Disclaimer - I do not own D Gray Man nor any of it's characters.
Chapter One - Reunion of Brothers
"Intruders!" a voice shouted, gaining the attention of a small group of people who were camping in a vast field. A black flag was flying at the edge of the camp, decorated by a strange looking many pointed cross, and seemed to be keeping sentry over those who were sound asleep. Night had fallen, leaving only one person standing guard while the others sought to catch a few minutes of peaceful sleep. However, as the cries of the lone guard echoed through the night, several people jumped from their sleeping bags and scrambled for their various weapons.
The sounds of various insects had been serving as a lullaby to the temporary inhabitants of the field but now they had been silenced, replaced by a much harsher sound. And one that boded ill for the people who had been peacefully sleeping until mere seconds ago.
Two makeshift pallets had been positioned a slight distance away from the majority of the group and the occupant of one of the sleeping bags raised his head as he heard the cry of the sentry. Sitting up he swiped at a lock of flaming red hair as he watched the other members of their group scrambled up, realizing immediately that something was definitely out of the ordinary. His gaze shifted about for a few seconds before he realized what was going on.
There was trouble… and a lot of it.
"Damn it," he growled as he got to his feet, grabbing his coat and pulling it on as he did so. This was the last thing that he wanted, especially since he had slipped a little something into his drink only a few hours ago and his head was pounding because of it. In hindsight, that hadn't been such a good idea, but he had definitely enjoyed it at the time.
"Come on Walker," the red haired teen snarled, glaring at the youth who was nestled in the sleeping bag directly beside his own. He could almost guarantee that the other boy hadn't heard the shouts of the sentry since a bomb could go off right beside him and he wouldn't notice. Damn guy slept like a rock. Which was more than annoyance most of the time and something that the red head was constantly resisting the urge to smack him over. "Get your ass up..."
A groan issued from the youth who was buried beneath the other sleeping bag, a shock of dark brown hair the only thing visible. He had never had an easy time of waking up and the fact that his sleep had been interrupted only served to put him into a decidedly foul mood. Blowing out a frustrated breath, and fighting the urge to kill the boy whom he knew was standing over him, he wiped at his eyes with the back of one hand. "Is it really something that requires all of us Cross?" he questioned as he crawled from beneath the covers, a frown on his face as he made a move to turn his attention toward Cross.
However the sound of echoing gunfire served to cause his gaze to shift elsewhere. The light of the partial moon allowed him to just barely make out the silhouettes of a very familiar enemy. Actually vast numbers of said familiar enemy. And the flashes of light signaled a battle that was shaping up to be of epic proportions.
"Akuma," he growled as he quickly scrambled to his feet, the small green cross that he wore around his neck swinging back and forth due to the motion. The slight irritation from before was gone now, replaced with an even greater feeling of annoyance. "Why didn't you say something sooner Cross?"
"I told you to get your ass up," Cross growled as he drew his Anti-Akuma firearm, testing the weight of the weapon that he was just now growing accustomed to using. "What more do you want from me?"
"It wouldn't kill you to be a little more specific," the youth named Walker said as he and Cross dashed across the field toward the assembled Akuma. It seemed as though they were targeting the small village that bordered the field, although for what reason, the Exorcists couldn't say. Though their sheer numbers lent credence to the possibility that there was Innocence nearby.
"I'll try to keep that in mind the next time," Cross countered as he came to a halt, pointing his weapon toward the egg shaped Akuma. They were only level one so it shouldn't really be difficult for them to destroy them, despite their lack of experience. "Or I could just let your ass get killed… that would save me a lot of headaches later. And serve you right for being so damned difficult all the time."
"I'll remember that the next time you're accused of smuggling liquor into headquarters," Walker said, a smirk appearing on his face as he prepared his own weapon. It was a bit more difficult to operate, owing to the rather odd shape that it had taken, but was useful none the less. "And I won't provide you with an alibi."
Cross actually looked stricken as he heard these words from his companion. "Okay, okay. I won't let the bastards kill you. There, are you happy now?"
The brown haired young man chuckled before turning his attention back to the Akuma. "Very happy. Now we should probably do something about the Akuma menace before they completely destroy the village."
Cross eyed the carnage as he leveled his gun and fired a couple of shots. "I think it's a little late to be that ambitious," he muttered as he watched his bullets sail toward the enemies. He wasn't sure why he had even bothered to aim, since the bullets sought out Akuma and never missed. Guess it was just a throwback from having learned to use a normal gun first.
The other youth sighed as he summoned his powers, holding his hands on either side of the green cross, palms flat and facing it. The stone began to glow green a split second before it grew in size, snapping the thin piece of cord that it hung from. Deftly catching it the boy named Walker leapt into the air, holding up his newly formed weapon which now resembled a cross that had been sharpened into a stake. Attacking the Akuma closest to him, the youth drove the pointy end of the weapon into the creature before jumping back.
A split second before an explosion lit up the night sky.
"Pitiful," Cross commented as he fired three more shots, taking out three Akuma that were rushing toward his companion. It seemed as though they were out for blood now but the red haired youth didn't give them the opportunity to get close enough to strike. "And I believe that makes the score me: five and you: one."
"Show off…" Doing a series of flips he landed beneath a group of the Akuma before they even realized that he was approaching them. In a matter of seconds he had evened the score, turning to Cross with a triumphant look in his brown eyes. "Just because you can attack from a distance and still kill more than one doesn't mean that you're better than me."
Cross' jaw actually dropped as he witnessed Walker's little acrobatic display, slightly surprised that he had managed to even the score in such a short period of time. "How annoying… guess that means that I'm going to have to increase the difficulty level."
"Which translates into 'I'm going to show off even more'," the other teen mocked. He made a move to go after the remaining Akuma before Cross had the opportunity but paused as he saw something strange appear on the horizon.
This moment of hesitation cost him the game as Cross fired a volley of shots that succeeded in bringing an end to the remaining enemies. The red head turned to his companion with a smug expression, opening his mouth to gloat about his victory. But he changed his mind as he saw the look on the other boy's face. "What is it?" he asked.
"Something just appeared over there," Walker said, replacing his Innocence and making his way over to the spot where he had seen the flash of light. And as he drew closer he could almost swear that he heard the sound of music.
"Do you hear that?" Cross questioned as he followed along behind the taller boy. He was almost afraid to ask, lest he find out that he was hallucinating the entire thing, but some questions you just had to know the answer to, whether or not it meant that you'd be thought of as crazy for the rest of your life. This… this was one of them.
"If you're referring to the music then yes," he replied as he drew closer. His steps were cautious as he approached a grove of large shrubs, as though anticipating something jumping out at him in any given moment. "Sounds almost like a lullaby," he commented in a quiet voice, his brown eyes surveying their surroundings with extreme caution. "But where's it coming from?"
"Are you the ones who destroyed Lord Millennium's precious Akuma?" a calm voice asked, from somewhere behind the bushes. The music seemed to grow slightly louder at this point and both Cross and Walker watched as someone stepped from the shadows.
Cross actually laughed as his gaze fell upon the new arrival, all fear of imminent threat now gone. It was a boy even younger than they themselves, dressed as though he had gotten lost on the way to a fancy party. Slender and fairly short in stature, the boy had mahogany hair that was slightly longer than most boys wore, though nowhere near as long as Cross' own red locks. It was slicked back away from his face, though a couple of rogue strands hung before his eyes, and it curled slightly at the ends, giving it a charmingly disheveled look. He was wearing a snowy white tuxedo, complete with tails, and a black bow tie was tied around his neck. This look also included a black vest worn underneath the tuxedo jacket. Altogether this ensemble served to make the kid look vastly out of place in his current surroundings.
Walker froze as the new boy stepped from behind the bushes, unable to believe his eyes. He actually felt the need to pinch himself in order to make sure that he wasn't dreaming. "Is that…" he began.
"…really you?" the younger boy said, completing his sentence. He stared for a moment longer before whispering, "Mana…"
"What the hell is going on?" Cross demanded, his gaze shifting back and forth between his companion and the kid who had just shown up. It was obvious that the brat was familiar with his companion and the red haired youth found himself wanting to know exactly how it was that they knew one another.
The kid cast a disapproving gaze in Cross' direction before his gaze shifted back in the direction of the person that he really wanted to speak to. And it was in this moment that he took note of the way that the two older teens were dressed, for perhaps the first time since his arrival. Both wore hooded black coats that were trimmed in white and adorned with a very familiar looking cross. Something that he had been trained to spot and couldn't possibly have missed.
"Wait," he said, taking a couple of steps away from them and focusing his gaze on Walker. There was a slightly accusing light buried within his gray orbs as he stared at the older teen. "Mana... You're an Exorcist?"
A/N - End of the first chapter of yet another fic focused on Mana and the 14th although this one takes a vastly different spin on things. I found myself wondering how things would have been if Mana had also been an Exorcist and of course this is the end result. Special thanks to Howlingwolf94 for beta reading this first chapter! Hope that you all enjoyed, please be kind enough to leave a review.