Lenalee struggled with a box, huffing and blowing a piece of hair out of her face. The opposite side of the box, which was sagging with weight, was picked up. The girl looked up. Allen grinned at her, helping her move the box across the room. She sighed and wiped her forehead.
“Thank you,” she sighed. Allen nodded.
“No problem…” he followed her back across the room, where he helped her pick up another box that was carried across the room. Every box was marked to go down to the basement, like everything else the Science Department didn’t want crowding their large room anymore. “It’s really quiet, huh?”
“Yeah,” Lenalee sighed softly, “Everyone’s down getting lunch.”
“Ah…” the white haired boy looked around warily. The two picked up a third box, this one giving out almost instantly. Knickknacks of all kinds rolled across the floor. The two Exorcists sighed loudly and went about collecting them from the floor. A shattered figurine stood out to Allen. Collecting the pieces, he put together what looked like an elegant fish tail. Finding even more pieces, he added a topless female torso. He swept the pieces into his hand with a blush. Then, staring, he found the words pouring out of his mouth.
“Yeah, Allen?” the girl looked up from under a desk, a few pieces of a mug in her hands.
“Did I ever tell you the story about Master finding a mermaid?” he asked absently. Lenalee stared.
“D-Don’t yell!” Allen dumped the pieces into a cup on the desk next to him, a guilty grin appearing on his face when he heard the pieces hit liquid. He looked around again, “I can tell you the story, if you want me to…”
“That would be wonderful, Allen,” Lenalee said. She pulled a chair over as the white haired boy sat on the desk. He looked at the ceiling.
The ship, one that was originally heading west from France, was now heading south, into dark storm clouds and rough waters. A younger Allen was leaning against the rails. He was watching as his Master
yell at talk with the Captain. Allen yawned and looked away, finding more interest in the people who were fishing on the other side of the ship. The men were struggling to pull up their net. With a sigh, the boy walked over, rolling up his sleeves, and offered his assistance.
Allen jumped, dropping his section of the net that earned a groan from the men he was helping. Cross walked over, chewing on his cigarette in an irritated manner. His eyes were staring at the water, where the fish were struggling to get back to safety.
“We were tricked. They’re heading down to Spain. We’ll have to find another ship to England from there,” he growled. His eyes slowly narrowed the longer he stared at the water. Allen, on the other hand, groaned and rubbed his face. He started to mumble about how he would have to do more work to get money for tickets. His mumbling was cut short, however, when Cross shoved him to the side. The older man tugged on the nets, barking out orders and growling at Allen to get his ass up and help. With everyone working, the net soon tumbled onto the deck, fish spilling out. Amongst them was a long, slim tail that twitched every few seconds. Dark strands of hair stuck to a lithe, naked body while other pieces were tangled in the netting. Slowly, the eyes of the strange creature opened, staring at the sky above.
You shot up, hands flying toward the net to tug your hair free. Around you, men surged forward, each mumbling in one language or another about how much money they might earn if they sold a mermaid. Mermaid, you had heard the term before. You scrambled back, tail smacking the deck, eyes wide as your hands searched behind you for the bulwark that separated you from the sea. You scanned the greedy faces of the men that closed in on you, each of them now holding a part of the net that you had just been freed from. Your eyes landed on a small form behind their legs, taking in his white hair, his strangely covered hand.
The net was yanked away, the men sent stumbling back. Someone with a large boots stepped in front of you. The boy you had been staring at scurried forward, grabbing a jacket from the man in front of you.
“I-It’s okay…” the boy murmured. He walked over slowly, jacket held out before him. You backed up more. “I-It’s just to cover you…Y-You look cold…” the boy said. He smiled slowly, “I’m Allen. Do you have a name?”
Name. That was another term you knew. You opened your mouth, the soft chittering that your kind used to communicate sliding past your lips. The boy, Allen, blinked in surprise. The man that stood behind him (who held a giant silver block thing in his hand), looked over his shoulder in interest.
“C-Can you say it in English?” Allen asked softly. You stared.
“…[Name],” you answered slowly. Allen brightened, moving closer. You shoved your body back further. Allen held his hand out, the jacket draped over his arm.
“I-It’s alright,” he said softly, “It’s okay…you can trust me. I just want to give you a jacket…” You watched him move closer. He held the jacket out so that it covered your tail. You yanked it upwards to your chest. He gave you a faint smile. “See? It’s alri--!!” Allen was shoved out of the way. The red haired man walked over, easily sweeping you up into his arms. Your lips rolled back as you hissed, bearing your sharp teeth at him. Your eyes grew wider, pupils dilating, and your ears turned a little sharper. You felt the scales that traveled up your spine shudder and lift into spikes; your body was tensed for a fight. He ignored everything.
“Don’t hiss at me, I just saved you,” he said. You looked down; face shifting back into the normal human façade, spikes turning back into scales. Your tail flicked water off its ragged ends. Allen hurried after, muttering apologies for the man that carried you.