Inspired by episode 46. Don't ask me how it happened. Kinda rambly, but enjoy!

Disclaimer: Don't own the characters, nor the song, which I recommend.

"Every single day
I find it hard to say
I could be yours alone
You will see someday
That all along the way
I was yours to hold"
--Yours to Hold, Skillet


"Don't worry about me. Just get over the mountains and meet up with Lenalee."

That was what it always came down to, wasn't it? It was always a choice between his friends and Lenalee. What was right, and Lenalee. What he wanted, and Lenalee.

But when he thought about it, Allen realized that all those things… were the same as Lenalee.

He raked a hand through his hair in frustration, remembering the time on the mountains with Krory, and all the other times he had been faced with such a decision and he had wavered, however slightly.

If he was going to be an Exorcist and save the souls of the Akuma used for the Earl's own malicious purpose, he had to stick to his path. He couldn't be lured away from his ultimate goal by a girl with milk-white skin, long, powerful legs, and a smile sweeter than any he could imagine.

Sometimes he wondered if she knew how he felt about her. He was sure everyone else did: Lavi was always teasing him about it; Krory, in all his naivety, had spotted it, asking him outright why he didn't tell her; even Kanda had smirked at him when Lenalee hugged him and he began to stutter and blush.

But then he wondered, if she didn't know, should he tell her? What would happen then? Would she reject him? Would his relationship with her interfere with his emotions even more than it already did, when it wasn't yet concrete?

It was probably best to avoid telling her yet. When everything was said and done, when the Earl was defeated and his job was over… maybe he would tell her.

In the darkness of the hotel room, Allen shifted on his bed. The sun was just peeking out over the horizon, and he had been up for the better part of the night, watching Lenalee sleep. For once there was no wall or curtain to separate them, and he could see her, long hair spread out over her pillow, eyelashes fluttering against her cheeks, chest rising and falling with every breath.

A fifteen-year-old couldn't possibly know much about love. But Allen thought he might be close.

He wondered what she would say if he told her, whispered the words into the air. He rolled them around in his mouth, tasting them. How would they sound? As honest and pure as they felt? Or jilted; the silly, untrue confessions of an awkward teenager?

He had just opened his mouth to test them quietly, so as not to wake up the other sleeping inhabitants of the room, when a soft voice broke through his musings and alerted him to the fact that the object of his attentions and affections was awake and about to hear his most private feelings.


She always said his voice in that soft, wistful voice, so he could always somehow hear a sad smile in it. He wondered often why she sounded that way, so melancholy and yet, so sweet.

He wondered, too, what she heard in his voice when he said her name. Lavi or Krory might think it was affection, but he wondered if they were right. Did Lenalee hear the staleness of her name, from overuse? It was always in his mind, on the tip of his tongue, coming from his lips.

Lenalee, Lenalee, Lenalee…

"Yes, Lenalee?" He whispered to avoid waking up Lavi and Krory, at the other end of the room.

(Like he would allow Lavi to sleep in the bed next to hers.)

She was sitting up now, and rubbing the sleep from her eyes. She squinted through the semi-dark at his shadowed figure. "Why are you awake?"

He stood up and walked over to her bed so she wouldn't have to get up, as she had made to do, and sat down. "I was just thinking," he said, voice still soft.

Lenalee's hands were fisted in the dark comforter. The pale skin stood out so vividly amongst the forest green, and he quelled the urge to take it in his, just so it wouldn't drown in the darkness.

Her head was cocked to the side and her eyes were alight with curiosity. Allen knew how she felt. He had never been quite so gripped with thoughts of her and his feelings for her before.

"Thinking about what?"

Allen shook his head. He didn't think he could put his thoughts into coherent words she could understand, or even accept. How could he tell her he was up all night, pestered with thoughts of her and her laugh and her kindness and her beauty and how much he wanted it all for himself, no matter what the cost?

She would think him obsessed. But maybe he was.

"Why are you up?" he asked instead.

Lenalee pressed her lips together thoughtfully, looking down at her hands. Allen did too, and was surprised. They were entwined with his own. When had he done that?

"Do you remember that dream… that nightmare I told you about?" she finally said. Allen nodded. "I had it again."

He tightened his grip on her hands, shuffling closer. Lenalee had told about her dream of being in the barren ruins of a world unknown, where no one was around except for his vanishing figure. It had scared him more than he would like to admit, since he didn't know how to reassure her of something he couldn't be certain of.

"I can't tell you I won't leave you – not that I would if I could help it," he said in a rush. "But you'll never be alone."

Lenalee peeked up at him through long, thick lashes. Her eyes looked upsettingly bright and her lip quivered.

"If you're not there, Allen-kun," she whispered, her voice shockingly raw and heartbreakingly painful, "Won't I still be alone?"

Allen didn't usually know what to do when faced with a distressed girl, but he did now. Moving even closer, he tentatively wound his arms around her and pressed her close, so she could muffle her quiet sobs into his shoulder and soak his shirt with her tears.

Pressing his face into her hair, Allen mouthed the words he had been waiting to say. She wouldn't hear them, but maybe she would feel them, his lips moving against her hair and resounding through her, into a heart where he maybe had a place.

"I love you."