a/n; i was originally going to put this in gray, but decided it'd be nice to have it as a stand alone. rated T for character death (though not vivid) and a lot of angst. it's allen/kanda – the first time i've written them as an actual, legitimate pairing, though limited. no flames if you don't like shounen ai, please. this is different then my usual style, and kanda's probably out of character. this story killed to write, honestly… anyways, enjoy, and leave a review on your way out?

-insert witty comment about not owning this series-

via infinite.

the past was something he'd always ignored.

He could still remember the last conversation he ever had with the cursed kid, and in all honesty, he'd give anything to go back to that night and relive it, because reality was a lot more harsh and uncaring.

he hated being weak.

"What do you think of when you think of eternity?"


Allen chuckled, leaning against the older male despite the protests he had half-heartedly given at first. It was a calm night, sitting out on the roof with only the moon for their company. Both Allen and Kanda had gotten closer after the Alma incident, and though it was an odd relationship based off of trust and companionship, it was enough for both of them. An owl hooted somewhere in the distance and Allen fell backwards, relishing in the night air – because it was probably the last time he could.

"You're awfully quiet tonight," he said, patting the spot beside him and waiting for Kanda to join. He smiled when the exorcist rolled his eyes, his body falling slowly beside Allen's.

"It's a suicide mission."

he hated feeling like he needed someone.

"But it needs to be done."

Allen watched as a few gray clouds overhead positioned in front of the white orb, blocking some of the light and causing a shadow to fall over Kanda's face; a simple silhouette, with eyes like diamonds glowing, and dark blue hair cascading over shoulders and a marred back. Allen was grateful – though he never admitted it – that Kanda's hair had returned to it's normal color, and hadn't stayed the light purple it had been when Kanda used his strongest attack. Absentmindedly, his hand trailed to the scar underneath his white dress shirt. Since it was early summer, heat was the only temperature they knew, and Allen had settled with black pants and the dress shirt. Kanda was dressed in his training outfit, almost non-existent scars littering the light skin from his miracle survival after being blown to pieces.

"Does it hurt?"

"Not anymore," Allen replied quietly. The wound had healed, and Neah was still silent, despite the obvious awakening caused by the man sitting next to him.

Kanda said nothing, but he placed a hand over Allen's, his eyes trailing to the scar.

but no matter how many demons he killed, or how much hatred he poured out…

"You know," Allen began, placing his hands behind his head. "Shadows aren't such a bad idea. But what shadows do you mean?"

The stoic samurai was assessing for a few minutes, finally responding after a few gusts of wind had echoed in the air. The owl hooted again, and Allen felt himself already missing the sounds of nature he may never hear again.

"Shadows of people who are already dead, and those who will in the future," Kanda responded, his voice almost… sad. Almost – because Kanda was still the rough edged exorcist Allen had grown to appreciate, and he wouldn't want him to change for anything. Not for him, not for the horrors of the world, and not for the mission that was a death sentence. "What do you see, moyashi?"

"Eternity… an endless void, maybe? I mean, forever is a long time."

it was never enough.

"Says the one who asked the question in the first place."

"Shut up," Allen laughed, slapping Kanda in the stomach. The latter glared before his hand grabbed Allen's, not appreciating the abuse he was receiving. "Let go, Kanda!"

"Don't hit me – "

"Yet you can threaten people with Mugen all you want."

The cursed exorcist sat up, his hand still in Kanda's grip; smiling, Allen placed his other hand over the interlocked limbs, waiting for Kanda to do the same. Hesitantly, the man complied, and he couldn't help the smirk that formed on his lips at the sight of Allen's eyes sparkling with amusement.

he could never escape – he couldn't be who he was before.


"See, it's not that hard."

It wasn't often, but sometimes Kanda would slip in saying Allen's real name, not the nickname he had given almost a year ago when the exorcist first joined the Order. After being sent to Matel with a dying Alma – courtesy of Allen – he had said the boy's full name. It wasn't bitter – it was grateful. It wasn't hard – it was meaningful. And Allen liked it, having finally heard the older male say his name, instead of something that resembled a vegetable. Kanda's voice broke through his thoughts, the tone quiet and frustrated.

"Moyashi – "

"I have no choice, it's settled."

Leverrier had sentenced Allen to complete an assignment that required him to go to the Earl's base – a mission that would either kill him or turn him to the Earl's side, if Neah fully awakened. He wanted to disagree, say that it wasn't fair that it was only him going into a place that was infested with level three and fours and the Noah, but he didn't have any say in the matter. Komui hated himself for doing it, but he gave Allen the mission and his fate was set in stone. The hardest part would be saying goodbye – goodbye to Lenalee, to Lavi.

To Kanda.

"So, for tonight," Allen continued, pulling the dark haired man up so he was sitting. "Let's forget about it. Have fun, or something. Oh wait, you don't know what that is…"

Kanda just glared, because words didn't come easy.

and if only he had done something, said something, knocked some sense into these people –

They sat on the roof for a few hours more, watching as the sun began bustling through the night clouds and the moon disappeared for another day. But the moment had to end eventually, and Allen had to prepare – Kanda stayed for a few minutes longer, watching as Allen left to pack and say his goodbyes.

Because this time, they'd be permanent.

maybe he could have protected him.

And he wondered when he had let someone in.

Allen, of all people – the stupid martyr, savior, destroyer – had been the one to gently break through some of his barrier and open Kanda up to something he wasn't keen on feeling. It wasn't a lover's relationship, not by far. It was a sense of… comfort. To have someone so alike be by your side, whether in silence or battles. And as much as Kanda hated to admit it, he didn't completely detest their less-then-orthodox way of being together.

but it was too late for that, too late to say anything or do anything.

But he vowed to always remember that night, and the conversation about eternity.

That day, Allen had hugged Lenalee tightly and told her to keep fighting, no matter what, no matter how hard it was. She chastised him for being so morbid, that he had to return because he was part of the world – the world couldn't die. Kanda thought the kid might burst into tears right there, but he was stronger then the samurai gave him credit for. Next was Lavi, the red head rubbing the back his head and trying his hardest not to show heavy emotion. Kanda hated it – he had told the bookman to stop pretending, because he wasn't fooling anyone but himself. Either way, Lavi had glomped Allen hard enough where they both went tumbling backwards.

Kanda muttered che under his breath, crossing his arms and looking away.

The white haired boy had already said goodbye to Krory, to Miranda, and to the generals. To Noise, to Jerry – none of them knew what the mission was, but Allen was adamant on keeping it like that, assuring his three companions that it was better that way. Finally, he said goodbye to Link.

"I'm glad you never found me guilty."

"You never gave me any reason too."

"Well, this is goodbye to you too, then."

And they shook hands, but Allen gave him a hug, because Link had grown as a companion, not just an observer.

he wasn't sure what had happened.

"Goodbye, Kanda."

"Che, come back alive, moyashi."

Allen had smiled – God, Kanda never understood that smile – and hugged the samurai anyways, and before he let go, Kanda whispered something.

"Come back, Allen."

No one had heard it – they thought it was just a hug between friends; Allen let go, and Kanda felt a bit more empty.

he hated it.

After that day, they never saw Allen again.

One month, two months, three months. He never returned, and Komui never got word from Timcanpy or any other news about the cursed exorcist – but they didn't need it. Allen wouldn't be coming home either way, but day to day life continued.

And Kanda wished he could go back, because forever was a long time.

he hated Allen for making it hard to breathe.

Missions continued, but there was always a sense of loss in the air, because Allen had grown on all of them.

After almost a year, word finally came in. There was no proof that Allen was dead, but there was enough proof that there was little chance for survival. He was either gone, or he was a Noah. One or the other, he didn't know. It didn't do much to ease his twisting gut, or the headache from trying to push away thoughts about the truth, because…

Because reality was a lot more harsh and uncaring.

And that night, after coming back from a particularly brutal mission (he had seen Lenalee's face, the tears, the eyes…) he had gone up to the roof, the night sky appearing like a dream because it looked exactly as it did one year ago. Sitting down, he wasn't expecting Lavi to sit beside him, handing him something golden that he thought he'd never see again. Lavi smiled sadly, but Kanda could tell the exorcist had cried. If only a bit, he still cried.

Kanda was proud of him for that, though he kept it to himself and pushed it away.

"There's a message on it for you."

for making life seem real, for being someone that wasn't supposed to be.

Lavi left, and Kanda wasn't sure if he wanted to hear it, but he played it anyways.

"Hey Bakanda. If you're listening to this, then… well, thank Tim for me, would you? At least he got away. Now, I can't believe I'm doing this. I feel like my master."

A short laugh from Allen, but Kanda was still silent.

"Do me a favor? Live. For once, just live. Stop being so broody and unfeeling, because I know you can feel. And watch over Lenalee and Lavi, too. There's not much I can do, if I am where I think I am. I hope I am, anyways. I rather not go to hell, but that's beside the point. What was I saying – oh!"

Kanda rolled his eyes.

for disappearing when the kid was so close to his goal.

"But hey, listen, 'kay? You probably just rolled your eyes. You can be so predictable sometimes. Anyways, live, for yourself. You don't deserve to wallow in self pity, Kanda. Remember the night on the roof? Forever is a long time, and you have enough time to be happy, at least once. Eternity… we'll meet again someday, Kanda. Maybe as shadows, right? Wasn't that what you said? Shadows.

"We knew it would happen. I'm glad we worked something out before this, though. I never hated you, despite the fact that you can be arrogant, rude, vulgar, and downright mean. Remember the Ark? Yeah, exactly. But… maybe it's time you try something new. Ask Lavi, I'm sure he'll help.

"I'm sorry, Kanda. Maybe, when we meet as shadows, I'll let you destroy me with Mugen, for payback. You'd like that, wouldn't you? Probably. Try not to kill Lavi with it though, okay? Tell everyone I'm sorry. Well, I have to go.

"…Goodbye, Kanda. Huh. I can say it. But it's not really goodbye. Can you do me one last thing? Say my name. Just once more, because it always sounded better when it wasn't being overrun by 'bean sprout' or 'moyashi.' Until the shadows appear, goodbye."

The message ended, and Kanda couldn't stop the anger or the sadness from pooling out of his locked away heart.

for making him believe eternity was real…

Standing up, Kanda watched the edge of the horizon peak in the early morning, and if it wasn't for the fact that he knew it was fake, Kanda would have believed Allen was standing with him, watching the sun rise and preparing for the mission that would take him away.

"You're an idiot, moyashi."

Timcanpy landed on his shoulder, and Kanda felt his lips twitch upwards.

"Shadows already exist. Eternity is right now, isn't it? What do you think of it?"

The sun rose a bit higher, creating a silhouette on the ground.

"Goodbye, Allen Walker."

He said his name, and closed his eyes. Someday, he'd see the exorcist again – he was too stubborn to completely disappear from their lives, and Kanda was betting on that. Because he'd wait for eternity, to see Allen again, whether in this life or the next.

Or as shadows on concrete.

and for showing him just how long forever was.