"So this is the magic mirror," Lavi said, looking the mirror up and down. "How do you know that?"
"Er... I said the rhyme in the rumor and it changed," Allen explained dumbly. How did Lavi think he figured it out? Just by looking?
The redhead grinned broadly. "Then who did it show you?" he teased. "Who's your true love, hm?"
"Lavi, leave him alone," Lenalee said in Japanese so the rest of the host club wouldn't be as lost in the quick-spoken English. "Allen doesn't have to tell you anything."
Lavi stuck his tongue out at the Chinese girl. "Well, I wanna see what it shows me as proof." He then recited the little rhyme. Nothing appeared in the glass as far as anyone else could tell, but obviously Lavi saw something, for his eyes had widened to the size of dinner plates. "Dude! No! No way! Stop joking around!" he shouted at the mirror, grabbed its sides and shaking it. Obviously the image had changed, for the Bookman Jr. let out another cry of shocked surprise and said, "No! Not Panda! Go back to Yuu-chan! At least he looks like a girl!"
Needless to say, Kanda punched him for that comment. "What are you talking about?" he demanded. There was no humor in his voice, just sheer anger.
"The mirror must have a sense of humor or something, 'cause it showed me you first, then Panda."
The Host Club didn't understand his reference to Bookman's unfortunate nickname, but Lenalee did, and she raised an eyebrow at him. "Lavi, if there's something you're not telling us, we can understand and—"
Lavi gave her the deer-in-the-headlights look. "Ew. No. Women for me, thanks. Yuu-chan may look pretty like a girl, but—" He didn't get a chance to finish his sentence before Kanda smacked him upside the head again.
"So what do we do with it?" Haruhi asked, the most practical of the group. "The mirror, I mean."
"We take it back to the Order," Kanda growled. "You stay here and act like you didn't see anything."
"Now Kanda," Allen said a little darkly. "That's not very polite. You could say please and thank you once in a while. It won't kill you."
Kanda glared at Allen, and that was the end of that.
"So now all that's left is the Akuma?" Kyoya asked more than stated.
"Hopefully we'll be able to find it," Lavi replied.
Kanda sniffed. "Stupid. It's not that hard to find an Akuma. We just need the right bait."
"What would you suggest using as 'bait'?" Tamaki asked, eagerly pulling out his cell phone. "Cow? Chicken?"
Tamaki dropped the phone.
"You can't use Tama-kun!" Big tears were falling down Hunny's cheeks, making him seem like more of a Kindergartener than a senior in high school. "The Akuma kills people, right? If Tama-kun dies..."
"People will want him back," Kanda stated simply.
"And the Earl will want to take advantage of that," Lenalee muttered, figuring out exactly where Kanda was going with this. "Of course. He's a big target. If Tamaki or any of the host club dies, there are plenty of people who would want you back!"
"So he'll sick the Akuma on Tamaki if he's alone," Lavi finished. "Seems plausible enough."
"Don't I get a say in this?" Tamaki asked, but the idea had gone too far already to be stopped. Even members of the club, who were at first against the idea, were starting to see the logic of it and nodding in agreement. "Come on, guys! This is dangerous and—"
"We'll make you an honorary member of the Black Order," Lavi offered. "You'll get a reward. And our eternal gratitude."
Tamaki pondered this a moment, then agreed. Now only Allen and Haruhi were left against it.
"Is this safe?" Haruhi whispered to Allen.
"No. I'm not sure why they're going along with Kanda's idea." Allen frowned at his fellow exorcists. "This is dangerous. We can't put Tamaki in danger. He shouldn't even be involved."
"A little late for that," the twins said, laying their arms on his shoulders. "Tamaki loves being center of attention, after all."
And so it was decided. They would lure the Akuma out tonight outside the rave wearing a Rose Cross pin on this outfits—something Johnny had given them before they left in case they needed to make themselves targets to the Akuma. Once it was out in the open, they would "disappear," leaving the Akuma face-to-face with Tamaki. As Tamaki didn't know about the Akuma as far as the monster was concerned, it would then attempt to kill him thinking him an easy target. Then Lavi would block the Akuma's attack with his hammer, leaving Lenalee, Kanda, and Allen to defeat the Akuma while he got Tamaki out of there. A good plan, as far as all but Haruhi and Allen were concerned.
So they set the plan in motion. The exorcists put on their 'target' and ambled through the crowded rave. Even if no one else noticed, the Akuma would see them, and that was all they needed.
Allen tried to ignore the girl. He didn't want to get caught unawares simply because a girl was distracting him.
"I'm talking to you, Allen!" Renge grabbed Allen's shoulder. "Where are you going in such a hurry?"
"I have to go home," Allen lied. "I'm getting a headache because of my contacts. I'd like to stay, but..." He caught sight of it. There was a girl maybe three feet away, staring at his crest.
The girl frowned, and a couple of her friends asked her what was wrong. But she only had eyes for Allen—no, for his Rose Cross. Then her body started contorting. Her friends let out a scream.
"Get down!" Allen shouted, invoking his Crowned Clown and covering as many of the partiers as he could.
But the gunshots didn't come. Instead, he heard the clash of metal against metal, and the crash of something against a wall. Allen dared to look up and saw Lavi standing behind him, hammer the huge and the Akuma smashed against the wall.
"Good thing these people are rich, neh?" Lavi asked sarcastically. "We don't have to hold back because of damage costs."
"Get them out of here. Civilians shouldn't get involved, right?"
Allen nodded and helped Renge and a couple other girls up. "Come on, we need to leave."
Renge stared up at him, a mixture of horror and awe on her face. "What is—?"
"No time," Allen said quickly. He ushered her and a couple other people out into the halls and told them to get as far from the school as possible for their own safety.
"So you are my dream guy," Renge cheered before she got lost in the rush of students trying to escape.
Back inside the room, things were a mess. Lenalee was still trying to get the few stragglers who'd been trapped out while Lavi and Kanda tried to destroy the Akuma in complete disregard to the building. Even Link, who must've gotten in trough the new hole in the wall, was trying to help by blocking the Akuma's attacks from the people Lenalee was trying to escort out.
The Akuma, Allen could now see, was a Level Three, but it didn't fit the typical pattern he'd seen in the Level Threes past. This one had long fingers with strings dangling off the fingertips and one large eye. It didn't look remotely human as the others tended to.
Allen grabbed his wrist, just to be safe, and drew his Crowned Clown's sword. It still felt weird, taking his arm off like that, but it was worth the strange feel for the power boost.
The Akuma grinned. "Too bad, human," it said in a gravelly voice that didn't remotely match the girl's form it took. "You lose."
The threads on its fingers launched and attached to each of Allen's limbs with a sharp stinging pain. Allen gasped out and tried to rip the strings from his skin, but before he could, the strings went taut.
He couldn't move. The strings kept him from moving. Then, the Akuma moved its fingers like one handles a marionette and Allen started moving because of the sharp, painful tugs in the string. His arm lifted, and his sword came down on Lavi.
"Allen! What're you doing?" the redhead asked, dodging the blade. He knew it couldn't harm humans, but with the way things had been going lately, it was better to be safe than sorry.
"I can't control my body!" Allen's arm swung the sword down again, this time catching Lavi's shoulder. As expected, the weapon passed harmlessly through the older boy. "It's these strings!"
No sooner had he said it were they cut. Kanda had seen the Akuma attach its weapon to Allen—unlike Lavi—and was able to get a clear shot. Allen fell to the ground in a crumpled heap. His body, though freed from the Akuma's strings, was numb. It was like cutting the strings from a marionette.
The Akuma laughed. "That's my power, you see," it taunted as new strings appeared to replace the cut ones on its fingers. "I am the puppet master, and all you come to obey me are no more than puppets as long as they're connected to my strings."
Stupid thing. It had given away how its power worked and gave Allen an idea. "Lavi," he hissed. "Rip the strings out. Those are keeping me from moving."
"Yuu-chan, can you keep the Akuma busy?" Lavi asked.
"Long enough for you to help the Moyashi," Kanda replied, raising his blood-red katana. He charged, hacking at any of the Akuma's threads that dared come anywhere near him.
Lavi turned back to Allen and grabbed the lengths of string still attached to Allen and pulled with all his might. They came out easily, but not without tearing the skin it was embedded in. Allen let out a small yelp of pain, but there was no time to have his many new wounds treated.
"Are you okay, Allen?" Lenalee asked, horrified by the blood dripping down Allen's arm and legs. She'd just returned from evacuating the last of the party-goers.
"Been better," Allen answered truthfully. He raised his sword and gave a quick summary of what had just happened. "We have to beat it before it controls anyone else."
"A little help, Moyashi!" Kanda shouted, cutting a few more strands. He couldn't get close enough to the Akuma to defeat it without a distraction. If he got anywhere near the thing, he'd have to retreat to keep from getting controlled, and while Allen's Innocence was harmless to all but himself, Kanda's was a completely different story.
"On it!" Allen shouted, dashing closer. The threads shot at him and he swung to cut them, but they went around the cutting edge and kept going. What? Allen spun around just in time to see the threads attach to Haruhi and Tamaki.
"Morons!" Kanda shouted. "You were supposed to stay outside!"
"Hee hee!" The Akuma clapped its hands gleefully and then tugged the two hosts into the air before it. "You can't attack as long as I've got human shields."
Lavi raised his hammer, ready to use one of his stamps, but Lenalee grabbed the handle and stopped him. "Don't! If you hit one of them..." Lavi growled in irritation.
"Then what are we supposed to do?" he asked.
"You're little weapon might not be able to effect other exorcists," it continued to Allen, "but what regular humans?" It laughed again.
Allen had an idea. So the Akuma thought that the sword only couldn't affect accommodaters. It didn't realize that it didn't harm humans—minus himself, of course—as well. He readied his sword and shouted to Haruhi, "You trust me, right?"
The female host closed her eyes and nodded. Tamaki, meanwhile, was freaking out. "What do you plan to do? You aren't going to hit us with that big sword, are you?"
Allen jumped into the air, and as suspected, the Akuma used its human shields. It tried to block with Tamaki, the one who didn't trust the exorcist, thinking that Haruhi's trust would somehow save her.
It was over in a matter of seconds. The sword slid harmlessly through Tamaki's chest and stabbed straight into the Akuma. They seemed to hang like that, suspended for a moment, before Tamaki and Haruhi dropped to the ground because of the disintegrating threads.
Allen's curse activated at long last, the monocle covering his eye.. He could see the soul of the Akuma detach itself from the body of the disintegrating beast. He could hear its soul thank him for its release before disappearing.
Something clicked to the floor, badly damaged from the direct hit from Allen's Innocence. He bent down and picked up the pendent and frowned at the symbol scratched into its surface. When it had been destroyed, his eye had reacted instantly. Was this what was blocking his sight for so long? Some magic object?
"Are you all right?" he asked, turning to Haruhi and Tamaki. The two looked uninjured, and only Tamaki looked mad about all this. He started going on about how he could've died, despite Lenalee's assurances that the sword didn't harm humans and Kanda's blatant point that they shouldn't have been there in the first place.
"As long as nobodies hurt," Haruhi said, seemingly unphased by the whole event. She rubbed her arms where the strings had attached themselves, frowning at the sting, but other than that, she was perfectly fine.
The rest of the host club appeared than, using the hole in the wall as their entrance, and rushed to their "king" and fellow hosts. They started fussing over them both, giving the exorcists a chance to look at Allen's discovery.
"Well, I suppose that could work, considering the Earl found out how to block your eye at that orphanage," Lavi hypothesized, turning the amulet this way and that. "It's a distinct possibility, but the Order'll have to take a look to confirm that.""Before that, we should bandage you up," Lenalee said, her voice oddly strained, even for after a battle where there were injured. "There's a first aid kit in the music room."
A few days later, once everything had calmed down at school and the exorcists had convinced everyone that there must've been "something in the punch" or that they'd all had extremely realistic nightmares, it was time to head home. All of Allen's customers cried upon hearing that he was transferring back to England with all his friends and insisted that there be a farewell party, which the Host Club more than happily agreed to and set up without Allen's knowledge.
Boy, was he surprised when he walked into the room and everyone set off the party poppers for him and the other exorcists, who'd been invited as well. There were plenty of smiles and tears, and despite the solemnity of the occasion, the twins managed to get one prank in. They set off smoke bombs at the end, forcing everyone from the room.
It was a useful and planned prank, though, and gave the exorcists time to collect the mirror without any other students around to hand it over to Link, who would be taking it to the Order ahead of them all on Komui's orders, much to the Crow assassin's annoyance. He complained that he was more than just a delivery boy and that he was supposed to be watching Allen, but Komui had commanded him otherwise.
Once Allen's "babysitter"—as Lenalee had explained it to the Host Club—had gone, the Hunny asked, "Are we ever gonna see you again?"
"Probably not," Lavi replied with a shrug. "We have to go all over the place, so we might not make it back here. You might meet some of our comrades, though."
"Can you text us every so often?" the twins asked. They more than anyone had become attached to the exorcists, especially Kanda, as he was the most fun to annoy. Lavi was a close second, though.
Kanda scoffed at this. "We don't have phones."
"What Kanda means to say is," Lenalee said, "is that it's Order policy that we can't keep contacts like this for everyone's safety. I'm sorry, but we can't even send letters."
"Harsh," Tamaki muttered. "But that's why we've got one last present for you guys." He nodded to Kyoya, who handed Allen a box. "From the Host Club to you all."
Allen opened the box and smiled. Inside was a framed picture, one of all of them that had been taken at the beginning of the party. The club and the exorcists were in the center of the photo, and a couple girls had sneaked into the frame, as Renge had in the corner with eyes only for Allen. She'd been the only one not to believe the whole drug-induced nightmare and refused to hear any different from anyone.
The club looked at him expectantly. "I don't know what to say," he said after a few seconds. "We don't know what to say."
"Just say you'll come see us if you're ever back in town," Tamaki insisted. The rest of the club nodded in agreement.
"Thank you so much," Lenalee said, smiling at the club.
"By the way..." the twins said, smirking. "What was it exactly that you saw in that mirror anyway?"
Allen turned bright red. "N-none of your business!" He turned and headed for the door. "Come on, guys, let's leave." The others said their quick good-byes—Kanda's being the quickest—and left to follow after Link. Allen, paused however, and said, "Thanks for everything. I did have a lot of fun while I was here." He bowed, and then went after them.
Things returned to normal, and Allen and the gang became nothing more than memories to everyone. The murderer was never found, of course, and only the Host Club—and Renge, who couldn't be convinced otherwise—knew the truth. Finals were coming up, and everyone had to get busy studying. Soon, the exorcists were completely forgotten except for the few who could never forget them. Those people were the Host Club.
"Haru-chan! Haru-chan!" Hunny called. "Come on! Come on!" He was tugging on Haruhi's hand, and she had to run to keep up.
"Where are we going?" she asked.
"You won't believe it! Never, never!"
They reached the club room, and when the doors were flung open by the other impatient hosts, Haruhi's eyes met silver ones. And dark blue ones. And Violet ones. And a green one.
And everyone, host and exorcists alike, smiled.
I'd like to thank a couple people:
First, I'd like to thank all you people who corrected my mistakes. I really appreciate it. I am only one person who's too impatient for a beta and would probably drive them insane with my update schedule.
Second, I'd like to thank all those who reviewed in general. If not for you, I wouldn't have kept going.
Third, I'd like to thank EVERYONE who read this and put up with my insane and slow update schedule.
Fourth, I'd like to thank my friends who assisted me by letting me bounce ideas off them and giving me their opinion on those ideas in return. Without them, this story wouldn't have been as epic as it turned out to be.
Fifth, the creators of DGM and Host Club for being so awesome and making the characters I borrowed for this.
And last but not least, everyone who doesn't fall under the above categories, thank you for whatever it is you did.
I hope I did a decent job on the fight scene. I worked really hard on it, so I think it turned out okay. I'm my own worst critic, however, so I refuse to judge it.
As always, typo-corrections are greatly appreciated, as shown by the first people I thanked. :)