Title: Take Me To Your Playground

Prompt: Culture

Summary: It's hard getting used to a new country – new language, new place, new food, and an annoying and adorable boyfriend.

Genre: Humour/Friendship

Notes: Before I knew it, Allen/Lavi week is upon us. Let's see if I can actually catch up. I'm afraid that this has not been beta-ed. Hope you enjoy it though! (:

Word Count: 1,142 words

Lavi, for the life of him, simply could not figure out the substance in front of him. He had been staring for the past five minutes, Allen beside him trying not to burst out into laughter and wearing that happy smirk that said he had bested Lavi in something for once. Allen popping five of those things into his mouth, one every minute, a slow record for him. And staring back at him all the while.

Gooey, Lavi surmised, having poked it thoughtfully and seeing the spot depress and return to its original shape when he coaxed it out, pushing at the sides of the indent, only to leave two new indents where the toothpicks were. Sweet, probably, with the weird smooth sauce over it, and seeing as they just had lunch an hour ago, it must be dessert, though Lavi looked at Allen warily, never knowing what to expect from the monstrosity of an appetite.

"What's this again, you say?" He said in an only slightly accented tongue, having battled sentence structure and syntax shortly after arriving in the country. Allen smiled at his silent victory, that Lavi, the intellect of their relationship, actually had to, oh, god forbid, stoop to ask him. Even when Lavi was new to the country he knew practically everything and teased him about that. This time, he would be holding this over the boy for the next week, or until Lavi find some other way to tease him, whichever was a longer time.

"What's that?" Allen said cheerfully, cupping a hand over his ear to annoy Lavi. "You were asking me something, dearest?" Allen smiled over at him, the perfect picture of cherubic innocence. He popped another of the delicacy into his mouth and chewed happily, eyes lazily scanning the busy street in front of him. "I couldn't hear you, you know, over the noise of the crowd. You'll have to repeat that."

Lavi gritted his teeth and smiled painfully back. "I was asking, my dear, what the h- what this is," he forced out, remembering at the last second that if he were to slip up at the dastardly game, the devil beside him would simply tease him even more. Allen chuckled and patted his hand, relenting, a silent apology in his eyes.

"This, Lavi, is mitarashii dango!" He beamed excitedly, gesturing with the skewer he just cleaned off. "It's sweet, and it's chewy, and this shop has the best sauce in the whole of this city, no, this country! The best food in the whole world, I swear! No, really!" He protested at the skeptical look Lavi gave him. "Just try it."

"The last time you said 'just try it' with that face – you're not fooling me now, Allen Walker – I ended up eating the most disgusting substance on earth," Lavi accused, mentally grimacing at the memory of wasabi burning up his mouth, and the frantic shouts for water which the way too amused waiter answered to, and the boy tossing his head back and laughing loud enough for the whole street to hear.

"Aww, Lavi!" Allen pouted, and Lavi turned away from that face. "I'm serious this time! I assure you, it's one of the nicest things Japan has to offer, okay? And," with a sweet smile, he leaned forward, whispering so no one else could hear, "if you're not happy this time, like with the sushi, I will…make it up to you, as I did last time," he fairly purred, reaching a hand out to ever so softly trace it down Lavi's cheek, giving an angelic smile the whole time.

Lavi groaned and turned back, feeling flushed under Allen's soft smile and hard eyes, completely contrasting, completely perfect, and yes, he fell completely for it, again, just as he had with the sushi. Preparing himself, he picked up the skewer and pulled a ball off, ready to bolt the food down with as few chews as possible. The sticky ball stuck to his mouth, his teeth moved methodically, the sauce gave a sweet, moist texture to the food, and he kept chewing, and chewing, and chewing…

Lavi's eyebrows rose, as he swallowed the food. "Not…too bad," he said mildly, reaching to pull the second ball off.

"That's not fair!" Allen said, smirking at him. "You were totally enjoying it. No, you were, Lavi!" He said as Lavi looked at him with a faux-confused, innocent expression. "See, you're even willingly eating the rest! Admit it, I was right this time," he said smugly, crossing his arms over his chest in the universal kingly pose.

"Yeah, sure, sure, beansprout," Lavi chuckled, taking his time with the skewer. While Allen chattered on beside him about everything and anything, throwing in a few choice words about how he was definitely not a beansprout, he smiled peacefully, settled comfortably despite the too hard bench, and just absent-mindedly stared out at the crowd.

He had arrived only a few months before, alone, nervous, wondering just what the hell his boyfriend was thinking, moving to Japan, of all places. And even now, with the language grasped and the place more or less navigated thoroughly, it still wasn't completely comfortable, completely familiar but…

Looking at the smiling boy, who grasped his free hand and wandered from topic to topic, occasionally nixing the language with English and French and god knows whatever language he had managed to pick up, he could only grin.

"And then he…Lavi, Lavi? Hello, Lavi, you there?" Allen said, waving a hand in front of him, looking amused.

"I'm glad I have you, beansprout."

"Wha…" Allen looked flustered, floundering around. "What, what brought that on, Lavi?" Lavi was grinning, completely sincere, taking in Allen's confused and yet pleased countenance. He leaned forward, dango forgotten in favour of messing up the white hair in front of him. Allen immediately scowled and tried to fix his hair to no avail. Lavi snickered at the habitual move, then quietened while Allen focused on flattening his nest of a hair.

"I just am, beansprout," Lavi gave a soft smile, twining their fingers together and pressing warmly against Allen's gloved palm. Holding Allen's eyes, conveying his gratitude and anxiety and confusion and yet, with all in him, trying to convey his happiness, and he hoped it got through. With his free hand, he picked up the skewer and continued eating, returning his gaze to the ever-moving crowd. He could sense Allen looking at him thoughtfully, the gaze never leaving his face.

"Yeah," he finally said gently, turning to look back out at the crowd as well, squeezing Lavi's hand. "I'm glad you're here too, Lavi."

And really, that was all the reassurance Lavi needed, that sunny weekend afternoon having someone with him to teach him about a new place, and to hold his hand through it when it got too difficult.

Analysis/Thoughts/Extra Stuff for those who are interested:

Well, hi, thanks for reading!

I have to admit I only have this and one more written out for Allen/Lavi week, so I'm pretty much gonna have to churn out stuff everyday over the next week, wish me luck! To be sure, writing to prompts and having a time limit is good writing practice, I suppose (:

Now, about this story itself. I figure that even for Lavi, the Bookman Apprentice, going to different countries and experiencing different cultures is going to be a hard thing, despite how he seems to be able to ease into every place with no problem. Sure, he is smart, but who says he is all-powerful when it comes to culture, eh?

So here I have our dear Allen showing Lavi the ropes. I think that their relationship is equal, in the sense that they both compete with each other, but not to a hostile level, that's why Allen relents after a while and he doesn't push it when he sees Lavi's uncertainty, and even reassures him through it.

What else…to be honest, this was inspired after remembering the insane amount of dango Allen wolfs down. So there we go, Allen introducing Lavi to dango. By the way, the thing about Lavi hating wasabi is canon :D

Over this week I hope to explore 'what their lives could have been' in parallel universes. I got this idea from…I don't really remember, from someone who did it for Allen/Kanda week. So whoever you are, thanks for the idea!

Hope you enjoyed, and reviews are very much appreciated! (: