Disclaimer - I do not own D Gray Man nor any of the characters. Just having a little fun with them.
Origin of the Child
Before the first rays of sunlight had even peaked above a group of mountains a young boy could barely be seen walking down a lonely road. The child, who appeared to be no older than five or six, had brown hair and was clothed in a pair of worn trousers and a white shirt. His clothes had obviously seen better days and as the little boy kicked at a stray stone on the ground if you looked closely you could tell, by the defeated look in his eyes, that he never had.
Up until two weeks ago he had been living on the streets of London however, after yet another adult felt the need to strike out at him over things that he couldn't control, the child had decided that he had to get away. He needed to make a fresh start and so he had left the city.
He never once looked back.
It was easy to travel light when you had no possessions and yet the child, known as Allen though no one ever cared enough to ask his name, still felt so fatigued that it was all he could do to continue walking. The little boy felt somewhat light headed and could plainly feel his heart beat pounding in his temples yet he was determined not to let this get in his way. He wanted to travel as far and as fast as his scrawny little legs could carry him.
He wanted to flee the scene of so many bad memories and it was almost as though he was seeking to escape his past.
He had been abused by people that he didn't even know too often and he was now wary of anyone who came to close to him. Allen knew that he would be far better off if he could avoid human contact all together but he knew that this wasn't possible. He would need money so that he could buy food and for that he would have to find someone who would hire him despite his deformity.
Subconsciously the child shoved his left hand further into the pocket of his trousers, in an attempt to hide and if possible forget about it. This hand, this cursed hand, was the cause of all of his suffering. His family had abandoned him because he had been born deformed and as soon as he was old enough to fend for himself he had been kicked out of the orphanage where he had been dropped off as a newborn.
The skin of his left hand was red and harsh looking; rough to the touch with thick, black nails. Everyone who saw it was repulsed and out of this repulsion they seemed to feel the need to make Allen suffer. The young boy clenched his right hand into a fist in anger.
Adults were so stupid!
It wasn't as though he had asked to be born different than everyone else. If he could have any wish granted he would ask for a left hand that didn't make people gaze at him in horror and strike him when he got too close to them. It was a nice thought but Allen knew that it wouldn't happen. Life had never allowed him to be a child and therefore he wasn't burdened with the illusions of one.
And yet he couldn't help but ask how different would his life have been had he been born normal? Would his parents still have abandoned him mere hours after he was born or would they have raised him? Would they have been proud to call him son?
Allen growled low in his throat, angry at himself for even having such thoughts. What was the point? He would forever be beaten and ridiculed simply because he had been born different from other people. It wasn't fair but it was just the way things were.
"Damn," Allen muttered as he used the ragged sleeve of his shirt to wipe the sweat that was forming on his forehead. It wasn't hot outside, the morning chill had yet to leave the air, and the child had no idea why he was sweating so much.
All the child wanted to do was lie down and rest for awhile yet he forced his feet to keep moving. He needed to find work and that wasn't possible out in the middle of nowhere. His muscles were aching in protest but Allen ignored them and continued onward.
His chest was burning by this point but the boy refused to give in. He was surrounded by a vast expanse of nothing and he refused to lay down. Despite the fact that he felt as though he were dying Allen was determined to continue onward.
That was all that he could think of, just continuing onward.
The sun was just beginning to illuminate the valley when a large group of tents came into view and, further off into the distance, a small town. Allen deduced, from the brightly decorated tents and caravan trailers that this was some kind of traveling show, a circus or something similar to that. There had to be many jobs involved in running a show of this size and Allen felt his hope rising just a tiny bit. Hoping that they would have some work that he could do and would look past his deformed hand Allen walked toward the circus grounds.
He was met at the edge of the grounds by a small brown and white dog, who was staring at him with it's head tilted to one side as though it were confused by the new arrival. Allen gazed at the dog, equally as confused. The dog had a weird ruffled collar around it's neck and it walked up to Allen with it's little stump of a tail wagging furiously. Cautiously Allen knelt down and held his hand out to the dog who immediately walked over to him and gently licked the tips of his fingers.
Allen's eyes widened.
The dog didn't seem to mind that he was deformed and, to quote several people that he had met during his life 'not normal'. The little animal simply continued to lick his fingers as though he were just like everyone else. His tongue was warm and the sensation was odd and yet somewhat comforting.
"Hey fella," Allen said, wincing as he noticed how raspy his voice sounded. He wasn't used to speaking to anyone, since it usually attracted attention that he didn't want, but he found himself actually wanting to speak to this little dog. The dog had offered him kindness and he wanted to return the gesture.
Reaching out with his right hand he tentatively stroked the dog's fur. He was curious what it felt like and smile slightly as his hand came into contact with fur that was as soft and smooth as velvet.
Allen half expected for the dog to shy away from his touch however that didn't happen. In stead the little animal yipped happily and walked over to rub against Allen's leg, his short little tail wagging in happiness. He seemed to genuinely enjoy Allen's company and the child scratched the dog gently behind the ears a couple of times before getting to his feet.
The movement caused the slight dizziness that he had been battling all day to completely overwhelm him and, finding himself unable to stand, the child suddenly fell to the ground. Whining softly the little dog nudged the child's arm and Allen offered him a somewhat shaky smile. "Guess I lost my balance," he muttered to the dog as he once again attempted to get to his feet.
The dizziness was once again too much for him to deal with and he once again fell to the ground. Sweat was dripping from his face at this point and Allen gazed around the grounds, looking for somewhere shady to rest. It had to be somewhere close, since he couldn't seem to get to his feet without growing dizzy and falling, and the child finally settled on a caravan trailer.
Crawling on his hands and knees Allen slowly made his way over to the closest caravan and crawled underneath. It was slightly cooler under the trailer and Allen lay down on his side, suddenly feeling sick to his stomach. The child couldn't remember the last time that he'd been ill and he knew that this wasn't good. Sweat was now dripping from his face and his lungs were burning as if he had just sprinted a mile. Horrified by this latest set back Allen sighed.
He couldn't work if he couldn't even stand up and without money then he couldn't eat. Not to mention the fact that if he didn't make himself useful then the circus people would never allow him to stay. He knew how the world worked, no one gave you anything that you didn't earn. Groaning slightly Allen used his right arm to cradle his head and keep it from resting on the hard ground. The conditions weren't ideal but at least the grass was soft and the place was shady.
Whining softly the little dog crawled over to the spot where Allen was lying and, after nudging his arm gently, curled himself against the child's stomach. Absently Allen reached over and stroked the dog's soft fur as he felt the darkness beginning to envelope him. Feeling horrible and slowly losing his vision Allen vaguely wondered if this was what it was like to die. Life hadn't been particularly easy for the little boy and as a result Allen wasn't bothered by the fact that this could be the end. And if he was going to die in this place then at least he wasn't alone.
After so many years of being completely alone, he had found a friend. The face of the little dog was the last thing that Allen saw before he completely lost consciousness.
Not long after that a sharp whistle pierced the air and, although the little terrier pricked up his ears, he refused to leave the child's side. He knew that this was the call of his master and for the first time in nearly fourteen years he didn't want to answer the call.
He wanted to stay with the child. His new friend.
A/N - This little fic comes before Paternal Instincts and covers the hours leading up to Mana finding the orphan child. After the suggestion by PeanutAngel I have decided to turn this into a little series of one-shots, all focusing on the relationship between Allen and Mana. This one is the first and I'll add a listed reading order on my profile page. Hope you enjoyed this little fic, please leave a review and tell me what you thought.