Hiding Amongst the Shadows

Notes: I wanted to try something new in this fanfiction. I want to make a few non-canon couples in here as well as add lots of angst and slice of life themes. There are going to be quite a few differences in this story but it is not completely AU. Kotarou Higuchi is still able to see ghosts and angels and Misha still lives near him. But Misha has not yet told him she is an angel and he has yet to meet Sasha and talk to her. I love all the Pita Ten characters and I thank Koge-Donbo for making such an excellent story. This is going to run for quite some chapters and it is not posted in Fanfiction.net. Now on to the fanfiction!

Chapter I. Beginning of the Nightmare

When Kotarou knew he was late, he cursed. He cursed the cold, the cram school andmost of all, himself. For being late. This was not a first time for him, for commonly it was always dark when cram school was over. Misha-san, his dear neighbor whom constantly clung to his side showering love and affection ever since she had moved in, had immediately volunteered to accompany him, and gone with him a few times with only the words, "You needs ta be safe, su!"

He was more concerned about her health than his though, and he was right. After carefully observing her one night he noticed she was shivering and sneezing a bit more than usual. In general concern, he had immediately ended these expeditions with firm "no's.". But Misha still worried for him anyways. He never understood why, why she had always greeted him after he arrived home, embraced him or followed him to school every morning, and look so happy when he came home safely. It was something a mother should do. Not an older girl who had just moved in.

To say the least, it irked him. She got seriously annoying after a while as did her hugs But it also left him curious, of how a girl he had just barely met could be so determined to follow him around, as well as hug him and act for all he knew, like she had known him before. But that had to be impossible, for he had no recollection or memories of her at all. It slightly creeped him out, but being the polite and composed boy he was, he kept it to himself.

Of the many nights he had traveled from Cram school to his home again, this night had been different. Very different. Perhaps, had the circumstances been different or if he paid more attention to the news on television rather than study for the entrance exams -that were so stealthily slipping closer and closer- than possibly this would not have placed. Had he instead avoid the park, like all other nights then it would have been completely different. The park was considered a 'shortcut' for cram students. It sat right between the Cram school and the street that led directly to Kotarou's apartment. But even if it was, many students avoided the park now, reasons varied but the oddest one was because the news had warned of a strange massacre in there. Reports had always claimed that around 9:00 P.M, a massacre of murders had happened, the victims always left with gashes that resembled claws from some sort of wild animal...

But because Kotarou never watched the television when he studied, it happened.

Breathing rapidly as well as shuddering at the same time, the slender purple-haired boy pulled his thick coat tighter around his thin frame. Cold mist rose from his nose when he breathed in and out, shocking his lungs with the nipping cold, and causing his pale, angular face to flush crimson. In the dark, starry night the youthful boy traveled slowly and reluctantly towards the dark and gloomy park, blinking in dismay at it. Missing his bus proved to be his downfall, subsequently he had chosen the park as another way to travel through to his home. Grudgingly, he thought of the nice, warm bus he could have taken instead, like all the other cram students.

Hesitating for only a moment, he walked slowly in, his feet making loud, crunching noises on the fallen leaves, through the silent park. Mentally cursing himself, and his stupidity as well.

'Stupid! So stupid!' he cursed to himself; angrily kicking a rock near by to express his frustration at his unfortunate plight. 'Why did am I the only one cursed with the luck of missing my bus?!' Pausing again, he stopped to kick another rock, this time directing it at a tree diagonal from him. But instead of the intended thud of the contact between the stone and the tree, the rock stopped suddenly, midair in the shadows before dropping silently to the ground again.

He froze, turned and stared.

"Well, look over here," a shrewd voice mused, cutting the thin air suddenly from behind one of the spindly trees. His hackles raising, Kotarou's eyes widened as several vast outlines of humans appeared behind the trees, framing the park. "I think we may have found us another human..."

Kotarou, numb from the cold and stiff from lack of sleep, suddenly felt an unpleasant sinking of his stomach, staring in horror and stunned shock at the shapes of the human figures emerging from the shadows, all glaring at him from the shadows with eerie, cat-like orbs.

*

"For once, stop thinking about your precious Kotarou-kun, Misha! You have to study for the exams! STUDY!"

It was an interesting sight to behold, a young woman, barely nineteen stamped her foot on the ground angrily, piercing blue eyes glared furiously at her 'victim' while she trembled with unspent fury.

Anything she said fell upon deaf ears to the only other person in the room. Silently the pink-haired girl made no move to even notice her ever-growing frustrated sister, her eyes stared apprehensively at the door of her apartment, looking at it as expectantly as if suddenly expecting the wonder boy, Kotarou to appear like magic.

"Kotarou-kun this! Kotarou-kun that! It's always with Kotarou-kun for you, isn't it Misha!?"

Misha did not even bother looking at her sister, looking grave and very miserable; her smile was not on her normally very cheerful features. Copying her unhappy emotions, her special bunny hair ties looked as somber and gloomy as she did.

"You need to concentrate on your angel exams Misha! Don't even try failing it again!"

Chewing her lip, an agitated frown lit her delicate features, as she finally ripped her eyes away from the door to look at the clock hanging on the wall.

"Kotarou-kun's late, su."

"Oh put a sock in it, Misha," Sasha-chan said harshly, even more put-off at her sister's lack of worry for the upcoming Exams. After waiting a moment, she realized Misha was paying not the least attention to her. "...You're not even listening to me are you!?" enraged she stamped in front of her sister, fury mounting in her voice. "Listen to me, you dunce!"

She received no reply. At that moment however the clock chimed, breaking the tense atmosphere and announcing an hour had passed.

"Sa-chan," Misha said unexpectedly, worry creeping into her normally happy voice, as she pointed uneasily at the clock. "Kotarou-kun always comes by nine and an hour passed already, su!"

"I suppose so..." Sasha muttered afterwards, as she too glanced at the clock. Forgetting about Misha's studies, she flew over to the clock and peered closely at it, linking conspicuously and muttering dark curses. "...can't even... this darned contraption..." was the only thing Misha could hear from Sasha's muttering; when the girl suddenly turned on Misha again, as wrathful as a rattlesnake that had been stepped on.

"Fine then! Misha you stay here and study for the Exams, I'LL search for Mister Wonder-Boy and get his ass back here! Honestly!" her voice dripping with sarcasm and bitterness; she flared out her large angelic wings and took off into the sky, airborne and faster than a bird, leaving behind a worried girl, her fingers clenching the hem of her angel uniform.

'Kotarou-kun...'

*

"Get away from me!" he cried out, struggling frantically and kicking the man again and again with more force, panic surged through his heart. Surrounded by the demons, he had been picked up in a painful grip so fast he had blinked once and then felt blood leak from wounds on his throat and face. Blood dribbled down his chin and neck from the claws that clenched even tighter, bruising the skin as easily as if it was tissue. Dazed, Kotarou stopped moving and merely stared at the man, horror and pain was written all voer his face as he pleaded. "Please! STOP!"

The demons ignored his cries, some snickered, and some even laughed at him. "Just listen to him," a demon muttered darkly.

"There's something with this boy," the demon grunted shaking Kotarou fiercely midair. Reacting instantly he kicked the demon with all his might and finally felt it connect with his body. Swears and curses emerged from the man's mouth as he proceeded to relocate his iron grip on him until he held him in a near strangling position on his neck.

"You mean besides the fact he's the first human to actually strike back," another person sneered, as the man holding him loosened his grasp slightly, barely allowing him to breathe. Gulping for breath, he literally felt his body drop when the demon released him, resulting for him to crumple in a heap on the frozen, icy ground.

"No...The other humans didn't have this type of blood. It smells different, and I even bet it tastes different as well." leaning in closer, the man licked the blood trickling from the side of his face, Kotarou shuddered, trying to crawl away from him, his body refused to obey however and he collapsed after the first try.

"Please, should you not kill him immediately? I beg of you do not unjustly torture your victims." a dulcet voice, pleading and thin murmured piteously. Wavering, he turned his head and stared groggily at the young woman standing amongst the other demon who gazed down at him with such sympathy it appeared human-like, even if he already knew none of the people standing here were even close to being human. Unlike the other demons, she wore a white dress with it's hems and cuffs sewn with black ribbons and lace. A wide-brimmed white hat decorated with crimson roses sat atop her raven-black hair and partially shadowed her black orbs.

"Shut up Shia," the demon holding him jeered. "I don't take orders from a useless wretch like you, living amongst the humans, how do you dare call yourself a demon!" and he spat at the feet of the girl derisively.

Looking appalled, she took a step back while the other demons laughed scornfully. But before anyone could do or say anything more; another man stepped out of the shadows of a tree, his steps so quick that he reached them in seconds. At the same time he pulled from the heavy folds of his cloak, his hand which held nails too sharp and lethal to be human. This he clenched savagely around the man's throat, digging in the nails until blood streamed from the punctures. "What did you just say, bastard?" he said savagely, his voice cutting into the thin air as his nails did to the man's neck. "Did I just hear you insult Shia?"

Shia opened her mouth as if to protest, but let it shut silently, as the other man tried to speak, only managing out strangled squawks. His face began to turn blue, whilst everyone else stood wordlessly in bewildered silence.

The demon, finally managing to speak, half-choking at the same time rasped out, "I apologize my lord!" at least a dozen times before the taller (and obviously stronger) man finally loosened his iron-grip on his neck.

This man -Kotarou now guessed to be the leader- looked up and locked eyes with Kotarou, his ice-cold eyes analyzing him instantly. Tensing up, he involuntarily stiffened at his gaze, finally forcing himself to look away from the other man's probing orbs. Blonde hair and gorgeous blue eyes would have caused any female to fall in love at first sight, but the cruel, iciness and dark, bitter anger would also had made anyone else stiffen or shudder instinctively from fright. He wore a heavy black cloak that enveloped his body completely, shielding the clothing he wore underneath. A single, large silver bell hung at the collar of his cloak, scarcely clanking at all. The young man gazed at Kotarou for a couple more seconds with his piercing glare, before turning away curtly. "Kill him already."

At his command, Kotarou was roughly shoved to the ground by several demons; his scarf was ripped away from his neck to reveal his throat. Straining his head to see what they were doing, he realized in a split of a second as soon as one man bared his fangs, and began violently struggling away from the descending demon.

"HELP!" he screamed, his voice rising small and thin. "Somebody, anybody! HELP!"

The demons laughed. "No one will see you," the approaching demon whispered, leaning in even closer to him. "Or hear your scream..."

It was futile. Advancing to his struggling body, with teeth as sharp as knives, the demon bit into his throat, piercing the flesh instantly. Blood leaked from the wound dribbling to the ground, his fangs gouged in even deeper as soon as the blood escaped the punctures. Breathing in sharply, his eyes widened as he froze in place, shock stilling his body as the demon's teeth dug in deeper and deeper, then finally proceeded to steal the blood from his body.

Sometimes when Kotarou's friend, Ten-chan had invited him over to watch some classics; vampire movies both of them always laughed and made fun of it. Watching the weak victim dying of blood loss and becoming a vampire, assuming it had been all an act. He had not believed in it at all or believed in the pain the victim was feeling. To say the least, he seriously regretted not thinking that.

It was worse than he had expected. Pain roared at his limbs and head, his mind screamed along with his body, filled with pain, fright and terror. Get away! Get away from here! He;s going to kill you!

Gasping out, he screamed outloud, his voice rising out painfully into the cold, silent air, blood oozed from his mouth. His heart thumped painfully in his chest, the blood escaped his body, leaving, his throat screamed along with him, he was actually going to die...

Ice cold fingers grappled his throat suddenly, tightened, and began cutting off the air supply, suffocating him.

Dimly he felt suddenly limp. Numbness traveled all over his body. His lungs began choking, screaming for air.

No air! his lungs were straining for air, panic exploded in his body, and he suddenly kicked out, struggling fiercely, violently, screaming in his mind. No air, no air! Please, stop!

His vision blurred, darkened and darkned around the edges.

And then the pain stopped.

Jerking, the demon suddenly relaxed his grip, and pulled away. Breathing laboriously, Kotarou struggled to crawl away from this monster. But the demon/vampire had already backed away. The reason was pretty obvious enough. A light, a light so bright it defeated the light of the moon in great contrast, shone out in front of the group of people, then took shape into the form of a human. Summoning as much of his diminishing strength as he could, he sluggishly pushed himself away from the demons, while they were distracted. Two great, vast wings flared out from the back of the figure and released glittery white feathers; they struck the ground and faded away.

Just barely, he could hear several of the people around him curse then.

"Leave him ALONE!" the figure shouted, the voice was powerful, commanding and filled with rage. It released even more copious light as it flew down closer, until it lighted up the park in a illuminating, vibrant light.

"Leave now!" one of the demons snarled. Each of the demons backed away and shielded his/her own eyes pathetically with an limb free. "GO, YOU STUPID ANGEL!"

Angel? That made no sense. Angels made as much sense as these demons did; they were those heavenly people who always stayed in heaven...so how could one be here? Vaguely Kotarou tried to think about this more, but his neck hurt too much. His head hurt too much. Feeling dizzy and light-headed he concentrated as hard as he could on the floating figure.

"Shut up you worthless wretch!" the angel snapped back -equally disgusted and angry- as it took a step towards them, appearing suddenly very threatening.

All at once, the demons evidently vanished from sight. The last one was the girl, Shia who paused just once to look sympathetically at Kotarou, he barely made out her face when she too vanished in thin air. Apparently disgruntled the diva turned to face him, the light dimmed down enough for him to see the angelic person's face a bit more clearly, however in his state he could only make out the angel's eyes, piercing and blue resembling that very cold demon from before, but the angel's eyes were more warmer, holding a look of concern for him. Shakily Kotarou dragged his body towards his savior, managing only to crawl a bit before slumping down.

"Are you okay?" it questioned, approaching him as the light faded down to a small, pulsating glow. "All your life force has nearly been drained....it's a miracle you're still alive by the time I got here. Misha's going to have a heart attack no doubt in the state you're in."

"M-Misha.,.?" Kotarou coughed, blood streaming from his wound to pool by the frosty ground, it was strange that he could no longer feel the biting cold any more. Only a warm, numbing sensation, that began slowly filling his entire body leaving him in a half-deadened consciousness. Forcing his mind to work, he distinctly recognized the name this angel had uttered. Turning slightly he peered into the angel's face. "Did you mean Mish...a..s...an?" his vision was getting hazier as he squinted at the angel.

"Yeah," the angel said softly, pausing for a moment before leaning down to look at him more softly. "I guess I did."

*

If the atmosphere had been tense before, it was now so stiff it was almost suffocating in that very small apartment room. With something that resembled a sob and a groan, Misha gently ran her fingers through Kotarou's damp hair. Her horrified pink eyes absorbed all his injuries as she trembled violently. His face was bleeding from all sorts of gashes; blood trickled from his neck as well as his mouth. Four sharp points dotted his neck from where the demons had assaulted him to steal life force. His clothes were shredded from claws but worst of all was his breathing. His breathing was wheezing and so painful it hurt her, so very much.

"No..." she moaned, her eyes welling up with tears. "No, no.....Kotarou-kun..." clutching his hand, she felt for the pulse by his wrist. It sounded faint, as if it was getting chased away. She squeezed his hand tightly, hoping to bring him back somehow by clinging to it. Tears rolled down her cheeks to drip from her chin. Some of them struck Kotarou's pale face, wetting it even more than it already was.

Sniffling audibly, she embraced the frail human in her arms tightly. After Sasha had warned her about Kotarou's state, she had immediately raced over there (à la wings) and bringing him back to her apartment room and cried and cried over him now as she rocked his limp body in her arms.

"Oh shut up Misha!" Sasha snapped angrily, rubbing her temples for the fiftieth time as she turned her wrath and frustration on her young sister. "Just shut up already! If you want to help your 'precious' Kotarou-kun, stop bawling already! Or do you want him to die!?"

However frustrated she felt at her unhelpful sister, Sasha stopped her ranting as soon as she saw Misha's face. Grief and despair was etched all over it, her tears shining from her white face. Feeling the blood draining from her face; Sasha hastily turned away from her sibling's eyes and in a shaky voice continued. "He's not dead yet Misha! I got to him before they could thoroughly kill him. There's still a chance we can save him..."

But Misha wasn't stupid. She knew as much as any angel should know that a human had only a slim chance of survival after an assault from a demon.

Forcing those negative emotions and thoughts away from her body, the older angel turned to look at Kotarou. He looked literally like a dead body already, his breathing rising at irregular states, and he coughed very often, causing his body to rack up and shake uncontrollably.

'Damnit!' Sasha thought angrily. 'Damn all of this! All I came down for was to tell Misha to get her butt into studying, and now there's a human's dying from some stupid, lousy, scumbag dem-'

"Kotaroh."

"What?" turning around Sasha turned to stare at her sister, Misha's shoulders shook, as if she was crying, yet no more tears fell from her eyes. The young angel girl clenched Kotarou's hand into her own until her knuckles turned white as she wept. "What did you say?"

"Kotaroh-kun," Misha murmured, her lips barely passing the last syllable of the name, Sasha knew so well. "He's....he looks like Kotaroh-kun, su..."

"What do you mean?" already Sasha could feel dread creeping down her spine at Misha's blank expression. "The boy IS Kotaroh's reincarnation for Pete’s sake! Of course he'd look similar to-"

"No." Misha looked up and stared straight into Sasha's eyes, a strange and almost chilling emotion burning from her eyes. "Sasha-chan, he-he looked just like Kotaroh-kun...before he died."



Author's Notes:

Lalala! ^_~ A cliffhanger ending of Chapter one!

Well what do you think? This is not my first try at a LONG Pita Ten fanfiction (I've had hundreds of other tries) however it might be one of my most successful. I'm trying really hard to keep everything as in-character as possible. I hope it looks like that after you read this chapter!

If you haven't guessed already this is BASED off the manga of Pita Ten and not the kiddy-version that calls itself the anime version. There are also many parts in here that are very spoilerish from volume six and on. If you have not read past volume five or you dislike spoilers or you just dislike my fanfiction, don't read it. Simple as that. Hahaha anyways I'm planning on making this longer than average with several chapters before wrapping it up, it is not seriously going to follow the manga ending or the anime, maybe a different, I haven't decided yet.

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