The blades of grass were silent as they bowed before the rubber arches of Kanda's boots, and this made his forehead a bit more relaxed. There was nothing worse than hearing the tiny crunching of grass leaves against your shoes, vibrating up and brushing against his ankles; that sick feeling of being caressed by nature that had Kanda wanting to burn all of the trees in the Thuringen Forest.
As much as he was looking forward to crushing the brat in a matter of minutes, he still had an irritating feeling groping around inside his chest. His eyes narrowed in a sense of foreboding and sincerely cursed the night that was to come. He knew this feeling, and it wasn't something he would enjoy.
The grass waved in the wind but quieted as Kanda came along, stopping their dance cold and putting them in their place--under his boot.
"Che," he said quietly to himself, his own personal savior in one monosyllable. The matter wasn't important for now. He would deal with it when it became an issue, but for the time being, Kanda has other matters to tend to.
A slight simper came across his mouth before being instantly removed.
What he was doing now was his job and his duty as a member of the Black Order. It was his life's mission to follow orders and stick to the mold, follow the path obediently and perfectly. Anything less than perfect and he would consider himself and his mission a failure and give proper compensation after the fact. However it would be 100% perfect, because Kanda intended to be professional about the matter.
But that didn't mean he wouldn't take a little pleasure in it.
Nature around him seemed to buzz and then halt as he passed, making way for the crazy man with the sword and the ego. Nature watched him go, and wondered just what the hell they had in their mist.
Allen pumped his right hand, trying to get even a semblance of feeling once more after signing God-knew how many papers.
"So what exactly are you planning?"
"Me? Plan something?" Lavi squeaked. "As if. Forethought is so not my style."
"That would imply he had a brain." Linali said, quite serious as she looked over Allen's paper, marking here and there some notes neither of them cared enough to question. As long as Allen was finished signing, he stopped caring.
Lavi was about to counteract with some long and unneeded explanation as to why his brain worked the way it did and just what the benefit was to the entire human race, when Allen cut him off.
"Well, what's going on then?"
"Training." Linali responded before highlighting something. Lavi's grin wasn't lost on Allen, but he chose not to inquire further. To be ignorant was bliss, he thought glumly.
They made their way out of the back door to the large field encompassing the Headquarters. Lavi whistled a familiar tune and Linali was busy with the papers, biting her lip and muttering to herself about bureaucratic tendencies to 'overdo it'. Allen was content to mosey along and take notice of the fabulous foliage covering the building and the bright blue sky that was set up over the green trees. It looked to Allen the high building was piercing through the clouds and into the massive sky, and he couldn't help but smile as the forbiddance of the building was now lost to him. On the contrary, it seemed to be a symbol of hope.
"And, surprise!" Lavi held out his arm as Allen snapped back to reality. Before him was an empty space, completely devoid of any trees or greenery, only covered with a brown dirt and tan-colored gravel. On the other side of this large expanse sat Kanda on his motorcycle.
Allen raised his eyebrows as they headed over, now within shouting distance. "I don't get it. What's going on? Are we going somewhere? But I only just arrived."
Lavi laughed. "'Arrived'. That's so foreign." he clapped his hands and sped up to reach Kanda.
"Training." Linali repeated from before, still not looking up from the papers. Astonishingly, she appeared to be halfway through the process of sorting. "Kanda will be training with you."
"I don't think so." Kanda scoffed, leaning back in his seat and crossing his arms, staring at Allen with unhidden malice.
Linali rolled her eyes and stopped her pen. "Fine. Kanda will be training you. Forget the 'with'."
"So then, what is this training?" Allen queried. "And why the motorcycle."
"Well first we have to see your capabilities as a supernatural." Linali answered.
"I thought we already did that."
"Not quite. We know you're a water sprite, but we need to know your physical capabilities as well, to put you on missions and the like. Determine your ranking. Whatever." She took out a small folder from the back of her clipboard and moved it the front of a second clipboard. "Especially since we know you came from Marian Cross."
Allen frowned. "What's he have to do with this?"
Linali gave him a look. "You mean to tell me he took you as his apprentice and never once have you had the need to bail yourself out of some kind of fist fight?"
"Touche." Allen grimaced, halting the flood of memories.
"God that must've been cool." Lavi commented from behind, fiddling with the motorcycle.
"Stop touching that." Kanda slapped his hands and Lavi almost frowned.
"Just checking her out, man."
Allen grabbed onto the Lavi's shoulder and the redhead in turn looked up to see a very different face than the normal smiling gentleman the boy appeared to be.
"Don't ever refer to what that man does as 'cool'."
Lavi swallowed and tried removing his shoulder from Allen's very harsh grip. "Okay man. He's a beast, a very uncool and untamed beast."
The tense atmosphere dropped along with Linali's huge first clipboard.
"Okay, let's get started." She smiled. Checking off one item on her list, she said, "Endurance. Allen, get ready."
"For what?" he asked, a bit exasperated at being told nothing until right before the moment occurred.
"Get ready to run." she said. The engine of the motorcycle revved behind Allen and Lavi jumped out of the way as Kanda pumped the handles. Allen's ponytail flew in his face from the air travel and he turned slowly to face the culprit.
"You must be joking."
"Do I look like a fool?" Kanda shouted over the roar of the engine. A wicked smile broke out across his face. "Go!" Kanda took off on the vehicle and Allen barely caught his breath before slamming on his own inner accelerating and gunning forward immediately.
Air stung his face and tears flew down his cheeks as his speed reached an all-time high.
"Go Allen!" Linali cheered, pleased he'd made it to the other side of the lot--intact and continuing to run around the perimeter.
"Run with those skinny little arms!" Lavi hollered.
Allen would have to wait until 'training' was over before kicking Lavi in a place where it would definitely hurt.
"What if I DIE?!" He shouted to anyone willing to give him hope. Unfortunately, it was quite the coincidence that Kanda suddenly revved the engine once more and picked up speed.
"Didn't catch that!" he shouted.
"You cheat!" Allen accused, still running for what he truly believed to be his life. He was making his third way around the perimeter when Kanda really started catching up on him at 60 miles an hour. Allen gasped out his final breaths and dove for the middle, deciding to maneuver in places Kanda surely couldn't without disrupting the balance of the bike. He darted to the center, hopped back and ran in the opposite direction, wondering just how crazy he was as he began to charge the crazy man on the doom-mobile.
"Fucker's gone nuts!" Lavi grasped Linali and held her close in either anticipation, or as a future shield from the blood that would be surely split. Linali held her own breath and her jaw dropped at the sight of Allen running full speed towards Kanda in a game of chicken. "This shit's going to hit the fan!"
"I can't look away!" Linali shouted back.
Allen locked eyes with Kanda and the stare was returned. He became nearer and nearer and Allen wasn't sure Kanda would move after all. Kanda's hair flung wildly in the wind and his blue eyes seemed white with some kind of possession.
Closer, just a few more seconds, would he move?
The tires were set on their course and it would take a huge amount of skill to be able to move the bike at this point without crashing something horrible and creating quite the traffic accident. What was he waiting for? Allen wanted to know.
He wasn't going to move, Allen cried in his mind. The bloody bastard was going to kill him!
A split second before the potential crash, Allen found his last bit of energy and dove out of the way and into the center of the lot. he hit the ground and rolled, tumbled, and spun across the gravel. He slid into the center and immediately began backing up as the sound of the engine rolled his way.
Not only would he have killed him, Allen thought angrily, but he was still aiming for him!
Allen kicked the ground harshly and moved backwards, not able to compose himself enough to stand and run again, and hardly enough energy to run once standing. Kanda revved the engine again and again, coming toward Allen slowly, forcing him to crawl backwards as Kanda moved forward and paused, forward and paused.
Allen clenched his teeth and narrowed his eyes. He'd had enough of this bastard's games. During the pause he reached behind him and grabbed a handful of gravel and as Kanda revved forward once more, he threw out his hand and flung the gravel in Kanda's eyes.
Kanda dropped the bike in an act of clumsiness and Allen sprang forward, throwing the vampire off the bike and wrestling him to the ground.
"Asshole!" Kanda shouted as Allen punched him in the gut.
"Ah, that's exactly what I was thinking as you tried to ram your motorcycle down my throat." Allen replied with a sense of irony.
"You sick bastard, take that!" Punches and kicks were thrown and given at a rapid and clumsy speed. They rolled and tumbled across the ground, one always gaining only to be shoved back into the dirt once more.
"Enough!" Linali shouted, coming over, Lavi in tow. She reached down and grabbed the nearest something--happening to be Kanda's hair-- and pulled. Kanda backed off the smaller supernatural's form and was forced back by Linali. Lavi shrugged and grabbed Allen's own ponytail, doing likewise and going in the opposite direction. "That's...it! No more training!" she shouted, enraged and disbelieved at the behavior of both. "Kanda, what were you thinking! You could have killed him!" she said, barely restraining herself enough from yanking on his hair. "And you!" she pointed at Allen. "Just...what the hell?!"
"What she said." Lavi joined.
Linali took a calming yoga breath and forcefully relaxed her shoulders. "Alright, you," she glared at Kanda. "Come with me. And Allen!" Allen cowered slightly under her flaming eyes and harsh breathing. He half expected fire to come out and burn him alive. "Go to your room! Lavi--!"
"Take him there. NO detours!" She wiped her hair out of her eyes and took another sharp breath. "And don't call me 'mom'!"
"Yes..." Lavi stood still and stopped breathing, just as scared as Allen looked. With the lack of response Linali took off with Kanda in her tow, finally releasing him before they reached the Tower but continuously slapping him on the arm and making quite the scene.
"Never have I seen that." Lavi gasped, the barest hint of a smile taking over his face. he looked down at Allen with an undisguised glee. "Someone's brought trouble."
Kanda got off with twenty more slaps and a severe warning, and he considered himself lucky. he'd never seen Linali so out of control angry at anyone before, much less him--even if he had done a few things that should have warranted it before. She sent him to his own room and told him to take the day off. It seemed in spite of her fury, she hadn't forgotten about Kanda's 'needs'.
"I don't want to see your face until breakfast tomorrow."
"Whatever." he grumbled, willing himself to ignore the desire to rub the abused arm she'd used to drag him up 25 floors.
"Kanda--" she said harshly. He looked back at her before entering his door. She looked at him with a kind of detachment, and a reluctance in admitting the detachment as well. "I..." she began. Kanda held still as she gained her professional footing. "I'll need a report on your...tomorrow." Kanda paused as Linali swallowed hard.
He nodded, and entered his room, the door shutting silently as he was removed from her sight.
Essentially speaking, drinking the blood of a human gave you their awareness. There were those that decided instead to drink on the blood of animals, but doing so would cripple their intelligence. They became animals themselves, living in remote areas, hiding from all with only carnivorous instincts to survive on. They became easts, forsaking their humanity for humanity's sake.
How pitifully ironic.
The others, the superiors, fed on the blood of humans. Again, there are always the merciful. Those who would only drink a bit of blood, allowing the human to live (if a bit on the anemic side) or those who would drink the blood of murderers, rapists and thieves.
There are several problems to take note of.
Those that drank only a bit of blood retained low intelligence and a high hunger capacity. If continued to only drink partial blood, they would go crazy with hunger. Ever shopped while hungry? Imagine a starved and stupid vampire walking into a club, or an amusement park. Adrenaline racing through the veins of their prey, so close and accessible. It's a smell to sweet and addicting, like walking talking Belgian waffles, asking you to indulge yourself.
Those vampires are disposed of as soon as they go postal, if not sooner.
The third kindness, to drink the blood of the damned, only meet a similar fate. Gaining the senses of a killer is nothing to laugh at. They become vicious, plotting murders on those wretched beings, cunning and fast and dangerous, they lead the lives of devils. They crave the blood, the red, and they drench themselves with it.
Nothing is done with these atrocities so long as they do not expose the others.
And so, it is plain to see why most of this race retain their selfishness. They drink the blood of one human as necessary (time ranges on every variable, ranging form the strength of the vampire to the vivacity of the human). In doing so, these vampires gain the consciousness of the human being. Twice the sense, twice the strength, twice everything--two bodies become one and ore power is gained.
But what has been the lesson? Everything comes with a price.
Kanda slammed his fists on the table, and large dents were made on the table's wood. He knelt on one knee, head between his hands.
"stupid girl,' he thought. he couldn't think of any other insults. Fear clutched his belly but hew willed it away.
Visions--no, memories--clogged his mind. Men lying, eyes rolled into their skulls, smiling at the world around them with false bliss. Awful smells, putrid for a normal person, made him gag and nearly wretch. Cold hard ground to sleep on, trash to feed on, scum to depend on. Butt the strongest memory that came to Kanda were the last shocking moments of her life. The shine of his lade in the moonlight and cold eyes looking down on nothing more than a dog.
Kanda felt the anger and the hatred this woman had felt, but her last moments of fear were the strongest. Why had she wanted to turn down freedom?
Why had she wanted to live?
Allen swallowed a gallon of water before he felt human--oh the irony--again. He laid on his bed and stared up at the ceiling. His eyes began to close as sleep came over, nudging him softly into another world.
Allen began to dream.
They were civil.
Allen would never call them anything else.
They were civil, they were cold.
His parents had been long gone, no one knew quite why--death or an accidental pregnancy, who knew? Of course that arm was awfully strange. Perhaps he's been abused as a child and finally abandoned when the parents went ball-crazy--but that wasn't so important. He had no parents, so he lived there, in the orphanage.
It was a nice orphanage.
Plenty of food, even for growing boys with unsatiable palates like Allen, warm beds, teddy bears and reading time, the orphanage was acclaimed to be of the highest-rated for living and comfort conditions.
But that was exactly it. There was no comfort.
Everyday Allen was handed a plate and a fork. No smile.
Everyday he was put to bed. No lingering glance when they said, 'goodnight'.
Everyday Allen was given a stuffed rabbit and was told a story among a small group of children.
The happy endings always came too soon.
Allen remembered clenching his hands into fists, tangling in his sheets, gritting his teeth and trying to straighten out his forehead of the painful creases. His back would ache from trying so hard and his gums would hurt the next morning for having ground his teeth for too long and too hard. His eyes would open to the gray sky, reflecting what they saw, and what they knew.
They were given daily chores, nothing too strenuous.
The women would come soon, he knew, and he would never be ready. He would mess up today, but what? What would he forget? What should he have taken into consideration?
Would he use the wrong toothbrush? Would he have ironing duty today? If so, how many fingers would he burn?
His mind wracked around so many thoughts and worries.
Will I help with kitchen duty? Do we have enough pepper? Did I forget to by something? I wonder how soon dark will come again....
It wasn't so much, but alone, the duties weighed much heavier. The children didn't know how to react. If they had what they wanted, what they needed, then what else was there?
Love? Thanks? Trust?
They didn't know.
How could they be sure, and so they didn't trust.
They needed all these things, so they weren't thankful.
Love was conditional.
And the state of conditions in the orphanage didn't run that high.
So every day Allen would lie in bed at night, waiting to sleep, just to prolong that state of awareness, that state of being alone, but only with himself, for just a bit longer. Maybe if he was really by himself, he'd know how lucky he was to have a roof and a teddy bear at night. And when the light came too soon, he would stay in bed just five minutes longer, now five minutes less to know the real reason he was there, why everything was so simple and so hard.
No one cared for a worthless orphan.
So he worked harder during the day, chastised himself worse for messing up and day after day becoming more and more silent, reclusive, emotionally-wrought and tired, so tired of everything that came his way, everything he had to do, everything he couldn't do, couldn't do right, until suddenly--
A/N: Finally, I finished!
I kind of realized I had to get the next chapter out fast before everyone starts losing their interest. D:
if it's choppy let me know, I'd like to fix it. I've got papers gallore and homework for the first time in a year, but that's never an excuse for my work to be shoddy. Any complaints, relay them to me please!
Allen's scene: This was his time spent in the orphanage as a child. I want to change your definition of tragedy. I know most of you were thinking Allen's childhood would have abusive people, some kind of deep hurt that came with abandonment or something, and while I would never deny those things aren't tragic--they're horrifying--I want you to reach out and acknowledge that sometimes tragedy is different. It's subtle and it's quiet. Tragedy comes in many forms, so really, while Allen's childhood might not be desperately sad, it's a new shade of sadness. He was alone, try and think on it for awhile. REALLY, not in the sense of last person on earth, or 'no one understands/accepts me' alone, but alone. I don't want to say more than that, because it really is something only you can know and figure out on your own. If you understand, then you understand. If not, it's okay.
Thanks for reading, and please, a review! :D