So, it's been awhile, no? I just can't school and write. *has no time management skills* Anyways, so here's a new chapter at long last, and because it's been such a long time I made it extra long for you lovelies~! I don't own DGM or characters. Onwards~!

Chapter 12: Stranger Danger

Third PoV

Kanda stormed out of the classroom as soon as the bell rang, not waiting or caring if it wasn't the bell that dismissed them but the teacher. He vaguely heard Ms. Klaud calling his name. She could go to hell for all he cared.

I guess I was happy for a while... I do remember my friend, Road... Kanda kept his hand trained on Mugen's hilt, dark eyes glaring at anyone who dared to some much as look at him in his fury. Though it was only the middle of the official school day, Kanda exited the tower building. His thoughts swirling, there was only one place he knew he could sort it out. Why did Road's arrival bother him so much? Why did her actions towards Allen make his blood boil? Make him see red?

"We told each other everything. She was always there..."

Allen's words rang in Kanda's head as his frustration grew. He came to the clearing in the woods, and almost immediately felt some of the tension leave his body. The trees welcomed him, were uncomplicated. The naturalness of the woods, the unspoiled beauty of nature relaxed the tense samurai.

Unsheathing Mugen, Kanda swung the katana with precision, slashing his opponents, destroying them. He relished the destruction of these imaginary foes, the smoothness of his strikes, the order and flow of the motions, the feeling of power it gave him. It made sense. It worked. Unlike his mind. His mind ran wild in his confusion making focus on the forms near impossible. Kanda grit his teeth, and sheathed Mugen, recognizing the futility of his efforts when his mind was elsewhere. Though it was December, it was rather warm, almost pleasant outside; the grass was still green though the trees had lost most of their leaves. Kanda settled under the largest one in lotus position. He closed his eyes, attempting to calm his thoughts or at least make sense of them.

Ichi, eight years ago, the school, Kanda's PoV


I started at the voice, that familiar voice, one I had been waiting for, had been wanting to hear for so very long. Cautiously hopeful, I turned towards the voice.

"Well aren't you going to say hello to your best friend?" Alma laughed, running over to me and trapping me in a hug. "It's been too long~! Four entire years! Did you realize it had been that long, Yu? I missed you so much!"

"Tch. Baka." I grudgingly returned the hug. Alma peered at him curiously, pulling away slightly.

"Aren't you happy to see me?" Alma's eyes saddened at my typical lack of exuberance.

"You ought to know the answer to that." I scoffed, tugging Alma back to me. Alma's face broke out in his signature happy-go-lucky grin.

"You've got to meet Lenalee! She's the nicest person here, even you'll like her." Alma had half-dragged me all over the school to introduce me to the "nicest people" Alma had ever met. I had about had it; I had really missed Alma and his annoying friendliness, but this was ridiculous. "Yu, this is Lenalee! She's one of my best friends, too! Lenalee, this is Kanda Yu; he's the friend I was telling you about from Kawasaki."

"Hi, Yu! Nice to meet you," Lenalee said hesitantly, having already seen my glare of death.

"Don't call me that. It's Kanda." I deadpanned, earning a smack from Alma. Sighing, I attempted a smile, ending up in more of a grimace. Lenalee laughed.

"It's ok, Alma; Kanda's probably tired of being introduced to so many people at once. Why don't we go play by the tree?" Lenalee pointed to the large oak towards the back of the playground, noticeably far from any of the other children. "So, Kanda... Alma told me you met in an orphanage?"

"Tch. Yeah, what of it?"

"I don't know... I guess how'd you get here? Kawasaki is really far away!"

"Tiedol moved here, no choice." Alma smiled at the new name.

"Tiedol? Does this mean he's your foster now?" Alma's voice bubbled with excitement; he knew how many placed I'd been, how many had sent me back.

"Yeah, the old man's crazy. He hasn't sent me back yet.." I scowled, thinking about Tiedol and his eccentricities.

"Are you surprised? Do most people send you back?" Lenalee leaned against the rough bark of the tree, clearly not understand how the foster system worked, unaware she was treading very dangerous waters.

"No one stays. They all leave. Everyone sends fosters back. No one wants us." I explained, Alma nodded in agreement.

"Maybe Tiedol is different," Lenalee smiled, more optimistic than even Alma. I scowled, doubting her words with my entire being. "You never know. Your fosters could be different this time. Alma's been here for...?"

"About four years." Alma shrugged, allowing Lenalee to persuade him. "She's got a point, Yu. They could be different."

Four years later, Kanda's house

"You're what?!" Alma exclaimed. "No, no no! You can't be leaving!"

Lenalee smiled sadly. "It's true; Niisan got a new job at a school. We're leaving tomorrow morning."

"Tch. Fuck it." I glared at the girl, gripping Mugen's handle tightly. Over the past four years, Alma, Lenalee, and I had become best friends, against my protests. Now she was leaving, just like everyone does...

"You two take care of each other, ok? And keep in touch! I'll send my clipboard after you if you don't!" Lenalee laughed through her tears as she hugged us both before disappearing out the front door, out of our lives.

Present day

"So, if you would just sign here, Road will be officially enrolled as a student. She's seems like such a bright girl, I'm sure she'll fit right in. You said she already knew one of our other students?" Komui passed several forms to a man sitting in a chair across Komui's desk.

"Oh, yes. She is quite bright, doesn't like homework though. One of your other students... Aren? Aiden? Something like that, was a close family friend once upon a time. My darling niece does miss him so, never knew what happened to him after his uncle's untimely passing." A finely dressed dark haired man responded with a small smirk.

"Terribly sorry to hear that. Reunited at last~! Road could have a happily ever after~!" Komui gushed, completely oblivious the slight edge to the other's words.

"But of course, our family will have it no other way. Happily ever after..."

I'm in love, with a fairytale, even though it hurts, cause I don't care if I lose my mind, I'm already cursed

Lenalee, Allen, Lavi, and Road walked together through the halls; Lenalee beside Lavi, Road still clinging off Allen. Curious eyes tracked their movements; everyone wanted a glimpse of this strange new student. Road didn't seem to mind their attentions, rather she reveled, using it as an opportunity to put on a bit of show. She clung to Allen's shoulders, he effectively carrying her; she played with his hair, whispered in his ear, kissed his cheeks and neck. She grinned mischievously at anyone who was brave enough to meet her eyes.

"So.. uhh? Road, I take it you know Allen?" Lenalee interrupted Road's antics due to her growing discomfort with the scene Road was creating.

"Mmhmm~" Road swung herself around Allen's shoulders, so she was now being carried bridal style by a slightly uncomfortable Moyashi. "We grew up together for a while. He was my best friend before some shit happened."

The quartet arrived to their shared science class. Lenalee, Lavi, and Allen took their usual seats; Road settled on Allen's lap once again. Allen glanced around the room, noting the strange absence of a certain blue haired male and an insane scientist.

"Hey Lenalee, where's Komui?" Allen asked, wrapping his right arm around Road's back to keep her from falling. "He's usually having a breakdown over how much he missed you about now."

"Niisan had a meeting with Road's... I don't actually know.. Someone to enroll Road officially." Lenalee replied, taking the opportunity to scoot closer to Lavi.

"Oh, is that why Tyki came too? He said something about a meeting, too."

"Tyki? Who's Tyki?" Lavi asked, taking one of Lenalee's hands in his own.

"Tyki's my favorite uncle~! Actually, he's Allen's uncle too.." Road said, glancing at Allen.

"Wait you two are related?!" Lavi's eyes nearly popped out of his head as he recalled Road's public display of affection a few minutes before.

"Not exactly, Lavi. Mana, my adoptive father, had a brother, Neah, who was part of Road's family; therefore, by relation we are, but not by blood." Allen laughed, lightly squeezing Road in an effort to let her know not to say more.

"Wait.. so Neah was part of your family.. But not Mana? How does that work?" Lenalee looked at Road, her confusion evident on her face. Road smiled cryptically.

"It's complicated. My fam-" Komui came bursting through the door at that moment, effectively ending the small conversations around the room.

"OH MY SWEET PRECIOUS LENALEE~~! I MISSED YOU SO MUCH~! HOW COULD YOU ABANDON YOUR OWN DEAR NIISAN~!" The man gripped the poor girl around her waist, tears streaming down his face.

"Niisan! It's been an hour!"

"YES AN ENTIRE HOUR~! HOW COULD YOU LEAVE ME FOR SO LONG~?!" Lenalee rolled her eyes while attempting to extricate herself from her older brother's hold.

"You have a class to teach! Get off!" A resounding smack echoed through the room, as the infamous clipboard came down.


"I'm sorry, brother. You left me no choice." Lenalee looked truly regretful, as Komui took up his position at the front of the room.

90 minutes later

"My head hurts~! Is his class always like that?" Road whined to Lenalee after Komui dismissed them. She had experienced Komui introductory barrage of science question, and had done rather well compared to most new students.

"No, not usually. Though I think he's a little disappointed you knew a lot of the answers." Lenalee laughed. "Hey why don't we go into town for a while?"

"Sounds good to me, Lena-lady! You in Allen?" Lavi asked, glancing around the hall as he spoke.

"Yeah, sure. Does anyone see Kanda?" Allen replied distractedly, also looking around at the sea of faces. Said samurai was still noticeably absence as were his cluster of fangirls. "He looked really pissed.. Ah well, he'll come back soon."

The four of them walked down the cliff, and into the quaint, familiar town's equally as familiar pizza parlor. Lavi and Allen went to select a booth, leaving the girls to get the food.

"Oi Allen, you know what I'm going to ask, right?" Lavi grinned mischievously at his friend.

"No, Road and I aren't like you and Lenalee, contrary to her affectionate behavior; that's just how she is with people she's known forever." Allen replied with his signature smile. Lavi nodded sagely, but let the subject drop as the girls rejoined them, talking a mile a minute.

"So, I saw the cutest outfit in this store; it would've looked so cute on you!"

"I just love that designer! Her collections are always so perfect!"

"And they always go so well with heels or flats or whatever!"

"The versatility of her stuff is the best~!"

Allen and Lavi exchanged a glance. Lenalee took her seat next to Lavi, and Road next to Allen. They both paused to take a breath, cutting off their stream of consciousness discussion.

"So, Allen was telling me you two have known each other for 'forever'. Small world isn't it?" Lavi put an arm around Lenalee's shoulders, turning his attention to Road and Allen. "Allen's never mentioned much about himself, so naturally I'm just dying of curiosity."

Road's eyes widened in surprise, throwing a glance at Allen. Allen quickly put his hands up in a gesture of surrender.

"It never came up..."

"Uh huh, sure.. We'll go with that.." Road snarked before turning her attention back to Lavi. " Allen's dad was Neah's brother. The family relationship between them and us is way too complicated to get into unless you have 7000 years of time to explain. So, anyway, when Mana and Neah went off somewhere, Allen and I would play together at my house. Or when Mana worked and Allen was too young to go with him, my family played babysitter."

"Oh, ok, so you two are related?" Lenalee asked.

"No, not by blood. Allen, you want to explain it?" Road pouted. "It's too much effort~!"

"Fine, I'll do it. The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh Road?" Allen laughed, wrapping his arm around her shoulders to coax her smile back. "Ok, so Neah and Mana are blood relatives, and that's about where the blood relations in our family stop, excluding the twins. If you think about it like a gang, that's kinda how the family works. The Earl's the head of the family, and he's the only one who can admit more people to the clan. Everyone was 'initiated', for lack of a better term, by the Earl. Neah was chosen by the Earl to be part of the family, but Mana wasn't. That caused a lot of tension in the family because other members didn't like how close Mana and I were to them, without being part of the family. But when Mana died, the family just disappeared."

"A gang?! You're in a gang?! You looked so sweet and innocent!" Lenalee looked aghast, her eyes wide and mouth rounded in the perfect "O" shaped.

"No, silly~ Allen was just using a metaphor~! My family is unique in the way it operates; there isn't really an apt comparison, but Allen did very well. I'm surprised you remember so much. We were only, like, seven?" Road snickered. "But you did leave a few things out~! Each member of the family is identified by a name and a number, and for simplicity's sake I'm just going to use the numbers. Five and I are the adopted children of Four and his wife. Four and Three are blood brothers as well as Ten and Eleven. One and Fourteen are father and son. I hope you all will get to meet them all soon!"

Lavi and Lenalee remained silent, their minds working at a rapid pace to process the information Road had just given them.

"So, lemme get this straight. Ten and Eleven are bros; Three and Four are bros. And then One and Fourteen? So how'd ya chose the people to be 'initiated'? And where's Allen fit into this?" Lavi crossed his arms over his chest, thinking hard. "I get the whole 'extended family' idea, but this just doesn't make sense..."

"I told you it was complicated. Neah was Fourteen; Mana was Neah's brother. Allen is the nephew of the original Fourteen; therefore, if the Fourteenth should die, Allen has the option to come take his place. All the people are chosen that way. When the Original member dies, their living relatives are scoped out for the best replacement. Don't ask why; I don't know." Road spoke quickly, her voice was serious. The aura around the table darkened. There was something she wasn't telling them.

Deep inside your eyes it shows, You've been lost for too long

So, as usual R&R! and honestly, if you have any suggestions, please let me know; it's be greatly appreciated. I'm planning on getting the next chapter written by mid-March? so that's like two weeks? Idk, my dates are all fucked up and too lazy to get a calendar. (I work at Kumon and when we get kids' work ready, it's a week ahead of the current week, so I'm working under the assumption it's 2/23-3/2) OH ALSO! WHO'S GOING TO MTAC ANYONE? ANYONE AT ALL? WANT TO KNOW THINGS~! because Ankhesa's going ^.^

Love and Starbucks, Ankhesa