Title: One Thousand and Four Hundred Years Later
Characters/Pairings: Kanda/Allen, Lavi/Lenalee, mentions of Komui.
Disclaimer: -man and all its properties are owned by Hoshino-sensei. I don't own anything, nor do I make money out of this.
A/N: I was planning to participate in the last Yullen Week, but research ate my life, and I only managed to finish two little ficlets. This had been sitting in my laptop since last November. Because a1y-puff told me to post them anyway, so here it goes.
The prompt for this ficlet is fingertips.
For bebeb Nherizu and a1y-neesan, thanks for putting up with me all the time. ;] Enjoy, guys!
A D. Gray-man Fanfiction
One Thousand and Four Hundred Years Later
One thousand and four hundred years later, their eyes meet again.
"Yes, I brought the present. It's fine, don't worry about it, Lenalee—"
There's a newspaper that obscures the Japanese youth's lower face as his gaze travels upwards to meet Allen's, and Allen blinks—once, twice, thrice—before offering a hesitant smile. Said Japanese youth holds his gaze for another moment without smiling back, and it is Allen who looks away. He focuses back to Lenalee's echoing voice coming from his cell phone, and resumes: "I'd really like to see how your niece is doing, too. If Komui would let me, that is."
Lenalee's voice turns into a grumbling of jumbled words about her brother, but Allen's attention already strays. From the corner of his eyes, he can see the boy shaking his head—silky shoulder-length hair tossed from side to side as his head moves—and turning back to his newspaper. He doesn't think of anything about the encounter; it happens every day, coincidentally catching a stranger's eyes and thinking hard because you feel like you have seen him before. But New York is a melting pot where everything meets everyone and everything is possible, and Allen thinks it doesn't matter if they have met before since obviously none of them remembers the other.
Still, maybe he ought to ask.
"Hey, Lenalee," he whispers into the phone, "do we know someone that comes from Japan?"
Lavi is Lenalee's boyfriend.
Lavi is also the first and only boyfriend Lenalee's ever got who could survive Komui's glare and wrath for extended time with that dopey-looking grin on his face. Allen knows it is an extraordinary accomplishment, because despite being Lenalee's friend since kindergarten, he is still terrified of Komui's sister-complex streaks when it kicks in. But he knows Komui is a great guy, and knows that Lavi is the perfect match for Lenalee when the redhead says that Komui is a great guy.
Lavi is also a strange youth who claims to know people without actually knowing them just because he sees them in his dreams.
"I know you," he says brightly, the first time Lenalee introduces him to Allen. "You're the British boy—your innocence is the parasitic type called Crown's Clown; I think it's evolved several times. You have a Noah living inside your conscience, and everyone in the Order is terrified of you but you keep your loyalty to your friends anyway. And you're short, even though you can eat the whole cafeteria food by yourself."
Before Allen even gets the chance to raise his eyebrow and ask Lenalee if she's mistaken her boyfriend with some random mental person or even get offended at the 'short' comment, the girl adds helpfully: "The first time I met him, he said that I look just as hot when I cut my hair short even if my brother would go berserk afterwards."
"Okay," Allen says slowly, because he knows for a fact that Lenalee has never cut her hair short. Then he blinks, looking shocked. "He knows about Komui?"
Lenalee shook her head. "Nope. Haven't had the chance to bring him home but—well. Lavi knows Komui from his dream."
"What." Allen deadpans, and turns back to Lavi who grins wider. "Wait, what."
And then the explanation begins, which includes Lavi telling him about having the strangest dreams that continues on and on since he's only a kid and Allen finding himself amazed that Lavi can actually remember the whole detail of his numerous dreams. But not even the redhead knows what his dreams mean, though, and they become something he brushes off as a-genius-mind-works-differently-from-others' case.
"I know them in my dreams." Lavi tells him, one arm winds up around Lenalee's waist comfortably while the girl busies herself with her cell phone. "I know what they do, what kind of people they are, what happens to them. The only thing I could never remember is their names."
For some reason, Allen doesn't think that Lavi is lying. Maybe it is the solemn look clouding his eyes sometimes when he talks about his dreams, or maybe it is the way he ruffles Allen's hair after telling him about his nightmare where he sees Allen battered and bloodied, or perhaps it is the way his hand tightens around Lenalee's after saying he's just dreamt about the Chinese girl in a coffin.
He sees the Japanese youth again in the subway days later, on his way to campus. This time, rather than a newspaper covering half of his face, it is the paperback edition of Sophie's World. Allen's read it before—a novel chock-full of the history of philosophy and the philosophers themselves; once it made his head spin and took a full five months to finish it.
Their eyes meet again, probably because Allen is staring at the novel like he has had some intimate relationship with it, and the Japanese youth raises an eyebrow. Allen starts, grins sheepishly, and says: "I've read that before."
It is an intense gaze that the Japanese youth gives him—dark eyes boring into his own, but Allen refuses to avert his eyes. Subconsciously he wonders why in the world he feels like he'd lost to this Japanese if he is the first one to look away. So he keeps their eyes locked, even when the corner of his mouth twitches into an irritated grin and lets out one word that sounds like a challenge: "Yes?"
The Japanese youth makes a noise that suspiciously sounds like a "tch" and turns back to his reading material, but Allen really doesn't miss his next words: "I never knew a Beansprout reads complicated books."
It is almost automatic, his next response, and it feels just—right. And easy.
"It's Allen, idiot."
The Japanese youth visibly stiffens—dark eyes flashes another intense look towards him—but the train halts to a stop and Allen doesn't have the time to see his reaction before the wave of people brings him along as he steps out of the train. The door swishes closed behind him, making a hissing sound while Allen turns to watch the train depart again.
He stays there for a moment, feeling like something is missing, like he should have said something, should have called the Japanese something like an insult that has turned into endearing terms, or maybe he should have said that longer hair suits him better than that half-assed shoulder-length one. Or maybe he's chosen a wise decision by stepping off the train; he certainly doesn't want the tip of a sword pointing straight before his throat. Then he blinks—a moment of wait, what did I just think—and shakes his head.
He has a class to attend. Better not to be late.
In the end, it bothers him.
In the end, he can't quite concentrate in class—unable to focus on the lecturer's words about citizenship and social exclusion, and instead letting his thoughts stray off a thousand miles away from the topic. In the end, the book opened before him ceases to have meanings, and he wonders if there's something wrong in his head because he keeps thinking back to the Japanese youth feeling like he should have known his name before he insults him back.
In the end, he sidles up next to Lavi after class, cutting off the redhead's conversation with Lenalee and asks, "Lenalee, in the long years you've known me, do I ever have a Japanese acquaintance?"
Lenalee tilts her head a little to the right, looking thoughtful. "Well…" she begins, and Allen catches her glancing towards his boyfriend. "… not that I can remember of…" And then she smiles, because Lavi brightens like Allen has just asked the most vital question in his whole life, "but Lavi thinks you might just do."
Allen almost opens his mouth to ask, but then remembers about Lavi and his dreams and isn't it Lavi's job to remember everything that has happened; recorded or not? He blinks at the last thought, feeling strange, and finally just responds with a "huh?"
"Japanese, swordsman—dark eyes with long blue hair." Lavi says, winding an arm around Allen's shoulder in a victorious manner that Allen doesn't understand. "Again, I don't know his name, but… Isn't he the one that keeps calling you 'Beansprout'?"
Allen knows Lavi doesn't lie.
There were vague things that skirt the lines of his memories sometimes; things that he thinks he should remember. Sometimes they turn formless that Allen cannot even start to grasp what it is—just that it bothers him to no end—but sometimes they take shapes and he remembers weird things. When he does, it leaves him confused, because he can't ever remember killing, much less facing gruesome creatures with souls begging for release inside. Those are the memories that don't quite feel like they were his, but he knows they belong to him anyway.
It is like having fingertips dancing across your memory in light, teasing touches, drawing hazy images Allen wants to still so he could figure out what it is.
Images—of him running into a battlefield, hands bloody and shaking in exhaustion as the shrill cries of trapped souls beckon him forward until his ears ring—
Of Lavi swinging a hammer thrice the size of his body—swift and deadly as critical eyes that record everything catches Allen's eyes, giving him a sad grin, before red hair blurs again into motion too quick for humans' eyes to catch.
Of Lenalee launching herself up high towards the sky, soaring like she's about to grab the very essence of freedom, and then lurches down in unbelievable speed and bash a grisly head till it explodes in one strike, before launching off again leaving a rain of blood behind.
Or of sincere, relieved laughter exchanged amidst the rancid smell of blood and death, when his own bloodied hands clasp Lenalee's and Lavi's and his shoulder touches another's.
Those are the clearer images, even though it makes no sense in his head—like he isn't the one who severs limbs and heads from those dreadful creatures, like he's only watching from afar but feels the pain anyway. There were flashes of faces he doesn't remember meeting—sad ones, beaming ones, pained ones, suspicious ones.
And then there were fleeting feelings—of pain, fear, and sadness so horrible he can't even begin to describe.
But the ones that intrigue him the most is the flashing images of long, dark blue strands splayed on a bed, or the memory of how soft those strands feel under his fingertips. Or the vague memories of biting words and hiding affections behind insults. Or the tightening in his chest when he recalls a time when the tip of a sword nearly grazed his neck, and remembers the cold sensation of the blade against his skin. He remembers sometimes—himself screaming, struggling against someone who takes control over his body; remembers the pain when a set of teeth bite deep onto his shoulder without hesitation.
And Allen will be left more confused than ever when he remembers the fleeting moments of pleasure: of his name whispered in one breath, of strong fingers violently grasping the back of his head to pull him deeper into a kiss fiercer than a battle, of the scent of lotuses so strong it's dizzying, of something—a feeling he doesn't think he understand; like he wants to get away but feels like he'll die if he pushes this away and—
"It's Allen, Bakand—"
And sometimes he feels like crying, because he's overwhelmed with the feeling of there isn't enough time left and he doesn't even know why. His heart pounds like it's racing against death, desperate as thoughts of don't die don't die don't die I don't want to die fill his mind until it turns blank. Then there's hatred, so powerful that he's scared himself, but he doesn't know who it is that he hates so much.
Everything is so vague and flashes too fast for him to make any sense, and it isn't until Lenalee hugs him from behind and Lavi ruffles his hair that he calms down.
"It's fine, Allen," Lenalee says, affectionately, and Lavi continues for her: "Those times are over. It's time we start anew."
The next time he meets the Japanese youth, the both of them are standing in a corner of the subway station, and Sophie's World has turned into Shakespeare's Macbeth.
"Hey," he begins, and the Japanese only spares him a glance before turning back to his book. Allen swallows, feeling unsure but he knows he need to do this, or he won't ever feel at peace. So he continues, regardless, "…what are we?"
A pair of dark eyes glances at him, and Allen wonders if they just soften. "Tch. Shouldn't have expected a Beansprout like you to be able to figure out every damn thing by yourself."
"It's Allen—" he automatically retorts, but then bites his lower lip. "…Bakanda."
It sounds hesitant—he isn't sure, after all, if the memories tickling the back of his mind are actually recollections of his past life or something else or if they are even his. But the name rolls out too easily off his tongue, and something inside his mind just clicks.
There's a smirk on the Japanese youth's lips now, and a familiar annoyance bubbling up Allen's chest, along with newfound fondness he can't quite name yet.
"Took you a fucking long time, Beansprout."
"Stop calling me a Beansprout." Again, he retorts, this time sounding more confident. "And you haven't answered my question."
The Japanese snorts. He actually snorts, and Allen feels like smacking him. "I don't feel like doing some enlightening. Figure it out yourself—or are you going to take a fucking light-year time to get it right?"
That does it. Allen vaguely remembers a time when his hand reaches out to tug a ponytail down in order to kiss someone senseless—but this time, there isn't a ponytail so he settles with grabbing the other's shoulder to pull him down, and plasters his lips firmly on the older boy's, determined not to give Kanda the time to retaliate. There was a grunt, a small struggle Allen isn't sure who does it, and then a hand winds up on his nape, pulling him closer.
"You," Allen pants, looking into Kanda's dark eyes and finds something in them dancing. He laughs breathlessly, ignoring Kanda's scowl, and continues, "…haven't figured everything out yourself either, have you?"
"I figured the hell out of every damn thing faster than you, Beansprout."
"Whatever you say, Bakanda. Doesn't change the fact that you still haven't got everything cleared up." Allen takes a step back, and lets a soft smile graces his lips. "But that's okay. We can start together after this. You need to see Lavi and Lenalee too—I think they're way ahead of us."
Kanda snorts, but says nothing.
When the next train comes, they board it together.
A/N: Okay, I admit, Kanda's image was meshing with No. 6's Nezumi. Thus Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Review and constructive criticisms are much welcomed, and thank you for reading!