Hello. This is Niamh, as you might have guessed, again… and this is something a little different than my normal. The truth of the matter is, I have been playing with this idea on and off for a while – ever sinse I saw something on live journal – but I never made anything for it until a few months ago. For a long time I thought about scrapping it, just because it's a great deal different than what I'm used to, but I've decided that different doesn't mean bad; it just means not the same.

I have the feeling that people expect Yullen or Lucky from me, but that's not the case here. If all goes as planned this will be a relatively short excursion into the pairing know as LaviYuu because that was what someone wanted, though I doubt I can make Lavi seme. Ever.

It should be fun, dark (I can't help it! It's how I am!) and a bit speedy – if it breaks 25 chapters, I will be amazed.

Finally. I do not own D.Gray-man. If I did… we all know Lavi's ghetto booty would be sore by now.

WARNINGS: Blood, violence, suggested homosexuality.

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Prologue

A thick layer of fog covered the city like a great blanket, masking the sunset, casting the buildings in shades of yellow, purple, and crimson. Light shined from tile roves, glistening with broken ice and the beginnings of the evening frost. The brownish blood that stained the cobblestones refused to dry in the moist air, not without more heat, so the people that trampled through it took no heed, thinking it mud mixed with old rain water. Strings of gore dripped from the dark corner of an abandoned building, but no one stopped to look at it. No one paused to see the badly beaten body curled in the shadows, grimacing at the hole in his side. It was only the blanket of fog that found him, a feeble sheet of chillness that warned of the freezing night, the rime that would come, that would kill; the blue-white herald to a blue-white corpse in the morning.

The minutes ticked by, blood running more than half freely, before a booted pair of feet turned down the alley, stopping in front of the immobile form. Two faces turned toward each other in a silent exchange of a smile and a frown. The man standing swept back his long black coat, curtain of ebony hair sailing back with the motion, and touched the pallid skin of the wounded man's face, feeling him shiver. Flesh like fish skin trembled under his fingers.

"Why did you go alone?" The words were rife with malice, anger that was more defensive than concerned. As he spoke them the man's hand slipped into short red locks of hair, searching for wounds that would not be there.

"If I hadn't… you would have, Yuu-chan." Came the reply.

"Che." His hands abandoned their searching to inspect the wounded man's side, prodding at it until he could see the torn flesh, ripped in the shape of an unnaturally sized mouth. There was too much blood to know the extent of it, but he could guess the severity rather easily. Left untreated the man would die. Left here he would die more quickly. "If you call me by my given name again, I'll leave you here to freeze." The words were an instinct, not really meant. "Take off your belt."

"Yuu-chan, I never knew you felt that way—"

"Baka."

The redhead didn't move when Kanda – as he should have called him – worked the leather of his belt out of its buckle and off of him, sliding it through the loops of his pants so quickly it left his hips warm. His half hooded eye traced the lines of the face in front of him slowly, losing focus, and his bloodstained hands went limp against the cobblestones, head tilted to the side as if in sleep. Violent stinging burned up the side of his face and he gasped, lifting his gaze to the fading light.

"Don't sleep." Kanda growled at him.

He tried to nod but his head only rolled to the side, lolling for a moment while he blinked slowly, exhaustion seeping into his bones and making his breathes sluggish, turned them to gasps and sighs. Cloth on his side felt like salt in his wound but he didn't complain, only winced when his belt was used to secure it, tightening almost enough to make his breath short. Kanda's hands glistened almost black; the shine from his fingers and his hair matched in the one green eye that watched them. Those hands began to fade into the background liquidly, until one smacked his face again, harder, and he gasped once more, drawing his head higher.

"Sorry… I don't think…"

"Shut up and stay breathing."

"Can… stay awake…" He finished, haggard, sunken eye catching one of Kanda's. He could hardly make out the expression on his friend's face and seeing it made him worry – he had never seen the Japanese Exorcist frown like that before. His head fell against his chest and he coughed, goose bumps rippled up his spine, pain searing through his lungs. "I'm a goner…"

"Shut up." Kanda's hand was on his face again, only this time there was no bite to it, no pain. The touch was so warm on his skin he felt his jaw tense, teeth clacking into each other harder than they had from the shivers. "Lavi. Don't pass out right now. Don't do it."The redhead blinked slowly, dragging his eye open weakly, his fingers suddenly pressed on the fabric of Kanda's coat. The other man's hand smeared gore across his face when the grip change, tilting his head up at the dark haired Exorcist kneeling before him.

Those eyes, twin sapphire irises burned to ebony in the orange light, matched the growing dark of the evening sky.

Lavi opened his mouth and air seeped out of it, words lost. His eye lost focus on Kanda, his blinking slowed, and he hunched forward, no longer capable of holding himself up. The connection of his forehead to his be friend's jacket was little more than a tingle on the edge of his skin, the hand that lifted his face into the emergent night something wet and warm to lean into. Darkness seeped into his vision and clouded it, blocking what remained of the sun from sight, cloaking the shine from the buildings, the wisps of snow threatening clouds, the glimmer in Kanda's eyes. Desperately he fought the ensuing blackness, but there was no stopping it, not after three hours in a gutter, oozing out his life onto the street.

If there was one thing the street never had enough of, it was blood.

He heard a thousand things in that moment, felt a hundred more: Kanda's breath on his face, the sound of his lungs, the creak of leather, the smell of soap, cobweb hairs brushing the bride of his nose, the thump of approaching footsteps. Cigarette smoke. Warmth near his lips, halting, and a touch that was so gentle he wasn't sure what it was, just on the edge of feeling, like an angel's kiss, lifting the hairs on the back of his neck in a line. He sighed at it, cool air passing his lips into the colder around him. He wanted to lean into it, whatever divine creature that had picked that moment to caress him, but he lacked the strength to try. The pressure was gone in an instant, breath returned, before he lots even that modicum of awareness. The world slipped away, spiraled into the distance, until even living seemed to be minutiae in the great darkness that swallowed up his mind and his reason. There was nothing. No warmth. No cold. Just bittersweet darkness.

The redhead passed out.

Kanda pulled away, licking his bottom lip as he did, and pulled the slightly larger man against him. With effort he heaved Lavi from the gutter and placed him against the wall of the abandoned building, balanced on a locked knee, before pulling him awkwardly onto his back and stepping out into the street.

Evening foot traffic was thick here, but the road might as well have been empty for him. Those that saw the wound moved aside at once, those that didn't were swiftly pushed from his path with either an expertly place elbow or a stealthily maneuvered toe, both of switch left many a near-blind pedestrian sprawled on his face in the mud. Kanda ignored the jowls cast at him, the cat calls, and walked on, his mind focused on the feverish shivers running trough the chest against his back and the temperature of the air. Too much. Lavi was moving too much for the cold.

The moon rose by the time he reached The Shady Rest Inn at the edge of town, lines of silver light sparkling wetly from snow that was so light it had yet to reach the ground. He watched it for a moment before he went in, searching in vain for a star amid the heavens.

He never wished on stars. It wasn't in his nature. But now, when it seemed almost as useless as prayer, he wanted to.

The moment he opened the old mahogany door a collective gasp went up from the people in the common room, a ceramic cup hit too harshly on the warped wood of a table and shatter without notice. He had forgotten the way these people thought – why they had hobbled from his way – and coming in reminded him. A woman in her late fifties was the first to break from the sudden shock, her wiry hands clenched on the ugly gray of her apron, wringing it with a fierceness one might have saved for committing foul murder. She opened her mouth to speak, revealing two yellowed teeth in an otherwise black maw, and hissed out a curse before she spoke to him in a voice as cracked and wrinkled as the rest of her.

"What unholy thing have you brought us?"

Kanda narrowed his eyes at the woman and made for the nearest table – occupied – which he brushed the plates off of with his right arm, filling the room with a symphony of breaking plates and clattering silverware. The woman gaped at him, knurled fingers twisting in the sad excuse for hair that remained on her head.

"Che." He intoned softly, laying the redhead on the now unused piece of furniture. The man closest to Lavi's wounded left side stood so fast his chair hit the floor, hands on his mouth, fat face a horrible shade of green. After a moment he pointed at it, dragging his feet until he hit the far wall. Half the eyes watched the man, the other half looked at the blood seeping down the young man's side.

"Bite!" The call went up like a shrill canon blast, echoing from mouth to ear to mouth again, repeated louder and louder every time. Kanda watched more than half the customers abandon their half eaten meals in a fit of panic, a few dashing up the stairs, other scurrying out the door like frightened vermin. He swept the room with icy eyes before pulling Mugen from the sheath on his hip, the blade's song sliced through the cacophony of shoving people and breaking dishes, and silenced the inn, terror stricken faces turned to him. He swallowed slowly, swaying on his feet, before he lowered the sword slightly to the side of his body, giving himself leave to speak.

"We were sent here," He began with his eyes on the woman whom had spoken first. "Under direction to find out what is attack your city and, if it falls under our expertise, remove it." He motioned with his left hand to Lavi, keeping Mugen in his right. "That is what he aimed to do. From what I saw tonight I can't tell you much – it followed me for a while before I found him, but I didn't see it. If this is something we can take care of, it's different than any of the others.

"I will walk out of this inn and your lives if you want to leave him on this table because you are under the impression that this creature is a werewolf – but I won't fight it. I'll let you all die, I don't care. I will go back to the Order I came from." When he finished silence hung over the room for a moment, as if every person were holding his breath, until someone whispered. The conversations, arguments, complaints, worries, prohibitions – they broke out at once, yells of agreement and denial so loud he thought his ears would bleed from it. This was not what he wanted.

Before Kanda could draw his blade once more, a young woman – maybe fourteen – clamored onto a tabletop and threw back her head, breathing deeply. He saw a boy at her side, around the same age, holding the table steady, she screamed over the din, cupping her mouth with her hands, pitching it low so the sound carried into the street: "We don't believe in werewolves!"

The deafening silence that followed was interrupted by a soft sound of coughing, wet and nearly whooping. Kanda turned his attention in the direction of the outburst and nearly gasped when Lavi's left hand went to his side, pressing on the wound. Kanda swore mightily, walking the distance between crowd and fallen comrade in the course of a half second, eyes on the dying man. The girl was beside him in almost as quickly, the boy as well, while the people of the city stood in stark silence, watching this strange foreign priest attempt to save his damned companion.

The girl was too thin, too short, with hair the color of dirty dishwater, sunken dark eyes and a nose that would have reminded him of a mouse if he bothered to look at it. Instead he realized then that his hands were still blood soaked. He had wiped them on his face, on his sword, on the collar of his shirt, and still there was blood on his hands.

Lavi's blood.

"Yuu…?" An eye blinked up at him, slatted, the shadowy emerald of its iris stopping on Kanda's face. The Japanese Exorcist pulled the redhead's hand from his side, sticky from holding on so long, and stopped short when the hand grabbed his fingers, stronger than it should have been. With lips parted in surprise he stiffened, a sick cold feeling slipping up his spine to wrap around his brain, freeze the pit of his stomach in black ice, liquefy his heart. He was never this worried for anyone, but this wasn't anyone, it was Lavi. Somehow, that made the broken sound of his voice different.

"Che." He responded without thinking. He felt the hand clamp on him, cutting off his circulation, and slipped his palm forward enough to return the hold. His heart lurched in his chest for a moment before the icy fingers began to twitch with strain, fingernails biting into flesh. "You're fine."

Lavi coughed for a moment and his jaw started to quiver, teeth rattling against each other. His words were halted by it, but he attempted to bite them out one at a time, breathing slowly. "In the…l… w'… 'd you… kiss…" It did not work how he wanted. Kanda's eyes went perfectly round for a moment, his hand loose. No Yuu-chan, I'm missing words… His mind whispered to his mouth, but his lips refused to move anymore. The world was spinning again, sinking away, and the touch of a hand on his forehead did not stop his eye from falling shut. In the darkness he felt a warm rush of air against his face, like before, and gasped at it, the pain in his side forgotten. There was nothing but that gentle heat, spreading slowly across his lips, down his throat, and across his oddly tight chest.

Was it you?

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For the record... I dunno if he kissed him the first time. .