symbolism_egg: (Inspector)
[personal profile] symbolism_egg
Summary: Link believes that Allen needs a haircut. He believes it very strongly.
Disclaimer: The D. Gray-man series and characters don’t belong to me.
Notes: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] personaru for beta-reading! Also, this story has been translated into Italian by [livejournal.com profile] terryh_nyan, who is still amazing. You can find it here.



Link couldn’t help but notice: Walker’s hair was growing longer.

Of course, in the natural course of time one’s hair was bound to get longer. Around here, it might also get longer in the unnatural course of time, a mishap that had once befallen Walker in the Science Department. But that hardly counted, unnatural as it was, and had Linalee Lee not given Walker a haircut after, who knew what harm the hair-growth potion might have caused through some side effect, poisoning or strangulation even, because never had Link seen as careless a man as Supervisor Lee. And here he neglected to remember watching the suspicious bottle slide towards Walker’s head—not everything was his job, actually.

Walker, sitting there across the library table with his head bent over forms, made it difficult not to notice that his hair was growing longer. He kept brushing it out of his face, which the white strands would obscure again when they slipped right back down, a few seconds later. Now it was a cycle. Every five seconds he lifted his hand; one could measure time by it.

Any second now, he would notice Link staring.

When he didn’t, Link said, “Walker, you need a haircut.”

He’d stopped the clockwork. Allen Walker looked up. “It’s fine.”

“It’s getting in your eyes,” Link said with the finality of logic.

Walker cleared his bangs from his face again. He didn’t seem to notice he’d proved Link’s point. “Really, it’s not worth the trouble. Why are you telling me to get a haircut anyway, with your hair?” he added, peeved by the forms or a forgotten slight, maybe.

“I tie mine back,” said Link. Neat and tidy and out of the way.

“Could be I’ll grow mine as long as yours, then.”

“That would take too long.”

This time Walker blew the hair away from his eyes, and one of the strands tucked behind his ear got stuck in his mouth.

“I do need your responses written in by this afternoon, Walker,” said Link. He jabbed the end of the pen at the neglected paperwork. In this way the two of them filed away the small point of contention to be brought out later.


It was entirely possible, thought Link, that Allen Walker would die before he could grow his hair long enough to decently braid. It was possible that he would die before he could do any number of things.

A list of things Allen Walker might die before doing:
braid his hair
read the Bible through
build a model ship
learn to do his laundry regularly
remember the rules of chess
celebrate his next birthday
go dancing


He tried to throw the list away, but it was difficult to discard something he’d never written down. Incidentally, Link was passing along that day’s paperwork to a trusted staff member of Central for delivery at this time. The man bowed, and Link stared at the back of his uniform with narrowed eyes.


When Link had become a full member of Crow, they’d cut off his hair, which had been braided then, too. Tevak had been kneeling there alongside him. It was such a shame to see the thick curls she’d grown all her life shorn away like that. But rules were rules and tradition was tradition, which was hallowed. Link determined to regain his braid.

There was an irritating period when his hair was too short to tie back and too long to keep out of his way.

No few died with their hair still cropped. They were not talked about. No casualties were much talked about, being a natural result of their service, but still, there was a certain unpleasantness to dying with one’s hair still short.

Tradition allowed small licenses. Once inducted into the ranks, a Crow had free rein over their hairstyle, a small and peculiar freedom. Tokusa grew his out partway and tied it up, keeping his bangs evenly trimmed. Madarao kept his short for a time before growing it out in back, and became partial to a crow’s-feather fetish later joined by other adornments. And Tevak let hers grow unchecked until it was once more a glossy wild length cascading down her back. Link only wanted his out of his face.

Walker wasn’t like them. Walker wasn’t like them at all.


“Where are the scissors?” asked Link, shutting his top desk drawer with a rattle.

“We have scissors?” asked Walker from his sprawled position in the armchair.

“I’m sure I’ve seen them,” said Link, frowning. He wondered if Walker had hidden them.

“My hair isn’t that bad,” said Walker, parting his bangs and trying to tuck the ends behind his ears, “like you make it sound. Besides, Linalee’s out and I don’t know when she’ll be back.”

Linalee’s cutting of his over-long hair had been an emergency intervention to forestall Lavi’s cutting of his hair. She had done a neat and commendable job. But already Walker’s bangs were creeping close to his eyes.

Link tried to calculate weeks and months and centimeters. How long had it taken for him to grow out his hair? Once as a young child, again in early adolescence—he’d only done it twice, and didn’t remember. He wouldn’t have paid attention; it was a mere natural process. How long would it take for Walker’s hair to reach halfway down his back? At once too fast and too slow.

Link gave a sharp sigh. “I didn’t mean you should get a haircut right this second, only that we should have them on hand, in case.”

Walker straightened, sitting in a less slovenly manner. He had on the serious face that meant he was actually smiling. “In case it suddenly attacks, and you have to fend it off?”

learn to bake a pumpkin pie
surpass me in height


Link was tempted to dignify the joke with no more than another sigh, but he said, “Nothing of the sort.”

The smile escaped, and one side of Walker’s mouth quirked up. “Bravely wielding scissors—”

Walker.”

“Oh, I’m not even doing anything. Anyway, I’m sure they’ll turn up when you need them.”

If I do, thought Link.


Clearly, the way to erase the list was to see that Allen Walker lived as long a life as possible.

This was an impractical solution. Well beyond Link’s modest skills. To be sure, Central wanted Walker alive, so long as he served them, so long as he fought on the Order’s beleaguered side. But Walker’s survival was first of all in Walker’s hands. Needless to say, Link would exchange his life for an Exorcist’s (it was only practical), but how well he knew he might be trading for very little, when the battlefield claimed death after death.

Nevertheless, he thought, if Walker could live enough to grow his hair long. Nothing followed the if, but he held the thought in his mind, considering it. Perhaps next time he’ll reach out his hand to catch the bottle, in case of poison.

It was high time Walker had his hair trimmed, that much was clear from looking at him. At least the bangs, but probably the back as well. Link was no manservant to wait on Walker hand and foot, but he wouldn’t begrudge a haircut where one was necessary. Let Walker see without anything in his eyes. Let him live to be an old man with long hair, or very little.

Link knew his thoughts were making no sense. They were impractical thoughts, and not worth his time.


Link found the scissors at the bottom of the sock drawer.


The chain of Link’s pocketwatch was wrapped around the back of the chair. He had a conference with the Secretary by telephone within the half-hour. Walker was seated facing the dresser mirror with his eyes closed.

look at a mirror without fear
be freed of the ghost


He brushed out Walker’s hair to make certain he trimmed the ends evenly.

“Look, I don’t even know how they got there. Or that we had any.”

Clean the bureau drawers, Link thought uncharitably, but no, he would strongly suggest that Walker do so sometime in the next week. “Never mind that, Walker. Just—hold still, please.”

Walker stopped trying to scratch his neck, and settled for pulling the towel draped over his shoulders closer. “It’ll grow out more in the next week. You might as well wait instead of being in such a hurry.” He made it sound a wonder anyone bothered to get their hair cut.

“You may as well do it now,” said Link, tugging the brush harder through Walker’s hair and meeting no resistance; it was acceptably free of tangles.

A sigh. “I guess. At least we’ve the time for it, right now. And there’s been less paperwork this week,” he added brightly.

“If you’ve nothing else to do, would you care to learn the rules of chess?”

“Sure,” said Walker, whose suggestion that Link learn the rules of poker had long since been rejected.

“Then I’ll teach you sometime,” said Link.

Sometime soon. Link wished for some diversion besides reading, and Walker had been restless. They could play a game of chess here or there all through the time Link was stationed with him, he told himself as he took the scissors and snipped at the ends of Walker’s hair, sending white locks falling onto the deep-blue cloth.

Date: 2010-03-22 03:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harmony283.livejournal.com
Just the summary reminds me of the LJ RP XD yes Allen. You do need to cut your hair. Maybe.

In fact after reading all of this it does remind me of it (especially the learning the rules of chess) though this gives more insight on Link's opinion.

Live long enough to let your hair grow out. I've heard that a few places before, but it's a rule of thumb that fits this story. I wonder if Allen really will grow his hair out long? XD

Date: 2010-03-22 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] symbolism-egg.livejournal.com
The idea came to me while reading that thread, yes, thus the haircut theme. XD But obviously this goes in a different direction.

Haha, this wasn't the motivation behind rp!Link's suggestion at all. XD The Link I write is not the Link(s) I rp, if that makes any sense.

Hopefully he will...eventually... ;)

Date: 2010-03-23 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harmony283.livejournal.com
Mhm yeah XD

I said it reminded me not that you based anything after it. This was written after the RP Link suggested that so why would I think this is the motivation? o.o

yeah XD it'll take a while, but we can hope~

Date: 2010-03-23 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] symbolism-egg.livejournal.com
You said it gave insight into Link's opinion after mentioning the rp. I guess I couldn't tell if you were referring to the motivation of Link in the rp or the fic itself. XD The thought process he's going through here applies only to this fanfic, is what I'm saying.

Indeed we can...but it might take awhile as long as Link is around with scissors.

Date: 2010-03-24 01:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] harmony283.livejournal.com
yeah that and you contradicted yourself in your own comment XD so yes I got what you meant, and I just assumed you'd know that--I was commenting on the fanfic. since this is the fanfic, not the RP XD

Oh yes, Link and his scissors *laughs*

Date: 2010-03-25 01:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] symbolism-egg.livejournal.com
yeah that and you contradicted yourself in your own comment

...?

Date: 2010-03-22 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinistersundown.livejournal.com
This is lovely. ;__; You can take such a simple act and give it such depth with your writing, I adore it.

Date: 2010-03-22 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] symbolism-egg.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you! It always makes me so happy when you enjoy my fics. <3

(Also, I must declare my continued ICON LOVE&hearts)

Date: 2010-03-26 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tossino.livejournal.com
*Cooes and flutters all over your writing* I love it so much! This was beautiful, very beautiful. And a bit sad. And funny. Allen has great sarcastic humour, doesn't he?

Great work~

Date: 2010-03-27 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] symbolism-egg.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you! I'm glad you think so. :)

I'm sure hanging around Link 24/7 gets annoying, so Allen has to be sarcastic or tease Link in order to keep his sanity. Although he seems to appreciate Link's presence too. :3

Date: 2010-03-27 08:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tossino.livejournal.com
You're welcome~

Yeah, I guess so. xD I do think he doesn't really mind very much. :D He seems to like Link, most of the time.

Date: 2010-03-27 09:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] symbolism-egg.livejournal.com
Yeah, he seems pretty fond of (and protective towards) Link. But of course they also get angry at each other, or annoyed. Link seems to stay quietly in the background most of the time, too, but spending every hour with someone would probably cause some sort of tension, no matter how well they get along overall. (Surprisingly well considering one's investigating the other for heresy.)

I like Allen's expression when he's comparing Link to furniture/air...

Although there's a fair amount of canon interaction between them already, I wish there were more to work with.

Date: 2010-03-27 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tossino.livejournal.com
Yes, indeed~~ [/lack of response due to wearing self out with a massive Lenalee defence post]

I don't think you can find anyone who didn't like that moment. XDD

We haven't seen all that much yet, yeah, have we? But I'm sure it will come.

Date: 2010-03-27 07:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] symbolism-egg.livejournal.com
Defend Lenalee! Defeeend! *hates Lenalee-bashing*

Probably not. XD

Yeah. Link gets a lot of screentime compared other characters, but that doesn't stop me from wishing there were more. There are so many great moments already...The part where Link plants himself between Allen and the other Crows before pretty much anyone else reacts was my favorite thing ever. <333 Meanwhile, I'm happy that Bak's in the ongoing flashback. :D

Date: 2010-03-27 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tossino.livejournal.com
Yesssss! *Hates it too, hates any kind of bashing really* I got a lot of praise for the post. XDDDD It needed two forum posts. It was over 12000 characters long.

:D

Yes, Link is really awesome sometimes~~ Yay, Bak~

Date: 2010-03-28 12:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] symbolism-egg.livejournal.com
I hate character-bashing too...wow, that long? You have defended her well. XD It never makes sense to me how readers blame Linalee for getting injured (in a kickass battle, no less) and not being able to fight. Or crying. I'm pretty sure crying under stress is normal.

He is! Even if he was losing to an Akuma, he's still awesome. But Bak is more so...at least according to himself.

Date: 2010-03-28 12:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tossino.livejournal.com
XDD Well, surprisingly, none of the posts I quoted when defending her said anything about that. It made me sort of happy, because I see that all too often, so at least it was nothing new. But one post also complained about how she came in to save the day during the HQ invasion with her "new sooper speshol Innocence", which quite ticked me off.

Meh, he's just human. xD Bak has a load of self-confidence, so of course he is according to himself.

Date: 2010-04-01 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] symbolism-egg.livejournal.com
Were they also complaining about how Allen gets a new special power every other volume and it's getting kind of ridiculous? I'm guessing they weren't. I did see the other Linalee complaints a lot, so at least those weren't dragged out again.

True. I like that Link's not an Exorcist. <3 Bak acts very insecure and very egotistical at the same time...XD

Date: 2010-04-01 01:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tossino.livejournal.com
Nope, they weren't. Mhm.

Me too~~ Yes, yes he does. xD

Date: 2010-03-30 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roygbivibgyor.livejournal.com
I'm a bad girl because I read this one so late, and I keep thinking Link wants to cut Allen's hair before Lenalee cuts it for him. 8D

The part with Link thinking the things Allen would probably not have chances to do was so bitter sweet.
this is the thing you know will eventually happen to Allen but hope it won't happen.

I don't know what I'm talking because of school. |||orz

Date: 2010-04-01 05:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] symbolism-egg.livejournal.com
When you read it doesn't matter, I'm just happy that you read it. <3 Ah, could it be the jealousy motive?

The world of DGray is so dark, it must be hard for the characters to be hopeful. Allen especially seems like he'd be doomed to an early demise or hostile takeover (except we the readers know he's the main character).

Aww, you'll get through it!

Date: 2010-04-29 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] terryh-nyan.livejournal.com
çOç So sweet! It's very lovely! Although the hair-cutting part is funny, I can feel Link's melanchony, espicially when he thought that Allen could be not able to live enough to make his hair grow, or learn chess' rules.
Lovely <333 I'd really like to translate this~ can I, please? *puppy eyes*

Date: 2010-04-30 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] symbolism-egg.livejournal.com
Thank you! I tried to write it in a lighter style despite the serious subject matter. I'm glad the melancholy came through.

I'd be honored if you translated it! The previous translation you did makes me ridiculously happy. :'D Once you've finished, I think I'll make a post linking to the translations, as well as putting a link with this fic.

So happy you enjoyed. &hearts

Date: 2010-04-30 09:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] terryh-nyan.livejournal.com
Thanks a lot! ♥ w ♥

Date: 2010-09-15 10:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ceesoo.livejournal.com
I think I enjoyed this fic most out of the ones you've written with Link in them. Just all of Link's thought processes and how he makes mental lists, and I love how that was carried through the fic and aaaa, so sad. And I love how you show the small ways Link is nice and breaks out of the expectations that were laid down for him when he was first introed in the manga.

HE'S SO CUTE AND FUSSY AND CONCERNED~~

Also so pleased I'm not the only one that thinks the Crow's hairstyles are a freedom they're given cause everything else they have is uniform. XD It certainly explains the wildness of some of the styles.

Date: 2010-09-15 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] symbolism-egg.livejournal.com
It seems like Link is opening up a bit under Allen's influence and his own attachment, while simultaneously being in denial about it if he ever thinks about it. That sort of thing is ridiculously fun to watch, and I hope Hoshino doesn't drop Link's internal conflict subplot that she set up so well.

Yeeeees, Link is so adorable, haha.

You think so too? Yeah, the Crows must live under very strict rules, and their wild hairstyles contrasted with that and how they show up in identical robes on many occasions. Besides, Link certainly managed to develop a few hobbies, so I figured they're allowed a few things as long as it doesn't interfere with their duties. If they're seen as elite soldiers, that measure of respect might earn them those allowances...gah, I don't know, all I have is headcanon based on vague impressions.


...Also, your comments on my Crowfics make me ridiculously happy because I was, uh, now and then stalking your CFUD Link and gazing on him admiringly from afar. :'D

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