Title: Shattered Innocence
Disclaimers: should we really write this?
Warning: bittersweet, rambling, OOC
Chapter 18 – Epilogue
Allen stepped outside his room with a sigh. The previous day was rather hard in his opinion. He just came back from his mission and was wounded in many places, amongst those was his innocence. Therefore, he had to face what he had labeled as 'Komui's clinic of horror'. He had already been there countless time, but he still could not adapt to the horror of Komui's treatment. Thinking about that, he shuddered again. Maybe only one thing that he could say matched the horror of Komui's treatment and that was Master Cross' behavior.
Trying not to think about those horrifying moments again, Allen took a meal. When he was finished, a finder whom he recognized as one of the people that had taken care of him when he was pregnant approached him. Allen had fond impression of the founder—whom he recalled with the name Thomas—because he was so patient and compassionate when he had taken care of him. Even now, he still felt that way, since he still corresponded with the said man and he was approved to be a good talking friend. He smiled at him and the other returned his smile.
"Um, pardon me, Mr. Allen, Sir?" the founder, Thomas, said to him when he was already near Allen.
"How many times should I tell you, Thomas, never call me 'Sir' again," Allen said with a smile. "What is it that you want to say?"
"May I ask you whether you would be going anywhere today?"
"No," he said after thinking for a while though he could not guess why the other wanted to know about that. "I planned to take a rest today, my mission yesterday is tiring."
Thomas sighed in relief, while Allen looked at him curiously. "Is there anything wrong?" Allen asked.
"No, no!" Thomas said hastily. "There's nothing wrong. It's just that…"
"Er… I just wanted to say that I missed you, I haven't seen you since a few months back because you had a mission and I had to go back and forth to the Western branch headquarters."
Allen chuckled. "Please help me by not saying that in front of Yuu."
Thomas smiled. "I know. I never thought I could say that in front of Kanda-san. He was such a possessive husband, and he has every right to become one."
"Yes…" Allen smiled sweetly when he thought back at Kanda. They had a separated mission and Kanda was not supposed to be back until next week. And somehow, Allen was sure that the headquarters was scheming so that they could not meet. Call that intuition but surely, there was nothing else might explain the fact that he and Kanda could only met by mere days in months.
"Thinking about him?"
Allen chuckled again. "What else?"
Thomas smiled. "I should have known that. It's your habit even when you're pregnant."
"Aa..." Allen said, smiling at the reminder of him being pregnant. It was already over seven years ago that it almost seemed like a fantasy that never came into reality. He was just a little over sixteen back then and now he was almost twenty four. Time did flow so fast, and when he remembered those days from the past, the deep melancholy almost suffocated him that he could not help from releasing a sigh.
"Oh, I'm sorry!" Thomas said hastily, seeing Allen's expression. "I have said something that should be left unsaid, have I not?"
"It's alright, Thomas. You know that I have already gotten through that, do you?" Allen tried to smile. "All that is left to be wished by me is to know that Lucy grows up into a fine young girl. Sometimes, I can't help myself to think about her growth with her new parents. All I can do is to believe on them."
"About that…" Thomas said and he looked around at the people in the cafeteria. He lowered his voice when he said the next words, "I can tell you that she grows up into a beautiful young girl."
"Really?" Allen said. He knew that at one day Thomas would eventually say something to him about the information of her daughter. It really helped when people he knew was transferred to the Western branch Headquarters and that people was willing to help him. "How does she look?"
Thomas chuckled. "She is just like Kanda-san with your eyes…"
Allen smiled. "Thank you for that information, Thomas…"
"You don't want to know more?"
"You know that it's too dangerous for you. It's your reason for not telling me about Lucy in your letters, isn't it?"
Thomas smiled regretfully. "I'm very grateful for your assertiveness."
"No, it's me that should be grateful. Because of your information, I think that I could sleep well without Yuu's assurance tonight."
"It's my pleasure," Thomas said. He then paused a while before continuing, "You should take a walk around the headquarters to greet everyone."
"Hmm… You're maybe right. I haven't greeted everyone personally for a while. I should follow your advice or I would be labeled not caring about them anymore," Allen said as he thought. "And by the way, is this only my feeling or indeed The Headquarters is rather lively today?"
"Yes, it is," Thomas said. "Because today is a special day."
Allen frowned at that statement and seeing his expression, Thomas continued his explanation.
"You see, we, finders are different from exorcists. While you may live and work in one certain headquarters for your whole live, we often find ourselves being regulated to one branch of headquarters to another. It's our way of living and today is one of those regulation days."
"I see…" Allen said. "Is that why I've been seeing unfamiliar faces today? Are they the new finders situated here?"
"Oh, no, they're our families," Thomas said. "That's what makes today so special because this is one of those few occasions where the Commanders allow us to see our families. They are here to meet us and go with us to our new respective places. I myself have to go to the Western Branch today."
"Is that so?" Allen said, somewhat disappointed because he could not ask for Lucy again in the near time when he had some privacy. "Be careful on your way there, then, and please give my greetings to your wife and child."
Thomas nodded. "Thank you, take care of yourself and be sure to take a walk in the headquarters. Maybe you could see something great?"
Allen chuckled. "I will take a walk and greet everyone; you just rest assured and tell them that."
Thomas then gave his last wave of goodbye and left. Allen took a note in his mind to tell Kanda about the information he just got when he contacted him again. He then sighed. It was true that he had not taken a walk in the headquarters for a while, since it always reminded him of his past days when he was still conceiving Lucy. Those times he so often found himself walking hand-in-hand with Kanda, talking heartily and affectionately. But he then assured himself that he could get past it like he could get past his dream to see Lucy again. Knowing Lucy was alright had been more than enough for him. And so, with that in his mind, he took a step to explore the headquarters again.
(A/N: we wish it could be ended here since we're sleepy but we're not that cruel (snicker), so, moving on…)
As he spent his time to take a tour in the headquarters, his feet brought him to the abandoned corridor when he had his usual morning sickness on his pregnant days. He smiled fondly at that memory. He remembered how fool he was at that time; he wanted to look strong when he was actually very weak. The worst part was he had acted not based on his heart consent when he faced Kanda. Those days and those memories were very precious for him, saddening as it might be; the feeling was so intense, so bittersweet, and so sentimental that he felt like crying and laughing at the same time.
Even though he smiled at the first time he remembered the triggered memories, his smiled was soon wiped out of his face. That was, because he heard strange noises. When he strained his ears to listen what the strange noises were, he recognized it as the sound of someone crying. The sound was possibly come from a girl or a woman, since it got a feminine character.
Allen looked for the source of the sound, and when he found it his heart suddenly seemed to almost stop.
The source of the sound came from a little girl with a black, long hair wearing a black dress. He could not see the girl's face, but seeing her hair, he unconsciously associated her with Lucy.
Could it be that Heaven finally took pity on him, Allen thought. After all he had done to help the work oh God on earth, Allen thought that he was supposed to be given some rewards. It was stupid, but he could not help himself from hoping. Could it be that Heaven finally showed Lucy to him?
"Little girl," Allen said softly, but it had the power to startle the girl he met. "Why are you crying?"
The girl raised her head and revealed her face that was covered by her hands a moment ago. And when she did, Allen almost yelled in shock. Thankfully, he still got his self-control that helped him not to yell.
What made him almost yell was that girl he approached had the face that reminded him of Kanda at every detail. The part of her body that did not resemble Kanda was her eyes. Her eyes were grey, and it was just like Allen. Furthermore, she wore a locket that was familiar to him. And that locket was meant for his only daughter.
Heaven had finally took pity on him, it seemed.
Allen almost pinched his cheek to know whether he was dreaming or not, when the girl asked him with teary eyes, "Please mister… Could you… Could you please, please help me find my mother?"
Allen felt a tug in his heart when the girl said that, and he said, "Sure, but before that, could you please tell me your name?"
The girl seemed to interrogate Allen with her brilliant grey eyes to see if he could be trusted. "Sure…" she finally said after a while. "I'm Lucy."
It was confirmed there. The beautiful little girl before his eyes was really his daughter. They had asked her foster parents to name her Lucy, and he was grateful that his and Kanda's requests was fulfilled.
"Excuse me, mister," Lucy said, her voice was not trembling again like before and her tears had stopped. "I have told you my name so can you… please tell me yours?"
Allen smiled. "I would be glad to introduce myself to the smart fine little girl like you. My name is Allen Walker Kanda. Please just call me Allen."
"Okay then, Uncle Allen," Lucy said while rubbing the remainder of her tears. "And… can we… search for my mother now?"
There was a pang of sadness in his heart whenever Lucy said 'mother. It reminded him of his loss but Allen knew he could do nothing about that, so he just tried not to think about that and smiled instead, saying, "Fine, shall we go?"
He gave the little girl his hand which was caught by her without hesitation. His Lucy had not changed, Allen mused, she was still so pretty and sweet. She had grown up beautifully.
If only Kanda was also there to see their daughter with him…
Noticing that he still had more important business in his hands, Allen shook the thought. She knew they had to find Lucy's mother as soon as possible, with or without his selfish desire to keep Lucy for his own for some little longer. But the Main Headquarters was not really a small building and Allen knew they would spend a great amount of time trying to search for one person whose location was unknown to both of them. Thus being said, he then ordered Timcanpi to search for Lucy's mother with the characteristics that was described by her.
They watched as his faithful golden golem flew in search for Lucy's mother. Now they only had to wait.
"It seems like we have to wait for Tim to find your mother," Allen smiled to the girl. "But waiting can be boring, right? Do you want to take a tour around this building?"
"Can we really?" Lucy asked with her big brilliant eyes. "What if we get lost? This building sure is huge."
"Sure we can, Tim can find me wherever I am," Allen said with a chuckle. "And I won't get us lost here; I've been working here for so long, since before you were born. So I have memorized all the parts of this building."
"Uncle Allen is working here?" Lucy asked him. "Are you an exorcist?"
Allen smiled, "Yes, I am."
"I will be an exorcist too someday, father said so," Lucy said enthusiastically. "Father works here too, but he's not an exorcist, and now mother and I are going to meet him. You both work in this place so maybe you know my father, Uncle Allen."
Allen only smiled somewhat sadly at that and murmured softly, "Maybe… maybe I do know him…"
He did not want to have that topic be brought now but somehow, he felt that Lucy understood. The girl shut her mouth politely at once and not mentioned anything concerning that ever again. She slightly changed the subject of their conversation and was now chattering lively about everything she met up with in their tour around the main hall of the Headquarters. Seeing that, Allen thought that he should have expected no less from his daughter; she had always been so well in reading people's emotions from the very start.
And he should have expected that Lucy, being Kanda Yuu's daughter she was, immediately stared full of curiosity at the double grand doors that was leading to the training hall. Allen sighed when he realized that his daughter was actually making her way to the doors without waiting for his approval. And since he did not have any other option, he followed her entering the spacious room behind those doors.
The sights and sounds of people battling each other soon filled their ears. Allen cringed when he saw Lucy actually smiled in a way that reminded him very much of Kanda's smile and he was almost sure that his little girl would surely jump forward with a katana in her hand to challenge random people there.
Oh, Yuu, he thought, just look what have you done with our only child…
But suddenly his eyes caught the sight of Rabi and Rinali standing a few feet away from him. Those two also saw his coming and Allen glimpsed something similar to disbelief as they walked to the spot where he stood with Lucy, her hand still in his.
"It can't be," Rinali said as soon as she was near enough to Allen and Lucy.
"Heaven shows me mercy," Allen smiled, then he knelt before Lucy and introduced her to his two friends who were also her godparents, but he couldn't say that, of course. "Lucy, this is Aunt Rinali, and this is Uncle Rabi. They're my friends here."
"I'm Lucy," Lucy said sweetly. "Nice to meet you."
Allen could see how his two friends staring at Lucy in mixed emotions but soon they concealed them and showed none but sheer happiness. His Lucy had no trouble of adjusting herself to their company and soon they were already chatting lively like some good friends. To good maybe, since Allen thought he caught something in his daughter's eyes whenever she spoke with Rabi. In his observation, he could see that she seemed had taken Rabi's rash attitude as attractive. His suspicion was strengthened when he heard Lucy said in a straightforward tone of her intention of being Rabi's future wife.
Hearing that, Allen's face went white and without further upheaval he took Lucy out of the training hall with whatever excuses he could think. He looked back once and saw Rinali chuckling and Rabi having an expression of pure confound. He looked at Rabi with a murderous aura that spoke clearly of 'Don't touch my daughter' before speeding up his steps to take Lucy as far as possible from that room. Really, how could he stand still when his daughter, his own one and only daughter suddenly said that she wanted to marry his best friend who was, ahem, nineteen years older than her? He knew that maybe she was only joking but it was better to take precautions…
And so they had their peaceful journey for around the next thirty minutes before suddenly someone named Kanda Yuu entered the frame. Though Allen knew that Kanda's mission was not supposed to end yet, he could see his spouse now striding across the corridor to his direction with homicidal aura and Allen involuntary took a few steps back with Lucy. His spouse could be so intimidating sometimes… no, make it all the times instead…
"You idiot bean sprout!" was the first thing that came out from Kanda's mouth when he saw Allen.
Allen panicked, thinking about the things that he had done. He could not remember anything bad that he had done to make Kanda so angry at him.
"Where is that girl?!" Kanda shouted afterwards.
"What girl?" Allen asked, confused all of sudden. Allen then frowned, the last time Kanda showed his jealousy was another pandemonium to the headquarters. He didn't cheat at Kanda, that's for sure, but he wanted to know why he suddenly accused himself with a girl.
"Rabi said that you walked hand-in-hand with a girl, now where is she?!"
Allen almost burst out laughing when Lucy said, "You think it's maybe me?" to Kanda and Kanda expression when he saw Lucy was priceless.
Allen knew that his spouse was nowhere near stupid. He knew that Kanda had been cherishing the memory of their daughter as dearly as himself. He knew that Kanda too, like him, had never lived a day without the hope of ever seeing their daughter again, no matter how little that hope was. And so he knew that at the first sight of the little girl before him, Kanda Yuu surely recognized her immediately.
He could see various emotions running inside his husband who were now staring at their daughter. He knew though the other did not show it that Kanda was almost could not retain himself. But quickly, like usual, he controlled himself and then said, "I'm sorry, I had my mistake."
"It's alright mister," Lucy said. "Are you Uncle Allen's lover?"
Allen laughed and said, "Yes, his name is Yuu, and he's my husband. Are you okay with that?"
"With what?" Lucy asked ingenuously.
"With a man who is marrying another man," Kanda explained with a gentle smile to the girl.
"Uncle Nicholas sometimes went secretly with Uncle Jefferson to do lovey-dovey stuffs," Lucy said with a little frown. "But I don't think anything is wrong with that…"
"I see…" Allen said, though in his mind he had already made sure to tell Lucy's parents never to let her be anywhere near that 'Uncle Nicholas' and 'Uncle Jefferson' when they were doing their 'lovey-dovey stuffs'. They could give Lucy bad influence for all he knew! And when his eyes met Kanda's, he knew instantly that his spouse too was thinking the same thing like him.
Somehow, he really wanted to laugh at their current situation. Now he knew what it felt like to be an over-protective parent. That was what was supposed to be, right, he thought bitterly. He and Kanda should be the ones worrying over Lucy like what any other parents did. He and Kanda should be the ones protecting her, nervously waiting for her coming home everyday, happily looking after her growing up, and proudly watching over her as her parents.
But they just couldn't do that… right?
And speaking about parents, it reminded him of the genuine reason of them wandering around the Headquarters. He quickly then explained to Kanda the situation they had in hands, of how Lucy was currently searching for her mother. Hearing that, Kanda's face twitched a little but else than that he showed nothing.
"Well, then, I think we better continue searching," Kanda said after Allen had finished his explanation. "Come, Lucy, let's search for your… mother."
Allen winced at the slightly disturbed tone of Kanda's voice. Nonetheless he let it pass and rather took Lucy's hand again. In that moment, his loyal Timcanpi decided to show itself before them. Allen knew that their time was up. Now they must handed Lucy back to her 'mother'.
They walked with Timcanpi leading the way. Allen unconsciously replayed the event that took place seven years ago when they handed Lucy over to the care of her foster parents. And now, they were going to do the very same thing again. It was blatant lie if he said that he did not feel sad at all.
But Lucy was happy. She was ecstatic in the prospect of meeting her mother again. She almost ran when they were already near the one woman who stood alone amidst the crowded hallway. Their reunion was sweet. The woman, upon seeing Lucy's arrival, rushed to her and took the little girl into her arms with a happy laugh. They indeed looked so happy, Allen mused, sometimes life was just not fair…
He gazed at them and at one point his eyes met the eyes of the woman. They stared at him in varied emotions. There was fear, there was confusion, there was disbelief, and amongst all, there was recognition.
Allen knew that the woman surely made out their true identities as Lucy's real parents. Her similarities in feature with Kanda were uncanny and no one could have found any difference of her eyes with Allen's own beautiful grey ones. He knew that she was not sure of what to do, and to save them from the awkward situation, Allen found Kanda take the lead of their conversation. His spouse courteously explaining their encounter with Lucy and in the process implied their gratitude in knowing that she had been raising Lucy well. He made it clear that they did not have any intention of taking Lucy back, they could not do that, not now and not ever. That fact being said, Allen could see a wave of relief passing on the woman's face. She had to be really scared of them if they would take Lucy from her.
Allen was familiar with that sentiment; he too was a parent who was so afraid of parting with her daughter once…
They exchanged some polite speech afterwards before it was finally time for Lucy and her mother to go. Some words of goodbye were spoken and that time Allen knew that this goodbye could so well mean that they would never meet again. He was sad, but he could not help himself from smiling when Lucy gave him a very tight hug before she ran to her mother's side. Her laughter soon faded away as the figures of the two slowly walking away from the place where he and Kanda stood.
"Our Lucy really grows up beautifully," he heard Kanda say and felt an arm circling his shoulder. A warm body pressed against his side and he smiled.
"Yes, and I now am content knowing that she's fine," he softly said.
They looked at Lucy's figure grew distant, and at that time, Allen knew instantly that he already had given up on Lucy. He knew now that Lucy had a nice family and that was better than being in the Headquarters and got mixed up with his and Kanda's attentions to missions. And, as long as Lucy was happy, he knew that he could be relaxed now. As long as Lucy was happy, he could be happy too. And that was all that mattered…
(A/N: finally the end. Whether you take this as happy or not, it's all up to you. Hope you all have a good reading, and please do give us some reviews… (smile) we know you want to…And anyway, we're thinking of making a sequel...but it depends on whether or not we are lazy to write down the er…some scene that we had the concept on… Sorry for the delay, one of our writer had his phone line down because of flood, and she couldn't go anywhere too…oh...pray for her that the flood would end soon!)