[A/N]: Don't get spinal injuries, my friends. They suck ass and take forever to heal. I'm still not right and proper, it hurts to sit up for long periods of time which is why I have been so scarce. I'm on the mend and practically brain dead when it comes to writing, but I'm making an attempt and hopefully that's what counts.
I have an ao3 account- actually, I've had my invitation for quite a long time but never got around to making my actual account. I made the account a few months ago and figured I should start transferring works to that location. I'll still be uploading things here for a bit, but I don't yet know if I'll make the full switch. If I do, I will let you all know. The user I'm under is "asianvoodoo", so it's just about the same.
The Tower was a large cylindrical installation attached to the southwest corner of the City. Large and comprised mostly of glass and twisted metal, there were four smaller cylinders inside. It was the system that allowed transport between tiers, large elevators that could take you to whichever level you wished.
The lowest tier's inhabitants seldom saw the inside of these elevators. Some perhaps once or twice; but Allen Walker had never even been near the Tower. He had never expected to, he simply ignored it's existence completely.
Now he was being shoved through the glass doors, having been towed through the lowest tier by his new acquaintance: a quiet and temperamental Guard by the name of Kanda.
It was not but thirty minutes earlier he had been chased down by the Guard and accused of committing a crime two tiers above.
He stumbled into a large open room, not given a moment to take in the sight as he was now being shoved through. The swordsman grabbed him by the arm, tugging him towards one of the elevators. Kanda pushed past the group about to enter the small platform, fixing them with a murderous glare. Not a single one of them stepped foot into the elevator.
"You know you could have just told me to follow you, you didn't have to practically rip my arm off all the way here." Allen muttered. He got no response from the Guard, just a simple roll of the eyes.
Kanda crossed his arms, moving towards the back of the elevator so he could lean against the glass. He shut his eyes just as the subtle whirring of machinery backing to lift the platform upwards.
The pale haired boy rubbed gingerly at his arm, flexing his fingers. The other really did have quite the grip. He glanced around the small area, glass caging them in as he watched the dirty tops of the buildings of the lowest level disappear. There was a lump in Allen's throat, he didn't know what the other tiers were like or which one he was going to.
He knew there was six tiers in total, two of which were underground. The only light they lowest two ever received were artificial. Allen Walker had never once ever seen sunlight. Whenever he looked skywards all that greeted his eyes was crude metal and large light fixtures.
Stories told that the sky was blue and vast. He'd always wanted to see it. In fact, he'd always dreamt of being able to ascend to the highest tier at least once. The weathliest and most beautiful part of the city, he'd been told. A wave of anxiety filled him as he contemplated it.
They weren't headed for the highest level, were they? God, it would be his luck to go to the tier of his dreams on a criminal charge. A frown twisted his lips- no, no, there was no way they were going to the sixth level. Impossible.
His thoughts had distracted him and when he blinked, he became suddenly aware of the immense darkness that surrounded them. Faint fluorescent lights on the roof of the elevator game them just enough to see shadowed outlines of details.
They were in the partition between the levels. The lowest tier's "sky" and the second tier's "ground." The boy approached the glass a safe distance from the Guard (who had not seemed to have moved an inch).
Pale fingers brushed against the cool surface as if he thought reaching out would allow him to touch the metal just beyond glass. He wondered how thick the layer of metal and machinery was. If he'd been paying attention when they'd entered it perhaps he'd be able to at least estimate.
Then, suddenly, there was light, causing him to squint and turn away. The problem, he learned, with glass elevators, is that no matter which direction you turn you will always get the searing pain of sudden bright light.
After his eyes had adjusted, he moved back to his former position. Eyes curiously wide and hands pressed to the window, he took in all of the second level he could.
It was incredible similar to the first level. Grungy and dirty buildings all crammed together along concrete pavement- but at the same time, it was nicer. The houses were larger, the buildings grew taller. The pedestrians walking the streets has cleaner clothes and better posture. The first two levels of the City were nothing pretty, but at least the second seemed to have retained their dignity.
Allen thought then that perhaps one day he'd at least be able to make it to this tier. Maybe then he wouldn't have to worry about being assaulted by an angry sword-weilding Guard during a grocery run.
Hesitantly, he glanced over at said Guard, curious gray eyes meeting piercings blue and he immediately looked away.
He heard a faint snort, as if the man were laughing at him. Allen grimaced, the curiousness of his expression abandoning him to pure annoyance. He glanced over at Kanda once more, "Is something funny?"
The swordsman shrugged, eyes shut once more, still leaning against the glass.
For a moment, Allen hoped the glass would vanish and the Guard would stumble backwards out of the elevator. That, however, would not happen; and soon darkness took them once more as they entered the partition between the second and third level.
"Where are we going?" The boy questioned, realizing he'd never asked.
He didn't know why he expected an answer, because he didn't get one and it only frustrated him more. "Is it really so hard to tell me?"
"Perhaps." The tone was mocking. Allen wanted to punch him in his stupid face.
"I've been scared out of my wits, assaulted, dragged out of my tier and mocked." He hissed. "I think I should get to know, at least, where in God's name you are taking me." His words came out more aggresive than he would have liked- but today was really not his day.
"Third tier." Was the short, bored response he got.
The pale haired boy wanted to let an aggitated sigh- but he supposed he should be grateful for getting an answer at all. Better than nothing.
Level three was the first above ground. It was the origin of the City and apparently still looked the same as when there were no levels at all. Not that he would know- he was too young to have been around. No one was old enough to remember when the City wasn't as grand as it was currently. At that point, the metas had not come into existence, so even the ones 'blessed' with unnatural long life would have been around.
The whirring of the elevator began to slow, Allen had lost track of time again as he realized they had reached their destination. He backed away from the glass as light slowly took over his vision. He squinted; and just as he turned to face the doors, the platform jolted to a stop, causing him to stumblr forward.
Allen let out a quiet yelp, arms swinging out to balance himself.
Once more, he heard a quiet snort. That was definitely Kanda's way of laughing at him. "Graceful."
I'm going to gracefully break your nose with my fist. He thought without looking at the swordsman. His focus was on the glass doors that began to slowly began to slide open. Without waiting for any orders from the man behind him, he bolted out of the elevator to the center of the Tower.
Allen looked skyward at the impossibly tall structure. The glass and machinery vanished to darkness the higher it went, swallowed by the tier partition. He wondered what it would look like if their elevator had ascended to the final level, but his thoughts were cut short as he felt the familiar (painful) grip on his arm.
When the boy opened his mouth to protest he was yanked forward towards the exit and he stumbled to keep up with the Guard's quick pace.
"I already said you don't have to drag me." He huffed, attempting to pull his arm from the firm hold.
Kanda scoffed and released him, glaring back at him as a warning. The "run and I kill you" sort of warning. Pleasant.
Allen grimaced, quickening his pace to walk right beside the swordsman. His eyes could not help but wander and he took in the third level. It was definitely nicer than his own and the second. Cleaner, with buildings of light stone and wood panels. They'd entered what seemed to be the shopping district of the level, large multi-level buildings with bright signs and pedestrians moving quickly between them.
The air held a slight chill and for a moment he'd wished he'd brought a coat. Though it wasn't as if he had known that there would be a need to prepare for the cold, it had been a warm day on his tier.
When the boy glanced up, he let out a quiet gasp. There was no view of the partition like he had expected, instead there was blue. Blue and white, clouds in the sky. It awed and confused him- he knew there had to be a partition there, but why could he only see sky.
Allen blinked, his attention going to the man beside him. He hadn't realized the swordsman had been staring at him with an impassive expression. Kanda looked completely and utterly bored and he realized it probably wasn't such a big deal to most people.
After a moment, he glanced back at the "sky." Even a fake one was beautiful, he thought; the real one must be impossibly gorgeous. It was must have been so strange to think such things about a sky, he figured. He was sure there were cities where people saw the sky every time they walked out their door. He, however, had never had that luxury.
The boy noticed how far ahead the Guard had gotten and ducked his head in embarassment; getting so wrapped up in staring at nothing more than a hologram.
Perhaps he should have been thinking about the situation he was in instead. The fact that he was probably about to be legitimately arrested for something he had not done. Allen wondered how he would be able to get out of this situation and he suddenly felt a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach as he jogged to catch up to the man who had dragged him into this predicament.
Would he be able to get out of this?