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17 June 2008 @ 10:53 am
Fic for musician_cheyne  
Note: Fic was too long, so I split it into two parts. This is part one. For part two, click here.

Author: ketchupblood 
For: musician_cheyne 
Title: for revenge
Characters: Daisya, Kanda, Froi Tiedoll
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine, etc...
Author Notes: I wrote this before the fanbook came out, so this clashes with canon an itsy bit. By which I mean that the concept for this fic directly contradicts canon.

for revenge
by ketchupblood

There was nothing novel about the station, nor was there anything special to see on the train. It was almost spectacular in its monotony; in the three hours since they had first stepped foot onto their little compartment, not a single thing had changed. The train would rumble along for a distance, mostly over farmland though they would occasionally go through an untamed and oh-so-wild bit of prairie, then come to a stop at a station. People would step off, and sometimes they would do so in force and manage to shake the car, but that was rare and wasn't even quite as strong as the normal train rumblings. Daisya knew this, because they had sat through seven of those stations already, and nothing interesting had happened.

At least at the other stations, the old man was there to make things at least a little interesting. All he really did was draw, but Daisya could occasionally entice him to do something fun. Now, though, he was all alone on this stupid car and the stupid worker outside wouldn't let him go out even though the old man had gone out. He fiddled with his bell, rolling it back and forth in his hand and listening to the little tinkling noises it made. The air was too warm, the open windows did nothing to cool the train car because it was stagnant outside as well as in, and the sun struck the car at just the right angle that the only way Daisya could find shade was to crawl under the seat. He had enough dignity, at the tender age of thirteen, to resist doing so—besides, it wasn't any cooler under there.

The door made a little swishy noise as it opened. Daisya's head shot up and his mouth opened immediately. "It was hot in here," he complained, "and the stupid porter wouldn't let me out and I'm hungry."

He would have said more, but right there, in the doorway, was a boy. It was weird. The boy wasn't even white, he was tan-ish and his hair was completely black. Daisya stared at him mutely. What the hell was the old man thinking, bringing another kid here? Daisya kept staring at him, then his mind kicked itself into motion and he jumped up, the heat of the day and his own discomfort far from his mind.

"Oh hey!" he shouted. "Are you one of those, uh, those Asia-ians? I've never seen one of you before!"

The boy, who had been gazing blankly at Daisya just as silently as Daisya had been staring at him, muttered under his breath and shoved past Daisya to get sit next to the window, across from where Daisya had been sitting.

"It's 'Asians,' Daisya." Froi Tiedoll stepped in and put a hand on Daisya's shoulder, trying to push him back into his seat. "The train is leaving in—"

"Does he have super powers?" Daisya didn't let Froi Tiedoll finish and pointed to the kid with his free hand. "Can he do something crazy and, I dunno what Asian-ia—I mean, Asians—do, but can he fly or something?"

"No, Daisya, Eastern people are no different than—" Froi Tiedoll's voice was gentle, like it always was.

"Because if he did, that would be super cool." Daisya ignored him. "He could catch any ball that anyone ever kicked and I bet he could just kick it right into the goal too, 'cause the goalie would never see it coming! Hey, do you think I could—"

The boy snapped in a weird language, but didn't look at Daisya. Daisya's mouth closed, and he just stared for all of three seconds. Then he turned to Froi Tiedoll and asked, "Hey, does he know any English? 'Cause I don't know what he just said."

Froi Tiedoll smiled. Daisya watched him curiously; his smile was weak and it looked relieved, though Daisya had no idea why. "He spoke in Japanese and told you to be a little quieter. Here, I bought some bread in a store here. You said you were hungry?"

He held out a cloth covered lump with his free hand.

"It better be good." Daisya grabbed it and sat back down. "The last time the bread was really disgusting."

Froi Tiedoll chuckled softly. "Of course." Then he spoke in the same language as the boy, only his words slower and between odd pauses. The boy responded indifferently, yet the words were still smoother and almost songlike. Daisya let the sound wash over him. It was exhilarating, in the way that all new things were. He might have been staring, because the boy glanced his way. Daisya turned away sheepishly.

Froi Tiedoll turned to Daisya.

"This is Kanda." He nodded to the boy. "I've already told him your name, and now you know his."

"Duh I know his, you just told me," Daisya stated with a roll of his eyes. He remembered the bread in his hand and shoved the cloth aside. The bread looked decent, if not quite as good as what Auntie Mary used to make. He took a deep bite and wrinkled his nose. "This sucks."

Froi Tiedoll didn't answer him. Instead, he spoke in Japanese—Daisya vaguely remembered, though he would later learn that he remembered incorrectly, that Japan was a big country right up north—and the boy stared out the window. Daisya heaved a dramatic sigh and took another bite of bread.

-x-


The innkeeper had said that there was a clearing just half an hour into the woods, easily accessible by a small deer trail, but after a good twenty minutes of searching for the trail and another forty of walking on it, there was no sign of any clearing. It was a beautiful day, almost ideal for this sort of search, but it was lost on Daisya. The first bit had been interesting, a treasure hunt almost, but soon the whole idea of walking through the barely marked trail lost its appeal to him soon enough. Perhaps it was just the boredom, or maybe it was the fact that the courage to talk to Kanda that Daisya had been building up for the past two days had finally overcome the solid wall of cold indifference that Kanda had established. Whatever the reason, Daisya chose that moment to slow his steps so that he could be right in speaking range of Kanda.

"So, uh, this kind of sucks," he said.

Kanda didn't answer. Daisya had been alternately running ahead of the other two, sitting to wait for them to catch up, and walking alongside them, but Kanda had been picking his way through the trail steadily if a bit listlessly. Daisya turned around to watch Kanda as he walked backwards. "Do you know any English at all?"

Kanda stared right through him.

"So, uh, I guess that's a no?" Daisya chuckled nervously. This kid was weird. "Oh! I know some Japanese! It was, the word was, konnichiwa, right? The old man taught me."

Kanda kept walking and Daisya tripped over a branch. Kanda didn't stop, just stepped around him and kept going. Daisya quickly picked himself up and kicked the branch, then jogged to catch up. "What? Did I say it wrong?"

Kanda had gotten ahead of him and didn't turn around to even look at him.

Disya rolled his eyes and shoved his hands into his pockets. Kanda was no fun either. What a prick.

The rest of the way to the clearing passed uneventfully. Daisya stopped to drop on the ground at one point and pull his soccer ball out of his bag, which sucked several shirts out as well. He stuffed those back in and gave the ball a kick. The ground was uneven, though, and there were obstacles everywhere. Still, it was more diverting than just watching Froi Tiedoll or Kanda walk around, so Daisya lagged behind chasing his ball. By the time he got to the clearing, they had already put their bags down and were unpacking the tent.

"You boys will train here," Froi Tiedoll said.

Daisya looked around in despair. It was the exact same as every little bit of forest they had already gone through, except that there were no trees around. It was just like a particularly wide part of the path, which he suspected was exactly what this 'clearing' was. "Are you serious?" He whined. Then what Froi Tiedoll said sank in. "Wait. You mean we're here to train?"

"Yes," Froi Tiedoll said.

"This is tiny," Daisya complained, sweeping his hand around. It couldn't have been more than thirty paces left and twenty paces forwards. He didn't mention that Froi Tiedoll had already told him that he would learn through experience. If he wanted to actually help train him, then Daisya wasn't going to complain.

"It's big enough for now." Froi Tiedoll set his pack down. "Help us set up the tents."

Daisya crossed his arms and pouted. "Why me? Why doesn't he have to—"

"Daisya." Froi Tiedoll's voice had a slight warning in it.

He stopped short. Kanda was already pulling the stakes for the tents out of his bag. He moved stiffly and slammed the stakes onto the ground on their sides, one after another.

"Fine," Daisya muttered. "I think he should learn English soon, though. Can't even talked to him like this."

"Maybe you should learn Japanese," Froi Tiedoll suggested.

"Why the hell would I do that?" Daisya wrestled the oiled cloth out of his pack. "He's the only one I know who speaks it anyways."

"You never know." Froi Tiedoll sat down on a stump at the side of the clearing. It creaked under his weight and Daisya would have laughed, but he looked too tired for just an hour long stroll in the woods. "Can you bring over my stand?"

"Bring it yourself," Daisya grumbled as he went to get the painting materials.

"Thank you."

"Whatever." Daisya had no trouble finding the painting stand or the canvases. The paints were a little better hidden—not by design, just by fact—though and the brushes were tucked in between a bible and a math book that Daisya sincerely hoped was not for him. Once he had dug everything out, he realized that he couldn’t carry them all over at once and sighed before grabbing just the stand and carrying it over.

"Hey, when are we going to start training?" he asked.

Froi Tiedoll shook his head. Daisya gave him a confused look, then went back for the canvas and the paints.

After he finished, he went to help Kanda set the tents up, but Kanda ignored him and continued as if he weren't there. Daisya spent some time standing there, holding a hammer and a stake and feeling foolish, before he went to watch Froi Tiedoll paint. Froi Tiedoll wasn't painting, though. He just sat there, staring at his canvas, talking to himself beneath his breath. Daisya tried to hear what he was saying, but he stopped when he noticed Daisya standing there and started to paint. It was just a painting of the clearing, which Daisya was already bored of.

But there was nowhere to go, and Daisya didn't have anything to do. He took out his soccer ball again, but there wasn't enough room to play with it—at least, not without knocking over the tents Kanda had just set up or hitting Froi Tiedoll, who had stopped painting. It was easier in the middle of a bunch of trees, he thought. At least then no one cared what he hit.

It had gotten hot, too. Far hotter than any September day had a right to be. Daisya shrugged out of his coat and toyed with it, twisting his fingers into the fabric. His bell jingled in one of the pockets and Daisya took it out. It clunked around when he moved it, his hands closed too tight around it to let it really ring.

"Stop moping around," Froi Tiedoll teasingly shouted to him. "Both of you, come here."

Daisya jumped up, dumped his coat on the ground, and ran over. "Are we going to start training now?" He asked excitedly, his boredom from moments before forgotten.

Kanda scowled and said something. Froi Tiedoll replied genially, then turned to Daisya.

"Yes, you will." Froi Tiedoll sent a knowing look to Kanda, who looked back emotionlessly. "Do you have your bell—"

"Charity Bell," Daisya corrected him. "It has a name."

"Ah. I'm sorry. Do you have your Charity Bell with you?"

""Yeah." Daisya opened his hand, glad that he hadn't left it in his coat pocket. It saved him the embarrassment of admitting that he had put it down. "Now what?"

"You need to focus on it and make it work for you."

"How the hell do I—"

"It's a part of you, like your legs when you kick the ball or your arms when you grab it."

"You don't grab soccer balls." Daisya told him. "It's against the rules."

Froi Tiedoll gave him a look. "You know what I meant."

"Fine! What do I make it do?"

"Nothing, for now. Just try to feel it."

"What do you—"

"Why don't you go try across the clearing?" Froi Tiedoll gently pushed Daisya away. "Kanda and I need to talk."

"But I don't understand!" Daisya looked from Kanda, who watched Froi Tiedoll as warily a dog watched a fox, to Froi Tiedoll, whose eyes were quietly asking him to obey, to Kanda and back again, then tightened his hand around his bell again. "Fine!"

He stalked away, disheartened by how obviously Froi Tiedoll tried to get rid of him. If he had wanted to talk to Kanda alone, he could have just said so. Stupid adults. Besides, he didn't even have to send Daisya away. It wasn't like he understood the stupid language anyways. He walked around the tent that Kanda had set up and plopped himself down on the ground, legs crossed, and resolutely decided that he was not going to practice or train, and if he died in battle because he didn't know how to make his Innocence work, well, that would be Froi Tiedoll's fault. That would show him. Just to emphasize the point to himself, Daisya took his bell and threw it on the ground.

Even as he thought it, though, the plan seemed stupid to him. Still, there wasn't much else that he could do, since no one else was paying any attention to him. He could hear them murmuring across the little campsite, Kanda's words coming faster and faster. It might just be a Japanese thing, but Daisya didn't think so. Nobody talked that fast normally. He sounded a little angry, too. The more Daisya listened, the stranger he felt. Kanda sounded like he wanted to scream and shout. It couldn't have been anger. Even Daisya had trouble really staying mad at Froi Tiedoll for very long. Not knowing what else to do, Daisya picked up his bell again and shook it to drown out Kanda's voice.

It didn't really get very loud. It had seemed louder in the shop, when it announced something, but now it was just a normal, boring old bell. Kanda stopped speaking. Daisya uncrossed his legs and crawled to glance around the tent, at Froi Tiedoll and Kanda. They were sitting next to each other, Kanda's expression shielded and Froi Tiedoll speaking softly at him. Daisya wasn't stupid; he knew that 'training' was an excuse to get him to leave, and he resented that. At the time, though, he was thankful that he didn't have to get mixed up in whatever drama his master and the other boy seemed tangled in.

-x-


The next day dawned with hope for a tentative peace. The sun was bright, but not overly so, and the air was thick with the smells of autumn. The only failing the day had was that Daisya woke up hungry. They had finished eating the few provisions they'd bought off the innkeeper the day before for lunch and dinner, a fact that Daisya promptly pointed out to Froi Tiedoll. Froi Tiedoll had nodded, obviously distracted, and told him to go on back to the village to buy something. Daisya rolled his eyes, but obediently went to their packs to search for the money.

Neither he nor the old man were particularly tidy, so it took him a while to find the money. By the time he found it, his stomach was growling at him to hurry up and he wistfully thought that he wouldn't survive the trek to the village before collapsing with hunger. He went back to Froi Tiedoll and told him as much, but Froi Tiedoll just laughed and told him to get along, that the sooner he left the sooner he could eat, and to not forget to bring some back for the rest of them.

Daisya would have complained then. This was cruel, after all. Forcing a starving boy to walk for hours on end—never mind that the walk was no more than forty minutes—just to eat had to be a form of torture. But his stomach pushed him forward onto the path before he could protest too much. At least he had a pleasant prospect to look forward to this time; better than a random clearing, anyways. He hopped over a dead tree and tried to remember what the inn had smelled like when they were there. It had been late at night and they had left before dawn the next day. The kitchens had had plenty of time to cool down that night and not enough time to warm in the morning, so he couldn't quite remember if the food smelled like it would be any good. He doubted it, though. It was a tiny little village and there weren't enough people to warrant any really good food.

As he thought about it, he absently kicked branches out of his way. Then again, some villages had really good home cooking and the innkeepers had to compete with that, so maybe the food was really good? Or maybe the farmers came in every once in a while and the innkeeper fed them? There would be more customers then, sure, but would the food—

Someone grabbed hold of his arm and Daisya jumped and kicked out. His foot landed on something hard, like a bone thinly covered in flesh, and whoever held him yelled out but didn't let go. Daisya tried to kick again, but whoever it was caught his foot. Then Daisya dropped the money and formed a fist with his hand and turned to get a good luck at his captor. He blinked, and blinked again. "Kanda?"

Kanda glared at him and let go. He didn't bother say anything, but pointed back at the trail that Daisya must have wandered off of.

"Oh, uh, thanks." Daisya almost blushed a little. "What are you doing here?"

Kanda heaved an annoyed sigh and turned to walk back to the trail.

"Are you coming with me?" Daisya wasn't sure he liked that idea. It wasn't that he had anything against the boy, just that Kanda was unsettling most of the time and Daisya didn't really know how to deal with him. Plus, he had been expecting to loiter in town a little and he didn't feel quite so comfortable doing so with Kanda peering over his shoulder.. "I can go by myself."

Kanda looked at him like he was an idiot. He said something in Japanese and Daisya blushed. Oh, that was why he looked so annoyed. Of course he couldn't answer a question he didn't understand, and if he did, Daisya wouldn't understand him anyways.

Daisya wasn't sure what he was supposed to do to show that he didn't mind Kanda coming along, but Kanda was already walking down the path and, though Kanda's total disregard for him was irritating, he was at least saved the embarrassment of trying to figure out what to do. He trailed along after Kanda, toying with the little pouch of money in his pocket. Maybe they had candy in the inn.

The walk to the inn wasn't as bad as he had imagined it would be, in regard to Kanda at least. His stomach decided to take over all brain function a little after Kanda had found him and it was a good thing that Kanda was there, else he would doubtless have gone off the path again. As it was, they made it into town and Daisya's nose picked up on the delicious scent of home cooking. Some of the townspeople waved at them, but they were mostly too busy to pay the two boys much attention. They headed straight to the inn and Kanda practically ran into the innkeeper's son. He was a young boy, no older than eight, and he looked at them curiously. Kanda stepped around the boy and Daisya followed him, then went to poke his head into the kitchen as he shouted an apology back to the child. "Oh sorry 'bout that, hey, Mr. Innkeeper?"

A plump man in a dirty apron looked over to him. "Hmm? Oh, I think I recognize you. Didn't you folk leave town a while ago, though? Did you get lost?"

"Nope, we're camping at that clearing you told us about," Daisya said cheerfully. "Hey, do you have any food?"

"At the clearing? What on earth are you doing there?" The innkeeper reached for a loaf of bread while he talked.

Daisya's eyes followed his motions hungrily. "Can we have three loaves, actually?"

"Sure. And the clearing...?" He took two more loaves and wrapped them in brown paper.

"Eh? Oh, we're training to be exorcists there." Daisya said absently. "Do you have any meat buns or something?"

"Exorcists?" The innkeeper looked taken aback. He stopped packing the bread for a moment. "Aren't you a little young to be doing something as dangerous as that? Aren't your parents worried?"

"Nope, my idiot parents were fine with it. I dunno if the Kanda has any parents or not, but I doubt they could live with him. He's kinda creepy." Daisya felt almost bad for talking about Kanda while he stood right there, but it wasn't like he could hear anyways. He pointed to a stack of rolls and prodded, "do those have any meat in them?"

"Ah... yes. Do you want some?" The innkeeper took out another large sheet of paper.

"Yes, please."

He worked quickly, slapping them gently onto the paper and wrapping them up individually. "Your parents didn't care?"

"I had to leave eventually, right?" Daisya shrugged. "They thought I might as well grow up sooner than later."

He didn't look convinced, but Daisya didn't care. All that mattered was that those meat buns looked warm, that they were being wrapped up nice and snug, and soon he could tear that wrapping off and take a deep bite.

"The other boy, then..."

"How the hell should I know what Kanda's parents think?" Daisya's eyes never left the bread.

"His name is Kanda? What an odd name."

"Yeah, it's Japanese or something." Almost done, almost done, there!

The man finished wrapping the bread up and was reaching for a basket. "Do you want something to carry it in?"

"Yup! I'll bring it right back, promise."

"All right, then. Don't forget."

Daisya reached forward eagerly. "How much is it?"

The innkeeper handed it to him. "A sixpence will do."

Daisya fished the money out and gave it to the innkeeper, then grabbed the basket. "Thank you!"

He was sure that the innkeeper said something else, but he was already out the door with one hand in the basket. He could hear Kanda's footsteps right behind him, so he slowed down a little. Daisya fished out a meat bun for himself then held the basket out for Kanda to take one, which he did immediately. Daisya pulled the basket back and started walking again.

There were children out now and some of them turned to stare at the two of them. Daisya enjoyed their attention made it a point to smile back at them. The town was probably so small that they didn't even get visitors very often, if they found Daisya interesting at all. The looks they sent his way were slightly curious, even excited. As he rounded a corner, he could see them jostling each other over who would greet the new kid, and he laughed. They looked over.

"Hello!" He said.

A lot of them fell back timidly when he spoke. Some of them refused to do something as undignified as take a step back, but it took a moment for any of them to respond. A girl spoke up first. "Are you new?" She sounded almost defensive.

"Kind of." Daisya grinned. "Hey, do you guys play soccer?"

"Nuh-uh." Several of them shook their heads furiously at the same time as others nodded with equal vigor. "Uh-huh!”

"Why not?" Daisya couldn't understand why anyone would not play.

"It's a stupid sport." One of the not-soccer ball-players said.

"But it's fun!" Daisya protested.

"Yeah!" One of the boys who had nodded said. "I keep telling them that, but they don't listen."

"That's stupid," Daisya said.

"I know!" The boy grinned to match Daisya's smile. They looked at each other and their grins widened.

"Hey, do you have enough for a team?" Daisya practically shouted. He jammed the rest of the bread into his mouth and chewed furiously, determined to have it done by the next time he wanted to speak.

"Really small teams, but yeah!"

"We're not playing soccer!" Someone protested.

"Yeah, we have to go to school!" Another voice chimed in.

Daisya gulped the food down. Oh, right. They still had to go to school. "Hey, when are you guys done with school?" He asked, figuring that it wouldn't be worth his time to argue. He could just come back later. Besides, Froi Tiedoll probably wanted something to eat too.

"Three o'clock," the boy said. Then he ran forward and whispered into Daisya's ear, "Hey, does he talk?"

Daisya didn't understand what he was saying until he remembered that Kanda was still there. "Oh!" He exclaimed, then remembered that they were whispering, though he didn't know why. "Yeah, he just doesn't talk English."

"Oh." The boy sounded disappointed. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah." Daisya turned to look at Kanda. "He won't speak English to me, anyways."

"That stinks." There were footsteps and Daisya could hear them talking.

He didn't take his eyes off of Kanda, though. Kanda was standing stiffly, even more so than normal, and his eyes were narrowed. His arms were crossed and his fists were clenched. Daisya glanced back at the other kids, who were staring at the Japanese boy who was so different from what they were accustomed to, then sighed. "Hey, we're gonna go back now," he called out to them. "I'll come back later to play, all right?"

They looked up almost as one body—it was almost funny. Daisya waved cheerfully, grabbed Kanda's arm, and ran. The bread bounced around in its basket and Kanda's was a little slow at first, not expecting the sudden pull. Daisya didn't stop running or let go until they reached the forest and the little path. Only then did he slow down.

Kanda took the opportunity to wrench his arm away. Daisya laughed and dove into the woods. His bell jangled in his pocket.

-x-


Froi Tiedoll was painting again when they got back. He looked up when he heard them approach and he smiled. "Those smell good."

"They're all right." Daisya picked another bun out and tossed it to him. "Are you actually going to train me now?" He already knew the answer, but if Froi Tiedoll wasn't going to be honest to him about what they were doing, then Daisya would make sure it was as annoying as possible for him.

"Later." Froi Tiedoll promised. Daisya smirked, but Froi Tiedoll ignored him to say something to Kanda. Kanda muttered something. Froi Tiedoll shook his head and nodded to Daisya. "Why don't you try to figure it out yourself for today, all right?"

Daisya was on the verge of refusing, because he didn't honestly think that it would be terribly dangerous for him today—Kanda seemed to be in a good mood, at least—but that was a command and not a request, so he just nodded and went of f to sit by himself again. Almost as soon as he turned his back, he could hear Kanda saying something angrily to Froi Tiedoll and Froi Tiedoll answering in his soft voice.

It wasn't as terrifying this time around. Kanda's anger seemed more in the spirit of complaints than frustrated rage. In the end, it didn't matter. He succumbed to boredom all the same. Again, he picked his bell up, because he might as well figure out what to do with it. He almost laughed at that. Imagine, Froi Tiedoll's ruse would actually happen. Ring loudly, he thought, and tossed it. It rang as it always did. "Stupid bell," he muttered to himself.

-x-


The days fell into a predictable routine. Every morning, Daisya would walk to the village to buy bread. Then he would go back, eating along the way. Once he got back, they would all eat together, then Daisya would go off on and Kanda and Froi Tiedoll would talk, or so Daisya assumed. He had no idea what they talked about, but he had a feeling that any interruption that he made wouldn't help matters at all. He was surprised, then, when he saw Kanda practicing with his sword one day when he was too lazy to go off to the village.

He hadn't seen anyone actually using a sword before, so he asked Froi Tiedoll about it. It turned out that it was Kanda's Innocence. Daisya thought it was a really moldy, old fashioned type of Innocence to have—people used guns now, not swords.

Still, even after this discovery, he would still leave the two of them alone. Kanda never seemed particularly happy to see him and Daisya still didn't know how to react to Kanda, for his part. When he came back, they would eat again, and go back to doing whatever they were doing before. Sometimes Daisya wouldn't be around for the food—he would go into town and play with the kids there. He always ate something once he got back, though. At the end of all that, they would sleep.

Some days, Kanda would go with him to the inn for food, some days he wouldn't. After a while, Daisya realized that this was as much Kanda's escape as it was his own. Kanda seemed to breathe easier outside of the clearing. Daisya couldn't understand why; it wasn't like they really did anything there. The most stressful thing they did was talk—Kanda and Froi Tiedoll, that was.

On one particularly bad day, the innkeeper told him that there weren't even any plain loaves much less flavored meat buns baked yet and by the time the bread was done, it had started to rain outside. It was a chilly day and Daisya hadn't looked forward to going through the rain in the first place. Halfway to the forest, though, the rain turned to sleet and he had to run. When he got back, Tiedoll took one look at him and the next thing he knew, he was confined to the tent.

He curled up under his blankets and Tiedoll's as well, shivering and not planning to go anywhere anytime soon, confinement or no. Kana and Tiedoll were in the tent as well and had been there since the rain had started. As he rubbed his hands together, Daisya realized that he could understand what they were saying, partly. After a bit of effort to focus on what they were saying, he realized that Tiedoll was teaching Kanda English. His last thought as he drifted off to sleep was that maybe it would be interesting to learn Japanese.

-x-


There were a few strange days, though, when Froi Tiedoll grew almost fidgety. On those days, he wouldn't let either of them out of his sight and, though Kanda didn't seem to mind, Daisya found staying in that tiny confined area suffocating. There was nothing to do, either. Kanda practiced with his sword and Froi Tiedoll painted. Daisya knew Kanda's routine by heart now (slash down, bring sword up, slash down, bring sword back up...) and Froi Tiedoll painted the same thing over and over again.

Still, the old man was better than nothing and Daisya just chatted with Froi Tiedoll while he idly watched him paint. Kanda snapped at him every time he spoke, but Daisya still didn't know what he said, so he generally just ignored him.

One time, though, he must have been particularly rowdy because Kanda even went so far as to stop practicing to glare at him. He smiled back impishly. "Yes?"

"Shut up," Kanda said with an odd mixture of hesitation and arrogance.

Daisya stared. "Oh hey, you know English now!"

Kanda kept glaring at him.

"What?" He crossed his arms.

"Daisya." Froi Tiedoll's voice cut in admonishingly before Daisya could say more.

Daisya turned to look at him. Froi Tiedoll shook his head and pressed a finger to his lips. Daisya's mouth dropped open. "Why do I have to listen to him?"

"Please." Froi Tiedoll's voice was commanding but the look he gave Daisya begged him to just let it go, this once. Daisya rolled his eyes, not sure why they had to let Kanda do whatever he wanted, but he stopped talking.

He sat quietly next to Tiedoll for the time it took him to paint a tree, then Daisya got up and prowled around the campsite. There wasn't much to see, though, and he found himself a seat under a large oak tree. His bell clinked when he sat down, so he took it out and rolled it on the palm of his hand. It probably wouldn't matter if he was noisy with his Innocence, he thought. He threw it up and listened to it tinkle before it hit his hand.

He glanced furtively at Kanda. He looked tense, Daisya thought. He was too young to be so damn strict, but Daisya supposed that some people were just born with sticks up their asses. His sword strokes came viciously and Daisya wondered with a shudder if Kanda was really that pissed that he had been talking. But no, he had talked at Kanda plenty and Kanda hadn't had this pent up rage, then. Besides, he had a feeling that if he was what made Kanda angry, Kanda would just take it out on him right away.

That decided, he felt safe enough to toss his bell in the air again. It jingled pleasantly and Daisya smiled. Then he noticed how quiet the forest was. It was unsettling, so he tossed his bell up to silence the silence.

Its ring sounded so much softer now.

"Louder," he whispered, and tossed it up harder. The bell's ring didn't change.

He looked at it glumly. The silence felt oppressive now and he wondered how long it had been like this. It couldn't have been very long. He remembered waking up to birds chirping only the ay before. As he tried to remember, he tossed the bell gently.

The silence seemed to get louder until it was the only thing he could hear, could sense. His hand closed around the bell as it fell.

It trembled in his hand.

Daisya stared at it. It was probably just his imagination, but...

He focused his thoughts on it. Ring, he commanded. It did, softly. It was a different ring, though. It dispelled the silence. Daisya stared at it, then laughed as the realization came to him. He could see Kanda turning to look at him angrily and Froi Tiedoll glancing at him amusedly, but he didn't care.

His Innocence had obeyed him.

-x-


Kanda only ever seemed annoyed at Daisya for overexerting himself socially when they were in the clearing. On those occasions when they trekked to town together, Daisya found that he could talk to Kanda at length and the other boy wouldn't say a word about it. He was never sure just how much Kanda could understand, because even though Kanda seemed to learn inhumanly fast he never responded, but being able to talk to someone was a nice feeling.

Mostly, he talked about inconsequential things; food or the nest of birds that had disappeared and left their nest behind or the rabbit that had showed up the day before. Kanda would walk beside him and he always seemed more relaxed then than he did at any other time. Daisya decided that it was just the change of atmosphere and didn't think much about it. Whatever it was, it seemed good for Kanda.

-x-


Sundays were the worst. Though much of the world was abandoning religion and young people were socializing on that day, the townsfolk would all go to church. The church in this town held mass in the morning, took a break for lunch, then held an evening service. It wouldn't have mattered to Daisya how they did things except that the children were obliged to go with their parents and he was left without any playmates.

He couldn't even go into town to wait for them. If anyone saw him, he would be dragged to mass with them. Daisya felt that if he was going to fight for God, then he shouldn't have to suffer through His sermons. So he stayed with Kanda and Froi Tiedoll and tried to amuse himself quietly. Sundays tended to be normal days and Froi Tiedoll would spend some time teaching Kanda English. Daisya sat in with them once, but Froi Tiedoll shooed him away with a conspiratorial glance towards Kanda. Daisya smirked because the idea that the arrogant boy could also be shy was almost endearing.

He walked into the woods. The animal trail continued past the clearing and he had found a small pound a little further in. It was too cool to go into it, but there were a few fish in there and Daisya had made a sport of poking the water to see how they would react. When he got there, though, there was a doe and her fawn drinking out of the pool. Daisya froze. He was a city boy, had grown up around nasty old shopkeepers and pickpockets. They would occasionally bring the children out on 'wilderness hikes' but the paths were well traveled and any animals with sense stayed away from the noise that the large groups made. He had only seen a deer once before, and that was only for a split second before it ran away.

The deer looked up at him and they, too, froze. They stared at each other for what felt like the longest time, Daisya trying to keep even his breathing to a minimal and the doe trying to judge the danger of this young human. The fawn tired of the activity soon and dipped his head down for more water.

Daisya took a cautious step forward and the deer ran away.

-x-


The more English Kanda learned, the less Daisya wished he knew. Kanda's statements in English were every bit as harsh as they sounded in Japanese and he didn't hold back very often. Daisya glumly realized that he would be doomed to spend the rest of the journey being called 'a forceless idiot'—he thought that Kanda meant powerless, but he wasn't sure—and 'a useless piece of swine.' The prospect didn't excite him overly much, but he supposed that they would be rid of the kid eventually.

Once Kanda's English was good enough, Froi Tiedoll let Daisya sit with them while Kanda learned. Daisya didn't know how they decided that Kanda had improved enough that his pride could stomach Daisya watching, but in any case his Sundays grew marginally less boring. Daisya had initially only intended to laugh at Kanda's poor grammar—he thought that Kanda certainly deserved it—but after an ill fated correction on his part, Froi Tiedoll decided that they would all learn. Daisya thought it wasn't fair; who could possibly know that there was actually a difference between the 'two's and the 'to's? Unfortunately, he had no say in the matter and he had to spend his mornings learning with them.

Even worse, Froi Tiedoll didn't stop at just grammar. He decided that the boys needed to learn something of history as well and so after they finished with nouns and pronouns and subjects and objects and verbs, he would keep them there and weave stories about a war in France from forever ago or an invasion of a Germanic state.

Daisya found himself in agreement with Kanda for the first time when Kanda asked slowly and with the careful precision of someone who had only recently learned how to speak a foreign language why they had to learn this and why he should waste his time with some stupid old stories.

Froi Tiedoll took a moment to reply. Daisya didn't think that he was about to lie. He had seen Froi Tiedoll try to lie before and while he wasn't exactly bad at it, he wasn't proficient enough to really fool anyone.

"There is no greater teacher than the past," he said.

Daisya rolled his eyes. It seemed ridiculous to him that such a short answer took so long.

"What lesson?" Kanda's eyes were disbelieving.

"It teaches us the mistakes that were made before us," Tiedoll answered.

"Why care what they wrong?" Kanda asked contemptuously.

"The greatest tragedy of human existence," Froi Tiedoll said sadly, "is that even after we have seen the same choices lead to the same tragic results, we refuse to change. I would like to think that this is a fault of learning and not a stubborn refusal to believe that we could ever err."

"There are worse thing than human mistake," Kanda said. Daisya thought he saw anger in Kanda's eyes. He was surprised. Kanda was always grumpy, but anger was a far cry from being a little uptight.

Froi Tiedoll shook his head. "Even our enemies are only born of human failing."

Kanda gave the matter some thought, but the anger in his eyes wasn't quenched. If anything, it seemed to burn all the brighter. "Idiots," he muttered.

"Yeah—" Daisya didn't realize he had opened his mouth until he heard himself speak, "—but Akuma only destroy. People are stupid but they can do some really cool stuff too."

Froi Tiedoll nodded. "Yes, we do."

"Yeah! You know, I was talking to Francis and he said that the Rangers completely destroyed their opponents, I don't remember who they were, but then George said that he heard that the Rangers got beat bad—"

"Badly," Froi Tiedoll corrected.

"Right, whatever. So I asked Shelley—isn't it weird that a girl likes soccer ball?—and she said that no, they tied."

"Women don't think any differently than men."

"Do too!" Daisya grinned. "'Cause later Shelley was worried about her hair and none of us men—" he said the word with more than a small hint of pride "—were worried at all."

Froi Tiedoll smiled indulgently. "All right, they might think a little differently."

"A lot!" Daisya frowned. "I don't think hair is very important, I mean, dirt just washes out, right?"

"Of course." Froi Tiedoll was about to say more, but Kanda cut in then.

"If people brings it on themselves, why should we fight for them?" Kanda asked angrily, bringing the conversation back to where it began with no preamble.

Daisya stared at him. Froi Tiedoll's mouth tightened into a line, then he sighed. "We fight for the living," he said. "They have done nothing to create more Akuma."

"But they would." Kanda's tone was accusing.

"Would you?" Froi Tiedoll asked.

"I am not like them." Kanda's eyes flashed even hotter with indignation, then cooled.

"Only because you have learned to be so," Froi Tiedoll told him.

Kanda had no answer for that. Daisya didn't complain about the history lessons anymore.

-x-


"Why didn't you tell him that he was wrong?" Daisya waited until Kanda was as far away as he could be before he whispered to Froi Tiedoll.

"Wrong?"

"About it being all humans' fault," Daisya pressed on. "It's not."

"I know." Froi Tiedoll looked at him proudly. "I'm glad you know too."

"But he doesn't."

Froi Tiedoll sighed. "I know. Give him time."

"For what?"

"He isn't ready to let go of his anger yet."

"It's not good for him to be angry, though," Daisya said. "My mother always said that being angry takes twenty years off your life."

"A slight exaggeration on her part, but the sentiment is correct." Froi Tiedoll looked at Kanda. "But for now, he needs something to focus his energy on in order to keep going."

"I don't get it," Daisya said grumpily.

Froi Tiedoll looked at him and pondered how to explain it. "You said you ran into a deer earlier?" He asked.

Daisya nodded.

"It's like that."

Daisya looked at him confusedly.

"Imagine Kanda is the deer."

Daisya giggled at the thought.

"Daisya." Froi Tiedoll's voice was stern.

"Sorry."

"You found it in the clearing?"

"Yup! With its fowl, too."

"Forget the fowl for a moment. The deer was comfortable in the clearing. The environment was safe for it, correct?"

"I don't know if it was safe, but sure."

"When you got there, you were foreign and so you scared her."

"Her?"

"The deer."

"Oh."

"Kanda has his own safe environment. He surrounds himself with anger so that he can't feel the pain of loss."

"What'd he lose?" Daisya asked.

"You can ask him," Froi Tiedoll said. "He won't tell you, but if he won't tell you then it isn't my place to tell you either."

"That's not fair!"

"Is it not?"

"No," Daisya said stubbornly.

"If you had a secret, then, should I be allowed to divulge it—"

"Fine."

Froi Tiedoll chuckled. "Like I was saying, though, letting him keep his anger is like letting the deer keep her little pond to herself. If you shake him enough, he'll run off."

"Run where?" Daisya didn't think there were very many places for Kanda to run. It wouldn't be hard to find him, anyways. It wasn't like there were a lot of Japanese boys running around.

"That was metaphorical." Froi Tiedoll chuckled.

"Oh." Daisya's brow furrowed with thought. "So... what did you mean?"

Froi Tiedoll shook his head. "I'm scared that he will break."

"I don't think he'd break. Do you mean like a twig snapping in two? Because I think it'd be kind of hard to—"

"I'm scared that he won't know what to do and I'm scared of what he will do if he is put in that position, to himself or to anyone else."

Daisya nodded, though he wasn't sure if he agreed. Thirteen year old boys rarely had the patience to wait and let things take their natural course and Daisya was not an exception to that rule.



click here for part two
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tireg on February 16th, 2013 10:01 pm (UTC)
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