Hey all. boy love, so yeah…maybe don't read it if you don't like?
Disclaimer: I don't own D Gray Man.
The cafeteria was subdued, which was unusual when so many exorcists were at headquarters at one time. Right now there were six of them sitting on the long benches, each with his or her own plate - or in the case of one grey haired exorcist, many plates, and bowls, and cups...Allen was currently about halfway through his meal, stopping only long enough to smile or chuckle at the antics of Lavi and his teacher, who were currently arguing about Lavi's ability (or inability) as an exorcist, bookman, and all around human being. Even their arguing didn't hold the same flair as usual, though. Lenalee was demurely sipping soup from her spoon, ignoring Komui's dramatic hand waving and worried tone as he fussed over his 'precious baby sister.' Miranda was quietly eating her pasta, and next to her Arystar was happily humming a song as he ate a burger and fries - a dish he discovered the week before and had since refused to order anything else. No one was really concerned, however, since he had done the same thing the week before with lasagna.
The reason behind their barely concealed unease was sitting two tables away. Allen was sure he could sense a dark cloud hanging above a group of five or so Finders, and he felt a stab of guilt that he couldn't quite hide.
They had lost a Finder on their last mission. Or, to be exact, they had allowed a finder to die. His eating slowed as he reluctantly remembered the events of that day. Komui had requested that he go and act as back up for Kanda in Denmark. Apparently there was a village that had been plagued by strange occurrences and disappearances. When Kanda had arrived he discovered that hundreds of Level Ones and dozens of Level Twos were gathered in search of innocence. They were keeping his hands so full that he was unable to properly search for the precious material.
Allen made haste to the small town, but he did not get there soon enough to avoid disaster. Kanda had found the innocence, but he had been unable to avoid the notice of the Akuma. He and Allen had barely been able to fight their way out of the ring of level twos that had surrounded them, and they could see more fast approaching. Their Finder, Juan, and Allen had both been injured badly in the fight. Kanda had stopped in front of them, panting from exertion, and for just a moment Allen had seen a bit of unease in his eyes as he looked between them and the hordes of Akuma speeding towards them.
Allen had understood immediately. He could not carry both of them out and keep the innocence safe. "Go...go." Allen had said as he struggled to his feet, swaying where he stood. "I will get Juan and I out."
Kanda's eyes had flashed with a familiar emotion - anger. "Don't be an idiot, Bean Sprout! You can barely stand!"
Allen tried to smile and stand straighter. "No, no, I can.."
"No." The raspy voice had pulled their attention. "No, you must leave me. Kanda, you must...you have to get the innocence and Exorcist Walker out of here. They..." he had stopped to gasp and grap his midsection, where Allen could see blood seeping through his white coat. "They are more important."
Kanda had studied him for a moment before slowly nodding and putting an arm around Allen's waist. "W - wait! No! We can't leave him!" He tried to struggle, gasping at the pain coming from his right leg. He couldn't even remember getting the injury, but it was bleeding profusely, and Allen was going dizzy with blood loss.
"Allen." The fierceness of Juan's voice stopped his struggles. Brown eyes pleaded. "Please...it is an oath we took. This...this is all we can do. Do not take this from me. You can come back for me after the innocence is safe"
Allen had stared for a moment before nodding, wondering if he was doing the right thing as he allowed Kanda to drag him away. He understood well the need to do his duty and the pain that almost everyone in the order had suffered at the hands of Akuma. The only thing that truly helped was being allowed to fight against them. Allen knew that giving more innocence to the Earl was not an option. Staying and allowing them both to die would not honor Juan. He just hoped the finder could hold on until they could come back to him. By the time help arrived and Kanda was able to retrieve Juan, the man had died from his injuries.
Juan had been fairly new to the order and well loved by every exorcist who had worked with him and by his fellow finders. Walker had barely known him, but that did not stop the guilt that he felt over his death. Even Kanda had seem affected by the loss beneath his cold exterior, and he and Allen had barely spoken since returning. While Allen had to recover the last two weeks, Kanda had immediately left for a new mission. Komui had announced earlier that he was due to arrive back that very day.
Allen couldn't help but be nervous. He had heard rumors that the finders were blaming Kanda for Juan's death. It was no secret that Kanda did not seem to have any love for his comrades. He was always leaving finders to find their own way, but that was after all his job - he always had to put the mission first. And Allen had never known Finders to have a problem with it before now. When he questioned Toma about it, the man had just shrugged. "Kanda has spent too long pushing everyone away from him. People cannot help but feel betrayed when a comrade refuses to accept them. This is just the way it is showing itself."
Allen sighed and set down his last bowl. He smiled at Lenalee as she exclaimed over the amount he had eaten - "you must be growing, Allen!", and wearily stood. His body was still tired from the healing it had been doing, and he was planning on taking a nap. He opened his mouth to say goodbye to his friends, but was distracted by a sudden commotion behind him. Curious, he turned to see what the fuss was, and then froze.
Kanda was back, and had come to the mess hall to eat. He stood, face cold, arms crossed, and Mugen on his back as the Finders who had looked so upset earlier stood in a loose circle around him. John, a Finder who was as big as he was jolly, did not have his usual cheerful face on. Instead, it was pulled into an angry mask.
"Oh, dear." Allen glanced at Komui, who had put on his grave face - reserved only for when he was forced to take his job seriously. Nervous, Allen took a step towards Kanda, not willing to let him face the Finders' wrath alone. After all, they had both left Juan to his fate.
"You care only about yourself!" John yelled, and Allen winced when he saw the tears on the man's face. "You are a coward who is afraid to care about those who are weaker than you! You see only the things that can give you the advantage, and care nothing for those you deem lower than yourself! No one wants to see you here!"
Allen gasped in surprise - not at the words coming from John's mouth, after all, he had heard the same mutterings coming from the finders for two weeks now. No, it was the look on Kanda's face. Maybe someone who didn't know him would see only cold disinterest, but Allen had spent too much time baiting him from across the aisle on trains to miss the small muscle twitches and slightly furrowed brow. Kanda was...sad.
Before he knew what he was doing, he had launched across the room and was standing next to Kanda with a hand on his arm. Allen could tell by the way he stiffened that he hadn't sensed Allen's approach.
"Stop it!" Allen yelled at the Finders surrounding them. "You have no right! Kanda was just doing what he had too, and so was I! If you want to be angry, be angry with me! I made the choice - the choice Juan asked me to make! The choice he asked Kanda to make! You are only disrespecting his memory. He asked us to leave him! He asked us..." Allen looked down as tears threatened, trying not to see the shock on the faces of everyone around him.
John swallowed. He liked Allen - everyone did, except, it seemed, for Kanda. "Allen...would never leave a comrade! I cannot believe it! You are just covering for Kanda!"
Allen's eyes widened. "I am not! I was there, after all!"
"You were injured! You didn't know what you were doing!"
"Of course I did! I allowed it to happen! Kanda is not a bad person! He was sad, too! Yuu is a good exorcist and friend - "
Allen was cut off as something hard hit the side of his head. He only had time to gasp before he was sailing through the air, over one table, and crashing into bowls and plates on another before skidding on his back onto the floor.
Eyes wide, he stared at the ceiling, ignoring Lenalee's frantic questions in his shock. Kanda had...punched him? But why? Allen had been defending him! He stood slowly, eyes searching for the person who was responsible for the throbbing in his recently injured leg, new bruises, and bits of food splattering his formerly clean jacket.
"Wha-what's your problem, jerk? I was defending you!"
Kanda stood with his arms crossed, eyes cold. "Do not call me Yuu. We," he turned towards Jerry and started to walk away, "are not friends, and I do not need you to defend me."
Silence filled the room, the only sound Allen's heavy breathing and Kanda's calm footsteps. Allen's fists were clenched at his side, and his head was bowed so that his eyes were not visible.
"Kanda!" Lenalee called from next to Allen, where she had run after he had landed. A few Finders shifted uneasily. It wasn't very often you saw an angry Lenalee, but usually when it happened destruction followed. Kanda stopped walking to look back over his shoulder.
"How dare you treat Allen-kun this way! He was only trying to help - "
"Not friends?" A low voice cut Lenalee off. She started and looked next to her at the gray haired exorcist, whose eyes were still hidden beneath his fringe. "I suppose you are right. How silly of me."
Lenalee's eyes widened. She had only heard that tone from Allen once before - when he was talking to the Earl. "A-Allen?" She whispered. No one dared to move. Kanda raised an eyebrow. "What are you mumbling about, bean sprout?" he scoffed.
Allen finally raised his his head, and a few disturbed mutterings could be heard throughout the room. His eyes were cold. He kept his pale face expressionless despite the angry red swelling on his right side where Kanda had hit him.
"You should call me Walker, since we are not friends, Kanda." Without another word to anyone, he turned and walked from the room, leaving even Kanda looking slightly disturbed.
Allen couldn't sleep. Probably because he was so angry. Allen knew that a friendship with Kanda wasn't easy. It involved insults, cold shoulders, and constant bickering. But he had truly thought that after everything they had been through, they were still friends. Kanda's words would not leave his head. We are not friends.
After everything - all the shared missions, shared fights, even shared jokes at times! Allen had not felt like he had a family since Mana - not until he came to the order. They were all on the same side after all. All of them were brought together by the pain of their pasts - pain caused by the Millenium Earl. It had actually not occurred to Allen that Kanda did not consider him a friend for a long time - he just assumed the other boy was incapable of showing it.
Allen turned on his side and stared at the wall. He felt...tricked. After all, he felt affection for Kanda. Was he truly so stupid that he hadn't noticed his feelings weren't returned? And what was so wrong with him that Kanda couldn't give him his affections, anyway?
He clenched his hands in his sheets and allowed his eyes to harden. Fine. If Kanda truly wanted to live without his friendship, than who was he to deny him his wish?
The next day saw Allen shuffling into the mess hall, a huge yawn spreading over his face. He rubbed his eyes before wandering towards Jerry.
"Hey, honey, how's your eye?"
Allen tenderly touched the side of his face, wincing slightly before smiling brightly at the cook. "I've had much worse, don't worry about me! Did you sleep well, Jeryy?"
The man raised his eyebrows in clear doubt, but let it go. "Oh, you know, no rest for the wicked." He leaned forward on the ledge of the window, spatula in the air. "What'll you have this morning?"
Allen tapped his lip in thought, and named off about 10 different dishes - most of them not even in the breakfast category. With a happy little sigh Jeryy wandered off to make the meal, finishing it in record time. Allen took his heaping tray and turned to look for anyone he might know. He spotted Miranda and Lavi chatting with Toma at an otherwise empty table and made his way to sit down next to the red headed bookman.
"Morning!" He called before digging into his food. It took him a moment to realize his friends had gone quiet and were studying him. He paused and looked up. "What? Is there something on my face?"
He slapped his hands at his face to find the offending piece of food, wincing when he hit his new bruise. "Ouch." Lavi reached up and pushed a piece of Allen's hair out of the way to study the mark. "I can have Panda-sensei look at that..."
Allen rolled his eyes and flapped Lavi's hand away. "Is that what you guys are worried about?" He asked, exasperated. "It's fine - it's just a bruise!"
"Yes, but Allen...you seemed upset when you left yesterday. And sometimes...words can leave deeper bruises than fists" Miranda said quietly from across the table.
Allen looked down for a moment. When he lifted his head, he had a bright smile on his face. "Oh, well, I'm alright now, so please don't worry about me anymore!" More silence. Slowly, Lavi nodded before flinging his arm around Allen's neck and pulling his head towards his shoulder, making him yelp as he hit his abused face. "That's our bean sprout! Nothing keeps you down or angry for long. We all know that's just how Yu is! Speaking of which..." Lavi let go of Allen to turn toward's Jeryy's window and wave his hand in the air frantically.
"Yuu! Yuu, Allen isn't angry anymore, so come and sit with us!" Lavi either didn't notice or didn't care when Allen stiffened next to him. The boy's face fell into a neutral expression, and he turned back to his food, ignoring the tray that slid next to Miranda's across from him.
"Idiot. I told you not to call me that." A rustle of fabric signaled that Kanda was sitting down. Allen gripped the bowl in his hands tighter and struggled to keep his face calm and cold. Jeeze, how did Kanda do it all the time? And why was he sitting next to him, anyway? Didn't he always eat alone like the antisocial cold hearted jerk that he was?
"Hello, Kanda." Miranda said in a small voice, Toma mirroring her greeting, getting only a grunt in response. Allen began shoving food more aggressively in his mouth, chanting nonchalance, nonchalance, nonchalancein his head. It was harder than he thought it would be to stop caring about Kanda's perpetually rude behavior. He was so focused on his internal musings that he almost missed the ominous lack of conversation and clinking of silverware from his friends. He paused, mouth full, a glance showing him that once again he was being stared at expectantly. "What?" He mumbled through a mouthful of food.
Lavi shifted uneasily and glanced at Kanda - who Allen still hadn't looked at. "Nothin! No problem!" he said with his easy smile. Allen blinked, confused, then shrugged and went back to eating. He had too much on his brain to worry about Lavi's perpetually odd behavior.
Allen picked up a bowl of rice, dumping a heaping pile of steaming vegetables, soy sauce, and Sriracha and top before taking a huge bite. Eventually conversation turned to Miranda's most recent mission. Content to listen and doing his best to ignore the prickly awareness of Kanda sitting across from - and staring, if his instincts were right - he moved onto a stack of waffles covered in maple syrup and strawberries.
"So, Yuu, how was your latest mission?"
Allen inwardly sighed as the sound of Mugen being unsheathed and pointed at Lavi's neck reached his ears. "Idiot. Don't. Call. Me. That."
From the corner of his eye Allen saw Lavi laughing innocently and waving his hands in front of him. "Okay, okay, jeez! Don't get so upset. How was your latest mission Kanda."
"Che" was the only response he got before the Allen heard Kanda pick up his fork and begin eating again. Eggs and toast, presumably, since that was what he generally ate for breakfast. Allen wasn't positive, though, because he still hadn't looked at him. Instead he had kept his eyes firmly on his food. As Allen finished swallowing his last bite he realized the table was once again silent. With a sigh, he looked up again to see Lavi studying him thoughtfully.
"What?"He said, irritated with the strange behavior of his friends that morning.
Lavi laughed nervously and rubbed his neck. "Nothing, nothing, it's just...well..." Lavi cleared his throat and looked down. "Usually you yell at Kanda for being rude."
Allen froze for a moment, but was proud of himself for keeping his face neutral as he finally turned his head to look at Kanda. He looked the same as always. Blue black hair tied back out of his face, Mugen strapped to his back, Exorcist uniform impeccable. Those dark eyes were boring into him, and Allen saw the question there. Kanda Yuu was just as interested as Lavi was. For a moment those eyes held him, and Allen almost forgot what he had decided last night. Then Kanda scoffed and went back to his food, and the spell was broken.
Allen felt the same anger that had consumed him last night crawl from his belly into his throat, and he fought to stay composed. "It no longer matters to me what Kanda does or does not do." he said in a dull voice as he stood and began to collect his dishes. "If you don't like how impolite he is, I suggest you stop trying to speak to him."
Allen ignored the shocked faces of his friends, and carefully turned towards the garbage can so as not to drop the mountain of breakfast dishes. After safely delivering them to the kitchen staff, he made his way to the exit, but stopped in the doorway to smile brightly and wave at his friends who were still sitting at the table. "Bye Lavi! See you later Miranda and Toma!" He was relieved to see them wave back - if not a little dumbly, before he turned and walked away, intent on finding Komui or Lenalee to see if they needed anything from him before he went to train.
"Wow." Lavi said after he had left. "I've never seen him that way." He snuck a glance at Kanda, who was currently very interested in his last piece of toast. "Yu must have really pissed him off!"
Miranda frowned as Kanda growled and stood to leave. She nibbled on her lip for a moment, wavering as the young samurai began to walk away. "K-Kanda!" She called. For a moment she thought he would keep walking. Instead, he stopped and slowly turned his cold eyes on her.
Miranda lifted her chin and met them with her own gaze. What was the point of being an exorcist if she couldn't even stand up to her own comrades? "I think you should apologize. You obviously hurt his feelings yesterday."
"Che. What do i care about the bean sprouts feelings?" He said before swinging around and resuming his stride.
"I think you care very much. And if you aren't careful, soon his act will become real, and he truly will no longer care about what you are feeling. Think very carefully before letting his friendship go, Yuu." Kanda's stride faltered, and Lavi tensed his muscles, ready to defend Miranda from Kanda's outburst that was sure to come. But he simply squared his shoulders and continued walking.
"Wha - so she can call you Yu and I can't?" Lavi yelled, ignoring Miranda's whispered goodbye and Toma's restraining hand on his shoulder. What was wrong with everyone, anyway?
Hi all...not sure how often I'll be able to update, but I'll try to do it promptly. Thanks for reading! Reviews are appreciated. :)
So pointed out that I apparently had a stroke and renamed Toma Mike...though I'm still convinced the subtitles did it! Or maybe I am watching too much anime and it's all blurring together? Anyway, I fixed it. Oopie.