NOTE : This is a rewrite of my original SOTF fanfiction, which I have removed from this website. Bla, bla, blah.

NEWS : Check out my deviantART account (ChikitaWolf) for some Kira and Chikita artworks! Also, thank you for over 100 reviews!

DISCLAIMER : I do not own DGM or any characters, plot-lines, sayings, etc, that are in DGM. Thing not mentioned in DGM, however, are copyright to me, unless posted otherwise. Chapter quotes that are completely uncredited are my own.

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(|Recap|) for your convenience

"A healthy Beansprout needs to have healthy fertilizer to grow big and tall," Lavi informed a certain stoney cursed boy. "I'm acting in your best interest!"

"If you don't put away that fertilizer right now I will use Edge End to cut off your ears, stupid Lavi."

"And in growing taller from these nutrients, this fertilizer will solve your unhealthy hostility towards mentionings of your shrimpy height too, so it's a win-win situa- OH SHI-!"

As a cut off screech broke from a terrified exorcist's lips, Link sprang into action. He would be damned if he let those two break anything again!

With loudly whispered chastisements, the dog of Levllie dove in before any more property could be damaged. A few angry 'Sprout punches, muffled bunny screeches, and CROW talismans later, a bruised up, "meeping" rabbit and a no-longer-Black!Allen were dragged out of the kitchen towards the staircase, food supplies in their hands.

And with perfect timing, it was at that moment that Kira's voice sounded from the living room.

"Don't make a mess up there!"

[ Chapter 12 ]

The Fork in the Road

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by." (Robert Frost)

Like a starved squirrel, Allen nommed on his piece of bread hungrily, finishing it off in mere seconds. Lavi watched his white-haired comrade in amusement, lounging lazily at the foot of Kira's bed whilst he picked at his own plate of bread. The eye-patched teen could distinctly remember a time where he couldn't bear to watch Allen eat lest he lose his appetite. Funny how now all he could do was laugh at the sight.

"Neh," started the rabbit idly, "shall we call our Finder Thomas to meet up with us? I think we should avoid what's left of Newton-in-Furness in case our new recruit gets second thoughts from home-sickness."

Allen glanced up and blinked large gray eyes slowly in thought. Licking his lips of remaining bread crumbs, he replied tentatively, "Shouldn't we wait 'til we know for certain what Kira's answer is?"

"Oh, she'll come with us," assured Lavi, propping his head up with a fist. Noticing Allen's arched white eyebrow, he clarified, "Old man Malcolm knows we'll have to take her to the Order whether she wants to go or not."

"Kira's quite stubborn though," Allen reminded the red-head. "If she doesn't want to go . . ."

"We'll just kidnap her Order-style!" said Lavi with a grin.

Allen sweat-dropped, returning his attention to his plate. Picking at a few left over crumbs, the cursed boy tilted his head in thought.

"I had forgotten how forceful the Black Order could be," he admitted.

"You joined of your own free will," agreed Lavi, his visible green eye observing the Crown Clown Accommodator. "Plus, it's not exactly something everyone wants to freely talk about. Not very good for battle morale, neh?"

Allen frowned, not eased even a little by the Bookman Junior's words. The prophesied Destroyer of Time's thoughts fluttered, filtering through memories of the exorcists he'd met. As far as he knew, only Suman Dark and Lenalee Lee had been dragged to the Order against their wills. How many others had, both in the past and the present, been forcefully taken away from their homes? And would Kira become one of them?

"It is an honour to fight in the Holy War," spoke up Link from his corner, scarlet eyes narrowed at the two exorcists on the floor. "There are many people who wish to have been chosen by God as you two have."

Allen felt an odd weight of uneasiness in his stomach as Lavi smiled emptily at the former CROW.

"And there are many exorcists who wouldn't mind trading places with them."

"There are many things, mitt barnbarn, that you are not ready to know," spoke Grampy Malcolm, voice heavy as he leaned back in his chair. The elder closed his eyes, blocking out the sight of a most displeased granddaughter.

"Then why don't we start with the things I am ready to know?" Kira challenged, blue eyes narrowed. It upset her immensely that her grandfather was purposely hiding things from her. She had always known that he knew of things she did not about their family. You'd think the last names scratched off the backs of old photographs would clue that in enough! But to conceal something so important as her cat being God's Weapon? And that she was synced with the Innocence, no less? Those were some details she would've liked to have been warned about!

"Ask, and I may answer, or I may not," replied Grampy, eyes still closed.

Kira was only too ready to oblige.

"How long have you known Chikita is Innocence?"

"Since before you were born."

"So you knew about the Black Order as well?"


"Why didn't you tell me?!" exclaimed the dark-skinned girl. "Didn't I have the right to know?!"

"There was no need," retorted the old Swede, opening his eyes finally, gray-blue irises landing on his seething grandchild. "The Order had no part in your life, and neither did the damned Holy War."

"Grampy, I'm synced with Chikita," argued Kira angrily. "That makes me a part of the War, doesn't it?"

"I did not expect Chikita to synchronize with you," replied Grampy, still as calm as ever. His gaze turned to the cat on the dark-skinned girl's lap, eyes narrowing slightly at the black feline who eyed him innocently. "It was not supposed to happen. It shouldn't have happened."

"Well, it did," snipped Kira from the couch, crossing her bruised and black-splotched arms. "And regardless of it, Lavi says that Akuma are attracted to Innocence - which makes us involved by default for even being near Chikita."

Grampy shook his head, "We were in no danger. Chikita took care of any Akuma that strayed too close."

"It explains the scorch marks in the barn," said Lavi, lazily poking at his fluttering, tear-drop shaped golem. It made jittery movements as it twittered mechanically at him, not happy at being teased.

"All the hay must have been to hide the evidence," theorized Allen, eyeing his friend's half-eaten piece of bread. "Were there any signs of Akuma poisoning?"

"Nah, those scorch marks were old," replied the red-head, grinning as his golem retreated under Kira's bed. "Any pentacles would've long faded away. What I'm curious about is how Chikita managed to hide her presence for so long, and what signaled the Akuma to suddenly gather here last month."

"It is rather odd," admitted Allen, trying to focus on anything but the lonely, half-eaten meal beckoning to him. "Active Innocence attracts Akuma, so whenever Chikita became active to fight in that barn, she ought to have caught the Earl's attention at that time. The Akuma are his eyes, after all[1]."

Lavi scratched his head, humming in thought.

"Considering the age of those scorch marks, the fight must've happened before the Earl became more active - long before he introduced the Noah Family to the War when Road showed herself to Lenalee and you, Allen. Before then it was mostly Level One Akuma and the occasional Level Two that threatened the Order. So, if we were to assume Chikita was capable of taking care of Level Ones with ease as an Innocence not yet synced but acting up, she wouldn't have had too many issues unless the Earl sent a whole hoard of Akuma after her. My best bet though, considering her obvious intelligence, is that she immediately laid low after the barn incident. That leaves room for the Earl to assume that an exorcist was found at her location and brought to the Order, leaving that area no longer of interest due to no more phenomena occurring or attacking his machines. That's just wild speculation, though," the red-head finished his monologic explanation with a shrug. "The Akuma were killed in that barn, so unless Chikita was somehow able to ignore other Akuma coming by and peeking in to see what happened for a week or so, which would take a lot of self-control considering Innocence's urge to destroy all Dark Matter, it's budkiss."

Allen's response was stunned silence. He could only try to process everything his friend had just said, once again reminded that Lavi was much smarter than his jovial, teasing attitude suggested. Unfortunately, the cursed boy's stomach tended to win over his desire to understand things; and just as his thoughts were melding the dump of information together, Lavi's leftovers once again started pleading to be eaten.

"Lavi, may I-"

"You want the rest of my bread?"

Allen blushed sheepishly at the grinning, eye-patched bunny.

" . . . Yes, please."

"I'm quite positive I would've heard the freakishly loud explosions, Grampy," deadpanned Kira, becoming more and more agitated. "Unless you're gonna tell me I was deaf when I was little too."

"Not deaf," retorted Grampy, something flashing in his old eyes. "No, but you were just a child. Children do not perceive things as adults with knowledge and experience do."

"What's that supposed to mean? That a six year-old can't recognize the sound of a giant, ugly machine exploding?"

"You knew not of giant, ugly machines, mitt barnbarn. You would merely think it to be fireworks, or a gunshot."

"I can't believe that," muttered the young girl, shaking her head. "That's way too farfetched."

The Swede across from her chuckled.

"When you were six, you were convinced that the chickens were being chased by fairies."

Kira blushed wildly. "That - that's different!"

"Even after I showed you the culprit in action, you simply couldn't believe Chikita would be so mean as to bully our chickens - just as you wouldn't believe the sound of an explosion to be just that, an explosion."

"But what about the townspeople?" countered an abashed teen, cheeks still aflame."Wouldn't they have noticed something?"

"Grown adults can be just like children, my dear Kira," reminded Grampy somberly. "When they see something they don't understand, they make an excuse for it. It's human nature to try and make sense of things and events that are not understandable, or simply too frightening to admit as possible."

"So what do you think Chikita's abilities are?" suggested Lavi, deciding to give his 'sprout-sized friend a chance to do some theorizing.

Licking his fingers of the last remains of Lavi's leftovers, Allen tilted his head yet again, ivory-white hair sliding across his scarred, young face.

"I suppose they would be like what we heard from the rumours, right? 'The shade that glows blue?' You said Chikita crashed through the front door too, to get to Kira."


"And Kira said Chikita grew in size."

"Good, 'Sprout, you're onto something!"

"My name is Allen, stupid Lavi."

"Specifics, specifics," laughed an amused red-head. "C'mon now, go on!"

Grumbling a little, Allen wracked his brain for more on what they'd gathered, observed, and heard.

"General Nyne's monkey Lau Jimin grows in size too when it activates. Is that common in Parasitic Beast Type Innocence?"

Lavi shrugged. "Parasite-types are rare enough as it is. Throw in the sub-type of Beasts, and you've got an area with a large lack of data and understanding."

"Well, Kira said Chikita grew," repeated Allen, "so I suppose Chikita has the same concept as Lau Jimin."

"But no Innocence is the same, my dear bean!" reminded Lavi cheekily as he shook his finger at an annoyed cursed boy. "Perhaps Chikita can grow, but she'll have different abilities than Nyne's monkey."

Allen sniffed, too vexed by Lavi's insistence of continuing with nicknames to entertain the Bookman Junior any further with his guesswork. Flashing a glance at his designated stalker and noticing the plate in the blonde man's hand, he decided to take on a more satisfying activity.

"Neh, Link, are you gonna finish that pastry?"

"So what now?"


Kira turned away from her grandfather, blue eyes settling on the purring fur-ball kneading her tummy with small paws. With a heavy hand, the young girl ran her fingers through Chikita's black fur as her thoughts recollected themselves. The little black cat's purrs rumbled forth, filling the quiet room.

"What happens now?" Kira rephrased quietly.

Grampy Malcolm leaned back in his chair, interlacing his fingers as his old gray eyes settled on his dear, dear granddaughter.

"What do you think happens now, mitt barnbarn?"

If she weren't so exhausted, Kira would've scowled. She had lost all her fight by now. Sleep's tendrils, aided by the day's struggles and surprises, were beginning to constrict around her body, making her feel heavy, her thoughts muddy.

"I don't want to leave," the fourteen year-old murmured somberly. That was one thing she was certain of.

"Kira," started the Malcolm patriarch, leaning forward in his chair, "ever since you were a child, you have babbled on and on about how you wanted to see the world, to travel to places you've never been, just like your father."

The black-splotched teen's blue eyes went blank, her voice empty, "Father never came back."

Grampy's gaze softened with old grief, and his jaw clenched. For the longest time, the elder Swede was silent. Kira's tired gaze flashed a glance at her last remaining relative, suddenly feeling a twinge of guilt for her thoughtless words. However, before that guilt could move her to say anything, Grampy Malcolm's eyes hardened again, and he straightened himself in his seat.

"You will go the Black Order, Kira."

Kira stared at the elder, absolutely dumbfounded. His statement was so sudden and backwards from what she'd expected that it took a good minute before it actually settled coherently in her brain. And when it did, shock jolted through her system, chasing away the sleep and exhaustion from her limbs and thoughts.

"W-WHAT?!" Kira blurted out, earning a surprised screech from Chikita and claws in her already battered shirt. Ignoring the pricks of pain, the girl lurched up from the couch. "You can't be serious?!"

Grampy appeared to ignore her outburst, instead taking that moment to stiffly rise from his seat and limp through the hall into the dining room. Kira stared out blankly at the doorway he'd disappeared through, numbing shock still gripping her system.

Grampy was making her leave? Why would he do that? Didn't he want her to stay here with him? Or did he think it was too risky?

Kira felt the hair on the back of her neck prickle at the thought. However, just as she made up her mind to get up and go after her grandfather, he returned to the living room, a towel-wrapped object in-hand. Kira watched him silently, blue eyes wide and questioning as he set the bundle onto the wood table in front of her.

"This," he started gruffly as he removed the towel, "is something your parents left behind for you. I saved it for them in case something like this happened."

Her parents? Kira's breath caught in her throat. "You mean-"

"Naturally, you probably won't be able to get into it easily."

Confused, Kira turned her gaze from Grampy and to the table. Blue eyes blinked in surprise as she took in the sight of a fairly ornate box shaped like a small chest, slightly burnt at the edges. It was in focusing on the burn marks and the cut-in designs that the brunette realized it was a puzzle box, about a ten inches long, and less that wide.

"Your father always did have a thing for puzzles," murmured Grampy, amusement clear in his saddened voice.

Kira felt her gut twist, emotions she wasn't familiar with surfacing. Swallowing them down, she shifted on the couch (earning some grumbling mreows from Chikita) so she was sitting on the edge facing the table. Grampy handed her the box, and the exhausted girl noted idly that it was rather heavy.

Because it's made of wood, or because of what's inside? she wondered, eyeing the box's indents up close. When she looked up from her cursory inspection, she realized Grampy had left.

And so had Chikita.

Feeling cross at being abandoned by not only her grandfather but her cat with little answers, Kira returned her attention to the item in her hands. As she ghosted her sensitive fingers over the woodwork, the young girl felt an irregularity. Bringing the box to eye level (frowning again at its weight), Kira spotted three deep claw marks.


Now that she looked closely, it appeared as if a panel had once been in this spot on the front of the chest-like puzzle. Kira twitched, putting two and two together as her nail dragged down each thick claw mark. If Chikita broke this puzzle box . . .


Kira jumped as her finger hit something at the second claw mark, pushing it down. She watched with wide eyes as almost immediately three small cubes jutted out from the left and right side of the box with another loud click. Kira pressed tentatively at one of the protrusions, noting that it shifted some back into the box with pressure. She licked her suddenly dry lips.

"But Mummy, which ones do I press first?"

Her mother's laughter was musical. Clear and light and amused.

"Take a guess, my little one."

Without the slightest hesitation, Kira's five-year-old pudgy fingers pressed on each jutted out cube at the same time. They clicked into the box in her hands with a satisfying clink!, and immediately music started playing from it. Little Kira gave an excited squeal at her success, making her mother laugh again.

"Just like your father - when in doubt, press them all!"

Kira blinked away the sudden prickle of stinging tears as a couple more clicks sounded within the puzzle box in her hands. She removed her fingers from the pressed in cubes, and they stayed put as a small drawer popped out of the back of the box. Turning the puzzle around, Kira examined the three by three inch flat square of wood now sticking out. In the center was a cross, and the top three spikes ended in three small holes.

Big blue eyes widened, and a four year old Kira let out a cry of delight as she danced around on unsteady feet. A small silver bracelet jingled loudly in her chubby, dark-skinned fingers.

"Bracelet! Mummy, Papa gave me a bracelet!" the little girl squealed happily.

Her mother smiled, a beautiful smile that glowed with love.

"Yes, Kira. Your father loves you, and that's why he's given you something so important. Don't ever forget it, and Heaven forbid, don't lose it!"

Heart pounding, Kira scrambled off of the couch, flinching as her body protested.

The bracelet! Where did she put it? She couldn't have lost it, could she?! The brunette scowled, going through the dining room cabinet in vain. She froze as a new thought occurred to her.

Had she lost it in the fire?

Kira swallowed, her throat dry.

Surely not? No; no, she remembered it being returned to her. Yes, the fireman that had rescued her had later brought her all of her surviving belongings.

Leaning against the dining room table, the dark-skinned girl calmed her fluttering heart as she blocked out the memory, focusing instead on what she had done with the bracelet afterwards . . .

Kira's blue eyes shot open.

The chest at the end of her bed!

Without further ado, the brunette ran back into the living room, grabbed the puzzle box, and raced towards the steps leading up to the attic, anxious and eager. It was only once Kira burst through the doorway that she happened to remember that Allen, Lavi, and Link had been sent to wait in there.

And she tripped.

[1] I'd have a citation to the manga for this if dgraywiki did. Unfortunately they neglected to leave one. And I'm too tired to look for it haha.

* a lot of the information in this chapter is gleaned from DGM; it would be hard to cite it all. Some of it is also my own hypothesis from looking at the direction DGM is going, and citing all my reasons for that would take forever too lmao. Hope ya'll don't mind this time around.

A / N : I realize it's been a long time once again. I actually wrote this chapter a while ago, but couldn't find the motivation to upload it. Since I'm halfway done with the next chapter, I'd like to upload it next week or the week after, if that makes up for anything haha. Depends on my fly back to home schedule.

In this particular chapter, I explored a few different areas. Last chapter expressed the reasons why the Black Order would forcefully take a prospective exorcist; this chapter actually takes a turn to show why this hasn't "concerned" (per-se) the people of the Order; in addition, the struggle for the family, as well as the exorcists, to decide what to do.

The next chapter should be a wrap up to start a new arc!

I'd like to give a warm thank you to all the supportive reviews I received. I really appreciate it, and they are the reason I've finally uploaded this chapter. Thank you so very much;;;

And thanks for over 100 reviews! I'll need to make it up to ya'll somehow hmmmm ~

Ella Unlimited - I can confidently say that it was upon reading your review that I finally decided to update. Thank you so very much for your words. I wish I could express just how much I appreciate the review you left me, but alas, I can't spazz and hug you through a computer screen (though, for your health, that's probably a good thing). Just, thank you, Ella. Thank you, thank you, thank you *heart*

fleeting . white . feathers - Glad you found the time! As well as to leave a review! I don't mind at all if you use my notes; they're canon in DGM, after all! Certainly not copyright to me, haha. Good luck on your fanfic too! Oh, I actually switch nouns on purpose xD I get bored reading the same noun over and over again, so I break the rhythm to not only to spice it up, but to describe the characters's looks and details in another way. I hadn't thought that some people may view that as a writing error, haha. Thank you very much for the feedback! I appreciate it!

NirvanaFrk97 - I think annoying is an understatement. Allen had to chase the damn thing from Newton-in-Furness to Floraston, then battle it in the midst of a crowded, panicking festival. His stress level was probably over 9000 LOL. I also often envision Allen with his British accent, occasionally slipping up when he's pissed; I was disappointed when the dubbed anime didn't give him one. I haven't found a reason from Hoshino that's led me to believe he doesn't have the accent, at least, haha. Thank you for the review!

myangelicladyofdarkness - LOL, I think a lot of people would be having GTFO moments there xD Thanks for the review!

Kaite1211 - Glad it inspired thought! Amg, that was actually one of my maybe ideas - Kira's mother being Grave of Maria. But to be honest, I'm wary of contemplating that idea until we know more about Cross's past, as well as Maria's :'D I have a feeling Hoshino's got a doozy planned for that area of DGM, and I certainly wouldn't want to ruin it! You're definitely going at a good start! The story certainly relates to the Malcolm family in some way - either Kira's mother, Kira herself, or maybe an ancestor? One of your guesses for the "mysterious, dark stranger" is spot-on ;) I'm loving how much thought you're putting into the story, and I really wish I could give away more and say absolute yes/no to your suggestions without ruining the fun lmao. You're really close though with many of your theories! I'm sorry I made you wait for this update, but I hope it's as thought provoking as the last! Thank you very much for the wonderful review *heart*

Sabet163 - That's quite alright! I'm sorry for not updating lately :'D Thank you so much! I'm glad I achieved writing them accurately ;v; And amg you're making me blush alskdjfalskdjf *rolls all over the place* I'm flattered you think so ;;; Ahaha it's totally easy to be lazy while reading xD Depends on the writing style of the author lmao. Thank you very much for the lovely review!

MiraculousBlooming14 - Oh gosh, thank you so much. I'm happy you're back into DGM! I personally find it a little hard to find too many good fanfics these days for the fandom :'D Thank you very much for your support and the kind review, Sachiko!

Panthershade - Now the question is, is Kira truly Chikita's accommodator? ;D Oh gosh, Chikita getting into mischief at the Order is an understatement xD I'm planning to write a lot of fun stuff for her adventures there lmao. Yep! Kanda will show up, and I was also asked to include him more in the story, so I'll be working on that too. Lenalee of course xD Thank you! And Thank you for the nice review!

I've got Rhythm in my Soul - I'm so unbelievably sorry for being a sucky updater, so we're even xD GOTTA LOVE LIFE. I couldn't agree more on how the manga expresses Innocence's intelligence and possible sentience. You've defined it well! Ahahaha, glad you caught the Chikita - Kira's pain connection xD It'll be major important as the story progresses! Regarding Kira's empathy to the Akuma's pain like Allen's, I figured since Allen was the one who explained it all (Akuma and their creation) to her, she'd have a slightly different view - more empathizing - than the other exorcists lD We need more sympathizers lmao. The Earl wants all fragments of Innocence, and considering Chikita is Innocence, yes, he'd want her xD Indeed, a truly Gothic tale! And I agree about it reminding of the opening theme to Edward Scissorhands :'D Allen impaling innocent people to kill Akuma 101 LOL. Human-Akuma shish-kabob. FFFFF, the way you phrased "Awwww... Lavi really loves his friends doesn't he? What a lonely boy. Yet Allen is the loneliest one of all." just about killed me ohgawd the feelz. Yes, all good things will come in time xD Though I'll shout out and say one of your guesses to who mystery man is is spot-on! LMAO, Kira's father, of course xD I never said it outright, but a few people found out on their own or managed to get me to tell them lmao. You can actually find the answer by looking on my deviantART account and finding Kira's written bio - I say it plain as day there. SCAVENGER HUNT TIME *shot*. I will certainly keep those flashbacks of Arianna and Neah in this version; I personally love those a lot, haha. Ohgawd, you hit that last thing spot-on too. So spot-on. I can't even describe. You are awesomeness. Thank you so very much for the fantastic review, thoughts, theories, and well wishes! I hope you had a marvelous Thanksgiving and Christmas too!