K, so this came about because I started wondering to myself, hey, what would the main three guys do if they found out they only had a limited amount of their life left to live? So, this was born. Naturally, this first one is Allen. I'll write two more, one with Lavi, and one with Kanda, all of which are one shots, IF you guys give reviews. They are appreciated. Please? Anyway, this one is written in Allen's perspective, 1st person, and the other two will be different. And I'm sorry for the overt amount of "Allen-kun" Lenalee uses in this, but there is a reason. I just hope it doesn't irk you as seriously as it did for me to write it over and over and over. So, yeah. Here ya go.
Disclaimer: Oh, and, I don't own d gray man. Seriously, because you guys totally didn't know that already. Jeez, disclaimers annoy me…
I know what it is to die.
Because I've died before.
The teez has eaten a hole through my heart. "Sweet dreams, boy," Tyki is gone, and I'm alone. I'm dying… dying…
That horrible, cold, terrifying feeling…
But this… knowing that I won't be there tomorrow, walking and laughing and smiling and yet being able to do nothing… this, is ten times worse.
Komui leads me into his office with a smile so warm and comforting that I know immediately something's up. Link follows in behind me. Near the center of the cluttered room, sits Leverrier, cross-legged and sipping tea like this is just an afternoon chat. And that puts me on guard even more. I watch as Link crosses the room to stand behind his superior, and by the look on his face he knows about just as much of what's going on as I do. In the corner, gathering shadows is Bookman, alone. His eyes are cold, narrowed, calculating. But I don't have time to wonder why Lavi isn't with him because Komui sits me down before taking his place cross from me. He looks awful, like he's been up for days working, which has happened… never. I try for a smile, a vain attempt to lighten the mood.
"You look like a wreck, Komui. You couldn't have actually been working, could you?"
Komui gives me a tired smile back, but one that's so incredibly sad and apologetic that my own grin gets wiped clean. He says, so quiet, "Yes, but to no avail. I'm so sorry, Allen."
"Allen…" Komui begins, but seems unable to continue. The glare on his glasses prevents me from seeing his eyes, but I can see his body visibly tense and his teeth grit together. But he still can't say it. So Leverrier takes over, and breaks the news.
Exorcist Allen Walker, otherwise known as the Player, otherwise known as the Fourteenth Noah, has been sentenced to death at two in the morning on December twenty first, for being found guilty as an enemy of the order, the Vatican, and the Pope.
(Tonight, I'm going to die.)
I took it better than they expected. Better than I expected.
When Leverrier finishes, I just sit there for a full ten minutes. I don't know what to do, what to say. My mind's a blank for a while. I'm to numb to be angry, that or anything else. Finally, I pick my head up to look at Komui and I think I'm smiling. I'm guessing I am because the look on his face is one of such disbelief and surprise and guilt.
"There's nothing that can be done, right? So it's okay. I know you did everything you could. Don't feel bad."
This time I can feel the smile on my face grow brighter and wider, and I watch the Supervisor's eyes widen and fill with tears. I don't know what I'm doing when I stand and place a hand on his shoulder.
"Thank you, Komui."
And then I walk out of the room without a word, thinking that I still couldn't say what I really, really wanted to.
(I want to live.)
It's nine AM right now, December twentieth. That gives me a few hours until the… end. Hm. I can't say it. That in a few hours, I'm going to… there it goes again. I think my subconscious and think it, but not my conscious. Huh. Funny.
While I'm walking, I hear the door open and close behind me. I don't turn. I'm too numb.
It's Link. I stop, but still, I don't turn. I hear him come up behind me, and then he stops. For a while, we just stand there, him staring at my back, me staring ahead. Finally, I hear myself say, "Are you here to supervise, Link? To make sure I don't run?"
I can't believe how calm my voice sounds. It's funny, because the ice inside me is starting to melt, and in there I'm screaming.
"…someone had to."
"Was it Leverrier who ordered you to do it, then?"
"No. He wanted to send Madarao to watch you. I offered."
This catches me off guard. Could Link actually care? I'm unsure of what to say. I'm touched, but I don't know how to thank him. So I ask, "Do you think I'm guilty, Link? Do you think it would be better for everyone if I'm… executed?"
I turn my head just enough to see him over my shoulder. He's looking ath the ground, thinking. When he picks up his head, his eyes are sure, his back and shoulders straight. He's confident with his answer.
"No, Walker, I don't. Perhaps it would be 'for the better' if you were to die, but it wouldn't be right. My final judgment and conclusion from my investigation is that you, Allen Walker, Are not guilty and are not a threat to the Order, and should be cleared of all charges."
I'm facing forward again when he finishes, my eyes closed, because I really, really needed to hear that.
(If only your judgment would save me.)
When they told me it was eight AM. Link and I walked back to my room in silence, and he waited outside for forty five minutes to give me the courtesy of solitude, to get my bairings.
While I was in there, it really sunk in, really hit me.
My life was going to end.
(You still can't say it.)
I'd be gone, forever.
(I don't want to go.)
I'd never wake up again, never taste another of Jerry's foods, never feel that wonderful elation at freeing a captured akuma soul.
(Please, don't make me go.)
There was so much I'd never done, so much I'd never do.
(I still have things to do, please don't make me leave.)
There, in the quiet darkness of my room, I started to cry. I collapsed to the edge of the bed, and covered my eyes with my hand, and sobbed into the silence, and yet still too quiet for the inspector outside to hear.
(I won't be there tomorrow.)
And in those moments, for once, my conscious and my unconscious selves came together to form one, singular thought, give or take a word, because my conscious could still not say that one word.
I don't want to go.
(I don't want to die.)
I took those first forty minutes to just cry, and the last five to compose myself. It was going to be announced to the rest of the Order at nine o' five. I needed to be smiling for that.
I emerged from my room with a grin on my face, nodding Link my thanks, we start walking again down the long stretch of hallway to the spacious lobby. Which is where we are now, and are entering the packed space. Link nods to me once before returning to Leverrier's side, who's standing in the middle of the room, waiting until nine o'five, because it's nine right now. I guess he thinks I can't run in a room so packed. I guess I agree.
Everyone's here. The finders, including the ones that I know- Toma, Kie, Maosa. The science division- Reever, Johnny, Rob, Mr. Russel, even Bak. Considering the Branch Head's expression, he already knows, and like Komui, has been working as hard as he could as long as he could to save me, only to fail. I'll have to remember to thank him for that later. For at least trying. Then there are the newer science guys, who've joined only recently- the section leaders that don't like Reever, Tapp's sister, Didi. The staff's there too. Jerry the cook, Emilia, and the head nurse are among them. And, of course, the Exorcists.
There's Timothy, who has to stand on his tiptoes just to see, and he seems to be talking to someone that I can't see. Next to Kie and Maosa is Chaoji; he's standing nervously with them. Mari and Miranda, standing close together. She looks more sure of herself around him. I feel myself smile. That's good for her. Krory, who seems to be very anxious and confused as to what's going on, but then again, good old Krory is always like that. Bookman is standing solemnly in the back, shadows covering most of his features, but not enough for me not to see that he's still in his calculative stance, despite the fact that he already heard the news. Even the generals are here- or, most of them. My master is still missing, but I refuse to believe he's dead. Even if Tim can't find him, my master wouldn't just die like that, not him.
(It's pretty regrettable that I have to die before I get to kick his butt for ditching and scaring everyone like that.)
I wonder if the generals know why they're here? They might have been told already. They probably have been.
(But the others haven't been told. They shouldn't have to be.)
And then there are the last three- a scowling man with a sword, a cheerful redhead, and a girl with a welcoming smile and violet eyes. I go and stand by them. Lenalee sees me, and smiles.
(God, please don't smile like that. It'll just make it even worse when you hear.)
I smile back.
"Allen-kun, you're here! We were wondering where you were." She seems just so happy and relieved to see me. I'm glad for that.
(No, no I'm not. Stop being so happy to see me, Lenalee. How am I supposed to go with you so happy just to see me? Oh, that's right. I just shouldn't go.)
Lavi bounds over, just as cocky and impulsive as ever. "Well, we were. Yu here was just standing all lonely waaaaaaaaay over there. So, we thought-"
"You thought," Lenalee corrects.
"Right, I thought we should keep him company! Ain't that right, Yu-chan?" Lavi flings his arm around Kanda's shoulders, which was probably something only Lavi would be stupid enough to do. In a flash, Lavi is sprawled on the floor and Kanda's mugen is already unsheathed and activated.
"Kanda!" Lenalee cries angrily as the Japanese exorcist jabs continuously at Lavi, who twists out of the way each time with a yelp, a hair from certain death. "Kanda, you'll kill him!"
"Kind- of- the- point," he grunts. I chuckle at them, my friends.
(I'm going to miss this…)
Kanda hears me; he sneers and snaps in my direction, "Stupid moyashi, what are you laughing at?!"
"It's Allen, Bakanda," I protest, but weakly. He notices, as does Lenalee and Lavi, and they turn to me. I watch Lavi's grin turn blank as a surprised expression takes its place. Lenalee's eyes fill with fear and worry flashes across her features. Even Kanda was momentarily taken aback, his sword frozen in mid-stab. I frown.
"What?" None of them answer. My scowl deepens, and they start to blur because there's something in my eyes. I'm trying to blink it out, while trying to get them to tell me what's wrong and to stop staring at me.
"What is it-" I cut myself off. Because I've just touched my face, and fount out why they're so surprised.
For a second, I'm too shocked to move and all I can do is stand there, staring at my wet fingertips, feeling the tears stain my cheeks.
"Allen-kun, what's wrong?" Lenalee's at my side in record time, and she's brushing the tears from my face. To have her so close, I'm sure I'm blushing madly. I start swatting her hands away, and I can hear myself laughing nervously. Lavi and Kanda have recovered, but out of the corner of my eye I can see them throwing glances at me. Kanda does so with a… strange expression. It looks like a mix between irritation and a confusion. Concern? No, it can't be. This is Bakanda we're talking about. Lavi's gaze has shifted to that of a Bookman- calculating, sharp, one that would catch and record every little movement or change. Although, his eye is not as cold as Bookman him self's had been. It's a little… softer? I'm not sure why, but I'm happy for it.
Meanwhile, I've caught Lenalee's wrists and force them firmly at her sides. I'm more conscious of my face now, and I've forced the tears back and put on a fake smile so bright it could splinter. I catch both Kanda and Lavi's eyes narrowing. I pray it fools them.
(No, I'm not. Please see through it. Please understand what's happening to me. Please…)
"I'm fine, Lenalee. That was just some freak thing. I'm okay, honestly." He added a laugh because she looked unsure. She opened her mouth to say something, but Leverrier beat her to it.
"Everyone's attention, please. We have called you hear today to inform you of a pressing matter."
(Ah, here it comes. Lenalee, what will you think?)
I'm still clutching her wrists, so we're forced to face each other, and not the speaker. So I release one so that we can turn to see Leverrier. But I don't let go of her other wrist. She looks up at me, her eyebrows pulling together.
"Allen…kun…?" I smile at her and my hand slides town to lace my fingers through hers. Her eyes widen a little, and she flushes. I watch her eyes trail down to the ground, scared to meet my eyes, but slowly, she returns the gesture and moves her fingers to hold my hand as well. I lean down and whisper in her ear, "It's okay, Lenalee. It's all going to be okay."
I feel her tense, and then her grip tightens and she's squeezing my hand. She doesn't understand why I'm acting like this, and I think it's starting to scare her. But she squeezes hard, and leans into me a bit. She doesn't have time to question, though, because Leverrier is continuing.
"As you all know, Allen Walker has been supervised strictly under the suspicion of herecy,"
A murmur ripples through the crowd, and I feel eyes turn to me. Lenalee steps closer.
(Someone stop him. They shouldn't know this.)
"And a possible threat to the order, as influenced under the Fourteenth."
I feel Lenalee draw herself up indignantly. Lavi scoffs at the idea, and Kanda rolls his eyes. They don't think I'm a threat. They don't think I ever will be. They believe in me. But they're belief won't stop Leverrier from talking.
(Please, stop it. Don't tell them.)
"The Vatican has decided and judged. In light of recent events,"
"Allen Walker has been declared a threat to the Order,"
"And at two in the morning tonight,"
(I'm so sorry, Lenalee.)
"Will be executed."
Lenalee's hand goes slack.
"Apart from that fact, today is a normal day, and is to be treated just so. You may disperse."
No one moves. Leverrier doesn't wait to see if they do. He walks calmly from the room, as though he hasn't just delivered a death sentence, as though it really is a normal day. The only sound accompanying him as he leaves are his own footsteps. Link returns, but out of respect, gives me some space.
I don't look at anyone. I don't look at Lavi and Kanda. I especially don't look at Lenalee. I can't take those broken eyes I know she has.
"No… no, that can't be true," Miranda's voice reaches my ears, but I don't look at her. I feel it as the tension and panic begins to swell within the room.
"He must be lying!" Krory declares, his revelation strong, but there's a thick tremor in his voice.
(How I wish he was right.)
I've gathered enough courage to look around, at certain people, anyway. I see Johnny on the ground, his hands in his lap, shaking violently. Reever stands above him, one hand on his shoulder to keep himself from collapsing as well, while the other hand covers his mouth, his eyes wide. Krory's shaking his head from side to side, but he's not saying anything else. I think he knows it's true, even though he doesn't want to believe it. Miranda's on her knees, she doesn't really believe in her own words either. She's already crying. Marie is touching his new headphones tentatively, as though he's unsure if what he's just heard was true. Choaji is in a state of shock, as are Kie and Maosa. Timothy's brow is furrowed, he's trying to find the hidden meaning behind the words, the one that isn't there. He seems to be talking it over to that same person as before. I can't see who he's talking to, but judging on Timothy's angry reaction, I think whoever he is gave him the answer that everyone else is trying to deny- the plain, simple, cold truth. He goes over to Emilia, who seems frozen, eyes wide in horror. She's leaning on one of the grand pillars for support.
"Emilia! What's that mustache-guy mean? Explain!" But Emilia can't answer. It's all she can do to stay on her feet. Timothy pouts, and then turns to Jerry and the nurse. "You guys! You explain it!" But they seem to be in the same state as Emilia.
Bookman is still standing in the shadows, drinking in the reactions of the rest of the Order. He takes no part in the grieving or disbelief. His cold eyes fall on me, and I have to look away. I see Bak. His eyes are closed, his jaw set and stiff. Yes, he already knew. I feel bad for it, but I don't think I'd be able to stand going over to him and thanking him for trying as I had planned to. I wouldn't be able to take it. Later, I'll have to ask someone to tell him that it meant something that he tried.
(There won't be a later.)
None of them have noticed me. At least, not the ones that matter. There were other faces peering at me like I was one of the Science Department's experiments gone wrong, but ironically enough, it was never any of the faces I knew or cared too much for. All the better. I don't think I could face them anyway. But there are three faces that have seen me the whole time. I know two of them are staring at me right now. But I can't bear to look at them. So before anyone I care about can actually look around and see me here, I grip Lenalee's completely limp hand and lead her gently away from them, from everyone. Even if I didn't hear the footsteps behind me, I'd know that they were following me anyway. Link, of course, he has to. But the other two… they'd follow anyway, and I know it. So I don't stop them. I don't even turn.
(It's because I can't. I can't face them, just like you can't face the word die.)
I don't stop walking until I'm completely clear of the hall, until I can no longer hear, see, or feel that awful feeling that was growing at the news. I'm planning to keep walking, I don't really know where, but just to keep going, when Lenalee starts to fall back, and her hand gets heavier and is falling farther behind me. I let go, and can just see her hand falling to her side, unmoving. But I don't turn around. In the back, the footsteps stop. I don't need to turn to know who they are. Lavi, Kanda, and Link. I hear Link stop a little further away to give us some room to talk. And normally, I'd be thankful for it. Not right now. Not today. Because none of us are talking.
(God, I can't even look at them.)
I just stay looking forward, because I just can't face them. We're all waiting for someone else to break the silence, just standing there. For a while. Finally I hear a stutter step, then a chuckle.
"Come on, Allen, this… is a joke, right?"
Lavi doesn't wait for me to answer. He's laughing already.
"Ha ha! 'Course it is! Man, you really had me going there! How'd you get Leverrier in on it, though?" I can hear him joking about it, and I want to sink into the floor. The sound in his voice… it's just as cheerful, but there's an edge to it, one of uncertainty and doubt. He's the only one talking. And something clicks, and I feel my eyes widen just a little. He knows it's true, but just doesn't want to accept it.
I want to sink farther.
"Come on, Yu-chan! Allen got us good, didn't he? We have to come up with something even better to get our dignity back!" His laughter suddenly cuts off as a death aura creeps up behind me. I just know Kanda's giving his death glare, and I almost want to laugh. My mouth almost twitches into a smile.
But it doesn't.
I wait for him to scold Lavi in annoyed arrogance, the way Kanda always does, but when he speaks it's directed at someone else. It's directed at me.
"Beansprout. Is it true?"
I say nothing. I think that's answer enough, but I should know better when it comes to Bakanda.
"Oi, Beansprout! I asked you a question! Answer me before I shove Mugen up your-"
"Yes, it's true."
…I don't think any of them actually expected me to answer. I didn't. My voice doesn't even sound like my own. I mean, it sounds like me, but not the me I'm feeling like right now, which is pretty crappy. I'm expecting me to sound hoarse, pained, quiet. I do sound quiet, but other than that, I sound fine. As though I don't mind what's going on, I might even sound upbeat.
(Which is the exact opposite of how I feel. Happy? At peace? No.)
I'm sure my face is one of surprise, and I find that that's another reason I don't want them to see my face. Who wants to see some fool who's surprised at his own answers?
Again, I almost laugh out loud. Almost, but not quite.
And again, no one's talking. Kanda's killer aura has toned down, I think because he's surprised too. Lavi's stopped laughing. As far as I can tell—which isn't very far at all because I'm not even facing them—he isn't doing anything. And Lenalee… she still seems unresponsive. It's been a few seconds, and Bakanda has seemed to have recovered, and his aura has come back full force.
"Dammit, this is insane. You're a beansprout, you're too weak to be a threat to the Order. The baka usagi is more of a threat than you are."
He seems really angry about it all. I think I'm even a little flattered that he's showing this much emotion.
"Damn beansprout!" Then again, maybe not.
"Allen, this is crazy," Lavi says. "I mean, it's gotta be some kinda fluke. Yu is right. You just don't seem the threatening type, unless your innocence is activated. And even then…"
Normally, I'd be insulted. Normally, I'd argue back defensively, and eventually get into a brawl with Kanda.
"Yeah, Allen, this has got to be a mistake. Hey, maybe Komui can help straighten it out!"
"Or maybe it's that idiot's idea of a practical joke,"
But today isn't normal, not at all, and instead I finally start to smile at their insulting words.
I think it's that smile that finally gives me the courage to turn around. I'm not completely sure. Whatever it is, I finally feel my feet lose the numb tingling and step in a steady circle until I'm facing Kanda and Lavi. Lenalee stands between us, but she's not the one I'm talking to.
(She's not the one I'm talking to because she's the one I still can't face.)
"It's not a joke of Komui's," I laugh lightly. "It's not a joke at all." Seeing them makes me numb again. I just sort of shut down on the inside, as though the ice is back. It's reflex. I can't take seeing them without crying again, and I think my conscious is rejecting that…
(Damn it, this isn't okay, it isn't okay at all, so I should feel something, I should do something, should scream or cry or yell because this isn't fair.)
…and instead it's numbing me. So I don't really feel anything when I see their faces.
"Leverrier told me this morning. It's okay."
(No, it's not okay. I'm dying. It is not okay.)
(Damn it, I should stop smiling.)
And seeing them, the ice is already starting to melt.
(Good. It should.)
"Allen, this isn't right! You're no threat, ask anyone! Those Central people are stupid. There has to be something that can be done. We have to be able to-"
Lavi stutters, and looks down. He's probably remembered his Bookman self, the part that doesn't interfere, and he doesn't look too happy about it. Kanda's just glaring at me, like this is all somehow my fault, and I don't think he really believes it yet. Knows it's true, but doesn't believe it. They don't know what to say. They don't get it, and they don't want to. I start talking again, this time just to wipe that look off their faces. This is Kanda and Lavi. They shouldn't look like that.
"I can't blame them, guys. They're just trying to protect themselves and the Order. That's not a bad thing, or a crime."
"What are they protecting themselves from? A scrawny white-haired beansprout? If you're a danger to them, then Central and the Vatican are even weaker than I gave them credit for." Kanda spits angrily. I just keep smiling.
"Maybe I'm no threat. But the Fourteenth is."
They both give a start, and stare at me for a second.
"… but you've been holding him back fine. You said so yourself." Lavi insists quietly. And I want to agree with him, I really do, but if I'm going to get through this day, they need to understand, so they can stand by me.
(Because I don't think I can make it alone.)
"But fine isn't enough. It's starting to slip." I turn to Kanda. "You've seen it yourself, haven't you? When we were fighting the Level Four at Timothy's orphanage, there was a moment that went blank for me. I'm sure that the Fourteenth escaped for a second. You were there for that." Kanda's eyes narrow dangerously, but he doesn't argue. I face Lavi. "And you. You're a Bookman. I'm sure my lapses haven't escaped your eye, have they? You've noticed it, too. And you know it's coming more often." Lavi doesn't answer for a second. So I take the chance to continue. "It was only a matter of time before others noticed it. Now that they have, it makes sense that they decide to act. If they don't, it will only get worse and worse, until I can't control it at all. Someone would end up getting hurt." I will them to understand, but Lavi doesn't want to give up yet. He grits his teeth, and looks back up.
"But you're a comrade. You're an exorcist! They can't afford losing you! What about the prophecy?" He sounds more desperate now. I want to scream because the look on his face makes me feel awful, horrible, like I know I should feel. I'm a terrible friend for doing this to them.
(But I didn't choose this. It's not my fault.)
All I can do is shrug.
"I don't know. Maybe I've already completed it. I should have died in China, that day when Tyki tried to kill me. I cheated death, beat out my own time. I've helped save lives since then, and did my part. That could be the end of the prophecy."
"But to do this… execution…" He says the word with disdain, as though it's poison. "to a fellow exorcist… it's betrayal. Mutiny-"
Lavi blinks, and turns to look at Kanda, dark and ominous, who's fixing me with a stare so fierce that I'm pretty sure he's trying to mentally make me burst into flames.
"The decision's been made on both ends. The beanspout has decided not to fight it. People die. It's just another part of living." His words are so cold and flat and sharp, that if it weren't for the murderous aura leeching from him, you wouldn't know he possessed any emotions at all. "If he chooses to give up, that's not my problem." Somehow, he seems even more pissed off than before, if that's even possible. I know I shouldn't be, but I'm a little hurt by it.
(It's not my fault that they've decided to do this to me. Don't say that like it is.)
And then I do something that even surprises me. I laugh.
"Yes, Kanda. I'll give up," I say softly, "if it means you guys can be protected from the Fourteenth Noah." I smile wider, and Kanda twitches at the sight, as though seeing my positive reaction annoys him. "If it means you all can be safe, if everyone here at home can be protected-"
" 'I don't care if I die'? "
"So… as long as it's for the sake of everyone here…"
"You'll gladly give up your own life?"
Lenalee is standing quietly. Staring at me. Her eyes are red and puffy, but there are no tears. Yet. Her eyes unbearable. They are… hateful. She hates me.
(She hates me.)
"That's what you're saying, right?"
I don't answer. There's something in her voice like acid, something that makes all sensible, soothing things die in my throat. So yeah, it's not that I don't answer. I can't answer. I've never seen Lenalee look at anyone with such anger and disdain, and it really hurts to see that I'm the center of her icy gaze, and that even deeper than this awful hate is anguish and pain.
(And I'm the one causing it.)
Her violet eyes narrow. "You're so selfish, Allen-kun," She spits the word selfish with such distaste that you would have thought it physically hurt her to say it. And I've heard her say those words before. But they have such a sharp edge of ice this time that I visibly cringe.
"Maybe it's okay with you if you die, but it's not for us. How could you just decide on your own that this is alright, without even thinking about us? Don't we matter to you? Don't you care how we feel?"
I need to look down from those cutting violet eyes. They're tearing me up inside, and I don't think I can handle looking at them any longer. But her voice slices just as deep.
"No! How could you possibly give up without giving a second thought to us? We're your friends! We deserve that much! Don't you know what it would do to us if we lost you? Don't you dare try to play the martyr, because it's just not fair that we have to just sit here and watch you…"
She breaks off, shaking with anger, and can't continue. I wait for her to recover, to continue yelling at me, which I know I deserve, but she doesn't. Finally I pick my head up to glance at her, and I find that I'm not watching a deservedly furious woman, but a defeated, heartbroken girl. Her eyes have completely lost all of their angry fuel, leaving her as an empty shell, wrecked and defenseless against the battering truth of my fate, and her inability to do anything about it. She's shaking her head so weakly, the tears finally spilling over, and so, so much. She's crying so much.
"No… this can't be happening…" She crumbles to her knees, one hand over her mouth, while she raps the other around her chest, as though it's the only thing that's stopping her from falling apart. She looks so utterly hopeless and just so broken. God, she looks like she's dying. Before I really know what I'm doing, I'm kneeling down in front of her, taking the hand covering her face and holding it in both of mine, squeezing it with gentle pressure. I duck my head in an attempt to see under her hair into her eyes.
"Lenalee, don't cry. You know I hate it when you cry." I'm so quiet, and I can feel a lump beginning to form in my throat. I swallow it down and force a small smile, force myself to continue.
(This isn't fair, Lenalee. You can't cry, it just isn't fair if you cry.)
"Please try to understand. I'm not upset about this, and you shouldn't be either. It's okay—"
She smacks me.
Clear across the face, Lenalee slaps me with the palm of her hand, with all the force and anger she could muster pressed into her hand, then pressed into my face. My eyes are wide as time seems to slow down, my hair whipping slightly as my head turns to the side at her hand. I can hear the soft plip sound of her tears hitting the floor. Her voice rattles, and is so, so quiet.
"It's not okay. Don't you ever say that. It is not okay." And without warning, she stands and bolts, her innocence activating instantly. "Nii-san!" I hear her cry as she zooms toward her brother's office, in her last desperate attempt to banish the truth. I scramble up, feeling the blood rush to the spot where her hand had connected with my cheek, but not really caring. "Lenalee! Wait!" I run after her, Lavi right next to me, and even Kanda and Link close behind.
(Please don't , Lenalee. You'll only get hurt if you do.)
There's a bang up ahead as Lenalee busts the door open. I can hear her yelling, accusing, interrogating her brother, but I can't make out any of the words. The office is still far away, and the only reason I can hear it all is because Lenalee is crying out so loudly. By the time Lavi and I get there, the two others coming up behind, Lenalee is leaning forward on her brother's desk, her voice clogged and choked by tears, but she's still screaming fiercely. Komui is on the other side, his expression stern and silent, but he isn't meeting her eyes. She's still his little sister, and just like me, he can't bear that look.
"What do you mean there isn't a way?!" Lenalee yells, banging her fist on the desk. "There has to be something that can be done! This is Allen-kun, Komui!" She's even stopped using nii-san, and I find that it's all I can do to stand in the doorway and watch helplessly. Komui's answer is quiet and firm.
"I've tried, Lenalee. I've tried everything. But the Vatican is convinced that Allen is too dangerous to be left alone. They've taken matters into their own hands, and there's nothing we can do about it. It's best if we all just sit and let this pass."
"Let it pass?!" She repeats. The words are ice. "What does that mean? Are you telling us to just sit here and do nothing?!" And when Komui doesn't answer, I hear a sharp intake of breath, and she stumbles back a step.
"Is… that what you're saying, Komui?" She demands, but so weakly. She's so quiet now, that if that was all you heard of the conversation, you would never have guessed that she was crying, that she was burning up inside. Her brother's words have completely shocked her. It must have shocked Lavi and Kanda too, because they've stopped trying to push past me to see. I don't really know why it is, but I'm not hurt or surprised at all. I see the sense in Komui's statement. Lenalee waits for the answer she wants from her brother. The one she needs; the one that tells her that's not what he's saying, that he wants to fight for my life. The one that won't come. He stays silent, and doesn't reply. He doesn't need to.
"How could you say that?" Her voice holds a laugh, one of silent hysteria. Like the calm before the storm.
"You want me to just sit back and smile and watch Allen-kun die?!"
…no one says anything for a moment. Her cry rings clear and loud, just hanging there like a cloud, making my heart pang painfully inside my chest. It's silent after her question. Finally, and very slowly, Komui stands, pushing his chair back. The glare from the harsh morning light reflects off his glasses so his eyes are unseen, and his expression is unreadable. When he speaks, his tone is completely flat, impassive. I've seen Komui like this before, and it's often when he's pained beyond normal emotion, so that he goes into complete win-the-war-business-mode.
(That's not the Komui we need right now. It's not the one she needs right now. She needs her brother.)
"There is nothing to be done. Allen Walker's sentence has been decided upon and given. Today is just as any other, and is to be treated as such. Surely Leverrier has made that clear. Now I have work to do, and that requires you to leave."
Not so gently, he takes her wrist and pulls her to the door. We all have to step back to let them through. "Komui…" Lavi begins hesitantly, the tone of his voice sounding betrayed and slightly disbelieving. The supervisor says nothing still, and now that he has promptly dragged Lenalee out of the room, he closes the door in our faces without another word.
"Che," Kanda grunts to the door after a second. "Coward." His jaw tightens and he turns to see me watching him. "What are you staring at, you damn moyashi?" He hisses with more venom than normal. I think I'm right, the whole situation irritates him more than normal. But instead of snapping back or even putting on that (totally fake) smile like before, I just look away, to Lenalee, because she's the one who needs the attention now. But now that she has it, I don't know what to do. I just stare at her back, which is completely still. She's facing the open hallway, just standing there, looking out. I can't see her eyes, or her face, but I don't really need to. I know Lenalee well enough to know the expression she's wearing, and the look in her eyes. Her face will be completely void of emotion, utterly blank. But her eyes will still have that broken, dying look that she wears oh so well. I watch as Lavi very hesitantly reaches out to her, as though she's a frail and prized antique.
(But she is in a way, isn't she?)
"Lenalee?" He calls warily, just barely resting his hand on her shoulder. And, as it can happen with a frail, prized antique, she brakes. I watch as she collapses to the floor, her knees giving way to the increasing weight of depression that I know she's feeling.
(Because I feel it too.)
Lavi jumps back, looking guilty and confused and shocked as Lenalee's forced down to her hands and knees. She's sobbing so loudly, I'm sure Komui can hear it through the door. But he doesn't come running out to comfort her, as he should. The door stays firmly shut. I can hear her choke out words between the tears, and find that only a few words are coming out, repeated over and over.
"No, no, Allen-kun, no…" She weeps into her right hand, while her left is pressed to the floor, steadying her. For a very long time, we just stand there, able to do nothing, knowing none of our words will reach her. And she just cries. Cries, and cries, and cries. And with each tear, with each hiccup and sob I feel something within me dying, crying with her. Until I can't take it anymore. I step forward, and lower myself next to her slowly.
She doesn't answer.
When she doesn't move, and her sobs don't quiet, I find myself wrapping my arms around her, and pulling her close. "Shh… don't cry, Lenalee, don't cry…" I'm rocking lightly back and forth, back and forth. I don't know what it is that I can't handle, but when Lenalee cries, I just can't take it. It's happened before, and it's happening now, where when she cries, I'll do anything to make it better. I'm relenting to her the truth, the truth that I've kept hidden in my subconscious. And verbalizing it, it makes it so much more real and tangible, that I pull her closer as though to help get my point across.
"If you're crying, Lenalee, I won't be able to make it through today." My words are just a whisper, but she freezes as though I'd screamed. I continue, just as softly. "Please, Lenalee, for me… don't cry." She shudders as the sobs try to deny my request, but she holds them back, just barely. Slowly, she turns in to me, burying her face in my chest, fisting her hands in my uniform.
"Don't go, Allen-kun… please don't go…"
(I don't want to, Lenalee, I don't want to.)
"I know... I know…" I squeeze her tightly to get the nerve to say the next thing, because I'm finding it really hard to talk without my voice breaking. "Do you think you could do something for me?"
She looks up at me, her eyes damp and red, but she isn't crying, and I know it's because I asked her not to. She nods and swallows hard before saying shakily, "Anything." I pull back far enough to cup her face in my hands, looking her directly in those broken, watery eyes.
"Could you… can this be any other day? Where nothing happens tonight. Where I wake up tomorrow to see your smile like normal." She shakes her head and tries to pull away, tears trickling, "Allen-kun, please, no…" I tighten my grip and pull her face closer and she's shaking so hard.
"Please, Lenalee." I don't know what she hears in my voice, but she looks up at me, allowing me to continue. "Please, I just want today to be… good."
(That's not the right word.)
I lick my lips and try again, because she needs to get it. "I need today to be… with all of you, with you, and happy. I need it to be free, and to be laughing, and smiling, and I need it to be with you and…" I break off again, and laugh a little at myself. I close my eyes. "Please, Lenalee. I just… I need it to be like that. Nothing special. Just… a day, just today." I force my eyes open, and make myself look down at her, and plaster a light, simple, untroubled smile on my face.
"So… do you think you can pretend today is just today?"
She looks like she's dying. She looks like I'm asking her to hold up the sky. She looks like she wants to break apart into millions of pieces and never pick herself back up again. And yet, even so, she forces out a paper thin, fragile, beautiful smile.
I sigh in relief, and give her a smile back, as a wordless thank you. Her paper thin smile wavers, but it stays in place. I brush away strands of hair that are sticking to her tear stricken face, tucking them behind her ear, because it's grown past her shoulder now, and it's long enough to do that. I glance at Lavi and Kanda, pleading silently for them to put on the same act. I know I'll need them too. Lavi grimaces for a moment, and I know with a pang of guilt that I'm asking a lot, but watch as he breaks into that cocky grin of his, and laces his fingers behind his head. I give a nod, that's all I can do, because there's a lump forming in my throat. Kanda says nothing, doesn't even turn. But he doesn't refuse, either, which means I can take it as a yes. I know that's the best I'll get, and it's all I can ask for. I'm thankful he's giving that much. I turn back to Lenalee, my smile a little more real this time.
"So… do you think we can go outside and have lunch? A picnic, that sounds good. I'm starving," She makes a sound that's strangled by a sob, and I think it's a mix between a cry and a laugh. But it's almost a laugh, and that's a start. She nods, violet eyes warm, and it's all I can do to smile and hold her.
It's windy outside, and really cold. Really, really cold. But it's eleven o'clock in the morning in the middle of December. So I understand.
The sky is blue, there are a few white clouds dotting the sky, and the sun is bright, highlighting the green grass I'm standing on. Snow hasn't fallen yet, and surprisingly, the grass hasn't died and thinned out to brown nothingness, so I really am thankful. A day this nice isn't all too common in December. Maybe someone up there really is sorry for me, and trying to make up for everything that's going on by making today just today, like I'd said.
There's a chance. I like to think there's a chance.
Lenalee's ahead of me, her black hair whirling around her thin frame, and she smiles back at me before opening her arms to the sky, as though she's trying to catch the sun. I'm glad I decided on a picnic. She's so much freer out here than cooped up in Headquarters. She turns to me again and gestures at me to hurry up; she's excited and already setting down the blanket. I laugh and nod, telling her that I'll catch up. Lavi and Kanda walk behind me, bringing up the rear—or, more like Lavi skips and experiments just how far he can push Kanda's nerves before he snaps, while Kanda himself broods silently and gives him a death glare, his mood quickly darkening, jabbing at the redhead occasionally with Mugen. I'm really grateful that they're doing this for me, all three of them. Pretending that today isn't my last day means the world to me.
Lenalee rushes over to scold the two boys, because currently Lavi is trying to braid Kanda's ponytail and Kanda's trying to stab him with both his real blade and the illusion one. A laugh bubbles from Lenalee's mouth as Lavi cowers behind her, Kanda snapping harshly.
"Only cowards hide behind women! Come out and fight, stupid Usagi!"
"Cowardice? I prefer to think of it as a tactical strategy. You'd never hurt a girl, especially not Lenalee."
"Exactly," Kanda grinds his teeth together as he talks. "So come out and fight like a man for once instead of the worthless excuse of a rabbit you are!"
"Yu-chaaaaan! You're so mean!"
"DON'T CALL ME THAT!!"
At that point, Lenalee decided to interfere, because it honestly looks like Kanda is so deeply intent on killing Lavi that he'd actually manage to faze through the girl to get to him through sheer willpower alone.
"Be quiet, both of you! If you don't stop fighting, you're both getting kicked into next week!" To punctuate her threat, she activates her innocence, Dark Boots glinting menacingly. Both boys' gazes dart for a second in alarm, before settling and they both mutter apologies. Lenalee's boots melt back to anklets, and she smiles sweetly. "Much better! Now come on, the food's getting cold." I perk instantly. Before I really know what's happening, I find myself running full speed to the picnic blanket, yelling something about saving the food. I hear laughter behind me, along with a string of insults from Kanda, and then the running footsteps that follow. I land on the blanket with a thud, ripping off covers and foil and practically diving headfirst into any food I can get my hands on, which happens to be a case of a very hearty amount of mitarashi dango.
"Dango!" I hear myself squeal, but before I can grab the dessert, the dish is swiped away while I'm in mid-dive, and I crash into a bowl of mash potato.
"Dessert is last, Allen-kun," I hear Lenalee chastise, and I garble my reply between potato. "Aw, but I feel like dango…" As I pick myself up, my face quite successfully covered in mash potato, Lavi slides in next to us, with Kanda darkly coming up behind.
"Well, you probably feel like a dango because you are a dango Allen. A very small, beansprout sized dango." I glare at him, but only receive a huge, I-didn't-do-anything-wrong grin. Lavi's face quickly falls as he sees the mash potatoes I ruined. "You know something, I was really looking forward to that mash, but you can have it, Allen," Lavi states as he pushes the bowl toward me, deciding that he doesn't want to eat something with my face imprinted in it. "Gee, thanks." I mutter sarcastically. Lenalee hands me a napkin and I wipe my face, before taking a finger and scooping some off my cheek. I brighten instantly. "Hey, this is really good!" Lenalee and Lavi laugh, while Kanda scoots to the farthest corner of the blanket and folds his legs up and starts to meditate. I watch as Lavi grabs a cookie and throws it at his head.
"Yu-chan, don't be so antisocial! Come eat with us!" The Japanese exorcist cracks one eye open, just enough to give Lavi one of his especially reserved death glares, before returning to his attempts at tranquility. Lenalee and I look at each other, and I know we're both trying to hold back laughter. We sit back and watch the show.
"Aw, Yu-chan, come on!"
Kanda twitches. Again.
"Hm… would you come if I… did this?" Without warning, Lavi reaches across the blanket and snatches Mugen. Both Lenalee and I gasp in shock, munching on our sandwiches excitedly, as though watching a play. Kanda stares for a moment in absolute astonishment, before his death aura leaks out so strong it's almost tangible. He's giving Lavi a death glare that I've only seen reserved for me before, and it certainly is one that makes me want to cower behind Lenalee sometimes. Lavi, as stupidly bold as he is, held no such fear, and only grins brightly as Kanda slowly gets to his feet.
"I'll say it once, Usagi. Give. It. Back." The redhead stands as well, grinning like the madman he must be to even consider taking Kanda's sword, and twirls it in his hands, mocking disappointment.
"Tut tut. That's no way to treat your black mailer, Yu-chan. But… I just might give it back… if you join the conversation and stop being such an antisocial outcast!" Kanda twitches again, before exhaling slowly and closing his eyes, trying so ridiculously hard not to murder his comrade in front of Lenalee. It's really comical.
"If you don't give it back, you idiotic, useless, absolutely pathetic rabbit," He starts, his voice so quiet and deadly it sends a shiver down my spine. We watch as his eyes snap open, full of murderous hate. "I'll kill you so slowly and painfully, you'll wish you never became an exorcist."
There's a pause as Lavi considers the threat, and for a second I dare to believe that he's come to his senses. Of course, I'm wrong.
To our horror, a playful grin spreads across his face. "But, if I wished that, then I'd never get to meet Yu-chan!"
He lunges for the teen, eyes wild with fury. Lavi's twisting out of the way, before running off down the hill and laughing maniacally with Kanda chasing after him. Lenalee and I are left to stare after them for a moment, before busting up with laughter. We lean back on the blanket, looking up at the clear December sky. For a while, we just lay there, letting the sounds of Lavi and Kanda lull us into a fake sense of security.
(But a fake sense of security is better than no sense of it at all.)
She deliberates, and I turn my head to look at her. She's biting her lower lip, unsure. "What is it?" I encourage, propping myself up on one elbow to look at her better, and find myself staring at violet eyes and whirling black hair.
(She's so beautiful.)
"Can this moment never end?"
(No, Lenalee. It's not okay to ask that. This moment has to end, and it's unfair of you to ask that it doesn't.)
"Sure. As long as you want it to keep going, it'll keep going. "You promise?"
She sighs like that answer is all she's ever asked for in the world, and I've just given it to her. And damn, it's breaking me.
I lie back down next to her, and again, we stair at the lazy clouds. We get five more minutes to sit like that, five minutes of pure, absolute bliss, before Lavi and Kanda come barreling back toward us, one of which is yelping as the other slashes madly.
"Well, it looks like Kanda got Mugen back," Lenalee laughs. I pout involuntarily.
"That's too bad. I was really hoping Lavi would melt it down into a hunk of metal…"
"What was that, moyashi?!"
"I heard it, Yu-chan!" Lavi pipes, desperate for a change of target practice. "He said he wants Mugen destroyed!"
"Oh joy. Thanks, Lavi. I can really count on you."
"No prob, Allen!"
For the next twenty minutes, the four of us have our "picnic", eating and fighting and laughing. But today is today, and I want to make the most of it, so pretty soon we're packing everything up and Lenalee is dancing ahead, twirling in the sunlight again. I smile at her.
(I'm going to miss her. So much.)
A very, very pressing thought enters my head. I freeze, rooted in place, my smile wiped clean off. Both Lavi and Kanda stop next to me. "What is it now, idiot moy—" he stops mid-insult once he sees my face, just like Lavi's grin becomes startled and serious. I can't look at them while I talk. It'll hurt too bad.
"Guys… can we stop pretending for a second?"
They don't answer, and I know that means yes.
"You'll… you'll take care of her, right? I can't— I just… you need to take care of her once I'm gone. You've got to. You've got to take care of her, you've just got…" I need them to understand so bad, and I find myself stuttering and repeating and I can't stop. "You need to. You need to take care of her, you need to, you've got to, you—"
I feel a firm hand on my shoulder, and look up. Lavi's gripping my arm hard, his expression completely serious and stern, and he clutches my shoulder harder.
"You know we will."
There's such conviction in his statement that I have no choice but to believe it, and I look from him to Kanda, who's standing silently, not objecting to the other boy's statement. I can't speak; the lump in my throat is too big, so I just nod, and pray, pray that they know how grateful I am.
We're walking around HQ, the four of us. We've been visiting anyone and everyone we can think of, just for fun. We decided that today was one of those days.
(To say goodbye.)
We've visited several people— the cafeteria, where we found several finders, Jerry, and even some exorcists. While I pretended to busy myself with my food, the others were told by Lenalee, Lavi, and Kanda of my request for today to be normal, so when I returned, none of them brought up the execution. We stayed and chatted for a while, and I couldn't help but notice that everyone was giving me special attention and more kindness than usual. Several of them looked like they had things to say to me, but warning glances from Lenalee, Lavi, and Kanda stopped them from spilling. I was and am truly grateful. The only reason I could really face them at all was because they were pretending that today wasn't my last day on earth. If they started apologizing or interrogating me, I'm sure I'd end up breaking, and I really don't want that. So we smiled and laughed, ignoring the meaningful looks that some of the others would give me, before heading off to the next place. We visited the science department, where Johnny smiled and pretended as well, for my sake, before shuffling off as fast as he could in a desperate attempt to hide his tears.
(He didn't do too well.)
Reever did better. He pretended well, and even when the other science section heads came over to scold him—again—for our sake, he completely ignored them for as long as he could, to talk to us and laugh for the last time he would with me. It made me smile, all of their efforts, smile more than I had thought I would.
Now the four of us have resorted to wandering the halls and talking idly to whomever we happened to pass by. Its noon and time seems to be moving so fast just to irk me. It's doing a mighty fine job. Hm. Noon. That gives me twelve hours till midnight, and then two more till the end. Fourteen hours in all then. (Ironic, isn't it?) That I should think of the time now, and realize that there's only fourteen hours until the Fourteenth's… end.
(Still can't say it.)
Yeah. I know.
As we walking, we run into Marie, Miranda, and Krory, two of which I certainly do not want to see. We've already visited Marie; we'd seen him in the cafeteria. He had accepted what I wanted, and played the part well. But the other two… as soon as Miranda sees me, she bursts into tears. Marie looks panicked, and tries to comfort her, while throwing us apologetic glances. We really don't know what to do either, other than stand there, awkward and dumbfounded. Krory, however, starts toward us slowly.
(The look in his eyes is awful.)
At first, the expression on Krory's face is determined, but when he finally stops in front of us, his eyes well up. Mine do too. But we both have enough composure to stop ourselves from bursting. He smiles at me, sniffling.
It wasn't much, but it was nice to just hear a simple hello. I smile back.
"Hey, Krory. How are you holding up?"
Maybe it was odd for me to ask him how he was doing, when I was the one who was dying. But I'm sure that this is much harder on them than on me. Again, I'm a terrible friend for putting them through this. So, I guess it did make sense. He gives a half-hearted nod; one that doesn't match his words.
"Not well. No, not at all." He begins to blubber, but does not run or fall to his knees or yell, nor do the others rush forward to shoo him away. He just stares at me, tearing, before putting a hand on my hair. He pats it, laughing a little at how it sticks back up defiantly. "It never stays down…" At that moment, he can't take it anymore, and pulls me into a rough bear hug, crushing my lungs. Over his shoulder I can see Lavi and Lenalee start forward worriedly to pry him off, but I hold up a hand. They pause, and settle back.
"It's okay, Krory," I say awkwardly, patting his back. More than anything do I want to get away from them, to run, because it's a struggle to just keep the tears back behind my eyes.
(But to run would just be just too cowardly.)
After a while, he releases me, keeping one hand on my shoulder while he raises the other to wipe his nose and eyes. "I'm so sorry, Allen…" He hiccups. "So sorry…" He hangs his head, and we just stay like that for a while. I don't know what to say, what to feel. That numbness had come back, as a whiplash-reflex. All I can do is wait for it to melt. And when it finally does, I pick up my head, and smile.
"For what, Krory?"
He stops crying abruptly, staring at me, shocked. "W-what?"
"For what? You have nothing to be sorry for. None of this is your fault. Remember that for me, okay?" I give a carefree, bubbly laugh, and in truth, I don't know where it comes from, because while I'm laughing, tears are streaking down my cheeks nonstop. "None of this is your fault." And then, without another word, I stuff my hands in my pockets, and stroll away, leaving the four of them staring at me. After a second, I hear the rush of footsteps of Lenalee and Lavi chasing me, along with the more hesitant sound of Kanda being dragged along against his will. When they catch up, I was talking before I realize it.
"I feel like going into town for a stroll. Will you guys come with me?"
They don't hesitate. Without missing a beat, they smile brightly, with the exception of Kanda, and nod and join me. I have the best friends anyone could ask for.
(Ironic. I actually get the best friends in the world, and now I have to lose them.)
So, we go. Kanda and Lavi seem to come to some sort of understanding while passing glances from between them to me. Lavi laughs good-naturedly. "I've been meaning to come down here for a while now, just been lookin' for a good excuse. Thanks, Allen! Hey, Yu, you wanna go hit a bar?" Lenalee and I give each other an amused look. We wait for Kanda to protest, but to our surprise he just grunts. "Whatever." Lavi squeals with delight, and as he runs off, dragging an extremely lethal looking Kanda behind him, we hear him call over his shoulder to us, "We'll meet up with you guys later!" Lenalee, once she finishes laughing, turns to me.
"So Allen-kun, what do you want to do?"
I shrug, unsure. "I don't really know. I just wanted to come see the town. I haven't been here in a while, and I've never really looked around too much." Lenalee giggles, and grabs my hand. "Then come with me. I think I know a place that you'd like," She skips off, holding my hand, and I follow, smiling. She ends up leading me to an ice cream parlor. My order has just finished being made. Lenalee laughs next to me as the worker calls out my ridiculously long order, having to take several breaths in between. I wait politely for him to finish, and then raise my hand. "That's mine!" The man looks at me with surprise clear on his face. Puzzled, when I carefully take my huge ice cream out of the shop with Lenalee, I ask her about it.
"I don't think he expected the owner of such a large order to be as small as you," She says as she licks her own ice cream daintily. I hunch involuntarily. "Not you too, Lenalee! I'm not small, I'm not a beansprout! I'm a perfectly normal height for my age!" She laughs at my reaction, and pats my shoulder reassuringly. Her touch brings color to my cheeks.
"Not like that, Allen-kun! It's just you wouldn't think a normal person would have such an appetite." She said, eyeing my ice cream, which was already half gone, and still it's twice the size of hers. We find a suitable bench and sit down. I'm not really sure if she notices it, but while we're eating and talking, people are giving us funny looks and little laughs. I'm sure I even heard some go, "oh, how cute!" and "young love, so sweet." I blink, honestly confused. "What's so cute…?" I murmur to myself, only to be overheard by Lenalee.
"What was that, Allen-kun?" I turn to her, a slight frown on my lips. "Just, some of the people passing by… have you heard what they've said?" She cocks her head, listening. Suddenly, her face turns bright red, her violet eyes widening.
"What are they talking about?" I ask curiously. She shakes her head, trying to stop from laughing. "They think… they think we're together." I give her a confused little smile, and scratch the back of my head. "But Lenalee… we are together." Her eyes grow to a ridiculous size, and she lets out a little sound in between a squeak and a cry. Hurriedly, I wave my arms frantically about my head, gesturing wildly. "I mean… we are, aren't we? You're right next to me, and we've been walking side by side and came here, the both of us, so…" She looked honestly taken aback for a moment, utter surprise and confusion on her face, before she broke out into sudden laughter. Fits of pure joy, she clutched at her sides and her mouth, as though she was trying to stop herself from falling apart. Her face was turning a dangerous shade of purple, and I scramble forward because she looks like she's having trouble breathing.
"Lenalee, are you okay? Calm down! What did I say?" She shakes her head, and leans into me, pressing her forehead against my shoulder. She has to gulp down some more fits of laughter before she can get enough composure to speak legibly. "No… no, Allen-kun, it's… that's not what I meant."
"Oh?" I cock my head, slightly puzzled again. "Then…what did you mean?"
"I meant that they think we're a couple! That we're dating!"
"Oh! Oh, um… I uh, I didn't… but we're not…!" I can't possibly see how red I am at this precise moment, but I'm sure that the shade is deeper than Lavi's hair. All I can splutter is incoherent babble while Lenalee laughs, and in the corner of my overly embarrassed mind I note with a touch of annoyance that the "oh, they're so cute!"s and the like grow in quantity. I don't know what she's doing and I don't think she really knows either when she reaches up and rests her hand on the side of my face, still laughing.
"Oh, Allen, you're too sweet for me…"
I freeze, and in the next instant, all that color drains from my face, and must have coursed through Lenalee's hand and into her face, and for the longest moment we just stare at each other, before I say the first thing that pops into my head.
"You… you didn't put a 'kun' after…"
(Well, that was a smart thing to say, wasn't it?)
Lenalee whips back, ducking her head and babbling nonstop. "I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! I don't know what I was thinking, I just thought you were being really cute, and— oh! Oh, I-I didn't mean that, not like that! And I meant to put a 'kun', I thought I did, and I'm just so, so sorry, Allen-kun!!" She keeps going like that for a couple minutes, with me just staring blankly at her. She's still apologizing when I realize something— I can't see her eyes.
(That's no good. I love her eyes.)
I put two fingers underneath her chin, and gently pull her face up to mine; not even noticing that we're only inches apart. I can see her eyes now— the most pretty shade of violet— natural, pure, beautiful. They're big, huge, staring at me. Don't even know what I'm saying when I murmur, "I liked that you called me just Allen. You should call me that more often, Lenalee. Call me that more often,"
And then I kiss her.
It takes me a very long time—or, it feels like a very long time; I'm sure it's only been a few seconds—to realize what I've just done, what I'm still doing. And even then I have to flatten it out in my head.
I just kissed Lenalee.
I just kissed Lenalee.
I just kissed Lenalee.
We're both far more than a little dumbfounded when I pull gently away. I stare at her, my gaze a little hazy. Her cheeks have the slightest rosy coloring in them and her eyes are still closed, as though she's savoring the moment. When they finally do flutter open, and lock onto mine, she gives the smallest smile and goes, in a voice that sounds to quiet and light to be her own, "Oh. I wasn't expecting that…" She gives a soft laugh, and then she leans forward again and gives me another light, sweet kiss. "Allen… I'll call you Allen from now on." And I smile, and she smiles, and for a second, for the most precious second, everything seems alright, okay, and nothing can ruin it. I hug her tight, and while we sit there, I think I can hear her crying. But then again, I think I'm crying, too.
As soon as we join back up with the other two, and they see mine and Lenalee's hands entwined, Lavi grins knowingly and claps me on the back.
"Well, look who made a move!" I'm about to answer when he turns abruptly to Lenalee. "Nice job! I knew he was too wimpy to step up, good for you, taking control like that!"
"Hey!" I cry defiantly, and of course, he just laughs, while Kanda rolls his eyes and grumbles, "Hmph. It's about time." I glance nervously at Lenalee at that, wondering if she's feeling embarrassed or regretful. What I find is that she's blushing like me, but other than that, she looks genuinely happy. Good. For the first time all day, I think I am too.
When we finally go back home, it's six o'clock. As soon as Lenalee sees the time, her hand tightens around mine, and she draws herself up closer to me. I put my arm around her shoulders instinctively as we walk, holding her tight. It's Miranda that comes up to us in the hallways. She looks awful.
(Well, at least she didn't break down this time.)
"Um… Komui said that he wants to see you. He said a mission is up and he wants to send you," She says slowly, as though each word is a struggle. I smile and nod. "Okay. Thanks Miranda." She nods, trying to smile, but what comes out instead looks very much like a grimace.
(At least she tried.)
"Uh, Allen," She calls while we're walking away. I turn.
And I know she doesn't mean the mission.
"…bye, Miranda. Good luck."
The mission wasn't far.
Only a few miles south; it took just an hour to get there.
At first, Lenalee was angry with her brother for sending me off on my last day. But… I think he did it for me. One of the most important things in the world to me is freeing the souls of akuma. I honestly thought that I'd never be able to have that feeling again. And I think Komui knew that.
(I'm thankful, grateful for being able to do that one last time.)
It was only a small mission, one that could certainly be handled by only one exorcist. Just some level 1's over in a nearby town. Lavi and Kanda waited outside, while Lenalee came into the office with me. She never looked at Komui, however, never speaking to him. I have the feeling that the only reason she came in was for me, to stay with me. The only time she spoke throughout the short briefing was when she declared she was joining me.
"I'm coming with you, Allen."
It wasn't a question, it was a statement. And it wasn't directed at Komui, either. She wasn't saying it for his approval, I don't think, more like just letting him know without actually saying it to his face. Even if he protested, I think she would have come anyway. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Komui stiffen, and glare a little, as though he wants to say something. He doesn't, though.
So, with that, Lenalee and I went on our mission, giving light, meaningless goodbyes to the two who were calmly waiting our arrival. There was no crying or hugs, just simple waves and quick exchanges of words. After all, it was just another day, just another mission. It wasn't anything special.
(Just my very last mission.)
I smiled at Lenalee as we boarded the train, and she smiled back, giving me one of those random pecks on the cheek. I squeezed her hand. If anything, I'm happy that this last mission is with her.
What time is it now?
Man. Time really flies.
(Tell me about it.)
That gives me only four hours left.
(Hm… what's this? Fear? Am I scared of what's to come? Well, that's new. I never was before.)
"Allen, are you alright?"
Lenalee's voice wakes me from my thoughts. I toss her a smile. "Yes, of course. I'm fine."
We're walking to the cafeteria when I say this. And by the look on her face, she's unconvinced. She looks down, making circles in the palm of my hand with her thumb. "If you say so, Allen." It's one of the sentences that really mean, "Your obviously not okay, but if you don't want to talk about it, I won't make you." So just before we enter the cafeteria, I embrace her tightly. "Thank you."
She smiles at me, and says simply, giving a light tug on my hand, "Come on. Everyone's waiting." I don't have time to ask what she means because she doesn't give me time to question; she's already pulling me into the room.
I find myself faced with the entire Order, and a banner that says, "Happy Birthday, Allen Walker!"
Lenalee releases my hand and skips ahead of me, taking the two glasses of wine that someone is holding out to her. With a ridiculously happy smile, one I simply cannot fathom, she puts one in my hand, and steps back.
"We know it's a few days early, but we couldn't help it. Everyone pitched in." She calls, loud enough for everyone to hear. She raises her glass. "Happy birthday, Allen!"
Cheers erupt, and wave upon wave of people start to flood me with congratulations and goodbyes and slaps on the back. I'm pretty shocked by all this, that as all the smiling and teary faces swarm before me, all I can do is nod and murmur my thanks. Music is playing, all my favorite food is out, and my whole family is here. Familiar faces appear in front of me— every finder I've ever gone on a mission with, Johnny and Reever, Timothy and Emilia, Jerry, the head nurse. Laughing along with me are Krory, Marie, Miranda, even Komui and Bak. Before I know it, I'm tearing, and struggling just to stop myself from bursting out in tears.
(Wow. That's a little wimpy, isn't it?)
Shut up. I'm too happy and sad to care right now.
Kanda and Lavi are here, too. Lavi grins and claps my shoulder, laughing. Even Kanda comes up to me, and, very grudgingly, by the looks of it, says, "Happy… birthday…" He looks like he's trying extremely hard to hold something back, as though it's taking all his willpower to stop himself from insulting me. But he tried. I don't know what to say as he stalks away, so I just smile and give a simple, "Thanks, Kanda." To his back. He freezes, and a feeling of murderous hate leeches from him. "YOU STUPID BEANSPROUT!!" He shouts over his shoulder at the top of his lungs before he stomps away.
(I think my thank you pushed him over the edge.)
And I just laugh, because, as weird as it is, I think I'm going to miss that, too.
At midnight, I slip away, just for a breather. Lavi and Kanda had asked if I wanted company—well, more like Lavi had asked for him, much to his annoyance— but I had declined. I find myself still chuckling at the memory of Kanda slicing at Lavi for trying to get him involved in my 'annoying girly feelings' when I arrive at the balcony, only to find that someone has beaten me to it.
Lenalee gives a start, and turns. At the sight of me, she smiles, sweet and soft, and her eyes are so warm, as though just the sight of me makes her happy.
"Oh, Allen it's you…"
"Why are you out here all alone? You're going to miss the party." I say quietly as I come up next to her, taking her hands in mine. She smiles down at our hands entwined, blushing reflexively. But she doesn't answer. Maybe it's just me, but the way her violet eyes are downcast and the way she leans into me as though for support… something's wrong.
"Is something wrong, Lenalee?" She still stays silent, but I feel her shift uncomfortably, and that's answer enough. "Please, I'd like you to tell me if something is upsetting you. I don't want you to feel scared or sad or angry, so if there's anything I can do…" I bring her palm up to my lips and kiss it gently. "…I'd like to." She smiles a little, and brings her other hand up to touch my face with her fingertips. I lean into them instinctively.
"Allen… are you scared?"
(Wow. Right on the head. Wait, is she worried about me?)
"N-no! Don't worry about it, I'm fine, Lenalee, really! What's to be scared about?" I cry enthusiastically, nervous laughter punctuating my statement. Her hand falls limply to her side, and my idiotic laughter cuts off abruptly as well. I can see her smile under her bangs, just a little one, one that's far more sad than happy. "Really…?" She adds a tiny laugh, and the sound is on the brink of hysteria. "Because… because I'm terrified."
At that moment, she begins to cry. Small tears, silently rolling down her cheeks, born from the pressure and stress of pretending all day. They only just barely broke the dam, nothing big, but I can't take it. I honestly can't take it. Of all the people that broke down in front of me, of all the tearful goodbyes and laughter of all the people I care about back there, I never snapped. And here, with just these few tears, this small gesture, I can't take it.
(Oh Lenalee, you're the only one who can do that…)
Without thinking about the consequences of Komui seeing us, and without caring, I wrap my arms around her and hold her tight, tears finally coming. I can't stop them, I don't even try. I bury my face in her hair, as I feel her do likewise in my shoulder.
"I'm sorry, Lenalee… I—I am scared. I don't want to go, Lenalee, I don't want to…"
She cries harder, and we sink to the floor. "Allen… do you have to? Please… don't leave me…"
(It isn't my choice, Lenalee, don't you see? I can't do anything about it, it's not my fault, I—)
"I'm sorry, Lenalee…"
"We have to do something… there has to be something…" She pulls away suddenly, taking my face in her hands, her eyes bright and desperate.
"We'll run away, together! We'll hide. I won't let this happen!"
"Lenalee, you know we can't do that."
"Why not? Lavi and Kanda will help, I know they will!"
"Yes, they would." I smile as I push a lock of hair behind her ear. "But I won't let them. And I won't let you, either. They'll find us."
"But… but we won't let them. Lavi and Kanda will be here to stop them from finding out, and even if they ever do find us, we'll fight them off. Together, Allen, you and me. Forever…!" The look of hope on her face is killing me, and her offer… just her and me… Lenalee and me, together forever… it's almost too sweet to refuse. Maybe… maybe we could…
(We can't. They'll find us, and when they do, I won't be the only one with a death sentence.)
That thought really hits me. I look down, down into those hopeful, heartbreaking violet eyes, and know that if anything ever happened to them, I'd never forgive myself. I can never let anything happen to her.
"That's just not possible, Lenalee."
Something dies behind her face. "B-but—!"
I grip her shoulders hard. "Lenalee, they would find us. You know that. And do you know what would happen when they do? I'll be stuck in the same situation, and so will you. I wouldn't be the only one to… go. You'd…" I trail off. I can't finish, and embrace her tightly again. I can't say it, but I know she understands. For a very long time, neither of us say anything. But she's the first one to break the silence.
"That means I'd be with you, though, right…?"
"If that happened…"
"…we'd always be together…"
"Listen to me—"
"and that's all that would matter—"
She stops and looks at me. I take her face in my hands, and my voice is shaking. "Don't you ever say anything like that! Do you hear me? Never!" I'm yelling, but it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter, Lenalee was just talking about— she was just saying—!
(Look. I made her cry. Or, you, my conscience self did by yelling at her. Good job.)
"Lenalee… Lenalee, please. Don't… don't cry…" She just shakes her head. "I know it's wrong… I do… but I don't care anymore. I can't… without you, Allen, I can't…" She doesn't seem to have changed her mind about it. So I try a different approach.
"…what about Lavi and Kanda?" She gives a small start, to look up at me with confusion and fear in her eyes. "What do you mean?"
"If… if we were to run away, when we get caught, we wouldn't be the only ones to be punished. Lavi and Kanda would have helped, and they'd get the same punishment as us. I wouldn't be able to stand that guilt. Would you?"
I know it's a low blow, using her care for her friends against her. But it's the only way to make her understand. She's crying hard again now, and I know with a pang of relief and guilt that I've finally gotten through to her. Her face is still in my hands, so with my thumbs, I brush them across her cheeks to wipe the tears away.
"Lenalee… I don't want anything to happen to them, to any of them. And especially not to you." I press my forehead against hers. "I… I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I did. Please… please don't—"
She kisses me then. It's very tender, and gentle, and very, very sweet. Chaste, innocent.
(I can taste the tears on her lips.)
When she parts, she rests her head on my chest, crying softly. "Will you stay with me?" I ask suddenly, after a few minutes of crying. She doesn't look up. All I hear is a weak, "Huh?" So I repeat myself.
"Will you stay with me, Lenalee? Until… until that time. Will you stay with me? I don't want to be with anyone else yet, but I don't think I'd be able to wait alone." I just feel her nod against my chest. "Yes… yes, of course," I kiss the top of her head, and I honestly can't describe the feeling of relief that washes over me.
It's one thirty.
They'll be coming for me any second now.
Lenalee's dozing lightly against my shoulder. Looking down at her, I can't help myself. I lean down and kiss her cheek. Her eyes flutter and she smiles a bit. "Mm…"
"Good morning, Lenalee," I smile.
"Good morning Allen." She sighs back, and gives me a light kiss. It's then when I hear the footsteps.
(They're coming for me. I know it.)
A feeling of panic rushes me, and I know that now is the only time to tell her. I don't know what possesses me to tell her, but I have to tell her. "Lenalee?" I shake her very gently. "Lenalee, wake up please." Again, her eyes open a bit. "Yes…?" She looks so sleepy, and I can't help but think how cute she looks right now. Tears sting my eyes. I'm never going to get to see her like this again.
(All the more reason to tell her.)
"Lenalee…" I smile, and touch her face with my fingertips, memorizing every detail. "I love you, Lenalee…" I lean down and kiss her gently again, holding the position as long as I can before breaking away to look at her still shocked face. And then her eyes fill with tears and she's smiling and whispering back, "I love you too, Allen. With all my heart."
(She loves me.)
She loves me.
She rests her head against my shoulder again, and I want so bad just to stay with her there forever.
Please, God, let me stay here with her forever. Please, if you're really there, please…
I turn my head slowly, with a bittersweet smile on my face, to see Lavi, Kanda, Komui, Leverrier, and the Central guards waiting for me. Lavi gives a small grin, one that fails in hiding his sadness. "Time to go, bud." I give a nod. Shake Lenalee again.
"Lenalee. It's time." She bolts up, panting already. Her eyes, impossibly wide, dart from me to the people in the doorway, and she grips my hand protectively as I stand slowly beside her. I nod again to the people waiting. "Lead the way." Leverrier turns without hesitation, Komui following hesitantly behind. Lavi and Kanda wait for us, falling in on either side, both of them throwing dirty looks to the guards who encircle us immediately.
But I smile.
To have it with them beside me… I wouldn't have it any other way.
We walk through large double doors I've never seen, and go down a hallway I've never been to, and finally come to a halt in front of a simple door. Well, it seems simple. Upon closer inspection, you see that the door is made of cold steel, and leeching from underneath it is an aura that makes my skin crawl. Lenalee squeezes my hand.
Leverrier opens the door, letting out pure blackness. He walks in, a smug smile on his face that makes me want to hit him.
Huh. Why not? I'm about to go anyway, yes, that sounds like a good idea…
(No, it's not a good idea. It'll just make everything harder.)
Yeah, I guess.
Komui looks back at us. First at the guards—he motions them in, saying I can't run now. Then to my friends, and then to me, and that one look tells me that he'll stall Leverrier and them so I can say goodbye.
(One last time.)
He slips inside the room also, and with a huge effort, I turn and face the three behind me.
"Well," Is all that comes out. There's a smile on my lips, I can feel it.
"Well? That's it?" Lavi half laughs; a partial attempt at humor that comes across more as a pained accusation. I give a shrug, and the smile is breaking my face.
"I've never done goodbyes before." Kanda looks extremely pissed, and something clicks that makes the smile a little more real, a little more bearable. I think he's so upset because he doesn't want me to die. I decide to test the theory.
"Why are you scowling so hard, Bakanda?"
At first he doesn't respond but for glaring, but then he hisses, "This shouldn't be. You're a stupid, scrawny, worthless, idiotic, weak, tiny, crappy, albino, cursed, exorcist beansprout. You're no threat." He crosses his arms over his chest stubbornly, the aura of death emanating so strongly from his being that I kind of want to cower. Lavi gives a little grin. "Don't worry 'bout it, Allen. Yu's really crying on the inside. He's just too sensitive and bashful to admit it." Kanda looks like he wants to kill him, but at the last second, some of the fire in his eyes dies, and he lets go of the hilt. Wow. Does my end really get him that down?
They jerk, then look at me. I think it's my tone again, because they look surprised. No, shocked. And then, for the first time all day, they look genuinely helpless, truly heartbroken. Both of them.
(Please, don't look at me like that. Please, please, please—)
To see this on their faces… it's killing me.
(You're Kanda and Lavi, you're not supposed to look like that.)
But, somehow, I don't cry.
(Ah… that's right. I can't. Not in front of them, if I do, it might hurt all of them even more.)
They step forward, slowly. I just stand there. For a second, the three of us look at each other, silent, before I grin and say, "Tell everyone thanks, alright? It was a great party, and I want everyone to know I appreciate everything they've done for me. Tell them thanks, and tell them goodbye. Oh, and Bak— tell Bak thanks for trying. He'll get it." Lavi nods, while Kanda mutters something about me being a sentimental idiot, and I can't help but smile wider. Then I lower my voice and remind them of something else, low enough so Lenalee doesn't hear, "You promised. You promised you would take care of her."
They nod Kanda leaving out a comment this time. I visibly relax and let out a grateful sigh. "Thanks, guys." After a second, Lavi pulls me into a brief, crushing bear hug, something he's never done, Bookman duties momentarily forgotten. When he releases me, it's all I can do to keep the tears behind my eyes. He steps back, and pushes Kanda forward expectantly, seeing as he isn't going to get any closer by himself. He glares at the boy behind him for a second before turning to me. And then Kanda does the unthinkable.
He steps forward, and ruffles my hair.
We're all shocked for a second, especially because his hand is still on top of my head and I'm staring dumbly up at him through his fingers, before he gives one of his patented, "che"s and stalks back to his spot in the back of the group, his back to me. But after both of their wordless goodbyes, I can't help but smile.
Lenalee jumps me then, sobbing. I hold her tight for a moment, while the other two stand solemnly, waiting for the moment to end. But here, at the end, with her silently begging me not to go, I can feel myself breaking.
"Lenalee…" I murmur, burying my face in her hair, taking in her scent. I take a deep breath, filling my lungs with it, and with it I have the strength to say what I know I need to.
"I'll miss you, Lenalee. I want to stay here with you, forever. And… and I love you, more than anything, more than everything, always, without end. Please, please tell me you know these things. Please tell me you understand…"
In my arms I feel her give a weak nod. I want to end it there, I want to turn and walk to the end, because the next thing might break me but…
(Not yet. I still have something to say.)
"Lenalee… I have one more favor to ask you."
She doesn't answer, doesn't move.
"I want you… to smile again."
She goes rigid. Slowly, raises her head.
"Once I'm gone, I need you to smile," I whisper, brushing the tears away.
She ducks her head. "I… I can't…!"
"You can. For everyone around you, for everyone you love, you can."
"I love you!"
"And I love you too, Lenalee, that's why I need you to do this. I can't take it if I know I'll be leaving with you never to smile again. I want— I need you to smile."
She looks at me, with her tear streaked face and knotted black hair and red puffy eyes, and she's still so beautiful and—
She whispers, "Okay."
I can't say thank you. All the other times, I said it, I can't say it now. So I lean down, for the last time, I know, and kiss her, gently, softly, sweetly. I put all of my love for her into that one action, and pray she knows then that I love her more than life itself.
"Smile, love," I remind her softly, before reluctantly letting her go, while every fiber of my being restrains against the movement. I turn, and force myself to walk through the doorway into the darkness, knowing what I'm leaving behind.
Komui's suddenly there, putting a hand on my shoulder, leading me somewhere I don't want to go. "This way, Allen," He says quietly, and brings me to a cold metal table. There are intimidating leather harnesses on it, ones that I'd normally be able to snap easily, with a swipe of my Crown Clown, but I have a feeling that these aren't your normal leather harnesses. Just looking at them, I feel my stomach flip, and I think they've been cursed so I can't break them. Good to know they trust me.
Leverrier and the guards surround me, giving glares and grins that beg me to run, just so they can beat me back. Komui doesn't need to motion to the cold table for me to know that that's where I'm going. With a smile on my face, just to piss Leverrier off as much as I can before the end, I lay down comfortably on the execution table, and the guards begin to strap down my arms, legs, even across my chest and stomach and neck. The straps are especially thick across my left arm. Before I know it, I'm completely immobile, and it's a very odd feeling, no movement, no power.
I watch as Komui disappears into the darkness, and comes back with a large needle. He bends down, the needle hovering over the vein in my arm.
(I'm really scared.)
And I just can't help myself. My smiling face almost crumbles, and I feel it waver, as I whisper just loud enough for him to hear.
"Will it hurt, Komui? Will dying hurt?"
He stares down at me, his eyes full of awful pain.
"Because… I'm scared," I confess, laughing a little. The needle is still hanging there, but he doesn't pierce me.
"Komui," Leverrier mutters threateningly. Komui's mouth forms into a thin line, and the hand holding the needle tightens so much I can't help but think he's going to shatter it. And then his face breaks out into a smile, and he looks down at me.
"This won't hurt a bit, Allen. It just makes you sleep. You won't feel a thing."
"Cross my heart."
I look at him, feeling like a lost child. "Okay," I smile and nod. "Okay."
And then he injects me, and instantly, I feel very sleepy. My eyelids are so heavy…
(But I won't wake up.)
And I want to live as long as possible. So I better steal a few more minutes.
As I lay there, my vision growing hazy, all the sounds around me becoming a murmuring buzz, my thick, muddled mind turns to my friends. Faces float in front of me, ones I know and care for.
(You'll survive without me. I'm just one exorcist, I believe you can win without my help. You can do it.)
(You're a bastard, but you're a good fighter, and a good comrade, I hate to admit it. And I really hate to admit it. But you won't let anything bad happen to Lenalee in battle. You'll force her to get past this, to get past me. You won't be so gentle about it, but you'll make her be strong, not for yourself and not for the war, but for her. I have to thank you for that.)
(You may be an impulsive, cocky, stupid womanizer, but when it comes down to it, you're a great friend. You've been there, despite your duties as a Bookman. I know you try to be all unfeeling and everything, but please try to let them in, you deserve it. You'll be the one that will comfort Lenalee. You'll be there for her, Bookman or not, something I guess I can't do now. You're better for her. You'll take care of her in a different way than Kanda, because when Kanda is forcing her too hard, she'll come to you, and you'll be there. You'll be her rock, her shoulder. For that, for everything, I thank you, truly.)
(…Lenalee. You'll get past this. I promise, you're going to be okay. I know it feels like it never will be, but you'll have people there for you, you'll have Kanda and Komui and Lavi there for you. I'm just one guy. And even though it hurts to think about you forgetting me, if it makes it less painful, please do it. Forget. Move on. Walk forward until the day you can think back to me, think back to the days where we laughed together, and you can smile. I really, really want you to smile, Lenalee. There's nothing better. I love your smile, and I love you, and wherever I'm going, know that I will always love you. Smile for me when I'm gone, Lenalee. That's all I want. I love you…)
All the colors have blended together. I can feel my eyes closing.
(I guess it's a little late, Lenalee.)
I'm going to die.
(Huh. I can finally say it.)
I'm going to die, and you know what, Lenalee? It's okay.
(I guess this is goodbye.)
As long as you smile, it's all going to be okay…
Oh god. That only killed me to write. It only took forever. Honestly? It's taken me months to write it. And it's way too long. So I apologize for the suckish quality, very, very sorry. But I'm happy with the outcome, believe it or not. I like how I ended it. Reviews are always welcome, in fact, I thrive on them. Honestly, this is my first fanfic, so be gentle. Please, no flamers! Thank you for bothering to read this, so much.