Not All Things Change

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Kanda asked in frustration as he hauled Allen out of the river.

The pale boy only coughed and hacked as he tried to even out his labored breathing.

"Are you trying to get yourself killed?" Kanda asked.

"So what if I am?" Allen snapped his silver eyes meeting Kanda's cobalt gaze. "I'm not, alright. I just did what I had to." Kanda wouldn't say it but he was worried about the young general. It had been several months since the attack on HQ. Louvelier was cruel and harsh with the boy, sending him on missions left, right and center along with hammering him about the 14th Noah. Komui had told Kanda before letting them out on their last mission to look out for Allen. When Kanda had asked about the boy Komui told him something he deemed to be very disturbing.

Allen was dying. Kanda had known parasitic innocence took a toll on its user but he had no idea it was draining the boy's life. In a way it was like Kanda's lotus, as time passes it becomes more difficult to heal after an attack, for Allen though, his body was deteriorating. For anyone who saw him he seemed fine – normal – even though a little more tired than usual. Allen had increased his food consumption but he had been loosing weight Kanda realized when he felt how small Allen was in his arms. Still even with the boy's deteriorating health Allen wouldn't rest and Louvelier was trying to get the most out of Allen before he either died or betrayed them - Kanda knew though that Allen would never betray them - the martyr would sooner die before he did something against the Black Order.

What worried him most was how Allen had been acting, his smile was always there when people were around but when he thought he was alone Kanda could see the pained expressions. Allen wouldn't sleep much and when he did he would be fitful, often waking in a cold sweat with tears staining his face. Kanda had confronted him about it but every time Allen would smile, lead him into an argument and then Kanda would storm off in a huff. The boy was so damn manipulative, probably due to his years of living with Cross.

"Come on Moyashi," Kanda said as he motioned to pull Allen onto his back but Allen shuffled back from him. The boy took a deep breath ignoring Kanda's angered expression and forced himself to stand despite his injuries.

"What the fuck are you doing baka Moyashi?" Kanda yelled in annoyance.

"We're not done here yet," Allen said.

"Yes we are, you are in no condition to fight," Kanda said.

"We have to get the innocence and send it back to Komui, I'm going with or without your consent Kanda," Allen said stiffly causing Kanda's face to contort in anger.

"I don't care if you're a general, I'm still going to kick your ass," Kanda growled as he slammed Allen into the wall behind him.

Allen let out a startled yelp, instantly covering his mouth with his hand as he was thrown into a fit of coughing. Kanda almost felt remorseful for treating him so roughly when he was injured but the boy had much worse before, he was sure of that.

Kanda glared seriously at Allen and he was not surprised to see the blood staining his hand and trickling from the corners of his mouth. But he'd be lying if he said he didn't care or that he wasn't concerned.

"You can't even take what I give you, what're you going to do if another level 4 attacks?" Kanda asked moving away from the boy only then realizing that he had been the only thing supporting Allen and keeping him from falling to the ground. Quickly wrapping his arms around Allen's waist Kanda could feel Allen's labored breathing and the trembling of his lithe frame - after all he was still wet.

"Baka you can't even stand," Kanda growled in annoyance.

The following sequence of events happened so swiftly that Kanda hadn't had a chance to react.

Allen had activated his innocence and flipped their positions so that Kanda was against the wall and he, still partially leaning against the older male, had taken the brunt of the level 3's attack. Allen coughed out more blood but didn't falter, his clown belt stretched out like legs to support him as he returned the attack and successfully eliminated the akuma and freed the soul trapped within it. Allen landed awkwardly on the river bank, collapsing as his innocence deactivated. Breathing heavily, he coughed out more blood and curled his knees to his chest as his body shivered uncontrollably. Kanda was angry he had allowed the akuma to catch them off guard.

Kanda lifted Allen into his arms and began walking towards the town.

"Don't die on me," Kanda said as Allen fisted his hands in his clothing, eyes clenched shut from the pain.

xXx

Kanda sat Allen down on a chair and disappeared into the bathroom. Allen distantly heard the sound of water running as he waited for the elder male to return. Kanda returned to the room and knelt in front of Allen.

"How do you feel? Can you move?" Kanda asked looking into the dazed silver eyes of his partner.

"I can, it doesn't hurt that much," Allen said forcing a smile to his face.

"Then strip and take a bath, you need to warm up before you catch a cold. I already ran the water," Kanda said his voice fading in and out of Allen's conscious. "Oi don't pass out!"

Allen didn't move, Kanda knew the smile was forced, he knew the boy was lying and he shook his head before setting about undressing the disoriented boy.

xXx

Kanda sat patiently as he watched Allen's cheeks flushed from the heat of the bath. He felt a blush creep up his own face as he thought about Allen's body. As he'd stripped him he couldn't help but let his eyes roam over the creamy milk white of his skin and how it was stained with rust colored blood and purplish bruises. As he watched his chest rise and fall he could tell that Allen's breathing had yet to return to normal, it was still sporadic and that worried him.

"Kanda," Allen breathed out barely audible.

"What is it?" Kanda asked as he walked closer to the tub.

"Nnn...dizzy..." Allen groaned.

Kanda grabbed a towel and told Allen to stand up. Slowly standing using the wall for support Allen blushed at being so exposed in front of Kanda of all people. Kanda placed a hand on Allen's shoulder to steady him as the boy stepped out of the tub, water dripping from his white locks and trailing down his body in an almost alluring way. Allen wobbled slightly but felt a sense of relief and security sink in as Kanda wrapped the towel around him and led him back into the room. Kanda sat Allen on the bed and proceeded to dry his hair.

Allen shivered and Kanda cursed. Allen's clothing hadn't dried yet and since it was supposed to be a short two day mission neither of them had any luggage. Taking off his jacket Kanda draped it across the boy's shoulders.

"Wear this until your clothes are dry," Kanda said to which Allen nodded as he slid his arms into the sleeves. "Get some sleep," Kanda said pushing Allen back onto the bed gently. Allen smiled as he pulled the coat closer and allowed his eyes to flutter closed.

"Thanks Kanda," Allen said softly. Kanda said nothing, just stared.

"Why are you so foolish?" Kanda asked softly as soon as he was sure Allen had fallen asleep. "Why are you so eager to die?"

xXx

The early morning sun streamed in through the window illuminating everything in the room, including the empty bed. Kanda stood abruptly from the chair he'd fallen asleep in. Eyes scanning the room, the bathroom door was open - no one inside. Allen was missing.

"Moyashi! Where the fuck are you?" Kanda called angrily. When no answer came, Kanda's worry outweighed his anger. Allen had been so out of it the night before not to mention his wounds. Kanda took in the recent fact that Allen's clothes were also missing and his exorcist coat was folded neatly at the foot of the bed.

Cursing Kanda stormed down to the dining hall, thinking that maybe by some stroke of luck Allen had just gotten up to eat. No such luck - not only was Allen not there but the inn owner said that the boy hadn't been down since the two had gone in the night before.

'He wouldn't be stupid enough to go after the innocence on his own would he? Not in that condition.' Kanda tried to reason out his worry but Allen was anything but rational, meaning he may as well be lying in a ditch somewhere half dead with a smile upon his face and Tim fluttering about with the innocence.

After about an hour of searching, Kanda had come across Tim who was fluttering about frantically; surely enough the golden golem led Kanda to an unconscious Allen.

"Baka Moyashi, what did you do now?" Kanda growled as he pulled Allen's limp body into his arms. Allen had managed to reopen his wounds, and salty streaks left lines in the dust that covered his face.

'He'd been crying,' Kanda thought absently as he hugged the boy closer - he was cold, too cold - and his breathing though even, was slow. 'How long had he been out here?' Kanda wondered.

"Show me what happened," Kanda told Timcanpy. The golden golem fluttered around Kanda's head before settling in front of him and projecting the image.

xXx

Allen woke in a cold sweat his cursed eye activated and scanning the area. The white haired boy groaned before changing and heading out the window. Allen fought with several akuma and slumped against a tree to catch his breath before looking towards Timcanpy.

"Tim, you think Kanda will be mad at me again?" Allen asked a sparse smile on his face. "We're already out so let's go get the innocence, it was at the abandoned church right?" Allen pulled himself up and walked - more like stumbled awkwardly - over to the church where he retrieved the innocence from under the alter. When he looked up at Tim he was smiling. "Well that was surprisingly eas-" Allen's eyes grew wide. "Catch!" Allen tossed the innocence to the golden golem. "Take the innocence to Kanda."

As the golem flew out of the church Kanda saw Allen go up against a level 4 akuma. Tim apparently searched for Kanda at the inn but by then Kanda had already left. Tim flew back towards the church and Allen came into view again, he was stumbling, a hand braced against his abdomen where his clothes were saturated in blood. He was slowly making his way back down the road towards the town.

"Tim?" Allen's voice was hoarse.

The golden ball flew around him in what Kanda could only describe as a frantic manner.

"He wasn't there?" Allen coughed, blood spattering the ground in front of him. "No it's ok I'm fine. I think I'll just sit down for a while - catch my breath," Allen huffed as he collapsed.

xXx

"You idiot," Kanda growled as he carried Allen back to the inn again. Kanda placed Allen on the bed, after cleaning and dressing his wounds Kanda wrapped Allen in the blankets on the bed and left to go get food, knowing that when Allen awoke he'd be starving. Pausing at the door Kanda shot a death glare at Timcanpy.

"If you let him leave again I'll slice you up," Kanda growled out.

xXx

Allen woke to the smell of food wafting about the room. His eyes fluttered open and the first thing he saw was a quite aggravated Kanda putting food on the small table at the center of the room.

"Kanda," Allen said softly as he pushed himself into a sitting position, leaning against the headboard for support.

"What the fuck do you think you were doing? Last night?" Kanda asked obviously peeved.

"It wasn't last night, it was early this morning," Allen said looking down at his hands.

"Why the hell didn't you wake me?" Kanda asked slamming his hands down on the table causing the plates to rattle against each other and the surface they sat upon.

Allen cringed at the sound but said nothing.

"Won't you rely on me even a little?" Kanda asked in a defeated way. Allen looked up in shock to see a sad and very trouble expression on Kanda's normally passive face.

"I'm sorry," Allen said, he wanted to tell Kanda how happy it made him just knowing he cared but the words refused to come.

"Why are you so quick to jump at death? You've always been bent on helping everyone - saving everyone - but you've never been so careless with yourself for no reason," Kanda said.

"I don't have enough time," Allen muttered.

Kanda looked at him questioning in his eyes.

"I have to keep moving forward...always forward," Allen's voice became distant as he fell into his memories of Mana.

Kanda could tell that Allen was somewhere else deep inside himself due to his glassy eyes and disturbed expression.

"Why are you always fighting alone?" Kanda asked softly as he glanced at Allen's distant form, "when I'm right here."

"I'm sorry," Allen whispered as tears welled up in his glassy silver eyes that would always see the world differently from everyone else.

"I'm sorry," Allen whispered again as he began to tremble.

"Allen?" Kanda asked but Allen was so out of it he didn't even register the fact that Kanda had called him by his name.

"I'm so sorry," Allen said as the tears spilled down his cheeks. Kanda walked over and sat on the edge of the bed tentatively he reached out his hand caressing Allen's cheek gently while wiping away the tears he found there. Allen seemed to come alive at the touch his cheeks flushing scarlet as he restrained himself from moving into the touch as if it meant more than a simple gesture of comfort from the stoic Japanese male.

"I'm sorry Kanda," Allen whispered to which the raven haired male was a bit taken aback. Allen had been apologizing to him the whole time?

"Che, quit apologizing will you," Kanda said mildly annoyed that he hadn't realized it before. Allen fell into silence again, looking up to meet Kanda's eyes.

"Eat something," Kanda ordered, to which Allen smiled - his face had resumed its cheerful though fake appearance. Allen slid out of bed careful not to fall as he did so.

He was weak and he knew it - he'd spent much too long wasting time trying to get more powerful, more skilled in battle and now that he'd gotten there his body was deteriorating - what a cruel mistress fate was.

Allen ate slowly, barely into the second plate he put the fork down with a blank expression on his face.

"What's wrong? Eat," Kanda said noticing Allen's continued strange behavior.

"I'm not hungry," Allen said.

"What the fuck do you mean you're not hungry? You're bloody wasting away! You better damn well be hungry and eat everything here!" Kanda yelled his frustration getting the better of him. Allen couldn't describe the feeling he got from eating - it was nauseous and painful and dizzying all in one.

Allen munched slowly on the food before him suppressing the feeling that made him want to throw it all up.

'He can't stop eating too,' Kanda thought, his heart twisting as he looked at the deteriorating boy.

"Kanda, I really can't eat anymore," Allen said looking at the many plates he'd left untouched - which by far outnumbered the one's he'd finished.

"You're just sick, we'll be back at HQ tonight and we'll have the head nurse give you something," Kanda said standing and pulling Allen up, "come on we're leaving now, we finished the mission there's no reason to stick around this dump." The desperation in Kanda's actions and voice was not lost to Allen.

xXx

Back at HQ Allen and Kanda went to report on the mission to Komui - Allen had insisted he would go to the infirmary after the debriefing. As they entered the room however Allen froze suddenly wishing he'd allowed Kanda to drop him off with the head nurse. Louvelier was standing beside Komui's desk, his attention drawn by the opening door fell on Allen and a smirk made his way to his face.

Kanda scowled, grabbing Allen's hand he pulled the boy along with him to stand before the desk. Allen felt a surprising comfort in Kanda's warm hand, he was thankful that Kanda hadn't let go as yet.

"You're both back and alive too, I'm so glad," Komui said smiling.

"Allen Walker, it's been awhile," Louvelier said.

"Sir," Allen said in acknowledgement, though he tried to hide the fear in his voice he still seemed like a frightened child.

"Come closer boy," Louvelier said. Allen reluctantly took a step toward the man only to get smacked across the face once he was in range.

Kanda's face contorted in rage, that bastard had hit Allen with no reason or provocation and especially in the condition the boy was in where he was barely able to walk straight. Kanda couldn't tolerate it yet Allen did nothing.

"Louvelier! I'd appreciate if you didn't rough him up - he's clearly been through a lot," Komui said.

Louvelier shot the Chinese man a silencing glare before returning his attention to Allen.

"You were away from your partner for several hours on this mission," Louvelier said.

Allen nodded not liking where this was going.

"Hmm, well I think we should have a chat don't you?" Louvelier said a sadistic glint in his eye. Allen said nothing.

"Speak to me damn it!" Louvelier shouted and made to hit Allen again only for Kanda to catch his hand pulling Allen against him protectively.

Wrenching his had back Louvelier shot Kanda a glare which was matched with full intensity before Louvelier's gaze fell on Allen again.

"Go to your room and wait there until Link comes to get you," Louvelier said sternly, "we will talk." The anger in Louvelier's voice made Allen shiver in Kanda's arms, but he broke from the safe hold and bowed quickly to Komui before walking swiftly from the room, not once looking back. Kanda's eyes followed Allen until he'd left the room.

Once Allen was gone Kanda turned his glare to Louvelier.

"You so much as look at him funny again and I'll kill you," Kanda threatened dangerously.

"You're dismissed exorcist," Louvelier said seemingly unaffected by Kanda's threat.

Shooting him a final glare Kanda stalked out of the room.

xXx

Kanda found Allen in his room, sitting on the floor hugging his knees to his chest.

"Moyashi," Kanda said crouching in front of the boy.

"Don't," Allen said as Kanda reached out to touch him again, Kanda paused and retracted his hand waiting for Allen to continue.

"Don't give him a reason to distrust you," Allen said his silver eyes meeting his cobalt ones seriously, "especially not for me." The emphasis in his words made Kanda even angrier.

"You have to go to the infirmary," Kanda said trying to pull Allen up with him.

Pulling away, stumbling back as he did so Allen looked at Kanda with a sorrowful gaze.

"Link will be here any moment...it doesn't make sense to go now," Allen said almost bitterly.

"If he touches you -" Allen glared at Kanda effectively silencing him, the look that didn't quite fit the childish features of the silver haired exorcist.

"This is a war, Kanda," Allen said.

"I know that," Kanda said his expression neutral yet calculating, wondering what Allen was getting at.

"You don't seem to understand that I'm still on trial for heresy, it doesn't matter how long my leash is," Allen said, "all they have to do is yank on that leash and my head comes off."

Kanda was shocked that Allen was thinking like that - the boy was normally so optimistic, lighting the way when everyone else was lost and didn't know what they were fighting for. Allen would smile and say that everything would be alright that they just needed to keep walking forward, that he believed in everyone and knew that they'd be alright - seeing Allen this cynical made Kanda feel sick to his stomach.

"My life is forfeit to this cause and I'll fight until I'm no more - Louvelier scares the shit out of me because he's worse than the akuma or even the Noah but he's on this side of the war and I don't know what I'm fighting for anymore!" Allen said his voice strained.

Kanda watched silently as Allen broke down in front of him, tears began spilling from silver eyes that were so angry and confused and hurt.

"I'm bloody dying and all I can do is keep walking forward; not because I want to but because that's all I am able to do," Allen said.

"Allen," Kanda said softly.

A knock at the door interrupted them, Allen looked towards it and rightened himself before glancing back at Kanda.

"I'm their puppet, I do as I'm told and that's all there is to it. At this point in time there's nothing more I can do but follow orders," Allen said bitterly before opening the door and following Link to where ever Louvelier had wanted to meet.

Kanda stood staring at the door which Allen had walked through not minutes before in shock. His mind was reeling from Allen's outburst and he wanted nothing more than to pull the boy into his arms and tell him that it was going to be alright. 'Sixteen years old and already staring at his death bed,' Kanda thought sickened by the thought. He'd have to speak to Allen later. The boy was so troubled and there was something that Kanda was unaware of – he somehow knew it. And he needed to hear what it was if he was going to protect the boy he'd come to love somewhere along the road of hatred and bloodshed.

xXx

Kanda walked into the library and found Lavi with a thoughtful look on his face as he stared down at a book in his hands that he had yet to open.

"Oi baka Usagi," Kanda called Lavi's attention to him, and the expression the red head wore was replaced by a grin.

"Yuu!" Lavi called jumping to hug the older man only to come face to face - well tip - with Mugen. Swallowing he stepped back with a pout on his face, "and after I was just going to greet you and welcome you home." Kanda cocked a brow before sheathing Mugen.

"Where's Allen?" Lavi asked looking around behind Kanda as if the boy would somehow be close by.

"He's with Louvelier," Kanda said as if the man's name was poison on his tongue. Lavi's expression faltered, brows furrowed and mouth drawn in a tight line.

"Is he worse?" Lavi asked.

"What do you mean by that?" Kanda asked.

"Allen," Lavi said thoughtfully, "on our last mission he really had me worried and it's been bothering me."

"What happened?" Kanda asked.

"I had left him alone in the inn to speak with the innkeeper and when I got back Allen was staring into the mirror on the wall looking so lost. He was talking as if there was something in the mirror he could see though all I could see was his reflection. He seemed rather perturbed and I guess whatever was going on had caused him to snap and he punched the mirror. The shards fell around him and his hand was a bit bloodied. When I called him he turned to me with that same expression he'd had while looking into the mirror then I blinked and the expression was gone as if it never was, replaced by a smile and a sheepish grin as he glanced at the glass. 'Guess I made a bit of a mess, sorry Lavi,' he had said offering no further explanation about the incident," Lavi said his brows furrowing further as he thought back on the events no doubt wondering what the hell Allen had seen.

"He's not better," Kanda said falling into his own thoughts, "he's at his breaking point."

Lavi seemed rather frustrated with that information.

"Damn it, Allen!" Lavi said running his hands through his red locks.

"Nii-san it's Allen! Why did you let Louvelier alone with him?" Lenalee's distressed voice could be heard in the hall.

"What happened?" both Kanda and Lavi burst out of the library startling both Komui and Lenalee in doing so.

"Allen's in the infirmary and he refuses to speak to anyone and it's clear that he was hit again if the bruise on his face is any indication," Lenalee said.

'Bastard I warned him,' Kanda thought angrily.

"Where is he?" Kanda asked his voice dangerously low.

"Allen's in the infirmary," Lenalee said not understanding what Kanda was getting at.

"Not Allen," Kanda said.

"Louvelier and Link already left the order," Komui said only fueling Kanda's anger.

xXx

"Allen!" Lavi said putting on a cheerful front as he bounded into the infirmary to see the boy, Kanda and Lenalee bringing up the rear, Lenalee with a forced smile and Kanda with a scowl.

Allen's eyes fell on a Lavi and allowed a smile to grace his features but said nothing.

"How was your mission Allen?" Lenalee asked.

Allen didn't say anything but heaved a sigh.

"He can't talk right now," the head nurse said walking up to them.

"What do you mean?" Lenalee asked horrified at the revelation.

"Louvelier did quite the number on him this time," the head nurse shook her head sadly but looked up when Allen rested a hand reassuringly on hers, smiling.

"What the hell did that bastard do?" Kanda asked fury radiating from his form.

"There's no permanent damage but speaking will cause him pain for at least two days if not longer," the head nurse said, "besides the excessive bruising around his neck suggesting that he'd been chocked, it seems as though he was also shocked, the jolt would have been enough to over stimulate his nerves."

Lenalee's eyes grew wide and a hand flew over her mouth in an attempt to stifle the horrified cry as tears welled up in her eyes.

Lavi's expression turned solemn, his brows furrowing again as his emerald eye shone in an anger that shouldn't be present in a bookman.

Kanda's fury was radiating from his form and he said nothing before storming out of the infirmary to the training halls needing to blow of some steam before he killed someone. 'Bastard ran away,' Kanda thought bitterly angry.

xXx

It had been several hours and Allen was still in the infirmary staring up at the ceiling, the head nurse had ushered everyone out and told him to get some sleep. It was late apparently - he had no idea how late though, the hours were all bleeding together and he was just so exhausted.

Allen sighed, he refused to sleep, his eye lids were feeling heavy but he didn't want to see what lay just beyond his waking mind.

xXx

He didn't know when he'd fallen asleep or for how long, but when he woke Lenalee was talking to the head nurse.

Allen sat up in the bed and let a smile find its way to his face.

"Good morni-" Allen stopped as his hand flew to his throat a pained grimace lighting his features.

"Allen!" Lenalee said worry dripping from her voice.

"I told you not to speak; you have to listen to me if you want to get better. It's my job to heal you exorcists and to do that you must follow my instructions," the head nurse said sternly, to which Allen nodded looking rather put off by the situation as he absentmindedly traced his fingers over the bandages on his throat.

"Good morning!" Lavi called as he bounded into the room trying to seem cheerful.

"Yuu refused to come, said he was busy training but I'm sure he'll be by later to visit you Allen, 'cause everyone loves you," Lavi said bursting into fake tears while grinning at the expressions on the faces of the room's occupants.

"Lavi, quit with the dramatics," Lenalee said but then smiled as she noticed Allen had begun to smile again.

xXx

Most of the day had gone by with little incident, Lenalee had been called away by her brother about a mission and Lavi went back to the library, rifling through books trying to find something in the history of the order that may be able to help him determine how to help Allen.

"You're not hungry?" the head nurse asked as Allen just shook his head while looking at the food she'd brought for him, "no that can't be, it's just that your throat still hurts right?"

Allen nodded and smiled apologetically not wanting to worry the woman further.

"At least have some tea," she said as she handed him a warm cup of hot liquid. Accepting it gratefully Allen sipped it and felt the warmth run through him, a content smile making its way to his face.

"Thank you," he whispered softly and the head nurse smiled as she nodded taking the food away leaving Allen alone again.

"Still not eating?" Kanda asked startling Allen as he stood in the doorway of the room.

Allen looked down at his tea and sighed.

"Does she know?" Kanda asked as he walked over sitting at the edge of the bed. Allen shook his head in the negative.

"How is she supposed to help heal you if you won't say what's wrong?" Kanda said his cobalt eyes staring into Allen's silver ones. The younger boy turned away.

"I'll be fi-" Allen had tried to sound angry but ended up holding his throat as pain contorted his expression not finishing his sentence.

"And that's supposed to be reassuring?" Kanda retorted as he leaned forward tilting Allen's chin up so that the boy was looking at him again.

"We have to talk, not now of course, but I won't let you keep running from me," Kanda said, the light blush that painted Allen's cheeks didn't go unnoticed by the older male.

"I'll be back later," Kanda said releasing Allen and leaving the boy alone again. As soon as Kanda was out of sight Allen let the breath he had been holding in go and tried to calm his rapidly beating heart.

'God he doesn't even realize what those small gestures do to me,' Allen thought trying to cool the blush from his cheeks.

xXx

When Kanda had returned to see Allen the head nurse seemed upset and Allen wasn't there.

"Where is he?" Kanda asked.

"Yeah, where's Allen?" Lavi asked popping out from behind Kanda.

"He's gone to see Komui, he said it was important," the head nurse frowned. Kanda and Lavi exchanged worried glances.

xXx

"Allen, you have to stop being so reckless," Komui said.

"How much time do I have left?" Allen asked seriously.

"With the way you're going now you won't last past Christmas," Komui said. Allen nodded acknowledging the statement.

"Allen, I'm trying to find a way to slow the progression if not stop it altogether but you're making it difficult," Komui said.

"I can't stop," Allen said, "I have to keep moving forward - if there's no way to stop it I'll die and I have to do as much as possible before that happens."

Sighing Komui opened a drawer and pulled out a small box handing it to Allen.

"Those are pills you need to take; it'll keep your heart stabilized for the most part," Komui said, "make sure you take one every four hours."

Allen turned the box over in hands.

"If you miss any, the shock might cause you to go into cardiac arrest - once your body gets used to it that is," Komui said seriously.

Allen seemed to be thinking but he said nothing.

"Don't miss any Allen," Komui said.

Allen nodded and pocketed the box.

"Thank you," Allen said softly, "I'm going to go back to my room."

xXx

Kanda and Lavi walked into Komui's office.

"Oh how sweet of you two to come visit me here in this dreary office," Komui said happily.

"Where's Allen?" Lavi asked.

"He went back to his room," Komui said.

"What did Allen talk to you about?" Lavi asked.

Komui wanted to tell them but Allen had adamantly refused, saying that they didn't need to know.

"Allen wanted to know when he could go on his next mission," Komui said. Both teens seemed quite perturbed that Allen would even consider going anywhere so soon.

"What did you tell him?" Kanda asked with a dangerous tone to his voice.

"I said I'll let him know when something comes up," Komui said.

Seeming somewhat satisfied with the answer Kanda excused himself to find Allen.

Lavi lingered a little longer in the room, "are you seriously going to send him out again - his health is deteriorating and battle isn't going to do anything but increase the speed at which that happens."

"There's not much I can do if he insists that he has to go on missions - I try to give him easy ones where he won't need to invoke as often but Louvelier isn't as accommodating. The missions Louvelier sends for Allen is usually quite high risk ones which he doesn't expect Allen to come back from," Komui said. Lavi nodded in understanding.

xXx

"Moyashi!" Kanda called at the front of Allen's door. No response came and the door was locked. "Open the door now or I'll break it down!" Kanda yelled. No response came. Just as Kanda was about to kick the door in Allen opened it his face flushed and his breathing erratic as though he'd just run a marathon.

"Kanda can you come back later?" Allen said between gasps and pants.

"No I will not come back later," Kanda growled pushing past Allen into the room. Sighing Allen closed the door behind him.

"What the fuck happened here?" Kanda asked as his eyes scanned the blood stained glass fragments that littered the floor. 'How the hell did he manage to do this?' Kanda wondered feeling a little more than sickened at the thought Allen had gone crazy and smashed everything like the event Lavi had described regarding their last mission and the mirror.

"I tripped," Allen said - a blatant lie - no attempts were made to make it sound believable or explain what had actually transpired.

"Do you think I'm a fucking idiot?" Kanda asked dumbfounded by the response he'd been given.

"I don't have to justify anything to you - it's not like it affects you," Allen said as he brushed some glass from his bed to sit on it.

"We need to talk," Kanda said as he stood in front of Allen. "Now."

"I don't want to talk, Kanda," Allen said his expression almost pained. "I don't want to talk and argue and yell only to start crying again - I'm bloody sick of it and I can't deal with that right now," Allen said his tone exhausted and weary.

"So you want me to leave you alone in this death trap that you've somehow managed to create for yourself?" Kanda muttered gesturing to the mess that had befallen the room.

"Yes," Allen said.

"Like hell that's going to happen," Kanda said.

"Why do you care?" Allen asked after looking at the Asian man for a few moments of extended silence.

"Does there have to be a reason?" Kanda asked causing a slight smile to turn the corners of Allen's mouth.

"No, I suppose not," Allen said.

"Can you eat?" Kanda asked to which Allen shook his head.

"I'm not hungry," Allen said.

"Liar," Kanda accused.

"So what if I am?" Allen asked cocking a brow as if daring the older man to do something about it.

"We're going to the cafeteria and you're going to eat," Kanda said dragging Allen with him.

xXx

"A bowl of miso soup," Allen ordered and everyone who was within hearing range turned to stare in shock.

"Allen dear what's wrong?" Jerry wailed, "are you sick?"

Allen didn't know how to respond, he couldn't very well say that his innocence was killing him and he couldn't stomach food anymore - yeah that would blow over great.

"I'm not feeling my best, my throat still hurts so I'll eat later," Allen said. Jerry seemed to accept the response but shot a concerned look Kanda's way when he returned with Allen's miso and Kanda's soba.

The two sat in silence, Kanda had managed to finish eating before Allen had, and watched as the boy downed the rest of his soup.

"That wasn't enough to sustain you," Kanda said.

"I can't eat anymore," Allen said.

"But you a-" Kanda was cut off as Allen stood abruptly.

"Excuse me," Allen said running from the cafeteria leaving a stunned Kanda behind.

Allen ran into the bathroom in his room just in time to empty his guts into the toilet, blood spilling out with it in a sickening swirl of pale rust colored liquid.

'Shit I really can't eat anything,' Allen thought in bewilderment. Feeling light headed he stumbled back to lean against the tiled wall, vision blurry and head swimming.

Despite his fading senses Allen made out a certain dark haired samurai as the male crouched in front of him, concern plastered across his face.

"Allen," Kanda said as he stared at the scene before him, he'd finally found Allen and he was emptying his guts into the porcelain bowl of the toilet. Blood streaked down the corners of his mouth as he held his stomach. Dilated silver eyes looked up at the broken bathroom mirror where he could see the 14th's image grinning at him from the fractured glass. Tears built up in his eyes as he felt two strong warm arms wrap around him. Bile rose in his throat as he trembled and he pushed Kanda away, leaning forward over the toilet again to throw up more bloody liquid.

Kanda didn't know what to do to ease Allen's suffering. Allen slumped back against the wall, breathing labored and heart beat fluctuating. Allen clutched at his chest bent over in agonizing pain.

"Pl-e-ase-go," Allen stuttered out barely able to focus his thoughts enough to speak.

"There is no fucking way I'm leaving you like this," Kanda said angry that Allen would even think that was an option – then again he doubted Allen was thinking much at the moment.

"God-Ka-n-da," Allen's teary silver eyes pled with him, "I-don't-wa-n-t-you-nngh-see-me-like-this." Sobs wracked his small frame. 'Why can't you just leave? Why'd you have to see my like this - so pathetic and disgustingly weak,' Allen thought as the tears continued to fall.

Kanda could only stare, for once in his life he had no idea what to do.

xXx

It had taken almost an hour for the tremors to pass and Allen's body was utterly exhausted. Sometime during the ordeal Kanda had moved to sit beside Allen holding the boy in a loose embrace against his side. During the time Kanda kept wondering why did something like this happen to such a young boy but Kanda knew the answer - Allen was God's beautiful, pitiful, willing pawn - and how God loved to torture his creations.

"Kanda," Allen said.

"Yeah," Kanda acknowledged the younger boy though his voice had been almost too low to hear.

"Do me a favour," Allen said.

"What?" Kanda asked glancing down at Allen.

"Stop acting so close with me," Allen said. Kanda was taken aback by the request.

"Who says I'm acting?" Kanda said.

"Cause things like this can't be real," Allen said his eyes staring blankly ahead. 'My sin shouldn't be yours as well,' Allen thought.

"Allen," Kanda said as he gently lifted the boy's chin so that his silver eyes met his cobalt ones.

"Don't make this harder for me," Allen said, "it hurts because you're so close and I can never have you." The last part was whispered but Kanda heard and he felt a tug at his heart.

"You're delirious," Kanda said leaning forward and pressing his lips briefly to Allen's.

"You're too cruel, Kanda," Allen said as the older male let him go and his eyes resumed their gaze on the tiled floor.

"Rely on me," Kanda whispered against Allen's ear causing the blush on Allen's face to darken as a shiver ran through his body.

"Stop," Allen breathed.

"Let me take care of you," Kanda whispered nuzzling Allen's neck.

"God Kanda stop," Allen breathed.

'Getting all hot and bothered just being close to me - you're too cute for your own good,' Kanda thought smirking.

"Let me share your burden," Kanda whispered as he nipped Allen's neck causing the dizzy boy to yelp.

Kanda trailed soft kisses and nipped a trail down Allen's neck to his collar bone only then did the silver haired boy seem to regain some of his senses as his half lidded eyes snapped open and he pushed away from Kanda, scrambling back awkwardly so that his back was to the toilet.

"No, this can't happen," Allen said his voice panicky.

"I won't let you die, Allen," Kanda said seriously.

"No, that's where you're wrong and I can't let you take that burden," Allen said suddenly very lucid.

"What the fuck is wrong with you, it's my choice," Kanda said his voice filling with anger.

"I'll be dead by Christmas, there's nothing you can do, and I can't allow you to share this sin with me," Allen said.

"I can't stop thinking about you, I worry about you," Kanda said, "Allen, I need you."

"Don't say that!" Allen yelled standing awkwardly and stumbling out into his room. Kanda followed not entirely sure what was going on but knowing he wasn't going to let Allen run away again. "Get out!"

Kanda's expression was angry, reason flying out the window as he grasped Allen's hands and pinned him down on the bed, glass fragments clattering to the ground. Kanda leaned down, his lips brushing against the smaller boy trembling beneath him.

"Tell me you don't want this," Kanda said kissing against Allen's neck again.

"Ghaa Kanda stop!" Allen cried his body shuddering. 'This can't happen, this isn't happening, Kanda,' Allen thought as tears welled up in his silver eyes. Kanda kissed Allen more fervently down his neck then back up to his lips, tongue tracing Allen's quivering bottom lip before pulling back a bit.

"Tell me you don't want me," Kanda said before pressing his lips to Allen's again.

Allen turned his head to the side feeling his heart wrenching and twisting.

"Kanda, I love you so much please don't do this," Allen said causing Kanda to freeze something in Allen's expression made his heart ache.

"Then why won't you let me care for you?" Kanda asked pulling back.

"Because you'll fall with me and I can't allow that. Kanda you're a force of strength and beauty that I can't even touch-" Kanda pressed his lips to Allen's and pulled away looking into the childish silver eyes that have seen more than their fair share of terrors.

"I'm right here Allen, this is me, and you're touching me - I'm not as far as you think," Kanda said pulling the boy into a tight embrace. "I don't know when but somewhere along the way I think I fell for you too, and this is one sin that I'll accept willingly."

Allen cried as he clung to Kanda desperately.

"You'll fade away, and it'll be my fault," Allen whispered.

"I'm not going anywhere," Kanda said pressing his lips to the crown of Allen's head, feeling the boy finally relax.

"I won't let you die for me," Allen said seriously, "if you ever get close I'll stop you."

Kanda smirked feeling satisfied with Allen for the first time in months, it was the same old Allen he remembered - martyr and lover of all things - just this time he needed support, though he'd never admit it.

The End…or is it?


A/N: Yeah so I've been absolutely obsessed with Yullen lately, as in that's what I read, study and dream when I should have been studying for mid-terms so that the marks going in with my university application will be decent. With my recent obsession comes many plot bunnies bouncing about my head and so I decided to post one of them. I left it as a one shot for now seeing as my longer works don't seem to go anywhere but I think the story has potential should I continue it? Maybe in a sequel or something…anyway umm comments are welcomed – they make me happy :)