The Black Violin

A -Man fanfiction

by mew-tsubaki

Note: A long time ago I caught a snippet of that movie, The Violin (if that's what it's called). Years –many years –later, all that stands out in my mind is this weird mix of scenes that I think foretold just how…*ahem* steamy the storyline was going to get. And because of that, I got this interesting fanfic idea in mind that would be perfect for Miranda and Kanda. So enjoy and review, even if you're new to the pairing. Lastly, this story will probably earn its rating in a chapter or few –you were warned.

Disclaimer: Hoshino Katsura-sensei owns the -Man characters and I, sadly, do not. But I'd luurve to get my paws on Kanda like many of us DGM fanatics.

Chapter One

It all began with a letter.

One evening in his residence in Hiroshima, Yu Kanda had been putting the final touches on a watermark that would form the background of his next calligraphy masterpiece. Ever so carefully, he glided the bamboo brush across the bottom of the papyrus-thin page. Where the bristles stroked the paper, with the utmost care and love, tracks of diluted, pale cyan ink sank into the paper fibers. After a few moments more of this tango, Kanda put away his materials and let the paper dry. The image was finished with this last bit of the river.

"If only I could think of a haiku or poem befitting of the actual painting…," he mumbled to himself. His brow pinched together in consternation and his lips thinned and drew downward at the corners. Yes, it would be hard to find something good to match the artwork.

"Kanda-sama." There was a knock at the door to his studio. After a pause, Kanda's attendant entered the room. "A letter has arrived for you."

The artist looked up at Komui. Usually, Komui was a joker and hard to take seriously. Actually, it was a wonder why they got along to begin with, but Kanda had always known Komui as his attendant –not quite a servant, more like a mother –since they were little. Komui had a small grin on his face as he brought over the tray on which the letter lay, but Kanda knew that this was serious business.

When Kanda picked the item up, he frowned. It was the average, run-of-the-mill stationary and postage; this was hardly worth interrupting him over. However, when he turned it over and saw the seal, he knew why Komui was in no joking mood.

It was a letter from Italy.

Forgoing the letter opener, Kanda slid his finger under the lip of the envelope and hastily emptied the contents. It was just one letter, though. It was written in a fluid script that Kanda recognized, and this intrigued him. He had not heard from the old codger in years.

His black eyes flew over the cursive words so fast that he finished reading in no time. So he reread the missive three times Then he sighed. "I'm subject to a maniac's whims."

"Sir?" Komui asked, befuddlement written clearly on his face.

Kanda abruptly stood and folded up the letter to fit it back into the envelope, which he tucked inside his jacket. "Komui, ready my bags –no, our bags. We are going to Venice."

"For how long?"

"I don't know." His hand still rested on his chest over his jacket where the letter remained hidden in a pocket.

"When are we leaving?"

"As soon as we are ready."

Komui nodded and left, and Kanda urgently followed. The ink painting without its poem was long forgotten.

The journey was both tiresome and restless. It was about a fortnight before Kanda and Komui finally reached Italy, and another two days before they reached the floating city of Venice. Though the gondola ride was rickety enough he should have gotten seasick in the least bit, Kanda was fine. He was too focused on why now of all times a certain family friend would call in a favor.

By the time they landed on the manor's front step, Komui was green enough for both of them. Kanda disregarded this and knocked, and the men were led inside by a young butler. "He's upstairs," the butler told Kanda, "but he asked that you wait in the sitting room. He'll be down in a moment."

In the sitting room, Kanda paced. Komui nursed his glass of water and looked a little less green by the sip, so he ventured a conversation. "It's been five years, hasn't it?"

Kanda curtly nodded. "Family friend, my foot." His grimace deepened. "That was right before my parents died; I can't imagine why he'd call on me now." Especially when he didn't even come to the funeral, he thought spitefully.

"I've only thought of what's in your best interests, Yu-kun," came a gravelly voice. Its owner joined Kanda and Komui and briefly smiled. "You look like you expected me to have grown fangs or claws."

Despite his concern for his host's intent, Kanda felt his mood lighten slightly. It had been a while since he'd seen a familiar face. "Bookman."

Bookman smiled. "Yu-kun. Where are your manners?" He held out a hand which Kanda heartily shook. Doing so was a funny spectacle to watch, as the Bookman was barely half Kanda's height. "As strong-willed as ever."

"As bald as ever. Is that ponytail you have really the last of your hair, panda?"

Bookman grumbled at the reference to his panda-like sunken, dark eyes. "Is that ponytail the one everyone says makes you look like a woman?"

Kanda had no retort.

"Um, Mr. Bookman, what is the purpose of us coming all the way here?" Komui asked before Kanda had the chance to get really pissed.

"Pardon my vagueness in the letter, Yu-kun. Ah, Allen, thank you," Bookman said to the young butler who had brought him a decanter of whiskey. "Mmm. Heady. Anyway, as I was saying, I couldn't explain much of anything in that note. Even now I don't care to reveal too much. I think… What's that expression..?" He tapped his index finger to his chin. "Ah, yes." He locked eyes with Kanda. "'The eyes have it all.'" He said so with a smirk. "I take it you boys are tired?"

"Just because they're younger than you doesn't mean you have to call them boys, Gramps!" Another male –this one Kanda's age, only a little taller and with short red hair and an eye patch –joined the conversation. He sighed exasperatedly at Bookman. "Besides, they're your guests."

"And yours as well, Lavi," the grandfather scolded. "Yu-kun, you remember my grandson, Lavi."

Kanda nodded and shook hands with his old friend. "You haven't lost your mind yet, taking care of this one?" he asked Lavi.

"He's old, not crazy –though I have my suspicions."

"I'm still in the room," Bookman grunted.

Lavi broadly grinned. "I know."

Bookman shot Lavi a look. "Getting back to before…" He returned his attention to Kanda. "As payment for that very expensive India ink I asked be made for you so many years ago, all I ask is that you enjoy an evening out with me."

The grandson quirked an eyebrow. "Hmm, um, Gramps? I'm sure you could find a prettier woman than Yuko-chan here."

"Stop jesting, you fool! I meant, I have something to show you." He raised his eyebrows and Lavi understood.

"Oh, you mean-! Oh-ho, this is gonna be brilliant! Kanda, you can't say no. Do not pass this up, chum!"

"And I don't get any more details?" Kanda asked of them both.

Bookman merely smiled and Lavi waggled his eyebrows. "That would ruin the fun of it all, mate. It's a surprise, you dolt."

Kanda muttered under his breath and glanced at Komui. "Do we get the chance to rest, at least?"

"No can do," Bookman said. "We must eat quickly. Allen! Set the table!" he hollered as he waddled off.

Lavi only grinned more, looking like a fox, at Kanda's uncomfortable expression. "We don't want to miss the show!" So he led Kanda and Komui into the dining room. So, following the letter, that was how it all began.

Review-demanding, no? Poor Kanda… Just what have our favorite Bookmen gotten him into?? And Kanda's not the only one who will get a surprise…so review! You know you want more!

And for those of you who love DGM's men, go to my profile page and check out the "-Boyfriend" forum. I'll keep adding the topics, so you keep the posts coming. Don't forget to vote in the poll, either!

And for those who love MirandaxKanda, check out my C2, "MirandaxKanda is KYOOT!" We already have about 15 stories in that archive, and they're all nummy! X3

So there's plenty to do –but, still, review! Thank you!!!