Once Was Not

After concluding a meeting with the Millennium Earl in the morning, Tyki Mikk was spending the afternoon in a relaxing fashion. Sitting before the fireplace in one of the elaborate living spaces at the Earl's keep, he was quietly reading one of his poker related books entitled: "The Art of Bluffing." When he wasn't out gambling with his human friends, he enjoyed the relaxing warmth of the fire in the comfort of a good book.

However, this particular occasion was far from picturesque; namely due to the company of one of his fellow comrades: Road Kamelot. His eye twitched slightly as he peered up from his book to find that Road was pacing back in forth in front of the fireplace.

Still pacing.

She had been doing it for over twenty minutes, and it was starting to bother him. Not because she was intentionally irritating him…but because she wasn't! It was rare to see Road so quiet and self absorbed since he had grown accustomed to fending off her constant requests for entertainment. It was true, that for the past month or so, she appeared to be acting differently. But to be in the same room with her for an extended period of time, and not hear a word from her…it was just disturbing.

He considered his relationship to the small Noah to be one of the strongest in the Earl's family. Ever since he inherited the power of the Noah's lineage, she had been there. She represented one of the few constants in his life aside from the Earl. As such, he felt that he was obligated to find out what had been bothering her the past few weeks. Unfortunately, this process had been much harder than he originally presumed. Every time he tried to approach her about her troubles she simply danced around the topic in her characteristically childish way; usually by demanding that he play with her instead. This tactic might've fooled any other of the Noah members, but he could see right through it. He knew that she was an extremely intelligent person, and not nearly as naïve as her childish facade seemed to portray. No…whatever was on her mind, it was obvious that she truly did not feel comfortable talking about it.

Maybe it's something embarrassing? The thought in itself seemed silly, since he couldn't remember a time that he had ever seen Road embarrassed before. Then again, the recent changes in her personality were equally as unusual. In the end, he could only speculate. This time, I've got to do my best to find out what's bothering her.

He sighed and placed the book on his lap, continuing to observe Road. She looked to be completely in a world of her own as she continued to march back and forth like a dazed soldier.

"What's the matter Road? Trying to burn off the calories from all that candy you eat?" Tyki loved to poke fun at the girl's love for sugary treats.

Breaking out of her stupor, she looked up and grinned. "This place is so boring…there's nothing better to do." Arms splayed, she flopped down onto the large rug in front of the fireplace.

Comforted by the softness of the rug beneath her, she lazily closed her eyes, and returned to her previous reflections. Much to her dismay, daydreaming had become a frequent habit of hers. She wasn't fond of the idea of being constantly "spaced out" as Tyki liked to describe it. Despite those feelings, she had been finding herself less and less focused on reality, preferring to wander about in her own personal mindscape. Staring up at the ceiling, she thought back on their earlier gathering with the Earl.

Normally, family meetings with the Earl were a standard affair. But this time it was a little different. After the morning meeting had concluded, the Earl had asked her to stay so that he could talk to her in private. At the time, she already knew what it was going to be about. She had been falling behind in her duties, and had been completely incapable of fulfilling an important task that had been given to her months ago. It was a mission that required the killing an exorcist; an annoying white-haired exorcist, who was also the source of her own personal grief.

Allen Walker.

However, her relatively straightforward task had quickly evolved into a very unnerving endeavor. Since given the order, she had clashed with Allen multiple times. Yet despite these confrontations, she had been unable to terminate the boy. Originally, she wrote off her failures with a number of excuses, ranging anywhere from being outnumbered to simply losing track of him. At least, that was what she told the Earl.

Regardless of the past, the Earl made it very clear to her after the meeting, that any further failures on her part would be unacceptable. She had never seen the Earl so scary looking…so stern with his words…even going so far as to threaten her. The sinister edge he had placed on his words sent chills up her spine and for the first time in awhile, she felt fear towards him.

Frustrated, she flipped over onto her stomach, letting her hand glide back and forth over the soft fabric.

None of this would be necessary if I could just finish the damn job…why the hell did it have to be HIM?

It had been almost a year since she had first collided with the white haired exorcist back at the rewinding town. At the time, she had only heard rumors about the cursed exorcist; the one that could see the souls of the Akuma. She had thought nothing about him, until they were face to face. It had been a long time since she had seen someone so intensely passionate about something they cared for. The range and power of the emotions he displayed exhilarated her. The idea that she was causing him to act so ardently with her actions caused her to feel a strange connection with the boy. This might've explained her motives at the time when she had embraced him, as she had even surprised herself by her own actions.

Even long after the battle had concluded, she felt giddy with delight. She had thought, Now there's no way he'll forget me. For some strange reason, the notion had been comforting to her. But it wasn't until much later that she would finally begin to understand why.

She turned to lie on her side so that she was facing the flames of the fire. Staring into the dancing tendrils of light helped her focus on her thoughts; concentrate on whatever, namely whoever, was on her mind.

She sighed and bit lightly bit her thumb. There was a restless twinge in her stomach that refused to go away, and it was starting to drive her crazy. It was so uncharacteristic for her to feel any sense of uneasiness, especially when it had to do with performing her duties to the Earl.

Of course, it wasn't because she was worried about disappointing him. The truth was far from it, as she was generally indifferent about satisfying the Earl's needs. No matter how much he enjoyed simulating a "family" environment, he still viewed her as a thing, something to toy with. She was something to be used, and when the time came, to be disposed of. But none of that was new. She had always been aware of it. And so she came to believe that if he was going to use her, then she was going to use him as well. But in terms of what they were gaining from each other, there was really no comparison. Where the Earl would send her to battle the exorcist, she would steal away Lero for personal fun. But she was younger, and had no real desire for anything else at the time. All that she wanted to do was have fun, in any way that she could. If anything, she respected the Earl for being upfront about his desires, and what was expected in return for their service.

Again, her thoughts drifted back to Allen. Their previous encounters continuously looped in her mind, as she tried to remember all of his details. From his Order's black and silver uniform to his uniquely white locks of hair…she was capable of visualizing him quite vividly.

She had been acutely aware of the strange changes in her recent behavior; it was hard to miss with Tyki constantly badgering her about what was on her mind. But the explanation for these changes was no mystery to her. With all the time she'd had to think about these things, it hadn't take long to realize that she was somehow attracted to Allen Walker. She wasn't so foolish as to not realize that she had a strong, if not awkward attraction towards him. But the extent of her attraction disturbed for reasons she could not explain.

Why is it…that I can't get that god damn guy out of my head? Why is it that these flames have a habit of outlining your face?

Sure, she thought he was physically attractive, and even respected his combat capabilities. But he was unlike anybody she had ever met for the sole reason that he kept to his values. He truly believed that what he was doing as an exorcist was the right thing. That even though she had fought, taunted, and injured him in battle; he still had never been able to follow through with killing her. And it was all because she was still ultimately a human being; something he had sworn to protect.

If only there were more humans like him, I wouldn't hate them so much.

It was a shame that people like Allen were far from the norm. The humans she knew were a hateful, deceiving lot. They cared only about themselves and feared anything that was out of the ordinary.

The memories of her childhood were a constant reminder of why she detested the humans like she did. Memories of back before the powers of her Noah lineage had awakened.

I was all alone back then…nobody gave a damn about me…

Her past was a muddled mess in her mind. The farthest back she could remember involved vague recollections of an orphanage. She didn't remember physical details as much as she did the feelings she experienced at the time. Hunger. Loneliness. Isolation. But when her powers finally awakened, everything changed. At first she was terrified; she had no idea what was happening, and no real control over her newfound abilities. She remembered that strange things would occur that were beyond her capability to control at the time, and she came to be feared by the children as well as the owners of the orphanage.

Eventually, the townspeople realized that she was no ordinary girl. And like most humans she knew, they immediately rejected her…rejected and feared what they could not comprehend. As a result, she was ridiculed, threatened, and assaulted by the frightened townspeople. She was outcast as an "evil child," an "enemy of god."

Exiled from the town, she distinctly remembered the fear of dying. She was on the verge of starvation when the Earl made his first appearance in her life.

"The vile humans have scorned you, but I shall not. You have quite a gift little girl. You have inherited a grand power that the pathetic humans could never understand. But it's alright now. I will help you control these powers. I will show you others like yourself. And together, we will cleanse this world of the wretched existence of humans."

And the rest was history.

But there was another explanation for how she felt about Allen Walker. One that she didn't feel qualified to confirm. It was a really silly idea in the first place…her…one of the elite of the Noah legacy, experiencing such an emotion. An emotion towards one of their sworn enemies; an exorcist!

Taking a deep breath, she steeled herself. "Hey…Tyki…"

"What is it Road?" He leaned back in the chair and rested his chin on the palm of his hand. Maybe she feels like talking now.

Hesitating, she rolled over on her side so that she was facing away from him. This is going to sound so stupid. But as silly as she thought it might be, it was something she had to ask.

"Do you know anything about…love?..."

Tyki nearly fell out of his chair. Alright, I didn't see that one coming. He saw that she was nervously glancing over her shoulder, as if awaiting a response. Despite not being one to normally jump to conclusions, his mind blazed through the different possible justifications for her question.

Only one seemed to stand out.

Love? Road? OUR Road Kamelot…in love? But who could she…

Tyki's face instantly went pale. It was the only logical explanation. He was well aware of Road's previous "failures" at exterminating the exorcist Allen Walker. He also knew that over the past year she had taken a fancy to him. But he thought it was just in the playful sense; like a predator might toy with their prey, since he knew Road loved to enjoy her work. This new situation though…this was no good.

If the Earl finds out about this, things aren't going to bode well for her. I have to stop this in its tracks, for her own sake.

"What is this about Road? Tell me honestly. I mean, do you seriously think that you're…that you're?...

Her face felt so hot from embarrassment that she thought she was going to faint. I change my mind, I can't talk about this. It's just too much. She quickly stopped him from finishing his sentence. "You know what, forget it. It was a stupid question."

After a final glance into the fire, Road lazily picked herself off the rug. With a swift wave, a large set of red and white double doors appeared before her. As the doors opened, she took a deep, steadying breath.

"Look…I know I've been acting weird lately, but don't worry about me. I'm going to go set things straight, once and for all."

Tyki inquisitively furrowed his brow, "Oh? And how are you going to manage that?"

Before stepping into the darkness of the portal, Road turned back with an unusually stern expression.

"I'm going to kill Allen Walker."

Author's Note: Having read and watched all that is currently available for D.Gray-man, I find that Road's character is portrayed in a much darker, sadistic manner in the manga, as opposed to her anime counterpart. The Road I'm attempting to represent in this story is more closely related to her milder anime version. I plan on saving the other variation of Road for a much darker fic at a later time P. A future thank you to all that review, as any sort of feedback is always very helpful.