Disclaimer: I do not own D. Gray Man, no matter how I wish I could. That privilege belongs to Katsura Hoshino only.

A/N: ... What the hell man, I'm supposed to be freakin taking my shower and going to bed, and instead I'm posting this one-shot for you guys to read. Lucky boys and girls, you are all. Now I just hope that mom next door won't wake up and throw a tantrum over how I'm late to bed again... *shudders*

Oh yeah, the italic writing and sentences are for the thoughts.

Enjoy~


To Feel Better


One morning, Alma and Kanda rose from their beds at approximately five o'clock, one grumpy and the other beaming. Still sleepy but both sharp, they sloppily slipped out of their rooms and trudged along the dark halls, their feet paddling against the cold tile with every step they made.

The latter lagged behind the former as they made their way to the frosty room in which their friends were sleeping. Alma kept – lowly – talking and talking and talking, babbling away about nothing and everything while Kanda pointedly ignored him, his face a mix between a blank stare and a scowl.

The usual routine, one would say. Except that no one else knew of this daily expedition, for every other member living here was still nicely tucked in their beds and sleeping soundly.

It was their secret, the only time in the day they had alone and together without an adult noting down their every movement.

However, this morning's repeat of all of their previous, uneventful mornings was going to be different, changed, remembered.

Due to the fact that he was glaring at the wall to his left, Kanda failed to notice the hidden gleam in Alma's eyes when he bounced back a few steps to ask him if he was listening to what he was saying.

"Che."

The other huffed, crossed his arms and pouted. "Mou, Yuu, you should try extending your vocabulary sometimes! Staying silent is bad for your social skills!"

Again he was ignored, though the near inaudible sigh that left the other may tell otherwise.

They fell silent as they approached the pillars surrounding the chamber's borders. Cold air hit their faces and bit at their cheeks and extremities, eliciting violent shivers from the boys.

"W-Winter is such a jerk, to make everything feel this cold!" spat an irritated and teeth-clacking Kanda, who found himself quickly rubbing his arms in an attempt to keep himself warm.

"He's b-bullying us, I tell you! I w-won't loose to him, never!" replied Alma, blowing hot air on his fingers and shaking like a leaf from head to toe. When he felt his body had adapted enough to the frosty temperature, he bravely charged forward and shouted a loud, obnoxious "Good morning, everyone!!" to the ever silent sleeping Apostles, taking special care not to loose his footage on the slippery floor like last time (1).

Kanda went to sit on his usual spot by the pillar to his right, silently watching his – literally glowing from happiness – companion bring some semblance of life into the dead, darkened and cold room they were born from.

Rotating by the heel of his feet, Alma bounced around like an overexcited kitten and spoke animatedly right and left to every hole in the chamber, before coming back to his dark-haired partner with a thousand watt smile on his face.

Sensing that something was off about Alma's behaviour, Kanda became instantly alert.

"Yuu~" sing-sang the other.

"What?"

"I was wondering... Are you ticklish?"

The other stared at him with a raised eyebrow, puzzled. "Huh? What are you talking about? What's 'ticklish'?"

Perfect.

"It's a way to make angry and sad people feel better by making them laugh with wriggling fingers."

"'Wriggling fingers?'" Kanda asked cautiously but with a hint of curiosity, still wary of his 'smiling' friend. Or was it 'grinning'?

... Nevermind that.

"Yep!" Alma brought up his hands and wriggled his fingers rapidly for Kanda to see. "The tickler does it just like this on the person, and it supposedly makes them laugh."

The future Exorcist eyed the digits' movements for some seconds, only to look back at Alma with a blank face. "I still don't see what-"

Wait. On the person?

Kanda paled when he saw Alma's grin turn mischievous and his finger advance towards him, twitching. It crept him out. "Don't even think of touching me, idiot!!" he shouted, scrambling backwards. Only to remember that he was leaning against a pillar, and that he couldn't back off. Shit.

His momentary distraction was his downfall, and Alma pounced, toppling him side-way to the floor. Straddling his thighs, he quickly a hold of Kanda's hands, passed each arm under his back and put his knees on his palms, binding the dark-haired boy to the floor with his back forcefully arched towards his attacker.

Which left the covered stomach of the captive completely unprotected. Kanda cursed foully and struggled.

"Did you know, Yuu?" piped up the brown-haired boy, who nonchalantly started running the tips of his left fingers over the sensitive skin in feather-like touches. "They say that the stomach is the biggest ticklish spot to wriggle your fingers in!"

Feeling every grazing, Kanda's face contorted into a bizarre expression that Alma had never seen before, and then he stubbornly kept his mouth shut in a desperate effort to hold in the strange noises that wanted to get out of his throat.

Alma grinned when he saw the corner of Kanda's lips lift, and he widened his attack range by targeting the belly with his other hand to get more reactions out of his grumpy companion. There, the dark-haired boy bit his lips and giggle-snorted, squirming around in his hold in an attempt to evade the inquiring digits.

"Hehehe..."

The last straw snapped when Alma – he was grinning from ear to ear, the little twit – dipped his hands under his coat to teasingly scratch his nails along his sides and ribs. Unable to contain himself any longer, Kanda broke out into laughter.

"Hahahaha hahahaha hahaha hahahaha!"

The sound echoed around the cold room, pure and light and warm like a ray of sunshine melting away the shadows. It was blissful music to Alma's ears, who felt a strange fluttering in his stomach at the noise.

Dismissing it as the first pang of upcoming hunger, the brown-haired boy stared at Kanda's face as he laughed; taking in his closed eyes, the small tears at their corners, his flushed face and his smile – oh my god his smile-he was smiling! –

Focus, he had to focus. "The belly, ribs and sides are other good spots to prompt a laugh from the person, if he or she isn't ticklish on the stomach," he added, resisting the urge to giggle himself at the – very cute, mind you – glare that was sent his way as a reply.

"S-Shut up, Almahahaha crehehehep!"

"Aw Yuu, you have such a foul language for such a young age; it's a wonder where you learnt all of those bad words..." tsked Alma, unknowingly proving the 'creepy' part about himself with his mature use of the same language in his young state.

Kanda's laugher got an octave higher when Alma bent forward a little to gleefully run his fingers along the entire upper half of his body in a – very tickling – spider-like fashion. But the worst came when he slipped his fingers between his arms and ribs to reach his armpits.

Oh gods.

"HAHAHAHAHA-hahahahaha-nohohot therehehehe-HAHAHAHAHA!!!"

The sudden, violent bucking underneath his hips forced Alma to put more weight on his captive to avoid him breaking free. Both of his eyebrows rose at Kanda's loud reaction to the simple wriggling of his fingers over the spots. He smirked.

"Heh~? Looks to me like you're very ticklish here, Yuu!" the fingers hooked themselves deeper into the skin, eliciting a ticklish shout from Kanda.

"See? See? When I do it like this," wriggle, wriggle. "or like that," scratch, scratch. "or just move like this," rub, rub. "you're laughing really loudly; it proves that you're ticklish!"

Shaking his head vigorously in denial despite his flushed face and teary closed eyes, Kanda bucked, squirmed and clamped down on the fingers as best as he could to stop their movements. However this didn't stop Alma from rotating his wrists, which in turn budged the fingers as well.

After another minute or so, the brown-haired boy stopped his assault to let his comrade breathe some air back into his lungs. "Feels great, eh?"

Panting loudly, Kanda stared at the ceiling, his mind blank. The brown-haired boy's question didn't register in his mind.

What the hell was that just now?

Tickling, had said Alma. It's supposed to make people feel better by laughing.

Well. He could deny it all he wanted, but the facts remained: he had laughed out loud and clear for three good minutes.

And the sensations those tiny fingers had elicited had felt so strange; he wanted to feel them again just to determine whether it was another kind of pain or not. But he'd be damned if he said that out loud. He had a reputation to keep, after all.

Speaking of reputation, wasn't it in his nature to get revenge for these things? Especially now that his sides are hurting from all the laughing, for that matter.

Yes, it was time for revenge. And revenge did he get.

Alma let out a yelp of surprise when the hands under his knees slipped from their bound spots and attacked his vulnerable sides with a vengeance. He burst out laughing and tried to swat the limbs away, but Kanda was having none of it.

Using his hips, he bucked him off and rolled over his squirming body to get better leverage, never once slacking his assault.

Grinning evilly, he dragged his nails against the sensible flesh, eliciting ticklish shrieks from Alma. He then dove into his armpits, hooking his fingers in and wriggling them hard, making his companion laugh loudly and buck and twist in an attempt to keep the digits from going any further.

"HahahahHAHAHAHAhahahahah hahahahiihihhi hehehehehehe-NOOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOH STAHAHAHAHAP IHIHIHIHIHIHIT HAHAHAHAHA!!!!"

Kanda being Kanda, ignored his pleas as he searched for any weakness he might find to get a better advantage. He found them one by one, and exploited them mercilessly. It turned out that Alma was also ticklish – such a strange word for what was happening – on his belly button, his lower belly, the bent of his knees and the whole of his feet.

Needless to say, the howls of laugher that echoed out of the chamber would have left any bypassing scientist rooted to their spot, shell-shocked by the amount of emotion it carried. Then again, as a just-awakened but grinning Dr. Edgar and smiling Mrs. Lenny looked on at the rolling, laughing duo from their hiding spot behind a pillar, they couldn't help but feel happy that the two kids had finally dropped their guards and friendly gotten closer to each other.

Yes, making his new friend crack a laugh and feel better was a complete success for Alma, and he vowed to himself that he'd initiate more battles like that one in the future, just to see him smile again.


(1) Last time being the time in the manga, when he shot forward and slipped on the water, which made him land on his back and had Kanda laugh at his fallen state.


A/N: Because I've been badly craving Alma x Kanda fics lately (there are so few of them goddamit), I've fought with my writter's block long enough to bring in this little fic into FFn. Hope you guys appreciate it ^^

*My birthday's approaching~ I'll be 18 in two months, on May 15~*

Plz don't forget to leave a review!

Ah, and here's a Alma x Kanda clip I'm sure you'll all like and love: http :// community . livejournal . com / dgrayman / 733003 . html
(Just erase the spaces and copy paste this into your search bar; you'll get to the video in no time.)

Angel Fantasy