a/n: allen/kanda/lenalee/lavi – friendship between the four of them. language. angst. character death. this is really different then my usual style, but i like how it turned out! standard disclaimer applies.
no flames please. song at the beginning; price of love by white lies.
beneath the sand.
when i stare in your eyes, i see the image of god –
He sits, and he waits.
And he sits a bit more, and he has never stopped waiting.
Waiting for what? Well, she should be arriving soon. She was with him, and then after, he'd be with him. Sooner, rather than later, they'd all be together, like so many times before. Where are they going tonight? Oh, right, it's Kanda's turn to pick, so of course, it'll be the dojo. He wishes that man would pick somewhere else. Lavi's choice is always eccentric – well, as eccentric as the building can get. At one point, they'd gone into town, to a quaint restaurant that carried the scent of perfume and incense sticks, the light smoke trailing. The food was good, but he'd eat almost anything, so it was kind of a moot point.
The door opens.
It reveals her, and she smiles, because she always smiles when she sees him, Kanda, or Lavi.
And he smiles right back, because he always smiles when he sees her, Kanda, or Lavi.
And he leaves behind his gloves, sitting on the bed without a purpose tonight. Lenalee grabs his hand, pulling him forward; she always pulls him forward. He squeezes her hand to reassure her that he isn't going to disappear, not that night. There's always the chance, but he's still breathing, he has not succumbed, and he has lived to see – breathe – another day. He loves being able to say that, though one day, he will not, for his lips wont be his own, and his body will be –
'I always am.'
He really is. But tonight, he reminds himself, is not a night for thinking, nor is it a time to be depressed. He hates that word, almost as much as 'execution.' Which, he knows, he will one day hear, and everyday, that day gets closer.
'Don't think tonight, please.'
A deathly promise, but he nods nonetheless, and they continue down the bleak hallway until they reach the next door. He decides to open it, grabbing the knob and pushing the wooden structure so it reveals the dark haired man that usually chooses the dojo. Kanda nods his acknowledgement before standing up, not grabbing Mugen because Lenalee has already told him to leave it behind on these nights. At first, he disagreed, but no one could argue with Lenalee and win, and therefore, Kanda's trusty sword – stained with blood, and sin – is always left against the wall, alone. Kanda doesn't note the intertwined hands, because he has seen it so many times before, but he refuses to join in. But regardless, he intertwines his arm with Kanda's, and Kanda does not move away because he knows better. Instead, he reciprocates the movement, and they are joined.
They continue walking down the bleak hallway, and Lenalee would like Kanda to speak.
'Where are we going tonight?'
He decides to respond for Kanda, and Kanda shakes his head, because he has decided to try something different. Familiar is nice, comforting, known, but the days are becoming limited, and there is one place they have not been.
He finds himself excited, his nerves tingling.
'There's a… playground.'
No, it does not seem like Kanda's typical choice – nor nature – to choose something so childish, but she has a feeling it's different. Not a child's sanctuary, no, but something else. They have to wait. They reach the next room – last room, like always – and Kanda pushes it open, because they do not need to knock, not anymore. When the object of blockage is removed from view, a red head is already bounding outwards, waving cheerfully and grabbing the hand that is unoccupied on Lenalee.
She smiles – she always smiles.
He smiles back – he loves to see her smile.
And the four of them are walking down the hallway, another hallway, through the many turns and twists, until they reach the exit so they can go into town.
'Where are we going?'
Lavi asks, because he was not there when Kanda had shocked them.
Her voice is laced with excitement, because she is eager to see what Kanda has in store for them. Oh, how she loved these nights, she always loved these nights. They never lasted long, for they had duties – missions, bloodshed, assignments, sin – that needed to be completed, and people who would worry about them if they were gone for too long. Her brother, who would die if anything happened. His watcher, who does not know how he keeps escaping his eyes. His master, who would be heartbroken a second time if another 'son' was lost. His older mentor, who would kick his ass, over… and over again – not that he could do anything about it, but he doesn't mind anymore.
He can feel the presence in his mind once again, the Noah, his uncle.
The only Noah he can stand, because he is family.
Oh, but how he hated the Noah.
Yet one day, he might just become one – if he wasn't executed first.
He hated that word, loathed it with his entire being.
She squeezes his hand, and he smiles, because she is right. He did not break his promises. The air is cool, and it feels good against his pale – it gets paler everyday, and she knows this wont last forever – face, his skin. The moon is bright, he notices, and he smiles up at the large white orb, because it reigns upon them like the rain on a summer night. He enjoys the late spring weather, and he enjoys it while he can, because it will probably be the last spring he sees.
No thinking, he remembers.
Lavi wants to put his arm around Lenalee, but decides not too. He will later, and Kanda will probably be crushed by a hug from one of them. Physical contact was something they were never used too, but between the four of them, it has become common, because it shows they are real and that they still feel.
After all, it's only a matter of time before they succumb.
One day, they will all –
'It's up there.'
Kanda points to an abandoned area, a broken fence barely covering the dull grass and the flurry of trees. Lavi thinks it looks absolutely wonderful – peaceful, empty, cut off from the idiocy he calls society. Lenalee thinks it looks lovely and alluring, because she has always found the strangest places endearing.
He thinks it's perfect.
They walk along the deserted streets of the small town, and he wonders why they chose this area to build the new headquarters. It's a remote area, though it's welcoming – to them, anyways. The town is dark. Perhaps that's why?
The Order is a funny thing, he knows.
Lenalee smiles wider as she drags them along. The sanded ground is dusted with rust from the broken slides and hazardous jungle gyms. The beige looks welcoming, and he lets his hand release Lenalee – so cold now – and untangles his arm from Kanda's, before removing his boots. He has chosen to wear his white dress shirt and tie, because he always wears it. He places his boots and socks off to the side, before walking onto the sand, and he hopes there is no glass etched into the grains, buried beneath the depths.
It falls over his toes –
'What are you doing, bean sprout?'
Lavi follows suit, despite his question. His white pants will probably become dusted as well, but he doesn't mind. He removes his own boots, placing them haphazardly by his, before removing the black cloth that covers his feet. He joins him. Lenalee shrugs before slipping out of her flats, and she is dressed in a skirt and black top, and therefore, her legs can feel some of the sand blow up when a gust of wind passes through.
Her anklets – Innocence, I hate you – feel weightless. She loves it.
Kanda does nothing but cross his arms, because he is not subjected to the antics of his comrades. But he will have none of this, and he steps forward, beckoning Kanda to join them.
'It's fun,' he says. 'Try it,' he says.
Kanda sighs before removing his own boots, placing them off to the side along with the others. He doesn't know why he puts up with this, nor does he know why he follows along with them on these nights. He loves silence, and therefore, he loves being on his own. But for some reason, he can not deny them.
He can not deny Lenalee's smile, hopeful. Nor can he deny Lavi's emerald eye, piercing and expectant.
And he can not deny his eyes, because they are sad, and desperate, and knowing.
And Kanda sees himself.
He removes his own socks, and he places them away. He briefly wonders how they will tell who's is who's, but it does not matter at the time. He places his own hesitant limbs beneath the cool grains, and he revels for a moment in the way it falls over his feet, and how it's unlike the beaches he has seen on his travels around the world.
Lenalee smiles, and he decides to give a small one in return, because her smile is undeniable.
'See. It's not that bad!'
He slaps Lavi in the back of the head, because he had been the one to question what he was doing in the first place. Lavi laughs, and he loves it, because he loves when they laugh. Lenalee joins in, and so does he, and pretty soon, the quiet night air is filled with childish laughing from three teenagers who had never been kids. Kanda just lets the small smile tell his laughter, because he does not laugh, and he can not remember the last time he has let a chuckle escape his lips.
They do not question this, but they love his smile.
'What a night,' Lavi says. 'It's beautiful out, too,' Lavi says.
He nods, because he couldn't agree more. He finds himself breathless when a hug is placed from behind, and he can smell the strawberry scented shampoo that tumbles from Lenalee's hair. He loves her hugs, and she is always the one to give them first.
No, physical contact wasn't common amongst them outside of these nights.
Lavi does not want to be left out, so he drags Kanda over to the two standing in the sand, and the four of them stand beneath the stars and the moon and the clouds. Lenalee smiles as she lets go of him, wrapping her arms around herself because the temperature is beginning to drop. Lavi notices this, and he places an arm around her shoulders, just like he said he would. And on cue, Kanda's arm is intertwined once again by him, and Lavi smiles at them both.
No, he is not dating Lenalee.
No, Kanda is not dating him.
But they all love, the four of them, as they stand beneath the night, with their feet buried beneath.
He sits, and he waits.
And he sits a bit more, and he has never stopped waiting.
He loves that night, and when he thinks about it, he smiles. And how they love his smile. It has been almost a month since that night, and spring has faded into a bright and vibrant summer, with those trees completely in bloom, full of life. The sand is still dusted with rust, and it is still abandoned, that playground – that place that was once a child's sanctuary, that had become their sanctuary.
He is waiting for them, to take him away. He knows it will only be a few minutes until his arms are restrained and he is removed, away from his friends, his love, and is forced to succumb. Because that word has been spoken, the one he loathes.
He knew it was going to happen, and therefore, is not surprised that he is waiting. He is cold, despite the heat. The window is being pounded on with rain, and he can recall his thoughts that night. Oh, how he misses that night. They had all smiled, and laughed, and it had been wonderful. He wishes they could go once more, to their sanctuary. Every 'night,' that is where they went. He misses it. As do they, he knows.
The door opens.
His heart stops.
It begins beating again when he sees it is just his three comrades. Lenalee is crying, Lavi is silent, and Kanda looks more distraught then ever before.
He smiles, because they love – miss – his smile.
Because we'll never see it again.
'How can you smile?'
Lenalee asks, and her eyes are red, and it makes him more sad. But not depressed, because he hates that word. Kanda is not carrying Mugen, and he has left his sin behind. Lavi is holding Lenalee's hand, and Kanda's arm is intertwined with Lavi's, and he thinks it's wonderful, because they should not stop the 'nights' just because he will not be around to join them, not anymore.
'Because we always smile.'
At this, Lavi actually shares a small, small grin, and he smiles, because he loves his smile. He loves Lavi.
'You should too, Kanda.'
And Kanda shakes his head, so he stands up and forcefully makes him smile. Which just makes him smile on his own, just a bit. And he smiles, because he loves his smile. He loves Kanda.
'Lenalee, can you smile for me? Just once more?'
And she cries a bit harder, and he places a kiss to her forehead. She smiles through her tears, and he loves her smile. He loves Lenalee.
They have done all they can to save him, but they can do no more. He knows this, and he is grateful. He will always be grateful. He laces his fingers through Kanda's and Lenalee's, and the four of them are all connected, standing in the silence, with the rain pounding against the window in the summer night. The cold isn't as cold as it was, and he's happy for that, because he loves the warmth.
But he thinks.
He will never feel the spring weather again. He will never feel the sand toppling over his toes as they dig deeper beneath the grains. He will never feel Lenalee's hand in his, nor Lavi's, nor Kanda's. He will never walk with them down the twisting hallways. He will never be called from his room to go out. He will never return to their sanctuary, where they had stood beneath the night with their feet buried beneath the sand.
He will never hear the childish laugh from the teenagers that were never kids.
The door is already open, and the men from Central walk in, and they remove him from the premise of his old room. The bed is made, the area is spotless, and it is like no one had ever lived there. He finds this sad, and when he is turned away from the door, he turns back around.
'Goodbye,' he says. 'Say goodbye to the playground to me, once more, please?'
Lenalee cries, Lavi looks away, and Kanda stiffly nods, his eyes like ice and fire as they watch him be taken away.
He smiles once more, because they love his smile.
And they smile back, because he loves their smiles.
He loves them.
And when he is out of their line of sight, he cries, because he will never see them again. When he is brought to the room and placed on the table, he smiles, and Komui is grief stricken as he holds the large needle.
'A – '
'It's okay,' he says. 'Look after them, please? And yourself.'
Komui understands, he nods, and a tear slips from beneath his crescent glasses. He smiles up at the Chief, and signals that he can continue. Leverrier tells him to hurry up, and he hates the man who condemned him. Who took away the chance at feeling once more. He thinks.
Never again will he feel Lenalee's hand.
The needle is closer.
Never again will he feel Lavi's embrace.
It's overtop his skin.
Never again will he feel Kanda's arms intertwined with his.
So close, so close.
He will never see their sanctuary. There are a lot of things he will never do, see, feel, but he will miss those the most. He misses them now, and it has only been a few minutes. He swears he can feel the cool air, see the moon overhead, with his body connected with theirs.
He laughs into the silence, like the child he never was.
The needle is in his skin, and the world is going dark.
He is falling under, into a sleep he will never wake from.
'I love you,' he says. 'Goodbye,' he says, and he hopes they hear him. They can, he knows. They know.
is this the price of love?
And Allen's feet are buried beneath the sand –