Disclaimer: I own none of these characters.
"The reason you will not say it is,
when you say it,
even to yourself,
you will know it is true."
William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
Tiedoll had originally planned on helping his lithe neighbor that morning, but an abrupt call from the office hindered him doing so.
He worriedly glanced at Allen's house and an idea suddenly popped in his mind. He glanced at his oldest son who was sprawled on the floor while watching the television.
Maybe a little guilt-tripping wouldn't hurt?
"W-what? W-what did you just say, Dad?" Kanda asked, his mouth gaping and gasping for invisible air.
Tiedoll sighed as he watched his oldest son get alarmed on what he just heard.
"Do you get it now, Yuu?"
"B-But why didn't you say that to me earlier?!"
"As if you would listen, you stupid aniki!" shouted Keita who was listening to their conversation. "I've already told you that Allen-san needed our help and what did you do?!" he looked like who was on the verge of crying again.
Kanda felt a gush of guilt crashing down upon him. It was a nasty feeling. He looked at his younger brother and bit on his lips.
"Allen-kun's garage is full of weights and dumbbells. They were Hanataro-san's."
"What the –... Wait, who's Hanataro?"
"He was Allen-kun's grandfather. He used to lend those equipments on training centers where Japanese actors and actresses workout. Though he never used them himself, Hanataro-san took good care of them. Later, when he married his wife, the two had three boys and one of them was the late Akashiro-kun."
Kanda's eyes squinted. "A-Akashiro? The actor, Akashiro Walker?"
His father nodded. "He was Allen-kun's father."
Allen sighed. He looked around the mess that was his home and decided he would clean the muddle on the kitchen later this afternoon.
He was hungry. He was planning on cooking a simple meal for his breakfast but seeing the piles and piles of grubby kitchenware on the sink made him leave the kitchen and forget his howling stomach. He went to the garage again where another set of muddle was waiting for him and decided that procrastinating this time wouldn't really help him. No matter how long he stared at those things, they wouldn't clean and move by themselves.
Man up, Allen.
He sighed as he tried to lift one of them but he just almost hit his feet when his arms gave up and the thing suddenly decided to slip on his hands.
Allen's eyes widened –
He instantly closed his eyes, waiting for the impending doom.
Trembling and annoyed by his lack of physical power, he could only pity himself as he wait for the metal to hit his feet.
Surprisingly enough, it never came.
Allen slowly opened his eyes.
In front of him was a panting Kanda, struggling to lift the equipment that was supposed to be landing on his feet a few seconds ago –
"W-what are you d-doing here?" he asked
Gritting his teeth, Kanda spoke with difficulty. "Can you f-fucking help me first here? I think I'm gonna break my arms!"
"I'm sorry!" Allen immediately tried helping and Kanda almost groan. Wrong person to ask help! Those skinny arms were just too freaking powerless. With the last ounce of his strength, Kanda lifted the freakishly heavy thing and placed them on the floor.
"The," pant "fuck's," pant "wrong," pant "with these things?" he said, scowling.
Allen fidgeted in the corner as Kanda assessed the contents of the garage. There were at least a dozens of heavy exercise equipments loitering in every corner of the storage. There were also stash of boxes of dumbbells and different gym paraphernalia.
"They were my Grandfather's..."
"Why don't you just sell these? You can't even lift them." I could barely lift them, Kanda begrudgingly thought.
"I c-can't. They're my Grandfather's. They're important to my family."
Kanda scratched his head.
Allen had so many things to ask and yet his voice was betraying him.
"W-Why are you here?" he instead asked, and Allen almost cringed on the abruptness of the question. Like he hadn't plan on asking it –
Kanda faced him and Allen automatically straightened his back. He stiffened, readying himself for verbal assaults and sailor-like cursing. Instead, Kanda spoke lowly, his face was neutral; "My brother had been condemning me since we left you an hour ago. He said he was going to hate me for the rest of his life if you hated him for the rest of your life."
Allen reddened at what he heard.
He looked away.
He didn't know what was making him more nervous – Is it because of what Keita had said or is it because of the somewhat gentle demeanor of Kanda when he was speaking to him?
"I guess Keita is just really fond of you," Kanda casually said. He looked away, too, feeling the embarrassment that he was sure he was giving Allen at the moment. Fuck. He didn't even know how to freaking make their conversations longer without him snapping. He was afraid to say the wrong things to Allen again because he seemed particularly good at saying the wrong things when he was with the white haired man.
"He is a good kid," Allen quietly said. "T-Thank you for helping me there."
"Sorry I was always a jerk," Kanda said, unblinking and yet a light blush could be seen spreading on his chiseled face. He was looking straight at Allen. "And sorry that I called you girly the first time we met. That was totally uncalled for."
Allen blinked, feeling the flush on his face go down on his neck. "I-It's alright. I'm – I-I'm sorry, too, for what I've done this m-morning. I-I sh-shouldn't have ignored y-you like that an-and –"
"Nah. I deserved that. Go ask Keita and he'll tell you."
Allen shook his head. "N-No, really. I shouldn't have said that."
Kanda just shrugged his shoulders. "No offense meant."
And Kanda felt his breath just hitched.
The. Fuck. Was. That?!
"A-anyway," he coughed, rolling his tongue under his teeth, calming himself. "Now that we have strengthened things out, we can now help each other arrange this mess."
Allen looked around and blinked. "Oh, yeah. I totally forgot," he said, chuckling. "If you want, I can call people who could help us. I really doubt we can sort this place by ourselves..."
"People who could help? What, those muscled man in local moving companies?"
Allen laughed. "They aren't all that muscle-y, you know."
Kanda was taken aback on how Allen could laugh so easily around him. He thought he would be more stiff and guarded given their nasty encounters in the past. And yet here he was, showering Kanda his bright smiles like the two of them were such good friends.
"They could lift cabinets," Kanda said, smiling despite himself. He didn't know why but those smiles were just too contagious...
Allen nodded, seemingly amused. "Well, that's part of their job."
"Eherm!" A loud coughing startled the two. Kanda looked back and there he saw Keita holding a broom, his eyes were glinting mischievously. "Maybe we should start cleaning now."
Allen blushed as he nodded and scampered to the storage room where the cleaning materials were kept.
"What in devil's name are you doing here, squirt?" Kanda asked as he playfully nudge the boy's head with his fists.
"I'm here to make sure you're not gonna blow it, nii-san."
Kanda raised on eyebrow. "Blow what?"
"You're last chance!"
Kanda frowned at his little brother. "Last chance? What efffin' fuck are you talking abo –"
"Here are the cleaning materials!" Allen shouted, panting. In his hands were three different mops and broom sweepers.
Keita smiled at Allen and grabbed three of the sweepers. Then, he ran to his brother and shoved the cleaning materials to his chest. "Work!" he muttered, gritting his teeth. "Don't make Allen-san cry again or you'll be sorry!"
Kanda took a step back, his scowl started to deepen. "This little squirt..." he hissed. He snatched the sweeper from his brother and started sweeping the floor, murmuring to himself.
Allen smiled in a corner.
He didn't know what exactly happened... but could he assume that he and Kanda... they became friends?
Allen blushed. The thought made him happy somewhat.
A friend outside showbiz, huh...
Allen glanced at Kanda and smiled.
That was just exactly what he needed right now.
A friend who didn't know about his past. Someone who will help him start over. In this old town where his grandfather and father grew up.
A/N: I'm finishing this little story this year. I'm so sorry for making you guys wait for so long (assuming that someone is really waiting...) Anyway, this is supposed to be a very short story (about 7-10 chapters) and I didn't know why I freaking procrastinated for so long before writing another chapter again.