Hollow

Warning: Some adult language. And not nice scenes. I did warn you.

Someone was crying in one of the carriages. This, while not an everyday occurrence, was not unusual in itself. So, initially Franz was unconcerned.

However, it continued, out of control sobs that seemed to be ripped from someone, the raw pain was so clear. Sighing, Franz started to search the train. It was until he reached carriage four that he discovered the cause of the mystery person's distress.

A petite woman lay sprawled on one of the leather chairs, white-blonde hair unbound and spilling around her like pools of moonlight. Her dress was very short and surely she should have shivered from the pervading cold that always sneaked into the train, not lie so pale and still, eyes closed and presenting an aura of lifelessness to the world.

Shaking her shoulders was his sobber. Because his back was toward Franz, all he saw was messy dark brown hair and a long trench coat. He was whispering something brokenly, in a language that Franz barely recognised as Russian. Unfortunately, Franz didn't speak Russian and instead, resorted to more physical methods to attract the man's attention. He shook the man by the shoulders. He whirled around, breaking Franz's grip and stared blankly at him with red and puffy brown eyes.

"Sprechen Sie Deutsche?" Franz asked hopefully. The man stared uncomprehendingly. Nope, he obviously didn't speak German. Next language, and hopefully he spoke one of the four that Franz was forced to learn at school.

"Parlez-vous Francais?" The man shook his head.

"I don't understand," the man replied slowly, a strange accent heavy on his words. Franz could have kicked himself. Why hadn't he tried English first?

"Sir, what is wrong?" Franz asked in careful English, being as though it was not his best language. The man's response was a torrent of words that Franz could not interpret. He wasn't even sure if it was all in the same language, as he was reasonably confident that he recognised some smatterings of Japanese and Russian amongst the English words that he did understand.

"I cannot understand. Please, not very fast," Franz replied. "What is wrong?"

"Alice," the man replied, gazing at the woman sprawled on the bed with something akin to grief in his eyes. "She's dead." Franz felt his eyes widen.

"Was? Sind Sie sicher?" Franz blurted, forgetting everything he knew about English in his shock. The man blinked in incomprehension.

"Sir, are you sure?"

"Of course I'm sure! She's not breathing, there's no pulse, she's dead! The bloody masks took her!" The man was rather agitated, which was to be expected. After all, he had been travelling with a corpse. And, Franz decided, as such, some of his statements could be ignored. Like that mask thing.

"I've got to take her home. I promised. She asked me to, said that if anything should happen to her, that I should take her home. She knew, she knew, and never told me!" The man turned back to the corpse. "It wasn't supposed to be this way!" He then seemed to crumple, and fell to his knees in front of the corpse, like a supplicant at an altar.

"It wasn't supposed to be this way," he repeated softly. Franz looked at the woman in question. She didn't look as if someone had tried to kill her, but it was best not to be too careful. Not to mention that this man was at the scene without a valid excuse.

"Sir, please could you come with me?" Franz asked quietly. The man didn't move. "Sir, shortly the police will be here. They will have for you questions." The man's eyes flashed, the only warning that Franz got. He then proceeded to rip a supporting pole out of the train floor and brandish it before him.

"I didn't kill her!" he snarled, waving the pole threateningly. Franz stepped back a pace. "I won't go to the police until I take her home! I promised!" Franz raised his hands in surrender.

"What is her name?" he asked quietly.

"Alice Elliot," the man replied. "Her mother lives here." Franz nodded.

"I know where. She was on all the radio a short time ago, with her disappearance."

"Take me," the man demanded. "I promise on my name as a Hyuga that I will not run." Franz raised his eyebrows and looked pointedly at the pole. Hyuga smiled sheepishly and lowered it, but did not drop it. Franz sighed.

"You can't bring that. Not and carry her," he pointed out. Hyuga's face set.

"Try me," he retorted as he slung Alice over his shoulder and clung onto her legs with his free hand. Franz was afforded a view of something that his mind resolutely ignored. She deserved some dignity in death. Instead he tossed Hyuga a sheet and gestured at Alice. He silently wrapped it around her legs, obviously thinking the same thing that Franz was.

Thankfully, the Elliot house wasn't far. Hyuga had fallen silent, and his breathing had a strange hitch in it. Franz consciously ignored it. He stopped outside a modest house and gestured toward it.

"This is it," he commented quietly. Hyuga started, then nodded, dropping the pole as he did so.

"I won't be long," he replied quietly as he walked up to the door. He knocked sharply on the wood and waited a moment. The door opened slightly, then opened fully.

"Mrs Elliot, my name is Yuri Hyuga. Alice is dead. She died saving my life. I'm sorry." Yuri let Alice slide from his shoulder and guided her into his arms.

"Who are you?" Mrs Elliot demanded.

"I am…was… Alice's fiancé. We were supposed to get married after New Years. I was coming here to ask your permission."

"Thank you for bringing her home," Mrs Elliot replied stiffly. "Would you like to come in?" Yuri shook his head. "Very well. Let me take her then." Yuri carefully deposited Alice into her mother's arms and turned away, eyes shining with unshed tears. The door shut behind him.

"We can go now," he said tonelessly. Franz, who was trying to be unobtrusive, walked up to the door and grabbed Yuri, twisted his arm behind his back and frog-marched him to the police station.

"I'm looking for a Yuri Hyuga. About so tall, brown eyes and hair, trenchcoat. He went missing a week ago. Seen him?" Margarete asked. The man behind the counter nodded.

"Yeah, cell four. What of it?" the man replied.

"I want to see him," she demanded.

"Lady, he's a suspect in a murder case," the man replied. Margarete's eyes widened, the only indication of her shock.

"He is also a traitor, and my country wants to extradite him," she retorted quickly. "If you don't release him into my care, we will be forced to pursue slightly more aggressive tactics, and you don't want to involve Switzerland in such a conflict, do you?" The man gulped.

"He's guilty of other murders as well, and we're ready to prosecute. We'll add this one to our case. Who's the victim?"

"A girl named Alice Elliot. Pretty little thing, makes you wonder why he did it." The man frowned. "He's dangerous. How do I know that you can handle him?" He blinked as the distinctive click of a pistol being prepped to fire was heard very close to his head.

"That's how," Margarete replied. "I'm female, not stupid. Don't underestimate me. Will you release him to me?" She flung a pile of papers onto his desk. "You'll find that these are in order." The man nodded anxiously, trying very hard not stare at the gun. He reached toward a set of keys on his desk, but Margarete snatched them with her spare hand.

"Thank you," she replied sarcastically as she walked away. The man swallowed audibly and prayed that she would never come back.

Margarete had seen many things during her life. Some good, some bad, some disturbing. However, there was nothing that prepared her for the sight of Yuri Hyuga. He didn't appear to be physically mistreated, which was more then Margarete expected. She gasped slightly at the sight of a still Yuri. She had thought it impossible, he was always filled with a quicksilver energy that permeated through everything he did. Seeing him so still was so grotesque, she would have thought it a sign of the Apocalypse that they had so narrowly avoided.

"On your feet," she barked, hating herself for this necessary deceit. Yuri remained slumped on the ground. She unlocked the cell door and slammed it open.

"I said, on your feet Hyuga!" she snapped. Yuri still didn't respond. Sighing in faux-frustration, Margarete grabbed his elbow and pulled him to his feet. Yuri stared at her without recognition, eyes staring blankly through her. Margarete found that rather disturbing, as if Yuri was no longer here, but looking at something that only he could see.

She pushed him roughly and he stumbled forward. Once he started moving, Margarete guided him through the prison and out into the street. Neither of them were accosted, something that Margarete was very grateful for. She pulled him into an alley and propped him up against a wall. He slid down toward the ground immediately, as if his knees had been replaced with water.

"Yuri? Are you alright kiddo?" she asked in concern. Yuri raised his head and stared at her with his dead gaze. He didn't answer.

"What happened to Alice?" Margarete continued.

"Masks," Yuri replied tonelessly. "Took her soul in place of mine." Margarete sighed. She should have known, the clues were all there. Alice had practically told her in Neameeto, and she ignored her. Some spy she was.

"Come on. We're all at Roger Bacon's house. I'll take you there." Interpreting his silence as acquiescence, Margarete pulled him to his feet and dragged him over to a glowing ring.

"Bacon came up with this ring device," Margarete babbled, gesturing to the ring. "It's like the teleporters on Neameeto, only it's more portable and it can be set to go anywhere. Right now, it's set for Nemeton Monastery." Yuri didn't comment. Margarete ignored his silence and dragged him into the ring. To an outside observer, there was a flash of light, then the two disappeared. Which is essentially what happened.

Once they had arrived, Yuri pulled away from Margarete's grasp.

"Leave me alone," he said, voice dead, and stalked into the mist that always seemed to envelop the monastery. Margarete sighed and let him go, vowing to hunt him down in a few hours.

Later Margarete regretted that decision.

Yuri had joined Alice.

Sprawled gracelessly on the ground, blood drying in sticky pools, Yuri stared up sightlessly at the sky. Cast aside was his pendant, the glow dimmed at last. Yuri was, ever to the end, melodramatic.

"You bastard," Margarete hissed at his corpse. "She sacrificed herself for you, so you could live, and you threw that away. You selfish bastard. Now we have to mourn two deaths. " She turned on her heel and walked away, oblivious to the tears that streamed down her cheeks.

Authors Note: Where the hell did that come from? This was intended to answer a question I had as to how Yuri got Alice home, not turn (degenerate) into a suicide fic! Now, Nights Mistress' little lecture: There is no excuse for suicide. Ever. What Yuri did was dreadful, and you shouldn't do that at home.

I seem to be writing darkfics here. Must go and write humorous Shadow Hearts fic or next chapter in Yuri, or will drown self in misery. And that would suck, as I have yet to give manager pack of condoms with written instructions on their usage. Very worthy ambition, I know. I try.

Actually, shouldn't write chapter for Yuri. Very dark and sad. Humour fic it is!

Completely off topic here, but does anyone actually know what colour eyes Alice has? So far, I've seen three different colours; violet on the train to Fengtian (although that could be attributed to the light), blue (pretty much throughout the game) and brown (instruction manual, front cover). How hard could it possibly be to code her eyes to be the same colour?