Wow. It's been a long time, huh? Thanks for all the great reviews! I'm sorry if I missed any, but know that I appreciate all of them! They keep me going! This chapter is mostly a break from all the dark angsty drama and stuff, so it's lighter. At least, I think it is. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Right. I don't own it.
Damn that Tyki.
Damn him to hell.
It was these thoughts and little else that passed through Lavi's mind as he rode in the small, cramped car to the carnival across town.
A week after his unfortunate conversation with the cafe owner, Lenalee had bound over to him—just as he was writing a suicide note, of course, because really, what other time could she come at?— talking about how she had ran into Tyki earlier that day. (Although her disease was still terrible and made her frail, on her good days she would insist on going out into the sunshine.) Allen had been taking a nap at this point, and Kanda had been at his job at…well, no one really ever knew where Kanda went for that extremely sketchy job, but everyone thought it best not to question. Komui had been at the lab, leaving the two of them alone, if you didn't count a sleeping Allen.
Trying desperately to swallow the note to eliminate the evidence while she wasn't looking, Lavi almost missed it when Lenalee said, "...And because his family owned the fair, he said that he could pull some strings and get a day just for us. He said you'd like it especially!"
Lavi almost choked on the paper.
And so, after an hour or two of convincing Komui, Lenalee got permission for three hours at the fair, accompanied by her three best friends and Fidget, after which she had to come straight home and rest. In fact, Komui almost made it sound like he wouldn't be accompanying them to keep his precious little sister safe- from her disease and other equally dangerous nuisances, things Komui liked to call 'boys'.
Scowling fiercely as the car bumped and swerved slightly, Lavi could just see Tyki laughing behind that veil of cigarette smoke and glasses. Very thick, very stupid glasses. He recalled the precise words Lenalee had relayed from the man: "And drag that Eyepatch along, too. I bet he'd be dying to go. It would kill him, he'd love it so much."
Oh, Tyki and your subtly and fantastically veiled messages. The sarcasm lining Lavi's thoughts was to die for. Yeah, Tyki would just love that one. As he mentally began cursing the man an untimely death, he felt the car jolt to a stop in front of the hospital.
A nurse and a small boy came out not five minutes later; as soon as Fidget spotted the small car, he squealed loudly and bounced away, much to the nurse's dismay. Lavi couldn't help the small smile that passed his face. Unlike Lenalee, the kid was making a speedy and miraculous recovery. His doctors had let him out today without a hitch, and he didn't even have any of those tubes hooked up to him as he sped to the car in all his ADHD glory.
Lenalee, Allen and Lavi all exited the vehicle before the boy could crash into the metal, which, considering past experiences, was very likely. Seeing the oncoming comedy skit from a mile away, Lavi sidestepped at the last possible moment, allowing the small body to barrel into the equally small body of a certain white-haired fifteen year old.
"Oomph!" Was the only thing heard as the duo tumbled along the sidewalk, Allen spread-eagled with Fidget laughing above him. Lenalee whistled appreciatively. "Nice move, Lavi. Well planned."
Lavi smirked as he gave a one shouldered shrug. "I try."
The nurse bustled over at that moment, fretting and buzzing as she pulled Fidget off of Allen's nonexistent abs. "Fidget, I told you not to run, it's not good for your health! And look what you did to- Oh, Mr. Walker!"
The young nurse flushed bright pink, stammering as she helped said boy to his feet shakily. "Oh, Mr. Walker, I'm so sorry! I told him not to run, I really did! But he- oh, I'm so sorry!" She looked on the verge of tears.
"Not to worry Lo Fwa, I'm fine. Oh, your glasses are askew," Oblivious to how she visibly blanched at the slightest hint of physical contact, Allen leaned forward and righted the large round specticals, much to Lavi and Lenalee's amusement. He then turned and gave a gentle smile to their small charge.
"Well, it seems you're much more… energetic than before, Fidget. I'm so glad to see you're doing well."
Fidget in return gave a crooked grin, and replied in a mocking British accent. "Oh, well its bloody brilliant to see you're doing splendidly too, old chap!"
As Allen stared, dumbfounded and looking slightly offended, Lavi sauntered over and ruffled the smaller boy's hair. "Hit the nail on the head, Fidget! How you doin', squirt?"
Fidget smiled wide from beneath long fingers. "I'm doing great! The nurse that's crazy over Allen"-Lo Fwa glared daggers-"says I'm doing loads better!"
As Lavi laughed Lenalee came and wrapped the boy in her delicate arms. "That's wonderful news, Fidget! Now, are you ready to go the fair?"
Fidget nodded enthusiastically and giggled as Lenalee gently pinched his cheek. Suddenly he gave a quizzical look to his older companions. "Where's Kanda?"
"Hmph. The arse is at his job, which we're going to pick him up from." Allen rolled his eyes. "Must he come along? I mean, I highly doubt he wants to be sociable anyway."
In answer, Lavi hooked his arm around the white-haired boy's neck with a smirk. "Why, o'course! It'll give you two some bonding time! Some rides, cotton candy to share, a slow trip down the Tunnel of Love—"
An elbow to the side efficiently shut him up.
As Lavi almost reeled backwards into open traffic (only saved by the outstreched arm of Komui), Fidget bounced up to Allen and tugged on his sleeve. "Come on, Allen! We need Kanda!"
When Allen frowned and gave the boy a sidelong glance, Fidget sighed and continued. "And he's absolutely terrified of roller coasters. Wouldn't that be fun?"
Allen's eyes lit up deviously in the way only a poker game and Kanda's pain could evoke. As he hopped eagerly back in the car and Lenalee and Komui retook the front seats, Lavi scooped the small boy over his shoulder and shuffled in behind Allen, grinning quietly at the light, happy conversation filling the vehicle. Here, in this worn out, cramped buggy, he felt at ease for the first time in weeks. It was familiar and safe, and Kanda scooting in from a dark, very suspicious looking shop just to start arguing with Allen about the lack of room only added to the warmth.
After Lenalee ordered them both to shut up or she'd have Komui crash the vehicle, (because he could do it and still have Lenalee come out unscathed too,) Kanda grumbled the question as to where they were going. Instant silence.
"Lena, didn't you tell him?"
"Tell me what?"
"No, I told you to convince him to come!"
"Nah, you told Allen that."
"I was given no such orders! And telling him where we're going would be outright barmy!"
"Someone tell me where the hell we're going or I'll kill the brat!"
Fidget looked affronted. "Hey! Why would you kill me?"
"Not you, brat," Kanda rolled his eyes and forked a thumb at an apalled Allen. "That brat."
Allen's sarcasm could have killed as he gave his frien-emy a dead-pan stare. "Oh, I feel so loved right now."
"Dammit, you weren't supposed to."
"Alright boys, settle down. We're here anyway, so there's no going back now."
Lavi watched as the preparation for the explosion commenced: Lenalee rolled her eyes and covered a grinning Fidget's ears. Komui whistled innocently while carefully unlocking his and Lenalee's doors for a quick escape. Allen just stared evilly at his older companion, drinking in this moment and stealthily preparing a Polaroid (which Lavi had to mentally slap himself for not having thought of).
But, smirking and screwing his own eyes shut, Lavi knew that absolutely no amount of mental preparation or training could help for-
"WHAT THE FUCK?"
The profanities and threats were endless.
"Let me out! Let me out of the goddamn car now! I swear I will murder every clown in this fucking death trap if you don't bring me home this instant!" He then began a tirade of what could only be assumed as Japanese curses as Allen, Lavi, and Fidget (but mostly Allen) laughed manically. When the car door wouldn't open immediately, Kanda shoved at it hard with his shoulder, effectively breaking the lock system and draining a good hundred bucks from Komui's wallet.
In the clear, Kanda hightailed it toward the exit, his only means of escape. Safety be damned, he'd hitch-hike with an axe murderer just to get away from there. Unfortunately for him, just before he got into a shady van with a shemale shouldering a shotgun, the restraining arms of Allen and Lavi closed around him, dragging him back.
The redhead had to admit, Kanda was not going down easy. He flailed and kicked and screamed as Allen documented it all with his handy dandy Poleroid, and while he received several bruises and cuts in the process, it was decided that it was all undeniably worth it. And when they got to the main entrance to the festivities, their Japanese companion's struggles only increased.
In the end, as Allen rolled on the floor with laughter, Lavi curled a few feet away sporting a particularly well aimed kick to the groin, Fidget clung to Kanda's leg desperately, and Komui watched calmly from the safety of the fair, Lenalee flung her arms around her taller friend's neck.
"Please, Kanda, come in with us!"
Normally, she thought as said teen stiffened at her embrace, she would have rathered just whack him topside and force him in, but that approach didn't seem like it would work this far into his rampage, and besides, she didn't really have the energy for it. The onlookers waited with bated breath for Kanda's response as the uncharacteristic blush climbed his neck, face and ears. As much as he hated to admit it, with Lenalee in her condition, he really shouldn't...
After a moment of uncertain and highly uncomfortable grunting, he tore away, growling deep in his throat.
"Dammit, fine! But if I'm made to get on one single coaster, everyone within reach is going over the side!"
If that were the case, then Lavi's life would be threatened many times that day.
Seeing as Lavi no longer believed in God, he decided to attribute this lovely scene to a little force he liked to call karma.
Once they had entered the fair, Tyki had joined them quite literally out of nowhere, suit and tie. He began to show them around, giving pointers on which rides were the best and worst. More than once, a clown had burst forth in all its innocent merriment, only to be utterly destroyed by the being known as Kanda.
Allen, suffice it to say, enjoyed this. It was rare to see Kanda in such a state of tension and displeasure, and the fifteen year old wouldn't waste it for the world. To him, this was payback. Of course, his joy at Kanda's expense could only go so far; it was only a matter of time before Allen paid for it, which was where Lavi's lovely friend karma stepped in.
And as it was, karma had this way of being an almighty bitch.
As the group travelled for their fifth ride, Allen laughing loudly at the queasy expression on Kanda's face, a high-pitched, terrifying, jovial cry met their ears.
And as Allen visibly blanched, Tyki chuckled, lighting his cigarette and closing his eyes. "Well, looks like my niece is in town."
"Hah?" Kanda blinked, giving Tyki a clear 'I-don't-know-what-the-hell-you're-talking-about' look. "Who the hell is that?"
"You'll remember when you see her." Lavi said, now crouching behind Fidget. No way in hell was he getting on her nerves again. He wanted to be the one to end his own life, thank you very much.
"What, so I've met her before?" Kanda clicked his tongue on the roof of his mouth. "If I don't remember her now, than she's obviously not worth remembering." He ignored Tyki's pointed glare.
The patter of feet came closer and Allen's name was repeated in a fangirl-like squeal.
Allen, by this point, was shaking in his British boots. "Oh dear God, no,"
He turned to run when the figure appeared in the distance, but it was too late. A small girl came barreling out of nowhere, and for the second or third time that day, Allen was sent sprawling.
"Bugger all—! My arse...!"
Kanda stared on, an expression of deep thought on his face, and Lavi willed him not to have a stroke from trying too hard. "Oh yeah! The crazy stalker chick! Damn, what was her name...Rosie, Rhonda..."
"Allen Allen Allen! I've missed you, Allen! You missed me, didn't you?" A petite, dark haired girl now sat on Allen's stomach, laughing childishly. Said white-haired teen groaned as he stared up at his attacker, perched above him.
"If I say yes, will you get off of my abdomen...?"
Giggling, she nodded. Once she got the answer she wanted, however, she smiled and leaned on her captive further, laughing at his contorting expression. Lavi, being Allen's therapist, was fairly positive that the boy was cursing Road mentally (he knew quite a slew of creative and mildly-disturbing obscenities, as Lavi had learned, no doubt thanks to his awesome-but-also-mildly-disturbing uncle Cross Marian), but was far too much of a British gentleman to ever do so outloud. Lavi smirked and gave Tyki a meaningful look, mouthing the word 'crazy'. The older man sniffed, and came to Allen's rescue with a tired sigh.
"Oi, leave the boy alone and come give your uncle a hug,"
At this the girl pouted, but hopped off, smiling and turning on her heel when she heard the older man's voice. "Uncle Tyki!" She pounced on her new target, giving him an affectionate squeeze, before leaping back and stomping on his foot with conviction.
Road pointed an accusing finger at the man, one hand propped on her hip expertly. "Why didn't you tell me Allen was coming? I'm lucky that Davie and Jazz told me!"
"Damn, I knew I shouldn't have told the twins..."
Kanda, who had been quite effectively been forgotten by everyone in his pensive silence, suddenly snapped his fingers, pointing at Road in unbridled triumph. "Roxy! That's it, you're name's Roxy!"
"It's Road, numbnuts,"
And then she kicked him in the balls.
As Kanda collapsed in pain, cursing profusely, Road innocently grabbed Allen's hand and led him off, skipping to the twins' booth that was supposedly a little further down. Fidget followed in a flurry, and Kanda staggered off beside Lenalee, both needing the slower pace. Lavi and Tyki brought up the rear, chatting idly.
"Yep, same old Road."
"You couldn't have actually expected her to change, could you?"
Lavi grinned, looking down at his feet as he walked. "Nah, not really."
Road, like Tyki, had also been a patient of the young therapist. Her uncle had recomended it after being treated himself, and not long after, a small gothic-lolita girl had shown up in Lavi's office. He was told that he was a good child phychiatrist; just as good as with adults. Road, of course, had proved to be the exception.
It wasn't like she was an evil little girl, but she was... a tad bit unbalanced. Her 'infatuation' with Allen, as Tyki called it, ventured into the realm of obsession. She constantly declared her love for him, but showed it in a violent, sadistic way. She had even started showing up in Allen's apartment, much to the white-haired boy's displeasure. For the same reason, she didn't seem to like Lenalee for being so close to him. Before Lenalee got sick, there just happened to be 'accidents' whenever she and Road were in the same room.
More than just her obsession with Allen, she terrified the other children in her classes. She had gotten suspended more than once for apparently beating other kids, or verbally abusing them. For once, Lavi's expertise didn't seem to do much for the happy-yet-violent child. She could be sweet, yes; offering candies to Tyki and Allen, patting Fidget on the head and making normal teenage-girl conversation with Lenalee from time to time.
But she did let Lavi in on a little secret during their short time together: she just loved to see others in pain, especially of Allen and those she cared for, even more than those she hated. She had said it with a sweet smile, and Lavi hadn't been able to stop the grimace of horror for the girl before him.
She wasn't evil, no, but she was twisted. So cruel, so unlike Lenalee. Such a reminder of the sick world Lavi found himself stuck in. He would have to free himself soon...
"Don't let Road get to you. I'm sure it's just a phase."
Lavi blinked, looking up at his companion. He smiled guiltily. "Being obvious again, huh?"
"You're really bad at hiding it. Cheer up or your friends're gonna get wise, eye patch."
He winced, and scowled sourly. "I told you to stop calling me that, Tyki."
The older man just slid the cigarette back in his mouth and snorted. "I'll stop it if you get yourself some help,"
At this, Lavi began to walk faster, his frown deep as he glared at the ground again, as though it were the cause of all his woes. Much to his chagrin and not-so-much surprise, Tyki matched his pace with long, easy strides, and Lavi didn't need to look up to see the concern and anger etched on his face.
"Did you hear me last week? Maybe you don't give a damn about me asking you to stop, but if they knew what you were planning, they'd kill you themselves." His voice grew softer. "Lenalee looks good today. Maybe she's starting to get better. If that's true, then you will too, yeah?"
Lavi just shook his head. "It's not that she's doing better, she's just not doing much worse. You know you can't save her, Tyki. Me neither."
There was silence for a moment, in which they began to catch up to the rest of the group. Ahead, two gothic and eccentrically dressed brothers were showing Fidget and Allen their new toy guns— at least, Lavi hoped they were toys, and was about to call out to them when Tyki exhaled smoke through his nose with a smirk.
"Well, that's why I got you out here, eh? To change that depressing outlook on life you got." He grinned at the younger man's confused expression and gave a small gesture to the laughing people before them. "There's still things in the world worth livin' for, eye patch. Your boys and Lenalee'll tell you the same thing. If I can't convince you, they will. Just you wait."
Then he brushed past, sauntering up to scold the twins for giving dangerous objects to children, indicating Allen instead of Fidget.
And for just a moment, Lavi couldn't move, and just stared at them all, laughing and smiling.
He shook his head fiercely. What was he thinking? Plastering on a smile as he joined them, Lavi sighed inwardly. There was no way Tyki could be right. His words were pretty, and it was a nice thought, but he was nothing more than a lost lamb on his way to slaughter. There was just no way.
The tiny seed of hope, however, had already been planted.
And clear! Ok, this one was short compared to the others, but it's out. I just can't resist the awesome that is Tyki... Whelp, I hope you enjoyed the fluff, cuz either next chapter or after, that's gonna be gone for a while. Please review, despite its length. Thanks a bunch to those who have stuck with it, and anyone else reading!