1st Night: The Destroyer of Time Destroyed
Disclaimers: I do not own any D. Gray-Man characters/settings. They rightfully belong to Mr. Katsura Hoshino.
When she awoke, the first thing she saw was a worn stone ceiling and the worried face of her white haired companion. His eyebrows were drawn together, his silver gray eyes reflecting concern, and she felt him put a hand on her forehead, feeling for a fever. Upon seeing her open her eyes, his face lit up in relief, and he grasped her hand as if afraid that she would disappear if he didn't.
"A...llen?" she said, struggling to get the words out. Her head felt fuzzy, and her body felt bruised and painful, but she could barely feel her legs. "What happened to me?" she asked.
"An Akuma caught you unaware, Miss Lee," a Finder said, poking his head into her line of vision. He was covered in dust and grime, and his off white coat was smeared with a bit of drying blood. Turning to Allen, he said, "They're wandering the hills several hundred yards north from here. Apparently, they lost interest in killing now that they've evolved again."
"All right," Allen said, nodding his acknowledgment. He straightened up and adjusted his coat, then he gave her a warm smile. "I'll be going now, Lenalee. There are five Akuma on the loose, and I don't want them to harm this town any more."
"But they were all Level Twos when we arrived! If they all evolved, then that means they're all Level Three! Allen, I'm going with you," she gasped, attempting to stand up, just to fall back, gasping in pain. Her legs burnt with pain, and looking down, she realized that one of her ankles were swollen and discolored. Her head gave a sudden throb, and the world seemed to spin. "Ugh!"
"You can't fight, Lenalee," Allen said calmly, putting a blanket around her shoulders. "Your head got hit directly by supersonic waves, and you couldn't even balance yourself before you fell unconscious. Your ankle's twisted badly, too."
"But I can't let you fight them all alone," she argued. "You won't stand a chance against five Level Three Akuma."
Something in Allen's silver gray eyes crashed, as if she'd stepped on a crumbling cliff, sending him own into the depths of darkness..."I'll try my best," he said. "You just go back to headquarters, Lenalee, because your injuries need to be treated. There are no more doctors in the surrounding towns, so you'll need Bookman."
"I can't leave you here!" she said angrily. Something moved in the corner of her eyes, and four more Finders came into view.
"We have already agreed with Walker," one of them said to her, his face wrinkled with worry for both of them. His gray hair was tied back with a leather string, and the hood on his coat was black with soot. "I will be staying with him while the others take you back."
"Lenalee, listen," Allen said, grabbing her gently by the shoulders. "I can't fight while protecting you, you understand that as well, don't you? And if you don't have your ankle treated as soon as possible, you won't ever be able to walk. You have to go back."
"You believe in me, don't you?"
"Don't you believe that I can beat them?" Allen asked innocently. "I told you before, didn't I? Sometimes, the most you could do is believe and trust in someone, and this is one of them. You can't fight in your condition, I can't fight while worrying about you. You have to go back."
She felt tears spring afresh in her eyes. She couldn't leave the younger Exorcist here, all alone, when they both knew he was less likely to survive than not. Even if he did, he would never be the same ever again. But he was right. She couldn't fight with these injuries, and he couldn't protect both of them, either. She had to go.
Reluctantly, she nodded her head in defeat. "I'll...believe in you, Allen," she said, "so don't let me down."
"Will try not to," Allen said, and he nodded to the Finders. "Put Lenalee in the carriage and leave the town the moment I leave for the hills. Head south. It's quicker, and the Akuma are less likely to notice you leaving," he told them, and he approached them and whispered something she couldn't hear. All of the Finders nodded, and two of them lifted her carefully in their arms, resting her gently on the velvet seats inside the carriage they had ridden on the way to the town.
"Allen," she called before the could close the door. The boy turned to look at her. "Be careful."
He smiled and turned his back to her before stepping out of the half demolished building.
As the carriage left the building and into the snowy world outside, Lenalee Lee felt time slow down. She tried to reach out for Allen, to call him back, to grasp his hand and cling on tightly, never to let him go...but he was too far away. A foreboding, sinking feeling weighed down her heart, and Allen's last smile flashed through her mind, followed by a most dreadful thought:
I would never see that smile of his again.
The image of Allen Walker, lying dead in the Black Order's great hall, made her heart clench. The unreal sounds of Allen gasping, clinging onto every breath he took, dying, rang in her ears.
Go away- I don't want to see- don't want to hear...Allen!
Lenalee screamed, felt herself sitting up, and opened her eyes.
Bright light poured in through an open window, and she could hear the distant buzz of a golem flying by. A fresh wind played with her hair, and she could hear people moving on the other side of a heavy oak door. The intense smell of antiseptic reached her nose, and she immeditely recognized the room as the medical section of the Black Order. It was warm.
Alarmed, Lenalee whipped around to look out the window. The trees outside the tower were covered in bright green leaves, and the sun was bright, blinding. It was nearly summer.
Of course, she thought, it was all a dream...
It was a memory.
That snowy day in the half destroyed town was real. It was Christmas Eve, and Akuma had attacked the town, crushing the holiday mood in their ugly, metallic hands. They'd defeated her, she couldn't fight, and Allen had gone to fight them. Alone. She'd left him there, she'd ran away. She abandoned him.
She left him there to die all alone.
Muffled sobs racked her body, made her feel like throwing up. Desperately, she scrambled out of the bed and nearly fell over. Her legs were wobbly under her weight, for the damage from the Akuma many months ago, and the shock afterwards, had left her nerves and mind damaged. She could still invoke her Innocence, but it was not as strong as before. She knew that she would never be able to fight like she did before.
"Allen," she cried, "Allen," as if it were a lifeline, or maybe if she repeated his name enough times, the boy would come clambering in through that door, Komui right after him, with a few bruises, smile at her when he saw her sitting here, ask her why she was crying...
But he didn't. She knew he wouldn't. It had been four months, after all, since she last saw him at that town. They both knew, even back then, that he wouldn't come back. He wouldn't have survived against five Level Three Akuma no matter how strong he was compared to her. She also knew that two Noah children had appeared after she'd left, followed shortly by the Millennium Earl himself. That was the last thing the Finder who was with Allen said before the communication was cut off. A month later, they found the old man's rotting body under the debris, but they never found Allen Walker's body. Even then, nobody bothered to hope that he was still alive.
If he was, he would have come back home much earlier.
The door creaked open.
"Allen!" Lenalee gasped, but she felt her hope extinguish itself when she saw Lavi enter, his tall red headed figure flinching when he heard the name. Of course...Lavi and Allen had been best friends, hadn't they?
"Hi," the boy said with a half smile. His one visible eye was hollow, allowing no emotion to make it shine. His heart had died with Allen, and thus so, the old Bookman said that the boy had completed his training. At that time, everyone knew that the least the old man could have done was give Lavi a task that strayed the boy away from the existence of Allen Walker, and he had retired to being just another old Exorcist, and Lavi had become Bookman. He recorded any movement in the war over the last four months, and he seldom smiled during that time, and Lenalee knew that the few remaining smiles were all leftovers from the time before, when Allen was still alive...
Everyone changed since then. Even Kanda seemed more sensitive, more caring towards others. He never mentioned Allen as 'Moyashi' again, and it was on a rare occasion that he even talked about the boy. He never lost his temper with grieving comrades, and he never questioned Komui's orders, just silently obeyed, like a puppet. The only thing that drove the Exorcists to fight was just that: the loss of Allen Walker. They had all sworn never to have someone like him happen again.
Shaking the thoughts from her head, she smiled at Lavi. "Hi," she said, "Bookman."
"I'm keeping my old alias," Lavi said, shrugging. "Panda geezer didn't seem to care either, and it's easier for you guys, isn't it?"
"Everything's so different now," Lenalee responded. "I don't think I would have noticed if someone changed their name."
"That's a low blow, girl," the Bookman said quietly and helped Lenalee back onto the bed. "Don't overwork yourself. You know you have to rest."
"I've been in and out of this room ever since that mission," she complained. "I want to be able to move again."
"Heh, but you know you won't be able to beat me and Yu in a hundred mile race anymore," Lavi teased.
"Not unless I have Krory carry me," Lenalee retorted. She looked at Lavi and narrowed her eyes. "By the way, why the sudden visit?"
Lavi grimaced and peered at her bandaged legs. "Yu's been sent on a mission, but he needs backup," he said. "He's safe, don't worry," he added hastily when Lenalee's eyes widened in shock. "Komui's asking panda geezer, me, and you to go help him, but..."
"Take me with you," she said firmly. "I can't fight, but I can still help treat the injured."
"That's settled then," the Bookman grinned. "We've already packed the medicines for you and a first aid kit as well. Food, too, just in case we can't find a place to stay. We'll be leaving in ten minutes, so I came to pick you up."
Lenalee looked around. There were no means of transport for her weak legs, but then she felt Lavi lift her off the bed and put her against his strong back. "Lavi-what?"
"Wheelchairs get in the way," he answered shortly. "I'm carrying you downstairs, and then the Finders will find something for you later." Without another word, he carried her out of the medical room and down to the river on the ground floor where they met up with the senior Bookman, who was sitting calmly in the boat. "We're ready, old man."
"It took you long enough," the man said as the younger Exorcists sat down behind him. Nodding to the Finder with the oar, Toma, he said, "Let's get going now."
"Where's the mission located?" Lenalee asked her comrades, who stiffened and exchanged looks with each other. "What?"
"Miss Lena, it is a new city located right where the demolished town once stood," the old man said, looking at her with blank eyes. "It is the same town where Allen Walker disappeared."
Flashes and scenes attacked her the moment the boy's name left the man's lips. The worn out ceiling...the snow covered rubble...the Akuma...a cracked bronze bell...Allen's last smile. Tears flooded her eyes and she clung to Lavi, her patted her shoulder gently.
"Sorry Lenalee, but it's also orders from the Grand Generals themselves," the boy said soothingly. "We...couldn't refuse."
"They say that a memorial was built for Sir Walker," Toma said suddenly, moving the oar back and forth. "It's located on the outskirts of the city under an ancient tree overlooking a hill. Sir Walker's cross stands right next to the grave of a man named Mana Walker."
"Mana?" Lenalee repeated, tasting the familiar name. "Isn't he...?"
"Walker's father," senior Bookman confirmed.
"Allen would be content with the location. In death, he lays beside his father," Lavi muttered.
Lenalee gripped Lavi's sleeve tighter, buried her face in his arm. "I want to see him," she whimpered. "I want to say good-bye to Allen. When we get there...could we go to that grave?"
This is my second D. Gray-Man story, and I'm really hoping you readers will like it. I hope I can finish this as well as the other one.