I mentioned before that this story has been the Macbeth of my stories, and that statement was only proven further correct while I tried to write this chapter. I finally got the drive and motivation to write this long LOOOONG awaited chapter; after reading through ALL of the reviews I have ever received for this. So, I went to bed thinking on my course of action for this chapter aaand… … woke up with the flu (and subsequently lost interest again for a bit).
Anyway, I digress:
Here is the chapter you've all been waiting for.

Warning: The characters are likely to be OOC. It's been a long time since I've started this fic; it's been even longer since I've watched/read D-Gray Man. So, I sincerely apologize for anything not coinciding with canon. Also, I haven't written anything (non-academic) in a very long time. And I fear that it shows in this chapter. So I apologize once again.

Also, Runeren; I wasn't calling you out on your review, I apologize that it came across as such. I was simply taking preemptive measures on what I anticipated to be a backlash of my author's note.

He didn't miss the barely there shuffle of the other's feet, or the way his eyes fleeted anywhere but at him, nor the gentle blush creeping its way stealthily across the elder exorcists cheeks.

"You expect me to act normal? Even after what Lavi told you? Well I'm sorry Kanda it's kind of hard. You haven't said anything; good

or bad about me liking you. So excuse me if I'm a little off kilter!" Allen ended up yelling.

This time it was Kanda's turn to blink in confusion.
Allen stopped, and looked at Kanda. The other was standing in front of him looking rather awkward.
At Kanda's next words, Allen felt his heart practically stop dead in his chest.
" So it's true..."

Allen felt himself staring owl-eyed at the long haired exorcist before him, what did he mean 'so it's true…' Lavi said he told him; he couldn't have meant anything else by it, could he?

"W-what's true?" Allen asked with trepidation, swallowing thickly.

He watched Kanda, his eyes transfixed avidly upon the adjacent exorcist's every move.

Kanda on the other hand, was simply standing and looking at Allen, slightly perplexed at the other's obvious discomfort in the conversation. Uncharacteristically he found himself taking pity on the other, whose fidgeting was worsening the longer the silence progressed.
"He said that you were really worried…about me, because you felt responsible for not warning me…,"Kanda paused. "What did you thinkhe told me?"

Allen felt the words enter one ear and exit the other, blinking owlishly as he replayed them in his head over and over again "He told you that? Not that I am in lo-" He choked off his words in a garbled squawk, rationalization and perhaps self preservation kicking in and causing him to flail about wildly, arms waving in a wide arced fashion as though trying to erase the words that had so foolishlyexited his mouth.

"I mean uh…I mean that he uh…" Allen felt his mouth opening and closing with the desire to spit out a lie, cover up his foul and move onward. But his brain seemed to have shorted out with the excuses due to the overwhelming heat of his embarrassment and was coming up dry.

Kanda squinted at Allen trying to make sense of the exorcist's rapid gesticulations and half phrases. What was he going to say? It almost sounded like he was going to say that he –.
Kanda cleared his throat; attempting to dispel the conclusion (and the blush) he had come to.
It's just not possible…

"Oy, Moyashi. Are you done floundering yet? Can we get a move on?" He ground out, turning away from the other quickly.

Allen snapped his mouth and his arms down to his side, before stilting forward on stiff legs, eyes down and mouth in a thin line.
Why did he have to possess a mouth so quick to spew out words without thinking? Yet still, while walking in Kanda's shadow, Allen couldn't help but think: Why am I…disappointed…that I didn't tell him?

Kanda meanwhile was deep in his own thought process: What had Allen been about to say? That one thought was plaguing him relentlessly, it felt as though it was something important. Something he actually wanted to hear. What was it?

Allen flung a hand haphazardly over his mouth, attempting to stifle yet another yawn that had wormed its way out over the past minute.
He couldn't believe how tired he was. That's stress for you he thought while once again covering another wide mouthed yawn. Then again, he didn't recall the journey into the village having felt this long.

"Kanda, have we already passed the clearing we stayed in on the way here?"
Allen asked, breaking the hours long silence that had spread between the two after his little slip-up.

Kanda paused for a moment as he gave a casual glance around "I don't believe so."
He too had been thinking the same thing, his feet were sore and the evening temperature had been dropping steadily.

He controlled the urge to roll his eyes at Allen's noncommittal hummed response as they started walking again. The idiot had been yawning non-stop for the last little bit; and if he was completely honest, it was starting to wear at him too.

He was just shrugging back his own yawn when Allen called out gleefully from slightly behind him "Oh! There it is!"
Sure enough as Kanda followed Allen's outstretched arm, he soon sighted the inlayed clearing.
Allen seemingly with a renewed burst of energy ran ahead of Kanda, swerving into the spot and unloading his belongings almost immediately.

Kanda blinked as Allen flew by him and into the clearing. That was one thing he never understood about the other exorcist; how he could go from one extreme to another. He himself angled his direction slightly and continued at the same pace.

When he stepped foot into the clearing, Allen was already sitting beside a quickly put together pit, wrapped in his sleeping blanket and attempting to start a small fire.

He moved past the other, who had taken to scowling at the twigs he had gathered and deposited his luggage next to Allen's own, and began to unpack his own sleeping blanket and unload the packaged food.

Allen woke with a start, the chattering of his teeth startling him for a moment before he realized what it was exactly that was making the noise.

It was unbelievably cold, the moisture of his breath crystallizing in the air as soon as it left his mouth and he found himself rubbing his hands together underneath the blanket in response.
What he wouldn't give to be in a hotel right now!He though fervently as he rolled over attempting to curl further into his sleeping bag.

But as he shifted to dislodge the small rock poking at his ribcage he caught sight of the shadowed and slightly bulky form of Kanda laying next to him, and he stared at the broad shoulders before him that were outlined in the pale glow of the moon.

He bit his lip as he inched his way over to the other exorcist.
Kanda would shove him away for sure. But…it was so damn cold. Maybe he wouldn't mind…shared warmth and all that…

With that thought, Allen finished inching his way toward Kanda until he was finally lying close to the elder exorcist body, already feeling the warmth that was emanating from him.

Unable to resist the temptation, and still shivering, Allen rolled over onto his side where his body pressed flush against Kanda's, and unconsciously he nuzzled his head into the other's back. Smiling at the contact and warmth, he curled in further to his blanket and closed his eyes.

This felt nice.Allen couldn't remember a time when he had been this close to the other exorcist outside one of their heated yelling matches. Granted, while this close contact wasn't exactly a position of a mutual understanding or acceptance, Allen couldn't help but muse on the fact that Kanda hadn't even shifted slightly from his position; letting Allen curl about him as a lemur baby might around his mom.

Allen bit the inside of his cheek to stifle the laughter the mental image released. But he found himself frowning again almost as quickly; they were on their way back to HQ, and this was probably the first and last time he would be able to be this close to Kanda. He was under no illusion that come their next mission Kanda would be as stoic and resolute as always.

In a way, Allen was awkwardly thankful for the way this mission had turned out. Sure, Kanda had gotten kidnapped and tortured, but he was safe now from that ordeal, and Allen found himself holding closer to his heart, the different sides of Kanda he had seen, such as the kindness he had surprisingly shown multiple times before and after his kidnapping.

It had been unusual to say the least, but not entirely unwelcome.

As he continued to ponder the different sides of Kanda that had for some inexplicable reason decided to show themselves; he found himself thinking back to their conversation a few hours before. He felt horrible now, in realizing how sure he was that Lavi had broken trust with him and had told Kanda about Allen's feelings.

(He'd have to make it up to the other somehow…)

It belatedly surprised him now though, how Kanda hadn't snapped something along the lines of "I can take care of myself, Moyashi", and had rather – he realized now – said practically nothing on the comment.

He sighed and felt his mind shifting sleepily over to the words that he had almost carelessly thrown at the other during the confrontation. He grimaced tiredly at the thought of the reaction they'd have procured from the other. No, as much as he would like to, he doubted he'd ever get to say those words to the other in anything but a dream.

It was in his lingering moment of consciousness that found Allen wiggling a minute hair closer into the broad back of the exorcist before him, a sleep filled sigh carrying the whisper of a barely audible statement.

" I love you, Kanda".

Kanda didn't know what had possessed him at first to lie still and feign sleep when he heard and then felt Allen shift behind him.

But when the other had pressed in close, and had actually nuzzled his head gently between his shoulder blades, it had taken all of Kanda's will power to not tense up and give his awake state away.

He couldn't believe this.

If Lavi were here he'd never let this drop, he could almost hear the stupid rabbit sniggering. But then again, even without Lavi to remind him, Kanda didn't think he'd ever be able to forget it either; the way Allen's smaller form was pressed snuggly against him.

Considering their tumultuous relationship, and taking his own feelings into consideration he didn't think that anything could be better than this situation, and had decided to enjoy the occasion as much as he possibly could before sleep claimed him again.

Yet, despite all his willpower to remain still his eyes shot open wide with disbelief and incredulity as he heard Allen's small sigh of "'I love you, Kanda'" and he couldn't stop himself from tensing and rolling over either.

"What…did you just say." He knew his voice sounded harsh, and if Allen's wide, frightened eyes were anything to go by he probably looked as angry as he felt.
Why the hell would Allen say something like that? Did Lavi….?

"N-nothing" Allen choked out, whimpering when Kanda reached out and grabbed his arm through his sleeping bag.

"What the fuckdid you just say. Did Lavi tell you to say it?"

Allen felt his eyes go marginally wider.
"What? Lavi…no, why?" He could feel his insides churning wildly, he hadn't meant for his confession to be overheard, hadn't meant to say it period. despite that, he couldn't help but feel somehow hurt that Kanda thought he had been put up to it.

There was no reason for Kanda to believe him – to think him serious, but still they were his feelings.
He could feel himself getting angry and attempted to shrug off Kanda's tight grip on his arm.

"Let go!" He struggled more, freeing himself from the confines of his sleeping bag in the process. He could feel Kanda's eyes boring into him, and felt his face flush in response.

"I said it because…because I actually love you okay? Just let me go, please." He ended in a whisper, feeling more humiliated as the words left his mouth.

Kanda watched the other struggle a little more, and even in the dim light of the moon caught sight of Allen's watery eyes.

"Allen" he tightened his grip slightly to get the others attention, and when Allen looked up startled and unsure, Kanda threw caution to the wind and pressed his lips firmly against Allen's quivering ones.

Even if this all went to hell afterwards, Kanda didn't think he'd be able to forget the soft press of Allen's lips against his own, and the unfamiliar swell of nerves in his stomach.

Allen pulled away, "You…what, I uh…"

Kanda had just kissed him. He licked his lips in attempt to hide a confused and burgeoning smile on his face. Kanda just kissed him.

Kanda let his hand loosen its grip on Allen's arm, until it fell back down by his own side.
He couldn't believe he had just done that, and he could feel his face heat up the more he thought about it.

But when he caught sight of Allen's small smile, he felt a cooling relief wash over him, and felt the corners of his own mouth try and tweak up unfamiliarly.

"I…love you too"

"Really?" Allen asked, watching Kanda closely, wanting to believe the other was serious – already discounting that Kanda could be as cruel as to kiss him and claim it a joke. So when he received a small nod in affirmation and the beginnings of a smile, he leaned forward and captured Kanda's mouth in a small kiss before pulling away grinning.

Allen had wanted to stay awake, his heart jamming excitedly in his chest. This was unbelievable. Never once did he ever think that Kanda would actually return his feelings, he'd pinched himself twice to make sure it wasn't another one of his fantasies.
Despite all that, he could still feel the need for sleep pulling at his eyelids – he could even see that Kanda was feeling the effects of their long journey himself, and so with a small brush of his fingertips across Kanda's hand and a small goodnight he let himself fall asleep.

Morning felt a little awkward to Kanda. He knew things had changed between him and Allen but things didn't feel any different. They had even had a conversation as such this morning about where they stood with each other (which had taken place as they packed so they didn't have to look at one another. Small miracles.), and they'd had a good laugh over their similar thoughts on Lavi and his 'secret sharing ways'.

But even when everything was said and done, he could hardly imagine them giving each other good-morning kisses or something that other couples might do.
He could hardly even stop thinking of the other as Moyashi, but that wasn't an entirely bad thing he reasoned. They were his favorite food.

He had been a little surprised when Allen had been the one to broach about how they should act at HQ, and Kanda had been more than relieved to find out that Allen wanted to keep it under wraps for a little while or as he put it "until we're both comfortable about it."

They had no misgivings that of course it probably wouldn't remain a secret very long, what with Lenali and Lavi especially (they'd both cringed at the teasing they knew they'd get from the red-head).

With the remainder of the trip back home ahead of them, and what being home promised to entail, they fully intended to enjoy their -undoubtedly soon to be rare – time together.

So...uhm. That's it you guys. Crescent is finally over.

In a way I'm happy because it's no longer going to weigh on my mind, but at the same time I don't feel like I did it justice. That and I feel super guilty towards you guys for the following reasons: Right from the start I didn't have a plot (per say) worked out, so I was mostly just writing as I went and like the rest of you waiting to see what happened next. But even so, I wanted this to be a longer fic (maybe 20 chapters?) but of course there was no game plan to get there. As you all know, years went by that I didn't update, so when I finally started working on it again I thought that it would be extremely unfair to prolong the fic to that extent, and while writing this chapter I saw an opening to end the fic sooner, so I took it. I ended it 'earlier' than I originally had 'planned' and I am sorry for this. I wanted this to go further for myself, and for those of you who have stuck with this fic, so ending like this is a little bitter-sweet.
Also, I feel bad cause, yeah- hello, no sex scene? What the hell?

I bet you feel cheated. I'm a little disappointed with myself too. But my curse had struck again, I was writing and somehow worked myself into a situation where sex just didn't seem like a good idea. I wanted to write it, cause I know it was kind of expected and all that. But even after re-writing some things it just didn't want to work if I was to end the story on this chapter.

I've thought about writing an epilogue that includes the scene, but part of me is screaming "DON'T DO IT!", so I'll tentatively ask you guys to state in your reviews if you would like one. If I get enough interest (10 people or so for an epilogue), I'll try my utmost best to give you guys the steamy sex scene you all deserve (you know, after I read the guidelines again haha) ;)

But thank you for reading and dealing with the extended waiting period.
You guys have been really great. I only wish I could have given you something better.

-Ojisama out.