Disclaimer: I own nothing!

Characters and pairings: Kanda/femAllen and LaviLenalee. Other DGM characters will also appear from time to time.


Prologue

They first met in April, this cruellest of months, with its fierce tempests, mild rains, sunny days and occasional cloudy weather.

On the eighth day of April, in the Year of Our Lord 2000, Lavi Bookman dragged Kanda Yu through the corridors of the Black Order Headquarters. At exactly nine in the morning, they reached the office housing the Science Division.

"Good morning, friends!" Lavi called out, waving with far more enthusiasm than a mere mortal should have. He yanked a struggling Kanda through the door.

"Don't hit the specimens," Section Chief Reever said, not bothering to look up.

"I won't," Lavi said, and promptly did so.

"Idiot," Kanda said, rolling his eyes as Lavi offered his sincerest apologies to the scientists cleaning up the mess. "I'm getting out of here."

"No, you aren't," Lavi said. "Komui wanted to see you, remember?"

"Oh, shit, yeah," Kanda said. "I don't want to go in.

"Why not?" Lavi asked, curious.

"The Chief set his newest Komurin on Kanda the last time," Reever said, when Kanda did not deign to answer.

"You're traumatized," Lavi said. "But what can't the great Kanda Yu handle, eh? Just go on in. I have your back."

"I don't need your help," Kanda retorted, trying to protect his dignity.

"Hmm," Lavi said, clearly not much interested in Kanda's ego. He bent over Johnny's workstation and peered at one of the screens mounted on the wall. "Who's that?"

"Who?" Johnny asked, swivelling round to take a look.

"Here," Lavi said, pointing. "He doesn't look familiar at all."

The screen in question captured the feed from a camera mounted before the main gates of the Headquarter, and at the moment, an unrecognizable human was making its way up the gentle slope. Johnny stared.

"You sure you don't know him?" Johnny asked doubtfully. "Maybe he's a Finder, or one of the cooks."

"Don't kid yourself, Johnny," Lavi said. 'I've never seen him before. He doesn't work here."

"Section Chief?" Johnny called. "Could you come over for a sec?"

Reever went over.

"Look," Johnny said, pointing.

"Who's he?" Reever asked.

"We don't know, Section Chief."

"We'll wait for the Gatekeeper's response, I think," Reever said.

As they spoke, the figure – it was a strange one indeed, with its white hair, androgynous dressing, red pentacle scar running down the left side of its face and gloved hands – reached the gate and peered nervously at it.

"He's not one of us, sir," Johnny said. "Or he would have come in through the underground entrance. And even if he somehow ended up out front, he'd have known where to insert his token to open the gate."

"Yes," Reever said. "I suspect you're right, Johnny."

Then the alarm came on; loud wails filled the air as the machinated Gatekeeper decided that the newcomer was a foe and not a friend. The door leading to Komui's office burst open, and Kanda and Komui came out.

"What's going on?" Komui said, pulling his beret off his head. "Why are the alarms sounding?"

"It's the intruder alert, you idiot," Kanda told his chief, and then left the office.

Komui stared at Johnny's screen. "Who's that?"

"We don't know," Lavi said.

The newcomer was waving its hands at the gate, it seemed, mouthing what seemed to be calming words, but the harsh noises continued. Then Kanda slid neatly into view, having jumped out of an opening in a nearby rock.

"Kanda is suicidal," Komui said.

The said Kanda whipped out two pistols, the sight of which caused the white-haired person to raise its hands in fearful surrender.

"He's murderous, more like," Lavi said.

"What are you doing here?" Kanda asked his hapless captive. "Are you spying on us?"

"No, no-oo," it stammered. "I'm here to – I'm here to – seek sanctuary."

"Seek sanctuary?" Kanda said, scoffing. "We don't offer sanctuary, fool."

"I – I know. But, General Cross sent me here. He told me to seek sanctuary here."

"General Cross?" Komui said. "Hmm. Johnny, tell Kanda to bring his captive up to my office."

Johnny did so, and Kanda brought his captive up, all the while ignoring it.

Little did they know what the future would hold for them.

:::

Almost two decades later, in the in the Year of Our Lord 2017, Lavi Bookman, historian extraordinaire, got up with the sun, made his toilet, ate a very unsatisfying breakfast, and flipped lazily through the Sunday papers.

Then he stopped, re-read a certain headline, gasped, upset his mug of black coffee and read the article twice through.

Then he said, "Lenalee, come over for a while, would you, dearest?"

Lenalee came over, still in her indigo-and-black nightgown.

"Look,"Lavi said.

Lenalee looked. She read the title of the article: "Writer and War Heroine Speaks About Lost Love."

Then she, too, gasped. "It's Allen!"

The prolific writer in question was none other than their one-time comrade and friend, Allen Walker, whose books were now devoured hungrily by the citizens of the nation of Patria. She, once an agent whose sole mission was to overthrow a corrupt government, was now a literary diva who churned out tearjerkers and whimsy tales.

"I can't believe that's actually our Allen!" Lenalee said. She absently picked Lavi's coffee mug up and drank whatever was left inside. "Eeew, black coffee."

"It's strange that we never knew where she was until today," Lavi said. "She did a good job of hiding. I always thought she'd change her identity drastically."

"It says here that this is the first time she allowed herself to be photographed."

"I see. Well, I guess I'd better show this to Kanda."

"Do you think," Lenalee said, "do you think he'll look for her?"

"I don't know," Lavi said. "But I hope so."

Lavi left his house and made for Kanda's apartment. When he reached the apartment, he noticed that Kanda's shoes were outside the door, which meant that his friend was at home.

Lavi knocked, Kanda opened the door and glared.

"What do you want, idiot?"

"I'm fine, thanks for asking," Lavi said, grinning. "Let me in, Yu."

"We aren't on a first-name basis," Kanda said. "Stop calling me Yu."

"Let me in, Kanda," Lavi said. "I've got something important to show you."

Kanda stared at his former colleague, doubt written all over his face.

"If you're worried that I'm going to go in and sit down for four hours talking about my new pet cactus," Lavi said, eye twinkling, "then you're wrong. I'm here on serious business."

Kanda frowned, but moved aside so Lavi could enter. He didn't bother with preparing drinks.

"Spill," Kanda said, leaning against the wall of the living room.

"Have you read today's newspapers?"

"Did you come here just to discuss the news with me?"

Kanda's frostiness hung heavy over the room, and Lavi wondered if he would be able to properly explain the matter.

"You see," Lavi said, pulling his copy of the newspaper from his bag, "there was this article today which I thought might interest you."

"What is it about?" Kanda made no move to walk across the room, displayed no curiosity at the newspaper that lay unfolded and spread out upon his little wooden table.

"Come here," Lavi said.

Kanda moved over, rather reluctantly, and looked down. "I don't give a damn about writers."

"I know that, but you must surely have heard of this author. She sells more than a million copies of each book she writes. That's pretty cool in a country where most people are more interested in surviving, don't you think?"

"So? She probably writes sappy love stories. Not worth my time."

"Look at her name."

Kanda stared. He didn't gasp or gape, but his features were frozen in place, it seemed.

Lavi babbled on. "I always thought this writer was a guy. This name is really common, so I never suspected anything. What's the matter, Yu?"

With great effort, Kanda wrenched his eyes from the page. "Why are you showing me this?"

"We know where Allen is now, Kanda! She hasn't changed her name, even – and – you can go look for her now!"

"I will not."

"Why not?" Lavi asked, not understanding Kanda's cold tone and stiff posture. "She misses you still, according to the article!"

"She killed Alma." Kanda's eyes were now ablaze with agony, pain, and the anger that comes with experiencing betrayal by someone dear.

Now Lavi understood. "I'm sure she didn't –"

"She was the only one who could have," Kanda said. "It doesn't matter if the war ended because of her. She might be a damned heroine to the rest of the idiots in this country, but she killed my best friend."

"I'm sorry."

"You damn well should be. Don't talk about her to me again."


AN: I never thought I'd write a prologue – they are notoriously hard to get right – but I thought it would fit in fine here. In any case, I assure you that future chapters will be far longer.

This story is set in a fictional country which I have named Patria, which means 'homeland' in Italian. A bit cheesy, but I quite like it (: The timeline is also rather fictional – it takes place in 2000, but not the year 2000 as we know it, if you catch my drift. I'll be introducing some of the backstory in the next chapter.

I do hope you enjoyed reading this, and would love to know what you thought of this (: Thanks for reading!