Thank you all for waiting VERY patiently for this chapter. Exams are finally over, updates are going to be faster! Yay!

Presenting chapter 4 to you, hope you'll enjoy it.


Sunday

"Hn…" Allen groggily opened his eyes, his vision a blur. He felt as if he had slept for two whole days.

He blinked in confusion as he realized that he was lying on a large bed with extra-soft pillows, and a warm blanket fully covered him, making him feel comfortable and snug.

Hastily, the fifteen-year-old sat up, and was baffled to see expensive furniture, paintings and ornaments all around him.

Where am I? he thought as he scanned the unfamiliar room again and again, starting to feel alarmed, if not frightened.

"No, I can't, stop…"

Allen nearly jumped out of bed. He darted his eyes to the source, and realized Lavi was at the bedside, his head resting on his arms, fast asleep.

"La-Lavi!?" Allen exclaimed in surprise. If you looked closer, there was a huge, thick book with red binding squashed under his arms.

"Mmmnnn…uh…?" Lavi's exposed eye flew open. "Oh hey, you're awake…I mean, morning…had a good sleep?" he lifted his head, yawning and stretching his arms. He gazed sleepily at Allen for a few seconds before his eye grew wide.

"Wha! What happened to your hair at the back? They're all standing up like Finxl Fantxsy!"

"Ah!" Allen started combing his hair frantically with his hand, his face red with embarrassment. Lavi watched him amusedly.

"Allen." Allen turned his attention towards Lavi, a little taken back that someone actually called him by his first name instead of other horrible ones. It was the first time he saw Lavi's hair let down, covering his mysterious right eye. He actually looked kinder and more natural this way.

"Your name's 'Allen', right?" Lavi said as he took out a thick stack of papers.

"Hey, those are…"

"Your bills?" Lavi inquired as he scanned through them. "Romane Conti (1)…Chivas Regal (2)…expensive dines and pubs and what? Women!? Woah, I never expected you to be this indulgent, Allen Walker."

"Those are not mine! They are Sir Cross's!!" Allen said furiously as he tried grabbing the stack of papers from Lavi.

"Course not." Lavi grinned as he pulled them away from Allen's clutches just in time. "Anyways, you won't need these anymore."

To Allen's shock and horror, Lavi started ripping them up into bits and pieces. As if reading the trembling boy's mind, Lavi assured Allen, saying, "Don't worry, I paid for them."

Allen stared blankly Lavi for a few seconds, before he managed to utter, "You did…?"

"Yeah. You must have had a hard time yesterday, what with all those money and an important-looking suitcase stolen. But don't worry, a good friend of mine is working on retrieving it. All I need is details from you."

Allen could not believe what he was hearing, but he managed to reply, "It is a black suitcase with some sort of emblem on it…and I was told to deliver it to Mr. um…Malcom.C.Leverrier."

"Oh." for a second, Allen saw Lavi's lively emerald-green eye dim, turning cold and emotionless. Just for a mere second. His eyes could be playing tricks on him.

"So." Lavi snapped the book shut. "Here's the deal. Today you shall be my guest-of-honor, Allen. And I'm pretty sure you already know my name but just for the sake of being formal." he extended his hand.

"Lavi Bookman. Some call me 'Junior', too. Pleased to meet you, Allen Walker." he smiled warmly.

Allen blinked and stared at the blankly for a while before he shook it, his left hand well-hidden from view.

"Right, we better get you changed out of those pajamas first…"

Lavi was interrupted by knockings on the door.

"Come in." he said.

A young maid not much older than Allen came in, carrying a broom.

"Um, Master, lunch is ready for both you and… the guest." she stared awkwardly at Allen for a while before Lavi coughed and she hastily diverted her attention.

"Alright. Could you also bring up a set of clothes which I ordered from my room? You can find them on my bed."

"Okay… I mean yes, Master." she turned to leave when she tripped over her broom, and was later found swearing quite loudly before she excused herself and left.

"She's new." Lavi explained. Allen nodded, indicating that he understood.

"What's wrong, Allen? I'm sorry about my employee's attitude towards you." Lavi seated himself at the edge of the bed as he eyed Allen concernedly.

"It's not that. I'm sorry for causing you so much trouble." Allen apologized. He felt guilty for sleeping in a house that belonged to not just anyone but Lavi's, furthermore till noon and later get treated to lunch.

"Huh? You aren't troubling me at all, Allen. In fact, I'm actually glad doing this." Lavi's lips stretched into a broad smile as he started ruffling Allen's hair. Allen felt both relieved and startled hearing this and eased up a little as Lavi started telling him jokes and stories until the clothes arrived.

XXX

Allen was given new clothes to wear and was served a huge lunch (to his delight) and he ate like he had never eaten before. Lavi admired him more as not only was he polite in nature, he had table manners too, even though he ate heaps of food at one go. Furthermore, he would listen attentively to whatever stories or jokes he told.

Usually, it was the reverse in school. People he knew or even strangers would always approach him (before he could even approach anyone) and they either start ranting or gossiping, and out of sincerity Lavi would listen to them and often gave feedback. They did not realize, however, that they never really gave Lavi a chance to talk.

Lavi was not particularly bothered by this, but sometimes he wished someone would at least listen. In the past, he had haunting thoughts that he was some sort of a 'tool' to gain popularity but as he grew older, he settled his mind once and for all that that was pure nonsense.

They were in Lavi's spacious yet simple room now, just having finished an apple and raisin dip pie. They sat in silence on Lavi's huge bed, Allen, with Lavi's permission, fiddled with a pink soft toy bunny with puffy cheeks and a tongue cheekily sticking out. Allen felt that it was odd for someone like Lavi to own it.

"Its name is Yoshi." Lavi said as Allen passed the bunny back to him. "Yu-chan made it for me."

"Yu…?"

"Yep. He is my childhood friend, who went to study abroad when we were twelve. It was a farewell gift from him, although he insisted that it was trash which he wanted to discard." Lavi smiled at the memory. "I miss him a lot."

"Was he nice?" Allen asked.

"Maybe." Lavi shrugged. "He is this tough guy who would always throw a sour look at everyone and never lets his guard down. He's not so bad once you get to know him. He taught me how to fight, too. I was shocked when I found out that someone er…manly and destructive like him to be excellent in sewing and art, but I guess it's not surprising since he lived with Mr. Tiedoll when he was here."

"He lived with our art teacher?" Allen gasped.

"Yeah, Mr. Tiedoll was his father's friend." Lavi chuckled. "Which reminds me…"

Lavi went over to a wooden drawer and took out a strip of red cloth, and leant over to Allen and tied a neat ribbon at his shirt's collar. It suited well with his white shirt and navy blue vest. Allen blushed lightly as he looked at the ribbon.

"You look so much better." Lavi grinned, patting his shoulder. An anxious and puzzled look crossed Allen's face.

"Lavi, why are you this nice to me?" Allen questioned.

"Why not? You're my guest-of-honor." Lavi replied as if this was obvious.

"But I'm… weird." Allen continued painfully. "I have white hair at this age… and this scar..."

"But I like your hair." Lavi emphasized. Allen did not look convinced.

"It was the most beautiful thing under the starlight…" Lavi murmured as he absent-mindedly lifted locks of Allen's hair and let them fall. Allen's heart skipped a beat when he heard that.

"Anyways, I don't judge a book by its cover and personally, I felt that you are a wonderful person. And it's amazing that you got to study in this school through scholarship and that you are studying in the same year as me even though you are two years younger.(Lavi is seventeen and Allen is fifteen in this story)"

Allen nodded, feeling relieved. But this relief vanished immediately when Lavi asked him about his left hand.

Allen covered it nervously with his right hand, seeing that the mitten was gone.

"I know it's personal, but do you mind if I take a look at it?" Lavi asked.

"NO!" Allen shouted, his eyes full of fear as Lavi edged over and reached out his hand. Lavi pulled back his hand and pleaded once more.

After much consideration, Allen slowly lifted his right hand from his left and explained quietly to Lavi that his whole left arm was paralyzed, so Lavi had to move over to his left in order to see it.

Lavi did not do that, he boldly reached out and lifted it. Allen looked away; knowing fully that Lavi would surely reject him after seeing it. Lavi widened his eye when he saw the bloody red hand with long black nails. It was full of wrinkles and they were concentrated particularly on a cross-shaped crystal engraved in it. He had to admit that it was the ugliest, most revolting and grotesque thing he had ever seen in his entire life.

An awkward silence hung between them. Lavi stared and stared at it, not knowing what to say. Finally, Allen broke into tears. He wanted to pull his left hand away but could not, since it was paralyzed. This was it. He was rejected, despised by the nicest person he had ever known and probably his first friend.

He was caught off-guard when Lavi pulled him into a tight hug. Allen sobbed silently, gritting his teeth as he tried wiping his tears away with all his might. Shocked, confused and above all, relieved and happy. These mix of emotions swept over him as he felt warmth.

"You went through too much." Lavi murmured, as he rubbed Allen's back soothingly.

Was it his imagination? Allen felt something wet on his shoulder. This small patch of dampness was warm, but grew cold in an instance. It was made by a tear. Did Lavi just shed a tear?

End of chapter 4/continued in chapter 5


(1) -- Romane Conti: The Romane Conti is a rare wine that has carved a niche for itself along the years. At over fifteen hundred dollars a bottle, it no longer has anything to prove. Consistently, the Romane Conti fetches prices around the thousand dollar mark no matter the vintage. (Source/top10/entertainment/52btop10list.html)

(2) -- Chivas Regal: Chivas Regal is one of the best selling premium whiskies in the world, available in over 200 countries. (Source: en./wiki/ChivasRegal)


After writing and re-reading this I felt that both Allen and Lavi were out of character and this chapter was a bit rushed. I apologize for that.

It has been decided that the school's name is Crown Academy! Thanks a bunch for all your suggestions and support! :D

Special thanks to: Dgm-yoai-lover, KinKitsune01, AnimeFanAmber , seaturtlesrox , YugiKitten, Ask the Lonely, BlueFox of the Moon, SakuraKissy, DarkDragonRhapsody, Kiminaru, Kiracookies, SweetDevilzEyez, Miwa, Arid-Existence and all subscribers (P.S Sorry if I get any of your names wrong)

Please review, they are greatly appreciated!

-Thank you for reading!! ;D -


D.Gray-man (c) Katsura Hoshino