It was dark and silent… only that chair and chains decorating the room. Not even that horrible, twisted moon could bring light to this place.
Neah was already sitting, the chains slowly covering his body like snakes, suffocating their pray.
Allen was in front of him. Not daring to move or make a sound.
It was Neah who broke the silence. His voice echoing around the room, making it sound like a crowd of ghosts repeating the words.
- You won - he said.
“You won, you won, you won” The ghosts repeated.
- I did - Indeed.
Allen did won the war, but at what price? He was alone now… more the ever.
Kanda was dead… having a body that was too fragile for such a violent battle, there was no way he could handle the damage. Allen didn’t even find his pieces to burry. Bookman was gone. Probably found something new to record and Lavi… Lavi may still be alive, but his mind was forever lost. Destroyed by the hands of the Noahs. Marie went by the easy way… killed by the akuma poison, leaving Miranda to trap herself in her own time loop while trying to bring her beloved back. The generals who weren’t dead left the order the moment the battle ended and Cross was still stuck in his enchanted sleep. Maybe hoping someone would find a way to wake him… maybe wishing they would not. Chaoji, who hated to noahs so much, woke up as a one of them and was the first to be killed. When Allen remembered the moment he had to kill the the man, he liked to think that it was painless. That the former exorcist died fast.
His illusion would end the moment Chaoji’s screams would reach his ears.
And Lenalee.. sweet Lenalee… betrayed by her own innocence. Caught in a moment of weakness. A moment of hate. Her wish to live with her brother and be nothing else but a normal girl, turned the powers that she should wield against her. Allen could still hear her pleas and cries as the innocence would torn her from the inside… boiling her blood and driving the once bright and positive girl into a insane mess of destruction, also taking away her brother. Komui, who had done everything for his little sister, was now drowned in grief… with no way of coming back to the surface of his mind.
Yes… Allen had won the war, but it didn’t feel like it.
He must have stayed quiet - lost in his thoughts - for too long, because Neah, once again, made his voice echo across the room
- How much? -The former Noah asked and Allen, not understanding the question, could only stare. The confusion must have be written all over his face, because it was with a smile that Neah questioned: - How much do you remember? - And simple like that, Allen knew what he was talking about.
His previous life… A life where he had no innocence, a life of being friends with the two brothers who would give him hell, later in an undesirable future. A life of books, laughs and stolen kisses.
- Only some parts of it - he answered - The rest is still coming back to me in small dreams or even when I see something my past self used to like.
- And how do you feel? - Burning. That’s how he felt with those golden eyes staring at him, like the man sitting in front of him could see Allen’s soul. Like he knew what was behind that wrecked mask.
- I feel weird - Allen murmured.
- That’s not what I meant and you know it - There was a hint in Neah’s tone… one that clearly said he was tired and they could very well skip the hiding part.
Yes, Allen knew what Neah was talking about and he also knew that they didn’t have much time, but this fact didn’t make it any easier for him to speak up.
He tried anyway.
- I think that part of me - Allen started - a part that I’m trying to, but I stillI don’t know very well, will always love you, Neah.
Hope flicked in those beautiful eyes and it pained Allen to complete
- But you need to understand that when I went back to be a child, I didn’t know who I was or how I was raised. - hurt and loneliness, that was all Allen could see in Neah’s face… maybe the same thing was in his own too - I went back to zero. I got an innocence and a cursed eye… I met new people and allowed myself to love.
Neah opened his mouth to say something, but Allen stoped him. If he didn’t say all he had to say now, he wouldn’t be able to bring himself to do it later.
- My first meeting with you was through a mirror and you immediately became my enemy. - Allen kept saying. Each word burning his throat like he was trying, and failing, to swallow hot coal. - A threat against my friends. My family…. a threat against me!
Allen felt like the world was fading around him, and he knew that the two of them didn’t have much time now. He knew and the only think he kept doing was hurting Neah over and over again with his words.
- But you do remember the moments between us, right? - Neah asked. Pain and something else filling his eyes.
- I do - Allen confessed - and those are moments all cherished until the end of my life.
It seemed like those were the words Neah wanted to hear, because he allowed a small smile to appear on his face, making him look younger then Allen has ever seen him.
- I still do, you know - Neah said. His voice calm and toned with something Allen didn’t recognize.
- Still do what? - the boy asked, intrigued by the softness in the other’s tone.
- I still do love you - He said and, as Neah’s eyes closed to never again open up, Allen realized that it was, indeed, love.
Neah’s voice was full of love. Love for Allen.
And yet again, Allen found himself thinking:
“Yes, I did won the war… but at what price?” Death, insanity, loneliness… too high.
That was the answer… Peace demanded a price too high to be paid, and Allen paid it anyway.
As that chair, those chains and the man disappeared, Allen opened his eyes to a bright and hateful world. As the screams of his friend and the blood of his enemies came back into his mind, Allen put a hand on his blind left eye and did not try to fight the river of tears coming out of his right one.
It's hot outside, if this is news to you, get out of bed, and take a step outside. I'll wait....it's hot right? Glad you agree. One of my specialties is weed. The second? Adult milkshakes. Which is basically where I drop whatever alcohol I feel like into your shake. Who's in?