Caramel

Feb. 15th, 2009 01:00 am
symbolism_egg: (Inspector)
[personal profile] symbolism_egg
Summary: Link investigates Allen’s sock drawer, and donut-related accusations are made.
Disclaimer: The D. Gray-man series and characters do not belong to me.
Note: This story has also been translated into Italian by [livejournal.com profile] terryh_nyan. Her translation can be found here. That post has been taken down, and the Italian version is now here. Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] terryh_nyan, you're amazing!



Howard Link had no respect for personal possessions when there was an investigation to be done. That was probably why he was standing by Allen’s sock drawer with a notepad.

He had been working with Allen for over a month now, but having people rummage through his things like they’d been set out at a yard sale was not easy for Allen to get used to, especially when he was standing right there. So it was with great effort that Allen tried to sound more curious than exasperated. “Link, what are you doing?”

“I’m investigating your sock drawer,” said Link, without turning around. He pulled it open.

Allen, trying to look casual, walked over to stand beside him. He looked at his dresser as if he found it just as fascinating as Link did. “But you investigated it last week.”

“That was one whole week ago, and you could have hidden all sorts of questionable materials in there since then.” Link pulled out a single gray winter sock and turned it inside out, then wrinkled his nose in a way that perfectly communicated the thought, When did you last wash this? He handed the sock to Allen and scribbled something on his notepad in shorthand.

Allen took that moment to reach into his sock drawer under the pretense of replacing the sock, and pulled something out of the far corner. He concealed it in his sleeve with all the dexterity of a sleight-of-hand adept.

However, Link was perceptive enough to catch any suspicious movement. “Walker, what was that?”

“Nothing,” said Allen.

“Turn it over at once.” Link held out a gloved hand.

“Really, it’s nothing important,” said Allen, irritated. Of course, Link would probably take this as an admission of guilt.

Link took it as an admission of guilt. “So you were hiding something there. What is it?”

“Nothing!” This was the first time Allen had snapped at anyone in at least a year, but after having cooperated with the heresy investigation so far—and having his sock drawer investigated twice in the same month—he felt that a single instance of snapping should be forgiven.

Or maybe just ignored. “Could you describe it to me?” asked Link, his pencil poised over the notepad.

Allen let out an exasperated sigh. “It’s a half-eaten donut, all right? I was storing it there.” His hands clasped behind his back, he rolled it out of his sleeve. It felt stale.

Link wrote this down. “What flavor? Did it have sprinkles?”

Allen rolled the remains of the donut around in his palm as he tried to think of why this mattered. He didn’t feel any sprinkles.

Link finished writing and looked up with a severe expression. “And why were you storing a donut in your sock drawer?” he asked with a heavily disapproving tone.

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe so nobody would eat it, like the last one.”

There was a silence.

“And it’s caramel,” Allen added.

“Don’t be ridiculous. You know I don’t like caramel,” said Link, writing a word that was probably caramel next to his previous note.

Actually, Allen had forgotten. Unlike certain people, he didn’t keep lists of what everyone’s favorite kinds of pie, scone, or donut were. Don’t hide the caramel ones, he told himself. If only he’d remembered, his sock drawer would only have contained socks, lint, and those dead silverfish, and this embarrassment could have been avoided.

Allen produced the caramel donut half. “Should I turn this over as evidence?”

Link poked it with his pencil to check its freshness. “No, that will not be necessary. You can keep it.”

Great, what am I supposed to do with this? thought Allen. He wasn’t quite that hungry. He stood there holding it between forefinger and thumb while Link pulled out more socks, examined them with a critical look, and dropped them on the floor. The Inspector cleared away socks until he could see the bottom of the drawer, at which point he took on a look of disgust. “What are these?”

“Um…dead silverfish.”

“You should really clean this out more often,” said Link, crouching to gather the socks he’d scattered all over the floor. He dumped them back into the dresser, shoved them down, and closed it. He brushed off his gloved hands. “There are a lot of little donut crumbs down there too. I hope you’ve learned a valuable lesson.”

Huh? thought Allen. He’d been lost in thoughts of what kind of donuts Linali might be willing to bring back from her next trip into town. However, Link was standing there looking expectant, so he tried to discover a moral in whatever it was Link had just been talking about.

“I should only store the chocolate ones with sprinkles in the sock drawer?” Allen said.

Link looked thoughtful. “Are there any more of those?” he asked.
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