Disclaimer: I don't own DGM or any of its characters. I make no money out of this, either.
Pairing: Daisya + Kanda / Allen
Warining: some spoilers, maybe. Implied lime.
Notes: I don't know about the timeline. X_x please correct me if I'm way off. This is sort of cryptic and not at all something I would usually write. But I had a weird day, I've been reading lots of Su Dama, sat down and wrote and this is the result in under two hours. I barely auto-betaed it. So uh. Impressions are welcome and sorry in advance if this isn't your cup of tea. ^^;
Oh and. I'm using the term 'football' meant in the British English meaning. Allen is English, so it only feels fair, since this is kind-of seen through his eyes. English is not my first language, but I'm trying to avoid American terms. Please tell me if you find any. ^^;
The sun is peeking shyly through the mid-January clouds the first time Allen meets him. He's hard to miss, bouncing a football on his knee in the middle of the courtyard. Allen had seen people bounce a ball in the circus, had seen what expertise meant, and knows this one exorcist is not below it. He is good.
The ball is suddenly left to bounce off the ground, then kicked on the re-bounce and suddenly speeding directly towards him, like a big, air-filled bullet. His muscles tense by reflex, and before he knows it, Allen has nailed it down with a foot, adrenaline awake and buzzing through the realization of what he has achieved. He still knows football, after all these years. It feels as though his time with Mana, when he has learned to play, is that much closer now. It warms him inside, despite the January cold.
"Nice," the boy calls to him, "I see I might yet get to play with someone round here."
Blinking against the still so rare afternoon sun, Allen finds himself smiling into a set of slit-like dark eyes. He looks homely, the kind of a boy you could find on any courtyard, in any Mediterranean town outskirts. He's not handsome like Kanda, nor he exotic-looking like Lavi. His maple brown hair is tousled and he is neither tall, nor very built. He looks simple. Uncomplicated. Just a boy who likes football.
"It's been years since I last played," Allen confesses, regretfully. But he knows he would play today, with this simple boy, and bask in his memories. He walks down the few stairs that rim the archway from the still wet courtyard pavement, kicking the ball along to follow, to bounce ahead towards the boy in an acceptance of the offer.
Catching the ball effortlessly, the brunette opens his palms to the sun, in a mock-invite meant for the white-haired exorcist. "Well, about time you start again then, yeah?" he's grinning. His grin is insanely contagious. "This is the first sunny afternoon in weeks, it'd be stupid to waste it."
And Allen agrees. Later, when the sun is setting and casting long shadows over the courtyard, they would sit on the steps to the archway to catch their breath. Allen would learn the boy was named Daisya Barry.
The second time he sees him is two months later. March blooms with fresh grass and the first of the greenery's leaves, as well as so many flowers, wild colored stars dotting the meadows around the castle grounds.
Allen walks the path leading towards it, tired and bleeding into makeshift bandages that would soon need replacing. Kanda's coat flutters beyond him, catching the wind, but the Japanese does not wound it tighter around himself. Even though Allen knows the shirt he had been wearing underneath is now ripped to shreds to bound Allen's ribs in place until they get to the infirmary.
But Allen is not complaining. The Finder that was with them never made it. And while Kanda has had a collection of choice words at the white-haired exorcist's efficiency ability, he has also taken care of him like a true companion and partner would. Allen never believed Kanda deemed himself any of the two.
Pass the gates, Kanda only leaves a "go to the infirmary, bean sprout" in his wake, without turning. He walks pass many a exorcist, including a smiling Lenalee, who welcomes him home nonetheless, before she turns to do the same to Allen. Unlike Kanda, he beams at every smile and kind word he is offered. Do they not make Kanda feel at home? Or is he too proud to show it?
Emerging from Lavi's tight embrace, Allen chances a glance down the hall in time to see a boy run up to Kanda. His hood slips and his tousled brown spikes tuck themselves into the arch of the Japanese's neck. He's pulling away from the contact stubbornly, undoubtedly muttering curses, but the boy's arm is around his waist now and… and Kanda lifts his arm around his shoulders. It is slight, but it's still a half-hug. It lasts until a more towering silhouette approaches them, an exorcist known as Marie, if Allen is not mistaking. Kanda turns to look at him in greeting, his hand slipping off the boy now holding onto him, but suddenly the other comes to life again, lifting his head to reveal twin violet streaks across the cheeks and yes. It's Daisya Barry. He's talking to Kanda, or at Kanda, with a smirk, laughing, gesticulating excitedly… and the other listens, walking on. Allen would watch them disappear around the corner, all three of them, if a voice had not shook him awake.
"General Tiedoll must be a genius," Lavi tells him with a small smile, his green eye following Kanda and his two companions. "Even Yuu-chan looks glad to be with his fellow protégées, I'm kinda jealous~"
"They're like brothers," Lenalee chimes in, but she's quick to be mindful of other, more pressing matters and proceeds to shoo Allen into the medical wing, not letting him out of her sight until he's handed over to the Head Nurse. And then she leaves, with a warmness in her eyes that might have been meant as a hug if she had had more nerve, but she doesn't. And perhaps it is for the best, because Allen is wrapped up in conflicting thoughts about Kanda's apparently hidden humanity.
The third time around, Allen hears the football-lover's boisterous laughter first.
He's leaning over the railing of the balcony to the grand hall, rolling his glass of blueberry juice and counting the early May stars. It is a grim time, so unlike what the bright twinkling stars are eager to charm through. General Yeegar had died not a week ago in the hospital wing, chanting a death-bed lullaby the Noah had embedded in his brain.
But tonight the order is celebrating. The goodbye feast is already dying down in the grand hall, and come morning, many of the exorcists would split to cruise the world in search of the wandering generals, to bring them home and protect them. The dangers are grave out there, Allen knows. He wonders of his master, feeling grim about the debts he would no doubt found in his wake when… Daisya laughs. Heartily.
Allen leans further over the railing, looking down onto the garden below and sees him. Them.
"I can handle him, you go back."
It's Kanda, speaking back towards a troubled looking Marie. The towering exorcist lingers for a couple of moments before he finally decides to do as he is told. He knows Kanda's really only looking for an excuse to get away from these social clusters of tipsy fellow exorcists and Finders.
They make it as far as the oak that grows strong just down the path, before Daisya stumbles, grabs at Kanda, and they both ungracefully thud to the ground in a heap of messed up uniforms. Allen can still hear Kanda curse distinctively, and represses the urge to chuckle. It's still new to him, this human side of Kanda. The way he sits straight and pulls the other up with him, pulling his hood off and asking if he's hit his head.
In response, the other sways his head no vehemently enough to make himself dizzy, still grinning. He steadies the dancing world beyond his eyes by dropping his head against the leather of Kanda's padded shoulder.
"You idiot," Kanda is muttering, "just because you're of age and you can, doesn't mean you should drink," he lectures gruffly, "alcohol is bad for your brain and body alike, it slackens you, makes you worthless. And you can't even walk straight."
But Daisya's still smiling. Allen can barely understand what he's speaking against the Rose of the other's coat. "I knew you'd be a pain in the ass about this, Yuu." His arms, though, move closer, circling clumsily around the other's waist. And Kanda makes no effort to shake him off, even though Allen expects it from one moment to the next.
It feels awkward, watching them. Two boys sitting on the gravel in each-other's arms. And one of them is a person Allen would have never thought could muster a single humane feeling, let alone be so… familiar with somebody else. Especially somebody as loud and boisterous as the football-loving Exorcist.
Kanda is looking over at the woods now, and Allen moves carefully away from the railing and into the shadows that the jasmine pots are casting over the balcony. He certainly does not want to be spotted.
"Tomorrow you better be prepared to deal with your hangover," the dark-haired exorcist speaks quietly, warningly. "The train is leaving early, mind to be up in time."
"I'm not drunk," comes muffed from his chest, before the scattered brown locks lift and Daisya is staring straight up in Kanda's face, determined. "I just drunk enough for a little courage," he explains.
Kanda, however, does not understand. "Courage for what? This mission?"
Daisya sways his head no again, vehemently. He sways slightly, even though they're still sitting on the ground, and the other catches him, letting out a disgruntled sigh. But while Daisya's body is swayed easily in his inebriated state, his resolve is not. He latches his fingers together around the other's neck and lets the moon's reflection speak for him through his eyes, holding the almond black ones steadily.
It's sudden, brief. Kanda's pony-tail flails over his right shoulder as the other pulls him down. Their lips press together roughly and Allen clutches the glass tighter, fearful he'd drop it otherwise.
Why isn't Kanda pulling away? Why isn't he yelling at the bold ball-bouncer or calling him names?
Their pressed lips soften, and now the slighter brunette is nibbling closer, helping himself with a hand sneaked against the other's cheek while the other holds onto the back of the Japanese's uniform for dear life. For a moment longer, Kanda's shoulders are squared, stiff. His hands draw fists of the other's cloak, sternly, but then they lift to hold him close, closer…
And Allen turns tail. He blankly watches the carpet and barely gets his smile up in time to the friendly greetings. He figures it's safe to say he's baffled. He leaves his half-full glass on the nearest table and excuses himself for the evening. Oh yes, he's never been this sleepy. Oh no, he's not hungry. Oh yes, he wishes everyone a wonderful evening. Wonderful.
He lies awake in his room that night, in his shirt and dress pants, with his hands crossed behind his head until the sunrise dawns over the tops of the mountains. He will leave with Lenalee in a couple of hours. And even though he promises himself to find out how on God's green Earth had the obnoxious Daisya found a way underneath Kanda's skin, he does not know he will never, ever see him again.
In the Ark, Kanda is as cold as he always is. His temper is sharp and sudden and he does not seem changed to Allen. Just… older. And ready to die. Even when he promises to Lenalee he would catch up with them after defeating the Noah, Allen can see it in his eyes.
Something inside of him has died. Maybe there's a reason why Daisya is not there. And why Lavi is that much more affectionate and eager to call him by his given name.
But Allen doesn't ask. There's no time to ask. The clock is ticking and the Ark is crumbling – calling them to be cradled into the grave it is promising to become.
Kanda stops in his tracks, looking at him from over his shoulder. He's out in the hallway now, just outside the medical wing, with his hair down and the violet sweater over his bedclothes. His eyes narrow and he wants to know why is Allen apologizing.
It takes him two tries, but finally, Allen elaborates. "About Daisya."
Kanda does not say anything. His eyes are cold, calculating. So Allen, against his better judgment, but fueled to do what he believes is right, goes on.
"I heard from Marie that he passed away facing-"
"His job," Kanda finishes for him, sharply. "He was an exorcist."
And for a moment, Allen doesn't know what to say. He watches the deep black of Kanda's eyes and feels cold at how calm the other seems. He feels a sudden urge to tell him that he can cry if he wants, he can curse the exorcists for making Dasiya die for their cause. He hates this place. He wants to yell and tell it to everyone. He wants the hurting to end.
And then it flashes through his mind that he's not like Kanda. He's also the 14th. He's… not like them. He's not entitled to understand.
Kanda turns on his way, leaving him standing there to brood.
But he would not spend long thinking. For the Noah would be back all too soon to reclaim the Egg and transform their home to rubble, taking many more lives and making the football loving Exorcist just a forgotten number on the mortuary list.
They're walking along the Thames and it is late fall. The river is a sickly chocolate color, full of washed debris from upstream that all the late rain had tumbled along. Allen feels at home here, in a repulsive, recursive, and nostalgic way. But Kanda…
Kanda is, as is his usual, walking ahead. His exorcist coat is different now, but his lapel shines with the Rose's Emblem just as brightly. His long, black waterfall of a pony-tail rests flat against his back in the moist afternoon air, and he looks so out of place with his height and his smooth Japanese face-lines. He looks as dark and unapproachable as he always had.
A horse cries out from the street to their right, cowing as the carriage driver pulls harshly on the reigns. They look to see why, but the source of the commotion is already rolling fast towards them and, instinctively, Allen stops it with his foot, pinning it to the pavement.
There's shouting from the driver, and the kids on the other side of the road look mortified, but Allen smiles at them anyway, beckoning them closer. They're dirty, perky, careful of his clean shiny uniform, but they come closer anyway, letting the carriage trot on.
"Be careful playing around here in the docks, you don't want it to end in the river, now," Allen advises them gently. They're scowling at him, eyeing the Exorcist Rose on his lapel with suspicion. But he is not that different. Not ten years ago, he was one of them. A kid, dirty and crusty from the mud, kicking a ball around. And he shows them this. He bounces the wandered ball on his foot, on his knee, on his head – so what if he sprays some mud on his fancy new red-silk rimmed uniform, their awed faces are all worth it.
He sends them scurrying on, with a promise to be more careful, and they're waving at him now. He waves back, of course. All until he feels observed and turns, catching two softened black eyes that pin him on the spot. It lasts a moment barely, and then Kanda is gathering himself together again and walking on, firmly, telling him to hurry the heck up.
Allen now has a muddy boot, a dirty knee and most likely a crust forming in his hair, too, but he's happy.
It's mid-February now and Lavi excuses himself when Lenalee comes into the training hall to whish them a good night. She looks hurt when he goes, but her smile is still in place when she looks at her other two companions. Allen used to feel a little bit jealous at first. It had almost seemed like she had liked him, for a while, so maybe that's why. Lavi had told her he was a Bookman when she confessed. Allen knew because he had found her crying in the chapel.
She goes, bitterly, and suddenly Allen has a thought he can't get rid of.
"Kanda," he intones, moderately. "Do you think of him sometimes?"
Kanda looks at him over the sword he's polishing. It's a wary look, but it feels blank, it feels like it's just meant to keep up appearances.
But Allen says it anyway. "Daisya."
He thinks Kanda won't answer. He won't yell, either, the look in his eyes is tame, cold. Allen finds it comforting.
"He was loud," Kanda says at last, "he was like a headache resonating through my brain all the time."
Allen's is a gamble, but he's feeling bold tonight, even though this is a game he can't cheat at. "Just like Lavi?"
"Just like you," Kanda corrects him. His eyes are closed now and he feels like he's just said too much. "You, with all these useless questions."
Something bursts inside Allen. Something silent and warm and incredibly peaceful. He picks up his jacket and walks pass the other, smiling.
By the time summer warms the city, Allen has a football. But he's not really using it. He stands on it in a perfect balance in his room, but it doesn't last. He catches himself to land on his mattress as it slips form underneath his naked feet. He feels like crying and laughing at the same time.
Only days ago, Kanda had kissed him.
Okay, maybe he had been the one to kiss Kanda.
Did it matter? It was bound to happen anyway. He had been… reminding Kanda of Daisya on purpose for a while. And it apparently worked, he had gotten under the other's skin somewhat. But now what? Did he even want this, or was it just a way to see what was underneath, to be in the graces of the Japanese exorcist?
And what about Kanda? Did he see that Mediterranean boy in him, with his purple streaks and messed brown hair?
He picks the ball up now, kicking it into a corner blindly. And hastily runs down the hall before he looses his nerve. He knocks and it feels like forever until the door opens and stern dark eyes gaze upon him questioningly.
"Kanda," he says, breathlessly, "let's stop this."
Dark eyes watch him, on and on until they blur completely out of his vision. But then there's hands on his face, calloused hands of a swordsman and he's surprised as they roughly wipe away his tears.
"Don't cry," he's being scolded with a whisper now, "are you a man or not?"
He wants to say that no, he's not, not yet.
There's a light opened down the hall, and Kanda is pulling him in. To avoid more questions. To avoid more explanations. To stop his tears. To make him a man.
Bells ring in the morning, calling to mass, but they're not going. They're not going to confession, because their sin was meant from the heart.
"If I die," he suddenly asks the ceiling, fingers digging into fine cobalt silk that spills everywhere, "will you remember me?"
"No," Kanda answers, truthfully. "You're too selfless to tie me down. You'd tell me to move on."
Strangely, it doesn't hurt to hear it. "Was Daisya selfless?"
"He never asked the questions you ask."
The moment feels tender now, delicate. One wrong word and it's gone. Three wrong words and it's right.
Kanda leans to sit back and off him, the curtain of his hair spills over his cloth-less frame, over the black lines turned wild over his heart and vined down his arm. There's not many petals left now, either.
He doesn't say it back. He just leans over and claims, again. Because, in his own way, he is selfless, too.