Chapter 3:

Dinner was, to say the least, extremely awkward.

Even Dio, who had lacked actual human contact for God knows how many years, knew the tension was so thick it was hard to breathe. Maria and Aya kept giving each other uncomfortable looks, and Dio mostly stared at his untouched food. No one tried to make much conversation, and the blonde man was sure he heard moaning coming from the basement at one point, which Maria excused herself during.

When she came back, the groaning had stopped.

It was now well into the nighttime, and Dio honestly wanted nothing more than to sleep and forget the days trials and tribulations. Sleep was good, he knew. When he'd been alive, he wasn't one to take naps—he would have much rather been out there living. But then he'd died, and when he could sleep he'd dream, and he much preferred his dreams to reality. So it was needless to say that all the boy wanted was a comfy bed and the ability to get some good shuteye.

Unfortunately, he had a job to do. And Dio was not one to shirk his duties.

And so he found himself outside of Aya's bedroom door, pacing back and forth across the short hallways, hands tucked behind his back, and wondering what his next move would be. (Man of action!)

Shaking his head, he approached the door and raised his fist. He brought the hand down to knock on the wood, but he found his knuckles touching something soft instead.

When he looked up, his fist rested against an aghast-looking Aya's forehead.

He jumped back a good foot, stuttering out apologies. "I-I'm sorry. I didn't think that—I mean, you weren't supposed to open the door first, you're supposed to open it after—"

The girl waved him off with a wiggle of her fingers. "Don't worry about it so much, it was an accident," she pacified. Then, she smiled, an alluring upturn of her full lips that made his heart skip a beat.

What were these feelings? he wondered. He'd never quiet felt anything like them. Before his untimely demise, he didn't get to experience much, and he figured being dead and all would lessen his emotions, but it seemed he was not that lucky.

"Why are you up?"

Realizing rather belatedly that Aya had asked him a question, he blushed. "I wanted to speak with you," he said.

The petite, black-haired woman bit her bottom lip and looked at the clock on the far wall. "Do you have somewhere to be?" he asked.

"O-of course not," she answered. It was clearly a lie. She was dressed, and looked rather awake. She couldn't be going to bed. "But it is rather late."

Dio frowned. "It's important," he assured. Aya tried to disguise a sigh as a yawn, but he caught it. Jaw clenched, she gave him another smile, this one forced. She stepped aside and motioned him into her room with a sweep of her arm.

He entered the modest bedroom, looking it over. It was simply, really, with a dresser with which sat family photos, a vanity set up with an array of perfumes, a bed, and a rabbit cage. On the far side was a large bookshelf that held a large collection of books and a small desk. Dio thought the room suited her.

"You can sit anywhere," she said, and he walked towards the desk chair and sat, but eyed the bed first. It sure looked comfy.

Aya sat down on the bed and faced him, hands folded on her lap. "What's up?" she asked casually.

Oh, he wished this could be casual.

"You have to know why I'm here," he said, to which Aya shook her head, looking truly lost. "Your mother sent me."

"You talked to Mom?" she asked, back straightening. A look of fear crossed her pretty features before they were replaced with confusion. "What did she want?"

"You really don't know?" he asked. Alright, now he was troubled. Did she not realize what she was doing was... wrong?

Maybe not.

He leaned forward, elbows on his knees. "What do you keep in your basement, Aya?"

She had the decency to blush at the acquisition. She got very, very quiet then, staring at her own dainty hands. It was a few minutes before she spoke.

"I keep what I have to."

It was Dio's turn to sigh. "Aya, you don't have to do anything. You saw your father's demise, do you want to end up like—"

"Don't you dare speak of Father!" she shouted, making him jump. She flew to her feet, walking towards him with her hands on her hips. "You don't understand; you don't understand the perfection that I can make with these people. Ugly, beautiful, young, old, it doesn't matter, I can make them so utterly perfect together and it's lovely." She smiled once more then, and it was true, but it was a cruel, sadistic grin that frightened him. "I could make you perfect, Dio."

"Aya—" he stood, back up against the desk. He needed to get away from her. She really was crazy.

"No, no. Don't fret," she said. "I won't make you a doll—I want you alive. But I could give you another eye. Then you'd be perfect—so handsome! What color eye do you want, Dio?" I have all sorts of them. You could pick."

"I don't want—" he looked around desperately. He needed some sort of weapon, some way to defend himself if Aya got too insane. She was speedily reaching that point.

"Don't be shy!" she exclaimed, that manic grin still across her mouth. Then, a look of understanding lit up her features. "Oh." she said. "I understand."

A breath of relief escaped through Dio's lips. Thank God.

She spun on her heel, towards her vanity, and began digging through the drawers for something. Raising a brow, Dio was about to ask what for when she faced him again. A scalpel was clenched in her tiny fist.

"You want my eye."

His remaining eye widened. "No!"

"Yes!" she laughed then, and it was utterly terrifying. She pressed the sharp object against her cheek, just under her socket. "I'll give it to you, you know. You saved my life so many years ago; it's the least I could do for you. I could always get another eye, but you having mine... you'd be so perfect."

Not knowing what else to do, he raced towards her and knocked the surgery tool out of her grasp. It clattered to the ground and she looked at him in surprise. "What are you doing, Dio?" she asked. "I thought you wanted this."

"I don't," he said on hitched breath.

Pure confusion shone in her blue eyes—both of them, even the one she almost lost. "But..." she trailed off.

Dio realized he couldn't deal with her tonight. And maybe not at all.

But he was going to try.

"Go to bed, Aya," he said, a small smile on his lips to comfort her.

She shook her head. "I can't, I have a job to do."

"Skip it for the night," he bargained. She glanced off into the distance for a moment, but then nodded.

"One night," she assured, and then started walking towards her bed.

He nodded back at her. "Goodnight, Aya."


Her turned towards her, and she was glancing at the ground. "Will you stay with me?" she asked. "Just for the night, I promise."

It was probably a really bad idea.

(Man of action!)

"Of course."

She grinned, and it wasn't crazed, but relieved. She threw back the covers on her bed, and pushed over towards the far side, near the wall. She patted the side next to her.

Having nothing more to do, Dio climbed in after her.

"Goodnight, Dio," she murmured, closing her eyes, seeming to drift off already.

"Goodnight," he said, but she was already asleep.

A/n: Crazy!Aya had made her appearance. Oh boy.