"Lamb" (Short Fiction Moments IV )

Focus on: Allen Walker. Kanda Yuu. Cross Marian.

Warnings: General manga knowledge. Character death.

Summary: "One final mission had to be completed: the annihilation of the last vestiges of anything remotely related to the Earl…Allen thought it was only logical he had to be killed too"

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Keyword: "Lamb";

"Hurry the hell up, moyashi! Open the Ark and be done with it. We don't have time to waste right now"

Kanda regarded Allen with cold eyes, his head tilted to one side.

"K-Kanda!" -Linali gasped in horror. She could not believe what was happening.

They had won the war, everything was supposed to be over. No more deaths….no more deaths should be necessary…

From his position, kneeling on the ground, Allen looked up, his blue eyes shining like crystals.

The boy seemed surprised for just one second, and then his expression changed into one of passive acceptance.

"You are right" -his voice was soft, free of any remorse or regret or reproach- "We need to end this. After an obstacle is overcome, we still need to walk forward. We have to move on."

The white-haired boy acted according to his belief on the words, and he stood up in shaking legs. He lifted his eyes towards Kanda, standing in front of him, then towards his General, Cross Marian.

The Order's most controversial general had played a vital role in the defeat of the Millennium Earl, and in this moment, he was also acting the role of the designated executioner.

One final mission to be completed: the annihilation of the last vestiges of anything remotely related to the Akuma, the Noah or the Earl.

And Cross Marian was there, at the ready, about to execute his task.

With one firm nod, the General motioned for his disciple to continue advancing.

Allen gained his feet, and then, he turned his glance to Linali, giving her a beautiful, innocent smile.

"It's okay, Linali. Everything will be okay"

The Chinese girl shook her head in desperation, as she tried to stand up too. Her efforts were futile, though. All her energy was drained, and she could not move from her spot, lying on the floor some feet behind.

"No! Brother, do something! Stop them!"

Komui, who was kneeling on Linali's left side, supporting her weak body, shook his head with a sad expression.

"Linali..."

"Stop them! Stop Allen!" -the girl cried out, as she took in the scene of the English teen, walking forward towards the Ark entrance, and reaching out with his Innocence hand.

The Ark shields activated, filling the room with shimmering light.

Kanda watched the process, eyes neutral, his right hand on Mugen's hilt.

Cross Marian watched the process too, his one eye undecipherable, his right hand cocking his pistol.

Komui held Linali back, because this last step into destroying their enemies had to be executed. It was abominable, it was horrible, but it had to be done.

"It's ready" -Allen murmured, once the Ark was fully energized. He almost stumbled backwards, completely spent.

Everyone was cripplingly weak, and it showed in their tired, resigned faces. Outside the Order, the surviving Exorcists and Finders were recovering from wounds and shock.

Inside, Cross Marian mentally prepared himself for he was about to do. Once he fired his gun, both the Ark and the last representation of the akuma race would be gone forever.

After all, it was only logical that the Ark had to disappear.

And Allen thought it was only logical that he himself had to be killed too. He had been the container of a Noah for many years, and even though in the final battle Allen had purged the 14th out of his body, the boy supposed the Black Order would not settle for that simple solution. He would be regarded as a threat anyway.

That was why Allen was here now. General Cross Marian had dragged him inside the Order's building after the final battle had ended. Kanda had followed, his eyes wary but his stance firm.

Allen supposed Kanda had been put in charge of destroying him if he ever let the 14th to take over him. Surely the Japanese teen wanted to see with his own eyes that everything would go as expected.

Unfortunately Linali had also followed them, without suspecting the scene that was about to develop.

Once inside, General Marian had announced that the Musician had to activate the Ark, and then the Order's sacrificial lamb had to be destroyed with it....

It was simple, in Allen's perspective. He would not oppose to be killed. He just wanted to make sure that everyone would continue on living.

"Tell the others that they don't need to worry. And really, Linali, it's okay. We won, right? That is the most important thing!" -Allen beamed despite the situation, looking back at the prostrated girl.

On the sidelines, Kanda snorted and rolled his eyes, but Allen ignored him.

"I made a promise to Mana, that I would always walk forward. So, please Linali, promise me that you and the others will do that too. No matter what happens, let's move on!"

The Chinese girl sobbed, both shaking her head and nodding at the same time. She was clinging to Komui's arms around her, a solace for strength.

Komui was not looking at Allen, though. His dark eyes were tracking the movement of the other exorcist at Allen's left.

The white-haired boy turned to watch how Kanda approached him, until the taller teen was standing right in front of him.

Both of them were silent for a minute, until Allen decided that one last smile, one last attempt to touch Kanda's cold heart could not do any harm.

"Kanda, I just—ahh!"

Allen's words ended in a pained gasp, and he crumpled to the ground.

The impact of Kanda's sword against Allen's wounded abdomen had been enough to send the boy to his knees.

"You really talk too much, moyashi" -Kanda said, his voice gentle despite the violent move he had just displayed.

"Count on my stupid apprentice to assume I would just shoot him on the spot" -Cross Marian mumbled from his advanced position in front of the Ark's entrance - "Whoever said the Order wanted you dead, kid?"

At those words, Allen looked up in bewilderment. His eyes widened, glance darting between his Master, and Komui, and Kanda, and his Master again.

Linali was shocked into silence, her eyes also showing her surprise and growing fear.

If they only needed him to activate the Ark, then....then who....

"You were the one who said it, weren't you? The most important thing is that the war is over" -Kanda addressed Allen, but at the same time he turned around and started walking towards the Ark.

Up front, Cross Marian raised his pistol, straight towards the incoming Japanese exorcist.

"Walk forward then. And it will be you who tells the others to move on, too."

Kanda's voice drifted back as he stepped forth, until he was standing in front of the Ark and Cross Marian had his gun poised over his semi-bandaged chest.

The dark tattoo carved on Kanda's skin was dissolving and morphing, and Kanda's eyes were becoming glazed. His vision was being swallowed by dying white lotuses, and he could feel his body weakening....

"Don't worry, Allen. It's not you the Black Order needs dead" -Komui's voice finally emerged in the sudden silence- "As our last mission, we need to destroy the last vestige of akuma blood...of every experiment and spell ever cast using that blood…we need to put an end to this..."

Allen's eyes widened even more. He staggered forth in unsteady legs.

"N-no! No! What are you doing!? Instead of Kanda, I will—!"

The Japanese teen turned his face towards the boy, for once his eyes free of their trademark dark glare and his lips curved in a bemused and almost affectionate smile.

"Stupid bean. There is no price you can pay instead. This price was paid years ago" -the long-haired exorcist shrugged his shoulders, as if he didn't mind at all to have a gun pointed at his heart- "Don't worry, nothing can be done about it now...Remember you promised to walk forward, right?"

Allen chocked on a sob and a denial at the same time.

Cross Marian's face was a study in seriousness.

"Are you ready now?"

Kanda nodded.

And in that moment, Lavi, Marie and the rest of the Exorcists were bursting into the room.

And Allen and Linali were screaming.

But the screams did nothing to muffle the explosive sound of the shot through the room… through the heart and through the Ark.

Mugen fell to the floor, silent, and finally –after so long a time of stolen life- ...finally dead.

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Fin