Author's Note: Well, a brand new story from me. This is also my second AU (the first being Maid For You). I've had this story in my head for a long time, and I wanted it to be perfect. Be advised that this story is more Gothic than my others in the sense that it's more angst and not as cheery. There is also no definite pairing in this story as of now, only light AllenxLenalee. So hopefully this fic goes over well and everyone enjoys the inner workings of my mind once more. Also, this story was based slightly off of a roleplaying group I manage.
Disclaimer: Once more, I don't own, and never will own, -Man. Got it memorized?
Chapter 1- Masquerade
The moon shone overhead partly covered by the thick clouds strewn across the dark sky. The stars faded and sparkled with the shifting clouds as the city below was activate even in the dead of night. That was the city of Yreka, alive even in the midst of darkness. Lights glowed from a tall building as several cars filled the street in front of it. People exited their cars and walked into the building while valets took their cars into the parking lot behind the building.
Inside, the people adorned themselves with eye masks and danced while food was spread out along the first floor's walls. Music played by the group of musicians in the corner floated along the room as the people enjoyed it. Among the masked people, only one didn't wear a mask. He was smiling happily with a wine glass in his hand while his glasses on his face reflected some light from the lights hanging from the ceiling.
"Thank you all for coming to this little birthday party!" the man called out modestly to the people who looked at him happily and bowed politely to him. The dancing resumed as a new person entered the room, but was ignored by the general dancers in the room. The person adjusted his mask as he surveyed the room silently. He pushed his hoary hair back before someone tapped his shoulder. He turned his head to see an unmasked lady holding her hand out towards him.
"Care for one?" she asked and he nodded with a soft smile before the two joined the other dancers. The two danced slowly while smiling at each other. The silver haired person looked at the lady's following emerald dress that complemented her long dark jade hair that was pinned up so it didn't flow behind her. The dance ended and the two bowed to each other before letting go of each other's hands and they left the floor.
The other room was quieter as there were less people and the music was softer. The silver haired person looked around and the empty room and tapped his eye mask. The eye mask slipped off his face and he glanced around with his gray eyes before spotting a door across the room. He strolled over to the door and grasped the handle firmly. The handle won't budge and he smirked lightly before removing his hand and taking out a set of black gloves and sliding them onto his hands.
"That's better." The young man about 15 years old said with a slight chuckle. He placed his hand onto the door and his hand suddenly slipped through the door like it wasn't even there. The boy took one last survey of the still empty room and stepped straight through the door. He briskly headed up the stairs and passed through another door at the top of it. The young man looked around the musty attic room until he spotted a soft light emitting from across it. He walked over and smiled when he saw a young man slightly older than him with red hair grin up at him from where he crouched.
"You're late, Allen." Said the young man while the silver haired young man named Allen nodded shortly as he put his gloved hands into his pockets.
"I was held up, Lavi." Allen said calmly while referring to the dance he shared moments ago. The young man Lavi didn't seem to care as he drew a slightly curved blade from its sheath on his belt. He flicked the tip underneath a rather large padlock and after one clean motion, the padlock landed softly onto a previously prepared cushion. Lavi grinned happily as he popped the lid of the trunk the padlock was on and the two stared at the jewelry that brimmed the trunk.
Back down in the party, a burly man wearing a pair of sunglasses and an earpiece walked over the man wearing glasses and whispered something into his ear. The man wearing glasses frowned and looked towards the other man.
"Are you sure about this?" he asked and the man nodded.
"I am, Sir Lee." The man responded and Lee sighed quietly before looking back at the crowd. He spotted the unmasked girl and sadly frowned again.
"Cancel the party. Get the Adepts."
The trunk was now empty as Lavi and Allen tied two large sacks closed and nodded to each other. Lavi twirled his blade before sheathing it and Allen flexed his gloved fingers of his left hand.
"I guess it's time for us to leave." Lavi said with a grin just before his blade started to rattle in its sheath. Lavi and Allen looked at the knife and then to each other.
"Well, they found us out. Let's jet." Lavi said and Allen nodded in agreement before placing his hand against the wall. The wall shimmered softly for a split second, and the two disappeared through it. The wall rippled like water before settling itself and the room returned to its usual state except for the opened trunk.
The people in ballroom were all talking amongst themselves as Lee scanned the room. The frown on his face was still sad as the unmasked girl stood next to him with an equally sad frown. A person with a white hood over his head walked over to Lee.
"There's no sign of them. They might have left already." The hooded person said with a slight icy tone and Lee nodded before the person huffed quietly before turning and walking away. Lee turned to the girl and smiled softly.
"I'm sorry this had to happen on your birthday, Lenalee." Lee said and the girl he called Lenalee nodded slowly without a word. Lee looked back at the people in the ballroom and silently pushed his glasses up. "Those dogs of the Masquerade will pay for this."
The door opened and Lavi and Allen slipped into the dark interior before Allen flicked the nearby light switches and the messy rooms all came to life in the light. Lavi pushed some newspapers off a chair and sat down before plopping the sack down onto a barely visible table. Allen placed his sack next to Lavi's and the two opened them to shuffle through their goods. Necklaces, bracelets, rings, and the sort were placed on the table as the two emptied their sacks.
"Well, we sure hit a good jackpot." Lavi said while running his hand over the jewelry before picking up a small discus. "What's this?" Lavi wondered out loud as he turned the discus and examined it. Allen looked over at it and Lavi ran a finger along the edge.
"What's up, Lavi?"
"There's writing." Lavi said shortly before reading it off to Allen. "Sight be the key, three bells ring."
Allen raised an eyebrow as Lavi handed it to him and he looked at it. Lavi shifted through the rest of the goods while making a small pile away from the bulk. Allen raised the discus to his eye and nearly fell off his chair as he saw a cat sit on a fence. He lowered the discus and blinked, as all he saw was the wall.
"What's wrong?" Lavi asked after seeing Allen's reaction to something. Allen handed Lavi the discus and the redhead lifted it to his eye before grinning from ear to ear. "I do believe we've found a Fake Pure." Lavi lowered the discus and Allen looked at him puzzled.
"Fake Pure is imperfect Pure that can be a limited amount of times." Lavi stated rather calmly and Allen stared back like a deer in the headlights. Lavi sighed quietly and removed his sheathed blade from his belt. He placed the blade onto the table and pointed at it.
"I suppose you'd really have to start at the basics. First off, Pure is the natural good emotions of this world. As long as there is good, there is Pure. However, Pure is rare and can take the form of anything its user desires. In fact, Pure is so rare that only the Masquerade and Creed have it."
"Creed?" Allen wondered and Lavi paused before nodding for some reason.
"That's right, you haven't been in this city long. Creed is the "justice" of this world. Their main base is actually located here in Yreka. Creed and the Masquerade are like two sides of the same coin. Except one side controls the darker side of civilization and the other is the figurehead for peace. Creed was the first place Pure appeared, but the Masquerade soon learned and took some. Now both are vying for each other's supply and any that haven't been found yet. Now back on the subject of Fake Pure. When Creed found out about the rareness of Pure, they used actual Pure to try and recreate it. Instead, they created Fake Pure. Then there was a little accident, and the Fake Pure was scattered everywhere."
Lavi paused for air and Allen nodded along with what Lavi had said while staring at the discus.
"So this is a Fake Pure?" he asked and Lavi smiled happily.
"Sure is. I'm guessing it has to do with sight as I saw things outside with it on my eye." Lavi stated and Allen wondered for a second if the cat he saw had moved. "If it's in this shape, a monocle would be a good cover for it."
Lavi picked the discus up and grinned at it. Allen chuckled quietly as he watched Lavi stare at the Fake Pure. Lavi would always find something interesting in every theft and go into huge lectures about it. Allen decided when he first met Lavi last year, to just let Lavi talk and nod whenever he looks at you.
"What should we call this?" Lavi asked and Allen nodded before quickly shrugging before Lavi noticed his nod. Thankfully, he didn't. Lavi was too busy looking at the discus to look at Allen. "Well, since the name of all Pures end in –er, we should think of something that doesn't."
Allen rested his head on his palm while staring at the ceiling. Lavi scratched his cheek while turning the discus in his hand.
"How about X-Eye? Kinda like X-ray plus sight, or the eye." Lavi said and Allen nodded, as he had no better ideas. Lavi twirled the discus around his finger. "I call dibs."
Allen sighed as Lavi laughed happily. Allen started to put the goods back into the sacks and he glanced towards the small pile Lavi made. Lavi noticed Allen's stare and smirked.
"Leave those there. They're for the Finder that comes for them." he said and Allen looked at Lavi in confusion. Lavi snapped his fingers and then chuckled. "Of course. You never heard of them. Finders gather 10 percent of thefts for the Masquerade. So we as thieves only get 90 percent, but that's still generous of them."
Allen nodded in understanding and bagged the rest of the goods. The sack sagged slightly and Allen saw a ring fall out of the opening and onto the table. Lavi and Allen both looked at the ring before Allen picked it up. "Nice gem." He said and Lavi nodded slowly. Looks pretty old, Lavi thought to himself and Allen paused as he had just heard Lavi's thought. Allen looked at Lavi in surprise and then at the ring. Lavi raised an eyebrow while staring at Allen.
"What's wrong now?" he asked and Allen turned the ring over and saw some writing along the bottom of the ring.
"Words are the gate to enlightenment." Allen read off the ring and Lavi gapped at the ring.
"Don't tell me we snagged two Fake Pures?" he asked in amazement and Allen grinned before curling his fingers around the ring.
Lee stood outside the building as several people cloaked in white with hoods over their heads stood ahead of him. Lee scowled silently as Lenalee quietly approached from behind.
"Tonight, thieves raided our treasure and made off with various jewelry. Among the jewelry were two Fake Pures that were being transported to Headquarters in the morning. I believe that this was done by Masquerade. You all, Creed's great Adepts, shall find and bring the thieves to me. By any means necessary."
Lee observed the Adepts, as they didn't respond until one stepped forward and removed his hood, letting his ponytail hang down his back.
"Any means?" he asked with a grin and Lee nodded calmly.
"You heard right, General Kanda. As long as they live, I don't care how many limbs they have left. No one steals during my Lenalee's birthday party." Lee said and Kanda chuckled before turning and walking away while two other Adepts bowed to Lee and followed Kanda. The other Adepts left while Lee sighed quietly.
A car pulled up a few minutes later and Lenalee stepped past Lee and towards the car. She looked back at Lee and smiled softly.
"It's okay, Brother. It was a fun night while it lasted. Now I should get some rest." She said and Lee smiled to her.
"Are you sure you want to drive all the way out of the city? You can stay here, you know." He said rather sadly and Lenalee shook her head slowly with a smile.
"Thank you, but no. I find it much more peaceful and safe in my own place in the countryside. Besides, you don't need me around to worry about. You, after all, have work in the morning." Lenalee said and Lee sobbed quietly as she smiled. "Good night." Lenalee added with a small wave and Lee waved after her as she got into the car and it drove off.
Allen yawned as he removed his black gloves and they instantly turned white. He smiled to the gloves and laid down on the cleared off couch as Lavi was lying on a clean spot of the floor.
"I never should have made a deal with you to play cards for the couch. I never win." Lavi said dejectedly and Allen chuckled. Back when they first met, Lavi thought it was a good idea to play cards each night to see who got the couch thanks to the absence of an actual bed. Allen has yet to lose.
"Well, maybe you'll get lucky one day, Lavi." Allen said and Lavi scoffed quietly. As if, Lavi thought and closed his eyes slowly.
"Hey, Allen? You awake?"
"Why would I be sleeping?"
"Good point. Anyway, who do you think hosted that party we raided tonight?" Lavi asked and Allen quietly went through what he had seen at the party.
"Well, there was a cute girl who was the only one not wearing a mask. Maybe it was for her?" Allen wondered and Lavi sighed sadly audibly.
"A cute girl? Dang, I should have gone instead of you." He said and Allen chuckled coolly.
"She was a good dancer too. Too bad…" Allen said before closing his eyes and falling asleep. Lavi stayed awake as he unsheathed his blade and stared at it silently.
"Shred all fears with thy blade." Lavi quietly read off the knife's blade and then looked at the word etched into the hilt. Ripper. Lavi looked over to Allen's gloves that lay on the top of couch. Even if he couldn't see them clearly, Lavi didn't mind, as he was able to remember anything he saw even once.
"Avoid all sadness in thy grip. But why does the Pure exist in the first place?" Lavi wondered quietly after reading the words written along the gloves' wrist part and its name. Passer. Lavi took a long piece of paper with writing on it and placed it on his knife blade as well as Allen's gloves. "There. All sealed in case of Adepts…"
Kanda walked down the street while the two hooded Adepts followed close by. Kanda looked around the houses and stopped at a few of them. The two hooded Adepts stopped when Kanda stopped and they looked at him.
"What's wrong, sir?"
"… Nothing." Kanda replied after a few moments and continued walking down the street. The Adepts looked at each and hurriedly ran after Kanda. Kanda glanced back at the two and huffed quietly. "Who are you two anyway?"
The two Adepts stopped and one removed their hood with a smile. Kanda stared at the boy while the other removed her hood with a small frown.
"We were placed into your squad, sir. The name's Nickolas Kagen. That's Noel Sarika, sir." Nickolas said and motioned to the girl that just nodded back. Kanda nodded curtly and turned back to the street.
"Then hurry it up."
The night was calm and quiet as the car rolled up in front of a large mansion that sat on a hill over looking basically nothing but grass. Miles away, the lights of the city were visible along with the tall buildings. Lenalee stepped out of the car and didn't look towards the city as she walked up to the front door and it opened for her. She silently stepped inside and the door closed behind her. A pair of hands removed her coat as she stepped out in the lounge. She kept her hair up as she sat down and crossed her legs. The one that took her coat off hung it up on its hook and walked into the room.
"Would milady like some tea? After all, milady must be angry at the thieves that raided your birthday party." The man said and Lenalee nodded curtly before a cup was placed on the table in front of her. The man smirked slightly while Lenalee sipped the tea quietly. "Would milady like something to eat before bed?"
"No, I'm fine. In fact, we shall do some fishing tomorrow."
"It is beautiful weather for fishing. The fish really bite in the Spring." The man said and Lenalee smiled rather coldly with another sip of tea. The man took the cup from her when she finished and she sighed quietly with her cold smile still playing on her lips. The moonlight bathed the lounge in its eerie light when the man returned.
"Make arrangements for the fishing, Nightingale." Lenalee said coolly and the man bowed slightly making his short black hair shift when he straightened up. He slid his gloved hands into his pockets with a smile. Nightingale's ruby red eyes glistened in the darkness while his smile widened slightly.
Well, there's the beginning. If you're sharp, you'd notice that I changed the writing format slightly. I just wanted to experiment a little with it. If people complain, I'll switch back to my normal way. Anyway, kindly leave a review so that I can see if people like this and want me to continue.