Title: 'To love an Akuma'

Pairing: Written for Kelley, H and S. Not sure they will want this, though. Lavi/Kanda, more than just one sided in my intentions. But really this is more of a double character study... Somewhat darkish piece.

Edit: To everybody out there reading this. I will be out of contact due to some health issues in the family for a looong while (1 month at least) will get back to writing and replying ASAP. Thanks for reading!

Warnings: Shounen-ai if you squint. Don't like? Don't read.

Beta: by Kelley (strychnon), who made this intelligible.

Disclaimer: D.Grayman not mine.

Kanda is very hard on other people. He will judge them harshly and he won't give an inch. Those who do not pull their weight he will feel morally obligated to chastise and menace into shaping up.

Kanda is not any kinder to himself. If he judges others lacking at any tiniest show of emotion or kindness (the Earl and his forces will use any softer feelings against you) he is ten times more severe where his own feelings come into play. Which is why he only lets Linalee get close. He really finds her amazingly beyond contempt, she is not dangerous.

The 'moyashi,' Kanda can almost like the boy. He is stupid yes and way too soft. But he is also dedicated and courageous. He takes risks with the missions Kanda doesn't allow himself. Risks he wish he could countenance. Because deep down he knows that the price he is paying for their victory is too steep.

His body, it is a given. It was lost the moment the first ink stained needle touched his skin back when he was little more than a lost child.

His feelings he has sacrificed with barely more thought. The pain, which accompanied the loss following each attempt to become closer to someone, having proved dissuasion enough.

His soul - that is something that Kanda can almost allow himself to regret. Whenever someone risks his life and loses the bet with destiny a tiny little frozen part of Kanda hurts and raves about the profound injustice of it all.

That doesn't mean that Kanda will ever let the Order down. No, he was taught all about duty at a young age, he doesn't forget. The mission comes first and if this means that the little part of Kanda that still feels anything has to cringe and rail at destiny, then so be it. It is inconsequential after all.

Kanda almost admires Lavi. Because the Bookman apprentice is similarly dedicated. He may hide it behind a genial friendly mask, but he is just as harsh a taskmaster on himself as Kanda is. Kanda is less secure about the Bookmen's goals, though. He feels they are not quite in line with the aim of the Church. He also has the sneaky impression that should it come to a choice between their lives and the mission they would cowardly choose their lives.

But Kanda is not introspective, nor all that smart he grudgingly admits to himself. So he had better concentrate on his duty and leave the determination of the ally status of Bookman and apprentice to his more intelligent superiors. His reaction to an obstacle on his road is to mow it down. This he feels would hardly be appropriate where two fellow exorcists are concerned. Oddly enough that consideration doesn't extend to the Moyashi, Krory, Miranda or Bookman the elder. (Linalee Kanda would never touch, he may be borderline suicidal but Komui has some way too interesting notions about unusual punishment for him to risk it.) But, as already mentioned, Kanda is not introspective so he puts such useless considerations behind himself.

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Lavi wouldn't quite agree on Kanda's view of himself. Kanda may suffer from tunnel vision and have the emotional maturity of a stone but he is not, in fact, all that stupid. He may not look for other, alternative solutions to pure unadulterated violence once he has determined that an obstacle needs removing. But then he has been made into the perfect killing machine and he is not supposed to think, feel, or look for alternatives. He is supposed to get pointed at the enemy and go off to destroy it.

Kanda is an artistically pleasing weapon constructed by his Master. A weapon which will destroy until its time has all run out and the time will come to fall to pieces. The perfect weapon. At times Lavi wonders if there is much of a difference between Kanda and an Akuma.

Lavi knows that General Tiedoll is probably more despicable than even Cross. He is not sure how to situate him on an evilness scale in relation to the Earl but he doesn't think the positioning would be likely to be complimentary, for either of them.

Lavi is a shrewd observer and he feels that, should Allen's eye ever enable him to see the souls of the living, then surely Kanda's would be almost as tortured as an Akuma's.

In spite of this he finds it comforting to know that Kanda still has a human heart somewhere behind his gruff exterior... and interior. Much as the Earl occasionally fails in the construction of his Akuma, giving rise to Second Levels who are not as bloodthirsty as desired, so has Tiedoll failed with his grumpy apprentice.

The Order's Sword, as the higher echelons are wont to call Kanda, will save unworthy Finders (very rare occurrence, which has nonetheless been documented twice already.) He will also send his companions away in order to try and save them from Noahs and other assorted dangers. That he has the habit of ensuring people's safety by using one of his best attacks on them is par for the course given his upbringing.

The fact that the sword waving, attacking and general berating of allies is done in order to protect them is more than enough for Lavi. Kanda is one of the good guys. The fact that a pissed off Kanda looks mightily sexy is an agreeable bonus.

Kanda may be to all practical extent an unfinished and sentimentally challenged Akuma, but that is all right with Lavi; he likes Yuu well enough as he is. Because he is the pen, recording the story of this conflict, to Yuu's sword. And Lavi's soul is a fragmented ruin to Kanda's frozen waste. Lavi would have it no other way. Because to change this would be to become less than himself.

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Kanda doesn't have time for senseless courtesies nor to hold the hand of anyone. He is working on a tight schedule. A schedule that grows shorter and shorter with each scratch, wound, and disembowelment. And Kanda has much he wants to accomplish, such as the destruction of the Earl who turned his country and his people into a charnel house of Akumas. He wants to get to a point in his life when he will never again be covered in blood. Even more, he wants to be able to look at people and know that they are just what they seem: poor senseless idiots and not weapons waiting to go off.

Kanda has much he wants to do before the words dead in action get written on his file. Kanda feels that if he could just see the end of the war maybe he could find the courage to feel something once more. Maybe he could grow close to someone, have friends, have an important person (and Lavi's name oddly comes to mind) to protect again.

So Kanda has no time. He is in a fight against the forces of the Earl, sure enough. But for him the fight he cannot allow himself to lose is that against time. He doesn't have time to waffle around and think things through. He is running against time and he needs to get to the end of the fight and see what awaits him there. As petals fall Kanda knows he has less time and his patience with everything grows also shorter. (And he becomes a health hazard to all and sundry, especially Lavi.)

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Lavi doesn't want the war to end because that end will also spell the final moment he will spend with the Order. The end of the war, will be the end of number 49 Lavi. And Lavi doesn't want to die.

Lavi wants to stay with his friends and above all he doesn't want to have to watch Yuu and feel nothing. (That Kanda is liked by the 49 different personalities Lavi has cumulated is nothing short of a miracle, but not a guarantee about the 50th feeling the same way.) Were Lavi to apply his much vaunted introspective powers to himself he might figure out that the shifting mosaic that is his soul is, for once, in agreement on the subject of Kanda. This surely should be seen as significant. But Lavi doesn't apply his knowledge of human nature to himself, for he is neither human, nor a part of the Chronicle.

And so Lavi hides his head (and his heart) under the sand like an ostrich and denies that the end of the War will ever come. His jokes and stories become funnier and funnier. (But Lavi is not laughing inside as the forces of the Earl dwindle and the end comes nearer.)