Tales of the Roadkill Ch 22.
Allen woke up feeling something sharp gnawing at his back. Not even bothering to open his eyes, he sat up and yawned. Wiping his drooling mouth he yawned again, this time wide enough to feel his jaws dislocating. Something sighed behind him and the boy finally opened his eyes.
The light was gray in the room. Allen looked dumbly in front of him, unconsciously wondering why Lavi's legs were hanging off the bed. Something hit him again, this time in his rib. The boy wrinkled his brows and turned around. Ah, it was Lavi's elbow that kept nudging his back all night long. The boy paced over the bodies and jumped on the floor. He slightly shuddered at its cold touch and turned his face toward the sleeping ones.
Lavi was snoring softly, mouth open. Allen could see his teeth, slightly gray in his mouth. He was turned unnaturally in his sleep; the green underwear cut the eyes. His hair burned the white sheets and Allen tried to remember the moment when Lavi turned his body so that his arms and legs were dangling on the floor.
Kanda, on the other hand, was laying face up, severe and straight even in his resting hours. No open mouths, snoring or other Lavi-esque details could hurt his dignified pose. Only his hair decided to rebel by tangling and invading his face like a sinful halo.
"Kanda san?" the boy whispered, bending slightly above the sleeping man. No response. The boy shifted his eyes nervously to the clock. It was late. It was very late, and Kanda usually kicked the Morning itself awake. Not this time, though.
"Kanda-san! Wake up!" he touched Kanda's cheek and jumped back when the man's eyes opened wide.
Allen smiled. It was the same reaction as last night, and the fact that he had memories with this man made him feel warm and fuzzy inside.
"What are you smirking at, brat?"
"It's nine o'clock, Kanda san. And it's Christmas!"
Kanda blinked. Then sat up and glanced at the small electronic watch that was laying on the floor. Allen cocked his head and smiled again, not sure what to expect. Ah, this he expected.
"Wake up, idiot! It's the middle of the day!"
Kanda mercilessly kicked Lavi in the face. The man fell on the floor, dragging the covers with him. Only his arms were visible. They grasped the side of the bed and pulled Lavi's torso up, slowly revealing his face.
"Wh-wh.." he stuttered, staring at Kanda shocked and hurt.
"It's already NINE, dammit!"
Lavi blinked, confused. He slowly scratched his cheek and glanced at Kanda again.
"An' that's important because….?"
"The PAPERS! They had to be delivered here and signed at SEVEN!!"
Allen shifted his eyes from one man to another. What were they talking about? Lavi dropped his eyes and paled. Kanda groaned and sat on the bed, hunching his back and gripping his head. He looked absolutely horrified and desperate at the same time.
"God…" he murmured softly, and Allen noticed that his hands shook.
The man raised his eyes and met the boy's gaze. Allen stared back, confused and lost. He even fisted his hands as if the action could resolve the strange situation. He could not understand why Kanda averted his eyes guiltily.
"Kanda-san, what happened?" Kanda's eyes shot up again, painfully blue. Allen paced toward the seated man and weakly lifted his hand, as if to touch his cheek. Kanda's face cringed and he turned away.
"It's nothing, brat… Just go and wash your face, it so damn dirty."
Allen frowned. Kanda was lying. It was easy to see that. His eyes were moving from object to object, trying to anchor his attention somewhere. His mouth twitched, as if it was unfamiliar with the words that the mind forced to be spoken.
"Allen-chan, leave us alone fer a bit', will ya?"
The boy nodded. Lavi was up and dressing. His voice was serious, with a grave edge to it, not desperate and furious like Kanda's. It seemed that his nerves were much better. Either that or he was a heck of an actor.
Allen stared at the shower door. It was already sweating and the water behind it murmured loudly, trying to destroy some timpani. Allen rapidly slipped out of his clothes, leaving them on the floor. Just before going into that smothering cascade of hot water he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror.
A strange sentiment made him turn around and examine the reflection. He smiled, and the skinny creature in the mirror grinned falsely back. His arm unconsciously slipped on the formerly injured one, hiding it from the light bulb's critical eye. Then, ashamed of his own awkwardness he entered the shower stall and let the water fall on his head, wetting him with wide, hot licks.
It was two months and one week since he started living with Kanda. Just barely two months and he already felt like he has been living with that man forever. The boy opened his eyes and shut them rapidly, feeling the sting of the chlorine. His hand stumbled to find the shampoo bottle and he sighed when the container fell on the shower floor, hitting his toes.
This shower room was not even close to the one in Kanda's house. It was small, yellow, and cramped, more like a vertical coffin with a hose hole. Allen bent to pick up the bottle and wrinkled his face, feeling the water whip his back and slide into his nose. He sneezed and dropped the bottle again. A rush of cold air told him that the bathroom door was open.
"Um, I'm in the sh—"
"Brat, hurry up! We need to leave in five minutes exactly!"
The boy shuddered when the glass door hit the wall. He stared wide eyed at the man in front of him. Kanda was panting, clasping his chest --and that all changed in one second. Allen didn't even get a chance to blink when the man grabbed him by the arm and pulled him out of the water.
"Hurry up, moron! We have to go, NOW!"
"Ka-ka-" the boy stuttered and paced back, stumbling into the wall. Kanda tch-ed and threw some clothes at him.
His voice was impatient and edgy, something very well known to Allen. When the boy mistook a sleeve for the neck hole the man snapped and started to pull the clothes furiously off of him. Allen chocked and squirmed and finally pushed Kanda away. Kanda stared at him, surprised by his reaction.
"Kanda-san, it hurts!" the boy yelped, fisting his palm. "Plus, I can dress myself! And I'm still wet, so I need to dry firs—"
Kanda gritted his teeth.
"We should be in the car already. Tch." He covered his face with one palm --and when Allen was about to ask what happened he glared at him with a new wave of fury.
"I told you to DRESS UP! Which part of it don't you get?!"
The boy silently grabbed his clothes and started dressing. The jeans felt brutal on his wet and tender skin but he pulled them up anyway. Kanda wasn't saying anything, just tapping his foot nervously and looking at the watch. He never looked so disturbed before.
"Are you done yet?"
"Um, yeah…I just have to pull the socks—"
And Allen found himself on the man shoulder, staring daftly at Kanda's heels. The man was wearing white socks and outside shoes. He was walking rapidly, not even bothering to stop to turn, making the boy cringe at the sudden movements. Allen almost slipped off of his shoulder twice, hit his head once and now was staring horrified at the steep stairs.
In a few seconds they were outside in the snow, and only now the boy was clearly aware that his hair was wet. A cold and evil drop slithered from the tip of his nose and fell directly on Kanda's bare neck. The man shivered but just gripped the boy tighter.
"Yuu-chan! Geddin! I already started this baby!"
Lavi was waving from a bright red car that was humming like a huge beetle. His hair brightly contrasted with the crisp and gray morning and he was smiling a bit too cheerfully. He opened the door and sat in the driver's seat.
"I caught 'im on tha phone, Yuu-chan. He'll be leavin' in two hours for Japan, so we'll have to speed up!"
"Then I'll drive. I don't want to be late because of your kamikaze-wannabe driving skills," Kanda murmured, putting Allen in the front seat. The boy immediately pulled the knees up to his chin and hugged them, trying to control the shaking of his lips. He will never, never again let Kanda force him go outside straight from the shower. NEVER!!
"Oi, Yuu-chan, didja…NO WAY!!!"
Allen blinked and stared up. Lavi was in his face, taking off his coat. He was yelling and cursing and using his handkerchief to wipe Allen's face. Once or twice he incidentally got his eye, and then hastily apologized, then pocked Allen's eye again.
"Yuu-chan, really! What were you thinking bringing the kid wet?! He'll have meningitis, I fucking swear!!"
Kanda stared at him with disgust and started the car. "He's much tougher than you think, idiot," the man said half smiling, and glanced at the boy.
"Yeah, right!" Lavi scowled and ruffled the now almost dry head again. "Are ya cold?" he patted Allen's head; his face looked genuinely worried. The boy smiled. He wasn't cold anymore. More like, it was impossible to be cold now, under two blankets, Lavi's sweater, and his orange winter coat.
For a few minutes the boy tried to concentrate on the image outside the car. Just trees, trees, and more trees. Sometimes there were cars, but those things resembled a bunch of bums that somehow fell asleep on the side of the road. It started snowing again and the silence intensified.
"Kanda-san, where are we going?" Allen suddenly asked. Lavi fidgeted in the back seat. "Why were you rushing so much? We hadn't even had breakfast!" the boy continued, glaring under the pile of fabric. It felt wrong, this morning was wrong. It wasn't supposed to be like this.
"And it's Christmas today!" he almost yelled. He had gotten up really early to put the presents under the Christmas tree. He even took pieces of coal and made a mess near the fire place, trying to create Santa's footsteps. And now everything was ruined because of some papers!
He glared at Kanda again, unconsciously fisting his palms under the blanket. As if feeling his attitude the man frowned and turned on the wipers. As if sensing the steely silence in the car, Lavi fidgeted in his seat, trying to straighten his legs in the cramped space. Kanda gripped the steering wheel and entered the highway.
"Kanda-san? Why aren't you saying anything?"
Kanda glared at the red car in front of him and gritted his teeth so audibly that Allen cringed.
"Where are we going? Why all the rush—"
"That's not your business, brat."
He was pissed off. Allen could feel it with every fiber of his body. Somehow that made him even more determined to get everything straightened out. He heard Kanda speak again in that irritated tone.
"Lavi, in the back…Take out that bag…The breakfast… Get the hell away!" Kanda yelled at the car in front of him and slammed on the brakes. Lavi yelled as if someone pinched his balls. Allen silently slipped toward the floor. The car slowed down and entered a faster line.
"And ya commented on MY driving style, Yuu-chan?"
Lavi's voice was half scared and half sarcastic. And some other half that was mathematically impossible was worried, but only the tiniest bit.
" This isn't driving, this is suicide!"he whined, shrugging. "We'll probably miss that shitty lawyers of yers, and you'll lose another year! Brilliant, brilliant, Yuu-chan!!"
Allen curiously peeped at the man in the back.
"Lawyer? Why would Kanda san need a lawyer? He's a lawyer himself!"
"Lavi, you idiot," Kanda hissed, "keep your mouth shut!"
"And why would Kanda-san wait another year? For what?" the boy insisted, eyeing Lavi with determination that could make a hole in his only eye.
"Allen-can, now ain't the time, you know!" Lavi cheerfully grinned in the back. "Jist forget it, ok?" He sounded so fake that even Kanda shuddered.
The boy scowled and glanced at the brunet.
"Kanda-san, what's going on?"
The man bit his lip and gripped the wheel for the tenth time this day. He felt the boy's eyes on his skin, penetrating layer after layer.
"Quit staring at me, damn brat. Just shut up and sit there."
"I'm not staring. And don't call me a damn brat. I have a name." Allen murmured under his breath.
The boy buried his face in Lavi's sweater on his knees. It was strange. What was wrong with him? Why did he suddenly want to see Kanda irritated? It was as if he wanted Kanda to see his ugly side, the stubborn, lying, multi-faced coward that took advantage of people's weaknesses.
" I don't like it," he clearly said, a bit too clearly. Lavi's face became serious.
"What doncha like?"
Allen looked at his toes. He had white socks on, the ones they bought in that small store behind the bank. At that time Kanda was teasing him, loudly wondering why his feet are so small. His eyes blurred and he felt his throat contracting.
"I don't like it all… I hate it all…"
Lavi leaned forward, trying to meet Allen's face. The boy lifted his head and clenched his teeth, narrowing his eyes. He looked at Kanda irritated.
"Why are you hiding things from me?" he yelled, making the man jump. "Why do you always, always say that it's not my business and shove me away? You always call me 'brat' and curse me!"
He wiped his nose with the sleeve. Looking up to see the man whom he addressed he almost hissed in fury. Kanda was calm, eyeing the road impassively. He didn't care. He seemed unperturbed by the boy's words.
"I always am the last one to know what's going on! And you never listen to my questions! Never!
"Yes!" Allen continued with ardor, "just like that! Just like that you just turn a deaf ear on me! It's like I don't even exist nor have feelings! I hate you! I ha—"
He froze, choking on his words. Hate. He didn't mean it. It felt unnatural to hear himself spitting that word out. He slowly touched his lip. Somehow it felt foreign and scary. He could feel Lavi's eyes on his back, sorrowful and reproachful. That gaze made him feel petty and dirty.
"I… I didn't m-mean—"
"Lavi, where do we turn now?"
It was cold. Not in a freezing or active way. Kanda's voice was cold like a knife. It was passive and clear like the marble.
"Eh…I think left, Yuu-chan. Tha' guy said to drive west, so that's left."
Allen gripped his knees. Kanda was clearly ignoring him. He was surely angry and hurt, but for some reason he didn't show it. He had to be hurt and angry. Allen swallowed the saliva that accumulated in his throat. It was bitter and it stung his tongue.
"K-kanda-san… I really d-didn't m-mean it. I didn't!" the boy whispered faintly. "I really didn't mean it! I don't hate you, really!"
"We're here. Lavi, call him again. I'll go prepare everything."
The keys clacked and the car died, trembling just for a second. Kanda threw Lavi a blank glance.
"I'm going. Come with when I call. Got it?"
Lavi nodded and straightened his collar. Kanda left the car. His feet made a strange sound in the soft snow as if someone was tearing marshmallows. It resonated painfully in Allen's ears. He cowered in the seat, understanding that Lavi will start speaking soon. And he didn't want to be spoken to right now. He just wanted to hide from the whole world, starting with Lavi and Kanda.
"Allen, you know… there is times when ya just have to trust Yuu-chan." Lavi's voice was close and comforting. Allen turned around slowly, lingering to that sound.
"I know it's hard sometimes, but believe me, it's worth it."
What was Lavi talking about? Trust?
"You don't get it, Lavi. It's not that I don't trust Kanda. I do trust him. I belie—"
"You're lyin', Allen-chan."
The boy stared at the readhead with indignation. The man was serious. He looked and spoke gravely, with a hint of looseness in his tone.
"Ya think ya trust'im, but ya don't. An' he knows tha'."
"What are you saying? I TRUST Kanda. I do!"
Lavi smirked at the anger in the boy's voice.
"If ya trust HIM, then why do ya tell ME about Devitto and his gang? Why didja tell me about that music thing an' about how you're afraid to participate, but yer also afraid to quit?"
Allen lowered his eyes. He was pale. It seemed that Lavi hit the bull's-eye.
"I-I… I can't speak with Kanda about that. That's too—"
"Private? Personal? Yer afraid what he'll think of you?"
"It's too.. petty. He'll just laugh."
Lavi stared at him losing the grin. He frowned, baring his teeth. Allen physically backed away.
"Petty? Getting pushed off the stairs is petty? Being stalked by a teacher is petty? Being beaten up by some punk is petty?" Lavi was hollering now. It was scary and painful, but the boy simply remained in his seat, accepting every word.
"Petty? That's fucking serious!! He'll laugh? WHY? Because it's so damn funny that you can't attend a class 'cause of that Mikk bastard? Or maybe 'cause that pentagram on yer face it's so fucking hilarious?"
He cursed again, spitting on the snow. He eyed the boy again and sipped the air in to continue, but Allen's face made him stop.
"Yuu-chan's worried, you know… He treasures ya, Allen-chan. An' he wants ya to trust him, you know."
He opened his mouth to continue when the phone started to ring. Allen hung his head. Lavi was right. He was relaying on Lavi and wearing a 'nice' mask around Kanda. And everything just because he didn't want the man to know his ugly faces, his weak points; he didn't want to disappoint Kanda.
"Allen-chan, let's go inside! Yuu is waitin'!
The building they entered was a small villa with pines in front of it. Allen didn't even manage to see it that well. Lavi dragged him through the snow, filling his boots with frozen lumps. When he tried to protest Lavi grinned and pulled even harder. It seemed that this day he was dragged constantly.
They stopped in some bare room where Allen saw a table and a tall blond man with squinted eyes and a mustache. He looked stern and severe. Kanda was next to it, wearing glasses and holding a pen.
"Yuu-chan, we're here!" Lavi proudly pushed Allen in front of him, making the boy stumble.
"Is that the boy you told me about?"
Kanda nodded silently. The mustached man scowled eyeing Allen. Somehow that gaze felt heavy and pressing, almost scary.
"You're… Allen, right? Allen Walker?"
The boy tensed. This man wasn't from police, right? Or from some shady organisa—
"Take that pen and sign here, boy. Don't waste my time."
Allen was now seriously alarmed. Sign what? Why? He glanced nervously at Kanda. The man stared blankly at him and nodded, approving the mustache's command.
"It's ok, Allen-chan, just trust Yuu!"
Allen gulped and stared at the paper. It was full of writing and signatures. He shakily put his own on the only line that was blank.
"I-Is this right?"
The mustache snatched the paper and stared at that signature as if he saw the Constitution pooped on.
"Yes, that's right. You have ugly handwriting, boy." His narrow eyes narrowed even more.
"Kanda, I have no idea why you are doing this. I don't want to know. This boy isn't worth it. He's just some trash you found on the streets."
Kanda stared impassively at one point. He slowly put the signed paper in the folder and curtly nodded.
"Thank you for your help. I will not bother you anymore and take my leave."
With the same blank face he left, not even bothering to call Lavi and Allen after him.
When all three of them finally got into the car, a tensioned anticipation was dominating every movement. Lavi was nervously dripping his leg, Allen was staring at Kanda, and Kanda was silently sitting in the driver's seat, not touching the ignition.
It was Lavi who asked. Allen almost jumped at the sudden sound. Kanda closed his eyes.
"Kanda-san, what's done? Can you tell me what's happening? What did I sign?"
Kanda slowly opened his eyes, staring at the falling snow. He looked serene and peaceful.
"It's your birthday today, right?"
Allen glanced up. Kanda's eyes were smiling ever so gently. He stiffened. It was incredible. The man hesitantly ran a hand through his loose hair.
"It's you birthday today, kid." He repeated, turning toward Allen. The boy nodded. Why was that important? The man leaned forward, lifting him by the armpits. In a matter of seconds Allen was sitting on Kanda's lap, dumbly staring in his face. The man slowly drew the arms around his back, pulling him closer. Kanda's hair smelled like pine and wood. Allen's face was buried in it, but he didn't complain. He could feel Kanda's lips on his forehead and that made him stiffen, surprised. The Kanda he knew would never, never show such affections in public. He felt the man tighten the grip around his body.
"Kanda-san? Did something good happen?" he whispered and looked up. Kanda was smiling softly.
"Yes. Something very good happened."
Allen didn't ask anything else. That curiosity that just a few hours ago made him yell awful things disappeared somewhere. It didn't matter anymore. The boy relaxed in the man's arms, inhaling the warm and familiar smell. It made him content.
"What you just signed… were the adoption papers." Kanda suddenly said. He felt the boy jump on his lap. Allen looked at him with wide and unbelieving eyes. He moved his lips but no sound came.
"A-a-ddoption?" He finally croaked hoarsely. "Wha-what do you m-mean?"
"Figure it out, brat. It means we're family now. Officially."
The boy looked puzzled for a moment. He glanced at Kanda's face, his lips trembling for some reason.
"I don't get it. Is it some kind of a joke? Because that's not funny. It's really not funny."
Kanda raised a brow. This was the reaction he had not anticipated.
"I'm not kidding, brat. From this day on, you're officially in my care."
Allen slowly hid his face on Kanda's chest. His voice trembled, muffled by the fabric.
The boy sniffled. His grip on Kanda's shirt became painful.
"Are you crying?!"
" 'm not! 'm just happy!"
The boy clenched the shirt, muzzling his face in it. Kanda laughed softly and tugged Allen's hair. The boy clasped his neck and buried his face in its curve. His shoulders were shaking, his whole body was trembling. Gradually he stopped crying and returned to quiet sobs, but promptly refused to let go of Kanda when the man decided that it was time to go.
"Lavi, you drive this time. Just don't forget to turn left next to that café, I almost missed that exit."
Lavi drove softly, trying not to wake up the two snoring in the back. Sometimes he glanced at Kanda reflected in the mirror, checking if everything was ok. And it was ok. The man and the boy breathed inaudibly. Kanda's face was buried in Allen's hair and the man gripped the boy's body even in his sleep. Allen was smiling in the embrace, clasping the man's fingers. The slightly open window of the car let in a few snowflakes that fell on Allen's head. It almost looked like the snow claimed him.
"Be happy, Yuu-chan." Lavi murmured. "And you too, snow-creature. Make him happy." He glanced at the pair again. His eyes softened.
"Dammit, Yuu-chan, your ass is too sexy for yer own good."
People, I want to thank you so much for reading, reviewing and subscribing to this story. This week I have received the most amazing reviews I have ever read. From "God, this is good!" to "I really love this series!" I really enjoyed reading them.
As Thank you! I published a new story called "Hell's Anatomy".It's (Obviously) Yuulen, and it will be considered shonen ai, not Parent/child, as this one does. I hope you liked this chapter and the Thank you project.