Author's note: Just something I finished writing for the over 100 followers that follow my slow and shitty imagines blog.
When Mana came home from dealing with Sheril crying over Road being angry with him, he did not expect to see Nea sprawled on the floor of the living room with a silver haired baby sleeping on his chest. So of course, the first thing he did was to blink at the scene repeatedly. When the scene didn't disappear and Nea was indeed still sprawled on the floor staring at the baby on his chest, he decided to first find their mother. She always knew what was going on.
"Mom! Why does Nea have a baby on him?" Mana asked as soon as he found his mother in the kitchen humming cheerily as she rolled out the cookie dough she was making.
"Apparently," Katerina started. "He slept with someone on a one night stand almost a year ago. The mothers health fell after the birth and she could no longer take care of the baby. She came by, talked about it and I guess pleaded with Nea for about an hour. Not sure how she did it but Nea agreed to take care of little Allen."
... So he's an uncle now? Huh. Well.
Blindsided, Mana returned to the living room. The baby, Allen was apparently awake and was now holding a staring contest with Nea as he held him to his eye level. Wide silver eyes turned to Mana when he entered the room, so Nea too turned to him.
"Welcome home. How was handling Sheril?" Nea greeted with a sheepish smile as he lowered Allen and stood up, cradling the baby against his hip carefully.
Mana raised an eyebrow at his brother's rather pathetic attempt at delaying the elephant in the room. "It went fine. Road was just upset Sheril didn't let her play with the Finders she found," Mana replied as he came closer and leaned down to stare curiously at the silver haired baby in his brother's arms.
Little Allen definitely inherited his mothers colouring as well as most of her facial structure. But the shape of his nose and chin was definitely Nea's.
"So... I'm an uncle now, huh?" Mana slowly said as he eyed his brother.
Nea cringed and nodded. "His mom... we parted knowing it was nothing more than a night of fun so she didn't want to tell me at first. Which I appreciated because I never wanted a baby in the first place but..." Nea paused, his face scrunching up. "She was dying. She said she held out as long as she could but that she didn't have much time anymore. She didn't want to put him in an orphanage because she was worried about the rumours that the Black Order was taking away children and never returning them. And since he is my kid, I took him in." He finished with a nod.
Mana knew the latter part of Nea's explanation was only part of the reason he agreed to take in little Allen. He knew his twin brother well and knew there was another reason he took Allen in.
"And the other reason...?" Mana pushed. Nea made a disgruntled face at being found out but sighed and mumbled something.
"I'm sorry, I don't speak mumbling, brother mine," Mana grinned cheekily.
Nea turned away, a hint of red on his cheeks as he adjusted his grip on Allen who was squirming to get a better look at Mana. "She... made me spend a few minutes with Allen first. Told me to give him a chance and I... I did. And I realized… that this is my kid. Even if I didn't want him... he's still mine. It's our fault he's even alive right now. So..." he trailed off, his face twisted in uncertainty.
Mana smiled softly at his brother. Neither of them had given much thought to having children especially since they were in a war. It was just something they never thought would be possible for them. Sheril definitely enjoyed the facade of a family with his wife and Road but having a family of their own was never really a priority because all the Noah were family.
It was obvious to Mana that Nea was nervous about raising Allen. He knew Nea thought that he wouldn't be able to raise Allen right or if he'll even be a good father. As he is the Noah of Destruction, most of what he was good at involved destroying things and people, not raising a little boy.
Mana's smile widened a little more. The fact that his brother was worrying so much about raising Allen was to him, a clear indicator that Nea would be a wonderful father.
"I think you'll do fine, Nea," Mana told and swiped the baby straight from Nea's arms. "Mom and I will be here to help and I'm sure the other Noah will be willing to help too. Especially Road and Sheril."
Nea gaped in slight horror at the thought of Road and Sheril meeting his much too adorable son. He glared darkly as he thought about all the things Sheril could do to his son as Mana cooed at his cute little nephew.
"Sheril isn't allowed anywhere near Allen," Nea hissed in disapproval.
"You can't keep him away forever. And what about Road?"
"Do you want to keep Road from getting what she wants?"
Mana paused at that and shuddered at the thought. Road always got what she wanted. If she was refused something she would resort to very painful methods when it came to their enemies and very humiliating methods when it came to family. Road was scary when she didn't get what she wanted and no one, not even Sheril wanted to be on her bad side.
"Also... there's a little... problem... with Allen," Nea hesitantly added.
"What is it?"
"... Look at his left arm,"
Mana blinked in confusion but obeyed, rolling up the oddly long left sleeve of Allen's onesie. He froze in his actions when he saw the red hand and dark cross on it.
Nea grimaced. "Innocence. His mother told me he was born with it. Showed me a picture of him just as he was born as proof too,"
"Do you think we should...?" Mana trailed off, feeling a bit sick at the thought of cutting off his nephew's arm, Innocence or not.
Nea shook his head. "It's obviously a Parasitic Innocence." His glare was dark and his gold eyes flashed in his returned rage. "I don't want to risk anything happening to Allen if we get rid of it,"
Mana pressed his lips together, sharing his brother's frustration and rage. For an Innocence to attach itself to one of their own... How dare it.
"And what is causing this very murderous atmosphere?" Katerina called when she walked into the living room.
"Nothing, mom," Nea quickly reassured and Mana's lips fell into an easy smile. Katerina may have known about the war, but they didn't want her to get involved anymore than she already was. Katerina D. Campbell was one of the few humans deserving to live in this world.
Katerina eyed her twins sceptically but shrugged and instead made a beeline for her new grandchild. "Oh, he's certainly adorable," She cooed with a huge smile. "This is so nostalgic. I still remember when the two of you were still little Allen's age. Such adorable little things you were!"
Mana and Nea blushed red at their mother's words. They did not need hear about how 'adorable' they were when they were babies and protested. Loudly.
Katerina laughed cheerfully as she quickly grabbed her grandson. Enthusiastically, she lifted Allen into the air with a 'Whee~' making the small baby giggle and wave his arms up and down in response. Nea panicked seeing his mother continue to lift Allen up and down even though his son was giggling happily. Mana stood to the side, amused at Nea's panicked flailing as he tried and failed to persuade their mother to give Allen back to him. As the two delved into an argument about the safety of tossing the silver haired boy, said topic of their conversation waved his arms at him. His silver eyes sparkling in joy and his mouth stretched into a wide smile.
Chuckling, Mana stealthily approached his family and kidnapped the child into his arms. He then ran away laughing as Katerina and Nea squawked in protest and gave chase. The small baby in Mana's arms squealed happily and Mana couldn't help but think that maybe having a baby in the family was going to be so entertaining.
"You spawned?" Was Cross's first reaction at being shown the adorable little toddler currently curiously watching him from his father's arms.
His father being Nea D. bloody Campbell. Who the hell let the demon spawn a brat?!
"Yes, I had a child," Nea huffed. "Completely unexpected but not unwelcome. Now can you watch him for a few hours or not?"
Cross's had honestly short-circuited at being told that his bastard not-friend of a Noah had spawned, that he didn't even hear what it was he wanted of him at first. Then he slowly started to process his words and the red headed exorcist couldn't help but gape.
"You want me to babysit?" Cross stressed the word because he really couldn't believe this was happening. Nea spawning and now he wanted Cross to fucking babysit?
"You weren't my first choice, believe me," Nea scoffed with a grimace. "But everyone had something else to do and no way in fucking hell will I leave Allen with Sheril."
Cross wondered if it was possible to get a concussion without getting hit in the head.
"Fuck no," Cross refused. He could not; will not babysit Nea's brat.
"You don't have a choice," Nea spat out. "Or do you want Maria finding out about–"
"We agreed to never speak of it!" Cross cut in, face going pale knowing exactly what Nea was talking about.
"She won't find out so long as you babysit Allen for a few hours. 3 hours, Cross. Four maximum," Nea affirmed, already holding out Allen for Cross to take.
Cross eyed the now confused silver haired child being held out to him and gingerly took the child from Nea. He held the toddler at arms length and stared hard at the face of the child he was being coerced to babysit. He could definitely see Nea in there but he supposed most of the child's, Allen's features were from his mother.
"That's not how you hold a toddler, Cross," Nea commented, immensely amused at the sight of his not-friend. "Honestly, you're holding him like he has some kind of incurable disease or something."
Cross held himself back from retorting that maybe the demon spawn did have some kind of incurable disease. If Nea was as protective of the child as he was of Mana, then he didn't want to get attacked because he said something like that. Once when he insulted Mana about being a cry baby was enough of a damn lesson.
"Now some ground rules,"
"You can't smoke around Allen, it's bad for his health. No leaving Allen to your lovers, I know you planned to visit them later and I say no. He doesn't need to be exposed to that as a baby, Cross. Also, no other exorcists around Allen. Bookman and Maria are okay, I suppose. But no one else. Also, Allen likes hearing me sing when he needs to go to sleep so I'll leave Tim with you. He has a recording of me singing. And–"