Render me Scytheless

Chapter 1: The Final Exam - Part 1.

"A human is scheduled to die in two weeks. You two are going to use that time to observe said human and determine whether if he deserves the death that he's sleighted for. You may present your conclusion before the end of the two weeks, as well. If this human does indeed deserve death, it's up to you two to collect his soul."

"Understood," said Rowan, taking the file with the information about the target's death. "Well then, Alicia? Let's head to the mortal world."

"Mm hm~," she agreed. The two made portals just as they'd been taught, and soon arrived in the world of mankind. "Ahaha~ It's so pretty here!" Alicia chirped, giving a little, excited bounce. It was daytime in the humans' world, and Rowan and Alicia had been transported to a forest.

Rowan Redbridge was a young male with pale skin and light, green hair that stuck up in a few random places. He had a tendency to leave his coat open, not bothering with the buttons. His left index finger bore a plain, black ring, and he wore a chain around his neck. He was trying his very best to be professional, which was why he didn't express distaste in the selection of his partner.

Alicia Silvercave, a woman about Rowan's age, had straight, dark brown hair that came down to her shoulders, and a smile that never died. She was fair-skinned and thin, and she was a bit of a tomboy. She wore a suit like all the other reapers, and didn't add to her appearance with much anything. Rowan didn't mind their arrangement until he discovered her voice.

"Yay~ In the mortals' world!" Alicia laughed annoyingly. "Fun, fun, fun!"

"Come on, Alicia...," Rowan sighed, starting to head towards a nearby town. "We need to-"

"Wait up!" she called. The male heard the rustling of bushes, and his left eyebrow twitched in annoyance. He turned around, then sighed as Alicia came back and placed a rose in his white shirt pocket. "Heehee, now we match!" she said. The green-haired reaper bit his lip, and turned around again, before starting to walk once more towards the town.

'She's sweet and all...,' he thought, 'but I really want to make a good first impression on the higher-ups, and if she gets in the way of that...' Rowan glanced down at the rookie scythe attached to his belt. 'No, I won't go there,' he determined. 'Not until she-'

"Why so fast, girlfriend?"

Rowan turned on his heel, hissing when Alicia ran into him. "Don't call me that," he snarled. "In case you haven't noticed, I'm Rowan Redbridge! I'm a man! And if you call me that one more time, I swear I'll hit you with this death scythe so hard that you'll wish you'd been eaten by demons!" After he had calmed himself, the rookie sighed, hoping that his grade wouldn't suffer if he'd made the girl cry. But Alicia didn't cry, nor did she talk back. She just stared at Rowan with a somewhat blank face, as if the other reaper had been speaking some foreign language to her.

"Wait, wait, wait," she said, "slow down... you're a dude?"

Rowan groaned, spun back to the direction in which he'd been walking, then grunted as he ran right into something. Feeling warmth, the male knew immediately it was another being, and he leapt back, whipping out his death scythe and holding it at the ready. "Ah, shucks, you new recruits? I was under the impression that I'd crept up on a couple of young ladies to party with. How disappointing. Are you two out screening for your final exam?"

Before Rowan could throw another fit, Alicia stepped forward, and took the other's hand, before shaking heartily. "I'm Alicia Silvercave. Pleasure to make your acquaintance!"

"Haha~ Nice to meet you, too, Alicia," the older male said, lifting the other's hand to his lips, before planting a soft kiss on it. "My name's Ronald. Ronald Knox. Heh, I'm usually the rookie around, but if you two pass, I guess I'll be your senpai*," he laughed. He turned towards Rowan, and winked. "And your name, fair lady?"

Rowan took a deep breath, trying to calm his nerves before speaking, when Alicia burst into hysterical laughter.

"BWAHAHAHAHA!" The two males looked at her, suprised, when the laughter suddenly stopped, and the female said, "Rowan's not a girl, y'know?"

"Huh?" Ronald studied the green-haired male for a good few seconds, before nodding in consideration. "Dang. I'm sorry, guy. Talk about awkward. Well, your name's Rowan?"

"That's right," the younger sighed, a little disappointed to have his self-introduction snatched away. "Rowan Redbridge, sir. I wish we could hang around and ask you questions, but we have to get to-"

"Nonsense!" Ronald announced, grinning. "You two ought to come hang with me tonight! I'll give you a bunch of pointers, and you'll be able to judge your target quicker. There's nothing more boring than a bunch of work."

"Uh, sir, I don't think-"

"Calm down, Rowan, it'll be fine! He's a higher-up, isn't he?" Alicia said. The young male sighed, and shrugged.

"Well... higher than us... at least," he mumbled. "Will you take responsibility if our grade suffers, Knox-senpai?"

"Responsi-what?" Ronald asked with a momentarily blank expression. "Anyway, just call me Ronald. It's so awkward getting addressed by my last name."

Rowan sighed, and looked to Alicia. "Look, if you want to hang out with Kno- er- Ronald-senpai, you go ahead. I'm going to keep a lookout for our target." The female looked from Ronald to Rowan, and grinned widely.

"Sure thing! I'll make sure to ask lots of questions!"

"Awright!" Ronald cheered, grinning. "And we'll see ya later, Rowan."

"Bye," the younger male sighed. He watched as the two headed out, and rolled his eyes. "At least I'll be able to make progress now." He finally continued on into town, picking up the unwanted rose in his pocket as he went, before tossing it behind him. With that out of the way, he took out the picture of his target, and headed into town.

Their target was a rather plain looking man, with curly brown hair and blue-green eyes. His name was John Rocksworth, a shoemaker. Needless to say, Rowan wasn't entirely impressed by what he already knew, and some investigating had to be done. But first, to find this guy... Rowan leapt up on to the roof of an old bar, and picked up the binoculars that had been around his neck. With that, he began searching.

"... Hey! Look, there's some chick on the roof of that bar!"

"Chick? But look at that guy! He's clearly some sort of peeping tom, and girls wouldn't do that!"

"Well, he/she certainly is creeping me out..."

"Hey! You up there!" called someone. Rowan sighed, and looked down at the ground, then gasped to see that they were talking about him. No one told him that humans could see reapers! But then, he noticed something familiar about the man who had spotted him.

'How embarassing,' he thought. 'My target found me first.' The young reaper immediately ran off, moving across rooftops, before eventually getting down in an alley. "Should I... disguise myself?" he wondered out loud. He then bit his lip, recalling his grades. 'A C in practical skills, an A in written exams, a B in ethics. That gives me a B average. I'm barely qualified to even take this exam. So, whether I'm good at it or not... I need to do my best to pass. I can't lose this chance.'

"Oh? Hehe~ How adorable," said a flamboyant and strangely familiar voice. "Rowan Redcliff?"

"Redbridge," Rowan corrected, turning around. "Who are you?" The man before him was another reaper, holding a chainsaw. He had long, red hair and red glasses, and it wasn't too hard to identify him... if Rowan had remembered the name of the one who instructed him and Alicia.

"Psh, typical of a child to forget her master. It's Grell Sutcliff, hun," the other said, emphasizing the 'her' in order to tease the younger. "Are you screening or collecting right now? Huh, silly question, right? Who's your man - lemme see." The redhead snatched the picture of Rowan's target with ease, and looked at him in consideration. "Hm. How's this one supposed to die?"

"He's going to be shot several times, and eventually bleed to death. He's meant to die at fifteen past seven."

"I see~," Grell said. "What an exciting death! When I was taking my final exam - oh~ the memories - no one got to do murder files. It was always some sort of silly accident, or a peaceful passing from sickness. I envy you, kid. Ha, not to mention that I'm screening for some old woman who's dying in her sleep tonight! So dreadfully boring!"

"Ah...," was Rowan's only response, as he was still trying to figure out that unique tone in his senpai's voice.

"But, you know? Since I'm so bored, and I have all day more or less free, how about we hang out for a while?" Grell asked, grinning to reveal two rows of shark like teeth.

Rowan couldn't help but consider the offer. As much as he wanted to remain professional and get his work done, it was a fact that he had a lot of trouble with disguising himself, and being alone was a bit intimidating. Maybe he could watch Grell screen and collect first, to better help him judge his own target. "Okay... thanks, Sutcliff-senpai."

"Oh, honey, just call me Grell, mm'kay?" the older sighed. "Anyway, a couple of women such as ourselves shouldn't be out and exposed like this. Follow me." Although a little irked, Rowan followed the older along through the alley, and paid close attention to the paths that Grell took. He almost always moved in alley ways, rarely letting the people of the streets catch a glimpse of him. It was clear that the red-haired male was a professional - that's what granted him the ability to wear official reaper spectacles, right?

It wasn't long before the two came out upon a street that was dead silent - no pun intended. Only a couple of people walked along this street, and Rowan couldn't help but notice that the only people he saw were wearing glasses and suits. Grell moved over to an old building and ushered the younger inside, before following him inside. To Rowan's collective shock and horror, the other people there were all too recognizable.

"Rowan! So you decided to come to Ronald's party after all!" Alicia cried in suprise.

"Oh, I see," Ronald laughed. "You'd rather hang with Sutcliff-senpai."

"Ronald, dear, how many times have I told you? Call me Grell!" the redhead protested. "Anyway, Rowan, who's this?"

"That's my partner... Alicia Silvercave," the younger sighed. "She wanted to 'party' with Ronald-senpai."

"You know it," Ronald said with a grin. "The other guests will be getting here shortly."

"Tsk, how tasteless," Grell sighed. "I prefer the thrill of collecting a feisty soul, or rather, the excitement of chasing someone you love! Anyway, we're just here to go into disguise for screening. We'll be upstairs." The two reapers headed up at that. "So, Rowan, what do you know about disguising yourself?"

"Well... my grades in practical skills are kind of bad...," he mumbled. "I'm not really good with my hands, you see, so I'm not exactly the best when it comes to disguising myself."

"Oh~ It's good that you have me here, then," Grell said, grinning widely. "I'll help change you into a completely different person!"

Rowan gulped.

And many more suprises lay ahead.

-End Chapter

*senpai: a superior in work or school. Its inverse is 'kouhai.'

Hehe, well, here begins my first full-on Kuroshitsuji fanfiction, as well as the first fanfiction of mine to ever have OC main characters.

Ugh, I've been simply DYING to get this up. Haha, and now, I'm able to. Easy on the hate reviews, now, because I did mention the nature of this story in the summary.

Special thanks to BlackSun666 for helping me develop the characters and pushing me to get this done. XD You're an author to DIE for, BlackSun-sama!

Disclaimer - I do not own Kuroshitsuji or any of its characters, however, in a sense, I do own Rowan Redbridge, Alicia Silvercave, and Irwin Velvet.

Please Review!