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D.Gray-man: Finch-Watching

Title: Finch-Watching
Fandom: D.Gray-man
Pairing/Character(s): Howard Link, Madarao, Tevak (pre-slash Link/Madarao? …+Tevak?)
Genre: General/Friendship
Rating: Oh my. I might have something that is unabashedly G for once *g*
Summary: The habits of tiny little things have always intrigued Madarao. Finch-Watching ensues.
Warnings: VERY POSSIBLE OOC-NESS. Given that I know nearly nothing about Madarao and Tevak. And I’ve twisted Link beyond belief. Forgive me. They are kids here of an indeterminate age. Kids, really young ones.
Disclaimer: I do not own D.Gray-man and will never presume that I do.
Notes: This was written for symbolism_egg ’s birthday. Have a very Happy Birthday, dear! Firstly, after that riveting conversation we had (together with aorin  too~) about the habits of crows – I’m happy to say that your theory very much influenced and inspired this fic *g* Secondly, I’m sorry that I’m experimenting with a different style and imposing it on your fic ;___; I hope it’s still more or less okay, and that you’ll enjoy it! Everyone, this fic was inspired by this~ it’s adorable :D
 
-
-

 
his.to.ry [his-tuh-ree, his-tree]
-noun, plural –ries
one’s history is the set of facts that are known about one’s past.
the aggregate of past events.
 
 
New arrivals have always intrigued Madarao.
 
There was a tiny little thing delivered to Central just yesterday, and he remembered catching a glimpse of straw-yellow (maybe gold-ish) hair, and eyes that were the colour of a sapling’s twig. Then the thing was whisked away by those tall men wearing the bigger version of what he was wearing, and then Madarao was made to train. Tevak pouted at the lack of attention he gave her too, so her demand for attention distracted him for most of the afternoon.
 
He asked her if she saw the tiny little thing. She said no, petulant.
 
In the evening he followed tall man S (he whisked tiny thing away in the afternoon) before he was spotted and chased into his room. Then lights out was ordered and the room was sunk into darkness. There was a thing in Central that he didn’t know about and he didn’t like that he didn’t know about it.
 
-
 
The yellow birdie was in the canteen the following morning. Madarao paused in his steps, calculating. Then he walked up to his seat and said, slowly,
 
“Hello.”
 
The tiny thing looked back with wide eyes. He said, equally slowly,
 
“…hello.”
 
Madarao looked him up and down.
 
He was wearing the same thing Madarao and Tevak always wore. That meant he and Madarao and Tevak were to become the same thing the tall men were. But the birdie was short – that meant he was smaller than Madarao. Small like how Tevak was small. He had two little dots on his forehead – dots were good things, it meant if he needed to find the yellow birdie he could look for dots. Like when they were teaching him to look for tiny things like ladybugs. Madarao nodded.
 
“Madarao.”
 
Tiny thing blinked. Madarao nodded again and pointed at himself. “Madarao.”
 
Blinking ensued. Maybe the colour of a sapling’s twig was the wrong word – it was lighter than that, like the straw-yellow hair. A bit like the gold breast of a finch. That was nice.
 
His mouth parted, and Madarao caught the word, “Howard”. After a slight pause, there was “Link”. He wondered what that meant.
 
“Link?”
 
He nodded. “Link.”
 
“Howard?”
 
The finch looked confused and wide-eyed. Sunlight made his eyes brighter.
 
“…yes?”
 
Madarao wondered why finches have two names. Howard, and Link. That was weird. Madarao was Madarao, and Tevak was Tevak, but straw-yellow thing was Howard and Link.
 
He didn’t understand, so he went off to get breakfast.
 
-
 
Howard who was also Link and Link who was also Howard came out onto the field quietly. Tevak stared, unabashed; Howard who was – the yellow birdie fidgeted.
 
“Who are you?” She asked, voice high and curious.
 
He paused. Looked at Madarao. Opened his mouth, “Howard Link.”
 
“Okay,” she said. “Are you a Third, too?”
 
He looked confused for the second time that day. “What is a Third?”
 
“You don’t know what’s a Third?” She asked, surprised. She looked at Madarao.
 
Madarao asked, “Where did you come from?”
 
It was a bit alarming to see finch’s face suddenly drop, his sapling-twig-gold-breast eyes looking at the ground. The sleeves were too long for his tiny arms and his hands were already half-hidden before – now they went completely in, a finch tucking in its wings.
 
Big Man L’s voice suddenly boomed into the field. “Madarao, Tevak, Link – good morning.”
 
Madarao never really liked Big Man L. Big Man L was tall and always smiling at them, and he gave them cake sometimes, but Madarao never really liked him. His eyes were like a hawk’s. Madarao kept quiet and watched him.
 
Big Man L smiled wider and said, his huge hand on a shoulder uncovered by straw-yellow hair, “This is Howard Link – he’ll be living with you two from now on. Isn’t that nice?”
 
Tevak’s mouth formed an ‘O’ of comprehension. Howard-and-Link continued looking down.
 
Then, Tevak, frowning, said, “But, where is he from? He’s not a Third?”
 
L’s smile widened, but his eyes were still slit-like and hunting. He said, “Link is not a Third”, and that was that.
 
The little finch was to stay with them from then on.
 
-
-
-
 
past [past, pahst]
-noun
the history of a person, nation, etc.
a past life, history, or action; especially: one that is kept secret.
 
 
Tevak began to notice that Madarao was interested in the not-Third.
 
She was quite the curious sister too, and Madarao, looking at her with an unwavering gaze – he doesn’t talk, much.
 
Tevak agreed that something needed to be done.
 
After getting over the idea that Madarao’s attention won’t be undivided anymore, she actually started taking quite a liking to Howard-and-Link.
 
Maybe it was because he was quiet and orderly. For such a tiny little thing who was a little too short for the table, he was able to keep his eating place fairly clean. Tevak liked his hair too, which was straw-yellow and a little golden. She wanted to touch it.
 
Curious, she lifted her hand and placed it on the end of his hair, where it brushed his neck. He startled back from her.
 
“W-what?”
 
She said with patience, “I like your hair.”
 
He didn’t seem to quite know how to react to that. Madarao decided to help him.
 
“It’s soft.”
 
He thought for a while and amended his words, “It looks soft.”
 
Tevak laughed, a sweet trilling sound. “It is soft.”
 
Birdie tried to back away from them. But for the first time, Madarao thought he saw a little twitch on his lips.
 
Madarao reached out his hand too, which was when the small boy twisted and nearly dug his elbow into his hard-earned pie.
 
-
 
Tevak said, “Linky likes pie.” Madarao thought, but didn’t say, that Linky perhaps likes Big Man L too. Which was really weird.
 
Maybe Big Man L saved him from something? Madarao snuck around the rooms sometimes, and there were all sorts of little kids there who were saved from places everywhere. But Madarao was never allowed to talk to them.
 
But since he could talk to the little bird, that meant the little bird was special. And since the little bird wore the same thing they did, that meant he was special like them. And since the little bird was a not-Third, that meant that he was more special than them.
 
And little bird was good.
 
They were training with those charm things – that week they were moving from a charm on the finger to the hand. Madarao was moving onto the arm, but because Linky was new so he was at the same stage as Tevak was.
 
In two hours, he was able to do the charm-thing on every single finger. Tevak cheered, wide-eyed.
 
That afternoon, he got a pie from Big Man L and his lips twitched again.
 
Madarao couldn’t help asking, “You like pie?”
 
He fidgeted a little, eyes that shone gold fixed on the pie in his hands. He looked a little sad too, and confused.
 
“…they said this is my new home.”
 
Madarao nodded. He didn’t know where this was going, but, okay.
 
Linky fidgeted a little more. “Mr. Leverrier is nice,” he said in a small voice.
 
Now that, Madarao didn’t agree. But Madarao didn’t say anything.
 
He bent his head down and his elbows tucked in close to his body. He frowned.
 
“…do you want some pie?” He sounded shaky, all of a sudden.
 
Madarao didn’t understand. He looked at the little thing, expressionless for a while.
 
“Okay,” he finally said.
 
Linky began cutting the pie. He also folded a piece of tissue with tender care and placed the pie slowly in it. When he handed Madarao the large piece carefully, it was like a ritual.
 
-
 
Tevak whispered in the dark of night, “Maybe he’s an ex-or-cist?”
 
Madarao shook his head. “Exor-cists go to…they don’t come to Central. But they say we are special, like exorcists.”
 
“Oh,” Tevak clutched her pillow, eyes solemn. Then she closed her eyes and turned away from him.
 
-
-
-
 
mem.o.ry [meh-uh-ree]
-noun, plural –ries
an image or impression of one that is remembered.
 
 
Tall Man G and Tall Man P always trained them very hard.
 
Madarao didn’t mind it because they said it will help him grow up big and strong. Tevak was okay with it too, even if she didn’t like the sweat that collected. She took long baths afterwards everytime.
 
It was yellow birdie that he was worried about.
 
He worked very hard too, and sometimes he looked like he liked working hard. But sometimes he’d look confused after they came out of the Round Room where Short Man F talked big words like War and Centuries and Victory and Loss. Madarao and Tevak hated those lessons, but Howard-or-Link didn’t understand them.
 
Madarao tried to be helpful. “It means we will next time fight on the side of Victory.”
 
Link-or-Howard nodded, eyes dim. “I see – you will.”
 
Madarao thought about this. He shook his head. “We will.”
 
He wondered why Linky’s face dropped like a willow.
 
-
 
Madarao had taken to creeping around when Link-bird disappeared. So he knew when Link-bird asked, “When am I going home?”, to Big Man L.
 
Madarao stopped moving and carefully pressed his eye to the slit. Link-bird was standing beside a big chair, looking up.
 
He could imagine Big Man L smiling wide. Big Man L said, “You aren’t. This is your new home, Howard Link.”
 
Link-bird shook his head.
 
“Why, Link, don’t you like it here? You like Madarao and Tevak, don’t you? Aren’t the pies nice?”
 
“They…are. But they’re different.”
 
“Oh?” L sounded amused even. “Well, maybe you could start getting used to them.”
 
Madarao knew birdie was reaching up to grab his sleeve, twisting the fabric.
 
“How – ”
 
“How long are you going to be here?” Madarao could hear the clinking of a cup against a saucer. There was the hissing sound of somebody drinking. Then there was a clink again. “For a long time, Link.”
 
“…why?” Madarao nearly missed that, because it was said in a small, carefully controlled voice. He couldn’t hear the confusion he knew he would see on the boy’s face.
 
“Link,” the voice was almost gentle, and it was amused too. A hand reached out to clutch birdie’s shoulder. Madarao nearly growled. “You have such potential.”
 
Then, he said sharply, “Have you been understanding your lessons?”
 
Sapling-twig-and-gold-breast eyes blinked in surprise. He nodded, hesitantly.
 
“Tell me what you’ve learnt.”
 
“W-well…”
 
“Do not ever start your sentence like that. Try again.”
 
He swallowed. “The Holy War began more than a century ago – the Millennium Earl is on the side of evil, he wants to destroy the world. The exorcists have Innocence and they fight against the Earl. They are soldiers of the Vatican Church and under Cen, Central’s control.”
 
“Good. And?”
 
“And – I am a member of ‘Crow’, and I help Central help the exorcists.”
 
“Good.”
 
“But – ”
 
“No ‘buts’,” L said, sharp, hard. Link-bird flinched. “You have no home to go back to, understand?”
 
He opened and closed his mouth, wanting to say something.
 
“Your mother gave you to us.”
 
Madarao frowned. He had heard of mothers before. There were fathers too, and most children came from mothers and fathers. But Tevak and he were different because they didn’t have mothers and fathers.
 
What did that mean, gave him to us?
 
Big Man sighed. “You might not see it – but perhaps one day you’ll see that you were saved.”
 
The tiny bird didn’t say anything.
 
“Go now.”
 
Madarao scrambled back and walked quickly to the library.
 
-
-
-
 
pres.ent [prez-uhnt]
-noun
something that exists or will be done for the present exists now or will continue for a while, although the situation may change later.
 
 
When Madarao had secretly found out what mothers and fathers meant, he went to find straw-yellow hair. It was a little difficult because straw-yellow couldn’t really be seen with yellow sunshine, but he eventually found his way to the garden.
 
Birdie was upset, his face was red, and his eyes were red too. It was like a bruise on the gold-breast of a finch.
 
Madarao sat down carefully beside him. Some more tears slipped out of Link-bird’s eyes. The sapling-twig-gold-breast eyes.
 
Because he was doing what they called “crying”, it meant he was choking a little too and didn’t speak much. Madarao fretted. Link-bird said he was part of ‘Crow’, which meant he was his birdie like Tevak was his birdie, and so his tiny little thing shouldn’t be hurt like that.
 
He looked in his lap, where the terribly interesting red cloth pooled.
 
Link-bird had turned around and was crying with his back to Madarao. Madarao chanced a glance at him and fretted some more, since he was upset.
 
Madarao said, quietly, “It’s okay…Tevak and I don’t have mothers and fathers, too.”
 
Howard-who-was-Link-too choked. His back heaved – and he cried harder.
 
“Uh.”
 
Tevak always said he didn’t know how to talk.
 
“Um.”
 
His bird was upset.
 
“We’ll be…here?”
 
More tears squeezed themselves out. Madarao heard more sniffling.
 
“Um.”
 
The finch – not yet his crow – shook his head.
 
“Tevak likes you – I think you’re fun, too.”
 
That made Linky turn around a bit, swollen eyes blinking at him.
 
Madarao said, seriously, “I can learn to make a pie next time.”
 
Linky blinked some more, and his lips twitched a little – but there were still some tears forcing their way out.
 
Madarao made sure to sit with him until they all came out.
 
Then they went in together and found Tevak.
 
-
 
Tevak petted his hair and combed her fingers through it. It really is soft, Madarao thought as he watched her doing that.
 
Madarao shifted and nearly brought the cloth plunging down on them. He twisted and propped the stick back up again. For a while all three sets of eyes looked up at the ceiling of their tent, wary.
 
The blanket bunched in the middle and stopped moving. Madarao nodded and turned back to face the center, huddling near the lamp.
 
“My turn,” he said.
 
“Okay.” Tevak nodded. “But I don’t want to hear the one about the toilets. That’s scary.”
 
“Toilets?” Eyes that shone gold looked at him. Madarao nodded in full solemnity.
 
“On a very dark night – ”
 
“Brother!” Tevak squealed.
 
“ – I’ll tell you next time.”
 
“Oh. Okay.”
 
“Well – do you know the locked door on the third floor?”
 
Tevak and Howardy-Link nodded, wide-eyed.
 
“Tim, the cook, was walking by it one night. It was very very late. And very very dark, and the fires in the lamps were flickering – but there was no wind.”
 
Tevak’s motions in golden hair stilled.
 
“And then – with a whoosh, the fire went out, and the floor was completely dark. Then, the door echoed with knocks. Three of them, like this – ”
 
Straightening his fingers, he tapped them firmly on the hardwood floor, one, two, three. He watched their eyes carefully.
 
Two sets of eyes that shone in the fire looked back, wide and imploring him to continue. Madarao nodded.
 
“Like so. He said, his voice high, ‘who is there?’…”
 
-
 
On rare sunny days, they snuck away from practice with sandwiches and made their nest beneath a tree, sunlight filtering through leaves.
 
On those rare sunny days, Tevak sifted through the food carefully, finding out the things each of them liked. She slipped in a pie or two with the prepared food and passed them to their birdie, noting his reactions. She and Madarao had learnt to make some simple things.
 
On those really rare sunny days, Madarao thought, Link-bird’s lips always twitched, unusual and welcomed. It was so hard to see when they were training. And Link-bird didn’t mind those pies. Quite the opposite, Madarao thought that maybe those hand-made pies were quite liked.
 
Madarao liked those days when the sun shone golden and sapling-twig-brown eyes relaxed, shining a little, like the gold breast of a finch. Madarao liked those days when time was theirs to have.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
symbolism_egg
Mar. 21st, 2010 09:40 am (UTC)
AHHHHHHH THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH this is a beautiful fic. ;____; I love how you used the bird theme throughout the whole story, especially the way you worked in those habits we know belong to crows...! I can picture Madarao being watchful and curious about the new arrival.

The scene with Link crying was so sweet and cute, and it made me picture the prompt quite vividly.

I love how protective Madarao is of Tevak and Link, and how he drew Link into his "nest." ;A; This is just...really good. Adorable. And your depiction of all the characters is great. I love it, and THANK YOU. <3
leafyaki
Mar. 21st, 2010 11:25 am (UTC)
YOU'RE VERY VERY WELCOME *g* I'm just so happy you like it! Hee, the bird theme didn't immediately occur to me, but then I remembered the conversation we had about crows and the way I wanted this fic to go, and then it fitted itself in XD

Madarao is definitely the observer-type to me ♥ And silently protective too - yup, glad you like how he draws Link into his nest! Ah, Link crying was the basis of the picture after all, though I do hope I didn't make him too OOC :X

Very happy you enjoyed! And have a great day, mmkay?
symbolism_egg
Mar. 22nd, 2010 07:08 am (UTC)
Haha, I think I'll be re-reading it for awhile, and treasuring it for times to come. XD I'm glad the idea of crow!Madarao helped the fic along, and you carried it out beautifully.

Yes, he is--when I think about (or write for) Madarao, him watching usually comes to mind. Of course, Link observes too, but Madarao has a particularly intense gaze. XD

Their little budding crow-family-nest is so sweet. ;A; Sometimes a not-so-jaded view of the Crows is nice. XD

I can't see adult!Link crying except at Leverrier's funeral but I can definitely see him crying when he was very young, and you certainly gave him a reason to cry. And Madarao fretting awkwardly over him was so damn cute. <3

I did! And I'll try, thanks. :)
leafyaki
Mar. 22nd, 2010 10:04 am (UTC)
Crow!Madarao and a Madarao who watches and who, as you say, has a particularly intense gaze match up so well together ♥

*cuddles their nest* We can believe that they had a passably good childhood? :D They must have had their moments ♥

Link crying at Leverrier's funeral is very possible - letting a tear or two slip ;_; Glad it worked! And Madarao is certainly pants at comforting other people XD

Looking forward to talking more with you over your spring break! ;)
symbolism_egg
Mar. 28th, 2010 08:29 am (UTC)
(I meant to reply to this earlier.) Indeed they do.

Well...yes, there must have been moments. A fic I've been planning involves a darker view of them as children, but if I think of crow!Madarao then maybe I can soften the edges slightly.

Yes, he would. For the first time in a decade. Madarao managed to do something, though~ *warm and fuzzy feeling*

Too bad my period of rest is over...I hope you get a break soon.

Oh, and a funny thing--earlier this week I was at a friend's house, watching finches through her window...
blackened_skin
Mar. 21st, 2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
You know, I'm not that much of a fic person, but I FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS SO HARD. It's written beautifully, and I really like the bird thingy^^

(I kinda suck at reviewing, sorry^^)
leafyaki
Mar. 22nd, 2010 06:19 am (UTC)
EEEEE I'm very happy that you like this! ♥ Glad the bird motif worked for you too :D

(No you don't. You made my day with this review *g*)
aorin
Mar. 22nd, 2010 07:14 am (UTC)
(Psst! Link approves of this ficcie)

First, I like to say that I enjoyed the style of writing that you've employed for this piece and I think it's perfect in showing the little Crows thoughts and matches well with their age.

Also, I especially love the Link-who-is-also-Howard and Link-or-Howard bits XD Apart from the bird motif, which you implemented so perfectly well into the fic. I also like the emphasis on the eye colour--the sapling twig/gold breast eyes 8D Well done, Leafy~!

And the scene with Link crying... I think it's just so adorable! XD Of course, Madarao's reaction to it and the way he tried to cheer him up is just LOVELY~!!(Oh Madarao, you have the brain of a bird, I swear)
leafyaki
Mar. 22nd, 2010 09:39 am (UTC)
;D Oh Link, considering I made you cry, I sure am happy you approve ♥

Thank you so much! :D Yep, I was going for a child-like style, simpler words and sentence structures and the like - I'm glad it showed ♥

And again, very glad the Link-and-Howard bits were picked up ;) Because Madarao and the other Thirds only have a first name, thought it'd be interesting to play around with that idea~ Hee, the eye colour couldn't have been done without your help in identifying Link's eye colour either, so thankyew for that!

Ohhh Madarao, you just don't know how to talk. *shakes head woefully*

Thank you very much dear, glad you enjoyed! :D
subrusticus_xiv
Mar. 22nd, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
This is an rp journal, btw. I was too lazy to switch.
(Followed link on dgrayman)

I seriously loved this story. Not many Link stories, and even less on Madarao and Tevik. I don't think you've twisted Link at all.

*goes to reread story*

~Cal (calen_greenleaf)
leafyaki
Mar. 22nd, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
Re: This is an rp journal, btw. I was too lazy to switch.
(Oh, I'm always lazy to switch out of my RP journal, it's perfectly understandable XD)

Thank you so much! I'm glad Link isn't wildly OOC :D Glad you enjoyed it, dear! ♥
tossino
Mar. 26th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
*SQUEAL*

I literally did squeal when reading this. XDD I'm surprised that no one in my family asked me what it was about. Oh. My. God. This was SOO CUTE! I love childhood fics, and this is one of the best I've ever seen. Just... Oh my God.

It was so cute! I can't put my thoughts into coherent sentences, really, so I'll just leave it at this.

I LOVED IT!
leafyaki
Mar. 27th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
\o/ Very happy you liked! :D Oh dear, yes, everytime I squeal my brother will be wondering what it's about and then there'll be awkward stammering and attempts to hide the computer screen from family XD

I'm glad you like childhood fics! I was worried about what childhood!crows will be like, relieved to have pulled it off :D

Thank you so much for your lovely comment! ♥
tossino
Mar. 27th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
lol, yeah. xD Something like that. I think my family is getting used to me squealing and jumping in my seat every now and then when I sit at the computer. They don't ask anymore, lol. xD

You pulled it off wonderfully~~

You're welcome!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )