Rating: M

Word count: ~ 6,600

Warnings: Slightly clichéd plot, lots of angst, and Yullen lemons. Or is that limes? I can never tell with the things I write…

Disclaimer: All recognizable characters are the property of their respective owners. I am in no way associated with the creators, and no copyright infringement is intended.

A/N: As of 24/5/12, basic edits have been made. This was written over the course of four hours in between my rides. Horse shows are horrible. (My scores were good, though, which negated all the angst of writing this. Yay!)

All I'll Ever Want


Because Hearts Do Not Break

He's just standing there, like he doesn't know what to do.

Or maybe I'm projecting, because I sure as hell don't, and it hurts, it hurts to see that expression on his face, confused and tentative and unsure, like he wants to say something but nothing is coming out. Part of me wants him to speak, to get rid of the horrible, horrible silence that feel like it's crushing us—but another part of me—

(the lost, helpless little boy who knows that everything is his fault, that all the dead guardians and cold foster families and houses-that-are-not-homes are because of him)

—that part of me wants Kanda to just turn around and walk out the way he came in. It wants him to leave like everyone else, because I still can't shake off the nagging, irking thought that it's only because of me that things have come to this.

Why, Kanda? What is it that I can't give you? What is it that Alma has that I don't?

And Kanda…Kanda has the nerve to look at me and say, in some last, scrabbling attempt to regain his composure, "What the fuck do you want, moyashi?"

I can't decide if I want to laugh or cry. And so I just stand there, staring at my lover of five years, and it's like a flock of crows has somehow gotten into my chest, and they're ripping and tearing away at my heart, and I can't stand it anymore.

So I leave.

The door to our bedroom is good—strong, solid oak that locks from the inside. I sink to the ground behind it, leaning against the cold wood. He's still out there, still standing in the middle of our cheerful little living room, amidst the furniture that we picked out together when we finally had enough money to stop digging through third- and fourth-hand stores for the least battered and least hideous pieces we could find. He's just standing there, with those marks on his neck, and smelling of someone else's aftershave. By now—months into this whole affair, after I've already gone through the denial and the anger and all that is left is an aching, throbbing despair that I can't hold in anymore—by now I know the pattern. There will be scratch marks on his back, or dark hairs on his collar, or kiss marks on his chest, and I know them, because I've been seeing them for so long, and even though I never thought anything would be more painful than picking up the clothes he leaves discarded on the floor when he comes in late and folding them neatly, or washing them free of the smells of sweat and sex and another lover, and acting as though I do not care and do not see, this is close. Or maybe it is more painful, and I am simply going numb.

The living room is still silent, and I think Kanda is in shock. He probably expected me to shout and swear and curse him, to be angry and furious and all those other hot, burning emotions that deceived lovers are supposed to feel.

If this confrontation had come a month ago, or two, or three, I might have been that way. But now—after seven months of this, and those just the one when I was aware—all I feel is cold.

There is nothing left.

I wish, in the way that you usually wish for it to stop raining in the middle of a monsoon, that I had more to pack. It seems…empty that five years—nearly four and a half of them happy and peaceful (or at least as peaceful as things ever are with Kanda) and relatively free of bloodshed or betrayal or lies—that five years can be fit into a backpack and a single duffle bag.

I call Lenalee to pick me up, because, while she will ask questions, she will understand and listen when I say I don't want to talk about it, and she'll leave the interrogation until the morning, when I haven't been up for twenty-nine hours straight, waiting for Kanda's car to pull into the lot. And, because Lenalee is Lenalee, she comes without asking anything, and doesn't mention the fact that I use the backdoor instead of the front, and helps me load up my two bags without mentioning Kanda, and drives me to her house without waiting for me to ask if I can stay.

And then I pass out on her guest bed, and Kanda is the only thing I see.

It seems right that I dream of Kanda and when we met, of the first time we saw each other across a crowded club. I was dancing, and he was sulking at the bar, and because he was beautiful and I was drunk, I pulled him out of his seat and made him dance with me. There was no magical love at first sight, not even lust at first sight—just a drunken thought and whim, bringing us together forever.

Not forever, I suppose now, seeing as our forever was cut short by seven months of cheating, and now I don't think I'll ever be able to look at Kanda again without my heart trying to break just a little more.

But it's already been crushed to powder, and there's nothing more left to break.

We didn't immediately fall into bed, that night. If anything, we avoided doing just that. Three times we met in the club—it seems odd that I can't even remember the name of it now, that it slips ever so easily from my grasp as I try to recall this pivotal piece of our history together—three times before I pressed my number into his hand and then fled, terrified of his reaction to such a bold gesture. Six more meetings at small coffee shops or cafes before he gave me his. Twelve after that before our first kiss. Another month before we finally, finally had sex, a night I can still remember clearly. Almost a year of dates before he asked me to move in with him. I didn't, though. Instead, we both looked for a new home together, somewhere that we could build a life, start over without any influences. And I thought we had. I thought we were happy together.

But now, lying in Lenalee's bare guest bedroom, watching the clock tick slowly towards morning, I can finally admit to myself that maybe everything wasn't as perfect as I had considered it. And I can wonder what it was that I did wrong to drive him away. It must have been me, because I know that Kanda never does anything without reasons, even if those reasons are flawed. He's big on loyalty, on faithfulness. What horrible thing must I have done to drive him so far away?

But no matter how I stare into the darkness, there is no answer, and I turn over onto my side and wonder if I should cry. It feels like I should, like every TV drama and cheap romance novel and adolescent dream points to tears as the cure for heartache. But I've already cried. I've already ranted. I've already mourned. Now the only thing left is a cold, empty darkness.

Betrayal hurts more than heartache.

But, as much as I wish it could, time does not stop here. The next day comes, and the next, and I have work, two jobs to be able to keep up with the rent and groceries and whatever Kanda breaks when his temper gets the better of him. Except that now I don't need the money for any of that, and Lenalee will only take a few dollars for letting me use her spare room—so now, work is just a distraction, and a welcome one. I've become a model worker. I go early, work twice as hard as before, and leave late, and my bosses and managers are ecstatic and worried at the same time. After a month of this, they collectively tell me to take time off, cut my hours, and send me back to Lenalee's with the firm warning to get some rest.

I start looking for another job as soon as I'm in the door.

There's a small café that's hiring, and I have enough experience that I'm not worried about getting the job, even if it means that I'll have to sneak out in the mornings to go because Lenalee—helpfully, horribly caring as she is—got a call from both of my managers, and has threatened to lock me in my room to get some rest.

She says I'm killing myself.

I call it suicide by distraction, instead of by depression.

She'd not amused.

But the job is simple, for all that she worries, and I'm happy to have something else to fill the time between getting up and going to bed—the former which I do ridiculously early and the latter ridiculously late, because when I dream I dream of him and that's just too painful. I've never liked brooding—would rather die, really, because I've done so much brooding already that I'm sure I've exceeded whatever quota humans are given when they're born, and I don't want to got to hell (or the equivalent) for something as insignificant as having exceeded my personal allotment of brooding—so I'd rather work myself into exhaustion than have time to think and even consider going back to him.

And I have considered it, as much as it pains me to say. Kanda has been so much to me—not my everything, not quite, because I am wary of giving my everything to just one person, but very, very close. Dangerously close. Another year, and I would not have been able to walk out on him, no matter what he did. But then, I'm loyal, too. It's not just Kanda who devotes himself.

Which makes it all the more painful that I've been betrayed, because he knows. He knows what I'm like, and how much I love him—and it is still love, even now, because my heart is not that fickle, to stop loving him completely even after such a betrayal. There are still parts of me that are his, and his alone, and I half-suspect that there always will be.

After all, there has not been one night so far that I have not dreamed of him.

I am sick of dreams.

The café is small, neat, and always warm, full of the smells of warm coffee and hot sugar and cooling pastries. The smells fill everything, and permeate the air, my clothes, my hair and skin. I don't mind. When I first began to stay with Lenalee, I ran my clothes through the wash half a dozen times at least, just to remove the smell of Kanda and the detergent we used to use. It held too many memories of washing the smell of that bastard Alma off his clothes. I remember that smell, too—like lemons and musk and unfaithfulness, strong enough to make my eyes water (because there was no other explanation for my eyes watering so much, no explanation I would accept, because I couldn't be crying, not after I had spent so much time and pain forcing myself to acknowledge what he was doing to me, to us).

But the café is warm, and feels safe, and I am quickly becoming addicted to the time I spend there. It is a place where "I" do not exist, or at least not the "I" that lived with Kanda, and I am glad for that. That part of me should be dead, banished, sent away to a distant corner of my being and then torn out. I don't want to love him anymore. I don't want to feel anything.

Stone. I will become as stone, and never feel again.

But, while that's a noble goal, I know myself at least that much, at least enough to know that I can never be stone, any more than Kanda can ever say he's sorry.

Not that I believe he is. Surely, surely, if he were, he would have been able to give me some sign before now. Any sign. Anything.

I'm about to cry into a regular's double latte.

The thought is enough that I can recover myself, and serve the old man without losing control, and smile at him even when it feels as though my expression will crack like cheap china, and fall to shards around my feet. To distract myself, I think of all the things that Kanda hated, and that I love, and can think of now that he's (left me) gone. It's a long list.

Cats, spring, laughter, sunlight, long walks, summer, twilight, stargazing, clichéd dates, smiling, raspberries, quiet music, violins, rain, roses, gifts, sleeping in, lazy mornings, coffee, being together…

There's more, but listing even the first twenty leaves me feeling a little justified in walking out on Kanda the way I did. We were never perfect for each other. I knew that. Know that. Part of the enjoyment was making it work despite that. But now, now…

I smile to myself as I refill the display case with scones. Now I can find someone who's perfect for me.

But what is perfect?

I reflect on that for a moment, because I've been with Kanda for so long that I can hardly remember what I like. Kanda wasn't my first. I had dated before him, quite a bit, but the vision of dark hair and equally dark eyes has driven out all thoughts of others. Vaguely, I know that I like a sense of humor, and a good body, but beyond that I am lost.

Again, I'm not sure whether I should laugh or cry. Kanda has ruined me for anyone else.

Then the bells above the doors chime, and even before I look up, I can feel a strange brightening in the room, like the sun coming out on a cloudy day. I glance up, towards the source, and suddenly I can remember exactly what I like.


Bright smiles.

A warm greeting.

A cheerful face.

And eyes like that.

So green, even with one covered.

He orders a mocha with an orange twist, and I make it while trying to order my heart out of my throat and back down into my chest. When I hand him the cup, he smiles at me, and I lose the battle.

For the first time in weeks, I truly smile back.

(I ignore the fact that there is an azure-eyed ghost behind him, features as sharp as the katana he uses, his equally sharp gaze accusing.)

He comes back every day for a week before he asks me for my name, and gives me his.

Lavi Bookman, grandson of the CEO of Bookman Industries, attending a local university for business.

I take my lunch break at his table, and then meet him after my shift for dinner. Lavi is bright, and laughs often, and smiles at me all through our meal and our twilight walk afterwards.

I had forgotten what it was to be smiled at.

(A part of me—a small part—wants a glare and some quick, razor-edged banter, but I push it down.)

"I like you, Allen," he says as we walk through the park, the last rays of the sun disappearing over the city. I find myself liking him, too, especially when he looks at me like that, like I am beautiful and witty and funny—even when I know that I am pale and odd-looking, and stutter when he smiles, and am trying too hard to make jokes. But he doesn't seem to care.

(Neither did someone else, but I ignore that thought and focus on Lavi again.)

"Thank you," I tell him, and it is for more than the compliment.

Lavi just smiles like he knows—and maybe he does—and points to a shooting star just barely visible against the darkening sky.

"Look," he says cheerfully, "make a wish."

I wish, with utmost sincerity, that this night would never end.

(But somehow, somewhere in my heart, I'm imagining that it's with someone else, and that's the only thing making it bearable.)

It is three months after Kanda (and I feel as though it should be some major date, Before Kanda and After Kanda, the defining moments of my life—or, at very least, my happiness) that I see them for the first time. I'm out with Lavi—because whenever I go out now, it's always with Lavi—in the middle of a crowded subway platform, heading home after a fierce game of beach volleyball and a leisurely walk down the pier, when I see Kanda and someone else (Alma, my traitorous brain identifies immediately) a short distance from us. Alma is clinging to Kanda's arm in a way I can't imagine ever doing, and Kanda is his usual scowling self. I can't tell if he's just scowling because of life in general, or Alma in particular.

I must be staring, because Lavi takes my elbow and pulls me close, wrapping a careful arm around my waist. "Your ex?" he asks with wonderfully genuine concern, because I told him the bare details of my last relationship, and he read between the lines—because he seems fond of doing that, and very, very good at it—and realized, to a small extent, what exactly had happened.

The look on my face must say it all. He doesn't ask again, but pulls me gently away, disregarding the arriving train and guiding me up the stairs into the fresh air. We're some distance from the center of the city, and it's open enough to make it seem like there aren't many people. Lavi draws me over to a bench and presses me down, taking a seat next to me. His hand is on my arm, so warm that it almost burns.

Kanda was always cold, I think absently, pressing myself closer. In all ways.

(A part of me wants that coolness, to balance my own body's heat, but I remind myself that Alma has it now, and I have Lavi.)

Perhaps it isn't fair, but I can't help but compare them—and how strange it is, and wonderful, that Kanda is the one who comes up lacking.

"Allen?" Lavi asks softly, one hand rubbing up and down my spine. Elegant hands, I think, and it is still absent, though Lavi's presence is beginning to ground me. He should be a surgeon or a painter with those hands.

Kanda has elegant hands, too. And they've worked—worked hard—to get him where he is now. He's not the grandson of a rich CEO, with everything handed to him.

But the repetition of my name draws me from my inner world, and I lift my head to brave a smile at my maybe-perhaps-boyfriend. "Sorry, Lavi," I apologize quickly. "It was…Kanda and Alma. Somehow, I didn't…didn't expect them to still be together." It was a foolish idea, I know, but something in me thought that Kanda couldn't possibly let me leave and simply go back to being happy with Alma.

Just the way I couldn't leave him and instantly start being happy with Lavi.

There is a pain in my chest, sharp and tearing and overwhelming, and I catch my breath, only to find myself unable to let it out again.

They say hearts break.

But breaking is clean, like glass.

Hearts are crushed.




But they do not break.

Breaking would be painless, clean, and this is anything but.

I think, just maybe, I left it too long. I didn't walk out in time. I did give my everything to just one person, and the thought terrifies me, just as much as the suddenly overwhelming urge to walk back into the station and beg Kanda to take me back. A part of me doesn't even care if I have to be the one on the side, if Kanda only gives me the few scraps of his attention that Alma manages to miss, because even that would be better than sitting here in the bright, warm sunshine with a bright, warm man who I cannot bring myself to care for, no matter how hard I try.

I want to cry again, and can barely hold back the tears.

"Allen?" Lavi asks, and his voice is worried. "Allen, are you—?"

And then the burning warmth of his hand is gone, and there is a sharp thud and a cry of mixed surprise and pain. Before I can turn to see what has happened, strong, hard, cold hands are pulling me up, pressing me against a hard chest. Long, sword-calloused fingers twist in my hair, a familiar motion that is as comforting as it is confusing—because I know this touch. I feel it every time I dream, every time I close my eyes, even when I am doing something else and let my thoughts drift, just for the barest moment, back to what was.

"Leave him alone," Kanda snarls in a voice I've never heard before. "Keep your hands to yourself, you damn usagi jackass, or I'll cut them off at the wrist!"

Lavi, who I can now see sitting on the ground and clutching his nose in shock, blood seeping past his fingers, gives a short, brief nod in terror and scrambles away. He beats a hasty retreat, and I can't blame his self-preservation instincts for getting him out of Kanda's sight as fast as humanly possible.

It occurs to me, after a long moment, that I am alone with my ex-lover, and he has just chased off my current would-be-lover.

Perhaps, I reflect, the thought should disturb me more than it does.

I pull away from Kanda's chest far enough to look up at him in shock and confusion. He says nothing, simply stares down at me for a long minute. Then, ever so gently, one hand rises to brush my cheek in a fleeting caress, and he is gone.

I stand in the center of the park for what could be hours, one hand pressed against my cheek, the ruined pieces of my heart fluttering as they haven't done in almost a year.

Lavi doesn't come back to the coffee shop. A part of me understands, a large part, and so I don't try to call him. He's made his choice, and I…

Against all reason, against all good judgment, I've made mine.

I'm going to wait for Kanda.

Even as I make the decision, I can feel my battered heart slowly growing stronger, pulling itself back together. Like rebuilding a castle from crumbled stone, each decision, each resolution or firm thought or path that I choose fits another piece back into the jagged outline that rests where with whole once did. Every day that I stand firm in my belief that I still love Kanda, that I still want him and will remain faithful until the end, acts as a firm bond, a bond of unbreakable mortar to hold the shards together.

I will remain as I was before, with Kanda as the only possessor of my heart.

Lenalee—who is truly a saint, or a goddess of wisdom in a human body, never argues with my choice, as some friends might have. She understands that Kanda is, really, the only one for me, and simply gives me a kiss on the cheek and tells me not to give up hope. I smile at her and tell her I won't.

And I don't. I call Marie and Daisya, Kanda's foster brothers whom I've always been close to, for the first time since the breakup, and tell them where to find me, and that if Kanda asks them they should let him know. Daisya calls me an idiot, though his voice is fond, and says, "Good. We like you better than the new one, anyway." Marie, ever kind and understanding, just smiles and nods, and assures me that he will.

As they are, in all reality, the only people Kanda ever talks to on a regular basis, I know it's the best I can do, and go back to my life as best I can.

It takes another three months before Kanda walks back into my life.

I'm working yet another shift at the café, and my feet hurt, and someone spilled a pineapple-mango smoothie all over my apron, and I haven't gotten nearly enough tips to deal with such a large dinner crowd (even if they are all leaving now), and my hair is sticking out at all angles, damp with sweat and god knows what else. I've got a smudge of flour on my nose that I can only just see if I cross my eyes, and a burn from the oven throbs on my already marred left arm. It's been a hectic day, and my temper is about as short as it's ever been, leaving my snappish and irritated.

And then the door swings open, the bells chiming gently, and he's here.

My entire world shuts down, vanishes until only dark blue eyes and deep black hair remain, until all I can see is that face that I've dreamt of for so many nights now, right in front of me. The expression on his face is a thousand times more tentative than I've ever seen before, and it's somehow so Kanda, with that little bit of anger and irritation and homicidal intention even if it is an expression of regretful hesitancy that I can't help myself.

The tray clatters to the ground—thankfully empty—and I'm in his arms before I even remember moving. And, best of all, Kanda is hugging me back, as though he is a drowning man and I'm the only life preserver in an endless sea.

"Kanda," I whisper, and that one word says everything I've been thinking for the past three months, one week, and seven hours, since he walked away from me in the park.

He pulls away to look at me, and I'm drowning in blue.

"Come on," he growls, then tugs me through the kitchen and out the back door, into an alley that smells of last week's leftovers, and pushes me down onto a crate. Then he kneels in front of me, and I'm stunned, because I've never seen Kanda kneel, in all the time we were together.

"I was wrong," he says in a sudden rush, as though he won't be able to get the words out if he goes slowly. "What I did was wrong. Alma…we were friends, when we were in the orphanage. It doesn't excuse anything, but…" He breaks off and runs a hand over his hair, tugging at his ponytail. It's something he only does when extremely frustrated, and I'm beginning to see other signs in him, that this talk was probably planned out and yet isn't going as he wants, now that it's time to actually say it.

"But?" I prompt softly, and know that, in my heart, I've already forgiven him. I think I did the moment he punched Lavi, even though I have no reason to and it's a stupid thing to do.

But then, when has love ever been smart?

Kanda looks relieved that I'm listening, and wary of my easy acceptance, but forges on nevertheless. "Alma's gone. I asked him to leave, after I…saw you. It wasn't…it wasn't working between us anyway." He shakes his head, then looks at me and says what is perhaps the sappiest thing to ever pass his lips.

"He wasn't you, Allen."

My name. He's serious.

I want to laugh, but that response will probably get me skewered or gutted, so I hold it back and smile instead, shaking my head slightly. I only have a few questions left now. "Kanda…I know you were friends with Alma, but why did it start? Why did it continue? Did you love him?"

A look of semi-horror crosses Kanda's face, and he quickly shakes his head. "No. I didn't l—love him." The words are spat out, as though they cause him physical discomfort. "We—I didn't even mean for if to happen, though he might have. It just…it was a mistake, but there was something that made it…addictive, to go to him and then come home to you, to feel how different it could be. After you…left, I tried to stay with him, but…he wasn't you. I knew that, but while it was happening, I just…couldn't stop."

He seems equally horrified at that, which assures me that it's genuine. If there's anything Kanda hates most, it' being out of control, and for him to admit that means that he's truly, deeply sorry, and trying everything he can to make me understand.

What little resistance I have melts, and I'm in his arms again, kissing those high cheekbones.

"I love you, Kanda," I tell him. "I never stopped."

"Moyashi," he breathes, and it's a sob of relief, and expression of disbelief, and a prayer all wrapped up together. He brings our lips together, devouring, biting, licking, trying to pull me into him. I answer with everything I have, knowing how much it must have cost him to come here, to say all these things and show his vulnerability. It's precious to me, this view of him like this, and I know I'll savor it for the rest of my life.

"Allen, go home," Link says from behind me, sounding amused, exasperated, and ever so slightly fond. He stands in the door of his café, arms crossed, my timecard in one hand. "I'll clock you out, but I don't want to see you until Monday. Good night."

The door slams, and I have to smother a laugh. It's Thursday now, and I haven't had so many days off in a row since I started. Link truly is something special.

"Come on, moyashi," Kanda says, standing and drawing me to my feet as well. "Let's go home."

Everything in our apartment is just as it was the day I left, months ago now, and Kanda admits—somewhat sheepishly, I am bemused to see—that he hasn't changed anything, or allowed Alma to come here in my absence. In fact, Alma has never been here, something that makes me inordinately pleased. Our home is still our home.

It also means I won't have to set fire to the bed, which pleases me just as much.

We end up there before even an hour has passed, somehow, even though the physical aspect of our relationship was always less important than the rest of it. But, with my back flat on the mattress, Kanda kissing the breath out of me, his slick fingers moving in my body, I wonder dazedly how we could have ever gone without doing this at least once a day, if not more. Then Kanda's long, talented fingers find my sweet spot and press, and all coherent thought goes the way of the dodo.

It is a small consolation that Kanda's wild eyes reflect the same.

Then we are rolling, and I'm on top, my favorite position, which Kanda somehow knows even though I've never said anything. He looks up at me, his dark eyes burning, and says in a low growl, "Go on, Allen."

My name in that husky voice sends shivers down my spine, and I move down his body slightly, rising up on my knees above him. My touch, as I position him under me, makes him hiss and close his eyes, and I smile slightly even as the pressure against my most sensitive places shatters all lucid thought. I sink down, gasping as the wide head pushes past my entrances and then slides all the way in. Kanda buries himself to the hilt, and I'm left keening and trembling, my body shaking as I fight not to collapse over him from the force of this dark pleasure. He's big, nearly bigger than I can take, pressing against all the right places, and it drives me insane with sensation.

Kanda's large, lean hands settle on my hips, and he holds me in place as he bucks upwards, driving deeper than should be physically possibly. Pleasure explodes along my nerve endings, and I half-expect that I'll light up like a Christmas tree, it's so bright and powerful and overwhelming. The force of it steals my breath, leaves me only enough air to make breathless mewling noises.

After a moment, I can breathe enough that Kanda no longer has to move for me, and lean forward to brace my hands on his chest as I rock my hips in a figure-eight that I know will drive him equally insane. He groans at the constant twisting, hands gripping hard enough to leave bruises, and his head falls back. I manage a breathless laugh, because Kanda overwhelmed is a rare sight indeed, and one I relish. Leaning even further forward, I ghost my lips and teeth over a tempting nipple, and then slam myself backwards on his cock, echoing his cry. We're both shaking now, the long separation and long time going without—as Kanda admits that, after I left, he couldn't bring himself to be with Alma in that way—making everything feel twice as powerful, twice as strong.

Kanda's wicked fingers curl around my erection, pulling sharply, and I come undone with a cry, convulsing in pleasure. Kanda grits his teeth and throws his head back, arching his hips and suddenly deep enough inside me that I can nearly feel him in my soul, and comes with a fierce hiss.

I collapse on top of him, still shaking from aftershocks, and strong arms come up and wrap around me, bearing me down to the mattress. Kanda's a cuddler, ever though it seems to go against every part of his persona, and I've never been more grateful as I relax into the embrace with a sigh.

"Love you, Kanda," I murmur, resting my head on his shoulder.

He strokes my hair, carding his fingers through it in that touch that haunted me for so long. For a moment, I almost think he didn't hear me, or isn't going to respond, and then he murmurs back, "I love you, too, Allen. Don't leave again."

We lie together for a long time, watching as the bedroom gradually darkens to midnight before we drift off in each other's arms.

There is no instant cure for pain, no sudden mending of crushed hearts, but I think that Kanda and I are doing well regardless. There is hurt, and anger, and resentment, and guilt—on both our parts—but that's overcome with time and trying and a little bit of patience. Whenever things are really bad, I think of all the things that Kanda loves, and that I love, and can think of now that we're together once more. It's a long list.

Quiet mornings, sparring, kissing, intimacy, the ocean, hot chocolate, good food, winter, spontaneous dates, traveling, reading, wind, piano, snow, making love, silence, banter, early mornings, tea, being together…

There's more, but listing even the first twenty leaves me feeling absolutely justified in coming back Kanda the moment he asked. We've never been perfect for each other. I know that. I always have. Part of the enjoyment is making it work despite that.

And we do, every day and every night, because we love each other.

I no longer have to wonder about what I like, or what type I like, because Kanda is all I'll ever need, and Kanda—sharp, sarcastic Kanda with his temper and homicidal impulses and jealousy and all the insecurities that come with him—Kanda is all I'll ever want.