I wanted to thank Chibi-Kyuubi-Chan, moyashi-neechan, Kyone, Wolfgirlpack1923, Pearl of the Orient Seas, Hahiho, Panda-Hiroko, The Puppeteer Master, Peculiar Top Hat, Kuraun Kuraun, Lenbug, nadLeeH'108, Aurora Blacke, ingxkag1000, rikamie2, and Night Kiryuu for reviewing!
The moment the door shattered, time seemed to have started again. That day, Allen Walker was labeled a traitor to the Order and stripped of his exorcist title. At such a time filled with supposed betrayals and threats, Central sprung at the chance of taking even more control of Headquarters. Crow members swarmed the Order, at least two members standing watch down each hallway. The Order was effectively thrown into chaos.
And after all that had happened, the Order, for once, no longer knew what to do.
With a hard tug, Bookman pulled Lavi inside their room before silently shutting it behind him. Lavi stumbled slightly before turning away, knowing the reason Bookman was so upset –and he wasn't keen on hearing it. At seeing the nonchalant and uncaring look his apprentice still wore, Bookman reached forward and grabbed the younger boy's collar, pulling him close. "What do you think you were doing?" Bookman hissed, his lips pulled back in a disappointed scowl as he glared at his apprentice. "Do actually think you are a part of this war?" Lavi opened his mouth with a quick retort on the tip of his tongue before stopping at the old man's fierce gaze. However, upon seeing the nearly confused look his apprentice gave him, Bookman released his grip and took on a neutral stance as he leveled his gaze. "We are Bookmen, we are only here to record this war, nothing more."
"But what I said-"
"There is no point getting involved more than we already are. What did you think snapping out like that in the middle of a trial would do? You should have been recording, watching, not trying to stop them."
Lavi once again opened his mouth to shout back, but found himself stopping again. He knew that what Bookman said was true, and that he had acted out of line, far more than he expected himself to. However he knew that he would have shouted out again if he ever had to.
Time and time again he had built his character around his surroundings to the likings of the people around him. Time and time again he had created false friendships and false feelings; all to then effectively strip it away once he and Bookman left. That had been his quota since becoming the Bookman apprentice, and he had kept to it the many times he had created a persona. But this time was different. With each passing wave, with each smile, with each laugh, the members of the Black Order pushed away the thick walls he had placed around himself until the walls collapsed altogether. When he had seen Lenalee cry the moment they had thought Allen had been killed, he had tried hard to contain himself from shouting in frustration with her. When Lenalee had disappeared after her fight with the Level 3, he went to out to find her, despite the many cries for him to stay. With each passing day at the Order, he found himself becoming attached to the people.
And when he heard that Allen hosted the Fourteenth, and that he would be trialed –and therefore killed –, he found himself upset.
He knew it wasn't supposed to hurt. When hearing news such as this, he would fake the sadness; fake the tears in order to keep the look of a mourning friend. When seeing the people around him fall to their knees in tears or scream out in anger, he would merely stand in the back and watch. He was a Bookman. He wasn't allowed to feel trivial emotions such as sadness or anger; his existence was only to record the happenings in the world. He continuously told himself this –yet he found it harder and harder to do so. And now he was shouting out in a trial worth recording.
Lavi shook his head as he slowly pushed his bright red hair away from his eyes before sighing deeply. "Sorry old panda."
Bookman nodded in approval before slapping his apprentice across the head. "Don't let it happened again. Control yourself."
Lavi felt himself grinning as he rubbed his head playfully. "Hey old panda, where were you anyway? In the trial."
"I was among the Crow members, where you should have been as well."
Komui dropped his pencil as he slowly buried his head in his hands, a small groan escaping his lips. Leverrier had left him with the task of explaining to everyone of Allen's betrayal, and that if any of them saw the former exorcist, they were to kill him. Granted, there were many finders and researchers who found it impossible to like Allen after the fact that he was the Fourteenth was realized. But there was still a significant amount that still cared for the former exorcist. For him to tell them Allen was a traitor, and to kill him, it would only work against them. He knew it had been wrong to think Allen as a traitor; the boy had clearly been on their side since the moment he had joined the Order. The boy tried his very best to save everyone, going so far as to leave himself injured and tired in favor of helping others. He was a good kid, and it hurt when he had been informed of the boy's trial.
Leverrier had wanted the trial public. He had wanted the entire Order, including Allen's friends, to watch as the boy was put to death. The man believed that having everyone see what would happen to a traitor, a Noah, would show them what they were fighting for and fighting against. To him, Allen was nothing more than a Noah, an enemy, and Komui knew that a part of Leverrier wanted the trial public merely for his own entertainment.
Komui knew this and pleaded hard on keeping the trial private, with only the Crow and Bookmen present. He didn't want any of the exorcists, especially Lenalee, to see him, and after weeks of pleading, Komui finally had Leverrier relent and only make it public to the exorcists. To this, the man would not budge, and Komui knew he was beat. So, with this in mind, Komui worked harder than ever to send all the exorcists out on missions to keep them as far away as possible –and had effectively sent out the rest of the exorcists, save for his dear sister and Lavi. Leverrier had figured out what he had been doing, and had the trial date changed so the remaining two would be present.
And it had hurt his poor Lenalee.
He let out a low wail at the thought of his dear Lenalee. After Allen's trial and following exit, Lenalee had broken out in a set of tears and quickly locked herself in her room. He pulled his head from his hands as he slowly placed his fisted knuckles under his chin in deep thought. As much as Lenalee tried to hide it behind a sweet smile, he knew of the fears she held in secret. He knew of all the things the Order had done to her, and he knew of how much it affected her. He knew how everyone at the Order was precious to her –and that they were her world– and he knew how much her world meant to her. Kanda's disappearance had hurt and scared her, and Allen's transformation into the Fourteenth had only made it worse.
She was breaking, and he wanted to prevent it as much as possible.
His whole purpose of becoming Chief of the Science Department was so that he could stay with Lenalee, who had previously been taken from him. She was important to him, his only family left. He had seen Lenalee when he had first arrived; insane, lost, scared. He never wanted to see that again.
"Chief…here." Komui looked up to see a plain white mug of coffee placed in front of his face, the drink still steaming. His eyes followed the hand, hoping that it was his darling Lenalee, only to see Reever glaring down at him. "Don't look at me like that. I'm not Lenalee." Komui suddenly found himself grinning as he took the mug and took a long, purposeful, gulp; a devious glint in his eye.
"Why, thank you Reever! So generous!" He giggled, inwardly pleased with Reever's look of annoyance.
"You know constantly thinking about Allen and Lenalee isn't going to help the situation." Komui paused mid-chuckle as he slowly placed the mug on the desk, his fingers never leaving the ceramic.
"I know." Komui once again placed his chin on his clenched fists as he stared at a particular crevice in the wall, his eyes holding a hint of guilt. "There's no way that we can really help any of the exorcists here. We can only hope that this war can end…soon."
Reever nodded as he ran a hand through his hair. "I'm getting too old for this," he grumbled. A comfortable silence fell over the two –a silence greatly appreciated– as Komui smiled softly as he brought the coffee mug to his lips and take a smaller sip. Closing his eyes, he laughed to himself, knowing what Reever had said was true. Only thinking of what they could have done, either for Allen or for the rest of the exorcists, nothing would change what they have done.
He looked up at Reever, a wide grin on his face, as he brought up a hand to daintily hold it in front of his mouth to hide a small laugh. "Reever, tha-"
"Don't think this gets you out of paperwork," Reever quickly interrupted as he slammed a large pile of papers on Komui's desk, a few falling off the top to slowly flutter to the floor. Komui sat frozen, his hand still covering his mouth, as he stared at the pile in mock fear, before completely ignoring the pile altogether in favor of the coffee. Reever glared as he pushed a pen in the supervisor's direction. "Don't ignore it! Since the trial, the paperwork's increased; something you've been ignoring!"
"But there's so much of it!" Komui whined, nevertheless picking up the pen and grabbing the first paper he saw. Reever grumbled about his laziness before turning to leave, his hands stuffed in his pockets. "And Reever," Komui called out, making extra sure to hold out the last syllable, which Reever replied with a hard glare, "thank you." The blond haired man merely sighed as he turned away and walked out, only pausing as he opened the door.
"Yeah, yeah." And he shut the door behind him.
A sharp pain in the side of his head caused him to wince as he slowly stirred; his body heavy and his eyes refusing to open. His memory was foggy, and his mind still slow as he tried desperately to remember where he was. He painfully rolled his head over, and flinched when a bright light caused the darkness to fade away as he forcefully opened his eyes. Upon seeing a bright blue sky and peaceful scenery –and not the dreary room in the Order–, Allen hastily sat up, instantly wishing he hadn't as he grabbed his throbbing head.
Where was he? He quickly looked around as he tried to gather his surroundings to figure where he was. The first he noticed was the rather large city around him, the pure white buildings standing tall all around him. Trees were sparse as he looked around and he noticed a few small bushes around the ground. He attempted to clench his fists and glanced down when he felt his hand brush over rough brick. Looking down, he noticed a long, brick pathway that seemed to go on forever. He shook his head as he slowly pushed himself to his feet; trying to a great extent to ignore his aching head. He turned around, still unsure of where he was, to see the same exact scenery from before, only on this side there were multiple doors on each wall. He was in the Ark. Upon realizing where he was, he took a tentative step forward before quickly clutching his head as fleeting memories rushed back.
He remembered that he had been put on trial for heresy for helping Kanda and Alma, and that he had also been working with the Fourteenth. He remembered that he was to be put to death, and Leverrier having his throat slit. He remembered Lenalee's tear-filled eyes as she watched him, and he remembered Lavi's hard glare as he looked away. He subconsciously put a hand to his neck as he remembered how cold the knife was as it slowly cut into his skin…and his memories suddenly stopped. After the knife broke skin, he could no longer remember anything afterward. He was still alive, so what had happened? What happened to Lenalee? Lavi? Why couldn't he remember?
Aa, that would be me.
Allen froze at the second voice in his head; however he quickly realized who it was. "…Fourteenth?" he asked, his voice betraying his reluctance to speak to the Noah. He could hear the Fourteenth laugh before turning slightly to see a large mirror placed in front of him, and the sight made him cringe. As it had been for many weeks now, upon seeing his reflection he could see the reflection of the Fourteenth as well. However, this time it was different. Standing behind him was no longer just a shadow; in it stead was an actual person –a Noah. He could see the Noah's signature gray skin as well as the seven stigmas across his forehead, but found that he wasn't as intimidating or daunting as he was before. The Fourteenth smirked as he slowly put his hands on Allen's shoulders, purposefully bending down until his head was inches from Allen's own, and Allen found himself glancing over to see if there were actually anything behind him. There wasn't.
Remember, my name is Neah.
Neah. The cause of everything that had happened to him: from the loss of trust from the Order to the sudden interest from the Millennium Earl. But even when the Noah had so far done nothing but bring misery to his life, he found that he could not hate him. Neah had betrayed the Earl and had effectively killed the entire Noah clan, save for Road and the Earl himself. He must have had some reason for betraying them, and must have had some reason for implanting his memories in him. It would be wrong to hate the Noah only for the reason that he was a Noah, and it was for that reasoning only that he was able to ask his question with as little animosity as possible. "How are you-"
How am I here? You can thank your little friend for that. Kanda, wasn't it?Allen cringed again as Neah grinned wider after chuckling Kanda's name. Sooner than later, you will become me.
But until then, you will help me. My dear nephew, you will help me defeat the Millennium Earl and become him myself.
AN: Again I wanted to thank you so much for reviewing! I didn't expect such a positive response, so I'll definitely be continuing this story! Thank you for the help on keeping everyone in character, I'll try to work harder on that! If there is anything else that needs work, please tell me! But please review if you have time! Reviews are greatly appreciated!