[A/N] - So. Read this please~
Hi everyone! Long time no see, ahaha... If you don't know me, my name (as far as ff-net is concerned) is ArcanaElement - call me Arcana, or Arc. For those of you that do know me... -bows with head to the floor- I am so sorry for not updating Maikaze for the better part of a year. I do hate myself for it, but life has been... life. You all know what I mean. I'll try my best to get something out for that as well.
Now. For the new fiction. I finished D. Gray-man a while ago and wanted to write my own fanfiction of fluff and fun using my two favorite characters, Allen and Lavi.
Based off of that, you should have automatically assumed that this will be a boyxboy/shonen-ai/yaoi-without-the-smex-because-this-is-staying-T-rated-okay-people fanfiction - and you would be correct. Because of this, I do not want to see anyone flaming me because I didn't warn you. Because I just did. It's right there. See? Yup.
I welcome all reviews and constructive criticism - but please, don't take this too seriously. I thought this up and made a rough draft in a week and then let it fall flat because I ran into writer's block headfirst. I still haven't recovered.
And so you get the first chapter of For the First Time.
Recommendations: Read in 3/4th page size. I personally think it looks cleaner that way. Do not read if you do not like shonen-ai.
Disclaimer: I do not own D. Gray-man or anything affiliated with it. Makes me sad. I want Lavi.
Allen tilted his head back to stare up past the wrought-iron spikes adorning the top of the front gate of the imposing Dark Order Academy. Past the dark steel bars separating the sidewalk from the inside of the school, he could see a large fountain in the center of a green area with students in uniform milling around and enjoying each other's company. The fountain sported five figures that were allowing the water to flow out into the large stone basin towards the base. A terrifyingly familiar figure among their number reminded Allen of the reason why he was at the Academy in the first place.
Allen resisted the urge to refute the nickname Cross had oh-so-lovingly bestowed upon him and instead answered with a somewhat subdued, "Yes, Master?" He looked up from the mass of paperwork he'd been working on for the past several hours – records of all the debts Cross owed various people that the one in debt refused to pay back himself.
A whack on the head from a calloused fist and a cloud of pipe smoke in his face was the initial reply Allen received. "Watch your tone," Cross warned him. "Here I was about to do your sorry ass a favor."
"A favor, Master?" Allen had to admit, he was curious about what Cross could possibly consider a favor to other people.
Cross took a drag from his pipe and blew the smoke towards Allen's face once more. "Well, maybe it's not a favor for you so much as it is for me. You're going to school."
Allen questioningly repeated, "School? Why am I going to school now, Master?" He'd never gone to school before, though he did understand how the system worked, and also had the knowledge necessary to succeed due to all of the… situations Cross had unleashed upon him.
"Because I've decided that you've been holding me back from the things that I really want – like women. Having to cart your ass around doesn't help me with those, so I'm going to drop you at a place that owes me a favor and get you out of my hair."
"Where would that be, Master?"
"Dark Order Academy. Once upon a time, some of my acquaintances decided that they wanted to help educate punks like you. I had the foresight to figure that if I helped them with their little project, I'd be able to get something out of it in the end, so I found them a site where they could build and they made some money to actually build the place."
It sounds like you had the least work of it; I'm surprised you think that they'd still owe you for that, Allen couldn't help but think. "I'd be living at this Academy then?"
Cross sighed heavily, leveling a one-eyed stare at his 'pupil' that seemed to say, 'I can't believe you.' "Do I have to spell out everything for you? How the hell would you attend the school if you didn't live there?"
Allen's eye twitched. "When would I begin attending?" And getting you out of my hair, how about that?
A grin split the unmasked half of Cross' face well in half, making Allen afraid for his own well-being. "Whenever you wake up. See you, kid."
All Allen knew was a solid impact to his head, then darkness.
Some unknown length of time after Cross' 'goodbye,' Allen had woken up in the backseat of a sleek black car to a man he didn't know alerting him to the fact that they were now outside the Academy. Allen had stepped out of the car with a suitcase of clothing and other necessities – which included a sizable amount of money, to his surprise. He hadn't expected Cross to leave him anything for him to live off of at all. There had also been a hastily-scrawled note in Cross' handwriting taped to the side of his suitcase addressed to him – well, assuming Cross thought that Allen's real name was 'kid.'
Find Mother. She'll have to watch you now instead of me. Make some friends who'll have to cart your ass around for a while. Don't die.
Allen had thought it rather cryptic; after all, why, or how, would he find a way to die in a place like this?
The stone eyes of the statue of Cross Marian seemed to stare past the bars back at him. He involuntarily flinched slightly and sighed. Even when he's trying to get me out of his hair, he haunts me without even trying.
A small section of the wrought-iron gate was fashioned into a door with a golden doorknob. Allen turned the knob and the barred door swung inwards, allowing him access to the school grounds. He walked forward a few steps on the paved path leading up to the fountain and took a quick glance around.
The summer sunshine warmed all of the students lounging around in the courtyard. Some had taken cover underneath large shady trees that dotted the green expanse of grass. He could see that some of the more daring students had taken up residence in the branches of the trees, calling down to those below. Girls sitting on the benches that lined the paved paths laughed at each other's conversations and snacked on different foods.
There were three buildings arranged around the courtyard, two fairly large ones to his left and right and a larger one directly in front of him past the fountain. Students were coming and going from all three, though the largest seemed to have the least amount of people around it. Allen assumed that would be where the faculty offices and official rooms would be, and possibly this aforementioned 'Mother.'
Continuing down the path brought Allen to a roundabout path circling the fountain, giving him a better view of the statues that made up the body of the decorations. Besides Cross, there seemed to be four other people dressed in long jackets and formal clothing with a kind of crest on the front of each jacket. It was rather ornate yet simple at the same time, a series of overlapping stars and circles with a cross with symbols etched onto each feature. That must be the school's crest, Allen realized.
He continued his walk past the fountain and several students who had stopped to look at him and whisper to their friends. He could pick out words from their hushed conversations while he made his way towards the large door of the main building.
"Hey, look at him!" A girl squealed to her giggling group of friends, pointing at him from behind her hand.
"What's with his hair?" One boy looked back at Allen from over his shoulder from where he was facing some other students.
"He's not in uniform… Is he a new student?" A pair of girls sitting on a bench on the side of the path followed him with their eyes.
"Did you see his face? What a weird tattoo…" Some of the boys he passed snickered among themselves.
"His hand, did you see it? It was all black and wrinkled…" A nervous-looking girl eyed his marred left arm and pointed it out to her friend.
Allen sighed. It wasn't that he hadn't expected reactions like those, but he could tell they were going to run rampant wherever he went in this school. And did he really look like the kind of person who would get a tattoo? Honestly, these people and their minds are almost scarier than Master when he's angry. Subconsciously, he combed his hair over the left side of his face with his hand to hide the oddly-shaped scar that adorned his face there.
After ascending the set of steps leading up to the massive slabs of wood passing for the double door of the main building, Allen found another small door built into them and opened it, stepping in and allowing it to close behind him. He found himself in a hallway that continued to his left and right with a flight of stairs in front of him. Unsure of where to go, he stood there for a moment, hoping someone would pass by and be able to help him.
Sure enough, someone did. A girl in the school's uniform with her long, dark hair drawn up into two ponytails came down the stairs and saw Allen next to the door.
"Oh!" She let out a sound of surprise, and upon arriving at the foot of the stairs asked him, "Could you possibly be Allen Walker?"
"Yes, I am," Allen replied. "May I ask how you know my name?"
The girl sighed, seemingly in relief, for her next words were, "That's great – I don't have to run around this huge place looking for you. I just came down from the headmistress' office and she'd told me to look for 'a boy named Allen Walker who looks like an old man.'" Her eyes widened and a hand came up to cover her mouth. "Er, I don't mean that you look like an old man; that's just what she told me about you. You don't look old to me or anything –"
"It's fine," Allen said, cutting her off with a small smile. "Would your headmistress happen to go by the name of Mother?"
The girl nodded. "She refuses to let anyone call her anything else, so we just go with it. She actually told me to take you to her once I found you, so…"
Allen nodded once. "Please, lead the way, Miss…"
"Oh, my name's Lenalee Lee, but Lenalee is fine. It's a pleasure to meet you, Allen." The girl gave him a smile over her shoulder from where she was ascending the stairs ahead of him.
They arrived on the second floor of the building where another flight of stairs awaited them.
"This main building has three floors. The first floor is the main office, nurse's office, and faculty boarding, and this floor is the for teachers' offices. The next floor is only the headmistress' office, so we need to go up –"
A yell more akin to a shriek of the girl's name came from the hall on Allen's right. He saw a fast approaching figure sprinting down the hall towards Lenalee, on track to collide with her. He made a move to get in front of her to stop whatever was trying to attack her, but Lenalee sidestepped the charging figure with a sigh of annoyance, tripping them with a well-placed foot.
"What is it, Komui-nii – er, Komui-sensei?"
The person named Komui pulled himself up from where his face had hit the floor and turned around to violently hug Lenalee – and pull her away from Allen's general vicinity.
"Lenalee! What are you doing with this boy? Don't tell me you're actually trying to become a woman on your own without telling your big brother about –" An elbow to his ribs from Lenalee effectively took his breath away and he fell to his knees, clutching what was sure to be a newly-forming bruise. "Why are… you so mean to your… caring older brother?" He wheezed, tears seeming to form along his lower eyelids.
Lenalee sighed again. "Close personal contact between teachers and students isn't allowed, you know. Besides, I'm taking Allen to the headmistress' office – Mother asked for him earlier and I just happened to find him downstairs."
Komui seemed to ignore everything except for Allen's name in Lenalee's explanation. "So this monster who's trying to steal away my precious Lenalee has a name, does he? Watch yourself mister, it'll be over my dead body before I let you take her away from –"
"Komui-niisan! Did you listen to me at all?" Lenalee pinched the bridge of her nose. "Look, Mother is waiting for Allen, so I'll talk to you later when you've calmed down. Let's go, Allen." She motioned to the slightly amused boy still on the last step of the stairs.
"NOOOOO, LENALEE, DON'T GO! NOOOO!"
Komui's cries of distress faded behind them as Allen and Lenalee went up the stairs. At the third floor, Lenalee turned to Allen and said, "I'm sorry about my brother. He's just a tad overprotective of me."
"It's okay. I think it's nice that he cares so much about you." Allen could see that Komui really cared for his sister, his affection obviously displayed in the way he interacted with her.
"There's a fine line between 'so much' and 'too much,'" Allen heard her mutter, but he could also see the smile on her face as she said it. Her voice returned to its usual pitch as she said, "If he ever bothers you, just tell me and I'll deal with him."
Allen nodded. "I'll keep that in mind." It did seem like he had it out for me…
She turned away from him and gestured at the door in front of them. "This is Mother's office. She's waiting for you there. I have to go calm my brother down before he does something stupid. I'll see you around, right?"
"Right. Thank you, Lenalee," Allen called after her as she descended the stairs.
"No problem!" A wave of her hand and she was out of sight.
Allen walked up to the door of the headmistress' office and knocked. A strong, slightly raspy voice announced, "Come in."
He did as he was bid and opened the door to a rectangular room. It was surprisingly homey with decorative armchairs surrounding a wooden table on top of a fluffy rug in the center and a large desk with papers stacked on top towards the window in the back of the room. Bookcases flanked the desk on either side and behind the desk was an aged woman in a chair facing the door Allen had just walked through. The woman wore a purple suit and had her grey hair pulled back in a bun, keeping it out of the way of her eyes that were now watching Allen closely.
"You're Allen?" The woman asked him, not unkindly in her rough voice.
"Yes, ma'am," Allen replied. "Did Master tell you that I was coming?"
She snorted. "Tell me? He practically forced me to take you in - not that I was going to refuse, but that man wouldn't know manners if they bit him in the ass."
That does fairly sum up his way of talking to people… "I'm sorry if we've inconvenienced you in any way, ma'am." Allen bowed at his waist.
"Oh, straighten up, boy, you've done nothing to make trouble for me. And call me Mother, didn't Lenalee tell you that?"
Righting himself, Allen said, "Yes, Mother. I met Lenalee downstairs and she led me up to your office."
"She's a good girl, though I can't say the same for that brother of hers. Why I let him teach here is beyond me, to be honest," she muttered. "I don't have anyone else that can take his place for teaching those classes, but if I manage to, oh, is he in trouble…"
Allen shifted slightly on his feet. "Master said I would be attending this Academy from now on."
Mother coughed and refocused on Allen. "Oh, yes, that's the plan. You'll be staying here for as long as you need to learn whatever you need. Whatever you decide to do after is up to you, but that's a long ways away, so don't bother yourself about it yet."
Well, that's good, because I have absolutely no idea what I want to do. "Master said I'd be living in the Academy while I stayed here…"
"Ah, yes. He's informed you rather well, considering the kind of person that Cross is." Mother rolled her eyes and Allen had to smile a bit. "You'll be living in the dorms with the other students while you study here. You'll have a roommate, since I don't have a room for a single person empty right now. When one opens up, I'll tell you and you can move if you want."
Allen nodded. "What kinds of classes will I be attending?"
Mother waved her hand. "Oh, the general requirements all new students have to take before they decide what they want to set themselves to for the rest of their lives. Or a good chunk of it, anyway. Are you adept at math, languages, history and the like?"
"Yes, Mother. Because I've constantly travelled and lived with Master for years, I've learned about different things." It wasn't a lie; merely a simplification of the truth of all the pain and trauma Cross had put Allen through during the years. He shuddered slightly.
She made a small sound of pity and empathy. "Poor boy, stuck with that man for so long. I can't imagine what he's made you do for him and his nasty habits. You're here now though, so don't worry about him." She smiled before continuing, "Now, you'll need a key for your room, a copy of your class schedule, and some time to relax before we set you to the old grindstone, I'm sure. If you go back down to the first floor to the main office, Anita will give you what you need to get started."
"Thank you for everything, Mother." Allen bowed slightly and turned to leave, but paused. "Mother, about the expenses for my attendance here…"
"Don't worry about it. Doubtless you've made enough money fueling the bad habits of that Cross to fund hundreds of students here. It's all taken care of, so just take care of yourself, boy." The nickname resembled a term of endearment coming from her, as opposed to the insult Allen had come to associate the word with when it came from Cross.
Allen nodded and thanked her again before he exited the office and went down the stairs again, nothing that Komui and Lenalee were nowhere to be seen on the second floor. On the ground floor, Allen saw a sign marked 'Main Office' and knocked on the door beneath it before entering with an, "Excuse me."
A black-haired woman sat behind a desk to the right of the door, filing cabinets and papers aplenty behind her chair. She typed away at the computer for a moment before pausing and looking up at Allen with a smile.
"Allen, right? Mother just sent me a message. You'll need your schedule and your room key. Give me a second to print it and I'll fetch the key in the meantime."
"Thank you, Miss Anita."
"Well, aren't you polite?" Anita laughed and spun around in her chair to open one of the filing cabinets beside her. Allen could see labeled boxes filling up the drawer to the top and noted the numbers on the side of each one while Anita sorted through them.
"Now, your room number is two-hundred-fifty-five, and according to this box, you have a roommate. Each of these boxes has three keys when they're for a double room – two for the two people, and one as a spare here in case you both somehow lose yours. Just something to keep in mind in case you do lost yours and your roommate isn't around to open the door for you." Anita handed Allen a key with a ring and a label reading '255' on it. "Your schedule should have finished printing… Aha! Here you go." She pulled a paper from the tray of a printer hidden behind the desk and gave it to Allen.
He scanned it quickly, pleasantly surprised to notice that his classes began at eight in the morning and ended at around half past four in the afternoon. That's less work time that Master ever allowed me when I was working off his debts for him. And I even get an hour for lunch!
"Today is Sunday, so unfortunately, your classes start tomorrow," Anita informed him sympathetically. "The school term began about a week and a half ago, so you may have some catching up to do. You're starting as a first-year, so the classes shouldn't be too strenuous. Mother seems to believe that you'll manage and she's never wrong, so just do your best and everything will be fine."
Allen nodded, putting the key in his pocket and his schedule in the side of his suitcase.
Anita saw the motion and said, "I almost forgot! You'll need your school uniforms – one for summer and one for winter. Eliade keeps track of them in the storage room labeled 'Clothing,' and she should be there now, so if you go down the hall, she'll set you up with those."
Allen bowed. "Thank you again, Miss Anita."
"Have fun with school!" Anita said in lieu of a goodbye.
[A/N] - Slow start, yes. Allen's getting situated.
Again, I welcome all reviews! They make my day that much brighter when I read them and smile.
And because of that, I would like to be a bit selfish. If I could get five reviews for this, at the point I see I've received that fifth review, I'll post the second chapter. Please?
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful until-the-next-chapter!