Standard fanfiction disclaimer applies. Special thanks to Monochromatic Pylon and Kobalto for their help in making this story better ;D

Pairing: Kanda/Allen or Allen/Kanda; it depends on how you look at it.

Rating: T/PG

Setting: this fic takes place after Chapter 170, when Allen and Kanda often get paired together on missions (my most favorite timeline to explore, lol). Please understand that in Chapter 170, Allen has just known about his identity as a Noah. Hence he still couldn't lure Akuma like the current him does (because Neah still hasn't awakened fully).

A/N: Happy belated birthday, a1y-puff! Thanks for being such a good friend! xD

Also, maybe some of you have known about the plagiarism done by Le Dark Queen. I hope this case can be settled soon, but that aside, I just want to thank you all for supporting me. And I also want to apologize for troubling you with this case. I'm really, really sorry. Please also consider this as a gift from me. I hope you all like it :D

Chasing the Unknown

There was always something different in the air whenever Allen was around. The first time he noticed it, Kanda was almost sure it was because they had just come back from retrieving an Innocence near a landfill. However, he immediately realized that it might not be the case. First, it didn't fade at all even though a week had passed. Quite the opposite, even—it became sharper day by day. And second, it wasn't really an unpleasant smell.

It mingled with the aroma of dry summer breeze, forcing Kanda to sniff or sometimes wrinkle his nose in bewilderment. It wasn't as near delicate or sweet as a flower, nor was it as fresh as the green grass. It wasn't the warm kind that dried straws offered under the sun, or the salty whiff the ocean brought. It was just—different. But oddly, despite the irritation building inside him, it still intrigued him to no end. Furthermore, if Allen combed his bangs out of his forehead and the remainder of his hair danced along, or if the wind decided to blow from his direction while Kanda just happened to be there…

The scent grew so strong that it made him want to strangle the sprout for making him this distracted.

He might have started to use some sort of cologne, Kanda once thought after two weeks of trying to make out what the hell was going on with the way Allen smelled. Maybe it was a perfume that was unique enough that it could be nailed into his brain, and sharp enough for him to know where Allen was without having to search for him with his eyes. But when the Science Department announced their newest invention, a cologne that attracted low level Akuma to make it easier for exorcists in hunting, Kanda's hypotheses was shattered.

"I'm sorry, but is it necessary?" asked Allen in his usual polite demeanor when he was offered a bottle of the so called 'Akuma Fragrance'. "To be honest, I'm not really fond of perfume."

"But you can just rub it lightly on your wrist, Allen. It's allergy tested, you don't have to worry," Johnny explained with half-disappointment, although he still tried to smile and demonstrated how to use said cologne. "Maybe you can drop some on a handkerchief, or if you prefer, I could give you a small fragrance pouch to carry whenever necessary. I'm sure it'll help a lot, Allen."

"Well…" Allen chuckled, if only a bit forced. "If you say so… Perhaps I can use it just in case," he took the bottle from Johnny's hands, encouraging the latter to beam in delight.

"His eye has the power of that stupid fragrance multiplied by ten," Kanda snorted while walking past Allen and Johnny, having already refused to use such retarded method to lure Akuma. Allen's eyebrows tweaked in disapproval.

"You don't have to say it like that," he protested.

Johnny could only give a dry laugh to Kanda's matter-of-fact statement. "It'd still help in some cases, I'm sure," he said once again. But Kanda had already tuned every voice out and walked away with a frown deeper than usual throughout the Black order's hallway.

Allen didn't like to use any scented substance; Kanda almost let out a frustrated groan. That meant the answer of the biggest conundrum he was having lately was still far from his reach. Everything really didn't make sense. But again, the way Allen smelled could be the result of shampoo or soaps he used, because there was no way he didn't use any of that stuff, was there? Though, if that was the case, Kanda highly doubted the scent would linger for that long.

"You mean Allen?" Lavi asked in puzzlement the moment he heard Kanda's sudden, and not to mention weird, question right after they finished the briefing for their next mission. Allen, for some reason, was asked to talk longer with Komui together with Link. Of course Kanda—whose mind had been so out of order today because Allen's scent somehow had become more noticeable in Komui's office, couldn't stand not to spill out his irritation.

"You think he stinks?" Lavi continued.

Kanda shook his head, almost lost in thoughts. "Not stinks, just—different."

"I didn't smell anything," Lenalee cut in, tilting her head to the side. "I was beside him all the time just now, and if there was any smell to notice, that would be dango. He did eat more than twenty plates this morning."

Kanda let a grumble vibrate in his throat. Not dango. There was no way that ridiculous snack could make him this curious. There was another scent, the one that could attra—distract him, and he was positive of it. Nonetheless as Lavi only gave him a confused shrug, he knew he couldn't rely on him to get the answer. That idiot.

It was nothing, though. He just needed to ignore the beansprout's existence, for all he knew. And as usual, that would be an easy task to do.

Taking long strides to get himself out of Lavi's and Lenalee's pestering glances, he cursed silently whenever the doubts that were lingering at the back of his mind tried to snake out of their jail. From that moment on, he counted sheep for distraction, day and night, and had to change it to counting Mugen when it didn't work. At some point though, he subconsciously counted beansprouts instead. The Black Order headquarters had to suffer more damages.

Days passed by, and truth be told, everything didn't run smoothly for Kanda. The mission in Spain was supposed to be cleared off in only a week, but it quickly metamorphosed into a long, difficult one. In the first two weeks, Kanda had unconsciously sniffed and kind of searched for the 'scent' continuously, as though he was addicted to it. What was worse, it didn't apply only when Allen was there—his mind always wandered to the scent even when he was alone. And by the time he was hit by the realization of what he had been doing, the humiliation constrained him to stop breathing until his lungs protested, and a string of violent coughs escaped. That was repeated over and over again, more than twenty times a day.

Now it had been more than three weeks, and as if it hadn't been hell already, they just had to go separate ways for things had been getting more complicated. Lavi, Lenalee and the finder were assigned to retrieve the innocence from a fleeing Level Two Akuma, while Kanda, Allen and Link were to save the civilians from two Level Fours' attack in the neighboring city. The fierce battle helped Kanda to focus on something other than the scent, fortunately. Yet, when everything had been taken care of, the torture was back in threefold.

"I hope Lavi and Lenalee are fine," said Allen painstakingly, panting a bit while he wiped away the dirt that was marking his forehead. The sun was still high in the sky, overlapping the teal with its mighty golden touch. It was hardly windy, and the excessive battle just now, had invited the sweat to roll visibly over Allen's cheeks and neck, glinting under the radiance of sunrays. "But if they used the cologne, they should be able to get the Innocence quickly," he palmed his left eye with a smile that spoke of slight pain. The souls—no matter how many times he had seen it, Level Fours' souls were still too much of a torture.

"Wait here while I go report to Headquarters, Walker," Link ordered. His condition was no better than Allen, with blood dripping from his left hand and bruises all over his body. But when Allen offered him to take a rest for a while, he refused straight away. "Don't do anything reckless, the telephone is just at the corner."

"Yes, don't worry, I don't have the energy to run away," Allen let out a tired chuckle, as if he really ever thought of running away even when he wasn't exhausted. Once Link had started to stalk away, Allen threw his back onto the nearby wall and sighed. He loosened his collar because of the high temperature, revealing a glint of pale neck that was wet from perspiration. At that moment, Kanda audibly swallowed.

The Level Fours might have shattered into dust, but Allen's scent was still there, unbeatable even by the sweat, and too strong for him to be ignorant of now.

Noticing Kanda had been staring at him all the while, Allen glanced up to where Kanda stood rock still, furrowing his brows in question. "…Are you okay, Kanda? Do your wounds hurt?"

Hit back to reality, Kanda quickly diverted his gaze far to anywhere but Allen's direction, crinkling his nose to act as though he was disgusted to see Allen. Shaking his head at Kanda's conduct, Allen sighed before settling to just massage his aching throat. The thirst had come to visit him for quite some time now. The sight of Allen caressing his own neck, however, couldn't be missed from the corners of Kanda's eyes. In a matter of seconds, he was back to piercing his eyes on the beansprout again.

"Really, did you get a hit on your head?" Staring up at Kanda suspiciously, Allen started to get the creeps. But silent was all he got, because Kanda was—

Well, he was too busy with his own mind.

Stop revealing your neck, stop revealing your neck, stop it, you smell weird dammit—he chanted inside while narrowing his eyes dangerously. The spell might work if he put all of his will into it (mind power, the secret of life, Lavi once told him), so he glared harder. Sadly, though, Allen only arched his eyebrows as if he was looking at a lunatic, loosening his collar even further with a forefinger concurrently.

"Can't be helped if you broke your brain during the battle," he shrugged, back to training his eyes at the empty space that used to be a park. He leaned more heavily onto the wall, lifting his chin up as the wind blew lazily. A relieved smile formed on his lips.

"Summer in Spain is really hot," he continued while laughing, turning to face Kanda in a carefree manner; his damp hair swayed along the breeze. "Kanda, don't you agree a wind in a hot day like this feels amaz—"

He almost bit his own tongue.

Without awareness, Kanda had cut their distance, and somehow had managed to lick the pale skin of Allen's neck. Then he stayed there, immobilized, one hand on the wall and another one gripping Allen's right shoulder, while he sniffed to his heart's content. That went on for good sixty seconds, until Allen's freezing mind came to its senses, and he kneed Kanda in the stomach. Hard.

"The hell are you doing!" Kanda bounced backward at once, holding the abused part of his stomach. In return, Allen glared at him while covering the side of his neck with a palm. That was when Kanda realized of what he had just done to Allen—to the beansprout, of all people.

"Is your head really okay?" Allen asked pointedly, tone dripping in sarcasm. Upon that, Kanda merely wrinkled his nose in rage— in humiliation; he could hardly bear the urge to slash the walls and make the building crumble.

"It's your fault, damn beansprout," he finally settled with that line. Expectedly, Allen frowned in disapproval.

"Really, now? How is that my fault when you just suddenly jumped on me?"

"I didn't jump on you!" Kanda growled, his hands tightening into fists. Allen raised an eyebrow scornfully. Sniffing with a terribly wrong arrogance, Kanda continued, "That was because you smell weird!"

For a moment, silence fell upon them again. And then Allen's body stiffened, a strained 'what?' escaped from his mouth. He backpedalled futilely into the immobile wall, clutching his chest as he did so. However, it didn't take him that long to overcome the shock, for he abruptly stepped forward in anger.

"That was rude! Why did you tell me I smell bad!"

Kanda's eyebrow twitched. "Who the hell said you smell bad! I said you smell weird!"

"And what's the difference!"

"They're just different, idiot!"

"How can they be different if you dislike my smell!"

Sensing his restrains snapping all at once, Kanda shouted at the top of his lungs. "I never said I dislike your smell!"

Blinking several times upon Kanda's retort, Allen was tongued-tied for a while. Because, honestly, all of this was too—sudden. Being told that he had a weird smell and then this —he had to re-arrange every piece of his scattered brain cells in place before he could actually understand what happened. When he did, though, he had to force back a smile, moreover because Kanda was still glaring at him obliviously.

Putting his calm mask back on, Allen finally started, "Say, Kanda…" he coughed once just to emphasize his words. "Have you ever wondered why it's only my scent that you can't ignore?"

Scrunching his eyebrows together, Kanda scowled. "No."

Allen nodded. "Do you know the reason why you don't dislike my 'weird' smell, as you put it?"

"I'm not in the mood to play riddles!"

"You don't know, I see," Allen tugged the corners of his lips to a satisfied smile. Kanda scoffed in annoyance.

"If you're that genius, why don't you tell me why I don't dislike it?" he asked in challenging manner, raising his chin arrogantly.

For a moment, he saw Allen only broadening his super irritating smile. It went on for what seemed like an eternity, until his vision suddenly blurred—the beansprout had grabbed his collar harshly. And in the next second, a soft and wet sensation landed on his neck. Together with it, a rush of Allen's scent filled his nostrils.

Blast all the things in the world. The beansprout had just licked him.

"The same reason with why I don't dislike your smell, perhaps," Allen breathed in the little space that was left between their faces, a hand still tugging tightly at Kanda's collar. He locked his eyes with Kanda's wide, confused ones, and tauntingly caressed Kanda's lower lip with his tongue when the latter attempted to break free. That made Kanda freeze once again.

Allen's tongue played around on Kanda's lips—ghosting against the chapped surface, as though it wanted to trace every contour, yet holding a teasing reluctance at the same time. Kanda groaned low in his throat as soon as his brain could work properly again, torn in between the temptations to choke the beansprout dead, or just succumb to the growing impatience that swirling at the back of his ribs. Eventually, his instinct kicked in, sending him to slide out his own tongue and stroke Allen's experimentally. Said boy hummed into the touch.

At first, it went painfully slow; merely the act of two tongues reluctantly overlapping each other outside the lips, the air made the bundle of nerves sensitively cold. Then the heat was increasing—the distance between them gradually ceased. In no time, they had swept into the inside of each other's mouths and teeth hungrily like there was no tomorrow.

"—you have to find the answer yourself." Faintly panting, Allen murmured before Kanda's lips, not far enough for the air to fill the distance, but not close enough for Kanda to feel Allen's warm lips. Frowning contemptuously, Kanda's head was too busy registering the whole new sensations—the indescribable feeling he got from being able to inhale Allen's maddening scent as much as he wanted, and the warmth of Allen's body as their chests met. Therefore in reply to the statement, he just raised a hand to pull Allen's head closer, and—kissed him again.

That afternoon, they spent all the remaining 'free from Link time' sucking each other's breaths and exploring every curve of their bodies. Even the glaring sunrays that pierced into the top of their skulls couldn't separate the idiot couple. Yet, it wasn't until their seventy-third kiss and forty-sixth secret meeting that Kanda found the answer.

Lenalee said it was something that began with an L, and Lavi convinced him that it should end with an E. Unfortunately for him, to admit it was equivalent to suffering the meaning of the word 'Lose'. But if Allen also had the same reason with him, then…

It was a draw. …Right?


Haha, yay for fluff? Anyone knows what Allen's smell is? It's hinted in the last paragraph, but if you're still confused, feel free to ask me. It's something you'd smell from the one you love;D

As usual, anonymous review is enabled. Thanks for reading ;D