Prequel: This is a prequel to "What Lies Hidden", "Line of Sight" and "Poker"

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Katsura Hoshino owns it… I just enjoy twisting her ideas for my own warped amusement.

Warning: Prepare yourself for another one of my 'FUBAR' plot twists. Its 'subtle', so let's see if you can ketch it... ;)

Also, maybe some OOC stuff.

Spoilers: Not really, just for this stories sequels maybe...


Coughing, more throat tearing coughing.

It had started as nothing more then a simple cough…

He turned to face the one walking only a few steps behind him. Mana's grey eyes narrowing in concern, but Neah quickly waved him off. The eighteen year olds equally grey eyes trying to convey that he was fine.

That Mana didn't have to worry like he always did.

"I'm fine Mana, really." His younger brother rasped out in between coughing fits. The traveling clown frowned deeper, the man quickly moving to Neah's side when his coughing became worse. One white gloved hand coming to rest on a jerking shoulder, the older Walker trying to steady his sibling as Neah became unsteady on his feet.

That was when he realized just how warm his brother felt. The hand at Neah's shoulder withdrew, the clown removing his glove and feeling the others forehead, ignoring his younger brothers weak protest. His worry quickly growing when Mana confirmed what he had suspected…

Neah was running a fever.

"Neah-" Mana started, the man planning on lecturing his younger brother on pushing himself to hard, that they could have taken an Ark gate to the town instead of traveling on foot. The words died on his tongue when the younger Walker's coughing faded enough for Neah to withdrew his hands from his mouth.

Neah's white gloved hands came away spattered with red.

Mana Walker stared at his brothers hands like they were alien. Like they weren't Neah's hands. "Mana… I don't…" his brother never got to finish as Neah swayed on his feet, in the next second his brother was stumbling and his legs were giving out on him.

Mana had only a second to react.

The traveling clown catching his brother before he could fall completely. Panic was quickly twisting in his heart when Neah sagged boneless in his arms. Finely, finely that horrible coughing seemed to lessen, even if it was just a little…

Neah was unconscious.

Mana Walker's mind went blank, his body frozen as he held his brother closer to himself, like if he just held onto to little brother then everything would be alright.

Another moment past and Neah had yet to even move, the only thing that told Mana Walker that his sibling was even still live was the heat from the fever and that horribly weak coughing.

Horrified grey eyes were wide and he found his mouth opening, his voice tight and urgent as he called out to someone, anyone to help him. Two seconds after the plea escaped his mouth the traveling clown was cursing his stupidity.

It had to be the hardest thing that he had ever done, supporting Neah's weight and trying to hum the correct notes to that timeless lullaby through his panic. The Ark gate opening in a flash of light-


Mana jerked up and out of the nightmarish memory, the man sitting up straight in the chair he had fallen asleep in, a loud crash waking the vagabond from his dozing. The traveling clown frowning and cringing when a long string of cursing followed yet another round of crashing.

The man sighing heavily, there was a long moment of silence, then….

SLASH!

His grey eyes blinked in confusion and slight apprehension when a soaking wet young woman, looking to be in her early twenties, stepped out of the bathroom. The woman's long curly dark brown hair was an absolute mess, and also more than a little damp.

When sharp and irritated blue eyes turned on him, Mana Walker could only offer the ferrous young woman an apologetic smile.

The young Noah of Lust's pink lips twisted into a deeper frown, her light blue eyes almost glaring for a short moment. Though, the angered look didn't last long as the young woman sighed heavily, her eyes softening yet still holding a small amount of irritation.

"Well…?" The traveling clown asked in a concerned voice, the man's grey eyes glancing to the now closed bathroom door, it obvious that the man wasn't looking forward to whatever the younger Noah might say.

Lulubell shook her head and began to try and ring out some of the bath water from her dark blue dress. Her hair returning to her true blond and her skin shifting from a light tan to a pale white. "She's malnourished. There are old and fresh bruises all over her front, back, legs, and right arm…" The young woman whispered out in a grave and deeply mournful tone, the Noah of Lust upset over the poor state of the little girl that was now in the Earl's care.

"And the Innocence Crystal?" Mana asked quietly, the clown knowing what Lulubell was going to say before she even spoke, after all, the traveling clown had at least seen the girl's left hand. The Twelfth Apostle closed her light blue eyes, her lips pulling into a deeper frown.

Yes, the Millennium Earl was not going to like what the other Noah had to say.

Lulubell sighed once again, "Very weak like you had said, her whole left arm up to her shoulder is distorted from the merging. I have never heard of a fusion of human flesh and Innocence resulting in such a twisted form. Your first thoughts seem correct, about the joining looking incomplete." The young blond haired woman said softly, her blue eyes opening and meeting Mana's concerned grey.

Mana Walker could only frown deeper now, his grey eyes narrowing. So it was just like he had thought, for the damage to be so extensive and for the Innocence to be so weak. The little stray (he would not call her an Accommodator) and the Innocence were not fully harmonious, which could be caused by the child being the next host for a Noah memory…

Or, the small stray could've also been born with the Innocence, which could also explain the God Crystal's instability and frailness. For a parasitic Innocence to be so weak, it would've had to be with it's compatible for quite a while and through that time not get the proper energy it required to sustain its self.

But for the Innocence to be as weak as it was now, it would've had to be bonded to the girl for years.

A newly born infant or a baby still within the womb wouldn't be able to properly sync with an Innocence, which would explain the twisted appearance of the girl's left arm. Red, looking to only be around six years old or younger could have very easily been tainted by the Innocence since birth, or even before birth.

That would explain everything regarding the weakness of the Innocence and the flawed merging.

"My knowledge of Innocence isn't much however; the Thirteenth is much more knowledgeable on the subject." The young Noah spoke even softer, breaking Mana out of his thoughts. "You are going to be bringing her to the Ark correct?"

Yes, bringing this to the Clan's resident Innocence export would be the best course of action. The Thirteenth Apostle would be able to properly evaluate the stray's health and her Innocence's instability and frailness. A large part of Mana wanting so badly to take the small scrawny child back to the Ark right this moment, a large part of the man agreeing with Lulubell's words.

He wanted so badly to take the girl to the one place where he knew she would be safe. Though, Mana also knowing that confining the untrusting stray child to the Ark was no way to go about gaining her complete trust.

Bringing the girl to the Ark was mean exposing her to the war, and dragging the stray into the war with the innocence was no way to raise the child, or any child for that matter.

He couldn't do it; the clown couldn't expose her to the war and the truth just yet, not like that. Not after the life she must have had up until now, if judging by the hell hole of a circus that Mana had found her in was anything to go by.

The Innocence would have to be dealt though, that was something Mana knew he would have to take care of and soon.

"Not yet Lulu… I can't expose her to the truth yet." The clown sighed hopelessly.

"If that's what you want," The Noah of Lust said softly, the young woman offering the frowning clown a soft reassuring smile. "She's taking a bath at the moment. She had refused at first-"

Ah, that crashing that had woken him and that slash that he had heard must've been Lulubell 'putting her foot down'.

A dark black eyebrow rose, a smile now twisting his mouth up. "So you threw her in?" The clown asked in amusement, knowing that the little stray was going to be a handful from the beginning, as the stay was definitely a very willful young girl.

Lulubell's soft features twisted into a much sterner look, her sharp blue eyes flashing. "She refused to take her clothes off so she could take her bath, she refused very colorfully." The Twelfth Apostle spoke in a voice that told him just what she thought of the girl's colorful vocabulary.

The Millennium Earl fought not to let his smile pull wider. Lulubell was a caring young woman, but she was also strict, willful and could be downright stubborn at times. Very much like the small six year old girl they were now dealing with.

"I told her that a proper young lady shouldn't speak with such foul language, her response was less then respectful." The young woman said in a short tone, her poster trying to convey that she didn't really care about what the small child had said to her, though Mana knew Lulubell was actually upset over the matter.

Mana Walker's grey eyes softened and his smile kind. "She'll warm up to you Lulubell, these things take time." the man offered, the young blond sighing and nodding her head, with that the Noah of Lust's face turned even more serious.

"The family's supply of Akuma skeletons is running low; you're the only one that can provide the materials to make more." Lulubell added softly.

Mana could only offer the young woman a strained smile. The clown running a bare hand through his short black hair as his eyes once again strayed to the bathroom door. "I can't leave Red here alone…"

A fine blond eyebrow rose, Lulubell's blue eyes blinking in confusion, before they narrowed with disgust. "Red?" the Twelfth Apostle whispered, her tone filled with cold disapproval. "Red is not a name." Then her pink lips twisted into an angry frown. "It's a tasteless reference to her left arm."

"I know, but that's the only name she has Lulu…"

The Twelfth Apostle's frown deepened, the young woman bristling and her sharp blue eyes looking insulted for the girl. Mana felt a small amount of happiness in his heart at the Noah of Lust's over protectiveness of the small child, the clown knowing that he had been right to go to Lulubell for help with the girl.

Though the traveling clown knew that he could have asked any of the family for help, just like when he had needed help when Neah had gotten sick…


"I'm dying… Mana. There's nothing… else you can do… I'm only human…"


A soft hand on his shoulder causing the traveling performer to flinch, the pain of his brother's loss still much too fresh for his liking, it had been twenty-five years, and still the pain was still as bad as it had ever been. Grey eyes rose to meet concerned blue, and all Mana could offer the young woman was a pained smile. Lulubell's lips parted to speak, but the blond paused, thinking better of what she was going to say.

Instead the other Noah took a step back, an understanding smile pulling her lips up just a little, her voice forgiving when she spoke. "She'll be in the bath for quite a while, you can return to the Ark and I'll stay and keep her safe until you return."

Mana could feel his smile become more strained, but the traveling clown nodded his head and slowly pushed himself from his seat, knowing better than to try and argue. The Vagobond took a moment to stretch, his back and legs stiff from sitting for so long. "I won't be long."

The Twelfth Child of Noah nodded and Mana took a few steps toward the door, but then the traveling performer paused, the black haired man changing his direction to the bathroom door instead. The First Apostle realizing that if Red finished with her bath before he got back, the child might think he had abandoned her.

The little stray had been through enough after all, she didn't need to be thinking that Mana had left her like everyone else in her life.

Mana Walker knocked softly on the old wooden door, the clown waiting for just a moment before speaking. "Red, I'm going to step out for a little bit." Mana called out, his tone light and filled with reassurance that he would be back, hoping his tone would keep the girl from panicking.

Because Mana wasn't blind, and the clown could see how the child tensed, how her silver eyes would widen in panic anytime the stray lost sight of him in a crowd. He had only taken the stray in a four days ago, and already she was extremely attached to him. The child knowing instinctually that she could trust him, which was largely due to the Noah memory sleeping within her.

Though that instinct was also in great contradiction to the learnt mistrust of others that the stray had acquired throughout her short life...

Mana Walker would not reinforce that mistrust. She was a child. Red shouldn't have to be afraid, mistrustful and angry at the whole world. She needed to learn there were those that could be trusted and those that would care for and love her.

She had a family now, maybe not a family joined by blood, but the Noah were her family now, even if she wasn't aware of it yet.

The man's attempt at reassurance failed however, as there was a splashing noise from within the bathroom followed by an even louder slash. A muffled curse echoing within the small room a moment later, the girl now doubt having lost her footing in her haste to get out of the bathtub and had fallen back within the bathwater.

The traveling performer sighed heavily, his voice calling through the closed wooden door again, his voice stern but still lined with reassurance. "I'll be right back, Lu-" The clown paused, the man realizing that he was about to say Lulubell's real name. "Monica will stay with you until I get back-"

"No!" came an angry and upset voice, the clown feeling a small amount of amusement when the sharp cry was followed by more slashing and then a loud audible thud, though concern was quickly replacing his amusement when the bathroom fell silent.

"Are you ok?" Mana found himself calling out in worry, no reply and the man's voice was rising in volume, "Red?"

Damn it, he hated that name, it left such a vile taste in his mouth, but he didn't have anything else to call her. "Red, are you ok?" More silence and Mana was about ready to bust down the door-

But then a watery voice hissed out, "I'm fine!" Mana Walker found himself blinking, his mouth twisting into a deeper frown, the Millennium Earl finding himself at a loss for words when he realized that the little stray must be crying.

The clown sighed heavily then, the man realizing that this was going to be much harder than he first thought.

How hard could it be to convince one little six year old that he would be coming right back?No matter how much stray trusted him, the girl was still down right petrified of being abandoned, and no matter what Mana said…

He was the Millennium Earl for crying out loud! How could he not be able to convince a six year old child that he wouldn't abandon her? He could convince even the most unbelieving that he could bring their loved ones back from the dead, it shouldn't be this hard!

Though maybe he was a little rusty, it had been over twenty-five years since he had last truly played his role as the Millennium Earl…

"I'll be right back Red, I promise. Finish your bath-"

A hand on Mana's shoulder caused the First Apostle's words to die on his tongue. His blinking grey eyes turning to meet the Noah of Lust's resolved blue, the young blond haired woman pushing him to the side as she made to open the door, her lips twisting into a frown. "She'll be find Mana. Sometimes the only way a child can learn is by experience."

With those words Lulubell shifted back into her disguise of 'Monica' and opened the door, the young woman slipping into the bathroom and leaving Mana standing with his head hung low in guilt.

With a heavy sigh the clown left the inn, making sure the room door was securely locked behind him, and regardless of the fact of the other Noah staying behind, that didn't stop the old traveling clown from placing a barrier spell around the room.

Mana Walker shaking his head at his paranoia as he finished the casting.

It wasn't like they knew where he was or anything, but…

Mana sighed and turned from the door, the man wanting to get this over with so he could get back as soon as possible.

The vagabond descended the two flights of stairs and exited the inn with a polite smile to the elderly woman standing at the front counter. Mana Walker pausing as he stepped out onto the side walk, the sun already beginning to set.

The clowns grey eyes blinking as little puffs of white drifted down from the equally grey and darkening sky above. The man's hands rose from his sides, palms facing up as a few snowflakes settled upon his open hands. A small smile tugging at the man's mouth, Mana's grey eyes closing for just a second.

His brother's teasing voice echoing in his ears.


"Come on Mana, don't tell me you're too old to try and catch snowflakes? No one is that old… Not even the Millennium Earl."


Mana dusted the snow from his gloves, a mournful look filling his now open dark grey eyes. People hurrying past him, hurrying to get home. No one bothering to look up and pause, even for a second, no one taking a moment to take notice of the white falling from the sky.

Mana Walker the only one staring up.

A flash of dull gold drew the Earl's eyes to the left and to one of the many street lamps lining the road. Mana's grey eyes narrowing as he quickly recognized the small golem attempting to hide on top of the light. His mouth pulling into an amused smile as he pointedly turned on his heel and began walking away from the old inn, ignoring the little critter that was watching him.

His old friend was worrying for nothing; they wouldn't find him or Red.

Not never.

Mana would make sure the tell his old friend that when he saw him. And that he reallydidn't need to have Timcanpy following them.

Mana shook his head and continued on, the man walking a few good blocks away from the place he was staying, the traveling performer making a sharp and sudden turn into a poorly lit ally. His smile widening as he carefully hummed out a very old and extremely familiar tune.

An Ark gate snapping into existence as the old lullaby filled the dark alleyway, Mana walking through the gate without a second thought. The traveling clown stepping out on the other side, his shoes making a muted tapping as the First Apostle of Noah took the first few steps onto the white stone road.

Grey eyes rose to look at the clear blue sky above him, the performer taking a moment to take in a deep cleansing breath. The air on the Ark was always filled with the light sent of flowers and a soft sounds of music.

Mana allowing himself to take a few moments to enjoy being back on the Ark. Then the man sighed heavily in regret. He needed to get moving. He had come back to the Ark to restock the family's dark matter supply after all, and the sooner he got done meant the sooner he could get back to Red.

With that in mind, Mana continue forward.

The walk down to the middle of the Ark didn't take as long as he thought it would. Before the clown knew it he was at the two large double doors that would lead him to the Akuma Factory. The traveling performer sighing and slowly opened one of the heavy and thick doors and entered the large room beyond.

The Akuma Factory had been built in the shape of a large Faberge' Egg, the design and concept had taken the Thirteenth Apostle of Noah almost five lifetimes to complete. The construction of the factory taking another five years after, even with the use of the Thirteenth's magic and also tapping into some of the other Noah's unique abilities to finally craft it.

The egg had only been functioning for just over six decades.

The eggs soul function was to speed up the refinement process of raw dark matter and form it into Akuma skeletons that were ready for use. Not that Mana pretended to understand how it worked exactly. The traveling performer happy to leave the details and technical things up to his old friend and his Mages, or as the others liked to call them, the 'Skulls'.

Mana sighed a tired sigh and began walking to where the red haired man was already waiting impatiently, the First rolling up his sleeve and taking a seat at the table and chair that had been set up for him. The clown wanting to get this over with.

Brown eyes narrowed and the red haired man frowned in irritation at him. "It took you long enough." The man said gruffly.

The traveling clown hissing through his teeth as his old friend jabbed the small needle into his forearm. The other Noah, currently in human form, starting the blood draw. The new Thirteenth (though he couldn't really be called that, seeing as his friend had awakened just over twenty years ago.) busying himself with initiating the process of the dark matter extraction.

Mana warred with himself over speaking to the red haired man about the Innocence Crystal imbedded within Red's left hand. Even if his old time friend was the best one to speak to regarding anything Innocence, it didn't mean that Mana was looking forward to talking to him about it.

But then it wasn't like Mana Walker had much of a choice.

"Cr-" The Thirteenth Apostle turned to face him when the black haired man started to speak, but Mana was already starting to nod off. The traveling performer frowning slightly at the fact that he was already feeling so drained. They had only just started the extraction process, he shouldn't be feeling this way so soon…

...Mana hadn't realized that he was already so mentally and physically fatigued...


Noah's Ark was never silent, if you listened closely you could hear a soft rhythmic hum at all times, day or night. The sound ghosting through the halls and vibrating within the walls.

It was almost like the Ark itself was alive.

It always soothed Mana Walker's stress and fears, the sound always brought about a calm within the clown's troubled heart, but not even the soothing hum of the Ark could calm the older Walker's fear this time.

Neah's coughing had only gotten worse, and so did the fever.

It was wrong, it was wrong for some stupid 'incurable' sickness to be taking his brother from him. Not when he had all this power, all these resources at his fingertips.

His brother was going to die, his life draining away from him with each and every breath and the great and powerful Millennium Earl, unmatched in power by all accepted the Heart itself, was powerless to stop it.

The Noah didn't get sick like ordinary humans, their healing abilities able to heal and cure them from just about anything. It was the dark matter within their blood that fueled the Noah's power and gave them supernatural type healing.

The memories awakening the dormant genes within a human, awakening the dark matter within the blood, this making the Noah practically immortal, because all humans had the Noah gene, or so the Noah of Wisdom had told him when he had first awakened as the Millennium Earl four years prier…

Desperate grey eyes narrowing as the older Walker realized what he could do to save his brother's life, Mana Walker raising from Neah's side, his brother coughing weakly, the clown rolling up his right sleeve quickly.

Tired and dark rimmed eyes slid open as Mana reached for one of the unused syringes that lay on the nightstand next to his brother's bed. Flat grey eyes watching him withdrawing a fair amount of his own blood before removing the syringe from his forearm. "What," his brother's words were cut off by another round of wet raspy coughing. "What… are you doing…?" Neah forced out, his brother too weak to move much anymore.

They were running out of time.

Neah was going to die if he didn't do this.

Any normal human would have already died, if it wasn't for the Noah of Talent, Neah would have already died. Neah was human, but he still had the dormant genes within him, he had the capability to awaken as a Noah…

But all the memories had already awoken for this generation.

But maybe-

Neah just needed more, he just needed a larger dose, a dose of awakened and active dark matter to stimulate what was already there, because Neah was his brother after all. Active, awakened and raw dark matter was what he needed. It would force what was already there to awaken enough for Neah to heal.

"It's ok Neah, your going to be ok." Mana whispered as he injected Neah with his blood. He was the first Apostle; he was the Millennium Earl, and as such his blood was saturated with dark matter much more than the others.

He didn't have time to refine it, to delude it like what was done for the dark matter that the Noah of Telant used to fuel the Akuma skeletons…

This had to work, it would work.

It would work, because this was Mana's only hope to save his brother.


"Duke?"

"Earl?" A hand on his shoulder woke Mana from his unrestful dozing. The vagabond once again righting his stiff body from its slouched state to more of a proper sitting position. The clown coughing and running a ash grey hand through his short black hair. The First Apostle feeling woozy like he always did after a Dark Matter extraction. His gold eyes raising to look at the one who had woken him.

The clown expected to see his old friend, but the young man standing next to his chair definitely wasn't the red haired womanizer.

For a brief moment Mana Walker could feel his heart stop beating, the organ twisted sharply within the man's chest, his little brother's name almost slipping past his lips before he could ketch himself.

The young man that was standing next to his chair couldn't be Neah, he knew that. Mana Walker knew that, but yet, for a brief moment the traveling performer thought-

No, Neah was dead.

The young Noah of Pleasure looked very much like Neah at first glance, though the Portuguese boy's hair was a dark, dark wavy purple, were as Neah's had been a light chocolate brown. Neah's hair had also been a little more straight and spiky instead of curly like the current Third's...

"Tyki-pon, how long have I been sleeping?" The clown asked as he slowly rose to his feet. The Third Apostle looking at him with a concurred look, the young man standing next to Mana's chair and silently watching as the Earl fixed his sleeve.

"Três horas. Eu fui enviado para te acordar. {Three hours. I was sent to wake you.}" The sixteen year old young man said, his voice lined with his worry. "É sempre assim? {Is it always like this?}" the boy asked after a short pause.

"Speak English, Tyki-pon, English." Mana Walker reminded, the Portuguese boy was supposed to be working on his English speaking skills. Because if him and his brother where going to be moving up the social class ladder, then Tyki was going to need to know how to speak English fluently.

Mana found himself chuckling at the sixteen year olds inquisitiveness however. "Only sometimes, when the dark matter extraction is not routinely done." The First Apostle answered. Sometimes it was hard to remember that the young Noah of Pleasure had only been with the Noah Clan for almost one short year.

It had taken twenty five long years for Joyd's memories to reawaken after the tragedy of the Fourteenth. twenty five years and he was the most current awakening. How much longer would they have to wait for the others?

Raasura, Bondomu, Fiidora, Waizuii, and now 'Neah' the memory of the Fourteenth. How much longer until they woke?

The Noah Clan was still lacking, still not whole, when it had been twenty five years since- Mana stopping himself there, the traveling clown not wanting to dredge up anymore memories of the past.

"The Thirteenth said give this to you, said you'd understand." The Third said, Tyki taking a piece of paper out of his black pants pocket and holding it out to Mana. The Portuguese boy questioned in almost passable English.

"Where's Allen?" The young man glancing around the large room for Mana's traveling and preforming companion as he spoke. The boy's gold eyes returning to look questioningly at the clown after not spotting the dog that was always at the Earl's side.

Mana sighed heavily at the question, the clown once again saddened at the little dog's death. The First taking the folded piece of paper and opening it. The neat handwriting reading:

Parasitic Accommodators need to eat a lot of food to sustain their Innocence. So, just feed the kid you idiot.

I'll look into the rest.

-C

Frowning in annoyance now, the clown and pocketed the note. The man's golden eyes returning to look at the confused and worried Third at the delayed response to his question regarding Allen.

Mana had known that Tyki would ask about the whereabouts of the dog...

Allen had been around since before the Third had awakened. The mutt and the Noah of Pleasure had become very close over the last year, after the Third's awakening. Tyki's awakening had been rough on the Portuguese boy and Allen had stayed by Tyki's side through the whole painful process.

"I'm sorry Tyki-pon, he was an old dog." Was all the Earl would say to the boy, Mana would keep how the poor dog died to himself for now. A heavy frown pulled the Third's mouth down in sadness at the news, however Tyki also seemed to pick up on the fact that the traveling performer didn't want to talk about it and let the subject drop.

Mana Walker patted the boy's shoulder comfortingly.

Then the man slapped his hand on the somber Portuguese boy's head and ruffled his curly dark purple hair roughly and playfully with a disgruntled "Hey!" as his reward. The clown chuckling in amusement as his antics almost caused the Third to lose his balance in his desperate attempt to swat Mana's hand away from his head and escape the unexpected torment.

The Millennium Earl making sure to make an absolute mess of poor boy's hair before starting for the large double doors, the young Noah of Pleasure running after him a short moment later. The sixteen year old young man combing the grey fingers of his right hand through his hair, trying to get his unruly main of curls back in order.

The traveling preformer laughing heartily at the irritated and completely annoyed look now fixed on the Third's face. "Is there something I can help you with Tyki-pon?"

Even though the Noah of Pleasure was very clearly annoyed over the teasing and his new nickname, the young man's gold eyes still showed his sadness over the news of Allen's death. The Third frowned deeper and said, "Please do not call me that Ma-Earl…" Tyki corrected himself at the last moment. The young man falling in step beside his. "Sheryl me disse para certificar-se de que você torná-lo de volta para Lulubell {Sheryl told me to make sure you make it back to Lulubell.}"

Mana sighed yet again and resigned himself to allow his family to fuss over him. It would be much easier for him in the long run away. "English, Tyki-pon." An even deeper annoyed look shadowing the Porteuges boy's face as the Earl ignored his request. "And when we are on the Ark, Tyki-pon," Mana threw in the nickname again just because, "It's okay for you to call me Mana."

The walk didn't take long, the two parting ways once they reached the hotel. Tyki heading back to the Ark and Mana heading inside. The elderly woman was still standing at the front desk and offered the vagabond a pleasant smile as he walked by, which Mana returned.

Slowly the clown climbed the old wooden stairs and arrived at a door that had the number five painted upon the brown wood. Removing the spell that Mana had placed when he and left, the vagabond unlocking the door.

The First Apostle opened the door and stepped into the hotel room, the traveling clown blinking in confusion at the Twelfth. The young woman kneeling and frowning in exasperation at the closed bathroom door.

Lulubell's blue eyes turning to him as the clown closed the door. "What's going on Monica?" Mana asked, just barely remembering to use the young Noah of Lust's cover name. The brown haired woman sighed and glanced back at the door in poorly concealed hurt.

"She has finished her bath, but is refusing to leave the bathroom." Lulubell said, her voice tired and drained. The vagabond offered the young woman a reassuring smile, the Twelfth Apostle sighing and parted her pink lips to speak again, no doubt to ask if everything had gone as planned with the dark matter extraction, but the bathroom door made a clicking sound as it was pulled open just a fraction.

They both turning to see one silver eye peeking out of the small opening of the door, Red no doubt having heard Mana's voice.

The Noah of Lust offering the small girl peeking out from the bathroom a soft smile. "Don't worry sir, everything's fine. I'll leave you to take care of your daughter now." The woman said as she moved to leave the room, Lulubell turning and offering the traveling clown a supportive smile. "If you need anything else, just let me know."

The moment that Lulubell was out the door, the little stray was opening the bathroom door all the way. The child now dressed in a plain white nightgown that fell all the way to her ankles, the stray now clean and completely free from all that dirt. Though, Mana couldn't help but frown when he took notice that the girl's light brown hair was a complete mess.

The traveling clown frowned and couldn't hold back his sigh, though his mouth twisted into a small smile. The stray was prompt in fixing him with a nasty frown, her silver eyes narrowing when the man pointed at the rat nest that was the girl's hair. "If you don't brush your hair it'll get matted Red. Though, I think it might be a little late... I think I see a mouse peeking out…"

The thin thing of a human child crossed her arms and continued to glare at him. "You're not my father you bastard, and I don't have to brush my hair if I don't want to." the girl hissed out hotly, her silver eyes unforgiving.

Mana's smile twisting back into a frown, his own eyes narrowing in displeasure. "Young lady, you will not use that kind of language." The clown said in a forceful tone, his voice carrying a warning that such foul language would not be tolerated with him.

Guilt twisted within the great and powerful Millennium Earl's heart when the stray flinched at his tone. The cringe of fear that was more of a reflex than anything else making the clown wish that he could have made the ones at the circus suffer more than they had.

Mana could see that the child's small frame tense in preparation of the beating that she assumed would follow his scolding.

The clown sighed heavily again, the man realizing that this was going to be harder then he thought once again. But then, the traveling performer would not give up so easily. He could do this, he was the Millennium Earl.

The clown watched the child that still had her silver eyes clenched closed and her thin shoulders hunched for a long moment, the stray still waiting to be hit for making him upset. Mana shook his head and took three steps closer and crouched down before the little orphan, his mouth once again pulling into a wide smile.

The clown licked his index finger and swiped it across the girl's nose. The clown fighting to not let out his amused chuckle when the girl's silver eyes snapped open and the child recoiled with a shriek of, "Ghaa! Stop doing that!"

Mana continued to smile as the girl used her left hand to wipe at her nose, her silver eyes once again glaring at him, but at least there was no more of that fear. The clown's grey eyes slid to look at the red limb thoughtfully.

The way that the fingers didn't barely twitch told him that it was most likely more than just a little numb. The clown reached out and took the girl left hand into his, the man's smile fighting to pull into a deep frown.

At least he old friend was working on a way to solve their delema of how to go about dealing with this poor feeble little Innocence.

His sharp grey eyes narrowing as he looked the red hand over, pointedly ignoring the panicked and confused look he was receiving from Red. The clown turning the girl's hand over and his eyes falling upon the dark green Innocence imbedded in the back of the girl's hand. The Innocence was still very weak, its soft vibration feeble…

The Thirteenth was right.

Mana had been watching the girl eat, and considering that her Innocence was a parasitic type, she should be eating a lot more than the small portion that she had been. The child was not eating her fill, and that was contributing to the frailty of her left hand.

And that wouldn't do.

The stray was now trying to pull her hand free, fear rising in her wide silver eyes and Mana wanted to frown at this, but smiled instead. "You need to eat more." the man said simply, his voice a light scolding tone, his grey eyes watching the stray blink in confused fear at him as he continued to hold her left hand, his other hand raising and then patting the hand in his hold gently.

After a moment, the girl actually started to relax when she got the message that Mana wasn't repulsed or fearful of her left hand in the slightest. At this the man smiled wider, "How about I order us room serves? All you can eat, because I bet your starving."

Silver eyes widened brightly, before narrowing in disbelief. "…All I can eat?" Mana chuckled at this, the clown sure the girl was thinking about how she had never been allowed to eat until she was full.

"All you can eat Red." Mana confirmed and stood, finally releasing her hand, the girl running further into the room to get the room serves menu with glee. The traveling clown fighting not to frown at the child's 'name' again. The First knewing that Red wasn't much of a name but he didn't know what else he could call her…

"Do you miss your dog?" the stray asked suddenly, the child sitting on one of the beds and looking at him with mournful and sad silver eyes. "I know you said you can't cry any more, which is total bullshit-" the girl not even taking notice of Mana's disproving look at the foul language, "-By the way, but… you can still feel sad… right?"

Mana Walker could only offer the stray a gloomy smile, the man finding it almost amusing that the child was the second one today to bring up poor- "…Allen…" The little stray continued to stare at him, the clown feeling like a fool for not thinking of it before.

"Allen is a good name, don't you think?" the First asked, his mind already made up. Because it was the perfect name, because this little girl couldn't be Red any longer, Mana wouldn't allow it.

This child that would be the next Fourteenth, that would be his daughter from here on out, needed a real name, and it fit her so well. The traveling clown walked forward and put his hands on the completely confused little girl's shoulders.

Mana Walker offering the child, his new beloved daughter, a true smile. "Your name stopped being 'Red' the moment you left that circus, so from now on…"

"…From now on your name will be Ellen."


Portugues Translations

Três horas. Eu fui enviado para te acordar. = Three hours. I was sent to wake you

É sempre assim? = Is it always like this?

Sheryl me disse para certificar-se de que você torná-lo de volta para Lulubell = Sheryl told me to make sure you make it back to Lulubell.


I hope people liked this chapter, there will be one more for this story and then it will be finished. Incase anyone is wanting to know, FUBAR means Fucked up Beyond all Reason. Which totally applies to the twist I threw into this chapter. But then, if you really think about it, it makes perfect twisted sense.