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

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.

FEATURE : Thank you to Marionette-Rui, SasuSakuxRoyAi, Skittles-Obsessed-Wolf-Girl, and Panthershade for adding this FanFiction to their alerts and/or favourites!


Today had started out so well. They'd gotten in touch with Komui through Lavi's golem early that morning (Timcanpy's records were being examined back at the Order, much to Allen's discomfort, so he was without his curtain-eating friend[3]). Afterwards, he and Link had retrieved all their stuff from the hotel, informed a panicked Finder that they were indeed quite alright, and had returned with a marvelous load of food. One minute, everyone had been cheerful. The next, Link had decided to get straightforward; and, just as things were calming down, the man went further and butted into his and Kira's conversation. Now, not only was the patriarch of the house upset, but so was his granddaughter. And they still couldn't confirm if the family cat was Innocence or not.

Seemingly simplistic missions had a tendency to become quite stressful, and this was indeed one of those cases. Even with the knowledge that even thinking such a thing could be bad luck, the cursed boy laying upon his quilts couldn't help but think, what more could go wrong?

[ Chapter 7 ]


"You can't avoid war forever. Preach all you want. Preach peace and love and tolerance until you inevitably get dragged into our chaos. Welcome to reality." (TSFE)

Running. Running. Running.

The wind whipped through the young girl's tangled, dark brown hair, and her breath caught painfully in her lungs. Her toes and heels slapped against the stone below, and she turned yet another corner.

Run away.

Run away.

Why was she running?

Was there something chasing her?

Kira didn't know - all she could fathom was that she needed to run. She needed to run as fast as she could and get away from - what?

Violent explosions rocked the sky. Kira yelped as she tripped, the earth bucking wildly beneath her. She scrambled back up, only to set her frightened eyes upon tall grass set aflame, brilliant red and orange tongues of fire licking eagerly at the night.

When had she gone to the wheat fields? Hadn't she just been in town?

Thunder rumbled through the air, and Kira felt the malicious presence nearing. Bare feet slipping in the mud beneath her, the brunette staggered off again, stumbling over stalks of torn up wheat and ground.

And then there was light. The scream threatening to rip from her throat was choked down as lightning cracked through the atmosphere, casting a sharp white flash across the torn field around her - and that was when the shadows jumped forth. They lunged, and the teenager felt fear finally burst forth from her air-deprived lungs -

She was in the dining room. It was quiet, aside from the slow tick-tick-ticking of the grandfather clock nearby.

Tick, tock.

Tick, tock.

"That must be a good book."

"It's rather boring, actually."

Tick, tock.

Tick, tock.

"This coffee is rather cheap, mitt barnbarn. Why would you buy such a brand?"

Kira looked up from what she was reading - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen[1]. Her grandfather was making a funny face, having taken a sip from his flowery, porcelain teacup and clearly not pleased by what his tongue had been greeted with.

Wait. Why was he drinking coffee in a teacup? Better yet, where had the coffee come from?

Tick, tock.

"Grampy, we don't have coffee," Kira voiced, tilting her head in confusion and arching a brow. "You never drink coffee."

"Of course I do," retorted Grampy, turning his frown from his teacup and to his granddaughter now. "I've always had coffee in the morning," he insisted.

The teenager stared at him, stumped.

Tick, tock.

Did her grandfather overdose on his medication, by chance? Kira sighed, deciding to worry about it later. She wanted to . . . what had she been doing?

Tick, tock.

The young girl stared down at her empty hands. She had had something in her grasp earlier, she was quite sure. A book, right? What book had she been reading?


The clock struck five. Such an early morning.

She needed to find her book.


Taking no note of the clock ringing in her ears, Kira's blue eyes scanned the room for the item of her inquiry. She soon spotted it far off to her right, lying on the couch in the living room all the way across the entrance hall. Bernie was there too, that old cow, munching on Lavi's headband.


Standing up from her chair, Kira ignored old Bernie and went to retrieve her book, only to pause in the entrance hall just before she entered.


The living room.

It was empty.

No couch, no book. No Bernie or chewed-on headband. All that remained was an empty room with papered walls and a few scorch marks here and there.


Dumfounded, the teenager just stood where she was, stock-still in the entrance hall. A meow interrupted her absolute confusion, however, and upon looking down, Kira found Chikita gazing up at her. The little cat's eyes were a bright blue, rather like her own eyes, now that Kira thought about it. Funny, she thought Chikita had amber eyes.

"Neh, Chikita, what happened to the furniture?" asked Kira, crouching down to look at the kitty.

The little feline's whiskers twitched before she opened her mouth, revealing a bright pink tongue and snowy white teeth.

"I ate it."

Oh. Well, then.

Kira sighed. "You shouldn't eat the furniture, Chikita," she chastised, patting the cat on the head. "Why would you do that, anyway?"

"The guests want to take me away," replied Chikita matter-of-factly, giving a quick lick to her chest and ruffling the white fur of the cross-shape there. The black feline looked back up, reasoning, "So I ate the furniture they sleep on."

Take Chikita away? Kira stiffened. Their guests were going to take her little friend away?

"Most intelligent creature I've come across."

The voice made her jump, and Kira whirled around to find Link staring down at her. When had he gotten so tall?

"She has a curious marking too, that cross on her chest," he continued, turning his red-hued gaze to Chikita. The little cat hissed, arching her back.

"I don't care how much she interests you," snipped Kira, crossing her arms. "She's my friend, and you," she emphasized, poking the blonde man in the chest, "can't have her!"

"How long have you had Chikita?"

"I . . ." the young girl paused. "A long time - what's it to you?"

"If you find anything strange or unexplainable, please inform us of it immediately," the man stated simply.

"Why, I don't think-"

"The dishes are done, Kira!"

The brunette looked around Link's tall frame to find Allen holding a dish in one hand and waving at her with the other. Was it just her, or was the emerald cross on his left hand glowing through the fabric of his glove?

"Thank you, Allen!" Kira called back. "We're about to eat dinner, so you'll need to go back to the attic."

"Ah, about that," laughed Allen sheepishly, rubbing the back of his white-haired head. "Your cat ate the entire top floor."

Kira stared at the older teenager aghast. "What-?"

At that moment, Chikita let out an ear-splitting yowl. Kira turned around just in time to see the cat grow to an impossible size and lunge -

Thunder shook the ground - lightning split the sky - she was running through the back streets of Newton-in-Furness - a turn here - a dead end! And then the shadows burst forth, suffocating her -

"Kira! Kira, wake up!"

Something firm grabbed her shoulder. Kira immediately jerked away, sitting up quickly. Looking around wildly, she held a hand to her chest, trying to calm her fluttering heart. It was only as the haze of her dream drifted away that the young girl met two pairs of eyes - Allen's silver and Chikita's amber.

A few panicked seconds later, and Kira recognized her surroundings - her room. The brunette calmed, leaning back against her bed's headboard, holding a hand to her forehead.

So Chikita hadn't eaten her room after all.

. . . What - WHY would she have even believed such a ridiculous thing?! Chikita couldn't eat her room, let alone furniture!


Oh, Allen was looking at her worriedly. Had she said something?

"Huh?" she blurred, still pulling herself back into reality.

"You were having a nightmare," explained Allen slowly.

"I was?"

"Well, you screamed . . ." the cursed boy trailed off, leaning back as he began to question his assumption. However, his words jolted Kira's memory of her dreams.

"Oh, sorry," she muttered, embarrassed. "Did I wake you?"

"I was already awake," answered Allen reassuringly, smiling at her concern. "But are you alright?"

Kira paused, recollecting her thoughts. Her white-haired guest waited patiently, sitting on the side of her bed, whilst Chikita moved to curl up into Kira's lap. The young girl stroked her little feline's fur, instantly feeling much, much better.

"Yeah, I think so," she finally answered.

"Would you like to talk about it?"

Kira looked up at the boy in surprise. Recognizing her reaction, Allen rubbed the back of his head in a nervous gesture - the same one in her dream, Kira noticed with a concealed twitch.

"Ah, I mean, it always helped me when I had nightmares to talk to someone," clarified Allen, immediately picturing his beloved foster father. Admittedly, Mana could be rather odd sometimes, but the man always knew how to cheer him up.

"I don't really remember the nightmare anymore," Kira replied sheepishly, fisting her covers. "And the rest of it was . . . ah, too strange to mention."

Allen raised his eyebrows, but inquired no further.

"Some fresh air ought to do me good," added the brunette, untangling herself from her quilt. The cursed boy nearby her moved off the bed, giving her more room.

"Sounds good," agreed Allen, now turning to tidy up his makeshift bed. Kira had disappeared behind her curtain to get dressed, not bothering with her own bed's mess. Allen, having gotten used to the sloppiness, politely did not comment on it. He had offered to make it before, and that offer had been received with a blunt, but amused, comment of, "You're not my maid, Allen."

Consequently, he had kept that in-mind, as now that he contemplated it, Lavi would have had a field-day if he found out about it. Allen could already hear the maid jokes, and it made him hang his head in exasperation.

Suddenly, he remembered this morning's breakfast (well, his morning snack, that is). Allen had briefly chatted with Kira's grandfather, and amongst the mentionings of some festival or another in a nearby town, the old man had thrown out a complaint.

"Your grandfather said something about needing some more medication," the cursed boy commented, flashing a glance at the curtain Kira had disappeared behind. He could just barely see the girl's shape behind it, rummaging around.

"He always waits till last minute," came a sigh-filled response. "Guess that means I'll be going into town . . ."

"Link and I could come with you, if you'd like," offered Allen, recognizing a not-so-excited tone of voice from his host.

To his surprise, the brunette peeked out from behind the curtain, blue eyes wide.


"Yeah, sure," confirmed Allen, giving her a smile. Clearly, Kira didn't like going alone to town; though the reason for that was beyond Allen. "We can multi-task since we still need to get information on the Innocence we're searching for," he concluded, finishing his bed.

Kira paused, her eyes going a little distant. Allen glanced back at her, noting her hesitancy.

"Um, Allen . . . are you and Link friends?" the girl finally asked, fisting the curtain in her hand a bit.

Well, that was a question out of nowhere. Caught off guard, it took Allen a bit to form an appropriate response. Were Link and him friends? Allen could certainly consider the blonde man a friend, though he wasn't quite positive if the feeling was mutual . . . Link had definitely lightened up since they'd first met though. Hell, now that the cursed boy thought about it, he had opened up to the man back in Paris, telling him briefly about Mana[2].

"Well," the Destroyer of Time started carefully, "on a certain level, I guess."

Wow, this was more awkward than he'd thought.

"In truth, he's sort of supervising me."

Allen froze. Why had he said that?

"Supervising? Why?"

Kira was giving him a funny look, and the boy resisted the urge to shift nervously. He didn't want to lie to the girl, not after all she'd done for him and his comrades. It simply wouldn't be right, would it?

Thankfully, however, his host seemed to catch on to his uncertainty.

"N-nevermind, Allen," she said quickly, disappearing again behind the curtain. "We'd better hurry if we want to get into town by noon."

Allen exhaled in relief. He didn't know how he could have explained the complexities of his situation to Kira, especially with her limited knowledge of the basics. Locating his money, as he did every morning, the cursed boy was just putting it away when Kira stepped out, dressed in the simplistic clothes of a blouse and pants. The dark-skinned girl headed for her mirror, but paused.

The thought 'should she take her cloak?' flashed through her mind, and Kira froze in shock at such hesitancy. Without further ado, she grabbed it, slipping her arms through the sleeves and tying the strings at her neck.

Just because Link and Allen knew about her condition and accepted it made no difference in the townspeople's reaction. No point in egging on trouble any further than she already had over the years, entering into town against the people's comfort. Honestly though, it wasn't her fault she needed to supply food and medicine for her grandfather. If they were so worried about her possible "contagious skin disease," they could just stay away. Stay away, like always . . .

Allen was at the attic door, waiting for her. Kira noticed he was wearing a dress-shirt, not the cotton shirts he and Lavi had been borrowing, as well as a black coat slung over his arm. Had these clothes come from one of the suitcases he and Link had recovered from their hotel?

Kira, pulling herself from her thoughts, kept her hood down for now and took the polite boy's offer to head downstairs first, Chikita following at her heels.

"Do you think Lavi will want to come?" she asked over her shoulder to Allen, having exited the stairs.

"Depends where."

Kira about jumped out of her skin, as the voice was practically right in her ear. Her head snapped to the left to find Lavi leaning against the doorframe of the kitchen.

Where had he come from?[3]

Her surprise at his out-of-nowhere appearance was replaced by nervousness. However, that prickle of anxiety disappeared quickly, as the eye-patched teenager didn't comment on the black patch of skin on her now visible face.

Funny that the ones that "fought demons" accepted her skin problem, and yet her own townspeople didn't.

"We're going into town to get Kira's grandfather some medication," announced Allen, appearing behind Kira. The aforementioned girl noted half-mindedly that her white-haired guest was slipping on that strange, red-trimmed black coat she'd seen on him and Lavi the first night they'd arrived. This one, however, clearly was a second coat, as the one before it had been ruined, as far as Kira knew.

"In that case," started Lavi, a grin appearing on his face, "sure! I'll come with ya'll - just lemme grab my-"

"Oh, no, you don't, Red-head!" exclaimed the aged voice of Grampy from the living room. Lavi's posture went from lax to stiff, having de ja vu of Bookman as Kira's grandfather limped up to them through the kitchen, the staff he used when overly stiff (or needing to wack someone) in-hand. "You're helping me rebuild a new rocking chair after that little stunt you pulled yesterday!"

Lavi deflated, reassured that he wouldn't be getting a panda-jiji[4] kick to the head today, but still disappointed nonetheless. "Aw, come on, Gramps! It's not my fault that little devil cat dodged out of the way in time!"

At that moment, as if summoned by his very words, Chikita appeared, pouncing out from the shadows of the stairs and landing on Lavi's spiky, red-haired head. The startled bunny didn't even have enough time to let out a shocked yelp as the small, black feline snatched up his green-blue bejeweled, black headband[5] in her teeth and bolted off. Allen and Kira laughed aloud as Lavi jetted after the cat, letting out a string of multi-language and colorful curses as he did so. Grampy, meanwhile, stiffly followed, yelling after Lavi to not break anything else or they'd be "having rabbit stew tonight!"

It wasn't long before Link appeared, muttering about the racket. After a quick breakfast (much too quick for Allen's tastes, though he wouldn't say that outloud), the trio set off to town, taking a lone dirt road lined with wheat fields. The sun's warm rays beamed down happily, giving everything a bright glow, and a warm breeze tickled the tall, golden-colored grass around them. A completely different scene from the dream Kira had had . . . what had that scene been?

Kira removed the uncertainty from her mind. If that scene, whatever it had been, opposed the peaceful surroundings around her, it must not have been a good one. Therefore, she turned to Allen, who seemed quite at ease compared to Link's silent, constant observation of their surroundings. Soon, she and the fellow teen had struck up comfortable conversation, and in no time her white-haired guest had explained the basics of the Black Order.

"So," started Kira, clasping her hands behind her back, her whicker shopping basket bobbing behind her, "Exorcists of the Black Order are people who are chosen by God to hunt Akuma?"

"Yes," confirmed Allen. "We also have the duty to find Innocence, which is the second reason we came to Newton-in-Furness."

"Okay, but what exactly is Innocence?" asked Kira curiously. She couldn't think of anything that could be called "Innocence," aside from the obvious, nor had she heard of anything like it. "And why is everyone searching for it?"

"Innocence are fragments of what we call 'the God Crystal,'" explained the white-haired teenager, remembering Komui's own explanation to himself so long ago. "These fragments were scattered all over the earth after the Great Flood."

"You mean 'Noah's Flood?'"

"Yes, and each Innocence fragment has a kind of power that can only be controlled by Exorcists. The power of the Innocence can destroy Akuma and save the souls trapped within them."

"What does it look like? Innocence, that is?" continued Kira, still unable to picture the object of their discussion. So far, all she could fathom was pieces of broken glass - something fragmented, at least.

"Well, Innocence's raw form is like . . ." Allen paused, trying to find a way to explain. "It's sort of like a glowing jewel surrounded by moving, glowing gears?" he tried, sweat-dropping at the funny look he received in response. "It's hard to explain," he ended hastily.

"So where's your 'glowy jewel?'" inquired Kira, unable to hide her amusement. "D'you keep it in your pocket or something?"

Was it just Allen, or was Link repressing a snort?

Trying to regather his wits, Allen muttered something unintelligible under his breath before lifting his left arm and removing the white glove hiding the segmented flesh beyond his wrist. Kira's eyes immediately locked onto the emerald green cross gracing the back of his hard-skinned hand.

If she'd had any doubts about the trustworthiness of her guests' words before, those doubts were long gone.

"Only its basic form is a . . . 'glowy jewl,'" echoed Allen, his lip twitching as he resisted the urge to smile. It really did sound funny. "Innocence can take the form of many things - from jewelry to basic house-hold items." It can even take the form of animals, he added silently, thinking better than to say so outloud. No need to bring back the tension from last night.

"But your's is your arm?" concluded Kira, blue eyes moving from his black limb to his gaze. She suddenly looked uncertain. Allen couldn't blame her - his arm wasn't exactly "visually pleasing."

"The rarest form Innocence can take is that of a part of the Exorcist's body," stated Allen. "Mine is my entire left arm."

Kira eyed his arm again for a moment.

"You . . . did you lose your left arm to get it?"

Realizing the subject of her weariness now, Allen shook his head, gesturing a negative with his hands. "No, no. I mean, I don't think so," he added hastily, rubbing the back of his head. "I was born with it."

Kira seemed to relax a bit at that. Losing a limb to receive a weapon hadn't been a good image in her head. But then, having your arm as a weapon in the first place was sort of scary too, wasn't it?

"What's it like?" she asked suddenly.


"Like . . . what's it feel like," restated the cloaked girl, motioning to his left arm. Allen had now rolled up his uniform sleeve a bit, letting her examine his limb more clearly.

"It used to be quite stiff," answered the cursed boy, deciding not to get into the mess that was his Exorcist career. While he hadn't lost his arm to receive his Innocence, he had technically lost it before it had evolved into Crown Clown. "But Innocence, in choosing its Accommodator and becoming an Exorcist's weapon, has a synchronization, or bond, with its wielder. Since my bond with my Innocence has grown, it's become less stiff. My left arm is basically like any other left arm, except, well, visually."

"And in how it destroys monsters," added Kira, eyeing him as if he'd forgotten something important. Allen gave a sheepish smile in response.

Kira suddenly turned to Link, who had been walking silently alongside them.

"What's your Innocence look like?"

Link seemingly hadn't expected to be addressed, as he looked back at her for a moment, taking in her question with blank eyes.

"I am not an Exorcist, Miss Kira," he replied finally.

Kira blinked once, remembering Allen's earlier words. Hadn't he said Link was his supervisor? So did Exorcists have supervisors? Why would they need supervisors?

Before she could ask, Link continued, "Only Mr. Walker and Lavi are Exorcists."

"Lavi's an Exorcist?" repeated Kira, surprised. Though, really, what was so surprising about that? It explained why Allen and Lavi had had matching uniforms unlike Link that first night she'd met them. Or, well, met Link, that is. Lavi and Allen had been unconscious.

And to think, she'd actually thought Link was some kind of nobleman, and Allen and Lavi his traveling companions! That conclusion was waaaay out the window now.

Allen's response broke her from her reverie.

"His weapon is a mallet," explained Allen, amused by her reaction. "I'm sure you've seen it? Chikita's tried to steal it once or twice."

"That little toy hammer?" guessed the brunette, now really confused. She couldn't help but picture her little kitty gnawing on the object. If anything, it was more like a toothpick. How could that be a weapon?

"It grows into a much larger hammer," the cursed boy next to her chuckled, as if reading her thoughts. "Ridiculously large, actually," he added, sweat-dropping.

"Well, then," muttered Kira, taking in everything that had been explained thus far. She really didn't know quite how to take in some of the details, but they would have to do for now. She had more questions! "So about this Millennium Earl," continued the young girl, "Is he after the Innocence fragments to use against the Black Order, your organization?"

"Not exactly," replied Allen. "Like I said, Innocence can only be controlled by Exorcists; and since it destroys the Earl's machines, the Earl looks for Innocence to destroy it."

"Why is the Black Order and Millennium Earl fighting against each other?"

This time, Link's interest seemed to perk slightly, as he flashed a look over to the two, still dutifully keeping pace at his charge's side.

"There are a couple of reasons," said Allen thoughtfully. "We fight to stop the creation of Akuma by the Earl and the destruction the Earl has planned for humanity."

Kira frowned. "I don't understand though. Why does the Earl wish to destroy humanity?"

A kind of quiet settled. Allen appeared to be thinking over her question carefully - and he was, in fact. Many times, he had questioned the entirety of the Earl's true motives. He was an eccentric character - absolutely mad, really. However, in light of the Noah Family and recent events, he was quite positive in his conclusion.

"Hate," God's Clown finally replied. "The Earl has a deep hatred for Innocence and humanity as a whole."

Kira resisted the urge to put forth another inquiry of "why." It wasn't the most light-hearted of topics, and she figured what ever deep, dark history the Order and Earl had between each other, it wasn't pleasant. And yet, "why" continued to childishly circle in her thoughts. What had happened for the Earl to acquire such deep-seated hate? There was always a starting point for war, wasn't there? Surely, this couldn't be like her storybooks where a character was just pure evil; there had to be a cause for it, right?

So deep in her thoughts, Kira barely realized in-time that they were closing in on Newton-in-Furness. Quickly, she pulled her hood over her head.

"We're here," she announced quietly.

The young girl could practically feel the prick of Allen and Link's stares, obviously confused by her reaction. Though, by the time the two concentrated on what was ahead of them again, Kira felt a new onslought of gazes - hostile and unfriendly - as they entered the small town. It only got worse as they went through the busier parts, passing by a small bakery and shoe stall amongst other such shops.

"Fresh bread! Warm and filling!"

"Cheap and affordable! Try our newest pair of traveling boots!"

"You must be mental if you think that's cheap!"

Led by their cloaked host, the exorcist and his watch kept close, though it wasn't entirely necessary to do so. The small crowd of townsfolk was keeping well-away as they went about their shopping, shifting to keep a comfortable distance between themselves and the moving trio.

"Kira . . . why are the townspeople like this towards you?" asked Allen, becoming unnerved by the whispering and indignant noises by those around them. It wasn't as if he wasn't used to negative attention, not at all. But for once it wasn't his white-hair and curse in the spot-light. It wasn't him that was the focus of attention, but the cloaked girl next to him.

Surprisingly enough, it wasn't Kira who replied, but Link instead.

"Fear of the unknown," the blonde man concluded, turning a red-hued gaze to his charge. "Though you are cursed, Walker, people can wrap their minds around such a condition. If anything, they may merely perceive your mark as a scar and nothing more. However, as for Miss Kira, they know nothing of the skin disease she carries."

Well, he hit that nail on the head. The rest of the trip to the town pharmacy was spent in contemplative silence.

Kira's shoulders were hunched over, and she was trying her darndest to appear as small as possible. Luckily, today wasn't too busy an evening; after all, it was festival day down in Floraston[6]. However, regardless of there being fewer people, it still felt like a year had passed by the time she and her guests were out of the line of unwelcoming stares. They finally reached their destination - a small, red brick building, the pharmacy. Only once they'd entered did Kira relax.

"Kira! It's a pleasure to see you!"

Kira unveiled her face from her hood and looked up to see one of the few people in town that accepted her. Doctor Phillip stepped forward with great strides and scooped her up into a bear-like hug. The young girl laughed through the tight grip of her doctor, trying not to make a face as the strong smell of antiseptic upon his clothes attacked her nose, followed by the underlying scent of morning coffee.

"It's been weeks since you last visited," continued the doctor, finally letting go of Kira. "I'm guessing the old man needs more medication?" he suggested in his booming, but kind, voice.

Kira smiled and nodded, brushing herself off. "Yes, sir. He waited till last minute again."

The bald, white-coated man laughed. It was then, however, that he noticed her companions. Doctor Phillip raised his bushy blonde eyebrows in inquiry. "So who are the newcomers? Have you made some friends?"

"Oh!" Kira blushed, having forgotten to introduce her companions. She motioned to each of them in-turn. "This is Allen Walker and Howard Link. They're travelers and currently guests at our house."

Doctor Phillip's eyebrows didn't lower. In fact, his brown irises almost appeared to lock onto the shining silver cross on Allen's breast.

"Travelers, hm?" echoed the bald man. "I thought I heard a rumor about your kind of folk being in town."

"Nice to meet you," offered Allen, overlooking Doctor Phillip's choice of words and giving a small polite bow of his head. He figured the man was probably a friend of their caller, though he didn't remember reading about any other Order supporters in his mission assignment folder.

Both Allen and Link shook Doctor Phillip's large hand, and then, along with Kira, they were led off to sit on a bench whilst the doctor disappeared behind the counter to get Grampy's medicine. Heeled feet tapped against the floor as nurses moseyed about and patients checked in. Pharmacy terms were thrown left and right, and medicines were traded off constantly.

"Just a little dab of this-"

"Turning to ash? Well, stay away from fires, you nitwits!"

"Burns? Oh, that wheat fire reached your lands?"

"Yeah, he slipped while using a kitchen knife, silly bloke."

"Wait till the infection dies down, okay?"

"The shadow attacked me! It had huge claws and teeth-"

"Oh, quiet. Everyone knows that shade[7] is a tiny little thing. Hasn't hurt a fly from what I've heard."

"Well, you heard wrong!"

"I guess you believe it glows blue too, huh?"

Every so often amongst the chatter, gossip, and business, a nurse or two would slip by and converse lightly with Kira for a minute before being pushed back to work. While Kira didn't know the names of most of them, they certainly seemed to know her well. Likely, they'd met her as a baby, or while she'd been too young to remember their faces.

"Is Doctor Phillip your family doctor?" asked Allen, offering conversation as another nurse left to the beck and call of a patient, muttering something about "superstitious fools."

"Yes," confirmed Kira with a small smile, fiddling with the basket in her hands. "He and my mother were friends. The doctor only moved to Newton-in-Furness a few years ago though."

Allen made an "oh" sound. He had half the mind to ask Kira about her parents, but thought better of it. She lived alone with her grandfather, after all, which pretty much insinuated . . .

An indignant tug gripped his left eye.

Kira was watching a few townsfolk meander in, muttering about the "shade of Newton" again. It was at that precise moment that her ears caught the oddest sort of sound coming from her right. The young girl turned to look at Allen, only to find herself gazing upon his left eye - the eye that was currently bleeding into blackness and forming a strange, red target-like pupil. Were those golden gears spinning in front of the organ?


"Allen?" asked Kira, becoming nervous. "Maybe it's just me, but your eye is-"

"Akuma," interrupted Allen in a whisper, his voice urgent and cursed eye locked upon one of the nurses - a woman of about twenty-six with blonde, wavy hair. "Kira, we need to get out of here. Now."

"Akuma?" echoed the addressed girl, blue eyes wide as she looked around herself anxiously. She honestly had no idea what an Akuma looked like. "Where?"

Link, overhearing the teenagers' conversation, was now attentive, his reddish gaze sternly examining the area around them. But it seemed as if Allen was losing his patience, not keen to wait for his two companions to find the target of his eye. The Destroyer of Time stood up abruptly, preparing to grab Kira and drag her out if he must. However, at that moment, Doctor Phillip returned. Kira, without a thought, immediately got up and walked over to the bald man, accepting the medicine from his hands gratefully and tucking it into her basket.

"Thank you, Doctor! I'll tell Grampy-"

A loud chink! assaulted Kira's ears, and something hard pressed against the side of her skull. The cloaked girl's eyes widened in shock, and without moving her head, her blue-eyed gaze shifted to her right. A blonde nurse was standing next to her . . . with a GUN morphing out of her face?!

"Hand over the Innocence!"

And with those words, Kira Renee Malcolm's life changed forever.


"It sounds ambiguous, if you ask me."

"No one's asking you."

"Agh, damn, 'Sprout. That hurt. Right here," Lavi patted the spot over his heart, flinching in mock-emphasis.

"For the last time, Lavi, my name is ALLEN," sniffed a certain cursed boy, crossing his arms. He had been napping - that's right NAPPING - for the first time in ages. And his ecstatic, eye-patched friend had decided to Hi-ban that once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity to smithereens.

"But just listen to it!" chirped Lavi, ignoring the indignant bean's protests. "Hand over the Innocence!" he echoed in a deep, creepy voice, stretching his face as if to copy the malformed appearance of the Earl's machines.

Allen twitched at the imitation of an Akuma. It wasn't that his red-headed friend was bad at it; on the contrary, he was scarily accurate. Metallic, screechy tone and all.

"Like, sorry, mate," continued Lavi, grinning cheekily. "You ain't havin' mine! I don't swing towards Akuma. Except maybe Chomesuke. Oh, and Eliade was pretty hot too."

"What are you talking about, Lavi?" inquired Allen, visibly confused. "You swing at Akuma all the time."

A look of horror - a real one, mind you - crossed the bunny's face.

"What the - that's not even funny, man! I only like older women!" insisted the flustered male. "Human women!"

"What? When was this about women?"

"You . . . you don't get what I mean by 'swinging,' d'you, Allen?"

"Erm, swinging your hammer, no?"

"You poor, innocent Beansprout."

"Sh-shut-up! Stupid Lavi!"

(*I pray I don't have to explain this joke to you [neither the pun off innocence, nor the swinging]. I still laugh whenever I read Hevlaska's first conversation with Allen, pffff).

[1] "Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England." It's basically a novel ridiculing a time period uptight on manners and polite facades. I thought it fit well c: (note: DGM takes place at the end of the 19th century). (info from Wikipedia).

[2] One of the few times (if any) that Allen opens up to someone about Mana. And then proceeds to compare Link a piece of furniture. LOL. (DGM Manga: Chapter 183, Page 18).

[3] Anyone remember the early Lavi days when he'd just pop outta nowhere? (example - DGM Manga: Chapter 31, Page 8). Yeah, I'm definitely incorporating that in this :D Now if only Hoshino would give him back his curl... ;n;

[4] Panda-jiji means "old man Panda." Translations vary, but you can usually find Lavi nicknaming Bookman that :D (Lavi loves his nicknames, after all!).

[5] Ya'll know Hoshino and her colors . . . I've seen a few variations of Lavi's new headband. From green with orange spots that cross, to black with red spots that cross. (DGM Chapter 189 and 171). Personally, I think the red spots is more likely since it matches the uniform, but aesthetically, I just went with green-blue (plus, it brings back the colors of his old headband, the one with fish scales). Merp.

[6] Changed the original "Flora Town" into something sounding more, well, British. Ish. Yeah. This is a fictional place, just so ya know. Looking at the area of Furness, I found a patch of land nearby Newton-in-Furness that looked like it could've had a town at some point, so I plopped Floraston there. I would've used the Abbey, but well, despite how well that'd work, that's an Abbey, not a town. Derp.

[7] "[Shades] can come in many forms, anything from a deceased (or living for that matter) person's or animal's imprint left on something or someone, to something invoked into the "possession" of an object and even sometimes a person." (can't link to the source, but you can find it on Google). Shades can be described as looking like a ghost, or a dark, shadowy mist.

A/N : I know, I'm evil. Gotta love dem cliffhangers! Btw, a big thank you to all my readers (both silent and those who review)~! Thanks for all the views!

Ya'll have no idea how much I love writing out dreams. They're so much fun, especially since they usually make next to no sense, mixing up past experiences and random thoughts into a mesh of ridiculousness that for some reason we end up believing whilst experiencing them. WEWT.

Anerway, I updated early since I'm going to be in Asheville, NC, touring my college of choice this Thursday through, uh, Sunday? Somethin' like that. Though, really, I would've updated early anyway, since I'm eager to get to the fight scene 8'D RAH!

KhaalidaNyx - Thanks! :D Lol, ikr? That's what I love about it! It's not the kind of manga where you can just read through it - it's the kind that hides tidbits, has the craziest plot-twists, and goodness, does it throw you off just when you think you've got the answer! That's one of the many things I most enjoy about Hoshino's work! Kira's grandfather, Grampy, is her FATHER's father, so he's not Mr. Mallory from A FORGOTTEN PAST ;3 Can't tell ya much more than that lest I spoil things! And yes, I did notice that similarity! Though, we know now that Allen had a life before and he was friends with Neah those 35 years ago, I wonder if his younger attitude was his original attitude from 35 years ago? Or was it spawned from Neah's memory? Or was it just from his tough experiences as a "freak" to the circus and those around him? Hoshino needs to update! D: Thanks for the review~!

Sabet163 - Pleased to hear it! :D Yaaaah, but I know how it feels to be reading a story that updates once a week, and then it skips an update and it's like nuuuuuuuu. xD I'm glad that the long chapter made up for it though! I'm thrilled you enjoyed it so much :D Thank you very much, and thanks for the review!

Kaite1211 - Depending on how much I add to the old plotline, you may be finding out earlier just how Grampy knows about the Black Order ;3 As for Kira's parents, we know that her father just walked out one day and never returned, whilst her mother died in a house fire (or explosion, if you will). This has only been mentioned on a vague level, but ought to be detailed soon enough! I think you're getting the two stories mixed up, yeah xD Neither of Kira's parents were Noah (I'm not good with that fifteenth Noah stuff, lmao). I might have to check out The Equine Exorcist now - sounds interesting! :D Thanks for the review~!

Skittles-Obsessed-Wolf-Girl - Here ya go, woman! xD Your update is served! Thanks for the review xD (gawd now I want skittlesss).

Sinopaa - The old SOTF lurks in my "Browse" Gallery, haha. I deleted it from my viewable gallery a long time ago, but not the "Browse" Gallery (oops). I messaged you the link though! Yeaaah, but being of Cherokee descent is nothing more than a quip nowadays. Can't even get financial aid off of it D: -shot- My Grandma is German! . . . that's kinda weird though, now that I think about it. Gramps was Cherokee, Grammy was German? That's quite the mix xD I'm pleased you did! They really are, haha. I'm enjoying adding more scenes between the two compared to the old SOTF xD One of the lovable things about cats, eh? My old cat used to bite off the heads and leave the little bodies on the porch (a;sldkfj). Haha, yeah, I cranked out this chapter early because I'm eager to get to the next part xD Thank you again, and thanks for the review~! :D

Panthershade - I'm pleased you do, and I'm thrilled you like my OCs! ;u; Haha, same! I always thought having a cat Innocence would make things interesting for Timcanpy xD At the very least, I keep the hopes up that perhaps Hoshino will introduce another Parasitic Beast Type Innocence =u=b I'm happy I can do Link justice :D He's really grown on me as of late, and always seeing him as such a stiff and, well, the emotions of a rock in certain fanfictions is a downer :c I mean, yeah, he can be like that, but he's definitely livened up! Thank you! I can't promise any fast update for A FORGOTTEN PAST, but I can assure you that I update SOTF weekly! Thank you so very much for the review~! :D (ps: I love your penname).