In Training – A Lavi/Kanda One-Shot

Thanks Kuro666 for the inspiration for this. Enjoy.

Lavi and Allen were relaxing in the Dining Hall after their last mission. Well, Allen was trying to relax, but Lavi took this opportunity to explain to a blushing Allen some of the finer points of his various seductions through the years.

"And then there was this girl Elena... she looked kinda like you you know. Petite. Anyway -"

He broke off as he felt someone come up behind him. Flipping his head back on his shoulders he looked into the stern face of pre-training Kanda.

"Morning grumpy-face."

"Train with me." Kanda glared down at him unmovingly, despite the slight surprise on both Allen and Lavi's faces.

"Wow Yu, for someone who hates me you sure do want to spend a lot of time around me, huh?" He leaned back in his chair and flashed Kanda a self assured grin.

"Believe me, I don't crave your company loudmouth. But you are the only one tall enough to properly match off against me."

"H-Hey!" Allen interjected, only to be blanked by both of the others.

Lavi shrugged, irritated by the loudmouth label. "Whatever. I could use a workout anyway. Besides, thrashing you could really brighten my day." He hefted his hammer onto his shoulder with a cocky smirk.

"Hmph." The look Kanda gave him was laden with doubt.

"Alright, hand to hand combat only. No invoking Innocence – Komui screamed when I let the Fire Seal out in here last time."

Kanda grunted in reply.

They took up their stances opposite one another in the sandy courtyard, one rigid in an aggressive fighting posture, the other lounging indolently. With a growl Kanda launched his attack, a fast dance of blades, constantly stabbing and flicking at the Junior Bookman. To his intense frustration, Lavi didn't even unshoulder his weapon, instead dodging every strike with apparent ease, amusement clear on his face. After a moment or two of this he even began to laugh.

"Take me seriously dammit!" Kanda growled and pulled Mugen back for a double-handed thrust.

Kanda charged in with a quick slashing shot at the laughing Exorcist. It was a cheap shot in a formal battle but Kanda knew only too well that there were no unfair moves in a battle against the Akuma.

Lavi swore and jumped back as Mugen cut into his shoulder. He swing Ōzuchi Kozuchi round to parry and the two of them held the impasse for a moment, breathing lightly. Their eyes never left one another for a moment, each one challenging the other.

"Not even Bookman can let his guard down." Kanda smirked.

Lavi's confident gaze fell and his eyes hardened.

"Especially not the Bookman."

The two pulled back from each other and Kanda leaped in again, before Lavi even had time to draw a breath. This time Mugen nicked the bridge of his nose. Lavi felt the anger building again. The jerk was playing with him! But he was fast. Boy was he fast. He knocked the sword out of the way and charged for himself, and took several fast swipes at Kanda's head, trying to knock the smile off his face. Instead the smirking samurai borrowed his previous trick, sidestepping and dodging the blows.

"Now who's not serious?"

Lavi took a sideways swing at Kanda's head, intending to knock him flying. Kanda ducked underneath him and stabbed straight for his stomach, just missing as Lavi let the momentum of his swing pull him around to stand at his shoulder, where he promptly rammed the swordsman with all his force. Kanda let himself roll on his side before springing up again and starting to sidestep around his opponent, just out of reach.

"You want to make this serious? Fine. How about a bet then rabbit?"

"Fine. When I win," he laid stress on the when, "I get to call you Yu. You on?" He spun his hammer in his hands and used the end to jab a dangerously close Kanda in the stomach. Kanda hissed angrily and stepped back.

"Fine. When I win the first thing you're going to do is take off that damn eye patch." He smirked. "After you wake up in the Hospital that is."

Lavi's face grew serious. "You know I can't do that."

"Well then, you'd better win."

Lavi felt the blood sing in his veins, sing with anger and the intensity of their match. He planted his feet firmly in the sand and took a defensive position as they started to fight in earnest.

Kanda too felt the pull of the fight. He moved like a dancer around the marginally slower man, searching for openings. His breathing quickened and his heart raced at their interplay. Fighting the Akuma was his job, but fighting this lazy freak was fun, more fun than he'd admit.

Lavi threw his all into the fight, without daring to justify why. His Bookman memory recorded each of Kanda's moves in detail, preparing him for the next strike, or the same pattern of movements again. He'd never noticed how intimate the fight was before, how many times they came within inches of each other only to parry and pull away. How much they were forced to focus on each other and only on each other. A flaming Akuma could have swept into the room at that point and he doubted either one of them would even notice the deviation in their dance before engaging each other again.

Sweat poured over both of them as they searched for increasingly small openings in each other's defence. Suddenly Lavi seemed to stumble, only a foot away from Kanda. He swung to press the advantage only to feel a pressure at his ankles and then the sensation of falling. He swung his arm out to catch himself early but failed, landing on his back with a lung-crushing thud. Beside him Lavi landed on his shoulder, and both men winced at the cracking sound.

However, within a second Lavi had rolled on top of the other Exorcist, pushing the handle of his weapon under his opponent's chin, forcing his head back into the sand.

"Yield?" He panted. Sweat dripped off his chin and onto his hands. Kanda realised he had never seen Lavi battle like that before.

"You've improved." Kanda grunted, his skull being ground into the sand.

"Yield." Kanda dropped his blade in response. As Lavi relaxed he pushed him aside and stood up, dusting himself down to hide the uncertain and unhappy expression on his face.

Lavi tried to shrug off the intensity of the previous moments, break the hot, sweaty tension between them.

"Man, I think I dislocated my shoulder." He grimaced as he tried to flex his arm, smiling through the pain.

"You've never fought like that before. Not against me. What changed?" Kanda looked over his shoulder at the red-head curiously.

Lavi shrugged with an exaggerated wince of pain. "The odds." His tone was light but there was the sense of an admission.

Kanda's eyes widened as he realised the implications of the statement. The air between them seemed to thicken.

"Did it really matter that much for you to say my name?"

Lavi stiffened where he kneeled on the sand, his hand grasping his shoulder tightly. There was utter silence in the room besides their heavy breathing.

"It always matters when I say your name."

Kanda turned completely to face him now, not sure what to say, waiting for the moment that the boisterous young man laughed his annoying infectious laugh and teased him. He stared at Lavi's back, waiting for some sign of how this was to go. Lavi's knuckles were white and tight around his arm.

"It always matters when I say your name. Yu."

The silence reigned again, Kanda too stunned and confused to answer him at all. Lavi stared down at the sand under his fisted hand.

"When I record you in the books... you will be recorded as Kanda Lee. Or some title." He sounded bitter, biting the last sentence out with force. The silence seemed to force more words out of him.
"If I can call you Yu, if I can keep the two of you separate... then I can always keep a part of you for myself. Not for Bookman. For myself."

Lavi staggered upright and turned to face Kanda in the middle of the sands, staring him down, daring him to say something. Kanda wouldn't have known what to say at all if it was anyone else, but Lavi's conflicted admission made him feel that, right here, with this man, he could say anything. Ask anything.

"May I?" Kanda indicated the stricken Exorcist's eye patch.

Lavi hesitated for a moment, fingers laid unconsciously on the patch, before pulling it down to his cheek. A tear mixed with the sweat on his face. Kanda's face betrayed no reaction to the sight, nor did he move at all, but somewhere in his eyes something shifts.

"I... I am sorry."

Lavi makes no effort to move his hand again, breathing deeply and staring at and then through his rival. Kanda noticed that he was shaking with more than exhaustion. He took a step forward, then another when it became clear Lavi hadn't noticed. He lifted his hand to the unresponsive boy's face, as if he was reaching out to a frightened animal and gently slipped the patch back up over his cheek.

The two men stood alone in the hall in silence, one man crying, the other hoping that his silence would be comfort enough.

A/N: Wow, this one ended up being a lot longer than I expected. It's not as shippy as I had intended (I stand accused of being too subtle when it comes to romance, maybe that's why I'm single), but I guess it kinda works.
It becomes apparently that I can't help but write Lavi angsty and anxious about his whole dual identity. The guy's probably not even that conflicted himself! I promise next Lavific will be perkier.