A/N: So I took a (lengthy!) break from No. 6 fics but for anyone wondering, I'm getting right back at it and will hopefully post some more very soon, probably starting with the final part of the "In the West Block" series (which began with Waiting).

(Yay yay yay for shameless plugs! /sarcasm)

So yes, I'm an extreme latecomer to DGM (only caught up on the manga last December after finishing the anime), who obviously got there via the reverse-route (following comparisons to Nezumi and Shion, my OTP). Yet I LOVE that the two pairs- Shion and Nezumi, Kanda and Allen- despite how similar they look are completely different.

Disclaimer: DGM is not mine, or I'd probably do a LOT more obvious Yullen hints, and comparisons between Allen and Alma. ^_~

Hope you enjoy my first DGM fic!


Allen and Kanda fought a lot. A lot. Many supposed it might have something to do with the manner in which they met; Kanda seriously attempting to maim or kill Allen, whom the Order mistakenly suspected to be an Akuma. But if you asked Kanda, he would tell you it was inevitable— he hated Allen's type. If you asked Allen, he too would say it was inevitable— Kanda just got on his nerves. One thing they agreed upon was that their mutual animosity would have developed regardless of the circumstances under which they met.

They would reaffirm this fact daily, whenever aware of each other's presence. The slightest excuse would set one off teasing or taunting the other, and they would instantly be at each other's throats. Lenalee was concerned about this at first, but soon realized it was just going to be the natural state of things when the two spent time around each other. The only times Allen had ever spoken harshly to her were those when she dared interrupt one of their verbal sparring sessions, or to tried to pull him out of one of their brawls. (And actually, even Kanda would be harsher than usual at such times, which is really saying something.)

If the two of them happened to be a long distance away from each other or unable to speak for other reasons but within each other's sight, intense stares would collide, frightening all those who mistakenly got caught up in the crossfire of daggers streaming from their eyes. This phenomenon caused the two of them to reliably miss large portions of Komui's mission briefings if they were to be sent on missions together, forcing each to hurriedly read up on the details in secret. (Usually Allen crammed very late at night; Kanda caught up extremely early in the morning.) As they travelled to their destination, the pair would add this fresh material to their hostile banter, randomly quizzing each other on various aspects of the mission, its location, or even the most obscure comments the Finders may have made about the situation there— Each seeking a chance to humiliate the other.

Colleagues and teammates alternated being amused, horrified, disgusted or even bored and jaded, witnessing the two young men go at it. Lenalee and Lavi eventually stopped bothering to interfere. (Bookman was pleased to note his apprentice's growing detachment from such matters… but he kept that to himself.) Along with the others, they began to ignore the spats and duels that frequently flared up between the two teens.

Chapter 1

On a fine mid-summer day, a warm breeze carried sweet green and vaguely floral scents; colourful birds were zipping overhead and twittering in the trees; and the lazy sun in the clear blue, endless sky was lumbering along to eventually set beautifully over a nearby lake at the forest's edge. There, Lenalee, Miranda, Allen, and Kanda reached their cozy, quiet lodgings at the outskirts of a small rural town in Eastern Europe.

Lenalee and Miranda were immediately enchanted with their lovely surroundings and the feeling of peace they seemed to inspire. Yet meanwhile, Allen and Kanda, last to dismount the wagon that brought the four of them, were in the middle of a heated dispute over who had dared to touch whose baggage, who was liable to break something, and who had better not be seen touching said baggage again. Having endured such spontaneous outbursts between the two of them with increasing frequency during their long, long, far-too-long journey, the girls announced they needed their rest and hastened inside.

Komui had arranged for the two women to share a room, and the two men to have their own next to the women's room and not across from it, by his express instructions. Unfortunately he was less successful at convincing the innkeeper to bar anyone from staying in the room opposite his little sister's, lest opened doors allowed them to see something they shouldn't. When the guard robot he suggested they bring along was flat out refused by all party members— in Kanda's case, that refusal coming at blade-point— Lenalee's doting older brother had tried making such a request, yet the inn matron only said she'd consider occupying other rooms first. She wouldn't guarantee a thing.

As the women were checking in (and apologizing profusely for the commotion outside), the two young men were still at each other's throats. As usual, one would gain advantage in the brawl, only to lose it to the other an instant later. Things went back and forth like this in rapid succession for a few minutes, as the sun began its descent over the softly rippling waters of the lake. The sky and water were being painted several lovely shades of orange when Kanda slammed Allen up against a wall and raised his fist but then suddenly froze for an instant, and signalled with a finger to his lips for Moyashi to shut up. Allen had already paused his own fist in the air, having instantly read his rival's sudden change of facial expression. Kanda had heard something. He looked around, with Allen following his sober gaze, yet there was nothing unusual in sight. And obviously no Akuma, as Allen's cursed eye wasn't reacting. Whatever Kanda heard appeared to have come from the forest… but it was gone now. There was a chirrup from the rooftop, and a bright red bird flew off toward the woods.

Kanda kept staring over his shoulder in the direction of the forest, until he felt a rock-solid hand over the one he had twisted Allen's collar in to hold him up against the wall. He whipped back to look into Allen's eyes just then and for some reason, the white-haired youth, who had presumably been attempting to remove the hand bunching fabric tightly around his neck, remained still. His hand rested on Kanda's, rather than trying to remove it, and there was a questioning look from his silver-grey eyes. They stared at each other a moment, still as sculpture. There was confusion in both pairs of eyes, but also something else. Something that made their heart rates soar in unison, though neither knew this was the case for both. It was strange and awkward… and exciting, whatever it was. But it had to end now.

Allen finally broke away, tossing the hand off his neck with ease. Kanda turned his back abruptly and very swiftly disappeared with his travel bag hanging over his shoulder. There was some very loud shouting from Kanda after he took the key to their room from the front desk attendant inside. He was telling someone very rudely that he didn't need any help and to leave him alone. Allen sidled up to the window and peeked inside, fearing Kanda was making a bad impression on the inn's staff. But while they were around to witness it, they weren't who he was shouting at.

That's right!

It was arranged that a Finder would meet them that night at their lodgings. The poor, bespectacled young man was obviously new to the job and seemed rather distraught at his mishandling by the proud and cruel swordsman; he hung his head in shame; his tightly-drawn hood not really covering his flustered expression.

Allen resolved to be extra nice to the kid himself… (Actually, he was probably about Kanda's age) …but that would start in the morning. Right now, he wanted to get ready for bed and be up in time for a nice morning shower in the communal bath he'd read of.

Allen remained outside a minute or two longer, watching warm light recede from the waters of the lake. It had been very quickly getting dark out, and he was counting on the increasing shadows and lingering summer heat to conceal the strange flush he'd felt coming to his face. Allen rationalized to himself that the blush he was evidently wearing was quite simply a sudden increase in circulation to his head, from when that violent jerk released him. He tried hard not to think about the fact the grip on his neck had not loosened until after he'd perceived this phenomenon beginning to occur. Not that he had any real reason to, but he was glad Timcanpy hadn't been around to witness this little altercation with his rival.