A/N: And so comes the sequel for Clockwork Circus (that I'm hoping was anticipated for, even a little -nervous chuckle-)! I wanted to wait until the 1st of December until I published it since that's when this sequel will be taking place. I just like the idea of creepy winter nights -smiles-

I hope you will enjoy, please regard me kindly -bows-

Tinker Toybox

Winding the Clock: A Prologue

How much can a body be replaced and rearranged

Like a puzzle

Until we cease to be human?

When do the jutting bones and steel frames,

Wooden joints and glass eyes and stitches,

Make us unrecognizable as human beings?

We add more and more to ourselves, add to what was missing,

In order to "fix" ourselves, make something "beautiful" again.

"It's always been obvious to me, that I'm not completely human. Even before I was stitched together for the first time, it was something I felt. But I could hide feelings. I could still go around, pretend."

We say it often enough,

"It's only human."

But is it human to kill, to steal, to lie?

Any animal could do that, but we see any beast as lesser than us,

The ones who hurt, who are cruel and kind at the same time.

"I was born this way and there's nothing I can do about it."

Of course no one thinks that.

"It's not like I hold any resentment towards them. This is who I am, Leo. After awhile, getting up on that stage, I just pretended I wasn't myself. I was just a performer. So I performed a show. And they watched. They always just watched. ...You didn't though, did you?"

Consider:

More than other creatures on this earth,

Than even the demons toying and gambling below,

We have the most masks, the most cosmetics and costumes

To make us "human" again.

Humans will never not want to be human.

Those of us who are different just want to die -

As quietly as possible.


Slowly, Leo's fingers danced over the dusty piano keys, the notes melancholy and flat as he played a song. The song wasn't something he heard before, but based on the blots of notes on the sheet music, the quill with the drying ink laying on top of it, the piece had been something in the middle of its creation. Over and over, Leo played the notes he could make out, frowning deeply when the song came out to be something dark. Sinister. Like shadows drawing closer.

When he had finally gotten the courage to enter the music room of the Baskerville mansion, he found the piano there, just as his foster father, Glen, had left it. And of course it would be. It would remain here, collecting dust, keys getting out of tune, inner workings becoming worn. Leo went over tentatively, recalling all the times when he'd visit the violet-eyed enigma that was his foster father.

There had been plenty of times when Leo would wake up in the middle of the night, following the sounds of music that waltzed in the air. Sometimes the pieces could be quite beautiful, as if a song from a childhood dream.

Other times...

Well, as Leo played the last note, closing his eyes, he knew this piece was one of those "other time" compositions that Glen created whenever he was in a dark mood. As a child, and even as a teenager, Leo never understood why Glen would get into these moods. Thinking it over, he didn't know his foster father at all.

A little over a month ago unlocked the reason why.

Leo shook his head, rubbing his hand over his face as he let out a deep breath. Slowly, his fingertips felt around his eyes, stretching out toward around his ears, seeking out the familiar wires and lens of his glasses that he had always worn but finding only his skin. He had never needed glasses anyway - yet another secret that had been from Glen.

Tink. His finger pressed down on a key. Chink. Like a ticking clock.

Midnight-purple eyes glanced over outside to the gray skies of the early morning. Down below was the backyard of the mansion, the trees nearly naked now with the coming winter. On Halloween night, Leo had gone to the backyard with the others of the Baskerville family to bury Charlotte. The morning after, a band of freaks had gone to bury Oz right next to her.

Tink. Chink.

Leo winced at the thought. Oz... The first person he felt he could connect to, and truly his first friend. But the innocent blond boy with the scarred face was the one being manipulated into pulling the strings of bringing a man named Jack Vessalius back to life. And he had been a half-demon.

Part demon, just like me. Oz had died, though. Oz had died in a brutal way, and even though he had been the one to kill Charlotte, yet Leo couldn't bring himself to hate him. He had just been scared...and alone. Leo couldn't hate someone like that. Leo could only hate himself, and he did, with every day that passed, with every time he would see Gilbert in the hallway with saddened eyes, with every time his gaze would go off outside to that grave...

Tink. Chink.

Graves and death. Along with the rest of the Baskervilles, all special people called Crimson Fausts, he had been killing all his life. It wasn't until recently, when he was the one to lose so many people at once, that he began to feel remorse and regret...

Tink...

Just as Leo straightened his posture again, ready to try the piece once more, a slow drawl of movement in the corner of his eye caught his attention. It came again, small and white like petals of a flower, raining down softly.

"Ohh... It looks like snow..."


Ending A/N: I am seriously crazy for starting another story when I have five other ones to attend to, but dammit if I just need something dark to write -falls over-

Your thoughts would be pleasant -shuffles feet-