Title: Lenalee's Getting Married?
Summary: Despite being so close, Reever stumbles upon another (horrible) twist of fate…
Disclaimer: D. Gray Man's not mine, yatta yatta.
"Hold it! Stay where you are!" a shout rang across the empty hotel room. Timothy and Winston—still cowering over Lenalee and Allen's note—paused from their excessive sobbing, and looked up to find four strange men appearing to attempt a hold-up. A man with spiky hair and excessive dark circles walked slowly to the Finders, his face set in a scowl of contempt. As he walked towards the two, the heavy thud of his boots matched their racing heartbeats. Who was this? What could these people possibly want with two Finders? Where they going to die—!?
Reever squatted to their eve level, barely managing to keep his eyes open, and yawned. "Hey," he said smiling, giving off an aura of repressed frustration. "Where are Lenalee and Walker? Did you put them in a separate room?"
The Finders looked at each other, and seeing the state of their wet, snot-nosed faces, realized that—as messed up as this mission was—there was still that glint of determination in their eyes. True love was real, they realized, and they were going to defend it until the end of time! For Walker and for Lenalee! No matter who these people were, the two of them would—
"I don't think they're here," Lavi said impatiently. "It's pretty obvious, Reever. Four beds, two Finders, no exorcists—"
A vein on Reever's forehead pulsed. "Thank you for being so enlightening," Reever turned around to face Bookman, Jr. "But these two are pretty shaken up, so why not get to the point slowly?" Reever growled at Lavi. The redhead coughed and looked down, muttering about how scary people needed more sleep.
"Now," Reever sighed, turning to the two Finders, smiling softly. "We just need to find those two kids. Can you tell us where they are?"
Timothy bolted up, his eyes shut and his body trembling. "We will never betray them again! While we initially accepted this mission with grace from Komui-sama, I personally do not think that we can fulfill out all his expectations!" Crying now, two mini-rivers flowed from the Finder's eyes. "And they're so in love!" he whined. "And it's so beautiful, I mean—why should we stop it, you know?"
Winston piped up. "At first I thawt they were pret-tee income-paaaaaat-able," the Finder barely said intelligently. "But," he hiccupped, "they go so weeeeeeeeelllll together! And gosh, the way that they look each other," Winston hiccupped. "Ugh, there's just so much tension and stuff. It's like… their love radiates from their eyesssss," the Finder said airily, swaying this way and that while his dazed face looked at ceiling.
Reever sweatdropped. "Right," he said warily, taking notice of the Finders' flushed faces. "So tell me… as protectors of love or whatever," he growled, "why the hell are you two drinking on the job!?" he shouted at them.
Much to Reever's annoyance, the team of four wasted even more time. Due to the Finders' drunken states, any type of interrogation had the same response: slurred, sherry-smelling breaths that prophesized Lenalee and Allen as the world's first "true love". After a few hours of the Finders' sleeping off their first encounter with depression-induced alcohol consumption, they awakened to a late afternoon, and an eerily lit hotel room with Reever sitting at the end of their beds.
"Hello, you two," he said slowly, the awkward sunlight casting eerie shadows on his face. "Now. Where are Lenalee and Allen?"
And… it all came flooding back to them.
Immediately, the Finders both burst into tears, jumping out of their beds to bow low in front of Reever. Reever, flustered, stood up immediately at the sight of the two begging. "Wait, what the—"
"WE LOST THEM," they both sniveled, crawling to grab the ends of Reever's lab coat.
"THEY WERE SO SWEET TO US—"
"TOLD US THEY WANTED TO FIND A CHURCH AS SOON AS POSSIBLE—"
"WANTED TO GET MARRIED RIGHT AWAY—"
"ELOPING WITHOUT CONSENT, YOU KNOW—"
"LEFT THEM HERE TO GIVE THEM PRIVACY—"
"TIMOTHY GOT HUNGRY, SO WE BOUGHT FRESH BREAD BECAUSE THE INN HAD WEIRD LOOKING MEAT—"
"AND THEY WERE GONE WHEN WE CAME BACK!" they both cried.
Reever sighed. "…not again."
Kanda stood up, stabbing his sword into the floorboards, his temper flaring. "…why"—stab—"are"—stab—"they"—stab—"so"—stab—"elusive!" he hissed, grabbing Mugen and stalking out of the room.
"Kanda, wait," Reever sighed.
"No," said the swordsman angrily. "No! We haven't slept in days, and we hit another dead end?" he said hoarsely. "This is idiotic. Whatever those two want to do with their lives, let them. We have more drastic things to concern ourselves over, like the Holy War!" he roared, shutting the door.
Lavi sighed, following after him immediately. The senior bookman gave Reever a sympathetic look, and said, "The two of us will take care of Kanda. The man's just tired. Make sure you get the information we need," he shifted his eyes away. As the bookman approached the door, the "panda" called out to him. "Oh, and Reever? Do it quickly," the older man said, as he made eye contact with the scientist, "because I fear we are running out of time."
With the three other men gone, the Finders visibly relaxed. Reever looked down at them from where he standing, opting to sit, and motioned for the other two to do the same. "My colleagues… believe that Walker and Lenalee are both in danger," he said calmly. "They are already targeted by the Earl because of their exorcist positions, but now, because of this love," Reever sighed exasperatingly, "they're in a deeper threat. They're being targeted as an entity, to be destroyed not as two exorcists, but as one love."
The Finders flinched. "You want to find them to protect them?"
"First and foremost… that is our most basic mission," Reever replied. "The second is to hopefully… talk them out of marriage."
"BUT THEY SHARE A TRUE LOVE—"
"Right," Reever said, holding a hand up to silence them. "True love, okay. But it still doesn't excuse the fact that it's stupidly dangerous. So, if they could hold out from their hormones for a few more years for… I don't know, like maybe—when the Earl, Noahs, and akuma are no longer a threat to the world—then I don't care. They can get married and have a family and beautiful children, or whatever."
Winston blushed. "So you also think their child would be gorgeous?"
"That's pretty irrelevant," Reever said tiredly. "Anyway," Reever said, taking out a thermos of coffee, "do you have any hints as to what church they would possibly go to?"
"Uhm… we had this list… I kinda slipped it under their door before we went grocery shopping," Winston said.
"Perfect! Do you remember the list?" Reever said, excitedly.
Timothy twiddled his thumbs. "I… Well, I wrote down about fifteen churches in a 20-mile radius from the inn—"
Reever sweatdropped. "I see. No memories?"
Timothy shook his head. "But there was a specific criteria, so I was able to remake the list, so that's no longer a problem…"
"Stain glass windows with angels depicted on them. Incorrupt clergy along with a concrete history of very moral Fathers. No deep connections with the Black Order. Marriage able to obtained within two days," Timothy whispered.
"That is… thorough," Reever said. "…And if you've already reconstructed our target locations, that's quite helpful. But… what was that about forty-eight hours?"
"Marriage through the church can take up to six months in advance. But for those who elope… there are Fathers willing to perform smaller ceremonies in secret. As long at is through God, they say… then marriage is okay," Winston replied softly. "Most of these ceremonies could be immediate… but the churches in the local vicinity accept at least a two-day minimum wait time so that the church can prepare."
"Well, that's perfect!" Reever smiled, standing up. "We were able to find you all within five hours when we arrived in this town; if we start searching each church now, we could easily find the exact church and scout around it."
The Finders smiled uneasily at each other, tears starting to brim in their eyes. "Do you think it would be that easy?" Winston said to Reever.
"Reever-sama… we have already tried that," Timothy almost inaudibly whispered. "They disappeared around mid-day yesterday. We searched all of yesterday afternoon… Started with the farthest churches first—thought they'd want to gain the distance—but they weren't there… We got back last night and searched the nearby ones, but there was no sign of them either… It wasn't until this morning that we… we-we g-gave up," Timothy started whimpering.
"And that's when I brought in the alcohol," Winston said sullenly. "Sorry, Reever-sama… but… we were going insane."
"Wait," Reever said. "If it takes a day and a half to scout all of them, and they put in the request yesterday afternoon at the latest… and it's already the afternoon for today… " Reever's heart dropped into his stomach. "Oh, you've got to be kidding me."
Timothy and Winston began to cry. "THEY'RE GOING TO BE KILLED ON THEIR WEDDING DAY, AND IT'S ALL MY FAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUULTTTTT," Timothy began to sob, banging his head softly against the wooden floor.
Winston sniffed, looking at his companion strangely. "I'm an accomplice too! At least we committed treason for true love together—"
Timothy started a small stream with the amount that he was crying; desperately looking around for the sherry, he crawled around the floor in hysterics. "No, idiot! It's my fault they suddenly rushed to the altar!"
Reever's heart dropped even further than he thought was possible. "…suddenly rushed? So they hadn't always wanted to elope so quickly?"
Timothy found the bottle and began to chug. "Noooooooo, they seemed so apprehensive at first, when we had just told them we knew, you know," he cried. "So careful and tip-toe-y… I felt so bad for putting them in that kind of chaos—"
"They were talking about their elopement so weirdly," said Winston quietly interrupted, looking at his friend with sadness. "They kept asking us where we had heard such things… if the Black Order had arranged it themselves. We told them that it was okay their love was real! That they shouldn't be ashamed of it no longer! It was okay if we knew!"
Reever almost slapped himself to keep from rolling his eyes. "So what did you do?"
Timothy looked dazedly at Winston. "Win had no part in this," he said sullenly. "But I spiked their canteens."
Oh, yeah. Reever's heart had definitely just dropped to the floor. "…you… did… what?" the scientist whispered.
Tim took another drink of alcohol. "All Finders are given necessary equipment. Since we aren't compatible with innocence, we have to protect ourselves somehow… and the Black Order started this thing where we even got drugs from the Science Department."
Reever coughed, looking away. "Yeah… that's not my division," he muttered embarrassedly.
"Doesn't matter," Tim shrugged, staring into the bottle of sherry. "Anyway, since we got the drugs, I thought it was okay to share it with them. All I wanted to do was try to make up for putting them on edge like that. So I spiked their water. It's tasteless; a small amount is fine for anyone. It does neutralize your inhibitions, but in doing so—you don't hesitate with your true feelings. Not only that, but you're basically chemically altered to feel fantastic! I take it sometimes when I feel down," Timothy said, smiling.
"Yeah, because that's what it's for…" Reever muttered. "Okay," he nodded, reassuring himself that it was the drugs and not the hormones that were making this idiotic situation blow up all over the place. "So what chemicals are we talking about?"
"Dunno," Tim said. "I just know it's catalytic. After one dose, you release tons of endorphins for the next 72 hours; after 12 hours, you start releasing dopamine."
"So that's why…" Reever muttered, torn between amusement and frustration. "You gave them an anti-stress drug that turned into a instant love potion…"
"Yup!" Tim winced, giggling simultaneously. "And to think I gave them both a huge overdose!"
Meanwhile, in the closest church only 3 miles away from the inn…
"Are you okay, darling?" Lenalee said sweetly while smiling at Allen, holding his hand. Dang. Was this a drugged couple or what.
"Of course, sweetie," the white-haired teenager replied, grinning at her loving response. "I feel great! I have no idea why I sneezed so suddenly…"
"Oh, it's so dusty in here!" said the young nun beside them cheerfully. After spending yesterday shopping (and the whole night in exhaustion fromthe buying), the three of them spent the day nicely by playing games together and cooking and telling stories and procrastinating on wedding preparations. The nun smiled mischievously, and said, "The way you've recounted your adventures with Miss Lenalee… I don't think you're getting sick, Sir Walker. There's no way you're getting sick by tomorrow."
"Well," Lenalee pouted playfully, "you werefeeling a bit weak this evening when I woke you up—"
"No," Allen interrupted, putting a hand up as he glanced around the room. Averting his eyes, his eyes dropped to Lenalee's pouting face. He leaned over easily, whispering in her ear, "I just felt a really ominous aura… Like killer intent…"
Lenalee's expression shifted slightly, but with more surprise than fear. "Like the Noah?" she said softly.
"No, it wasn't… evil…" Allen whispered back to her, subconsciously brushing her hair behind her ear. "Just… pissed. An angry aura… that wanted to cut me up."
"Allen," Lenalee said softly, averting her gaze from her soon-to-be-husband bashfully. "That sounds like an akuma," she said worriedly, not even noticing the unusual sparkles that were appearing in her welled-up eyes.
"No… it was just… a really hazy, pissed off feeling…" the exorcist muttered softly to his soon-to-be-wife soothingly. "It wasn't an akuma; my eye would have activated… but it still felt really… familiar," Allen muttered, his eyes glazing over, remembering a distant, faded memory of a time in which he pissed off a certain ponytailed exorcist…
Adelaide (who had been sitting there the entire time) was both fortunately and unfortunately out of earshot. As she saw the two of them start emitting sparkles and heavy whispers and (what she had thought was) lusty bedroom eyes, she immediately stood up, feeling both excluded and intruding at the same time. As she shot up from the dinner table, the couple just turned to her, unaware of their overwhelming presence of loooooooove.
"Are you okay, Adelaide?" Lenalee said worriedly.
"What? Me, oh yeah!" the nun retorted awkwardly. Inching backward, she put her hands up in defeat of the blissfully unaware couple. "You know… I'll just… take leave. Check to see if my uncle has anything else to do to prepare for tomorrow morning's ceremony…"
"Oh," said Lenalee, brightening up. "Okay! Should we help?"
"No!" the nun said enthusiastically. "You… just feel the bliss! Carry on, all that," she muttered, embarrassed. "I'll come back to see you guys later," she said cheekily. "I'll fit your dress and tux and everything, alright?" she called.
And with that, she ran off, leaving a small cloud of dust and two confused exorcists in her wake.
Though Adelaide had indeed left our two exorcists, it didn't mean she didn't like them. She found them both… slightly intimidating, but she found their relationship adorable and sweet, and she was so happy to have them both as her company.
So that's why what happened next unsettled her.
Approaching her uncle's office, she bounded up to the door gleefully, only to find it a smidge open already. Careful, she treaded towards it lightly, about to knock until—
"You… You want those children?" the nun heard her uncle stutter. Adelaide immediately shrunk back at his tone; her fist—only poised near the door just moments before—was taken away by her free hand, and she brought both hands to her chest instinctively, slipping into a position in which she hugged herself. Her heartbeat escalating, her mind screaming, she looked around in a dazed confusion. Why had she reacted so violently to the sound of fear in her uncle's voice?
"Not exactly," came a sweetly purred response.
It wasn't a voice Adelaide recognized. But the tone—so effortlessly disgusting—traveled across her uncle's study, slipped through the open door, and was soon crawling on Adelaide's skin, inching across her goosebumps in a slow, parasitic torment.
"What do you want with them?" she heard her uncle whisper.
"Oh, you look so scared," Adelaide heard the other voice say. "Do you like those children? Did they grow on you? They do that you know. Fester in people's hearts, like cute, harmless funguses…"
"What are you going to do to them? Are you going to do…" the priest's voice faltered mid-sentence.
Inside, a very young girl crossed the room and leaned over the priest's desk. She smiled beautifully, only for her looks to be ruined by her condescending, narrowed eyes. "What your idiot son did? No, we can't make our own soldiers, Father," she purred. "Stupid humans have to do it for us."
"Then the white-haired boy… When he spoke of danger… was he speaking of you?"
"Actually, no…" Road Camelot said thoughtfully. She pouted childishly, looking at the priest with sad puppy eyes. "I wish I could've been the one Allen spoke of though…" she trailed off. As she looked off in the distance, she started suddenly and moved her eyes quickly to catch a peripheral glance at the priest. "But that's interesting… they already think they're in danger?"
The man's nostrils flared in anger. "I said, 'what do you want with them'?"
Road yawned. "Oh, you're so boring, Father." She pushed herself off the desk, and crossed her arms. "I have orders not to… play with you, you know," she sniffed. "We don't like crossing anyone involved with Marian. Doing that usually brings more trouble than it's worth."
The priest's eyes flickered, softening gently.
Road snorted. "Oh, you thought I made such a visit for you? Oh please," she drawled, "don't flatter yourself. Your wife," she said, caressing the cherry wood desk, "was a horrible soldier for our cause, after all. Though she did take a lot of beautiful lives…" Road said thoughtfully. "More of your family, correct? That young newlywed couple," she said, eyeing the shaking priest. Her eyes scanned over the man, clearly trembling with fear from the memory. "What a pity," she cooed, leaning closer towards the paralyzed man. "You should've gone too, just look at you. You became a 'Father', huh? Because that turned out so well the first time!" Road laughed at him.
Twirling around quickly, she walked towards a chair and sat down, holding the weight of her head with a bent wrist. "So don't worry. I just said you're boring, didn't I? I don't want you at all. And Marian's involvement has made sure I won't. But those… children," the girl grinned wickedly. "It's them I want. I want to play—my life's so boring you know—and for the benefit of all of us, I want to ensure that they will be married by you, specifically. You're the insurance."
"Why?" the priest choked out.
"Why what? Why the children? Why you? Well, we're quite fond of those two, my family and I," Road grinned. "We just want to make sure the congratulatory gift we've planned won't be going to waste… just because a scared priest didn't go through with marrying them, because he found out they were exorcists."
When the priest didn't answer, Road sighed heavily and stood up. "Take my word. I like to play as much as possible, but we're only here for the couple. We're not here for you, or your pretty little niece hiding behind the door."
Adelaide's heart beat rapidly, coming from compete shock in being so casually targeted. She heard her uncle shout her name. She felt the thump of a fallen chair vibrate through the floor. Distantly, she knew her uncle was scrambling to meet her on the other side of the door. But she didn't hear any of it because—underneath the concentrated thumping of her own heart—the sound of that… monster's laughter was ringing too loud, bouncing off the walls of her uncle's study, echoing in her mind… and it wouldn't leave.
"Oh, my child," she heard a rough whisper above her. In a trance, she looked up to see her uncle grimacing at her. Barely touching fifty, he was still fairly young: no prominent wrinkles; hair color still intact; no health complications. But with him being so close—towering over her in the small of the door—she couldn't help but notice the stress glowing in his fearful eyes.
Without words, her face crumpled, and she walked forward—head down—into her uncle's embrace. Soothingly, he wrapped his arms around her, smoothing her red waves with a gentle hand. "Please," she heard her uncle painfully whisper, "please don't cry, my child."
And it was only when he said that that Adelaide realized she had been.
(A/N: Dundundun! More action to come… Just a warning, but we're going into darker and darker territory now… Bring on the dramatized angst, mwahahahaha.
Please leave reviews and CC, please! Thanks for all the support, despite my incredibly long hiatus! You guys are awesome!)