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Chapter Five - The Dream's End

The Akuma were looming overhead, casting shadows about the circus as they prepared to attack. Allen once again attempted to activate his Innocence, desperate to do something about this situation.

But once again, nothing happened.

Allen couldn't believe that his Innocence wouldn't work but as his frantic brain gave thought to this occurrence the answer came to him. He hadn't lost Mana therefore he had never learned to use his Innocence. And even though part of him knew that this was all just a dream the boy found that he couldn't use this knowledge to his advantage.

Despite the fact that he knew how to use his Innocence he was still unable to invoke it in this situation. In this world of this dream turned nightmare he was unable to use his Innocence and it appeared as though nothing would change this fact.

And as the Akuma approached the spot where he and Mana were standing Allen opened his mouth in a silent scream.

It wasn't supposed to be this way.


The brown haired boy turned to face his foster father and he saw that Mana had an oddly serene expression on his face. There was a small smile on the clown's face that seemed grossly inappropriate due to the situation and Allen found himself staring despite the looming group of Akuma.

"It's alright Allen. You can go back."

"What are you talking about?" Allen demanded, keeping one eye on the Akuma even as he stared at Mana.

"Wake up!"

It was as though these words triggered something in the youth's mind and Allen felt his entire body jump. It was as though some force was fighting to keep him in the world of dreams even though he was trying his best to awaken. He finally managed to break free of the clutches of the dream and Allen sat up in bed, screaming as he fought to return to reality. Sweat was pouring from the young man's face and he had to fight to catch his breath.

"It was a dream," Allen murmured as he wiped at the locks of sweat dampened hair that hung in his face. "I knew it was a dream but it seemed so real."

As his breathing grew more regular Allen's thoughts returned to the dream turned nightmare from which he had just awakened. It had started out so pleasant but the way that it had ended still brought a sinking feeling to the pit of Allen's stomach.

"Mana…" the young man choked out, gripping his head with his hands.

"Keep moving forward…"

It was as though these words echoed in Allen's mind as he thought about his foster father. He would do anything to be with Mana again but knew that, had things turned out differently, he wouldn't be the person that he was today.

He owed everything to Mana and in this moment Allen renewed his vow to keep moving forward on the path that he had chosen. Despite the threat of the Fourteenth, despite everything bad that had happened, he would continue to do everything in his power to save the tortured souls that had been taken by the Millennium Earl.

"Don't worry Mana," Allen whispered, gazing up at the painting that hung on the wall beside his bed. "I'll keep my promise to you. I'll always move forward, until the day I die."

The young man continued to gaze at the painting for a few minutes, gaining strength from the memories of his father. Although the ending of the dream had been horrific Allen was none the less grateful for it.

Because, for a brief time, he had been given the chance to see what life would have been like had he not lost Mana to that tragic set of circumstances.

And that meant the world to him.

A/N - last chapter of this little what if story. Hope that you enjoyed the ride. Thanks for reading.