Title: C'est Dommage

Pairing: Kanda/Lavi, Lenalee/Allen

Rating: PG-13 for language, sexuality, derogation, and crack

Disclaimer: DGM belongs to Hoshino Katsura et al

A/N: (Very Epic) High School AU; the one where Lavi thinks it's smashing, Walker thinks it's lovely, and Lenalee thinks it's an astonishing representation. True, Kanda thinks it's stupid, but nobody ever listens to him. Aka The Birthday Fic.


Just so we're clear, this is the day the very earth stood still.

"What. The fuck. Is that." Seriously. Whatthecrackerjack.

So that we're very clear.

"Aw, Yuu, you sound so mentally distressed."

Clearly suicidal, get it right.

A vein in Kanda's forehead bursts into oblivion, and he can almost see his innards spilling all over his front door. He knew it. This is how he shall die.

There is a not-so-subtle interruption to his would-be death.

"Is Kanda on the line? Did he come back from that job yet? Oy Kandaaa, can you hear meee? I have something truly important to ask of you! Are you ready?" Never, you idiot. "Did you bring home takeaway?"

Kanda quickly hangs up the phone, tempted to crack his mobile in two but opting for a more practical approach.


The cardboard figure of that fucking jackass is still out there tainting his stoop, along with his mobile, buried soundly in the flowerpot. Kanda is in the middle of his bed, cradled in his sheets and mink blanket (though it be summer, he can be quite coldblooded), safe from prying eyes and annoying pop singers spilling from annoying technology that he can't even wrap his intelligence around half the time to begin with.

At that thought, he sends off a quick prayer in hopes that Lavi will not get it in his head to seek Kanda out at his flat where he'd most likely be as opposed to Theodore's house where he'd least likely be. The mobile is one thing. Knocking on Kanda's door is one fat, juicy another.


His fingers twitch.


Fuck. He forgot to disengage his doorbell.

Who the fuck gave Lavi legs, anyway?

He grumbles to himself and throws the mink blanket over his head. Suffocation may not just be a pipe dream after all.


The next thing he knows, his room is being positively violated.

"Happy Birthday, Yuu!" Lavi and Walker trill from the door, which had obviously been picked open without a second thought as to whatever heartfelt feelings Kanda may have on the subject.

Kanda unravels himself from the blanket, huffing and pointing his finger askance. "First of all! Who the hell gave you permission to call me that, Walker. Second, granted, I'd locked my doors on purpose. But that does not give you leave for breaking and entering."

He wonders if Scotland Yard should remember them.

Walker gulps, hair standing on end probably from his scooter ride. He claps his hands together. "I gather you've had an uneventful morning?"

Insert dread silence here.

Kanda grunts and rolls himself back into a little ball, his cheeks the only parts visible through the gap. He hopes they take it to mean I shun you people.

But it's just too bad things never work out that way.

His bed jounces. "Yuuuuu. You left little ole me outside for all our fellow tantric Brits to see. Aren't you in the least embarrassed?" Hoppity hop hop.

Kanda grunts in reply. Lavi will talk, and then Kanda will eventually tell him, along with that ruffian, to go to hell. And then he will not get to sleep because they are ruffians, which by definition means that they like to be Loud and No Good for his otherwise mild-tempered blood pressure, too right.

"What's with the sour 'tude, bro? You gotta admit, I'm full of ideas."

"It was your best yet!" Walker simpers, probably melting all over Lavi's shoulder.

"I declare to differ," Kanda asserts.

Someone gets too close to his face and he adjusts the blanket a little in order to see that it's –

Walker, dangling Kanda's treasured beads. He frowns. Walker smiles. "I've seen you wear these. I've only seen them up close when you're trying to beat me in sport. I like them. They look blessed. Are they blessed? I think Cross has something like it. Are these a family heirloom? Did your father give them to you? How is it that you never talk about them? Your family, I mean. Now that I realize it more, how are your brothers? The last time I saw Daisya, he was trying to pressure his girlfriend into playing rugby. Cor, that is asking for it, surely. I tried once, but I, um, hurt myself. Not asking my girlfriend – I mean, playing rugby myself. Withacovenfortroubledyouths. Would you like to see the scar?"

Kanda remains quiet, a trait he picked up around the same time he received those beads from his . . . He grumbles and attempts to roll over to face the wall. Walker prevents him.

He doesn't know exactly what to say that would be appropriate for this sticky situation.


"Unhand me, man-child!"

Kanda lets a moment pass before he assesses his, er, rather unruly discontent.

"No offense, mate? You've never let him into your lair before. You know how itchy he gets in creepy environments-es," Lavi says, pulling his hand back after Kanda's bared his teeth at it. They both look at Walker who's milling around certain objects that no one in their right mind should ever find scintillating, by far.

But as they both can see, Walker finds everything downright mesmerizing.

This is what happens when you let the circus freak loose into decent culture.

"What's this?! Aw, it's cute! It goes in and out!" Click clickity click.

"Uh, Allen, that's a pen."

"Oh, wouldn't you look at that! It sparkles. I adore sparkles!" He makes the necessary sound effects Walker-style. "Once upon a time, Cross took me to a fair after my father di – after my father's accident. It was like Candyland, only better!"

"Allen, we know you crash landed here from a galaxy far, far away - but that's an hourglass."

Kanda counts to twenty just to make this a little less abrasive. "Walker, have you taken your Ritalin today?"

Walker sounds like he is just about ready to fire spitballs at Kanda's snuggled butt. Kanda's lip twitches uncontrollably. He really is trying to maintain a semblance of patience and Lord knows peacetime, really. For the sake of this planet.


Walker picks up something else, cheeks all aglow with infantile piss and vinegar. You know it when you see it.


He reels back, eardrums contorting or doing whatever eardrums do when you're suffering complete trauma. He quickly unravels himself from the blanket.

Come on, come on, get on with

"I thought you said you didn't like anime?"

Ack - it.

He buys time with a swiftly accurate bodyslam to the bed, the body being Allen Walker and his particular expression of paradise lost.

"Quick, Lavi, secure the evidence and run!" Kanda says, pinning Walker down and offering to suffocate him as a bonus.

Lavi does what he's told, singing the theme song to the anime that Kanda had been using for very proper educational purposes and not because Kanda actually likes that stuff.

Anyway, Lavi does what he's told, whistling and holding the DVD case up for the whole invisible audience to see, doing some weird skipping thing that Kanda will have to grill him for later. Really. Flamboyant arse. Whistling better than Kanda ever has.

Once Lavi's out the door and probably molesting the cardboard in his own image, Kanda is free to do as he pleases.

He would have made a bid for the pillow . . .

"Hm, Kanda?

Kanda looks down at him. "That anime, it's Lenalee's, I mean, it's not my fault she has decent taste, shut up, you." He's not being defensive. He's not! It's just, all his defenses have stored themselves up!

Walker gives a wicked smile and laughs in an even wickeder way. "I'll tell you what else Lenalee might lend you – come closer and Lavi won't have to know. Shhh."

You know, this might be a great idea. In fact, Walker is wearing that shit-eating grin he tends to get when he's plotting something that you would normally think he's not quite capable of. Not quite.

Kanda lowers his head anyway to hear it.


A long round of expletives follow, atomic fusion really, and Kanda just about blows a hole through his wall in an attempt to, uh, kill somebody.

But that Walker is a slippery little bugger.


He is still raving on by the time Lavi is showing Walker how to treat Kanda's quasi-sitting room like a gymnasium. Walker is doing a cartwheel. Lavi cannot do it. He grows so excited with himself that he asks Walker to manhandle him into a cartwheel position.

Kanda grumbles over making his room nice and presentable before he must administer some hard ruling.

"Bookman! Brat. Check yourselves." Kanda waves Walker away and puts his hands where they belong on Lavi's hips. "It's like this." He sneers over his shoulder. Walker remains quiet.

Ah, the sound of submission.

Of course, his eardrum is still wet with Walker's saliva, and he's not about to let that go so easily.

Ah, vengeance, you delightful thing you.

"So I've heard Lenalee rambling her bit on the hospice?" Kanda starts, already primed to deliver the final blow. Not too fast now. Walker hums in query. "Yes, she's been – Lavi, you're supposed to use your core – been pinning her hopes on traveling to do quite a lot of volunteer work." Walker hums louder and Lavi struggles to not break Kanda's nose. "She hasn't told you? That's surprising, for you to be so close to her and yet a burden. Perhaps she believes you can't possibly understand her motives. Lavi, bloody hell?"

Lavi appears to be sucking on something upside down. He garbles something. Herm.

"As I was saying, Walker, you mustn't expect her to wait around for you. Because she won't." He steps away since Lavi is doing perfectly well for someone who supposedly has no idea how to use his body like that. He also steps away to better view Walker's reaction.

It's not as if he gets off on this sort of thing.

"Kanda! Y-you ignorant pottymouth!"

Kanda nods.

"You blistering prat!"

Is that the best he can do? Very well. Kanda nods.

"What food do you have in here? I'm eating you out of house and home!"

Not Kanda's expensive candies! Er. That is, Strangely Acquired Things.

"That's what I was tryin' to tell ya, Yuu. Walker came over for the sole interest of raiding your kitsch. So sorry, mate, looks like you're gonna have to tie him down on account of his rage."

Kanda looks at Lavi, who's busy walking around Kanda's rundown couch with his hands. He does a lap, a cartwheel, and lands like he's throwing wishes to the crowd.

This birthday has stopped being anywhere near funny.


Or cute. "Walker. Put the udon. Down. No. Noooo! Don't you dare eat the last cookie - !"


Oh, this is a turn of events.

"Police? Hullo, hullo. Is this the plod? There is a murderer trying to kill me. He is using his chopsticks. I think this would deserve the strictest death sentence, don't you agree?"

Kanda and Lavi stare at Walker as he tries to pretend he's not speaking into the phone on the wall.

"Walker," Kanda begins pleasantly, "there is no phone connection." Hmph. He turns around with his chopsticks and marches to his bedroom, slamming the door and hopefully pissing off some people a few miles away.


"Yuu, come out! It's your birthday! We have plans!" Lavi says.

"No we don't," Walker says.

"Spontaneity, Allen, spontaneity!"

"Cor! I can carve my name right into the wood! Lookit, Lavi!"

"That's bloody awesome. Why didn't I ever think of that?"

"Because your left arm isn't bloody paralyzed, that's why."

"Allen, how does that make any sense? You strop!"

"Okay, so, once upon a time I had an accident with, er, I don't quite remember. I must have blacked it out."

"I hear ya, mate, I hear ya."

"And like, here I am realizing that my arm is plain useless! Ag! It made waving a royal - "

"Er, but it's not. I've seen you out and about with your bird. Reckon she likes it when your hand taps – "

"Pardon," Kanda peeps.

They fail to comprehend the Tone.




"I've just carved all our initials inside a heart."

"Lemme see! Ah, that is a hearty heart. I can appreciate a heart that size. But four sets of initials? You're such a softie, Allen."


"Uh, what does it mean? 'Cause I gotta hand it to ya, I don't know if a foursome is a bit frowned upon." Tiresome, the word you're looking for is tiresome.

Huff! "It means we are very loyal friends and I would die for any one of you. But hopefully it shan't come to that. The worst I will do is become a pig farmer, and that isn't so bad, is it?"

There is a disturbance past the door. Perhaps some hands-on contact.

"My ass, you swine!" Walker cries.

Kanda gets sick of the buzzing in his ears and throws open the door. Walker and Lavi spill right in over his feet. He looks down his nose like the doting miserly master he is. Lavi's hand is practically caught in the cookie jar.

"We're getting the celebration over with. Then we shall no longer be friends. Deal?"

They are more than happy to present him his cardboard gift again.


Kanda says that twisters shall spin in Britain before he will ever let that, that, that evidence of shitty technology stand before him as if it has a right to. For fuck's sake, it's Lavi. But it's not! It's creepy. Creepy, he says! And it's Lavi.

Lavi promises that Kanda will see the light of day in due course!

Kanda promises that he will have Lavi's balls in a sling by the end of the day!

They will have to compromise in the next few hours, Allen suggests. He ducks.


On the way out of the inner harmony of his flat, Kanda forgets he is wearing chopsticks in his hair. In theory, this shall be the death of him.


They won't admit to where they're taking him but instead bombard him with questions about his part-time job and what his loveliest fancies might be.

"Walker, you're going gay again," Kanda warns him.

"I am British" is his simplest explanation on the subject, looking like he's about to commit a Very Big Sin.

But he does have a point.

Fuck, Kanda is British too. FML, he thinks.

"I require tea!" Kanda shouts as he surges through the open door of the shoppe with the pre-war decor. (He likes this shoppe because it is spelt that way; free pasties have really nothing to do with it, really.) He knows better than to cut the queue, though. Walker is for Pain. Tea is for Pleasure. Must. Cut. Queue. Warning: Patience Disabled Indefinitely.

The idiot who looks a lot like Lavi tosses a banknote to the madam and the madam tosses back a tea satchel.

Apparently Lavi is for Apparently Underhanded.

Kanda reaches for it with grabby fingers, but all Lavi does is wink and carry on, swinging the satchel round and round. Kanda watches it and grows dizzy. He almost goes into a tizzy.

"That's mine," he bemoans.

"It's not yours until I give it to ya" comes his shitty reply! Then: "Patience, ye olde grasshopper."

Kanda (almost) chases them down the square with the chopsticks like daggers in his fists.


"What the bleeding hell am I supposed to do with these?" Kanda bemoans again, tapping the chopsticks against his temple. He feels a bit peaky. Walker is trying to pick the knots out of his hair as they walk. Kanda's hair, not his own.

Luckily he is not having much success because it would be akin to bloody bumfuck treason if Kanda should ever let him. And Kanda only lets Walker touch his hair once in a while because Walker, being you-know-what, is honestly too skilled at it and should probably consult with Lenalee's therapist. Anyway.

"I will stick you," Kanda warns.

Walker says that most people like getting their hair done.

But Kanda is not like most people. (Not lying, but definitely is.)

But Walker says that Lavi likes it. (Definitely not lying.)

But Kanda says that Lavi is a tramp. (Definitely, definitely not.)

But Walker says that they are all tramps, in their own special ways. (Why you fucking tramp, then.)

So Kanda concedes defeat.

He rather likes getting his hair done.


But it gets badly in the way when Walker is fussing with Kanda's split ends – what the fuck are split ends? – and hence becomes an inconvenience when Kanda starts hissing for his chopsticks back.

He is slightly tempted to tell Lavi that the mod goddess look is so last season.

You wish.

Presently, Lavi is strutting his man thighs in front of Lenalee's front door, chopsticks secured into his shaggy French twist that might be too French for Kanda's taste.

"Walker, I am trying to slap him here. Hold off on the hair for just a minute."

"But it's so soft!"

"Yes, it's called bathing. You should do it sometime. Alone," he adds quickly.

"But it's better than Lenalee's! According to this, I don't think she even knows what to use on her hair! What do you use, Kanda?! Tell me your biggest secret!"

"Bar soap."

Lavi drums the chopsticks against Lenalee's front door. Komui answers by way of cracking the door open, snagging the chopsticks, and clicking the door shut as if this should be expected by those who sleep with Crippling Guilt.

"Oh no," Walker says, possibly more in response to Kanda's biggest secret than to Komui's show of Reposed Devastation.

He does sound a bit crestfallen about the bar soap.

Fool. Kanda switched hair care routines long ago. (You can find female shampoo in any decent drugstore. Try Wen, as seen on television.)

But back to this abysmal reality. Lavi stages a coup against the grooves of the door – something about your sex is on fire - and Komui answers again, sticking his head out to scrutinize whatever Lenalee shall be associating with today. They can hear Lenalee stabbing him in the back of the knee before Komui relents to letting her out of her cozy cement block. Lenalee pauses when Lavi asks if she's got any hair shit, and instead of answering him, she boots Komui back to his office. Suffice it to say, the loon has learned how to dodge after many years of the same scenario. Though surely he could use some Wen himself these days.

"Komui, you're insufferable!" she breathes. "I've tried going out with Lavi. He's insufferable too!" She's clearly breathing too much. "My god you men!" She huffs and slams the door behind her, effectively cutting off whatever else Lavi's about to say. It's probably nothing important. (Somebody's in trouble.)

"You! Lavi, why didn't you pick up your mobile? I've been ringing all morning long! And you," she points to Walker, "have you broken yours again? How many times do I have to fix it for you? I'm never taking another one of those bizarre tools of the trade courses ever again so help me God." Walker pulls a sad face and Lenalee hands the chopsticks back to Lavi. (The chopsticks are back. Oh hooray.) Lavi lights up; she does not.

"And you!" she says, turning to Kanda. "I! Oh, it's you, Kanda. I didn't know you were coming straight here. That does change a few things . . . Hm," she smiles, "so be it. How are you? How was your job this morning? I know you don't approve, but happy birthday." She takes her time in wrapping her arms around him because she knows that he'll let her. The difference is that he'll return Lavi's hugs while he can't even muster the courage to return hers.

He goes red around the ears and glances away so that Lavi won't see the red entering his cheeks. So be it.


Lenalee is swinging a crocheted purse that is purported to have the high-tech infrastructure of a spaceship (but that's the geek grapevine for you). When Lavi asks her if there's anything to worry about inside of it (Kanda quietly seconds this), she humbly nods and claims, "I'm glad you should ask. My brother gave me mace and pepper spray."

"Why both when one can do the trick just fine?" Lavi says, rubbing the poor excuse for hair growth on his chin, and possibly walking into a trap.

"The mace, for your information, is for you. Brother says you can handle the heavy doses."

"Shucks, Lena, I just don't know what to say."

"The pepper spray is for him."

They all look at Walker. Walker has his eyes trained on a funny-shaped cloud in the sky. Kanda arches an eyebrow.

"Brother says it's just about the only thing Allen can handle. It's a pity, really, thinking my caring – Kanda I see that - boyfriend a coward. Do you wonder if we can use the pepper spray as a topping? I fancy some pizza. I know just the place!"

At the mention of pizza, Walker immediately trains his eyes on something worthier: Lenalee's leg. His ears do a wiggle that scares the shit out of Kanda. It all happens too fast. In the next minute, Lenalee is dragging Walker across the pavement, her white stockings (with the, uh, grunge bows on them) falling down to her ankles. She puts her hands to her hips and they all stare down at Walker who's wearing such an idiotic expression of spotted turmoil.

"I have never been a coward in all my life!" is what he is saying.

And that, too, remains unimportant.


They continue the argument into the pizza place Lenalee keeps raving on about. They're accosted with cheap smells fashioned from Italy. Cheap smells but not cheap pizza. Lavi offers to pay, but Kanda is the one with the money. Frankly, he forgets these things because he is, not sorry to say, not hungry. His motor does not require fuel at this time, etcetera. Lenalee grumbles on about madmen now, that they're rebellious against the very nature of adulthood. "You're soon to live on your own, for pity's sake!"

"I already live on my own," he tells her as she coughs up a few banknotes. He looks at the grimy menu.

"I'm talking to Lavi."

"Of course. Lavi. Listen up, Lenalee wants to say something that's going to change your life forever." He does a double-take.

Lavi somehow had gotten his hands on the chopsticks. What goes through his mind when he's busy losing it is beyond Kanda's own imagination. Lavi is currently dangling them from under his top lip. Kanda, for one, is not about to forgive him for that.

It ruins the lacquer. Ew.

Lenalee lets out a squeal about how cute or stupidly cute it is; it's absolutely devastating. Maybe that's what Lavi had been doing with the chopsticks against her front door. "Lavi, honey, please don't entertain Allen that way. He'll want it all the time, then. I can't hold a candle, I can't."

And of course, Lavi decides that sticking them up his nose poses a nicer way of entertainment.

Kanda is about to have more than one fatal seizure here.

Walker whines, slams down his menu, and declares that he shall have half of it. Then he nods along to his own explanation, going on about Cross paying him up for a bet from last week.

"You didn't tell me about that," Lenalee says.

"Because I am a coward, I must be too afraid to let my girlfriend know all about my awful winning cheats," he says, turning the other cheek.

They gawk. Kanda too. Then they're politely yelled at for holding up the queue. Kanda forges onward, ordering one slice and possibly having a newfound respect for kids like Walker; those kinds of people who rely heavily on airs of deviance and defiance. This makes things more, how should he say, mind opening.

"Oy," Kanda says. Walker looks blankly at him. "Pay for this." And then Walker, without turning any such cheek, gladly pays for it, albeit somewhat forcibly.

Ah, MLIA, he thinks.


A brief stint in the washroom is open invitation (when, when, when is this ever open?!) for Lavi to lock the door behind them while Kanda is at the sink, cooling his face. He stops for a moment to look through the cracked mirror before rinsing out his mouth. He spits.

"You're getting all wet," Lavi says slowly, hugging him from behind.

"You smell like peppers. Sausage," Kanda adds quickly.

Lavi breathes a pizza-laughter smell into his nape that just makes Kanda's inner thighs clench. "So do you," he says. Lavi kisses his neck and Kanda must fall for the intrusion.


Lavi has a thing for the Sun. No, not that sun. Though that would have made it more bearable. How bearable? He'd have a tan without freckling, without burning, the lucky bastard.

Damn it, Kanda forgot to punch him in the balls in the washroom.

This is how Lavi makes friends, if you are indeed unlucky or thick or just fucking brainless enough to fall for that sort of superficial crap. (Which Kanda does, tch.) Yes, the Sun is how he makes friends. (How he manages to keep them is another matter entirely.) He'll ask you if you know it, and then drag you in anyway with mention of naked -

"Hey, Yuu!"

"Shuddup, Lavi."

"I didn't show you page three for the day!" Kanda can sense that underlying accent.

"Page three?" Lenalee hums.

Kanda snorts and opens a different newspaper (for the comics, but no soul on earth will ever know that); he pretends to snort at something controversial outside of Lavi's tendency of putting page three on display for those who might not be too privy to its splash of –

"Breasts!" Walker calls out, voice cracking like a prepubescent mongrel. Kanda sighs and licks his finger to turn a page. Needless to say, the café descends into the annals of Silence - how Kanda would like to deck the halls in celebration!

After a few moments of muted embarrassment, Walker grows the balls to wave away the Sun in Lavi's arms and distract Lenalee with the story of Kanda's pen that went click click click!

Lenalee is not that swayed. "I want to see," she says, tapping her palm as a sort of quasi-sign language.

Kanda balks behind his comic strip of mayhem; Walker drops his strawberry tart into his lap; Lavi does a very good job at reacting with only a devil-may-care grin.

"Wanna see, do ya?"

"Oh aggro," Walker chirps somberly. He mumbles on about his girlfriend blah blah dark side blah blah help.

"I did say. Please hand it over. I would like to see if they represent us women. In a healthy manner."

All right . . .

He looks at her disbelievingly. "Are you sure you're not gonna scrap it right when I hand it over?" He's still smiling like a moron, nonetheless.

All right, it's high time Kanda got himself some new friends. Maybe he'll get Komui to clone him or something. There's always hope.

"Lavi, please, don't patronize me with your resilient need to protect my innocence. My brother does that just enough for two of me, thank you. Pass the paper."

Walker looks like he'd be very happy to have two of her. Then his face darkens and this is probably what he means by dark side. He must be weighing the consequences.

Kanda turns a page, unfazed.

Lavi makes a show of mulling over the finer details, taking a nanosecond to memorize the page before –

Lenalee laughs. "Allow me to be the judge of that."

Walker flushes like a passion flower while Kanda accidentally rips the page with the coolest comic in half. Ffff god bleep damn bleep mother bleep bleep.


Fucking A.

She lifts the page in midair, tilting her head to make the process much easier, a few people behind her ogling her and the page together. Yes, Lenalee is staring at a pair of breasts, which Lenalee is soon sizing up to her own.

Kanda has to put his foot down now, you understand. "Oy. There are idiots behind you. Want me to set their necks at a different angle?"

She looks up and smiles graciously. "I shall take care of it. Thank you for your offer, Kanda, I know I can always count on you. Here, this is your present." She passes the page to him. "Happy birthday twice!"

He gives a cursory glance at the angina-inducing nipples. He clears his throat in order to seem obviously stable and so not buggered by this. "I'm getting the real present later, right?"

They won't stop laughing at him and they say stuff like, what do you think that was on your doorstep?

That's it; he's getting new friends starting tomorrow.


Before he can forget about getting new friends tomorrow, he borrows a pen from the waiter who serves them hot water for Kanda's tea. He scribbles it on the back of his hand; some ink runs onto his fingertip so he reaches over to wipe the excess onto Walker's face.

"Great, I look like Harry Potter's cousin," Walker says.

No. Don't flatter yourself.


They're sitting decently and enjoying Kanda's tea and eating mint chips like candy when Walker seems to come out of a reverie and abruptly announces, "Do you sometimes ever feel like we were once destined for greatness?"

They all turn to contemplate page three on the coffee table. Walker orders a stack of caramel whatsits and Lavi fingers the newest piercing in his nose. Kanda wonders if Lenalee might be thinking the same thing he is.

But she picks up page three, folds it into many sections, and sticks it down her shirt.


An hour later, after numerous cups of unidentifiable tea leaves in order to drown away his sorrows, they come upon a game of cricket in Regent's Park. Walker suddenly thinks he is God.

"Get fat," Kanda says, turning his nose up. He refuses to play that game.

"Lenalee, help me get him to plaaay."

"Allen, this is Kanda's day. We should – "

"You're the perp who gave him the naked boobies!"

Kanda watches her fold her arms and shift her weight as if to say, just be happy you've got mine - Ffff brain damage. Lavi tries to roll tobacco against his thigh and Kanda bumps into him on purpose. It's all around grand fun, this is. Lavi blubbers about his baccy and how he'll never find love again!

Walker stutters to make amends. "I whip in this game, I must admit! Please humor me and play a short round! Lavi, I know you're on my side."

"Or we can play rounders?" Lavi suggests. Kanda punches his hip and Lavi is forced to hop away the excruciating pain. He unbuckles his trousers to check for any substantial life-threatening contusions.

"It is up to Kanda," Lenalee says like a parent.

Kanda nods in agreement, modestly shaking out his fist.

Walker mocks him.

Kanda immodestly shows him his other unmarred fist.

Walker looks over Kanda's shoulder and lets out an ear piercing scream that might register on the Richter scale.

Or something close to that.


Shit. Kanda knows that blood curdling voice from the blade of his sword.

"Road, love! Your greenhouse project! Are you stalking that boy again?"

That damned voice, too.

They all turn to see Tyki Mikk's niece skipping across the grounds with her summer dress undulating like bunches of clouds against her scrawny legs. Even with those legs, she still seems to have a superhuman command over the shiny new heels the Mikk must have been manipulated into purchasing for her and for the rest of her (human?!) doll collection.

Road launches into Walker's arms (the dumbfounded idiot) and molests his face with kisses. Or what could be loosely translated into kisses. Like Hell's Angels, that.

Kanda is also dumbfounded.

"It's a bug project," she calls back, gloating and smiling evilly.

"Y-you like bugs?" Walker asks, kind of blindsided still and totally being stupid for pressing the issue further. He should flick her off like a bug.

But he doesn't because he clearly wants to be added to her human doll collection.

She's clasped her arms around his neck like an anaconda. "Oh no, I love them. My favorites are the monster green ones that blend into their surroundings and then ambush their prey. Rawr! Don't you think?" She kicks up her heel in a show of true feminine prowess.

Kanda and Lavi share a significant what-the-crazy-crackerjack look.

"Er, you don't look the type," Lavi says cautiously.

Road adopts a mangled-fang look. "And what type are you, Bookman Junior? Apart from your uncanny ability to imitate a squirming worm in the dark."

Lavi blanches. "H-how d'you – that's – at least I don't go screaming at the sight of spiders!" he says very uncautiously.

It's Kanda's turn to blanch. "Pardon." Memories of The Incident come rushing in. He presses his lips together in a fit of disorderly conduct.

Road narrows her eyes at Kanda, locking on target. "I have a fully grown tarantula. Would you like to come by one afternoon to see it? His name is Wisely. I'm sure he'd like to be your bestest friend."

Kanda breaks into a sweat. He blames it on all that tea. He doesn't know exactly what to say to the Strangest Minion from Children's Limbo who makes his split ends curl in such a very bad way.

That is not to say he doesn't know exactly what to do.

He turns in the opposite direction and makes a quick run for it, ignoring the Mikk's well-wishes for him on this glorious day.


Somewhere between them catching up with him (sans Addams Family) and their ride to the Cambridge area (which Kanda refused to pay for, fuck you very much), they have decided to make the most important decisions for him, particularly when concerning the extracurricular activities that Kanda is never amenable to doing. They've got it in their heads that they are boss and should be addressed as such. That they are couth and boss.

It is truly degrading.

Lavi likes this current fair trade of name-calling.

"Asshole," says Kanda.

"Glorybox," says Lavi.

"Whatdidyousay," says Kanda.

"Don't mind him, Kanda. His ego's all butthurt by Road's gratuitous amount of, er."

"Inside knowledge," Lenalee whispers to Walker in the middle of talking to an attendant for the mature act of punting along the river.

"Yeah, that. Come to think of it, how would she ever know about Lavi's phobia? Or Kanda's phobia of spiders, for that matter? Weird."

"How would you bloody know about – ?" He cuts himself short. Walker stares at him. "Er, what are you talking about, anyway? Budge on." Walker blinks, gets a clue, and steps onto the flat boat. Bloody bugger. The lot of them! Kanda pinches the bridge of his nose. He gives Lavi a glance that screams you are a wanker.

Lavi screams back at least I wank off.

Oh I wank off.

How much and can I get any souvenirs.

Kanda pretends that he didn't understand that last look and grapples the pole from Lenalee who is at heart, a fighter. They're the only ones on the boat and probably the only ones with the strength to deal with loved ones who probably don't deserve to be so loved.

He feels he can trust her. Slightly.

"How dirty do you think this water is?" he asks her.

"Plenty. I wouldn't recommend drinking from it."


"But I suppose if you had to . . . "

He'd rather drink his own piss after going on a bender through Scotland, thanks.

He reads the back of his hand and hides it when Lenalee happens to show a keen interest. He points for her to sit down.


Halfway down the river, Walker's mobile begins to ring a very apocalyptic Regina Spektor song.

Kanda nearly jumps in to escape the sounds until he realizes that he actually likes this song.

Dance Anthem of the 80s. Don't hate.

Though he will hate Walker as much as he pleases. "You said it was dead."

"Nah uh. I said it wasn't working," Walker says.

"Allen! You've had it this whole time?" Lenalee wails.


"Not oops, squirt. Be confident in your mistake of all mistakes. Look, Kanda's gonna kill you now. Better to face him than to give him your backside. Believe you me," Lavi is saying.

"F-fair enough," Walker says, flipping his phone open. The top hangs off its hinge.

Kanda forgets to stop the boat with the pole. Another punting group scrapes by, running their mouths about lack of safety and silly tourists and what does that pretty one think she's doing?

Kanda eyes them down and they pass fully by.

He then eyes the three on his boat who are looking at him as if to say you're the pretty one who doesn't know what she's doing.

"What might the reason for the phone be?" he asks curiously (to change the fucking subject that they've gone over at least fuckteen times).

At the friendly tone, Walker gives pause. "Ummm."

"Goddamn it, Walker."

He holds up a finger. "God's last name isn't damn it," he sings.

"God has no last name, wiseass."

"I gotta give you brownie points for that, bro," Lavi is telling Walker, nudging him and chuckling. (Kanda is never letting him on his neck ever again.)

"Brownies? Where?" Walker perks up, instantly (and naturally) dropping the phone that had just started to ring again into the Cambridge River. Like that. Just like that.

They kind of just. Stare at the ripples in the water. Quietly.

"Whoops," Walker says, with a confidence this time, leaning over to decide whether or not he should jump in after it.

As if he's got a choice.

"Damn it, Walker," Kanda says – and Lenalee goes to look over the same edge, and Kanda has the cleverest idea to lift a finger to toss them both in but alas, Lavi does the job for him quite outdoing himself when he suddenly lumbers up from his corner to have a look himself, causing them all to lose their balance (however stable the flat boat must be), save for Kanda, who is very good at keeping his balance, courtesy of few gymnastics lessons as a kid (shut your trap).

So they lose their balance, causing Walker to grab onto Lenalee who lurches for Lavi's earrings but he calls out not the ears! But she grabs onto the back of his shirt anyway so that the only way to go is forward with it –

Splash gurgle gurgle.

Kanda checks his hand again, sighing happily. My friends GMH, he thinks.


He wonders how long it'll be until they –

The pole is shoved from beneath and he goes overboard like a rock off a trampoline. Right, with garishly unadulterated lame-osity.


"I hate you!" Walker shrieks, shoving Kanda away from him in the water after they've all spent a few seconds, uh, absorbing their current state. Walker swallows algae or something. Tch! Hiss! He can go swallow something else!

"I despise you!" Kanda shrieks back.

"I! Abhor you."

"Fuck you!"

"Get stuffed!"


"I'll give you cracks in your head!"

They turn to Lenalee who's giving them her I-will-be-a-lesbian-in-no-time-at-all look. She sends a wave in Kanda's direction. He rubs the filth out of his eyes. Since when does this make for a great birthday? There. He acknowledged it. His birthday.

Awesome, his heart just got a little bigger. Whoever said turning nineteen had to be difficult?

"You're right, Lenalee. I don't want Kanda to feel bad," Walker nods. She nods. "Not today, anyway," he adds slyly, trying to kick at Kanda under the surface.

Kanda hopes Walker's hair starts to streak. "I still think you're incapable of anything else aside from causing hell for those who don't give a shit."

Walker's face reads you-stone-cold-mother-fucker. Lenalee gives off a slight intonation that sounds like that's-really-awfully-too-much.

Kanda turns to feel for the boat's edge. His arm slips the first time. Falling back into the water, he gives a forced (spit and) sigh and throws forgiveness to the wind. Like, a girly throw, if you will. (Exactly the way Walker used to.)

"Tch, half my fault."

"Yup!" Walker says. Then all is normal again, Lavi coming out of one of his strange silences (perhaps he had been having a silent piss?) to give Kanda a helping hand ("Get your paws off my ass, Bookman.") and Lenalee patting his ass as if encouraging him to get onto the boat will make his heart any bigger than a rice kernel.

Tch! He'll show them!


"Kanda! Come back! W-where are you going?!"

Well, he was being serious, you know, all dripping wet like this. He'll catch cold, he will.


(What a pity he had to go back with the boat.)

People pass them on their own boats, pointing and laughing as if tourists (terrorists?) and some simply look away in that typical British manner. Kanda does not discriminate; he gives both sets the finger. They seem a bit flummoxed by his drenched confidence, or lack thereof.

Once they dock and can walk straight on steady ground without threatening each other with poles in orifices or other, the attendant looks at their clothes with a rather mild expression.

"Yup," Walker says by way of greeting. Lavi and Lenalee follow suit, and Kanda is about to give the attendant the finger when the geezer says, "You bloody kids these days, always looking for the next thrill. Whatever happened to a nice outing in the park?"

Lavi finds this hilarious, as per usual, snorting and running his fingers through the tangled mat on his head. Kanda ignores the urge. He must be reading between the lines again. It's a waste of movement. (But Kanda still wants. To. Ag.) Instead he pulls a miniature comb from his pocket.

Lavi stops snorting and they all look at him.

"What," says Kanda. He hopes he doesn't sound too found-out.


And just as he will never let Walker and Lenalee live down their pothead pastimes, they will never allow him to even think about forgetting his slip.

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!" Walker giggles, and Lavi hops on his back. They almost go reeling to the ground, but Lenalee swats Lavi out of the way so she can have a ride herself. Kanda lags behind, listening to them go on and on and watching Walker's fingers curve over Lenalee's thigh –

"Because it's my birthday, I demand absolute silence!" Kanda orders.

"C'mon, Yuu! Absolute silence is absolute overkill!" Lavi says, falling behind Kanda before jumping him. Kanda is so very happy that he's known this to happen. Which means he is prepared for the absolute worst. Which is also to say he lets Lavi have his way, once in a crappy while. He heaves under the weight of him, loafers squishing, Lavi's boots knocking against Kanda's inner thighs. He really must kill the urge!

Lavi's butt bone is not rubbing against him so well.

They choose to walk along the lesser busy streets (read as: because Kanda said so), the unforgiving sky opening up to reveal – not more wet stuff – but sunshine, precious sun and precious shine and Kanda is starting to wonder in the depths of his mind whether taking off his clothes in plain public will get him charged for indecent exposure.

He's just unloaded Lavi and loosened his collar when there is another more worldly speck of light in their midst. He flinches.

Jas and his bleached hair. Fuck, that means that punk David has got to be around here some –

"What have we here, eh?"

- where.

"Où?" Kanda says, automatically putting up an anti-rapist force field. He (accidentally!) gets behind Lavi, who in turn gets behind Walker, who in turn gets behind –

"Lenalee! Lookin' more worse for wear there," David says, stepping up from an alleyway. He and Jas share a double thumbs-down, demonstrating an overall lack of sympathy. "How's the lovin', babe?"

"You should shut your trap if you know what's good for you."

David in all his mischievous glory dares to put his hand on her shoulder. He is that stupid. In the next moment, they're all looking down at his mangled body on the ground.

"Ouch. Gotta hand it to you, China doll. Third time's a charm."

"Thirteenth," Lenalee corrects him, twisting his elbow a bit to the left.

"Owowow! All right! Uncle!"

"She can whoop the likes of youuu," Walker sings over her shoulder, sticking out his tongue. Lavi turns to give Kanda a very unnecessary wink. Kanda nudges him in the back of the knee.

How many times are they going to go over this? Lenalee slamming someone into the ground is not in the least attractive.

David fidgets against the cement. "To tell you the truth? I believe you drew blood this time 'round. Brava, gorgeous." Now that's attractive. "Oy! From this angle I can see your nippular regions! Jas, check 'em out."

Kanda walks around them, having flitting thoughts about possible gang names and where graffiti looks the best – on white or black walls? Or tattooed to some idiot's backside? He shall show undeniable diplomacy! Everyone will want him for prime minister and all that societal crap. He'll revolutionize the system!

He grinds his hapless loafer into David's ribs.

"Okay okay! All riiight. Yeesh, you dirty rotten scoundrels, stealin' my bloody thunder." Lenalee twists and David yelps. "You know this is not good for my pride, you know!"

"You know you know," Jas echoes, squatting beside his brother's head. "Twin, let's a go-go."

"Dude, where's the love? You're supposed to back me up here."

Jas chuckles and shrugs, pointing at the deficit in number.

Beat that, bitches! Uhhh.

Thank Alma that managed to stay in Kanda's head.

"Leave us alone," Lenalee says.

"From now on," Kanda adds sagely.

They nod at each other and then nod at their prisoner. David spits against the cement. "Aw, shit."

"That means until we die!" Walker adds, too.

Kanda flares his nostrils. Pfft.

"Er, Al, you mean until they die," Lavi amends, swinging his arm around him. "You glamour guys need a new routine."

David groans and Jas scratches his nose. Not his own nose, but his brother's, naturally. "We got dry clothes at our house, if ye care to join us."

"'Kay," Walker says, betraying them all.

"Okay," the rest of them say, Lenalee and Kanda letting David up so he can tend to his wounds. David gives Kanda the finger, dusting off his designer duds, and Kanda returns the favor, except without the kindly dusting part.

This is how they end up following the twins over to their house.


Their house being some sort of deformed mansion out of a Tim Burton film.

He never before did believe that they lived this way, or that they'd escape a witch trial in today's society. Particularly the portraits of sleeping-dead people lining one wall up and down and sideways. Hmmm.

Kanda wonders if they've got Marilyn Manson on a stereo system.

A brief survey of the hall proves this as incorrect. They have him on your average everyday gramophone player.

Jas is busy shaking out his bleached hair, jutting his hipbone out against the player. "What you got a hankering for, eh?"

"Bro, let me handle this."

"No, lemme!"


"You no!"

"No you!"

Lenalee snorts into her hand and they both turn to stare at her. They blink blankly. Kanda even blinks at her.

"I'm sorry," she says, sniffing. "I suppose I was expecting something a little more bizarre?"

"Sick 'n twisted's more like it," Lavi murmurs, scrunching his nose up at the chandelier in its bedraggled-intestinal state.

"Er, thanks," the twins say, exchanging glances.

Yeah, they expect too much, don't they? Let's get a move on with clothes of the dryer kind, please.

"Clothes," Kanda says simply.

Jas jumps to a salute. "Comin' atcha, baby blues!"

Oh fuck not that again.

Kanda holds in his embarrassment and ultimate hatred for the nickname (which is so, so uncalled for! They're dark blue, not baby blue.) in order to obtain something other than dripping shirt tails. He knows exactly when to hold his temper. Honest.

You know, just to say it, this is probably a bad idea. Though Kanda doesn't really have to say anything.


Ten minutes later Walker is running-screaming-flailing out of Jasdero's bedroom door. Kanda and Lavi peek around the corner from David's room.

"The hell," Kanda says.

Lavi whistles through his teeth. "Right-o, Allen! Got it, flaunt it! Go for the gold!" Etcetera.

"Jasdero! I said to put makeup on Lenalee! Len-a-lee. Do I look like a queer to you?! You're not supposed to answer that either!"

Kanda can't help it. He cracks up, resting his head against Lavi's arm. This is better than sitting around at home, he supposes.

"But it's makeup for the blokes!" Jas is saying, shadow falling across Walker in the corridor.

"Then what's this, hmmmm?" Walker trills, jabbing at the fake mole mark on his face.

"Eyebrow filler?" Jas says happily.

"Are you callin' me an ugly mug," Walker grinds.

Ah ha, ah ha, Black Walker is here! Kanda wipes his eyes, and it's Lavi's turn to crack up. "The fuck. HelookslikeAmyWinehouse."

"I heard that!"

They can hear Lenalee rolling around giggling somewhere. Probably on Jas's bed.

Kanda grows sober. "Walker, get that shit off you so we can leave this place."

David growls and they turn back to look for him. He's going through one of his bureaus. "Damn it to hell! Jasdero! Did you take my special tie?!"

"No way!" Jas calls.

"You are kinda lying," they can hear Walker saying.

"Don't it look good on her hips like that?" Jas says.

David hides his face in a sort of abashed tantrum and Lavi says, "I guess you won't be gettin' your tie back anytime soon. Once it's on Lena's hips it usually stays that way."

"Lavi!" Lenalee shouts.


And that is how they end up with the twins' clothes on their backs. Eventually, Kanda might add.

It took about an hour to get out of there. Even getting out of there didn't totally shake off the eerie feeling.

The twins had asked to join, and then commenced to lodging themselves into their gang that Lavi has the irresistible urge to call the Dark Order.

"It's just got a nice ring to it," he had said. No, it's stupid. It sounds stupid.

But the Noah Clan sounds far stupider.

So of course Jas rattles on and on about the steampunk clothing on their backs and how delish they look on their way to the club. How they need to promote the line and how they as working models need to look good so that their surroundings look good, too, blah blah going deaf blah. Toolongdidn'tlisten.

Oh yeah, by the by, Walker and Lenalee and Lavi want to go to the discotheque and Kanda has hardly a choice in the matter. He is tired and his nipples are itching against this weird material. Did they press it with starch or what?

"Dance your asses off," he had said, preparing to make a run for it.

They had firmly disagreed.

Presently they are treating Kanda like it is very much not his birthday. It is heartbreaking.

"I don't dance," he keeps saying, Lavi taking the liberty of dragging him along by the other neon-blue tie Kanda had borrowed from David.

"You sure could dance the last time. I never knew you had it in you," Lavi coaxes him, albeit still dragging him along.

"Your bland attempt at coaxing me is doing me more harm than good," Kanda lets him know.

"I'm not coaxin' ya. It's your birthday. Live a little, yeah? Aww, Yuu, don't do that."

"Hollah! It's your birthday, baby blues?" Jas peeps.

Kanda is meanwhile trying to gnaw his tie off. He only chokes himself further. Mind, he's still fighting that urge. Ack! Tension build up! He wants somebody to suck it!

"All right, I'll agree to go if you don't make me dance," Kanda says.

Right, he's begging.

"Especially if you don't make me dance," he begs.

David swats him on the rear. "Gotcha, cheapskate. We'll make you dance."

Lavi and David exchange high-fives and Kanda must wonder what this world might be coming to. He checks to be certain the sky isn't falling. He knows he wants to vomit.

Somehow they surround him like ravenous wolves (the Dark Order?!) and direct him toward the entrance of the discotheque. He doesn't have time to notice the name of it or if they're even able to enter. He is loath to remembering the last time he was in one.

Perhaps that has to do with a particular intake of alcohol.

Anyway, classified information is classified, so suck it.


Which is what he nearly tells Lenalee's mobile no matter the fact that Theodore is on the other side of it.

Lavi gives the time-out signal for everyone to stop gabbing.

"No, I left mine at home. Er, it's not broken. Honestly. Yes, Father, we've already agreed on a supper for tomorrow. The noise here? No, I am not going to a party. What. Ah." Well. "No, I am not going to go to prison again." Kanda looks around for help. They all give him the exact opposite. Useless-people-he-just-happens-to-know. "Father, I am wearing underwear! Honestly!" The same useless people pay full attention now. Jas gives him a thumbs-up. Kanda turns his head for privacy, listening to Theodore blubber on while painting a masterpiece of city lights. God this night.

"Eh." Is there really a point to having parents? "Je serai toujours votre enfant bébé," he grumbles, before hanging up to inform everyone of their crap gormlessness.


Entering the club is on a whole other level, like entering the afterlife. Dancing zombies and the like. Freaky shit. The tamest thing in the room incidentally is the music. O au fait.

I gotta feeling

That tonight's gonna be a good night

Then you should have told Kanda sooner. He's been wringing his hands into handrails in all that consuming anticipation.

Fffff. The beat gets going and it's all lost on him.

"Quick! Get 'im!" (Kanda gets caught on his bid for outer sanctity.)

Someone drags him down the steps, more or less losing a borrowed shoe or two. He has to go back (where he gets caught again) to retrieve them. Curse them for making him enjoy it. He watches the lights shatter across the floor, interchanging overexposure, a velvety underground - he thinks he might be going blind. (Poor Marie.) They verge onto the bar scene where people are rubbing sideways over very tall drinks. They might be a little displaced.

"Yuu's got that look on his face again," Lavi announces, and Lenalee (probably) sighs. (By god is the music getting louder or is that just Kanda's inner sobfest?)

Fill up my cup


Actually, it's . . . getting catchy.

Kanda decides to play it so couth. He can be smooth, too, you know. So he waves at his ear and acts like he can't understand their Yiddish, not now, not ever.

This kind of backfires. Some idiot is manhandling him toward the bar where there are people watching him like beetle-eyed librarians with rather large googly eyes. Ah, Kanda's most sensitive disposition! His most loyal reservations!

"Let loose, man," David is saying. He pinches Kanda at the nape and drawls into his ear, "Have a grand sucky time." Thanks for the kindness, though the posturing is a bit off-putting, eh? David claps him hard on the back and then tells the barmaid that there's a big birthday boy in the house.

It is too late. The damage is done.

"So it is, is it? I take it you're here of your own free will?" she laughs, studying their party. Kanda viciously shakes his head, sending her a telepathic S.O.S. This only makes her laugh even more, tossing up a few glasses and assuming their personal tastes.

Walker-with-his-Fake-identification-card is scrambling to get a free seat beside Kanda. He shoves him off and Walker shoves him back. "I'd like a, um."

"Lurve your earrings, sweetie," she says, plunking something as bright as Kanda's tie in front of him. He immediately hails over it and suuucks down the straw.

Oh she knows.


Jasdero screams teenspeak from somewhere behind them, and Kanda just has to look. (Maybe a human train wreck?!) But all the excitement is naught, for Jas is pretending to shoot the man who's wearing the same boa vest or whatever Jas had called it earlier. Obviously he goes insane and must next dance with the man to a song with really groovy overtones. Which causes the perfect train wreck Kanda had hoped for.

So, he guesses it isn't all for naught. True, his stomach is full of deadly butterflies.

He takes an absentminded sip of what the barmaid has sneakily put in front of him. He has a nasty shock. Then a pleasant one. And then it seems to agree with him completely. He smiles, and Lavi, having placed his chin upon Kanda's shoulder ("Holy shi - ") yells above the music (that's gotten questionably out of control) for him to come dance his arse off.

Kanda starts to remind him again –

"Hey Yuu it's [blahblahblah]!"


"It's [blahblahblah]!"

Kanda waves at his ear that's right next to Lavi's lips. What? What? Can't hear you! I guess that's just too bad then! Oh boy what a pity! Yeah!

Well, I

Need you

To want me, to hold me, to tell me the truth


In a fit of flirtation, Lavi nabs a gulp from Kanda's drink. Kanda pretends that he doesn't care. No, he really doesn't. Really. Shut your mouth. Never accuse Kanda of lying.

Kanda nabs the drink back and drapes the top with his hand. Mines, he thinks.

Walker laughs like a drunkard already, Lenalee's voice interrupts into giggles interspersed with remonstrations to either the barmaid or - are those veiled compliments? - and Lavi shrugs as if nobody can shit on his great time. The lights flash into him and Kanda shades his eyes. That's it, he's blind now. Great. So much for growing out his hair.

He essentially grows mushrooms on his barstool while the rest of them spread out to get their ya-yas on. No, he does not feel lonely. No.

Ain't no party in a sad, sad city

He drinks his drink and glares sullenly at the darkened figures having a good time. He stirs his drink and then realizes that he's almost drank it all.

Fuck. The barmaid gives him another and he's not too against it.

No, rather, he's all for it. Give him therapyyy.

Anyway, he turns again to witness Lavi carving a path on the dance floor, shaking off his tight sweater vest. He's simply unbuttoning it for air. He's sashaying his fingers through his hair. He's simply showing off. He's drawing someone near, some girl with short hair and heeled boots that'll cause her the most painful sores –

Lenalee. Lavi is dancing with Lenalee and Kanda is going to kill him after a strong bout of therapy.

Wait. No. What is he thinking? Kanda is not the jealous type. He's already gone over this with himself. Lavi is simply being a meaningless flirt and that's where it stops. The theory is not too complicated, after all. Wow, what drink is this? Maybe he should have asked the barmaid beforehand. But it's really good. What is it? Maybe he should have asked the barmaid beforehand. Wait. Did he just think that? No, did he already just think that? Goddamn it, what's in this shit?

He smacks his lips and tilts his head to view the traitors on the dance floor at a different angle. It might help.

No, it might not.


He slides his second, no?, third half-empty glass toward the barmaid. She deftly catches it before it can fall off the edge. "I dun drink!" he says, motioning at her with his arms, and it briefly occurs to him that he might be slurring just a tad. Never mind the fact it's mostly liquid chloroform with a hint of lime. She raises an eyebrow and waves him away all too thoughtfully.

"Go on, then! Have a happy birthday! Oy, before I forget, you lot, this is Mister Kanda! It's his happy birthday! Cheer him on!"

Kanda then wonders if she might be drunk. Strangers rush up to him. Cling to him. Pull at his hair. He sidesteps here and there. Avoidance tactics are avoided, evidently, and possibly useless in his professional avoider opinion.

Lady Gaga and her gagaing lyrics tickle him not unpleasantly. Just dance. He is! He's moving his feet, isn't he? He starts sidestepping backward until he reaches the Others. Hands pull, tug, trace loop-de-loops upon his holy flesh. People yodel to the cutting-edge technology that is fail!music. He shudders and the song changes yet again as he rights himself just right. Now where the hell did his collar go? Oh, it's still there! That's good!

Someone screams out of joy and may that be insanity of some kind? A particular dementia called Jasdevi?

No, he is not drunk (again), why should you ask?

"Yuu! We're over here! Spread out!"

"That's what you just did!" he shoots back at the black mass, even though he's thinking he might have just squandered away a whole fifteen minutes of his life. He searches for a familiar face, a dribble of sweat wetting him between the brows. (Man, he's got the maddest wedgie.) He swipes at it fiercely (the sweat, fortunately) and somebody just as fiercely (but not as fortunately) pinches his forearm off.

"Damn David!" Kanda shouts.

"Dude, how much did you drink?!" a disembodied voice floats out.

Kanda is pretty sure he's not talking to himself. He loses whatever was keeping his hair together. It parts, splashing everywhere – or is that his drink? He didn't bring it with him, did he? Someone else's hair flicks him in the eye. He naturally shouts obscenities and his arm is devastatingly yanked further out of the fray. He tugs back, but someone else has got to be stronger than him somehow in this mad, mad world.


"Yuu, get your gear on!"

"Did I lose my collar?! What about my shirt?! Do I need to lose weight?!"

Lavi comes into view, brushing Kanda's hair back. Kanda stands still in the middle of the crowd, pouting. "Yuu, I live for historical moments like this. Hurry now!"

Wait. Waaaait! "What?"

They get separated by a throng of male pheromones that take them over to the darkest side of the floor. Clearer flood lights come on to illuminate the expanse where all the girls have huddled together. They –

I want your ugly

I want your disease

I want your everything as long as it's free

- are dancing to this muckity muck muck.

Kanda bows his head and thinks sullenly, this is the greatest birthday EVAR.

I want your love

Love love love

I want your love

Of course he doesn't want to get too ahead of himself much too soon:

Lavi is speaking tongues again and saying come on come on, egging him onto the floor. Kanda shakes his head no. Lavi shakes his head yes.

So Kanda must wonder why he's even listening to him. He trips and Walker is there as his crutch. Not crotch, by the way. Crutch, crutch! "I'm sorry I've misjuggled you!" he is saying. Juggled. Judged? Hmmmm. Kanda has been misjuggled many a time.

No problemo, mate-o. Like Father always says, come now, we should all try to live together like masterpieces of the Louvre.

You know that I want you

You know that I need you

I want a bad

Bad romance

Kanda steps on his own toes and Walker dances away toward Lenalee, who is admirably holding her own. Well, being a former ballet dancer, that's got to have its advantages. She does a move that makes Kanda want to do it toooo. Who cares if he's seen the music video at least three times (due to a fault not his own, of course). Art to everything, art to everything.

He jogs up to the center in front of the many amused girly girls (and girly guys) to show off the fact Lavi isn't the only one who can show off. A strand of hair gets caught at the corner of his mouth. He promises himself that he will remove it the moment the song is over.

The very moment.

'Cause I'm a free bitch, baby


For future reference, when they scream take it off, it does not mean he should start ravaging some poor unfortunate (unnamed) soul in the vicinity of his personal bubble.

Just for future reference.


"You're so manly, Yuu," Lavi says, breaking off into roars of laughter all over again. He embraces Walker in a fit of spastic euphoria while Walker burps politely and cuddles Lavi in return. Motherfuckers! Erm.

"How many times are you going to say that?" Kanda says, feeling that timely headache grip the mesh of flesh around his brain. His naturally sunny disposition is not so sunny at the moment, sadly.

Somehow Kanda knew the song would come back to haunt him. He smiles despite himself, ego stroked from side to side like a feline. Ah, he showed them. Screw his delicate sensibilities. Wait, he's not swaying from side to side, is he? He checks himself and bumps into some short Italian upstart in a suit. Ooo shudder.

"I love your hair," Kanda tells him.

The short Italian flattens a hand to his blond (ghastly is ghastly) bangs, and nods perfunctorily in return. Kanda grants him passage and to top it off, bids him adieu with a nice finger wave. He is very flighty and wondering why the short Italian is also very flighty. Thus, how surprising it must be for the short Italian to pass them all a pretentious gaze before marching on, soles slamming.

Ah ha, souls slamming.

Kanda blinks at that receding ass, chewing the inside of his cheek.

Lenalee, reaching up to squish Kanda's cheeks together like an omelet, brutally interrupts his attempt at putting a hole through it. "Kanda, you have inspired me. I am so proud of you," she says, and thus clings to him. Ack. Aaack.

"I don't have the will for pride at the moment," he informs her, fighting the ultimate passion to drape against her like lazy lederhosen in the wrong place.

Naturally she must not listen, peeling off the dazzling remnants of discotheque paint from the cracks of her hands. He watches the pieces flutter to the pavement.

"That was fun, let's do it again!" Walker says.

A couple freaks are hackling and cackling and bumping into them collectively. Kanda clings to a lamp post to avoid getting his balls jumped (on). "Bloody balls," he doesn't mean to say.

He soon finds the twins cackling at him and telling him to mind the duds now, mind the duds, they're imported. (Gasps all around.) And that Kanda is hella lucky to be in their good graces, blah blah blah, Allen is wickeder than they ever expected, even after that evil rumor spill, um, Allen looks like he might be hanging over the toilet come tomorrow. (Kanda perks up slightly before perking down significantly.)

Kanda once fell into a toilet. It wasn't very fun. Let's leave it at that.

He stares at his borrowed imported shoes as they just keep walking on. His shoes walk on. They walk on. It is a merry fucking time. Also, what the treacle tart do they mean by hella.

He vows to ask Lavi this once he is good and sober and so not camp.

"Kanda, are you coming?" Lenalee asks worriedly, fists to her hips. He hadn't realized he had slowed to a complete stop in the middle of the crosswalk, thus in the middle of civilization as we know it. Horns honk and he immediately wants to be a snooty snot. Kiss this ass, he would like to say. Kiss it like this!

He thinks about this for a super long time and pronounces a warbled string of French and Japanese and maybe a tiny selection of German slurs in there for Fourth Reich purposes. Lenalee's eyes widen and she has to handhold him to the end of the crosswalk. Kanda can't hold his liquor, pish posh, wish wash, they really have no idea what they're talking about, do they?

"Everyone, I think we had better get Kanda home now." She squeezes his hand. How exciting this must be for a girl of the opposite (wait, no, yes, this is very true, opposite is opposite) sex to be squeezing his bloody brilliant and sticky hand! And so he squeezes back and she completely flips her lid and moves about three feet away. "Home! And very soon!" she announces, pointing toward the Underground.

You know, why is the Tube called the Tube?

Lavi looks back at him and Kanda has to smile at that stodgy face, chuckling just a little.

The twins part ways with them at the corner, threatening a mafia hit if these four should dare to fuck up their attire, okay, Best of British, muah, muah, chip, chip!

The chip chip (cheerio) is what makes Walker very unnecessarily concerned over Kanda's wellbeing.

"Bye, Davey! Bye-bye, Jazzy!" Kanda sings, waving gaily. Wait! Do they want their clothes now?!

Kanda starts to part ways with his state of dress.

"Say bye-bye, Allen," Lenalee tells Walker, smiling at him and then turning to point viciously at Kanda.

What? Is he really looking roly-poly? Should he go on the grapefruit?

"Bye-bye, Allen!" Kanda lets slip by the wayside. He can feel Lavi graze his front and tuck something back in.

"Oh bloody bloomers are you plastered!" Walker gasparillas.

"Allen, how many times must I tell you?" Lenalee gasparillas.

"Oh, right. Jolly Moses! Crikey Kanda, aren't you arseholed?"

Lenalee puts a hand to her temple, purse bobbing up and down like a slinky bomb. Kanda inwardly appreciates the impending boom, making grabby fingers for it.

Walker goes to bite the back of her . . . neck? Honestly there is nary a reasonable explanation for this? She seems to recall something more important than importance itself. "Oh! Oh!"

Thankfully Lavi does the honor of letting her know just how much this pains the ears and Kanda's delicate sensibilities.

"No! I don't believe this! I forgot to give Kanda his gift."

Finally! Thar be Big Bosom of Justice.

"I thought Lavi's brilliant sense of humor was my gift?" Kanda says, twirling loose hair into tendrils. They enter the station, Kanda climbing over the turnstile instead of wasting energy in manhandling it.

"Bloody bloomers, Yuu, you are arseholed."

"Lavi!" Lenalee reminds him.

"All right, there, there, Yuu, how many didja have?" Lavi puts his arm around Kanda's neck and tugs him close into a circle of truuust. Kanda shows him five fingers. "F-five?!" Kanda shakes his head and adds another finger from his other foot.



Kanda then takes out the slip of notepaper from inside his underwear, borrowed, you better believe. Lavi gapes in an unmistakable gutted way as they board the Tube, removing his arm to uncrumple it. Hmmm.

He turns a sufficient amount of blue.

Kanda smiles.

Lavi huffs in a would-be sort of way. "How the hell did you get her number before me? Have I totally and completely lost it? Have I lost all sex appeal since I claimed monogamy?!" (Commence Ball Shattering Theatre of Eunuch Horrors.)

Nein! You never had it in the first place. Wait.



They all sit down in a cluster and Walker has to budge up against an old lady. He pats her hand with a smile but then turns to them with a certain grimness that could be translated into a certain cry for help. Then he rubs his chin, considering. "Yes, I do believe so. Lavi, you are sweaty from le dance fever. Which means you are no longer appealing by law. Do not pass go, do not collect poker monies."

Lavi sniffs himself and the old lady's eyes bugger out. Wait. Could that be the same old lady that Kanda nearly run over that one time? "Hey, don't be knockin' the sweat stains, man."

"It makes him rugged and manly. Manly rugged," Kanda adds for him.

"Tha's right, it – " Lavi chokes and turns blue again. "O Yuu pod."

In the next moment, Lavi has secured Kanda's lips with his rather sweaty hand. Should Kanda understand this to be his informal dismissal from the present conversation?

Well, that was easy.


They don't know why they can't seem to get off at the right stop. Especially with Kanda all ready to leap out before the doors can even open. After the very first time, they make it very clear that the barmaid must have slipped him the biggest rape drug evar and that Lavi will be hanging onto her number from now on, m'kaaay?

Kanda makes it very clear that Lavi is still in heaps of very lovely trouble and that watching Walker and Lenalee have a good time is totally out of the question, coot.

Oops, the last part just slipped out. Now Kanda will surely get it.


Too bad Lavi knows exactly what a coot is. What a bore.


It's rather strange having to be strapped down, in fact.


Finally they are able to complete their circuit on the Tube for the third time. What a highly ridiculous name for such a well-articulated death contraption. Westminster. What kind of name is that, anyway? Kanda shall send in a complaint when he is good and sober, yes. Straight, even! Don't think he won't! Kanda never lies! The rest of the unfortunate souls on board are perhaps too content to see them go.

Oh poo, that.

Perhaps shouting at all the inglorious bastards on the street would be overkill and in poor taste? What about that nun?

He does it, earning himself a few polite curses. He threatens to use his shoe to ensure a few spectacular beatings, but as it is, they don't take to him very seriously and hurry off like prey. Lenalee groans and Walker points at Kanda, gagging on pure joy. Then Kanda has the courtesy to take off his shoe and chuck it at his head.

Good thing it's Davey's shoe. How it's finally come in handy, aside from all that unlikely dancing.

They're talking about going to some sort of convention – Kanda really doesn't follow these things. Really. He has never been to a convention in his life. Really. Please stop saying he has!

Ack, Jedi breakdown.

He skips for a while up the street toward Lavi's place, concentrating – or not – on keeping his feet firmly on the ground when they are indeed not airborne in airspace. He tries a cartwheel but has a sort of calamitous encounter with a bulldozer of a man. He's about a hundred feet tall and very angry looking. So not Kanda's type of person, not at all. The man snarls at him in an American twang to move it, that of which makes Kanda wonder just how much bad romance the man must get on a proper basis.

Well if that's not tragicomical.

"Don't worry, mate, you'll find your true love soon," Kanda tells him, looking up at him and positively beaming.

The man makes a rather disjointed animal noise and departs, arms booming at his sides.

Yeesh, perhaps he should have recommended a five-star therapist?

There is some buzzing behind him.

"Yuu! Please don't die from the rape drug, I beg of you! You can't leeeave meee!"

"Kanda! We were trying to hold a conversation with you! Weren't we?"

"I don't think we were imagining that, Lena."

"I didn't think so either! What a relief."

"Except Kanda's kinda still on the lam."

"Kanda!" Lenalee catches up with him only because he trips on a foolish cobblestone. "Fuh!"

"Fuh?" he says, tragically confused.

"Funny, Yuuuu," she says, poking him in the chest. Funny how she sounds as if she's speaking to a child.

Lavi and Walker catch up, huffing-puffing all over each other.

"I've kept trying to give this to you!" she says, going through her purse now. She nearly smacks him in the face, as always. "When I said home I didn't exactly mean Lavi's paradise resort. But you're free to do what you will," she adds, frisking around the bottom of the bag. "Oh bloody bloomers I really hope I didn't leave it at home! Especially after Komui found Allen's hairs - " She all but dumps out the contents. After spotting something shiny, she gets giggly and complacent. "Here 'tis! This is for you, to wear always."

Always, always. Okay. Now. Please to be solving the great mystery of the Tube, yeah?

She hands him that something shiny and he obviously must know this must all be worth it.

Hur hur, Kanda made a joke.

"Do you like it?"

"I do!" He shakes it even though there's really not much to shake. "What is it?"

"Um. A charm . . . " She looks down at her chest for it to tell her what else to say.

"Lavi has told you I'm queer, I take it." Clearly goss, clearly.

She shakes her head woefully and puts a supportive hand to his shoulder. "It's for your bracelet," she says quietly.

Well there's a mood breaker if there ever was one.

He pockets it with a tight nod. She smiles. "I hope you're not too inebriated, but I have a date! I hope tonight's the night!"

Then he does something really stupid and asks where, and she says the cinema, and Kanda asks if he can come (so he can put a stop to all the breeding in the cinema) and luckily they don't take him too seriously and they say he's a rather bendy third wheel, sorry.

He pretends to really hate them for it, leaving him here to blow Lavi and whatnot. Pish.

They skip off into the distance, swinging their linked arms.

To top off the rather uneventful night, Kanda decides to wave with an unwavering (ha ha, unwavering) loyalty.

Then he drops his hand and says, "My god are they drunk."




Lavi stops dead in his tracks and frames himself against the wall of a building. He points. "I knew it!"

"It was fun while it lasted," Kanda says with an air of a posh actor, putting his nose in the air and leading them to Lavi's flat. (Hopefully Bookman isn't home so they can have a substantial sha – sharp discussion about Kanda's ingenuity!)

"You're a dirty man, Kanda," Lavi bemoans, grabbing at Kanda's hair.

"Not yet," Kanda says. Not yet.


They get inside the door and are properly greeted by the likes of That Damned Cat.

"Yuu-chan desuuu!" Lavi cries. Jubbly-wubbly cute cute blah blah jubjub fffff.

It chirrs usagi desuuu, practically clawing up Lavi's leg. Baka desuuu. Suki desuuu.

Er, would it hurt if Kanda should step on its tail? Hypothetically speaking, of course.

"So you're irrevocably sober?" Lavi asks again for the thirtieth time already.

Kanda passes him a would-I-lie-to-you look.

Lavi senses this, looks up, and grins ruefully, picking up the cat in order to lay big fat smooches all over its whiskers.

Not jealous not jealous not jealous –

Incapable of jealousy is very capable of jealousy.

"Put That Damned Cat down before you get his germs all over you and then you'll get them all over me," he starts to say just a little bit.

"Why? Are we being jealous, mayhap?"

No, why ever should you ask?

Kanda goes directly to the refrigerator to head off any further questioning at this time. He is in some serious need of munchies. Hence he discovers the slight disturbances inside Lavi's refrigerator.

"What the hell are those?"


"I know that has proved to be a perfectly good answer for the teachers at school, but unfortunately for you, I may be hungry, but I'm not an idiot."

"You mean the tube of wasabi?"

"Does that footprint look like a tube of wasabi?"

"Actually . . . "

Highly suspicious, that.

"I swear I don't touch the fecking stuff! It's Gramps! Gramps eats it like candy!"

"Then what's – this?"

Lavi twitches his nose. "That, folks, is a highly suspicious deprivation of carrot."

"Even you have to admit that."

"I just did."


Lavi sits on the countertop, offering up his feet so that Kanda can pull off his boots like a fucking housewife.

So Kanda slams the refrigerator door like the housewife he is (not).

"Shhhh!" Lavi chides him, gesturing a slash across the throat.

If Kanda didn't know better, he'd think Lavi was inviting him to do just that.


Kanda slips off his shoes to go in search of this entity that Lavi is so bent on protecting with every fiber of his being!

"Yuu! Um. Wait!"

Kanda ignores him, kicking open Lavi's bedroom door. (He kind of wishes he hadn't. He kind of wishes he had been irrevocably inebriated after all.)

"Tell me that is not what I think it is."

Lavi stops behind him, oh so bravely putting his arms around Kanda's whole body.

"Really, I'm not kidding, what the fuck is that?" He sucks in all the fear in the world. He really does.

"Tell me you've seen a rabbit before?"

"I'm talking to one, aren't I? That. That's no rabbit."

"'Course not! It's a bébé." Babies in a cage, snakes on a plane. They are all the same.

Self-denial is three, two, one -

"I've never taken you for the paternal type."

"That's 'cause I'm not. Happy birthday slash father's daaaay. This is your real present."

Real present is very real and very hairy. "No. Just no." Too fuzzy for his liking!

"Wait, ya haven't seen the good part yet." And Lavi does something that might as well be written out of humanity and possibly even the far reaches of space. There is no end to this godforsaken birthday, is there?

All Kanda can do is watch in tedious (and macabre!) horror as Lavi deposits the puff of neurotic fuzz into Kanda's hand. Just one hand. Just one.

By god one too many his poor delicate sensibilities.

"What the fuck is this?! You tard, I can't care for a rabbit!"

"Relax. I hope nobody knows how loud you are in the sack."

L-lies! Kanda doesn't have it in him to spew expletives in front of this . . . rather cute bundle of tranquility.

But it's so not endearing. He's not even going to go there. Not by a hair.

He nearly squishes it in his great enthusiasm. Lavi has the sense to pry Kanda's fingers open before the deed can be done.

"I stress, again - I can't care for a. A. A." He gets a little distracted with trying to pet the damned thing without committing animal cruelty.

"Butchoo take good care of me. You don't see me wailin' wolf about it."

Akdlfjaksdjjfj. Shit.

Kanda hates truths just as much as lies. "Fine," he harrumphs. He has a feeling that pouting is not the way to start a relationship with this thing. Fathers are not supposed to pout. (Though that doesn't much stop them from doing it anyway.)

"Don't forget, he requires his daily dose of carrot. So don't kill 'im," Lavi instructs, wagging his finger at him as if Kanda wouldn't stoop to consider biting that finger off.

"You just said I take care of you fine."

Lavi raises his brow in outright perplexity. Which means he is about to go overboard with something quite unsuitable for children. "Tend to forget them carrots now and then, you do."

"I don't forget."

"Then what?"

"I simply neglect."

"That's no way to treat my sweaty manhood!" Lavi gasps. "Ack! All right, happy birthday and all that brill. Care for a shag? I've had a biggie for a whole of five hours now. I noticed you eyeing me down earlier."

L-loudmouth pff!

Kanda covers the bunny's rapidly tainted ears. "Not in front of the child," he says superiorly, getting up on his proverbial high horse.

Ah, it's good to be back, cute baby apprentice in tow and all. If it's a girl Kanda shall dub thee Lavi Usagi the First Also Known as Poor Unfortunate Soul, or for short, Miss Bunbun.

He stops in the doorway, sending a pointed glare in Lavi's big(gie) direction. He harrumphs again. "I'll be back."

"Hey. I'm curious. Whaddya gonna call 'im? I'm sure it's a boy. I double checked when they couldn't decide at the shop."

Of course he did.

In that case, Kanda shall forego the atrocity that is Lavi Usagi the First Also Known as Poor Unfortunate Soul. (Though Miss BunBun should never be completely disregarded.) Right, hmm. "Mister Terminator," he says, and then goes to spend some quality time with his fuzzy apprentice that shall grow up to dominate the world - !


Or just be really fucking awesome in it.

Kanda starts to think he should be gifted more often. Obviously he must be very good at it.

"Terminator," he tells it, "as my apprentice, your first task is to locate and destroy the uncanny representation that is Lavi's cardboard body. I shall reward you generously with cake that is carrot."

There is an amused snort in front of him, and he glances up in the weak alabaster of night. The moon cuts through the window like a veil, clinging to Lavi's naked torso against the wall and ancient molding.

Kanda holds his baby tight against his chest while it nibbles at his, oops, borrowed shirt. He thinks about Lavi's misdemeanors and indiscretions with the opposite sex (because fair has got nothing to do with it, mind). "So. Thanks," he says, feeling That Damned Cat clawing up his leg.

"Yeah," Lavi says quietly. Kanda knows that quiet.

There is an undeniable silence that is like a gaping wound, so huge and so unfixable that Kanda finds himself rushing to fix it. He looks up. Moves his mouth slightly.

And then Lavi says, "I love you." Don't you know.

Well crap.

"Not in front of the child," Kanda says. Not in front of the child.