Character's: Lavi, Kanda, Allen, Lenalee, Miranda, Bookman, Timothy, Klaud, etc...
Rating: T-T-16ish
A/N: Uploaded this separately from the When Kanda Smiles series, simply because the feel of it was so very off that it just wouldn't fit. But yes this is another drabble (or 'daily writing exercise'). I seem to be into that lately. Wrote this instead of studying for a History test, and I will say that…no, it's not supposed to make much sense. But I like it. As in, really, really, like it. Oh and it's also Post-Canon, meaning it takes place sometime after the final battle with the Earl, so AU warnings apply.
Based off: My current background (which is: Kanda and Lavi painting a sky on a white wall)

WARNING(S): implied relationships, alcohol usage, character death, mild cursing

*If it feels like its cracking then maybe it is*********************

Painting the sky was a big thing, Lavi knew. But it was important, the sky was the sky and it was always there. If it wasn't, people would panic. And he didn't like panicking, or crying, because he knew Lenalee might, and Allen would be surprised, and Kanda, well, he wouldn't quite care. At least outwardly, anyway, because that was who he was and who he was, was who he was and it was all about keeping up appearances, right?

So painting the sky, keeping it normal was something like it, too, right? The sky kept up its appearances: blue in the morning, dark at night like a curtain with too many holes. If it was anything else, people would worry, if the curtain was 'raised', people would stare in shock.

Like hollowed out masks people put on their faces. It was the right thing, right? Right? Maybe?

So Lavi takes the paint. The buckets of blue--simple blue, 'sky blue' named after the sky and the brushes too--big ones, small ones, the sky was like a canvas.

Not too many blues, now, though. That was too complicated in the now-broken world, with the broken buildings and the broken people sobbing at every little thing.

He knows his mask is more than a little cracked.

So he paints. Paints, paints, paints.

Paints the sky from red to blue. Red to blue. Blood to water.

Religion be damned, the crosses are broken anyway. There's blood on the ground, turning the soil red too, and even the water has blood and needs to be filtered because it's poisoned, and filled with tears too.

And he watches as Lenalee grabs a dead hand--one of many--with his paint brush dripping blue. She's crying again. Inconsolable, but who can blame her? He can't.

His mask cracks a little further. A little deeper. And he worries, maybe slightly, if it's all okay.

And Allen, silently, traces the new scars on his forehead, deep, and dark with his changing skin tone. They all know it will happen eventually. But he's fighting, and painting too--his own portrait. His own mask--his own 'face'. Maybe Lavi will have to teach him eventually, but he doesn't want it to come to that. Never. Ever. Ever.

So he watches him too, as he presses a few keys down and listens to the dull tune. It's all he can do, and it almost, maybe, hurts a little.

The mask cracks again.

Over the dead body of a General that Kanda shouldn't care about. And Lavi knows he shouldn't care about him either, but there's something wrong with the hunched shoulders, and the sword, loosely in the other's grip. That's red too. Stained with blood of Akuma, and humans who had sided with the man.

Maybe Kanda's going a little crazy as well, Lavi doesn't know. But he's composed enough. He will survive (if the light in his eye is any indication).

He wears the newly tailored Exorcist jacket with pride--Gold replaces White, and he moves away from the corpse.

To stand alone. Off to the side. Directing. Directing, directing, even though his shoulders are still hunched in that painful way.

Lavi wonders if he'll cry later, or if he'll be the one to do that for him, when they're alone somewhere; when 'Lavi' finally decides it's high time to get the man out of there. When someone loses their temper.

Another crack, along with the rest, deeper, deeper, and a little more shattered.

And the aching body of an elderly man, hobbling towards him. 'Too much blood loss' the man says, 'Too much death', a ragged breath, 'If I die,' and for once the man's face is a little more readable than normal, under the porcelain mask the man always wears, and Lavi isn't more than happy about that, 'You will take the lead and go back. Understood?'

Lavi only blinks. His mask only blinks, and he dimly wonders if 'going back' was enough. He didn't want to go back, 'back' didn't exist. He just wanted to paint the sky before it fell, before it completely tinged the souls red and all went to madness.

But he feels himself agree, for normalcy's sake, and not because he entirely believes it, and that alone causes the biggest rift.

A crack, clean across, and soon the mask is falling into pieces, he wants to cry, die, live, breathe, choke, stab the man through the head even, take Yuu and cut his hair (even though the man would never let him) tell Allen he's an idiot, and Lenalee to dry her tears.

'Help me paint the sky' he wants to say, but doesn't.

The shattered pieces are barely hanging on.

It's no wonder Kanda notices, later, when they're alone over a drink, and a pleasant pause of silence. It's no wonder at the curious glances but not outright questions he gets from everyone that knew him.

He keeps painting though, even if they still see the cracks, and he knows it won't do any good.

'You're fake.' those words aren't entirely surprising, he can't bring himself to look fake, 'What the fuck happened?'

Where can he start? Where? So he doesn't.

'Can't tell ya.' He decides, because it's simple and he doesn't like the blades. He never liked blades. Ever. He just lied all those times. All those times.

It was a little painful.

So when he wakes up later, to forget, and forget again, and to see a new set of bodies--all of them, in one bed, sharing 'body warmth', he wonders if 'Can't tell ya' is enough.

Kanda on the right, curled slightly, into him. He knows he fell asleep next to him.

Allen on the left, pressed against his back; for necessities sake, and Lenalee curled up next to him, sleeping with fits of difficulty.

And he wonders, with them, lying there surrounding him (he can see Miranda and Marie and Krory, and Timothy asleep in Miranda's lap, and Klaud--one of the only surviving generals--leaning against the wall) , if they wouldn't mind helping him.

His eyes meet the General's.

She doesn't say much now, he knows, but the question is there between them, and she nods.

So first he nudges, prods--it's easy enough to get Kanda up now, it's there for his sanity's case anyway--and in all the mess of half-asleep awareness, it's easy to get him to agree.

'Hey, hey, wanna help me paint the sky?' The quizzical look he receives almost makes him wanna kiss the man, but he doesn't, he just repeats the question and gets an answer.

'What?' a pause, 'This better not be stupid.' It's as close to a 'fine' that he'll get, so he smiles and kicks Allen lightly in the stomach. Kanda prods him with the butt end of his sword--just because he's nice like that.

They both share an 'almost laugh' at the boy's shocked expression.

'Wha--?' it's not just his voice, but the 14th, so Lavi assumes--two better than one, right?

'Paint the sky with me!'

They comply easily enough, 'Yeah sure.' with a 'Well of course.'

And then they turn to Lenalee, waking her with gentle motions.

'Lavi wants to paint the sky.' They say in unison, smiling at her. Friendly, friendly.

She smiles back, 'Really?'

'To make it blue again.' Kanda says, 'Or some shit.'

Like making it blue was a bad thing.

'So can we?' Lavi asks, giddy for once. Or trying to--forcing to--be.

'Why not?' Klaud hums and she's waking up the others to join, if they aren't too weak, and if they are just to watch, or paint the lower parts--because the edges were just as important, right? Right?

Lavi liked to think so.

'Where do we start?' As they grab the buckets, one by one. You can add more colors now, Lavi thinks, and stares up at the red sky, for more than one person.

They ask again, 'Where do we start?'

And he answers.

*Or maybe you're just crazy******************************************

…I would actually appreciate reviews on this (preferably signed, or leave your email address *in case you have questions/so I can answer you back*) just to see how people took it.

…heck, re-reading this nearly made me cry. I'm a crybaby…I know I am *sniffle* *cough*