A/N: I was actually surprised when I received reviews. After all, I seriously didn't think anyone would be reading this. Honestly, it sucks. I wrote this back when my writing skills had a LOT to work on, so I'm pleased and baffled that there are actually people reading this. So, enjoy this new chapter. Don't expect the next one unless it's been more than two months. Or three. Or four. Or even more.

Oh hey, that rhymed.

But seriously, don't expect an update soon because I'm losing interest in this story, as you can tell. I was lucky I managed to even write a chapter this long...

Oh, and 'w' is sorta like the LOL for Japanese. So when I write 'www', it's just their version of it, 'kay?


Previously in this story...

As the two of them stared at me (one glaring and the other watching with amusement), I wondered if I could get out of there alive and intact.

"Destiny... what do you think you're doing?"

...and she's pissed. Double crap.


An Assassin's Heart

Chapter Nine


While I was having a staring contest with Nan, I was inwardly cursing myself to death. How could I be so stupid as to forget to NOT make any noise? That was proving Nan right in the fact that I was a total idiot.

"Well?" she said in that scary tone of hers. It was something that raised the hair on the back of your neck and made you shiver as if you were freezing in the middle of the night and standing in a graveyard with only a tank-top and a pair of pants.

Uh, that never happened to me before, by the way. Just thought you might want to know that. Yeah. Totally did not happen. I totally didn't stand in a graveyard wearing only a tanktop and a pair of jeans waiting for my partner to finish tracking down wherever that god-damned demon went. And it wasn't in the middle of the night either and I was totally not freezing.

Stupid zombie. The dead should stay dead. Honestly.

ANYWAY~ Back to the subject at hand.

Must find way to prevent my destruction at the face of my best friend who was like a twin and a sister to me.

"Well, you see, Nan... this is really your fault."

"Oh?" Oops. Wrong thing to say. Her glare got intenser. Plus, she got an eyebrow raised. Well, if I was going to die...might as well just continue shooting myself in the head.

"Yes. After all, if you'd told me the reason on why you were acting so weird, I wouldn't have to find out about this in such a way." I tried to explain myself... and I probably failed. Sigh.

"...so you're blaming this on me?" she asked, eyebrow still raised. I noticed that Ryuuke there was watching this as if he had popcorn and was watching an interesting movie. Yup, he really was enjoying this.

Stupid bastard...

I shrugged one shoulder at Nan's question. "Yeah. I mean, you never act this weird and it got me worried."

Nan blinked, obviously not expecting that answer. Hah! I finally got one over her. Jeez. Finally.

"Oh." ...and that was all she could say to that. I resisted the urge to sigh. Of course. Should have expected that.

"Anyway...uh..." I opened my mouth but I have no idea what to say. Dammit.

Luckily, it seemed Ryuuke that stupid bastard did.

"Aren't you going to introduce me to your friend, Nancy?" he asked, giving my best friend this look I really couldn't explain.

She Glared at him. "You know who she is."

"But she doesn't know who I am," he pointed out with a smirk. "And who I was to you."

"Huh?" I managed to say unintelligently. Nan shifted her glare to me and I immediately put my hands up. "Hey, hey. I have no idea what you're talking about. Don't kill me."

Her glare didn't disappear but it lessened. "Ryuuke is a childhood friend."

The words were dripping with reluctance. I guess she really didn't want to tell me that. Oh, well.

"A very old childhood friend," he chirped in happily, earning himself another glare. From her, not from me. Even though I would love to, but Nan's glares are scarier so yeah. However, he didn't even seem to be affected by it. I suppose, since he was a 'very old childhood friend', he was probably far used to her glares. Although I don't know how anyone could. I mean, I've known her for a while and she still scares me. "Have I introduced myself?"

"In class, yes," I replied flatly. "Daniel mentioned that you were interested in Nan. Didn't realize that you two had this type of a relationship."

Nan froze up. It was subtle, but I managed to see the stiffening of her shoulders. Huh. How interesting. Was there more than meets the eye? Probably. Nan enjoyed hiding things until she burst. It was a horrible habit of hers, but it was easy to extract information from her that way sometimes.

Ryuuke merely grinned at me in that way that would have caused the girls in our school swoon. I was sort of immune, but only because Nan's secretiveness was distracting me. "Oh, you don't know half of it. For example, do you know how far back we go?"

I raised an eyebrow at him. "Oh?"

What? I was curious!

His mouth opened, possibly to answer me, but Nan's elbow came from nowhere and hit his stomach, causing him to double over in pain. My best friend walked towards the door in a brisk movement, bypassing me without a single glance.

"Come on, Des," she said as she slid the door open and walked out. I spared Ryuuke a small look—still clutching his stomach—before following her out and down the hallway. I caught up to her and was eventually walking beside her in the leisurely pace she'd set for us (unspokeningly). I looked at her, wondering if I should ask what was on my mind.

How far back did they go?

"I know what you're thinking," she said to me. Her face was closed off, something I was used to seeing on her. "However, I can't tell you yet."

"Why not?" I asked, trying to keep the hurt I felt out of my voice. I thought we'd established years ago that we could tell each other anything.

...okay, so I never told her about my night job, but at least I had a good reason!

"It's just...difficult to explain. You probably wouldn't believe me anyway."

"Try me," I challenged, stopping suddenly and staring at her seriously.

She too stopped and gave me a look that I couldn't read. We had another staring contest, only this time, I won. She looked away to the side, letting out a soft sigh.

"You heard about how I hold the soul of Reikira within me?"

"Uh, yeah. That means you're her reincarnation, right?" I asked.

She nodded. "I started gaining her memories when I was five years old. It scared me and I didn't know why I had them." She paused, almost as if for dramatic effect.

"That was when Ryuuke came. I never told him that I was Reikira, merely that I was afraid to go to sleep because of these dreams I kept getting. But I think he knew perfectly well who I used to be, even back then."

For some odd reason, I have a sinking feeling in my chest. I almost wanted to stop her from finishing her story, and yet I couldn't. Damn my curiosity.

Nan ran a hand through her hair, still not looking at me; I didn't mind. "Ryuuke...he was born with the memories of his previous life. Which is rare, I know. He was the one who sought me out. He told me what was happening to me. I accepted it, of course. What five year old wouldn't? He told me about how we knew each other in our past lives and he...well, he was my best friend. I kept in touch with him even when I moved to America when I was six years old. I continued regaining my memories and I actually looked forward to it because it meant that I had something to talk about with him.

"Then I regained the last memory. The memory of how I died."

My blood ran cold when I realized what she was talking about. I'd read about it. Straight from her laptop too. And in those books I've borrowed from Tokiya. I knew perfectly well what she was going to say next.

And it seemed she knew that I knew as well. She turned to look at me in the eye at last, and I noticed what was wrong immediately.

My best friend was crying.

"He killed them." Her voice came from someone who'd been broken and never had the opportunity to fix themselves. "He killed everyone I cared about. All because he was jealous of how much I loved the others. And then he killed me."

She collapsed onto her knees and I quickly knelt down to catch her. She grasped my shirt tightly and I wrapped my arms around her in a tight hug. I felt my shoulder getting wet and it felt weird, but I was able to forgive her for that. I rubbed circles on her back as a way to comfort her. I listened to her sobs patiently.

She then began to shake, and I heard a soft laugh from her. But it was one of those hysterical laughter.

"You know what the bad part is?" she asked me, barely audible.

I dreaded the answer already. Mainly because I already knew it.

"...what?"

She pulled back and looked at me straight in the eye. There was nothing happy about that smile of hers.

"I'm still in love with him, that bastard."

IIiII

It was after school and I was lying on my bed, arms behind my bed. I was staring up at the ceiling, trying to figure out what to do next. I'd learned so much during lunchtime today, it wasn't even funny. Nothing changed between me and Nan, obviously. We were still best friends, still as close as could be. She'd made me promise to not tell anyone about what she told me and I swore I wouldn't. It wasn't like there was anyone who would believe me anyway.

Okay, let's recap in my mind.

Nan was the reincarnation of Reikira, the former wind archangel who died at the hands of her lover.

Ryuuke was the reincarnation of that same lover, the one who slaughtered everyone in Sol Sanctum before killing himself after murdering Reikira. His name was...what was his name again? Oh, right. It was Lukis.

But what did Daniel have to do with everything?

I sat up from my bed. This wasn't helping. I needed to get out of the apartment. I was still dressed in my school uniform so I quickly changed into a pair of jeans and a plaid short-sleeve blouse. I grabbed my keys and my wallet, stuffed the latter into my pocket, and then hurried out to the genkan. Putting on my shoes, I locked the door after me once I was outside and walked down the hallway to where the elevators were. Pressing DOWN, I waited impatiently and when the doors opened, I walked in and pressed the first floor button. Once there, I then exited the apartment building and headed in the direction of the bus stop. I took out my pass once I saw the the vehicle coming. Getting on, I showed the driver the pass and went to the back. Grabbing onto a handle, I looked out the scenery, keeping an eye on my stop. When the bus paused at my stop, I got off and started walking to where Nan lived. Arriving at the familiar house, I rang the doorbell.

The door opened to reveal her handsome uncle. He smiled at me and welcomed me in.

As you could tell, I've been here a lot.

"She's in her room," he told me. I took off my shoes, thanked him, and went up the stairs. I walked a few steps to where her room was and knocked on the door.

"Come in," came her voice. I pushed it open and I was greeted with the sight of her typing in front of her computer. A closer look told me that she was in a chatroom. I cleared my throat.

"Yo."

She startled and spun around immediately. "Destiny!"

I grinned. "What's up?"

She shook her head. "What are you doing here?"

I sat on her bed. "I got bored. Can I sleep over?"

She spared me another glance before returning to her computer, typing to someone. "Lonely at home?"

I swung my legs. "No."

That was a huge lie, of course. I was the only one who lived in my pretty big apartment so I tend to sleepover a lot at her house.

"So! What are you doing?" I asked, trying to steer the conversation away from the current subject.

"Talking to my friends online," Nan told me in that 'what, are you stupid' tone.

I got spoken in that tone a lot, if you couldn't tell.

"Anyone interesting? Or rather, anything else interesting?" I looked around the room, trying to see if there was something different. Oh. She added a new anime poster to her wall. Hm. Which one was this one? I tried to read the anime title on the poster. Du...durarara? Weird name. Was that a pair of kitty ears on that woman's helmet?

"I talked to Rei today."

I snapped my head to give her my full attention. She was still facing her computer and I've since deducted that she never looked at me directly in the face when she wanted to hide what she was really feeling.

Okay, I could deal with that. Nan was never someone who enjoyed spilling her emotions to people very often anyway. If she wanted to hold on to the illusion that she had a blank mask on, then that was fine.

"And?" I encouraged.

"She confirmed that she was indeed an assassin," she said, her fingers flying across her keyboard. "Didn't tell me who her boss is, of course. But she told me enough."

She continued typing to whoever she was talking to and I merely sat there on her bed, wondering what I should say.

Luckily, I didn't need to.

"Why do you do it?" The typing slowed to a halt and she turned in her chair to face me. She looked genuinely confused, like a lost child trying to understand a concept that she hasn't learned yet.

This time, my eyes lowered so that I was staring at her feet instead. My legs swung on the edge of the bed as I pondered how to phrase my answer.

"I owe him for taking me in after my parents died."

"Ah." I figured she would ask me more questions, and yet she didn't. When I heard her typing resume, I look back up and watched her stare at the computer screen. The door then opened and her uncle's head popped in.

"Dinner. Oh, did you eat yet, Daitsuko-chan? Because I made extra just in case you didn't," he said.

I shook my head. "I didn't eat yet."

"Great. Come down when you're ready. Daichi and Makoto are already downstairs since they were in the living room playing video games." He then closed the door and I turned to Nan, remembering something.

"Does your family know that you're Reikira's reincarnation?" I asked. I'd remembered how her cousin, Kohori Makoto, had called Nan 'Kira-chan' on that day she had been sick.

"Hm? Oh, Mako and Shizuo-jiisan are the only ones who know. Daichi doesn't." She spun in the chair and then got up. "Let's eat."

I followed her down to the dining table. The guys were already sitting there. Of course, Nan's uncle was there. Then there was Daichi, her little brother. The last boy was unfamiliar. He had black hair that was tied back in a loose ponytail and his eyes were violet. His ears had many piercings and he wore a silver band on his right index finger. He was pretty good-looking. Very cute.

"I suppose you're Nan's cousin, Makoto?" I spoke out loud, taking a seat at the table. Nan sat next to me, the cousin sat in front of me, Daichi sat beside him, and Uncle Tanaka sat between the two siblings.

Makoto blinked before grinning at me. "Hai! You're Destiny, right? I recognize your voice."

Everyone (including me) picked up their chopsticks and placed their hands in a prayer position.

"Itadakimasu!" and we proceeded to eat our dinner: rice with grilled beef.

Dinner went by rather uneventfully, with us merely discussing about our day at school. Nan was careful to not include any mention of what happened during lunch. Actually, she didn't even bring up Daniel or Ryuuke. When Uncle Tanaka asked me, I took her cue and also didn't bring them up, merely rambling about how boring the classes were and how cute this couple at school were being. Daichi talked about an upcoming basketball game he was going to play in (he was on the team, obviously) while Makoto shared a story about the fight he had with a classmate. We all listened closely and made the appropriate gestures and remarks.

Once we were finished, we were well-fed and laughing. I followed Nan upstairs (Daichi and Makoto returned back to the living room to play Mario Kart) and we just sat in her room for a while in silence. Eventually, she turned her computer on again and I saw that she was in a chatroom again.

Who the hell did she talk to in there?

"What time is it?" I asked her.

"About eight." She turned her head towards me. "Why? Are you tired?"

I shook my head as I sat in the middle of her bed, legs stretched out before me. "Nah. Just wondering. When are you sleeping?"

"Uh, maybe at eleven or something. It depends."

I stared at her. "Who are you talking to, anyway? Boyfriend that I don't know? Ryuuke?"

"No!" she exclaimed, giving me a glare. "Just an online friend I made a few months ago."

"Really?" I raised an eyebrow. "Suspicious character?"

She shook her head, fingers typing away as usual. "Doesn't seem like it."

"Mind if I see?"

She got up and took the laptop with her. She then climbed onto the bed, making me scoot over. She rested it on her lap and she leaned against the headboard. She tilted it so that I could see the screen.

"Here."

I peeked over and I brushed some of Nan's hair from my face. She mumbled an apology, which I couldn't help but smile at.

"I'm Hikari, by the way."

I gave her a Look. I already knew that. She gave me a sheepish smile in return and I couldn't be angry at her for long. I turned back to the screen.

Hikari:

But it's a good series, yes?

Aoi:

Yes, but I don't have much time for homework now!

Aoi:

You got me addicted, you meanie. ::pout::

Hikari:

I'm sorry.

Aoi:

That's okay!

Aoi:

I have some good news!

Hikari:

Oh?

Hikari:

What is it?

"You two seem to be getting along fine," I noted with a grin. It was almost like they were flirting! Ooooh, how cute! My dear twin was growing up! "How did you two meet?"

"We have another friend who invited us to this chatroom. He's not online right now, though. His screenname is Yamada and he's apparently older than Aoi-kun and I."

There was a soft chime and we both saw the new messages Aoi had sent.

Aoi:

Aa~ That's a surprise, Hikari-chan! ::excited::

Aoi:

But don't worry! You'll like it!

Nan quickly typed something in return.

Hikari:

Are you sure about that? ::apprehensive::

Aoi:

Of course! Ah, it's too bad Yamada-kun isn't here. ::depressed::

Aoi:

Then I can tell you right now! ::sigh::

Nan and I both exchanged looks. What was that suppose to mean?

She bit her lower lip before typing a few words out and sending them.

Hikari:

Not even a clue, Aoi-kun? ::puppy dog eyes::

Aoi:

Ack! Not them! ::turns away::

Aoi:

You are devious to use them on me, Hikari-chan~! www

Aoi:

Aw~

Aoi:

I have to go now. ::sad::

Hikari:

Oh. Good bye, then. ::waves::

Aoi:

Hikari-chan is so cute~ ::kiss::

Aoi:

I'll see you tomorrow~

—Aoi has left the chatroom—

I blinked. That was an abrupt exit. I looked at Nan and noticed that she too was staring at the screen intently. Shaking her head, she signed off as well and turned her laptop off. Setting it on her desk, she turned back at me.

"I hate surprises," she said flatly.

I let out a laugh. Yes, yes she did. She didn't like not know what was going to happen. She liked being in control. Being surprised meant she wasn't in control, hence her hatred for them. How unfortunate for her!

"Are you sleeping now?" I asked her.

"Maybe," she said, looking at me. "Unless you would like to talk some more?"

I shook my head, trying to stiffen a yawn. "Nah. I'll go get some sleep. We got school tomorrow, after all."

She nodded and I got off her bed, heading to the door. I paused when I was just about to step out of the bedroom. I turned to see Nan already under her blankets, staring back at me. She tilted her head to the side.

"Yes?" she prompted.

My mind went back to dinner and a smile crossed my lips.

"It's just...whenever I'm here, I feel like I have a family. Like I'm welcomed."

Her eyes softened with—dare I say it—fondness. "Des, you're always welcomed here."

My smile grew a little and I quickly bid her good night before closing the door after me. I leaned against it and wiped my eyes furiously.

No, I wasn't crying. I don't know what you're talking about.