Title: Not Quite Sleepless Nights
Fandom: D. Gray-Man
Summary: Allen had developed a new habit. Snapshots on how he spent his sleepless nights.
Word Count: 3200
Warning: Unbetaed.A little bit of swearing as usual.
Disclaimer: I would not survive the deadlines those poor mangaka have to accomplish. I barely survived this Yullen Week, you know. So no, I do not own.
A/N: HAPPY BIRTHDAY KANDA!!! Anyway, since today is Kanda's birthday, I wanted to make this special, so I just try this snapshot/drabble-ish approach, which is kind of my favorite writing style and it worked fairly well for my other OTP in another fandom, but I don't know how well it would work on this pairing, you will have to tell me ^^.
Oh, and I'm not sure I convey the theme right… but It's all I can think of coz my brain is fried from having to write six fics in a short time XD;;
Without further ado, I hope you'd enjoy~
- NOT QUITE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS -
Yullen Week, Day 6
Theme: Night Out
-/ Meditation /-
The first time Allen had developed the habit was not long after they had come back from the Ark. It was after he had been told he was carrying a Noah inside him and was to be 'watched'. He had felt like losing his freedom by being supervised 24/7 and having another presence inside his head surely didn't help making things better.
He couldn't sleep at night, feeling constantly being watched, even when Link was facing the other way in the futon next to his bed. The slightest movement caught the inspector's ear, and Allen didn't like that. So one night, he got out of his bed, wordlessly stepped out of his room and said nothing when the blonde man followed.
Somehow Allen ended up in the training room, and found Kanda meditating in one side of the room.
If the older teen had sensed his presence, he said nothing about it, not even when Allen sat down beside him.
From the corner of his eyes, Allen could see Link settled on the other side of the room, and he was glad that at least the inspector gave him a breathing room. The British then glanced at Kanda, who was as still and silent as a statue and Allen couldn't tell if the other was meditating or sleeping, but either way, he decided not to bother the Japanese more than he already had by intruding Kanda's personal space.
So he decided to mimic Kanda's pose and meditate, concentrating on the silent night, the faint sound of the wind outside, the sound of his breathing and Kanda's that didn't match each other… and Allen frowned at that. It didn't sound nice to his ears, so he tried to synchronize his breathing with the older teen. Breathing in, out, in—hold on, Kanda was exhaling. Ah, now—out again. He found the rhythm of their breathing and followed it religiously.
Slowly, he could finally feel calm and got some of his peace of mind. He felt like he was floating; his body and soul felt light, no more nagging thought, no more burden, no more…
And finally, he fell asleep.
The next thing he knew, he was awoken from being shoved up none-too-gently, and he blinked his eyes open, only to see Kanda stood up.
"If you want to sleep, go crash on your bed, idiot, don't sleep on me!"
Allen only stared in confusion at the Japanese who was exiting the room, before standing up as he too, made his way to the exit. When he looked questioningly at Link, the inspector shortly explained, "You fell asleep while meditating. Quite literally fell,on Yuu Kanda's lap."
Those silver eyes widened considerably, and he wondered why he was still alive.
Allen decided that maybe Kanda was too sleepy to skin him alive at this ungodly hour.
* * *
-/ Smiles /-
Kanda wondered why people tend to go to him when they're under pressure. First Lenalee, and now the Beansprout too. Just throw the stupid rabbit here too and his life would surely be more than just annoying. Where did he go wrong in making himself be unapproachable? Why did these people keep attaching themselves to him anyway?
Those were Kanda's thought as he glared up at a certain white haired brat as said brat entered the training ground. He had let him be the first time, but after the raid on their headquarter and they had to move to a new building, in an infrequent interval the bean sprout always made sure to disturb his late night meditation, and Kanda had made it a routine to glare at the arrival of the stupid bean.
"You're here again, Sprout?" Kanda growled.
"And so are you," Allen lightly replied, and Kanda thought that the younger boy might be too dense to be scared by him.
Or they had spent too much time together that his venom no longer had effect on the brat.
"Should I ask why you always have to disturb my fucking peace?"
"No, you shouldn't."
Kanda cracked an eye open and turned his head to the left to find the brat smirking. He closed his eye again and fumed inwardly. Damn brat, did he have no fear for him?
Of course not. If he had, the brat wouldn't even be here in the first place, let alone kept bothering him like it was his life purpose to do so. Really, since when did this kid dare to bother him like this? Had he gone too soft to the bean? Why had he gone soft in the first place anyway?
"Kanda, you're scowling. Aren't you supposed to be meditating?"
Kanda's brow twitched. "And you're supposed to be meditating too, brat, not watching me," he retorted.
"I can't concentrate," Allen replied rather sulkily.
The samurai che'd at him before saying, "You're that stupid you don't even know how to concentrate?"
"Can't help it," the younger boy's tone sounded nonchalant, "This guy in my head won't shut up."
Kanda open his eyes fully now to study the British's face; it was twisted in a somewhat bitter smile, which didn't reach his eyes. Kanda sighed. As if his fake smiles weren't bad enough; this one is downright ugly. Why bother smiling if what he really wanted was to just scream out in frustration?
"Tell the guy I said 'fuck off'," Kanda finally responded.
He could see Allen blinked at him, before a light chuckle escaped his pale lips and then it subsided and turned into one genuine smile.
Now that was better.
Not that Kanda liked any of the Beansprout's smiles, of course.
* * *
-/ Wall /-
Pressure. Burden. The world on his shoulders. The very same world that didn't seem to be appreciating his efforts, his sincerity to protect it, by kept throwing him its cruel jokes again and again. Sometimes, Allen wondered if it was really foolish of him to be carrying these weights on his small, slender shoulders. Alone.
But he had decided that it was what he wanted to do—neededto do. He had decided to become an exorcist—it was his own choice, right?—and this was the path that he should be walking on, with all the consequences.
Still, there were times that he felt it was too much for him. And at times like those he felt like he needed to talk, to share the burden he was carrying. But he couldn't talk to any of his friends, not when they would worry, and probably be scared because he was supposed to be their 'Destroyer of Time', their savior. He wasn't supposed to break down.
So he could only talk to a wall. Preferably, a wall that wouldn't just stare back at him impassively; a wall that had ears that could actually listen to him.
A wall by the name of Yuu Kanda.
It wasn't that often, but at times, when he really felt the need to let some burdens off his shoulders, he would bother Kanda—late at night in the training room—not only by his presence but also by his words, his voice. Funny thing was, sometimes it just happened without him meaning to.
He would always speak quietly; his words came out nearly as a whisper because he didn't want the inspector at the other side of the room to hear him and wrote down what he said only to report it to the higher-ups.
At times like this, when the white haired boy didn't bicker with him and actually talked about serious stuff like his problems—about his master's last words, about Mana, about the path he was walking in, about the fourteenth renting a place in his head, or sometimes the combination of those—Kanda never said a word. Not a word. He never responded to anything Allen had to say, just like the cold, impassive wall.
And just as coldly, once Allen had finished talking Kanda would stand up and leave the boy to his own devices.
But not before landing his big, warm hand on Allen's white head, ruffling the snowy locks rather roughly.
See? This wall did listen.
* * *
-/ Flowers /-
Third exorcist. Another crap the fucking higher-ups had come up with. Just what the hell was going on in their heads to create such creatures anyway? Turning humans into half-akuma? Sacrificing humanity for the sake for the war? That was just nonsense. Hadn't they had enough yet from their experiment nine years ago? Sure, he was rather a successful product, but it came with a price. A huge deal of a price.
He had long since not minding about this, had long since putting aside that his strength was pretty much unnatural, had long since coming to terms that he was different than the other exorcists, and thus acted accordingly, building a barrier separating him from other human beings — but apparently, even his barrier had been infiltrated by certain people who claimed themselves as his friends.
But this third exorcist crap had awakened some things that he had buried deep down inside, memories that he had locked far away at the back of his head.
And those flowers… those illusions that had merged into the surroundings—they were still there, but Kanda barely paid attention to them—had now started popping out of the background, screaming for him to notice them, mocking him for noticing them, especially when he was alone.
He could see those flowers cramping up the wide, spacious training ground; blossoming here, withering there, gathering in the corner, hanging on the ceiling, crowding his field of vision…
Kanda tried to ignore them—hell, he tried hard—but he couldn't. Not after he had notice that his own lotus had lost another petal, slowly wilting inside the hourglass in his room.
His time was running out…
"Kanda? Are you spacing out?"
The voice snapped Kanda back to reality, and he glanced forward to see the bean sprout standing in front of him. Right, he was still standing himself when he should've been meditating by now.
"Wow, you really did space out. Is something wrong?" the younger asked, and Kanda could hear the worry in that tenor voice.
The long haired teen just looked at Allen for a few seconds, before sighing and sitting down on the floor, arranging his limbs to his usual meditating position. "Shut up, brat. It's not something kids should worry about," he finally responded, making sure to sound mocking.
"What? Who are you calling a 'kid'?" Allen protested while sitting down on his usual place beside him.
"Oh right, my bad. You're not a kid, you're a bean sprout."
"I am not, BaKanda!"
"Shut up, Beansprout. I'm trying to meditate here."
"The name's Allen! A-L-L-E-N! How difficult is it to say, idiot?"
"I don't want to be called 'idiot' by an idiot."
"What? You're really, really—"
Kanda knew he wouldn't get to meditate when the stupid brat wouldn't even shut up, but he didn't want to shut up either. Because he had noticed that now that he was bickering with the bean sprout, the flowers were now left forgotten, merging into the background once more.
* * *
-/ Habit /-
"Where's your stalker?"
Allen blinked up at the question as he just stepped into the training room. He saw Kanda was already sitting in his usual spot, and the British absently noticed how the long, raven hair was tied just behind his nape, tonight.
"Link's called to Central tonight, but I think he'll be back early in the morning."
He saw Kanda closed his eyes, probably went back to meditating, but then the Asian commented, "Rare chance of freedom, huh? Then why the hell are you here, Sprout?"
"The name's Allen, BaKanda. Gee, this is really getting old," Allen muttered as he sat himself down beside the Japanese, before continuing, "And I don't know why I'm even here. It's kind of… you know, I couldn't sleep, didn't know what to do and ended up here. It's become kind of a habit, I guess…"
Kanda just snorted at that, but made no further comment.
"Oh gee, so this is why you guys haven't been killing each other lately." The familiar voice made the two turned their heads towards the entrance, where a redhead was currently standing; grinning. "You've been having secret late night dates? But seriously, couldn't you guys think of a more romantic place than the dojo? It's kind of—"
Lavi didn't get to finish his words because in one second, Mugen was pressed to his throat.
"Say another shit and I'll cut your head off, stupid rabbit! And this brat doesn't come here every night," Kanda growled menacingly.
Allen just smiled at his friend in greetings, not moving from his meditating position, and said "We're just meditating, Lavi"
As soon as the samurai unsheathed his sword and settled back beside Allen, Lavi sat himself down in front of the two with curious eyes. "Well, I know Yuu-chan—("Don't fucking call me that!!" Kanda growled.)—always meditate here every night, but I didn't know you're occasionally joining him, Allen-chan. Especially now, when that two-pimple isn't stalking you, I thought you'd want some time alone?"
"Well… I blame it on the habit," Allen scratched his nose.
When the tallest of the three curiously raised an eyebrow, Kanda helpfully supplied, "He's just here to annoy me."
"Oh?" Lavi's face lit up. With a knowing smile, he asked, "And you haven't kicked him out yet?"
"He'd just come back like a stubborn puppy."
"Hey! What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means what it sounds, Beansprout."
"Now, now, calm down Allen-chan! It's just his way of saying how cute you are—"
"Do you want to die, fucking rabbit?!" Kanda snarled, his face reddened slightly and Allen couldn't tell whether it's from anger or embarrassment.
The first one is more likely, though.
"Anyway," Lavi said in between his attempt to release his throat from Kanda's hands, "What do you want as a birthday present this year, Yuu-chan?"
Kanda let go of the taller boy and sat back as he said, "I don't want any more of your freaking weird presents, and stop calling me that, you imbecile!"
"Kanda's birthday is coming up? When?" Allen inquired. Now that he thought about it, he really barely knew anything about the Japanese exorcist.
"Che. It's none of your bussi—"
"June 6, that's his birthday," Lavi cheerily informed, and added, "Make sure to prepare some gift, okay?"
"I. Don't. Need. Any!" Kanda barked.
It was still about a month away, and Allen made a mental note to give something to show his gratitude to the older boy for keeping him company—or at least, not kicking him out—all these times.
* * *
-/ Gift /-
The night breeze softly hit his face, playing with his long, unbound hair. Kanda sat in the middle of a clearing in the forest within the headquarters, wearing his white cardigan to shield him from the cool wind. From last year's experience, Kanda had decided it was best not to be in his room on the night of his birthday because who knew what that stupid rabbit would do to him.
So here he was now meditating alone under the stars.
He heard footsteps and promptly opened his eyes, scanning the area for the source of the sounds, when suddenly a voice called out, "Kanda? There you are. I was looking for you but you weren't in the dojo or your room, or anywhere in the building."
Kanda merely raised an eyebrow as the bean sprout clad in his black cardigan settled himself to his right, before inquiring, "What do you want?"
"That's not very friendly," Allen lightly commented, and Kanda only glared at him, thinking that the brat ought to know that 'friendly' was not a word to be associated with him.
Sighing, the samurai closed his eyes again and asked, "Where's your watchdog?"
"I ditched him. He's probably looking for me now."
Kanda turned his head to see the younger boy grinning sheepishly at him, and he cocked an eyebrow in response. "You're getting yourself into trouble, Sprout."
"My position sucks anyway," the 'sprout' nonchalantly shrugged, before turning his gaze up to the starry sky.
Kanda only looked at his companion, studying his seemingly serene face. It wasn't like Kanda cared—no, he certainly did not care—but the somewhat faraway and detached look on Allen's face bothered him a little.
"What's wrong?" he finally relented and asked.
Allen just turned to look at him, but instead of answering, he said, "It's already June 6 now, right?"
Kanda merely arched an eyebrow, and he watched as the brat pulled something out of his pocket. The Japanese couldn't see what it was exactly, but whatever it was, it seemed to be made of metal. Then, Allen reached out his free hand to him, signaling him to give out his hand, palm up.
Then, Allen put the object on Kanda's hand, before saying, "Happy aging day, BaKanda!"
Kanda frowned as he studied the object placed on his hand. It was a pocket watch. Made of silver with a simple design, yet it still looked elegant. Definitely not something cheap.
"Look, idiot, I told you I don't need gifts. Why are you spending money on this kind of things? If you have money, go pay your stupid debts," he reprimanded, moving his hand to return the gift, but Allen pushed his hand away.
"The debts are paying off, since there aren't any new debts since Master... disappeared," Allen started, and Kanda could catch the bitter tone behind the boy's statement.
"And I got it for you, BaKanda. It took me only a few rounds of poker. Don't worry," the younger exorcist grinned, then added, "Just accept it, okay? A 'thank you' would be nice, though."
Kanda just stared at the pocket watch in his hand and then to the stupidly grinning boy beside him, before he finally pocketing the watch, saying, "Stupid brat. It's not my fault you wanted to waste money on me."
"Prick," Allen pouted, but the next second, he was smiling as he eyed Kanda's pants pocket in which his gift currently resided.
"Whatever," Kanda made to stand up, but a hand caught his wrist. The taller teen turned to see Allen smiling.
"Let's stay here for a bit longer?"
On impulse, Kanda then ruffled the white locks rather harshly and commented, "You're such a kid."
"I am not a kid, BaKanda," the kid complained, but he didn't pull away from Kanda's hand.
If anything, the older teen could feel Allen leaning to his touch.
So they just sat there quietly, enjoying the soft breeze teasing their hair while their eyes locked to the starry sky. Fingering the silver watch in his right pocket, Kanda thought that he would just humor this idiotic bean that just wasted his money over some stupid birthday present for him, by treasuring the gift.
And maybe, he would also treasure the brat who gave it.
A/N: So... um yeah, they're havng night outs... in the training ground (well, they're outside their rooms!) *bricked*. Hehe, if it didn't work, well... in the last snapshot, they were outside, right? hawhaw... *is shot*
Anyway, it's doooone!!! yayness. Whew, I really liked writing in this snapshot/drabblish style, for some reason. Did you enjoy this one? Please let me know. ^^
It marks the end of Yullen Week, I'm sad that it's ending, but it was really fun! I hope you guys enjoyed what I've written so far, and if you do, please let me know through reviews. They are precious to me ^___^
Thanks so much for reading!