A story based on the first Shadow Hearts game. A Yuri x Alice centered story specially manufactured by Puffy.

Disclaimer: At the risk of betraying my love for Yuri and Alice, I hereby disown them. From this day forth, Aruze, Midway and whatever shall call them their own. The rest of the characters belong to them anyway!

Dedicated to all who love, betrayed by love and still loves again.


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(O(o)O)

Treachery From Within.

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(O) Prologue (O)

1914, London, England.

From the balcony of her hotel room, Margarete Gertrude Zelle stood smoking a cigarette. Her keen eyes missed nothing, from the daily morning activities of the people below, to the cooing of doves at a neighbor's window, to the sounds of children at play in the streets.

Behind her, a blond man was still asleep in the bed, covered in warm blankets. Margarete sighed deeply. Physically she was satiated, she couldn't ask for a more wonderful lover than Keith Valentine, considerate, tender and very much a gentleman. But something's missing.

Margarete lit another stick, inhaling the smoke deeply. She wondered at the source of this discontentment. She had always preferred relationships that are purely physical, no emotional involvement.

She is simply just another woman, a woman who has needs too. Deep in her heart, Margarete longed to have someone she can call her own, but the path she had chosen made it impossible for her to trust anyone completely. To further her career, Margarete has done it all, even to the point of becoming a mistress to the highest officials, just so she could extract information for her job as a spy.

And though, she tried to tell herself there's no shame in it, Margarete knew that she's missing something out by being like this. Her attention focused back on Keith, the handsome vampire, remembered the first day they have met in Rouen, France. She knew that it was only natural that she would be drawn to him, for Keith was very much a man, a very handsome man at that. She had sensed that Keith wanted her too; she also knows that the only reason why he kept himself from a distance at first was because he considered her a comrade, a friend, someone to be respected and not treated like a sex object.

But there is no reason for them to hold back, Margarete had decided. They are both mature adults who know what they want in life. And right now, what she wanted is this intimacy that has no strings attached, a relationship that is purely physical, one that does not threaten her emotional stability.

Alice might not understand, Margarete thought fondly, the young girl is full of powder romance to understand the various shades of gray in the world, but deep inside, Margarete knew that had she been the one in Alice's shoes, she would never trade her innocence for all the gold in the world.

So it happened. She and Keith became lovers, lovers in the sense that they share a bed, their bodies but not their hearts. It was a mutually satisfying relationship for both of them, because none wanted the emotional ties, the absolute self surrender, that love demands.

But they kept it a secret, they didn't want to be the one to disillusion the younger generation. Alice would be surely devastated when she finally realizes that there are women out there who could casually share their bodies with a man and then walk away, never look back as if nothing happened. Margarete knew that for someone like Alice, it would be horrendous, a woman like Alice would only give herself to the man she loves and could never understand how some women do it without the sanctity of love. And despite her own shortcomings, Margarete didn't want the younger woman to know about her 'misadventures', it's best that Alice knew little of her, this way it would be easier for both of them to say 'goodbye' when the time comes.

Well, Margarete thought as she snuffed her cigarette. It would be nice to be that innocent again, naïve and full of dreams. Lucky for Alice, she got a man who really cares for her, someone to protect her girlish dreams and fantasies, someone who cherish her to the point of oblivion, a man who would make sure that those dreams come true. Sadly, the same couldn't be said of Margarete Gertrude Zelle, she had seen too much, known too much, done too much, to be that trusting girl again.

(O(o)O)

At a house near London, England.

"That boy is becoming a great nuisance!" Albert Simon fumed, throwing his gloves irritably down the table.

An old woman dressed in black poured tea in a porcelain cup. Silently she kept on formulating her plan, checked out for flaws and thought of alternative ways to implement it. She had thought about it for a long, long time ever since she had encountered them on Prague.

"I must have the Elliot girl if I'm to proceed with my plan!" Albert said accepting the cup of tea from the old woman.

"Sir Albert, I have been thinking about this plan of mine." She said as she sat down across the warlock.

"What do you have in mind Olga?" Albert asked, sipping his tea.

"As long as that Harmonixer kid protects the Elliot girl, there's nothing we can do. He has proven to be stronger each battle than the one before. The only way for us to gain custody of the girl would be to either kill him or…" Olga paused.

"Or?" Albert prodded.

"He stops protecting her." Olga said. Her wrinkled eyes suddenly glinted with pure malice.

"Go on." Albert said, more interested to listen now.

"The Hyuga kid is strangely devoted to Alice, it seems he would stop at nothing, would do just anything to keep her safe." Olga babbled on.

Albert was beginning to feel impatient. "And your point is?"

"A man who acts like that could only mean that he is very much emotionally involved—"

"Yes, yes it's obvious even to the lowliest imbecile that he loves her. What are you trying to say Olga?" Albert said impatiently, he already knows the boy's devotion to the Elliot girl, he wanted ways to capture her, not listen to this recitation of Hyuga's strange obsession with Alice.

"A man like that would be easy to manipulate, it would be easy to turn his emotions against him." Olga said, biting a biscuit with her canine, the only tooth left in her gums.

"Damn it all woman! Do I have to pull it out from you word for word?! Get on with it!" Albert finally exploded.

Olga flinched a little, but then, she's used to Albert's sudden excessive show of anger.

"If we could turn this Hyuga kid against Elliot, she would be left defenseless." Olga began.

"And how do you propose to do that? You yourself have said, his commitment to Alice is phenomenal!" Albert looked at the old woman as though she had lost her wits.

"If we could make the girl fall for another man, we could destroy his faith and devotion by using his own emotions against her. A man betrayed by someone he loves would be just as destructive, and he would hate her with the same passion that he had loved her." Olga finished.

Albert nodded once, contemplating what the old hag said. The plan just might work.

"And how will you do that?" He asked Olga.

The old woman just smiled evilly. "I have my own resources."