OMG yes I have updated again. I am sorry that this isnt a very exciting chapter but I have to set the scene and all. I am halfway through the next chapter so hopfully, the next one will be quicker.. Well… I am not sure whether you will like this but I guess that's how it goes. Enjoy if you can bear to…

Chapter 4 - Angelic Memories

I cherish the tears that you cry

I idolise your spirit as you leave me.

I'm craving for you lips as we touch

I just hate the way we're running out of time

"You have no choice and what's worse, is he will take your memory with it. I have failed you."

Alice looked up at Anima and she caught her breath. Even in her weakness she had succeeded. In Atman's eyes she was perfect but he could not see how, she had failed miserably. Tears welled up in her eyes when she remembered that her memory would be taken from her. She would forget Yuri, she would forget how much she loved him. Her father, her friends and all the people that she had met on the journey. The places, the senses and experience she had associated with them.

What could she do? She had no power against Atman, and he would be her master. Anima would be there for her, but all the learning that she had received here about the masks was for nothing. Would she remember how kind Anima had been to her and would Atman distort her love of the living, and the people she cherished most?

"How can he do this, Anima? I failed, I fainted and I cannot take the screaming"

"You did not fail, you were stronger that most. Gustav was in a coma for three weeks before he awoke and regained himself. You passed with flying colours Precious. I thought I could make him stop his quest for a new mask, but it was in vain, his mind was set." Anima's voice cracked and she used the back of her hand to wipe the tears from her hooded face. The laughter of the masks echoed around the room, though they were in the other corner, Alice could still hear what they were saying. It didn't matter because she had no care for their pathetic rabble.

Gustav looked over and he took the moment of opportunity when the mask erupted in laughter again to join them sitting on the cushions. His hair was tied in a loose ponytail behind his back and his eyes still held the flames within them. After all that Anima had told her about him she felt so sorry for him, but what was that now when she would not remember a thing after Atman had finished with her?

He gazed at them both calmly, his hand found its way on top of Anima's and he turned his whole form to face her. Alice saw the compassion in his eyes, it reminded her of the time when Zhuzhen had found Yuri in the tower and Yuri had turned back to normal. The sheer relief and emotion that showed through them was amazing, yet in Gustav's case they were worried.

"Anima, listen benevolent one. You know that you become too attached to anything, you have done it again." Alice smiled at the tone that he was taking with her friend, she could see now why Anima trusted him. The one thing that did make her wonder was his accent, it was a very distinct pronunciation. She could not place her finger on where she had heard it before; she knew it well, but from where? "Though Atman has decided that Alice will become his new plaything, and she will forget all of that before her, I know that there is some hope, if she is willing to take the risk."

"Then he has not changed his mind?" Anima said little above a whisper. Gustav shook his head, his hair coming loose from the tie. He took to it quickly doing it back up again and set his eyes upon Alice. He was waiting for his words to sink in, but it already had, she had no time to adjust these days, so she spoke.

"Risk? What risk and what will it accomplish?" Anima's body language changed, it seemed more comfortable and confident within itself. Gustav sat properly beside them and took a deep breath as he decided what he was going to offer to her.

"I must not speak of it here, people know exactly how to listen to a conversation without being noticed." He took a quick glance at the group who were in eager talk about Alice. Jin was looking rather annoyed that her "love" was not enough for her master, and joined in playfully about what they would do to her when she became one of them.

"Do you know when we will be able to speak again?" Alice asked.

"No, though I think Atman will let you rest before he turns you, so I would expect you have a day before you have to meet him again." Alice was not sure that was a good thing or not, would she rather wait or get on with losing her mind? The thought was not a pleasant one but she felt a force within her grouping her memories together and holding on for dear life.

Alice began to quiver, she found this a little too hard to believe but she knew full well that it was all too real. She was really dead and she was going to lose her mind while alternatively becoming a killing machine. Either didn't sound to entertaining but what was worse was that she would probably get both.

"What will we be able to do about it? I mean is there any point in Alice having a day, surely the time span doesn't matter. I mean the outcome is the same." Alice knew Anima had taken the same thoughts and asked him, she had only done it because Alice couldn't ask herself. Gustav shook his head and a slight boyish grin appeared on his face.

"I have a plan that may work but it may take all night, and there is always the same chance that it may not work at all." Alice couldn't help but feel like hugging him, there was hope, and even if it didn't work at least she would know that she had tried.

"What is it?" Anima asked in surprise, she sounded just as hopeful as Alice felt, maybe there was something that Gustav could do. That they could all do.

"There may be a way to keep your thoughts, meaning that you may be able to over come Atman." Came his reply.

"How!?" Replied both Anima and Alice in unison.

"I will have to tell you later." Just as he said this the masks came over and started to sneer at the little group. Jin looked at Gustav to Anima and back again, something made her have that disgusting jeering expression on her face, that look that made Alice feel annoyed and paranoid at the same time.

"Having a nice time, oh holy white one?" The tone in her voice sparked something of in Alice, she went to stand up, ready to hurt the gold thing standing in front of her. She totally forgot her ordeal with the soul and stood up with all the grace she had. Just as she did this she felt a rush to the head and there was a lapse in her mind.

The screaming… No, no, not again. She felt herself falling again but being held in warm arms, but she knew she was falling further within herself. She saw the black of unconsciousness and a voice calling her to sleep. She felt so warm, she felt safe and her mind was at peace…

As she felt the warmth of the dark lift her into reality again, she could sense that someone was holding her, tight in their arms. They were strong arms, and deep breathing rocked her out of the din of dreams. The embrace was so like when… Yuri...

She opened her eyes but they were blurry. All she could see was brown locks covering an angular face in a mess fashion. It was Yuri; she was with him again. At last, she was with the person she loved the most.

"Yuri…" She could see him smile but shake his head, each second she could see better and her eyes focused. She felt another presence rush to her side and sit beside her. She heard whispered voices but she couldn't decipher their meaning. The arms that were holding her moved and propped her up onto the form that they were attached.

It was then that she came to, she saw the hooded Anima and as she turned her head, she saw she was in the arms of Gustav. It couldn't be Gustav, it was Yuri, and Yuri had…. She realised that it was her hallucination as she was coming into the "living" world again.

"Alice you shouldn't scare me like that." Alice was just getting her baring again when she saw that she was back in Anima's house, she was safe. For the moment anyway. She lost herself in looking around the room, it had to be Anima's house, but she had never been here. She was laying on the bed and her friends around her. Alice felt the tears well up in her eyes and topple over her cheek. "Oh, Alice…"

For the first time she cried, and she did not let anything stop her pour out her soul. She felt Gustav pull her closer to him, and she turned so she could be held completely. He was so like Yuri in the way he held her that she felt as if he was the only comfort. She knew it wasn't him but he was here, and he was hugging her; that was all that she needed to know.

Anima sat beside them, Alice knew; she could feel her there. Yet as she cried she could feel a certain calmness settle around her. Gustav stroked her hair soothingly and began to sing to her in a whisper, it was not English but even still it was beautiful.

"Er sagte, dass "ich müde bin"

Er wird nicht zurückgebracht

Sie zählen bis zu 100

Sie träumen vom Einschlafen.

100 schlaflose Nächte

In den Irrgärten der Liebe

100 zufällige Schlüssel

Aber nur zeroes als das Ergebnis.

Sie zählen bis zu 100

100 zufällige Namen

Und Sie sollten schlafen und an ihn nicht denken

Und Sie sollten schlafen und an ihn nicht denken

Und Sie sollten schlafen und an ihn nicht denke"

Alice had stopped crying so she could listen to the words, she leant on Gustav's shoulder as she felt herself calming and bringing herself to a gentle acceptance of what was to happen. She breathed softly and looked up at the flaming eyes that gazed upon her, she could she Yuri within them. The pain that she experienced when she saw those ruddy eyes was so immense that it was almost as passionate as the love that she had for Yuri.

She did not turn away, she couldn't. For some reason she felt that the only way to stay sane was to keep looking. She began to get confused and curled up tighter to him. She felt as if she was a child clinging to someone as if afraid of the dark. She probably was acting so stupidly but she was confused, she was the child, in this world anyway.

"Was werden wir machen?" Anima whispered almost silently, her voice seemed weak and full of sorrow. Yet how could speak the language that Gustav sung to her in? How strange, her pronounciation was just as good as Gustav's. Maybe it was one of Anima's talents; she did say that she had beeen here a while. It was so odd.

"Ich weiβ nicht, Mein Idee vielleicht nicht funktioniert. Ich bin nicht sicher, wird es möglich sein." Came the answer, Alice didn't know what they were saying but it sounded much the same as the last converstaion that they last had. The tones were hushed and worried; yes they were the same.

"Sagen nicht diesen Sachen, fuhle ich jetzt schlecht" Anima sighed as she said this, Alice could see that she was torn with pain, even not being able to see her face, the mood was just as visible without sight. It went silent for a moment and she could feel the tension within the very air; her whole being ached and her head throbbed. It was like preparing for her death all over again.

Where was Yuri? When she needed him more than any thing he was no where; not even his voice would sound in her head. Nothing it was silent apart from hearing her inner child wail and sob as much as she wanted to do herself. She took a deep breath and prepared herself to speak.

"So what is… is this plan?" Her voice was weaker than Anima's but it was still audiable, whether they could make out what she said was something different. They looked to her and Gustav gave her a smile. Anima passed her a tissue and Alice sensed that she was smiling too.

"Well It is rather difficult and a bit far fetched." Alice shook her head urgently, her voice gained volume and became sturdier.

"I do not care, if there is a slight chance that it is possible then I will do anything." Anima placed a hand on her hidden cheek but Alice did not care of the risks she would rather fight and have her soul taken away from her than just give up. "Please tell me what it is you want me to do and I will do it..."

"Was werden wir machen?" = 'What are we going to do?'

"Ich weiβ nicht, Mein Idee vielleicht nicht funktioniert. Ich bin nicht sicher, wird es möglich sein." = "I don't know, my idea may not work. I am not sure if it will even be possible."

"Sagen nicht diesen Sachen, fuhle ich jetzt schlecht" = Don't say such things, I feel bad enough already