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Mana Walker was taking a break in between performing his clown act and, pulling a handkerchief from his pocket and wiping the sweat from his brow, the man decided to search for his foster son. Upset over something, Mana still wasn't quite sure what, Allen had ran off halfway through their performance, and Mana decided that it would probably be a good idea for him to track down the child before he caused any trouble.
Allen did that sometimes when he was upset.
Mana searched the small town where the two of them had been staying for the past couple of days, performing for the people who were walking on the street, but there was no sign of the child. This wasn't good, Allen could get hurt or lost or something else bad like that. Knowing that he needed to find the child quickly Mana hastened his pace and broadened the area that he searched. It didn't seem as though the child was still in the small town, unless he had entered a building, and since Allen was still wary of people Mana didn't think that this scenario was very likely.
So the clown decided to search the meadows that surrounded the town. Perhaps his little orphan had decided to go there and play, or more likely, to sulk. Once again rubbing his forehead with the handkerchief Mana then stuffed it back in his pocket and continued the search for his little stray pup.
Allen had been in his care for awhile now and yet Mana found that he was still adjusting to life with the child. It had been so long since he'd had a traveling companion other than his faithful little terrier and he still found it difficult at times. The boy had been raised on the streets after all and as a result his manners were somewhat rough.
And yet despite that Mana found that the child reminded him of someone. He didn't know how it was possible but the child reminded him so much of his brother. It was as though he had been transported back in time and was once again with the precious one that he had lost.
The similarities hadn't been as pronounced when Mana had first taken the orphan in but now that he had been cleaned up a bit and had began to learn some manners it was becoming more and more noticable. Sometimes, when he gazed into the little boy's eyes, he could swear that he was looking into the eyes of the 14th. After all, both Allen and his brother, displayed most of their emotions through their eyes.
Shaking his head to clear away these bizarre thoughts Mana concentrated all of his attention on the search and, after a couple of hours, he managed to track down the little runaway. Allen was sitting underneath a tree with his knees pulled up to his chest and his arms wrapped around them in a protective manner. The child had wiped away the white makeup that had covered his face and had pulled loose the tie that had been holding his brown hair up into a ponytail. Allen's head was resting on his knees and Mana could see, through the brown strands that were partially obscurring his face, that there was an utterly defeated look in his eyes. As though he had completely given up all hope.
The look in his eyes almost broke Mana's heart and he quickly made his way over to the spot. "Allen!" he called out as he approached, waving his hand.
Allen's head shot up and for a split second Mana was afraid that he was going to run. But in the end the child merely placed his head back on his knees and refused to look at his foster father. Completely unphased by the fact that Allen was choosing to ignore him Mana sat down in the grass beside the child and mirrored his pose, pulling his knees up to his chest and placing his head on top of them.
For awhile neither of them spoke and both kept their eyes firmly locked forward. However, after a short period of time, Mana turned his gaze back to the child. "Allen. . ."
Allen was still refusing to look in his direction and Mana realized that this reply was all that he was likely to get out of the child so he pressed on. "What happened out there today?"
Allen thought about the question that Mana had just posed to him, a thoughtful expression making his young features look older somehow. His mind flashed back to the performance and in his mind's eye he saw the crowd. As always there were a large number of children and most of them were there with their parents. They all looked so happy together and. . .
"I just got tired of doing it okay?" Allen snapped.
In truth what he was tired of was seeing all of the other children with their parents but he wasn't going to tell Mana that. They all seemed to share something special that he had never known, or maybe he had and just didn't realize it.
Gazing at the child Mana was once again seized by a vision of the 14th and he suddenly felt the pressing need to share something with this child that no one aside from himself and the 14th had ever known. There was something that he needed to know and this was the quickest way to find out. Picking up a nearby stick Mana leaned forward and began carefully scribbling symbols into the dirt.
Confused about what exactly his foster father was doing Allen's gaze shifted down to the symbols that he was scratching in the dirt. The boy tilted his head to one side, trying to figure out what the symbols meant. Mana had been teaching him to read but these symbols didn't look anything like the letters that he had learned. He couldn't make out what they were and instead of going horizontally like the letters of the English language these seemed to form a circle.
Mana noticed that the child was eyeing the symbols that he had scratched into the earth with his makeshift pen and he paused a moment to see what Allen would do. Allen carefully studied the pattern and then, to Mana's utter surprise, he picked up a stray stick and, brushing a couple of strands of hair away from his eyes, began adding to the series of symbols.
"Allen," Mana said, a questioning tone in his voice.
Allen immediately tossed the stick aside and once again grasped his knees with his hands. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to mess it up it's just that I wanted to help. I've never made up a code before and it. . . it looked like fun."
"Code?" Mana repeated, his gaze shifting from Allen to the symbols that the boy had added. All of them were perfectly placed and continued the pattern flawlessly. For some strange reason he seemed to know the notes of the Score and yet at the same time he didn't realize exactly what it was that he was writing.
The clown's eyes widened as his gaze shifted from the Score to the child. Could the boy possibly be a Musician? Was that even possible? Mana knew, from the things that his brother had told him, that the Noah could be reborn but was this child really one of them?
"Mana. . ."
The child's voice served to bring Mana back to reality and he reached out and picked up the stick that Allen had tossed aside. "I would love it if you would help me with this code Allen. After all we may need to talk someday without other nosy people finding out about it."
Allen nodded as he accepted the stick, a broad smile spreading across his face. Leaning forward the child screwed up his face in concentration and once again began scratching the symbols that would complete the Score. Mana worked on one side while Allen worked on the other and soon the project was complete.
Allen gazed down at the finished project with pride in his eyes. "Now we have to decide what each symbol means Mana," the boy said in an excited voice as he gazed up at his guardian.
Mana played along, helping Allen come up with meanings for the notes of the score, however his mind was working rapidly. Why did this child know the Score and what could it possibly signify? Had the 14th somehow had contact with Allen and taught him how to be a Musician?
"Finished," Allen announced, pulling a piece of paper from his pocket and quickly copying the Score onto it. "We'll both have to memorize this so that we can use our code," the child said, gazing up at Mana with huge, excited eyes.
Mana nodded. "But we'll have to do it fast and destroy that paper. Can't have anyone else seeing our code."
"Right," Allen said.
What Mana really meant was that they couldn't have anyone realizing that either of them had a connection with the 14th. If word of this reached the Millennium Earl then their life would become infinitely harder and much more dangerous.
No, he had to prevent that from happening at all costs.
That night when Allen had fallen, exhausted, into bed Mana grabbed the piece of paper that contained the Score and left the room that he and Allen were renting for the night. He knew that the child would be out cold for several hours and he needed some time to think.
And fresh air to clear his head.
Dressed in a pair of trousers, a white button down shirt with a vest, and a black ribbon tied at his throat Mana left the inn where he and Allen were staying. Thinking about what had happened earlier that day Mana absently made his way back to the meadow where he and Allen had written the Score in the dirt. He had erased it before they left the spot, of course, using his foot to push the loose dirt over the symbols and now there was no trace of what had been there only a few hours before.
He couldn't risk anyone seeing it for fear of what would happen if they were in league with the Millennium Earl.
Sitting down under the very same tree where he and Allen had been earlier Mana pulled the piece of paper from his pocket and studied it. The Score was somewhat messy, owing to the fact that Allen hadn't quite perfected his handwriting skills, but it was none the less flawless.
This was the very same song that he knew his brother had used to move Noah's Ark.
"How did he. . ."
Mana's thoughts were suddenly interrupted when something collided with the side of his head. Gazing down the clown saw something round and golden lying on the ground beside him. Recognizing the golem instantly Mana gazed around and watched as a tall, red-haired man stepped from behind a particularly large tree. The man was dressed in a black coat that was trimmed in gold and had a black hat perched on top of his head.
"Mana Walker," the newcomer said.
"General Cross Marian," Mana said, recognizing the Exorcist that his brother had been acquainted with. "What are you doing here?"
Having regained it's bearings the golem flew from the ground beside Mana and came to rest on the top of General Cross' hat. Ignoring the question posed to him Cross said, "I see that you've found someone who knows the Score."
Mana's eyes widened as he realized that Cross had witnessed Allen and himself writing the Score out on the ground. "How long have you been spying on me?"
"I wasn't spying," Cross said, pulling a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and grabbing one. The Exorcist lit the end of the cigarette, placed it in his mouth, and took a long drag. "Timcanpy and I just happened to be passing through and we just happened to see that child helping you write out the Score."
"So what do you know about this?" Mana demanded, getting to his feet and walking over to Cross.
Cross shrugged. "I really have no idea. It's weird."
Mana got the sense that Cross knew more than he was saying however in the long run it didn't really matter. Things were the way that they were and there was no way to change them. "I need to ask a favor of you," he said quietly.
Cross gazed at the man, remembering a similar scene between himself and the 14th. "What?"
"If anything ever happens to me," Mana said, his gaze locked on the piece of paper that he held clenched tightly in his hands. "Promise me that you'll look after Allen."
Cross paused, as though debating the idea, and then he nodded. "I promise."
"Thank you," Mana said, holding out the piece of paper. "Now I think that we should let Tim record this. Just in case."
Cross nodded. He wasn't willing to share the information with Mana however he knew what was going on with the child. Before his death the 14th had told him that he would return to Mana and that Cross was to look after him until then.
The 14th must have implanted his memories into this child that Mana had taken in. The boy had an unfortunate fate however there was nothing that could be done. If this was what had really happened then the child's personality would be eroded away over time and would be replaced by the 14th.
A/N - The birth of the second Musician! This one-shot was requested by, and is dedicated to, Kame-the-turtle. Hope you all enjoyed, please leave a review and tell me what you thought. And once again if you have any suggestions or requests feel free to send me a PM. Thanks for reading. Hitsu-taichou