"Alice, I would like you to meet our new Exorcist Allen Walker." Komui introduced, gesturing to the young man standing to the side of him.
I tilted my head, gazing at said boy with a look of blankness.
He couldn't be older than 15, a few heads taller than me -short for his age-, with abnormally white hair, large grey orbs, and an odd star shaped scar above his right eyebrow. His face was set in a small sweet smile, eyes boring into mine with the most gentlest look anyone had ever given to me in a long time.
Komui continued, his smile getting a little bit wider to my ire "He will be your new caretaker from this day forward." he chirped, completely taking Allen off-guard and making me raise a brow in curiosity.
Allen snapped his head over to Komui, shock evident in his voice "W-What! i don't- Why?!-" he stammered.
Komui smiled slyly and stepped over to pat me on the head, something he always did when he was amused, and completely cutting off Allen like he hadn't just spoken "The last one had just went out of commission and dear Alice here needs another caretaker before she could start her missions again. And well since your here Allen, and are currently the only reliable person who was willing to volunteer. You'll be the perfect candidate."
Allen opened and closed his mouth, before shutting it with a click. Composing himself, Allen finally spoke, opting to just ask a question rather than argue "Out of commission?"
Komui sighed and merely tilted his head to me, as if saying 'May I'. Without any hesitance I nodded, It wasn't so rare that my Caretakers didn't know about my 'Peculiar Situation', plus, it would make things easier. Komui smiled and gestured for Allen to fallow, which he gladly complied "i'll explain, but we'll have to do it in privacy, come to my office."
In seconds they disappeared into Komui's office, leaving me to comfortably sit in one of the plush chairs outside of the office, and too my thoughts. To be honest, I didn't think there was anything wrong with me, but to the science division, I might as well be this rare artifact that needed to be studied.
Your probably curious, you see, I have these visions, though they aren't really visions, more like things I could see, that no one else can; hallucinations, the science division had informed me. Like all 'hallucinations' I could talk to them, converse with them like they where any other living being. They would usually show up without my permission, a 'side effect' of my given power.
"Greetings Alice~" and speak of the Devil.
I rolled my eyes, leaning back into my plush chair and tilting my head in a way that I could look at the feline across from me "Oh please, you know well that my name isn't Alice, it's Aurelia; perhaps I should fallow your example and call you Creepy Feline, fitting, wouldn't it, Cheshire."
Cheshire was one of the hallucinations of mine. He was the up most creature i'd see frequently than any of the other hallucinations. He'd pop up without my permission, and do nothing for the rest of his visit other than bother me with his endless amount of riddles and questions. He'd only leave when he'd get bored enough, or when the situation gets bad to the point that he'd be sufficiently entertained.
I never liked his visits; and seen him as only the bane of my existence when i spoke with him -Under certain situations anyway-. He was creepy, even for my standards; horrendously bony with black and grey designs carved jaggedly into his body, large darkened yellow eyes, and bloody human teeth always pulled into an inhumanely stretched smile, the sphinx was anything but attractive. And he didn't seem to mind, finding it amusing more than anything at the way he looked.
Even now, he only smiled, his shark like grin widening at my small jab "No, I'd prefer to be called the name I was given. Now tell me, who was that odd fellow with the white hair." he asked, kneeling into the plush chair he deemed adequate enough.
I gazed down and listened to the voices of both Komui and Allen behind the closed doors before speaking "Allen, Allen Walker. Komui proposed that he be my new Caretaker."
The Cheshire smirked, eyes curving mockingly "You don't say, what happened to the last one."
I sent him a glare "You know what happened." I spat out.
The Cheshire innocently glanced away from me "Bad things happen." he simply said.
I scowled at him. Cheshire wasn't the best conversationalist, not when he spoke to me like I was some stupid and ridiculous child he was forced to speak with.
I opened my mouth to retort when the doors to Komui's office opened. The sight of Allen's somber expression made me raise a brow, and shut my mouth close with a click.
Komui, meanwhile, had been patting the young man's back in comfort, as if trying to stop him from crying.
From the corner of my eye, i watched as Cheshire disappeared; his signature glowing eyes and bloody teeth last to leave this plane of existence before leaving me to myself. It was seconds after that I was engulfed in a hug, Allen holding me tight and only releasing me when I became too uncomfortable; he gave me a bright smile that would have been happy if not for his red rimmed puffy eyes.
All I could do was give him a confused look; both for the crying and for the sudden physical act of affection. Seeing my expression, Komui patted my head and clapped Allen on the back, giving us both a smile "I'm happy to see you both getting along. And Alice. . . " he turned to me with a familiar look in his eyes "Don't let it end like last time. Yeah." I bleakly nodded, Komui grinning and leaving both Allen and I to ourselves as he disappeared back into his office.
There was a pregnant silence between my new Caretaker and I before Allen's stomach unexpectedly let out a growl of hunger. He blushed in embarrassment and nervously held said part of his body as if willing for it to just disappear. Sliding myself off from the plush chair I turned to face him with a straight face "Lunch should be ready by now, let us get something to eat."
Allen paused in surprise before nodding "Sure, Ummm. . . . could you lead the way? Lenalee had showed me to the lunch room earlier but it was only briefly. . . " he trailed off, flustered for having to ask.
I let my lip turn up in amusement but otherwise nodded "That is no bother to me. But we better hurry, Cheshire doesn't take well to waiting. He isn't very nice when he does." I said, hugging the old rabbit in my grasp unconsciously.
Allen tilted his head in confusion "Cheshire?. . " I nodded at the correct pronunciation. Watching from the corner of my eye as said feline materialized at the call of his name and floated over to us, curling around Allen like a murky mist and fixing him with a vicious look; as if waiting for the teen to let his guard down to mutilate him in his sleep.
I nodded, meeting gazes with Cheshire "Most certainly, he wasn't all that pleased last time. However, he seems to have taken an interest in you." I informed, breaking gazes with the grinning cat and meeting Allen's blank look "So i'm sure you won't end up on Cheshire's bad side, not like the last Caretaker." I fixed Cheshire a last brief gaze; me in warning, and Cheshire unabashed as he gave Allen one last look before slinking over to me in amusement.
The two of us walked ahead, Allen fallowing after us, thinking over my words.
After lunch with Allen, I parted ways with him to head back to my room. Un-coincidentally it was only a few doors away from his. Which wasn't surprising, the rooms that spanned on either side of mine where always empty, at least 4-5 doors down. I just wasn't surprised it wasn't the whole floor. And to be honest, i never knew if it was because of me, or if it was because Komui permitted it. I never complained, I never liked neighbors, my last one knew of this quiet passionately.
Opening the door with a twist of my key, I stepped in and closed it behind me softly, the door locking automatically. Each bedroom of the Black Order where closely symmetrical in size and dwelling. With the exception that most can customize them with enough reward money.
Mine was no better, with the walls staying the grayish blue it had originally been painted with, my room had been customized with a built in shelf for more room, and a window seat on orders from a certain cat. My room was decorated for my pleasure and on the opinions of my other 'companions'.
Residing near the far left corner of the marginally small room, was a plush twin sized bed; with sheets of soft silk and cotton, it was light blue and patterned with purple butterflies, my floor, a nice black and white checkered tile adorned with a simple ovular grey carpet.
I had a desk on the right of the window seat, facing towards the door and covered in my art supplies and drawings; which i briefly gazed at; a simple crayon drawing of my family stared back at me.
Facing away from the childish doodle, I walked over to my bookshelf lined with Fairytales, and souvenirs I acquired from my missions. Simple trinkets such as small wooden figurines, and handmade art specifically made to depict certain aspects of their land. While i didn't treasure them as much my own belongings, they brought back memories of every one of my journeys. Memories that I made sure to not forget. Reaching up, i delicately placed another trinket that Komui had offered me before introducing Allen, it was a simple handmade piece of art, a small rock painted over to resemble a cat; the regions religious spirit animal. Ironic.
The last of my furniture consisted of a dresser with an antique mirror across from the window seat and stationed between the bathroom door and the small hallway leading to the exit. And a round table pushed near the right wall away from my desk, with a delicate porcelain tea-set on it. While i didn't care for playing tea time with any of my guests -not that i had many-, a particular hallucination of mine insisted that I needed one for his own pleasure. I would have declined if it wasn't for the fact that he would torment me until I acquired one, which I had, with the help of Komui who gladly took up the job of buying a gift for one of his youngest exorcists. Luckily for me, the hallucination seemed pleased enough to not mess with me in dire times.
Sighing in exasperation at the ridiculous memory I headed over to my dresser where I proceeded to gaze upon myself, It wasn't like I was narcissistic, but I couldn't help but lay eyes on myself whenever I pass by a reflection. The sight that greeted me was the same; while I wasn't pretty like Lenalee nor the ugliest unlike some girls I'd seen walking the streets in town, I was certainly the creepiest. With my long ebony locks that draped over my head and shoulders like a thick dark veil, and my green cat like eyes that seemed inhumanely large due to my pale complexion and thin face, I was immediately reminded of those level one Akuma who seemed to hold the same complexion as me. A great unpleasantness that marred my face with a frown at the thought.
The only accomplishment I could hold to my distasteful title was the fact that I was a near pro in extinguishing Akuma compared to other exorcists who had been here longer than me. An accomplishment that I needed pride in since I was significantly thinner and smaller than them despite my young age.
Grabbing my brush and beginning to weed out the knots in my hair, I couldn't help but think back to the many times that people had compared me to my mother. A simple lie indeed to only fuel my mother's vanity and veil over the years old skepticism that I wasn't my mothers daughter. With the exception of my mothers fair complexion we couldn't be any different, I might as well have been adopted into the family if it weren't for the fact that there had been many a witness to my birth.
I pursed my lips, and put the brush down before nabbing the one nightgown I had. It wasn't long before I was turning off the lights, and laying under my bed sheets. My room was moderately dark, if it wasn't for the moonlight streaming through my room it would be pitch black.
I noted the silence, hearing nothing but distant footfalls, and conversations no doubt caused by the midnight crew who staid up for the night. My gaze drifted to the painted door across from my bed; black with painted vines to veil over it as if i was hiding it. I tried to not notice the scratches carved into it, like something was trying to forcefully push it open, but i couldn't help but stare, like i did every night.
In correspondence I glanced at the rustic key I kept locked in the drawer of my nightstand, it was authentically useless; and couldn't potentially be used to open anything. Nonetheless, the same couldn't be said for my hallucinations; there was once a time when those very same creatures had tried to remove it from me, for what reason, I had no idea. I was forced to hide it from them, keep it so they wouldn't gaze upon it.
I wished many a time that i should have just thrown it out, it would have been so easy to just get rid of it rather than have to put up wit it. But it was the second thing i managed to salvage other than my rabbit. The fire had been unforgiving, burning everything my family and I had owned. Nothing could be saved.
I shifted on my back and stared up at my bleak ceiling; they had said I should paint it, paint my Wonderland so I wouldn't every forget it. But I think I could never do that, could never forget.
It was my haven, my home, my forever prison.
Closing my eyes, my face laxed, mind drifting and lumbering to the far reaches of my mind.
When I opened them again it was too a familiar sight.
"Why if it isn't Alice Liddell. Back for another 'Tea Party'?"
*1-2 Hours Ago* (With Allen and Komui)
When the two men entered Komui's office, Komui himself settled into his comfortable chair behind his desk, which was incidentally still piled with books and heavy loads of paperwork that he silently promised himself he'd try to clear later.
Allen, meanwhile, swiftly sat across from his boss, in a chair that was conveniently placed symmetrically before the desk. He kept quiet as he sat, eyes lowering to stare at nothing in particular.
There was a brief silence between the two, with Komui staring pointedly at Allen and said teen shifting uncomfortably. After a while Komui finally made a move, adjusting himself in his seat he spoke "So Allen, Aurelia, or as we nicknamed her, Alice, has given me permission to tell you about her particular situation. . . . but first I have to tell you about what had happened to her prior to entering the Black Order more than 4 years ago"
Allen tilted his head in confusion "What does telling me about her past have to do with anything?" he asked, making sure not to sound rude despite the offensive inquiry in his tone.
Komui stood up from his chair and walked over to another part of his personal library he had built into his office. His eyes trailed over many hard-covered booked spines before they landed on one in particular. It stood out from the many spines that stood out to Allen; bright red with nothing carved into the back to spell what it was about. With swift ease, Komui plucked the book from its place and headed back to his desk where he sat back down and non-too gently flung the thin looking book at Allen.
The teen fumbled for the book and looked over it in curiosity. It was definitely different from the many sophisticated and elegant books that Komui seemed to keep alphabetically on the shelves. It was a soft leather-bound book, a bright rustic red was what made it stand out, and it was covered in a thick layer of dust. Most likely unused unlike the other books.
"It isn't her past in particular that I want you to see, its the origin of the situation that she's in that i'm interested in you in reading. While her past has a role in it, its a certain aspect that many of the previous Caretakers needed to read before continuing." Komui raised a brow as if daring Allen to deny it.
Allen stared at him, trying to find any type of lie before continuing.
Opening the book, he blinked in disbelief and surprise. . "A storybook?" he wanted to ask Komui if this was a joke, but from the look in his boss's eyes he knew that he was being serious.
His lips thinned and he looked down at the neat childish looking drawings on the page. He began to read-
'Once Upon a time there was a little girl named Alice Liddell.
A child content with her life, and was happy as the sunshine that shined on her home during the summers.
Alice had a big heart, filled with nothing but the love she had for everything present in her life. She loved her big house with all her toys and books. She loved her huge backyard with its beautiful canopy trees and meadows of wild flowers and ponds of exotic fish. But most of all, she loved her family; her Mother who treated her with treats of freshly baked tarts and cookies, and her Father who told her stories of his adventures out on Sea.
She treasured all her happy memories she had in her home. Never a blight in her existence that would make her frown.'
On the bottom of the paragraph was a cutely drown doodle of a tall house and three people. The taller of the three was of a man; with bright orange hair, a short beard, and deep purple eyes.
Next to him was of a woman; with golden blond hair held together in a braid, and sparkling blue eyes. She had a kind smile.
Then was the smallest of the three, Alice/Aurelia Allen had to guess; with long black hair and big green eyes. But unlike the real Alice, this one seemed completely different, more happier, and more innocent. Like she hadn't suffered the darkest parts of life yet.
'However, Alice was a very special child, and her Father and Mother new that. She had such a huge imagination in that small head of her's. Too big of an imagination to keep within the confines of her mind.
Her head was too small to keep all those creative thoughts to herself, and so she let them out, let them spread.
Her imagination, became her reality.'
The next doodle depicted of a child Alice/Aurelia talking with odd looking creatures, several of which where different sizes and appearance.
'Then one day, a visitor came by, he called himself a doctor and had explained that he could help with little Alice Liddell's problem.
Her parents readily agreed. But Alice didn't trust him, her special mind telling her to keep away from him, to scare him away.
But no matter what she did; no matter how mean she was, and how hurtful she was to the doctor, he only seemed to draw closer to the family. He was always there with her; even with her parents; in the corner of her eye or staring at her from some unknown place. She could feel him burning holes in her head.
And she was scared, very scared.'
The doodle seemed sinister, the man looking nothing like the cute depictions of the other three but a thin like skeletal man who stood hovering over Alice like a drape.
'Months paths, and the man was still there. Still 'studying' little Alice with excuses of new problems she had, of fake expectations like the doctor knew what was wrong. But didn't say.
Alice was afraid, very afraid. And her Imaginary Friends where very afraid too.'
'Then that night happened. A night that changed her life for the worse.
The doctor never came that day, or any other for the past week. It was strange to Alice but she never fretted, never asked questions about his absence. Her imaginary friends where relieved.
As night came around with everyone tucking into bed. Alice in her own room sleeping soundly, and her parents similarly down the hall. A fire bloomed at the base of their house. It engulfed, it burned, it destroyed, it grew.
It was hours till the fire was no longer hungry, till it died down to nothing but ash and ember, taking everything with it.
Except for little Alice Liddell, and her little bunny rabbit.
Left all alone in the deep dark world, with nothing but her fear and her sorrow, and the memory of her burning parents.
Poor, poor Alice, her Wonderland was never the same again.'
Allen stared blankly at the last page of the book, the words 'THE END' scribbled in neat cursive in the middle of the page. As if it was trying to tell him it was obviously over.
Komui took this as a sign to speak, his back turned to Allen and his head resting over his folded hands "Aurelia Liddell, or otherwise known as Alice. A nickname we gave her for the heavy resemblance of Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland.
Appearance: Below shoulder back hair, green eyes, petite in stature and presently, just below 60 pounds. She regards everyone with a distant attitude and a cold shoulder." Komui swerved in his chair and fixed Allen with a serious look "At the age of 5 her family was presumed dead; having burned alive in their house with nothing left to their name but the clothes on Aurelia's back and the rabbit she has in her possession now. Shortly after she was given to an orphanage where she staid for 2 years until she was taken in by my Headquarters. For 2 years she's worked here as one of our exorcists, her innocence having awakened during the fire, where she was presumably pulled out by her own will."
Allen, meanwhile, had sadly stared down at the old withered book during Komui's speech. Leaning back into the cushioned chair, Allen placed the book on the desk and gave Komui a complicated look of disbelief and sadness "W-Why would you put that into a b-book?" he mumbled out.
Komui sighed and flopped back "It was either that, or for Alice to explain it herself. And believe me, she won't speak a word about the incident, not in her life. This was inevitably the best choice, we gave this story to every Caretaker that was given the job so they could know what she had went through before taking the job."
Allen absentmindedly nodded; he couldn't imagine the pain she had went through, having loving parents burn before your eyes must have been traumatizing.
"Now, I well tell you about her Innocence, or the 'problem' as the science division puts it."
It took a little more than 10 minutes to explain Aurelia's powers, while complicated, Allen finally knew exactly why Aurelia's powers where so 'special' and a 'problem' for not only her, but for everyone around her.
By the end of the explanation Komui merely clapped his hands and stood up from his seat in giddiness "Now let's go. I expect Alice to be aggravated at having to wait by now." he chirped.
Allen could only nod and stand up, still trying to wrap his mind around Alice's Innocence with what he was given.
Clapping the young man on the back Komui grinned and led the male towards his office doors, giving him a reassuring smile "You don't need to worry Allen, I'll ask the science division to give you a more detailed explanation of Alice's innocence."
As the two young men stepped outside the room, both Aurelia and Komui where briefly shocked when the 15 year old hugged the youngest, giving the child a sad smile which she returned with a confused one.
Komui smiled, this was going to be an interesting adventure.
I had to Edit this chapter because my previous self who made this like a year ago was a crappy writer. And now this is the finishing product. Thanks for reading.
A.K.A Her true name is Aurelia Liddell, but Komui (and some of the Black Order) along with her hallucinations, call her Alice due to her power resembling Alice in Wonderland.