Author's Note:

Another action-packed week ahead of me... so before that, I give you chapter 3...

OC warning: I will introduce in this chapter an original character so for those who hate OC's, this is a warning... XD

UPDATE: beta-ed! Also made a few additions to smooth things out.

Chapter 3: Take two?

The crowd burst into cheers and applause as Lavi and the band ended their last song for the night. He grinned widely at them and he saw Allen and Lenalee doing the same.

"Thank you! You're all awesome tonight!" Allen's voice was amplified on top of the loud voices of their wild audience. They went down the stage and tried to pass through the thick crowd that moved toward them. It took them a while to remove themselves from the dance floor and into the vacant room that they made into their 'dressing room'.

"Good work guys! They absolutely love all of our songs," Lenalee told Allen and Lavi as they sat down the classroom chairs in exhaustion. They mostly did covers of popular songs and gave them their own twist, but they also a few originals.

Allen beamed. "That was great! I knew they'd be supportive but not that supportive."

Lavi grabbed a bottle of water from the table and took a drink. Allen and Lenalee watched him as silently emptied the bottle and put it down the table.

"Are you alright?" Lenalee asked looking at him in worry. There was no response. Lavi stared at his shoes intently while quietly tapping them on the floor.

"Lavi?" Allen called him loudly.

"What?" Lavi said snapping back into the physical realm. "What were you saying?" he asked cheerfully.

"Lenalee and I were just talking about how our show was a success, but you seemed to be in another world. Are you alright?" Allen asked lightly.

Lenalee nodded in agreement. Lavi looked at them both as if they offended him and said, "Am I really that loud of a person that you have to think that there is something wrong when I'm silent?"

That made them laugh. "But seriously though, you've been somewhat spaced-out since before the party. And yes Lavi, something is definitely wrong if you are that silent," Allen said.

"Your words wound me deep, as good as your intentions are for inquiring... too honestly about my well-being. No worries, my friend. I am perfectly fine," Lavi said dramatically.

The truth was that Lavi was bothered by something. By someone. He didn't know why but somehow, he found himself half-hoping to see Kanda walk in late to the party while they were on stage. How can he not come? Every high school student in school went. Even the geeks came! Lavi didn't like to have stereotypical view of things but really, not attending the school's opening party is like chucking back Santa's gift to his face on a Christmas Eve. It's in every teenager's nature to want to do this sort of thing...

"Good to know that you're okay," Lenalee said.

"And that you actually do have your moments of silence," Allen added jokingly.

Lavi grinned at them both. "Sure." There is something about him...

Kanda stood in the middle of a dark room unmoving and with his eyes closed. He could feel the other person walking around him slowly.

"You hold such high principles and possess the discipline that would have made Marie cry. I thought better of you, Kanda but it seems I was wrong," a low voice said quietly in Kanda's ear. He could feel his hot breath on his bare shoulder and he knew he's in for a rough night.

Kanda remained silent. If he was feeling any fear right then, no one would be able to tell. Except maybe this person.

A searing pain burned Kanda's back as he felt a wooden stick hit him. He fell down to his knees but he quickly stood again as though nothing happened.

"Despite what I told you, you still blindly do things because of your emotions."

There was a swishing sound before Kanda was back on the ground but this time feeling the hard wooden floor of the dojo against his bandaged back. A foot weighed heavily against his chest preventing him from standing up.

"Master Tiedoll told us to behave so as to not stand out. You do know what that means right?"

Kanda's breathing was labored and harsh when he answered "Yes".

"I don't know what he saw in you but I think you're becoming rebellious. Overconfident. Just because he's putting up with everything you do. I really believe that stricter methods will do you good. He's too soft on you," the voice said before kicking Kanda's side forcefully.

Kanda muffled the pain with shut eyes and a soundless groan. A slap in his face made him disoriented. He could feel blood trickling down his chin when a hand grabbed his face by the chin. He remained silent but he was cursing inside.

"So tell me, what did the kid do to you to make you disobey a straight command from our master?" Even in the darkness, Kanda was sure that the other person was sneering at him.

"He insulted me," Kanda answered simply and received another slap at the other side of his face.

Lavi was the first one in the classroom. He took off the strap of his bag while walking straight to the backmost table beside the window, he paused. He looked at his favorite spot and then at the table beside it where he was forced to sit when Kanda stole his on the first day. He put his bag down on it, leaving the one beside the window vacant.

We might have another round of fight if I try stealing his seat.

The minutes went by fast and soon, almost everyone was already there except for Kanda.

"Hey Lavi! Nice performance last night," said a boy seated near the front.

"Thanks," Lavi said.

Two more classmates joined in the conversation, commending Lavi and his band for the last night's party. Lavi didn't feel like talking right then so he was ecstatic when the teacher finally walked in.

He raised his hand. "I'm not feeling well, sir. May I go to the infirmary?" His classmates just smiled knowing full well that Lavi was pulling the old man's leg.

The teacher, a fat man with graying hair and beard, looked annoyed. He lazily put down his books and a big map on the table and looked around before finally looking at Lavi. "You're sick?" he asked with a voice laced with sarcasm.

"Yes sir. It must be the cold air last night," Lavi lied convincingly. He really didn't usually skip classes but for some reason he just plainly felt lazy. History was something he's very good at anyway so he might as well skip it. At least for today.

"Okay, go," the teacher said with a bored expression while silently cursing the boy's good academic performance. He turned to the class. "You see? That's why I was against that opening party," the teacher told the class giving the word 'party' a mocking tune. "Young people should spend their—"

"Sir, I'm not feeling well either!" another boy raised his hand. "I think I'm going to throw up in the boy's WC."

"Really, you can do better than that Adams," he said looking at the boy with narrowed eyes. "I will give you a copy of tomorrow's pop quiz so feel free to step out the classroom."

"No sir. I think I'm feeling very good now," Adams said and retook his seat.

"Anyone still feeling sick?" the teacher asked confidently.

"I still do sir," Lavi said.

"Of course. Go on," the teacher said grudgingly.

In the end, Lavi had nowhere to go but the infirmary. He idled around for some time in the corridors trying to pass the time but soon, he got bored. Deciding to sleep in one of the beds, Lavi headed for the infirmary and decided to pretend to be sick. He walked to the direction of the said place, whistling as he did. He could always say that its just fatigue from all the school work pressure, maintaining his grades for his scholarship and all that.

"Excuse me but I'm not feeling well. Can I have one of the beds?" Lavi asked as he entered the room. His eyes widened. There in front of the empty nurse's desk was Kanda.

It took Lavi a few seconds to recover and put back his wide grin. Kanda ignored him.

"Howdy," Lavi greeted cheerfully as he took a seat beside Kanda.

"Tch, what are you doing here?" Kanda asked, not sounding curious at all.

"Don't worry. The bruises you gave me hardly hurt. I'm here because I want to sleep," Lavi explained.

"Like I care about your injuries. Maybe you are lucky if you're not in pain," Kanda said.

"Seems so," Lavi agreed happily when he noticed a cut on the other's lower lip. "What's that? Wait, don't tell me you're here because—"

"Kanda-san, here are some mild pain killers," said the nurse as she emerged from the door. Kanda hastily took the them and stood heading for the door. Lavi grabbed his wrist and he noticed Kanda's face mildly contorted in pain.

"Let go," he commanded.

"What is this?" Lavi asked tightening his grip. Kanda's face remained straight so he decided to roll up the long white sleeve.

What the... Angry markings and some bruises ran along the length of the pale skin. Kanda quickly withdrew his arm and unrolled his sleeve. He dashed out of the infirmary.

"Can I do anything for you?" the nurse asked when she suddenly reappeared at the table after returning the box of painkillers.

"Umm... no thanks," Lavi said quickly before going after Kanda. "Hey! Wait up! Where are you going?"

"Fuck off" was Kanda's reply.

"What happened to you? Why didn't you come to the party last night?" Lavi continued as he caught up with him.

"None of your business. Fuck. Off."

"Really? But you know, I vaguely remember you saying something about being beat up because you've beaten me up," Lavi said in a voice that sounded too innocent.

For a moment, Lavi thought that he finally got through him but he was wrong. "My injuries are of my own doing. You have nothing to do with it."

Lavi put a hand on Kanda's shoulder and he received a death glare. "Look, maybe we started off on the wrong foot but that doesn't mean that we have to be like this. Let's start over, shall we?"

Kanda was looking at him with a stare that says 'Are you serious? Get the hell away from me or you'll lose a limb'. "Starting off on the wrong foot is a very big understatement forwhat you have done, you idiot. I curse the day I met you and I feel sick just by seeing your face. Now will you please let me be unless you seriously have a death wish?"

Lavi felt something inside throb painfully but he shrugged it off. "I want everything to be fine with us. I'm not very used to people hating me," Lavi said.

"It won't take a lot of your time. Just don't bother me anymore. Act like you don't see me and I'll do the same. No need to fix anything," Kanda said and continued walking with an air that the conversation was over. Lavi followed suit.

"Why are you still following me?" Kanda asked annoyed.

"Of course there is a need to fix this," Lavi started but Kanda shot him a look that told him to shut up. You are my first kiss after all... Wait... HOLY CRAP! I got my first kiss from a BOY!

Lavi looked like he was about to collapse at his sudden realization while Kanda hastened his pace without the slightest hint of idea of what was running through the redhead's brain. He'd rather be very far away when the redhead lost it to whatever ideas he's having in his intrapersonal session. Why am I even talking to this idiot?

Cold water ran down his throat taking with it the small spherical tablets. Kanda inhaled deeply closing his eyes, waiting for the painkillers to take effect.

"Quit making that face or better yet, get lost," Kanda said to Lavi who followed him to the school cafeteria. "Why the fuck are you still following me?"

Truthfully, Lavi didn't know why he was tailing Kanda either. He was lost. He wasn't particularly thinking of a destination in mind but somehow, Kanda's straight back was nice to follow. "I don't know."

"What the hell? You're useless!" Kanda said irritated.

"Hey, Yu," Lavi said.

A vein popped in Kanda's temple at the mention of his given name. He grabbed Lavi's shirt with both hands and banged him against the wall. "How did you- Who gave you the right to call me by my given name, bastard?"

Lavi couldn't believe it but he was actually feeling a hint of pleasure in seeing the other boy burst with anger. This is way better than history class. He saw Kanda's first name at the record the nurse was holding earlier and he can't resist using it to call Kanda just to see how he would react. He was surprised that the feeling of fear was actually slowly dissipating and being replaced by amusement. "No one in particular. But that is your given name right? What kind of person wants to be called by his family name?"

Kanda's face was red with anger and the difficulty in controlling his temper. His fist was itching to wipe off the smirk on the redhead's face but he resisted it. He is not worth it. Let it go.

"What? You're gonna get another beating if you lay a finger on me?" Lavi asked when he saw the concentration on Kanda's face. He couldn't help but tease.

Kanda clenched his fists tighter at the other's sudden boldness. This bastard is testing my patience! How dare he... If it wasn't for the years of training and the very recent beating he got, Kanda would have made Lavi regret the day he was born. Instead, he slowly unclenched his hands then let Lavi go. "No. You're just not worth it."

They were interrupted however by a hand on Lavi's shoulder. A student was smiling at them (more to Lavi, really) while holding a piece of paper."Wow, nice timing. I was going to look for you two. Our teacher in History gave out our project assignments to be handed in next week," said the boy whom Kanda recognized as one of those students in his class.

"Here is you topic," he said looking at Kanda and Lavi oddly.

Lavi took the paper and read it. "Wait, there is only one topic here."

Their classmate laughed lightly. "Well of course there is only one. The project will be done by pairs. You two were assigned to be partners since both of you were absent."

Lavi simultaneously felt like running and laughing at that. He looked at Kanda and decided that he felt more like laughing upon seeing Kanda's face. He was about to cry.

This can't be happening. Kanda stared at the piece of paper with a mortified expression. "No. I refuse to work on this assignment with a retard," he told the other boy while Lavi looked at him with indignation.

"I think I will be a lot useful, Yu," Lavi said sweetly, deciding to use Kanda's given name again as a retort instead of an actual rebuttal. Kanda heard it clearly and glared.

"Yes Kanda. Lavi is actually a very smart student beneath all that," said their classmate jokingly.

"Awww... stop it. You're flattering me!" Lavi said pretending to blush in embarrassment while Kanda watched him with disgust. "Anyway, I need to go now so good luck with the assignment!"

Kanda and Lavi were again left to themselves. "SOOOO... I think we should fix everything between us. Don't you think so?" Lavi asked with a very wide grin that made Kanda's skin crawl.

Kami-sama, what have I done to deserve this kind of punishment?

"Tch," Kanda said and Lavi somewhat knew that he had given up. Kanda had a feeling that this was the beginning of something very new and extremely annoying. Surely, Kami-sama did hate him?

Well... yeah. I'm finding myself having more energy to update this fic than my other fics...SO PLEASE REVIEW!