WARNING! This story contains SPOILERS and YAOI! Also a few minor OCs, so don't kill me.

Awesome! I got the first chapter up. I hope it's satisfactory. This story stemmed from an RPG that my friends and I worked on. Several late nights later, we had enough material to start a story, so here it is! For accuracy purposes, I only added in a few OCs that fit well enough in the future chapters. There is some speculation as well, considering we were left at such a cliffhanger in the manga. Whether the speculation is right or not, it made for a good story. As always, reviews are appreciated! Enjoy.

Edit: This fan fiction is now yaoi related! Don't like it? I don't care. ^_^

Rated: T [for violence and language] Bold: Used only in dreams or flashbacks to indicate the main character's lines. Italics: Used to indicate dreams, flashbacks, and thoughts.

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Chapter One: Distant

"Soshite bouya wa nemuri ni tsuite..."

The words were threading through his mind like an eerie echo, a memory of something that had long been forgotten and was just being brought to the surface again. Darkness surrounded him and he closed his eyes to the crushing black, trying to think of anything but those haunting lyrics, but to no avail.

"...Ikizuku hai no naka no honoo

Hitotsu, futatsu to..."

Louder and louder the words became; more painful memories rising to the surface with each word that floated on the non-existent breeze like a wisp of a cloud, dancing and twisting until finally fading into the next. With hands clamped over his ears as if to shut out his own thoughts, the boy curled up into a tighter ball.

"S-Stop..."

"...Ukabu fukurami itoshii yokogao..."

"Leave...leave me alone!"

"...Daichi ni taruru ikusen no..."

Tears were welling up in the boy's eyes and seeping through tightly shut eyelids as the song became increasingly more unbearable and the face of an all-too-familiar man suddenly flitted through his mind.

"M-Mana..?"

The man faded into the distance, face screwed up in agony and one hand reaching out towards the boy. His cracked voice resonated in the 15-year-old's head.

"Allen..."

"Mana!!"

"Yume, yume.."

The lyrics taunted as the man's face disappeared from the boy's mind.

"Mana!! Come back!! No!!"

::

Allen jolted awake, sitting upright and sweating bullets. Mana's face was still fading from his mind as he tried to clear his foggy tear-stained vision and collect himself. He was alone in his room and the lights were out. Vaguely he remembered where he was and what he'd been doing. Th-That's right...I came home from the mission in Paris and went right to bed. Extracting himself from the now hopelessly tangled sheets, the white-haired exorcist sighed and swung his legs over the side of the bed, stepping onto the cold stone floor. Every night for three weeks now, he'd been having nightmares. Most ended up the same as this one, with him jolting awake and in a sweat. Allen found a small rag and went to the personal bathroom that all the exorcists had available in their rooms, turning on the water. Dipping the rag under the slow-running stream and wringing it carefully out, he wiped the sweat from his face and neck. A glance at the old clock hanging on the wall told him he didn't have time for a proper shower. Heaving a sigh, he leaned on the counter and stared at himself in the mirror, water still running. There were dark circles under his eyes from the lack of sleep and the ugly scar on his bare chest still hadn't begun to fade. A dark figure was present behind him, with that same emotionless expression that he'd grown to hate so much. He stared at his own reflection with self-hatred for several minutes before forcing himself to tear his gaze from the mirror and turn off the water. Dressing quickly, Allen opened the door as he buttoned the last button on his exorcist coat, pasted his usual fake smile on his face, and started down the hall towards the cafeteria.

Along the way, Allen passed by several exorcists and finders that he'd become friendly with and gave them a cheerful wave and nod of the head. Not that it was uncommon; practically everyone in the Order could be considered his "friend". Everyone loved the young spirited exorcist, and even though they had been told of his association with the Noah clan, no one thought any different of him for it. The only ones who remained suspicious were the dark figures that lurked in the hallways from Central. In fact, I think everyone likes me here...even Link acts...civil. Except...him of course. "Him" being a certain dark-haired samurai with a foul mood and sharp sword. The very thought of the perpetually angry exorcist made Allen's nose wrinkle in distaste. The least he could do is act civil to me like Link does. He always has a wasp up his ass.

"Morning, Walker."

The voice shook him out of his thoughts and Allen spotted an uptight blonde man heading his way. He mentally groaned. Here comes my babysitter. Link approached, eyes narrowed in a grimace. He resembled the very person who had just occupied Allen's brain so much that the young exorcist couldn't resist a stifled chuckle. Laughing these days was something infrequent, and Allen was slightly surprised that something like that would crack a real smile on his face. Link was indignant, but said nothing, shadowing Allen like usual.

"Morning, Link." Allen answered, as cheerfully as he could. The white-haired exorcist's smile faded as soon as Link failed to respond. He continued towards the cafeteria, head slightly down, until he ran into something rather hard and was forced to take a step back, looking up to examine what he'd disturbed. "Ah! Sor-" As he realized who it was, Allen's voice caught and his eyes widened. I...am so dead...

His soft grey eyes found a pair of harsh sapphire ones. "Che...watch where you're going, baka Moyashi." The deep voice dripped of annoyance. Long raven-colored hair was caught up into a ponytail, gathered on the top of the samurai's head with two long pieces hanging down and framing his face. The fiery eyes narrowed and the tall boy abruptly breezed by Allen and into the cafeteria, without so much as a backwards glance.

"Morning to you too, grumpy pants..." Allen mumbled as he moved to follow. Unfortunately, the other exorcist heard. With a swift movement, he drew his sword and Allen soon found himself staring at the sharpened tip of the blade, eyes widened in shock. "K-Kanda?" He managed shakily and held up both hands. "Take it easy..."

"You dare call me such a thing again and you'll be cut in two." Kanda answered with a dark glare. Allen narrowed his eyes. Now having lived with the short-fused exorcist for nearly a year, he wasn't as scared of him as he used to be. "Cut in two? You couldn't move fast enough to do that. You're a slowpoke, remember?" He cut right back. Kanda raised his eyebrows briefly before narrowing them sharply. He gripped the sword tighter. "You really want to die today, don't you, idiot?" His expression worsened at Allen's response. "Wow, even your brain is slow; you can't even remember my name." The samurai scowled and drew his sword back for a blow. Allen's left hand activated, taking the form of a claw with long sharp fingers. Both anti-akuma weapons clashed with a hiss of metal against metal, and both exorcists leaned forward, glaring at each other.

By now, the entire cafeteria had turned to watch; most of them with sweat drops forming on their foreheads. They knew better than to interfere when the two infamous rivals got into a fight. Link even stood back a few feet, scribbling something down into a notebook. A few more seconds of glaring and the two exorcists found themselves disturbed by a wack on the head each. They were shaken out of their anger and Allen rubbed his head while Kanda sheathed his sword, trying to appear as if his head wasn't throbbing. Lenalee stood with her hands on her hips, a clipboard in one hand that had been the culprit of the blows to the head.

"Would you two stop acting like children and just grow up? Geez...you can't even be in the same room without nearly killing each other." She scolded, shaking her finger. Something about the innocent look on her face and her hair gathered into adorable pigtails always managed to soften anyone who beheld her. Sure enough, Kanda simply "hmph"ed and stalked over to the counter to order his customary bowl of soba from Jerry.

Allen smiled sheepishly. "Sorry Lenalee..." He rubbed the back of his neck with his right hand and his left one deactivated back into the black deformed appendage that it was with a small dark red cross on the back of his hand. Lenalee's face switched to a smile and she flashed a grin. "It's ok. Even though it is pretty funny to watch you two fight, we don't want to cause any damage or anything." Allen nodded in agreement and waved as Lenalee scampered off down the hall. He turned towards the food counter and Link followed. His expression remained the typical Allen Walker smile, but inside he again became despondent.

Even though he had lots of "friends" within the Black Order, Allen knew there was no one he could confide in with his dark problem. Lenalee wouldn't judge him, but she would get over-emotional about it and then he'd hear it from Komui. Lavi would most likely listen well enough, but if he spoke to Lavi, he ran the risk of the redhead recording everything. There was only one other person who he considered to be close to him, but he was out of the question. That BaKanda wouldn't care anyway. He'd be good to spill to, because he wouldn't repeat anything, but I doubt he'd even listen. Let alone offer advice... Yea, like Yuu Kanda would ever offer advice. Allen's smile turned into a rueful smirk and he brightened up so as not to worry anyone, turning towards Jerry to place his order.

I don't even feel a part of the Order anymore. Everything's so....distant.

::

As soon as his soba was ready, Kanda snatched it and left the counter. Allen was rattling off everything on the menu again, and he could feel the veins popping on his face. Making his way towards his usual empty table in the corner, he slid in and set down his bowl. "Itadakimasu." He murmured half to himself and began to eat. A glance around the room earned him the view of the majority of the Order. His eyes fell on Allen as the boy walked to a table, carrying arm loads of food. Che...that stupid sprout. The samurai took another bite of soba, chewing in annoyance when he found that he couldn't tear his eyes from the white-haired boy. Normally, he would have cursed himself for looking at Allen more than he had to, but lately he'd had an excuse to. Allen had been acting really strange. His smiles seemed more fake than usual and there was a depression lurking about him that just screamed "leave me alone" and "someone comfort me" at the same time. He glared into any reflective surface he passed as if he detested his own reflection. The more Link followed him, the more short-tempered he was. And worst of all, Kanda was convinced he was the only one who noticed this.

Everyone seemed to treat Allen the same as usual; no one was avoiding him or looking down on him since the announcement that he contained the Fourteenth's memories. Of course, that excluded Central. Inspector Leverrier made sure Allen was shadowed by Howard Link nearly twenty-four seven. A bitter taste rose in Kanda's mouth at the thought of Leverrier's haughty expression and heartless grin. That f*cking bastard just loves to make everyone's lives miserable, doesn't he? His hand clenched tighter around his chopsticks. It's bad enough what he's doing to others here, can't he leave the Moyashi alone? He's going through enough shit already. Hands clenched still tighter until he heard a snap and looked down. He'd broken his chopsticks. With an angry grunt, he threw the chopstick pieces on the table and swung his legs over the side of the bench, standing up. It didn't help his attitude that the reason he'd gotten so pissed was Allen. Why the hell do I care what happens to that sprout?! Kanda hissed and stalked towards the exit.

Allen was sitting close to the door by himself, excluding Link of course, and didn't even glance up as Kanda drew near. Narrowing his eyes, the samurai gave him a cold glare as he walked by, but Allen didn't even notice. He seemed lost in thought, staring into a bowl of cereal with a dark look clouding his face. Kanda's glare lifted for half a second before narrowing further. He paused in the doorway and spat out his concern. "Oi. If you don't stop wearing that f*cking doom face all the time, people are going to know what's up." Link looked up at Kanda in surprise and then jotted something down. Allen looked up a little more slowly, but there was a brief show of shock on his pale face before it returned to its fake smile. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Kanda held the hilt of his sword in a vice-like grip to keep from drawing attention to them by punching Allen in the face. "Like hell you don't know. Maybe other people in this damn Order are clueless, but I can tell that smile you're wearing is bull shit. And I hate fake people." He gritted out between clenched teeth and exited the cafeteria unceremoniously, leaving behind a rather shocked and guilty looking Allen Walker. Damn Moyashi. He doesn't even realize how idiotic he looks with that ugly smile on his face. His hand gripped Mugen tighter, turning his knuckles white, and people got well out of his way as he stalked down the hallway. Every time Allen smiled that nasty fake grin of his, it made him want to slice the stupid thing right off his face. Kanda fumed as he walked, trying to calm down. The last thing he needed was to be angry because of the bean sprout.

::

"Like hell you don't know. Maybe other people in this damn Order are clueless, but I can tell that smile you're wearing is bull shit. And I hate fake people."

Kanda's determined voice as he spat that out made Allen's blood run cold. Crap! He noticed? But how?! He'd been sure that his smile looked genuine. But what surprised him the most was Kanda's aura of anger as he left. Why was he so upset over something as small as a fake smile? Allen blinked and stared back down into his bowl. There was only milk left, and the face of the Fourteenth grinned up at him from the surface of the creamy white liquid. Casting a glance at Link, Allen suddenly stood up and, having finished about three quarters of his meal anyway, left the cafeteria, following the path the tall exorcist had taken. Link glanced up but let him go. He had to talk to Komui about something anyway.

Allen narrowed his eyes and purposely avoided looking at the many windows as he walked. Since when did we have so many windows here? Or is it that I just haven't noticed until now? He mused, a determined look on his face. Kanda knew something. He knew more than he should know. And Allen was going to find out just how much that was. The light from the windows cast delicate patterns on the stone floor, and several light beams danced across Allen's face. He was tempted to look up at the windows, but he already knew the consequences of that. Either he'd end up breaking the window in a fit of anger, or he'd sit there for hours, angst clouding his mind. He didn't have the time for that right now if he was going to catch up to Kanda. Finally, the taller exorcist came into view, his raven ponytail swaying back and forth as he walked quickly.

"Oi! Kanda! Wait up!" Allen called out. That only seemed to spur Kanda on faster, and the younger exorcist narrowed his eyes and broke into a run. "I said wait up, BaKanda!!" He finally caught up to Kanda and grabbed him by the shoulder, whirling him around to face him. "I was talking to you!" Glaring angrily up at him, Allen crossed his arms, voice dropping a few decibels as he asked. "Just how much do you think you know about me, Kanda?" To his surprise, as soon as Kanda faced him, he thrust his hands against Allen's shoulders and pinned him to the wall. Allen's eyes widened and he stared into the sapphire eyes that were now throwing sparks.

"You are such a damn idiot, Moyashi!! You wear a f*cking smile all the time that just oozes of lies. It makes me want to slap it right off your ugly face! Do you enjoy wearing a fa├žade? I'm surprised no one else in this whole shit hole hasn't noticed by now. And you always stare into any reflective surface like it's the plague, looking at yourself with that hatred in your eyes and that evil grin on your face. You've become so f*cking dark lately, baka, and frankly, it's annoying. You're carrying a burden and it angers me that you think you're perfectly capable of handling it yourself. Do you even realize that you have an aura that screams "leave me alone" and "comfort me" at the same time? Well, do you, idiot?!"

Allen was in shock. That was definitely the most he'd ever heard Kanda say to him and it was about a part of himself that he was convinced no one knew about. Had Kanda noticed all this time? He just stood there against the wall, stunned speechless and staring at the fuming samurai looming over him. Kanda remained there for a moment longer, eyes boring into Allen's, before he released the white-haired boy and left in a rush. It was several minutes before Allen could force himself to move, let alone find his voice again. When he did speak, it was a shaky whisper that came breathlessly out towards no one in particular, his heart pounding with a feeling of fear, depression, and relief all at once.

"Kanda...you...see through me that much?"

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Ah haha...this story started out as a friendship tale, but with Allen and Kanda as the main characters, well... They managed to twist it into a yaoi story. Let me know what you thought! Your opinion is welcomed and appreciated! Next chapter...Mirror Image.