Disclaimer - I do not own D Gray Man. All characters are the property of Katsura Hoshino-sensei.
A/N - This story is a prequel for 'Child of the Musician' and focuses on the relationship between the 14th and Lyssa. Yes, it is 14th/OC, I warn you now.
Chapter One - The Meeting
The sun was beginning to sink below the horizon as Nicholas Walker, also know as the Musician and 14th Noah, left the mansion of the Millennium Earl. The young man had an important meeting to attend; a meeting which must be kept secret from all other members of his family.
Because he would be killed should they ever find out that he was actually meeting with an Exorcist. With no plans to kill said Exorcist.
Yes, the great Musician, controller of Noah's Ark, was going out to meet with an Exorcist. He needed information on the other side and had found that General Cross Marian was a veritable fountain of knowledge. It also helped that the man had absolutely no reservations with speaking to one of the members of the Clan of Noah.
Cross was actually the only member of the Black Order who even knew of the existence of the extra member of a clan that should have had only thirteen. This fact had concerned Nicholas in the beginning but now he was convinced that Cross discovering his existence had been a blessing in disguise. For now he could manipulate the Exorcist for his own purpose.
Stepping outside Nicholas placed his top hat on his mahogany hair and, the moment he did, the young man felt a familiar weight settle on top.
"Hey Tim," the Noah said, a ghost of a smile appearing on his face. He hadn't seen the little golem since early morning and had been beginning to wonder where he had gone off to. "Where have you been?"
In response to the question Timcanpy flew into the air and opened his mouth wide. A forest was projected from the golem's mouth and Nicholas saw a familiar form walking along a path.
It was General Cross Marian.
"I see," the young man said as Timcanpy closed his mouth and resumed his perch on the Noah's top hat. "So you were keeping an eye on Marian. Good job."
A smirk appeared on the young man's handsome face as he departed the mansion to make his way to the secluded spot where he and the Exorcist were to meet. It always amused him that he had the most to lose from these meetings and yet the Exorcist was the cautious one.
The youth traveled away from the mansion that he had called home for a little over a year. Many things had changed since he had joined the family known as the Clan of Noah.
At first Nicholas had been reluctant to follow along with the others but in the end the memories of Noah had won out, causing him to turn into someone completely different.
And someone he wasn't entirely certain that he liked. But that was a completely unrelated matter.
For now he had to focus on this meeting with the Exorcist; he needed to gather information without drawing attention to himself.
With these thoughts running rampant in his mind Nicholas made his way toward the spot where he and the general would meet. This wasn't the first of these such meetings and the Noah didn't even really have to think about where he was going.
He could allow his mind to wander elsewhere.
"I can't believe that the man wants to meet out in the middle of nowhere like this," Nicholas muttered to himself as he walked across an empty meadow, followed along closely by Timcanpy. This was the last place that he would have chosen but for some reason the Exorcist preferred to meet out in locations like this.
It seemed he held more fear of their so called alliance being discovered than Nicholas himself. Which was weird since the Musician had the most to lose if anyone discovered them together.
"Deal with it Noah," a harsh voice called out.
Seemingly startled by the new arrival Timcanpy quickly ducked inside Nicholas' top coat.
It came as no surprise to the Musician that the Exorcist was following along behind him but he didn't make a big deal about the fact that he was being followed. Instead he merely turned around to face the one Exorcist on the planet who knew about his existence.
And it was in this instant that he learned that the Exorcist wasn't alone. Standing on either side of the red haired man were two women. One was tall with long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes while the other was younger and…
Nicholas' gray eyes widened as his gaze fell upon this young woman. With long, flowing chestnut hair and gentle brown eyes she was the most beautiful woman that the Musician had ever lain eyes on.
But who exactly were these women?
This meeting was supposed to be a secret; it had been their agreement to keep everyone else out of it.
So what had changed?
Nicholas felt a momentary flash of anger; the Exorcist was messing with his plans and the young Noah did not like that fact. He managed to rein in his emotions before they became obvious and when he spoke his voice was calm. His eyes were the only thing that hinted at his irritation.
And this was something that he couldn't control. According to Mana he had always displayed ninety percent of his emotions through his eyes.
"What's the big idea Marian? You promised that you would always meet me alone." The Musician glared at the Exorcist, irritated that he hadn't expected this. There was a hard look in his gray eyes as he gazed at the Exorcist whom he had foolishly thought that he could trust. "I should have known that I couldn't trust you."
"Calm down brat," the red haired man named Cross snapped, pulling a cigarette from the inside pocket of his coat and casually lighting the end. He really hated the fact that the brat used that name but decided to let it go for now. There were more important things to discuss at the moment. His gaze was focused on the young Noah, the extra member of the clan that he knew to be siding with the Millennium Earl. "Both of these beautiful ladies can be trusted. Maria is my wife," he gestured toward the blond woman before continuing. "And Lyssa is my apprentice." With this second introduction Cross motioned toward the younger woman who was standing on his other side.
"W… wife?" Nicholas sputtered, his eyes widening at this news. He was completely shocked by this little revelation from Cross and made absolutely no attempt to hide this fact. There were just some reactions that it was impossible to hide, even for one so accomplished at being emotionless. "Who in their right mind would actually want to marry you? Wait a minute… did you force her into it Marian?"
The blond woman named Maria chuckled softly, seemingly amused by the Musician's words, and Nicholas noted that her laughter had a musical quality to it. "He couldn't force me into anything, not even if his life depended upon it. He's nowhere near as tough as he acts." This said, Maria turned and lightly punched Cross in the arm. "You know, if you would just allow people to see the real you then you wouldn't have this problem. You're so dense."
"Shut up," Cross said but his voice wasn't anywhere near as harsh as it would have been had he been talking to anyone else.
"Oh I don't believe this," Nicholas muttered, still unable to believe the situation that he now found himself in. This was supposed to be a meeting to discuss plans to cease the war between the Exorcists and the Clan of Noah but it was turning out to be anything but. "I should have known that this wouldn't work out."
"The only reason it isn't working out is because you're too hung up on the fact that I happen to be married," Cross said, his tone irritated.
"Well excuse me for being shocked," Nicholas said, shaking his head. "But I was under the impression that you weren't exactly human and I'm still reeling from the knowledge that you're actually more normal than you let on."
"I'm nowhere near normal," Cross said, glaring at the younger man. Honestly he'd thought the Noah to be more mature than this. "There, now I've admitted to this fact so you can stop having a meltdown and we can get on with business."
Nicholas sighed as he gazed at this group of Exorcists, his eyes lingering longer on the young woman with the chestnut hair. Nicholas prided himself on his ability to predict things but he honestly hadn't expected this little set back to his plan. But, although it was an annoyance, he was fairly certain that even together these Exorcists were no threat to him.
He would proceed as though everything were normal. The advent of these two new Exorcists was an annoyance to say the least but shouldn't affect the over all plan.
"So do you have anything new to report Marian?" Nicholas asked, trying to keep his gray eyes from wandering to the young woman that Cross had introduced as Lyssa. There was something about this young woman that intrigued him but the Noah was at a loss as to what exactly it was.
Cross clenched his teeth together, annoyed at the brat's insistence on using that name. What he wouldn't give to knock that arrogant smirk off his face. Of course he couldn't do that since they were now an allied force against the Earl.
Or at least that was the story that the brat was telling.
"The Black Order is focusing most of it's efforts on finding new Accommodators. They want to fortify their army before they make any attempts to attack the Earl directly. And of course most of them have no idea of the existence of the Clan of Noah."
Nicholas nodded. He was aware of the fact that the higher ups of the Black Order were hiding the existence of his 'family' from their members. They didn't want the Exorcists to know just what long odds they faced.
Which was a good idea in his opinion. The Exorcist had no need to know exactly what they would eventually be up against.
"So what does the fat ass have up his sleeve?" Cross asked, breaking into Nicholas' thoughts and bringing him back to the present.
"Lord Millennium has a similar plan," Nicholas replied, having grown accustomed to the derogatory comments directed toward the head of his family. "He has stepped up production of Akuma to combat the growing number of Exorcists."
"And what of the Clan of Noah?"
"We are still under orders to remain below the Black Order's radar," Nicholas replied, his voice calm as he thought about the orders that he and his 'siblings' had been given. They were not to confront the Exorcists directly but were instead to remain in the shadows.
"So we have time to get things in order before the full blown war begins," Cross said, a thoughtful expression in the one red eye that was visible.
"So it would seem," Nicholas said, removing his top hat and running a hand through his mahogany hair.
He was prone to this nervous gesture and, although it annoyed him, there was nothing that he could do about it. Try as he might he simply couldn't stop.
Nicholas placed the top hat back on top of his head and glanced surreptitiously toward Lyssa once again; and, much to his horror, he found that she was looking at him.
The Noah quickly averted his gaze and acted as though he hadn't just been staring at the Exorcist.
"What the hell is wrong with me?" he thought to himself as he turned his attention back to Cross. There was no explanation that he could find for why he was so intrigued by the young Exorcist.
It made no sense.
"Well," Cross said, a slight note of irritation evident in his voice as he spoke. "It seems that neither side is ready to make a definite move so we'll continue to monitor the situation from our respective 'sides'."
Nicholas nodded, enjoying the hard tone that appeared in the Exorcist's voice as he spoke of 'sides'. The young man was well aware of the fact that Cross was only siding with the Order because he occasionally benefited from their information system.
Other than that he held no allegiance with them. They were merely there for his convenience and, should they cease to be useful, Nicholas knew that Cross would ditch them without so much as a second thought.
They were the means to an end and nothing more.
"Very well." Nicholas turned to the two women who were standing with Cross and bowed politely.
Then the Noah turned and walked away without so much as another word or a backwards glance toward the group.
Although he did have to fight the urge to get one final look at the young woman who was brave enough to be Cross' apprentice.
"That must take guts," he thought to himself as he made his way across the meadow, unable to imagine being stuck with the red haired general for any great length of time. The ghost of a smile appeared once more on the young Noah's face, making his feel odd. He often held an arrogant smirk on his face but it was rare for an actual smile to appear there. But of course Nicholas couldn't dwell on the oddity of this situation. He needed to get back to the mansion before someone noticed his absence and grew suspicious.
After all, he wasn't exactly the most trusted member of the Clan of Noah. The others tended to look down upon him because he was merely the Fourteenth and that somehow made him inferior to them.
In their eyes at any rate.
However what his 'siblings' weren't aware of was the fact that Nicholas had never revealed his true powers to anyone; not even Lord Millennium knew exactly what he was capable of.
"So what do you think?" Cross said to the two women the moment that the Musician was out of earshot.
Maria held a thoughtful expression in her vivid blue eyes for a few moments, thinking about the youth who had just departed. "I'm not entirely sure. He's a difficult one to read but he seemed sincere enough."
"That's the problem with the brat," Cross said, his thoughts focused on the Noah of Praise. "It's impossible to tell what he's really thinking."
"What do you think Lyssa?" Maria turned her attention to the younger woman who was standing beside her.
Only to find that Lyssa was staring off into space, a strange look in her gentle brown eyes. The eyes that always reminded Maria of a deer.
The young woman snapped to attention as she heard the voice of her master snap out her name and she turned her eyes toward him. But as always there was just a hint of defiance in their depths.
"We were asking your opinion of the brat," Cross said, his gaze focused on the apprentice that he had been reluctant to take on. He hadn't wanted to train anyone, and had refused several students before the girl, however Lyssa's refusal to back down had caused him to make an exception.
She wasn't afraid of him which had earned her a measure of respect in his eyes. A small, almost microscopic measure.
But more than most people achieved.
"Not sure," Lyssa replied, her voice uncharacteristically gentle as she thought back to the young man. "He didn't really give me the impression that he was lying but then again I got the feeling that he wasn't being entirely truthful either." The girl paused, realizing how weird this statement sounded. "It's hard to explain."
"So are you having second thoughts about this alliance with the Noah?" Maria asked in her musical voice, turning tender eyes to Cross.
"I'll proceed," Cross said noncommittally. "Because whether he's using me or not I'm still getting some fairly good information out of the deal."
"And what are you thinking about Lyssa dear?" Maria asked, noticing that the girl's thoughts seemed to have wandered again.
Lyssa thought back to that brief moment when their eyes had met and the strange feeling that she had gotten when staring into those stormy gray depths. "He…" she was slightly embarrassed to lend voice to these words. "He almost seems troubled by something."
A/N - and there's the end of the first chapter of Nicholas and Lyssa's story. Hope that you enjoyed, please be kind and leave a review!