Title: (Not) A Beautiful Mess
Characters: Kanda, Lavi, Allen-Neah, Lenalee
Summary: Lavi claims himself to be Bookman. Allen alternates between being himself and Neah. Kanda would press Mugen against Allen's neck when that happens. Lenalee doesn't like any of it.
ETA: Adjusted the last part because now we know Neah's surname is Campbell.
~ (Not) A Beautiful Mess ~
When the redhead looks up from the parchment he's been writing on, his single eye catches the sight of Yuu Kanda, looking as regal as ever, if not more.
"Why, if it isn't the new general. To what do I owe this honor, General Kanda?"
Kanda visibly frowns, gives him a long, hard stare, and says, "The fuck is wrong with you, Rabbit?"
"Of course," he chuckles without humor. "You've been away, so you probably haven't heard."
He gives a smile, a microscopic one that doesn't quite reach his eye, and says, "I'm the Bookman now."
"We never really found out what happened to him and Bookman, ever since they were stated to be missing. Just recently, he came back, alone, and—claimed that now he's Bookman," Lenalee starts her explanation as they sit in a secluded corner of the library. Far enough to be out of Lavi's hearing range, and yet still be able to observe him from a distance. "He's spent most of his time here."
"He was captured by the Noahs, wasn't he? Those guys don't really know what mercy is."
Something in the way Walker talks makes Lenalee flinch. Kanda understands her reaction. Kanda, at least, had enough time to watch the transition—on how it was once Neah took over Allen's body and Allen fought for his body back, how he used to press the edge of Mugen to Neah's neck until he went away and Allen returned, until one day, they make somewhat of a truce and Kanda started to have a hard time telling where Allen ends and Neah begins.
Kanda looks at Lenalee's worried eyes, at her fidgeting hands and the distance she puts between herself and Walker. Notices the way she steals uncertain glances at Walker's darker complexion, at his mismatched eyes—silver on the left and golden on the right—and at Walker's lack of effort to put on a disarming smile like he would have done in the past.
Walker notices it too, and lets out a chuckle. "I don't bite, Lenalee," he drawls, and as habit dictates, Mugen is readily pressed at his neck. "Not with Kanda keeping his sword pressed against me," he says with his smile turning more genuine, trying to reassure her.
Kanda eyes Walker sharply, searching through the mismatched orbs of silver and gold, then lowers Mugen and slides it back into its sheath at his hip—belatedly noticing the horror reflected in Lenalee's eyes.
"Don't worry, Lenalee," Walker says in a much more familiar tone to their ears. "This," he emphasizes by pointing his thumb at Kanda's general direction, "is the reason why I can still walk freely instead of being restrained in a dungeon, you see."
"…how can you say that so lightly?" Lenalee asks in a voice so weak the boys have to strain their ears to hear it. "I don't like this. First, Lavi has been acting weird, and now you two—" she pauses to let out the sobs that have been choking her. "What's happened to us?"
It is a simple question that neither of them has the answer to.
"So which one are you? Allen Walker? Neah D. Campbell?" The Bookman asks with barely-disguised interest as he writes—whatever it is he has been writing on the parchment.
Kanda looks up from the book he's reading. This is the first time Kanda has heard of Neah's last name.
"Are you writing my biography? The history of the Fourteenth Noah?" the question is mocking, and when Kanda glances aside, the expression on Walker's face is colder. "I see you've done your homework, Bookman."
There it is again: the glint in that lone, green eye. Walker—specifically, Neah, Kanda's sure it's the Noah speaking now—notices it too. And apparently like the idiot that he is, feels the need to taunt. He leans forward across the table separating them, closing the distance between him and Lavi and whispers in his ear, "Are you really ready to be a Bookman?"
Kanda's hand moves on reflex, pressing Mugen to Walker's neck as he gives a menacing glare. "Get back here," Kanda commands, dark eyes meeting cold, calculating mismatched orbs. Then, he adds, "Allen."
Something shifts in those eyes. Walker's still close to Lavi but now his eyes are warring with Kanda's, with Mugen still pressed against his neck. Lavi's single eye moves between him and Kanda, observing and—
Lenalee pounds the table, hard.
"Enough," she starts, effectively drawing two pairs of eyes—and a single green eye in her direction. She glares at the three of them. "Kanda, put Mugen away! Allen, get back in your seat!" Walker slowly moves back and returns to sit beside Kanda, who sheathes his sword with a fond smirk aimed at Lenalee.
"And you!" she turns to Lavi, who looks more surprised at her outburst than he really should, and—she reaches out from her position next to him, placing her hands on both sides of his face, stares into his eye and says, "You're Lavi."
When Lavi burst out laughing, followed by Walker's silent chuckle and Lenalee's hard sobs, Kanda thinks, 'this is such a fucking mess'.
But he knows they'll get around, somehow.
~ NeverEnding ~
This was originally written for a 10-day challenge I did with Nherizu and Salmonelagogo. The idea came out of nowhere and I kinda want to play with this universe a bit more when I have the chance :)
Comments would be looooved!