BBS here. I just want to say that I've truly fallen in love with this fanfiction and I'm so sad to see it come to a close—but alas, there are only a few chapters left before this flower runs out of petals.

You'll find that this chapter is a lot more descriptive, artistic, and (hopefully) emotional than usual. The cause would be the music I was listening to. Remember Imogen Heap? From chapter 33?

I HIGHLY recommend listening to her music. For this chapter specifically:

"Just For Now"

On repeat.

Note: There is a flashback in this chapter in italics.

Also note that there is a ONE YEAR TIME SKIP.

000

It was a peaceful morning for September. The black gravel streets were illuminated with the soft golden light of the rising sun. A few early birds were walking down crosswalks yet were silent themselves all the same. The hush of an autumn breeze whispered through the city as Lavi's eyes flickered open. He swiveled his head right, left, down, up—reaching a hand to rub at the back of his somehow sore neck.

He glanced over at the sleeping form next to him. Allen's delicate ribcage was expanding and contracting as air cycled in and out of his weary body. His hair was strewn all over the pillows—white paint against a red canvas as his eyes flickered and twitched in a dream behind his butterfly-wing-thin eyelids. His cheeks were flushed the color of packaged bubblegum as a bit of drool painted his lips with a glossy sheen.

Another year had passed since the day Allen had thrown himself into his arms when he returned home. Another year since he sobbed uncontrollably, his tears freely dampening Lavi's shirt. Another year since he'd choked out words Lavi couldn't understand for the life of him. Another year since Allen had wrapped his thin frame around his chest—winding his spindly arms around his neck and bringing his trembling legs to embrace the safety of Lavi's waist.

They were silent the rest of that night.

They spoke to each other in glances and gentle touches. They spoke in kisses that were barely kisses. Glimmers of emotion that played hide and seek across their faces as their fingers slowly interlaced. Timid gazes, noses pressed into necks, and the brushing of cheeks…

They were silent the rest of that night.

Lavi sighed and brought a hand through his frazzled red hair. It had been so long, yet the scars of yesteryear still felt like wounds inflicted just days ago.

It took Allen a week to tell Lavi where he had been that day.

It took seconds for Lavi to pull him into his arms and kiss the living daylights out of him.

He hadn't known…

Of the pain that Allen had been keeping inside.

Of the catharsis that had set him free.

Of the chapter that had signaled the end of his and Allen's stories, and the once upon a time of their lives together.

A quiet mewl made Allen's eyelids begin to flutter before his eyes focused on the kitten that had pounced onto his lap.

"Hi, Tim…"

Lavi rolled his eyes.

That damned cat got more attention than he did.

"Hi, Allen." He spoke with a high pitched voice—imitating a now annoyed Allen as he kissed him.

"'lo, Lavi." Allen smiled, scratching behind Lavi's ears jokingly.

He knew that sometimes he neglected Lavi for his new kitten Timcanpy, but he couldn't help it! It was just a helpless kitten.

With amazingly sharp teeth.

Lavi pretended to purr when—

"OW! Son of a…"

Timcanpy was a strange kitten. It became evident when he grinned at Lavi with his giant set of shark teeth. The redhead shot the kitten an angry look, hissing in its general direction before he was interrupted by a light smack to the back of his head.

"Lavi!" Allen laughed as he sat up and made himself a human barrier before Tim could tear Lavi's face off.

"That kitten is—."

"Getting a lot more attention from you than me and it's driving me insane, Allen. How did I even let you convince me to buy that demon cat?" Allen smirked over his shoulder as he finished the classic rant his lover had developed the week before.

"Well, it's true!" Lavi sputtered as Allen stood from the sheets—his gorgeous long legs gracefully straightening as he clutched the evil, mangy, ball of teeth to his chest and walked out into the kitchen, presumably to feed said monster.

"That thing better not have rabies." Lavi muttered, inspecting the small teeth marks embedded into his hand.

He fell back onto his pillow, grabbing Allen's in the process and letting himself inhale the scent of the boy that had left him for a pitiful excuse of a feline.

The bed shifted ever so slightly as the redhead felt two familiarly thin legs straddle his waist. He decided to give Allen a taste of his own medicine and remained covered by the boy's pillow.

"Laaaaavi. Tim's feeding now, so that means we're all aloooone." A voice sang.

Silence.

"Lavi, you're being ridiculous." Allen huffed as he tried to wrench the pillow away from the man's grip.

Silence.

Unsuccessful, Allen settled for smacking the top of the pillow and sighing with exasperation.

"Fine, have it your way, darling. I suppose I'll just go see how Tim's holding u—."

The second Lavi felt legs un-straddling him, he threw off Allen's pillow from his face and grabbed the thin legs, throwing his weight to his left and successfully pinning his lover under him.

"Oh, no you don't."

A small hum came from under Lavi as he felt lips press against his. Allen was probably with him long enough to know that it was the fastest way to wipe that blasted smirk off of his face.

"Big day, today."

"Mmm…big day, today."

Today was Allen's photo shoot with a new clothing company that had begun to climb up in the ranks of fame. They would be sending someone to pick him up in a few hours or so.

The two stayed mutually silent as they lazily gazed at each other's faces—Allen unintentionally bursting out into laughter after a few moments. It was Lavi's turn to wipe that smile off of his face as he kissed Allen's lips; his lover's fading smile seeping onto his own.

"Do we have to get up today?"

"Mhm."

"Sure?"

"Mhm."

"Pooositive?"

"…"

"Lavi, stop that tickles!"

000

Lavi was the first out the door, giving Allen a kiss goodbye only to feel small paws furiously swatting at his leg.

The redhead grudgingly glared at the cat that threw him the most innocent look in return.

Damn that cat.

Thank goodness they'd de-clawed the little monster.

After closing and locking the door behind Lavi, Allen stretched his arms over his head and yawned as Tim mimicked his master, stretching his little paws out in front of him and lazily pressing his soft chest into the carpet.

Today was different in that he could stay at home for an hour or two later than usual. Usually, he'd catch a ride with Lavi to the studio but today was a special day that Lavi had made sure would be foolproof. He'd done a background check with the driver and the studio at Allen's request. Allen was relieved that he didn't have a problem with doing a few checkups with the other agency. He couldn't remember the redhead ever strongly objecting to take further measures to protect him.

Allen smiled warmly at the thought, running back into the bedroom and launching himself happily into the sheets—Timcanpy right on his trail. The kitten purred and stroked his elbow with his fuzzy head before crawling into Allen's lap. The boy absently ran his hand down the kitten's back as he sighed and laid his head back on the pillows.

He turned his head to stare at the untamed sheets with a slight indentation from where Lavi had lain. He was so good to him. He had never done him any harm. Even when Allen had so cruelly left him, he had returned because he refused to give up on him—on them.

Ever since their first meeting, Allen knew that Lavi would never hurt him like the other men that he had slept with. From the moment Lavi walked into his dingy hotel room, he knew things would change.

000

"So," Allen purred, "What can I do for you today?"

"I suppose we'll have to figure that out as they happen." Lavi smiled weakly.

"Have you ever been with another male?" Allen crooned, running the back of his hand down the man's cheek.

"No, I haven't—to be honest."

"I'll make sure it's fantastic. You'll," Allen straddled the man sitting on his bed, "never forget this night."

When Allen leaned in with his soft mouth open, swooping in for a sloppy open-mouthed kiss, the redheaded man had stopped him. With a small huff of frustration, Allen spoke.

"What's wrong, baby? It'll feel good, I promise."

"Do you want to do this?"

The boy's breath hitched at the abrupt question. His sexy façade had shattered with the innocent question.

"Wh-what?"

"Don't you get tired of men doing this to you all the time? I know I'm not your first."

"I," A long pause, "it's not like I can help it."

"Can't you?" the man asked, leaning back on his hands.

Allen had no words for that—he could barely think straight with the lack of food he'd had that week. Intoxicated with frustration and the haze of semi-consciousness, Allen smashed his mouth against his client's. He slipped his tongue into his mouth as he'd always done.

He wrapped his arms and legs around him, unwinding an arm to stroke the man's face as he continued to coax the other tongue to play. To respond.

To stop asking questions.

To stop making him hope for anything better than this.

When the man didn't respond, Allen tore his lips from the other's, not even trying to hide his anger anymore as he spat,

"What's your problem?"

"Tell me yours, first."

"Look. Do you want to get laid or not? What do you want from me? You want me to suck your dick or give you a lap dance, or what? Stop fucking around with me and let me fuck you."

"Your eyes are lying to me."

What was this man spewing? Was he mentally incapacitated?

"What?"

"Your eyes…they lie so beautifully to me."

"Look, I don't know what you came here for—"

"Do you want me to do this? Do you want to do this with me?"

"Yes, I do. Trust me, I do. I promise, just please—"

"You're lying again."

"Goddamnit, what do you want from me!"

"Shhh…" Lavi whispered as if speaking to an injured animal.

He slowly stroked the angry tears falling from Allen's eyes as he leaned in for the softest kiss Allen had ever felt.

When the boy tried to deepen it by slipping his tongue into Lavi's mouth, the man pulled away.

They shared eye contact.

Lavi leaned in for another soft kiss.

When Allen tried once again to get their tongues to make contact, the redhead retreated once more.

This happened a few more times before Allen finally gave up and sat perfectly still, letting Lavi do whatever the hell he was going to do.

A kiss. It was just a kiss…

"Why? What's the purpose of this?"

"You're beautiful, Allen."

"I…thanks, but I think we should probably," Allen snaked a hand onto Lavi's crotch giving it a small squeeze, "finish this."

"Shhhh, wait a minute." Lavi whispered, leaning in for another kiss as he wrapped his arms around Allen's waist.

It was the sweetest and most innocent kiss Allen had ever felt in his life.

It wasn't full of lust or danger. It was still and silent.

Yet it spoke more words to Allen than everything he'd ever heard in his lifetime combined.

They were kisses of affection, kisses for the sake of kisses.

Kisses of comfort, kisses that did not require tongues to prove their worth.

It was Allen's first real kiss.

It made his heart flutter and goose bumps to rise on his delicate skin.

Allen began to cry at the sensation, weeping and sniffling against those lips that were still pressed against his. His hands clutched Lavi's shoulders—wondering what all this meant. Who was this person? What was he doing? What did he think he was doing?

They spent their entire first night like that. Pressing gentle kisses onto each other's lips. Letting their fingertips trace the soft flesh of their arms and faces.

Allen eventually fell asleep against Lavi, their heartbeats mingling.

When he awoke—he was all alone again.

Was it a dream? Who was that man with red hair that didn't…that didn't do anything to him? He glanced over to his nightstand to find paper bills fanned out for him with a phone number scrawled on a scrap of paper.

It was more money than Allen could have earned from two blowjobs and a lap dance.

For mere kisses.

His tears fell again as he kissed the slip of paper and whispered the name written on it—vowing to never forget that name ever again.

000

Allen felt stupid when he began to shed tears at the memory.

Stupid redhead—always making him cry.

He rubbed at his eyes vigorously, blushing when Timcanpy began to meow and cry on his lap. He evidently felt the strong emotions washing over his owner.

Allen laughed and picked him up, nuzzling his nose against the kitten's.

"Oh Tim. What am I going to do with you?"

A meow.

Another laugh.

"Oh goodness, I'm not supposed to be crying. It'll ruin my entire face." Allen chuckled, wiping the last of his tears.

He set the golden kitten on the sheets before heading into the bathroom to wash his face and prepare for his photo shoot.

Sunlight seeped through the curtains and into the room.

000

Pfftt. B'awwww. Touching blast from the past.

Just want to thanks everyone again for the wonderful reviews and support. I'm truly touched by everything you guys do for me. I honestly don't think this would've gotten past chapter 1 if it weren't for all your kind words.

I can only hope there will be more kind words to come.

Thank you.