"When you come back, you're my boyfriend."
It's a tricky thing getting that out, gulping down the tightness in his throat and pushing out the words. And his partner in crime is scared. He's pale (he's always been so pale, like he is enemies with the sun). His color drains and leaves a precipitate of golden-brown freckles.
("You're ugly," he'd said to him about those when they first met.
"And that's none of your business, princess" had been his answer. And because they'd been fighting words in the first place, he had added, "Stuck-up bitch.")
"Yeah. Okay." He says, and waits for something else. But the other one in their pair of boyfriends (it was his idea anyways) has never even entertained the idea of being a romantic. He has nothing else.
He's doing this the only way he knows how. Clean and quick.
("Do not be cruel, Kanda-kun. Suffering is waste to the greatest degree." His sensei had told him as they watched koi flicker coyly in the garden pond.)
"I thought you didn't like me." Lavi almost protests. He jams his hands into his pockets and his new lover can see his distaste for all the trouble this will cause. It darts in his eye like the dark bodies of fleeing fish.
"You like me." Kanda breaks him, strong and fast-- lopping the head from his shoulders.
Lavi speaks with his hands although it can't possibly convey what he's imagining.
"And Yuu, the light is like this (sweeping wide circles), like a million candles, but lit in the broad daylight, it's that bright, and then it stays forever, until night, which is just a flash, it's that quick (clenching fists), not even real night, just this kind of grayness, like mist (waving)--"
"I don't care." Kanda says as he brushes his hair. The soft rasp of the bristles running across his scalp cuts into his boyfriend's gloomy, awkward silence.
Lavi had gone to Alaska in the middle of summer for his duties. It had been harsh, and untamed, and it had cut at him with waters that ran from mountains of ice and seared him with a sun bolder than he'd encountered anywhere in the world. He had loved it.
"All that sun was terrible for you." Kanda points out.
It's true. The sun up north is raw and enduring during the summer months. Lavi is blistered scarlet on every inch of exposed surface. The mosquitoes were vicious and Lavi's neck is decorated with a knobbly wreath of infected kisses.
"You're red all over. Like a lobster." Kanda stands to get a clearer look at him and the cascade of black hair falls to frame his graceful body. He is like a pagan idol with stone face poised downwards towards the lumpish red organ meats on his sacrificial altar.
("Only demons have red hair." Kanda had commented slyly to him.
"You've seen demons. You know that's not true." Lavi argued, exasperated. "Anyways, I don't think it's so insulting to be called a demon. They used to be human too, you know."
And later, when the dust of a direct hit came down off the roof in sliding puffs before their eyes, Lavi put an encouraging hand on Kanda's shoulders, sore from swinging two blades. They stood in the darkness, hidden like bats.
"You know, Yuu, Eliade wasn't half as bad as you. And Chomesuke—Sachiko—I could have loved her."
"Maybe she reminded you of me.")
"What's your problem, Yuu? I was being nice." One can tell that Lavi is straining to keep the disgust out of his tone.
"Why did you let yourself get like that?" Kanda's voice is hard. "Now what am I supposed to do with you?"
"I'm not a girl. My looks aren't for you." Lavi says softly. He surveys his boyfriend, ghostly like the blued banks of snow in an incomplete artic night, and his eyes clinging to a scrap of cool color before blackness. "The same for you."
Kanda grips the long hair he has been brushing every night since Lavi left
"What was your family like?" Kanda asks one day as Lavi forces him to relocate his King from a black square solid like a fortress to one bloodied like a battlefield.
Lavi gives him a levelheaded look with all the welcoming warmth of splinters. The curves of the bishop in his hand flare bright from the fire and in the cracks of his fingers are orange slices.
("I must have thought that I'd never see my parents again." Kanda announces one day.
"If I did, I never would have started dating a foreigner. I wouldn't have been able to put them through the shame of finding out. My fiancée, either. They were good to me."
"You wouldn't? Why not?"
"Lavi, there's some things you can't do to people."
"What was the girl's name again…?"
"I don't remember.")
"I told you…I don't like to talk about it." Lavi mumbles. There is a grandfather clock in the room and its adamant ticking and tocking whittles at Kanda's patience.
"Stop hiding things from me." Kanda grumbles as he scans the grid for sanctuary. He sends his King to another dangerous patch of red. "Why not?"
"Later. I'll tell you later." Lavi deliberates a moment before displacing a regal and elegantly tall piece with a stocky little castle with a crown of its own. "Checkmate."
- - -
Kanda isn't small. He trains to the point of sickening and someone like that hardens like cement into concrete; when he doesn't let up, muscles grow and he does too.
"Lucky Lavi," the other equipment types had nicknamed him in playful sourness. They didn't have the luxury of a weapon that got stronger and deadlier with a thought as it stayed light as foam. But, "So long as you're strong, who cares?" Lavi had overheard Kanda saying to Chakar Ribon. Kanda has never called him that.
"I have no shortcuts." Kanda gasps as he throws up again into a convenient bush, shaky and dripping with sweat. "Would you quit gawking at me, you freak!?" he shouts at Lavi when he stares wide-eyed. "I'm just vomiting, this is normal!"
He feels small though, the way he is just the right size if he hunches up standoffishly to fit under Lavi's chin.
"You smell like vomit." Lavi mutters.
"I know. Shut up. You don't have to hold me."
And just like that, Lavi makes up something on the spot about how he is Australian-born and was taken away from his part Caucasian, part Aborigine parents, only he ran away from his holders, and was found in wandering and starving in the desert by a little old man.
Kanda's reaction isn't exactly profound, but it's perfect. He spits. "That's awful. I'll help you find your parents someday and I'll hunt down the people who took you away." When Lavi leans in to kiss him, Kanda stops him with a "I probably taste like shit." He spits again.
What Lavi doesn't tell him was that it's because his heart has never beat faster than that moment of Kanda spitting up into the hedge and yelling at him.
It's not a lie, he'll make it true someday. It's not a lie when he will be telling Kanda this story all of their lives together.
(Lavi went to find Kanda after Lenalee finally got tired of him and screamed at him to stop being a jerk.
She told him to never lay a finger on the Finders again. They were all fighting a difficult fight and with his selfish, disrespectful attitude he was as good as offering the Order's throat to the enemy. He yelled right back that a weak-willed hypocrite who was willing to kill herself to escape duty had no right to talk. After the consequent slapping and some apologies all around, Lavi said:
"Why so extreme anyways? I'm the only one left who isn't scared of working with you."
"I don't like this place, Lavi. I don't like how it operates. Lenalee acts all righteous now, but a few years ago they chained her up so she couldn't run away from her kidnappers. She knows what this place is."
"They let Komui stay by her side though, didn't they?" Lavi tried to reason with him "Kidnap is too strong of a word, her parents knew--"
"Our kidnappers, Lavi! Why do you think there are so few Exorcists? Why can Komui break protocol to baby his sister? Who in their right mind would give up their lives for this, unless there was something that could force them? My family thinks I'm dead. I don't know where they are. No one told me anything about akuma taking over Japan, except 'It's too late now'. Have you heard of Suman Dark? How they bribed him to work for us by paying for his sick daughter's medical bills? And now Lenalee wants to play holy army just because Komui's here? While we're still looking for kids to steal? It makes me sick."
Lavi stared out into the wide sky. He had known that, of course, but he hadn't thought anyone else did. But if Kanda knew, everyone else must too.
"But that's the only way we can get exorcists. And we need help. I don't know why God made things so inconvenient, but the Order must have some official stance about it being for the greater good--" he calmed Kanda with a generic reply.
"How can you say that like it's nothing?!" Kanda shouted at him. "Isn't that what the government said when they took you from your parents? How is this any different?! How can you stand being told we 'have' to do this?!"
Lavi hadn't bothered to remember that for a while. Taken by surprise, he was stunned to momentary slow-wittedness.
"I…I don't know. It's not the same, right?" he stammered, hard-pressed to follow up smoothly on something from a chapter in his life that had been largely improvised. Kanda turns away from him, repulsed.
"You make me sick too. God, why is everyone around here so stupid?")
("Again? You're such a whore." Kanda laughs at him as he collects the innocence from Lavi's hotel table.
Lavi frantically stuffs the girl into her bodice as she shrills a string of insulted obscenities in a Mediterranean dialect. She gapes at Kanda's knowing smirk in her direction.
"Shut up and help me get her out of here.")
"Hey…come on, don't fall asleep…you love me, don't you? Yeah...you love me."
"Shut up, ugly." he murmurs, threading their fingers together.
"Hmph. Bitchy little princess…"
It takes a while. They're like two magnets. When they're close they stick like it's the only natural thing to do, but when they're separated the other might as well not exist at all for all it matters. Once they split up for their respective maddening senior MIA exorcists, they both go through what feels like entire lifetimes of desperate fights and Noah-assassinated team members. And the other doesn't know about it.
It's a fairly understandable thing for two people that are as distinctly self-absorbed as they are. At least, Lavi finds that understandable.
Kanda isn't too picky about the reasoning. He might not even agree. But he nods along anyways because by now he knows how important it is to Lavi to be right, and going along with him makes things go a lot faster.
Which might be why they ended up like this first place, but he can't see how it could have gone on as long as it did if he hadn't figured that out.
They stand side by side, battle-worn and slightly sheepish as their black-clothed bodies make them vanish into the cold night air save for their pale faces. They look at each other without panic, the two of them lit from a purple backdrop of a glowing cube.
"Huh. You're not as ugly as when we started out." Kanda smiles a little.
Lavi laughs and rubs his nose; it's true, while they were together he lost his last childhood freckle. Kanda never really changed physically, but Lavi can't help but think he was a lot less prissy than usual about lending a hand when it came to that akuma goliath.
"And you're not naïve enough to be a princess anymore. Even if you're as mean as one."
"Meaner." Kanda agrees. "I got meaner. You should be glad it's over."
"Aw, I never thought that it was such a big deal."
A few moment's silence.
"Ready to go?"
(And as they watch many floors of ivory white tower rain down, an inversion of their ebony black, they are fascinated by the imitation sun beyond. )
Featuring Tsundere Kanda! If you don't know what that means, look it up.
Gaaahhh don't ask me I know it doesn't make any sense. I just wanted to write a break-up story between Lavi and Kanda. I think this'll be my last for this particular couple for a while. I love them to bits but my ideas in reserve for them is currently bone-dry. How appropriate that this not an enduring romance, then. Anyways, I got a Noah Family request, so I'll try my hand at that next, I think. Thanks for reading.
Other little note:
Lavi's fake past is based on the stolen generations of Australia, in which the government confiscated the children of Aborigines. The reasoning provided was that Aborigines were dying out and needed to be protected from themselves and be taught culture. At the time there was also literature about maintaining racial purity by diluting Aboriginal blood through enough intermarriage, in keeping with then-popular Social Darwinism ideology. The last time the practice was observed was some time in the 1970's. To this day the issue is not resolved because the Australian government still waffles over taking an official apologetic stance.