The morning was like all the others this week, cold. The air hung heavy in the atmosphere, densely filling the lungs and making it difficult to breathe. Puffs of white spiraled into the frigid air, licking at the sky like a smoking chimney, heat rising from its host – a byproduct of life. The wind shook the barren trees, snowdrifts falling from the naked bark as tears welled up in chrome colored eyes. Too cold – much too cold – boots to his knees and coat bundled up to his nose all that's visible were his eyes, the shimmering pools of silver.
Mana was gone, forever gone, lost to the mounds of filthy grey ice that lined the asphalt streets. It had been several years since the clown had died, leaving Allen in the care of Marian Cross. Neither of these things had been good for the boy's mental state. Already with a week disposition Allen had gotten worse, being dragged around the world with his guardian, spending the majority of his time in whore houses or working through his grief to pay of the debts Cross continuously managed to accumulate. Allen was the world's best actor, having learned from his father. And as such, no matter what the world threw at him, he'd meet it with a smile.
But as he stood in front of the massive three-story building, with the grotesque brick walls and high arched stained glass windows, he couldn't help the tears that spilled over his cheeks. The once great cathedral sat eerily over the winter backdrop, facing the modernized city in which Allen had buried Mana. This horrid place, a ghostly reminder of the clown in his less than distinguished last days amongst the living, its monstrous walls a refuge from the raving insanity that lurked outside it.
This place is where Cross was dumping him, currently no more than a burden to haul around Allen was tagged by society as mentally disoriented much like those who resided within the very walls he saw before him now – locked away against their will for whatever transgressions against others or themselves they may have committed.
"Quit staring and move your ass!" Cross growled as he booted Allen towards the doors of what was going to be his home for the remainder of his life – much like Mana. Stumbling forwards, landing awkwardly in the snow Allen refused to move, knowing that there would be consequences for disobeying the slave driver of a man that had been dubbed his legal guardian. Oddly enough Allen didn't feel the blunt pain of the man's hammer connecting with his head, rather a gloved hand picking him up, hefted over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Arms and legs hanging limply as he was marched into the building, Allen was tossed none to gently in front of an Asian man with a white beret atop his unruly blueberry hair.
"He's all yours," Cross said before exiting the building. The Asian man blinked a couple times in astonishment at the harsh treatment of his newest patient before turning his attention to the white haired boy picking himself up off the floor. Once marginally composed, Allen bowed politely, a smile on his previously teary features
"My name is Allen Walker," the boy said as he straightened. "It's a pleasure to meet you, though under circumstances such as mine, saying that is probably not standard procedure."
"Well Allen it's a pleasure to meet you too. I am Komui Lee," the man said as he smiled. "Shall we see about getting you to your room and meeting the staff then?" Allen nodded, the smile not fading from his face as he followed the man further into the building, fighting down the urge to scream and smash his scull into a mirror to drown out the memories of these walls.
"So this is the new guy?" an emerald eyed male asked, giving Allen a once over, "he's really cute." Allen blinked, unamused by the statement, though he was already used to such meaningless chatter about his abnormal though apparently adorable looks from many of Cross's consorts. "I'm Lavi, nice to meet'cha Allen." Smiling Allen shook the offered hand politely, only to let out a startled yelp as Lavi used his hand to pull him into a hug.
"Come on, loosen up a bit," Lavi's laughter soon came to an abrupt end as he clutched his head in pain, having been hit by a passing Japanese male.
"Baka Usagi, this is a mental ward not a day camp," the male scoffed shooting Allen a condescending look before walking off.
"Don't worry about him, he's always like that – he's a bit temperamental but once you get to know him he's not such a bad guy," Lavi said grinning gleefully as he dragged Allen away from Komui. Noting Allen's reluctance Komui waved the smaller boy off.
"Have fun Allen, Lavi'll take good care of you," Komui called after them with a reassuring smile.
"Yeah, I'm a really fun guy," Lavi said as they disappeared around a corner.
"So Allen, what's your dysfunction?" Lavi asked "don't take it as a bad thing, I'm just curious," he added at the look that crossed Allen's face. They had been walking for quite awhile, Allen had been introduced to many people and had seen just about everywhere there was to see at the Black Order Mental Institution.
"You know people who get sent here are probably the sanest 'cause they've come to terms with their problems. It's not abnormal and it's nothing to be ashamed of, you're just as sane as anyone else," Lavi said when Allen remained silent "and let's face it, everyone has problems."
"Lavi, why are you here?" Allen asked cocking his head to the side and indifferent mask in place.
"I work here. I may as well be checked in 'cause gramps drives me up the wall," Lavi chuckled "he works in records, so I'm basically his apprentice."
"I see, well I'm here because my guardian couldn't make use of me anymore," Allen said bluntly, thinking distastefully of the red haired demon with the stupid half mask and hammer. "There are a number of things that are wrong with me if you ask that man."
"Allen, you're hilarious!" Lavi said hugging the pale boy "you'll fit right in here, everyone's pretty easy going, 'cept for Yuu, but he's just naturally an ass."
"Yuu?" Allen asked cocking a brow "that guy from earlier?"
"Yep, the one and only, but I like you so don't call him Yuu okay. If you must address him, call him Kanda, and at least that way he'll bite of your head in a more polite manner than the way he blows up if anyone calls him Yuu," Lavi prattled on joyfully as he led Allen towards the living quarters and the boy's new room.
The first thing Allen noticed about the room he'd been left in front of was the neat black characters designating the number of the room. The ominous number fourteen hung like a dark cloud, warping the door to that of something out of a nightmare. It was the same room in which Mana had spent his last moments of life. The same room that Allen had crossed a thousand times when visiting the man from the children's ward.
Fate had a really sick sense of humor, and even as he knew that beyond the white door laid only four walls, a bed, a small closet and a writing desk, he couldn't help but hear the man's screams as he writhed in agony atop the same sheets Allen was doomed to sleep upon. Tentatively reaching out, Allen grasped the brass handle and pushed the door open ever so slowly. Ceasing all movement, his breath caught in his throat as his mind showed him things long buried in his memory.
"Get out of the fucking way!" Kanda snapped at Allen for having been standing in the hall in front of his new room. The deer-in-the-headlights expression didn't falter and Kanda briefly wondered whether his new neighbor was having some sort of mental breakdown – not that he suspected a Moyashi could even have a brain. "Che, Moyashi deal with your problems in the damn room and quit blocking the fucking hallway." Silver eyes wide and panicked, clenched shut momentarily before the boy pulled the door closed.
"Sorry," Allen mumbled as he scurried off down the hall and away from the room. "Che, brat is too scared to go into his fucking room' Kanda thought dully as he entered his own room.
The wind whipped around the scantily clad boy as he stood atop the roof of the aged building. Leaning against the stone arches silver eyes scanned the city with a morose dissonance. It had been almost a week since he'd been dumped at the Black Order Mental Institution, and he'd not spent one night yet in his room. From his vantage point he could see the reason for his turmoil – the small forgotten cemetery that was hidden away by overgrown trees, naked to winters bitter winds. The few grave markers protruded haphazardly through the snowy blankets and Allen could almost see the rusted wrought iron fences – piercing the soft scene – a desolate cage.
'No one buried there will ever be free' Allen mused sadly as he listlessly counted the headstones like he had done many times that week, 'surely I'll be buried there too.' If anyone were to find out about his nightly escape to the secluded area of the building's roof, he briefly wondered whether he'd be allowed to continue – lights out meant everyone was to be in their rooms. Even with the free nature of the institution precautions had to be taken to ensure the safety of the staff and of the patients. Komui tried to make the place as homey as possible so that it felt less like a prison, but Allen found it difficult to picture anywhere but at Mana's side as home.
Turning his gaze to the indigo skies dotted with glistening diamond stars a heart raced with exhilaration. To fall through such a blissfully endless expanse would be such a sweet torture – to just tip over the edge and tumble into the unknown. Climbing atop the stone parapet Allen tipped precariously back and forth as he walked along its length, silver eyes matching the same glowing ferocity of the crescent moon hovering in the distance.
'To fall is to escape' Allen thought glancing at the deadly height he was playing at. But then again, what is reality if not filled with games to pass the time and assure one was alive? Nothing. Even as he craved that control – the power to simply free fall into the place from which no travelers ever return – Allen hesitated, his cowardice too much to bear as he felt his breath hitch in his chest. His feeble heart could not sustain such an accelerated pace. Dawn would be upon him soon in any case, and he had to return to his room before anyone noticed.
As he made his way back into the building he missed the cobalt eyes watching him from the shadows of the stone arches.
"You're that new brat everyone's been talking about? Damn you're fucking cute," Daisya said laughing as he cornered Allen against the cafeteria wall. The white haired boy had been waiting in the cafeteria for Lavi to show up like every other day that week. Having already eaten his fill and made small conversation with the flamboyant cook Jerry. When Lavi still didn't show up Allen had made to leave and head off somewhere quiet.
"What've you got there Daisya?" Tyki asked as he peered around the jester to the silver eyed boy staring up at him wearily. Allen had been welcomed by most while others seemed to pay him no mind; he hadn't been bothered though, so when he was cornered by these two patients he'd not known how to react.
"The new guy," Daisya said smirking at the uncomfortably anxious look he was being given. Allen was used to being sized up from travelling around with Cross. But those people had often been debt collectors or whores, whom he would excuse himself from their company as politely as possible – after paying off the debts that is.
"I can see why everyone's so interested in him," Tyki said grinning as he leaned closer "hi there kitten, want to come and play?" the rich, sultry voice sent a shiver down Allen's spine as he pressed himself against the wall as if hoping to melt through it. What was one to do when they had been taught all their life to smile and please others?
"Come on we'll have fun," Daisya said grinning cheekily, the innuendo clear, resting a hand against the wall beside Allen's head.
"It was nice meeting you both," Allen said politely as he fidgeted "but please leave me alone."
"Kid's a fucking prude," Daisya laughed, a sinister smirk lighting Tyki's features at the younger male's words and the expression that overcame the pale boy's features – widened silver eyes and a pink dusting of embarrassment across the delicate infantile cheeks.
"Back off him you fucking jester," Kanda growled as he whacked said male over the head.
"Ow! Kanda," Daisya whined as he rubbed the newly formed bump on his head "what the fuck?"
"Is he yours?" Tyki asked smirking as smoldering cobalt eyes met his golden ones.
"No, but he sure as hell ain't yours," Kanda snapped as he grabbed the wrist of the startled younger male, and without another word pulled him off.
"Kanda you're no fun!" Daisya called after them as they exited through the cafeteria doors.
"Che, you're fucking useless," Kanda grumbled as he released the thin wrist. "You don't act all polite when someone's trying to fuck you over. Or do you like taking it up the ass?" Allen grimaced at the statement but shook off the filthy feelings making his skin crawl.
"Thank you," Allen said bowing his head to hide the shamed look in his silver eyes. Silence fell over the two as Kanda continued to glare at the younger boy.
"Come on," Kanda said as he opened the door to his room. Large silver eyes stared up in question. "I don't know why and I don't really care, but ever since you got here you've been avoiding going into your room and Lavi won't be back until tomorrow."
"That's not…I was just..." Allen stuttered at the blunt statement from the Japanese male.
"Save it," Kanda muttered as he pushed the door closed once they had both entered the room.
"So where is he?" Allen asked, fiddling with the hem of his shirt.
"Bookman had some shit he needed the baka Usagi to take care of in town," Kanda said nonchalantly. After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence Allen found himself wondering what could have possibly landed Kanda in the institution. As far as Allen could tell the only thing wrong with Kanda was his attitude, though Allen could hardly blame him for being temperamental when surrounded by crazy people.
"Uh Kanda, why are you here?" Allen asked on an impulse, before realizing that he'd vocalized his ponderings.
"This is my room," Kanda said simply as his brows furrowed and a scowl set into his features.
"No I didn't mean…never mind," Allen said gaze falling to the ground again.
"I know what you meant," Kanda said eyes narrowing in mild annoyance. "Now I'm going to make this very clear, I don't like you," Kanda said pausing as he caught Allen's gaze. "You're a fucking annoyance and there's no way a person like you should be able to survive in this world. Even so if you're going to die, it'll happen, so don't go looking for death."
"Why would you-" Allen was cut off by a sharp glare from the navy haired male.
"I saw you last night on the roof," Kanda said and was taken aback by the horrified look upon the boy's features. Allen immediately made for the door, heart racing in panic. Without thinking Kanda moved to block his way.
"I'm sorry to have bothered you, please excuse me," Allen muttered quickly as he tried to keep his voice from wavering.
"You have no where to go," Kanda said dully.
"I hardly see how that's any of your concern," Allen said.
"Baka Moyashi, if you're going to go jump off the fucking roof, at least tell me why so I can let that damn red head know it wasn't because he left you alone for a day," Kanda muttered.
Allen blinked as his heart beat accelerated; he had never had anyone even remotely care about him, save for Mana and even then the male had been crazed and only saw Allen for his dead brother. Allen's thoughts were running away with him, probably due to his recent lack of sleep. Light headed and tired Allen tipped forward, unable to keep the world from warping around him.
"Oi," Kanda said as he steadied the disoriented boy, "what the fuck is wrong with you?"
"Sorry I…" Allen paused. 'Why do I want to jump? So that it will end, what other reason is there? Whether I live or die doesn't matter, I have no purpose, no reason to exist. That's why isn't it?' Allen thought.
"Moyashi," Kanda said hands supporting the extremely thin boy.
"I'm fine now. Sorry," Allen whispered as he pulled back from Kanda, large silver eyes looking up through a haze to the cobalt depths that seemed almost concerned for him.
"Che, you aren't fine," Kanda sighed as he knocked Allen's feet out from under him, carrying him over to the bed. "You haven't slept in days right, you should get some rest before you really do collapse."
"Why are you being so nice to me?" Allen asked, half lidded eyes emphasizing the calm he felt as he sleep began pulling on his conscious.
"Don't ask stupid questions. I'm not being nice," Kanda growled, a very light blush tinting his cheeks.
"You're lying," Allen whispered as sleep claimed him.
'Fucking hell, why am I blushing?' Kanda wondered shaking his head as if the action would somehow make the strange stirring of emotions within him cease.
Over the next few days Allen and Kanda's relationship had only gotten progressively more complicated. They would constantly bicker and neither seemed able to stand the other, though Kanda would look out for the smaller boy. Even at night, when Allen was hiding out on the roof, sleep would often claim him and when he awoke he'd be in Kanda's room on the bed and the older male would be no where in sight.
There was a certain exhilaration Allen felt when he was around Kanda, his heart rate would increase as though he were standing on a pedestal high above the ground – so very easy to fall from. The male's violent temperament intrigued Allen as much as his own hypocritical yet brash demeanor intrigued Kanda, while also being the source of the older male's frustrations.
By observance it would appear that there was nothing wrong in Allen's world, that he was no longer alone and had people he could call a family if he really wanted to – as dysfunctional as they are. But the thoughts of Mana plagued him, preying on his waking and dreaming mind. Everywhere in the institution he could remember Mana having been there and how he had acted. The things that he said burned into Allen's memory. That morning Allen had snuck out of Kanda's room to sit atop the roof. Silver eyes stared out at the cemetery.
'Mana I have to see you' Allen thought 'the memories are simply too maddening and I need to be at your side.' He would leave around mid-day when no one would find his absence strange.
Silver eyes stared down at the cold grave marker, tracing the rough engraving on its surface with his melancholy gaze. Mana Walker. Within trembling hands was a blown glass bauble, found half submerged in the muddy soil along the shrine's path – beautiful in its liquid blue tint. Clenching the small item tightly, thin glass broke, scarlet beading along jagged edges and parted skin.
"You told me to pretend, to never let my mask falter. You said it would be easier, said it would hurt less," Allen muttered as the broken glass fell from his bleeding hands. "Why then can I not find peace of mind? Why does my heart bleed every time I think of you?"
Allen was silent as his knees buckled, clutching at the damp soil 'even in my fantasy worlds the end always bleeds into the realism of my misery' Allen thought bitterly. The skies opened to pour their anguish down upon him in heavy bouts of thunderous disdain.
"You were a liar just like me…did you ever really love me?" Allen's voice cracked as it was muffled by the dirt, the foul stench of decay smearing across his tear streaked cheeks.
"Moyashi's missing?" Kanda asked as he sipped his tea. The question was trivial at best since he was already aware of the information – long before everyone else. Allen hadn't been on the roof the night before nor had he suddenly decided to sleep in his room.
"Komui sent some of the finders out, but so far no luck," Lavi said heaving a sigh. "I hope the little guy is alright, it was really cold last night, even rained a bit."
"Che, damn brat's too fucking troublesome," Kanda muttered. He could lie to himself about his reasons for looking out for Allen and worrying about him, however, Kanda couln't convince himself that he didn't care, he was worried about the smaller boy.
"You know you're worried about him, he's your Moyashi isn't he," Lavi said grinning.
"Shut up Baka Usagi!" Kanda snapped.
"I can see why you like him though, he's really cute and besides that he's the only one who can stand to piss you off without getting throttled," Lavi laughed.
'That's because the little brat would break,' Kanda thought dully as he glared vehemently at the redhead. Lavi shuddered as Kanda stood, dumping the remainder of his hot tea on Lavi's head in the process of exiting the cafeteria. Lavi's wails of pain resounded through the halls as the Japanese male headed off to meditate.
"He was where?" Kanda asked in confusion, not believing what the finder had told him. Cobalt eyes followed the pale boy as he got carried into the infirmary feeling a knot tighten in his stomach.
"A small cemetery not too far from here, he was asleep," the finder said.
'What the hell was the brat doing, sleeping in a cemetery?' Kanda wondered mildly disturbed by the idea.
"Yuu, the head nurse wants us to wait outside," Lavi said as he tugged his posturing friend from the room. The two waited in silence until the nurse called them in to join Komui at the foot of Allen's bed.
"He has a high fever and some shallow cuts on his hands," the head nurse said to the occupants of the room "the poor boy already has a weak disposition and sleeping outside in the cold rain didn't do anything to his benefit. The only thing to do is to let him rest until the fever breaks. After that I'd suggest you monitor him closely, I'm worried about his heart rate, its rather erratic. Does he have any cardiac illnesses?"
"He's been here for two weeks at most and he hadn't been to other institutions so we don't have any transcripts," Komui said frowning "if anything we could do some tests when he's better."
"Alright, I'll make the necessary preparations," the head nurse said before walking off.
"Kanda, will you check on Allen once in a while?" Komui asked, turning his gaze to the Japanese male.
"As if I'd waste my time on that Baka Moyashi, he brought this shit upon himself," Kanda said coldly, turning to return to his room.
"Thanks Kanda," Komui smiled, knowing the male would do as he'd been asked, perhaps even to a better degree than the medical staff.
Kanda watched as Allen tossed and turned, progressively becoming more and more tangled up in the bed sheets. He really didn't have a clue as to what he could do to calm the boy's fitful slumber, so he settled for simply watching to make sure he didn't manage to suffocate himself. As he sat he reflected on the complete stupidity of the institution he'd been in for the past three years. In what bizarre world was it okay to leave one mental patient in charge of another?
"All fading," Allen mumbled as he rolled onto his side, silver eyes cracking open.
"Go back to sleep," Kanda said sternly to which the smaller boy smiled weakly.
"The glass is gone," Allen whispered "burnt long ashes ago, now only shattered fragments."
"The hell?" Kanda said standing and walking over to Allen's bedside.
"Gone, gone, no more sappy fairytale endings," Allen laughed softly as he fidgeted with the bandages on his hands.
"Go back to sleep, you're fever is still high," Kanda chided.
"The winds whipped grey its tumultuous skies, from which fell cracked irises and splintered crystal rain. Tossed it goes about the insipid waves, tossed and turned about the toiling ocean blue," Allen said, closing his eyes to imagine the ship of sweet smelling cedar being tried by the oceans might.
"What are you going on about?" Kanda asked, resting his hands on Allen's shoulders.
"Story," Allen answered simply "in a land of make believe all the troubles fade away if only for a moment." Sighing, Kanda shook his head. 'Make believe huh?' the Japanese male thought as he tipped Allen back. "Will you sleep if I tell you a story?" Kanda asked to which the smaller boy nodded in eager anticipation. 'I can't believe I'm even thinking about doing this' Kanda thought, sucking up his pride 'if that baka Usagi sees me he'll hang it over my head forever.'
"The waves they climbed towards the sky, ever growing higher. His eyes widened in impalpable horror, the gods their mastery to witness, quelled the churning waters and he fell to bent knees, thanks upon his lips," Kanda grunted as he bit back a scowl wondering what the fuck he was doing.
"The direction to find their way back home be lost amongst the darkness, for feathered friend who loves the sea his heavy mantle hung around guilty neck – a dreary sinful apparition," Allen said continuing where Kanda had paused. "Forgiveness he called to the skies. Salvation he doth beseech, nevermore to murder thus and forever more to preach."
"In fogged minds and tired eyes he retires for the day. Upon the whispering winds he lies in wait for a sign of the shore. Anything to guide him back to where he had been before," Kanda said not understanding how the words came so easily to him, nor why the act made his heart beat hasten – it wasn't real, the man in the story lost at sea was something he made up on the spur of the moment to get his smaller charge to rest.
"But the grassy hillocks never breached the horizon and the sun never crested the shore. As night drew a shadow across the sea, he lifted his arms in prayer," Allen paused for a moment as he stared into intrigued cobalt."Oh any gods who hear me now, guide me home once more."
"Dream of home and tell me about it when you wake up," Kanda said as he placed a hand over Allen's eyes, "sleep." The command had been soft, thick words wrapping skillfully around him soothingly, allowing silver eyes to close. But a restful sleep dreaming of a warm family in a little house in the country would not wander into his thoughts – such things had never happened – his home had been Mana and their home had been the world.
"Just as I do, you see reflections of yourself reflecting back at me," Allen said softly as he gazed into the depths of maddening cobalt before him "and on afternoons when the sky wouldn't leave us alone in the billowing of patterned sheets creep the colors we dream – behind closed lids."
"Baka Moyashi," Kanda muttered as his brows furrowed, the boy before him had been fever ridden for the past two days with no sign of it lifting and it didn't seem like he was too concerned either, what with having gone mad.
"Yuu, should I call the nurse?" Lavi asked from the doorway, unsure of how to deal with the situation. Both Allen and Kanda were patients, and Allen really did seem like he'd lost a few gears – perhaps the fever had melted them. It was his job as an apprentice to Bookman to record all events that transpire with the patients and not get himself involved. However, he'd grown rather attached to the white haired boy and the impudent Japanese male.
"He'll be fine, it's just the fever," Kanda said though he knew that on a subconscious level Allen wasn't fine, not in the least. Sure he too was a mental patient but despite the nature of the asylum they were in, it was filled with rather normal people with typical problems.
"The walls of this room stream with raindrops – saline drops – running together like corroding pictures," Allen whispered as he turned his attention away from Kanda and traced the wall to his left with a single bandaged finger. "Here had hung on doors, closed against the windy drafts – they prevail anyway, accursed autumn winds."
"Allen," Lavi called trying to draw the boy's attention back to them. Silver eyes met a single emerald one, an unnamable emotion raging in their glistening depths.
"The ink drips lazily like a Sunday afternoon, soaking into my skin so that when I press fingertips to the plaster ceiling they leave behind pretty words and prints of my hands," Allen said as tears welled up in tarnished silver eyes "not like his, they had been calloused and rough though bearing an unearthly warmth, like fevered hearts making mistaken angels out of boys with sad colored eyes."
"What the fuck does that mean?" Kanda muttered the question to himself as he took Allen's outstretched hand away from the wall.
"Calloused and warm like his," Allen said as he looked up at Kanda "but there is no insanity within your eyes – it hurts like acid in my veins – so different." Delicate white brows knitted together as Allen clasped Kanda's hand within his and turned it over. Bringing the appendage to his face Allen licked at the calluses from where the older male would grip his sword. Kanda stiffened as the pink tongue, flicked out at his palms.
My hands had once been soft like yours are now Allen dear, but they have long since begun to bare the scars of repetition and age. It is a hollow and completely obsolete existence, solely for the enjoyment of others.
"They hurt – weather worn and battered from repetition and age – too much. Salt heals wounds but cannot erase scars," Allen frowned as he looked back up at Kanda.
"My hands don't hurt," Kanda said wondering just what Allen was getting at, his calluses had been formed from the extensive sword practice – his personal form of therapy – it wasn't a bad thing, yet Allen seemed to associate it with something bad.
"Why do you exist?" Allen asked leaning closer to Kanda, the Japanese male holding the younger boy back by his shoulders.
"I exist because I haven't died yet," Kanda said not understanding the question, or why he was bothering to answer them for that matter.
"There must be a reason. When the reason is gone the will dies…makes falling so much easier," Allen said glancing down at his bandaged hands.
"What is your reason?" Kanda asked following Allen's gaze to the white gauzy strips that were wound around the slender fingers.
"To fulfill a promise…to keep walking 'till the day that I die… once there is still life within me I'm not to stop, even if by doing so I walk ever closer to my death," Allen said.
"Che, what kind of fucked up promise is that?" Kanda scoffed as he brushed aside some stray locks of snowy hair that were shading the gem-like silver pools.
"He was different…cold, yet made me feel safe…his eyes never looked at me, always at him," Allen paused head hanging down, gaze fixed upon the floor. "Your eyes are so grounded, so very warm your hands are…are you looking at me?"
"What the heck are you asking? Of course I'm looking at you, there's no one else but you," Kanda said.
"You don't see him?" Allen asked, a childish hopeful tint to his soft voice.
"Lavi, would you care to shed some light on the situation?" Kanda asked as he stared down at the pale boy in confusion.
"Sorry Yuu, I have no idea what's going on but I don't think it's just the fever," Lavi said shrugging "though, as far as I know, he's not schizoid."
"Please," Allen tilted his head up to look into the deep cobalt depths, needing an answer so much so that his silver eyes were filled with an uncharacteristic desperation.
"No, I don't see anyone but you," Kanda assured. Smiling the smaller boy rested his forehead against Kanda's chest, soothed by the consistent beating of the older male's heart.
"I'm so glad," Allen whispered.
"Who is this person you've been talking about?" Lavi asked "the one who couldn't see you," he added in clarification.
"Mana," Allen said expression faltering as he buried his face in Kanda's shirt, small hands fisting in the cottony material. "The plaster screams and moans bloody remnants of his legacy in every God forsaken fiber. So utterly maddening is the ruptured heart beating for a long abandoned soul." Soft laughter rose from the small boy, crystal tears trailing from eyes of stardust.
"Allen?" Lavi prompted for the boy to continue though the words weren't coherent.
"Saccharine words searing with insincerity and still blindly following to eternity's end," Allen chocked back a sob.
"Shut up," Kanda mumbled wrapping his arms around the frail body. "Baka Usagi, get out."
"But Yuu, I'm Allen's friend too," Lavi pouted.
"His fever isn't going to lift if he's up and fussing over things…clearly tears mean it's something best left alone for now," Kanda said as though Lavi were an ignorant little child as opposed to a brilliant anomaly of the human race.
"Fine, but if anything happens call me first okay," Lavi said before leaving the room.
"Rest now," Kanda said as he led Allen back over to the bed. After tucking the boy in Kanda turned to return to his room, hoping that sleeping for a couple hours would allow Allen's fever to break. After all, the boy had been restless for the past two days so it was likely that rest was all he needed.
"Don't go," Allen said sitting up in the bed before adding an impossible to deny, "please."
"Che," Kanda sighed as he walked over to the bed and pushed Allen back down. Silver brows knitted together and dust pink lips pursed as the small boy watched Kanda drag a chair over to the side of the bed. "I'm here now, so sleep." Without a word Allen stuck a hand out from the covers and gripped Kanda's wrist, pulling him gently towards the bed.
"So damn troublesome," Kanda muttered as he climbed into the bed next to the smaller boy, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth as Allen curled up next to him, arms wrapping around his torso.
"Hey Yuu, look what I found in the old records," Lavi said running into the room waving a file folder.
"Che, shut up baka Usagi," Kanda hissed from his place on the bed beside Allen. "If you fucking wake him I swear I'll-"
"Never mind that now, look," Lavi said thrusting the file towards Kanda excitement sparkling in his emerald eye "I could be a sleuth or something."
"Wipe that stupid grin off you face, it's creeping me out," Kanda muttered as he turned his attention down to the folder. Opening it cobalt eyes narrowed before glancing quickly to the sleeping boy beside him.
Mana Walker was scrawled in the patient name tab and inside contained profiles and medical history as well as journals on this particular patient.
"Cool isn't it?" Lavi said grin broadening "there's some stuff on Allen in there too."
"I'm not interested," Kanda said closing the file.
"But Yuu, there's stuff on your cute little Moyashi and he's sleeping so he doesn't have to know," Lavi pouted as Kanda shot him a glare.
"I don't care," Kanda snapped "take the damn file and put it back wherever you found it."
"You know this Mana guy was the one who gave him that scar across his eye," Lavi said as he took the file from Kanda's outstretched hand, watching as cobalt widened a fraction before darting back over to Allen.
"Who was he?" Kanda asked unable too contain the question.
"Allen's adoptive father, kid was orphaned by his parents and then this Mana guy came along and took him off the streets," Lavi said. "The journals get more and more detailed until they just stop altogether. The last entry talked about how Mana was crazed and how Allen was really antsy after returning to the children's ward after visiting him."
"Don't ask him," Kanda warned glare intensifying.
"But I want to know," Lavi whined "it's like a mystery with an unresolved end."
"Don't fucking ask him," Kanda growled.
"Kanda?" Allen murmured as he groggily looked up at the older male then across to Lavi and the folder.
"Everything's fine, go back to sleep," Kanda said as he shot Lavi a glare, urging the male to leave immediately with the file. Taking the hint Lavi made to leave but by fate's cruel hand he fell, the contents of the file spilling across the floor of the room.
Silver eyes widened as they landed on a picture of his beloved Mana, heart palpitating as he glanced from the furious look on Kanda's face to the apologetic one on Lavi's face as he quickly made to collect the papers.
"Why do you have that?" Allen asked as the walls began to scream around him.
"Allen, I was just curious and-" Lavi paused as he noted how pale Allen had gone.
"Shut up!" Allen snapped, hands going to cover his ears "I don't want to hear it!" Allen's eyes narrowed to pinpoints as he could almost feel the hands around his neck and smell the tang of rusted copper permeated the air.
"But you asked," Lavi paused unsure of what was happening.
"Moyashi," Kanda said warping around the trembling boy as a means to provide comfort as well as prevent the boy from hurting himself.
"Let go!" Allen yelled as he broke out of Kanda's arms, ducking past Lavi and out the door.
"Oi! Get back here!" Kanda called after fighting down his surprise, darting out of the room after the white haired boy.
'Mana, I'm so sorry' Allen thought as he made his way to the roof, 'I'll be with you soon."
Standing atop the roof, silver eyes gazing out at the cemetery in the distance, Allen pulled himself up onto the stone parapets. 'One step is all it takes' Allen thought, heart beating painfully in his chest as though it were to break from his ribcage, splitting him in two.
"Don't move!" Kanda yelled as he burst through the door to the roof, desperation in his voice and mannerisms as he carefully made his way closer to Allen so as not to frighten the boy off. Dilated silver eyes stared at him but made no show of recognition.
"I'm coming to get you, so don't move a muscle," Kanda said sternly as he followed the unstable boy with his eyes.
"Mana, it's my fault," Allen whispered as he walked along the parapet "I want to be with him…I need to see him…to apologize."
"What do you have to apologize for?" Kanda asked.
"He was sick…he was sick and not in the right mind…even so I killed him," Allen said shuddering as he could hear the screams echoing down the hallways, resonating throughout the building. Kanda was shocked by the revelation, there was a chance that Allen was just fever talking again but everything seemed so real and if it were true it would answer a lot of questions. Why Allen couldn't stand sleeping in his room, why Allen had been found in a cemetery and even why he was so hypocritical.
"It's not your fault, come down from there and we can talk about it," Kanda said softly though startled by his own desperation. It never fails – you always come to some sort of strange epiphany when pitched into a crisis.
"Screaming, bleeding, crying, there's nothing…I killed him when it should have been me," Allen said shuddering as a gust of wind wrapped around him, rustling his hair and clothes. "Pretend can only last so long and I'm so very tired…I just want to sleep." Kanda's eyes widened in horror as the smaller boy tipped, losing his balance and plummeting over the edge.
A split second impulse later and Kanda was falling too, Allen clutched tightly to his chest, eyes clenched shut and bracing for what could be the end of them both.
"Death is the only escape, the only end to the pain and suffering. The one answer to every question we may have had and the answers are nothingness and empty," Allen muttered, tarnished silver staring into tired emerald.
"Death maybe the only escape from these traps we call life, each of us stuck in our own awkward boring repetitions, and none of us knowing where to go next," Lavi said, "we're all hoping for some sort of direction from our comrades, some sort of nuance to make ourselves comfortable amongst them." Lavi rested a hand in Allen's snowy locks, a comforting gesture of friendship. Kanda was still unconscious after the incident and Allen was feeling as guilty as ever. With no way else to ease the boy's suffering Lavi simply listened and decided to offer his company.
"Maybe it all ends too soon: comfort, reliability, sanity and everything else we knew as forever," Lavi paused as he glanced over at the still form of the stoic Japanese male. "Maybe nothing lasts, ideas fade, lights dim, all else would be forgotten." Allen shifted away from Lavi, gaze drifting to the window.
"We can't even hold onto the little humanity the human race may have once had, becoming only a twisted misrepresentation of itself, but maybe with a little guidance and a friend to share the way, death wouldn't be the only escape."
And for the first time since Kanda had been rendered unconscious, Allen smiled.
"Kanda," Allen said his voice saturated with relief at seeing the cobalt eyes he loved so dearly open for the first time in weeks.
"Che, a leaf falls upon my skin…bruised…how weak I've become," Kanda muttered as he stared blankly into Allen's desperate eyes – loving him, looking only at him. "Am I still breathing?"
"Yes, I'm so sorry," Allen said as he fought to suppress the tears that were trying to bubble up within him "it was all my fault that you-" Kanda hooked his hand behind Allen's head, pulling him into a chaste kiss, feather soft brush of lips against lips, effectively shushing the boy.
"Lips pressed against sinking ships, printing torn petals over the wreckage," Kanda smirked as he stared into startled silver eyes.
"My stained ocean shrinks," Allen whispered softly as a blush tinted his cheeks, livening up his sickly pale complexion.
"Pain long since harbored, cascades to the floor like fragments of a heart," Kanda said feeling his heart swell at the aura emanating from Allen. "Then they were swept away like shattered chandeliers."
"Locked in a haunted garden with sequined flowers decaying dirty constellations and fountains glow, flowing with sugar frosting?" Allen asked cocking his head to the side cutely.
"You really are just a child," Kanda said as the barest of smiles turned the corners of his mouth "if you wanted a story all you had to do was ask." Kanda lifted the sheets in silence, smirking as a broad grin lit Allen's face. The younger boy clambered underneath the covers, curling up to Kanda's body, a contented smile warming his features as he reveled in being engulfed by Kanda.
"Come sit with me beside the sea and watch the sinking ships. The sands are laced in sunlight, seashells glued in glitter. The voice rushing over the waves is fascinated by that which looks out at him. Breathe satin into my hands and sew diamonds on my lips. Let me drink up all your charms and fade into your embrace," Kanda paused knowing Allen would pick up – he always did.
"Swallowing stars to fall sound asleep, he is left alone upon the shores. Make believe spreads, hiding the hurt," Allen said curling closer to Kanda, mewling softly as an arm draped across his waist and another was laid beneath his head.
"Let the flaws slip away, while you stand silently at the icy shore throwing crystal flowers into the ocean," Kanda said as Allen nuzzled into the crook of his arm. "Sinking ships like a funeral, now lying in a flooded charnel house he laid – scorned to perish and caked tears washing away."
"I'm asleep and finally awake, smile no longer painted," Allen whispered "all the scars melting as sunken ships rot away and elegance grows blissful ignorance."
"Sleep now, we'll talk later," Kanda said as he watched silver eyes flutter closed.
"Kanda," Allen said, a blush painting his cheeks.
"What is it?" Kanda asked.
"I love you," Allen said, eyes still closed.
"In your game of make believe?" Kanda asked feeling his heart tighten in anticipation. He hadn't expected Allen to confess to him, and now that he had, he couldn't help but want it to be real.
"No," Allen said "I love you just as you are now."
"Baka Moyashi," Kanda muttered unable to suppress the smirk that was trying to morph into a smile. He didn't return the sentiment but cupped Allen's face gently as he captured the soft lips in a kiss. Allen didn't need to hear the words returned when he could feel them so clearly in the older male's actions.
I'll play with you until the dawn, this game of life and death. I'll play with you a game my dear, closest to my heart. I'll play this game of make believe forever if I must. If there is no end to our thoughts and dreams, then I won't ever have to surrender you. So keep a watchful eye towards those cerulean skies and wish as those fever dreams slowly pass you by. One day you'll wake to me and we can continue this game of make believe.
A/N: Well now that was the epitome of all things peculiar. I do believe this was in part due to how my own mental state has been deteriorating with all my culminating stuff and the fever I had last night. I know there's a lot of gibberish in this one, but it actually means stuff – well most of it anyway. Then again it's quite possible that I'm just psychotic. Anyway, I hope this wasn't too much of a mind fuck, I'd hate for anyone who read this to go all loopy on me.
Tomorrow's theme is Doll and it's still in the process stage. I've been having a bit of difficulty with this one, but hopefully I'll be able to pull it together for tomorrow.
Anyway thanks to everyone who's read and reviewed my works.
Comments are welcomed – they make me happy :)