Disclaimer - I do not own D Gray Man

Shadow of Death

All was quiet at the headquarters of the Black Order and Allen Walker found himself slowly making his way down the corridor that led to his room. He was alone, having ditched his guard dog Link, and the young boy was lost in thought. Thoughts of the past, of the future, and unfortunately of the present. The here and now was what was causing him the most pain and this was a fact that was hard for Allen to admit, even to himself.

"Though I walk though the shadow of death, I will fear no evil..."

The young Exorcist vaguely recalled hearing the words of this prayer during the short funeral service that had been held for Mana after the accident that had claimed the life of his foster father. His memory of that service was somewhat blurry but the words seemed to be familiar to him. He hadn't understood them at the time and he wasn't certain why they had came to mind now.

Until he glanced over at the window that he was walking by and saw HIM.

The shadowy figure who represented the 14th; the Noah who had sealed his memories inside his mind. The Noah who was even now threatening to take away his very life. It was true that he wouldn't die but it was also true that he would no longer be the person that he was now. Allen Walker would disappear forever, replaced by the traitor Noah known as the Musician.

He would turn into the 14th.

It was in this moment that Allen began thinking of the 14th as his own shadow of death. To him the shadowy figure represented everything in this world that he had to fight against. The white haired Exorcist was not willing to give in to the will of the 14th; this was partially due to the fact that General Cross had told him that he would kill someone that he loved when he became the 14th but it was also partially due to the fact that he had made a promise to Mana.

He had mixed feeling about his foster father after learning that Mana and the 14th were brothers but that didn't make him any less determined to keep the promise that he had made. The man had helped him out when he had no one else and Allen was grateful, no matter what Mana's motives had been. He chose to see the good in Mana's actions and refused to acknowledge anything else.

And he didn't make promises that he didn't intend to keep.

The presence of the 14th was growing increasingly stronger with each day that passed and Allen couldn't deny this fact; not to himself although he told the others that he had the situation under control. He had to protect them from the knowledge that he was scared of the 14th; scared of losing himself to the Noah. So far he had been able to keep the Noah at bay but there were times when he had slipped and the 14th had emerged, if only momentarily.

This fact terrified Allen.

The thought that he could lose control like that scared him more than anything else. And if it had happened once then it was highly possible, even probable, that it would happen again. And who knew what could happen the next time. Should one of his friends happen to be in the way then...

Allen couldn't even bear to finish that thought.

The young man was still determined to fight against the Noah who wanted to claim his body as his own but he had began to take precautions, just in case he lost the battle with his own personal demon. Allen had begun to distance himself from all of the people that he cared most about, afraid that something could happen to them during those brief instances when the 14th gained control.

The shadow of death...

Cross had warned him and the young man didn't want to take any chances with the lives of the people that he had come to cherish. They had all accepted him when he had joined the Black Order and had come to represent the family that he had always longed for. His family.

For them he would risk anything.

And he would fight with everything that he had against the shadowy figure that always seemed to be looming over his shoulder. The man with the hollow eyes and the wide grin who was threatening his very sanity. The enemy who was threatening not his life but his soul its self. Though I walk through the shadow of death, I will fear no evil... Once again those words seemed to echo through his mind, as though they were willing him to be strong.

Allen wanted to walk his path without fear but he wasn't entirely sure that it was possible at this point. He didn't fear death exactly but he did fear that he would lose himself to the shadow and hurt someone that he held dear. That was his greatest fear although he only allowed himself to admit this fact in a whisper when no one else was around. This was something that he could admit to himself and to no one else. And only in the quietest of whispers.

As though saying it out loud would somehow make it more real.

"If you give in, then it will all go away..."

Allen shook his head to rid himself of the voice that he refused to acknowledge. Acknowledging it would make it more real and he wasn't prepared to deal with it just now. It was bad enough that he saw the shadowy figure everywhere that he went, he didn't want to be hearing voices to go along with it.

"I will not lose myself to you," Allen growled, clenching his hands into fists.

Saying this out loud seemed to solidify it in the young man's mind and a determined expression appeared in his stormy gray eyes. His resolve had returned full force and he lifted his head up a little higher as he walked down the corridor toward his room.

He would continue to fight against everything that stood between him and keeping the promise that he had made, to keep moving forward. Allen renewed his vow to release the Akuma from their torture at the same time vowing to fight both the Millennium Earl and the 14th Noah with everything that he had. He would not lose to either of them.

One loss would cost him his life and the other would cost him his soul.

As far as Allen was concerned one was just as bad as the other and he couldn't allow either to happen. He would continue to fight against his enemies, both without and within. And no matter what it took he would win against them all.

Allen was determined not to lose.

The young man had reached his room by this point and he reached out and pulled the door open. Stepping inside Allen's gaze shifted immediately to the single window and of course he saw the shadowy figure of the 14th grinning back at him with his eternal smile.

"I will not lose to you," he said as he closed the door behind himself, his voice filled with new determination. Walking over to his bed Allen sat down and gazed at the painting that was hanging on the wall. The clown on the canvas had always been a source of comfort for him and Allen found himself reaching out to it with his red skinned left hand.

Closing his eyes the white haired Exorcist whispered, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."

A/N - and that, as they say, is that. No excuse for this one but I hope that you enjoyed. Please leave a review and tell me what you thought.