Hana: Hey guys! So, for those of you who re familiar with "Without a Past", this is it's rewrite, called "Clean Slate", as you can see.
Richie: Double meaning?
Hana: Double meaning...but you guys will figure out why if you read~! -grins-
Richie: -rolls her eyes- Han doesn't own D. Gray-man. If she did...would she really be sitting on her ass writing fanfics like this?
Hana: A girl can dream! Happy reading!
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+ - Night 1: The First Year - +
The rain was merciless as I ran through the people-scarce streets of the port city. Not long ago, the ship I been sailing on had docked here. However, my rushing from the ship had nothing to do with the eagerness of seeing the sights.
It was to get away from the slaughter that was happening on board.
My dress was in tatters, and the cotton layers of material was stuck to my legs as I frantically ran for my life. I could've ditched the infernal garment I was forced to wear. It wasn't even my first choice of dress. Or my second, third or last. It wouldn't be on my list if I had my way, and I silently cursed when something was fired in my direction. My brunette hair, once in one of those popular up-dos was now a straggly mess of knots, and tangles.
The whole purpose of my 'little trip' was so I could I run away, with the full intention of never looking back to the life I once knew. There wasn't exactly a place in mind when I would eventually leave without any trace, and I had almost felt bad when I once appeared out of the blue to that girl and her family. The feeling only disappearing with my sudden acceptance of her earlier offer.
I screamed when one of the pursuers chasing me shot at the ground, propelling me through the rubble. I grunted in pain when I made contact with the cobblestone street. When people think of 'girl', they think of a damsel that needs saving in a situation like this one. No. I refuse to be lugged together with such bullshit.
The truth of the matter was, I had been running for hours, and my stamina was starting to run out. My body craved for rest, but my instincts craved to find safety. I got up, a little wobbly, and chanced a look over my left shoulder. Just as I thought, I was still being pursued. "Dammit!" I screamed, before my energy was renewed to start running once more.
It wasn't a human that was chasing me. Not anymore, at least. It was someone I'd come on this trip with. Someone I once thought was a good friend of mine. That is…until tragedy struck months ago. I didn't know what the catastrophe was, but it was bad. I was told different stories from different people before finally confronting her when I finally managed to sneak away from my lessons.
There had been a carriage accident, and it killed her cousin, who was barely five. I knew how much she cared for him. But I didn't know how to console her. At the time, I should've seen the signs. I should've known something wasn't right with how she was acting when she spoke of it.
No tears. No remorse. No emotion.
She'd suddenly come up with the idea to leave our home in Portugal and set sail to a new land. With her and her family in a month time from that invitation. I had declined the first, time, however, I kept it in mind. They day I began running, was the day I finally accepted. If it meant getting away from the life I never wanted, then hell, I was all for it. That was how my initial plan came into being.
It was this choice that eventually led me to where I was now. Running for my life, from my friend who, before my only working eye, had morbidly transformed from a human girl into a balloon-like monster with a permanent face of torture on its body. All of its cannons — that's what I realized they were — were locked on me. Ready to end my fourteen-year-old life.
And for an instant, I was certain that was the case. I screamed in pain as I was hit from behind, and then the next thing I knew…my whole world turned to black.
. . - * - . .
"She's waking up! General! Brother!" I groaned at the voices that surrounded me. I was alive? I opened my eyes, bleary vision welcoming me until I blinked a couple more times. Where was I?
"Don't get up, you're badly injured." A male's voice tells me, gently pushing me back down. I winced at the touch, it was obvious my shoulder was injured. "Though I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised. You young ones always seem to have the most energy."
"P-pardon?" I coughed after trying to speak, and a glass was suddenly held out to me. I gratefully took it, drinking the water that was in there. Sighing when the cool liquid quenched my throat, I handed it back to the person who gave it to me. A girl with dark pig-tailed hair, and violet eyes. "Where…am I? W-why am I here?"
"You're in a clinic owned by the Black Order." The girl said. "I'm Lenalee Lee. The man on your other side is General Tiedoll, and beside me is my brother, Komui Lee." I looked around taking notice of the two men. I nodded, acknowledging them.
"What's…the Black Order?" I decided to ask. Somehow, I had a feeling it wouldn't be talked about to outsiders like myself…unless there was a reason to.
"Do you recall that monster that attacked you, miss?" Tiedoll, I believe his name was, asked. I looked at the man, my only visible black iris showing confusion. I nodded slowly. That was perhaps the hardest thing to forget about.
It was the other male, Komui, who answered my unasked question; "Well, as members of this organization, we…ah, people like my darling sister, and the General here, are able to destroy such creatures"
"Akuma are monsters created by the Maker. A man who promises to bring back the soul of a lost loved one. Even though the Maker is one of his names, we call the Millennium Earl."
"Bring back…a dead loved one?" It clicked as I recalled that demon using her skin…
Her? Who was…her…? I gasped in pain, as a rough jolt suddenly bolted through my mind. "NGH!" I screamed in pure agony, as a memory I couldn't recall tried to make itself known. I could vaguely remember a light coming from my left. Before I knew it…my world was once again thrown into the darkness of oblivion.
. . - * - . .
"How're you gonna explain her condition, Lena?" A new voice etched itself into my conscious. Young, male. "I saw her briefly the other day, when you and Yu—"
"Call me that again, and I'll finish what I started earlier, baka usagi." A deeper voice threatens. "The hell am I even doing here?"
"Because you're totally curious as I was to see the new potential Exorcist that'll be training under Tiedoll?" The — usagi, right? — stated.
"Honestly you two. Lavi, don't get under Kanda's skin, and Kanda…please behave yourself." I remembered that voice…it was Lenalee's.
"Che." I assumed that was 'Kanda'…or maybe it was 'Yu'? I was a little confused with this person's name.
"It's all fun." I could almost hear the pout in what I assumed was 'Lavi's' voice. "We don't know this Jane Doe's name though. Kind of a bummer…y'think she'll wake up?"
At this I managed a groan, "Eu estou acordado…" (I am awake…)
"Ah! She spoke!"
I managed to crack my working eye open, staring at the three faces before me. Lenalee, who I could remember from the last time I woke up, and then two new faces, whom I never saw before. I assumed they were Kanda and Lavi. "My head hurts." I muttered.
"That's to be expected." An elderly voice speaks up, walking up into my line of sight. He was short, and his topknot was shaped oddly like a question mark. He wore some sort of make up around his eyes, my first thought of him being a human panda. "I have no name, you may simply refer to me as Bookman." He held out a hand, and I took notice of metal thimbles on each of his fingers.
"Um…nice to meet you." I shook his hand. Why did 'bookman' sound familiar? It shouldn't have, as such a name, much less word was one I hadn't heard until just then.
"I'm Lavi~! The old panda's successor~ OW!" I blinked upon seeing the old man literally jump kick the tall red-head in the face like it was nothing. "DAMMIT! DID'JA HAVE TA HIT ME?"
"Hit? It was a kick, you moronic successor!"
Lavi was tall, sporting messy hair, and an eyepatch over his right eye. The only eye that was visible was green, and I realized that around his neck rested a headband to which I was more than certain was used to keep his hair out his face.
"Er…" I didn't know what to think of these people. My eyes traveled to the silent occupant in the room. Long dark hair was tied up in a ponytail but leaving two tresses and his fringe free from the bindings. His eyes were cold and calculating, almost as though he were sizing me up, and I didn't like it. "The hell are you looking at, girly boy?"
Silence. The atmosphere was suddenly heavy and I could see veins popping from the verbally assaulted male. "You want to die, bitch?"
"Oh~ so scary, she-man!" I taunted, "Did you're mummy help you come up with that? Idiota!" (Idiot!)
"Why you little—!"
"Yu." Whatever threat was about to leave his rude mouth was interrupted the moment another familiar face entered the room. "Don't go fighting with your fellow Exorcist like that."
The newcomer sighed, as I tried recalling their name. It was…something with a 'T', I was sure… "Hello, my dear. I'm Froi Tiedoll." He said, perhaps taking note of my struggle to remember. "You seem to have adapted to your Innocence quite well."
"Ah…you haven't noticed it yet?" Tiedoll, at this point, had walked over to the bed, and pulled up my left arm. Rather than pale pristine flesh, I was instead met with a dark, rough appendage. A green glowing cross was fluctuating in tune with my heart on the back of my hand, and clear fingernails were now black as the sky back home.
"Wow." I said, eying my limb's new look. "I'm not sure why…but I like it."
"You're…not really upset about it?" Lenalee asked in awe.
"Honestly, I'm in shock, but at the same time…I like it. I feel like I've reached the pinnacle of rebelling." I said with a light chortle. This was almost nothing in comparison to my eye. The unseeing ball was one I had dealt with my whole life. I looked to my right to get a better look at the trio of teens otherwise in my blind spot there. "It's a weird feeling, but I kinda think it was meant to be. Is that strange of me to think so?"
"Either way, the Innocence fragment you possess was one of which I had been carrying." Tiedoll said, having placed my arm down. "Unfortunately, I'm rather uncertain how to go about training a parasite type user. I'm far from being up to this challenge, of course."
"You've got to fucking be kidding me." Kanda growled. "Why the hell do we need a—"
"Lemme guess… 'a weak, pathetic, and fragile little girl', is that what you were gonna say?" I asked, glaring daggers at the oriental male. "Listen up, jerk face. I'm not weak. I could take you on any day of the week, and come out unscathed!"
"Is that a threat?"
"It's a challenge, pretty boy."
I heard someone sigh, but didn't bother to check, knowing it was too feminine for any of the boys here. Most likely Lenalee.
"If you think you're—" It was then I started feeling a sharp pain in my eye. I winced, and covered it, only to feel something warm, and very wet meet the skin of my palm. Pulling back my normal pale arm, I was met with blood.
"W-what…?" I'm by no means afraid of blood. But when my eye suddenly starts crying it, that often told me trouble was about to occur.
I shakily got out of the cot, my tattered clothes still on me. I ignored the people telling me to not get up yet. My eye hurt drastically as I made for the window. It was the window…it had to be…and I stumbled to it. My eyes widened in complete shock as I was face to face with another one of those monsters. It grinned.
My eye flared. "GET DOWN!" I shouted, but it soon became a scream of pain when I was shot point-plank in the stomach. I coughed up blood, and stars started appearing on my form. Pentagrams…the sign I was told was that of the devil. "P-Pen…tagrams…?"
Everyone else managed to avoid the attack that came right through the window. I was relieved about that. "Yu! Lena! Get rid of that Akuma! Gramps and I'll take care of her!"
Everything became blurred. My vision, I realized, was starting to fail me, as was my hearing which was now static-like at best…I may as well as been under water.
I could somewhat hear the battle from where I lay, I found myself wondering if this was where I would die…everyone had a face of pure shock and fear when I got shot…strange…wasn't I suppose to die? I gasped when I felt a warmth from my hand, the gem glowing brightly, before finally dimming back to its fluctuating glow. The black markings were gone now, but the wound was still there.
"Man…parasite users are something else." Lavi sighed. "But we still need to fix that hole in your gut…" He looked my way, as he continued speaking. "y'know, you're lucky it didn't destroy any…th-thing…holy hell…"
"Your hair appears to have changed color." Bookman noted, he moved my hair out of my face, probably to assess my bleeding eye. "You're truly crying tears of blood."
I nodded, as Lavi tore away the material of my dress's bodice. "Y-Yeah…" I hissed when the red-head started to peel away the fibers that were sticking to my wound. "I-It's a-always done…th-that…"
"Always?" I knew the elderly man was keeping me alert, not wanting me to fall back into the abyss.
"Yeah…when…t-trouble is near…by…" I gasped when Lavi managed to remove what was left sticking to my injuries. Damn, that hurt like a bitch… "For…a-as long as…I can r-remember…"
"And it always bleeds?" This was Tiedoll that time. I could only manage a nod…I really wanted to take a nap right then.
Lavi spoke up, as he started disinfecting the area I was hit. It stung, but not by much in my current state. "The stronger the pain…the closer the threat."
"Interesting. An asset like that…"
Whatever Bookman was going to say, was interrupted when I started coughing. A full out hard-to-breathe-practically-choking-on-air kind of cough. Though I was more so choking on blood than anything else.
"Whoa! Don't go dying on us—!" It became apparent no one knew my name. No one knew what to call the girl slowly losing her grasp on consciousness, and the waking world in general.
Can't say I care, exactly…but she would kill me if she knew I never introduced myself…
. . - * - . .
The next time I woke up, I was in a new clinic. I hoped this wasn't going to be a common occurrence. I groaned as I sat up, taking in my surroundings. This place…was different from the clinic I was in before.
"What are you doing up?" Startled, I somehow managed to find the source of the voice. A woman perhaps in her late fifties or early sixties was now in my line of sight, her gray hair was pulled back in a tight bun, and judging by her attire, was perhaps the head of staff here. "Patients shouldn't be leaving—"
"I'm…not." I interrupted. "I don't think I could if I wanted to right now."
"I just finished dealing with Kanda before you woke up. That boy thinks he knows everything. I suppose he's at that age."
"Er…Auntie?" The woman I dubbed 'Auntie', looked to me with a confused expression, "I don't really know what else to call you…" I admitted.
She smiled softly, and shook her head. "Auntie is fine…you know, before I came here, I had a niece. She would be around your age, I believe."
I nodded, not really knowing what else to do. "Um…how long was I out for?"
"Two weeks." The elderly woman informed. "You were transported here after getting shot by one of those dreadful Akuma. If Lavi and Bookman hadn't been there, you just might've bled to death."
"That…seems to be an unhealthy trend with me these days…" I sighed. "I never did get to tell anyone my name though."
"Kanda gave you one." Oh this has got to be good. "When he and the others returned two weeks ago, he was glaring at your unconscious form. Called you a dumb fox."
"Fox…?" Now that just outright confused me. "Why…would he call me a fox?"
The head nurse shrugged, "Well, Lenalee and Lavi may know, considering they were there when it happened as well."
I nodded. Just what happened after I passed out? "Ah! She's awake! Oh, thank goodness!"
The fatherly General smiled, eyes tearing, and a grateful grin on his face. "I didn't think you would wake up, but now that you have, I've gotten excellent news for you."
"As soon as you're well enough, I'll be able to take you out on the field, so I can train you."
"Train?" Such a foreign word for me. "To…be an Exorcist?" I looked down at my arm. It was still as pitch black and rough as it had been when I first saw it two weeks prior.
"Yes, yes. I'll also take this opportunity to get you acquainted with my other students. You're quite familiar with Yu, of course."
"Y-yeah…that guy…" I could probably live the rest of my life not in the presence of that jerk. "Who're the other two then?"
"Who're the other…?" I slowly blinked, before I realized what I said. Tiedoll never spoke of how many other students he had…it never once came up. "I…don't know how I knew that."
"Pretty cool, if ya ask me." I turned to my right, until I saw a new face in my line of sight. "You knew how many other pupils the old geezer had. Color me impressed~" The newcomer was another Exorcist, I knew that much. He had purple paint under his eyes, and gauze wrapped around his forehead. You could just see brow hair peaking from under his cloak's hood.
"Daisya, have I not told you to wait with Marie?" Tiedoll sighed.
"C'mon, we get a new Exorcist for the team, and they happen to be a cute chick? Sure, I'd totally miss out on that."
"Apologies. He dashed off before I could stop him." Another voice sounds, and I can see a tall man enter. Dark skin, milky eyes. Much like my right eye, I could tell this man was blind. Yet he used no cane or anything to get around. A blind man is also an Exorcist?
"Well, I suppose there's no choice. Miss, this is— "
"Richelle." I muttered.
"My name. It's Richelle Linhagem." I spoke a little more clearly. "I'm very sorry I failed to introduce myself before…but friends usually called me Richie."
"Well then! A splendid day indeed!" Tiedoll clapped his hands together. "Richelle, my dear, this is Noise Marie, my oldest of apprentices. Beside him is Daisya Barry, and of course you know Yu Kanda…who I would appreciate if he would cease hiding in the hall."
It was faint, but I heard the sound of something moving away from the stone wall, before footsteps soon revealed a rather pissed-off male. "Don't call me that, old man."
"Nice to see Yu too." I muttered. Mentally praising myself for the insulting use of his name. My victory was short-lived when suddenly a very sharp, and very dangerous blade was pressed against my neck.
"Woman or not, I will fucking kill you if you use my name again."
"YU!" Tiedoll scolded. "Put Mugen away this instant!"
Oh yeah. Kanda and I will definitely get along swimmingly.
. . - * - . .
The beginning of my stay in the order was rather eventful at best. Often dangerous in most cases. If it wasn't the Akuma, it was dealing with Kanda's PMS-ing attitude. I'd come to call the Order my home. Marie and Daisya were like my older brothers, Lenalee became my older sister…and by extension Komui was considered my brother as well.
By the time I was finally discharged, Tiedoll took me away from the Order, deciding to help me start my training — and also get to work with other Exorcists…other Exorcists being Marie, Daisya, and Kanda of course.
I wasn't sure when it started, but while Tiedoll had us out in the field to do some training, I'd somehow gotten into the habit of calling my master my father. He was happy when I did, the aging fool crying, and causing me a little shock at his attitude.
"Now do you see what you did? Che. Dumb-ass bitch." Had been Kanda's exact words when that incident happened.
I trained for a few months, my arm proving to be quite powerful. At least strong enough to deal with Level 1's with minimal effort…Level 2's…were a little harder. Not that I couldn't handle the blasted thing. I eventually took care of it.
And that was when Tiedoll decided I was ready to officially become an Exorcist. I was congratulated by Marie and Daisya, and of course, totally ignored by Kanda.
. . - * - . .
Returning to the Order, I was met with Johnny Gill. Nerdy, barely taller than…come to think of it…I actually had no one to compare to…me, maybe? He was enthusiastic to finally be able to meet me. He had frizzy hair, only held back in two bushy-looking pigtails at either side his neck. Weird fashion statement, really.
"Do you know your sizes, Richie? Ah…I can call you Richie, right?"
I nodded…albeit a little freaked out by the first question. "Yes…?"
"Yes, you know your sizes, or yes you're fine with me calling you Richie? I mean we barely know each other to call ourselves friends and all—"
"Woah, woah, seriously, i-it's fine! It's fine! Ah…what do you need my sizes for…?"
"For your uniform, of course!" He said it as though it were the most obvious thing in the world. "I would think something similar to Lenalee's uniform would—"
"Oh, hell no!" I was quick to refuse that idea. "Listen, I know I'm female, but there's no way I'm being forced into wearing anymore dresses."
"Huh? But you were wearing a pretty expensive dress when you were first here."
"I don't care. I'm not wearing articles that'll hinder me…make my uniform a coat! I want a white trim on the hem of it, and…a hood."
"Hood?" He asked.
I tugged a strand of my now silver hair, eying it with wonder. "Don't get me wrong, I'm not gonna hide my hair…but I wanna be able to protect myself from elements. You know, heavy winds, rain. I can't have that if I'm gonna be forced into a skirt."
Understanding seemed to dawn on the young adult. "Ah! I see! That's actually really smart of you to think of."
"Is that compliment?"
"Of course it is. I'm just surprised I didn't have to bring it up. See, when I was coming up with Lavi's uniform, I'd suggested something where he could easily access his hammer—"
"Hammer? I didn't see a hammer on him anywhere."
"Did you notice that holster on his leg? His hammer is set in there. Tiny, perhaps, but that thing is his Innocence."
"Leg…his right leg?" Johnny nodded.
"Now~ to commemorate your authentication as an Exorcist, let's make you your brand-new coat, yeah?"
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So~? How'd I do? Was this better or worse than WaP's writing? (Better I hope...)
That said; R&R ain't for Rest and Relaxation, even though I know I need it...follow this story to stay up to date with new chapters, and hey, why not show the story some love and favorite this work if I did that great a job? :)
This is going to be updated every FIRST SUNDAY of each month...because I don't want you guys catching up too quickly with this work. As of now, I have 22 chapter...or rather 21.5 because I'm working on that 22nd chapter. x)
And that said, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL, YOU AMAZING PEOPLE!
Edit: 24/February/2018: Fixed up the chapter a little, but couldn't post said updated chapter Yesterday because of FF being dumb. -sarcastically claps- Good job, FF.
Edit: 23/April/2018: You know, I'm surprised I didn't catch the fact that there were two prologue/night 1 chapters posted in the same chapter. I fixed it, though it would've been nice if someone had told me sooner about the repeat...-sweat drops- Love you guys. Really :P