Disclaimer: The characters within this story all belong to Hoshino-san.
Warnings: This IS a MALE/MALE pairing, so if such things disturb you, or bother you in any way, you should stop reading.
Summary: In which the holidays are explored with the tidbits and the drama of the Kanda/Allen we all love and adore. Yaoi. This will only be updated on holidays that I recognize. Which means that if I know it, I'll probably write it if I have time, or care. Readers should mention closer holidays in reviews for faster updates.
AN: Internet doom... Blah. When I got the internet back, my comp crashed... And this made me hafta get a new comp... Which is beautiful, by the way - a delightful, chrome laptop - but I'd lost the chapter. On top of that, I was at Katsucon - and utterly exhausted. In compensation, though, I've made this chapter a little longer. Mind you, once I'm done with this, I'll probably revise at some point. Enjoy!
In A Year
Lavi breathed freely - his last several encounters with Kanda had not been painless, and Allen was much less likely to threaten to kill, maim, injure, destroy, or make life difficult. Slightly more cheerful than he'd been before, he'd gone to fetch the boy - only to find him not there. Oxymoron? Oh, yes. Frowning, he'd searched around. Seeing as the library was, more or less, his domain, along with the panda, it was strange that he couldn't find the boy. Finally, he was forced to conclude that Allen had already left the library.
Irked, and slightly confused, he checked Allen's room - no such luck. He tried several other locations, but he still couldn't find him! He was frowning when he headed to the training grounds - at least, until he saw the cursed boy leaving them.
"Allen!" he called, jogging to the boy so as to not lose him again.
The younger boy's head turned to see who had called him, craning in a way that looked almost painful.
"Oh, hello, Lavi." he said, smiling tentatively. "Do you need something?"
Lavi blinked, the story he'd made up fleeing his mind. "Er - actually, I was going to ask you if you'd seen Kanda anywhere?"
Allen shrugged, a faraway glow appearing in his eyes as his tentative smile wavered. "He's still in the training grounds, but I think Lenalee's already gotten him to head for Komui."
The red-head blinked again, a bit confused. Head for Komui? But the only reason that would happen is if Kanda had a mission... Which he definitely didn't. Then again, if that's what Allen thought...
"Ah. Well, I'll grab you instead, then." the boy said, shrugging slightly. "After all, we'll all be going together."
Allen paled. "Er, are you sure? I mean, couldn't you take Miranda-san? Or Krory?" He seemed to have grown smaller - and a bit frightened.
"Sorry - it's gotta be you. C'mon, I'll take you to the baths, and we'll head up, okay?"
If possible, the boy paled even further. Lavi briefly wondered if he'd go invisible.
"I c-can't! Kanda will be in there, too!"
"I'll go with you - then nothing will happen, ne?"
Allen shook his head, forlon. "I don't want to. I'm sorry, but I don't think I can stand looking at him again."
Lavi frowned. "Weren't you the one that turned him down in February?"
Allen breathed in sharply, before slowly nodding. "Seems like everyone's been saying that to me lately," he said softly, his voice slightly bitter.
"It's because no one understands why you're so upset." Lavi said, shrugging. All the same, it wasn't as though he was oblivious - even he could tell that Allen was upset again. "Come on, to the baths with you. No matter what you say, a good soak will make you feel better."
Alex sighed deeply. "I can't get out of this can I?" he asked weakly, attempting to grin.
Lavi, very much disturbed by Allen's poor cheer, almost felt bad for what he was about to do. Yet, having been Bookman's apprentice for so long, he knew to reign in his emotions. Instead, he simply tossed a grin that was twice as large as usual - to make up for Allen's feeble attempt - and grasped the teen by the shoulder.
Kanda was annoyed. First, he'd been confused, and then concerned. He'd ignored Lavi's advice and simply gone about as usual, trying to seek out the boy he still loved so deeply, and yet he couldn't find hide nor hair of either - Lenalee or Allen. And then, when he last wanted to see either of them - he'd been burning off his anger and frustration in training, never mind that he knew it was bad for him - Lenalee appeared.
"Kanda!" she'd called out sharply.
He'd dropped his boken. Of course, it wasn't that he hadn't noticed her because he was so caught up in his emotions, which he actually was, but that she had appeared out of nowhere! It was a secret that none of the exorcists or finders knew the answer to - she'd be in one place for all of one minute, and then she'd pop up where you least expected her to! If anyone figured out the secret, they could likely win millions with the dark order's pooling society.
He turned towards her, gruffly spitting out a single word: "What?"
"Komui wants you."
Wordlessly, Kanda picked up his boken and began walking towards one of three doors - the one that was closest to Komui's.
Noticing this, Lenalee quickly added more: "Take a bath first! You smell!"
Now, it wasn't an intentional insult - and Kanda didn't take it as one. It was unfortunately true. Since he'd been training for so long, he smelled of sweat, dirt, tree sap, and leaves. And more sweat.
Although he didn't say anything to her, she knew he'd acknowledged her words when he headed for the door connecting to the baths. As it was, she found herself holding back a snicker.
Lavi observed his companion as they stripped down. Although he hadn't said anything, it was obvious that Allen was nervous. His hands were trembling.
"I'm sure he's not here yet." he said, trying to reassure the boy.
Allen looked up, startled. "What?"
The red-head pointed at the boy's hands. "You're shaking."
Allen blushed, immediately shaking his head. "I'm not afraid!" he said strongly.
Lavi only raised an eyebrow. Allen shuddered. "Okay, I'm scared out of my wits."
The older boy only nodded, both understandingly and triumphantly. Allen had no idea how he'd managed to blend the two.
"It's alright. Come on - let's go."
And with that, he pulled Allen towards the large, cascading waters that made up the exorcists' baths.
He got in right away, and yanked the younger boy in after him. Then, he sat back, soaking for a moment. When he noticed that Allen was looking back at the door, much like a rabbit about to bolt, he splashed the boy with the hot water.
"Wh-what?!" Allen sputtered, blinking to keep the water from falling into his eyes. "What was that for?!"
Lavi only grinned mischeivously. "Come on - let loose a bit."
The cursed boy did as he was bid, albeit reluctantly.
Lavi, being in a position to see inside the locker rooms, realized that Kanda had arrived. He stood languidly, showing Allen that it was okay to relax. "I'll be back - we left the soap and stuff in the locker room."
Allen, still nervous, nodded.
Still, Lavi knew that Allen hated to be a nuisance. He played on that.
"You going to be okay?" he asked the boy.
Allen sat up abruptly. "Of course I will! I'm not a baby!"
Lavi chuckled. "If you say so. I'll be right back."
As he headed for the locker rooms, he knew that Allen wouldn't look towards them because the boy was trying to prove he wasn't a pansy.
Kanda simply glared at the red-head when he saw him in the locker room. All at once, he realized that the whole thing had been a set up - but for what?
"What do you want?" he demanded lowly, eyes drilling holes in the other exorcist's head.
Lavi only raised his hands in surrender. "Calm down, Yuu."
Kanda growled, but before he could say anything, Lavi continued to speak.
"Allen's out there. Go sort things out with him. I'm heading to the showers. Be careful, Kanda. No one wants to see him get hurt again."
Lavi shrugged, grabbing his clothes. "Besides, no one knows what Lenalee will do to you if you blow this last chance."
The Asian exorcist nodded, eyes no longer glaring. Rather, they were grateful. He was grateful. He'd been trying to get a hold of Allen for forever and a day, and now was his chance.
As Lavi turned to leave, Kanda couldn't help but to try: "I... Is..." he clenched his fists, forcing himself to say it, no matter how painful it was to get the words out. "Did he love me?"
The hammer-wielding exorcist only grinned at him. For a moment, Kanda felt depressed, but then Lavi tossed a thought towards him.
"Would he be so upset if he wasn't in love with you?"
Allen tried to stay still - really, he did - but then he grew restless. As long as he didn't know how long Lavi was going to take, he felt he should be allowed to droop all he wanted. As it was, he ducked under the water. He figured he'd distract himself by seeing how long he could hold his breathe. Who knows? Maybe Lavi would think he ran off and leave him alone or something.
Thirty seconds... He came up for air, tossing his head back to breathe the wonderful substance in. Then, he tried it again. Several tries later, he managed to get up to about a minute.
The last time he came up, he decided he'd surpass sixty seconds or stay in the baths until he did.
This time, however, when he ducked his head under the water, Kanda saw him.
And promptly freaked out.
"Shit, Allen, don't do it!" he'd cried out, running forward to drag the boy out of the water. "Don't do it, it's not worth it!"
Allen was disoriented. Majorly. He wondered if he'd counted wrong underwater and it was actually over sixty seconds and he'd passed out and was dreaming... Or maybe he was hallucinating and Lavi looked like Kanda? Or maybe the red-head had tried to dye his hair and grow it all at once?
The white-haired boy shook his head, trying to clear his senseless thoughts away. When he looked up, he realized that the man that held him in his arms wasn't Lavi at all, but a very concerned, very freaked out, undoubtedly nervous Asian exorcist.
"Um, Kanda?" he muttered, trying to get the man's attention.
Kanda, having been busy outlining the finer points of life and why suicide wasn't worth it, stopped immediately. Then, he opened his mouth. And shut it. He repeated the process several times, before finally sighing. "Yes?"
"I wasn't going to kill myself."
"Oh." Kanda blinked, before promptly blushing a vibrant red. "Oh."
Allen was amused. His earlier anxiety was already forgotten, and it felt like old times, when the two had hung out together. "I was trying to see how long I could hold my breathe underwater."
"Oh." Kanda uttered the word again. Didn't he feel stupid now?
Yet, it didn't go unnoticed by either of them that Kanda had yet to let Allen go.
Upon noticing this, Allen tried to get out of the hold Kanda had on him. Instead of releasing him, however, Kanda's grip tightened.
"Kanda, shouldn't you be letting go right about now?" Allen asked, embarrassed.
Immediately, he crushed the boy to his chest. "No." he said, his voice heavy. "No."
Allen, having had the breathe squashed out of him, barely had the oxygen to speak, and speak he did. "No?" he asked in a surprisingly high-pitched voice. Then again, it being Allen, it might not have been such a surprise...
"No." Kanda affirmed. "Never again!"
Allen was confused, and that confusion quickly melted in anger and a maelstrom of other emotions. "Let go of me!" he cried out, trying to get away from the Japanese exorcist.
"No!" Kanda's grip changed with Allen's protests, carefully cradling the boy securely in his arms.
It took some time, but Allen did finally cease his struggling.
"Why?" he finally asked, his voice strained with hurt and confusion. His expression was that of pure desperation.
"I never meant to hurt you." Kanda explained. "I'm sorry. I love you."
Allen only cried, but they both knew he wasn't crying from hurt or joy. He was crying because he was being overwhelmed by the words that Kanda had uttered. "No! No, that's wrong!" he cried into Kanda's bare chest. "You said you were tired of me! You were angry with me!"
Kanda felt horrible at Allen's words. He'd never meant to hurt him so damned much! He held the younger boy as close as he could, and nuzzled the top of his head. "I'm sorry, Allen, I never meant it... I didn't think it would sound that way - I only meant the chain!"
At a loss for what to do, he finally said the words that he subconsciously knew the boy needed the most. "I love you, Allen; I never stopped loving you!"
Though the boy didn't stop crying, he could feel Allen's hands tentatively - almost nervously - encircling his waist.
Some moments later, as the two simply held each other, Allen finally spoke.
"Do you mean it?" he asked, gazing up into Kanda's eyes, as if searching for any hint that might say that the older boy was lying to him.
"I mean it." Kanda said strongly. "Every single word of it."
And this time, when the tears came, they were purely from joy as Allen threw his arms around Kanda's neck, clinging to him. "Thank you!" he sobbed happily. "Thank you!"
They went back to normal - and Kanda had realized that Allen had never said that he had feelings for him... So he acted as a friend to the younger boy, staying constant.
Of course, when they discovered that Komui had been behind the whole thing, they'd gotten a bit of revenge as well - they'd set Lenalee up on a long awaited date with Lavi... Far out of Komui's range.
A month passed, and then came February seventh. Lavi and Lenalee were going out as steadily as exorcists could, turbulent jobs and overprotective brothers being quite difficult to juggle, especially when Komui planned them to be in different locations so often... but when Lenalee had some words with him, he saw the light and let them be.
Reeve later revealed to the staff that he'd been forced to spend several hours calming the chief down, and he'd been blushing. Vibrantly.
Lenalee will forever tease him for that.
And Kanda had no hopes for being 'together' with Allen in the romantic sense... But Allen had other, very different plans. He'd gotten help from Lenalee, and he'd made Kanda some soba - courtesy of lessons from Jerry - and even wrote a letter professing his feelings. Still, he felt that the letter was cheesy and the soba wasn't enough. When he admitted this to Lavi, Lavi sent the message to his girlfriend, and Lenalee arranged a shopping trip.
On the eleventh, they went to town - Lenalee and Allen went their way, and Lavi and Kanda went another. Krory and Miranda had declined the shopping excursion, excusing themselves. As a result, they were forced to endure Lavi's ponderings on the two and if they were secretly conducting a relationship away from their eyes - until Lenalee stepped in.
Really, won't anyone step forward with the secret to Lenalee's power? Those at the Black Order would like to know!As a result, Allen purchased a surprisingly strong katana for Kanda - one that wouldn't suck away his life-force when he used it.
And then came Valentine's Day. As if to parallel the year before, Kanda found himself smartly rapping on Allen's door. Admittedly, he was nervous, and a bit fearful. He didn't exactly have the best of memories when it came to Valentine's Day. Especially not with that goddamn door.
"Yes?" Allen answered the door quickly. He blushed vibrantly when he saw it was Kanda, before opening the door wide. "Er, come in."
The gifts he'd procured were safely hidden, stowed under the bed, and he was fretting. Valentine's Day was supposed to be a day for lovers and whatnot! Pink, red, white, and all of the romantic notions people had were supposed to come out! And he'd gotten his lover a sword. Allen was mentally beating himself over the head with a frying pan that had eggs in it.
"...I br-" Kanda cut himself off, looking away as he carefully sat at the foot of Allen's bed.
"Hm?" Allen blinked, carefully checking to make sure that the blanket he'd thrown over the presents was still covering them. "Come again?"
"Er... I-I..." Kanda blew out, frustrated. Allen glanced up and grinned. He thought Kanda was adorable at moments like this, when they were alone, and the older boy would force himself to do or say something embarrassing, just for him.
"What is it?" the parasite-type exorcist asked innocently.
Kanda gave a few more valiant attempts, but finally gave up and simply muttered, "Here," before staring pointedly at his feet.
Allen recognized the small box. It was the same one from last year, wrapping and all. The one he'd never opened, but returned. He looked at Kanda, who still wouldn't meet his gaze.
"You didn't throw it away?" he said, voice shaking slightly.
"Of course not," the other boy said, still not meeting his gaze. "How could I bring myself to throw it away when it belongs to you?"
To Allen, it was more. Instead of just a simple present or whatnot, the fact that Kanda had kept it so long proved and symbolized the constant love that he'd harbored for him. He carefully set it on his desk.
"Hold on a second," he said, smiling happily. "I've got something for you, too."
Whatever the case, for the greater part, the exorcists were paired off... Well, some of them, anyways.
On the flip side, however, Komui became more... inventive, per say, as to his new robots and inventions. Fortunately, it wasn't the science and research department that got caught up in it, but poor, innocent, little, red-haired Lavi. One would think that Lenalee would step in, but to his dismay, she left him to his own resources. What? It was never said that she wasn't scary... And on top of that, the only person the machine seemed to lock onto was Lavi. Of course, when it began to interrupt their 'strike!' time, she intervened. Brutally.
However, it wasn't too far down the line that Miranda caught Reeve massaging Komui's shoulders in the office. Of course, the news spread like wildfire, and some rumors just happen to be self-fulfilling. That's right - Reeve and Komui ended up in a relationship, though both of them would be more likely to say it was just to get rid of stress. But when Lenalee finally got the chance to corner her brother - she'd sent Lavi to take care of Reeve, and he'd picked up quite a few things from the girl - she pulled the truth from both of them. They were utterly in hot, steamy, guy-on-guy love. Admittedly, she hadn't really wanted the details; she might've been a collector of all things involving yaoi and shonen-ai, but it didn't mean she wanted to know certain things about her brother or his lover.
Of course, they couldn't always partner up, so there were always changes in routine. When Allen and Kanda went without each other for too long, though, things tended to get a bit gloomier and more frightening at the headquarters, so Komui got into the practice of trying to at least allow them a little bit of time with each other. The akuma kept coming, and the exorcists kept fighting. The finders kept supporting and dying in turn, and the play between the Earl and the exorcists came to an end. A rather pretty end with lots of clouds and explosions and red liquidy stuff that most people consider to be blood, but could really probably eat through steel.
AN: And there's the end of that. Depending on how this is received, I might add an epilogue or something. Who knows? Perhaps an omake as to what exactly was Kanda's gift to Allen... Or how did he recieve Allen's gift? Ack. I'll have to start working on revisions at some point, too, but I'll mark them if they've been revised, as well as add a little note. Thanks for reading, and I really hope you enjoyed it. Feedback is wonderful! I won't improve if I don't know what to fix!