Disclaimer! Please enjoy this story. Translation: Kasai - Japanese for 'Fire'

Recommended song with the story: Everytime instrumental -Britney Spears- and/or Jean to Leo -Wada Kaoru-

I sent a prayer up to the Heavens, wishing that both my parents, Kanda and Lenalee, are resting in peace. Their tombstones sat heavily together, as they wanted to be with each other till the end of time. After finishing my annual visit to the Black Order graveyard, I took my time to get back inside the glooming castle which was the exorcist's headquarters. As I pass the other stones, I couldn't help but read inwardly at the names at those that sacrificed their lives for humanity's victory in this war against the accursed Akumas; Komui, Johnny, Reever, Krory, Miranda, Bookman. And so many more whom I do not know of. But of course, they were mentioned here and there to be the greatest among the Exorcists; their names forever whispered among the would-be Exorcists like me. Since the war between the Noahs and exorcists were over, the Black Order was made to clean up the war's aftermath and protect the human's from leftover Akumas. So many of the more incredible Exorcists had died in battle that it makes me wonder whether there were any powerful Exorcists left to protect the innocent. Although, come to think of it, there is one more...

"LAAAAVIIII!" Shouted an over-excited man. I saw the running male running through the corridors of the Black Order castle, his white hair flying with the wind and his exorcist uniform hanging loosely around his body. His red peculiar scar was an indication of his fight with Akumas. This here was the infamous exorcist I was talking about; with the Innocence, Crown Clown, he took the world by storm and became the legendary exorcist everyone came to adore and look up to. He became a General after all the others had passed away when he turned just 17, and had been holding that high post for countless of years. Even in his prime, the exorcist regarded as the 'key to the Noah's Ark' is still as short as ever. Not looking at where I was going, we both unexpectedly collided with each other.

"Ah, gomenasai, Kasai! Are you alright?" Allen Walker apologized feverishly. Standing up and dusting off my black skirt to show the worrying exorcist that I'm not as fragile as everyone thinks I am. I am Kanda's 19-year old daughter, after all! The young man brushed himself as his silvery eyes looked like they were searching for something.

"Have you seen Lavi anywhere?" He chirped. I nodded my head in reply, remembering where I had last seen the veteran exorcist.

"Ah, thank you! Please, excuse me!" The bright smile that returned my answer was worth my day anytime. I really don't see any reason my father would dislike of him. Allen was a gentleman and a perfect exorcist; always putting other first before himself and as such, gained the hearts of many. His perfectly carved face can shine as the stars themselves and his broad shoulders held his stature high. Yes, he was practically the epiphany of perfect. The General took off sprinting like Level Four Akumas were behind him.

"LAVI!" Allen attacked the old man with all his might. Like a grandchild greeting his grandfather, Allen all but hugged the old veteran lovingly, making the 97 year old drop down onto the green grass behind him. The old red-haired exorcist is already retired, but he decided to stay inside Black Order castle for reasons unknown to me. It was strange for me to see an old man going around the castle and talking about the 'old times' with the younger generation like me. Lavi knew my father and mother, he had fought the Noahs countless of times and won the war. Those facts alone made me give him respect he deserved as a retired exorcist.

"Let's play ball, Lavi! Just like we used to, remember?" Allen pulled a red ball out of nowhere and pushed the normal-sized ball into Lavi's feeble hands. Grinning playfully, Allen didn't notice the furrowing eyebrows that Lavi showed visibly on his face.

"Allen.. I don't know whether I can still play with you…" Lavi smiled, trying to calm down the excited child. Lavi was best friends with Allen since I came into this world, or even longer than that! It makes me wonder how Lavi can put up with the child 76 years older than him for that long a time!

Allen continued to smile, even after he had calmed down and had finished his 'hyperactive' juice. Upon hearing Lavi's refusal, he pouted cutely. A minute was all he needed to think and come out with a concrete solution.

"Aw, please, Lavi? How about this, I'll make you a deal," on this, Allen made a thumbs-up, "if you play with me, I'll cease my gambling for 1 week!"

My eyebrows practically shot out off the roof. Allen? The great Gambling God of all exorcists, stop gambling for 1 week? Is this some kind of new Akuma that has the ability to take over Allen's body? I have heard about Allen's gambling skills and how his 'Dark Allen' would always come out to play and wreak havoc on other people's wallets (and sometimes clothes too). To hear that Allen was willing to give up his trump card skill (even if it was for only 1 week) was a blessing in disguise! It was like hearing Allen announcing that he will abstain from eating Mitarashi Dango ever again. This was too good an opportunity not to be missed!

Lavi must have thought of that too, since he only laughed at Allen's deal and complied with his wishes. Taking the ball in hand, he waited for Allen to stand a good distance away from him before he starts to throw the plaything.

"It's rare to see Lavi playing with Allen nowadays," said a deep voice next to me. That man with familiar blue hair that was waving ever so wildly was Timothy Hearst, the parasitic exorcist. He stood taller than me and wears a bandana to cover up the jewel on his forehead. Like Allen, he was one of the last few who had stood side-by-side with my parents and had walked into the face of war. Timothy was also trained under one of the late Generals, General Klaud Nine. So it didn't come to a surprise that he's a powerful exorcist, just like Allen and Lavi. Timothy smiled quietly as he watched Lavi telling Allen to get ready.

"Did you know that Allen is only 3 years younger than Lavi?"

My head turned to face to the taller man in whiplash speed. Allen was younger than Lavi only about 3 years? No way was that possible! I started to compare the two playing men. Unlike Allen, whose hair was always pure white; Lavi's red hair was getting paler each day. Allen held himself straight and unbending while Lavi needed support for his bad back. The muscles Allen hid underneath that black uniform rippled as he waved at Lavi to start the game and Lavi was already straining to move his own arms. I shook my head in denial; too many differences between the two were already right in front of me.

"Since he's the 'key' to the Ark, his growth remained the same and he'll never grow old," explained Timothy. I thought it was a brilliant power to gain, but Timothy only shook his head and continued his explanation, "but even the most powerful of powers have their disadvantages." Timothy didn't elaborate any further and I didn't bother asking for it as we both watched the elderly play.

Allen's laugh brightened the small garden they were in, the gentle wind blowing the cold morning air, "Okay, you can throw me the ball now, Lavi!" Allen waved again, waiting patiently for the game of the traditional ball-catching to commence.

Lavi gritted his teeth as he fumbled with the light ball. Timothy and I watched as the old man used up his strength to throw the ball high up into the air… And landed several feet away from where Allen was standing. Then all was silent save for the chirping of the birds from outside the castle. Lavi held a face that made my heart go heavy; it was a face full of sadness. Lavi had to face reality in this harsh way; he was not the man who used to be strong enough to wield the giant Innocence hammer. No longer was he Lavi, the mighty exorcist who can wield the heavy hammer that no one else could. Here, at this very moment in time, he was only just Lavi, someone who had already long past his prime. His old shoulders slumped even more at the obvious fact, his wearied face almost down to the ground at the truth. That pitiful sight alone made me want to cry in the outside.

Footsteps trotted the greenery as Allen stepped forward and took up the rolling ball. With his unwavering smile, he called out to his gloomy best friend, "so that's how you want to play, huh Lavi? Well, then here comes my fast ball! Get reeeeady!" He pulled his entire right arm back and pulled the trigger. Lavi shouted panicking,

"W-Wait! Allen!" But it was too late. Allen had already thrown the ball.

And the ball lightly bounced off Lavi's head…. I found myself face-palming myself at the idiocy that was unfortunately my General. But a small chuckle from Timothy told me that he wasn't agreeing with me in this matter. Like he knew something important that I myself didn't.

"Allen…" Lavi said, finally breaking the silence. His head was bowed low and his hair covered his eyes. I waited for the waterworks to come anytime soon as I saw Lavi's fists clenching tightly till they were shaking white, "Allen-"

"WHAT KIND OF A HIT WAS THAT? ARE YOU GROWING OLD TOO? BAKA MOYASHI!" Aaaand here comes another of my face-palms. Lavi was shaking his fist at the waving Allen, who only laughed gaily at the old man's futile efforts of becoming angry. A loud hearty laugh boomed from Timothy, his deep voice resonating through the corridors. Allen circled around the enraged elderly and picked up the ball again. Promising him no more trickery, the two best friends –in Lavi's reluctance- continued their ball game. After a while, a gang of younger exorcists arrived to visit Lavi and Allen. As expected, I heard Lavi talking about 'the old days' at the mischievous children. Sitting across him with a young girl on his lap was Allen himself, also wanting to hear the 'Legend of the great Lavi, the exorcist'. The children enjoyed hearing and listening to the ages where exorcists travelled all across the globe, killing Akumas and saving the people. Lavi told them about the times where he had to save Allen from either the Noahs or Akumas, where he had survived Bookman's God-awful teachings and Komui's C.R.A.Z.Y inventions. He talked about the times when Allen had to step in and save him from Kanda's sword end, and the times when they had regretted playing pranks on Lenalee.

"Boy, I tell you kids; never anger a woman. You'll live the rest of your life in regret!" Lavi playfully teased the younger children. The inexperienced children laughed at Lavi's plain joke and never piped a word of defiance all through the story-time. Allen was quiet in his part, only laughing softly as he heard Lavi's spinning tales of old magic and sorcery. That creamy pale kept up its serene smile. I found myself wondering; how can Allen change Lavi's mood from almost drop-dead gloomy to laughing with children in a split second?

"Lavi! Let's go already!" Allen called out. The complaining elderly grumbled under his voice as he followed Allen behind. It was a week after the 'playing ball' incident, and Allen was already bursting for energy once again. Shrugging his shoulders, Lavi held his mountain bag that was hugging over his back. I stood beside him as I recalled the conversation that led to this very day; the day that Allen had UN-surprisingly convinced Lavi to go mountain-climbing.

"Pllllllease, Lavi? For me?" Allen made that silly pout again with puppy-dog eyes. This time, I had to intervene. There was no way in Hell I was ever gonna let Lavi climb a Goddamn mountain at his age! What was Allen thinking?! But Allen shook off my comments and concentrated on Lavi, who was already thinking about accepting Allen's offer. With a triumphant smile, Allen tipped the glass of victory,

"If you go with me, I'll stop gambling for 3 weeks!"

So, here we are; Allen taking the lead, Lavi in the middle and Timothy and I holding the rear. If Lavi was going, I had to go too! No offense, Allen; you're an absolutely exorcist and all, but your 'taking care of the elderly' skill is right there below your ability to grow taller at your age. Timothy tagged along after Allen had invited him, telling him something about 'last time' and 'get more experience'. We were already coming towards the mountain top when Lavi had slipped a foot. I got into action immediately, but saw that Lavi still had his reflexes as sharp as an eagle. Holding his ground with Timothy and I readying ourselves just in the case he falls over, Lavi pulled himself up at the edge of the top. A gloved hand stretched in front of Lavi in offer.

Allen was already kneeling down on his knee at the mountain top's flat ground. His smile shone with the rising sun, giving an almost angelic image of him completed with a shining halo behind his head and shoulders. From my view, I could only see perfectness that was General Allen, "Come on, Lavi. Give me your hand. I promise I won't let you fall," the angel spoke in his solemn voice.

"It's alright, Allen. I still can climb, ya know!" Pushing the offered hand politely away, Lavi pulled himself up and climbed over the rocky edge. Tilting my eyebrow up, I turned to see Timothy's unreadable poker face when he too saw something different; I can't help but feel like his words had another cryptic meaning behind them. Allen, why does your smile look so sad? As fast as lightning, Allen changed the subject.

"Then let Kasai carry your bag! I'm sure she's strong enough to carry two bags!"

"Hey! I can hear you!" I shouted to my dismay, my cheeks blushing red at Allen's compliment. Lightening the mood, both Allen and Lavi laughed.

"Just like her mother, huh, Allen?" Lavi shared a secretive look with the General.

"Mother? She speaks like the father instead!" Allen joked. And the conversation turned to a different direction just because of one sentence. Allen's smile already buried deep within my mind, the incident quickly forgotten.

Resting underneath a thick tree that I took shade in, I was surprised at my surroundings. I have to admit; I've never been on a mountain before. So this whole new experience captured my whole being at sight. Tall trees that touched the heavens grew here, with leaves as wide as my arm's length and each trunk was so wide, it would take two of me to cover the entire tree. Only nature surrounded us, with the loud cricking of crickets and occasional snapping of broken twigs. Wispy clouds seem to be touchable at this high point, and I couldn't help but reach out to the fog. All in all, the area was quaint and blissful, almost like a small secretive getaway from all the troubles that we had left down on the solid ground. Here, above the clouds and disconnected from the world, there was only a tiny shred of peace from the heavens.

"Hey Kasai, take a picture of us, will you?" Asked Allen. The men were sitting in front of some rose bushes. The bushes surrounding them glowed heavenly blue, their petals covering the green floor with strips of the sky color. Timothy –who was sitting calmly beside Lavi- was interested at the unique rose he was holding onto, seeing that it had the same color combination as his special hair color too. Allen was sitting on Lavi's lap, his hands giving the ancient camera to me. Turning around, Allen tilted his eyes in confusion at Lavi's wheezing chuckle.

"You still keeping Komui's banged-up camera?" Lavi laughed heartily, his poor lungs trying to stand against the laughter.

"Hey, it's still functional! Komui gave it to me, remember?!" Allen defended himself lightly. Lavi kept on laughing.

"Haha! Gave it to you?! You practically won it in that gambling game of yours! I can still remember that he never forgave you for 3 whole days! C'mon Allen, it was his favorite camera!"

Allen shrugged his shoulders, his body language saying I don't care as long as I have the camera! After the small fight, I carried the heavy and large camera and adjusted it properly to make a scenery picture. With Allen, Timothy and Lavi perfectly in the picture and the rose bushes just about right, the picture I took gave a beautiful setting of the war veterans. After the entire day of just relaxing under the sun and picking ripe and sweet strawberries for the other exorcists to eat, we descended our little piece of secret heaven feeling a little bit lighter than the usual. Allen laughed loudly as Lavi continued his joke from the 'old days', and fought lightly with him as he corrected his mistakes and assumptions. I seldom saw Allen laughing and smiling truthfully, and Lavi forever sharing the joy and happiness with his best friend. But when that moment came; wow, what a precious couple they make of each other. Both helping one another, supporting each other's back in the war, surviving the troubles thrown at them and can still laugh delightfully despite of all the obstacles they had faced. The bond that they treasured among each other, even I can see it so obvious. And so extremely cherished in their hearts.

I had to admit; I had an absolutely fabulous experience there, time well-spent with Timothy, Allen and Lavi. I came to wish that I had more days spent like this together with them; just sitting under the trees and watching the clouds go passing by at snails-pace. Days spent to bond closer to them and time used up like golden. Treasured days with loving friends.

Unfortunately, time was not on our side. Not anymore.

"What… What did you say, doctor?" I asked feebly, not wanting to believe the words that my ears betrayed. The doctor shook his head in humble sadness.

"He's only got 24 hours left to live. I'm sorry, Kasai, but age has finally caught up to the old man. There's nothing left for me to do. I'm sorry," but his futile apologies were fallen on death ears as his words rang repeatedly inside my head. 24 hours left? Where had all his time went to? Is this it? I stared at the old man who was sleeping soundly on the bed that he was going to die on. The once red hair falling over his forehead as if smoothing his worries away. I didn't feel Timothy's rough hand on my shoulder, telling me to give the old exorcist veteran some space. All my thoughts were directed the sick old man that I came to adore, dying in front of my very eyes and I have no control to stop the process.

"Where is Allen?!" I shouted outside Lavi's room. The day went by without a single incident and that what worried me the most. Allen was nowhere to be seen, having found out that he took up a mission to somewhere far away earlier this morning. Great timing, Allen! Your friend is dying here and you're out there doing some shit-ass mission! I paced the corridor outside, my anger already growing in multitudes at the betrayal of Allen. How could he take up a mission? How could he leave Lavi dying, just when he needed him the most?

"Allen's a bloody coward!" I rambled on, wanting to vent out my frustration in that matter.

"Shut up, Kasai!" Shouted Timothy. The always-calm voice that had just been raised in volumes scared me off the ground. Timothy leaned against the railings as he rubbed his wearied face with his hands. Shaking his head slowly, Timothy's voice came out hoarsely and painfully as if his very heart was bleeding in the outside as well,

"You don't know Allen like I do… You don't know how much agony he put himself through this whole entire month,"

I didn't understand Timothy's words. I didn't understand how a strong and lively veteran was going to die in just a few hours without any forewarn warning. I didn't understand Allen's cryptic words and sad smile. This was all too much for me to take. Clenching my fists and bringing them up to Timothy's cringing face, I shouted for an answer. For an explanation. For relief. For anything!

"Then where is he? He can't just pack up and leave!"

"Who's going to pack up and leave?" A chirpy voice tinkled with the wind.

Allen Walker was covered with dirt and mud from head to toe. His once gleaming uniform was marred with strips and holes too many times while his white hair was painted black and brown. Since it was raining outside with some thunder and bright lightning, Allen was already dripping wet like he had just dived into a sea without any protection on. His face was unnervingly happy even though he looked like he had been through Hell and back, with scratches and new scars tainting his creamy skin. Skipping a beat, Allen waltzed past us like we haven't been fighting and opened the door to the dying man.

"Now, where's that crazy rabbit?" Without waiting for an answer, Allen went inside the room.

Curiosity got ahold of me finally after I had apologized quietly to Timothy. Creaking the door open slightly, I saw Allen standing at the side of the bed, his uniform still leaving drops of translucent water on the tiled floor. The room was dark, with its curtains closing what little moonlight that tried to shine through.

"Ah, Allen. Where did you go?" Lavi asked softly, squeezing his breath out with every raspy word. But there was no denying the small tone of fear at the end of the sentence. Allen took a seat closer to the bedside and covered Lavi's cheek with one gloved hand.

"I went out, my dear. I told you that during our mountain trip, remember?" Allen asked sweetly, the same soft volume of voice filled the shadowy room. Suddenly, Lavi shook his head in panic.

"Allen! Oh Allen, my sweet!" He whined, "I'm so so sorry…." There were tears falling down his eyes as the small tone of pain became larger in size, "I cannot remember…."

My eyes widen at the confession that made my heart lurched out in dismay. There was never a time where Lavi literally forgets something. Especially if that something that involved around his best friend, Allen Walker.

Allen Walker didn't look like he took offence in that matter. Pulling out something shiny and golden, he carefully placed it in front of Lavi.

"Do you remember what this is, Lavi?" The shiny object glittered ever so slightly, attracting Lavi's attention from the horror that was his memory-lapse. Lavi shakily brought his fingers up to feel the small trinket.

"I-It's my locket… But how? I thought I dropped it in No Man's Land, our final battlefield?"

Allen only gave a nod as he continued to watch Lavi smoothing out the small pecks of dirt from the antique, "Yeah, it was. I went out to get it for you just now… Sorry it took so long,"

That explained where Allen had gone to this whole day. He had spent the whole time searching for little piece of jewelry under the masses of rubble and dirt without caring for his health or appearance. Lavi didn't answer the question, smoothing out the pieces of dirt and finally opening the circular object. It held two smaller pictures inside on each side; one was already peeling brown due to age, and the other was recently placed there.

"A-Allen, that's us," Lavi whispered joyfully as he took in the picture to the left first. Standing in a large group with their proud uniforms on and their Innocence in hand were their gang of exorcists; Kanda held Lenalee's hand shyly as the pretty woman waved inanimately to the camera. Komui was showing the 'thumbs-up' sign with a wink on his spectacled face while Reever was standing loyally beside him. Krory and Miranda appeared to be the adults in the picture, standing tall and postured through the picture-taking. And there was both Lavi and Allen; with one arm slung around the other's shoulders, Lavi was grinning from ear to ear alongside the smiling Allen. Allen's hand too joined with Lavi's own, their tight bond clearly seen even through the picture itself.

"Yes, it is, Lavi," breathed Allen, edging closer. The picture to the right showed the trip to the mountains just 3 weeks ago. The rose bushes flaunting their blue flowers, scattering the floor with its petals as the 3 men smiled widely at the camera. Like the last picture, Allen's hand clasped around Lavi's own while he sat on his lap. The picture was perfectly captured, its memory contained forever remembered.

Grasping the locket tightly, Lavi looked at his best friend. While Lavi was busy absorbing the sweet sentimental memories from the two pictures of then and now, Allen's head was turned away, his face dwelling in the shadows. Lavi took hold of Allen's hand located by his side, and this made Allen turned his face back to Lavi.

"Hey, don't you cry on me now,"

Allen leaned forward, grabbing the closed curtain, "I'm not crying, see?" and pulling the curtain opened, Allen's face was directly in front of Lavi. His silvery bangs shone even more brightly and his creamy face was devoid of tears, as he claimed. Allen's smile was kept perfectly on his face, his rosy lips unwavering in his features. The moonlight shone through, giving Allen the prefect picture of angelic innocence. Pulling back the curtain to cover the window, Allen sat back on his small chair.

"Besides, you told me not to cry, remem-"Allen stopped himself. Lavi chuckled lightly, trying to fend off the growing pain. Allen's hand –which was holding Lavi's own- brought the weakened old hand onto his lips and kissed it gently.

"Time to sleep, Lavi,"

Lavi's own hand brought Allen's ungloved hand onto his own lips and returned the gentle kiss with a loving one, "I don't want to sleep, Allen… I'm afraid…" he whispered like a scared little child.

Allen answered by getting up and sleeping right next to Lavi on the king-sized bed. He made sure to take out his dirty clothes first before snuggling close to the cold body. Kissing his creased forehead and hugging him close, Allen coaxed Lavi tenderly,

"If you go to sleep, Lavi," Allen said, caressing Lavi all too lovingly, "I promise I'll give up gambling forever,"

Lavi laughed out loud, but was stop midway because his lungs couldn't handle the fast pressure. As Lavi coughed out air, Allen patted his back calmly, waiting for Lavi to cool down once more. With their bodies melding with one another, Allen felt Lavi's head burrowing itself into his shoulder blade, where Lavi had always seek comfort in back in the past. Allen continued his caress, hearing Lavi's breathing coming ever so torturing slow.

"Can you sing me the lullaby, my Allen? The one where you used to sing to me when we slept in bed together?" Lavi's soft voice becoming eerily softer.

"Anything for you, my Lavi," Allen said. Taking a deep breath, Allen sang the song of the Musician, the song which gave the Ark new life and power. The song that ultimately saved the world with all its innocence and radiance.

So as the boy fell to sleep.
The fire in the ash engulfs the air.
One by one...
What rise and grow large are my beloved profiles.
What trickle down to earth are the thousands of dreams...dreams...

On the night when the silver eyes were trembling what came to born was you, as you shined.
No matter how many times the ever-passing time return the prayers back down to earth...

I will never cease to pray.
Oh please, show this child what love is.
Please give a kiss to his hands you hold.

The lullaby echoed through the halls, its light melody brightening with the ghost of a piano play. Allen continued to sing his heart out like a nightingale would do to its lover. Over and over again, in a seraphic voice that can only compete with the Heavens above, Allen sang the song until dawn came. Over and over again, without fail, Allen sang without missing a single tune to the perfect song. All was bliss when Allen stopped time for that one fateful moment; just for Lavi, his best friend.

So as the boy fell to sleep.
The fire in the ash engulfs the air.
One by one...
what rise and grow large are my beloved profiles.
What trickle down to earth are the thousands of dreams...dreams...

On the night when the silver eyes were trembling what came to born was you, as you shined.
No matter how many times the ever-passing time return the prayers back down to earth...

I will never cease to pray.
Oh please, show this child what love is.
Please give a kiss to his hands you hold.

I will never cease to pray.
Oh please, show this child what love is.
Please give a kiss to his hands you hold.

Dawn came. When the sun rose to come about a new day.

The door creaked wide open, awakening Timothy and I who fell asleep drowning in Allen's sweet voice. There, standing before us was Allen Walker himself. But this was not the Allen I knew. I couldn't put my finger on it as I looked at the paler than usual face of the great and almighty General Allen.

"Timothy," Allen's voice came out deeper, his tone chocking for air and water, "organize a funeral for Lavi,"

When the bells finally finished ringing out its mournful sounds, everyone left the graveyard in tears. Lavi was buried next to my mother with nothing but a cross to his name. Everyone present there cried as the oldest among them all had left them without a goodbye, their last words to him was all appreciated. But through that entire process –from the beginning till the very end- Allen Walker kept his word;

He never once shed a single tear.

Being the grand General he was, Allen's stature held straight high and proud, and his broad shoulders giving him a strong support. His uniform was already clean-cut and precise and together with that wild white hair that covered his small head, Allen was already looking like the angel he was. When everyone had left, he was the only one present before Lavi's last sleeping place. He kept silent all the while; his face flawless of any emotions. As I saw him looking down on Lavi's grave, I felt my heart grow heavy with grief and sorrow. I couldn't bear to imagine how much of woe the passive Allen must have kept. Even during the funeral, the godly General kept up his image of being perfect.

But at that very moment, I thought that Allen looked…. old.

Then, Allen walked off without turning back, heading to his own room. He closed the door quietly and I waited outside. Timothy stood beside me, also worried about Allen. We waited for some time for something to happen. But I immediately regretted that thought.

A heart-wrenching scream came from the room that made my heart break down and cry at the loud affliction. Even without opening the door, I knew that Allen was crying his heart out. The great and most perfect Allen finally cracked and cried. And cried he did. He cried and cried, shut up tight in his room so that no one could see the despaired General whom everyone looked up to. Allen Walker wasn't the top accomplished General at that time. He was only a man who had lost his best friend.

"Even when he knew about Lavi's death ahead of time, Allen still couldn't do anything…" Timothy started the conversation, his face cringing with pain as he heard Allen's cry.

"What do you mean he knew Lavi was going to die? How does he know?!" I asked persistently. Timothy looked backwards in time, when Allen had called him to his chambers alone and secretive.

"Because the Ark told me so, Timothy," Allen answered, his face watching the sun from his window.

"Then we should prepare a burial for him! We should organize everything from now onwards! We should call on the-"

"No, we're not going to do that,"

"….. What do you mean, Allen?"

Allen turned his head and smiled his best smile towards the exorcist. But Timothy had come to differentiate between true smiles and the false smiles. He knew, by then, Allen was going to wear a mask of purity and cheer in front of his best friend. He was going to lie to his dying lover.

"We're going to give him the best time of his life. I'm going to spend the rest of his given time with him… That's what he would've wanted," Allen promised, "I'm going to give him the best month of his life,"

That was it. That explained Allen's sad smile and mysterious words all too clear. Allen was trying to make time last for both himself and Lavi. With so little time left, Allen was torn between having to cry in sadness or smile wonderfully before his dying best friend. Allen chose the latter. The excruciating pain Allen went through all this month; to smile and laugh and play and support his only best friend, whom he knew was going to leave him forever. How much Allen's sensitive heart died just a little every time Lavi talked to him about the things that should always be remembered. It was agonizing to have the knowledge of the time of death, but know that you cannot do anything to stop or slow it down no matter how powerful and great you are. But Allen didn't submerge himself in self-pity. Allen spent every waking second with Lavi, laughing cheerfully like the old times and joking around lovingly. He made Lavi's month a fulfilling one, each sharing a piece of their hearts for the other. I'm sure he will never once regret that. Because now, for the rest of his remaining life, he will come to bear the loneliness without his love and support.

I crept into Allen's bedroom at night, just to check on his condition. It had been 3 days since Lavi's funeral and the General hasn't left his room once. Allen was sleeping on his wide and now empty bed, his clothes in rags and his furniture scrambled on the floor. Allen wore his uniform loosely now, but I can see the dampness that was on them. Allen laid a-slumber on the bed with his face marred with black bags. It tore me to pieces to see the grand General –equivalent to a King- sprawled defenseless and swallowed up with bitterness and weariness. Arranging his messed up blankets to cover his tired body, I could see the dried up tears on his cheeks and his eyebrows resting in a peaceful manner. Tucking the weak General in, something shiny blinked my eye. On Allen's open palm lay Lavi's locket. It was open, and I could see the two pictures so visibly well. But something else inside of it caught my eye; a small note marred right between the two pictures was written in Lavi's handwriting, probably scribbled before he fell into Death's arms. Even when facing Death, Lavi still loved Allen with all his heart.

Keeping the memories alive -Lavi-