My last story as a sixteen-year-old...sniff...
I make a big deal about birthdays, perhaps because I share mine with someone very special...my twin brother, whom I love very much...or perhaps because I don't really like getting older...sixteen was such a good year in comparison to the others...
Anyways...I love LaviXLenalee! Very much! I imagine this taking place in episode 43 (I think) when the perspective moves from Lavi and Lenalee on their way to the Bookman to Allen and Krory fighting Lulubell...so this is what they skipped, I suppose.
by green see-through ghosts
If Lavi sounding serious wasn't enough to throw Lenalee Lee one hell of a twister, his forced smile when she looked to him was.
"Lavi?" she asked guiltily, letting the curtain fall back over the carriage window as she folded her hands in her lap. After all, he had done all he could to comfort her; it wasn't polite to show so much consternation.
"You're not really worried about those two, right?" He leaned forward a little, his uncovered eye a slit with masked humor, and looked at her closely. To closely, Lenalee thought. If Komui was there…
"No!" she said quickly, and Lavi raised an eyebrow. "I just- well…it's hard to think of anything else," she admitted, glancing down at her hands, so white against the rumpled black skirt. "And when I think of them-"
"-You worry," he finished for her, and that fake smile slipped away to be replaced by one more real. "Then I'll have to make you think of something else," he said in a cheerful, matter-of-fact tone, then went on without pause.
"Did you know that Noise Marie is a closet pervert?"
"Do you know him?" the red-head laughed as he leaned back against the opposite seat, crossing his arms behind his head.
"Well…I know of him," Lenalee admitted. "He is one of Kanda's teammate, right?"
"Right," Lavi said. "Kanda's perverted teammate."
"I swear, I am telling the truth," Lavi said; but, the grin on his face spoke of nothing but trickery. "Do you want to know why?" he asked. Before Lenalee could answer with an emphatic no, he rushed on. "Of course you do. Everyone likes these kinds of stories."
"Your vocabulary seems restricted this evening, Lenalee," he said, a sly tone sliding across his template smile, and the girl blushed, despite herself, before looking away.
"If it makes you happy to tell the story," she said coolly, tucking her legs up underneath her before pulling the blankets to her chin, "then go ahead."
"Alright!" Lavi exclaimed as happily as if she'd just told him that World History Day was going to be in his honor that year. "The story of how I discovered that Noise Marie is a dirty pervert will begin now!"
"Lavi!" Lenalee snapped, glaring at the older boy as she crossed her arms firmly over her chest. "You don't need to be so rude!"
"Hey, you can't sugar-coat these things!" Lavi replied forcefully. "The truth is the truth, Lenalee. If you change history to make it more comfortable, sooner or later, we begin believing a lie." He lowered his arms and crossed them across his own chest, mirroring her posture and expression. "For instance," he continued, eyes narrowed in exasperation, much like her own, "if I was to say that this was not a childish stance, you might very well continue thinking of the pose as being mature, possibly mother-like. And that would be a lie, Lenalee, because it is childish. Wouldn't you rather know that?"
"You are changing the subject," Lenalee said crossly without uncrossing her arms.
"No, I'm illustrating a point," Lavi replied.
"I don't pose," Lenalee said irritably, even though many of the moves she'd made in her sixteen years had been calculated for reaction and response. No need to let him know that as a single female in the world of the male, sometimes, moves had to be calculated, for protection as much as comfort. "And I don't care if it is childish," she continued. "I'm being no more immature than you."
"Really?" he laughed. "Is telling the truth immature?"
"No," she sighed, "but sometimes, you must tell the truth with tact, Lavi."
"I must Tactfully Tell the Truth?"
Lenalee resisted the smile that tugged at her lips and nodded a single time.
"Now that is something the Bookman has never taught me," Lavi said slowly. "Tell me, Lenalee, how does one Tactfully Tell the Truth?"
It was Lavi's turn to resist a smile, and he did it, though it was obviously a struggle.
"I'm afraid someone like me has a little trouble understanding tact," he said cheerfully, stretching his legs out in front of him, crossed at the ankles. Lenalee snorted; his words were practically the understatement of the century. "Could you explain it to me, Lenalee?"
The bright-haired girl shook her head firmly, lifted her index finger in a reciting manner, and began to lecture, eyes slipping closed as if she was trying hard to remember.
"Tact is not explainable," she said, lips moving as if by certain rules ingrained in her mind; despite her first sentence, she went on to explain it without pausing. "It is something that you must focus on, but not too much. You can't let it affect the truth, but you must use it to determine how you tell the truth." She cracked an eye open and glanced at Lavi. "Does that help?"
"Not much," he said with a grin. "I think you'll need to do better."
She closed her eye again and said something else, but Lavi missed most of it, since he was too busy enjoying her face. Not in the Noise-Marie-Perverted-Way (since his perversion was usually the vocal form, if you catch his drift) but rather in the way that she was here, and safe, and at least adequately happy for the time being. Lenalee wasn't one of those things that Lavi understood (at least not very well), but the teen figured that it was something that would come with time.
"-it's something that is subtle but changes the entire tone of a conversation. It doesn't need to be the first thing on your mind, but it must be very close to the first thing."
A lot of time, to be sure.
"Ah," Lavi said with a sage nod, rubbing his thumb and forefinger across his chin with the same practiced air of wisdom he'd seen the Bookman use countless times. "I see."
"No, you don't," Lenalee stated, opening both eyes and studying him with a skeptical air. "Lavi, say something critical."
"Hmmm? I thought that the point of tact was to not-"
"Just say something mean!"
"Okay!" Lavi exclaimed, amused, though all he showed her was some fake, weirded-out confusion. "Ummm…" He rolled his eyes to the ceiling in thought. "Gee, Lenalee, I'm not so good at these last-minute demands."
"Okay, okay," Lavi said, lifting his hands passively. "Ummm…Allen-kun is a bean-sprout? With Innocence? And hair?"
"Allen-kun is an Exorcist of a slighter build than most," Lenalee countered almost immediately.
"No need to get defensive, Lenalee-"
"No," she said, smiling as she shook her head. "I said the same thing as you did, but I used tact."
"Does that mean he would be angry with me, but not you?" Lenalee nodded, and Lavi tilted his head to one side, studying her with one critical eye before shaking his head. "I think that's just because you're prettier than me, Lenalee."
"That wasn't tactful," she said firmly, and as far as Lavi could tell, she entirely ignored his compliment as she cast out her mind in search of another example. Or perhaps, he thought with a bout of especially self-depreciative thought, she just didn't think that being told she was prettier than him was a compliment.
She continued speaking, but Lavi paid no attention beyond letting her voice wash over him in that reassuring, comforting way. Her heard something about, "offense is the number-one cause of failed alliances," followed shortly by, "wars have been avoided by carefully-used tact." He nodded, as if he understood, or was even listening, and allowed his uncovered-eye to focus vaguely on her face.
She was looking much better; her breaths were coming deeper, her skin was regaining some color, and her eyes were much brighter than they had been in a few days. Perhaps she didn't realize it, but Lavi did, and he rejoiced in the fact that she was healing. Maybe it was something he'd done, and maybe it wasn't, and maybe the Bookman wouldn't even need to heal her, and maybe she was just resilient. But whatever it was that made her safe again -- out of sickness, out of danger, out of anything that threatened the girl in front of him -- that thing made him happy.
And in this happiness, perhaps because of it, without hardly realizing he was doing it, Lavi slipped forward off the bench, closed the space between he and the jabbering Lenalee, and pressed his lips against hers. The kiss was soft, gentle, and slow; not too long, just long enough to shut her up. But Lavi, despite appearances, was no pervert, and he moved back after a few moments, kneeling just far enough away from her so that he could see the surprise in her eyes.
Lenalee was silent for a moment, her eyes wide, cheeks flushed faintly red. Lavi waited for her to speak, but as the silence drew on -- the carriage rolled, the horses trotted, their vital breaths came -- he began to wonder if he'd crossed the line a bit too far.
"…That was not tactful," she finally said, almost reproachfully, as she looked down at him. In response, he reached out and cupped her cheek in one hand, fingers flat against her smooth skin, and tilted his head to one side as he smiled.
"Like I said, Lenalee, you can't sugar-coat these things." A smile twisted her own lips, and Lenalee laughed, a girlish giggle that blocked out the jingling of the carriage wheels and the thud of the horse's hooves.
"I hate to imagine how you'd sugar-coat that," she said practically, lifting both her hands to pull his one away from her face. But she did not push him away; merely held his hand in the air between them, fingers light against his own. "Really, Lavi," she said slowly, and he felt his heart began the long fall towards rejection, "you should take tact seriously."
His hear regained the fallen feet, and several more.
"Take Tact Serio-"
"Oh, be quiet," she sighed, and her fingers tightened around his, as if she could hurt him through the movement. But Lavi only laughed and pulled her hands toward him, bumping his lips against her white knuckles as he looked up at her, eye shining mischievously.
"And you should consider being more open, Lenalee," he offered in retaliation. "You're so tactful that often the meaning is lost in the words. You're too careful."
Lavi could see that she didn't understand -- or agree, for that matter, so he continued.
"Tact is…like a curtain," Lavi said slowly; not because he'd thought about the analogy, but because he caught sight of the heavy green curtains hanging on the window behind her, and the resemblance struck him suddenly. "It can be useful sometimes, but at other times, it must be pulled back in order to see what's real."
Lenalee was silent for a long moment, but she did not pull her hands away.
"So," Lavi continued, grinning huge enough to dispel any remnant of a solemn attitude, "maybe you can teach me some tact, and I'll teach you how to be more direct."
"How?" she asked curiously, frowning a little as she glanced down at their joined hands, expecting something serious and perhaps difficult. No need to bring up the number of times that she'd thought the same thing about his nonchalance; no need to bring up that they might be more alike than she originally thought.
"Simple." Lavi grinned. "I'll tell you how I found out that Noise Marie is a sick pervert."
Hehehe...I have plans for above story...AKA "How Lavi Found Out That Noise Marie is a Sick Pervert." :D And always remember -- reviews equal love!