Disclaimer: They does not belong to me.





Something felt like it cracked. He froze halfway into a step, stopping to glance down at the girl cradled in his arms.

"Lenalee…" He muttered. Her face was buried against his chest, and her breathing was shallow. The both of them were covered in cuts and bruises from the recent akuma onslaught. There had been Noah as well, but they had vanished at their master's beckoning. Now all that remained were a few level three akuma, all of them bent on destroying the pair of exorcists before them.

Finding the energy, he pressed himself on, clutching Lenalee more tightly against him. She'd been injured in her fight against the Noah called Tyki- the one he hadn't been able to stop. He mentally cursed himself. She'd been battling valiantly. Her movements had been perfect, graceful, and lightning quick. She'd woven through the air like some sort of terrible butterfly, bearing attack and attack from the intangible Noah.

He had had his own battles to take care of, but fear had been eating away at him the entirety of the time. He was scared that this time he wouldn't be able to protect her. That this time he wouldn't be able to shield her from her attackers and get her away safely.

Lenalee had collapsed when the Noah had left the battle, and he had been there to scoop her into his arms again and shield her from attacks. He hadn't failed yet.

But now the two of them were running, and the akuma were gaining, and Lenalee was barely clinging to a shred of consciousness. He was getting tired, and he didn't know how much longer he could keep going with her in his arms. He couldn't fight while he had to protect her. His only hope was that the others would get there in time.

His breathing was becoming heavier as he ran. One particularly persistent akuma took this opportunity to launch a round of sharp looking metal projectiles at the pair of them. Most missed completely, seeing as akuma rarely have excellent aim, but a few caught him in the back and he stumbled. He could feel Lenalee gasp against him, and he pushed himself on, ignoring the pain between his shoulder blades.

She was crying again, he noticed. He could feel her body shudder slightly and felt the tears wetting his coat. "Allen-kun," she murmured again. He winced.

"It's Lavi, actually."