Crow and the Butterfly

by Cal (Calenlass Greenleaf)

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Hoshino owns it all. All the craziness is hers~

Summary: /Never thought you'd slip away...Guess I was just a little too late/ Meme prompt oneshot thing, though it has two parts. Link/Tevak.

Rating: PG, then PG-13. Angst because everything I write has some angst.

(there's a bunch of unexplained headcanon in this on Crow, Link, and Tevak. orz)


I.

"Tevak, you're not holding it right."

"I'll hold it any way I want to—it still works." She gives him a shove.

"Your arm is going to cramp like that," he informs her.

"Go 'way, Howard."

Twitch. "Link."

"Stop that."

"Stop what?"

"Flaunting the fact you have a last name." She looks so pouty that he almost regrets continuing this argument.

"I'm not! I just like it better than Howard." Link—it's certainly better sounding than "Howard." Honestly, why'd they have to call him that...or why did his parents even give him that name. "You're just jealous."

"You—" She tries to tackle him.

Link easily overpowers her. "I'll bind you—"

"No!"

They tussle; she ends up sitting on of him, with his arms sealed. "I hate you," she says. "I hate you so much sometimes because you're better than Tevak." Her long hair tickles his face.

He almost sticks his tongue out. "I don't hate Tevak back," he say instead. "Can you even hate?"

You're half-Akuma. Half of your emotions are gone.

"…" She gets off him. "Why'd you have to be different."

And Link regrets bringing that up. "Why'd you choose like the others?"

"Because Tevak is tired of being looked down at."

"We're going to be Crow. Isn't that good enough?"

"You just want too much to be human, Link." And then she unseals him and leaves him lying there.

"Tevak—" He gets and grabs her by the hand. "I'm sorry?"

We're still family, right? That was the unasked question.

For a long, long moment, she doesn't say anything. Then, she hurriedly pecks him lightly on the lips and dashes off. "Tevak doesn't hate you anymore," she calls over her shoulder, "but she might once again if you don't catch up!"

"That's hardly fair-you've had a head start!" And he runs after her, face slightly red from that kiss.

II.

Several years, and the distance widens between them. She's a Third Exorcist, he's an Inspector. They're both...not quite Crow anymore. Not officially, anyway. For two years, he doesn't see her. When he finally does, he's more shocked than he can imagine.

Her eyes have barely any emotion to them. Or, any emotion left seems dim and unfocused. What had they gone through, he wonders.

As soon as Link has a moment (dumping Allen in the infirmary after getting his head smashed against a wall, courtesy of Koushi), he goes in search of them. He spies her with the others, and...never before did he feel so isolated. Years ago, they had all worn the same clothing...

He almost runs a hand through his hair before he checks himself. He can't, anyway. His hair was longer than it had been back then.

They see him and he goes over. Exchanges greetings and the look. But their conversations were like the ones hey once had. He can feel the wall between them. Eventually, they all part, but he calls out to one of them.

"Tevak."

She turns her head, curls bouncing slightly with the movement. "...Inspector Link."

So they all call him that as of now, do they? "The title isn't necessary among us," he replies.

"Oh." A pause. "Link, then."

He simply nods. "It's been a while."

"Yes."

"...are you all well?"

"Do we look unwell?"

"No, but—" he looks away.

"You don't ask me as many direct questions anymore."

So she remembers. Looking back up, he tries to catch her gaze now. "We all grew up." And Tevak no longer uses third person, he realises.

"Mmm." she tips her head. "We got what we wanted."

"..." So they did. But he was disquieted.

"You're not happy."

"I fulfilled my goals." Yet it was simply fulfillment, not deep satisfaction. "You can't say you're happy either, are you?"

She finally looks at him. "I will not answer the question if you do not."

"...fair enough."

They stand there awkwardly for a few more moments before he moves closer. "Back in France...thank you."

There was a soft dip of her chin. "We were only doing our duty."

Duty. Was it the only thing they had in common now? His brow furrowed as he looked down.

Only to look up when fingers touched his forehead. "You still do that when you're thinking too hard, Howard."

He almost smiled. "And you still forget to cut your fingernails." She liked keeping them long because she like the way they looked, even though they weren't practical for Crow.

The light sting from the slap she gave him was also familiar. Snorting, he rubs his cheek with the back of his hand. "Tevak," he begins, and then stops, not sure what he's trying to say now.

...

Tipping his head and face flushing a little, he kisses her lightly on her mouth. To...gauge her reaction. Had they been younger, she would have frowned and hit him for it, and then say something to make him just as mad (though it was never real anger).

Yet, she only looks at him, face unchanged. "It's a good thing we are alone."

A flash of something-disappoint? probably-flashes through him, but he quells it, and simply nods. "We'd best be getting back to our duties."

"We ought to." Turning, but then she suddenly puts a hand on his arm. "Are you still human?"

"...as human as I'm allowed to be. You?"

Downcast eyes. "Judge for yourself what you see, Link." She bows a little to him, and slips away, leaving him standing there. "But it's not as if we've given up on you."

You're still family, yes?

"I know," he calls out.

...only then is he starkly aware that they all thought he was a step behind them. Elusively chasing them.

But he couldn't say he quite regretted it. Someone had to be there, anyway, to make sure they weren't in trouble.

Link touches his lips, remember how they had felt against hers.

...he'd always be someone's keeper, whether it be Walker, or the Thirds. Officially and unofficially.

End.


A/N: Story title taken from "Crow and the Butterfly" by Shinedown. Songs are such inspirations these days...

Ah, happy Valentine's Day, by the way. XD