. "Of course you did. Thank you."
To be continued...