Disclaimer: I don't own D. Gray-Man

A/N: Who's a happy pappy? You're a happy pappy. That's right.

Chapter 15 - Winter Kisses Your Skin

The wind chilled the child to the bone as he stared at the courtyard he had sat in so many years ago. This time, his saviour would not come. This time, his saviour was dead. There would be no Christmas present, no man to come and adopt him on this day. Instead he would watch as people walked together as families; families that he could never be a part of.

This was the first Christmas that the small boy had to face without Mana after he had adopted him. This was the first time he would not be able to have an anniversary with Mana of the day they had started being a father and son. This was the first day it had actually really hit him, that he would never see that face smile at him again.

The smell of the fresh winter air sent a thrill through my body, and I could feel the energy running through my veins from the sharp awakening. Next to me, Lavi hummed quietly under his breath, in one of his rare times of quiet.

We had both been a little silent since he had woken up, once again in my house, although this time it had been on the couch. Although I liked having my bed to myself, it had still been a little disappointing knowing that he was in my house, not in the same room as me.

"How is it that I always end up taking care of you?" I asked, letting out a long breath. A stream of frosty air followed the sigh, catching my eye briefly as it wisped around like smoke before dissipating.

"So far it's two for two." Lavi replied pointedly, almost defensively, finally coming back to life.

"Please, enlighten me." I ignored each puff of frost that came with each word this time, turning my head to look at Lavi.

"Well, the first time was when you were at my house. I pretty much had to carry you to bed" - I flushed, looking away - "and the second time was a couple weeks ago, when you decided to get sick in the theatre and make it impossible to be angry with you anymore."

"I didn't count the first one." I muttered. "It's your own fault, and I'm sure if I tried I would have been able to make it on my own, in my own room."

"Sure," was all Lavi said, going back into his silent world. I frowned. Usually if I brought up something to talk about, he would jump on the chance to talk. I was too nervous to ask what was wrong, though.

"Hey, you two!"

We both turned to find Lenalee running towards us, a bundled up Kanda right behind her. Confusion ran through me; neither of them lived in that direction. Then I noticed the still running, purring red sports car that could only be Kanda's.

"Hey," I said in surprise. "What's wrong?"

"We were actually coming to see you." Lenalee said, stopping in front of us. I admired her for having no need to pant. "We ran into Miranda and Krory while we were wandering around, and after talking for a bit, discovered they needed some help at the school. They were told to organize the staff party that's happening for Christmas, and they don't have any help."

"So you volunteered us?" I asked, sighing.

"Basically..." Lenalee laughed, smiling. "You don't mind, do you?"

I looked at Lavi, who didn't really seem like he was paying attention anyways, and shrugged. "It doesn't matter to me. I have no obligations for the day. We were just taking a random walk."

"Awesome! Come on, then. They're starting already, I told them we'd be back really quick." Lenalee said, suddenly animated. She took us both by the wrists and dragged us to the fancy red sports car, Kanda trailing behind. Lavi finally seemed to snap out of it when he was physically touched, and started complaining loudly about being dragged around by girls.

"Why is it always me? Why can't they drag someone else around? I don't like having to carry stuff around for girls, it's annoying!" He whined, and Lenalee laughed.

"You know you love it, even if only for the rewards you get afterwards." She chimed, and I had a feeling she had just made a rather perverted joke.

"True enough, but still, I think girls need to calm down and stop treating men like dogs." Lavi said firmly, nodding his head. We reached the car and Lenalee released us. Slipping into the back, Lavi gave me a small wink, and I quickly followed after him with a confused frown.

Kanda got in and the engine purred to life moments later. I saw him briefly touch Lenalee's hand before he took off, and I smiled. I doubted he had been expecting anyone to see the brief show of affection, and although I would love to call him out on it, I would keep silent. Even if it was more for Lenalee's sake than his.

Kanda was quick to get us to the school, and once again I found myself grateful to get out of the car, resisting the urge to kiss the solid, unmoving ground. One of these days Kanda's driving was going to make something inside of me crack, and I would never be able to enter a car again.

"It's going to snow soon," Lenalee commented absently. As if Kanda's driving didn't freak her out at all. She was a brave soul.

"Well that's to be expected. I mean, it is winter. I have no idea why you got your hair cut now instead of summer time." Lavi commented, also unaffected. Towards him I just felt a bitter resentment at his ability to ignore anything relatively frightening.

"It was a spur of the moment thing," Lenalee muttered. She seemed upset with this comment. Apparently she didn't like her hair getting made fun of.

"Well, I'm not saying it doesn't look good," Lavi said defensively. "I just mean it would've been smarter to keep your longer hair when it would keep you warm."

"Well, thank you for your concern, Lavi," Lenalee said sarcastically. She looked at me then, and gave me a small smile. We had been walking this whole time, and we were now heading up the stairs that led to the front entrance of the school. I didn't particularly like being here during holidays.

It wasn't like I paid much attention or was bullied or anything. I just didn't like being here longer than necessary. The only reason I came here was to graduate and nothing else. I saw no point in surrounding myself with people that were just going to disappear from my life as soon as I graduated.

That's what it used to be like for me, until Lavi. Now I found myself immersed in friendships, every day actually wanting something new to happen. However, most of it still happened outside of school.

Lenalee led us to the staff room, where Miranda and Krory were already starting the decorations. They both turned when they heard us entering, and gave us large grins.

I had never been in the staff room before. It was sort of like the Club room, but less fancy, with only one couch against the wall and a long white table that currently held open boxes of decorations. Comfy looking office chairs surrounded the table, the kind that could roll across the floor and spin. There was a kitchen to my left, no dishes out in the open and a relatively large fridge. The walls were beige, with white trimmings. A fifty inch flat screen hung at the end of the table.

"Oh, thank you so much Lenalee! This really is a great help. I'm so sorry you-" but Lenalee hushed her before she could finish her sentence.

"Don't worry about it, really. It's our pleasure to help you." She said kindly. A small cough came from Lavi, but everyone ignored it. Well, everyone but me. I shot him a quick glare, and was surprised to see that he had caught it. He just gave me a little smirk, but it aggravated me somehow.

"Well, anyways, thank you." Miranda said again. "You actually came just on time. Could you and Kanda come with me to go get a few more boxes of decorations? They're all the way in the storage room."

"Of course! Come on, Kanda." Lenalee smiled, and grabbed Kanda's hand. Everyone stared in shock, even Kanda, but Lenalee went on as if she didn't notice. Dragging a shocked Kanda behind her, she disappeared from the room, Miranda following with a look of surprise on her face.

As soon as they were gone, Krory sighed. Taking a good look at him now, he seemed fidgety. He wrung his hands together, looked at us, and then looked away. I exchanged a glance with Lavi and knew he was thinking the same thing. Something was definitely up.

"Are you alright, Krory?" Lavi asked curiously, walking up to the man. Krory looked at him, his eyes wide.

"J-just fine," he insisted.

"Come on now, you're acting like you're about to ask someone to marry you." Very suddenly, Krory's face was filled with color. He stammered for a minute, and then quickly turned away and pretended to be busy trying to untangle a streamer.

For a second, my head felt very light. Had Lavi guessed right without even meaning to? Was Krory going to ask Miranda's hand in marriage? It would explain why he had waited until she was gone to show his nerves. It must be taking a lot of strength out of him to keep it together in front of her, so as soon as she was gone he probably took the chance to get a little relief.

Lavi blinked in surprise a few times, and then laughed aloud. I glared harshly at him, but his back was turned to me this time. "Krory, is that what's happening?" I asked.

Krory began to hum to himself as if he couldn't hear us. Lavi regained his composure and approached Krory eagerly. "Are you taking her to dinner?"

There was a second of hesitation before Krory sighed.

"Yes," he admitted. "There's no point in trying to keep it from you two. I basically gave it away anyways..."

"It's alright, man. Something tells me you haven't exactly told anyone else anyways, which doesn't help for nerves. If no one's comforted you yet, obviously you're going to be all upset like this." Lavi said, trying to be reassuring. I admit, he did have a way of making people feel better by using such a casual tone. It was like saying 'it's not that bad, just look on the bright side'.

"I just... don't know what she'll say. What if she thinks it's too soon?" Krory asked, looking at Lavi with genuine fear. "What if she doesn't actually love me?"

"That, sir, is where you have gone very wrong. If you go thinking she doesn't love you you'll never get the courage to ask her out. How long have you two been together now?" Lavi asked, wrapping an arm around Krory's shoulder.

"About... five years now..." Krory squeaked, seeming to only get more nervous with Lavi's little prediction. I felt like I should be saying something, but I found my mouth was sealed shut. I didn't even know what to say. I had no experience in this kind of thing at all. I didn't even watch romance movies.

"Then you have nothing to worry about! Don't you think she would have left your sorry ass already if she didn't love you? Okay, I didn't mean you were a sorry ass, I was just getting in the mood." Lavi quickly remedied his mistake, as Krory suddenly looked like he was about to burst out crying. "The point is, the odds are looking in your favour."

"Y...you think so?" Krory asked timidly. Lavi smiled and nodded encouragingly, and then looked to me. Krory did, too, and I found myself nodding absently, plastering on a fake smile. What was wrong with me?

"See? Allen thinks so too. So where are you taking her?" Lavi asked, suddenly excited. I was confused as I watched him, unsure if this was an act or genuine enthusiasm. It was difficult to tell, considering twenty minutes ago he seemed to be lifeless. Was I losing my ability to read him?

"To that fancy restaurant..." Krory couldn't remember the name, so Lavi started listing names off until he said the right one. Lavi started getting animated on how Krory could propose, and I found myself not listening anymore. I didn't want to hear it, frankly.

Miranda, Lenalee and Kanda came back a few moments later, Kanda carrying two boxes while Miranda and Lenalee carried only one. Lavi abruptly cut the conversation off, causing a suspicious stare from Lenalee, and Krory hurried to continue untangling the streamer. He hadn't fully composed himself yet, to I hurried over to Miranda.

"Here, I'll take that," I said. I reached for it as she held it out to me, but at the last minute let my arms go wider than the box. We both watched as it clattered to the floor, and before she could notice I had done it on purpose I twisted my face into that of surprise. "I'm sorry!"

I took a quick glance at Krory to find he had regained his composure, and gave a small smile before continuing to apologize, bending down to pick the box up.


"Shh! If you're too loud they'll hear us!" Lavi whispered, and I glared at him. Why did he have to get so excited over a dinner between two teachers? Why couldn't he be excited earlier when it was just us two, instead of making me think I had seriously screwed up?

"Shouldn't we leave Krory and Miranda alone?" I asked impatiently, sure to keep my voice down so he wouldn't get angry.

"Are you kidding me? This is too good to miss!" Lavi replied, peeking through the fake tree separating us from Miranda and Krory's table. "He's gunna follow through! I can feel it!"

"Well that's just great," I muttered. "You want to watch our teachers' romances."

"Oh don't be such a pessimist." Lavi chided, quickly looking back at me. "You know you have nothing better to do."

I frowned bitterly, unable to disagree with this statement. Reluctantly, I shoved my head into the tree, next to Lavi. I laid my sight on the two teachers.

Miranda looked different, her hair down and her eyeliner not as thick, dressed in a delicate white dress that was held up by two thin straps. The dress only came to her knees when she sat down, and strappy white sandals adorned her feet. Her hands were folded nervously on her lap, but there was a bright smile on her face.

Krory, however, was just as nervous as before. Except now he was showing it in front of her. He looked good in his suit, black on black with a red rose tucked into his left breast pocket, but he kept running his hand through his hair or fidgeting with his pocket. Even his laugh and his smile were strained.

How long were we going to end up sitting here for?

"So...you like this place?" Krory asked. Miranda gave him an odd look before laughing a little.

"Of course I like this place. It's beautiful. Krory, you seem so nervous. What's wrong?"

Krory's face turned even whiter, if that were possible. Lavi leaned further forward and I grabbed him by his sleeve, trying to stop him. He turned sharply to glare at me, his green eye flashing, and I released my grip just as he tugged.

"Miranda – will you marry me?"

Two loud gasps sounded in my ears as my body fell to the ground. The feeling of bushes scratching at me disappeared, replaced by open air. I landed on top of who I could only assume was Lavi, my face on what felt like his chest. "Lavi! Allen!"

"Ow..." Lavi moaned, his chest vibrating in my ear. I moved my head so I could see his chin, and then looked at Miranda and Krory sitting in the table next to us, also where Lavi was looking. "Krory...that was a terrible proposal." Lavi grunted before pushing himself up a little. He flopped back down and sighed. "Allen, can you get off me?"

"Oh...right...sorry." I scrambled to get off, ignoring the feeling in my stomach that said not to. I sat on the ground, looking expectantly at Miranda. Lavi sat up as well, copying me. "Please, on all accounts, don't let us stop you from answering."

Lavi nodded in agreement, his face lighting up like a child's. Miranda looked utterly confused, then looked over at Krory's bright red face, then down at his open hands and the ring that sat there. She stared at it for a few moments, then it seemed to dawn on her what was happening.

First there was shock. Then there was fear. Then, there was joy. "Yes," she whispered. "Yes. Yes of course I'll marry you."

At first, it didn't register on Krory's face. Then there was shock and disbelief. Then it faded away and was replaced by a huge smile, and he stood up hastily. A new confidence seemed to fill him as he knelt down beside her and took her hand, slipping the slim gold ring around her finger, a single small diamond in the center of the band.

"I love you, Miranda Lotto." He whispered, and Miranda laughed. She then fell forward and kissed him. Tears had formed and were freely falling from her eyes.

It was odd, watching the scene. An odd sort of happiness filled me, one I never really felt before. I'd never had much occasion to feel happy for others, not even when Kanda and Lenalee got together, but I was definitely feeling it right now.

It felt really good.

"Congratulations you two." Lavi said. I hadn't noticed when he had stood up but he was. He had one of the most gentle smiles I had ever seen him give on his face. I could tell he felt just as happy for them as I did.

Krory pulled away from Miranda, placing a hand on her shoulder before looking up at Lavi. He, too, was crying a little. "Thank you, Lavi." He said earnestly. Then his face turned serious. "But do you mind telling me why you and Allen are here, creeping in the bushes?"

"We wanted to see you propose, of course!" Lavi replied with a grin. I grimaced, then pushed myself up so I could stand with him. Krory sighed before giving us a smile.

"Well, thank you, both of you." He said. "I don't know why it seemed so important for you to come, but I'm glad you did. Would you like a drink?"

"That would be awesome!" Lavi chimed, clapping me on the shoulder before taking a seat in one of the empty chairs. A little unsure of myself, I moved to the other side of the circular table and sat across from Lavi. I felt like we should be giving them alone time. I didn't look at Lavi, somehow afraid to, and instead turned to Miranda.

"Congratulations, Ms. Lotto. You must be really happy right now." I commented.

"Oh yes, thank you Allen." She smiled, wiping at her eyes. "I'm still a little dumbfounded, really. I'm wondering if this really happened."

She chuckled a little before looking at Krory again. They joined hands across the table, merely staring at each other, and suddenly I felt out of place. This really should be their time alone. And for some reason I couldn't look at Lavi during this, either. It didn't really seem like he want me to anyways, though.

I briefly wondered if I had somehow insulted him, but I couldn't really think of anything I had done as of late. Play rehearsals were off until Christmas Break finished, so he couldn't be angry with me about bad acting. We had long since gotten over the arm fiasco, albeit he simply hadn't brought the subject up so neither did I.

In other words, Lavi was acting unreasonably.

Suddenly, I was angry.

"Lavi...I need to get home early tonight." I said, making myself look like I had just realized this. Lavi gave me a very small glare before smiling.

"Alright. I guess we should get going then. Sorry we couldn't stay for a drink after you only just invited us to sit down." He said courteously, standing from his chair. I was quick to follow suit. I leaned down and gave Miranda a gentle hug, whispering another congratulations in her ear before pulling away and shaking Krory's hand.

I stood back and watched Lavi say his goodbyes, then together we said goodbye one last time and turned to leave. Walking through the restaurant, I felt light. My heart was thudding in my chest as we left, heading towards the black jeep that belonged to Lavi.

"Why did you rush us out of there?" Lavi asked once we were inside.

Because you infuriate me. "Because they deserve to be left alone after they just got engaged." I replied in a matter-of-fact tone. A brief look of shame crossed Lavi's features as he understood my statement, and he sighed.

"I'm sorry. I just get excited around weddings and engagements and pregnancies." He whispered, leaning his head against the steering wheel. He looked so delicate that I forgot about my anger for the time being.

"Why?" I whispered, genuinely curious.

"Because...I never met my parents. Not when I was old enough to comprehend who they were, anyways. They died before I could ever meet them." He whispered back. "I never got to be part of a happy family. I like to see it happen, to see what I missed out on."

Understanding crossed my features as I leaned forward, placing a hand on the redhead's shoulder. I didn't say anything for fear of saying the wrong thing. I was never sure how to comfort Lavi. I never really thought I would have to.

After a while, he finally started the engine, sitting up again. I sat back, my hand falling away, and he drove away from the restaurant full of celebration.


Christmas day.

The one day I felt loneliest. Of course, I hadn't spend it with anyone since...

My fingers shook as I played the piano softly. Lavi was having me over for Christmas Eve with everyone else. While they had been distracted, I had snuck away to the music room. I still remembered the feeling as I taught Lavi how to play that melody...

What would Mana say if he knew I had taught it to someone else? Would he be happy I had found someone I trusted enough to teach it, or would he feel betrayed because it was His song? After all...in the end it wasn't Mana who had taught me the song in the first place.

I closed my eyes, trying to force my mind to go elsewhere. I didn't want to think about these things. No matter how comfortable I was with my friends, or how in love I was with Lavi, those thoughts still burned just as badly as they used to.

I found myself playing a piece called White Lake. I closed my eyes gently, letting my fingers play out the melancholy tune. It was nice that a pianist could enjoy the sound of their own music so intently. It was not to say with other instruments one couldn't, but to me there was no instrument like the piano.

"You really do play extremely well." I jumped, my fingers scattering across the keys and making a not very pretty sound. "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you."

I looked to the doorway to find Angela. A brief sense of fear washed over me before I smiled in greeting. "I'm sorry, I just wanted to play. I can leave."

"No, no. That's not what I wanted. I was enjoying listening to you play. I wasn't sure who it was, since the young master is currently busy entertaining his guests. I thought maybe one of the servants were in here." She smiled at me kindly. I wasn't really sure how to react to this, considering our last meeting (and first) had involved her getting angry with Lavi about leaving a fairly rude note.

"Well I'm glad you enjoy it," I said feebly. I couldn't think of anything else.

"Where did you learn to play?" Angela asked, entering the room fully and sitting on an absent chair.

"I was taught by...someone close to me." I said with a small, sad smile. "He...died though."

"Oh!" She said in surprise, her expression turning apologetic. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring up the past."

"It's fine," I said kindly. After all, how could she have known?

"I'm glad you taught the young master how to play that song. He comes in here a lot more often now. He's nearly perfected it, but I don't think he plays it quite as beautifully as you." Angela said with a slightly proud smile, as well as complimentary.

"He still plays it?" I asked, frowning softly.

"Yes, he loves it." She replied. "I think he feels at peace when he plays it. And I think it reminds him of you."

I paused at the last part, and looked at Angela in confusion. How would that make him want to play it?

"The young master thinks very, very highly of you, Mr. Walker. You shouldn't underestimate his friendship with you. I've never seen him grow so close to someone before."

I wasn't exactly sure how to take that, honestly. I was unable to say anything as she stood up and left the room without another word. I looked at the soft ivory keys of the piano, and ran my fingers lightly over them, feeling the cold surface.

Was I really that important to the redhead?


I didn't want to wake up today.

I didn't want to see the gray sky outside.

I didn't want to get dressed.

But I had to. There was still no snow on the ground, despite what Lenalee had said a week ago. There was no White Christmas, or at least not yet. Forecast said it would snow by late afternoon. I didn't believe them, and was right to do so.

By six, there was still no snow on the ground. The sky was dark, and the street lamps were lit. Inside the house, Master was gone. He always left on Christmas. Left me alone to mourn on my own.

I sat in the living room, staring at the blank TV as if it would turn on on its own. Of course it wouldn't, and I knew this, but I didn't want to move. If I moved, I wouldn't be able to hold myself together.

So I sat in silence, choking back the huge ball in my throat, pushing away the thoughts that wished so desperately to come to mind. I refused to let them, I tried my hardest to keep my mind blank.

And then I heard the carollers. They weren't at my house yet but next door, but I could still hear them. There was probably a decent about of them if they were able to reach my ears in the next house over with the windows closed.

It triggered a memory in my head. Mana had me in his arms as we opened the door to a group of carollers, and we listened together as they sang to us. I had been so happy...

I don't even remember standing, or grabbing my coat, or slipping on my shoes. I don't remember leaving the house. But the next thing I knew I was running down my street, farther and farther from the carollers, from those memories. I didn't want to think...I didn't want to think...

I ran to the closest park. Panting, I sat at a bench in the middle of it, going along the pathway. The path was dimly lit with the street lamps, casting an eerie glow that would normally drive me away. Tonight I welcomed anything that would scare me; it would keep me distracted.

But it wasn't enough. I was breaking.


I missed him. I missed his smile. I missed his gifts. I missed having a father and someone who cared about me. I had been alone for so long...the only time I hadn't been alone was when he had taken me in...

But then someone else came. Someone else took away that loneliness.


How was it that he could take over my thoughts so easily? Why did I have to suddenly find my heart thumping and my breathing going shallow at the mere thought of him?

He had saved me. He had taken me under his wing and brought me back to a world worth living in. I had friends. I had a life. I was happy. Or at least to an extent I was. My memories still haunted me, still scarred me. They always would, I knew.

I knew that this was going to end. My happiness would end and I would be stuck alone again. Lavi would disappear. Lenalee and Fou and Kanda and Daisya would also disappear. They would all vanish from my life some day, if by their own choice or mine.

I would be alone again, no matter how much I didn't want to be. I knew that I wanted Lavi to stay in my life though. More than anything I wanted him there, even if only as a friend. I didn't care if he loved me, so long as I got to stay by his side. I could watch him grow happy. I could help him achieve happiness.

I wanted to see him...



"Lavi?" The name left my lips involuntarily. I said the name before it actually registered in my brain. I looked up, and there was Lavi, walking towards me. I choked back a sob, and realized I had been crying.

"Allen, what's wrong?" He asked, concern cutting across his face.

I shook my head, unable to speak again. I didn't want my voice to crack.

Lavi sat next to me without a word, folding his hands together and waiting. I cried silently next to him, wanting to reach over and touch him, to see if he was really there, if my wish had actually been granted. We sat for what must have been ten minutes before I finally calmed down and he talked again.

"Why aren't you at home?" he asked.

"No one there," I whispered hoarsely. "I could ask you the same question."

"I was coming to check up on you." My heart skipped a beat, and I looked up in surprise. I could tell my eyes were red and puffy, and for a brief moment felt embarrassed, but by seeing Lavi's concerned frown I forgot about it. He was genuinely concerned.

Something cold hit my cheek. I looked up at the sky, and watched as two more snowflakes appeared. Soon, more and more appeared.

"So the forecast was right...off by a while, but right." Lavi said lightly, and I looked at him. He smiled at me, but it was not a smile I was used to. It was a smile of kindness and caring. It was a smile of knowing. He knew. He knew at least part of the reason I was out here crying.

I felt my throat constrict, and swallowed. I couldn't say anything. I could only stare at him.

"I'm sorry, Allen..." he whispered, his smile growing softer by the second, until it was almost a frown. His gaze became intense. What was he thinking?

No...what was he doing?

He was leaning forward. He was closing the distance between us. His arms wrapped around me and he cradled my head, stroking my hair. My heart was beating faster by the second.

Very gently, surprisingly gently, Lavi pulled away. He didn't seem like the type who could be this gentle. Not to a friend, anyways.

And then he kissed me.

At first it was just a light kiss, a brush over the lips. Asking for permission. From the fact that I didn't pull away – in fact I did nothing, I was in too much shock – Lavi proceeded.

He kissed me with a bit more intensity this time. This time it was a real kiss, and this time I was able to respond.

I never imagined kissing him would taste this good. I stayed away from these thoughts because I was afraid of what they would lead to, but he tasted better than I had ever imagined. I sighed, and he pulled away gently.

"I've been wanting to do that for a while." He said quietly, and gave a small, confident smile. "Merry Christmas, Allen. You deserve it."

He stood up and left. Leaving me with my cheeks flushed, my heart racing, and my lips yearning for more. Lavi Bookman Junior, prodigy as well as playful and exciting, mysterious and unreadable, brooding yet always cheerful. Lavi Bookman Junior, the one I had fallen in love with. Lavi Bookman Junior, who had just kissed me.

Lavi Bookman Junior, who had completely eliminated any thoughts of Christmas.

End Chapter

A/N: Yep, that's right folks. I updated. The chapter sucks, it was really roughly put together and is kind of rushed – also one of the shortest chapters I've done in a really long time – but I got it out. And I have a feeling I won't get TOO many complaints, considering it FINALLY has kissing in it, which you've all been begging me for...

On another note, I am very sorry that I have not updated in so long. Now, don't go thinking I'll update all the time now. It just so happens that this is the first night in months and months that I have actually had more than two hours to myself, so I was able to spend crazy amounts of time writing.

As for the last scene, I had a perfect scene written out on paper but I COULD NOT FIND IT! I was so pissed. So anyways I had to go from the top of my head with only a general idea of what I wrote. All I knew was it was a park scene with snow and Lavi showing up while Allen was chanting his name in his head. I'm sorry it's not better, I wish I still had what I'd written out, but I can't find it.

I hope you are happy, my lovely fans. I did this just for you, because I decided that if I DID decide to end this story, it would at LEAST be after they kissed. I still have three segments I want to write, though, and a lot of ideas to go with them. If I find the time I'll work on Fate, but I can't guarantee ANYTHING. So don't get your hopes up.

Anyways, much love, and give lots of thanks to my Monkey Butt, cuz he inspired me to keep writing. Such a good Monkey Butt. Much love!