Hi, people! First D.Gray-man fic here. And yes, I totally own this awesome manga and anime and now I'm filthy rich because of it! Wallow in it, you mere mortals! Bwahahahahahah!
……Fine, I don't –sulks- but one can dream, no? Anyways, coughs, getting off topic here...eheh. My bad. On to chapter 1! Happy reading :)
Kanda Yuu was royally pissed. Not that it was unusual, by any means. He was usually annoyed over something or the other, be it stolen underwear (don't ask), Ravi turning his hair pink, or other people breathing too loudly within his vicinity. Today, however, his scowl was darker than usual; an amazing feat as many didn't think that was even humanly possible. People immediately began clearing a path for the bad tempered samurai whenever he happened to stomp into sight; so much so that Ravi, the infamous human date computer who seemed to have a death wish, commented it somewhat resembled the famous parable of the parting of the red sea.
The thought of Kanda Yuu as Moses amused the red headed exorcist no end.
This time however, it seemed that he actually had a valid reason to be irritated. He was apparently paired up with Allen Walker for their latest mission. In general, Kanda disliked going on missions with the young white haired boy. In his own opinionated opinion, the kid was too soft, too weak, too naïve for the dangerous field of exorcism. The boy would risk delaying their time to save a kitten trapped up in a tree and even risk jeopardizing the entire mission to save the sorry ass of some insignificant bystander.
He would even risk his own life to save another. That, Kanda had decided, was nothing but mere foolish sentimentality. The main tasks of the exorcists were to collect the Innocence scattered all over the globe and slay stray akumas. Nothing more, nothing less. They weren't bloody boy scouts for goodness sake. It was neither their duty nor obligation to help people out of their own messes. But oh no, Mister Knight-In-Shinning-Overcoat rushed into dangerous situations impulsively without sparing a thought on the consequences. Usually ending up with him grinding his teeth and pulling the bean sprout out of any messes he had gotten himself into.
Someday, Kanda decided to really keep to his word to the bean sprout and won't come to his rescue anymore. Thought, somehow, as much as the cold hearted samurai hated to admit it; he could never actually bring himself to do it. Damned, cursed brat…….
The other reason for his annoyance, as it happened, was the mission itself. Komui had summoned them both to his paperwork -carpeted office in the wee hours of the morning the day before. Yawning, bleary and droopy eyed, Allen had emerged into the office alongside with a calm, collected and apparently wide-awake Kanda Yuu, though if you peered really closely, you could detect faint dark circles around his eyes.
"Good morning!" Komui greeted cheerily clutching his trademark mug of coffee. He was apparently browsing through his sister's Gossip Weekly magazine, somehow pretending that the ever-present mounds of paperwork scattered all over his desk, his floor, his chair, his carpet, under the desk, under the carpet, under his chair, on top of the fireplace and even on the windowsill didn't exist. It was truly an awe inspiring sight. There was practically nothing that could be seen in the room other than white, rustling crumpled stacks of paper.
"Mo-Morning, Komui-san," Allen stifled a yawn. Kanda merely settled for an impatient glare. A moment of awkward silence filled the very white office. It stretched to a minute, and then half an hour until finally Kanda snapped.
"May we know the reason as to why we have been summoned to your office to do nothing but stand around like idiots and admire the beauty of your unfinished paperwork?" it was the infamous icy tone that usually preceded a brutal massacre. The people at the headquarters recognized it all too well.
Allen had apparently fallen asleep on a stack of paperwork. Kanda suppressed a shudder. The boy was currently drooling on a very official and important looking document that he had been using for a makeshift pillow.
Komui looked up from the page in the magazine he had been totally absorbed in. He smiled jauntily, "You must forgive me. I'm currently breathlessly following the sad, tragic tale of Rose (a pseudo name, of course) who had lost her boyfriend to another man, who lost his girlfriend to another woman, who lost her boyfriend to another woman, who lost her boyfriend to Rose and is, as I've mentioned before, leaving her for another man."
Kanda twitched slightly; his hand itching to wring the infernal man's neck. But cleaning up after a murder in a messy place like this would be a pain in the neck. Not to mention it was hard enough to wade around the paperwork infested office without triggering a paper tsunami, let alone wring somebody's neck. Allen was still peacefully asleep, and, Kanda noted with disgust, still drooling on the very important document. The words were all smudged and sludgy now. He sighed in exasperation and brought out his trusty Mugen, the only other sane entity in the office other than himself and held it threateningly.
Komui winced slightly and shut the magazine with a sigh of reluctance. "Just when it was getting to the juicy parts," he sighed sadly. "Rose was plotting revenge on her boyfriend by seducing her boyfriend's new boyfriend to get back at her boyfriend."
The urge to lope off the man's head was overwhelming. It was the first time he had heard a sentence containing such large amounts of the word 'boyfriend' in it. Surely there had to be some sort of grammatical rule against it. He gritted his teeth dangerously, "Get on with it!"
"Fine, fine. Oi! Allen-kun, wakey-wakey!" Komui clapped his hands together loudly. Allen hurriedly lifted his head off the smudgy document. "I'm awake, I'm awake," he waved his hand, yawning visibly. "What did I miss?"
"Just the enthralling tale of Rosy and her love triangles and her countless affairs with males and females alike," Kanda growled, sarcastically.
"No, it was not like that," Komui snapped, defensively. "It's a tragic, heart-wrenching tale of deceit, love, loss, gain and triumph! Rose was a victim of an affair involving her guy running off with another guy whose girlfriend ran off with another girl, whose boyfriend-"
"Enough!" Kanda ordered, resisting the temptation to rumple his beautifully done hair in frustration.
"Go on, Komui-san," the brat looked totally fascinated and intrigued. "What happened next?"
"Rose plans a dastardly revenge upon her scumbag boyfriend by seducing his boyfriend. And guess what? The boyfriend's boyfriend totally falls for it! And he ends up falling for Rose. And with a twist to end all twists, Rose ends up falling for him too! So now it's like both Rose and her ex-boyfriend are fighting for the same man. And let's not forget the boyfriend's boyfriend's ex- girlfriend's girlfriend is still trying to win back Rose's ex back!" Komui said in full dramatic mode, his swinging hand knocking down a couple of paperwork stacks. "However-"
"Shut up!" Kanda said through clenched teeth; his normally pale complexion flushed in anger. "Why on earth are we up at four in the morning gossiping like a bunch of school girls? I don't care how that slut gets back her boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever. Just get on with the blasted mission before I break something, more specifically something attached to your body."
At this point Mugen was hovering a little too close to Komui's throat for his comfort. Clearing his throat, the man hurriedly put down his magazine and peered up at them solemnly through his spectacles, looking unusually grave. Both Allen and Kanda felt a deep sense of apprehension.
"Lenalee has been recently spotted to be making regular stops at a certain town up north. She has no business being there whatsoever. And she's being extremely evasive and secretive whenever I ask her about it. And-And-And," at this, the overprotective older brother broke down into sobs. "She's knitting a scarf!"
The two exorcists exchanged a bemused look, failing to understand the crisis of Lenalee knitting a scarf.
"I already have a scarf and so does she! That means that-that scarf must be for-for-for a…….. mysterious lover she's been keeping a secret from her big brother!!" Komui howled, rocking back and forth. 'Why, Lenalee? WHY? Why must you torment your precious big brother so? Why??"
Allen awkwardly patted the sobbing supervisor on the back. Kanda however, crossed his arms impatiently and demanded, "And what has that enlightening bit of information got to do with our mission?"
"You two are to go to that village and hunt down this brazen, lecherous, testosterone-pumped fool my naïve little sister is seeing. I want you to go there and have a little chat with him," Komui said with a sinister, feral smile on his face that left little doubt in both Kanda and Allen's mind that by chat, he meant beat the bloody hell out of the unfortunate fellow and stomp on his guts and leave it out for the dogs.
"Komui-san, we can't exactly do that," Allen pleadingly glanced at the samurai for help.
"We're exorcists, you sister obsessed maniac," Kanda told him, scowling. "Not some low-down filthy street thugs. Leave all your obsessive, overprotective tendencies to your Kumorins. Our duties are only to retrieve the Innocence and to kill akumas, not go off butchering any guy who glances at Lenalee's direction."
"Any guy who dares lay eyes on my precious, beautiful Lenalee is considered an akuma!!!" Komui screamed. He looked at the two exorcists with huge, watery eyes. "Please! I can't go there to beat up that guy myself. Lenalee would never forgive me!"
"So you're willing to let us do the dirty work and face Lenalee's wrath while you cower behind gossip magazines?" Kanda demanded, flatly.
"Some sacrifices must be made to ensure the purity of my precious little sister!" Komui roared passionately. Allen and Kanda sweat dropped.
However, in the end, much to Kanda's fury, the little bean sprout, being the sentimental, soft-hearted fool he was, agreed for both of them to go on the ridiculous mission. Brat.
And that was exactly the situation that brought the two exorcists to a worn-out dirt path leading to a small, peaceful village in some remote part north. Kanda was still cursing his bad luck, while Allen peered around the green countryside with interest.
"It's a nice place, isn't it?" the white haired brat commented, smiling in a rather contented way. Kanda merely scowled in reply.
"Hey, about the guy Lenalee-san is seeing, what are we going to do?" Allen valiantly tried to open up another conversation with the glowering samurai.
"Wasn't it you who had gotten us into this mess in the first place?" Kanda snapped back. "Why don't you figure out what to do for once? Damn bean sprout."
"For the hundredth time, my name is Allen Walker," Allen replied wearily. "As for the guy, I guess we could pay him a little visit and try to convince him to leave Lenalee alone for his own good before Komui-san smothers him in his sleep or something."
Kanda hmphed sullenly in reply. He proceeded to walk down the dirt path to the little village. The sooner they got this over with, the better. The sun was shinning brightly with clouds resembling bits of cotton dotted here and there. It was, the samurai grudgingly decided, a rather nice day to be out in the countryside instead of being cooped up inside the headquarters or trudging down all the hustle and bustle of a town where akumas were usually spotted.
It was sort of refreshing to have a break from all his hard training and missions for once.
Not that he'd admit it of course.
The brat was lagging behind. He looked pretty cheerful and relaxed, the samurai noted absently. The bean sprout had been rather down and worn out lately with all the problems with the Noahs and the recent increase of the number of akumas lately. The stress was taking its toll on him, as it was with all the exorcists, but the brat was always so damned naive and soft hearted that he felt things more than the other exorcists, who all had been already hardened over years of bitter experiences.
The thought that Komui purposely picked them out for this mission to give them a much needed break crossed his mind more than once.
Feeling marginally more amiable, the dark haired samurai strolled down the path. Behind him, he heard the bean sprout follow the suite. An oddly peaceful silence reigned for a moment between the two exorcists.
Suddenly, Kanda tensed; his well trained soldier instincts buzzing wildly. Danger was near and fast approaching. Out of the corner of his eyes he saw Allen had his cursed eye activated. They glanced at each other for a moment. Allen nodded grimly.
There were akumas nearby.
As if on cue, a dozen akumas burst out in ambush from behind a bush. Kanda and Allen activated their anti-akuma weapons simultaneously, jumping into action.
Kanda cursed under his breath as more and more akumas leaped out to join the fight. True, they mostly consisted of level 1 akumas, but even weaklings in big numbers could be proved deadly. He leaped out of the way to dodge a rain of bullets and slashed at the nearest akuma. One down, several more to go. Gritting his teeth, he ran forward and hacked through several more akumas with relative ease. He spared a glance at the bean sprout to see how he was holding up.
Allen was gallantly standing his ground; his anti-akuma weapon was a blur of white and green as it smashed through the sea of akumas. The boy was fighting valiantly, but it was obvious that he was slowly but surely running out of stamina. The weak brat. With a hiss, Kanda eliminated a couple of akumas in one blow then leaped out of the way to avoid another rain of bullets. He twisted his body in a mid-jump and slashed through the akuma that had been trying to sneak up at him. The samurai looked around in irritation as the vast number of akumas never seemed to decrease, no matter how many they already took out. Cheh, how troublesome.
Why? Kanda wondered as he leaped up and neatly sliced through yet another akuma. Why were there so many akumas converging in this remote place? Komui had not informed them of rumors of any Innocence located around this area. And as irresponsible the man may be when it came to paperwork, Komui was never one to withhold valuable information from the exorcists. Baring his teeth, the samurai swung Mugen at the akumas that were attempting to surround him.
But there had to be only one viable conclusion judging from the ridiculously vast number of akumas: there had to be a piece of the Innocence hidden somewhere in this area.
The smell of metal, sweat and a bit of blood mixed as the fierce battle carried on. Much to his irritation, Kanda was beginning to feel the first telltale signs of exhaustion. His reaction time was getting slower and his slashes with Mugen were getting weaker and more feeble. He had already sustained an injury in his left arm. If he kept this up, he was almost definitely going to get killed. He reluctantly made up his mind to retreat for the time being. As any other self-respecting male, he hated running away but still….they had to formulate a new strategy.
Kanda turned to look for Allen, but his trademark white hair was no where to be seen in the sea of silver metal. The samurai peered closer as he fended off three akumas that had leaped up to attack him. Nothing. Cursing under his breath, Kanda leaped up onto a branch of a tall tree to scan the entire area. Still nothing. The brat was no where in sight. But judging by the number of akumas targeting him now that the other target was apparently missing, Kanda had to escape immediately or die standing.
As Kanda dodged out of sight, his best hope was that the bean sprout had already escaped on his own. Though, Kanda thought it wasn't very likely. As naïve and weak the brat was, Allen Walker was never one to abandon a comrade alone in the battlefield while he escaped alone.
Kanda paused behind a huge oak tree and stood stock still to listen for any sudden movements. Nothing but the sound of his own shallow breathing filled the natural silence of the clearing. After a moment, Kanda's thumping heart calmed down and he breathed in deeply in relief. The akumas were off his trail… for now. His injuries were not all that serious, just a series of cuts and bruises and a gash in his left arm. Closing his eyes in exhaustion, the samurai slowly sank down and leaned against the tree.
Suddenly, Kanda caught sight of something red out of the corner of his sharp eyes. His dark eyes shot wide open as he peered closer at the few drops of red dotted on the grass a few meters east from the tree. He knelt down beside it and gingerly rubbed it between his fingers. There was no doubt about it. It was blood. And as he had stumbled in from the opposite side of the tree, the blood could not have been his. And there was only one person who was likely to be bleeding this much blood around this time and place other than himself.
Frowning, the dark haired samurai scanned the area with sharp, beady eyes. If his blood was here, the brat had to be around here somewhere, or at least passed through here at one point. There! By the thick undergrowth! More drops of blood had dotted the grass, contrasting with the vivid green. Gingerly, Kanda heaved himself up, trying to ignore the sharp, throbbing pain from his gashed arm.
As he walked closer towards the drops of blood, he suddenly noticed that the undergrowth was shuddering and rustling rather unnaturally, especially since it wasn't a windy day. He tensed, his hand automatically diving for Mugen. He gripped the sword tightly as he cautiously approached the still quivering undergrowth. The quivering got more and more intense as the suspicious samurai drew closer.
Holding his breath, Kanda lashed out and roughly pushed the prickly brambles aside. He got a distinct impression of something silver before he got the wind knocked right out of him as something shoved itself into his midsection. Gasping, the samurai landed hard on his back…on his arm…on his gashed arm. Wincing, he gingerly got back up, only to be viciously tackled down once again. The samurai growled, deciding that he had just about enough of all this. Swiftly, he got up and expertly pinned his mysterious assailant down to the ground and roughly held him there with his arm painfully twisted around his back.
"Now, who the hell are you and why are you attacking me?" Kanda demanded, still holding his attacker down. The said attacker struggled fiercely but the samurai held him down effortlessly….a little too effortlessly… then, Kanda noticed something odd: his assailant was a mere child. Shocked, he hurriedly got off the boy but still maintained his strong grip on the boy's arm…child or not, the boy had attacked him and managed to tackle him down twice. The samurai's pride had taken a considerable blow so he felt it was perfectly justified that the boy went home to his mummy later on with one or two bruises on his upper arm.
The boy had given up on struggling but remained stoically silent. Growling impatiently, Kanda turned the boy round to face him. He nearly passed out in shock. The stubborn, dirt-streaked little face was eerily familiar. Especially his huge, silver blue eyes. Especially his snow white hair. Then, Kanda happened to glance down at the hand he had been gripping. It was deep red and scaly. In his immense shock, he abruptly released the hand from his tight grip, his dark eyes wide with astonishment. The boy took the opportunity to escape from this scary stranger. Scrambling slightly, the little boy ran off as fast as his little legs could carry him.
He didn't make it very far. Before he even reached the end of the clearing he was once again pinned down, his face buried in the grassy ground. Kanda roughly pulled the boy up to a sitting position, this time his hand gripping the boy's red one tightly. The more the astounded samurai scrutinized the boy's unique features, the more puzzled he became. The boy had the very same markings around his left eye as a certain bean sprout. And, he seemed to be wearing an extremely oversized black overcoat with silver trimmings. The exorcists' uniform. Kanda drew in a sharp intake of breath, shocked beyond belief.
"Who are you?" he demanded once again, his grip on the boy's arm tightening painfully. To his horror, the boy abruptly burst into terrified tears. As the boy bawled and screamed, tears pouring in great rivers down his cheeks, Kanda noticed with some slight regret that the boy could not have been more than five. He released some pressure on the boy's arm. Comforting a screaming child was not one of the things the samurai was generally known for. Maiming, slicing, kicking akuma butt, terrifying grown men till they wet their pants and glares that could easily melt the Polar ice caps, those were his forte, but soothing bawling brats? He was completely at lost in that department.
He awkwardly patted the little boy on his back and, for the first time in his life, wished Lenalee or Rabi was with him now. However, to his immense shock, the little boy dived straight into his stunned arms and proceeded to wail into the samurai's spotless, creaseless, carefully pressed overcoat. Uneasily, Kanda awkwardly wrapped his arms around the crying child who was gripping the front of his coat like a lifeline. His tears seeped through the thick material of the disgruntled samurai's coat, his tiny frame shuddering in the force of his wails.
They remained in that position for a while, the child sobbing into his arms and him uncomfortably holding the child. A strange emotion stirred within the samurai's heart. Something he hadn't felt in ages…protectiveness. He felt as if he would rip out the guts of anyone who dared hurt something this small and fragile. After what seemed like an eternity, the child slowly calmed down enough for fairly comprehensible speech.
"What's your name?" Kanda asked in the gentlest voice he could manage, in other words, a tone which still would've sent terrified shivers down the average adult's spine. However, the child blinked his huge, silver orbs up at the trying-not-to-look-scary-and-failing samurai and replied contritely, "Don't know."
"Where are your parents?" Kanda asked again, trying not to sound impatient….and again…failing. He was more than slightly unnerved at how familiar the boy's pre-adolescent soprano voice sounded to him.
"Don't know," the boy replied yet again, still staring into Kanda's dark, brooding eyes.
"Where do you come from?" Kanda was getting tired of this little interrogation session.
Kanda tried not to wring the little boy whose vocabulary seemed to only consist of those two infuriating syllables.
"So, why were you hiding?" the samurai tried once more, speaking through clenched teeth.
The boy didn't reply at first, glancing nervously around the clearing as if someone might be hearing. Then he leaned forward and whispered, "Those bad people in white are after me."
"Bad people in white?" Kanda repeated, curious in spite of himself. The child nodded tersely, still looking nervous. He discreetly glanced down at his right leg. Kanda followed his gaze and saw a large, cruel looking gash slashed across the boy's calf. So that's where all the blood droplets were coming from. The samurai felt himself getting slightly sick. Who on earth had the stomach or the heart to inflict such gruesome damage upon a young, defenseless, innocent child like this?
Then again, these were people he was talking about; selfish, self-centered, egoistical beings that cared about nothing but themselves. Growing up in such grim conditions as an exorcist, the samurai had, inevitably, seen the most ugly, desperate side of humanity. It sickened and horrified him in his early years as an exorcist, but as time grew by, it hardened into a cold sort of disdain. Who could blame him for being so cold and distant? Ties, bonds, relationships…. they all came back to bite you in the end.
"Why are they after you?" Kanda asked, more urgently. The boy wrinkled his silver eyebrows together and answered uncertainly, "Something about my 'Innocence'. They talked about the 'Innocence' a lot. What's this 'Innocence'? Is it bad?"
Kanda didn't answer the boy. His mind swirled in confusion. What? So not only does this boy have a cursed eye and a red arm and was clad in a severely oversized exorcists' uniform, he was compatible with the Innocence as well? The coincidences were pilling up to be more than just mere coincidences. Something was going on. Could this brat possibly be…..?
"Are you Allen Walker?" Kanda demanded harshly, grabbing the boy's thin little shoulders roughly. "Are you?"
The child gave a cry of pain and tried to wriggle out of Kanda's tight grasp. "I don't know!" he screamed back, still struggling wildly. "Let me go! Let me go!"
Drawing in a ragged breath, Kanda forced himself to calm down and to think clearly. It was obvious that the kid didn't remember anything. But having any connections to Allen or not, this kid was worth looking into. Besides, he was apparently compatible with the Innocence and that in itself was a perfectly valid reason to haul him to the headquarters for further examining. Furthermore, there was the matter of 'the bad people in white.' The phrasing the brat had used made them sound like a group of juvenile neighborhood hooligans with an affinity for white. But according to him, they were apparently very interested in the Innocence. That alone made this dubious group sound very suspicious.
"Get up," Kanda said, making up his mind. He abruptly stood up. "Let's go."
"Go where?" the kid asked curiously but followed the suit nonetheless.
"A safe place," the man growled, shortly. "Hurry up, stupid bean sprout!"
The boy hurriedly stumbled after him and, much to the samurai's slight bewilderment and annoyance, grabbed a fistful of his coat and held on tight. He innocently blinked his huge, silver blue eyes up at the man's displeased scowl, as if it was perfectly normal to go about clinging on to the coats of homicidal, bad tempered samurais.
"Cheh," Kanda muttered irritably under his breath but otherwise not outwardly rebuking the child's cling-ish behavior. The odd pair traveled in silence for a while before the kid tugged slightly on his coat. Scowling the samurai looked down at him. "What?"
"What's your name?" the boy questioned; eyes bright with curiosity.
"Brats like you don't need to know," Kanda replied shortly. After all, soon enough the kid would be out of his hands, right? No need for the kid to get all chummy with him. To his immense relief, he spotted the train station in a distance.
"Why?" the kid just wouldn't give up. "Then, who must I be to know your name?"
"Definitely not you," the irate man muttered through gritted teeth.
"What's wrong with me?" the little boy didn't seem particularly hurt at his biting tones. If anything, he looked merely puzzled and curious. Kanda took one glance at the boy's cursed left eye, his red arm and his oversized uniform and decided not to answer that particular question. He led the boy to the rather rundown train station and stepped into the musty shade. He rapped the ticket counter and a sleepy looking old man drooling on the counter jolted from his slumber.
"Two tickets to London," Kanda ordered, dropping the change onto the counter. He had to catch a train the conventional way now. He doubted the scrawny kid would be up to leaping onto the fenders and he sure wasn't up to scraping the boy's bloody carcass off the windows.
"That kid yours, sir?" the old man's droopy eyes narrowed. You can't be too careful with them kidnappers nowadays. The scowling young man certainly didn't look anything like the father of that frail looking little boy. The samurai effortlessly read the suspicious man's thoughts. Feh. People were so easy to read. How troublesome. Last thing he needed was to draw attention to the appearance of that odd little brat.
"Yes, he is," Kanda lied, easily and emotionlessly. The boy's head jerked up instantly. He casually gave a relatively gentle kick to the boy's right shin, hoping he would get the message. Judging by the confused look splayed on the boy's face, he didn't, but at least he kept quiet. Hopefully, the old man wouldn't notice the wide-eyed stare the kid was giving him. Unsubtle brat….
"What's his name, then?" The old man was inconveniently sharp and persistent. Kanda forced a fatherly smile onto his face, which somewhat resembled a rather vicious dragonish snarl; which, given the circumstances, wasn't very helpful right now. "Allen Walker," the samurai said the first name that came to his uncreative mind. Heavens have mercy on Kanda's future children, in the unlikely event that he would have any.
The kid's stare intensified with an unreadable look in his silver eyes. The old man still eyed the odd pair suspiciously, but seeing that the little boy wasn't objecting or kicking up a fuss, he reluctantly handed the samurai the two tickets. Kanda accepted the tickets with an inward sigh of relief. Without thanking the distrustful old man, he strode away from the ticket booth and to the abandoned, rather dusty-looking looking platform where they were, predictably, the only ones there.
"You're my daddy?" the boy gave the uncomfortable samurai an appraising look. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I'm not," Kanda replied, stiffly. "I just said so to avoid attracting unnecessary attention to you, you ungrateful brat."
"So, you lied?" the brat gave him a hard look and for some odd reason, Kanda felt mildly uncomfortable.
"You lied?" the boy repeated the question, still maintaining his hard stare on him. Kanda frowned in annoyance and said icily, "It was required due to the circum-"
"You lied?" the boy asked yet again, all of a sudden looking very disapproving
"Fine! Yes, I did! But-" Kanda felt oddly defensive in the face of the disapproval of a four year old child.
"You lied," the kid decided finally, crossing his arms across his chest and giving the frustrated samurai a very stern look. "Lying is bad." Kanda tried to say something, but his stinging reply was drowned out by the arrival of a red, steam locomotive chugging down the tracks and slowly halting in front of them. The boy immediately hopped into the train and dashed in, trying to find an empty compartment.
"Wait up, stupid bean sprout!" Kanda yelled as he hurriedly hopped on too and ran after the boy. The child looked over his shoulder and yelled back,
"My name is Allen Walker!"
Ignoring the curious looks he got from his fellow exorcists, Kanda walked swiftly towards Komui's office with a little boy in tow. No one questioned him though; everyone had learnt the hard way that Kanda Yuu was a man who loved his own privacy and anyone who dared invade it came out traumatized for the rest of their lives.
Without bothering to knock, Kanda burst into Komui's still paperwork infested office and unceremoniously dumped the wide eyed boy onto Komui's desk…or rather…on the paperwork on Komui's desk, as there wasn't a square inch of the wooden desk that wasn't covered with important and most probably over due paperwork. The man that had been snoring into an open page of a gossip magazine jerked awake and hastily pushed up his glasses.
"Oh, hi, Kanda, you're back and – Oh, sweet mother of- what the hell is this? Is it – dear gods, no!!!- Lenalee's illegitimate child with that blasted, dirty, low-down, foul swine?!" screamed Komui in shock as soon as he caught sight of the child peering timidly at him over the stacks of paperwork. "WHERE IS HE? I'll castrate that bloody bastard who dared touch my precious, pure Lenalee!! I'll break every bone in his body and stuff his filthy throat with explosives!!! Then, I'll stomp on his remains until they turn into dust….and then I'll stomp on it again until all traces of that worthless, damned, shameless monster is wiped from the face of the earth!! And then-"
At this point, Kanda decided he should put a stop to all this. The machine gun the enraged older brother was very energetically waving around was emotionally scarring the poor little kid who had jumped off the desk in terror and was currently huddled tremblingly behind the samurai's legs.
"Calm down. It's not Lenalee's child," Kanda rolled his eyes in impatience. Oh, the lengths he went through in his line of work. "This-"
"Now that you think about it, he looks rather a lot like Allen-kun, doesn't he?" Kanda said, calming down considerably while he processed the fact that his darling little sister was still pure. He peered at what he could see of the child who had his head burrowed behind Kanda's knee. Then, his eyes widened. "Could it be that-that-"
Finally he gets it. Kanda thought, dryly.
"That-That- oh, sweet heavens, Kanda. What on earth have you and Allen-kun been doing lately? What have you been thinking? Tsk, tsk, fathering an illegitimate child with a child…. wouldn't have thought you had it in you," Komui shook his head in stern disapproval. "And what have you done to poor Allen-kun in the tender age of fifteen! You should have known better! Teenagers with their loopy hormones and all, but you are an adult. You should be responsible enough to have stopped your little affair with Allen-kun before it got out of hand…. before it resulted in this little boy right here."
Kanda felt his jaw drop open in pure horror and shock. Seriously, he had to get that magazine chopped to bits and burned and its ashes scattered into the winds. It had already successfully screwed up Komui's already screwed up mind.
"Before I proceed to impale Mugen into your thick skull, might I remind you that 1: I am a guy. 2: Bean sprout is a guy. 3: I don't swing that way. 4: Even if I did, believe me, next to you, the bean sprout would be the very last man on earth on my list. 5: Even if for some freakish reason that Bean Sprout was in my list, guys don't get freakin' pregnant!!!"
At this point, the boy got a little bolder as he shuffled timidly towards the desk to get a better look at the scary machine gun wielding guy. His head barely skimmed the edge of the table. He stood on tiptoe with his large, silver eyes peering up curiously at the odd scene where Kanda was trying to shove Mugen into a shrieking Komui's neck. Grown-ups were weird…..
Suddenly, Komui caught sight of the kid's red arm, markings, and oversized exorcist coat. His eyes widened and he dropped down to his knees to get a better look at the boy. The boy steadily stared back with familiar silver eyes.
"Kanda," Komui breathed, eyes scanning every familiar feature of the child from his snowy white hair to his silver blue eyes. "What on earth is this?"
"I was hoping you could tell me,"
Down at the lab, Komui did a series of tests on the little boy who, for a boy his age, was being quite patient with all the poking and prodding done to his body. Komui frowned to himself as he read the results of the tests.
"His DNA is a match to Allen-kun," he announced finally, a perplexed look on his face. "And his fingerprints are a match too. There's no doubt about it; this kid is definitely Allen Walker."
Kanda groaned into his hands. More complications. Useless, troublesome brat. The now proclaimed Allen Walker cocked his head in puzzlement but said nothing. By the way he kept yawning and rubbing his eyes; the kid was getting tired, which was understandable after an eventful day like that.
"How about his Innocence?" Kanda asked, frowning. Komui glanced up at the samurai. Kanda had already filled him in on the 'bad people in white' who were apparently after the Innocence. The head of the science department gently nudged the little boy who was slowly dozing off.
"Allen-kun, I need you to do something for me," he said, softly. Allen blearily opened his eyes and glanced expectantly at Komui. He took this as a signal to continue.
"I need you to activate your Innocence for me, if you can," Komui requested, watching the boy intently for any sort of reaction. Allen merely looked lost and confused. "What's my Innocence?" he asked, baffled. "And how does it work?"
"Your red arm over here. Concentrate on it and say 'Innocence activate,'" Komui instructed, pointing at Allen's red arm for emphasis. The little boy stared blankly at the older man, who, as far as he was concerned, wasn't making any sense.
"Just do it, brat," Kanda ordered, gruffly. Allen gave Kanda a quick glance and stared down at his arm as if he expected roses to suddenly pop up. "Innocence, activate!" he squeaked, scrutinizing at his arm. Nothing happened. Komui and Kanda exchanged a brief look before turning back to the dismayed little boy.
"It's alright, Allen-kun," Komui said soothingly, although his forehead was creased in worry and bafflement. Allen sensed his worry and timidly patted the older man's hand. Komui jumped slightly at the light contact and looked down at the little boy. Allen beamed widely at him, his silver eyes lighting up cheerily as if telling him in his own way to cheer up and not to worry. And despite the seriousness of the situation, Komui felt his heart soften. No matter what shape or form he was in, Allen-kun was still Allen-kun after all.
"You're going to be fine, right, Allen-kun?" Komui ruffled the boy's white hair affectionately. Allen smiled back brightly and nodded. Komui turned to Kanda and said, "I'll leave Allen-kun under your care. You'll be excused from all missions until we find a cure of Allen-kun's predicament."
"What? Why?" the annoyed samurai demanded incredulously.
"Daddy?" Allen tilted his head in confusion. "What's wrong?"
"Don't call me daddy!" Kanda snapped at the little boy.
"He calls you daddy," Komui simpered. "Isn't that ever so sweet?"
Kanda felt himself bristle with infuriation and annoyance. He glared coldly at Komui and spat back, "I didn't become an exorcist to baby sit. I've been sent to do some pretty weird and pointless missions but I draw the line at babysitting. I've got bigger and more important things to do than to sit around and play nanny with a four year old brat. Ask Lenalee or Ravi. They're better with kids anyway."
"But, Kanda, Allen-kun's already so attached to you," Komui wheedled. "And besides, Lenalee's off on a mission and seriously, would you trust a four year old child with Ravi?"
That, Kanda reluctantly decided, was a pretty good point. But why him? "No, I'm not going to look after the brat and that's final. Get a pathfinder to do it or something. We're already understaffed in the exorcists department as it is. And the akumas are getting more and more frisky lately. You can't possibly afford to keep an exorcist out of his duties for some meaningless, menial task."
"Looking after your comrade is a meaningless, menial task?" Komui asked quietly, suddenly looking very grave and stern.
"Looking after my comrade would do nothing to stop the Earl of Millennium," Kanda replied, steadily. "And that, if I remember correctly, is what we exorcists are supposed to do, isn't that right, Supervisor Komui?"
'Allen-kun wouldn't have thought so, you know," Komui said in the same quiet voice, surveying the samurai coolly from behind his spectacles. Then, he glanced sadly at the now slumbering little boy with his body curled up tightly into a ball. "Exorcists are supposed to save the world from destruction. How can you save the world when you can't even save your own comrade?"
"Such things are just pure narcissism. Merely a self-gratifying act. Meaningless to the greater purpose," Kanda retorted, angrily.
"Ah, saving a life is pure narcissism, now is it?" Komui demanded, with clenched fists.
"If saving the particular life brings no merit to the destruction of the Earl, then yes, it is. Exorcists are destroyers, not saviors," Kanda snapped. Komui was about to reply angrily, but a sudden movement from Allen distracted both of them. Both men glanced down at the little boy. Allen was still fast asleep but he was mumbling something indistinct under his breath. Both of them leaned in and listened intently.
"- Kanda, I want to be a destroyer who saves people,"
Kanda's eyes widened. He recognized that phrase. Allen had said something like it once before during their first mission together. A flashback, maybe? But what a horrible timing for such a wimpy phrase. Kanda gritted his teeth together as he felt Komui's gaze burn into the side of his lowered head.
"Allen-kun would've done the same for you if the roles were reversed, you know," Komui commented, in an airy voice. Kanda swore silently under his breath. He grunted, "Isn't the Headquarters safe enough for the brat to live in without an armed babysitter? No one would be foolish enough to attack the boy while he's here." Kanda winced inwardly. Even to himself, he sounded like a procrastinating student giving his teacher pathetic excuses for not doing his homework.
"Because we don't know who or what we're up against," Komui explained, patiently. "We don't know who the 'bad people in white' are or where they operate or what they're after. For all we know they could have spies within this very place. Because of that, Allen-kun needs to be supervised 24/7 for his own safety, especially now when he's so vulnerable."
To his annoyance, Kanda felt himself slowly, but surely caving in. Sighing in frustration he mumbled indistinctly, "Fine."
"Fine!" Kanda exploded. "But only until Lenalee returns from her mission. Then it's her turn to be stuck on babysitting duty."
"Fair enough," Komui grinned, triumphantly. Kanda sent him a dark scowl. "Why me?" he asked, bitterly.
"Because you're such a responsible young man and Allen-kun looks up to you ever so much," Komui said, barely containing his amusement. "And besides, what else do we do for entertainment around here?"
Kanda marched out with little Allen nestled in his arms, still fast asleep. The samurai noted darkly that even while he was in his four year old form, certain habits still remained. Drooling, for one.
Suddenly, a whirl of red dashed down the hallway and halted with a loud screech in front of them. Ravi's emerald eyes widened as he saw the little bundle cuddled up comfortably in the sullen samurai's arms.
"So the rumors are true; Allen-kun somehow got turned back into a kid and you're assigned to look after him," Ravi gasped, incredulously. Kanda didn't even bother asking him where he found that out. The young book-man in training knew practically everything that went on in and out the Headquarters. The red-headed exorcist had once informed him when Lenalee's menstrual period was and that Reever only changed his underwear once a month. Kanda didn't even want to know how he found that out.
"Shove it," Kanda said, roughly. Ravi winked cheerily at him, "Now, now. Can't go using coarse language around the baby, can't we, Nanny Yuu-chan?"
"Shut up," Kanda muttered through gritted teeth. His arms trembled slightly in rage. The movement stirred the little boy from his slumber.
"Daddy?" he slowly opened his silver eyes blearily and yawned. "Who's that?"
"He calls you daddy," Ravi noted, his leering smirk a mile wide with his green eyes dancing in amusement. "Whoa, dude. That's kinky. Never knew you were one of those types."
Kanda distinctly felt something snap.
"Daddy?" Allen looked up at the scowling samurai as they stomped off, leaving behind a choking Ravi with his trademark bandanna shoved into his mouth. "What does kinky mean?"
Kanda had the sudden urge to turn back and shove the bandanna into somewhere a little more painful.
So? How was it?? I'll reveal how Allen got turned into a four year old in the next chapter. Until then, I'll let you readers puzzle it out on your own. Bwaahahahahaha! Please, please review and tell me what you think about it! Cheers!