Rika T. Strange here, with something completely different from my usual stuff: A D Gray-Man fic! Okay, it's a one-shot, not a fic, but hey. I'm writing it partially as a stress release, and partially because, well... I'm going to Anime Detour soon with a bunch of other D Gray-Man cosplayers and consequently I've been in a huge D Gray-Man mood lately! Anyways, here it is, in all its one-shot glory: "Princesses Don't Speak German"
Oh! Characters are not mine, situation and writing are. Also, Miranda's thoughts are translated from German (and if you're having trouble understanding her accent, read the words out loud phonetically). That's important, so don't forget!
"Dear Mister Krory,
I am writing this to you because I think you are a very wonderful, good person even if I have never seen you lately"
Miranda Lotto ripped the paper in half and crumpled it into a ball before dropping it into the nearly-full waste basket beside her desk. "No, no, no! Thiz vill nhot verk." She grabbed another piece of paper and began anew, her writing scratchy and drawn out.
It has been quite a while that I have known you, and I found out you are a very good person"
Miranda sighed enormously and reached for another sheet of paper, not even bothering to crumple this attempt up. The lady exorcist lay down the clean sheet and carefully pressed the pen to the paper, only to have the nub twist and the ink spill out over her desk. "NEEEEEEEEEEEEEIN!" She shouted, jumping to her feet only to knock her knees painfully against the desk. She let out a whimper but determinedly snatched up what clean paper she could before the ink got to it.
It's good that I took everything else off first, Miranda thought, Only now I've lost all my ink! I'm so useless... I can't borrow any more from Allen or Lenalee; they've lent me so much already... Tears began to well in her eyes. "I haet thiz!" She shouted, falling down onto her bed. The sheets of paper she'd managed to save went flying from her arms, and a frustrated sob escaped her.
"Vhy schould he think ovf me az zomething beyond a komrad, avfter all?" She hugged her pillow to her chest, not caring that she was smearing it with the half-dried ink on her hands. "I am nho princez, like hiz lady Eliade." Miranda laughed softly, bitterly, as her tears rolled down the pillow, mixing with the ink splots. "I am just a uselez voman!" She sniffled and buried her face in the pillow. I can't even write a proper letter to him... Almost unwillingly, she remembered the first time they'd met.
Still damp with sea water, Miranda pulled an enormous cloak from the suitcase Komui had given her. "Thiz vun iz fvor 'Arystar Krory'." She was all but drowning in the fabric when she stood up, trying her hardest not to let it touch her wet clothes or the ship's cabin's floor. Miranda attempted to take a step forward, but stepped on the bottom of the cloak and began to fall. "W-WHAAUG!" She braced herself for the inevitable impact with the hard, wooden floor, but was shocked when a pair of skinny, cloaked arms caught her instead.
"Y-you must be more careful, Ms. Miranda," a voice told her, almost timidly. Miranda looked up to see who had caught her and was shocked, nearly terrified to see a pair of fangs poking out of her benefactor's mouth.
She began to tremble and shouted "I'M SORRY!", the only English phrase she could speak flawlessly. The outburst surprised the man and he nearly dropped her, but Miranda grabbed hold of his shoulders at the last moment and somehow they managed to stay upright.
"Are you all right now?" He asked her, letting go but keeping his arms ready in case she should trip again.
"Y-Yes," Miranda stammered. "I-I'm zo sorry."
"It's quite all right," he assured her. "Now if I may have my cloak..?"
"YES! I'M SORRY I HIELD ON TO IT FVOR ZO LONG!" She thrust the coat into his arms in a panic.
Krory rubbed the back of his head awkwardly. "It's fine, Ms. Miranda." He smiled and took his cloak with him to change, and she returned to the suitcase to continue distributing uniforms.
That had been almost six months ago. Since then they'd gone on missions together, trained together, and nearly died at least a dozen times. She remembered a conversation they'd had on a train, traveling with Allen and Lavi to their next mission.
Krory had brought along a chess board and was attempting, with limited success, to teach Lavi how to play. That the future Bookman wasn't all that willing to learn didn't help matters much, either. "This game's boring, Krorykins. Can't we play something else instead? Maybe... Poker?" The redhead grinned.
"NO! Never again!" Krory shouted, holding his arms out in front of him. "I will never play that horrendous game again!"
"Vhy does Mister Krory dislike 'poker', Allen?" Miranda asked quietly.
"He had a bad experience," the young exorcist answered. He quickly looked for an excuse to change the subject before Miranda could naïvely ask to hear the embarrassing story. "Why don't you ask to play chess with him, since Lavi's not interested?"
Miranda began to panic. "N-noo, I kood nevfer do t-that!"
"Sure you could, Miranda!" Allen smiled encouragingly. "Just say 'Krory, may I play chess with you?'- that's it!"
She shrunk down into her seat. "N-nein! I'm sorry! I meen, no! I'm sorry! I kan't!" Miranda had been terrified to speak with Krory lately, mostly because of how when she did speak with him, she felt weightless and warm and... Happy. Surely someone as useless as her didn't deserve to feel so wonderful, and certainly not because of a man who was already in love!
"Krory, Miranda would like to play chess with you," Allen said, heedless of Miranda's protests.
"Excellent!" Krory smiled at Miranda, and although his fangs still scared her, she gave a weak but honest smile back.
"Lavi, move!" Allen called, then gave Miranda his best, 'go to it' smile.
Taking a deep, calming breath, she sat down across from her fellow exorcist. "I-I'm nhot vfery gud at thiz ghame," Miranda stammered, hardly managing to make even occasional eye contact with the significantly taller exorcist.
"It's not a game I play to win," Krory explained kindly, "it's a game I play to improve myself."
"R-really?" Miranda asked, delicately pushing a pawn forward on the board. She was so afraid she'd break it...
"Yes... Eliade and I would play some times..." His eyes began to well up and Miranda began to panic.
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" She shouted, not even sure why she was apologizing (this was a frequent occurence, however, so she paid it no mind). What Miranda did pay mind to was that her companion's condition of mopeyness was not getting any better in spite (or because of?) her apologies. In desperation she shouted out, "E-Es tut mir leid!" then slapped her hands over her mouth, horrified.
Krory smiled despite himself, and wiped his eyes on the back of his glove. "Miranda..." He had dropped the "Ms." a month or so before, after they'd both gotten drunk at one of the Order's welcoming parties and spent the night swapping tragic stories of their lives before becoming exorcists. "Why do you never speak German around us?"
"V-vhat?" Miranda was startled into stillness.
"You know English very well, even if you cling to your accent- yet you never speak in German if you can help it. But even Kanda still speaks Japanese occasionally." Krory pushed a pawn forward on the board, trying to entice her to play again.
"G-german iz... an uhgly language." Morosely, but with the same gentleness from before, she moved her knight forward and to the right.
"It sounds like you're punching yourself in the throat while you talk!" Lavi added, only to get a solid whack on the head from Allen.
"He iz right," Miranda sighed. "I did nhot think zo vhen I vhas in my homeland, but avfter hearing zo many beautiful tongues behing shpoken at the Order..."
"I think it's a fine language," Krory told her seriously.
Miranda was touched; she couldn't bring herself to speak for a long while after for fear of bursting into tears.
This last memory made her sigh heavily. Yes, she had gotten significantly better about speaking with him since then; the two ate lunch together whenever possible, and chatted amicably when they were assigned on missions together. But... Miranda sighed again forced herself to sit up. She still clutched her pillow tightly, but it was a start. I still think German is ugly... There are no subtle "ri"s and "ro"s and "sa"s like Japanese, nor the soft "oui"s and "ou"s of Romanian... Only harsh "sch"s and clumsy "ueg"s. She laughed suddenly and almost hysterically. "A perfect language fvor a voman zuch az myzelf." Miranda fell back onto her bed. Her hair, so carefully pulled back to keep it free of ink, came undone and fell about her face as if to hide her tears.
There was a knock on the door and Miranda sat up again. Without thinking she wiped her eyes with her hands, only to remember too late the ink on them. "ACH!" She wiped her face on her pillow, but that made it worse, and finally she gave up. "I'm nhot here," Miranda called weakly. "Pleaz gho avay."
"Miranda..." It was Lenalee. "What's wrong?"
Reluctantly the woman got to her feet opened the door. Lenalee gasped. "Oh! What happened to you?"
"I vhas trying to vrite a let'her..."
"Oh, Miranda..." Lenalee reached up and wiped a smear of ink from her older comrade's cheek. "May I ask to whom you were writing?"
"Arystar," she mumbled, looking away with a blush that made her look like a newspaper. "You know I fveel strongly fvor him, but- But I kannot vhrite the vords I vish to!" Miranda sighed and slumped forward, defeated. "I dho nhot know thiz language vell enough."
"Then write to him in German," Lenalee suggested gently. "I'm sure he could find someone to translate it."
"German iz an uhgly language, Lenalee..." She groaned and buried her face in her hands. "I'm sorry, I'm zo sorry, I know you vish to help me, but... I think I am beyond help. Princezez do nhot shpeak German."
"Princesses?" Lenalee asked, tilting her head to one side.
The woman's face remained covered and her voice muffled. "Lady Eliade must hafv been zuch a beautiful voman, and shpoken zo nicely, to be loved by Arystar..."
Lenalee's eyes narrowed slightly. "Miranda."
"Y-yes?" She pulled her face up to look at her companion.
"Do you want to replace Eliade?"
"N-no! Never... Never kood I, or vish to... She iz important to Arystar."
"Then you need to stop comparing yourself to her." Lenalee smiled.
"...Y-you are right, of cohrse," Miranda admitted at last. "I must... I must believe that he vill nhot compare me to her, either." She shook her head. "Mein Gott... Ich bin so blöd..." Suddenly she turned and hugged Lenalee tightly. "Thank you, Lenalee... Thank you zo much! I know vhat I must do nhow."
Lenalee smiled and tried not to think about the fact that Miranda was unknowingly smearing ink all over her uniform. "I'll leave you to write your letter, then." She turned to leave, then stopped. "Oh, I almost forgot!" Lenalee handed Miranda a large manilla envelope. "Big brother asked me to give this to you; you have a new mission."
"Th-thank you..." Miranda set the envelope on her bed and picked up the papers that had fallen; most of them were still usable. But first, I need to clean off my desk. A large amount of scrubbing later, the time exorcist's desk was spotless and ready for use again. Miranda even found that she could scrape some of the ink back into the pen, if she was very, very careful about it.
At last, she settled down to write in her native tongue.
It has been some time since I've had the chance to see you, let alone speak with you. I hope this letter finds you in good health and well-rested despite whatever mission Officer Komui has sent you on. It has been what, two weeks since you were dispatched? Often I find myself wishing my Innocence could fast-forward time, so I might see you sooner. I have just received a mission myself, however, so with luck that will pass the time more quickly. I only hope I that I do not take too long, and miss you before you are sent out again! I have so much to speak to you about.
I hope that Kanda and Allen are fine as well- I know you do your best to make sure they behave, but I also know how spirited they can be. Lenalee worries for them as well, and I think Lavi would be sulking about "being left behind" if he didn't already have a mission of his own. Before he left, he and Bookman visited me to ask questions about my Innocence. I answered as best I could, but I'm afraid I still know very little of how or even why it works.
My pen is running out of ink now, and I have borrowed so much from Allen and Lenalee already that I suppose I must stop writing. Please take care of yourself, and hurry back."
Miranda paused for a moment to consider how to finish her letter. She didn't want to be too forward, and she didn't want to ruin their friendship. And yet... She gave a soft, contemplative sigh before finally signing the letter.
"Ich libe dich,
Carefully, she folded the paper and pressed it to her lips. Then she sealed it in an envelope, and tucked it carefully away. She would talk to Komui before leaving to find out who was headed in the same direction as Krory and the others. Miranda didn't know how he would react to her letter... She didn't know if he would even be able to translate it. Part of her hoped he would ask her to translate when he got back, but another part dreaded reading the end out loud. Mostly she hoped that he was safe and would come back, period.
Because even though she knew she didn't know how he would react, she knew at least that she cared for him.
Rika Says: There is no sequel planned for this, and no second chapter. This is one work I intend to keep entirely as a one-shot, partially for artistic reasons but largely because it's a rather personal piece. You can always imagine the ending yourself if you really need some closure X D Please don't let it stop you from reviewing, either!
For those who don't know German:
"Nein" (pronounced "nine") = "No"
"Es tut mir leid" (pronounced "ess toot mere lied")= "I'm sorry" (literally "it causes me sorrow")
"Mein Gott" (pronounced "mine got") = "My God"
"Ich bin so blöd" (pronounced "eek bin zo blert")= "I'm so stupid"
"Ich libe dich" (pronounced "eek leebuh deek")= "I love you"
On the Romanian language: I've never actually heard it spoken, but I've been told it sounds very much like French. If anyone out there knows some characteristic sounds of it and would like to tell me, that'd be great!