Allen Walker and Kanda Yu
"Why do people die?"Allen held Mana's hand as they stared at a tombstone, which was on the backyard of Allen's old home. The touch of long, wet grass against Allen's bare ankles reminded him of all the times he used to romp in the grass, while smell of fertilizer tickled his nose.
But those times were over now. This would be his last visit to the place.
"People die for the same reason that babies are born. Someone, somewhere makes a choice that will affect everyone's lives. For instance, when a child is born, two people for some reason make a choice to start a new life. And as for your parents, it was a wrong kind of choice made by a drunken driver to end their lives."
"But… it isn't fair." Allen bit his lip, "They didn't choose to die."
"Allen…" Mana sighed and kneeled down next to the teary-eyed boy. He took a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped Allen's face gently, "Whenever someone does something bad, it will ultimately bring happiness to someone."
Allen gulped, trying to seem mature despite his young age. Mana smiled vaguely.
"One day, you will understand."
Dear diary (and Tiedoll).
I'm sending this diary to you, because I think this is the only way you could ever fully understand me. Everything anyone ever needs to know is written in between these covers. As I was writing everything down as precisely as I could, I tried to be honest with myself. And in a way, I suppose I found a way out with the help of my other self. I'm starting to feel that my past is not mine any longer, but merely a part of a bigger picture that is shared by everyone, everywhere.
Even though I've packed my bags and left without a better notice than this, we are all connected. This might sound insane, but whether you're dead or alive, your actions will have an impact far longer into the future than you'll ever imagine. Mana's death triggered a chain of events that eventually lead us to this point.
Kanda and I were merely trapped in the unfortunate rat race, sprung to life by Mana and Earl. But today, I'll break free from that rat race, not only for my own sake, but for Kanda too. I will live the life we struggled so hard for… I'll live our life and that way we won't be too far apart from each other, even if I can never be with him again.
And that thought is… very comforting. It makes me feel safe, no matter where this road may take me. From this day on my home will be anywhere I am.
If you may, I would appreciate it if you showed this letter to Lenalee Lee as well. Please let her read the diary too.
Thank you for everything. Good-bye.
One year later…
"Welcome, ladies and gentlemen to the Writer's Blog! Tonight we have a very special guest— a man who just recently published a novel that was written by a young man who went missing last year. Please welcome, Kanda Yu…!"
The applause was thundering, as Kanda stepped into the stage, momentarily blinded by the spotlight. He paced to the beautiful hostess and shook her outstretched hand, before sitting down on a leather armchair. He tried to look unstressed, but he couldn't chase away the uncomfortable feeling.
"Good evening." The hostess said, "It's pleasure to have you here. You're known for refusing to give interviews."
"Tsk, wonder why…" Kanda muttered, as he tried to loosen the tie around his neck a little.
The woman gave him a weird look, but professionally kept smiling, "So, the writer of Splitting Sky went missing last winter. The word is that around that time you were in coma with only slight chances of ever waking up. But here you are now, so we haven't completely run out of miracles, have we?"
"It's no miracle, simply plain luck. I haven't decided whether it's awful or awfully good luck that's given to me." Kanda stated frankly, "Being knocked out for six months really messes up your life."
"I can only imagine." She batted her long eyelids and touched Kanda's arm, trying to show some sympathy. Kanda merely rolled his eyes and shrugged her hand away. She didn't seem to mind, as she continued with her questionnaire, "Let's talk about the book to lighten up the mood. Splitting Sky tells a story of Alan Stand, a man with dissociative identity disorder, which means that he has split personalities.
"There are many controversial issues that are handled in the book, for example homosexuality, abuse and murder. It is highly debated whether the writer simply wants to draw attention with these themes or is there a specific reason? It is also speculated whether the story is based on a true event or is it just a work of fiction. Do you have anything to say on this matter?"
Kanda shifted to a more comfortable position in his chair, "Those are some big words you have there." The hostess frowned, but motioned Kanda to continue anyway, "Frankly, I don't understand this baloney about controversial issues and whatnot. Nowadays drastic measures are needed to get the message across."
"Uh… I suppose everyone needs to push their borders to achieve something original…" She nodded her head vaguely, "…But disappearance of the author indicates that there might be something that they don't want to tell us."
Kanda stayed silent for a moment, measuring his choices.
"Tsk. Now, if the author disappears after writing a book, does that necessary mean the story's based on a true event? No. But that's a good opportunity for curious smart-asses like you to start magnify things. This story is no more real than Harry Potter is. Scratch that, this is even less real than Harry Potter and his magical adventures combined."
The audience fell in dead silence, while the hostess kept opening and closing her mouth dumbly.
Kanda ran his hand through his hair and let out a frustrated sigh, "Look, maybe the author wasn't ready to come out to the public after writing something like this. I just finished the job, hoping to accomplish something by doing so."
"To show that I haven't given up yet. This is my drastic measure to get the message across to someone, who disappeared from my life while I was away." Kanda said, as he stood up and straightened his black suit. He took a picture out of his pocket and showed it to the audience, before giving it to the hostess, "If you see this man, tell him that I'm looking for him."
"Who's this…?" The woman asked and stared at the picture of a white-haired man, "…C-could this be the author…?"
"Let's make a deal— if you find him, you can ask him. Otherwise, I'm not telling you anything." Kanda turned around and pushed his hands deep into his pant's pockets, "That is all I have to say. Thank you for the interview, it was just as pointless as I expected."
The audience hesitantly started to clap their hands together, as Kanda walked across the stage and eventually disappeared behind a curtain.
The mechanical sound of ventilator was the only thing that could be heard in the hospital room. The room was as if sealed away from the outside world— the time's flow seemed nonexistent.
Allen sat there by a lone hospital bed. He didn't know how long it had been going on, days, weeks, maybe months. It was hard to tell, since every day in the hospital looked exactly the same. But lately, he couldn't even bring himself to care what was going on around him.
He was staring at the dark-haired man, lying absolutely still on the bed. Kanda had not opened his eyes after the surgery. But he was still alive, or that's what the doctor had said, even though it seemed to Allen that there was a machine breathing air into Kanda's lungs, while the man remained lifeless. In Allen's opinion, it wasn't life.
Allen moved his hand on top of Kanda's. The other one's skin wasn't warm, but it wasn't cold either. And he was breathtakingly beautiful, even on the brink of death.
He withdrew his hand, as if it was burned. He was tired of watching his loved ones die. First Mana… and now Kanda…? This was simply too much for him to handle. He gripped his hair and let out a pained sob.
But suddenly his mood and whole appearance changed. He lifted his head and suddenly he didn't look a thing like Allen. His eyes were now full of hatred, as he stared at Kanda, "Now, look what you've done, Kanda Yu. I told you that you wouldn't be able to save Allen."
He stood up and grabbed his coat from the floor. His posture was more confident than usually— it was not Allen's posture.
"Allen… Now you understand what I've always meant. No one else but me can love you." He spoke quietly, as he turned slowly around and stared at the door. A crooked smile appeared on his lips, as he took slow but steady steps toward the door, "It's always been only you and me. Everyone else is so… temporary."
And so he walked out the door.
Kanda grunted as he walked out of the studio. Going to an interview had sounded like a good idea, especially since the show was shown almost all over the world, but it still had left Kanda sour and grumpy. Instead of being a step closer to his goal, he felt he had took few steps back.
With a grunt, Kanda put a cigarette in between his lips and was about to light it. But as he pulled the lighter out of his pocket he stopped in his tracks. With a sigh he spat the unlit tobacco to the ground and stepped on it, "What the heck am I doing… I just got out of the hospital…"
He tossed the whole box of cigarettes to a nearest trash bin, before he continued to walk down the street. It was getting dark, but not dark enough for the streetlights to flicker on.
Few months ago he had waken up from the coma. For two long months he had been looking for Allen to no avail. He was getting tired of running in circles, going to places where Allen might be or where someone might have seen him. He could only hope that Allen watched enough TV to see his interview in Writer's Blog and after seeing it, he would contact him.
But even if his search was like looking for a needle in a haystack, he couldn't stop. Allen was the reason he had chosen to try and live, when he had been convinced that the world was an evil, corrupted place with no good left in it. It could have been because of choice of career, since being a psychotherapist was truly mind wrecking— it made you realize how dark the human nature truly is.
But Allen was different… even with a dark past, Kanda couldn't understand how he could radiate such warmth and compassion. He was so often misused and too often taken for granted, but he used to never give up, so why should Kanda throw the towel in either?
Kanda turned around to see Tiedoll running his way. He snorted, "Oh, it's you, old man."
Tiedoll tried to catch his breath when he reached Kanda. He wiped his sweaty forehead and unbuttoned few of his jacket's buttons, "I was sitting in the audience, watching the interview. You did pretty well, I think, it's good you made it clear that the story is completely fictive, even though it's not."
"Nobody needs to know that. This world's full of hypocrites, only wanting something to gossip about." Kanda stared at Tiedoll, waiting for him to steady his breath, "Though I think that people will still start to talk loads of crap 'cause of that book. Even though we changed everyone's names in it, they'll still start to speculate and next it'll be all over the gossip magazines."
"But for now, let's just hope that your publicity brings us closer to Allen." Tiedoll gestured them to continue walking, "If he really wants to be found, he will search for us too. Up until now, he might've thought that you're still in coma."
"Exactly. It's not like I went to the interview just for the hell of it." Kanda muttered darkly, "Funny though, this is just something I could imagine Allen would do—disappearing without a trace. He intentionally keeps complicating things, until it literally drives him crazy. That stupid idiot…"
Tiedoll laughed, "That's our Allen alright."
They paced slowly in silence. Kanda fingered the lighter in his pocket, anxiously glancing his surroundings, half-heartedly wishing he would catch a glimpse of a familiar white-haired man. He was desperate, but Allen left little choice.
Eventually they reached their hotel, which was conveniently offered by the same company that hosted the interview.
"Kanda…" Tiedoll said, when they were about to enter the building through sliding doors, "…I hate to bring this up, but I don't want you to get your hopes too up. If nothing happens, maybe we should consult the police and make sure that he's not—…"
"Stop it. He is not dead." Kanda snarled, giving an ominous glare to Tiedoll, "Beansprout isn't like that. Not only he's a goddamned idiot, but he's also persistent. Don't you ever dare to question that."
"Shut up. Good night." Kanda picked up his pace and didn't bother to wait when the other one repeatedly called out his name.
Allen wasn't sure what he was doing. Earlier that day he had left a message to Tiedoll— telling him that he would be leaving and left his diary with him. It had felt like it was the only option left for him. By leaving everything behind, including his memories in a form of a diary, he was finally free.
The train was moving fast and each mile left behind made Allen feel less uncomfortable, but a little bit more guilty. He knew that rather than thinking about how he left something very important behind, he should have been anxiously waiting for the life he was about to start. This wasn't a sad ending for him and Kanda. This was about doing what was right.
…He wished he could someday learn to believe in such optimism.
"Is this seat taken?"
"Uh…" Allen shook his head wearily, "No, it's not."
A man with long blond hair seated himself next to him. Allen tried to keep himself focused on the quickly passing scenery outside the window, but the man next to him wasn't going to leave him be,
"Where are you headed?"
Allen shrugged his shoulders and said, "Anywhere."
"Oh, I see. You're that kind of traveler too." The man hummed and tapped his fingers against the armrest in between his and Allen's seat, "The world is such a big place, though. Finding 'anywhere' might be hard if you have no idea where to look."
"Are you implying something?" Allen turned his head and looked at the man for the first time. First thing he noticed were two small moles right in the middle of his forehead, which were framed by his blond hair. His narrow eyes, the grumpy expression and hint of frown— it was all so much like Kanda. Allen's heart leaped to his throat, "Kan…?"
"Is something the matter?" The man said, the frown deceasing and a very subtle smile appeared on his lips.
"N-no, I'm sorry. You just reminded me of someone I used to know." Allen shook his head. He offered his hand to him, "I'm Allen. Allen Walker. It's nice to meet you."
"Howard Link. And the pleasure's all mine."
"Oh… oh, god…"
"Mhmm… I love you… Allen…"
Allen let out a deep moan, when the muscles around his groin tensed before the release. The man on top of him fell against him and as his whole body became relaxed, he untangled his feet around his companion's waist and breathed deeply.
"Link…" Allen mumbled tiredly and let out a laugh as the man kissed his shoulder, "Could you move a little? I can't breathe…"
"Oh, I'm sorry…" Link said, as he rolled to his side and let Allen lean his head against his chest and cuddle his smaller form against his side. After shifting and tugging at the bed sheets, they both found comfortable spot next to each other.
Allen fingered Link's long blond ponytail and sighed.
"Something wrong?" The blond man asked and gently stroked Allen's sweaty head, "Your sighing makes me feel uncomfortable…"
"I'm just content. And tired… you've got such vigor, I bet you could go all night long." Allen looked up at Link with a feeble smile. The older man laughed and pulled Allen completely on top of him, bringing his face close to his. Allen propped his weight on his elbows, "You have early morning tomorrow and lots of paperwork to do, right?"
"The papers can wait. But you on the other hand..." Link tugged Allen's head down and pressed their lips together. Allen smiled into the kiss, as the other one's hands roamed downward, tickling his ribs, "I was thinking that maybe I could take a day off and we could go somewhere…"
"Link…" Allen said cunningly in the midst of the kisses, "…It's already… 3 p.m. … and you know I'm not going anywhere. It's weekend soon anyway…"
"I know, I know. But can I at least leave the work a little earlier and take you out?"
Allen rolled his eyes, but let out an affirmative noise. With a victorious grin, Link let Allen lie down next to him again. He put his arm around Allen, as he reached out to grab something from the nightstand.
"What are you doing…?" Allen's question was followed by a yawn.
"I'm sorry, you know how I like to watch TV before falling asleep…" Link showed a remote controller he had picked up and gave Allen a inquiring look, "…Is it okay?"
"Yeah, yeah. I know you won't be able to sleep otherwise." Allen laughed and moved his head a little to the side so he could see the television at the end of the bed. The light radiating from the screen hurt his eyes, but as he stared at Link's quick channel skipping, his eyelids became heavy and he had hard time keeping them open.
When he was satisfied with the channel, Link put the remote controller away and proceeded to stroke Allen's head. The television was barely audible, but they were showing some literature talkshow, which didn't really interest Allen.
"Hey, did you know that this show is filmed near here? The studio is about few blocks away. I've never watched this before though…" Link said, while turning the volume up a little.
"Welcome, ladies and gentlemen to the Writer's Blog! Tonight we have a very special guest— a man who just recently published a novel that was written by a young man who went missing last year. Please welcome, Kanda Yu…!"
Allen immediately sat up, forgetting all about his tiredness. His body reacted faster than his mind, because he had already crawled closer to the television before he could even realize what was happening.
"Oh my god." Allen breathed out.
Link sat up too, worriedly placing his hand on Allen's shoulder, "What's wrong, Allen? Is he someone you know?"
Allen's wide eyes didn't even blink, as he watched a tall, handsome, dark-haired man walk to the stage in the television. He watched as he shook hands with the hostess and they started to talk about something, Allen had no idea what.
Kanda Yu was alive. And on top of that on television. The equation seemed absurd, not only because Kanda couldn't possibly be out of the hospital and especially not on TV.
Allen turned to look at Link, quickly putting a smile on his face, "Oh, that man… he just looks a little bit like you, doesn't he? I had to take a closer look to be sure..."
Link turned to look at the television and arched his eyebrow, "Are you comparing me to a random man on TV? You must be really tired."
"Yeah. I must be seeing things." Kanda couldn't possibly be alive. Allen swallowed and let out a bitter laugh, pretending embarrassment, "I'm being stupid again. I'm sorry, Link." He moved to the edge of the bed and wrapped a blanket around his naked waist, "…I'm gonna go get something to drink. You should go to sleep already."
"Allen." Link said his name demandingly, "You were dead tired few minutes ago. Come back to bed and I'll go get you a glass of water or something."
"That's okay, I'll be right back anyways."
Link let out a distressed grunt, as he, too, stood up and walked after Allen. They entered the kitchen, Allen wearing only a blanket, while Link had not even bothered to grab his morning gown.
"Hey, don't try to run away from me now. Look at me." Link commanded, though his voice remained soft. When Allen kept ignoring him, he grabbed him by his shoulder and spun him around, "Something is upsetting you. Can't you tell me what it is?"
Allen looked Link straight in the eyes, keeping his face as neutral as he could, "Link… How should I say this…" He turned back around and continued pouring orange juice to a glass, "…When we met in that train half a year ago… that day, I had left many things behind. You wouldn't understand…"
Link frowned deeply and shook his head. He looked tired and even though Allen couldn't see his face, he could sense the frustration radiating from him, "I hate it when you're like this. I wish I could predict when you turn from a lovely, beautiful person to secretive, seductive and cunning. It's almost as if… as if there was two completely different personalities in you…"
Allen let out a small chuckle, even though his intention was not to sound sarcastic. Link didn't know how close to the truth he actually was.
"And now you find this funny?" Link asked bitterly.
"Kind of— I mean, no, that's not it… I mean… ugh, look, I'm sorry." Allen was facing Link again, feeling his heart throb painfully, as if he had been telling the worst lie ever told, "I'm serious with you. But there are many things I haven't told you yet."
Link took a step closer and gently cupped Allen's cheeks with his hands and leaned down, "If you only let me, we could both learn to know each other better. Let's put the past behind us…"
Allen bit his lip, as he placed his arms around Link's neck and hid his face under his jaw. The white-haired man tried to breath steadily, but his body started to tremble. He was going at it again— hurting someone only because he hoped he could be normal.
"Shh, it's okay. I'm right here…" Link hushed and gently rocked Allen back and forth.
Just when things were starting to get clearer and uncomplicated, just when Allen was about to start a normal life and normal relationship, an unreasonable thing like this was too much. The history was repeating itself and even though Allen had tried, he hadn't escaped the rat race.
In a way, he wished that Kanda had stayed away.
Tiedoll was sitting his office, as the door opened and his secretary walked in. She walked to him and gave him a package, addressed to him.
"This arrived this morning. It's from one of your patients, I thought it might be important." She smiled.
"Hm?" Tiedoll took the letter, which was attached to the package, and regarded it, "From Walker? I hope it's not bad news, since he hasn't shown up to the therapy sessions after the incident with Kanda."
"Kanda?" The secretary repeated, "As in Kanda Yu? Your former colleague?"
"Yes. He's in coma."
"Oh. And how is Walker?"
"I'll be going then." Link said, as he kissed Allen's forehead quickly, while buttoning his jacket, "Let's meet at the pub downtown after my shift ends, alright?"
Allen nodded his head and faked a sweet smile, "Yeah. See you there."
Link opened the front door, but before walking out, he turned around and stared at Allen for a good while. He then reached out to brush his fingertips against his cheek, "I'll be looking forward to it. Love you."
Allen held his breath, until Link was out and the door was closed behind him. When he could no longer hear Link's footsteps echo in the corridor behind the door, the walls started to collapse.
Everything he had created so far— the peace he had found within himself was shattering.
Allen balled his fist and punched the wall. He and Link had rented the place a month ago, hoping that they both could start anew here. It all had gone so well and he had already started to believe that he could build a new home here with Link.
But if this place had been his home, he shouldn't have felt terrible homesickness that was now swarming inside of him. He had tried not to look back and recollect any memories that might lead him to reminiscence Kanda. But all the thoughts were now surfacing, reminding him what kind of person he once was and what he could never achieve.
His head still spinning, he walked into the bathroom and opened the hatch of a medicine shelf. He reached out to the far end and pulled out a pillbox that was hidden behind other medicines.
Allen moved to the sink, as he opened the box he was holding and let a pill roll on his palm. He stared at it long and hard. He had been eating those pills for too long, but he knew that without their support he could never lead a normal life.
But being normal didn't seem to help, since it had come down to this. He had thought that being normal meant that he didn't need to feel horrible any longer. That he could make his own decisions and the future wouldn't frighten him. But normality didn't make the problem go away. The past mistakes can't be corrected with medicine.
He put the finger in between his fingers and brought it closer to his face. If it was pointless, why did he keep trying? If he didn't do it for himself, did he do it for Link? For his friends? For Kanda…?
But what would Kanda even say if he found him now? Would he be mad at him, or would he try to sympathize? Allen couldn't tell. He wasn't sure if he even wanted to know.
Just when the pill was close to his mouth, he spread his fingers and let the medicine fall down on the sink and down the drain. He poured cold water from the tap, to make sure that the pill was gone for sure. It was awfully simple to do, which made Allen wonder why he hadn't done it before.
Allen laughed, his voice cracking, "After all this time, you still need to come back and haunt me… Kanda Yu."
Bak office's door slammed open and a group of panicking nurses burst in.
"B-Bak!" One of the nurses exclaimed, "Kanda Yu— he's awake…!"
Bak, who had been in the middle of arranging old documents and files, stood up and frowned, "So suddenly? But… why are you all here?"
"He's out of his mind!" The same nurse said and motioned Bak to follow her, "Please come quickly, before anyone gets hurt!"
Bak hastily followed the nurses, as they led them to Kanda's room. Upon reaching their destination, Bak saw that other doctors and nurses were gathered in front of Kanda's room, readying sedatives and straps.
"Let me through. And for god's sake, put those needles away, he just woke up from coma." Bak ordered, as he squeezed through the crowd and entered the room to see furious Kanda, sitting on the floor and trying to swat the psychiatrist with a food tray. He had retreated to one of the corners, his hospital gown partially falling down his shoulders and exposing his pale torso.
"Where is he?!" The dark-haired man roared, while attempting to stand up, but his limbs were still numb after the coma. He was narrowing his eyes threateningly, "I want a phone call! Now!! I need to call Allen –fucking- Walker!!"
"Kanda." Bak stated firmly and took a step forward. The harassed psychiatrist on the other hand nodded his head to Bak, before gladly leaving the room.
"Fuck, I told them to get Allen, not you!" Kanda bellowed, aimlessly swinging the food tray in the air, trying to keep Bak at bay.
Bak frowned deeply, as he descended on his knees and shook his head, "Put the tray down, Kanda. You just woke up, you should still be in the bed."
"Well, you know what?! I don't fucking care!" Kanda grunted, but stopped waving the tray, "I'll ask one more time— where is Allen Walker?"
"You were in coma for ten months, Kanda…"
"Ten mon— wait, that's not what I wanted to know!" Kanda pressed his palm against his temple, a headache taking him by surprise, "Ugh, god… would someone just tell me where Allen is?"
Bak slowly moved closer to the disordered man, a troubled look on his face. He cleared his throat and tried to stay professionally calm, "Allen used to come here every day. He was always here, sitting by your bed and staring at you."
"And then…?" Kanda shifted a little, as Bak sat down next to him.
"Nobody knew if you ever opened your eyes again. We didn't want to be to optimistic about your condition… but Allen didn't give up." Bak leaned his back against the wall and looked up at the ceiling, "He was down, but he still kept telling us not to lose hope. It should have been the other way around though… we are officials, but we thought we knew better than give him false hope."
Kanda's grip on the tray finally loosened and the metallic object fell on the ground. His indignation left him, leaving only a feeling of emptiness that twisted his guts, "…Ten months… I've been away for ten months…?" He turned his head toward Bak, "Allen… why isn't he here?
Bak shook his head, "One day, he just stopped coming here. No one has heard from him ever since. The police called off the search a while ago."
Kanda fell silent. His head was aching, as was the rest of his body.
"I'm sorry… I could have stopped him…" Bak managed to say, even though he was gritting his teeth together to prevent unnecessary emotions to surface, "…No one knows whether he's dead or alive… The only thing he left behind was a letter addressed to Tiedoll, as well as his diary." Bak paused, waiting for Kanda to reply. But when there was nothing, he grunted, "…Say something."
Kanda opened his mouth slowly, "So… I waited ten months to wake up only to realize that the reason of my life has vanished." He gave Bak the emptiest look he had ever seen,
"Tell me, Bak, what is there left to say?"
Later that day, Allen had picked his favorite clothes for the night he was going to spend with Link.
He was trying to recall the fastest route to the bar he promised to meet up with Link, but the forks in the road confused him to no end. He had even drawn a map on his palm, but he could no longer tell where he was, so the map was useless.
He took out his cell phone and considered phoning Link for help, but quickly changed his mind and put the phone away. He couldn't always rely on other people whenever he was in trouble.
He cursed mentally, as he tried to focus on the situation at hand, but his thoughts kept wandering back to Kanda.
He let out a frustrated growl and picked up his pace. Somehow he felt as if people were staring at him. Not in a way you would stare at a stranger either— it was as if they recognized him. Chills ran down Allen's spine.
Feeling uneasy under the weird looks, he decided to exit the main street. He was relieved to see that the other street was quieter and only a street musician, playing a flute in front of a small café. But even he turned to look at Allen, a peculiar look on his face. And that was… awkward.
Allen stopped, as the musician spoke to him, putting his flute down on the ground and peered him with his tiny eyes. The white-haired man blinked his eyes, "Uh, yes…?"
"Erm, well, this might sound weird but," The street musician scratched the back of his neck, "Yesterday, there was this man on TV and he—…"
"I know. The publisher of that one book, right?" Allen cut the man off before he got too carried away, "I'm sorry, but if he found me now, I bet he'd be severely disappointed." Allen smiled and pulled out few coins from his coat's breast pocket, "Here, take these. It's not much, but hopefully it'll do something good."
The street musician took the coins and looked at Allen, surprised, "Thanks…? S'pose you don't wanna be found then…?"
"I wish it was that simple." Allen shook his head with a small laugh, "But I need to get going. It was nice talking to you and please keep up the good work."
Allen left the astounded musician behind, an odd feeling beginning to form in his head. He wasn't sure if he was being honest with himself at all, but then again, he didn't even know what he truly wanted. Living with Link was safe and steady— something Allen was sure Kanda could never offer.
Before long, Allen reached a bridge that stretched across a river, which was separating the city in two. He let out a sigh, wondering if he was walking to a completely wrong direction.
It was quiet on the bridge. There were no cars or passers-by to be seen or heard. Only a harsh wind, blowing from beneath the bridge was howling in Allen's ears, taunting him to look down at the slowly flowing current beneath him.
He stopped walking when he was approximately in the middle of the bridge. He pressed his hands on the thick, metallic railing and peeked over it, noticing how amazingly beautiful the dark river was in the night, when the city lights reflected on its surface. Allen wondered if the fall from up there would be lethal.
Suddenly a dreadful sensation spread from his head all the way down to his toes.
Maybe I should have taken the pill, was the last, frighteningly clear thought that flashed brightly in his mind.
His consciousness disappearing, his hands gripped the railing harder, as an unfamiliar glint appeared in Allen's eyes. His whole appearance changed and a hollow laugh echoed in the night, when Allen hoisted his foot on the railing, slowly pulling himself up on his two feet on the metallic barrier.
"Allen, Allen, Allen… I wonder what kind of mess you've dragged yourself into this time?" He scolded and looked down at the water, "But it doesn't matter, because I'll do what you're too weak to pull off. It's like… putting a pet to sleep. You, too, would prefer eternal peace over this painful, rotten world, wouldn't you?"
It was getting dark, but Kanda was far from giving up. He kept holding a picture of Allen in his hand, showing it to passers-by, hoping that someone might have seen him.
Tiedoll kept insisting that his methods were futile, but he couldn't think of anything else he could have done. Allen must be somewhere and Kanda was going to find him, no matter what the cost. And when he found him, he would make him regret that he had left without a good notice.
His phone started to rang in his pocket, when he was about to approach a teenager, sitting by a grocery store. He cursed and pulled out his phone and answered it, knowing without checking that the caller must be Tiedoll, since no one else ever really called him those days, "What now?"
"Hey, are you still out? I was thinking that maybe we could have a drink in this one cozy pub I found."
"What for? I'm busy."
"Kanda, we are leaving this city tomorrow. I think both of us deserve some time off, don't you think?"
Kanda sighed and rolled his eyes, "…You know that I can't relax, even if I came there."
"I know…" Tiedoll sounded little disappointed, "… I'm worried. This is not a good way to cope with your loss."
"Fine, fine! I'm coming there… as long as you promise not to get all emotional on me. Text me the address." Kanda grunted, before ending the call and angrily put the phone away. He was tired of Tiedoll speaking about losses and stuff like that. Kanda hadn't lost anything, there was something only temporarily missing.
Seconds later a text message arrived from Tiedoll. After taking a good look at the address he was sent, he headed for the pub, since he was becoming too tired to look for Allen anyway.
He strayed from the main street to a side street. There was a street musician sitting on the ground and playing flute. A slow, melancholic tune echoed in the street, as Kanda walked forward. Suddenly the music stopped and the man stood up, causing Kanda to look at him and frown.
"I-It's you! The man on TV!" The musician exclaimed.
"Tch. Get a life." Kanda muttered and kept walking.
"No, hold on…!" The man abandoned his flute on the ground, as he dashed after Kanda, "I don't usually watch TV, but I loved your book, Splitting Sky, thanks to it I finally had enough courage to break up with my girlfriend and come out of the closet. Therefore I just had to watch your interview, y'know?"
"…" Kanda gave him a skeptical look and shook his head tiredly, "I don't have time for this nonsense."
"But the man you're looking for… I saw him!!"
Kanda was nailed to the spot. He had faced pranks like this before— maybe this was merely another scam. He grabbed the man by his collar and threateningly looked into his eyes, "You'd better not be messing with me, punk…! Now, where did he go?!"
"Hey, hey, calm down! I'm telling you, I saw him just a little while ago! I don't know where he was headed, but he was headed toward the bridge." He answered, slightly terrified by the look he got from the other one.
Kanda let go off the man and his threatening expression changed to grateful, "Right. Take care."
"Uh, yeah. You're welcome." The baffled man replied, as Kanda began running.
Kanda's feet hit the ground rapidly, even as he reached the bridge. And he kept running, his lungs feeling like they were about to be torn apart.
Suddenly he came to a halt. His heart skipped a beat, as he saw a person climbing on top of the railing of the bridge. When he saw white hair flutter in the wind, there was no doubt about it.
"Allen…" Kanda breathed out, his voice trembling and barely audible. He encouraged his feet to move, faster and faster. Eventually he was mentally screaming at his body to move even faster, unable to think straight, as he saw Allen lean forward and stare down at the river below. Kanda opened his mouth and yelled as loudly as he could, "Allen!"
Allen winced and looked over his shoulder. And as Kanda came close enough, he realized that he wasn't Allen. His heart jolted.
A playful smile graced the white-haired man's lips, as he turned around, balancing himself on the thick railing. His eyes were clouded and the way he looked down at Kanda was very unlike Allen. A bitter laugh poured from his mouth, "Allen is not present at the moment."
"You sick fuck—!" Kanda balled his fists, ready to lunge forward and grab the man before he could fall down into the river.
"Stay back!" He commanded, taking a small step backward, demonstrating his seriousness, "At first, I thought that you were pretty smart guy. But in the end, you're just like all the rest. You can't save Allen."
Kanda gritted his teeth.
"My dear, only I can love him." Allen spoke. He spread his arms and looked up at the black sky, "But alas, this is so ironic! I tried to find someone who could understand Allen— someone who could accept us, but all they ever wanted was to have their way with Allen…! So in the end, in order to save a life, you have to destroy it. This world is a horrible place, isn't it?"
"Who the fuck do you think you are? A god?!." Kanda asked spitefully, "Look, just because most of the human race is messed up in the head doesn't give you the right to judge all of them the same way."
The other one furrowed his eyebrows, "Like I said— you can't understand. True, you did both of us a favor by getting rid of Millenium Earl, but you still can't comprehend what it means to lose everything." Kanda tried to take unnoticeable steps forward, but Allen in turn started to lean back, "Don't get me wrong, Kanda Yu. I'm not the bad guy and this is by no means a tragedy. This is simply an aided premature death of someone, who was too good for scumbags like you."
"Stop it…! You don't know what you're talking about!!"
"I know exactly what I'm talking about. People are evil— from the start it is always the good persons who get to suffer. Mana Walker, he was such a good person, giving Allen a place to live, a place to call home. But first there was Earl— that sick bastard with his twisted fantasies. Allen was still so young… he didn't need to see all that. But like I said, this world is no good for people like him. And then there is you, figuring that you could fix something. But you can't fix madness."
Kanda closed his mouth and only stared at the man he had been searching for so long. He grimaced, "… Just… step down from the railing. This is completely unnecessary…"
"You can't save Allen Walker. I, too, should have understood that the game was lost the day Mana died."
Kanda's eyes widened, as he saw how the man on the railing took yet another step backward. Even if he leaped forward, he wasn't sure if he could catch him before he fell. Panic started to spread thorough his body, paralyzing him.
But suddenly the expression on Allen's face changed and the unnatural look in his eyes faded. He looked confused and shaken, like a child, who found himself lost in a big city.
"K-Kanda…" Allen spoke out the other one's name, "I… I'm so sorry…!"
As Kanda realized that the real Allen was in front of him now, he let out the breath he had been holding, "Don't you ever do that again…" He walked closer to Allen, his limbs still trembling.
"Kanda…!? Wait, what am I doing up here?!" Allen asked, when he realized he was standing on the railing. He took a step forward, "Oh god, I knew I should have taken the pi—…!!"
As Allen tried to step down from the railing, he accidentally leaned back and lost his balance. He tried to grasp onto something, but the river's gravity was violently pulling him down.
"Allen!!" Kanda leaped and reached out his hand to grab Allen, but his fingertips barely brushed against his ankle, as he fell towards the river. Kanda leaned over the railing, "Allen!!"
Allen shouted and closed his eyes. He was falling headfirst, slicing the cold air that ruthlessly hit his cheeks. For a moment the only thing he could hear was the deafeningly loud sound of air current, which even drowned his screaming voice.
The fall seemed to last forever, as if Allen would never reach the river. But then, suddenly the air was knocked out of his lungs, as he pierced the surface and sank deep into the dark water. His head felt dizzy after the hard plummet and his wet clothes only pulled him further down. He tried not to swallow the water in his mouth, as he tried to swim toward the dim lights that were shining through the surface.
Kanda kept shouting out Allen's name, as he stared at the river, horrified. He took off his coat and threw it on the ground, before climbing on the railing and jumping down after Allen.
Before he hit the water, Kanda inhaled a deep breath and readied himself for the impact. When he was underwater, he blinked his eyes open and frantically searched for Allen with his eyes.
Upon spotting Allen, who was struggling to get up, he swam deeper until he was able to grasp Allen's hand.
Allen looked up at Kanda, the lack of oxygen already making his head spin. He leaned flaccidly against the other one, as Kanda took off his coat to make it easier to pull both of them up.
Kanda, too, started to feel light-headed when he put his arm around Allen and started to swim back up. For a moment, he was sure that he wasn't going to make it— that both of them were going to die in a goddamn river in a middle of a city.
But eventually they broke surface, coughing and gasping for air. Allen spat out water, trying to keep his head above the water.
"You… you fucking moron…!" Kanda cursed, as he put his arm around Allen's waist, supporting him, "Do you have any idea what the hell just happened?! You could've died, beansprout!!"
Allen cleared his throat, still out of breath, "You shouldn't have followed me! I was fine by myself…!"
"Yeah, real fine!! Look, from that height, the fall could've been deadly! Thank god you had enough sense in your pretty, but awfully dumb, head to dive headfirst and not stomach-first, or else the gulls could be feeding on your guts."
"Excuse me?! I'm not stupid!" Allen cried out, choosing not to mention that his headfirst fall was mostly accidental, "A-anyway! We should get to the shore before we freeze to death."
Kanda nodded his head, letting go off Allen and starting to swim toward the beach, "You just wait till we get there— I'm so going to kill you."
They swam in silence, Allen little ways behind. Kanda looked over his shoulder every now and then to make sure that the other one was still alright and following him.
Allen stared at the back of Kanda's head. He wondered what he should say to him once they got to the shore. It felt like he was falling in love all over again, even despite his logical reasoning. He knew that he shouldn't be so happy to see Kanda again, but he couldn't help the pure happiness that was growing inside of him.
The shore grew closer, making Allen more determined to reach it. His movements became faster and he easily came side by side with Kanda. He looked at him with a wide smile, "I'll race you!"
"Wha— hey, wait beansprout!" Kanda sounded surprised when Allen gained even more speed. He let out a chuckle and started swimming faster as well.
When Allen's feet touched the bottom, he began wading fast to the shoreline. He could hear Kanda right behind him, which only encouraged him to keep going.
"Ha, I won…!" Allen laughed, as he stepped out of the water. He turned around just in time to see Kanda right behind him, before the dark-haired man tackled him on the hard sand, drawing a surprised yelp from Allen.
Kanda wrapped his arms around Allen and held him close, as they lied on the sand. Their soaked clothes were glued to their skin and the warmth evaporated from their bodies. Allen put his hands on the small of Kanda's back, his face buried in the crook of Kanda's neck.
Allen's breath hitched in his throat, as he Kanda tangled his hand in his hair, "…You found me."
"I won't ever let you out of my sight again." A small smirk gradually found its way on Kanda's lips, "But damn, lost or found, you're still a handful of troubles. I even had to publish your diary to find you."
"Kand—…" Allen started dreamily, but as he internalized what Kanda had just said, he furrowed his eyebrows and raised his voice, "You did what?! I never even thought that you would be able to read it, let alone the whole world…! Is that why you were on that stupid show last night?!"
"Well, I wouldn't've done that if you hadn't had that brilliant idea to disappear while I was in coma! And yes, I read your diary after I woke up and published it, because wherever you might be, I figured it could catch your attention. And I even went to that humiliating show, because I was goddamn desperate to find you!" Kanda inhaled a deep breath, before finishing his explanation, "Now I sound like a goddamn sentimental idiot and I really, really, really don't want to fight right now. I… I missed you."
Allen blinked his eyes, stunned and , "Kanda… You were away for a year. I've changed… and I have a life here now."
Kanda furrowed his eyebrows, as he leaned down and his nose touched Allen's. They breathed same air for a moment, both of them clutching to one another. Kanda licked his lips, before pressing them against Allen's, gently pushing the back of white-haired man's head harder against the sand, while sucking on his bottom lip.
"But you don't mind me doing this?" Kanda asked bitterly.
Allen gasped when Kanda slid his hand under his drenched shirt and touched his abdomen, "No… Kanda… I'm sorry, I…"
"S-Shut up!!" Kanda pressed his palm against Allen's mouth to keep him from saying anything, "I didn't come all the way here to hear that. I came to get you home— we can go back to where we left off. Everyone is waiting to see you again! So don't tell me you are serious about staying here…!"
Allen simply stared emptily at Kanda, knowing exactly why he needed to stay, but on the other hand he had so many reasons to go with Kanda. But just when he was close to reaching some sort of peace of mind, he didn't want to risk everything. Twelve months was a long time, especially when Allen had thought that Kanda was already dead.
When Allen remained quiet, Kanda's expression became unreadable. He removed his hand from Allen's mouth and stood up slowly and without saying a word, he turned around and started walking away.
Allen sat on the sand, his conscience screaming at him. He grew more and more aware of the fact that he wasn't doing the right thing. But this was how it had always been between them— the odds were always against them. Whenever their paths were about to collide, there was something or someone blocking the way. Or were all of the obstacles merely in Allen's head?
Allen stood up, when Kanda was already about to disappear from his sight. He wanted to run after him, to tackle him to the ground. But what would Link say?
"Kanda…" Allen whispered and gritted his teeth.
They had to be worth more than this.
Tiedoll glanced at his watch, tapping his foot against the asphalt. Even though Kanda was unpredictable to some degree, he almost always kept his promises. It was not like him to make Tiedoll wait. And he had been waiting in front of the pub for quite a while now.
But there was also another man, anxiously checking his cell phone and watch every once in a while. Tiedoll walked closer to the lanky blond man with two moles in the middle of his forehead.
"Are you waiting for someone too?" Tiedoll asked casually, "You've been standing here longer than me."
The blond man turned to look at him. He nodded his head vaguely, "Uh, yes. I'm getting worried though, he's not answering the phone… we just recently moved here and he has a terrible sense of direction, so he might've gotten himself lost.."
"Is that so?" Tiedoll held his chin, "Sounds like someone I used to know."
"I'm sorry, but I doubt you know him. Me and Allen have been traveling around for a while before settling down here. He never talks about his past, but he isn't the most social type, not nowadays at the least."
"A-Allen…?" Tiedoll choked. The blond gave him a weird look and Tiedoll quickly shook his head, "Ah, it's nothing." He thought for a moment, before he opened his shoulder bag and took out a book. He offered it to the man and said, "Why don't you take this and read it when you have time. I think you might find it useful in the near future."
"Splitting Sky? I'm interested in literature, but I don't think that I should take a book from a stranger."
"No need to be modest. Now, what do you say we went inside already and got something to drink? Standing out here and waiting sure gets my throat dry."
"I suppose I can't turn down that offer, can I?"
One week later Allen was sitting by a kitchen table, trying to focus on the newspaper he was reading. But ever since Kanda had come back into his life, he found it hard to concentrate on anything.
Allen was too deep in his thoughts to hear Link enter their kitchen. The blond man was standing by the doorway, staring at Allen.
"You're not happy here."
Allen raised his head slowly and looked at Link, "…Excuse me?"
"I read this one book. I got it from a man, who later introduced himself as your former psychotherapist." Link walked to the table and sat down on in front of Allen, "Allen… You know that I could never keep you here against your own free will. You can't always think of other's feelings, because you know how it will devastate you in the end."
Allen stared at Link, a sad frown on his face, "What are you talking about?"
Link reached out across the table and touched Allen's hand, which was resting on the table, "I love you. You know that I would fetch a star from the sky for you, if you only wanted me to. I don't want us to pretend to be happy any longer. I want us to be able to look at each other in the future with no regrets."
"Link…" Was all Allen could say. Upon hearing Link's words, he started to wonder if following your heart was such a big mistake. There would always be causalities, no matter how well you planned your each move.
"He is leaving today. You should hurry— I paid your cab already and it's waiting outside already." Link said with a faint smile. When Allen simply sat there, petrified, Link furrowed his eyebrows and commanded, "Go."
"Link… I don't know what to say." Allen stood up hesitantly, "…Thank you."
Link merely nodded his head, as Allen walked past him. He walked to the bathroom and grabbed his medicines, before heading for the door and taking his coat on the way out. Just like Link had said, he found the cab already waiting outside their apartment. He looked back over his shoulder and saw Link standing by the window on the second floor, smiling.
Before stepping into the cab, Allen pressed his fingertips against his lips and blew a quick kiss to Link. The man by the window pretended to catch the kiss and put it in his pocket.
Then Allen sat down in the car and after slamming the door shut, the driver immediately sped off towards the destination Link had already told him.
Allen closed his eyes and leaned his back more comfortably against the seat. The weight on his heart rolled off, as he realized he was going home.
He felt bad for leaving Link behind, but he knew that one person's crime will eventually lead to a great happiness for someone, somewhere. It is how the universe works— what is taken from you, you'll get back in one way or another, but only if you're ready to accept the compensation as it comes.
Allen had done so many things wrong during his life, but the conclusion wasn't always negative. And now, after so many stupid mistakes, Allen was finally choosing the right choice for himself.
Life wasn't all that complicated. But fools like Allen only made it so.
Eventually the cab reached the airport. Allen jumped out and dashed toward the entrance. The airport was filled with people from different places, speaking different languages. There were family reunions and melancholic partings and there were chance encounters and hectic tourists. And they were all happening under the same roof, so close to each other.
Allen searched for Kanda with his eyes. He hoped he wasn't too late.
Suddenly he spotted a long black ponytail in the crowd. His heart leaped to his throat and he started to make his way through the crowd. It was already noisy in the terminal, but Allen tried to yell out the other one's name anyway, "Kanda! Kanda Yu!!"
Kanda kept walking forward with the mass of people. Allen elbowed his way faster in the middle of people, gradually closing the distance between him and Kanda.
"Kanda!!" He screamed at the top of his lungs.
Kanda stopped and turned around. As he saw Allen, he frowned and started walking back, disturbing the flow of people, who were giving him angry glares for walking in the wrong direction.
"Beansprout?" Kanda said, as he had almost reached Allen, "What are you—…?"
Allen threw himself against Kanda, putting his arms around the taller man's neck. Kanda dropped his sports bag, as he returned Allen's embrace.
"You came to see me off?" Kanda asked.
"No, I changed my mind! I'm sorry about all the things I said— I don't know what I was thinking. I know now what is important and what I want… I know we are worth more than a miserable ending." Allen inhaled a deep breath, giving Kanda a questioning look, "I know you're mad at me, but I just wanted to say that… I missed you too and I want to come with you."
Kanda stared at Allen and the latter one could swear he saw the other one's dark eyes getting slightly damp. But Kanda let out a small laugh and untied his arms around Allen and took a step back, "You are so unpredictable."
"I'm sorry." Allen looked up at the man he loved and wasn't afraid to proclaim his feelings, "I love you. I want to be with you."
Allen knew he had professed his love many times before, but Kanda still seemed slightly shaken upon hearing it.
"I guess that's fair enough." Kanda picked up his bag from the floor and rolled his eyes. He offered Allen his hand and smiled faintly, "Let's go home."
Allen took Kanda's hand gladly, as they started to walk forward with no need to look back.
Allen knew that eventually their past mistakes might once again catch up with them and history would repeat itself. But maybe next time they could stand together and they would stand tall.
That's when Allen knew that Kanda was his compensation for everything he had ever lost.
Mana held Allen's hand, as they were walking away from the tombstone.
"Your actions are like footprints. Whenever you make a choice, you'll leave an imprint behind that will be a part of the same large path everyone is walking. Whether the footprint is only a faint mark in mud or crack in a stone, the things you do can't be undone. Therefore it is important that in the future, we make sure to leave good footprints behind."
Allen tried to understand. But he knew that Mana was right, therefore he committed those words to his memory.
"Allen, don't worry your head with it too much." Mana smiled down at the young boy, "I'm sure that as long as you remember to follow your heart without losing the sight of the reality, you will leave great imprints behind.
"I'm sorry to tell you this, boy, but there was an accident. Mana is dead."
Phew. This is by far the longest chapter I've ever written. And it took me unfairly long to write too. But now that it is finally finished, I'm very satisfied. It felt like I was writing this thing all day and night without any progress.
I'm stunned by all the positive feedback I have received and I'm very thankful for it. Thank you for all your kind reviews, because they really kept me determined to finish this story.
If you want to read more stories by yours truly, be my guest. I'm currently working on a new story and if I like it enough, I'll put it on .
Thank you for reading and stay tuned!
P.S. I had to reupload the chapter several times because kept raping it.