Disclaimer: Characters not mine

An update for the farewell for 2012...

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Chapter eight

Directions

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"Find Cross?"

"Yeah. It's almost two weeks. If he had intended to come for you, he would have come."

Allen sighed. "I told you guys that he wouldn't come."

"Hm, I guess so. But nobody disbelieved you." The second prince paused, sending Allen a tiny smirk. "We were just taking the best bet there is. Having you here is better than not."

The black haired could not help but roll his eyes. "I doubt that."

"Well, in any case, all the more reason for us to go and find him." Allen watched the other kicked the soccer ball onto his head from his seated position on the floor, then shifting his skull about to keep it balanced.

"Why me?" He voiced slowly.

The marooned colored eyes turned on him as if he was stupid. "You are his adopted son right? You would have the best idea where to find him."

Allen gave a well prepared smile. "I thought so."

… I thought they knew about how much debts Cross could incur and were purposely pushing me to go along to repay them…

"Well then, I take it that you agreed?" Despite the question, silver eyes caught a chilling glance sent his way that made him wonder if he could disagree in the first place.

"I-" The younger hesitated. "Wait, I'm supposed to be on a job right now you know."

As if in double implication, silver eyes shifted deliberately and slowly toward the bucket of dirty water with a laid down cloth beside him.

"Oh that." The male broke into a grin too wide. "It's okay, that's Yuu's punishment for you but he's not here at the moment so don't worry."

Allen blinked. "He isn't?"

A nod was his response, and suddenly a soccer ball was spinning itself on a pinky of the older. "That's the reason why we're going now. We'll complete our mission before his and we can laugh at that baby boy."

.

.

.

"So Tiedoll-san is okay with this?" Allen asked finally as they settled into a carriage.

Honestly, he had nothing to pack, so after bidding a rushed goodbye to Timcanpy in the prison, the black haired had easily followed the prince out of the palace.

"Of course." Daisya snickered from opposite him in the luxurious transport, his soccer ball for once stationary beside him. "He has been wanting to find that guy for a million too long."

"Hm…" Allen harrumphed thoughtfully. "But then why didn't you allow Timcanpy to follow us? He had followed Master for some time too so that would be helpful."

Maroon orbs looked at him for a good moment. "He had something else to do."

"Huh?" Allen raised an eyebrow and tilted his head. "He was all but sitting in the prison when I told him I was heading out."

A hand reached out to touch the black and white leather fondly, before the prince replied. "That's what he was supposed to do."

Allen blinked. Daisya sent a grin his way.

"That guy- Cross Marian– told him to stay with us. Or that's what that blond said."

Now he found his eyebrows furrowing. Right, he hadn't actually heard finish Tim's story about Cross.

And then there had been a nagging question at the back of his head all along. Why were they looking for his Master? He had intended to query, but somehow he wondered if he really wanted to know. What if it's because Cross was their secret drug dealer? How about the reason being related to some weapon industry? Or perhaps smuggling of alcohols against international law to earn profits? Now, don't assassination and robbery seemed another very likely possibility?

A shiver ran up his spine and the black haired shook his head.

No, really, he didn't really want to know and get implicated more than he already was.

So he turned silver eyes out the window of the carriage, looking at the dimming surroundings as they approached Neon, the red light city of their neighbouring country.

Supposedly, it was where his Master was last seen. And if it was, Allen would be the last person on earth to be surprised.

It was nightfall by the time they set down their foot. Allen took in the surroundings as Daisya busied himself with kicking his soccer up and down his head. After all, the prince had told Allen to lead once they reached.

They were on one of the streets left of the main street. The main street bustled with people, neon lights splashing the top of buildings and doors of shops here and there. The one that they were on had fewer crowds, but that little crowd seemed all too similar…

"Ahh~ Sir. Come on in~" A lithe voice chimed as Allen saw a lady grasping the sleeve of a thin male. She had her hair tied up in a loop over her head, mimicking a fairy, and he was simply clad in large brown jacket keeping himself from the cold.

"Tonight – is – cheap." Another murmur sounded from further to his right, but Allen didn't bother to look this time. He had already reconfirmed they were at Neon.

The black haired snapped back to the prince. "There are two main attractions here. Did they say which one Master went?"

Daisya halted his ball under his heel, turning his eyes to him and shoving a thumb to his right. "Supposedly it's that one."

Allen paused, stepping back as he eyed the fenced building. It was pretty all right, brilliantly white colored that contrasted with the skies, with pink headlights near the door. But there was a small crumble of stones from some edge of its roof and a few muddy scratches on the door. The doorstep looked a tinge dusty, as if it had not been swept for a month.

No way would Cross go to somewhere like that.

Not when there's another option.

"Nope. It's the other." The black haired decided, whirling on his feet to face the shorter but definitely cleaner building. The painting had a light sickening yellow, but he doubted Cross would mind if it was clean and had decent targets.

He heard the other follow.

.

Allen was shivering. But he refused to let down his smile.

A hand was crawling slowly but distinctly near the edges of his long sleeved shirt that he had changed into before the ride, and the blond haired female was sitting way too close for comfort.

But of course, Allen had to smile, a hand gripping a glass of red wine for life.

"So~" He nearly winced at how he sounded. "Dear miss, do you mind telling me where that red haired man went?" A seductive smile was sent in her way, and he was too glad when she blushed. It meant he had not lost his skills, and that he was not going to go through all this crap for nothing.

"Ah, Allen-san." The female wriggled closer and silver eyes shot a little helpless to Daisya who was sitting alone opposite him. All the other did was giving a cheeky smile. "Let's not talk about this now~"

So the prince seemed to be enjoying the situation more than the younger did. Allen settled into a gentle smile as he turned back to the lady, a hand cupping her jaw. "But I won't be able to concentrate on being with you if I don't get this problem out of my head… Ne, just tell me."

Blue eyes blinked at him, almost shyly if he didn't know better, and the female laid her head on his shoulders with a huff. The hand that had been wandering his shirt slipped to his pants, shifting back and forth his thigh.

Allen's free left hand went to grip her hand in place, tightening it in what he knew the female would think was a passionate grasp. But honestly, it was just because he couldn't stand that motion. Silver eyes bored into blue hues as imploring as possible, and he spoke into her ears. "Please~?"

He heard her gasp, and Allen knew he nailed it.

"He said he was going eastward from this country." She muttered quickly. "Sorry, but that's all he told me."

Allen tilted down, beating his eyelashes up at her. "Really?"

It was for double checking.

She nodded as two hands went to cover her lips almost in embarrassment. Before those hands could return on his shoulders, Allen shot up from his seat.

"Yosh, Daisya-san let's go."

A toothy grin was flashed his way but Allen was out the door before the other could utter a word. Vaguely, he could hear cries for him to stay behind him but those sounds were too scary that his brain refused to register them automatically.

The door opened, he stepped into the streets - and the goose bumps he had forcefully suppressed shot all the way from his foot to his head.

"Eeek!" Allen practically jumped as a hand tapped him on his shoulders. That seemed to draw an amused smirk on the prince's face.

"What, and to think you looked like you were enjoying yourself so much." He could tell the other was repressing a fit of laughter. Those deep purple irises were burning with entertainment.

Allen had to give the other a scowl. "I will never ever, ever, ever enjoy myself over something like that." The brief memory of it sent a shattering shiver up his spine and the black haired quickly shook his head.

Although… The usually hated scenes of his master hooking up with all sorts of ladies did come in useful this time.

"Heh! As I thought, you're an interesting kid."

Allen ignored the comment. "What's east of here?"

The prince spun the ball on his index finger, turning to face that direction. "The Lees' country."

Silver eyes caught deep purple. "Lenalee's?"

Daisya looked surprised for a moment before he nodded.

Allen laid a finger under his chin as he stared eastward. "How about the west?'

In that instant, the mood changed, he could tell. He whipped his gaze from the skies to the prince. The soccer stilled in his palms, and Daisya looked thoughtful for a moment.

"The Noahs."

Slowly, Allen let his mind run through the options. He had considered the possibility that the man had said opposite of where he intended to go. But it didn't seem likely that Cross would revisit the Noahs if he had already gotten what he wanted from them (from Tim's story), did it?

"We're going east as she said then."


Kanda maneuvered quietly through the crowd.

He had a black suit on, covered with a dull cape, his raven hair tied up in his usual high ponytail. A hand reached out to adjust the large straw hat he had topped his attire off with, and midnight hues stayed low but seeing.

"Ah tomorrow is the day of the fortnight." A male sighed delightedly to his wife to his right.

"Yes finally we would be able to get a job…" The woman replied, slipping her arm through his husband's.

The prince repressed a snort and strode silently pass them, tuning the buzzing conversations around him out. Catching sight of a short alley to his left, he shot a quick scan towards the bustling people in the streets before darting into it.

The prince sighed, tilted his hat to a side as he glanced up at the heavens.

The sun was high. It was afternoon. And it had been a day.

He touched the hilt of Mugen strapped to his side in habit before he slowly laid his back onto the edge of the stone wall.

He stilled, and observing eyes watched the street of people.

They were just moving around, going about their business from one end to the other or simply sitting at some side stairs chatting. There were food stands and accessories stalls lining the route, but even from afar he could catch the frozen edges to the ingredients on the cooker and the lack of shin on those metal pins and bracelets. He had to scowl a little.

In any case, it was surprising that the security into the country was not tight and he just had to slip in together with a crowd transporting teabags for business.

He would expect the security to the palace to be much stronger.

Then a word stood out from the muted sounds. "-the Noahs attacked them the last time right?"

Kanda slipped a glance near two buddies queuing to buy food from a stand. One was black haired, the other had a head of dull brown

"Yeah. So it's strange that they are planning it again."

Cobalt narrowed as he replaced his hat properly, leaning a thud closer.

"Yeah. But where did you hear that from?"

"Hm, well it's just rumors spreading from the guards you know…"

"Heh, you think that's reliable? They wouldn't do that randomly would they?"

"Who knows…"

The other words became muffled as they grabbed their buns from the stall, pacing deftly away to join the throng marching the main city route. He vaguely caught words of complain for the food they had in their hands.

"Che. " Kanda huffed as he picked up his leaning stance and weaved once again into the crowd.

He needed to get closer if there's any chance of getting more information…


It was nearly midnight.

"And… you are so sure he's headed for the Noahs?" The prince beside him raised an eyebrow as they dashed for the city's exit before it closed, wonderfully kicking the white and black ball through their paths at the same time.

Air gushed against them and the jacket Allen had put on fluttered on his back.

Silver eyed the rolling equipment on the ground in near incredibility as they bolded through the empty street, before he turned back to the front and spoke.

"He's not been spotted at all in all the twenty famous brothels and eight bars here." He paused, measuring the distance left to the gate with narrowed gaze. They had half the main street left. "It's impossible. Totally impossible if he had been here."

"Heh… You don't think you should give your master more credits?" The face under the cloak of the overall broke into a grin.

Allen resisted pulling his eye in a childish measure. "No way."

Besides, he had thought about the possibility he might turn and go west…

Their footsteps echoed in the silent street, the half moon in the dark skies shone bright. It seemed unusual that he hadn't been seeing Kanda for two days now, after all the many days he had been beside the man all twenty four around.

He blinked from his idle thoughts as a groan reached his ears.

A creak followed soon and he snapped his eyes at the gradually closing large brown gates.

"Wait!" He cried, which turned the attention of the soldiers handling the motion.

Yes, now!

Allen pushed his heels back and leapt.


He paced easily through the retiring crowd.

Amidst their clearing up of stalls and stands, no one bothered with the fact that a red haired man strode through the middle of the city route with a large case in tow.

Fingers flipped casually through the few sheets of paper in his right hand, Cross narrowed his downturn brown eyes at the scribbling on the upper right corner on one.

One sun two fires
Te who loves to brighten up others' day
Tho' who wants nil but forgotten memories
Song drifts across the country
The book shall always live
Hearts shall call
For the rightful four

It seemed a randomly written poem upon a random music score but his keen eye already knew otherwise back in the library.

His gaze had stopped acutely at 'one', 'song', 'book' and 'four' back then. And there had hardly been any mistaking the innuendo behind it.

This time, however, Cross found himself staring at the phrase 'forgotten memories'.

It was the bet he had staked on when he went looking for Allen.

He thought the kid would be able to give some directions as to where they lived in the past. That would have been faster. But well, he had not thought that idiot pupil would have gotten caught so easily after all the trouble he went through to save him.

Although, it was safe to say the brat was safe within the curly haired's place, at least.

So basically he had gone about looking for directions in his own alternative ways and it had been a success.

He turned yet another corner as he wandered deeper into the residence area.

It was nearly a maze if one did not know their ways. But sadly, Cross Marian knew his way.

A smirk crept up upon his features and his footsteps slowed to a halt before a worn out wooden door. Or was it straw? He leaned his case upon the side wall before he shifted toward the entrance.

He did not bother with polite knocking.

He slammed his palm into the dusty wood, an eyebrow twitching at the filthiness before he banged a volley upon the resident.

There was scurrying behind, gasps, and the door whipped open in a beat.

The lady in sight had brown hair tied in a loose low ponytail, brown eyes accompanying those hair colors. She wore a uniform - though tattered, was definitely one of a maid or housekeeper. She seemed middle aged, for those eyes and attires told much of life experience, but she had no wrinkles.

Cross had to smile mentally that she was at least a decent look.

The red haired leaned his face near, bringing out a frequently used light smirk.

"Yo pretty miss. Do you think we can talk for a while?"

The said female only inched a feet backward as hazel colored eyes grew distant.

The door slammed close in his face before Cross could blink.


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It's short, quite. Again.

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Well, happy new year guys!
Bid goodbye to 2012... Seriously, time flies too fast. Especially during holidays. Geez.

Don't forget to review haha~