Facing Truth

Allen had tried what he could to stop it, to prevent that of others from dissipating with his, but… time was running out. And soon, he would have to make a decision.

"Tim! Find him in the air! We have to—" He stopped when he saw that he was alone; the golem had disappeared.

Just as he was about to turn back the way he had come, something pink barreled into him, and he staggered back as thin arms encircled his waist and a head of black folds landed on his chest. He blinked as a bag of sweets was thrust into his face. "Ah, gomen ne! Here, have some!"

"Sorry, I don't…" Strange. Hadn't he heard this voice before?

"Uhn! You'll need it more than I do in a bit, ne? Allen-kun." A sudden cold weight dropped in his stomach, and he quickly shoved her away. "How—?"

The girl inquiringly tilted her head up at him, and as she did, he got a good look at her face. A chill went through him as he gazed into familiar amber eyes set in a wild frizz of pink hair, and as the realization dawned on his face—she smiled at him. "It's been a while! I'm Kumori, remember?"

First Johnny and Kanda, then the sort-of akuma-girl, not to mention Apochryphos the sentient Innocence that was probably only one league away. What next, sentient Dark Matter?

"Gambatte ne, Allen-kun!"

He stared agape as the girl quickly pranced the other way. "Where are you—"

"I found you~ 3"


Kumori sighed as she landed on the roof of the building. It was too bad for Allen, but she had to leave him behind. He'd be fine though—he was Nea's replacement, after all.

Hugging him had made the heat in her tummy go away at least, so that was good. She'd have to apologize to Lenalee though, if she ever saw her again. If Kyoko and Reever had been any indication, Lenalee wouldn't appreciate what she'd done either.

The smile on her face dimmed a bit at the thought of her friends. There was also Jerri, and Komui, and…


Were they friends still? She thought they were, but with all the things that'd happened… maybe they weren't. Even so, she'd bought candies of all of them. But then Wisely had gone and fell in the river and lost it all. He'd bought them again, but they weren't the same as the first ones—they weren't special anymore.

Something nudged her in the side, and Kumori shook her head, waiting until the pink locks had all settled down again before she smiled down at the rabbit. "If it's the same thing but not the same one, it's still fine, ne, Pichoncho? It's not fake—"

A sudden awareness ran through her, and a familiar feeling of oppression descended upon her. Whirling around, she stood up and faced the two Noah, a small sliver of relief filling her when she saw that it was the two boy-men from before and not those two—the look-alike and the mind peeper.


Who had played pretend with her and looked really tasty, like the white chocolate she'd seen in the store and had wanted to buy but hadn't, because her candy friends wouldn't like it.

Her breaths stilled when the two boy-men raised their opposite hands and pointed their fingers at her. A puff of smoke, and two guns appeared in their hands. Something shot out at her from the gun barrels.

"What kind of stupid question is that to ask a doll? Of course it's fake."

Her heart made a strange little thump as she flipped into the air and dodged a gooey mass of blue-black, prancing about in a flutter of black silk as shots rang out around her and bruised the world around her.

"Yeah, fake, hii!"

Her light steps faltered as a cool sensation began spreading from her body. "Hidoi yo ne," she called out, smiling as she fell to the floor, the glob of blue on her feet hardening into jagged shards of ice. She winced as dark splatters seeped into the ground.

"Look Jas, our kitty is hurt," the dark-haired twin grinned, suddenly looming above her. The blond rag doll bent forward and poked a finger in the side of her face. "Are we gonna fix her, hii?"

"We're gonna patch the kitty up so we can take her back to the Earl before that white idiot. Payback, for stealing our Innocence before!"

An enormous grin set in on the blonde's face. "I like payback, hii."

Earl? Take her? They were going to take her to the Earl?

"What's he gonna give us, hii?"

She couldn't go to the Earl, not yet. If she did, he might find out about her secret, the one Nea had told her never to tell. Not even at the end.

If the Earl found out, he wouldn't let her fulfill Nea's wish. He would use her to destroy it.

"Maybe we could finally get rid of that annoying exorcist, the one that—"

"No." Both the Noah turned to look at her, and she smiled as disarmingly as she could while she strained her feet against the blocks of ice encasing them. "Gomen ne, but… I'm not going."

The dark twin turned to the other and laughed. "We didn't give her a choice, did we Jas?"

"Hihi, nope! Our kitty's being bad, hii!"

As the ice started cracking, Jasdero and Debitto turned to give the other a leer, and, in perfect synchronicity, spoke. "We should give her a punishment."

They raised their guns again, and pointed. She screamed when the shot rang out.


"Why have you been hiding, Nea~ 3?"

The pain in his head intensified as the Millennium Earl crept closer, and Allen fell to his knees, gasping as his vision darkened, the edges of the world tingeing themselves dark as night as the leader of the Noah clan bulbously expanded.

The Earl laughed. "It's because you found the Heart, isn't it~ 3?"

Allen covered his ears as the laughter turned to sobs. "Why would you give it to the humans, Nea? They have their own. That Heart is ours~ 3"

The ground shook as the Earl rammed himself into the building above them, and Allen groaned as more rubble fell atop of him and the pain in his body blossomed further.

"It's fine though Nea. I forgive you. Of course, Nea~ 3"

No, get up. I have to… have to find…

"Nea~ 3" Allen looked up, and the sky blurred away as the shape of the Earl blotted out the world. "Close your eyes, I'll look out for you. Sleep, Nea~ 3"

And slowly, heavily, against his will, Allen's eyelids swung and fell.


Great wing beats rent the air as Kumori lifted herself into the sky and showered the world with a rain of blood.

"I didn't think she'd actually do that, hihi!"

"Do you need a foot Jas? Here, have two!" Debitto cackled, kicking over the bloody lumps of ice that had been her feet.

"We should save them, hii! Maybe we can put it back on her later, hii!"

She wheeled herself higher as the twins blasted fiery hot globs at her. "Ve-Vermillion Aban…don."

She sighed as the pain receded from her limbs and seeped away, and when it finally disappeared, she whirled around and gave the two Noah a cheeky grin. "Arigato ne, demo… mine'll grow back!"

Not quickly enough though, she thought as dark blood slowly trickled from the frozen stumps of her ankles.

She willed the falling droplets to turn, and turn they did, becoming great bloody shards that split and fractured as they rained down on the rooftop.

"Nasty Blood Oil isn't gonna do anything to us, is it Jas?"

"Hii, nope! But it might do something to her, hihi!"

They turned and looked at one another, a grin spreading from one twin's ear to the other's. "Materialize!"

Kumori watched in wide-eyed alarm as all the blood on the rooftop flattened out and lost their shape, fluidly inching towards one another before stretching and morphing together. When it finally stopped forming and reforming, Kumori was looking at a red blood version of herself, complete with wings, which it used to launch itself into the air at her.

The breath left her body when it slammed its fist into her stomach and through and out. She felt none of it though, only a strange tingle as the congealed blood shook its arm out and plunged it into her again, and again, until she was gasping and trying not to cough up more blood for it to use against her.

"Look, hii!"

"That's seriously weird."

Biting her lip, Kumori wrenched the thing's arm and twisted until there was a snap and the blood limb fell away and splattered the grounds below. Balling her hand into a fist, she pounded it in the thing's head, but all it did was reform after each beating. When she lashed out with her half-formed foot and ended up with the same result, she growled. And as her anger boiled up, so too did the hunger in her tummy.

"Mou! This is so annoying!" she whined. And before the thing could make another move, she opened her mouth and bit it.

"Ew, nasty nasty nasty, hii!"

But she didn't care, and even as it fought and strained against her she chomped and chomped, bit into it and ate away until there was nothing left, not even a drop of congealed blood on her pale hands.

She covered her mouth as Debitto hunched over and pretended to gag. "That's even more disgusting than the vampire!"

"Debi Debi look hii!"

"Wha—oh. Hah! Hahah!" Kumori glowered as Debitto burst into laughter and pointed at her, Jasdero giggling madly beside him. "Have fun, kitty! Hihi!"

"Looks like Eve's done for the moment, so we're going to go finish off that fucker!"

Confused, she watched as the two Noah gave one last hoot before they jumped off the roof. They hadn't caught her for the Earl yet, so why—?

"Boys! You can't depend on them for anything, especially the dumb ones. Not even when it comes to candy."

Kumori whirled around. Too fast, she thought, cringing as the world spun even when she'd stopped, her head getting very light and empty. She'd forgotten—she couldn't feel pain because of Vermillion Abandon, so she wouldn't know how badly she was hurt. She must've lost a lot of blood when…

The rest of the thought flew away when she saw hovering in the air behind her a tall blond woman in a skintight dress. Almost everything about her was red—her dress, her eyes, her lips, which shone like blood in the sun, lips that turned up into a sneer when the ruby eyes set above them met with her amber eyes.

"Wisely never did get the hint about the rabbit, did he? For all he goes on about his wisdom and mind reading he sure is slow. What can I do though, since he won't let me give him any lessons?"

"How… how do you—?"

"How do I know about your little trip around town, even that juicy little kiss down by the river and under the bridge? How else, girl? Just as that old fool Apochryphos knows the will of the Heart of Innocence…" Her blood red lips split into a bone white rictus of death. "…I know what it knows."

"N-No, you… you can't…"

"I've finally found it again, Earl of the Millenium, the Heart that the Fourteenth hid thirty-five years ago," she huskily breathed, and Kumori's heart filled with dread when the woman licked her lips in relish of her fear, the knowledge that they knew. She swayed as her eyes wavered and her breath hitched. She hadn't been careful enough, she realized, and now…

"I've found our Heart of Darkness."

And as Kumori lost consciousness and plummeted to the earth, the woman laughed.


The question of who Eve is must be running through your heads…! Is what I'd like to say, but I have faith in you guys and your skills as readers and deductive reasoning-ers.

I'm debating whether or not to still get rid of Pichoncho, since my friend (I gave this to her to read a few days back and she really likes it, I dunno why OuO) told me not to, when I told her it was gonna die this chapter. Changed my mind, I just thought of something for Pichoncho to do. Fufufu…

Random Minnesotan: Hahah! Rant as much as you want, I do a buttload myself anyhoo! And hey, my friends are in game design too! What kinda games have you guys made? Are they really HD or pixelated? (I guess I'm asking which software you use, hahah). Psht, yeah, I try too (and fail), but hey, at least the authors know we're alive every now and then (or have begun the zombification process). Besides, you haaave… only four other reviewer-competitors, so… no pressure! You comprise 2 of 6 reviews anyway, so you're pretty much good, no worries! Ya know, your review reads sorta like a blog entry, so… why don'tcha go make one? On , so that I can friend you on there and keep up!

^ ^ Oi oi oi! Yall should join Random Minnesotan's Order of the Usagi

|| || Ф and help with the cool rabbit chants/hand grenades!

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C( {8} ) Do so and I'll give throw ya some purple confetti! ˚ ¤ ¨ ° · ᴼ˳*~(ÕωŎ)~*˳ᴼ · ° ¨ ¤ ˚

From here on out things are mine. Well, not like they weren't before, but…

Ah, right. Looked at voice actors and oh my gosh, Kanda is Yukiatsu! From AnoHana! And Lavi is Chika from Zombie-Loan, which I went and rewatched it because of that. It looked better in my memories of it, the anime… But the romance in there seems more homo than hetero, hahah! Though everything starts making sense in the manga.

But I also went through all the old stuff for this (again). Hahah, yeah, I must seem like an idiot! Yes, I now remember that books are to be italicized, not quoted. Hahah, I just wanna bang my head on the tabletop at my idiocy. And for some reason I put Rome, Florence, rather than Rome, Italy… must be because of the Florence arc coming up next, hahah.

Enough blabber and spoilers—goodbye!