Edit: Wow, I was not expecting all the love this story has gotten. It's one of my most popular one-shots! Thank you to everyone who reviewed and favorited! Please enjoy.
Allen stopped, one hand to his chest as he tried to catch his breath. Timcanpy buzzed around his head, anxiously looking on. The boy slid down to the ground, sighing with relief as he sat. His eyes closed. Tim reacted immediately, landing atop Allen's head and pulling a lock of hair, hard.
"It's alright, Tim," Allen assured, not bothering to move or open his eyes. "I'm only resting. Just for a bit. Okay?"
Tim calmed, settling down on Allen's shoulder. All was quiet for several long minutes, before Allen finally spoke. "I'm going to miss this place…"
Tim immediately flew into a rage, crashing hard into Allen's forehead and spitting fire.
"Ow. Don't do that, Tim. It hurts." Tim continued to rage, to no avail. Allen remained unmoved, still not opening his eyes. Slowly, Tim calmed again, settling into Allen's open right hand, which lay on his lap. His left hand lay limp at his side.
Allen finally opened his eyes, absently petting the golem as he looked around the vast chamber of one of Headquarters' lower levels. "I really will miss this place, though. The people here have all been so nice to me…They took me in when I had no one and nowhere to go, and made a home for me. My only regret is that it must end soon...It's been such a short time. What? Five years?"
"Oh, you're right. Seven. The time sure has flown."
He closed his eyes again, leaning his head back on the pillar he rested against. After a moment, he quietly said, "Sorry, Tim. I think I lied. I don't think I'll be getting up again this time."
Tim bit into his thumb, hard.
Allen's only response was to crack his eyes open and gently shake him off. "Now, don't do that. You've known this was coming for a long time now. In fact, you're one of the few who knew. I'm kind of surprised Komui didn't suspect something, actually… He must be too busy with more important matters. My life isn't that great of a concern anymore. I've been rather useless lately, haven't I?
"Now, Tim, don't give me that look. You know it's true. I've been getting slow. You were there on that last mission, when I nearly got Lenalee killed because of my incompetence… It's probably better that they don't have to keep looking after me like that, making sure I don't screw up any more."
Allen grimaced suddenly, dropping Tim to clutch at his left arm. "It's…starting to hurt worse, more often." The pain slowly eased and he relaxed back against the pillar.
"Have you ever thought about how you want to die, Tim?" Allen laughed at himself. "No, I suppose not. But I've been giving it a lot of thought recently, ever since I realized… I decided how I wanted to die, a while back. I would have liked to die in battle against a really strong akuma, or maybe a Noah or even the Earl… I thought about letting it happen, every mission since I decided, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Just when I'm about to let myself get hit, I think, what if I can be of some use five minutes from now? What if someone will need me on the next mission? And then I always block and save myself. Do you think I'm a coward for doing that, Tim?"
Allen didn't need to see Tim's flashing teeth to fancy that he was angry. He chuckled to himself. "No, I suppose you would tell me that I'm foolish for trying to get myself killed in the first place. But you must understand, Tim. I wanted to die doing something great, not…sitting alone in the basement, proving my worthlessness to the last. Don't you see, Tim?"
He reached up and grasped his left shoulder, prodding it a bit to see if he had any feeling back in it yet. "Sometimes, I think…Maybe, if I hadn't pushed myself so hard all those times, used my Innocence beyond its limits so often, I might have lasted a bit longer." He chuckled to himself again. "But then I realize how useless that thought is, because I remember that every time I went beyond my limits, it was to save somebody important to me. And then I don't mind it so much…"
He closed his eyes again, breathing deeply. "You'll tell everyone goodbye for me, won't you, Tim? Try not to be too angry with me. My most faithful friend… It was only to save everyone, see? I couldn't really do anything about it, after all…"
His right hand dropped down from his shoulder to lay at his side, and his chin fell to his chest.
Tim perked up, nudging Allen's right hand. When no response was forthcoming, he flew to Allen's head and again grasped a lock of hair, tugging insistently. Allen did not rise, as he had all the other times. He made no protest. He did not swat the golem away, telling him to just wait one minute, then he would come. He did not respond, leaving Tim alone to settle on his white head with his tail wrapped loosely about Allen's neck, and wait.
"Thank you, Tim. That'll do." Komui sighed deeply, pushing his glasses up to rub at his tired eyes. "Why didn't I see something was wrong with him…?" he asked himself. "I should have noticed something was wrong…"
The projection of the still figure with a golden golem on its head faded as Tim closed his mouth. His wings flapped anxiously as he waited for Komui. "Yes, Tim. You can go to him now. I… For what it's worth, I'm sorry."
Tim didn't stay to listen, immediately taking off toward the medical wing. He found the room with the covered body and slipped in through the crack in the door. Coming to land on the still chest, he wrapped his tail around himself, and shattered.