AN: So, theoretically, this is the third and final part to the, unfortunately, somewhat sad and macabre 'Trilogy of Slipping into the Darkness', that includes 'Poison', 'Brain Damage' and 'Grind'. However, as I stated, you might as well look at them all as separate fics, even if it would probably give you more depth in understanding if you read them chronologically. After this fic, I'm kicking Angst out of my bed - for at least a while; I wanna do some happier writing now. This kinda took a tool on me.
AR (author rant): I was thinking about this this for a long time..the fantasy of violence, spawned by a picture of Lavi in his evil Bookman Junior mode and more psychotic than usual Kanda thrown into the same plot as lovers. As you probably already know, I don't write lemons, I prefer the more abstract describing. (That's 'cause I once have read a lemon that reminded me of nothing but an anatomy textbook. The trauma. Luckily, later I had run into some really brilliant pieces of that genre, and it cured me of the phobia.) ...and no, I'm not in my wrong mind because of writing something like THIS. I hope.
I've listened to the title song while writing. I must say its rhythm and over-distortion always gives me this kind of images...violence, pulse, slowmotion. Perfect.
About: There's one tiny step between love and hatred; distorted minds can easily step onto that line and clash with a furious force. Kanda has already fallen in the fight with self-inflicted madness, while Lavi isn't really the Lavi he used to be.
Oh yea, you'll come across both 'Lavi' and 'Junior' while reading, that depends on who he feels more like at the moment.
Warnings: Yaoi (slash), psycho!Kanda, Junior!Lavi, LaviYu or LaviKanda, possible OOCness, blood, madness, angst, language, sexual themes. And...yeah, I find it kinda oppressive even though the end is good and sappy. Kinda. So, if Angst drives you crazy, you shouldn't read further.
Disclaimer: Lavi and Yu Kanda together with the whole DGM universe belong to Katsura Hoshino. The song title and the seven lines right under it belong to Alice In Chains. I RECOMMEND THE SONG! -if you at least can stand rock, that is.
In the darkest hole, you'd be well advised
Not to plan my funeral until my body dies
I could set you free, rather hear the sound
Of your body breaking as I take you down
Let the sun never blind your eyes
Let me sleep so my teeth won't grind
Hear a sound from a voice inside
He doesn't grin anymore, ever. Now he smirks lightly instead, eyeing the person in front of him mockingly. His tone is strangely distant, and his cold green eye doesn't flash even a tiny reminder of the laughter that used to shine in it.
"So, Yu. You seem better today."
The addressed one raises his head from the pillow and glares at the other, tugging on the ropes that tie him to the bed. His movements are sharp, angry, and for some reason he reminds of a chained animal. His long black hair is spread around him; and one would definitely say he is a beautiful person if it wasn't for the the flame of insanity glinting in his empty eyes and somewhat sickly atmosphere surrounding him.
"Let me go, right now, untie me, you damned fucker!" His voice is filled with venomous anger, and nothing but pure fury can be seen in his black eyes.
The first one smirks wider. "I can't do that, Yu. The supervisor said you'd have to be this way until you calm down, and I can perfectly understand him after that show you've put up yesterday." His red hair is nearly falling into his eye. He used to wear a headband to keep it out of the way, but he doesn't now. Maybe because it would keep pulling him backwards to the thoughts he wants to erase.
"I'm calm. Now untie me."
"I'm not so sure about it yet."
The black-hair is obviously annoyed at the other's amused tone and snarls, but manages to keep himself still. The malicious glint disappears from his eyes for a brief moment as he looks at the redhead almost softly.
"And how would you know...Lavi?"
One he called Lavi looks back at him with the same expression. "Don't call me that, Yu," he says flatly. "I'm Junior. I'll become the Bookman soon, and you'll just have to deal with it."
The other glares up at him with hatred. "Tough shit, loser," he spits. "I asked you to call me Kanda for six fucking years, yet it never sank into your stupid brain."
This time Junior's look seems to sadden for a moment before he speaks. "Yu sound just like you now," he says, unintentionally repeating the old name pun but never actually noticing it. He faintly remembers, remembers how it felt, what that person had truly meant to him. "I guess it won't hurt to release you now."
He unties the ropes and helps Kanda up.
Kanda has a weird, wide smirk on his face as he gets up. "Thanks, dearest," he says in a sweet tone and reaches to the side.
Junior suddenly feels intense burning pain in his ribs, then everything goes black.
He wakes up the following day in the infirmary, learning that he has three ribs broken by some blunt object, most likely a sword's hilt. Kanda is restrained for several more days, and the redhead can see him in a bed right next to himself when he turns his head.
"And we're still so close to each other, Yu," he sneers. "Then again, you always did suck in trying to get away, didn't you?"
Kanda yells something at him until the nurse rushes in and calms him down with an extra amount of medicine.
He doesn't really tell an enemy from a friend anymore, and he lives in a row of lights and darknesses. One day it seems he would get over it for good, and the next he's here, restrained, not remembering what or how happened to get him there. He's slowly slipping, deeper and deeper into a realm of nightmares he chose rather than painful truth of the ended illusion that he had lived under for so long. Illusion called 'Lavi', which's nature he knew but never accepted.
He still has his astonishing looks and his sharp skills, yet his mind started playing tricks on him a while ago. One person has the power to save him from the darkness, and that person is gone. Kanda had told that himself many times, not wanting to delude himself with false hope. There is no Lavi, not anymore. Junior loved him, not only Lavi did, yet he was rather sure he only loved Lavi and didn't want to put up with the loss. Him or no one, even if the one has the same look, scent and feeling. Maybe by trying to kill his feelings, Kanda killed a part of his consciousness and ended up like he did.
No one really knows how or why it happened to Kanda, as he never tells anyone. Lenalee is the one closest to the truth though; she believes his growing madness is self-inflicted as he believes all feelings lie in the mind. It's like cutting out one's heart; he'll get rid of it no matter what else he has to let go for that. She tries to help him and comes to talk to him when he has another anger attack.
They were friends once.
Sometimes he doesn't even recognize her, then she simply sits there crying and holding his hand - what Allen deeply disapproves of, but even he began to feel somewhat sorry for Kanda with time, and stopped fighting with him. Lenalee is frustrated, her friends stepping back from the light one by one, and she silently talks to Allen at night, cursing the God, cursing the Innocence and what they do to people. All the boy can do to comfort her is hold her close and try to persuade her to hope for a miracle, trying to suppress the darkness within himself as he knows that if he lets it emerge, Lenalee's world will be destroyed.
Everyone had already put up with Kanda's sudden outbursts and newly appeared unpredictableness. However, he didn't stop there, and with time, proved that he already had to be kept under watch. When he would get really mad, he'd be restrained, and written out once he seemed normal again. No one knew what were the reasons of his most violent rampages. Except one person.
The Bookman's apprentice.
Maybe because he was partly responsible for it, or maybe just because no matter how he tried, he couldn't severe his ties with the other person.
Now both of them were the problematic ones, grinding everyone's gears either by outbursts or complete inconsideration, and every time they happened to end up in one room - or one bed, for that matter - they would clash painfully, even harder than before. And yet afterwards, all that remained between them was a wall of solitude.
Days came and passed, and so did the news that Kanda had once again hurt a member of the Order, demolished a part of structure, destroyed the property of the organization... No one would pay much attention to that anymore. He was one of them, and he had to be kept that way until the end.
Junior remembered every single one of Kanda's actions - he always remembered everything he wanted. Though he couldn't explain why he did, it happened anyway, and now, laying still in the hospital bed, he had his merry time to think it all over.
The last time...it was just another day of many, once again.
"I hate you. Hate you. Hate."
Kanda greeted the certain redhead who once again entered his room by spitting out a tirade of hatred-filled words. He's been like that ever since Lavi told him he was about to go; and Junior's first phrase to him was 'We can still sleep together you know.' It was the most dishonourable thing Kanda had ever heard, and he threw the person who said it out of his room the very moment. However, time passes, and things change.
"You keep telling yourself that." Junior sat on the bed playfully, ignoring Kanda's threatening look, though his demeanour remained distant. He lifted the blanket and trailed his finger over the sheet beneath, as if looking for something. "I see...so you didn't lie. Still sleeping alone, eh Yu? Well of course, who would ever get involved with someone like you.."
Kanda narrowed his eyes and unsheathed Mugen. "You did," he said dangerously softly, stepping closer to the redhead.
Junior stared at him indifferently, as if it wasn't a sharp sword in his hand but a simple broomstick. His gaze was somewhat cold but there was something else in it, something that Kanda got to know in ways he would have never admitted he did.
Passion, still alive, over the years never fading out but burning somewhere deep inside their darkened hearts. Twisted, heated feeling so far away from the love as they knew it, and yet it was still there, still keeping them from breaking apart like venomous trap that held them both captive, never lowering its guard.
"That's true," Junior admitted distantly and continued staring somewhere through him. "I did."
There was a silence, then he continued, now focusing his look on Kanda. "Or rather," a light smirk curved Junior's lips, "I have."
Kanda narrowed his eyes further, after all the years in the Order he was fluent in English enough to understand what was being implied. "Shut up."
Junior saw the samurai raise his sword, and immediately put on a wide smile - or rather, Lavi's signature grin. Kanda stared at him, hand clenching Mugen's hilt, eyes widened, mouth opened. His frown disappeared in a split second, and now he looked like a person who couldn't believe their eyes. It seemed like he was seeing a ghost.
"Lavi?.." he reached out towards the persona on his bed, then grimaced and stepped back. "You're screwing with me!"
Lavi hummed contentedly, sending Kanda a mischievous glint from his eyes.
Kanda suddenly turned around and hastily walked to the other end of the room still gripping Mugen, turning his back to the redhead and muttering something under his nose.
"I can't, I can't let that get to me, can I? He can't fool us. You know what I'm talking about, don't you? You saw him. You saw them both. I'm right, aren't I? They're not the same. They can't be. You think so too, don't you? I wouldn't make a mistake like that, not another one. Last time, do you think I was wrong?"
Lavi blinked, reverting to his original self.
"Yu," Junior said seriously, "what is up with you? With this?"
He was completely ignored. Now Kanda was petting Mugen, apparently deaf and blind to everything around him.
"Last time, yes, I know, I was wrong. What Lavi would think? I'm horrible, aren't I. But I won't be fooled always. You will help me, right? You can tell them. Draw blood, taste it, make the right decision. I always only wanted to make the right decision. You're the only one who still believes me. You do, don't you?"
"Yu, who are you talking to?" Junior asked very loudly. It was a bit.. eerie.
Kanda didn't seem to hear him. "Do you think it's alright?" he mumbled, gently brushing his fingers over the side of the blade. "Would it be? What would Lavi say to me? What do you think?"
"Lavi and me is the same person," Junior made the words come out slowly and clearly.
Kanda's attention was finally touched, and he turned and stared at the other with wide eyes. His look was empty and seemed slightly frightened. "What...what are you saying?"
"Lavi is me now. We are one and the same. You're just lying to yourself, Yu. Again."
Mugen tinged, dropped on the floor as Kanda covered his ears with his both hands and sank to his knees. "Shut up!" he yelled. "He's nothing like you! I HATE you!"
"You know very well it's not true. I'm him. And you also can't force yourself to hate me - for that very reason. Because deep within yourself, you still know that you are wrong and that I am telling the truth. You know that I am all that's left of," the redhead's voice sounded almost mocking and somewhat unnatural, "the one called 'Lavi'."
Kanda's fist slammed into the floor. He was holding the other hand on his face and trembling.
The Bookman's apprentice walked to the man on the floor and kneed next to him. "You know it's true," he said almost softly and cupped the other's cheek, "Yu."
Kanda looked up at him, confusion and refusal to believe clearly visible in his widened eyes. "It can't be...don't say that.."
Junior smiled faintly as he eyed the other's face. "You're still so maddeningly beautiful," he finally muttered and captured Kanda's lips with his own.
Kanda was actually surprised the events had taken this turn after he, seemingly, did everything to pry the redhead out of his room. By the time he understood what was happening, he was already in a tight grip unable to move his arms, with his coat already unbuttoned half-way down, and slowly sinking to the floor.
Junior felt pain and metallic taste in his mouth as Kanda had bit down on his lower lip, but didn't stop. He smirked lightly as he saw Kanda didn't wear a shirt underneath. Meanwhile, the swordsman was struggling to get free, and even though he wasn't overall in 'good' shape, his body was still working flawlessly. He probably would have escaped if he really wanted to; but his struggles were half-hearted as he still could feel the person he had loved in him. Junior did the only thing that made sense to him at the moment - tried to push Kanda down and use his advantage of weight to keep him there.
At first it seemed to work. Kanda stopped himself from reaching the floor by leaning on his elbows, and he couldn't push the redhead away in that position even if he had tried. The redhead straddled him, deepening the kiss, ignoring the warm trail he felt on his chin. Kanda felt Lavi's blood in his mouth, for a moment completely dazed. Something in that taste truly was familiar, it was Lavi's, it had to be. The swordsman started kissing back, earning the redhead's contented purr from within his throat.
Just as Junior was sure of his victory and easened his grip, he was suddenly pushed off. Kanda had managed to grab Mugen while on the floor and now was sitting up, holding it ready to slash and quickly getting up.
"What flew into you, Yu?" Junior snarled, spitting out the blood with deeply displeased expression and getting up as well. He stepped towards him, pushing the blade down.
"You won't get away with teasing me like this, Lavi."
"What? And don't -"
Junior flew backwards. He got up slowly, holding hand on his face, and sat down on the bed. Apparently, one of his eyebrows was bleeding. Kanda hadn't only punch him in the face, he also managed to land a kick on him and now was approaching with a madman's smile on his face and unsheathed sword in his hand.
"Seriously, Yu..." Junior tried to affect the swordsman by his look but apparently it didn't work. "You're already completely off the bucket!"
"Am I," Kanda said casually, tilting his head slightly to the side and smiling sweetly. Now he was standing really close and looking down at him. "Or are you... Lavi."
"Don't call me by that name!"
Their eyes met for a moment, a pair dark ones and one green, both looking threatening, empty and yet somewhat affectionate. Junior's words came out of his mouth almost desperately, as if he was trying to stop something he wanted to happen. There was a silence, and they both looked at each other. Now the dark eyes were hopeful, and the green one looked almost pleading.
Kanda raised Mugen very slowly and pressed the tip towards Lavi's shoulder, still wearing the same creepy expression, stepping forth and sitting down on Lavi's knees.
"I've had it with you, all those years that passed, I never managed to make myself kill you. But I swear I will one day."
Lavi didn't move a hair, though he could feel the steel making its way through his shirt and into his skin. "You won't, Yu. You stated that yourself. You can't."
Kanda growled, pushing Mugen towards the redhead who grimaced, feeling warm blood starting to sink out. The cut was shallow, but apparently it sated Kanda's sudden bloodlust and cancelled it out. Kanda blinked for a moment, looking at the wet fabric around the sword, and pulled it back. "I...did I...hurt you," he forced out distantly, lowering the blade and staring at Lavi with empty gaze as if he was remembering something.
All those times when he hurt him without ever intending to, and now it was stopping him when he really wanted to do it.
Junior didn't waste his time seeing an opening, and Mugen flew out of Kanda's hand. He gripped the swordsman's wrist, stopping him from getting it, and slapped him on the face, actually only trying to snap him out of it, but it came out rougher than he had intended.
Kanda looked at him with malice, but didn't move. Instead, a wicked smile curved one corner of his lips again.
"Lavi, Bookman Junior," he said, exaggerating every word as if it was something terribly funny. "Do you want to know how I really feel about you?"
Hate. Love. Hate. Those two mix together, resulting in most surprising things. One of them apparently was Kanda Yu's feelings. He was burning with hatred yet at the same time the other feeling would try to calm him down. He didn't know anymore if he wanted Lavi or to stick Mugen into his throat. It was both hurting and soothing, driving him mad and keeping him from completely losing himself. He couldn't tell.
Kanda was licking the redhead's wound, pulling at the skin from time to time to make it hurt more. Junior's shirt was already thrown off; its owner was sitting still, grimacing at the pain yet still enjoying the strange treatment he received from the furious creature whose wrist he was still holding.
"Do you get the picture now?" Kanda hissed, biting him while brushing fingers over the other side of the redhead's chest. "Have you ever hated someone to the point you wanted to kill them, and loved them at the same time? Do you know how it feels? Answer me moron, because if I'm wasting my breath on you, I'll make sure you don't."
"I'm not that good in understanding certain feelings," Lavi muttered casually, "but yea, I get the picture." He frowned as he noticed he had just used his old manner of speaking, and nearly jumped as he felt Kanda's teeth on his wound again. "What are you, a werewolf?"
Kanda chuckled silently and raised his head. "Good," he said, ignoring the second part and looked at the redhead intently.
The next moment, he was grabbed and pushed down on the bed.
"What the hell?" he snarled as he fell on his back, using his free hand to grab onto Lavi's hurt shoulder. The other grimaced but didn't let go, and soon got the hold of Kanda's both wrists. Kanda squirmed, trying to escape, glaring up threateningly and cursing.
Lavi leaned down to kiss him, holding him still, ignoring the fact that some blood was still dripping from his own wound. Kanda suddenly stopped trying to kick him off and lifted his head slightly, apparently caught into the kiss completely.
By the time the air ran out and the kiss broke, both of their lips were already punctured. Lavi moved on to kiss Kanda's neck, but not gently as usually; now he was practically returning Kanda all those times of rough treatment he had given to him.
"What are you, a fucking vampire?" Kanda hissed when Lavi's teeth once again bruised his skin.
"Who knows," Lavi chuckled contentedly and continued his 'work'.
Soon after, he released Kanda's wrists, and the latter attempted to push him off and get up again. The redhead was aware and managed to keep his balance; however Kanda did succeed in getting him out of the way and sat up. Not for long though, as Bookman Junior didn't plan to let him have it his way. Now, he wasn't backing off, no matter what.
Junior pushed Kanda down again, a lot rougher this time. The swordsman hit the mattress hard with a heaved sigh escaping his lips, his hair spreading around him like an aura. The redhead straddled his legs and pressed down his wrists, smirking victoriously.
"Are you trying to back off from what you've started? Yu?"
Kanda glared up at him but kept perfectly still. He suddenly stilled, and for a moment they looked at each other's souls.
"Good boy," Junior purred and leaned down to give him a kiss.
What is it that ties them together? Is it hate, or is it love? Or maybe it's both? Passion, memories, attachments? Even the young Bookman didn't have answers to those questions, and he wished there were none. It was all so confusing, so distant from how it used to be, and he didn't know why. And he found it simply sad.
Caught in the heat of passion, when normal person's mind goes blank, he used to remember everything and cling to those memories, feeling the fire still alive in him. But once it all would end, he wouldn't receive slightest warm gaze, and he would feel cold and empty again, shunning the person that was doing the same to him.
Kanda was mercilessly digging his nails into Lavi's back, leaving long red marks on the lightly tanned skin. He was gritting his teeth hard, trying to keep silent as a stone, however not really succeeding, his will deteriorating with each thrust. He didn't want to give the redhead the pleasure of hearing him break in his arms, and he tried to hide his gasps behind silent snarls and hisses, what only seemed to arouse Junior more.
Kanda felt guilty, very guilty for doing this. His mind had separated Lavi the 49th from his true self to the point he started to believe there were two different persons. He couldn't stand the thought that the person he had fallen in love with never existed. He chose to believe Lavi was away, or even killed, rather than that. But that meant he was cheating on him, on his memory, by accepting Junior's love. The love which slowly but inevitably faded into some cold, cruel passion as the Bookman's apprentice better than anyone could feel Kanda wasn't returning his feelings anymore. That only made Junior more disappointed in all the humanity as now the only tie that was still holding him to the world of feeling, living people was tearing itself apart. He had cursed everything, seeing the one person he loved keeping a distance from him because of what wasn't his fault. Junior promised he would never let sincere feelings obscure his judgement - and his needs, for that matter - again. But there were things he couldn't counter either. He could tell himself all he wanted that it was just fucking, but he couldn't erase the feelings that remained. The same for Kanda; he still had the clear part in his mind which was telling him that Junior reeked of Lavi, and therefore he didn't have it in him to cast him aside.
Lavi hissed in pain and sank his nails into Kanda's hips for a comeback, pulling him closer at the same time. The pain was too intense and the pleasure was overwhelming; the black-hair shuddered as he felt the other all the way in and moaned loudly, wrapping his legs around the redhead's back.
"Yu," Lavi breathed out, biting Kanda's collar bone. He wasn't completely himself, yet not completely Lavi either and seemed to be stuck somewhere in the middle. The bleeding had almost stopped, though his wound remained open. Kanda was breathing through his mouth unevenly, both of them going on each other as hard as they could.
"I...always knew..you want... to hurt me too...Lavi," Kanda managed to hiss through gritted teeth, throwing his head back with a soundless scream.
Love. Hatred. Both. Do you know how it feels when you hate and love at the same time?
Of course I wanted to hurt you. Otherwise I couldn't love you.
When it was over, they both layed on the bed, tangled together, catching their breath, finally starting to feel the bruises they left on each other. Lavi looked at Kanda through the corner of his eye, the conflict of feelings withing him almost driving him mad, and he knew the other was feeling the same.
He slowly pulled his pants on and got off the bed.
"Was it that bad, Yu?" Junior asked in a low voice, leaning down to Kanda's face.
The black-hair tensed, as his eyes shot open and locked on the redhead. "What?.." he asked silently. He really hoped this wasn't about what he thought it was.
The redhead smiled contentedly. "I'm not worse than Lavi, am I?"
Unfortunately, it was.
"What are you saying, moron?"
"Will you stop chasing after a ghost already? I'm right here in front of you. So. Did it feel good, Yu?"
"You - you BASTARD!"
Junior ducked just in time as a chair flew past the spot where his head was just in a moment and crashed into the wall behind him. Next moment, Kanda jumped out of the bed, pulling his pants up and gripping Mugen.
Junior managed to open the door and throw himself into the hallway. "Out of the way," he yelled towards a random group of people and pushed them to the sides, running.
Kanda was on his heels, slashing towards him whenever he had a chance. "GET BACK HERE, asshole! I'll cut your dick off and stuff it up your fucking throat so you couldn't lie anymore!"
Alright, maybe he had pushed it too far. Junior quickly calculated the safest possible move and finally sprinted towards the cafeteria, expecting Kanda to calm down in front of a crowd.
Apparently, he miscalculated.
Kanda's Hell Insects dived through the cafeteria, turning the tables and people upside down, followed by Kanda's loud cursing and screaming of the hurt. Junior jumped from table to table, trying to dodge his fate. There was a huge panic; people blocked the exit. Berserk Kanda was something that even people who faced Akuma every week didn't want to run into.
"THIS WAS THE LAST TIME!"
"Ah," Lavi grinned sheepishly, "but it looked like you enjoyed it, Yu."
Kanda seemed to completely lose it; he didn't seem to see where he was attacking anymore. Lavi only barely dodged the cuts and slashes; one wall started crumbling and soon fell apart.
Jerry grabbed his head. "My kitchen!" he wailed. "You guys will have to work your butts off to get back at me for this!"
It wasn't the first time something like this happened, and it was horrible.
No one listened, and soon another hellish creature shot through the kitchen inches from Jerry, turning every miraculously remaining dish to smithereens.
Kanda raised Mugen over cornered Lavi who was laying over a pile of woods that used to be furniture.
"I'll cut your head off," he said, looking down at him and radiating hatred. "Both of them."
He was completely serious this time.
Lavi closed his eyes in panic, but then remembered he was Bookman Junior as well and reached for a table's leg to try and parry the hit.
Kanda slashed, but before the blade ever reached the redhead, a loud clang could be heard, and Mugen fell down. The swordsman looked surprised for a moment, then slowly slumped to the floor.
Junior blinked. Behind Kanda, between rubble, smoke and blood, Jerry was standing with his favorite frying pan raised. Tears were floating down the cook's face, but he looked proud of himself.
"No one messes with my kitchen."
Junior would have laughed if the situation was at least a bit different. Now he simply was really thankful.
They tied Kanda's hands and got him to the infirmary. Komui, after seeing how the cafeteria and most of the people that were in there when the accident occurred, forbid to let him out earlier than after three days. It was sad, he said, to have one of the best Exorcists falling apart like this, but there is nothing they can do. Exorcists are cherished. They can't replace him, and they can't properly fix him because he has to keep going on missions.
Junior felt some kind of guilt when he looked how the nurses immobilized Kanda and locked the door, but he didn't say anything.
Silence. Night's darkness had enveloped the infirmary, and everyone is sleeping soundlessly, except a certain red-haired man who stares up at the ceiling. He keeps having those dreams, though he can't understand what it means anymore. He sighs. Both he and Kanda are getting written out soon - until the next time, that is. Which is ought to come soon.
Wait, it isn't silence. Junior can hear monotonic sound of mumbling that stops from time to time and then continues. Unarticulated, barely audible sleep-talking, sounding even almost like a prayer. If he didn't know better, he would say that Kanda is talking to Mugen. The sword is kept out of his reach but not far away, and he probably can communicate with it just as well as while in his own room. After a while, Junior hears the next bed creaking and understands he's not the only one awake.
"Yu," he calls out silently.
The mumbling stops immediately and the darkness seem to ease up a bit.
When he turns, he can see two cold dark eyes locked on him, and something breaks. Maybe it's just his soul.
"Yu, how did this happen?" he suddenly asks in a complete Lavi tone and sees the eyes that are looking at him tense. Sanity is there, floating over them, it only waits for a proper moment to spread its wings over Kanda. A moment that takes longer and longer to come each time, with each lost petal pushing the swordsman deeper into the abyss.
Kanda suddenly seems very calm and even somewhat sad. "Is that you?" he whispers monotonically. He recognizes the tone, the one that he had barely heard in years, and suddenly the mist covering his eyes is lifted. He remembers everything, and he comes back for the moment to meet Lavi, as he hears the redhead's voice shaking slightly.
"It wasn't...wasn't supposed to happen." Lavi doesn't seem to listen; then again, Lavi always was a bit whiny. Not like that other person, that cold self-righteous freak.
"We weren't supposed to happen either, Lavi. But it was worth it." Kanda's voice is low, deep and self-assured, just like it always was, and Lavi feels himself slipping deeper. There isn't any sign of his last year's irrationalness, and for a moment, Lavi feels like they're back in time...back home.
Why did they end up like this? How? Does God really hate them both so much, them both who don't believe in him?
"Yu.." Lavi's tone sounds somewhat dreamy, somewhat pleading. "Do you know what is left when love burns out?"
"... Don't ask me these things."
Lavi smiles faintly at the response, he was expecting that. Yu, good old Yu. Only now he realizes that he missed him terribly.
"Sa, well what do you think? What keeps people together after it's gone? Is it passion?" Lavi almost seems amused by the topic, but it's just a facade to hide his pain. Lavi's, not Bookman's. Or maybe their both.
Kanda takes his merry time to reply, and the darkness around them seems to get thicker until it is pierced by the sound of his firm voice. "It's hatred."
Lavi sighs. Is it just hatred that kept them by each other these last few years? He knows Kanda always hated Junior, hated him for taking Lavi away, but sometimes...sometimes it didn't seem the case. Can't it be returned? Even if a moment can't be returned once passed, he wishes for it with all his might.
"Do you hate me then?"
"I want to, with all I have left."
Now it's Lavi talking, and Kanda always tells the truth or doesn't tell anything. Lavi feels good being able to talk like this, just like the old times. Even if it's disappointing sometimes. "And do you love me?"
Once again a long silence awaits before the swordsman's answer. "Just enough to make me sick."
For some reason, it hurts. "I'm sorry," Lavi mutters after a while, "I really am. For everything. I'm such a jerk."
"I know," Kanda replies almost softly.
They both go silent for quite a while. Kanda stares at the ceiling. He knows it's just an illusion, he even knows that there never was 'Lavi'. But he enjoys it while it lasts, his mind protesting against slipping back into the mist.
The silence is taking way too long. Did he fall asleep?
Lavi takes a deep breath. "We never really talked after I... after the change," he forces out. "I thought maybe...now...that I remembered how...we could start again? Please? While we still have time. I promise it'll be different."
Lavi looks at the other questioningly, refusing to understand the meaning of the simple word.
Kanda doesn't move or show any other sign of life. "When you went, I died. And I have been too long that way."
"I-I'm so sorry...I don't know what to say.."
"Yet you talk anyway."
"I'm fine with any way you want to be Yu, really, just let me be with ya."
"No buts, idiot," Kanda turns to him as well, and Lavi can see a light smirk on his face. Not the demented grin that he is now used to, but the light contented smirk that Yu used to have on when he was terribly sure of himself. "Get out of my face. Unless you want to continue from where we left out."
Lavi looks at him for a while, before his surprised expression is replaced by a thankful one. "Thanks, Yu," he mutters, reaching out of his bed and putting his hand on Kanda's. "It wasn't just Lavi, Yu. I love you. And I want to try again."
"If you fail, I'll kill you." Kanda is dead serious on this one.
"Heh, I know that." Lavi knows he won't; and if he does, they both will die this time.
They sense something coming back to them, whether it's memories, consciousness or something entirely else. A night's dream disappears in the morning, they both know it, and once again they don't care, just like years ago. At the moment, they don't even have to talk while holding each others hands as they know everything they want to say.
Whatever is that weird feeling tying them together.
It always lasts. Longer than either of them ever would.
Sometimes you can't keep walking forward. Sometimes you have to turn back and go the way your heart knows the best.