Hello there. This is my very first fanfiction I decided to upload to the internet and also my first attempt at D. Gray -Man. Please, understand that I'm no native speaker of English, so please don't give up at the first spelling or grammar mistake you come across. X3
This story is semi-AU because it basically follows the original Manga, but has a different approach to it, but you'll see that in a bit.
Disclaimer: D. Gray -Man belongs to Katsura Hoshino.
There was fog all around, the air was damp and he could just feel how the dirt in the air began to stick to his ever shiny clothes. Well, ever shiny when he's not in London that is. Whenever possible he tried to steer clear of this city and he was actually quite good at avoiding stuff. He preferred India over any place in the world, not because of the weather - he couldn't stand the burning and oppressive heat - but he felt attached to the country; be it because of the women or because he actually was born and raised there by his caring and absolutely loving parents. He tended to claim it was the first and mentally chuckled to himself at the second possibility; how could he have turned out as he did? But he didn't want to dwell on this subject of parents any longer; he had much more pressing matters to attend to.
Someone had died. Good, no big deal. People die all the time, especially in the dark, mucky streets of London, but this death was not going to be without consequences. It was a pain, really, all of this, but next to being annoyed the man also felt a faint pain inside him. It was sad when people could not be protected and when death was causing even more loss. But he had to deal with it and had developed some kind of resistance and acceptance of this fact long ago, he was an exorcist after all – one of the five generals – and as sloppy as he was as an exorcist, he still did his duty every now and then. And now was his time to shine.
The place Marian Cross was about to visit was much more to his liking than the streets at this early hour. He had left the industrial part of the town for this nice little district of white rows of high houses where the high-class chose to cut themselves off from the working class. Their houses where just like themselves: all the same, boring, spotless and without any trace of colour.
In a few fast strides the General crossed the wet road and aimed directly at one of the houses, not different than the rest. For once he had made his arrival known with a neatly written letter addressed just at those people living inside this house. Consequently, he did not worry one bit when he went up the steps and knocked at the door – not that he ever did worry at all, he's just too certain of himself to doubt his actions for even just one second. He knew that the lady inside this house would be well prepared for his arrival, even at seven in the morning when he, under normal circumstances, would chose to sleep in some woman's bed. He also knew that there would be wine waiting, one of the finest of course. And he also knew that she would not be too pleased to see his face, even though she normally was a very nice lady.
After some moments a servant came answering the door and after having seen the silver cross on his coat she led him inside the house with humble bows. He stood in a white hall with a high ceiling, the floor of polished marble and rich decorative furniture standing on each of the walls. A big staircase led up to an upper floor and he admired how these houses could look small from the outside but were actually quite spacious. Cross didn't have to wait for long until the owner of the house came down the stairs. She was an aristocratic lady of about 50, but she looked younger, she wore a dress of dark purple silk with a lot of gold embroidery. Her auburn hair was tied back and her long neck was adorned with gems. Cross wouldn't mind her company if it weren't for this stern face he had been expecting all along.
"Mister Cross, it is my very pleasure to meet you," she said as she stood in front of him – looking quite impressive and authoritative even though she wasn't as tall as the man - and Cross took off his hat before he bend down to kiss her hand. "The circumstances are rather dark, but I understood from your letter that your assistance in this matter is of uppermost importance," she went on and raised her hand, "please, follow me." She lowered her hand again and went on into the adjacent room, Cross following obediently. The lady sat down on one of the emerald settees, pointing to the other one across from her. The general sat down, pushing the dozens of cushions away, and the lady began pouring tea into a cup, which she handed to Cross. "Wine is not a good partner to start a conversation with," she lectured as Cross made a face at the sweet beverage, "now, Mister Cross… If you would just speak your mind, I would greatly appreciate it."
"Lady Charlene, I'll gladly accept this offer. As you know from my letter I've come here to take your daughter in my care, if necessary. I am not fully aware how this incident came to happen, so I also hoped to question the young lady…," Cross told her and her face remained as stern as before. She did not seem inclined to give her daughter away, something Cross could understand, but he knew that the lady was sensitive enough to understand how important Cross' current mission was. He was told to investigate, but he didn't need to search much, he knew there was something about that girl – he was told so by the last letter he received before its writer met with a sudden, but not unexpected, death. Now he just needed to know how involved she really was. The woman let out a faint sigh and called for her daughter:
"Ellen, please come into the room, my dear." Cross heard the sound of clacking heels on marble floor and then the opening of the wooden door to the salon. In the doorframe stood a young girl, her body was rather small and skinny, she had a beautiful face and bright, silver eyes that shone like liquid glass. She wore a pale pink dress with a lot of frills and ribbons and Cross fought against a moan. Such a little princess, as she seemed to be, was not fit to be an exorcist; she would just die in the first few weeks, another innocence lost for the world. He observed how she came into the room, with all the grace a young aristocratic woman with a fine education in the proper etiquette could possibly possess. "Ellen," her mother said fondly, but still wearing that stern face, "this is the priest I was talking about, Marian Cross. He considers taking you to a very fine order." Ellen nodded shyly and made an elegant bow. She had long hair – white hair Cross remarked with mild astonishment – covering her face, but as she lifted her head again Cross could see red markings on the left side of her face; he instantly knew that this was the girl, the girl he had talked about.
"She's cursed," he stated and Ellen looked at him with big eyes, backing away slightly, maybe expecting him to jump her in order to exorcise the devil which had cursed her.
"No she is not," Ellen's mother said with a voice which allowed no protest, but Cross would not listen to such unvoiced threats.
"Tell me what happened, little girl," Cross ordered and Ellen hesitated. Cross could hear Charlene sniffing loudly, but he paid her no attention.
"Very well Ellen, tell this gentleman what happened that night." Ellen nodded slowly and looked up at Cross with pain in her eyes.
"I used to spend a lot of time with Mana Walker… My father – uncle," she started with a trembling voice, but she was very calm.
"Mana Walker is my late brother, he died two weeks ago of unknown circumstances. After my husband passed away when Ellen was only two, he became a father figure for her," Charlene explained what Cross already knew, "had I known that this would make Ellen suffer I would have prohibited him to come here. He had a strange way of living. He abandoned our home, our parents and his wealth in order to see the world. What a fool he was."
"Let your daughter do the talking Mrs. Bermont," Cross told the woman and Lady Charlene huffed, but busied herself with drinking a cup of tea. "Go on," he ordered and Ellen nodded again. With a firmer voice she continued:
"As mother said, Mana died. I do not know how it came to be, but I was lonely without him and I could not bear the loneliness… I wished he was back somehow and then… As I was lying near his grave, crying in such a disgraceful way, a man approached me. I could not see his face clearly through my tear clouded eyes… But he was huge, with a top hat on his head…"
"The Earl of Millenium is his name. We exorcists know him very well," Cross interrupted and Ellen took this moment to wipe her eyes.
"He proposed to bring Mana back and I believed his lies… In the end Mana was ordered to kill me… But…," she touched her left arm, which was hidden by a satin glove, "something took hold of me in my fear. My body acted on its own and killed Mana. Oooh… Mother!" she started to sob like a little girl and Cross was highly annoyed.
"Do not worry Ellen, everything will be alright," her mother tried to calm her, but before her daughter could jump into her inviting arms, Cross grabbed the girl's arm.
"Show me that hand of yours," he ordered and her mother stood up abruptly.
"Do not touch my daughter!" she shouted but Cross just ignored her.
"Your daughter might be an exorcist! I need to ascertain things," he answered and tore the glove off of Ellen's arm. What he found was blood-red flesh with a green cross etched into the back of her hand. He raised an eyebrow as her mother let out a horrified shriek.
"I told you not to touch her!" she shouted, but did not move from her position, maybe fearing to get near her daughter, now that her arm was exposed.
"Mother… Do not concern yourself… He knows what he is doing… I am sure… Maybe he will heal my curse."
"I'm an exorcist, you wouldn't want the cure I provide," Cross mumbled, but Ellen heard him, "without a doubt, this is Innocence. The innocence which killed Mana Walker as he became an Akuma," he announced and everything in the room became deadly quiet. He shot Ellen a grin, which made her back off as much as Cross' firm hold on her hand allowed. "You are now an exorcist, Miss Ellen Bermont."
To be continued...
I hope I didn't scare you off just at the beginning of the story. If you spot any mistakes or have remarks, just let me know. :3