Fandom: D. Gray Man
Pairing: Slight Kanda/Lenalee
Prompt: A prison within a prison (from the 31days community)
I found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you
I found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know
A reason for all that I do
And the reason is you
Opening the cage
When she comes to and realizes what they are doing to her, Lenalee screams. She trashes her body around, flailing her arms and attempts to shake off the hands holding her down. She tries to get off the cold bed and out of the white, sterile room, tries to push away their needles and tubes.
(Nii-san! Save me!)
The black-haired girl tries many things but she isn't able to do anything. They had put too many drugs in her system by then and her attempts only made them put more. Lenalee feels a dull pain in her legs before the world goes black around her.
Lenalee comes to several days later and the drugs have finally worn off. The throb in her leg is constant and she can't apply pressure for fear of collapsing.
She still does anyways and it isn't a surprise that she ends up sprawled in her room's floor.
"Lenalee!" a nurse walks in, scolding the girl, "You can't expect to be walking immediately after your operation!"
The girl wants to glare, wants to hiss and spit hot, angry words like molten lava at the nurse. She doesn't, though, because she knows it isn't the nurse's fault. She's also too kind to do it anyways.
Even if she bleeds, she can't fully hate anyone.
Instead, the patient allows herself to be picked up by the nurse and placed back on the bed.
There is no point in trying to escape with legs that can't run—
That can't soar through large areas or fly past threatening men
—large distances, were there?
The food that the blonde, bubbly nurse gives Lenalee resembles a muffin. It has blueberry pieces in it and is made mostly of dough, so it probably is one too.
What it tastes like, though, is something else. It is a cross between porridge and pig slop, giving it a revolting taste.
Quickly, she pushes the rest of the 'muffin' away from her and firmly shuts her mouth.
Except for the food, it isn't too bad here. She gets checked up every hour or so to make sure she hasn't escaped and gets a needle every night before she sleeps. The nurses are nice and kind (like the nurse feeding her right now) but a little overbearing.
The worst part is the visitors. The ones that come in the middle of the night or whenever Lenalee was starting to relax. They'd walk in, get her drugged up, and then start prodding and checking out her legs.
Almost like they were preparing it for something.
One day, she hears footsteps by the door that are different than usual. These ones are softer and quieter, as if the person has experience with hiding himself/herself. There is a vague shadow by the door's window and as she stares, she notices her nurse walk to the door and open it.
"Kanda-san?" the nurse says, "Are you here for your mandatory check-up?"
There is a grunt, an annoyed "Why else would I be here?" and the nurse brightly continues. "Ok, but I need you to wait here before we go. Sometimes I hate being the only nurse with night shift," she laments as she leaves the door slightly ajar and heads off to the table nearby.
Lenalee continues to watch the door and sure enough a person steps in.
A very beautiful person, probably a boy by his chest, with long hair and a tall, muscular body. He is carrying a sword, a sword that looks different than most, and she wonders what does this organization do for the nth time.
As she notices his appearance, his eyes fall onto her frail form on the bed. He says nothing and for a moment she fears she'll find pity in his eyes.
Instead, when she finally gains the courage to look at his pale face, is a look of understanding. A look as though he knows what she was going through. It is hidden, of course, behind an annoyed frown and angry eyes, but it is still there all the same.
"Kanda-san, time to head to the hospital section," the nurse chirps as she leaves the room.
Kanda gives Lenalee one last long look before heading out himself.
Kanda visits her room every now and then, at least once a week. He arrives and stands near Lenalee, early by several minutes for the nurse he needs to visit. His face is always scrunched up with annoyance or boredom, probably because he hates having to get this check up. He looks to be around her age, though he gives of an aura of being much older.
She doesn't ask him any questions and he doesn't say anything either. In the end, they spend their time together silent and apart.
It's a comforting silence, though, for it is filled with calmness and an understanding. He knows that she doesn't want to talk and therefore is fine with just standing there.
(That's what she likes to believe, that he is considerate. The truth probably is that he just doesn't like to talk.)
Lenalee sighs. Between her escape attempts (that still aren't working) and her continuous check-ups, she spends most of her time on the bed. Her legs are strapped down, as is her chest, but her arms are free.
(They figure that the buckles are below so she can't reach them. Also, considering her other failed attempts, she won't be able to escape anyways.)
Sitting down in a bed for hours at end, staring at the ceiling or the wall in front of her—it is boring. All she can do is plan to escape and that can only go so far. She's tried nearly everything.
Kanda walks in through the door. By now, it has gotten to the stage where he doesn't bother to knock because he comes so often.
She hardly gives him a glance before she minutely sighs again and closes her eyes. He won't give her the company she needs, that much she knows, and he won't always be around anyways.
In her mind, she slowly goes over a check-list of things to do. She has to escape, figure out what they did to her legs, find her brother, and…
The rest she can decide later. First to escape.
She opens her eyes again and Kanda is gone. That was quick, she contemplates, normally he's here for longer because the nurse is always delaying things and getting late. In fact, he's usually here for at least two hours. This time, she glances up at the clock, he's only been here for twenty minutes.
A few hours later, the nurse returns and she's carrying two books in her hands.
"Here you go," she smiles, "You might be getting bored."
Lenalee gives a small smile back. The nurses aren't so bad sometimes.
"Good thing Kanda-san mentioned it. I would never have guessed."
Several more months pass and the pain in her legs intensifies. It grows so bad that while before she could occasionally stand, she can no longer get out of bed. Her legs go into spasms every other hour and all she knows for sure about the world any more is the hard mattress, the pain, and Kanda.
Why do they keep injecting her? Why did they fully strap her down so not even her arms can move any more? What are they trying to accomplish with this?
She only has questions and no answers. When Lenalee is conscious and capable of speaking, the nurses tell her nothing. All they answer is that soon it will be over—
(Lies, her mind screams, Lies)
—and she'll be free to do whatever she wants.
Kanda is probably the only one with the answers, who knows the harsh truth that everyone covers up with bright lies. He doesn't visit very much any more but on the day he does, Lenalee finally gains the courage to ask him.
"K…" Lenalee's voice cracks slightly and she tries again, "Kanda-san?"
If he is surprised, she can't tell for he looks at her with his usual blank face. He should be surprised, though, for this is the first time they have spoken to each other.
"Kanda-san, we are similar, right?" she continues. He doesn't say anything but keeps his head inclined to show he is listening. There are many other things she wants to ask him (Who are you? Where are we? What are we doing here? Are you happy? Can I make you happy?) but she chooses the most pressing one first. "If we are similar, then…can you tell me what they are doing to me? What's going to happen to me?"
He merely looks into her eyes, locking them together. To him the time is probably passing by normally but she can feel every heartbeat, every breath as though it lasts an forever and for a moment.
"You," he finally replies a few moments later without breaking their eye contact, "are being prepared for a war. We are tools, weapons that shall fight until our last second and more."
He doesn't continue and leaves with the nurse, grumbling about how long she makes him wait.
Kanda didn't need to continue—he gave her a good enough answer. He's honest with her, unlike the nurses.
Lenalee misses her brother. She misses her family, that is true, but mostly her 'nii-san'. She misses his forgetfulness and laziness, his insistence on her cooking and his amazing robot creations.
Those creations almost seemed like magic sometimes. They were the robots that tucked her in at night while Komui read her a story.
This is to be expected because this is her family she is thinking about. Of course she'll miss them.
Lenalee finds it surprising she misses the dark-haired stranger that occasionally visits her room. Never for her, of course—and why would it be her? She was nothing special—but for the nurse. He always came late at night and as usual her nurse was the only one available at that time.
He'll come in with those deep, unreadable eyes and a look on his face that reminds her of something she saw long ago—
(back when the skies were blue and the only walls around her were her own)
—and an attitude that sometimes makes her blood boil. Even if he was pretty, he was still rude.
She barely knows him, so she really has nothing to miss when he disappears out the door for weeks at a time.
"I'm going to escape," Lenalee promises herself every night before she sleeps. She is a weak girl, she knows, but she can still try to keep this one small promise. The innocence she finds out is on her legs is the only thing that is keeping her from running. Her legs are still a little hurt and unusable, leaving her with time to think of an escape plan.
Needless to say, most of them don't work.
Sometimes when she tries to escape, she isn't sure what is motivating her the most. She likes to believe it is her brother, her brother with his warm smile and crazy looks. She really wants to believe it is him.
Instead, whenever she thinks about it, a flash of midnight hair and fathomless eyes appear in her mind.
Lenalee isn't sure if she wants to know what motivates her more.
She just knows she wants to see Kanda once more.
She manages to find a way to escape. If she can't escape through physical means then maybe death will be her route. Lenalee doesn't want to die—to never find brother, to never see those dark eyes and that irritated face, to never hear that voice again—but it is her only option now. She wants freedom so much, wants to leave so badly that she is willing to take that route.
She doesn't get very far with it and is saved.
(a sigh of relief fills her. Traitor)
"Lenalee, you've been a bad girl," a voice says as she is strapped down to the table again. "At this rate you'll have to stay here longer."
She tries to glare at the voice but she can barely see past the bright lights. The nurses are surrounding her bed, she can tell, and their hands her holding her body and place.
"Here's a present, Lenalee-chan," another voice says and then she can hear the door open. The bright lights are turned off, the nurses leave, and the room is empty.
Save for the loud, quickening footsteps that are headed to her bed. The footsteps stop beside the bed and by now her eyes are adjusted to the semi-darkness.
"Lena...Lena—" the person says, faltering and she immediately recognizes the voice.
"Komui-nii-san?" she whispers, afraid that she'll wake up and it'll all be a dream.
After months of training, Lenalee is finally allowed to go on a mission. She's going to be on her first.
It's exciting in a sense because she'll finally be able to leave, finally be able to see the clear skies and the greengreengreen grass without being pulled back. She'll finally be able to leave the cage.
Her brother calls her to his office and she listens as she is told the details.
"There have been several disappearances in a village about a three days ride from here," Komui says, "and we have confirmed there is at least two Atuma there."
There is a slight pause and she looks at her brother. He continued, sounding pained.
"Lenalee, you shall be working with Kanda and Lavi."
Lenalee gives a warm smile at the thought, ignoring her brother who started to rant about the boys and how if they touched her, they'd die.
She is finally going to be able to work with Kanda. She'll finally be able to show him that she grew stronger between the last time they saw each other.
Lenalee will finally be able to thank him for giving her a reason to keep going.
A/N: I'm not fully liking this, but I don't hate it either. -