Dedicated to: Kamixyu (who also happens to be one of my betas, say what)
No really, she puts up with me when I start rambling about things that make no sense whatsoever. She also is an author contributing to this small fandom so go check her out.

This goes along with canon, probably after about Retrace XXX, so bear with me. There's actually a very long plot involved so uh...get ready for a long story! It's not a oneshot for once! Be surprised people! There's plot twists and whatnot in your future! I hope you all enjoy it and I'll add more to this note when I think of more.

Six Chances


Creak. Creak. Creak. Creaaaak.

"What a pleasant carriage ride, no?"

A soft chuckle vibrated throughout the cramped space, bouncing off the walls and landing in the ears of the four passengers. The responses, in order, were a smile, a scoff, and a huff. An amused snicker passed through the speaker's lips as he leaned back on the small bench, crimson eye slipping shut. A hand reached up to toy with the ends of his bangs, as if distracting himself from one thing or another. This turn of events caused a second scoff to enter the air. Clearly annoyed, at that.

"Don't tell me you're going to fall asleep before we get there," the man grumbled, golden eyes narrowing a fraction.

"Ah, let him sleep, Gil~ It's been a long day," the boy across from the pair interjected contently.

"Peon, the day just started!"

"Ah…Alice, don't hit me!"

Break cracked open his eye once more, sniggering under his breath as Alice landed a soft punch to the top of Oz's crown of yellow. His gaze drifted over to Gilbert shortly afterwards, settling on the brooding male. "I wasn't planning on it, actually. Just wanted to see if I could push your buttons even further," he chided calmly.

Gilbert pointedly twitched. "You…"

"Me?" Break echoed and sat up, hands coming to clasp in his lap. "I hate to interrupt, you two," he began, smiling benevolently at the flailing Oz and fuming Alice. At once, the pair quieted, soft blushes of embarrassment painting their faces. "But can we all try to get along for…oh, I don't know, a few hours?"

"It'd be easier if you weren't here," Gilbert grumbled from Break's side and went about ignoring the Pandora Member, turning his gaze to one of his pistols.

"Cheer up, Gil!" Oz hummed happily. "No problem, Break!"

Alice didn't respond and instead went about munching on the apple they had brought with them on the trip. Break nodded lazily and spared a glance out the small window of the carriage. "Is it nostalgic for you, Master Oz?"


Oz, who had been about to start drifting off into reveries, perked up. "Nostalgic? What is?"

"Returning to such a place once again?"

Oz fell quiet, giving the statement a great deal of thought. Small hands interlaced in his lap and he deliberated for a long while. "Ah…" he began, licking his lips absently. "Maybe, just a bit."

"Especially after the turn of events that transpired the last two times, no?" Break continued, leaning forward, almost expectantly, as he continued to survey the young Bezarius heir.

Gilbert, who had barely been paying attention, did manage to catch on to the subtle hinting the ashen-haired male was tossing out. He frowned. "Break, that's—"

"Enough?" Break guessed and lounged back a second time, laughing jovially to himself. "I was just curious. No need to get testy, Raven~"

Gilbert scoffed and reached into his pocket for a cigarette. Once discovered, he gave the small stick a twirl around his fingers, gaze settling outside as well. As the carriage continued down the bumpy road, the blurry image of a large mansion grew, slowly coming into focus. Years of overgrown vines and shrubbery littered the grounds, as well as the brick itself. At one point the buildings had been grandeur, lavish, and a focal point, but now, they lay in partial ruins. Small reminders of better times. Of a past lost forever beneath a decade of anguish. Gilbert's stomach accordingly churned, contorted, and growled.

"Seaweed head, why's your face so scary all of a sudden?" Alice demanded, an eyebrow arched.

Gilbert tore his eyes away from the nearing edifice to Alice. "I'm always like this," he answered apathetically.

Alice frowned, not buying into the answer, but remained silent. She muttered a strand of incoherent words to herself, despite it all.

Oz continued smiling, even when Alice's words managed to reach his ears. His expression was one of utter indifference. Eventually the carriage came to a complete stop. "We're here!" he announced merrily, making a move to open the door and head outside. However, before the blond could do anything of the sort, Alice had shoved past him, kicked open the small door—nearly knocking it off its hinges—and jumped out, muttering something irritably about ladies first.

"Always the lively one," Break noted as he glimpsed out the door Alice had disappeared from.

Oz giggled softly to himself, nodded to Break's words, and passed Gilbert another smile. "C'mon Gil, we're not going to find anything out sitting around." He stuck his tongue out at him and then proceeded to leave the carriage as well.

"See? I'm not the only one," Break pointed out in a soft hum and gave Emily a small pat. The doll chirped, as per usual.

Gilbert shook his head and made a move to get out as well, but was stopped by Break's hand suddenly closing around his arm. The dark-haired male arched a brow questioningly. "What?"

"Do not be too reckless in your decisions, dear Raven," Break began in a tsking manner, "Haste makes waste…and over eagerness may lead to some unsettling discoveries. After all…we all must walk before we run."

Gilbert deadpanned. Break's logic. It was so obscure. "I'll remember that," he said, mostly sarcastically, and gave a slight pull to his arm, trying to wrench it free. When he found that task impossible, he scowled. "What?" he repeated, losing patience. It wasn't that hard of a task nowadays.

"…Do keep a careful eye on your Master here," Break murmured, expression suddenly serious. "Although this place is crucial to our investigation into Sabrie, I do not trust the aura emanating from within. Can you feel it, little black bird?"

Gilbert went silent. Could he feel it? "I don't know what you're talking about," he began, voice on the brink of irritation, "but I'll be extra careful." A grumble. "Not like I'm never not."

Break gave a soft laugh and finally let go of his 'friend's' sleeve. "Good." He mocked a long yawn and exited the carriage, followed shortly after by Gilbert who eagerly tugged his hat on, blocking the midday sun.

"Such a nice day for a walk!" Break commented, rejoining Alice and Oz a few feet away. He signaled to the carriage driver to head off, previous arrangements having already been made.

"It is," Oz agreed with a smile and brought his hands up to his eyes, squinting to examine the building closer from where he stood. "That's a lot of vines!"

"…Stupid servant," Alice sighed at Oz's obvious observation. She dug her heel into the ground and looked to Break. "…So what's the plan, clown?"

"Gather round, children," Break cooed, gesturing with his hand from Oz and Alice to come closer. When the four were in a half-circle, Break began, a smirk gracing his visage. "Our goal is simple—gather as much information as possible this fine day about Sabrie. There should be books within these buildings. Most of the doors should be unlocked, but if they're not, well… just try your best~"

Oz gave a nod.

"Is that all?" Alice questioned. "It seems boring."

"Well…would you care to hear something that may spice things up a bit for you, Miss Rabbit?"

Alice quirked a brow. "What is it?"

"Within that chapel," he began, gesturing calmly over his shoulder in the right direction, "lies an infamous, silent clock tower. At the top, as one would expect from such a thing, rests a dormant, ancient clock. Of course, it was that way until our dear little Master Oz woke it up."

Oz averted his gaze, giving a small, distant laugh. Gilbert took note of this and shifted awkwardly, not liking where this conversation as going.

"Well? Continue," Alice huffed, tapping her foot impatiently, not understanding why Break had cut himself off mid-story.

"Ever since the Tragedy of Sabrie, the clock stopped at exactly twelve." He reached into his pocket, removed a lollipop, unwrapped it, and crunched. "It is prophesized by the four noble families that the promised one, whose blood is interwoven with these lands, will awaken the slumbering clock." A soft giggle at his own words. "And when the clock awakens—the Tragedy shall repeat itself, when the clock makes a full revolution. Once more will this land be purged in darkness."

Silence reigned over the group for a few minutes.

Until Oz laughed warmly.

"That's a good legend!" Oz complimented with a bright smile before turning away from the group. Absently, when no one was able to see it, his hand came up to rest over his chest, fingering the seal through his shirt. "Let's head inside and see if we can find anything in books~"

Alice rolled her eyes. "You and your stupid myths," she muttered at Break before following after Oz.

"…The clock moved on the night of Oz's ceremony," Gilbert murmured out loud when Oz and Alice were far enough away.

"I know," Break answered calmly and gave a lick to the treat in his hand. "And it seems Master Oz does as well~ What I'm really interested in is where the hands of that clock are now."

Gilbert didn't respond and began walking.



"You're really the only one who ever sees the boy's seal—where is it at?"

Gilbert bit his lip, not wanting to answer that. Last time he had forced himself upon Oz to see where the black hands had moved to. The memories were painful to conjure up. "Six." And with that, he continued after Alice and his master.

"…I wonder…Half full or half empty, Master Oz?..."

x x

"This place is stuffier than I remembered," Gilbert noted as the group proceeded into the chapel. Alice stayed close to Oz, refusing to tear herself away from the young boy for even a moment—how could she with Break's random outbursts of foreboding doom? The creepy clown really needed to cut the nonsense!

"Is it?" Oz questioned, craning his head back to peer at Gilbert.

Gilbert blinked and then nodded, straying to the left. His fingers traced over a few empty pews before coming to rest over the last one in the third row. There was something…melancholic about it. He shook his head before stepping away from it, but just barely. It was probably just the whole vibe of the chapel. After all, this place held no good memories. After a second, his hand was back on the aged wood, tracing over the grains.

"What are you looking at, bird?"

Alice had finally wandered away from Oz and was currently standing on the other side of the pew, leaning over it to inspect Gilbert's facial expression. When she received no answer, she huffed loudly and snapped her fingers in front of his eyes. That was enough.

"What?" he all but snapped.

Alice blinked—and then scowled. "Don't take that tone with me," she barked and looked sharply to the side before continuing, "I asked you what you were looking at."

"This," Gilbert responded vaguely, tapping the pew his hand was on.

"…Obviously," Alice murmured and peered down at it as well. "…It looks just like the other ones. I think you're going senile in your old age, Raven."

Gilbert rolled his eyes. "I wasn't asking for your opinion, you're the one—"

"Hey Gil!"

Gilbert's fiery gaze faded when he heard his name echoed through the chapel. His gaze locked on the source of the voice. Oz was at the top of the stairs, beneath the clock tower, grinning boldly. Gilbert's hand slipped away from the pew and he made his way to the isle, head tilted to the side.

"Come here~" Oz urged, beckoning the older with his hand, a playful spark in his eyes.

Gilbert hesitated—they really ought to be doing their investigating and not playing around like this—but caved in and headed up the stairs. Alice remained at the pew, poking and prodding it, trying to find out just why it was so fascinating to Gilbert.

When Gilbert arrived at the top of the stairs, he tilted his head once more, as if to nonverbally convey his inquiry. Oz took the hint.

"I wonder if you'd still fit in that old outfit of mine," Oz teased, index finger tapping his chin thoughtfully.

An utterly embarrassed shade of red spread through Gilbert's cheeks like wildfire. "…Oz, that's…"

"Maybe it's still around here somewhere!" Oz suggested brightly, grinning like an imp.

"….No, it's not," Gilbert interjected with a soft shake of his head.

"…Ah." Oz figured he didn't need to ask any more questions regarding the bloodied outfit. "So~ What do you think about what Break said, hm?"

Gilbert spared a glance up at the clock through his messy black bangs. With a pang of despair, the hands of the archaic clock flirted with the Roman numeral six.

"…I don't know. He says a lot of gibberish," Gilbert grumbled, tearing his gaze away from the infamous clock. He didn't need to look at it any longer to confirm his suspicions.

"Ah…but some of it must be true," Oz pointed out. "If it wasn't, we'd never believe him!"

Oz Logic. One of a kind. "…I suppose," he murmured and glanced over his shoulder. Alice was still inspecting the pew, hoping it'd whisper its secrets into her ear.

Oz giggled softly at the sight before stepping closer to Gilbert, standing side-by-side. "…What do you think we'll find here, Gil?"

Gilbert wasn't entirely sure. "…I don't know. Hopefully something to prevent the Baskerville's—"

"Do you really think they're trying to take control of the abyss?"

Gilbert bit his lip. "…I would assume, yes."

"I don't see why," Oz whispered, fingers twitching by his side. "It's…not a place I'd like to control."

Gilbert shifted his gaze to the far window. "I can imagine."

"It felt like barely a day," Oz began softly, "maybe only a few hours, that I was trapped there. It was painful, and dark and scary, kind of like something in one of those books Oscar always read, but…but it didn't feel like an eternity."

Gilbert remained quiet.

"…And yet, here, it must have been an eternity. Ten years, only but…"

"It did. It felt like an eternity," Gilbert whispered and shook his head. Why were they talking about this. "Oz…"

"It's a horrible place," Oz decided firmly. "I would never want anyone to have to suffer through that. Especially not Alice—not again. I'll make sure that she gets her memories back and can stay with us. The five of us, you know? Sharon included. I like the way things are…I honestly don't want them to change." A small laugh.

"…I'm sure they'll turn out for the best in the end." But by what means in the process?

"…I wonder if Break has found anything yet," Oz said out of nowhere, glancing to the small door that lead out of the chapel and into the depths of the courtyard—he remembered the area well. For him, it hadn't been that long since he, Gilbert, and Ada had traversed this area, searching for treasure. Searching for never-ending youth that ended so abruptly from him.

It was stolen.

"He might have. Though I doubt he'll tell us until the end," Gilbert complained, hand coming up to rub at his forehead. "…That guy…"

"Maybe it'd be best if we searched Sabrie as well after this~" Oz suggested, stepping away from Gilbert to inspect the engraving and marbling of the wall. Funny how time weathered things like these.

"That's logical," Gilbert agreed. "…I think that's what Break was planning anyhow."

"Great minds think alike, Gil!" Oz laughed to himself and leaned against the wall, eyes shutting.

Gilbert shook his head. "I wouldn't call that guy's mind great."

"Oh? Is Gil jealous of him?"

"What? That guy? Hell no," Gilbert responded automatically, shaking his head with a groan. "He's…insufferable." That was one way to put it, yes.

"I think he's nice," Oz decided. "…A bit…eerie at times, yeah, but nice. He's just like everyone else. Everyone has their flaws!"

Gilbert's retort died on his tongue. What could he possibly say in response to that logic? He sighed, shrugged his shoulders, and looked back out towards the chapel.

x x

"Master Oz!...Young Master…please wait!"

"C'mon, Giiiillll. You're so slow. I told you I wanted to look around more before the ceremony!"

"B-but your clothes, Master!"

"Ah….oh well! If they get too dirty you can clean them!"

"B-but…Master Oz that's…! They'll be damp for the ceremony and Mrs. Kate!..."

"You're my servant, aren't you, Gil?"


"And you do anything I ask, right?"


"And you'd never betray me, right~?"

"…Of course not!"

"Then you'll help me look for it!"

"B-but what's 'it'?"

"Something I misplaced here. I can't tell you what it is, though~"

"H-how can I help you look for it then?"

"…Just stay by my side and keep me company, that's all~"

"…Master Oz…"

x x

The third pew. The day after Oz had been stolen away by the abyss—before he and Xerxes made their unspoken deal, before he became a traitor—Gilbert had found it. The 'it' Oz had been looking for. It was a photograph that had become wedged in between the back of the bench and the seat itself. Gilbert had only found it by accident when he was cleaning up the chapel in his silent despair. The edges were damaged from the weather—when Oz had been attacked, the windows had shattered and the rain assaulted the dry room gleefully. But the picture itself was still clear.

It was them. Ada. Oz. Gilbert.

x x

"Hey Gil?"

"…Hm?" He paused, removing his lips from his cigarette, ceasing the current drag he was taking. "Yeah?"

"Did you ever cry?"


Oz nodded, feet dangling off the edge of the bed as he stared at Gilbert scrupulously. "Did you cry when I was in the abyss?"

Gilbert shifted uncomfortably. "Oz, that's not really a question I'm comfortable answering…"

"Why not? Before I left you used to cry all the time," Oz whispered with a nostalgic frown. "It was kinda cute, actually. Pathetic, but cute!"

Gilbert rolled his eyes and chose to ignore the heat in his face. When had that gotten there? "I don't cry anymore."

"So you did…"

Gilbert figured it was answer enough. He put out his cigarette, got up from the bed, and headed towards the door. He muttered a, 'I'm going out', and disappeared into the cold night, only to return the next morning.

x x

"I never thought we'd be here together again," Oz admitted as he looked out on the chapel, a faked smile on his face. "It feels like yesterday but it's been so long, hasn't it?"

Gilbert nodded. "It has."

"I hope we find what we're looking for here," Oz confessed, gaze growing a fraction distant. "I…really don't want to return here again unless necessary."

"I can understand why," Gilbert responded laconically and passed in front of Oz, proceeding to poke about a small desk that was nearby.

Oz watched him, gaze altering from Alice to Gilbert. "Find anything interesting in there~?"

"Not yet," Gilbert mumbled under his breath, moving a few documents around. Most of them were scribbled prayers, notes…guest-lists, calendars. "It's mostly junk," he added on in a disdained voice before pausing. His fingers clasped over a small document. That was…

"Whatcha find, Gil?"

Gilbert put the paper back. Oz didn't need to know that. He had kept it a secret up until now and he was determined to keep things that way.


"Nothing, just junk," Gilbert reaffirmed and closed the top of the desk. A small thud resonated through the chapel. With a sigh, Gilbert reached into his pocket and removed a cigarette and his lighter, eager for a smoke. The memories were flooding towards him and all he wanted was some damn relief and quickly.

"….I don't believe Gil," Oz teased and made a move to sneak over, but froze.

"It's the truth, it doesn't matter," Gilbert answered automatically, lighting his cigarette and closing his eyes. "…Where the hell is Break anyhow? It's getting late." He took a long drag.

Oz didn't respond, remaining rooted to the spot. His vision blurred and his fingers twitched, one by one. Slowly, his hand came up to rest over his heart, clutching at his shirt pathetically. Knowing full well that Gilbert had his eyes closed, and Alice was too busy investigating on the floor below, he bit back any whimpers that wished to spew forth. Lime green eyes rolled back in his head for a second, the onslaught of pain becoming a bit unbearable. As silently as possible, Oz slumped to his knees, breathing in deeply. Tendrils of hot, searing pain tore through his limbs, ending at one main point—the seal. Without knowing it, Oz's free hand had come to rest on the clocktower's base, using the hard stone for support. Why did it have to move now? Why now with Gilbert and Alice so close to watch? Shouldn't Alice be feeling it too? Ha…

Oz's ears felt like they were bleeding. Murmuring became gushing up from the ground he rested upon, into his ears. It was that girl's voice again. The one that coaxed him to betray them all and come to the abyss. The one that wished to kill him and Alice. The one that despised Alice with everything she had. She was whispering again and—

And he didn't even hear the clock tower chime.

"Such a pretty little boy…you remind me so much of him~ Mine…"


"Don't you want to redo it all, Little one? Have another chance to set things right? Not hurt them?"


"I can help you, if you want. Just say the words and I'll save you from that B-Rabbit. Just say the words, my precious."

Four times.

"I can save you. Just trust me. You're mine and you should trust me. Trust me. Trust me."

Five times.

"You can save them all."

Oz's eyes snapped open. It was like signing an invisible contract. Purple light rose up from the ground, engulfing him and the nearby area. Gilbert's eyes snapped open, turning around rapidly. Before he realized what was going on, an inhuman screech ripped through the chapel, bouncing off the walls. Oz's form flickered, dimming and then flashing, dimming and flashing.

"Gil!-…. Alice!-"

He extended a hand, a cry of pain bleeding from his lips as the light curled up his outstretched hand, yanking it to the ground. Thud.

"I'm sorry…"

Six times.

x x

Oz awoke with a start, coughing madly. He felt like he had been choked for hours on end. Blearily, he sat up, rubbing at his eyes. Ah…when had the ground become so comfortable? He yawned softly and blinked open his eyes—only to pause. …When had he returned to Pandora? Or was he at Gilbert's house? No…he didn't remember this room. Maybe Break and the others had found him passed out and brought him to an inn? So he was safe. That was good. The abyss hadn't swallowed him alive. He hadn't betrayed Alice and Gilbert and Break and Sharon and everyone else. He was okay and he was going to continue his quest.

With another yawn, Oz looked to the right. An overwhelming smell engulfed him seconds later. That one sense triggered a chain reaction—this scent, this feeling, this sensation—home?

"How am I…? They kept my room all these…" Oz's words died on his lips as he shook his head. He was about to further question it, but the door to his old bedroom opened.

Oz choked on his air. "…Gil?..."

The small servant boy blinked and nervously clutched the tray he was holding harder. "…Young Master?...Are you feeling all right?"

All previous, coherent thoughts ceased.