AN: The hols are almost over, though I don't think this story can convey my angst well enough. Sadly, this is all I can come up with for Allen's birthday. Pretty pathetic huh? Anyways, Happy Birthday Allen!! And I'll cease my incessant drivel now.

Disclaimer: I wouldn't publish D. Gray-Man if I were Hoshino Katsura. I'd keep the pretty things to myself.

Farewells, Allen promptly decided, was something he did not enjoy very much.

In fact, he was contemplating on his decision as to whether he should like it. But well, he pondered, farewells were not very pleasant occasions to begin with.

It was settled then, he disliked farewells.

But that failed to explain his obligation to this particular goodbye.

- Then again, they were going to war.

His head spun by dint of roundabout speculations; they were more trouble than they were worth. Despite his acknowledgement that holding conversations with oneself was not the sanest of activities, being an exorcist in itself wasn't exactly normal either, and he thought he deserved to be a little crazy.

Briefly, he wondered if being emotionally unstable was part of the package, for he was definitely very confused at the moment.

"I thought you didn't want to say goodbye?" A quiet voice rang out questioningly.

Allen peered into the darkness for the owner of said voice, fiddling with his thumbs behind his back nervously.

Kanda stepped into the dimly lit passageway, stopping three feet away from the shy boy. The moonlight casted it's warm, albeit depressing light, on the pale smooth skin of the Japanese teen, bathing him in a soft glow that contrasted fiercely with his character.

Her world was falling apart again, and the innocent girl sleeping soundly in bed was oblivious to the shattering of yet another piece- It seemed the approaching apocalypse couldn't be closer. And another, with his face buried snugly in an open tome, ignorant as to the departure of his first best friend.

Yet- He, had to be the one to know- To be the one to bear the burden of lost.

Truly, ignorance was bliss.

"Um… I just have to say goodbye." He replied, his tongue becoming stiff all of a sudden.

Silence. Then-

"I see."

A pregnant pause ensued, leaving both parties standing rooted to the spot. At that moment, it was just about them. No world, no time, no duty… Both were content with simply gazing at each other, and found the silence to be comforting, entirely without the awkward tension.

"It will be-

- A suicide mission."

He could remember how his throat became dry and parched, his limbs frozen, as if his heart had decided to go on an impromptu holiday. The awful feeling of it sinking to his feet, and the horrifying despair that overwhelmed him. Had he felt that way, he wondered exactly how much more gut-wrenching Kanda could have felt.

"The rest… Are you sure?" Allen asked quietly, reluctant to break the silence.

A soft sigh could be heard. They were people he loved, whether or not they knew it. He didn't want to hurt them, for he knew Lenalee had a fragile heart, and cried easily. Lavi… claimed to be heartless, but Kanda knew he wasn't soul-less. And Allen…

He hurt the most. He was the most painful of all. Kanda knew he was being selfish by telling the innocent boy. He didn't deserve to know. But another part of him wanted to see him again, just once more, it would say. One last time… please.

"Mmm," He murmured, before adding, "And tell Lenalee not to cry."

Allen shuffled his feet, racking his brains for a suitable reply. Eventually seeing none, he settled for what came to mind.

"Okay."

His larynx was strangely disobedient today. There were so many things he wanted to say, but every time he tried to put his disorganized thoughts into words, they seemed to run away. Really, he was no different from a monosyllabic introvert today.

How devastatingly awful. Of all times to be tongue-tied, it had to be now.

The taller of the two stuffed his hands into the pocket of his coat, spinning on the balls of his feet before he walked towards the depressingly empty boat.

His mind scrambled for words as the ponytail of smooth black hair swung to and fro with each step. Then, he caught sight of the red tie that confined the silky mass of dark strands.

"You're wearing it, aren't you?" Allen blurted out, a tint of pink engulfing his cheeks.

"Huh- Oh, your ribbon… Yeah." A somewhat embarrassed voice replied, as the owner stopped in his tracks, back facing the silver-haired boy.

"Why?" Allen couldn't help but ask, almost regretting it immediately after.

An awkward silence ensued.

The ticking of the tower clock became clearly audible all of a sudden.

And at that moment, a silent answer rang with the cold breeze that brushed passed the two.

'Because it's the only time I could pretend you were with me…'

The wind howled, echoing through the dark passage of the tunnel. To Allen's despair, it seemed to mourn for him, expressing the grief he was unable to.

The clock struck twelve, and all went silent.

As Kanda began to set foot in the boat, Allen spoke up again.

"It's my birthday you know."

Please don't go…

"Oh."

I don't want to…

Strange it was. The phenomenon of being speechless on Christmas. The mystery of saying words you don't want to. The annoyance of having only subtleties of the truth being vocalized.

"What would you like?"

What can my love do for you?

A warm being threw itself into a hug around Kanda, nearly putting him off balance. With mismatched hands wound firmly round his neck, the young boy sobbed into his chest.

He smiled painfully.

Carefully lifting the younger's chin; he pulled them into a desperate kiss, sending them tumbling into a painless world, one without despair.

Nothing mattered at the moment. It was just them once again.

And very gently, Kanda folded the fragile moment, tucking it away safely into his heart.

Pulling away was almost as painful as tearing their souls apart. As he gazed lovingly into silver orbs, they brimmed with tears once again.

And finally, something came out right for once in that night.

"Come back to me…"

"-Yuu…"

I'll try…