Rating: T+ due to swearing and possible gore/excess violence. And lots of angst.
Pairing: mainly friendship, possible allen/kanda if seen that way.
Summary: The strain between Allen and his friends grow tighter as the trust wears thinner. After a mission leaves Allen in a state where his very existence hangs in between fate and his own path, can they show him he's not alone, or will he lose to the Fourteenth?
Disclaimer: I don't own DGM, nor do I claim too.
Edit: The summary was changed to better fit the story. It changes nothing about the actual plot of the story.
Well, here's the first chapter to a multi-chaptered DGM story. I'll try and have chapter two up sometime next week. I also have a FMA story on the go too, and I have to update that soon! Anyways, hope you enjoy this story. Drop a line? :3
[the mystery of the maiden and the fogged forest]
"We'll be taking the Innocence, exorciiiiiists!"
"Fuck! What was that?"
A small boy stared up at his father, eyes wide and tearful. Another loud noise could be heard, the rain pounding down with a force that soaked anyone within a matter of seconds of stepping out into the downfall.
"Not in front of the child!"
His beady eyes shifted to the woman beside him, her long brown hair flowing like silk over her slender shoulder, and a simple white gown hugged her body as it trailed behind her and over the damp grass. Her blue eyes shone even in the dark, and her lips curved downward disapprovingly at the man beside her. She held a chain in her hand, a silver pendant dangling precariously on one of the links as it swung back and forth like a pendulum. The boy found himself following the bright silver, watching its movement as it distracted him.
A crackle of thunder bellowed overhead as a bright light flashed above and lit their path. The child whimpered, clinging to the woman beside him with such force she had to slow her pace.
"It's alright, Milo. We're almost out of here."
The boy paid no heed, instead clinging tighter. Frightened and wet, a tear rolled down his tiny cheek, falling into the black hair that curled down to his neck.
"I want to go home…"
The woman sighed, kneeling down and picking up the fragile child in her arms. A gust of wind blew, knocking her back. She managed to catch Milo, the boy whimpering louder as shivers wracked his body.
"Get up! We have to get out of here, I won't lose you!"
The woman nodded, her hair falling into her eyes as she quickly stood up. She repositioned Milo so he was nesting in her arms. The rain became faster, more vengeful as it blinded the woman as she began running again.
"Yes, I know. Hopefully we lost them by now…"
"They're monsters… I won't let them take you. I'll find a way to end the curse, I swear."
Milo lifted his head, his thin black shirt falling off one of his shoulders. His eyes were sad and fear-filled, and his father sighed, running along with the two of them. Another crackle of thunder echoed, a thin sheen of mist covering them as the lightning lead the way.
"Sister… Cleo… Don't leave…"
Cleo smiled reassuringly.
It was the last smile Milo ever saw as everything went black.
"Are you sure we're going the right way?"
"Yes, I'm sure."
A sigh could be heard over the whistle of the wind, the fierce cold sending a chill through the white haired boy. Three sets of footsteps rang throughout the silence, the empty forest echoing every sound that was produced as they made their way across the vast expanse of green tinted trees and white fog that shrouded the entire area in a mist. The shortest one was dressed in a black uniform, an overcoat flowing over his shoulders and down his back, the wind making it dance regardless of how hard he tried to hold it together. Ahead of him, another was dressed similarly, adding his personal touch of a green headband without an overcoat. His red hair stood out against the dense color of the woods, and beside him, another was dressed in the uniform.
"Lavi, Kanda, wait up!"
"Tch, keep up, bean sprout."
"The name is Allen."
Allen glared at Kanda's back, the blue haired samurai slightly smirking at the tone of his comrade's voice. Lavi just sighed, not in the mood to listen to the inevitable argument that followed the nickname for the cursed exorcist. He was surprised when Allen left it at that, neither continuing with the back and forth fighting.
Instead, Allen was surveying the surroundings. Komui – the Head Chief of the Science Division at the Black Order – had sent Allen, Lavi, and Kanda on a mission to a mysterious forest, the Mist Forest, in search of Innocence. A demon horde had appeared a few days prior, and a family had gone missing from their quiet home in a nearby village. The village itself was almost empty – the Mist Forest held legends better left untold – and requesting information was useless due to the lack of help and people. It frustrated Allen, due to the race that was becoming darker and more urgent for finding Innocence. Akuma – demons that were created as weapons to do the Millennium Earl's bidding – were hiding from the foggy woods, as Allen had not been able to detect any akuma.
"Hey, Allen, think the akuma are using that barrier thing to null your detection?"
Allen jumped a bit, startled out of his thoughts. He pondered Lavi's words for a moment, putting a hand to his chin while his other flew up to his hood that had attempted to blow off.
"Maybe… But they would have attacked by now."
Lavi nodded, stopping his strides and looking up into the sky. Allen didn't realize in time and ended up ramming into the back of the bookman in training, falling on his backside and hitting his head painfully off the ground. He blinked a couple times, golden stars dancing around his head –
The golden golem smiled – if a golem could smile – and rested on the top of Allen's hood, the black material wrinkling in protest. Allen sighed, petting Tim. Lavi smiled sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck while he held out his other hand for Allen to grab. The white haired boy just glared, taking the offered hand and standing up, attempting to rid himself of the dirt that had clung to his uniform.
"Heh, sorry about that…"
Allen shook his head, gently fixing his hood so he didn't disturb Tim. Looking up, Allen noticed that Kanda had kept walking, and wasn't in sight. He slapped his forehead in annoyance, breaking out into a sprint.
"Hey, why the rush?"
Allen looked behind him, watching as Lavi tried to catch up.
"Kanda went ahead! Come on!"
Sighing once again, the exorcist sped up, trying to catch up to the samurai ahead of him. The mission wasn't to be taken lightly, and with the Noah's appearing in more places, exorcists weren't being sent out alone often. Miranda – an exorcist who used time – was never sent out by herself, as she was usually accompanied by Noise Marie. Kanda and Allen had been sent out a few times by themselves, but only if there was a low chance of a Noah encounter or high level akuma. Lenalee was never sent out on her own, either, thanks to Komui's sister complex; Lavi usually ended up going with heron missions.
Allen rarely got to stay at headquarters anymore.
Thanks to the appearance of more akuma, the people who were specialized in destroying the demons were sent out on assignments everyday. The last time he had spent a night at his 'home' was almost three weeks prior to his current mission. Anyone who looked at him could tell he was overworked; he had bags under his eyes from lack of sleep, and his weight had begun to plummet due to the demands of the missions he was sent on. Komui felt extremely guilty, but they all knew Allen was one of the strongest exorcists they had. Link – the man who watched over Allen to inspect him of any signs that he was a traitor – had even told Komui that the young boy wasn't eating enough; since he was a parasitic-type, Allen needed more food then equipment-type accommodators, and he wasn't eating nearly enough.
Even Jerry was saddened by not having his favorite customer show up anymore.
"Bean sprout, where are you going?"
Allen skidded to a stop, looking behind him. Having been lost in his thoughts, he hadn't even realized that Kanda had stopped walking. Looking around, he realized something; more mist had appeared, and the fog was nearly blinding now.
"Where is all this mist coming from?"
Kanda sighed, taking a seat on one of the logs.
"The report said that the mist has been getting thicker due to an unknown reason. Apparently, this forest used to be a rainforest – literally. Every night it would rain. On the night Kai and his family went missing, there was one last rainstorm and then that was it. For the last few weeks, it's just been fog and mist, getting thicker and thicker. It's been leaking into the village, and Komui has some suspicions that it's being caused by the Innocence."
Allen pondered this for a few moments, scratching Tim absentmindedly.
"But how do we know Kai is still in this forest? It's hard to tell because of the lack of vision – "
Lavi interrupted, running in past Allen and almost knocking him over again. He bent down, and Allen followed his line of sight to something that was sparkling on the ground. Allen bent down as well, picking up the silver pendent. It was a single butterfly, and silver jewels intertwined in the chains that held the charm. Upon picking it up, the charm glowed, and Allen smiled.
"Think this is the Innocence?"
Nodding, Lavi said, "Only one way to find out."
Allen placed the necklace back on the ground, and watched closely as a thick line of the white mist covered the silver.
They had found the Innocence.
Allen picked it back up, pocketing it in his uniform. He stumbled slightly when the familiar whirr of his eye went off, and he could feel the wheels turning around his cursed eye. Looking around, he spotted six akuma coming in from all directions.
"Bean sprout, where?"
"North and east mainly, four. Two are coming in south."
Kanda nodded, unsheathing Mugen as he stood up. Lavi activated his hammer, the familiar feel of his black tool calming his nerves slightly – they had no idea what level of akuma were attacking. Allen took in a deep breath, activating his own Innocence – Crowned Clown.
As if on cue, a level two akuma burst through the trees, the mist making it look haunting. Two more level two appeared behind it, and a level three appeared to the right. Another level three burst through the foliage, and a final akuma swooped in from up above –
A level four.
Allen frowned. The last time they had fought a level four, it had destroyed headquarters.
"We'll be taking the Innocence, exorciiiiiists!"