Words That Jingle and Tears That Bloom
He stopped singing in the shower. It had become much too troublesome, what with having to call the plumber to remove flakes of gold and rotted lilies from the clogged drain. On the phone he would say that he was calling for his poor mute cousin. As he spoke he would hold a cup to his chin to catch the pennies that rolled off his tongue.
The coppery taste was always so foul.
He would of course give his own address. If the plumber thought it odd that anyone could manage to spill her jewelry box into the bathtub, and more than once, he was too embarrassed to try and speak to the mute lady. Allen didn't know what he thought about the lilies though…
When he was done, Allen would scrawl a quick thank you onto a scrap of paper and tip him with a gold nugget.
Allen had once been of the habit of speaking to himself when he was alone, until the day he slipped on an opal that had tumbled from his lips, and fractured his wrist in the fall. At the impact, his cry of pain spat a diamond the size of a golf ball across the room, where it rolled under the couch. He'd pulled himself to his feet and called an ambulance, sobs falling as bitter milkweed blossoms. Cradling his injured hand close to his body, he clumsily filled a drinking glass with water from the kitchen and stuck the blushing clusters into it. He'd always hated to let the flowers die.
The pain in his wrist made him whimper. Quartz crystals forming on his tongue with each sound, soft as pudding in the first instance, but gems always hardened before he could spit them out. The facets abraded his gums as they slipped past his teeth. By the time the ambulance arrived, he had collected hundreds of agonized whimpers into a bowl.
During the jolting ride to the hospital, he bit nearly through his lip in desperate efforts to make no sound. The few grunts that escaped him had rolled onto the pillow as silver coins. The paramedic had exclaimed he'd dropped his change and that he'd put it in his wallet for him. Allen didn't care about the coins but he was thankful the man hadn't seen the glinting silver come from his mouth.
The anesthetic in the emergency room was a greater mercy than the doctors could imagine but Allen would always return home as soon as they would allow. Being around people was just too dangerous.
Mana had always told him that a soft answer would turn away wrath. Allen had taken this to heart, having previously grown up on the streets, the cold hostility and derisive indifference he showed the people who scorned him never did make things easier. He'd received more than his fair share of bruises for carelessly delivered comments born from his loneliness and insecurity. As a young man though, he took those words to heart, tried to lull his guardian with agreeableness, dull the heavy hand that held the hammer with a soft though often frantic reply. He'd go about his chores cheerfully, and smiled until his cheeks ached. When he met Cross' mistresses he pretended that it didn't burn at his gut to see them turn up their noses at his efforts. He always tried to be pleasant, but with Cross as his guardian that was easier said than done.
One day that Cross had sent him to fetch him some fine wines from the old shop just past the city boundaries, he'd come across an elderly woman. He'd been on the way back from the shop and had two bags filled with the rich red alcoholic beverages hanging off his slender frame. The woman was thirsty, and flushed from the scorching midday sun. Allen had then apologized that he had no water but if she didn't mind, he would give her some of the wine he had purchased. In his mind he could almost hear Cross shouting at him for wasting his precious liquor on some wretched old hag and cringed at the thought.
Since that meeting Allen had often regretted the kindness he'd showed, wondering if she had known what her blessing had done to him and if she had intended to curse him into his self-induced isolation. Allen no longer feared scorn and ridicule, as he feared his own voice and the greedy gazes of Cross and his banker as Allen would bring them shoe boxes crammed full with jeweled phrases, silver sentences, and the rare pearl of laughter.
Allen hated that his "gift" made him suspicious of others, that it forced him into silence. In his childhood he'd never been one for socializing, finding himself wrapped up in quarrels when some upstanding citizen decided to pay the little homeless child any mind. After Mana took him in, though, he learned to smile for people, and he began to thrive on that contact – even if the smiles were fake they drew people close and legitimized his existence.
Living with Cross didn't deny him his place in the world, but it forced roles upon him that he violently hated. Even so he continued to smile, because the words no longer came easy. It wasn't until he'd been found crying lilies into a pond by the grounds keeper of the newest mistress's estate that Allen found some semblance of contentment in his gem spitting life.
Narein used to make a game of surprising different sounds from Allen to see what kind of wealth would leap from his mouth. He had been kind and playful then, he'd rescued Allen from Cross's cold greed and easily given wrath. For some time when Cross disappeared with one of his mistresses and millions worth in jewels Narein and his sister, Miena, had housed Allen. They had even spoken of running away together, three young souls escaping the chains of duty that hung over them. Narein could make Allen smile but he preferred it when he laughed out loud, raining him with wealth. When Miena fell ill, in consoling jaunts about the park, Narein would tickle Allen, and would laugh kindly as he ruffled the silky locks of snow white hair, while making jokes about the strings of pearly chuckles that gleamed as they fell at their feet.
Before he knew it, Allen had fallen in love with those deceptive smiles. The gaze that seemed uncaring for the riches that poured from his lips and that he didn't need to feel ashamed for being used so wantonly for what to him had long seemed like a curse.
Narein professed to love him, and as he elicited sweet yelps of surprise from Allen he'd gather the gems and use them as payment for Miena's hospital bills. But it was the cries and groans of their lovemaking that Narein liked best. He would stroke and tongue Allen for hours, licking and kissing him where he enjoyed it most, thrust into him deeper with each wail of pleasure, until, covered in the fragrance of crushed lily petals, they had no strength for more. Afterwards, Narein would collect sapphires and jade, silver love knots and gold doubloons from the folds of the sheets.
"I don't even need to bring you flowers," he would joke. "You speak better blossoms for yourself than I could ever buy."
Then one day after a long night of tossing sheets and screams of pleasure Allen woke to an empty house. He went to the hospital and found Miena to have been checked out with a clean bill of health. He returned to the house and waited, waited and waited but for all the gold dust he sobbed and all the withered chrysanthemums that fell as tears, they did nothing to patch his broken heart.
Neither the siblings nor Cross ever returned. Milked of fortunes more than one man could ever spend Allen was no longer of any use. Allen left that sad lonely place and moved into a small house in a different country a ways away from the city and locked himself away. For a time he searched the databases of all the libraries in the world for some spell to call back that old woman and beg her to take back her gift, her curse. But after coming up empty every single time he gave up.
A knock on the door startled Allen from sleep. He remained motionless, listening as the knocking became louder and a bit more urgent. Peering through the window he saw a beautiful man, with navy tresses longer than his own white locks. Allen frowned, surely this man hadn't walked here; he lived about twenty miles from the nearest town. A glance around and sure enough down the street he could make out a car, the hood propped up and the engine steaming into the cool evening air.
Another knock drew Allen's attention back to the door and he frowned, he couldn't just let the man stand there. Hesitantly Allen made his way down stairs to the front door and opened it, the man stepped back a stony expression on his face.
"My car broke down, can I use your phone?"
Allen nodded, as he opened the door wider and stepped to the side so that the stranger could enter. The man seemed a bit curious as to the mute response but nodded his thanks as he was directed towards the phone.
A few minutes later and some angry words, the man turned to where Allen was waiting by the door.
"I hate to ask, but would you put me up for the night? The soonest they can get a mechanic our here is tomorrow."
Allen stiffened at the request. He'd feel terrible if he denied the man, and he had to sleep outside in his car all night without anything to eat even, but having him in his house for any extended period of time was still a frightening prospect. Could he keep his secret from this man? Was it possible to not make a single sound until he left?
The man seemed to have noticed the hesitance and discomfort and sighed.
"Sorry for asking, there's no need to force yourself."
Allen looked up as the man passed him, making his way to the door. Biting back the urge to call out to him to wait, Allen rushed up to him and caught the back of the man's jacket instead, his pale fingers trembling with unease. Deep cobalt eyes met his gaze, navy brows quirking in question.
Allen shook his head, a pale blush suffusing across his cheeks in embarrassment.
"Does this mean I can stay?"
"You can't talk?"
Hesitance. Another nod.
"You don't talk?"
Allen's gaze fell to the floor shamefully as his hand fell back at his side, unable to respond with another mute gesture. The man's gaze softened at the expression turning fully to face the shorter male.
"My name's Kanda."
Allen chanced a glance up at that and found no pity or annoyance in the man's expression, which he had become used to over the years of his sparse interaction with other people. Fumbling with a pen and finding no paper in his pocket, Allen scrawled his name on his palm before holding it up for Kanda to see.
"Allen," Kanda read aloud. "Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for letting me stay here."
A surprised look overcame Allen's face as he nodded, a bright smile lighting his features. Kanda was a bit taken aback by the sudden change in his host's mood but shook it off as he followed Allen into the living room.
A hand gestured to the couch as if offering him a place to sit, and Kanda silently obliged. Allen fidgeted awkwardly by the edge of the coffee table as if unsure of how to properly host company. Kanda noticing the awkward weight to the air glanced around the room for a topic to bring up – something to possibly alleviate the snowy haired male's nervousness. Rather than finding a topic for conversation though, he found the room to be bare of any personal effects and the only striking thing about it that warranted any attention was Allen himself with his shock white hair that was far from being the tell-tale graying of age, his sterling silver eyes and the oddly formal clothing he was wearing that might have come out of a nineteenth century Victorian fashion magazine if such things had been around in the eighteen hundreds.
"Do you live here alone?" Kanda finally asked drawing his gaze away from Allen's apparel up to his face.
Allen nodded with the affirmative, his fidgeting ceasing instantly.
Kanda wasn't much for crowds or the noise that came with being around people, but the silence in the house was something he wasn't used to. He appreciated silence whenever he could get it because of how difficult it was to come by, but he wondered if Allen, living only in silence all by himself would ever feel oppressed by this silence.
"Do you ever go into the city? It's kind of far but-" Kanda's question faded from his lips when Allen shook his head in the negative.
A moment later Kanda found himself staring at Allen's back as gloved hands rummaged through the top drawer of a lamp desk adjacent to the unlit fireplace. The rummaging stopped as Allen's hands fell upon a blank notebook, which he drew from the desk and flipped open, beginning to write on its first page.
I have gone to the city a couple times, but normally I stay here.
Kanda read the words on the page displayed before him. He assumed then that Allen had his groceries and the like delivered, but found it strange – the boy didn't talk but being mute hardly seemed like a reason to seclude oneself. Even so he didn't say anything more.
Would you like some tea? Coffee?
"Tea is fine."
Allen smiled briefly as he set down the notebook on the edge of the coffee table before heading through an open arched doorway to his right.
Left alone in the room, Kanda took the opportunity to assess his surroundings again; perhaps he'd missed something, a photograph in an old picture frame or a stupid birthday greeting card from a friend that had been too funny to throw out. The only thing in the room he'd missed the first time around had been a worn first print edition copy of classic fairy tales collected by some guy whose name Kanda couldn't make out.
It was sitting idly atop a wicker basket in the corner of the room, beside which stood a periwinkle spattered ceramic vase of red and yellow striped carnations. The spine was creased and the cover tarnished a banana-tan hue, its pages also bearing the same stain of time.
Kanda had never been one for fairy tales; he found them to be blissfully ignorant of reality. Then again the only interaction he'd had with them had been from the poorly written picture books his adoptive father had read to him as a child. He wandered over to the book, looking at it with some suspicion as if it were exuding a message he couldn't decipher.
Tentatively Kanda reached out stopping just short of the cover as he glanced in the direction Allen had gone. He didn't know why he got the feeling he was trespassing on something very private, it was just a book. The soft sound of porcelain cups being set on tea plates and the simpering whistle of the kettle filled with water near to boil reassured Kanda. Just a quick look, his host didn't even have to know.
Calloused fingers landed on the rough textured cover, reverently tracing the contours of the embossed letters. He'd seen old books before; back home his "best friend" pretty much lived in a library and the old panda grandpa of his claimed to have been collecting the stories of the world for centuries. This book, however, felt different. He didn't dare pick it up.
Gingerly he flipped the cover open, thumbing through the first pages to the table of contents. The pages had a soft floral scent, the fragrance somberly sweet. As Kanda continued to skim through the pages he noted a sharper saline undertone – like tears.
The sound of soft footsteps padding across the floor caught Kanda's attention as he turned to see Allen setting a tea tray upon the coffee table.
"I was just…" Kanda cursed himself for the break in his speech as he allowed the cover to fall back into place. "Do you like fairy tales?"
Allen stared past Kanda at the book that had for some time laid forgotten there before shaking his head and picking up his notepad.
The original ones I have to respect for telling things as they are, but generally speaking they perturb me.
"Stories about princesses, ogres and knights in shiny armor scare you?" Kanda smirked good naturedly.
Allen pouted as he put his pen to paper again.
They most certainly do not; but tales of parents abandoning their children in the forest, mothers murdering their step-sons and little spoiled girls getting dragged down to hell… I don't think you can blame me for being disconcerted by such stories.
Kanda frowned, sparing a glance back at the book. Were the stories really like that? Nothing in that sounded like the tales Tiedoll had told him. What happened to the retarded prince charming and the happily ever after frolicking off into the setting sun arm in arm with the rescued damsel who was more beautiful than anyone else in the land?
"I suppose the versions I got as a child were just mass media prattle, huh?" Kanda mused as he took his seat again, just as a cup of steaming tea was set before him.
Allen took a sip of his own tea before beginning to write something in the notebook only to shake his head and scratch it out, waving his hand as a "never mind" before picking up his tea again.
They sat in silence drinking their tea, the clock on the wall silently slipping the minutes past. A clock that didn't have a tick or a tock to keep time… the silence made the seconds seem to fly by in obsoleteness.
Once the tea was done Allen packed up the tray and headed back into the kitchen. With him gone Kanda quickly grabbed the notebook and scanned the lines of conversation until he found what had been scratched out.
It's hard to find truth in a world like th-
Kanda placed the book back on the table, regretting his curiosity. He'd just glimpsed something of his host that made the silence seem all the more like a cage.
You never really know what darkness is until you've experienced it out of the city. That's what Kanda had learned as soon as night fell. Standing on the porch he could see neither his car nor where the walkway to the house ended and the road began. The faint glow of the house's light barely reached past the edge of stairs, all else was pitch like blindness. He was far from afraid of a little darkness but how a person could live alone in a place so secluded it seemed like its own contained world was unfathomable to the navy haired male.
"If you turned off the lights, the house would disappear," Kanda mused aloud noting Allen's presence behind him.
It might be better to blend in, as it is it's kind of like a target isn't it?
Kanda frowned at the comment but nodded just the same. The house would stand out like a lighthouse in the middle of all this darkness. It was practically screaming "I'm here" to the world.
When the morning comes the darkness will recede. It always does, so you can rest easy tonight. I fixed up the spare room for you.
Kanda didn't know what was worse, Allen assuming he was uneasy with the darkness or the fact that without a moon in the sky to shed even the slightest light, the world outside the door really appeared like something to fear.
That night Kanda dreamed of a black expanse of nothingness in which he couldn't even see his hand when held out in front of him. In that world he heard stifled sobs that smelled of lilies and autumn leaves.
Allen woke just before dawn, gathering the crushed flowers on his pillow into a basket to toss out into the field. He'd been alright for a long time, but perhaps it was the calm presence of another person in his life – even if only in passing – that had stirred within him that yearning for others.
If he closed his eyes he could still see Mana smiling at him and hear his own estranged voice joyously rambling on about the most nonsensical things. He could feel what it was like to speak without gems hardening on his tongue and coins nearly chocking him when he laughed.
Opening the back window Allen inverted the basket, watching the dainty rain of warm orange and yellow as the petals scattered over the grass and were swept up in the breeze. In the dim light they seemed as though fairies or butterflies loftily floating where they pleased.
Allen's lips curved down in thought, if only the old woman had been just an old woman or if only he hadn't been so kind to her, hadn't warranted her giving him a gift of any sort in thanks. He felt his heart clench, hating himself for wishing ill of his good deeds. Shaking his head he closed the window and set the basket down on the ground before heading out to the porch to watch the sun rise.
"Do you always get up so early?" Kanda asked from the bottom of the stairs. Allen retracted his hand from the door and turned to his guest with a polite nod of greeting.
Did you sleep alright?
"Yeah, I didn't have any obnoxious idiots keeping me up with their constant bickering and there were no scathing shadows glancing across the ceiling from cars passing by the windows."
Allen's eyes sparkled with laughter but he bit his cheek to keep the sound from escaping him.
What time should we be expecting the mechanic?
"In about three hours," Kanda said after a quick look at the clock in the living room.
Then in the mean time would you like something to eat?
"How about I make breakfast, as thanks for putting me up for the night and everything."
Allen's eyes widened, disbelieving of the sound his ears had taken in. That anyone would do something for him in thanks… he almost wanted to cry at the feeling of warmth that suffused through his chest.
Okay, do you need any help?
"It hardly constitutes as a show of gratitude if I let you help so if you could just show me where everything is you can take it easy this morning."
After a quick tour around the kitchen Allen wandered into the living room flopping unceremoniously into the couch wondering as to the possibility of there being other people like Kanda in the world. There had been Mana, but unlike the relationship he'd had with his father, Kanda was, in all understandings of the word, a stranger.
Breakfast came and went and Allen found himself drying dishes beside Kanda as the man washed them. The peculiarity of the situation continued to gnaw at Allen and though happier than he'd been in a long time – having regained a semblance of belief in a person's capability for kindness – he couldn't help the heavy feeling that told him that this wouldn't last. More so than that, was the dread that what was to come next would be something of a storm.
The mechanic came an hour past the expected time, which had Kanda in a serious huff as he spoke of the importance of keeping one's word and adhering to the duties stipulated by the job he was conducting. Needless to say, Allen had found it quite amusing.
Allen watched idly from the porch at the two men crowded around the open hood of the car. He felt almost sad, because he knew once the vehicle was fixed Kanda would leave and probably never come back. It's not like he had any reason to, they were just two people who met in passing and nothing more.
Turning his gaze to the now azure sky, Allen followed the lazily shifting clouds with his eyes. He was so relaxed he didn't notice Kanda approaching until the male was within earshot.
"What are you looking it?"
Allen sat up instantly at the address, a tinge of pink staining his upper cheek bones. Kanda had stopped about ten feet away from the house, still on the road so instead of bothering with writing his response down Allen just pointed up and shrugged sheepishly.
"You can't honestly be telling me that you have nothing better to do than to stare at the clouds," Kanda said in mock disbelief, brow cocked and lips drawn up into half smirk.
At this Allen pouted, playfully sticking his tongue out in a juvenile display of the ever popular "shut up." The atmosphere around them was near frivolous and anyone would have thought that they'd been friends for years.
"Put that away brat," Kanda scoffed though there was neither irritation nor malice in his tone.
Just as Allen was about to gesture the man to come closer so he could ask about the car, he noticed the mechanic's truck swerve out of control heading straight towards Kanda. Eyes wide and fearful Allen lunged towards the banister, hands gripping the wood as his voice bubbled up from within him.
The desperation in his voice tasted cold and metallic as silver coins rolled from his tongue, clattering onto the wood by his feet.
Kanda barely registered the words Allen had spoken, too caught up in the sound of his voice and the… he didn't know what had fallen from the other's mouth when he'd called out but it glittered like silver in the light. He shook himself from the minor stupor and leapt out of the way just as the truck barreled through the place he'd been standing and into the side of the house, wood splintering over the smashed in hood.
Shock struck, Kanda openly stared at Allen who had his hand clasped over his mouth a distraught look on his face, eyes glistening as though he were restraining tears. Kanda opened his mouth to speak. What? How? Why? But no words came out. He started towards the house just as Allen turned and rushed back inside, tears starting to blossom lilies and scarlet bromeliads along his cheeks.
"Wait!" Kanda called as he rushed after the boy, completely forgetting about the mechanic in the truck. Cobalt eyes were instantly drawn to the trail of flowers leading into the house and the image from his dream resurfaced. Without hesitation Kanda followed the trail in through the doors and up the stairs to the closed door of Allen's room.
"Allen," Kanda called resting a hand on the door knob and found it to be unlocked. "I'm coming in, okay."
He received no response.
Taking a breath he turned the knob and pushed the door open, finding a shorter trail of flowers to the closet against the far wall. Kanda slowly approached, coming to a stop outside the double doors, listening to the incessant sobbing from within and the proportional increase in a floral fragrance.
"Allen, you can come out. I promise I won't do anything."
Kanda tried the doors, but Allen was holding them from the inside and they wouldn't open.
"Listen, I don't know what just happened, but you don't need to lock yourself in the closet."
Kanda sighed when there was no response, irritation starting to fester at the male's stubbornness.
"Quit crying, will you, you're going to drown yourself in flowers at this rate," Kanda snapped tugging more forcefully at the doors. "And I'll be damned if the guy who just saved my life suffocated before I could thank him."
The sobs slowly died to sniffles and then to silence but there was no movement and the doors remained closed.
"I'm stepping away from the closet now," Kanda announced retreating to the edge of the bed, "come out of there. You have no reason to be afraid of me."
When five minutes passed without any sign of movement Kanda had to clench his fists at his sides to restrain himself from charging the door again. Another five minutes and the tension released leaving red crescents in his palms when Allen cautiously pushed one of the doors open and slipped out, a barrage of flowers tumbling out after him.
"Hey," Kanda said casually.
Allen nodded his acknowledgment stiffly.
"So all that fairy tale crap is true then?"
Allen shrugged but it was clear what he wasn't saying affirmed at least the presence of unnatural forces.
"When you cry, your tears turn to flowers and when you speak… coins fall from your lips? Is that about right?"
Allen said nothing, but the tension in his body increased.
"Well that must be a pain," Kanda mused. "No wonder you don't want to speak, you'd be tripping over crap and cleaning up shit all the time."
Allen's head shot up, his eyes meeting Kanda's for the first time since he'd emerged from the closet.
"Che, now you look at me?" Kanda frowned crossing his arms to emphasize his displeasure.
Allen's gaze fell again in shame.
"I'm pretty brash by nature, and this attitude of yours is really pushing my patience, but it's not like you did something wrong."
Kanda wanted to hit himself for how awkward this was. Lavi could calm someone down and make them laugh with his ridiculous red hair alone, and here he was stumbling over words and not getting anywhere.
"You don't care?" Three copper coins tumbled from Allen's mouth, clattering on the floor just as the silver had.
Kanda frowned as he glanced at the coins before shrugging.
"You'll have to be a bit more specific about what it is you're asking me if I care about."
"Huh?" Kanda's brows knitted in irritation. "The heck would I care about that for? Do I look like I'm hard up for cash? And aside from that, shouldn't you be more worried about what I think about this crazy magic shit?"
Allen stared blankly at Kanda, the scolding tone washing over him and bring with it relief, the tension melting away.
"I'm taking it in stride, but knowing there's magic and more crap out there without a rhyme or reason to it is a lot more disturbing to me than some guy who speaks wealth or whatever the heck this is."
A smile broke out on Allen's face as laughter buckled him in two, diamonds and sapphires falling from his mouth to lie at his feet with the coins.
Kanda's expression became blank as he stared openly at the laughing male and the growing pile of treasure at his feet.
"Whatever you do don't trip over that crap, 'cause I don't know how the heck I'd explain anything to a doctor if you happened to get hurt," Kanda warned eliciting more laughter.
The cobalt eyed male hardly thought what he was saying was in any way funny, but it was better than the crying. He couldn't stand the sound of anguish.
A moment later Allen had managed to gather his composure and he stepped around the pile of riches, walking up to Kanda. Curious eyes followed his movements but the male didn't move as Allen wrapped his arms around him in earnest.
He didn't speak, but Kanda heard Allen's "thank you" all the same.
Hesitantly Kanda lifted a hand and ruffled Allen's snowy hair as if he was dealing with a small child.
After their heartfelt bonding moment, Kanda had left Allen to take the unconscious mechanic back to town after promising to come back so they could talk. It had been longer than the time Kanda had estimated to be back and Allen was becoming anxious waiting.
He wanted to trust Kanda, but memories and past experiences made him worry just the same. It was reassuring, though, that Kanda hadn't even given the jewels a second glance. But still, the minute hand kept inching forward.
The phone rang and Allen rushed to get it, surely it was Kanda calling to say why he was late. Surely he would be coming back and hadn't abandoned his promise.
"Hello?" Allen spat out a nasturtium.
"Precious. It is you." Narein's voice was honey dripped over steel. "Why'd you move, love? I searched everywhere for you."
Allen clamped his lips together, refusing to give the man his words. But he could not stop himself from listening to that voice he'd once loved and trusted. He'd always listened carefully to Narein, and as the saying goes old habits die hard. For a moment he even forgot who he'd been hoping to hear on the other end of the line.
"You don't have to answer, Precious. I can see you quite clearly from here. You must have wanted me to find you, leaving the curtains open like that."
Allen went rigid not daring to look out the window at his back.
"Narein, go away, or I'll call the police." Deadly nightshade fell from Allen's lips. He paused to spit out the poisonous sap.
In retrospect he might have chosen to swallow the viscous liquid and end his suffering before anything could add to it. Truly he was fed up with the pain of having to endure it all. He just knew that after a brief joy he would be laden with grief again.
There was a crash as Narein came through the porch sliding doors. This time Allen did whip around to face him, a near palpable dread in his eyes. Narein casually dropped his phone as he stepped through the ruined glass; he had a length of iron pipe in the other hand which he also let fall with a crunch on a shard of glass.
Petrified, Allen made it to the front door before he was slammed against the wall, arm wrenched behind his back. From years of habitual silence, the only sound to escape Allen had been a hiss of pain. A copper coin rolled over his tongue, the metallic taste of fear. He found himself thinking that this couldn't be Narein; that this violent creature could never be him – even if he'd been more in love with Miena he wasn't violent. Allen repeated this vain thought over and over in his head trying to will the man away as a figment – yes perhaps he'd simply fallen asleep while waiting for Kanda and he was having a nightmare.
"You won't call anyone, Precious. You have no one to call, no one who would care. And even if you called the police, you know it would ruin your life if people found out. Think of the people following you everywhere, the kidnapping attempts. You'd have every damn bleeding heart charity beating down your door for donations. I can protect you from all that, if you let me. I love you."
Allen tensed as he turned his head away, gritting his teeth against the pain in his arm.
"Get the hell away from Allen!"
Silver eyes darted to the source of the sound and found a very pissed off looking Kanda standing in the doorway.
"Who are you?" Narein asked, amused at the display.
"I said back the fuck off," Kanda hissed dangerously picking up the pipe that had been dropped and brandishing it menacingly. "That is if you don't want me to make you."
Allen shuddered in disbelief and overwhelming joy. Kanda was there, he'd come back just like he'd said he would and not for want of gems and jewels since he'd already turned those down when he'd left for town earlier.
"Come here," Kanda said holding out his free hand to Allen who immediately took it allowing himself to be drawn away from Narein's side. With Allen safely behind him, Kanda let the metal hang at his side, hands clenched tightly around it to restrain himself from the urge to bash the chestnut haired male's head in. His eyes darkened and hardened with hatred.
"You know I love you, Precious, I took care of you after Cross left," Narein cooed completely ignoring Kanda. "I never meant to leave for as long as I did, it was for Miena's health – you know she loved you too. When I got back you were gone, so it's your fault you know… we searched everywhere for you."
Lies. Lies. All lies! Tears built up in Allen's eyes at the heart wrenching sugar words he'd longed to hear. But he knew better. He'd felt pain and knew the taste of deception and Narein's words were candy coated lies and nothing more.
Allen turned his head away. Narein's kind expression faded into a callous irritation seeming to realize that his words had no effect on Allen.
"He's the same as me, Precious. He'll use you and then throw you away because you're only worth the riches that spill from your lips," Narein snarled maliciously.
Kanda's grip tightened in rage until his knuckles were white and his palms were bleeding crescents.
"Shut your mou-" Cobalt eyes widened in shock and pain as glass shattered over his head and he felt himself falling forward, things fading out of focus and then becoming black like the night around Allen's home.
"Kanda!" Allen spat out an opal as he crouched at the man's side, eyes darting to where Miena stood, the neck of the vase she'd smashed over Kanda's head still intact between her hands.
"Brother said you'd sing for me, like a pretty song bird," Miena said releasing the broken glass as she stepped towards Allen. "He said you had sung the treasures that saved me and that you'd sing for me again…jeweled lyrics and notes glittering with gold. Precious Precious…"
Allen stepped away from the girl just as she'd reached a hand out as if to caress his face.
"Make some magic for us darling and we'll go," Narein said a sincerely sweet smile upon his face. His was an honest face, but Allen had long since learned that honest faces usually came attached to liars. Even so he felt the words building within him before he could think.
"Narein, I'm so sorry I didn't wait for you, but I'd thought you'd abandoned me. You know I don't take rejection well." Several silver coins rolled to the ground.
"You can do better than that, Precious." Narein grinned, a darkness clouding his gaze as Miena came to stand at his side. Allen felt a rush of words come from his mouth, anything to make the wealth fall:
"I mean, I love you, and I hope we can work this out because I've always loved you. Even after you'd left I waited for you, I'm still waiting for you because I crave you like the air I breathe. You saved me from the mess I'd been in after Cross disappeared. You took care of me and I'm grateful…I didn't have to worry about anything as long as you were there…"
A rain of silver and gold was piling up around the siblings' feet as the coins, rods and wires fell from Allen's lips.
Miena stared in awe at the glittering pile and crouched to touch it. Narein simply smiled as he gently patted her head. Allen felt the nudge of some emotion but thought nothing of it as he continued to vomit words.
"It was so wonderful living with you, not like when I'd been living with Cross and travelling to live with all his mistresses. There I had to do all the cooking and cleaning and I had no one to speak up for me…"
Semi-precious stones started piling with the silver and gold: rose quartz, jade, hematite. The mound reached Narein's knees and Miena had to stand so as not to be hit on the head by the riches bouncing off the pile.
Delight was upon Narein's face, the expression so sweet it was as though he were the same man Allen had fallen for. Miena took a step back, stumbling over a stray topaz and Narein instantly crouched at her side. The nudge of emotion grew stronger. The words kept flowing.
"If Cross had been a fair man, he wouldn't have treated me like that. If Mana had really loved me, he wouldn't have left me to that horrid man. He was the adult; he could have worked for his wine and whores instead of laying the debt on me."
All those years of resentment shot forth: emeralds green with jealousy; seething red garnets, cold blue chunks of lapis. The stones were larger now, the size of Italian plums. Allen spat them from his mouth with the force of thrown rocks. They struck at the siblings.
Miena let out a startled cry as a dark amber colored gem hit her on the forehead.
"Hey!" Narein cried angrily rubbing the quickly bruising flesh on his sister's head. He tried to stand, to bring her up with him, but the bounty had piled up past his shoulders and spilled over, knocking him into her.
Kanda groaned as he sat up rubbing the back of his head. As his senses focused he took in the scene before him with a frown. Frustrated tears had begun to fall as crushed lotus blossoms from Allen's eyes.
"So I fetched and carried and I smiled and I simpered, while Cross beat me and ignored the way his women treated me. He told me constantly how much of a failure I was and no matter what I did he never once even looked at me as if I were his son, and now he's gone and I can't tell him how mad I am at him and I didn't get so much as a grunt of thanks unless you count that lazy self-absorbed hussy he'd left me with telling me it's my fault he left her. Then you come to my rescue so that I can spend the next year of my life trying to make you happy, giving you everything of myself – tears, screams, blood, and devotion – only for you to obsess over your sister and run away with her. Now you come back and have the gall to tell me you have the right? You know how damn sick I feel knowing I was just your bloody treasure box? That you, so in love with your sister, only fucked me for her sake? I'm not your damn treasure trove. And I won't sing my voice hoarse for you anymore. And I'll be nice when it pleases me. And stop calling me Precious damn it; my name is Allen!"
As Allen shouted his name, a final stone formed on his tongue, soft at first, as a hen's egg forms in her body. It swelled, pushing his jaws apart until he gagged. He forced it out. A ruby as big as a human heart flew from his mouth and struck Narein in the head, his body slumping forward into the pile of treasure. Miena's eyes grew wide as she frantically shook the unconscious body, horror stricken at the blood trickling from a dent in his temple.
The red ruby gleamed as though a coal lit its core. Allen felt light-headed, exhilarated. A rare smile of genuine triumph lit his features as a warm hand rested on his shoulder and he was drawn into an embrace.
"Are you okay?" Kanda asked gently thumbing away the tears around Allen's eyes.
"Yeah, I'm alright," Allen replied clinging to the navy haired man who'd been a stranger only a day ago.
It was a moment later when Kanda escorted Allen away from the poetically tragic picture in the living room that he realized that nothing had fallen from his lips when he'd responded. Allen chuckled at first then just laughed. Just sounds. Only sounds.
A/N: In about another two months it would have been two years since I last posted a story. Time sure doesn't wait for anyone. In any case I apologize for my absence and want to thank everyone who has continued to send me messages asking how I've been and encouraging me to get back into the swing of things. I thought what better time to try than with Yullen week right? I've known about the themes for months now and yet I only started writing this story last night so it may seem a bit rushed. I hope my writing style still appeals to everyone but I've been mostly in the essay writing mindset all this time I've been gone so if you hate the work then feel free to tell me. These things make me stronger as a writer and I appreciate every comment.
Now onto the first theme of the week: Silence/Voiceless. My recurrent readers might recall I'd written a New Years fic, Silence,the Sound of Insanity a while ago where I explored the idea of silence to some degree and this clearly has a different feel to it. This play on the theme is a result of the Modes of Fantasy course I'm taking this year. The story was inspired by the old French fairy tale by Charles Perrault, Les Fées, or more commonly known as Diamonds and Toads.
Since this year the themes are meant to cover two days with alternates, tomorrow's theme is still undecided though I suspect if I can get it done in time it will be Doors and Keys. I haven't started writing it yet but I have a vague plot bunny hopping my way. If you don't see anything from me tomorrow or the next day even, don't worry I'm trying. Even if it takes me into next year I'll eventually write to all the themes given.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who's read and reviewed my works.
Comments are welcomed – they make me happy :)