The Chameleon Child
Lt. Commander Richie
Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to the Beeb, D Gray-man belongs to Katsura Hoshino. Not that she's doing much with it at the moment, but whatever man. Whaaaaaaateverrrrrr.
A/N: I've never written drabbles before in my life. Obviously these don't quite conform to the normal 100-word limit. I couldn't make proper fiction out of my ideas, so I wrote the ideas down as they came to me. Such is the life of a crossover writer.
BEST READ SET ON 1/2 STORY WIDTH.
He dreams of war.
Considering the many, many wars he's faced he's not surprised that he sometimes wakes up screaming. He gets a good box around the ears from the old man and rolls over to try and get back to bed. The dreams don't usually come a second time, but that doesn't mean that he won't wake up haunted by memories of fire and ice and rage.
When he wakes in the morning, Lavi sifts through his childhood memories like a man sifts through a rolodex to try and remember a battle at a place called Arcadia.
He can't, and that worries at his mind for days.
Bookman and Bookman Junior are the only two Bookmen left in the world. It's a bit of an occupational hazard, you see, traversing every continent and making every enemy anyone can ever hope to make. Even a master of disguise can't hope to stave off recognition by the wrong person in the wrong place.
They're the last two, and they throw themselves into danger in a constant fashion. Bookman calls it stupidity; Bookman Junior calls it being Jeopardy-Friendly. He ended his 43rd life because he accidentally faked his own death. It takes a certain amount of skill to do that.
He's seen the cells of every prison from the Sainte-Pélagie to Vladimirsky Central, and can't help but find them all lacking. He's been in better, though he doesn't know why he thinks that.
Then he begins to think, you know who would have liked this cell?
He can't finish the sentence, and feels a little emptier on the inside.
Lavi is positively in love with the fact that he's ginger and when he thinks hard about it he's not too sure why.
It's nearly gotten him killed before, but he still loves that his hair is red and his eyes are green and that he's got freckles across his shoulders and down his back and all over his hips and bum like some pasty Irish kid. He hasn't got a speck of Irish in him, though- not that he knows of at least. World's most diverse mutt, him. He could have anything running through his veins.
Whichever way you spin it, he's just glad as hell that he's ginger. He chalks the slight rudeness up to years of having to follow Gramps around, but he doesn't mind that aspect either.
When he first got his somber black and white uniform, he didn't like the fit. It was just between too short and too long (had no elbow patches and no pockets) and the high collar made him feel like a priest. Lenalee bought him a headband for the birthday he'd made up on the spot for lack of a real one he could remember, and it made him seem a little less monochrome.
He looked in the mirror and thought that the clothes made the man. He hadn't found the right clothes quite yet, and therefore he wasn't quite Lavi.
He was on a dirt road somewhere in Scotland when he found a ratty orange scarf snagged on a bush. It wasn't quite long enough for his taste, but he'd be damned if he ever took it off again.
He wears a scarf now. Scarves are cool.
He berates himself for having fallen helplessly in love with Lenalee Lee. Not supposed to have a heart, him, so why's he ready to risk his life for her? He hates himself for ever entertaining the feeling, and tries not to let himself look.
When you have one eye, though, you can't very well avert it without being noticeable.
Bookmen have rules against this- emotions for the ink on paper make you weak and pitiful. Feelings for people that are nothing more than fleeting words on parchment are useless and therefore unnecessary.
But she's beautiful (for a human) and so very sad. Chained to a life she never wanted and clinging to the one thing she has left from home. When she looks broken and desolate, he can see an entire universe's suffering in her eyes.
Lavi decides he can be content with just looking, because she'll never love or want him as long as she has Allen to feel for, and wonders why it is that the strangely familiar knife in his heart is on the wrong side of his chest.
For all intents and purposes, he's lived fifty lives. There was the one he had when he was born, and then the forty eight lives of Bookman Junior, and then Lavi. Each life had a different personality, liked different things, said different things, had a different accent, dressed a different way. But he's only ever had one face- one green eye, fantastically ginger, pale as a catfish belly, covered with freckles if he so much as looked at the sun.
Lavi looks in the mirror on occasion and sees a man with curly chestnut brown hair, two brilliantly blue eyes and no hope. He blinks and sees red hair and confusion. He's never seen that man before in his life. He hasn't seen the other eleven faces before either.
He muses to himself as he brushes his teeth that doesn't mean I haven't seen them in another.
He dreams of war again. There are a million ships on fire and he's watching them burn even as they take the rest of the blood-red land with them. Crystal cities leak time and space like blood and silver trees scream at the sudden rending of the fabric of the universe.
He wakes up in a cold sweat, his vision swimming for a moment as he tries to comprehend everything that is and was.
The feeling is gone in a flash, and it leaves Lavi feeling as though he's lost his soul. He doesn't remember it when he wakes up again in the morning.
He stands on a bridge and watches soldiers go to war. They're impossibly young, feeding on promises of glory and too stupid to realize that they'll be lucky to survive for long. They're not like Exorcists, too lucky to die and be free of a war that nobody can know about.
The drummer boy catches his one green eye, and he suddenly sees every possibility that the boy will ever face. Infinite probability in an infinitely fractal tree of decisions. If he saves a woman from a mortar in three weeks, she secrets him away from the battlefield and adopts him as her own. He'll get married and move with his wife and three children to Quebec to become a carpenter, where he then dies at the age of eighty surrounded by friends and great-grandchildren. But then the boy stumbles just barely and loses his drumming rhythm, and that happy possibility never existed.
Lavi remembers to breathe, and can't see everything that could ever be anymore. He doesn't think he wants to after what he just saw.
Gramps tosses him a fob watch over dinner and he catches it without really looking. They don't say much else to each other as they eat, and the watch is forgotten. Months later he dumps it in a box and puts a sloppy bow on it in his haste to find a present for Lenalee's birthday.
When she smiles at him and holds the silver timepiece close to her heart, he can't help but feel as though he's just given her his everything.
He doesn't mind the feeling. It leaves a dopey smile on his face for a week.
He's staring at a sign post at a crossroads in Mississippi when he realizes that all the signs say Bad Wolf. There's a tingle in the air, and the Finder looking at the map like a man who's lost the will to live doesn't seem to notice.
The universe screams as it unravels, and he sees red grass and silver trees never exist as they burn and turn into an abstract concept before his vision of the should have is obscured by her. She's got a great big gun and he can see an entire universe's suffering in her eyes. Her wide mouth twitches downward into a frown, and she looks like she might be crying on the inside.
"Have you noticed?" She turns that look on him, and he feels like he's just lost everything he's ever loved. Just as quickly her brown eyes are fixed on the bright blue cloudless sky. "The stars are goin' out."
"Bit hard to tell at noon, you know," he says. She turns a watery half-smile on him and he shrugs. "Looking for something?"
"Someone," she corrects him. "I think I've almost found him."
"Good luck with that," he offers. She's a little absent as she nods, her large hoop earrings swinging with her bleached hair. "Don't suppose you'd know how to get to Pachuta?" He gestures at the sign post, and she lightens up considerably at the words etched into the wood.
"That way," she says with a tongue-in-teeth smile, and he follows the motion of her hand with his eye as she points down the deeply-rutted dirt road to the right.
He's just said fantastic and turned back to give the blond (Strike! So amazingly his type!) a winning smile, but he's talking to a screaming universe and a bolt of lightning.
When Road Kamelot mucks about in his mind like a trained surgeon with the whims of a particularly dim child, he's mildly surprised that he's waist-deep in murky canal water instead of burning through time and space like a temporally-locked ember.
When he finds himself waist-deep in the coffins of the people he loves like family (except Lenalee, he can't love her, not like he wants to, why does it still hurt when he's come to terms with that so long ago) he isn't surprised in the least. Glowing blue eyes peer between the waves of bodies, and he finds himself knowing that all his ghosts have come to haunt him.
He loves everyone he kills, kills everyone he loves. He is the last of the Bookmen, and as he reminds himself, he is slipping.
Lavi surprises Road and stabs Allen. He doesn't surprise himself.
Lavi, for some reason, is the only one that can see the blue shed in the back garden of what was once a house on the edge of a town in Ireland. He points it out to Allen and Link, and they both agree that it's there, but then they brush it off as unimportant.
The three of them and the two Finders that accompany them kill the demons and find the little fragment of Innocence. It's taken up residence inside the hand-carved toy horse of a little girl, and it weighs heavily enough on the hearts of a few of them that Lavi stays up the night before they leave and carves the girl a new one.
He points out the blue shed again as they leave, and Link realizes that something is very off about it. It's loaded onto the cart with the Finders.
In the dark of the night, Lenalee listens.
She's a smart girl, and she'll be the first to accept the strange and unknown. When you can fly and your brother makes giant robots as a hobby, oddities become par for the course. So she lies in bed, her fingers clutching warm metal, and she listens as the universe tells her about its savior and its savior tells her about the universe. She falls a little in love with an alien and wants so very badly to follow him across the stars.
I'm good at running, she thinks.
She wakes up with a fob chain tangled in her hair.
"Lavi?" He turns at the sound of her voice, just in time to catch the fob watch as it's thrown at him. "I never could get that watch you gave me open. Can you help me?" He smiles at her and then down at the fob watch, looking at it as though he's never seen it before in his life.
"'Course I can," he says. Around chin-length hair and a doll-like complexion, Lenalee smiles at him just like she used to before that fiasco in Japan. He can't help but smile back, forgetting what it was that she wanted.
"The watch?" She prompts him and he starts, looking down at the watch as though he didn't know he was flipping it around in his palm. The design on the front looks like a cross between a stellar cartographer's map and the inner workings of a clock, and it's oh-so-familiar in a way that's incongruous with his having simply owned it before.
He presses on the fob loop to open it, and it's a little stuck.
He presses again and a storm escapes.
So yes. That was fun. Review plzthx.