Author's Note: Well, I haven't written any fanfiction in almost a year now. I can't believe that it's been even nearly that long. It's ridiculous.
I've been working quite heavily on my novels lately, so I haven't had much time to dabble in fanfiction. However, I have been reading a bit of fanfiction in my spare moments, and I've been reading D . Gray-Man, as well. For a long time, Komui/Lenalee has been one of my favorite pairings. Yes, I know, it's a bit of a guilty pleasure. So, sue me.
I wrote this on a whim, honestly. It's more for personal gratification than anything else. I don't expect it to be good, but I do hope that you enjoy it. I hope to write more fics soon, but I can't guarantee anything. If you have any requests, though, feel free to let me know. I might just be up to the challenge.
Disclaimer: I do not own D . Gray-Man. At all. In any way, shape, or form. Period.
It was distracting. The way that the light caught the facets of the princess-cut diamond on her finger kept catching her eye. There was no doubt that the ring was beautiful. It was everything that she had always imagined her engagement ring would be. It was just…distracting.
Biting lightly at her bottom lip, Lenalee turned the ring back and forth with her forefinger. She couldn't understand why her heart didn't leap with giddy joy every time that she glanced at it. She couldn't understand why there was always a certain hesitation in her smile when people congratulated her on the engagement. Hadn't she dreamed of the day that Allen asked her to marry him, after all?
With a light sigh, she seated herself on the edge of her bed. There was no way that she would be able to get any paperwork done as long as that ring was on her finger—not as long as her thoughts were that troubled. Like most women, she had dreamed of her wedding day for a long time. For exorcists, love didn't come often; and, if it did, the probability that both parties would remain alive for an extended period of time wasn't very high. Love always came with pain, but it always came with joy, as well.
Joy… Yes, joy. That was what she was supposed to be feeling so much of. Why was it difficult to feel happy, and why were her smiles so forced? Before the ring had been placed on her finger, it had been so easy to be giggly and girlish—to blush whenever a certain white-haired young man entered the room. Everyone knew about their feelings for each other. In fact, they had likely been the last to find out about each other's sentiments.
And yet, suddenly, all of the excitement and light-hearted adoration seemed so distant, like a dream that came to a sudden and unexpected end. Lenalee had always thought that she loved Allen, and she knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that he loved her. When, then, was she suddenly so irresolute about deciding to marry him? More than likely, her friends would tell her that she just had cold feet—that it happened to everyone, and it was almost to be expected. But Lenalee knew better. She knew that there was more to the situation than just cold feet.
Because, every time that she closed her eyes, every time that she envisioned standing at the altar, she didn't see Allen.
Her breath caught in her throat as the door suddenly creaked open. The ring, which she had taken off to twirl ponderously between her fingertips, was clutched tightly to her chest. Then, as soon as her surprise wore off and she saw who was paying her an unexpected visit, she exhaled deeply and let her hands fall back to her lap.
"Brother. You frightened me."
Komui smiled softly, apologetically, as he closed the door behind him. "I apologize. I should have knocked."
The girl shook her head and slipped the ring back onto her finger, ignoring the pang of insecurity that came with it. "No, it's alright." There was the forced smile. She could only pray that her feelings weren't reflected in her eyes. "I was just thinking, that's all. You know how jumpy I can be."
Chuckling, Komui seated himself on the chair that sat in front of Lenalee's desk. "That much is true."
For a moment, neither of them spoke. They simply sat there—Lenalee staring down at her hands and Komui watching her silently, the slightest traces of a frown tugging at his brow. Truthfully, he knew more about her than anyone else. Sometimes, he knew what she was feeling before she knew it herself. There was nothing that she could hide from him. It was pointless for her to try.
"I suppose that congratulations are in order."
Head rising, Lenalee blinked slowly. Komui motioned to the ring, and she flushed deeply, embarrassed by her inability to process a simple statement and mortified by her blatant display of diffidence. She had known that it was only a matter of time before they would have to talk about the engagement, but she had hoped to put it off for as long as possible. It was no longer avoidable, however, and that fact was eating away at her façade of confidence.
"Oh, yes…" For some reason, she couldn't manage to rid her face of the bright pink hue that it had adopted. So, she attempted to overshadow her flushed cheeks with a bright smile. "Thank you, brother. I had hoped to speak to you about it sooner, but you were so busy that I couldn't bring myself to bother you."
"Bother?" Komui quirked an eyebrow, and Lenalee wondered why she had said something so stupid. "You know that it's no bother. If it had been up to me, I would have wanted to be the first to know about my little sister's wedding. But…" He exhaled a dramatic sigh. "I suppose that was not to be. I can accept that." There was a pause, then he added in a searching, solemn tone, "That is, as long as you're happy."
"Of course I'm happy." The reply was so quick that it could hardly be taken as sincere. "This is what I've always wanted."
Something wet splashed against her fingers, and Lenalee could only stare at them in disbelief. Tears? How could she have allowed herself to cry at such a critical time? She truly was a fool—a selfish fool. To have feelings such as hers…it was sinful. It was selfish. It wasn't fair to anyone, especially Allen. She truly did care for him, she just…
Before she knew it, Komui had kneeled in front of her, wiping her tears away with a gentle caress of his fingertips. She didn't know whether to be comforted or cry even harder. It wasn't fair. It wasn't.
"Lenalee, what's wrong?" There was nothing but concern in his voice—concern that she didn't deserve. "Whatever it is, you can tell me."
No, she couldn't. She wanted to, so much that it was killing her inside, but…she couldn't. Only terrible, unfeeling women would agree to marry a man and then break his heart only days later by leaving him for someone else. Lenalee wasn't unfeeling. In fact, she probably cared too much. That was why she could never tell him.
"I-I…" Her voice broke, falling to a whisper. "I can't, Komui… I can't."
"Yes, you can." In one swift motion, he sat next to her, lifted her tiny frame, and pulled her securely into his arms. It was no time to worry about silly things like discretion and decency. "You always can."
For so long, he had watched over her, protecting her from as much as he possibly could. Lenalee knew that some people viewed his actions as obsessive and smothering, but they couldn't even begin to understand the whole story. She had always needed saving, and he had always been right there, ready to take her hand and help her stand again. Komui had been her only support system for many, many years. While he could certainly obsess over her well-being, she didn't know what she would do if he suddenly wasn't there…if she suddenly woke up someplace where he wouldn't be able to come to her rescue at a moment's notice. Just the thought of it, even when compared to everything that she had been through as an exorcist, was terrifying.
Tears began to flow freely from the corners of her eyes, and she decided that she might as well give into them. Wrapping her arms tightly around the man's waist and burying her face in his coat, she let out a strangled sob. "I love you…"
"I love you, too, Lenalee." His arms instantly folded around her, and his voice was low and soothing. "I'm always here."
He didn't understand. She didn't expect him to understand, and a large part of her didn't want him to understand. Yet…how would she live with herself if she didn't at least try to make him understand? How would she deal with the regret? No matter how much she felt like she couldn't tell him, like she shouldn't tell him, she knew that it was better to get everything out on the table. At least then she wouldn't have to plague herself with countless questions beginning with 'what if.'
Pulling back from the embrace, Lenalee stared up at him searchingly, almost pleadingly. He appeared confused, for once unable to tell exactly what it was that she was feeling. That, of course, only added to his surprise as the girl suddenly, unexpectedly pressed her lips against his.
It was a timid, questioning gesture. In all honesty, Lenalee half expected to be pushed away; at least, she felt that she deserved to be pushed away. Everything about the action was wrong. It was…
…wonderful. It was wonderful. Instead of pushing her away, Komui pulled her closer, returning the kiss with a tenderness and a love that Lenalee finally realized had been there all along. He had loved her so deeply for so long, and she just hadn't been able to see it because of her inhibitions—because of her fear. The feelings that she had for Allen, as deep as they were, could not even begin to compare to the bond that she shared with Komui. Suddenly, all of the rules and regulations that labeled their feelings as impure didn't matter.
Reluctantly, after several moments, they separated, their eyes locked directly on each other, not even recognizing the existence of anything else. Not even the gleam of the diamond could distract Lenalee's attention at that point. What she truly wanted was right in front of her. Even if just for that moment, nothing else mattered.
"I love you, Komui," she whispered. Usually, the words would have been accompanied by a sheepish smile, perhaps with a girlish blush, but she was too aware of the gravity of the situation. Still, it only served to intensify her sentiments. "I truly do."
Letting out a sigh, Komui pulled her against his chest once more, softly pressing a kiss to the top of her head. "You have no idea how long I've dreamed of you saying those words." Astonished happiness and a great deal of relief were blatantly apparent in his voice. "I've always loved you, Lenalee."
The light caught Lenalee's eye once more. It wouldn't be easy for either of them, and they were completely aware of that. It still wasn't fair to Allen, the poor boy, but…she knew that she had to be true to her feelings, and the fact that Komui reciprocated those feelings was all that she had secretly hoped for. Moving forward was going to be difficult. People were going to be shocked, Allen was going to be hurt, and it was very possible that no one would view them in the same light ever again. Yet…it was worth it. Every bit of it.
One day, Lenalee knew that she would be able to look at a ring on her finger and be filled with nothing but the purest happiness. She would never have to go where Komui couldn't follow. That was what filled her with joy. With him close, she could be giddy again, even so soon after crying. It had all happened so unexpectedly, but it had been years in the making, and it was going to last forever. Nothing could change that. Not ever. Selfish or not, she was happy, and she wasn't about to let that feeling go. They would always have each other, no matter what, just as they always had.
In the end, maybe it wasn't so sudden and unexpected, after all.