A/N: UG: Well I have my first story up.I feel pretty good right now. Yep, sure do. Now what? Oh.er.I want to ask you all to read and review honestly please and try to be tough on me because this is my first real fic and I need to improve.desperately. This isn't my usual writing style, I typically write in third person and with a lot more description. If you guys don't like it I'll change it. One more thing, please, even though I said to be tough on me don't flame. They don't help with anything but humor stories and I'm sure you don't want to read those.

Voices in Head: NO!

Yami UG: Beware those who flame my, hikari. beware.

UG: Umm.yami you're scaring me.

Yami UG:*brightly now* Sorry!

Kizzy:*rolls eyes*

UG: You know... I hate you more than I do the other 5 voices in my head put together.

Kizzy: Hn.

UG: Grrr.Oh well! Please R and R! Even though this is really really bad.

WARNING: The next few sentences will contain SPOILERS for the book HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX if you do not wish to know what happened roll down until I yell like THIS again. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

UG: This story has a dedication.

Yami UG: To whom?

UG:*bows head* To the great Sirius Black, in loving memory. We will miss you dearly and hope Luna didn't really mean what we all think it means unless you're really cleaver and know that might not mean what she obviously said and might have meant.

Kizzy: Clear as mud isn't she?

UG:*blushes sheepishly* Yeah well.I knew halfway through the book she was going to kill him and I cried all night when she (meaning J.K.) did. He was my favorite character you see.

Yami UG: Hikari.*comforts*

UG: *sobs* Why can't anything good happen to Harry?! Anyway this one is for you Siri.please do come back soon.


UG: Few minor notes here. First I would like to ask people to not e-mail me because I am receiving a new e-mail address because (to make a long story short) the last one was gotten rid of a long with my entire internet account and now I should be getting a new one. I think. If you really must e-mail me try: mgryffyn11@wmconnect.com that one should work. I just need fp.net to check it. Also I would appreciate any feedback on my story accompanied with your suggestions on good writers and stories. I am sorry to say I am finding a lack of them on this site. Just give the word and I will be happy to read your or anyone you like's work. This will contain future romance. Not now though.

And now.

The Gray Area
By Unity-Girl

"The situation will soon be under control. There is no need to worry. The government will fix this problem and will study this occurrence further. They believe this is a one time event. Do not panic. Everything is under control." The newscaster chuckled nervously. He was being forced to lie about the great amount of casualties to the public. Despite what he was telling his viewers on the network news, he was anything but calm.

Dillon noticed every time. He was always able to see what people were thinking. He laughed coldly at the man, his long sycamore hair, tied in a ponytail, vibrated with his sick laughter.

I really hated when he watched those old recordings. I hated his laughter even more. Missy made those recordings twenty years ago, before we came to live with her. Six years ago from then, when she took Dillon and I in, she showed us the stories on the news. She had always wanted children. It had been a dream of hers.

She always made us watch those videos, she said they were the new world's history, our history, but she always held us through the scenes of hurt and torture. I guess they're kind of our history, the history of the first Hunt.

The Hunt was something the unlucky street kids, who saw people picked up by the Hunters, named it. The official name was "The Confinement of Dangerous Beings Squad" I don't know if the government ever thought people would actually call the Hunters that. The Hunters were equipped with the newest and most souped-up gadgets for tracking and detaining the potential "dangers."

If they even suspected you of being "dangerous" they would follow you until they could prove it, and sometimes they would just take you in if you looked at them wrong if it was a slow day. They knew how to track too. They didn't follow threats for months, it they were looking for you, you didn't have months. They were silent and brutal, they were the people who hated us most of all. They would find you. Always.

They picked up the under twenty-two crowd. No one over that age could be dangerous. Everyone born after the Nuclear Year of Sunspot's had a very good chance at being dangerous. That year black-spots appeared on our sun. Sometimes they cause large masses of children to be born, this time they drove a man insane. He was the Secretary of Defense and had every right on paper to authorize the launching of a nuclear weapon. The missile was aimed at the Sahara desert and that's where it hit. No other information was known to the public

No one knew if either of the two oddities that took place that year had anything to do with the "dangers" we had. Laws were being passed in countries to have blood tests preformed on newborns. When the test was preformed and if it came back positive for Ecilla 3 the baby was taken away and never seen again. Ecilla 3 is the name of the hormone found in every "danger," nothing else was ever disclosed to the public. The public didn't know much.

Japan was one of the first countries to approve the law. America was still debating.

I wished I was still in America.

I was on a bus heading for our new home right outside of Kyoto. Dillon was watching the old recordings at the front of the bus, laughing obnoxiously at the screen surrounded by the chair ahead of him. I was surprised at the fact the driver wasn't paying him any mind, and then I realized he was wearing a very tight set of head phones. I rolled my eyes. Good thing we were the only passengers on the bus.

Missy was in back, checking her web page, I guessed, for any new information on the Hunters in Japan. She was always trying to make sure Dillon and I would be alright, her website was a password to enter one, and then everything was written using codes and key-phrases. I was in the center of the bus, watching the scenery pass by my plexi-glass window. Japan was very pretty, even if it was the most dangerous place in the world for people like me. I couldn't help but be anxious about the fact that Missy was taking us to the worst country in the world on a suggestion. She told Dillon and me her friend was very close to her and she would take the suggestion seriously, she listened. We were on our way to her friend's home.

Missy walked up behind me and watched me for a moment before taking the seat beside me, startling me out of my thoughts. She smiled at me and I returned the action.

Missy was very pretty for someone in her late forties. Her hair was blond and fading but it only made her look even more wonderful with her streaks of silver pointing out. Her eye were a greenish hazel and were comforting to look into, even if I wasn't nine anymore.

Dillon found me wondering out on the streets when I was eight. I couldn't really remember anything past then, just bits and pieces. He saw me do something, I don't know what, and recognized me for what I was. He saved me from starving and defended me from punk-gangs, he was always strong. He was always like an older brother and he treated me as a younger sister. I have always loved him for it, he was my hero, not that I would ever tell him. He was already cocky enough. His hair had been long ever since I met him, but he had added a few more holes in his tanned ears when we rode the bus that evening, but that's not what made him so intimidating. The fact that he was tall helped and that he was muscular but the thing that scared everybody was his eyes. They were a kind of metallic-y silver, like a machine. He moved like one too, when he fought. He didn't seem to feel pain, in fact I didn't think he really did, not the same way other people felt it anyway.

After a year on the streets avoiding the Hunters he decided it was too much to look out for himself and me. He took me to a temple and there he prayed to God for an angel. Missy ran the temple and heard, she took us in. She was our angel, I got my silver cross from her, and I always ware it.

For the next few years Dillon and I lived at that temple. We were home- schooled and she taught us all she could about martial-arts and how to control our powers. She did as best as she could, Dillon being able to control metal was kind of scary because he would make sharp objects fly around the room when he was younger. Thankfully he grew bored with it quickly. My "abilities," as Missy called them, were a little bit nicer but a whole lot stranger. I could create illusions with my mind, doing big ones had always been hard for me but I could do it, with some pain. I could make things seem more real than reality. I could make people live in my world. It was pretty cool actually but I always thought I was been capable of more than just a few fake mind tricks, Dillon did too. When I hit puberty he said I was faster than ever, I wasn't able to tell if he was just saying it though.

"You alive there, Kari?" Missy snapped me out of my daze again and my storm- cloud eyes (Missy told me that's what they remind her of) and face shot up to meet her stare, orange hair flaring out behind me.

"Why are we in Japan, Missy?" I've always been direct about my thoughts. Something behind her eyes flickered, but I couldn't tell if it was just my imagination, I did that a lot, doubt what I saw I mean. I needed to know why I was in the most dangerous country in the world, and because a friend of hers recommended it wasn't a good enough answer.

She knew she couldn't lie to me, very few can. "Because." she hesitated, "because.you want to know more people like yourself right? And you want to know why exactly you can do the things you can and you want to know about the Nuclear Year of Sunspots? My friend can help you and Dillon. She can show you the proper way to use your powers. She can keep you safe from the Hunters." Missy looked desperately at me. "I know you, and I know you are afraid." She was right. "But I know nothing will happen to you here. I promise you, no harm will come to you or Dillon." She looked at me with sincerity in her every feature. I was about to answer her when,

"You don't need to worry about me and I'll take care of her." A ruff- sounding voice startled me out of my daze for the third time that evening. It was Dillon.

He had walked up in front of us and had been leaning on one of the seats, watching us talk. One of the things about him I hated is the fact that you only knew he was there when he was there is when he wanted you to.

Missy cocked an eyebrow but remained silent. Even though she was going to be there with us protect us Dillon still acted as over protective as always. According to them I needed a lot of protection. Another thing I hated.

Dillon spread out on the seats before ours, going into his silent shell. He loved silence and peace; I think that was why I grew up speaking in whispered tones. I remember when Missy took us to a city once when we were younger. She didn't do take us to large places often because of the Hunters. I was amazed by all the sights and sounds but Dillon acted anomalously. He curled up into a ball if I recall correctly and wouldn't budge. He just kept rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet. We hadn't imagined Dillon would react that way so we were forced to leave early before anyone in authority spotted us. We never went into a city ever again. It didn't stop with the city either, he acted that way whenever someone screamed or played loud music or even if the television was up to loud. There had been some fights when we lived at the temple; they were verbal of course and usually with Missy, not each other, Dillon and I did fight once in a blue moon though. Whenever I got mad I made my opinion known, he gave the worst silent treatment ever.

I couldn't blame him though; I had an irrational fear of bright lights, that's even stranger if you think about it. I remember summer lightning storms back at the temple where I would whimper every time I saw a spark of light fall across my home. I always ran under a piece of furniture, whatever was closest, and grabbed my knees and squeezed my eyes fixedly until Dillon or Missy came under that piece of furniture and held me until it was over. It wasn't just lightning storms either, someone flicking a flashlight or light switch on suddenly made me jump. If a pair of headlights from a car rolling into the temples driveway I would bolt if they turned on me. I listened to the rhythmic breathing of my companions, both lost in their own thoughts. It was reassuring, I guess, to hear the faint sounds of my loved ones lives near. I turned my attention back to the window.

The sun was lowering from its position in the sky, casting a fairy-tale golden glow on the passing young healthy trees on roads. It was wonderful, actually I felt more at home then I ever did back at the temple. Who knew that such a place could contain the hearts of evil men and cases of blood- bathed swords? I felt some sort of shame and pity towards those who spilt unseen blood onto the battle warn ground. Blood that was that of my people carpeted this earth, and no one cared, no one knew. Not even I really knew what happened when we were hunted down. Some were taken, I met enough of the non-existent homeless (to the government and those who considered themselves above these people) people who were more than willing to swap stories about the horrific things the government-that-had-failed-them did. They had seen many chained and bound and shot then led away. I wondered sometimes if these people who considered us the heartless dangerous ones were even connected with humanity anymore. I caught myself wondering if these normal.things.were not destined to remain dominant over this orbiting ball of mud, maybe we were destined to take it from them, that we were superior, and then I would shake it off and remember a nameless voice telling me no human is above any other.

I saw a soccer field. A soccer field. I was internally jumping for joy, outwardly grinning like a psychopath. Out of the few sports I had ever played, soccer, by far, is my favorite. The bus began to slow down. I realized that I wouldn't just be near the field; I would practically be on it! The place we were staying was right next to it, they owned it! I couldn't wait to get onto that stretch of grass. As soon as the bus came to a complete stop I jumped over Missy, ran down the aisle, hopped out the open door onto the gravel, and it was just a skip and a jump to the field.

I scampered over the grass in a flash of red, doing as many cartwheels and flips as I could stand, and I had never even done a cartwheel in my life up until that point. It was just everything in my life was so wrong at that moment that the sight of this field made me happier than I had ever remembered being.or nuttier, couldn't tell which. I was on my wits end that was for sure.

I heard someone speaking in a low amused voice in the middle of my joy and I spun around to see who had interrupted the only good thing to have happened in the course of several months.

I saw him smiling almost friendly-like at Dillon who was staring at him like he was a bug under a microscope. I haven't mentioned that Dillon only treated people in one of two ways. Either you were one of his best friends (in which that means he wouldn't kill you if you pissed him off) or his worst enemy (in which that means he would kill before you had a chance to piss him off.or if you looked at him in a way he wasn't fond of). It only took him a few moments to decide what he thought of a person and you never could tell until it was too late. I could see the wheels turning behind Dillon's eyes as he weighed whether or not he liked the boy. Still smiling this newcomer's eyes turned toward me.

The first thing I thought when I saw him was that his eyes reminded me of wood. The second thing I thought was that his elevator might not go anywhere near the top floor. If it did I'm sure he would be cowering in fear or at least inching slowly away from Dillon's penetrating gaze. He kept grinning though. His clothes were slightly on the shabby side and looked two sizes to small. He was muscular though and was as tall as Dillon, which proved nothing because I'd seen Dillon mutilate boys twice as tall as old and as well-built as him. He had a dark complexion and a short spiky hairdo.and a really annoying goofy grin.

"So you must be Kar, eh?" he said grinning

I stood there not knowing the polite thing to say. No one had ever called me 'Kar' before. Kari in itself was a nickname for Karissa. I returned the ever-present smile very weakly and gave a short wave.

"Er.yeah.er, that's me," I offered feebly.

Dillon looked from me to Missy trying to find out our opinion and while I looked slightly uneasy Missy was smiling as much as this guy was.

"So you're name is Erik, right?" Missy asked him politely.

"Yes," he said in his deep voice, "I'm part of the exchange student program here with Ms. Takeuchi."

Exchange student program? Was that what Dillon and I were part of?

"How many others are here now Erik?" Missy asked, still smiling.

"Well."he held up a hand and began to tick off fingers as he struggled to spit out names. "There's Kar and Dilly here," he failed to notice the death glare he was being given by Dillon at the mention of a nickname. "And we have Miss Chelsea, she's Ms. Takeuchi's step-daughter, and we have Phillip and me of course and.well that's everyone who's here, and no one else is coming. We're all from the States." Erik just kept smiling at Missy, who nodded like this was everyday news. I was confused.

"Well you might want to grab those bags of yours and just follow me inside to your new rooms. I'm here greeting you and not Ms. Takeuchi because she was called off to urgent business at the capital. She sends her apologies to you all and will meet you as soon as she returns." It sounded like it must have taken him some time to memorize that statement.

Missy nodded, smiling even more now, and she ushered Dillon and I back on to the bus to reclaim our luggage. Erik had to help us, along with our driver, carry the bags inside. Because we had packed our entire home it took some time to unload it all. By the time we had carried the last of the load off the bus I was feeling grateful that Dillon and I had few possessions. Erik and Missy exchanged a few polite words with the driver and then he got back onto his bus and began his journey back to Tokyo to retrieve the "Ms. Takeuchi" Erik kept speaking of. By the time the four of us reached the front door of the rather large house (he said someone would come for our bags and bring them to our rooms, thank the Lord) I realized that this Ms. Takeuchi person must be Missy's friend. I wasn't sure how I would react if I saw her.

We were given a short tour of the grounds and house all of which were rather large. I knew there had to be over fifty rooms in the whole place but what really fascinated me were the grounds. There were two gardens, which I only glimpsed briefly, and the soccer field and a swimming pool. The entire place was surrounded by trees and I was sure there must've been a small temple around. Everything was well taken care of and seemed timeless while I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that everything was far older than the things themselves were letting on.

The house for instance, was massive with a fresh coat of ebony paint on the shaven wood, but the ivy creeping around it made it hard to believe that you could ever put any paint on it. The frames for the doors were actually rotting away and, while the gardens and fields were well maintained, brush seemed to be slowly creeping up from the surrounding forest and the grass could use far more than a simple trim. It was a strange balance of wildness and controlled surroundings. I liked them both in different ways but it was odd to see such a vast contrast in one area.

Erik led us back inside, then directed me and Dillon to our new rooms while telling Missy that Ms. Takeuchi wished for her to call her as soon as she was settled in. He led her away to find a telephone.

Dillon and I just looked at each other as they walked away. We had just been thrown into a new place that, on top of us knowing nothing about it, was dangerous. We had to adapt to this change, we'd always been able to before. And I knew Dillon would look out for me. What would he be looking out for though? Hunters possibly, but neither of us knew why we were really there, Missy hadn't said anything useful. I knew though, and so did Dillon, that we were there for a reason. And it was not for the exchange student program.

* * *

I found my room easily enough, it was on the second floor (five floors if you counted the basement) and it was fourth door to the left, on the western side of the house, Dillon's was on the eastern. I made my way down the carpeted hallway slowly, pausing to look through open doors, windows, and at pictures. I stopped in front of the mahogany doorway that led to my new room. It occurred to me that there were very few sliding doors in the house; I had heard that they were traditional for the Japanese. Shrugging to myself, I turned the brass door handle and stepped inside.

There was a queen size bed between two shaded windows that was bare of any sheets but had two pillows and my bags. I wondered for a moment who had brought them up here then I turned my attention to the rest of my room. The floor was oak with a carpet that supported the brass legs of my bed. The carpet looked as though it had been woven in India because the designs of the scenery looked like so much more than I had seen in textbooks. There was a nightstand beside my bed with a miniature shaded clay lamp on it. To the right of that was a long wooden dresser and there was a small desk with a chair and lamp next to the doorway and a small hanging empty bookshelf on the other side. On the other side of my bed was a vanity, complete with a large mirror. All this and more was covered by a thick layer of dust.

They had people to bring luggage but not to clean. That said something.I just wasn't sure what. Then I noticed the phone on my nightstand, I wouldn't be needing that, ever, I had no one to call. I knew how long it would take me to unpack to live in my new home so I started, and then realization hit me like a ton of bricks. I plopped down on my bed next to the luggage and window, this sent waves of dust spurring through the room, I didn't care.

This was my new home; I wasn't going back to America anytime soon. I was stuck in this place of death and beauty for who new how long. Why else would we have packed all our worldly possessions and found a new caretaker for the temple. Even though I never new anyone back there it was still my home, and I missed home. I brought my knees up to my chest and buried my face in them. I wanted to go home. I was only fourteen; I didn't want to deal with the world yet. I stayed like that for what felt like hours until I looked out of the window I was next to. I had a nice view of the soccer field from there, and I could see a boy kicking around a ball down there.

Without hesitation I plunged down the stairs toward the field. Not owning a ball of my own at the moment I was elated at the prospect of having a playmate, no matter who it was, for a small game.

I stopped my running as soon as I reached the front door and calmly turned the metal handle. I walked outside quietly and leisurely, making my way down the porch, across the grate drive, and onto the field. I approached him cautiously and he continued to ignore even when I stood just five feet away from him, I leaned on the goal post. He continued to maneuver the ball around with expertise. He was a few inches taller than me and looked to be around my age. His hair was long, though not as long as Dillon's, and was tied back in a ponytail. It was coal black and his eyes, after I managed to catch hold of them, were an appealing sapphire blue. His clothes were loose and long.

He continued to ignore me after the five minutes I had been there. It was up to me to make conversation, I decided, if I ever wanted to touch that ball. So I did.

"Hi," I said in my most friendly voice. He had been lining up for a shot at the goal I was leaning on when he looked up after I said this. He stared at me for a moment then gave a small nod before he kicked the ball in hard to the side opposite me.

Okay.it must've been some kind of greeting, right? He continued to play footsies with the ball. This was obviously one of those kids you could lock- up for the rest of there life and they would survive as long as they had a small circular object.

"So.erm.what's your name?" I tried again.

He stopped and gazed at me again, the ball trapped under his foot. Then he said:

"Imori Yasashiku" he replied after a moment. His attention did not go back to the object under his foot but remained on me. His name was a bit to swallow but I always could practice. I wished I had paid more attention when Missy taught me Japanese when I was ten.

"You can call me Yashi though," he said after another moment. I was grateful for the nickname; I was already bad enough at remembering my real name was Karissa and not Kari.

Yashi gave me a look that suggested he wanted to know mine.

"Oh.um.I'm Kari.wait," I remembered that in Japan last names went first, nicknames later. I didn't really have a last name though but I could use Missy's, I always did in cases like these. "Yeah, I'm Windsor Karissa, call me Kari though. He nodded and I thought I detected a hint of a smile. "So you live here?" I asked hesitantly.


"Oh. So why are you here?"

"Practice for soccer I guess," he said plainly.

"Why here?" Yashi had gone back to tossing the ball around with his feet again.

"It's safe, and Akiko lets us use it," he said between breaths.

"Who's Akiko?" I asked him watching the ball and glancing up at his face. His eyes had an amused look to them and he replied in an equally amused voice.

"Ms. Takeuchi?" he said, clearly asking if it rang any bells.

"Oh! Yes I've heard of her." I had gone back to watching the ball he was juggling. He raised an eyebrow at me.

"Heard? Are you in one of those exchange student things?"

"I don't think so," I answered shyly. His brow remained raised but he asked no further questions.

"What do you mean 'safe'?" I asked, thinking back to what he had said a minute earlier. He half shrugged and said,

"No Hunters around to watch for abilities. Akiko has a big soft spot for us freaks and lets us come and use her grounds. Hunters can't go on private property without a warrant and if they did come here they wouldn't find anything."

That came as a shock. He was like me and Dillon? How did he know? Seeing my surprised look he said, "Akiko takes kids from around the world and plants them here so they'll be safe. I live in Kyoto so I walk here every time I want to." The surprised look lingered on my face.

He stopped kicking the ball "Didn't you know that?" I shook my head. "Have you net Akiko?" I shook my head again. "When did you get here?"

"About an hour ago," I said, proud to know something. Yashi gave me an odd look.

"You are fresh, aren't you?" It seemed like a rhetorical question, and it was. "Why wouldn't they say anything to you?" Yashi wondered aloud softly. He put his face in his hands and appeared to be heading into some deep thinking when I broke in.

"Can I play soccer, please? I haven't played in the longest time," I asked eying the ball under him.

"I don't know," he said, "it depends on what time it is and how good you are." He seemed to be serious. He pulled out a cheep-looking wristwatch from his jean pocket and said, "Not today you might tomorrow. I'll be back then and with my little brother." He picked up his ball began to walk away and halted in mid stride. Turning back to me he said, "Have you had dinner yet? My turn to cook tonight and I would like some intelligent company; my little brother will like you." I shook my head.

"No I haven't eaten yet. I'll go with you, just let me ask." I was a little startled at the offer but I was even more so when I heard him yell as soon as I turned to back inside.

"I have to go. Now," with that Yashi began to walk forward toward an area of brush in front of him. This was unusual behavior, even for a boy. I ran after him. I caught up with him and tried to match his quick pace as we walked toward the brush. He half-smiled at my effort.

"You can call home once we get to my place."

"But I don't know the num-"

"I do." We neared the clearing.

"We really need to pick up the pace," he said as we reached it, his voice now held a note of urgency. "We need to meet my little brother before he gets home. We entered the brush and began to make our way through the forest. It felt like we were being followed. I never thought I would end up in this strange of a situation. All of a sudden a boy shows up who knows more about my home than I do, invites me to dinner after knowing me all of five minutes, and tells me we need to hurry to meet his baby brother. None of it added up, but I was craving excitement and didn't think there would be any harm in it.

* * *

We had been walking for what seemed like fifteen minutes when Yashi froze at an orange ribbon tied around a tree. I followed suit. He spun around and looked me in eye.

"We have to be silent now. Akiko's property ends here," he said gesturing to the ribbon tree, "her power ends here too. This is public ground and Hunters patrol here. There is no reason why they wouldn't stop and demand for us to have blood tests if they see us sneaking around." He had a very commanding voice. I nodded to show I understood, fear beginning to course through me. He put a finger to his lips and we crept out.

I felt like we were covered by nothing, so out in the open. One wrong move and we were as good as dead. Yashi would stop once and a while listening stiffly to our surroundings. I began to wonder what exactly his abilities were.

It felt as if hours went by between the time Yashi would stop and listen. A twig would break under my feet and he would stop us again and turn around and glare. He stopped for the umpteenth time and watched the land before us. I felt myself shaking. I thought I could see something moving in front of us. I could here Yashi's breath and my own heartbeat. Then a new sound. Yashi was so caught up in what was before us that he failed to notice behind us. It was like twigs moving. I tried to turn my head but there was so much fear inside me, not just of death, that I couldn't move. It was just like one of those old horror movies in which the leading lady is so terrified she can't move and the lead guy has to save her. I was praying Yashi would notice. He didn't.

And then someone grabbed us both from behind.

Not The End.