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Mother's Rosario

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‘’Some painters turn the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.’’ ―Pablo Picasso.



Silently, Allen slipped into Komui’s office―late obviously―to see an unhappy Japanese male he’d been paired up with for their mission. The other appeared to be giving the scientist a terrible glare as if to say ‘don’t you fucking pair me up with this amature’. He most likely knew that Allen had entered the room, but didn’t show any signs of it. He didn’t even turn to look behind and make sure it was actually him. Basic Kanda Yuu. A shiver slid up then back down his spine, making the air around the three feel even colder than it already happened to be. The bluenette was probably trying to twist his way out of going on a mission with him. It wouldn’t have been a surprise. He’d done it before―numerous times actually. Seeing as he told Allen he was cursed, that could be the other reason for him to get away from the obnoxious exorcist―especially when he was told so to his face countless times. He’d actually lost track on how many times the samurai had pointed fingers in his direction. Kanda’s prized weapon had appeared without him knowing. The scarlet blade pointed at Komui’s nec, the corners of his mouth twitched in irritation―nowhere near a smile. He began shouting at the other in his native tongue with such a serious look on his face that it almost made Allen squeak in fear. Most of the things that came from his mouth were probably insults―he was speaking way too fast for anyone to comprehend what he was attempting to say. Profanity in English was Kanda’s thing.

Maybe if Lenalee was here this would all be more bearable...Allen thought to himself.

The whitette found it amusing how Komui was still breathing with the other in his face, spitting insults at him. He placed a hand over his mouth, eyes twinkling with mischief. His shoulders shook from containing laughter. He had stopped wearing his gloves, not caring what people thought about his arm. Sometimes he even wore training shirts around the order the whole day with a pair of sweatpants since he decided to drop jeans for a while now. They made his ass look supple―which caused him to become more self-conscious, especially around Kanda and Lavi due to their Dynamics being both Alpha. He didn't see much of a point in continuing to wear jeans on a daily basis as much anymore, either.

He definitely didn't miss those slim jeans Lenalee gave him, encouraging him to wear them around Kanda more often. He'd lectured her afterwards about trying to become a matchmaker for the Order. She then suggested Lavi and he instantly deadpanned.

All that was now in his "second wardrobe" that he couldn't take clothes from were frilly dresses, skirts, and a shit-ton of other belongings that he outright refused to wear. Lenalee simply told him he'd wear them someday with a broad grin on her face―an image that slightly gave Allen nightmares on a daily basis. Just because his Dynamic was Omega didn't mean he needed to dress like a woman or act like one. Roles haven't defined him before, so why should they now?

Due to the volume of his bell-like laughter which altered into almost full-on snorting, he was quickly found out. Kanda whipped around, eyes locking on his. A squeak sounded throughout the room, bouncing off the walls. The samurai turned back to Komui, stepped back, and in one fluid motion sheathed his sword but kept a hand on the guard, thumb ready to push the sword upward by it if need be. He closed his bright blue eyes probably to focus on not murdering two people in one day. Sighing, yet skeptical, Allen finished walking over to the two, obviously not in a hurry with the way Kanda tried to handle the situation―if he considered getting away from Allen―no matter what to be somewhat a problem or situation he’d somehow managed to get himself tangled up in.

The two dorks were sent on many missions together―more than he could keep track of―Kanda complains constantly about being sent on a mission accompanied by someone who couldn’t get a grip on their emotions and cried at the drop of a hat. All Allen would do in retaliation, before allowing Kanda to continue reprimanding him for having a heart, the thing he said one day caught in Allen's throat, caused a bit of the life from within Kanda's eyes to disappear. In some situations, if Kanda was brutal, he would frown at the bluenette the best he could (although he looked like an angry child) and give him the middle finger―which once almost resulted in his finger getting bent the opposite direction.

The white haired Omega would always pull out his phone or play with Timcanpy―clearly because he'd simply gotten sick of hearing people degrade him―sick of people having no faith in him and his beliefs as a whole. Both Chaoji and Kanda surprisingly would strike him where it hurt the most. He'd go silent for days and even isolate himself until his next mission. There'd be days he'd look like absolute shit when he presented himself for a mission he'd been assigned to weeks in advance, so, naturally Komui would tell him to forget about it all and rest in the infirmary, where his vitals would be checked.

He even once almost stumbled into a moment where Komui was raging at Kanda to be more respectful and lenient towards other Dynamics. He removed him from missions for a month, stripped him of his Innocence and told him to stay in the library reading about Dynamics until he could afford to let his pride drown long enough to apologize for such harsh words to Allen―specifically.

After some time, Allen ended up being split from the Fourteenth, so he took this chance to start meditating with Kanda every morning―or tried to when he wasn't busy sleeping in. It was mostly for peace and quiet, but also a huge reality check that essentially hit him in the face with enough force he broke down whilst sitting on the floor, Kanda stood right next to him, witnessing the tears pool, then streak down the sides of his still child-like face, like shooting stars. Luckily Kanda had enough of a fragment of his heart left to comfort the Omega. The longest he went had to have been half an hour of meditating thanks to his loud stomach―Kanda ended up throwing Allen out of the room, yelling about how he should eat something rather than starve for no reason. It seemed he did care...somewhat,

Or so he thought.

Once having been split from the Fourteenth, Allen and Kanda stumbled upon a child with long black hair pulled up into a ponytail like the Alpha's, sitting amongst the ruins of an old and forgotten village from decades ago, clothing ripped to shreds by whatever beasts lurked within the shadows at night.

Of course, Allen was the first to approach him, but something clicked in his head as the child's mouth opened to form the sentence "I am Neah" before fainting, severely malnourished.

Komui turned to look at Allen―both sets of eyes were glued to him, saying that the scientist was ready to tell them about their newest destination that happened to be in Japan. They were to take Lavi with since he could use his hammer to get them there faster, but both Allen and Kanda protested against it. Allen partially wanted to take a train for the majority of it then again didn’t, because he’d be stuck with the other for longer than he would like. At least they both could agree on something. The scientist gave up trying to fight with the both of them―they both could’ve made satan piss himself if angered. That’s just how in "sync" they were with each other, yet neither of them knew it.

They were what they both claimed to be, polar opposites. They could never get along unless it happened to be something they refused to acknowledge―things that were inevitable or avoidable. Komui was the one who began briefing them, telling them that there would be more than one Innocence and that by sending both idiots there it would be a two-birds-with-one-stone type of win. Komui explained that the child that was obviously younger than when Timothy happened to become an accommodator. He told them they should be able to pick her out without a doubt. They had not been able to obtain the girl for quite some time which caused her will to live to deteriorate quicker than expected. He proceeded to shoo both exorcists away with Johnny who gave them their plane tickets and a few vials which Allen took since Kanda did nothing but cross his arms and scowl at the small scientist's attempts to make him seem no different than an actual person.

"Don't need those, idiot," he scoffed, turning his back on the poor, deflated scientist.

"B-but they're a mandatory precaution due to Noah appearing more frequently nowadays―"

"Don't worry, I'll force-feed them to him if I have to. I don't care how many times his body can regenerate in under a minute or a few seconds, he's going to live a long life and deal with my ass," Allen grinned with his hands stretched out in front of him, both palms facing upward in wait. Johnny dumped them into his hands and made a bee-line for the nearest door, not wishing to get sent any more glares from the still pouting Alpha who mumbled under his breath and rolled his eyes at Johnny's retreating shadow. Probably more profane curses from his unclean mouth.

"You two are our strongest tag-team currently within the Order―both of you without General titles, which is a major accomplishment. Lenalee is also just as exceptional, but when you two are paired together it goes with the aesthetic," he pushed his glasses back into their place before adding more to his statement, "you two are the most synchronized tag-team by far. Just watching you both fight makes it seem like you're dancing. Neither of you are even aware of it―are you? Plus, you two are what makes the battlefield tremble in fear rather than the tables having been turned. For an Alpha and Omega pair that's really something." The Beta commended, watching their actions.

"We look like we're dancing? Well, I assume it can be phrased that way, but there's no way," he made an obscene gesture to Kanda then pointed at himself with a feeble grin adorning his unamused face, "we can be the strongest tag-team."

"Figured you'd say that. I had Hevlaska analyze you both actually fighting whilst your golems were recording without your guys' knowledge and I obtained some really good data from everything―your footwork, to subtle things you both do, and just your movements overall," he typed a couple of things into his computer, then sent them both a PDF file on the information in question. "There's still other things that need looking at though, so I will definitely keep you both updated on this little project of mine."

The duo retrieved their golems and phones, both phones and golems having said information sent to them―the phones chimed while Timcanpy just hovered over to Kanda, lips pulled back to expose the pearly-white teeth that were somehow so clean after all the junk he'd devour in one go, showing the Samurai his best attempt at a sneer. The older male showed no interest, scoffed once again, and turned away from the yellow ball of energy. Allen also took that as his sign to leave, Allen on the older exorcist's heels, departing from the small conference room Komui had them all meet in, swiftly and as silently as when he'd first slipped in.

"Oh, and, Allen," Komui chirped, "change your attire before going out on your mission. I know you enjoy working in comfortable clothing, but your assigned uniforms are personally accustomed to your body type and your movements―no matter how much you move or how awkward it should be on your clothing, they should accommodate and be fine to wear anyway."

Allen let out an exaggerated, exasperated sigh both mentally and physically,

It was going to be a long day afterall.


Once in Japan, they located the first Innocence―a Rosario. They didn’t seem to have any trouble with obtaining it. They had gotten it from a monk who lived at a well-kept shrine without any trouble, thinking that there would be Akuma around but, surprisingly, there weren’t any. Something seemed off―they didn’t let that stop them thought. They continued on with their mission―heading straight towards their second and most important destination within Japan.


‘’Where in the hell is the damn brat―are we even near her? She’s supposed to be around here somewhere,” Kanda growled, crumpling up the map that had been in his hands seconds ago. He chucked it at Allen’s head, earning an overly-dramatic groan from the whitette. He put a hand on his ‘’wound’’ as if he were actually hurt, ‘’Maybe you should make yourself useful and help me with finding this brat, Moyashi.’’

‘’First off, you do know my name―I’ve pretty much given up on training an old dog who can’t learn any new tricks. So, I guess that doesn’t work. And maybe if you asked me nicely, I would actually help you out rather than have you run around in circles for my own amusement―something I’ve actually been enjoying for quite some time now,” Allen rubbed his left cheek in soothing circles. "You also do know I am directionally challenged, hell―the only thing I can tell the difference in direction-wise is right and left, you stuck-up asshole. You just choose to take the hard way, letting everyone assume your brain only has less than half of a brain cell inhabiting its expanse."

He was not about to have an outburst in another country with someone he’d been paired with for one mission. He swore he wasn't as childish as the pouting male beside him, and would definitely rub it in his face one day, but today wasn't that day.

He rubbed his pentacle absentmindedly before transferring his fingers to his hair, running his pale digits through his soft, snowy white bangs. He remembered that he’d just forgotten to brush his hair since he was so rushed earlier―he could already feel the light blush that spread out across his cheeks. He turned to look over at Kanda who was flaming mad―mostly to see if the other was staring at him and the bright red blush that had spread across his face, painting him like a strawberry. He seemed to be absorbed in trying to find where the child was―only so he could get out of Allen's presence, but ended up even more frustrated than he was at the start. Allen couldn’t help but snort at the sight―he did make sure to hide it behind his non-gloved hands, finally noticing that no gloves adorned either of his hands and the reality of it slowly sinking in. He didn't mind not wearing them, but he'd usually wear both or one rather than none. In his honest opinion, he was proving to be paving the way for himself―now steps closer to being able to accept his image.


Allen removed himself from his thoughts that weren't closely related to the mission―they had a job to do, and Allen was more than determined to find the child who was supposedly residing within their area.

She had to be close. There was no doubt about it.

A gentle breeze swept past both exorcists, full of cherry blossom petals. The quick gust ruffled Allen’s white, fluffy hair as the sounds of the city began to simmer down, he heard the sound of chimes not far off―or maybe it was something only he could hear―maybe it was the girl reaching out to him or the fact that she and he both had Innocence that connected them somehow. If that were the case then why hasn't Kanda reacted to the sound of chimes that drowned out the sounds of hustling and bustling?

After quite some time raging, Kanda took notice of the other’s still form from the corner of his eye. He turned around to fully face Allen whose eyes widened, only slightly. The links all clicked together.

She only wanted Allen to find her. She hadn't reached for Kanda as well most likely due to his demeaning aura, whilst Allen's was a lot more inviting compared to the Alpha's.

‘’What’s with the look on your face, Moyashi. Did you finally figure out how incompetent you are?” Kanda questioned, giving Allen a shit-eating smirk―hands shoved into the pockets of his uniform that was black with red trim.

Allen returned to reality while the sounds surrounding them were blocked out―possibly the Innocence’s own doing―maybe it was something to get him to focus in more on finding the child. He smacked Kanda’s chest lightly, and pouted. ‘’That’s very funny. I would love to punch you in the face right now―though now is not the time for violence―now is the time to look for the accommodator and I-I think I’ve found a small trace. It’s nothing big, so wipe that confused look off your face, it’ll do for now. I am sure we’ll find her one way or another.’’

"Well how'd you "find" her without us being close enough or us seeing her?" He flipped his hair onto his slightly exposed collarbone, running his fingers through the silky strands in an absentminded tradition, not particularly showing much interest whatsoever. It did pique his curiosity to some extent, however.

"Since your aura is too demeaning and unapproachable―showing your status as an Alpha without you even knowing no doubt―she connected herself to me somehow. Maybe that's also something about Innocence and Dynamics people haven't really shed light on yet? Either way," he locked his silver eyes onto Kanda's blue ones. "She reached for me over you due to Dynamics and is connected to me, courtesy of Innocence being able to sense where others within a certain vicinity reside in. Unless, she hides her presence from select few."

"Like she did with me."

"Precisely, it's her wishing for your ass to stay away, or her saying she doesn't like you―even though we all have yet to meet one another."

The bluenette surveyed the scene around them, looking for possible signs of children―of life―something other than the busy bodies moving through the crowds of people―he was looking for something unusual. Something that would stand out. He glanced at Allen to aim another inquiring glare "so she contacted you instead of me―what makes a small thing like you superior?”

Allen shrugged, amused about the ordeal, "maybe she has the same Dynamic as me or your aura is too intimidating for children as a whole that she felt more comfortable reaching for my hand. Either way, I believe that I could attempt to pinpoint where she is if I put all my focus into it. I do find it slightly weird how you can’t sense her while I can, moreover I find it funny children dislike you or are terrified of you,’’ he replied, a small smirk formed on his features while he grabbed Kanda’s hand, intertwining their fingers―not thinking much about such an obnoxious action. The other was about to rip his hand away from Allen's but the said male's grip tightened into a deathly vice that refused to let go. Even if he died Kanda doubted his muscles would relax enough to let his hand free.

They both turned to the daunting crowd that continued growing in number. In a crowd this large they had to stay together by some type of means, right?

The exorcists dodged people, weaving their way through the large crowd of citizens who protested against the ripple in their daily lives―something they would all eventually forget about. They cast their judgemental eyes upon Allen’s brutally emblazoned face―they probably thought he wished to get a tattoo done on his face―something gruesome―something occult-like―something that would leave an not-so-good impression on people, but the teenager was completely engrossed in trying to find the child―his focus was only on her―other than the fact he couldn’t wrap his head around why Kanda would allow him to take the lead in such a bold way. Maybe he was simply bored of being the one looking like a mother duck with her duckling―in one instance he'd actually been cat-called by some men whilst on a mission. Remembering what came after made Allen's skin prickle with unease, which in turn made his fingers briefly revive their grasp on Kanda's loose one. Kanda had whipped to face his admirers and in a whirlwind of hatred, slammed his calve into the both of them with a simple roundhouse, seething with rage as his own Alpha pheromones polluted the area around the three, becoming too strong for Allen to stand near without succumbing to a dizzy spell.

He felt that he had to find her―he felt that she needed to be found by someone―by him. And she would.

Something was gnawing away at his nerves. His stomach twisted into several knots before giving birth to butterflies that didn’t sit well with him at all―his anxiety spiked severely, giving way to him unconsciously squeezing the Samurai’s hand while his breath came in short bursts. He stopped to take in a few deep breaths, gaining a series of concerned looks from the Samurai who stepped up to stand next to him. He could tell that Allen was getting a little more self-conscious whenever someone looked in his direction―even if it wasn’t directly at him―people within the crowd continued glancing at them or simply into their direction, their eyes burning into Allen's skin―making Allen squirm in his place as the child on the other end of his line continued pressing dark scenery into his thoughts, slowly corrupting and eating away at him. It was how he had once lived―alone, isolated in a quiet and darkened space, cold and filthy.

‘’I can feel the Innocence―the feeling has gotten stronger. It’s like pressure that builds up over time―she has to be close. She's been pushing all of these images and snippets from her life into my mind,’’ the whitette tugged gently on Kanda’s hand which was linked to his. The people in the crowd cast Allen narrowed glances―some looking as if he were about to put a curse upon their families if they ever locked eyes with him, or simply bring about a series of bad luck just by having taken a glance at him―his aesthetic appearance terrified him. It didn't bring him joy to look the way he did. It was just something that happened and he built himself off of that base.

Slowly, he reminded himself, take it slowly or you'll spiral into your demise.

He subconsciously pressed his free hand, which happened to be his left, against his blood-red pentacle in an attempt to calm himself down, continuing his deep breathing―something that didn't seem to be helping whatsoever. Who in the hell thought that deep breathing would be good when having a meltdown? Were they a fucking idiot?

The methods he had once upon a time told himself worked, did―they all smacked him in the gut as if Kanda had thrown him to the ground. Air seemed to be impossible to come into contact now, his lungs beginning to completely fail him as a whole as the child still burned images into his head―an iron fist against his once steeled mind.

Continued gazes and quick glances in his direction and towards his direction only made them feel heavier than before. A weight upon his body as they are away at his person the way fire did anything it came into contact with. He swore he was suffocating. The air forcefully plucked from his lungs, whilst cool breezes brushed against his face in a silent taunt. He needed air and fast, otherwise he'd continue clutching at his chest, eyes now tightly closed with his eyebrows drawn together. Perspiration formed all over his body―his body becoming flush with color didn't help either, nor did the unbearable throbbing of his pentacle like someone took a knife to his face, slowly and painfully tracing along the already branded mark.

Allen managed a heavy, deep, pain-stricken cough with his nails still sinking themselves into Kanda's own flesh. Surely in the Samurai's eyes he was an eyesore, but Kanda let out a soft(?) sigh. He stopped the worried and slightly terrified looks, standing on Allen's left side he made a small attempt to refuse many a number of eyes on him which resulted in a good portion of them changing their attention to Kanda. He―without a doubt―felt that Allen should have stayed back at Headquarters for not having the mentality to deal with such a simple task. The negative thoughts that swirled on the Alpha's mind came to an abrupt stop, now remembering that the Omega had been diagnosed with severe anxiety and that no matter how much he showed himself to people; he was still continuing to shine―a pillar of sunshine in the rain.

Kanda was slowly starting to regret how he'd came off to the other―extremely insensitive, but that was honestly all he was about. He was blunt, ruthless when needed to be, and a complete―utter asshole. He knew for a fact that Allen had issues with being in or around crowds of people after having lost his eye while with Lavi―even Lavi being there didn't soothe the Omega and he ended up bringing a severely distraught Allen back to the Order who locked himself in his room, refusing to see anyone and most of all; he refused to eat.

Allen's heart stopped for a moment before continuing,

Kanda's own heart missed a beat and slowly, but surely followed Allen's own beat in a silent harmony.

The Alpha's soft sigh long-gone was quickly accompanied by another―one that probably couldn’t be heard over the loud noise that came with such a large crowd. He slightly tugged at their still linked hands, pulled the smaller figure towards his chest, and wrapped his free arm around the white haired male's shoulders, pressing his face into his neck―right against the scent gland which now emitted a controlled amount of his pheromones. Soft and soothing. He didn't say anything other than removing his hand from Allen's own to rest it against the back of his head, waiting for the other to breathe before he blacked out from lack of oxygen.

Allen took longer than a minute to process the whole thing and even as he still was, he could sense Kanda's pheromones letting up, now not as thick as they previously were. Starburst seam in his eyes, the lack of oxygen quickly getting to him until he finally took in that Earth-shattering gasp. His whole body shuddered and his knees buckled slightly―most likely unable to handle his weight, so he stood there, clinging to Kanda's person as he took in more gasps―a cough would occasionally exit him.

The Samurai relaxed himself, and when the smaller form finally began to breathe in his scent, was when he decided it was a good time to say something, "Allen―Allen just breathe. No, stop sputtering for air, breathe with me. In," he drawled through his nose. He held it in for a second or two before exhaling, "out" he commanded.

Allen’s body went taut before relaxing into Kanda’s embrace. The taller male moved an arm to Allen's waist in an attempt to support him and his weight, seeing as he could barely hold himself up for the fattest minute. Allen, shocked, didn’t know the other was capable of comforting someone in their time of need. He was certainly grateful for the other’s actions―his willingness to understand his situation―he was glad that Kanda could see things from his perspective, even if it was a bit of insight on his part―glad that he wasn’t told to shut up, suck up, and deal with it this time.

Allen let a few tears stray from the path, blinking rapidly to will them along with the starburst in his silver orbs away in order for them both to continue on with the task at hand. He unintentionally wrapped his free arm around Kanda’s neck. He tilted his head to the side―still able to smell the Alpha's lotus and spice scent clear as day―giving said male access to the Omega's own exposed, pale, unmarred flesh which poured. This only stimulated a reaction from Kanda, and for a couple minutes―the both of them just stood there in each other’s embrace, scenting one another, undeterred by their surroundings.

After a couple more heartbeats, and smelling one another―Allen's face continued to stay a soft, tinged pink, slowly detaching himself from Kanda to wipe at his face and pretend he never let any of his tears spill free. He looked in the opposite direction with his face still feeling like it was on fire. Something within the Omega clicked―he didn't know what exactly only that it had to have been something to do with Kanda, but he wouldn't figure that out yet. He willed himself to calm down along with the remainder of the butterflies that fluttered about within him.

"Thank you," he stuttered out quietly, "I'm fine now―it's just the girl's images and the crowds didn't help much with anything."

Kanda hesitantly let the other male out of his grasp, not before he could grab onto his hand like previously, not uttering a single word they then continued after Allen announced minutes after with a "she must be around here somewhere" being the only thing that kept Kanda from losing himself in Allen.

Without much thought, Allen squeezed Kanda’s hand once again to reassure him which garnered a quick locking of eyes from Kanda before they both took off, finishing their walk across the street they forgot about standing in. The light not been green, however, people continued walking―not many cars or little to no cars strewn about the area as a whole. It seemed they happened upon a street where walking anywhere in it was permitted―something both of them were ever grateful for. They both continued on through the streets with no stroke of luck, until they came across the sound of gentle sobbing from nearby.

Allen, confused, yet excited they'd finally found what they'd been searching for, gave Kanda a triumphant look―his eyes shimmered in the afternoon sunlight, boring into Kanda’s surprisingly bright blue orbs―both parties seemingly could light up the air around them with their luminescent glow. The large portion of blue in his eyes made him feel like he could somewhat see a future within them―his eyes blazed with life―one that was, and still is, full of will. They made it feel like he were seeing color for the first time in his life. His breath caught in his throat―a breeze swept past them once again, his hair and side-bangs stirred in it. For a second or two he forgot how to breathe, then, he turned his head in the direction he assumed the sounds were coming from.

The sobbing sounded louder. She must have hid herself away in an alley or something nearby, clearly unwilling to come out even when Allen attempted to use the small bond connecting the both of them to no avail.

Allen pulled Kanda along, glancing here and there as his heart throbbed wildly in his chest. He felt like he shared many things in common with the girl―being all alone and living on the streets. Stealing anything to get through the day―to continue surviving in such a terrible setting. He didn’t remember how he was able to continue living some days, but he had somehow done it, because here he was, living―breathing. He was alive.

‘’Allen,’’ Kanda started, his eyes going down to lock with the whitette’s before shifting over to a small niche he had found along an alley. She seemed to have lodged herself into the small thing―she was very noticeable from where they stood, considering that she didn’t seem to have made much of an effort in hiding herself from him―that is, if she knew he was coming―if she felt him like he did her. He highly doubted it as he'd tried to connect to her earlier only to have been severed from her.

The sniffling, sobbing and occasional hiccuping continued. Her arms were wrapped around her knees with her head tucked into the large gap between her thighs and flat stomach―one that seemed way too flat. She looked as if she had starved for days―another thing Allen had experienced as a child. Soft cries came from the space she was within, drowned out by the sounds of the loud, busy city around the three well-defined figures. People were continuing on with their lives, not even bothering to glance in the girl’s direction―some probably didn’t even know she was there―others, if they did, they didn’t make an effort to show they knew.

Allen swore his heart shattered right there on the pavement lain before them.

A child should never have to experience starving. Ever. Allen thought―he could tell that Kanda was thinking the same thing.

Allen wasn’t the first to make a move―Kanda was―which was surprising. He let the taller male tug him towards the small figure which crammed herself into the hole. Kanda, still unsure about what he was doing, squeezed Allen’s hand for some type of comfort as he did something out of the ordinary―another thing he usually wouldn’t do. The stoic samurai was usually full of himself and irritated by almost everything, but something about this mission made him act differently. Allen found that this side to Kanda was...endearing.

Said samurai kneeled before the girl, while Allen squatted, squeezing Kanda’s hand―using it for balance while he adjusted himself―he got comfortable while the other rolled his eyes in a joking manner. The girl looked as if she had been thrown into a hole and smacked around. There was mud everywhere and brand new scratches appeared around her arms and legs, but the most notable thing about her were the chains that were around her wrists and ankles. Even though the chains had been severed, they still remained on the small, shaken figure. Her body shook with each breath―each sob―each cough.

Was she sick? Allen glanced at Kanda, already worrying his ass off about her. The latter shrugged, dug his hand into his coat. He removed the napkin that covered the top of the object, revealing a pastry he obtained from later on in the day―one that Allen had attempted to get Kanda to try out at the cafe they stopped by for a break since the smaller male continued to complain about how he possibly couldn’t work on an empty stomach.

‘’What are you―’’ Allen was cut off, watching Kanda move his hand towards the small figure. ‘’―doing. Never mind.’’

It clicked.

Kanda wished to feed her.

Silver eyes shimmered within the expanse, he reached out, tenderly placing his free hand upon the girl’s bony figure. She responded by snapping her head up, locking eyes with him. She looked like a deer in the headlights, scared of them both―as if she thought they were there to take her away to some orphanage or possibly beat her up.

‘’Take it before I change my mind, chibi,’’ Kanda huffed, eyes closing for a brief second before reopening them. He gazed into her almost lifeless eyes, then watched as she began responding to him. She stretched out her arm, placing her surprisingly clean hand on top of the pastry. In a flash, said pastry was gone. ‘’Another glutton. Looks like you’ve got a rival, Moyashi.’’

‘’It seems so. You’re okay now. You’ll be coming with us now, is that fine with you?” Allen, squatting on the left, extended his left hand towards her―an invitation to making her an addition to the Order. He felt Kanda’s thumb brushed along his. He felt a jolt of excitement from the touch―a spark that ignited a bright, fire from within him.

He wouldn’t let Kanda know any of that though.

The girl gave Allen a worried look, nodded, then grabbed onto his hand. The little girl’s legs were unstable causing Allen to be more careful. Kanda continued on holding the white haired male’s hand while he figured out how to get the child up and into his arms.

They succeeded. They had, after a long day, obtained the newest accommodator and the Innocence. Maybe the day wasn’t such a bad day after all.

The girl wrapped her arms around the exorcist’s neck then rested her head against his neck, reached out towards Kanda, her honey-gold eyes slowly closing until her body went still except for the occasional rise and fall of her chest. She didn’t seem to be in a deep sleep, seeing as she gave them signs, still able to hear both of them. Allen on the other hand, pressed the girl in closer to him as if something terrible were about to happen to her―he felt connected to her somehow. She had to be around the age of six―a year older than when he was aimlessly wandering the streets of Britain. He was only assuming. She probably didn’t know her actual age. Allen situated his free arm so that he was able to allow the small girl to attempt napping on him without her slipping or him dropping her. Kanda watched all of this, surprised by Allen’s maternal instincts―or what they seemed to be. From other people’s point of view, they probably thought they had lost their child or something.

The white of Allen’s left eye went black with two red rings showing for a couple seconds before returning to normal. He gave Kanda a wary glance. They had begun to leave the crevice of which they had found the child hiding within―slowly making their return to the Order. Allen could have opened a door to the Ark, but that would cause him to be placed under strict watch. He was lucky Link wasn’t watching over him anymore. The blond male had decided to spend most of his time in the library with Bookman―sometimes Lavi would make his appearance in the large library, but that wasn’t often.

‘’Hey, Kanda,’’ Allen’s soft voice shattered the silence that hung between them,’’don’t you think it’s weird there aren’t any Akuma around? I mean, we haven’t seen any yet―I feel like we may get ambushed or something.’’

‘’I do too. Honestly, it’s better to not dwell on it too much. If they do come, I’ll try taking aggro. You shouldn’t take any―nor need to take any, but you might be because you have both the Innocence and the child. Akuma can usually sense Innocence which is why we'd usually find them lounging around it,’’ he gave Allen a glance then continued surveying the area. ‘’Speaking of the Innocence, where is Tim? I know he took the Rosario.’’

‘’You idiot. I have the Rosario around my neck. It’s not going to do anything to me. The Order does not―and I repeat does not have any rules about touching Innocence,’’ Allen accentuated his statement with a small pout.

‘’True, yet you still shouldn’t be touching it. If you get chewed out, don’t blame me. I'll be looking the other way, so don't go pointing your sugar-coated fingers at me.’’

‘’Who said I’m blaming you?” Silver eyes narrowed, dangerously.

Just as Kanda was about to snap back a quick ‘’fucking forget it’’, the child in Allen’s arms tensed up, hiding her face away in Allen’s neck. The two, confused, looked up, hearing a whole series of noises coming directly from the street ahead of them. Allen’s eye activated once again, making him grip Kanda’s hand. After a couple of seconds of contemplation on whether to leave them both up to Kanda to fight, or leave the child with Kanda, he let Kanda go, watching as the male’s eyes lit up due to the thrill he got from battle―blue eyes blazing like fox-fire burning a forest into mere ashes as if nothing could contain it―they narrowed slightly as he spotted an opening from the panicked crowd which would allow him to get there quicker, possibly, if he took this chance to throw himself against the ever-moving, fear-stricken bodies. Taking said chance, the bluenette drew his dominant foot in front of him, leaned forward significantly, and in a mere seconds, he was taking off at an inhuman speed which in turn, left Allen and the silent child completely bewildered and slightly stinging with the pain that came from betrayal.

In other words they were completely and utterly,



Quick like Kanda's blade, Allen pulled out Timcanpy, by his tail, who flew a couple circles around his head, excited for some weird reason. His tone took a slightly dark turn that made Timcanpy freeze in his current lap to face him, ‘’Tim. Connect me to Kanda―make it video so I can see what exactly his dumbass-self is doing over there.’’

Tim silently obeyed while Allen sauntered over to a small coffee shop, in a poor attempt to stay out of the Akuma's vision―especially the one within the vicinity he stood. It was a level three, climbing on the buildings, screeching so loudly he was afraid the child's eardrums would burst and bleed from its frequency. He simply stood underneath one of the large umbrellas set up at a nearby table, spectating whilst people sprinted in different directions―screaming their heads off for something or someone to save them. A part of him deep down definitely didn't want to, but he knew it was something they had to do.

The golem exposed his cartoon-like teeth in a short-lived grin before proceeding to open his mouth, projecting a smug image of Kanda he'd managed to take without the other knowing. Usually it was just their IDs, but Allen liked to spice everything up. He'd even taken a picture of Lavi with his fingers shoved up his nose once and almost exposed him to everyone who resided within the Order, after the robust redhead ate a large plate of pancakes drenched in fruit and syrup.

The chat continued processing and Timcanpy had even personally considered disconnecting until Kanda accepted, showing his honed body in extremely high quality as the golem continued to draw closer to the long haired exorcist. His smug face came into view perfectly, exposing the smirk that branded his face.

His sword's red blade emitted a soft light in the video as he gripped the elongated hilt with both hands, like a viper waiting for his moment to strike. Underbelly of the blade facing upwards and the notch swiftly being presented to his opponent, he sunk into a widespread stance, every movement he created executed with fluid regality had sent frequent shivers down the Omega's spine.

The Alpha shot his black golem a hard, cold stare, eyes sliding towards Allen's still slightly childishly cute face, but he'd never admit that to Allen, before going back to his opponent just as quickly as they'd first left it. He opened his mouth, lips still turned down into a scowl, "busy" was all he said as he allowed Allen room to say something before he'd disconnect.

A muscle twitched in Allen's jaw as his short hair blew gently against his face―a possible attempt to comfort and calm. It didn't really work. He swore he could hear the crickets chirping in the broad sunlight.

"How about no, you get your ass back here. We are unprotected. Did you really expect me to fight with a child on my back with nothing to support her? Need I remind you that I only have one arm that I can actually use when swashbuckling, unlike your ass? What if something happens and we get cornered―get your five-year-old ass back here now, you fucking idgit!" Allen roared, his silver orbs flashing defiantly.

He was truly and extremely upset.

That only made Kanda smirk before slightly faltering with an "urk" sound escaping his previously sealed lips. "Fine. But can you at least let me get enough aggro to draw this one in so I can kill two birds with one stone?" He chuckled softly at Allen's "swashbuckling" statement.

"O' great Alpha, willst thou enlighten me on what hast thou amused?"

"You call flinging your sword around swashbuckling. Hilarious? Very. Somewhat adorable? Possibly―who knows. Oh and don't worry," his head tilted slightly in the opposite direction of where his Golem hovered, the smirk from beforehand making its way to his lips as an almost shit-eating grin as he said, "you're perfectly capable, mommy."

Satisfied with the disgusted face Allen made, Kanda disconnected so the only thing the white haired Omega saw last was his hair trailing behind him while he lunged fiercely, a lion clawing at its prey.

In less than a minute, with calculated grace (or Allen assumed), Kanda came shooting past the two figures hidden inside of the shadows then came to an extremely abrupt halt. The Alpha didn't even shoot a glare or anything in Allen's direction to acknowledge he saw him (if he ever did). He turned, and whilst the Akuma was distracted by the blinding rage the older Alpha had sent it into earlier, the Akuma peered at Allen, slightly, with rage-filled eyes that seemed to shake. It was too late for it to retaliate or do anything as Kanda's terrifyingly graceful body slid his blade straight through the Akuma's lower gut, deep enough that he rammed his blade up into the demon's organs―specifically the lungs―before quickly withdrawing his blade to let the demon fall face-first onto the concrete with a deafening thud accompanied by sickening squelching from the torn, now exposed flesh.

The cleanest cut the world would possibly see, had turned into something out of a slasher movie. Ragged and uneven.

Allen pressed the little girl closer to his body both to comfort him and her, making sure she wouldn't witness the remainder of the bloodbath that the Alpha was about to give to the world.

The remaining people still running for their lives shrieked and lost their shit while others were a lot more dramatic. They'd latch onto to the nearest person in a frenzy, spouting gibberish. The Omega had somehow, earlier, managed to sidestep a cluster of people who were so spooked they tried to lock eyes with anyone so they'd have an actual reason to grab that person and shake them to death in an attempt to gain answers about the situation. Others just fled to niches within the streets―alleyways where they sat to contemplate life as a whole.

Allen watched as his partner took off towards the other Akuma, sliding his index and middle finger along his blade―bread on butter―before allowing his insects to leap from within, and devour the Akuma's body from the inside out, causing it to detach itself from the building it had been climbing to topple over. Said Akuma sputtered in an act of defiance. Blood would assuredly begin pooling from within the Akuma's body which would in turn make the Akuma choke as its body began to ever so slowly shutdown, ensuring it would be forced to endure such a painful death.

After the Akuma's body convulsed one last time, Kanda held his sword to his side, the blade seemed to be oozing blood due to it being red, but the blood that coated it was inky black with scarlet tints here and there to remind them both that any person could be turned into an Akuma. Yet, the child in Allen's arms also alerted them to the fact that people may also be of service as a weapon, too.

The blade at Kanda's side, in a fencing stance, moved with his arm while he cut the air before his being in an attempt to rid his blade of what was on it, that way he wouldn't have to physically touch it with his fingers later―not that he cared either way. He'd just rather soak in a bathtub more at the moment rather than getting dirty all over again. He sheathed his sword, slender fingers guiding it to the inevitable resting place where it'd reside until called for again, unless he planned to threaten Lavi once they got back for stashing his ribbons in Allen's somewhat makeshift nest. It was something he shouldn't have seen and doubted Lavi actually took note of what it was even though his intelligence was far superior, he acted like he owned less than half a brain cell―something Kanda owned, sadly.

The Alpha turned to face his tag-team Omega partner who was now seething with instrumental rage. He doubted anything other than raging and pulling at his ears would quench Allen's rage, so, he simply put a hand on his hip, relaxed back with a smirk as Allen harangued him.

"Are you fucking kidding me? You're ridiculous! You know what; I'm not even going to deal with you right now―I won't even talk to you right now. Bye, asshat," Allen flipped him off, turned and started striding away from his partner at a swift pace, unable to deal with the shit he pulled.

"Not gonna lie, Allen, you're kinda cute when you're angry and it somewhat turns me on," he "purred" after the Omega who bristled in absolute disgust.

"Fuck you, asshole!"

"Look who's swearing now."


The two exorcists and the exorcist-to be all returned to the Order the very next day, Allen and the small girl clinging to his being the most tired out of the trio. Kanda knew for a fact that once they'd gotten back to a hotel room, they showered abd Allen had made a futile attempt to scrub at the little girl who ended up a sobbing mess due to how caked on the filth was to her oiled, hyper-sensitive skin. He'd simply scrubbed her softer or attempted to and got her to lay down in a bed, out like a light after she refused to sleep alone, Allen made her wait outside the bathroom as he showered and came out. The both of them plopped onto the singular, large bed in the middle of the room, now allowing Kanda to take a shower himself.

Kanda reappeared from the bathroom to find them both passed out, curled into one another. He watched them both from where he sat on the windowsill―fully clothed―unable to sleep after the long day's series of events.

Allen and the girl both dismissed Kanda to the cafeteria, seeing as they needed to head straight to Komui to give him the Innocence they collected before finding the girl―he had also requested that he meet the girl out of curiosity. The girl almost refused to leave Kanda, whining and stretching her hand out to touch or grasp him. He placed his hand against hers, a sigh of defeat slid out. He enclosed his thumb around her hand―she copied him for a few seconds before he let go, walking away. Once again, they found Komui fast asleep on his desk with the occasional drool creeping down the side of his mouth. He was surrounded by stacks of paper like always.

Sighing, Allen said loud enough for the Chinese man to hear. His tone held irritation within it. He just wanted to get more than three hours of sleep in.

‘’Lenalee’s getting married to Lavi, which we all know is a huge fact.’’

Komui’s head shot up and almost rammed into Allen's own in the process as fat, hot tears streaked down his pale face, ‘’Lenalee why would you marry an idiot like Lavi? There's so many better men out there for you. I don't understand.”

‘’She’s not getting married, you sis-con,’’ Allen said, rolling his silver eyes. "Or at least yet."

‘’So how was the mission?’’ Komui's eyes snapped to Allen's figure, taking in his appearance alongside the girl's who stood in stark contrast against him. She wore rags whilst Allen's clothing was high quality material. Her skin was still dirtied; Allen's as clean as could be. "I heard that last part―don't think I didn't, Allen. I'll make you permanently go on missions with Kanda as a punishment."

‘’Uh-uh. Anyway, the girl is a new accommodator and I have the Rosario here,’’ he spoke, removing the said necklace from around his neck to show the scientist their findings. He watched Komui's face contort into confusion for a second as he stood from his desk and strode out of the room with it grasped in his hands.

They moved around and eventually found Hevlaska as Komui finally spilled the issue on his mind, "this seems a bit odd to me. Maybe giving it to Hevlaska and letting her analyze it will confirm or decline my suspicions.’’

Hevlaska was altered by their presence due to Komui's voice raising in tone while they neared the older exorcist, watching intently from her place. She inspected the Innocence then declared that the Innocence had somehow been removed and placed somewhere else―but vaguely enough so that Allen didn’t take much notice. She turned to Allen―or more so the girl he was holding and inspected him along with the girl, eyes shining brightly with amusement at what she found from the duo.

‘’So this must be the new accommodator, yes?” Komui pushed his glasses upwards examining the child still clinging to Allen for dear life. He'd taken a quick glance at her earlier, but only long enough to notice that she was the complete opposite of Allen.

‘’Yes, it is. I was about to go finish washing her up, ask Lenalee for some clothes, then take her to the cafeteria since she keeps insisting to see Kanda now that she's actually met him," Allen huffed. "Before we all met, she wanted nothing to do with him because of his Dynamic and aura. He exerts his pheromones a bit too much. It makes me ill if I stand next to him for too long while his pheromones go haywire, but now she wants to be with Kanda for some reason―honestly, it kind of scares me. I won't lie.’’

‘’Odd,’’ the scientist slid his gaze to Hevlaska and asked the question, having already known the answer to said question. Still, there was no harm in double checking. ‘’Do you know where the Innocence currently rests?”

An amused sound escaped Hevlaksa's lips as she spoke, ‘’The Innocence is fine. I’d rather not talk about it now. And the girl will make a fine exorcist, my regards, Allen Walker. Treat her well.’’

And with that, Allen and the child on his hip both departed, leaving the other two to delve deeper into the reason as to why the Innocence from the Rosario had moved on.


Before the duo met up with Kanda, Allen had Lenalee find as many clothes from her childhood as she could. In the meantime, he decided that he should finish getting her cleaned up before they went back down to meet up with Kanda. He wondered if Kanda would be able to notice if it were her or not when they finished. He now made it his duty to clean her up good enough that Kanda and Komui both wouldn't know who she was. Allen ended up measuring the child since she refused to be seen muddy in front of anyone else anymore other than Allen at the moment. When finished, Allen told Johnny her measurements.

Later on, in the middle of Allen helping scrub off the dirt from her small form, struggling to be more gentle on her, Lenalee stopped in to give Allen the clothes as he requested, obtaining lots of clothes with pink and purple on them, but he didn’t complain. She just needed clothes. After talking to Lenalee, he went back to helping the underweight child clean herself. When she was done, he went through her hair, shampooing and conditioning it then washing it out.

‘’I’ll be right back. Stay here, okay?” Allen got up from his squat, turned, and walked out of the bathroom. He had placed one of his fluffy towels in the dryer when Lenalee had stopped by to drop off the clothes. He retrieved it from the dryer, and entered the bathroom once again. ‘’You can take the plug out now. I’ll dry you off. I have clothes for you as well.’’ He smiled, holding out the towel―unfolded and ready for her.

She stepped out of the tub, placing her pale feet on the cold tile floor. The girl walked straight towards him―right into the warm towel. Allen wrapped the towel around her small form, quickly rubbing her hair, then her body down until she was dry enough to put clothing on. ‘’Do you want to put your clothes on? I need to go put the other clothes in the wash. I’ll make sure to leave out a pair of pajamas Lenalee brought over for you.’’

She nodded an entirely silent response otherwise; he handed her the clothing, knowing full well she’d know how to put them on.

When he came back, she was finally dressed. The only thing about her was her fluffy brown hair that needed to be brushed out. Allen beckoned her over with a free hand. In his other hand was a brush. He would need to buy another one―possibly a duplicate of everything he owned. He knew he’d need to move out of his small room as well since he didn’t have another room or anything. He didn’t feel like having her sleep in her own room when she would probably get scared or end up coming back to him anyway. Allen began brushing through the girl’s now dry, chocolate-colored hair with his red bristled brush, running his fingers through her long, silky hair that reminded him of Kanda’s. If he had to choose, he’d probably go with the girl’s since Kanda would probably slice him to bits if he so much twitched a finger in his direction.

He took the nearest ribbon, a gold one―which matched the trimming on her clothing, and tied the girl’s hair up into a ponytail on the right side of her head. Her bangs were cut―something she requested, but the hair framing her face was a bit longer than her bangs. She requested a bowlcut, showing Allen with her fingers and motion rather than speaking to him with a full set of active vocal cords. Speaking would take some time, but he wouldn't rush her on it. She also asked (through lots of tugging Allen’s shirt and shaking her head ‘’no’’ that) she be allowed to keep her shoulder-blade length hair.

Allen and the girl met up with Kanda in the cafeteria. The Japanese male was eating the same thing once again. Soba. Of course.

Allen had also changed when he had time, he was currently wearing sweats that hung dangerously low on his hips and a black shirt that had the words ‘’RATED R’’ scrawled across it in white, capital letters. The girl continued to cling to his neck―refusing to go. Allen let out a sigh, and seated himself next to Kanda, opening his mouth to speak,

‘’Help me come up with a name for her―she doesn’t have one and I can only come up with basic names. Maybe something from your native language.’’

‘’This is stupid, you know that, right?”

‘’Help me out, daddy,’’


Allen grinned, resting his chin atop his lined fingers, ‘’I didn't hear wrong from last time, did I? When you courageously called me "mommy". Plus, I'll do anything you want, just help me out―I suck at naming people or things. If I go to Lenalee, she’ll think of something absurd―Lavi, too. You should know them by now and how this would turn out if I went to either of them.’’

Kanda’s sky-blue eyes blazed with interest yet irritating seemed to be the recurring thing that hid within the deep pools. ‘’Okay, but when I call you upon this "deal", you cannot run away or hide. I will fucking slaughter you if you do―I swear.’’

‘’Fine, fine. Please, just watch your Language, too,’’ Allen huffed, eyes closing. His white eyelashes brushing against his cheeks.

‘’This mostly depends on what type of name you want―I know of a couple common ones. I don't know a whole lot since I don't even reside in Japan anymore. I fucking live in this hell with you and that annoying-ass bunny," a slight murderous grin made its say to the Alpha's features. It didn't help that his pheromones were back at being wack again.

‘’Aha, you love us. Admit defeat," his eyes slowly opened then he began to taunt the other by batting his eyes at him―almost ending with a knife in his left eye. "Anyway, that’s why I’m asking you―I don’t want any common names, so I thought you'd know some,’’ he retorted, eyes rolling.

Kanda snorted, "how about common names from my native language and a couple from your background, or you get the fuck away from my table and leave me be to eat."

"Ah, no can do. She likes you for some reason, although it terrifies me to admit, she won't leave you, therefore, I technically cannot leave either. "

The Alpha huffed in irritation before he directed his attention to the child who had finally, after Allen consistently asking and asking, let go of the Omega's neck. He frequently told her she was okay and in a safe place whenever a loud sound resonated in the commons, making her jump or curl her small fingers around anything she could latch onto that concerned Allen.

"Momo, Moriko, Ran, Aika, Emilia, Liliana, Jasmine," he listed before adding, "pick a goddamn name―any of them so your mother hen over here can leave me alone."

The young girl made a series of weird faces at the names he listed, clearly not taking to any of them until she heard the last name suggested by the Alpha―to which she nodded her head at, tugging urgently on Allen’s shirt, beaming with happiness.

‘’Hm, well that was easy? Also I am not a mother hen! And who said we'd actually leave you alone afterwards?" The Omega barked. He was obviously still tired and wished for more sleep but he had a number of things that still needed dealing with before he'd let himself be enveloped by sleep.

"Fine, but shut the hell up so I can fucking eat."

Jasmine’s smile must’ve been contagious, because Allen was the one with a smile―they both smiled like idiots. This stirred something in Kanda, making him smile―which quickly turned into a smirk before the other could take notice. His eyes did soften a bit though―something he was worried Allen would take notice if. If he did, the latter didn’t let him know of it, ‘’Well then. I’m glad that’s been settled now. W-what’s that smirk for? You look like a creeper.’’

‘’Fuck off, mommy. Or I’ll shove my blade down your throat.’’

‘’Gu-YS I HEARD SOMETHING ABOUT DEEPTHROATING!’’ Lavi burst into the cafeteria, full of energy he somehow had yet to burn off from his last series of missions.

‘’Lavi. No. Stop.’’

‘’WHO’S DEEPTHROATING WHAT?” Lavi jumped over to their table, grinning. His lone emerald eye flashed with mischief.

He was obviously up to no good at the moment, and Allen felt like dragging Jasmine away with him before he ruined the child even more than she already had been―courtesy of the other Alpha who sat across from them, glaring literal daggers at all of them because he now couldn't enjoy his food in silence and isolation like he'd wanted to prior.

Smiling was the only thing he could do until Lavi left without any more information on who was deepthroating what apparently. Later on, the trio ended up finding out that Jasmine was a parasitic type―like Kory and Allen. Her style was close combat, but they weren’t very sure about what type of abilities she would earn―they were more frightful of the actions and consequences of raising Jasmine―afraid of what would happen if she somehow figured out how to tap into her abilities before they started training with her. Her Innocence was also able to take on different forms like Allen’s, but hers could continue and be like Allen’s or be something completely different. At first, they assumed that she was a Noah due to her gold eyes.

‘’Lavi, please go away―oh there’s Lenalee,’’ Allen pointed out over to nothing, smiling.

With hearts in his eyes, Lavi turned around and let out a shriek, only to find that no one was there. When he turned back he found that Allen had fled with Jasmine while Kanda looked as if he were about to burn something―or someone.