Hi there!

So, this is an interesting experiment for me. Not only is it my first fanfic in, oh, four or five years, it is also my first attempt at writing this particular fandom. It is ALSO my first attempt at writing a pairing. So we'll see how all of this goes.

Just a quick note of explanation: I'm doing my best to keep the big four (Allen, Lavi, Lenalee, and Kanda) in character for this fic. However, the random side characters I'm throwing in? Yeah, not so much. This story is supposed to have quite a few absurd elements to it, and the behavior of these characters will fall under this category. But I wanted to use characters from the anime instead of making up random OCs, so there you go. Just let me know if you have any ideas or opinions about how I'm handling these characters, as concrit is always appreciated!

Now, onward!

Allen Walker grinned, readjusting his grip on the cardboard box labeled KITCHEN as he slid it out of the back of his rusted red Jeep Cherokee. Not many freshmen at Black Order University were allowed to live off campus, let alone in a house they themselves had bought and paid for. But he was what administration referred to as a "special case." Allen Walker had always been a special case.

He'd lost his adoptive father, Mana, at the age of twelve and had been sent to live with his psychotic (in Allen's humble opinion) godfather, Cross Marian. Those six years had been hell, and everyone around him had known to take it easy on the poor orphan boy living in such unfortunate circumstances. It had almost been enough for Allen to resent Mana for forcing upon him a legal guardian who was so obviously unbalanced.

But only almost.

But now Allen was eighteen and could access the surprisingly large trust fund Mana had left to him. Instead of living in the dorms and giving more money to the school than was strictly necessary, he'd decided to purchase a house to live in during his four years at the University. When he graduated, he'd sell the place and hopefully get all of his money back. Maybe even make a profit, too.

Allen hefted the box and began the walk up the sidewalk to the front door. His front door, he corrected silently. He still couldn't quite believe that he would be living on his own now, in another city, far away from his uncle and his childhood worries.

He pushed his way through the screen door and walked through the living room in order to get to the kitchen. The house was relatively small, as houses go, but Allen didn't really need much space when only he would be living there. The kitchen had relatively new appliances, and a little nook off the back held a worn dinette with mismatched chairs. The living room was cramped and narrow, but the fireplace in the middle of the far wall made up for it. Upstairs there were two bedrooms—one Allen slept in, and one he used as an office. The bathroom had a shower with a deep soaker tub, as well as rather garish blue flower wallpaper. The basement held storage and the rickety old washer and dryer. The light switch didn't work down there, so he had to do his laundry by flashlight. He'd really have to fix that soon, he decided.

He set the box on the floor of the kitchen with a soft clank and ran his hands over the worn kitchen counter. The place was pretty old, built in 1907, but it had plenty of charm, which is what Allen had loved most about it when his realtor had originally shown him the place. It was in a neighborhood that was only two blocks from campus, but was in the opposite direction of most student housing. Because of this, the area was still largely residential and the street was full of families. Only the house to Allen's left and the one across the street and two houses over were occupied by students. Allen's realtor had mentioned something about his new neighbors being displeased that their quiet street was slowly being invaded by students, but told Allen he had nothing to worry about because he seemed like "such a nice, quiet boy." Which he, in fact, was. So Allen didn't think much about those concerns.

Though maybe he should have, because as he returned to his Jeep for another box, he saw a balding man standing in the front yard of the house kitty-corner to his own, across the street. The man was staring intently at Allen's front door, and as Allen jogged down the front steps the man's eyes widened and he began walking purposefully toward him. Allen stopped next to the large gingko tree in his yard and waited.

"You there!" the man called out. "Young boy!"

"Yes sir?" Allen asked politely when the man drew abreast of him. "How can I help you?"

"Where are your parents?" the man asked with blatant suspicion. "I would like to speak with them."

Allen stifled a sigh. "I don't have any parents, sir. It's just me living here. I bought this house on my own."

The man gasped loudly. "But you can't be more than twelve years old!" he cried.

"Sir, I assure you, I am eighteen and legally an adult. Can I help you with something?" Allen would have been annoyed by the man's rude comment, but he was used to comments about his height and apparent age.

"You're a student at the university," the man stated, rather than asked. Any politeness that may have been present in his voice before (Allen sure hadn't detected any) was gone now, replaced with a startling amount of venom.

"Yes sir," Allen replied warily.

"I told Guzol not to sell his place to students," the man raged, mostly to himself. "And look at you! Dying your hair white and tattooing your face. Kids these days, I tell you! No respect for their bodies. Or for their neighbors." He cast a dark look at the house next to Allen's. Allen decided he had the students who lived there to blame for this man's crazed outburst.

"Um, I can assure you Mr… ah…" He trailed off invitingly.

"My name is George, and I represent this neighborhood," the man said. Allen stuck out his hand to shake, but George just looked at it like it was a particularly horrifying insect. Allen withdrew it hastily and hid it behind his back.

"Well, Mr. George," Allen said, a bit strained. "I can assure you that this is my natural hair color, and the mark on my face is a scar." He ran a finger over it before continuing. "I am quiet and respectful. I work hard at school and don't care for parties. I promise I won't cause you any trouble." He offered a weak grin, which George also ignored.

"I still don't trust you," George declared, beginning to turn and walk away. "We're going to have a neighborhood meeting about this. This madness must stop!" he shouted, running back across the street and into his house. He slammed the door loudly, making Allen wince.

"Great, just what I need," Allen muttered to himself as he pulled another box out of the back of his car. He trooped up the sidewalk and set the box, which was full of his office supplies, at the foot of the stairs. His good mood had mostly evaporated, leaving him feeling tired and annoyed. Just who did that guy think he was, anyway? Allen had purchased this house with his own money. This was his property and he could do whatever he wanted with it.

So distracted was Allen by this new injustice that he didn't even see the brown-haired girl crouching behind his bushes until he had passed by her three times. When he finally did notice her he stopped and considered her, head cocked slightly to the left in confusion. She was staring up at the house next door with a hopeful, longing expression. She didn't notice Allen at all.

"Um, excuse me?" he murmured.

"Ah!" she screamed, toppling over.

"Oh, miss, I'm so sorry!" Allen apologized, reaching down to help her up. She snatched her arm away and looked up into his face, terrified. Allen raked his bangs over the scar on his left eye and offered a reassuring smile.

"Who are you?" the girl whispered. She had light eyes and was wearing a pink kimono for some reason.

"My name is Allen Walker. Who are you? And why are you crouching in my bushes?"

"Oh!" she exclaimed, face heating up. "Um. My name is Chomesuke. I'm sorry, I didn't realize anyone lived here yet. Lavi didn't tell me the house had been sold. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Lavi doesn't really tell me anything anymore…" And, to Allen's horror, she started bawling right there on his front lawn.

"Uh," he said intelligently, as sobs racked her thin frame.

"Why is he doing this to me!" the girl wailed. "He must know how much I love him! Why, God?" She actually shook her fist at the sky, and Allen had to stifle a laugh. It wouldn't do for this poor girl to see him giggling at her pain.

"Who is he?" Allen asked, trying instead to be comforting and understanding. He placed a tentative hand on her shoulder and was relieved when she didn't try to bite it off.

"Only the absolute love of my life! I met him at one of his parties and I just knew it was love at first sight!" the girl declared, hiccupping. "He lives right there"—she pointed to the house George had been glaring at earlier—"and I don't think he wants to see me anymore. He won't return my calls, and every time I stop by the house, his roommates give me these stupid excuses and I just know he's in there, hiding from me." She looked up at the house again, wistfully. "Why are you doing this to me, my love?" she whispered.

Perhaps it's because you're a terrifying crazy person, Allen wanted to say. What he said instead was "maybe he's just been busy? School is starting in three days, you know."

"Oh, school isn't difficult for Lavi. He's a genius!" she sighed. "Do you want to see what he looks like?" Chomesuke asked randomly, pulling a bright pink binder out of nowhere.

"Uh," Allen said again, startled by her sudden change in mood.

"See!" she said joyfully, throwing the cover open with a flourish. Inside was a laminated collage of photos, with sparkly hearts and stars drawn all over in what looked to Allen like glitter glue. Each picture was of the same boy: a tall redhead with an eye patch over his right eye. In some of the pictures he was smiling at the camera, but in most of them it was as if he didn't even know his photo was being taken.

Stalker! Allen thought, grimacing a bit. Chomesuke pouted, misunderstanding his expression.

"You're a boy, so you wouldn't be able to comprehend his beauty," she sighed, stroking the page lovingly. Allen noticed that many of the pictures were cropped, as though there had been other people in them who had been cut out.

"So, he's your boyfriend?" Allen asked. This was obviously the wrong thing to say, because Chomesuke started wailing again. Allen glowered at the house next door, willing this Lavi person to come out and deal with this problem instead of dumping it on him.

"I-I-I thought he was, but then I saw him at a party with some other girl and when I tried to confront him about it he ran away!"

"Wait. So he was dating you, then all of a sudden he's with some other girl without even telling you?" Allen cried, indignant on her behalf. "He spent all of that time with you, and then just threw it away? How long were you dating, anyway?"

"Oh, well, I've known him for about a week now…" Chomesuke said thoughtfully.


"What?" Allen said. "A week?"

"One week of pure bliss," Chomesuke sighed again. "He's such a gentleman, you know."

Yeah, except for the part where he's apparently a womanizing scoundrel, Allen thought. This Lavi guy sounded just like Master Cross. I thought I'd finally gotten away from all of that. Great, just what I need in a neighbor…

"Would you tell him I stopped by?" Chomesuke pleaded. "You're new, and cute, so Lavi will probably be interested in meeting you. You'll get an invite to one of his parties for sure. Please tell him I say hi. And that I miss him and I love him and I'll do anything to get him back and make it work."

"Well…" Allen began, backing away a little. He did not want to be anyone's messenger boy, especially if they expected him to deliver a message like that.

"Please, uh, whatever your name was!" Chomesuke begged, throwing herself on him. Allen tumbled to the ground, stunned he'd been tackled and annoyed that this girl hadn't bothered to remember his name.

"Its Allen," he said weakly, pushing at her shoulders. "And you are crushing me."

"Please tell me you'll tell Lavi. Please!"

"Okay, okay, yes, I'll tell him. Now please, miss, get off of me."

"You're so kind!" Chomesuke breathed, eyes shining. She crushed him further with a backbreaking hug, then hopped to her feet. "I'll be back later. Tell me what he says back, okay?" Then she ran off down the sidewalk, waving over her shoulder.

Allen remained sprawled in the grass, baffled by what had just happened to him. First he's accosted by his obviously unbalanced neighbor, then he's attacked by a lovesick girl.

Yeah, sick in the mind, Allen thought unkindly.

"Is she gone?" an unfamiliar voice asked.

Allen glanced up at the house next door. Leaning out of the top left window was the boy from Chomesuke's pictures. He looked worried, but when he saw that Allen was alone, his face relaxed into a cocky, teasing smile. "Thanks for that back there. Man, I didn't know what I was gonna do. I've been stuck in the house for, like, two hours because I knew she was out there." He shivered dramatically, then grinned again. "I owe you one, man! When I've got some time on my hands, I'll stop by and say hey. 'Til then, later!" He waved merrily and stuck his head back in the window. A moment later, Allen heard the back door of his house slam, followed by the rumble of a car engine turning over. There was a squeal of tires, and then the redheaded boy was gone.

Just when I thought I was getting the chance to live a normal life, Allen thought miserably. Letting his head fall back onto the grass in exasperation, he stared up at the late August sky and wondered just what the hell was happening to his life.