Chapter 3: The Snow Queen
Light from the window spilled across the bed, waking Allen with a start. He bolted upright in bed and stared at the maid who'd just opened the curtains. She stared back at him, eyes wide from shock.
"Mr. Walker..." she said, aghast. "May I ask why..." but she couldn't finish the sentence. Instead, she just pointed at Lenalee, who had rolled away from the light of the window.
"Er... Lenalee... uh..."
Lenalee sat up and rubbed her eyes blearily. "Oh, did I sleepwalk again?" she asked drowsily. That was their excuse if one was caught in the other's room: they sleepwalked there.
The maid breathed a sigh of relief. Allen recognized her as the maid from the night before. "Oh, is that all." She curtseyed politely. "I apologize for waking you, but breakfast is being served downstairs in a few minutes. Miss Lee, please come with me back to your room. A dress is ready for you to wear."
"Thank you very much," Lenalee replied brightly before getting out of bed. "See you at breakfast, Allen."
Allen nodded. Once they were both gone, he rubbed his eye furiously. It was throbbing again, much more painfully this time than all the other occasions. What's going on? he thought irritably. Why does my eye keep hurting?
The next thing Allen knew, he was in a small dining room. When did I get here?
"Allen!" Eve called from the table. She waved happily and signaled for him to sit next to her. Allen, of course, sat on the other side of the table, next to where Lenalee would sit. He could tell Eve was a little disappointed, but since last night, he didn't want to risk blacking out and doing something stupid again.
"Good morning," the middle-aged man sitting at the end said. "Mr. Walker, was it? It's a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance. Our lovely Eve hasn't stopped talking about you yet."
Allen felt his face redden. "I assume you're Mr. Lambert?"
"That's correct," the man replied. "So, what's this I hear about you—"
"Good morning," Lenalee said brightly. She sat next to Allen. "I apologize for imposing on you all like this."
"It's no trouble," the woman Allen assumed was Eve's mother said. "It's horrible what happened last night, and it should be we who apologize. I'm afraid our hired help isn't the best these days."
The maid standing off to the side blushed. Allen felt bad for her. There wasn't any way she could have known what would happen. It wasn't really her fault she couldn't see Tyki for what he really was. He himself had fallen for Tyki's facade once, after all.
"Anyway," Mr. Lambert said with a cough to attract the attention back to him. "Mr. Walker, what is this I've heard from my daughter about you asking for her hand?"
Allen choked on the sausage he'd just been served. "W-what?" he managed to say between coughs.
"Last night," Eve said, as if reminding a child of their birthday, "you told me that you were in love with me and wanted us married as soon as my parents would allow."
Allen could feel Lenalee's cold stare next to him. "I... I..." His eye throbbed again. "I would be delighted if you would allow it. After all, she is the most lovely woman I've ever met," he said almost mechanically to Eve's parents.
Lenalee kicked him hard under the table. Allen blinked. His leg hurt more than his eye now, and he had no clue why.
"Excuse us a moment," Lenalee said, her voice oddly even. To anyone else, it would have seemed like nothing was wrong, but to Allen, who knew her better than her own brother, it sounded like she was going to murder someone.
"Allen," Lenalee growled when they left the room. She spun to face him, her brow furrowed. "What was all that about?"
"I don't know what they're talking about!" Allen said quickly. "I don't remember saying any of that!"
"Then what was that you just said to her parents? You told them you'd love to marry her!"
Allen's eyes widened. "I don't remember saying that either! My eye hurt, and then you kicked me!"
Lenalee frowned, making Allen nervous. The longer she stayed silent, the more Allen wanted to beg her to forgive him, to believe him.
Finally, Allen couldn't take it anymore. "Lenalee, I—"
"Allen, have you ever heard the story of the snow queen?" Lenalee asked.
"No," he said, relieved that she wasn't ripping his head off. "Why?"
"In the story, a boy gets shards of the Snow Queen's mirror in his eyes and heart. He falls in love with the evil Snow Queen because of this and leaves to her castle."1
Allen didn't follow her logic. "Wait... So you think my eye's hurting because of a mirror or something?"
Lenalee shrugged. "It's the only explanation I can think of, and it makes sense if you consider the circumstances. The angels of death people see around here are probably Akuma. If we assume that the Earl is orchestrating most of this, then it's possible that you're under some kind of spell. If we assume that's true, then everything adds up."
"Then how do I—"
"Allen," Eve said, poking her head through the door from the dining room. "Um... Is something wrong? Is the food not to your liking or..."
"Everything's fine," Allen assured her. "Nothing's wrong. In fact, everything's great. Lenalee was just getting nervous about overstaying our welcome is all."
Lenalee frowned at Allen, but didn't say a word. She wanted to keep a closer eye on how he acted without her interference. If it really was some kind of spell, she should be able to see some sign of it.
"You'd never overstay your welcome," Eve said. She took his hand and pulled him back into the dining room. "Besides, we can't expect you to leave without a good breakfast."
There it was! Lenalee saw Allen's cursed eye darken for a moment, as if something almost lens-like had passed over the iris, leaving it a duller silver much to Lenalee's horror. If that was the spell on him, it seemed to be sticking a little more with each pass.
That would explain why Allen can't remember things, Lenalee thought. It made perfect sense now. No one at the Order had noticed the strange spell because it wasn't very strong then. Only Allen noticed because his cursed eye was probably rejecting the foreign substance that acted as the odd lens. While they were at the party, he was with Eve, who was probably making the spell act in hyper-drive. If Lenalee's hypothesis was correct, Allen's black outs were from the spell passing over his eye and sticking longer.
Lenalee followed close behind them, barely making it inside the room as Allen attempted to close the door on her. They sat at the table, and Allen's dull eye brightened again. Allen blinked, glanced around in minor confusion, then rubbed his eye. Lenalee didn't attempt to stop him this time.
"May I use your phone?" Lenalee asked politely.
"Of course, dear," Mrs. Lambert said. "Nicole, could you show Miss Lee where it is?"
Lenalee sighed as the maid from the night before approached. By now, she was positive the woman wasn't an Akuma, but that didn't mean she wasn't a threat. Lenalee didn't trust the woman simply because her ignorance had caused enough trouble for the two exorcists already.
Nicole, as the maid was named, apologized profusely while they walked. "It's all right," Lenalee kept having to repeat. "You didn't know that was going to happen."
They reached the room with the phone and Lenalee somehow able to shoo the maid away. Once she was sure the maid was gone, she pulled out her golem and called her brother.
"LENALEE!" he brother half-sobbed. "I was so worried about you! Allen called saying something had happened, but he wouldn't say what and—"
"I'm fine," Lenalee interrupted. "I'll give you the details in the report. Look, there's something really important I have to tell you. Allen's under some kind of spell."
"Spell?" Komui repeated. "What do you mean?"
"I think Genevieve Lambert is a Noah."
"WHAT?! GET OUT OF THERE NOW!!!"
"There's a big problem with that. Allen's under some spell, remember? The spell is making Allen fall in love with her. I don't think we'll be able to get out of here."
"This isn't good... Lenalee, do you know any details of the spell?"
"It seems to be like that fairytale, the Snow Queen," Lenalee admitted. "Remember how Allen kept saying something was in his eye? I think it has to do with that."
There was silence on the other end, only broken by papers shuffling and complaints from the people waiting for Komui's approval. "Well... If it's like the story... Try to get whatever's in Allen's eye out the best you can. We can't bring him back to the Order if he's being influenced by the Noah or, worse, the Earl. We may have to bind him and his Innocence upon return. Be careful, Lenalee."
"But I don't have any idea how to get it out!"
Komui sighed. Lenalee could practically see him rubbing his eyes trying to think of a way out of this mess. "Let's see..." he mumbled. "In the story, the boy cried the shards out when his friend was hurt, the shard in his heart was melted by the love he felt for his friend... Somehow, I don't think that's going to work. It's way too dangerous." There was another pause, then, "Lenalee! I know this is going to sound crazy, but you have to let the spell run its course. Once he's completely under the spell, you have to—"
Dead silence. "Komui?" Lenalee asked. "Komui!" There was nothing on the other end, not even static. Lenalee redialed, readjusted her golem's hold on the wire, but still nothing came out of the phone. She stared at the broken phone a moment, then hung up.
"Excuse me, Nicole?"
The maid entered the room. "Yes, Miss Lee?"
"Do you have another phone? This one seems to not be working."
Nicole blinked. She took the phone and dialed a few times and listened to the silent receiver. "That's odd..." She knelt down and checked the phone plug. "There's nothing wrong with it. What—"
"Nicole!" Another maid rushed into the room. Lenalee was surprised to see that she was holding a few pots and pans in a precarious stack. "Hurry! The roof's leaking terribly! Grab some pots."
"The rain must be messing with the phone lines," Nicole said before running after the other maid.
Damn it! Lenalee thought. Now what was she supposed to do? Komui was about to say something, but what? She had no idea what to do! Irritated, Lenalee wandered back to the dining room she'd been in before, only to find that everyone had disappeared.
"Miss Lee," a servant said, bowing, "Miss Lambert has asked me to escort you to the parlor when you finish your breakfast."
Lenalee hadn't realized how long she'd been gone. "I'm finished," she said. The man nodded and led her down a hallway. "Um... May I ask when this rain started?"
"Just before you started eating," he said dismissively. "It only got worse a few minutes ago. I'm afraid the roads are flooded."
They stopped and the servant opened the door for Lenalee. He bowed again as Lenalee walked inside, and closed the door quietly behind her.
The parlor wasn't the same one from the night before. This one was larger, big enough for a small social gathering. Allen was sitting on a couch next to Eve, a book in his lap and her leaning on his shoulder to read the text with him. There was no sign of her parents, which made Lenalee worry about what could have happened in her absence.
Eve glanced up. "Miss Lee, don't stand there looking awkward. Have a seat." She gestured to another couch across from theirs, the space between the two taken up by a glass coffee table.
Lenalee did as Eve instructed, only taking her eyes off her long enough to look into Allen's. It was worse than she thought. Both of his eyes, once bright like polished silver, were now dull and seemingly covered by an almost ice-like film. The spell had spread.
"Allen," Lenalee said uncertainly.
The white-haired exorcist didn't look up. He only turned the page and continued reading.
"Dear, our guest's talking to you," Eve said, stroking his far cheek so as to turn his face to her.
Allen blinked, then his empty eyes swept over Lenalee slowly. There wasn't an ounce of recognition in them. He didn't say a word, but simply nodded mechanically and returned to his book.
Lenalee was too shocked by Allen's uninterested behavior to notice the change in Eve. By the time she looked at the girl, Eve was standing, her skin dark and black crosses even darker on her skin.
"Now I don't need you anymore," Eve said, her voice like ice.
Before Lenalee could so much as react, ice crept around her feet until they were encased in the cold, frozen crystals. Lenalee tried to tug her feet free, but the ice continued to slither up her legs. In a last desperate attempt, Lenalee activated her Dark Boots.
The Innocence reacted, but the cracks in the ice vanished soon after they appeared, as if the crystals were healing themselves. Lenalee tried to free her legs, but the encasement held firm.
The ice was up to her middle and still growing in spikes. Eve came closer, a cold, sadistic smile the only expression on her face. "If Tyki had taken care of you like he was supposed to rather than look for pleasure, I wouldn't have to be doing this now." She reached out and touched Lenalee's cheek with an icy hand. "Such a waist, turning a lovely girl like you into an ice sculpture... I suppose I could always make you a slave like the rest of my servants."
A small shard of ice, almost like glass, appeared in Eve's hand. "Don't worry, it will only hurt a little. Just ask Allen." Eve held Lenalee's face still.
Lenalee barely freed her almost frostbitten hand and smacked the Noah's arm away. It was like hitting a frozen wall—the shock of the impact stung, but the cold instantly numbed the sting with a whole new sensation.
Eve dropped the small fragment, which shattered and melted instantly on the floor. The Noah cursed under her breath and waved her hand.
As if in response, two spikes of ice shot up and held Lenalee's arms out to the side. Lenalee gasped in pain as the force almost ripped her arms out of their sockets.
"Bad choice, girl," Eve growled. She came closer and glared into Lenalee's eyes. Another shard of ice appeared in her hand. "I'm trying to do you a favor. If you're my servant, you'll be able to see your precious Allen."
"I'd rather die than be your servant and watch you torture Allen."
"Torture?" Eve repeated. "What makes you think it's torture?" She retreated back to Allen and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Allen loves me."
"No, he doesn't," Lenalee replied, her voice as cold as the ice imprisoning her. "It's your spell doing it. He loves you no more than he loves Road."
Eve glared and stepped back from Allen. "Oh? And how would you know?" Lenalee's silence made her smile another sadistic smile. "So you think he loves you?"
"I know he loves me."
Eve was astonished by Lenalee's answer, but her composure returned within a second. "Really? Then why don't I show you just how wrong you are." She snapped her fingers. "Allen, kill her."
Allen stood up and walked closer to Lenalee, almost like a marionette with a few strings cut. He lifted his Innocence arm, and the Crown Clown appeared in a flash.
A stab of fear shot through Lenalee as she watched Allen approach with the claw arm at the ready. He stopped a few feet from her, tilting his head. Lenalee could see something in his eyes—something behind the ice-film.
"What are your waiting for?" Eve snapped. "Kill her!"
A pained expression flitted across Allen's features, but it soon vanished, along with the small something in his eyes. He grabbed his wrist, and his clawed arm transformed into a sword.
The panic that had been flooding through Lenalee froze, as if the ice around her had frozen it along with the rest of her. What was Allen doing? For a fleeting moment, she thought he was going to turn on Eve, but he didn't. He just continued in his steady approach until he was barely a foot away from her. She cast a hasty glance at Eve, who didn't seem to notice anything wrong with the sudden turn of events.
It was at that moment that something enter her body. Her eyes shot back to Allen, who had just put his sword through her chest, straight through her heart.
Lenalee had never been stabbed by Allen's Innocence before, but she knew that the weapon couldn't and wouldn't harm humans. She was surprised by how it felt; it was like a radiating warmth was where the blade had contact with her. It didn't hurt. In fact, it almost felt like... She couldn't describe the feeling.
She realized she'd closed her eyes and reopened them. She stared into Allen's filmy eyes, and realized there was something different about them. There were cracks in the once perfect ice, and the cracks were growing with every tear that rolled down Allen's cheeks. The filmy lens was melting, and what remained of the shards rolled down his cheeks as he wept.
"Allen," Lenalee said gently. She smiled as Allen looked up at her, wide-eyed. "You didn't really think that that would kill me, right?"
"L-Lenalee!" Allen gasped. The last shard fell out of his cursed eye and hit the ground. He swung his sword, cutting through the ice the Noah had conjured. "I'm sorry! I—"
Lenalee rubbed her wrists, which were so close to frostbite she worried that the numbness would never lift. "It doesn't matter right now. We have more important things to worry about."
"I-impossible!" Eve cried, her voice like cracking ice. "You should be dead! He stabbed right through you! I saw it!"
"Well, obviously you don't know Allen as well as you thought," Lenalee said, the smile she'd had for Allen turning into a smirk as she watched Eve panic.
Eve took a step back. "Akuma!" she called, causing Allen's eye to activate as the Akuma rushed to her. "Slaves! Everyone!"
The door burst open. One level four, one level three, and one level two appeared at her call. A swarm of maids and servants—Nicole among them—were behind the monsters.
"Allen," Lenalee said seriously, "can I trust you to take care of Eve while I handle the Akuma."
"Of course," Allen said, launching himself at the Noah.
Lenalee smiled again. It was good to have Allen back. "Hey, Akuma!" she shouted. "Catch me if you can!" She crashed through the window and out into the heavy rain.
She didn't slosh around in the mud and puddles, but the level two—a giant fox-shaped monster—had a horrible time of it. Lenalee had no trouble destroying it before the other surprisingly slower Akuma even got out of the building.
The level three and four were a bigger challenge. Though they didn't work together in the least, they were still powerful. Lenalee knew one hit from them would be the end of her.
The level four dived for her while the level three tried to tackle her from the side. Lenalee laughed as she darted back and the two Akuma crashed into each other. The level three got the worst of the damage from the impact.
"You're worthless," the level four snapped. "Let me handle this. Come here!"
Lenalee flinched as she watched the level four rip the already trashed level three to pieces and devour the remains. She'd seen it in Japan and knew that the level four had just become more of a threat by absorbing the level three's power. Her only shot of winning was if she attacked then and there!
Her attack failed. She'd been so close to landing a critical blow on the level four, but the Akuma easily deflected her blow and sent her sprawling in the mud. Lenalee tried to stand, but slipped in the wet earth.
"You exorcists are so pathetic," the Akuma commented. It tilted its head and grimaced. "Your friend with the eye patch and the white-haired boy couldn't do anything to me. You think you can beat me, girly?"
"She doesn't have to!"
The Akuma turned just in time to watch in horror as Allen's sword hacked its arm off.
Lenalee was just as surprised as the Akuma. "Allen! I thought you were fighting Eve!"
"I was," Allen replied, taking another swing at the stunned Akuma, neatly slicing its head off. "She was pretty weak, actually."
The level four exploded, and nothing was left of the creature.2 The threat now gone, Allen deactivated his Innocence and eye and stared up at the sky. The clouds were disappearing too rapidly for the rain to have been of natural causes. "You know, I think that Noah could control water," he said thoughtfully.
"How'd you beat her?" Lenalee asked, sloshing through the deep ponds of puddles to reach her fellow exorcist.
Allen shrugged. "She was weaker than Tyki. I guess all she could really do was that mind control thing. She probably used up a lot of power trying to turn you into an icicle."
Lenalee had to laugh. "So where is she?"
"Out cold in that room, along with the entire population of servants," Allen said with a shrug. "Probably shocked the whole lot, not being hypnotized anymore." He stopped, eyes wide. "Lenalee! What's wrong?"
Lenalee only now realized she was crying. She wiped the tears away, smearing mud on her face. "Nothing's wrong. I'm just... so happy you're all right." She felt arms wrap around her, but she didn't look up. "Allen, you'll get your nice clothes covered in mud."
"So?" Allen tilted her chin up so he could look into her eyes. "You know, I forgot just how pretty you are."
"Allen, this isn't the time to be sweet-talking me."
"Then why are you doing it?"
"Because I feel like I haven't given you enough attention in the last..." he paused, calculating the time, "forty-eight hours."
Lenalee bopped him on the head playfully. "Come on, we have to do crowd control before all those servants wake up." She walked into the building, Allen holding her hand tightly in his.
1 It's a fairytale. There are a bunch of different versions out there, so you might find one where the boy doesn't fall for the queen. (shrugs)
2 Quite possibly the worst fight scene I've ever written. ...Or maybe the best. I don't write too many fight scenes. They're not really my thing.
Well, that's the end of this fanfic! Tell me what ya thought!
...And I'd like to know if anyone noticed a pun with this whole fic. I doubt anyone did, but I'd like to see what your guesses are.
Oh, and if you see any typos, please tell me! I hate rereading these fics and going "...Why didn't anyone point that out to me?"
Special thanks to:
RebelFlame for being my first reviewer
Lenalee from Your-Role for encouraging me to write this (even if she didn't realize she was doing it at the time)
Hoshino Katsura for creating D . Gray-Man in the first place.
My computer for only breaking down on me a little while I wrote this.
Those few people who actually point out typos and mistakes (seriously, guys, I don't bite!)
Everyone who isn't mentioned above.