Fandom: D. Gray-Man
Pairing: None really, but there's Allen and there's Kanda. :P
Genre: Hurt/Comfort and umm… friendship-leaning-shippy?
Word Count: 2835
Rating: T for Kanda's mouth.
Warning: Umm. Weird format? But maybe , abusive use of italics. I'm experimenting.
Summary: Their time is running out; Allen with the Noah inside him, and Kanda with the tattoo and the Lotus. But still, they try to live in this moment, and have somehow developed a sense of companionship with each other.
Disclaimer: Me owns neither Kanda nor Allen. They belong to each other. *cough cough*
A/N: This is kinda inspired by the song "Clockwatching"by Jason Mraz. But this is NOT a songfic. It's just that because I fail at titling, so I borrow the title too… so yeah. And um. This story ended up writing itself and turned out different than how I planned it to be, but oh well. I guess it always happens, eh? I think this is a bit weird, but I can't really pinpoint what's wrong so I decided to leave it like this. I hope it's enjoyable anyway ^^
~ CLOCKWATCHING ~
Let's live in this moment just this time, could we?
Just take one moment of our time maybe.
Let's forget we're running out of time.
(Clockwatching – Jason Mraz)
His time is running out.
Allen knows, because each day, every time he looks into a mirror or any reflective surface, the figure looming behind his own reflection is starting to look clearer and more human.
Often, Allen would just throw his gaze away, but in a rare occasion in which he is alone or when he's too caught up in his thoughts, Allen would spend time studying the fourteenth's figure — really, he should just tell me his name already — as if captivated by the Noah's smiling — no longer grinning — face.
And Allen would smile back, dryly, tiredly, and in his head, he'd ask, 'Are you going to be me? Where would I go then? Would I just disappear? Did I ever exist in the first place?'
'…What is the point of my existence…?'
In return, the Fourteenth would only give him that infuriating smile; not mocking, more like… annoyingly fake and somewhat sad.
He's starting to hate that smile so much if only because it's so similar with the one Allen often finds himself making.
He often wonders where himself ends and the fourteenth begins; if his current self really is himself or if the way he always thinks and acts has been affected by that other existence in his head from the beginning. The line seems to be blurred at times, and he hates that.
"The hell are you doing glaring at a window?"
The voice snaps him back to the here-and-now, and Allen turns his head to find Kanda scowling at him. Right, he's on a mission right now, in some abandoned castle in Russia. He can hear the sounds of battle outside, where Lavi, Madarao and Link are currently fighting the horde of Akuma led by a level 4, so that he and Kanda can sneak in and get the innocence.
"I'm sorry, it's nothing," Allen replies while his lips automatically form the smile.
Kanda scowls even more, before he finally says, "Don't fucking give me that smile, Walker. I hate it."
His silver eyes widen a bit at the statement, and he idly wonders if he's slipped that much or if Kanda is just that observant to be able to tell, but then a sardonic smile graces Allen's lips. Well, Allen thinks, at least he's not the only one who hates the smile.
"Right, I'm sorry—"
"And it's not 'nothing'. You've been glaring at any reflective surface, Walker."
Alright, as surprising as it is, Allen would go with 'observant'.
"What exactly do you see?" Kanda asks again, folding his arms and leaning against the wall in front of Allen so he can't escape.
Maybe it's because they should hurry up and grab the innocence, or maybe… Maybe Allen is just tired of pretending that everything is fine and dandy – and it's not like Kanda doesn't already know something is wrong anyway – so he answers, "Nothing much. Just the thing you'd have to kill should I lose myself."
He knows he shouldn't be, but Allen is admittedly quite enjoying the taken-aback look on Kanda's face. Just the next second, though, Kanda's face becomes unreadable, and Allen honestly can't guess what might be running through the Samurai's mind.
Then, Kanda sighs. "I'll kill that goddamn thing when you do lose, Beansprout. But now you're still you, and you better keep it that way. Now move your lazy ass and get the innocence," he says before turning on his heels and walking away.
Again, Allen's eyes widen, because he certainly didn't expect that kind of reply from Kanda. It sounds rather… nice. And Kanda is right. For now, Allen is still himself, so it's better not to dwell on what is bound to happen. He should just live in this moment when he is still himself, and do everything in his power to keep it that way.
With that in mind, he starts to walk again, following Kanda and muttering a small thanksto the older boy. Too bad Kanda doesn't see the sincere smile currently gracing Allen's lips, though.
He'd probably hate it less.
His time is running out.
Kanda knows because it takes longer and longer to heal, especially if he's injured too badly. Still, it doesn't stop him to do his daredevil routines every time he's engaged in a battle.
He's a soldier. It's his duty to give everything he's got in a fight, isn't it? And besides, he always thinks that if he's going to wither and die, he'd rather do it on the battlefield. Honorable, and he'd die the way a Samurai should. At least, he'd get to bring some dignity and pride with him to his grave then.
Lavi has commented on that though, that 'You and Allen are both, in a way, suicidal. Did you know that?'
Kanda thinks the stupid rabbit really should just mind his own business and stop poking his fucking nose to where it doesn't belong.
It's not like he wants to die soon. Really, he doesn't. It's just that he's created to be a weapon for the order, so he might as well fulfill his role and be useful while he's alive.
"You're overdoing it again, Kanda."
Komui's voice is stern, and Kanda knows the Supervisor is being serious right now. Kanda just scoffs from his infirmary bed, not looking at the Chinese man standing at the foot of his bed, and instead staring at one imaginary lotus to his right.
"Seriously, at this rate, I doubt you'd make it into your mid-twenties." Komui sounds genuinely worried, and in turn, it makes Kanda uneasy. After all these years, he still doesn't like people worry about him. It's just… annoying.
It's annoying, because the thoughts of people worrying about him always cause his chest—heart—to stir.
"Then let's just hope the war ends before that," he finally says.
"Kanda, I'm serious!" Komui's voice reaches a higher octave. "Look at your tattoo. And I checked your lotus earlier and another petal has fallen. You've just shortened your life. Again."
"What does that mean?" a weak voice asks, and both Asians turn their heads to the bed next to Kanda's. The curtain separating the two beds is pulled aside, revealing a pale and just-awaken Allen Walker. "What do you mean Kanda's shortened his life?" he repeats.
"Allen… you're awake?" Komui asks nervously.
Kanda lets out a tired sigh. "That's why you should've just kept your mouth shut. At least until you can scold me in private."
"Kanda, are you dying?" Allen demands; looking right at Kanda's eyes with his own desperate ones.
"No, I'm not." – Not yet anyway – "Now shut up."
"You'll still die early if you won't give yourself a break, Kanda," Komui says finally.
Kanda glowers at the Supervisor, who looks absolutely unperturbed.
"That's it then! After you recover, I'm giving you a one-week break. No missions, nothing," Komui pauses to look at Allen too, and adds, "Both of you."
Kanda wants to complain – this isn't the time to give exorcists a break, of all things – and it seems like the Sprout agrees with him at this matter because he is trying to convince Komui that he's fine and he doesn't need a break, but Komui can be stubborn when he wants to, and he leaves the room with his decision unchanged.
"Oh well," Kanda hears the Sprout says, "Might as well enjoy the break."
"Now tell me about that tattoo and lotus thing."
"Why should I?"
"Because I told you about the Fourteenth in the mirrors. And windows. It's only fair that you tell me something too."
Kanda scowls at Walker, but he can't really argue to that, so he lets out a sigh and says, "Fine."
It's not like he has to tell everything in details anyway. And maybe it's okay if Walker knows about it. Both of them are chased by time, and for some reason, it gives Kanda a weird sense of camaraderie.
Because Walker understands how it feels to have a time limit.
Their time is running out.
They know, because they can feel time is practically slipping right through their grasps. No matter how much they try to hold on, Time never waits for them.
Allen sighs, slowing down his steps once he reaches a deserted hallway after escaping Link and his bloody paperwork. It's already late, almost midnight and he's so sleepy, but having the inspector around him doesn't help Allen to get some of his peace of mind. He thinks he needs some time alone and just rest, but now he makes the mistake of turning to look outside the window, to the dark night sky, and then he sees it. The figure of the fourteenth — it's getting even clearer.
Allen can see it; his wavy dark hair, his pointed nose, his thin, pale lips, and of course, that irritating smile. He still can't see the upper part of the Noah's face, but what he can see is enough to make him want to break the window.
Why, why does the Noah's figure have to resemble his own?
"I'm not going to lose yet," he whispers, lightly hitting his forehead to the glass surface. "I'm not going to give up," he mutters again, aiming those words more to convince himself than to the Noah smiling at him.
He pulls his head back only to weakly drops it again, but instead of the hard, cold surface, his forehead collides with a soft, warm… hand?
Allen pulls back and finds that it is indeed, a hand that has cushioned his poor forehead from the glass window. He glances to the right to find out whose hand is that, and just a little bit surprised when he finds Kanda looking at him with a neutral expression.
"You're planning to damage your already fucked-up brain?" Kanda asks with a raised eyebrow.
Allen gives him a careless shrug. "Maybe that guy will go away from my head if I bang it hard enough?" he says nonchalantly, and yet in his heart, he knows he's actually sulking. He doesn't know why but only by seeing Kanda makes him want to sulk, of all things. Or maybe he's just tired. And sleepy. Really, really sleepy that it messes up his brain.
He still feels embarrassed nonetheless.
"I see your brain is already damaged," Kanda replies with a blank look, but Allen would swear he heard a faint hint of amusement in Kanda's voice, as if he's teasing. And, just for the hell of it, Kanda adds, "Idiot."
"Prick," Allen retorts, pouting. But somehow, he feels lighter already and when he glances at the window again, he can see the figure of the Fourteenth fades a bit, not as clear as it was just a moment ago.
"Stop looking at the window, Walker."
Allen turns his gaze to Kanda again – and is that worry in Kanda's eyes? – Before smiling tiredly at the older teen. "Right, sorry."
"Whatever," Kanda says, and is about to leave when suddenly Allen grabs his sleeve. "What?" he asks over his shoulder.
"Um." Allen isn't sure how to say this, or if he should ask this favor at all, but, "Can I sleep in your room tonight?"
Kanda looks at Allen as if he was crazy, and Allen idly thinks that maybe he really is for even asking this to Kanda, of all people... but that's actually the point.
"I mean… you know, Link would never look for me there, so…" Allen hesitates, and he looks up to search Kanda's face, only to be met with a blank look. He sighs. "Never mind…"
"Che. Fine," Kanda says in a low voice as he starts walking away.
"I said fine, Beansprout. Are you coming?"
Allen really, really can't help the stupid grin on his face.
Kanda doesn't really know why he's allowing the bean to even set foot in his room, let alone spend the night there. Maybe it's the same reason why he always allows Lenalee to be with him whenever Leverrier is around, or maybe… Maybe it's the face the boy was making when he faced the window, the same face Kanda often has when he looks at his Lotus; the look of someone forced to give in to the merciless flow of time.
"If you kick in your sleep, I'll throw you right to the floor, get it?" Kanda warns with a glare as he steps inside his room, not bothering to turn on the lamp. Really, why is he even letting the Sprout to sleep in his bed? But it's winter and the stupid bean would probably freeze to death if he slept on the floor. Kanda's room isn't carpeted, after all.
Kanda watches as Walker closes the door and tentatively walks in deeper into his room, and then he pulls his hair free from its bind. He shakes his head a bit, picks a comb from his bedside drawer, before sitting down on his bed and starting to smooth out the day's tangles in his hair.
"So you do comb your hair," he hears the brat speak again, and glares up to find Walker watching him with interest.
"Of course, Moron. Stop making stupid comments and get to bed."
The brat smirks. "Yes, mother," he replies as he climbs into the bed, taking the side closest to the wall.
"Fuck you." Kanda spats out.
"Now that sounds wrong with me in your bed."
"… Go fuck yourself then."
"Right. Very creative."
"For fuck's sake, shut up and sleep!"
"You really need to expand your profanity vocabulary and use other words than 'fuck'."
"Walker." Kanda hisses threateningly.
"Okay, okay, sorry. I'm sleeping," Walker says hastily, probably afraid he's going to be kicked out of the room.
'Well,' Kanda thinks, ' at least he knows his place.'
He feels the bed shift and when he glances back, Walker has already settled himself facing the wall. Kanda lets out a sigh, puts his comb back to the drawer and lies down, pulling the blanket over both of them before turning the other way so he's back-to-back with the bean.
Silence takes over for the next few moments and Kanda thinks Walker is finally asleep. He's still wide awake, though, not used to sharing a bed with someone is probably the reason. Then his eyes catch sight of his bedside table, where the lotus is glowing dimly.
It used to glow brighter, really. Now that the light is dim, Kanda wonders if it has anything to do with his remaining time to live. Kanda then carefully sits up and takes the hourglass, cradling it in his lap. It's now down to five petals already, and he wonders how long he would last with these five petals. Somehow, just thinking about it makes him feel tired.
Maybe he should consider to start seriously looking for that person soon, while he still has some time—
"Kanda?" Kanda turns his head at the weak call and finds Walker rubbing his eyes sleepily. "What are you doing?"
"Nothing," Kanda replies over his shoulder "Go back to sleep."
The Beansprout seems to notice the hourglass containing the lotus in Kanda's hands, and his face looks more awake and serious then. Kanda carefully places it back to the table.
"Come here," Walker suddenly says, reaching out his arms with a sleepy smile. When Kanda only gives him a raised eyebrow, the bean suddenly grabs his hair and pulls, not hard enough to hurt him that much, just enough to make him lose balance and falls back to the bed.
As soon as his head lands on the boy's right shoulder, Walker raises his right hand, buries his fingers in the other's dark lock and starts stroking.
"Oi. What do you think you're doing?" Kanda asks, half-annoyed and half-perplexed by the brat's uncalled action.
"Mana used to do this to me whenever I was… uh, you know… feeling down."
Kanda scowls. "Whatever. I don't need this—"
"Just… sleep, okay? And it's warmer this way, right?" the younger boy mumbles sleepily while the hand on his hair ceases moving, and it just occurs to Kanda that the whole time, Walker is probably half-asleep. Otherwise, he wouldn't dare.
"…I'm going to kill you,"
"Right… you can do that when the Noah takes over me…"
"Walker!" Kanda growls warningly while looking up to glare at the other, only to find the boy's eyes are already closed. "Oi," he tries again.
Kanda sighs, tired and resigned. "Che. Fucking idiot falling asleep while talking," he grumbles while shifting lightly to a more comfortable position and slips his legs under the blanket. Then he shifts to a more comfortable position and pulls the blanket over them.
He could care less now, even when his upper body was trapped in the Bean's arm in a rather tight embrace.
The warmth is nice anyway.
He doesn't notice when the brat's lips quirk up in a smile.
Right, their time might be running out, but now, at this moment, at least they're not alone. They don't feel alone. This might not be a camaraderie either of them ever expected before, but having someone else understanding your situation and be with you when most people can't is quite nice.
And just like this, even if it's only for the moment, they can forget that they're running out of time.
A/N: Uhh… was it weird? I really couldn't help myself for the last scene, coz the song's last line is "Tonight, sleep tight and build your nest upon my shoulder." Hahaha...
Please feel free to share your opinion on this, ne? Reviews would make me reeeaaally happy :)