Chapter Seven: Nightmare Reborn

     About an hour later, a knock came to the door. I yelled at them that it was okay to come in, and Asmund made his way through the door. I eyed him up and down, and smirked.

"Asmund you look like a thug." I said, chuckling.

"Good to see you too, oh-grand-Meister-of-mine." He seemed chipper, which was nice.

     Asmund took the handles to my wheelchair, and we exited Kid's manor. There was a smoothed out path down the bottom onto the street, thankfully. We went most of the way in silence, which bothered me. 

"Hey, Asmund, do you think we could discuss something once we get to the house? Over some tea, perhaps?" I turned lightly, to keep the impression I was still injured.

"U-uh, sure. Sure, Akemi. I'll make tea. Tsubaki gave us a new kettle as a 'get well' present anyhow." He scrunched up his mouth, but kept going.

     It took some time to get up the stairs to our fourth level apartment, but we made it. Asmund rolled me into the living room to wait as he put the tea on.

"Earl grey, please!" I shouted.

     Asmund nodded, and began making our tea. I stood up, intensely concentrating my movements and making certain he wouldn't see me. I made it to my room at the end of the hall, and began removing my bandages. I might as well start with Asmund. He'd be much easier to convince than Kid. I thought to myself. I walked out of the room, and slowly began my way down the hall. Asmund was talking to himself about Death knows what, and I stood between the kitchen and living room, waiting to be seen.

"And Akemi maybe once you've recovered we c-" Asmund turned around, dropping the brand new kettle Tsubaki had gotten us.

"Hey, Asmund." I said sheepishly, throwing my hands out.

"You're...how are...what the hell are you doing?! Why are you out of your wheelchair?" He ran over to me, put I put my hands up to keep him back.

"Listen, there's something I need to tell you." I backed away a little, as to give myself space.

"Soul Protect, contained release." I muttered.

    Violet and black waves crept up from beneath me and licked at my body. My arms were outstretched, and my head was bent backwards. The waves braided with my current outfit, and changed it into a short black and purple dress, with Gothic platforms. My sleeves went to my wrists, and hung low off of them. Lastly, my braided violet hair turned a black dark as the midnight sky. I looked upon Asmund, whose face was rampant with horror.

"Y-you're...you're a witch! That's why you've recovered so quickly!" He screamed, backing up for the front door.

"No! You mustn't leave!" I screamed, flicking my hand out and putting a lock on the door.

"P-Please, Akemi...Please don't kill me..." Asmund was in tears right now, which caused me to feel even worse.

"I'm not going to kill you, Asmund. You're my weapon. And I nee-" I was cut off by the door being kicked in, and three bodies standing in the smoke.

     It was then I knew I had screwed up. And that's just an understatement. I had no time to re-cast my Soul Protect, so my legs were just forcing me to stay there. Both hands now covered my face, and tears began to fall.

"Akemi Ayumu, you are to come with me. It's over." Stein said harshly, the smoke finally clearing.

"Lord Death will have you in the Death Room. Kid, I'm sorry. You won't see her for a while." Spirit laid a hand on Kid's shoulder.

     What got to me the most wasn't that Lord Death didn't even inform who I thought he would, despite me saying he couldn't to anyone. No, it was Kid's reaction. His head was lowered, letting his hair fall. His shoulders were rocking, signaling to me that he was crying. I felt my eyes click to blue while my tears continued to fall.

"Oh, the infiltrating witch has feelings now, huh? Spirit, stay with Asmund. Kid and I will take Akemi to Lord Death." Stein grabbed my arm and wrapped me in chains, giving the lead to himself.

"A-Akemi..." I barely heard Asmund whisper, but I looked over to find him standing, trying to reach out to me. Spirit brought his hands away, nodding solemnly.

     Stein lead me out the door, and Kid followed shortly beside me. We headed to the DWMA, my heart too heavy to speak.

~Time Skip provided by depressed Death The Kid~

     We made it to the steps of the Academy, and began ascending. Kid hadn't spoken this whole walk over here, and Stein had only made snide remarks.

"Sickening. That's what you are. You're the scum of this earth and I don't even know how you managed to get in the Academy in the first place, let alone find a weapon. Hell, I don't even want to dissect you. I feel mostly sorry for Kid, though. Leading him on like this when all he did was care for you. He should prob-"

"Stein, ENOUGH." Kid grabbed the Professor by the arm harshly, turning his body so they were facing each other.

"E-even with what she is...even with the overwhelming sense of betrayal I feel, she's still mine and I still care for her." His voice was shaky, indicating he may cry again.

     That last remark brought a smile upon my lips. To know that Kid still cared for me meant more than surviving did at the moment. Stein tightened his expression, and pulled on the chains. We made it to the top of the stairs, and sure enough Maka was there, along with Soul. I watched her expression harden as Stein walked me by her.

"Akemi, no..." Maka gasped, falling to her knees on the stone ground.

     About twenty minutes passed, and we entered the Death Room, the guillotines hanging ominously above us. Lord Death bounced around until he faced all three of us, his mask giving off no sense of emotion, but his soul wavelength said otherwise.

"Stein, I see you've captured Akemi. What do you expect to do now?" His comical tone was making it hard to take him seriously.

"Lord Death, I am never one to question your decisions or reasoning to do so, but why? Why would you allow a witch to infiltrate the Academy in such a way?" Stein had tightened his grips on the chains, which made me whimper in pain.

"Stein, stop! You're hurting her!" Kid cried out, kicking the Professor to the cold floor.

     Kid looked at me with distress, undoing the chains while Stein recuperated. Lord Death brought out a massive hand, and placed it on what I assumed was his chin.

"Stein, you say you don't question me. Tell me, what do you find so incredibly threatening about this young Akemi here that you feel the need to walk her through the Academy in chains?" Lord Death appeared to be taking my side on this, which was good.

     Stein was about to reply, when footfall was heard from the hallway leading to us. Maka skidded to a stop with Soul in her hands as a scythe.

"Akemi Ayumu, daughter of the Grand Witch, you've overstayed your welcome here. Your soul is mine!" Maka charged at me, raising Soul in the air.

"Wait, please! Listen to me! Just hear me out!" I cried, tossing my arms in an X pattern to bring up a defense shield.

     I pushed Maka back, but didn't hurt her. I turned to Lord Death and dropped to my knees. Kid walked over to me, offering a sympathetic hand on my shoulder.

"Kid! Stay back! She's a witch, there's no telling what she'll do!" Maka called, but Kid gave back no response.

"I have no ill intent, Lord Death. I never have. You should know this..." I began to cry, as my eyes clicked to their hue of blue.

"Stein, to answer your question, about letting Akemi stay here. Well, Maka, come here. I want you to hear this too." Lord Death folded both his giant hands and waited for Maka to get over here.

     I peered up at Lord Death, whose wavelength had changed once more. Once everyone was gathered, Lord Death began his tale.

"Akemi came to me after the Forsaken Battle. She was frail, injured far worse than I had imagined was possible for anyone to sustain. Akemi pledged to the DWMA's mission. I was about to turn her loose and put her up as a bounty, but something stopped me. I was discussing with her about the situation when Kid here walked in. Akemi turned around, and the two locked eyes. The way Kid looked at her, is what got me. I barely get in contact with my son as it is, but the way he looked at Akemi, made me believe she had no ill notions for anyone here at the Academy, especially Kid."

~Time Skip provided by irrational Maka~

     Stein and Lord Death were off discussing, while the rest of us sat on the edge of the platform. My eyes clicked back to orange, and I hung my head low.

"Maka, Kid, Soul...you have no idea how horrible this makes me feel." I buried my face in my sleeves.

"Hey, what you did is severely uncool, don't get me wrong. But if Lord Death believes in you that much, I'm not one to argue." Soul replied, laying on his back.

"Y-yeah...thanks for not devouring my soul, Maka." I sassed, undoing my braid and letting my hair fall.

"N-No, it'd be Soul that would be doing the devouring! Not me!" Maka said sheepishly, waving her hands around.

     Maka's little comment had set Soul off, and now they were arguing. I glanced over at Kid who sat a few feet to my right. Scooting over, I laid my head on his shoulder.

"Kid, I understand the way you feel how you do right now. It's only natural. Allow me to ask one thing, if I may?" I did my best to keep my voice calm and collected.

"Gah. Keep your head off me, Akemi. Ask away, I suppose. It's not like I'm going anywhere." Kid spat, which hurt my feelings a bit.

"What did you feel on that day, Kid? When you walked in on Lord Death and I talking." The question hung in the air awhile, before he answered.

"Something I was sure I'd never come across. Like the feeling you get during the most serene piano piece, like symphonic harmony. It was like the word "Love" meant more in that moment than just an even amount of letters." He wrapped his arm around my waist, and we sat in silence.

     

The End

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