Disclaimer - I do not own D Gray Man

Chapter Fourteen - Too Late

"Come on Allen," Mana said, gazing over at the child who was sitting cross legged on the bed. "We're leaving again."

"Alright," Allen said, jumping up and rushing to gather up his meager belongings. He was used to the routine of packing up and leaving in a hurry and without notice so this was normal to him. Within five minutes he had his little shoulder bag packed and was gazing at Mana expectantly.

The clown smiled at the child as he gathered up his own belongings. Today was an important day and yet Allen would never know exactly how important. The child knew nothing of what had been done to him and Mana had every intention of keeping it that way.

"Hey," the child said as they made their way to the door. The little boy pointed back to the nightstand, where a very large book was resting. "You're forgetting your book Mana."

"It's okay," Mana said, remembering his promise to Cross to leave it in the room. He wasn't even certain whether the red haired Exorcist would come for it but that didn't make him any less determined to keep his word. After all, he was better than that man. "I no longer need it."

"Alright," Allen said with a shrug. He thought that it was odd that Mana was leaving a book behind, since the few that he owned were all precious to him, but he knew enough not to question. Mana had a strange look in his eyes and the little boy got the feeling that his foster father wouldn't explain to him even if he were to ask. And he didn't want to cause a problem so he kept his mouth shut.

"Today's going to be a good day Allen," Mana called out as he and the child left the inn and began making their way down the street. He was in a good mood and this soon spread to the child who was tagging along behind him. A smile spread across Allen's face.

Mana had finally memorized the spell that was required to reverse the one that his brother had cast upon Allen. It had literally taken him weeks to work through the spell and to memorize the words and everything that went along with it. After all, since he had a child with a ravenous appetite to support he couldn't devote as much time to it as he would have liked.

Much of his time had to be spent performing on the streets for money.

He had finally managed to do it however and now he and the child were making their way across town. They needed to get away from civilization, so that no one would interrupt, and Mana was leading the way to the edge of town. There was a forest on the north end of town and this was where Mana was going to cast the spell that would save Allen from the memories of the Fourteenth.

Mana still wasn't certain when exactly the boy had began to mean so much to him; all he knew was that he would give his life for Allen if it became necessary. The child was his world now and he would do anything for him, even break the promise that he had made to his brother.

"I'm sorry Nicholas..."

Mana was brought out of his thoughts by a small hand tugging on the hem of his top coat. Turning around he gazed at Allen over his shoulder, seeing the terror that filled the boy's gray eyes. It was in this moment that he heard the horses and the carriage that was thundering toward them.

Without a thought for his own safety Mana shoved Allen back so that the boy would be out of the path of the runaway carriage. He heard the sound of the child's small body hitting the ground but he didn't have time to dwell upon it. Mana made a move to jump out of the way of impending disaster but he found that he wasn't fast enough.

The carriage struck the man, sending him rolling across the ground.

Allen's gray eyes widened even further as he watched his foster father get struck by the carriage, which continued foward until it struck a nearby building. The horses broke free at this point and ran off, still wearing their harnesses.

"Mana!"

The piercing screams of the child filled the air and Mana forced his eyes open and gazed at the little boy through the veil of pain that seemed to surround him. He could tell, by the fact that he was beginning to grow cold and his vision was blurring, that death was fast approaching. Mana lamented the fact that he hadn't been able to reverse the spell that his brother had placed upon Allen but there was nothing that could be done at this point.

If only he'd made the decision sooner or else learned the spell faster.

Now it was too late.

"Get up Mana..."

"Allen..." Pulling himself forward, Mana reached out a shaky hand and grasped his son's thin arm. "Always keep walking... never stop... until the day you die."

After imparting these important words to Allen, his son, Mana allowed himself to succomb to the darkness. It was his dearest hope that his child would take them to heart, just as he had, and that the little boy would keep moving forward.

"I'm sorry," he thought as the darkness wrapped around him. "Nicholas... Allen... I failed you both."

A/N - And that's the end. This chapter was really short but that's okay. Thanks for accompanying me on this journey. Please, if it's not too much trouble, leave a final review as you leave.