Haunts of the Heart

Written by xmystorytime.

Full Summary: Allen's gone missing and it's up to Kanda and Lavi to hunt him down. However, it also means facing a ghost ship with a curse, level fours, enemies in all the wrong places, kidnappings, demons-who-aren't-quite-demons and one huge mystery to solve.

Warnings: Language - mostly on Kanda's part. The main swear words used in this story are 'fuck', 'shit', 'bastard' and 'damn'. There are most likely more, like 'bloody hell', but if so they're only used once/twice, - so those four are the most common. If you can't handle them, you probably should click the back button now.

Ships: There are no couples in this - it's just clean, pure mystery and action with our favourite characters.

Disclaimer: I don't own this show. Is that not obvious?

- a century ago...

"Cap'n! Cap'n!"

"What the bloody 'ell d'yeh want now?" the captain, a tall and beefy male with a commanding air, twisted around to look at the voice shouting for him. Sweat trickled down his face, from the hot sun above and the heat of the battle. His hands determinedly gripped the wheel beneath him, trying a desperate attempt to get away from the attacking ship.

"We're sinkin'!" the words were shouted loudly, to be heard over the noise of the battle, but the down-side to that was that everyone in hearing could hear the words. Activity on the deck ceased as the true plight they were in finally sunk in. The crew had looked to their captain in hope that he would save them, but they were smart enough to know that there wasn't much their captain could do against a sinking ship.

"We're gonna die!" someone wailed.

"I'm still young!" another cried.

"Damn it," the captain muttered as panic sent the deck into disarray. He was unable to stop several of his crew from jumping overboard into the icy sea, in the faint hope that it might help. "Damn it! Shuddup an' listen to me!" he yelled, his voice echoing over deck. Once more, all activity stopped. "We will bring it down!" he yelled, forcing everyone to continue with their work. "We will not lose this day!"

Another canon ball tore through the air, crashing into the side of the ship with a horrendous SMACKING noise. "D'you wanna go down like a coward? Like th' scum they are? Just what kind of people are you?!" he snapped, sending ripples through the crew. "We will go down with honour and dignity; we will not let them win! Now hoist the sails, we got work t'do!" the command, maybe foolish in the circumstances, forced people past their panic as they went to do their job.

"Honour? Dignity?" the captain looked to the male beside him, a small teenager. "All the things a pirate doesn't have, right father?" the teenager grinned morbidly, not looking like he minded that death was so close to them, and eventually the captain sighed, nodding. How he regretted taking his son along, for now his wife would be in tears back home and how he hated to see her cry.

She would have the satisfaction of being right, however. She hadn't agreed with him taking his son along, but he'd insisted... still, what was done was done.

"Malcolm, you -" a canon ball from the opposing ship went astray, or perhaps it was on target, if one judged by what it hit. Heart in his throat, the captain watched as the foremast was snapped off. The wooden pillar fell, rolling along the left side of the ship and crushing many, sending more overboard into the sea before following their path. The screams of the dying would forever be scarred within his mind.

"Father!" Malcolm yelled, eyes wide and a hand over his mouth. He was horrified. More shots from the opposing ship struck true and within several minutes the ship had been torn in two.

"Captain!" the sailors on the other side wailed, already falling away. Now unevenly balanced the two halves of the ship started to tip, and no more shots were fired as it became obvious that it was the water that would be the death of his ship.

"I'm so sorry..." the captain whispered, bending over the wheel and clutching his son close. "So sorry... so sorry..." and like a true captain should, he and his son went down with the ship, surrounded by the screams of dying men and the silent wail of his ship.

On the attacking ship, with its dazzling beauty and flapping flag proudly showing its British origins, the captain turned away from the wreckage and nodded to his crew behind him.

"Good job boys, we sank those blood-lusty pirates." cheers broke out, everyone pleased that yet another plague of the seas had been destroyed. Their captain smirked, brushing back his messy hair. "Take us starboard, Chuck."

"Aye aye captain!" Chuck said, taking grip of the wheel with paw-like hands. "We're sailing on home mates!"


Date Unknown
- one month and 1 day ago

The river gushed over several rocks a few feet away, its gurgling noises the only sound in the darkness of the night. There was a thin sliver of moonlight, illuminating the way for any wayward traveller. A faint dent, leading away from the rocky path of the road, wound through the grass and came to a halt beside a couple of bushes.

Next to the trail's end a cloaked figure knelt. The male was silent, face hidden by the black hood, and his gaze trained on the river in front of him. Every now and then he would look left and right, as if searching for something, but what he was looking for remained unknown.

Eventually the figure sighed, shoulders slumping as he gave up on what he was doing.

"And I thought I had it all figured out too..." the figure sighed, sitting back on his backside. The hood fell off, revealing the white strands of hair beneath it. "Sophia and Armin are going to laugh so hard at me when I return." His tone of voice was regretful and resigned. "I shouldn't have been so excited about it. They did tell me it wouldn't work, but I stupidly went ahead and tried anyway..."

Shaking his head at his foolishness for trusting the advice given by an elderly lady everyone else called insane (and wasting several days on deciphering her madness to understand what she meant), he got to his feet and brushed off the remaining dirt on his uniform. I've been so long at this now, I'm really getting sick of it. He shook his head and reached inside his cloak, bringing out a small ball. Once free, it was plain to see that the ball wasn't a ball - because it immediately started to fly around the white-haired male.

"Timcanpy!" the teenager laughed. "Come on, Tim, let's head back and try and get some sleep tonight." the bat-like creature seemed to agree, flying over and landing in the nest of hair up-top. The male sighed. "You always do that and it always ruins my hair..."

Clasping his hands behind his back, he started to make his way back to the path. Whistling a tune he'd heard earlier that day, the exorcist paid no mind to the suspicious sounds surrounding him as he walked, sounds that, had it been anyone else, would have made one hesitate and check to make sure they weren't being followed.

Time passed by slowly, with the teenager lost in thought, until he was rudely shaken out of them by a sudden absence of his friend Timcanpy. Blinking, the albino craned his neck around, trying to spot him. "Tim! Tim! Where did you go?" A cloud shifted, revealing the moonlight once more, and in it he saw the golden golem. A relieved smile broke out over his face. "Tim, there you are!"

He took one step forward and froze. Before his eyes, in the gleam of the moonlight, a transparent ship started to appear. He watched it with his mouth agape, before a smug smile replaced the shocked looks. The satisfaction he felt at trusting the insane woman was almost wonderful to revel in.

"Alright! Let's get started!" he said, rubbing his hands together and grinning. He took a few more steps, but then froze once more. There was a whirring sound and then his eye activated - revealing what he had yet to see.

Allen Walker didn't have time to respond before he was knocked unconscious.


Present Day

Whistling the same tune, ignorant of the fact that it was the same one Allen had hummed over a month ago, the red-head with an eye patch made his way casually down the corridor. It was a good day, in his opinion - the sun was shining, he'd finally finished that huge pile of papers that the old panda had set him to read nearly a week ago and he didn't have anything to worry about. He was as relaxed as could be.

Life was feeling pretty good.

Turning the corner, he narrowly avoiding bumping into Reever Wenham, head scientist of the Black Order. His tune was interrupted as the teenager laughed a sheepish laugh.

"Sorry Reever, I didn't see you there." he smiled apologetically and Reever looked up from his notes.

"Huh? Lavi?" Reever blinked. "What're you doing here?" Lavi blinked back at him, nonplussed. Seeing the boy's ignorance Reever continued, a faint frown on his face. "You were supposed to be in the supervisor's office nearly an hour ago."

"What?!" Lavi's eyes widened. Reever nodded, glancing back at his notes and seemingly not noticing the panic he had caused the younger male.

"I thought someone would have told you by now, otherwise I'd've caught you earlier. I think you've got another mission because Kanda was called up too." Reever started to walk on again, lost in his notes, and Lavi watched him go in disbelief. No way... he groaned, his once joyful day now ruined. Well, at least another mission would keep him busy. Truth be told he had been getting a little bored lately.

Mind you, anyone would be bored if all they had to do was work, train and work some more.

"Geez, they could've told me earlier..." Lavi grumbled, starting to run down the corridor. He skidded at the end, narrowly avoiding crashing into the corner before running down the next one. He easily dodged around a pair of scientists, having seen them coming for awhile, but as he turned the corner it was only luck that he had the reflexes to throw himself to the side and avoid crashing into another. "Damn it, why the hell are the hallways so crowded?!" he grumbled to himself, dodging yet another person.

They were normally deserted, so why now were they all occupied - the one time he needed them to be empty!?

Still, with all the other exorcists out on missions he wasn't surprised that all he was encountering was scientists. He just wished they'd wear something other than white. His feet pounded on the hard floor as he forced himself to run faster, trying to lessen the amount of time he'd be late by. Chief Supervisor Komui Lee wasn't a man who liked waiting - or rather, he waited patiently and then got his revenge when one least expected it. Lavi was almost positive he was being targeted specifically by the older man; he just didn't have enough evidence to prove it.

One day, maybe. One day.

Finally, two staircases and three corridors later, he reached his destination. As the door loomed ever closer he tried to slow down so he wouldn't enter the room looking like something the cat dragged in. Unfortunately for him... he didn't seem to be slowing down much at all.

He stumbled past his destination, catching a brief glimpse of Komui's surprised face before he went skidding to the end of the corridor and smacking into the wall. Hard. He bounced backwards, landing on his backside, and he bit his lip to keep from making an embarrassing noise at the pain in his nose. Gently he brought his hands up to his nose, to check for any blood or broken bones.

Thankfully, there was nothing and he was able to push himself to his feet with only a throbbing backside. He twitched his nose a few times, winced and decided that it probably wasn't a good idea to continue doing so.

He started to jog, making sure to keep his pace slow, and this time he easily found his way into Komui's office. He gave the man sitting at the desk a wide smile as he entered, making sure to tread on as few papers as possible as he made his way to the sofa.

"I'm here!" he declared, an excuse ready on his tongue if asked, and then he found someone was already sitting on the sofa. His smile widened. "Yu! How long have you been back?" he asked cheerfully, settling down next to the male. "I thought you were in Italy."

"... I was." Yu eventually replied, looking bored. "I returned yesterday."

"And you're already being sent back out on another mission? That's awful!" Lavi reached out to pat the other's shoulder, as if to comfort him, and then blanched when he received a dark look. He withdrew his hand and as discreetly as possible edged down the sofa, away from the sword that suddenly loomed in the background.

"My my Lavi, you certainly took your time in coming. Trying to fill Allen's place for tardiness?" Komui asked, a teasing smile on his lips. Lavi laughed, settling back into the sofa.

"Someone has to until the guy comes back." he replied and then directed the conversation to the actual point of the meeting. "So where do we start?"

"Right here." Komui held up two small folders. Lavi noted with surprise that there seemed to be more sheets of paper in the folder than there usually was. Is that good... or bad? "You two will have two objectives: find the Innocence and retrieve Allen Walker. I believe that, in finding one, you'll find the other."

There was a sudden silence in the room. Lavi blinked, trying to understand what the supervisor meant by that. Any other time it would imply there was a body to pick up but Komui didn't look sad in the slightest, so it had to be something else.

Now that he thought about it, Allen had been gone on a mission for an awfully long time...

"The bean sprout got lost again?" Yu asked, sounding bored as he stood up and took the two folders. He threw one at Lavi and the red-head fumbled to catch it. "Che. Typical."

"Oy now Yu don't be mean." Lavi protested, feeling bound to defend his friend in his absence. "It's not Allen's fault he's got a talent in getting lost." Yu merely turned away and settled back down in his seat, opening the folder. Lavi threw the silent male a disgruntled look. "Anti-social bastard." he mumbled under his breath.

"What was that?" Lavi gave a yell as he found a sword pressed to his throat and deadly eyes glaring at him. The edge of the sword glinted, as if showing off. Lavi couldn't help but notice it seemed sharper than usual. Komui clapped his hands a few times, garnering the two teenager's attention.

"Now now Kanda, please control yourself." Komui said mildly, taking a sip of his coffee and acting like he didn't have any concerns that one of his exorcists was about to be beheaded.

Komui Lee just went up on The List.

With a grunt Yu eventually let up, returning to his side of the sofa and Lavi exhaled loudly, reaching up to massage his throat. That had been too close - he'd have to watch his mouth on this journey. Yu seemed more testy than usual, if it were possible.

"So, what's the story?" Lavi asked, fiddling with the corner of the file.

"I'll be brief, because I suspect that the longer we delay the less chance there is of Allen's return. I ask you, as soon as you are ready please make haste." that sounded quite serious. Lavi straightened up to show he was paying attention. Yu still held the air of someone who felt like he was wasting his time but he wasn't leaving the room, which was good enough for Komui to continue.

"As you know, several months ago I sent Allen on a mission." Lavi blinked. Had it really been months since Allen left? "There were stories of a ghost ship in Germany, on the Moselle River. On the chance it was Innocence, I sent Allen to investigate and for the next two months he kept in regular contact. He was having trouble actually pinning down the 'ghost ship', for it seemed to appear only by chance."

Here, Komui paused. That would explain the time period. The Moselle River was long, running through three countries, and if it appeared by chance... well, anyone would have been stuck. The silence continued and Lavi sensed this was where it had all gone wrong. "However, it was around then that Allen fell out of contact. I decided to give him awhile, in case he was just busy, but it's been over a month."

Now that sounded like bad news.

Lavi was unsure how he should feel upon hearing the news that Allen had been missing for over a month now. Eventually, all he came up with was the thought that he was pleased Lenalee wasn't around to find out about this. Last he heard, she was in France doing... something he couldn't quite remember.

"So you want us to go and find out what happened to him." Yu summarized and Komui nodded.

"I'm positive he's still alive, however... what worries me is what he said in our last call. He had apparently discovered a lead; someone had a good idea as to where the ship was next going to be. He planned to board it when it happened."

"... Well, if that doesn't sound like something to worry about then I'm not sure what is." Lavi deadpanned, scratching his head. Trust Allen to get lost on board of a ghost ship. Komui laughed.

"It may just be that he can't get off of the ship. However, that would then raise the question on why he doesn't just destroy it and get the Innocence." Komui leant forwards. "Amongst those folders are the times and dates that the ship appeared. There was no pattern that I could find, but maybe you'll have more luck figuring it out than I did."

"And if we don't?" Lavi glanced at his companion when he spoke, wondering why the man was always such a downer.

"You're always a sour puss, Yu. Of course we will!" he grinned, ignoring the dark look he got with practiced ease. "Don't worry Komui, we'll bring Allen home. And, if he did his job right, hopefully Allen will bring back the Innocence and it'll be a good day's work."

"I don't doubt it." Komui smiled, but then it slipped and he looked more serious than he had for the entire conversation. "However, should you encounter a Noah..."

"They will come to know Mugen personally." Yu bared his teeth into a sinister and Lavi remembered this was the same person who had already taken down one Noah. Once more Lavi nervously inched away from the other, wondering whether he should be fearing for his life on the mission from the person he should be getting support.

"Ah, good!" the rapid change from serious to cheerful was creepy to watch. "Well, don't let me keep you. I'm sure you have a few things you need to gather before you leave."

"I'll wait by the elevator." was all Yu said to Lavi as he made his way out of the room. Lavi watched him go and then turned back to the Chief Supervisor. He blinked, seeing the man staring mournfully into the coffee mug.

And suddenly the reason why Komui had seemed so much sober than usual became clear. Lavi almost face-palmed.

"You're the one who sent her away," he pointed out. It turned out to be the wrong thing to say because the Supervisor's face scrunched up and he started to cry, burying his face in the papers on his desk.

"I know!" he wailed.

Lavi made a hasty exit, stage left.

A/N: Okay, just so I don't overload the readers with A/Ns here's where I'll say my greetings. Hello! Welcome to this story. I'm glad you clicked on this, even happier if you're reading and enjoying and didn't just click the back button when this wasn't for you. I'll say now that although this starts off featuring just Kanda and Lavi, things definitely won't stay that way. They are the main characters, but the others get their say.

My aim with this story was to create... something like a 'mission', if you would, with everyone getting an equal part and having some role to play. There simply isn't enough gen in this fandom; it's one thing that really annoys me. My inspiration? I grew up on Stargate. The thing about the two stargate series is that they manage to combine humour, action, adventure and mystery all in one. So my goal to this was to create something like that; they were what I was aiming for. Whether I made it or not is up to the reader to decide.

Other than that... read on and enjoy, my beloveds.

- xmst