Warnings: some language and light shounen ai
Disclaimer: I don't own D. Gray Man.
Carnivals and Bridges
"Everyone has a different view of a 'paradise', whether it's called a 'nirvana', 'valhalla' or a 'heaven'. Everyone knows that to go to this paradise, you have to live your life right and don't do bad stuff. Yet how few actually see truth…It's on Earth, it's a place we could go to whenever we want. In fact, it's just right around the corner, so get moving." –Unknown (I read this somewhere and for the life of me I can't remember where, but I think it kind of fits this story.)
"Hey. Wake up."
Allen grumbled and rolled over, hoping the persistent voice would go away.
Instead of obeying, Allen snuggled deeper into the warm cocoon of the blanket all the while silently cursing the stupid familiar voice trying to disrupt his sleep. He did not want to wake up since it felt like he had just fallen asleep. He was tired of Lavi waking him up at ungodly hours of the morning. Every morning since Kanda went on a mission over three weeks ago. Was an extra hour of sleep too much to ask for? Why can't Kanda just hurry up and get back to Headquarters and distract Lavi for a little while?
"Fuck, Moyashi. You sleep like a log. Get up before I shave off all that white hair of yours."
Silver eyes snapped open at the irritated voice he was finally able to identify. He blinked a few times at the Japanese teen standing by the bed. "Kanda?"
"Che. Who else would I be? Get up, sprout."
Though he was confused at Kanda's sudden appearance in his room in the middle of the night if the moonlight shining through the window was anything to go by, Allen untangled himself from the blanket and shivered a little as his bare feet touched the cold floor. "What's going on? Did something happen?"
"No. Just put some clothes on and let's go."
Allen quietly sat on the edge of the bed as his mind sluggishly tried to process everything as he watched Kanda dig through his small closet. "What?"
The Japanese teen sighed and threw a shirt and trousers at the puzzled sixteen year old. "Put these on. Night's wasting."
Allen obediently dressed while Kanda impatiently waited by the door. The moment the white haired teen was done, Kanda pulled open the door and slipped out into the dark hallway. Allen hesitated for a moment before following.
The building was eerily silent. They didn't pass anyone in the barely lit corridors. Was Headquarters always so empty at night? Allen quickened his steps to get closer to Kanda, who seemed to be the only source of life at the moment. "Um…did you just get back from your mission?"
The older teen's steps didn't falter. "In a way."
"Where are we going?"
Kanda considered his answer. He didn't speak until they had exited into the surprisingly warm night air. "We're going into town."
"Don't we have to get permission first?" Allen abruptly halted in his tracks. "Where's Inspector Link? He wasn't in my room."
"What? You don't want one night of freedom?"
The white haired teen huffed a breath. "I wouldn't mind one night of freedom, but I'll get in even more trouble for going anywhere without him."
Kanda turned around to face the younger teen.
Allen's breath caught in his throat at the sight of Kanda bathed in moonlight. The Asian's normally scowling face was smoothed out with a thoughtful look. Heart beating a little too fast, Allen felt an odd fluttering feeling in his abdomen. Something he experienced more and more lately but only around Kanda.
The older teen suddenly reached out and cupped his hand around the back of Allen's neck.
Allen barely had time to register that Kanda was touching him before he was pulled forward. Soft, warm lips pressed against his in an innocent kiss.
Kanda stood up straight again and studied the wide-eyed teen staring at him in shock. His eyes followed the movement as a pink tongue slipped out to lips he just kissed. Forcing back a grin, Kanda let hand slide down to grab a slender wrist. He pulled the dazed teen along with him towards the waiting town. He didn't want to waste this night standing in front of Headquarters.
Allen stumbled along as Kanda led the way. He wasn't sure how but when he came back to his senses, they were in town and heading towards a restaurant. "Kanda?"
"Che. Might as well feed that monster you call a stomach before we do anything else."
They entered and chose a secluded table in the corner. When the waitress came for their order, Allen chose everything on the menu while Kanda asked for tea.
Allen suddenly felt self-conscious with dark blue eyes trained on him. "Why did you…"
Kanda didn't bother to ask what Allen meant. "Because I felt like it. If you don't want me to, then fine. I won't do it again."
The white haired teen opened his mouth to say something but decided against it. He had mixed feelings about the kiss. One part of him liked it and wanted more. But, another part whispered that something wasn't quite right, that it wasn't going to last.
The awkward silence was broken when their food arrived. Allen busied himself by shoving as much food as he could into his mouth. Kanda quietly sipped his tea, not looking away from his younger companion even once.
After every plate was polished off, Kanda tossed money onto the table and they left.
Allen didn't understand Kanda's odd behavior. "Kanda. Is something wrong? Why are we here in town at this time of night?"
The Japanese teen stopped in the middle of the nearly empty street. "A carnival."
"There's a carnival here tonight. Do you want to go?"
Allen gave a hesitant affirmative. Kanda's hand slipped around his wrist and tugged him along. He couldn't hold back the gasp when the carnival came into view. Lights illuminated the crowd as a few clowns flitted around people offering tricks in exchange for laughter. Grinning widely, Allen took the lead and dragged Kanda into the festive atmosphere.
They spent hours among the colorful tents. In his excitement, Allen tried to take in everything the carnival offered to the point where Kanda had to constantly pull him back to avoid running into people or things. He even managed to get Kanda to chuckle over something or other. Allen had to stop in his tracks to stare at the Japanese teen in shock and hope that Kanda would make that sound again.
And some time during those hours, Kanda lost his grip on the slender wrist in his hand.
Feeling Kanda's hand slip away, Allen nearly panicked. A raw fear snaked its way into his thoughts, formed a painful, twisting sensation in his chest. He swiftly made a desperate grab and caught Kanda's fingers. A shudder of relief went through him, and he looked into surprised blue eyes.
So far, Kanda had been the one holding on to him, but if he let Kanda slip away, Allen had a feeling he wouldn't see him again. So, he twined their fingers together. Allen distantly noticed that his hands shook slightly.
"Don't let go, Kanda." Allen felt tears form in the corner of his eyes, felt as they burned behind his eyes as he tried to hold them back. "Please. Don't let go."
Kanda didn't reply, but he tightened his grip. Allen gave him a shaky smile.
After escaping from the crowd, they found themselves on the bank of a river. They stood in silence staring at the dark, moving water.
Allen shifted nervously and absently noted that he was still holding Kanda's hand. Or was Kanda holding his hand? He contemplated his feelings for the swordsman at his side. The normally cold, frowning, aloof comrade had been replaced with a quiet, thoughtful, easy-going companion, and Allen had no idea what to think about the sudden change.
"Kanda." When he had the other's attention, Allen took a deep breath. "I like you. I think I've liked you for a while now. And…" He trailed off as the words stopped forming in his mind. He had so much to say but couldn't find the words to express them.
"Left or right?"
Allen slowly blinked. "What?"
"We need to follow the river. Do you want to go left or right?"
"Need to follow the river for what?"
Kanda sighed. "To get to the bridge."
Annoyance flickered in silver eyes. He had just kind of confessed his feelings, and all Kanda wanted to do was find a bridge? "You're looking for a bridge?"
"Che. Not a bridge. The bridge."
"Okay…you do know that I have a terrible sense of direction, don't you? I doubt I'll be able to find 'the bridge.'"
Kanda ignored the sarcasm laced in the younger teen's voice. "It doesn't matter. Pick a direction and the bridge will be there."
Allen gave Kanda an odd look. "Are you alright? You implied that there's only one bridge, then you say there's going to be one no matter which way we go. Why are you so fixated on this bridge?"
There was an unreadable look on Kanda's face. "Just pick which way to go, Moyashi. You're wasting moonlight."
The white haired teen muttered beneath his breath about how that was just a fancy way to say that he was wasting Kanda's precious time. "Fine. Let's go left."
Kanda nodded, and they walked side by side along the river.
Allen wasn't sure how long they walked. It could have been a minute or an hour, but when there was no bridge in sight, he dug in his feet and forced Kanda to stop. Something gave him an unsettled feeling. As though the farther he walked, the closer he came to losing something important. "There's nothing here. Let's go back to the carnival."
"The bridge is just up ahead."
Allen wasn't able to keep his voice down. "There's nothing there! Why are you doing this? Let's go back. Everyone will be waiting for us."
Kanda's bangs shadowed his eyes. "Look."
The white haired teen made a frustrated sound but looked towards the river. He nearly choked when he saw the plain wooden bridge stretching over the moving water. He could have sworn that the bridge hadn't been there a minute ago. Shaking off his uneasiness, Allen turned to Kanda again. "If we go across the bridge will you be satisfied? Can we go back to everyone afterwards?"
Allen dragged Kanda to the bridge, but a harsh tug sent him stumbling back into a hard chest before his foot could touch the wooden bridge. A strong arm wrapped around his waist to steady him. "Kanda?"
The Japanese teen took an unsteady breath. "Don't. You're not supposed to cross the bridge."
"I don't understand. Why are you acting like this? Why aren't you insulting and arguing with me? Why aren't you glaring at everybody and threatening people with Mugen?" Allen choked back a sob but couldn't stop the tears. "This isn't you. Kanda wouldn't wake me up in the middle of the night to drag me into town. He wouldn't pay for a meal then take me to a carnival. Kanda wouldn't kiss me because I'm cursed. What's happening to you? Why won't you explain anything?"
Kanda let go of the other's waist and stepped back, but he continued to hold Allen's hand. "Che. Figures a bean sprout like you would accuse me of not being who I am when I try to do something nice and then suddenly burst into tears."
Allen looked up with teary eyes. "What?"
Kanda sighed again. "I didn't want to argue with you. Not tonight. And when was the last time you went anywhere without that stalker of yours?"
"You mean Link? He's not a stalker."
"He might as well be."
"What does that have to do with anything? You brought me out here to let me wander around without Link for a while?"
"Not really. I was allowed one night with anyone I chose. You were the first person that came to mind."
Allen looked around. The sky was lightening with the coming sun. Night would be over in under an hour. He finally settled his gaze on Kanda. "You're horrible at explaining things. I just end up with even more questions."
Kanda's lips lifted in a small smile. "You had fun, didn't you?"
The white haired teen blushed a little. " I suppose." Seeing Kanda lift an eyebrow, Allen looked away. "Yes, I had fun."
"Then why I did it doesn't matter."
Allen pouted but didn't press for answers. "About what I said earlier before you started obsessing about the bridge…"
Kanda tugged on Allen's hand to bring him closer. "There are plenty of other people out there. Don't waste your feelings on me."
"Weren't you the one who kissed me earlier?"
The Japanese teen looked towards the brightening horizon. "We're almost out of time."
He swiftly leaned down and caught Allen's lips with his own. Just as innocent as the first kiss. "There's no future for us here, no matter how mutual our feelings are. There's not enough time to explain."
Allen shook his head. "If you're not even willing to try then of course there's no future!"
Kanda met Allen's eyes. He knew the younger teen would be able to see the pain and regret in his eyes, but he didn't look away.
Allen jerked in surprise at the voices calling his name. Lavi and Link. He looked around but didn't see them, although they seemed to be coming from the direction of Headquarters. His attention whipped back to Kanda when he felt the older teen try to pull his hand away. Allen refused to let go. "Kanda, they're calling. Let's go home."
Kanda smiled, a sad and lonely expression on his handsome face. "I'm sorry."
The white haired teen drew a shaky breath. "Please, Kanda. You're scaring me."
Kanda closed his eyes. "Neither of us can stay here. You should go. They're worried about you."
The older teen then leaned forward and whispered into Allen's ear.
Allen numbly watched as Kanda let go of his hand.
There was a tugging sensation.
The last thing he saw was Kanda backing away onto the wooden bridge. The Japanese teen stepped onto the bridge just as the sun peeked over the horizon.
Then he was looking at a close up view of Lavi's face. Allen blinked then screamed. The redhead yelped and jumped back. Allen frantically looked around his room. Lavi had a grim look on his face. Link stood to the side with his usual aloof expression, albeit a little strained.
Had that been a dream? "What's going on?"
Lavi tossed some clothes to him. "Here, you should get dressed."
Allen caught the clothing midair. "What happened."
Link cleared his throat. "Get dressed, Walker. The supervisor has called for a meeting with the exorcists."
Allen quickly dressed and followed Lavi.
The first thing he saw when he entered Komui's office was Lenalee. She sat on the couch with her face buried in her hands as she sobbed. General Tiedoll was crying while Marie supported him. Everyone had a grim look.
Komui coughed and spoke in a somewhat strained voice. "Around four thirty this morning, a call came in. It was from one of the finders who went on a mission with Kanda. He reported that a Noah appeared yesterday afternoon. Kanda fought the Noah while the finders fled to safety, but another Noah appeared and attacked the finders. One survived but was knocked unconscious. When he came to, all the other finders were dead and Kanda was missing. He managed to get to a phone and report what happened."
Allen couldn't breathe. "Where is he? Where's Kanda?"
Komui steeled himself. "His body was just discovered at the front gate. It appears the Noah left him there on purpose."
He felt his legs give in, and he fell to his knees.
Kanda couldn't be dead. Who was he supposed to argue with? To insult and fight with?
Kanda always had high standards for himself and everyone around him. Who was he supposed to look up to now? Who was going to push him to be stronger?
"There's no future for us, no matter how mutual our feelings are."
Allen didn't try to stop the tears, instead allowing them to freely fall.
He silently wished that the sun had never risen. That last night didn't end. That he was still laughing and pulling Kanda along around the carnival. That their night could have lasted forever.
Allen gently placed the white flower onto the casket. Although the coffin was open, he didn't look in. He didn't want to remember Kanda like that. He wanted the memories of a living, breathing Kanda, so he zealously hoarded all those memories. One day, he would look them over and smile at what had been and yearn for what could have been.
He closed his eyes when they set the coffin on fire.
But for now, he would lock all those precious memories away. He would continue his mission to save both humans and akuma.
Yet despite his painful sorrow, a sad smile formed on his face at Kanda's last words whispered only for him.
"Maybe we should have another night out sometime in the future. I don't mind waiting."
Those may not have been words professing love, but it gave him a goal. Something to look forward to once he completed his mission of living. A hope that he would see his Japanese swordsman again someday.
"Yes, we should. Maybe we can go somewhere of your choosing next time."
Allen let those words drift away with the ashes and tears. Perhaps it was his imagination since no one else seemed to have noticed, but he heard a familiar chuckle echoing from the flickering flames.
This was originally for Yullen Week, but I decided to write something else for Kanda's b-day since he dies in here (I would have felt kind of bad for killing him off during his birthday so I had to write something different).
And now for some shameless advertising:
This Yullen week will be for Kanda's Birthday!
Starting June 1st and lasting until Kanda's Birthday on June 6th!
For more information check in regularly to the Yullen Pride Forums~
http:// www. fanfiction .net/topic/49938/12142336/1/
Or, you can PM me
http:// www. fanfiction .net/u/1654070/Blood_Soaked_Redemption
http:// www. fanfiction .net/u/1726205/kimi-chanchan
Thanks for reading.