Hierarchy

By Uniasus


Note: This takes place before the Alma Karma battle stuff


You will kill someone you love.

It's not a foreign idea. He's done it before after all. It might have been unintentional, what with his Innocence activating and acting on its own, but it didn't change the facts. He's killed someone he loves before.

It was an awful feeling then. Indeed it still is. The pain of killing Mana is always on his heart. Even if he hadn't been cursed by his foster father, he suspects the pain would still be there.

He doesn't like the idea of having that pain doubled.

Crowley, he notices, still hurts over having killed his loved one, but he is healing. It's slow, but genuine, and he wishes his own wound would heal. But only sometimes. Other times, he's glad it hurts. It helps him not get lost in his confusing life, it keeps him on the right path.

But it's good to prepare, for the killing of a loved one, of a second kill, of a second pain that might be able to heal. He wants to ask Crowley how he's managed to do it, but that's silly as he was the one who suggested the solution he is using.

If an exorcist is one to destroy akuma, what do you call one who destroys humans? For he knows that's who he'll be killing, a human.

One who kills humans is a murderer, no matter his reasons. But just like it's an exorcist's job to destroy akuma, whose is it to destroy human life? Certainly not something of this Earth.

Noah, his mind offers, but he shakes his head. Yes, he'd most likely turn into a Noah after the act, but there was nothing to say the act had to be responsible for the change. He has plans to fight his mind battle for as long as possible, and this was part of that. If he could find a way to console himself over the killing like Crowley could, that could be a weapon to use against the fourteenth.

He pauses in his walk, seeing the older exorcist himself leaning over the edge of a window in a small alcove off the hallway. It's a wide window, so he settles himself next to Crowley.

"Al-Allen!" Crowley jumps a little at his sudden appearance, so he offers a calming smile.

"Hi Crowley, sorry for sneaking up on you."

"No, it's my fault for not paying attention."

They settle next to each other in the window, looking at the clouds. Despite how high they are in the Order's tower, the clouds are high still and he leans further out the window to see if he can guess the distance between the tower's top and the lowest cloud. He over balances, but Crowley catches the back of his vest and brings him back to the stone floor.

"Allen, don't do that!"

"Sorry, I was just thinking."

"Thinking that includes falling out the window? Please don't do that type of thinking!" There are tears in the older man's eyes and he feels bad for causing the other to worry.

"No, I do apologize."

Crowley tries to give him a stern look, though the watery eyes weaken it. "What were you thinking of?"

"Hierarchy."

"Eh?"

"I mean, you have akuma, and then humans. I'm trying to decide where the Noah and the Earl fit, and if there's anything else."

"Hmm," Crowley turns to look out the window again and he follows suit. "I think the Earl is above humans, but…there's different type of humans. I mean, you have exorcists, Noah, finders, the scientists, and everyone who lives in town." He ticks them off on fingers.

"And if you had to rank them?"

"Mm, the normal ones on the bottom, and then the Order staff, then exorcists, and then the Noah."

His heart sinks and he tries to keep the despair off of his face and out of his voice. "Why are the Noah above us?"

Crowley turns to look at him, looks at his arm. "Because they're stronger. They've killed Generals."

He can't argue with that. "And then above that is the Earl."

"And then the angels and God."

He pauses. The Order is a religious order, he has always known that. The symbol is a cross, there are multiple chapels scattered around HQ, and the Vatican is at the top of the chain of command. But he has never given much thought to religion. He didn't live his life for God, wasn't even too sure he believed in such a person. His life hasn't been blessed.

But others do believe. Few exorcists, he only knew Lenalee did for sure, and now maybe Crowley. Maybe, because 'angels' and 'God' could be thought of without belief.

And suddenly he wants to believe, even superficially, if only because if he has to be someone who kills humans he would rather be an angel than a Noah.

"An angel," he mutters and Crowley turns his head toward him.

"Allen?"

"It'd be nice, to be one, don't you think?" he still looks out the window, at the clouds and sky, and not at the older man next to him.

"Maybe. But I don't want to die."

He felt his hopes drop, for angels were supposed to be spiritual beings. They didn't have a body, they were pure souls. And if by some chance he did become one, he had a feeling the body he left behind wouldn't just disappear. Body and soul, angel and…Noah.

He wonders what would happen if he died first, before killing anyone.

He doesn't remember climbing onto the windowsill, sitting so his legs dangle. He doesn't know why he did it, not really, but he's looking down and there are arms around waist stopping him from looking further down.

"Allen!"

Crowley pulls backward and he allows him. They fall on a heap on the floor and when he attempts to get off of the other exorcist the arms around him tighten.

"I just want to get off you Crowley, I'm sure I'm heavier than I look."

The arms release, but Crowley still watches him. "Explain."

"I'm not sure I can."

"Is this about you being the fourteenth Noah?"

He flinches.

"Allen, I promise, we won't let you live like that."

He smiles. "If it comes to that point Crowley, I don't think you can say I'll be alive. I'll be gone, and someone else will be in my body. So like I asked before, please kill me if it comes to that. But that's not what's bothering me."

"No?"

He likes how Crowley doesn't push, doesn't ask why, but of all the exorcists Crowley's the only one who would understand. "I was told before I…change that I would kill someone I love." He stares at the floor, but feels the older man settle next to him against the wall.

"And you're trying to deal with that."

"I know it's hard, I've done it once before. But what helps with that, what I told you, won't work now."

There are tears in Crowley's eyes, he always is too emotional and caring, and then he finds his vision filled with black as Crowley pulls him into a hug. It's unexpected, and not at all comfortable, but he leans into it all the same. He is only fifteen, and he finds the simple comfort of the hug is exactly what he needs. He hasn't had one like this since Mana passed and tears form in his own eyes, but they don't fall. He's fifteen, but an exorcist too. But he doesn't pull away, just goes limp and leans into Crowley, and they stay there until his stomach demands dinner.


A/N: Man, I've been doing a lot of these one-shots haven't I? Should probably work on that longer one in my head, but I have fic in other fandoms that I need to finish first. This one just...won't shut up.

I know Crowley's almost never portrayed in a very serious light, but I can't imagine him as not being all mature and serious. He went through some pretty serious stuff and his childish antics just seem to be to be those of a kid - and if you think about it his social experience is of a parallel level. Crowley may cry tears a lot, not be able to tell the real Lenalee from a fake, and have no street smarts, but alone he's a deep guy. Surrounded by others, he's just overwhelmed cuz he's in such a situation so rarely. I figure living in a castle by yourself for a long time makes you a natural brooder. XD

Thus, I feel like Crowley and Allen actually understand each other a lot, if you didn't pick up on that here. Primus, I hope you did, cuz I don't think my writing's that bad!

As always, reviews are very much loved.