Chapter six: Guns, Bullets, Blood

They cleaned up the house and left in the early hours of the morning, walking cautiously in the empty streets.

The scenery of broken down houses, scraggly-looking gardens and the occasional burnt-out car never changed, although, after two straight hours of silent walking, they reached the burnt remains of a large building.

Allen quietly walked along the edge, carefully measuring his steps. Fifty-four and a half paces in length. He sighed, tugging at his shirt. He'd returned Lavi's jacket, claiming he wouldn't need it. That was true; the weather was nice here, the breeze was warm and ruffled his hair, but Lavi kept on insisting that he was going to catch a cold.

He chuckled, but looked over his shoulder at Lavi and smiled sadly.

"What was this?" he asked.

"Oh my god! Is that a smile ?!" Lavi exclaimed, grinning.

"Answer the question, Lavi" Allen sighed, smile slipping slightly.

Lavi looked down.

"The old Black Order gang HQ... it was a really bad fire, I was there. But, they relocated six months before Gramps and I went 'missing'" he replied.

"Oh..."

Lavi just nodded and moved closer.

"Over there," he said, pointing to a thick line of trees that marked the start of a large forest, "Is where we're going".

Allen gave him a blank look and stepped away. "Oh, and I suppose we're going to start growing narcotics there and sell them to any gang member who wants it?"

"Duh, short stack, it's where the new HQ should be"

"Should... Huh, yeah, that makes me feel very hopeful" Allen snorted.

"Allen, please, just once; believe me" Lavi begged.

Allen walked away, to Bookman, who was calmly checking something on the ground.

"We should go now, there is someone following us" Bookman said, frowning.

"Someone we should be scared of?"

"Possibley. I don't know as of ye-" Bookman was interupted by the sound of a gun being loaded and three shot being fired.

One bullet came dangerously close to Bookman's shoulder, but missed, while the other two came into contact with human flesh.

One grazed past Lavi's arm, enough to cut his skin but not enough to embed itself into his arm, while the other got Allen, two inches above his right knee. Allen's eyes widened and he let himself fall to the ground as the burning sensation of being shot got worse, and blood soaked through his pants.

The gunman, who was standing on a bench, walkie talkie to his ear, barely saying "I shot him" when Bookman whipped out his pistol and fired a shot at the man as he yelled at Lavi.

"Take Allen, run! I'll meet up with you, just go!"

Lavi nodded and, disregarding the fact there was blood oozing down his arm, he scooped Allen up in his arms bridal style and jogged until they were far into the trees.

He looked down at Allen and frowned worriedly; the boy was looking extremely pained.

"How's the leg feeling?" he asked softly, stopping walking.

"Bad..." Allen replied slowly.

"Hold on a sec..." Lavi said, shifting Allen in his arms so he could put the white-haired boy on a large tree stump. Allen gripped the edge of the tree stump like his life depended on it and stared up at the sky.

Lavi took off his scarf (that he'd managed to get back off the Misfits before they'd left) and began wrapping it tightly around Allen's wound after quickly inspecting it.

"The bullet looks like it might still be in there... but I don't think it hit bone" he said, looking up at Allen, who lowered his gaze slowly.

"Thanks... Why do you care? Is it because I'm the adopted son of Mana Walker, one of the most famous gangsters round here?" Allen asked earnestly.

'Tell him, just confess... But, what about Yuu? You'll see him when you get back to HQ!' he thought, frowning.

"Yeah, that's why. That and I think it'd be good to have ya around the Black Order gang" Lavi replied, faking a smile.

"Why don't I believe you?" Allen asked suspiciously.

"Because you suspect me too much"

"Uh huh..."

The two lapsed into an uncomfortable silence until Allen cleared his throat.

"We should keep go-"

"Yes, we should" Bookman said, calmly walking through the trees towards them.

"You crazy old man!" Lavi grinned.

"I am not old!" Bookman argued, frowning sternly, "We should get going, Lavi" he added.

"Yeah, yeah..." Lavi mumbled, rolling his eyes and picking Allen back up again, then continuing the walk.

Allen studied Lavi's face as they walked.

"You're enjoying this aren't you?" he asked.

Lavi just ignored the question, a ghost of a smile on his lips. Allen gave up and turned his head, studying the scenery.

Pine trees, everywhere. The smell of damp leaves was in the air, mixed with... gun powder?

The whole trio heard the nervous stuttering before they saw the source of it. It came from behind a screen of vines, whether this was natural or not... there didn't seem to be anything out of place, except for the fact a young woman, flanked by a man, stepped out from behind the screen, both raising their rifles at them.

"Don't shoot, it's just me an' Bookman!" Lavi yelled, throwing up his hands.

The woman looked surprized, lowering her gun.

"Lavi? B-but we thought you were dead..." she said in a tone of bewilderment.

"No, two years of being prisoners of the Misfits"

"Oh... It's so good to see you!" she cried, dropping the weapon, going to hug Lavi, but seeing Allen, who was looking glassy-eyed by now, in his arms. She almost fell over a tree root but the man behind her caught her.

"Miranda, Krory, this is Allen Walker"

"So it is true. Allen's not dead" The man, Krory, said, smiling slightly.

Lavi nodded once.

"Well, right now, I don't know... Allen, are you okay?" he asked.

"I'm fine. Just get me some help, please" Allen replied.

"Yes yes, I will. I'll talk to you guys later then, bye. Wait, is Yuu still here?"

Miranda and Krory exchanged glances.

"Yes, he is, bu-" Krory began but was interupted by Lavi saying "Great. See ya!" and walking off with the semi-conscious Allen in his arms, Bookman following closely behind.

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