The Christmas Tree Disaster
A door creaked as it was opened—leading into the large focal room. It was an open space that served as a meeting point sometimes and it became a recreational spot at others. This time, it was going to serve a completely different purpose and Allen Walker entered into it with a big smile—secretly laced with apprehension. At the center of the room were the parts collected for the project that he'd been given as his task for the day. His partner was none other than Kanda Yuu. The man voted most likely to have an entire branch system lodged in his ass—instead of just the customary stick.
He did feel a small bit more fortunate, however, that he wasn't someone that hadn't had previous exposure to the bitter harshness of Kanda. Because any poor Finder thrust into his same position would probably leave with fear branded into their hearts. His project partner was not very good with tasks that required any sort of patience or that involved other people. At least he was more capable of dealing with him.
"Alright, Allen, I trust you'll be fine here?" The question came from the tall man behind him, dressed in white and wearing a pleasant smile that Allen was at least eighty percent sure was filled with some sort of sadism from intentionally throwing him at the one person that could easily bring Allen into a fist fight. Komui really seemed to enjoy dangling Allen over a shark like that. Kanda was adequately comparable to a shark, if for nothing more than the fact that he could bite like no one's business.
Allen knew that from personal experience—metaphorically and literally.
Nodding his head, he watched Komui vanish from his peripheral vision and he turned to fully face Kanda. The man was already in the position to begin the task at hand—pulling things out of boxes and working on a large circular thing with screws in it. The large Christmas tree was lying down beside him—bare and ready to be given holiday spirit. For some strange reason, the image made Allen a little holiday bouncy himself.
Well, until Kanda looked up and opened his mouth with a very Kanda-like statement—bringing out the fighting spirit in Allen and crushing any holiday excitement with it.
"Who said you were helping me with the tree? I doubt you can barely reach past the stand, let alone be useful in decorating this thing." With bored eyes, Kanda dumped out another box of Christmas related things—garlands and pinecones, it seemed. Allen knew that Kanda was both putting on a show and being legitimate in his abuse toward Allen. No matter how many times they'd gone from throwing fists to ruining sheets, Kanda was still Kanda.
"Haha, I know, I'm so short. You're hilarious Kanda. But not hilarious enough. Komui wanted me to make sure you didn't break anything. Someone has to monitor you."
"He didn't ask me not to break you, however." Dark eyes remained fixed on what was in his hands and never bothered to look back up. Kanda wasn't going to make any unnecessary eye contact if he didn't have to.
"Go ahead and try it Kanda," Allen rolled his eyes and moved forward, away from the door and toward the actual war zone. Because that's what it already was—he knew that much.
"I know you're not very good with resisting temptations," Allen's lip curled just a bit and he leaned down with a large, friendly smile, "but do try to keep this experience safe for kids. You never know who may wander in."
Kanda's head turned up and in the same motion, his arm swung and—with the accuracy of a Sniper—he threw a pinecone right into Allen's face. "I will hang you like a fuckin ornament," he hissed after Allen bent to hold his face—bringing him in close enough range to flick him as well.
"Ow, ow Kanda, stop that," Allen swatted at him to make him stop and puffed his cheek out, trying to ignore the marks from the pinecone that his face had made friends with. "There's no need to threaten me yet. We haven't even gotten the tree vertical."
"Unlike you, I've actually been working on it. When you're done being as useful as a lawn decoration, you can come over here and hold the fuckin tree while I get it into the stand."
Allen made a face, but quickly repressed the attitude he was beginning to feel. "Are you sure you don't want me to fix the stand? It's nice and low to the ground. And you can pretend I'm bowing at your feet, my queen." He put his arms up in preparation for another item to be thrown at him, but Kanda wasn't always predictable and he found himself sprawling back on the floor after the taller man's foot swept his legs from under him. He rolled a bit in a pile of decorations and grumbled, trying to throw sparkling things off him—remorseful that he was now covered in glitter. "D…damn it, Kanda…really…"
"You wanted to bow."
He brushed himself off and absently apologized to Timcanpy for crushing him underneath him. With a flick, he sent Tim to find a place to go into standby, knowing that the poor golem wasn't safe as long as he was on Allen's person. "If you're done abusing me, can we get this tree at least standing?" He put on civility as best he could, despite his extreme desire to choke Kanda with string lights.
"The tree is big, we need to lean it up against something until we can stabilize it," Kanda explained, tone of voice still cocky as ever. "If you think you're capable of dragging something about six times your height a few feet, I'll get the stand ready."
He wanted to tell Kanda how much he itched to drag him to a cliff and shove him off—but he was there to prevent things from being broken. Or rather, he was there because they couldn't find anything else for him to do that wouldn't end in disaster. Allen got way too lost, way too easy, so anything that involved any walking around on the complex was already dismissed. Cooking was also out of the question, because they didn't really need anyone else at the moment and Allen was probably not best suited for being around food he couldn't eat. Other tasks had already been given, so that really left only him as both available and capable of handling Kanda.
Dragging the tree was his current focus and he did it while making faces at Kanda. The man was too busy wrenching screws into the stand to notice immediately, but eventually he did have to look up and chose to do it at about the time Allen had his tongue out at him.
"The fuck is that look for, Beansprout?" The Asian man's pretty face was etched with annoyance that was slowly becoming permanent. It was always the pretty ones. "If you're constipated, maybe you should go find something better to do than get in my way."
"Only as constipated as your personality, Jerk."
Kanda's face remained as passive as before. "I don't have one of those." He moved over to Allen and flicked his ear in the same motion of grabbing the tree from the top end. "Now lift the fuckin' tree or I will shove it up your ass and use you as the tree topper."
"…Your unpleasantness stems from never getting hugged as a child, doesn't it?" Despite his burning—itching—impulses, Allen lifted the tree along with him—dragging it a bit until they were close to the wall they wanted to use to at least get it in the stand. They could drag it to the center later. "Santa never gave you the doll house you wanted, I assume?"
"I'm warning you, Beansprout." There was no clever retort added to that, because Kanda's warning was usually in preparation for physical abuse and Allen was prepared for that. Getting Kanda's fist thrown at him was comparable to his eating habits. It only happened a few times a day; but when it did, it usually happened in excess.
"If I was afraid of you Kanda, I wouldn't have agreed to watch you think you know how a Christmas tree works."
With that, a pair of hands let go of the tree; but not before making absolutely certain that it tipped backward in the direction of the other person. Allen's face changed colors when he realized that the large green thing was coming down on him faster than he could react to stop it, or move. It was highly fortunate that the tree had a lot of cushion in its branches, but Allen was still quickly shoved under the weight of the tree and both he and it dropped like a sack of potatoes that Kanda decided to fling on to the floor.
Kanda himself stood there with a bland, almost pitying expression—except it wasn't really pity, it was mockery. When Timcanpy floated around, curiously inspecting the scene and to see if his master had died by falling tree, Kanda simply looked at it and flicked it. Tim, instead, perched on his shoulder and kept recording. For a change, Kanda didn't do anything about it. He was too busy standing over the fallen tree that had his sometimes-lover crushed underneath it.
"Beansprout, please, now is not the time to be taking a nap." Kanda opened his mouth to speak at Allen more, but the door interrupted his string of insults and he turned to face whoever had interrupted it. Oh.
It was Lenalee, harboring her smile and soft eyes that could make most people concede defeat without effort. "Kanda? I thought Allen was with you." She looked around, seeing no one and it left her with confusion etched into her fine brow. "I brought some more ornaments. I'll just leave them here. When you see Allen, let him know that some of these are fragile, so don't man-handle them okay?"
Noise. Noise from under the tree and Lenalee's eye wandered to movement and a single flailing arm from under it. Her gaze slowly climbed back up to Kanda and he met her gaze unrelentingly. There was only one person crazy enough to actually give Lenalee sass, and that was only because he wasn't very good at staying dead or staying injured for long. A swift kick to the gut never kept him down for long—even one from her boots. "Kanda, what did you do to Allen!" It wasn't very long after the realization that Lenalee rushed over to help free Allen from the large mass.
"I dropped a tree on him, it was purely accidental."
"Kanda!" Her eyes threatened a future where her heel would be someplace he really didn't want her heel, so he grunted and he moved to help right the tree and free Allen from under it. He thought the stupid brat could have freed himself if he was actually stronger than that, but apparently Allen was too busy French kissing branches to get himself out of such a simple predicament.
Understandably, the moment Allen was able to clamor out, he leapt at Kanda and Lenalee made a quick getaway to not end up in the middle of the scuffle she foresaw. "Okay…I'm going to go now…" She spoke, but assumed very shortly that she wasn't being listened to. She nodded up to Timcanpy and smiled, "make sure you come get me if it starts looking like a death match, okay?"
Neither of them actually noticed Lenalee leave, because Kanda was too busy trying to pry Allen's body off his own. The boy's legs were wrapped around his waist and he was pulling unrelentingly on his hair and not letting go for the life of him. Even if Kanda backed away, he was stuck with Allen attached and attacking him like a feral cat. "God…damnit…Beansprout!"
"You dropped a tree on me, you dumb jerk!" Allen gritted his teeth and pulled on the man's hair again, sharply and actually biting his cheek in the same instance.
Kanda turned his face, like lightning struck him and he pushed Allen's chest like he was made of something truly repulsive—like love and sunshine or something. "AUGh, What the blazing blue fucks! Stop that you heinous little assfuck."
"You started this!"
"Your face started this! Now let go before I throw you across the fuckin country!" He pushed until Allen's legs were beginning to pop his own back and he had to stop. The little pain in the everything had a death grip on him, but Kanda wasn't having it. Diverting his initial plan, Kanda slid a hand up Allen's back and pulled the brat to him until he could bring his mouth down on his with enough force to shock Allen into slacking his grip.
It was in that one moment that Allen's grip slacked that Kanda threw him off like he was a cancer being banished from his body and sentenced to the next few hours of Christmas tree building. In all actuality, Kanda didn't know who suffered more from that situation: Kanda, who had to deal with Allen and his illness called Optimism; or Allen, who had to deal with the punishment known as Kanda's Social Skills.
"Now get your stupid ass up and let's get this tree in place so we can hurl some ugly sparkly things at it and I can go about my business of hating you all in the comfort of anywhere but within sight of you."
"You're so charming, Kanda," Allen wiped his mouth and stood, brushing the pine needles that were sticking into places that he really wanted to fix—but couldn't bring himself to do so in front of Kanda. He didn't want to admit his discomfort and the fact that Kanda had successfully given him a literal pain in the ass.
Regardless, they both went back to the task at hand and Allen decided that Kanda could hold the tree and he'd put the stand on. He didn't tell Kanda this until the tree was up and he let go enough to kick the stand closer to the bottom of the tree. "Hold it," he announced and dropped to the bottom before Kanda could snarl at him.
"Hey wait a fuckin' minute!"
"I'm not going to have a tree dropped on me again just because you're too much of a moron," he snapped and brought the stand closer, realizing that they'd have to lift it more just to get the trunk into the slot. He really had no idea how this stand was supposed to stabilize a huge tree, but the stand was fairly heavy too…Still, the tree was massive. Almost as massive as Kanda's dickishness.
"So…you kneel under the tree in order to avoid having it dropped on you…Your logic is really flawed." Dark eyes rolled, but Kanda held it just the same. The quicker they got to the actual decorating part, the quicker he could stop existing to every other living person for an undisclosed amount of time.
"Kanda, when you're done being a bitch, let me know."
"Well, that'll never happen."
"Which part? You not being a bitch or you letting me know it's happened?" Allen questioned, as he tried to size the screws to fit for the bottom of the tree. With only a motion, he let Kanda know they needed to lift the damned thing and Allen was actually pretty pleased with his ability to communicate without saying anything…Of course, that was because they weren't going to interrupt their discussion of belittling each other over needless business talk.
"I'll be a bitch for as long as you're a Beansprout. So, probably for the rest of my life."
Allen leaned enough to let one hand crawl up the tree and present a kind middle finger within Kanda's sight. "You mean the rest of eternity."
"Yes. Also, it's the approximate amount of time you can go suck a dick for all I care."
"Real mature, Kanda. Did Timothy teach you that one?"
"Do you really want this tree implanted in your ass? Because if you're into that kinda fetish, we're done here." With both feet apart, Kanda lifted the damned tree and listened for the sounds of the stand being slid into place. It wasn't exactly super heavy to him, but it was unwieldy as fuck and he had no choice but to lean the top half on the wall while they wiggled the trunk into the stupid stand. Finally, they were getting places that didn't lead to a brawl. He was fairly certain that Komui would have his ass if he threw Allen off the tower, but he really believed he could do it. Of course, then he'd probably be required to go out and retrieve him and swimming was as far from Kanda's thing as being chaste was Cross's thing.
"It's lined up, now push it in."
"If I had a Pound for every time I heard that one—."
"Kanda. I will slug you so hard, I swear to god!" Allen all but squealed at him and struggled to think properly while he worked to tighten the screw in the stand so the tree could stand without help from anything.
"Slug me, Beansprout. I'll turn you upside down and string you from the chandelier."
Allen turned the screw harder than he intended and almost feared breaking something from the way he was grinding that piece tighter. Kanda was frustrating when he wanted to be he really was. "There isn't even a chandelier in this room!"
"I never said it would be this room," Kanda shot back; but really, he didn't even realize the room didn't have one. That was just a thing he'd absently assumed. Just went to show how much attention he truly paid. "Can I lean the damn thing forward?"
"Yes. Please do," Allen grumbled and tightened the screws as they needed once the stand was truly flat and adjusted right. With that, the tree was actually sitting straight and strong and Allen crawled away from it, standing with a bit more distain at being covered in needles. "It looks like it's good to go. Now we have to move it to the center."
"You hold one side and we'll slide it, or would you rather I drop it on you and you can shimmy across the floor like a worm?"
"You're really aggravating, I hope you know that."
Between the two of them, moving it across the floor was about the easiest thing they did. The tree was tall, taller than both of them and Allen was disgruntled to know that it meant ladders were going to be involved—though he was pretty sure he was going to be kicking a ladder from under Kanda at some point, so it brightened his day just a little. Kanda really deserved it, he argued with the polite half of his brain that reeled angrily at him for even thinking of such an unpleasant thing to do to someone he had nerve to call his lover.
There was nothing about Kanda that he could call lovely, though. Well, maybe his face. Bitch that he was, he did have a pretty face. It was just delicate and masculine enough to make him attractive and oh…so…punchable.
"What do you mean, now what? We decorate it and then forget this entire month exists," Kanda answered him with a nonchalant wave while he turned toward a box, after quickly cutting the netting that held the branches from waving free. The first box he brought out held a long red, fluffy, shiny thing. Allen had never really decorated a tree and really had no idea what to do with something like that. His assumption was he would be wrapping it around the tree?
Though, Allen picked up the piece he recognized to go around the base of the tree. "Shouldn't we put the tree skirt on first?"
"If you do that, then you'll get pine needles all over it, just shut up and take the pink sparkly thing," Kanda handed him the end of the long ropelike piece and Allen just stood there while Kanda pulled it so that it wasn't in an untangled mess. "Now, when I tell you, just walk around the tree and be useful. Do I need to dangle food in front of you or can you walk in circles unassisted?"
Allen put a hand to his forehead to try and still the loud thumping in his skull, caused by the desire to just leave and let Kanda ruin this tree solo. He was always a real pain, but he was being particularly bad this time and Allen at least felt like he should be given some leeway—you know, being his partner and all. Allen had the feeling he could be naked and making sexy faces at him and he'd still be on the receiving end of his barbed tongue. Hell, they could be rolling in the sheets and Kanda would be insulting him somehow.
"Look, can we just work together on this? Then you can go jump off a bridge and drown yourself, for all I care."
"If you meant that, it might actually make you sound less of a wuss," Kanda's voice changed from that particular point and Allen raised a brow as he watched Kanda walk around boxes to get to the tree, fearlessly standing on one of the ones closest to the tree in order to hook the top of the red garland to a branch. "Okay, princess, now dance around the tree like a good girl for me."
"Yes, mom," Allen snipped and walked around the tree while Kanda adjusted the stupid fluffy thing on the way around—moving branches until they reached the bottom where he let Allen take over once he got the clue. That was much easier than he expected—given how difficult of a time they had just getting the thing to stand. "Oh, I see. That's easy."
"Just like you," Kanda made a sneer of a face before he disappeared to the other side of the tree where he was out of Allen's punching range.
"Why are you being so cruel today? Seriously, what's up your ass other than the collection of sticks that seem to be growing by the minute?" Allen was confused. Actually, really confused. Kanda was mean, but he was taking every shot he could now.
"I'm aggravated. I don't want to be stuck putting this fuckin' tree together. I don't get the idea of killing a tree, sitting it up in a room, throwing needless sparkly shit on it and standing in awe of the fact that you just murdered a tree for a holiday that was borrowed from other cultures to represent some character in a fiction novel."
Allen stared at him for a moment. He really didn't believe in the Christmas ideal either, as far as any religion went, but to say it like that… "Have you read that fiction novel?"
"Yes. Jesus dies. Spoiler alert."
"I'm pretty sure Jesus would look down upon half of the things we've done if Catholicism has anything to say about it," Kanda shrugged and picked out some more decoration, eyeballing a particular orb looking ornament. "This is the ugliest fuckin' thing I've ever seen. And I've seen some particularly ugly things. Like your room."
"My room isn't that bad…"
Kanda just stared at him and Allen knew why. His room had an inch thick coating of dust and spiders crawling around from lack of Allen being in it. All the boy ever did in the room was sleep. For a handful of hours at night, Allen was in his room and then he vacated it. Occasionally he'd eat in his room and then left the dishes from time to time and throwing clothes in the corner became a thing after he and Kanda had learned to entertain themselves with each other. So yeah, his room wasn't exactly the prettiest place. "I think you need to just declare it a disaster zone and get a new room."
"Why would I do that, when I can just go to yours?" Allen snorted and pulled a long string of beads from the box in front of him. There were so many of them, in red and blue and green and he had to take a moment just to figure out how to arrange them so he could tell if they were all connected or not. It was confusing him and he looked up and opened his mouth to ask Kanda what to do with him. It was apparent that this wasn't Kanda's first time being forced into tree-building.
Kanda, however, beat him to the punch. "Would you gawking and at shit and get to work? We need this tree up by Christmas, you know." Even as he said it, Kanda was already untangling lights and preparing to lace them around the tree, finding any busted bulbs to replace.
"I…But…There must be like…ten meters of beads here…What are we supposed to do with this many beads?"
"Tie them to your dick and twirl in circles, for all I care. Just make sure this tree is done before you decide to sit and spin."
"…You're so uncouth."
"Yeah, yeah, I know, now put the beads down and help me with the fuckin' lights; I have to get the ladder for these to tie them to the top. And I need you to walk in circles some more."
The ladder was drug from under the pile of mess that Kanda had quickly created in his desire to tear through the project and Allen had an armful of string lights thrust into his possession while Kanda situated the device that would allow him to reach the desired point. Allen watched Kanda, taking in the details of his demeanor as he climbed the ladder and fanned out the branches to allow for the lights to be connected at the top without it looking stupid. He really looked attractive when he was set on something—even if he was a little irritated and somewhat fuming even in his aura. Breathtaking…
And going down.
Without even thinking about the repercussions, Allen copied Kanda and swiped that ladder from under Kanda swiftly—basking in the man's immediate reaction once realization hit that he was going to be on the floor very soon.
Unfortunately, Allen had not anticipated Kanda grabbing the damned tree on the way down and before he could scramble out of the way; he, the tree and Kanda collapsed in a huge heap on the marble floor. On the positive side, Kanda did not land entirely over Allen, just half across him so that their legs mingled and they'd probably look like some freakish alien monster if someone walked in on them before the tree covered them.
The first person to talk was, of course, Kanda. Grumbling through a half-hearted cough, Kanda struggled to clamor out from under the tree and probably would have, if he didn't have a ladder jammed into his leg. "Goddamn it, Beansprout. Are you as retarded as you look, really?"
"If looks meant anything, Jerkass, then you wouldn't be such a bi…You know, never mind. You have a bitch face too."
With that, Kanda stopped struggling and turned on Allen with a snarl, catching the string of lights in a way that circled Allen's neck and he pulled until the boy started making delicious choking noises. "I will end your life, and then you never have to worry about seeing my face again!"
"K…K..K..nda…" The younger male made noises and flailed at Kanda, who simply turned his head so he wouldn't be caught in between getting tree bits in his eyes and Allen's hands in his face. The world was legitimately starting to dim and the fair-haired teen didn't want to die by his lover's hands if he could help it.
His saving grace actually came in the form of a flying little golden ball that had dropped down from his perch and starting bouncing his earthy body on Kanda's face until he had to relent, returning precious air to Allen and making Kanda hiss in annoyance again. Timcanpy abruptly zipped away after Kanda gave up trying to kill his master and left the two of them to lay under the ladder and tree looking like the fools they were.
"You dropped a tree on us," Allen stated.
"You made me do it."
"Don't blame me because you suck."
"Not as well as you do."
"At least I don't fall off ladders."
"I didn't fall, you little shitface, you kicked me from the ladder," Kanda squirmed and tried to turn in place so he could get the ladder from across his legs. At this point the only reason neither of them had given any effort to move was because they'd simultaneously given up on life for a few moments.
"You have no proof of that."
"I'll make Timcanpy play it back."
"Yeah well, you can suck my di—."
"What in the world is going on in here?" A voice cut Kanda off swiftly and he was silently thankful that it seemed to have drowned out what he actually meant as a sexual comment that time. It was Lenalee, again, with Timcanpy perched on her shoulder. Kanda just stared up at her, giving her a bored look and finally drawing the effort the shove Allen out of the side of the wide tree. With him out of the way, he could actually get his foot free—though Allen's legs were still under his and it made it an embarrassing effort to claw out without damaging the tree or them.
"He dropped a tree on me!" Allen, of course, would try to get him in trouble first, but really, he didn't have to try. Kanda did that all on his own.
"I can see up your skirt."
"W…wha!? Kanda!" Her leg shot out with a force that probably would have liquefied Kanda's inside if he had been a normal person. It was a misfortune on his part that he could recover from that sort of treatment, because he found himself suddenly free of a tree and a boot crunched into his side. She'd punted him hard enough from the side—where the tree left his body partially showing—to make him roll right over Allen.
Allen grunted at the bulldozed body crushing over him and Kanda made a half-dead sounding cough before laying face down in defeat.
"I am so fucking done with this holiday," he mumbled into the floor.
To Be Continued…
A/N: Merry early Christmas folks. I know that the 12 days of Christmas actually are supposed to start on December 25th, but it's no fun to have a Christmas fic after Christmas. So I'm going to post 12 chapters of Christmas mayhem and Allen and Kanda failing in every capacity! I'm doing my best to make certain I have all chapters posted by the time they're supposed to, so cheer me on in getting this done in a timely fashion! And I sincerely hope you enjoy a slightly different brand of Christmas fic!