It's been years, hasn't it, since I first met you

It's been years, hasn't it, since I first met you. Kneeling before a coffin, tears streaming down your young face as I watched from above. You turned and our eyes met, and I knew that you were different. I knew that somehow, you would change my life, Lenalee Lee, even though it would break every rule I had made for myself – as a bookman - before.

I remember sitting next to you for the first time in that cafeteria that has practically become my home. You were laughing. I can't exactly remember why, but I can still recall the shape of your lips as they formed into that smile I grew to love, and the musical sound that filled the room when you laughed. No, I don't remember what happened before or after that, but that's all right with me – it's still one of my most treasured memories.

We'd go on missions together. Sometimes it was just you and me, all by ourselves. We'd get to talking as we waited for further instructions or to make our next move. You'd tell me about your early days at the order, and how scary it had been with Leverrier and all the other officials going at you all the time. It was probably one of the worst feelings I had ever felt – to see your happy face furrowing with sorrow, and your light voice sinking under the weight of your frightening memories. I guess that was when I realized that I wanted to make you smile. There was nothing I wanted more than to do that, because when Lenalee Lee cries, it's as if the last hope in the world has vanished, it was like the last candle had been blown out. I felt that way, at least, and I knew what I had to do to turn that around.

The first time you held my hand, I think I blushed. I supposed that your laughter had been at my expense that time, but what did it matter, as long as you were smiling? I smiled with you and realized then that you enjoyed my smile as much as I did yours. When we were together, we worked so hard to make the other happy that we were seldom even depressed. As others realized this, we were put on even more missions together. Our teamwork was amazing. This made me even happier, and we went on, drifting through time peacefully, never worrying about the next day because we knew it would be perfect. We would be together.

Things weren't always easy. There were times when I got scared, and there were times when you got sad, but we would hold onto each other during those times, because that was all we could do. Sometimes, you'd hold me tighter than others, and that made the sorrow so worth it. Sometimes, I'd wipe your tears away, and you would smile just at the touch of my hand, and that made me feel needed. As a bookman, I had never felt that way before. Then again, there were a lot of things I hadn't felt before I met you, Lenalee Lee. Everything seemed a million times realer now, and I was so much more alert. I was alive

You looked up into my eyes, your lips quivering slightly around the words that were forming on them – such words that you must put thought behind before uttering. I knew it was coming, my heart raced like a locomotive as I waited, waited as I had since that first day I had seen you. You leaned up, your breath touching my lips. I closed my eyes, sinking into the moment. "Lavi…Lavi, I l-"

The coffee pot when off, its loud, screeching noise cutting you off and causing us to jump backwards, cupping our hands over our ears. You muttered an apology, got together your coffee, and promised to be back soon. You walked out of that door and as I watched you go, I was not afraid. I wasn't mourning over a lost moment. We still had a lifetime ahead of us. You'd be back soon, and that would just be the beginning.

This was only the beginning.

I was surprised at how long you took, but you did come back. You carried news with you, news of a new exorcist – Allen Walker – who had just joined the order that day. You told me all about the young exorcist, about his master, about his golem. I waited for you to continue what you had been saying before, but you didn't.

Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Soon, your smile and laughter were for Allen. Soon, you were holding Allen's hand, laughing at his blush. Soon, you were holding him when he was scared, and he would wipe away your tears when you were sad. You'd smile at his touch, and he'd smile back, knowing he was needed.

I watched, almost forgotten. I tried my best to catch up to you, but it was impossible – I had been left behind. We didn't live in the same world anymore. You were in a new place. I was left in the past, reliving those experiences to keep me alive.

Then again, why must a bookman feel alive? There is nothing for a bookman but the past. Isn't that right? Futures are not for bookmen.

Logic didn't change how I felt, and I felt neglected, hurt, but still in love, so, so in love, though I knew I had been replaced. What was it that I had been lacking? Why had I been so easily replaced…?

Sometimes, you'll let me hold your hand. It isn't the same as it used to be, but at least I'm close to you. Even if the gesture doesn't mean anything to you anymore, it means the world to me, and I soak up every second of the moment.

Yes, forever on, as long as I'm in the same universe as you, I can have a hold on your hand, which can take up the void left when I lost hold on your heart.