Okay I needed to blow off some steam and I couldn't focus on any of my other writing projects, so I thought I might try my hands at something serious instead of posting my ten other D. Gray-man theories for trolls. Don't worry though. I'll get back to those… eventually… Anyhow, this story idea has been bothering me for about half a week now, so I'm going to let this little plot bunny hop onto the page.
The Invisible Sock
Disclaimer: I do not own D. Gray-man or any of the characters mentioned in this story… except Rhian… and a couple names I came up with here and there…I don't know if that counts. All property of D. Gray-man belongs to Hoshino Katsura. The chapter title belongs to the music of Richard Strauss and the quote (although translated here) to Hermann Hesse
Requiem of the Golden Wheat
Part One: Frühling
"In shadowy crypts I dreamt long of your trees and blue skies, of your fragrances and birdsong."
They were the days that he liked to believe that he had forgotten. The days in the countryside surrounded by trees and watched over by the ever-present blue sky. They were days lost in the golden fields of dried out wheat waving in the wind. He couldn't even figure out why the wheat was even golden. Surely dried out wheat was dead wheat, and anyone could tell him that dead plants were brown. Every day, however, the dead golden wheat would taunt him like the two pairs of golden eyes belonging to his charges.
He hated his charges.
He really hated those two brats.
The neighbors thought that Mana and Neah Walker were two adorable little angelic boys who deserved to be born to a family with such high social standing. They were ever so polite when adults came to call on their mother, Lady Adrienne Walker. Mana, the older brat, would hold the door open for the ladies and bow gracefully. He'd rarely speak, though. Instead he chose to be the sullen, stoic elder brother. Speaking was Neah's forte. Neah certainly did have a way with words, but he was even better with music. When the lords and ladies came they'd all sit and listen to Neah play the piano in the elegant sitting room. The ladies would constantly hold their handkerchiefs and dab their wet eyes. At the end of the performance the lords would clap and the ladies would cry and praise this 'charming young gift from God.'
That damn piano would almost make him forget what a brat Neah was, but only for a little. As soon as their mother or any other adult was out of earshot the two boys turned into fanged beasts of terror. It was not something easy to describe. The first time that he told one of the tenants that those brats were evil, the man had laughed at him and said that all little boys were that way.
The tenants could not possibly understand it. Their children did, though. There was a reason the children did not play with Mana and Neah Walker.
Besides brats, evil, snobs, spoiled, and damn little bastards, the best word to describe the two was odd. Everything they said to him with that snide look in their golden eyes was odd. Earlier today, for example, they had told him how much better the world would be when all the humans were dead.
"The poor little humans won't have to be sad then," stated Neah in oratory style as they walked to the top of the hill behind Walker Manor. "And that's when we'll rule the world in peace."
He set the picnic blanket that the old maid Rhian had given him and then dropped the basket with a thud on top of that. "But there won't be any people in it," he replied. "You can't exactly rule a world with no one in it."
"We'll be in it, you idiot. Were you not paying attention?" scoffed Mana. "Of course, you can't tell anyone about this. I don't even know why Neah bothered to tell you."
"Yeah, I can't figure out why anyone would want to tell me about my imminent doom," he grumbled in response. He pushed his messy red hair out of his face. It did not help much, for the wind blew it right back as soon as he let go. Great. Now that old bat Rhian would want to shave his head. That or she would tie it in a girly ribbon on top of his head.
"Well, Git will be with us for a while," said Neah defensively. "Uncle Adam said he wouldn't be going anywhere, so he was bound to find out sooner or later."
"My name is Gitano," he huffed through clenched teeth.
"No, mother called you Gitano because you looked like a wandering gypsy," replied Mana. "You didn't have a name."
He couldn't argue with that. Gitano, as he was now called, had never had a home until two years ago. No one was quite sure where he came from. He had lived with gypsies for the first few years of his life, but then he had been sold off so they could buy passage on a ship from an old man. He worked for the old man, a fisherman, for a few years cleaning fish and scrubbing the deck, but then the man decided he was too small to be of any real use in the future. Gitano then found himself on the streets of the crazy, smelly, dirty city of London. He was sold off once again to a chimney sweep and escaped that job after two weeks. After that he had wandered all over England until he had been caught by one of the Walker boys' uncles while asleep out in the damn dead golden wheat. The sky had been a bright blue that day. That added to the birds singing in the trees had lulled him into such a peaceful repose. Now the birds and bright blue sky mocked him, he who must always remain in the confines of the golden dead wheat and the forest.
He'd gladly spend the rest of his life on the streets if he could get away from Walker Manor and forget all about strange little brats and the even stranger stories they told.
"NEAH!" called an overly sweet high-pitched voice. Mana rolled his eyes, but Neah's eyes opened in fear.
"You never told me they were invited," Neah whispered in his most deadly tone, which wasn't very deadly considering he was only 7 years old.
"Why else would Rhian make five sandwiches?" he asked innocently. He'd known the whole time that they were invited.
"I thought maybe Rory and mother were joining us for once," said Neah.
"Rory is sickly. I'd be surprised if your mother ever let him look outside a window," he said.
The first of the they tackled Neah in a hug. Mana snickered as he watched his little brother struggle to loosen himself from the death-like grip of Road Camelot. Road had been promised to marry one of the Walker brothers. The idea had been for her to marry Mana, but the girl had taken a preference for Neah. In the end Neah had found himself tied to this little girl who gave him and his brother a run for their money in the oddness factor.
"Road! Let go of me!" he gasped as he flailed in her arms.
"It's been so long since I last saw you! How is my dear one?" she inquired while betting her eyelids. That girl wore way too much mascara for a child, at least in Gitano's opinion.
"We just had dinner at your house yesterday!" hollered Neah. "Mana, get her off of me!"
"I wouldn't want to interfere with true love," laughed Mana maniacally.
"You self-absorbed jerk!"
"Who are you calling self-absorbed, Mr. I-Play-the-Piano-to-Hear-the-Guests-Clap?"
Gitano watched the brothers exchange insults as Road clung to Neah. The second they sat down next to him. "How long are you going to let them bicker like that?" she asked.
"There's no one around for miles, Sophia. I'm sure it's perfectly healthy," he said. Sophia was quite possibly the only person who understood how evil the Walker brothers were. She worked for the Camelots as a kind of personal servant and playmate for their daughter Road. The tiny, raven-haired girl had been chosen from an orphanage to work for the Camelots for precisely one reason: she could be easily intimidated. The Camelots lived closer to the city, so there were more chances for Sophia to escape than Gitano had here in the countryside. They didn't want anyone to go spreading rumors about just how strange the Camelots and their cousins the Walkers were to all of society. Sophia was much too scared of Lord Camelot to even think of running off.
"We'll get in trouble if they start fighting," retorted Sophia. "Last time Mana accidentally hit her, and I was flogged for the next week!"
"Don't worry," he stated. His eyes turned down as he remembered the sight of purple and blue bruises all over her arms and face. He really should have stopped them that time. "I'll stop them if things start to turn violent."
Road had had enough sense this time to let go of Neah, and now his elder brother had him in a head lock. "Come on!" Gitano called. "Knock it off and eat your sandwiches already." Mana let go of his brother, and Neah tried to flatten his hair down in vain. Road sat down on the blanket and smoothed her purple velvet skirt down. "Now say blessing."
"You know we don't say blessing," snapped Mana.
"What do you think Uncle Adam would say if he heard that you even said the word blessing?" asked Road, her golden eyes taking on the quality of molten gold.
"What do you think the rest of society would say if they heard you say that, Lady Camelot?" he hissed in reply.
Road stuck her tongue out at him, and he returned the gesture. Sophia pulled him away from the picnic.
"You're really asking for trouble," she huffed.
"What? They're so infuriating!" he snarled. A hurt look came across Sophia's face. "Look I'm sorry. I'm just so sick of working for them knowing that they intend to keep me here forever."
"It can't be helped," sighed Sophia. "You know what they can do. One wrong move and you could end up in Road's room for target practice."
"I'd run away before that," he said defiantly.
"Where to Gitano?" she asked.
"The circus is always looking for people," he said.
"The circus? That's a place for freaks and wild animals," responded Sophia.
"Honestly, no one can be freakier than those three," he replied, jerking his thumb over his shoulder to the picnicking children. "Plus, I've been honing my skills."
"At what?" questioned Sophia.
"Rhian taught me how to read," he said quietly. Gitano looked to make sure the picnickers were not listening in on their conversation. "The thing is, the only books Rhian has are magic books."
"Rhian is a witch!" exclaimed Sophia, gray eyes widening. He clamped a hand over her mouth.
"Just because she can do magic doesn't mean you have to call her a witch. I'd say she's more of a magician. She doesn't ride a broom or anything like that. She has to use magic circles to cast enchantments, which she doesn't do too often. Rhian is more of the potion brewing type. She had me read her potion books out loud to her for practice," he stated. "I know most of the basic ones by heart now, plus I took some of her books of enchantment. Those are much more interesting. I've been practicing those outside whenever the brats are out. I'll show you some time."
"I'm sure you're a great magician, but even if you did get away what would you do when he finds you," Sophia asked. He could see the fear and concern etched into her face. It looked very out of place on an eight year old's face, but he knew she was right. No matter what he did he, Uncle Adam, would find him. He'd probably be dead within twenty-four hours of leaving, for no one left the service of the Walker or Camelot families alive. "I don't want to lose my only friend."
He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "I won't go. I'm not stupid enough to try, but I'm foolish enough to dream," Gitano said. "I guess the magic is just part of that dream."
"Do you guys want your sandwiches or not?" shouted Mana. He held up the two remaining sandwiches. Neah and Road grabbed them from him and devoured every last crumb. Gitano felt his stomach grumble. Neah was going to pay for this one.
"What this," he muttered to Sophia. He muttered a few choice words under his breath. Several grains of wheat began accosting the younger Walker boy. Neah yelped and jumped behind Road, eyeing the wheat fearfully.
"Who the hell did that?" he inquired.
"Watch your mouth," said Gitano. He picked up the basket, and Sophia picked up the dirty dishes and stuck them inside. "Now let's go say hello to Rory." The three golden-eyed children ran ahead in a kind of foot race. He watched their game from the top of the hill, noting how little progress they appeared to make over the vast fields of wheat. He picked up the blanket and walked back to the manor with Sophia.
Hardly anyone ever talked about the youngest Walker boy. Many people did not know he existed. Even fewer knew that he and Neah were twins. Whereas Neah was a bold, loud, rude little gentleman Rory was timid, quiet, and painfully awkward. Rory would cling to his mother's skirts when visitors came to call. Mana could be quiet around the guests, but Rory was deadly silent. Some might have even said that the small silver-eyed boy was a doll.
Gitano really wished that Rory was in his charge. Rory would be easy to watch, would not start throwing things at him when he didn't get his way, nor would he constantly remind him of his impending doom. However, if Rory was clingy then the only word to describe Lady Arienne was possessive.
Lady Arienne was sitting with Rory at the piano in the sitting room trying to teach the boy how to play like his twin brother did. It did not seem like she was having any luck in this endeavor. "Try to stop your fingers from trembling so, Rory dear," said the woman soothingly, pushing the little boy's dark hair out of his face.
"Good afternoon, Auntie Arienne," stated Road while giving a little curtsey. "Good afternoon, Rory."
Rory lifted his hands from the keys and ducked his head behind his mother. "H-hello cousin," stammered Rory.
"Don't be shy, Rory," said Lady Arienne. "We'll pick up with your piano lesson tomorrow. How about you play with your brothers and Road for a little while?"
Rory slid cautiously off the piano bench and followed Road as she dragged Neah off to the nursery. Mana rolled his eyes once again but followed the three younger children anyhow.
Lady Arienne stood and walked over to one of the tall arching windows. It would be a lie to say that she was not beautiful. He had heard many men say so, but he had also heard many men say that they had never seen her husband. Gitano had always assumed that the man must have died (he would not be surprised if Mana and Neah were behind it), however, when he really thought about it, the whole family situation was weird. Lady Arienne had never even mentioned a Lord Walker. She was intimidating enough for both a lord and a lady, though, so he doubted she needed a Lord Walker.
She turned to face him and Sophia, long brownish-red hair cascading over one shoulder. "Lord Camelot said they were coming for dinner tonight. I suppose Rhian can expect your help in the kitchen, Sophia Maria?"
He saw Sophia tense up out of the corner of his eye. Sophia always did that when Lady Arienne, or any other adult for that matter, used her full name. "Yes, ma'm," replied Sophia with a quick curtsey. She ran out of the room, and he soon heard to kitchen door open and close.
"Adam is coming as well," she said. Lady Arienne walked over to him and lifted his face in her heavily adorned right hand. "I want the boys to be dressed in their best suits. Do I make myself clear, Gitano?"
"Yes ma'm," he mumbled in response.
It apparently was not good enough for she raised her left hand and smacked him across the face. "I've told you not to mumble, Gitano," she stated in a dangerously low voice. "They are to be ready at 1900 hours. Mana should tie his hair back, and Neah needs to wash his face. I do not want them looking unkempt like the last time. We are not to disappoint Lord Adam, is that understood?"
"Yes madam," he said louder this time. He stared into her burning gray eyes. Even though she had been nice enough to not kill him as Lord Camelot had suggested, he still thought she was more of a witch than Rhian would ever be.
There was a knock at the door. Lady Arienne dropped his face as Rhian stuck her head inside. "I've started preparing dinner, madam. I was coming to say that Rory will need a bath before Lord Adam and the others arrive," said the wizened old woman. Rhian was the kind of old woman you expected to see outside a little hut somewhere in a little country village warning adults of demons and telling ghost stories to little children. Gitano had always thought she looked perfectly ridiculous in a black servant's dress with a white apron. Her curly hair stuck out at all angles from the hap hazardous bun on top of her head.
"Yes, of course," replied Lady Arienne. "I shall call for him momentarily. She turned back to him. "Go help Sophia Maria in the kitchen until Rhian is finished washing Rory."
"Yes, ma'm," he responded, all too glad to get away from her and her flaring temper. She was always in a temper when Lord Adam came around. He just hoped that the Camelots were bringing their butler to serve.
They hadn't brought the butler. Now Gitano had to wear a stupid red bow-tie and gloves (heaven forbid if someone normal touched Lord Skin's food) to go along with the very stiff formal attire he had to wear for these occasions. He was not happy.
He tried his best to keep his stomach from growling (he still hadn't had lunch- all the brats' fault) as he carried dishes to and from the dining room. It appeared that the whole family had decided to show up. Rhian must have excellent intuition, he thought, otherwise she would never have had all this food prepared. Lord Adam, or Uncle Adam to everyone at the table, sat at one end and Lady Arienne at the other. Neah and Road had situated themselves as close as possible to Lord Adam. Mana sat in the middle of the table conversing sparingly with Lord Tykki. Rory, of course, sat by his mother's right hand.
"His coloring has improved from last that I saw him, Arienne," said Lady Lulubell while sipping tea. "I was afraid I wouldn't see him the next time I called."
"I believe it must have been overexposure to the sun," replied Lady Arienne. "Rory is such a sensitive child."
"Well, I do hope he will be as dutiful to the cause as you are, my dear Arienne," stated Lord Adam from the head of the table. "As soon as he is strong enough to travel you should bring your boys to my place."
"Oh, can we mother?" asked Neah enthusiastically. The adults chuckled at this display, causing the boy to turn a bright red and sit lower in his seat.
"We'll see," she responded.
"I want to come and visit!" exclaimed Road. She was now standing on her chair. Gitano inwardly groaned, for he could just imagine the fit Lady Arienne would have once everyone left. No one was allowed to stand on her furniture and get away with it. "It's been so long since I last was there."
"But you visit me all the time, Road," laughed Lord Adam. Gitano went into the kitchen to fetch dessert for the entire table. He was careful to balance the tray before Sophia and Rhian sent him back on his way to the dining room.
"I want to see what you are working on! You haven't told me a thing about your newest invention," pouted Road.
"I could tell you a bit, if you'd like," said Lord Adam while dabbing his mouth with a napkin.
Everyone in the dining room fell silent and looked at Lord Adam. This must have been the reason for this gathering. Odd people like the Walker family never just had dinner parties. "Do enlighten us, Uncle Adam," replied Lord Tykki, intertwining his fingers and placing his hands on his knees.
"Very well," began Lord Adam. He placed his napkin back on the table. "As I told you all last time I've been working on improving the abilities of all levels of akuma. Just last year I was able to level two akuma to change into a more human like form. Unless they are enraged then you can't even see the pentacle mark anymore."
"Go on," encourage Lord Camelot.
"Anyhow the only remaining problem was that the akuma could not sense those damn exorcists and their Innocence," said Lord Adam.
"What's Innocence, Mama?" asked Rory quietly.
"It's nothing you need to worry about, Rory dear," whispered Lady Arienne. "As long as I'm here I won't let it touch you."
"The newest herd of akuma was just ambushed the other day. Fortunately the upper levels got away and even killed two exorcists, but all of the level one akuma were lost," continued Lord Adam. His eyes narrowed at the last part. Gitano, not wanting to attract too much of Lord Adam's attention, sunk into the shadows as much as he could. They didn't worry about him telling anyone, since he couldn't leave, but Lord Adam still never liked it when he was in the room. "However, that issue is no longer of any concern. The newest generation of akuma is all equipped with sensors that can track Innocence."
Everyone at the table broke out in applause, Road being the most fervent in this action. "That's wonderful Uncle Adam!" cried out the girl.
"How do you know it works, though?" inquired Lord Tykki.
"You've always been a doubter, Tykki," chuckled Lord Adam. "We managed to capture a couple pieces of Innocence. Instead of destroying them outright like I usually do, I decided to use them for this experiment. I'd like to use the pieces again, however, so I called everyone together tonight to ask if anyone is willing to keep the Innocence in their house as I continue my work. It gives me such a headache and is such a temptation for my more destructive habits. My future work involves making akuma capable of destroying Innocence, but I can't test it if I destroy it first."
Everyone at the table exchanged glances. Gitano knew that they all hated this "Innocence"- whatever it was- so it was unlikely anyone would willingly volunteer-
"I'll do it, Lord Adam," declared Lady Arienne. Everyone seemed to be shocked. "I'm to only one here who is unaffected by the Innocence. It is the least I can do."
Lord Adam flashed his large cat-like grin. "Very well, Arienne," he said. "Make sure to keep the boys away from it. They might get… hurt. I'll bring it by in the next couple of days."
Gitano was very curious. He'd have to tell Sophia and Rhian about this later. There was a chance that he might finally discover what this "Innocence" was and why everyone seemed so frightened of it. Lady Arienne flashed him a look, and Gitano snapped out of his thoughts to begin clearing the table.
Okay, so this is turning out longer than I've expected, so I'm going to split it into three parts, but I'm willing to continue beyond part three if anyone has any interest in this. Anyhow, I'd like to talk about some of the character choices I made in this piece. After reading the latest chapter and looking at the way the other Noahs live in society I decided to make Mana and Neah nobility. I also decided that the twins on the second to last page are not Mana and Neah since it was stated in one of the earlier chapters that Mana was Neah's older brother. I know some people will say "he's the older twin" but I have my reasons for actually making Mana older. ;) I also thought it would be an interesting twist to make them a bit more of the bickering type. Almost all the stories I've read about them so far makes them so... nice. I mean, Neah is the Noah of destruction. Surely he has got to have a bit of a temper. Also I used the current names for the Noah family for simplicity's sake. Anyhow, I hoped you guys enjoyed this.
Also on the title and chapter titles: I was listening to Strauss' Four Last Songs while typing this, so I decided to use a quote from it for this chapter, with the chapter title being the song it came from. All chapter titles will be song titles, seeing as Neah was musically gifted. The story title just reflects the music theme. Reviews are highly encouraged! :D