Warnings: Spoilers up till Chapter 203, contains F!Noah!Allen.
A/N: Once again, i'd very much like to thank all of you who had reviewed, alerted, or simply read this fic. It truly makes me very happy. Thank you.
"There is nothing much more fearful than fear itself, for nothing else so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear." – Komui Lee.
Allen coughed as she fell to her knees, her silvery-blue eyes wide with fear. She grasped her chest as her heart beat wildly, her fingers clenching and wrinkling the clothing. Timcanpy fluttered frantically somewhere above her, alarmed by its Master's sudden distress.
Allen gasped, clenching her eyes shut.
A green light pulsed, and Allen opened a bleary silvery-blue eye to look at the green cross embedded in her left arm that was Crowned Clown.
Allen's breath hitched as the world twisted before her eyes, becoming a dizzying whirl of colours that were suddenly too bright to look at, and she quickly shut her eyes again.
"Come to me…"
Allen shuddered as she tried to fight off the terror that was creeping up to her, threatening to overwhelm her; to bury her alive.
"To me… come."
Allen wanted to shout out so badly for the thing to just leave her alone, but all that she managed was a gasp of "No."
Her silvery-blue eyes opened in surprise. The being – or whatever it was had actually sounded… hurt.
Suddenly, Allen felt the air around her go cold, and she shivered slightly.
A fresh wave of pain racked her petite frame, and Allen couldn't stop the anguished cry that escaped her lips.
Crowned Clown pulsed again, seemingly as distressed as its host.
Whatever that was speakingattackinghurting* her was somehow affecting her Innocence the same way, and seeing Crowned Clown lose its usual cool was doing nothing to help her with her current state.
Allen bit her lip to keep herself from screaming, her fingernails scratched against the floor as her hand balled up into a fist, digging into her palm and drawing blood.
Oh God, it hurt. Allen choked back a sob as she fought against the tears that were threatening to flow.
She just wanted to curl up somewhere and cry.
Her arm finally gave up on her and Allen slumped onto the ground, immediately curling up into a ball in a futile attempt to ease her pain.
She wanted so bad for the pain to stop, for something – anything; anyone to just come and free her from this pain.
She could hear the being snarl at the mention of the Noah's name, but she didn't care.
Still blinded by the pain, Allen reached out a hand, hoping that the one being – the sole being who could free her from her pain to be here, and she could just jump into his arms and let the tears she's been trying so hard to keep away free. And he would rub soothing circles on her back as he whispered those comforting words like he always would, giving her the solace that only he could.
And suddenly, almost miraculously, he was there. Just standing there, out of breath, with something gold flying above his head, his wide golden eyes staring down at her with this odd look Allen couldn't put a name to.
Timcanpy. She hadn't even noticed her golem's absence.
Suddenly, the pain doubled, and she could hear the voice shouting, screaming at the Noah from the Gate–
The Gate! Allen had to close it; she had to close the gate that was transporting the Egg, she had to close the only thing that connected her to this being – the Egg could come in later. The Earl would understand.
Allen could hear the being snarl, as if sensing what she was about to do.
And it was so angry.
"No no no no no no- NO!"
Blinking through her watery eyes, Allen could vaguely make out the silhouette of Tyki as he ran towards her, and she reached her hand out blindly again.
This time, the voice didn't belong to the being, and Allen felt something enter her Ark moments before being dragged into the Gate just as she managed to sever the connection between the Exorcist Headquarters to the Ark, leaving the Gate shattering into pieces behind her.
Lavi let out a string of curses as something white shot towards the Akuma that was before him, piercing a hole through its skull.
The Level Four's body bubbled, its limbs twisting in awkward angles as it worked its way into its destruction. When a Level Four goes out, it usually goes with a bang, and Lavi most certainly was not going to be anywhere near it when that happens.
He barely had enough time to shield himself, and Lavi silently thanked his Innocence's awesomeness in shape-shifting as it protected him from most of the explosion.
"Ugh," Lavi groaned as he clutched his dizzy and now bleeding head.
With a cry, Chaoji slammed the Level Two that General Tiedoll's Innocence has been restraining into another Akuma.
Chaoji watched the demon spawns explode with a smile on his face.
His very first kill. And it was a double kill.
General Tiedoll offered his apprentice a smile. Off in the distance, Maker of Eden destroyed four Level Threes with a swing of its fist.
The smile on Chaoji's face widened as he felt his being whelm up with pride.
Chaoji sniffed, determination in his eyes as he set off to rid the world of more evil.
"Lavi!" Lenalee shouted in warning, and Lavi barely had the time to slam a white tendril–whatever it was, away from him, narrowly hitting the samurai as he did so.
"Watch it!" Kanda growled as he released Mugen on yet another Level Four – which dissipated into a mass of white, and then nothing.
The Level Four's eyes narrowed as it took the opportunity to flee to higher grounds. "What kind of trick was that?"
It was Kanda's turn to narrow his eyes at the lowly Akuma's audaciousness in calling him cheat. Kanda is a swordsman who takes pride in his straight-forward ways. He does not, in any circumstances, plays tricks.
"Yea, Yuu. What kind of trick was that?" The red-headed teen giggled as he released a fiery serpent upon an unsuspecting Level Three, watching as it writhed around, bumping into a Level Two and turning them both into ashes.
Kanda shot him a glare that basically told him to shut the fuck up.
"Whoa!" Another explosion racked the ground, accompanied by a scream.
Lenalee landed on an Akuma none too gently, destroying it as she leapt off a moment later. "Kanda! Lavi!"
The Level Four's head whipped around to look at where Lenalee was pointing at, and its eyes narrowed into dangerous slits.
"Innocence!" The Level Four sneered, drawing the attention of the rest of the Akumas.
Lavi's emerald eye widened as he alternated between staring flabbergasted at the Akuma and the Cardinal. Innocence?
"O-Oi! What the hell?"
The Cardinal was perturbed.
For the first time in all the seven thousand years that heit had lived, things had not gone according to his plan.
Heit didn't know.
Why isn't she coming to him?
Heit really didn't know.
And heit didn't know what to think about what he didn't know about, because heit was used to having things going hisits way.
There was no way this could be happening, so the Cardinal closed his eyes and tried again.
Heit flinched, shaking hisits head rapidly in denial.
Heit wanted to know; and heit wanted to know so badly, as to just why she was refusing him. But she didn't reply. So he made sure that she felt the same pain that she was causing himit.
Still, she did not reply.
And it was when she finally opened her lips once more that heit finally knew why.
Heit seethed with anger as he cursed and it cursed those goddamn Noahs and their pathetic spawns. He couldn't even bare to look at those filthy, mangled creatures, powered by those hateful dark matter and those weak human souls; and so it destroyed them as he went to collect her.
(I got sick of typing heit all the time, so imma just alternate between 'he' and 'it' from here on.)
One glance at those Exorcists and he felt like it was going to barf; useless second-rated fragments of Innocence that didn't even have the power to destroy a Level Four.
But they were still kin, so he let them be.
However, it just couldn't stand those worthless humans who stank of rotten magic and those who delved in science. So he let them have a taste of its power – not so much for the latter, since those humans who gave up their belief in God had and were only trying to help its kin.
But he made sure that those magic-users didn't get the chance to taint the air anymore with their rotten breath. It wasn't cruel though; he made it quick.
Or maybe that was because it didn't want to waste his time on them. Oh well.
Oh? It didn't realize there were still more of those filthy spawns.
Remembering to be courteous, he ascertained eye contact with that thing, even going as far as to smile. After all, it wouldn't do good if he, as a Cardinal, was rude.
But it was quickly getting sick of all this interruption. Thus, he made the grotesque human-looking thing suffer as much as it could.
His eyes narrowed as it sensed what she was about to do, and in one swift motion, he penetrated something and the Ark.
"No! Master's Egg-"
The Cardinal snickered at the Noah of Lust's agony. Revenge was sweet.
But its amusement was short-lived as it was replaced with something much better.
Pure white, he mused, as he looked tenderly on what it held with its feathery tendrils. It matched so perfectly.
Ignoring the reactions of his second-rated kin in the presence of the original, he felt something bloom inside him as it revelled in their resonance.
The Apocryphos has finally found its Heart.
Lenalee gasped as she collapsed onto the floor, her eyes wide and unseeing. Bookman wasn't fairing any better as he, too, fell onto his knees.
Lavi's Innocence clattered loudly onto the marble floor, shrinking back to its original size as he lost his invocation. "W-What?"
Kanda leaned heavily on the wall as he fought to even out his breath; his knuckles turning white from his tight grip on Mugen.
"Komui!" Bak shouted as he pointed towards the large mass of thorny vines and roses that was gradually falling apart. "Embracing Garden is- Whoa!"
The ground shook as General's Tiedoll's Art – or as Lavi likes to call it, White Giants – crumpled onto the ground, stirring up dust in its process.
"Ugh…" the General fell to his knees as he gripped his head. "My synchronisation…"
"Bak! General Tiedoll!" Komui coughed as he tried to breathe through the dust and poisonous gas, covering Lenalee's nose with his sleeve. "What the hell is going on?"
The muffled voice of the Asian Branch's Head came, "That's what I'd like to know!"
A cloth was pressed over his mouth as he limped his way towards Bookman Junior and the stoic samurai, presumably to prevent inhaling anymore of the Akuma's poisonous gas.
"General Tiedoll! Kanda-san!" Chaoji yelled, and both Komui and Bak wondered why the newest apprentice of General Tiedoll was not affected like the other Exorcists. However, they decided they didn't care when they saw just what – or rather, who – the Cardinal had brought out of the Ark.
And for a moment, that was all that Allen could see.
Allen shivered from the contact that was neither cold nor warm. But it was gentle, and yet at the same time rough. But Allen decided that the latter was more accurate when she found that she could hardly breathe against whatever that was constricting her.
Allen's eyes shot open. She hadn't even realized she'd closed her eyes.
"Wha-?" She was interrupted when something white was pressed against her mouth, and then someone or something was shushing her.
"Ssh~ It's alright, it's alright." Heit cooed, but it did nothing to soothe Allen. "There's nothing to be afraid of."
Eyes that were of a pale green colour peered straight into Allen, and she choked back a gasp at the close proximity of the thing – Allen didn't even know what it was anymore – that held her captive.
What was once human was no longer what anybody can call human, or anything like it anymore. Its skin was of a pure white, seemingly hard and scaly, running as far as Allen's eyes could see. Cracks adorned its body, and Allen was horrified to note that it had neither lips nor eyelids. A strange petal-like cross marred its chest, glowing the same painfully familiar green as its eyes.
An eerie chuckle reached her ears and Allen cringed when she felt it grasp her left hand.
"Smart girl." Allen went to pull back her arm, but the thing wouldn't let her, tightening its grip and obviously amused by her reaction. "Yes, yes," it hissed.
Her silvery-blue eyes narrowed as she watched its every moment, fighting not to flinch as it trailed her Innocence with its fingers. Crowned Clown's brilliant green flickered, obviously as displeased with the touch as its host.
"Smart girl you are. Yes, yes, smart indeed."
She squirmed against the feathery-like tendrils that dug painfully into her skin, wanting to get away as far as possible from her captor. "So smart to have figured me out already."
Black dots danced in her vision as Allen felt herself go light-headed from the lack of air.
"Yes, yes, yes. I'm an Innocence. So smart, so very smart. It makes me so happy."
Her breaths were getting too loud to her ears, and she fought to keep her eyes opened, unwilling to let the thing out of her sight even for a second.
"But you see," the thing gave up his hold on her hand, moving to take a hold of her chin, and Allen quickly snapped her head to the right. "I'm different from all those other Innocence." Her attempts were seemingly futile as the thing forced Allen to look at him, its thumb caressing her cheek and leaving touches that felt so very wrong.
Allen silently cursed as she felt her body go numb against the tight restrains that bound her limbs.
"I exist for you." It was barely a whisper, but Allen could hear it nonetheless, though her brain was slow to register its meaning in her daze.
White shrouded her vision, and it was all that she could see through her now half-lidded eyes.
White; it was all around her, on her…
A grin that seemed too wide broke out on the thing's face, and Allen saw a little too late the hand that was poised over her left arm.
And the white was in her.
Allen managed a mangled sound between a gasp and a cry as she heard rather than felt her own blood splatter against her clothes. Her eyes widened and then quickly snapped shut a moment later, biting her lips and drawing out blood as she fought not to scream.
She could feel something writhing, moving, and crawling inside her arm, breaking and tearing open her skin as those feathers sprouted from within, hardening and solidifying the moment it was exposed to the air.
Allen wanted to cry.
"Ssh, my little one. Ssh," the thing ran its fingers through her hair as it tried to soothe her cries. It hurt, to see and know that it was the cause of its Heart's suffering. But it was necessary, see. It was sure its Heart would forgive him when she knows what he's doing. He had to hurt her, as much as he disliked it, to remove the filthy Noah inside her.
It flared from her arm, not sparing her the slightest mercy as it burned her whole body.
When it had swore an oath to protect the Heart; the reason for its very existence all those years ago, a Noah – or rather, the Noah genes, for it can sense that she wasn't a complete and full-fledged Noah yet – was not in the bargain. And it was more than happy to be quickly rid of it, wanting its Heart to be pure, white, and untainted – just like how it had always imaged it to be. Yes, its Heart.
It existed solely for her, so why couldn't she be its? It only made sense that way.
"It's okay, it's okay." It somehow felt like it had to explain its actions, and so it did. "I have to destroy the filthy Noah things that dared taint you, you see."
Blood flowed freely from her wounds, leaving a hot trail of red in its wake as it dripped onto the floor.
Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain-
And darkness greeted Allen.
"-the first time we met…"
Allen blinked, suddenly finding herself in a room that smelled heavily of booze and cigarette. She blinked again. Where was she?
"…she didn't call herself Allen then."
The said girl jumped, twirling towards the direction where two men were, silhouetted against the window as a storm poured overhead.
The gun that the shorter of the two held gave a soft click as its safety was undone.
A lightning flashed, momentarily lighting the otherwise dark room.
Allen's breath quickened as she comprehended what she had just saw.
The white against the golden crosses. The red against the white that was the mask.
"Should've realized the mistake sooner."
Allen's eyes widened in horror as she willed her legs to move, to stop the horror that was happening right in front of her. But she was too late.
The figure pulled the trigger, and the window behind shattered.
And so did her very being.
"No!" Allen screamed. Master!
It's still there.
And it was something she couldn't be freed from.
The pure white hair that had almost been silver…
Bak Chan grabbed a piece of rubble and chucked it at the Cardinal.
His eyes narrowed as he glanced at the immobile Exorcists. It can't be. But he knew that it was something he couldn't possibly forget.
"O' Spirit Stone."
If it was really who he think it is...
He had to help.
A/N: To be honest, i had this done a week ago - well, except for those minor tweakings here and there. As for the delay? Well, I'm not exactly satisfied with how this chapter turned out, but i couldn't squeeze anything else out after nights upon nights spent thinking on how to improve, and decided that i should just be happy with whatever i had, for it is my work after all. Plus, things started getting busy for me, what with enrolling into a new school and such.
On a side note, i recently got my first ever mac, and i am very proud to say that i sprained my wrist carrying it home (it still hurts now, thank you very much).
Right. As always, please do point out any errors (if any), and a heartfelt 'Thank You' for both readers and readers who'd be as kind as to leave a Review.
May our souls be with Japan.
And i hope that everyone stays safe. You too, Katsura Hoshino.