the world is a merri-go-round
peacefully floating along
The next morning is less awkward than it should be.
Kanda kind of tries to apologise but the words never really make it past his lips, because the moment Lavi spots him tumbling into the kitchen sleepily, the redhead gives him one of those trademarked wide grins and ushers him to a seat.
"Are you a pancake lover, Yuu?" the other hums happily as he returns back to the stove. "It's the only thing I can cook without burning."
"What—you," Kanda blinks, startled. "You don't have to do this," he shakes his head, intent on leaving. "I'll change and I'll be out of here and—"
"This is probably the first time I'm going to say 'you talk too much'," Lavi grins, setting forth the breakfast from the pan. "Seriously," he shoots a look. "It's no trouble, okay?"
"You didn't need this."
"To see your beautiful face in the morning?" Lavi chuckles, and Kanda hates that he actually flushes. "Really, how do you not have a bed head?" he frowns, ruffling his own hair, messing it up even further. "Why doesn't your hair tangle at all?"
Kanda touches his hair out of self consciousness. "How do I know?" he mutters.
"Yup, go on, twirl that strand and you'll fit the image of a pretty princess," Lavi snickers, and Kanda immediately drops the hand with a growl.
"Shut the fuck up," Kanda says instead, grabbing the coffee poured out in a mug for him and downing it quickly.
The caramel curls on his tongue and he doesn't realize the involuntary moan that he makes from the back of his throat.
"You were starting to worry me there for a second, Yuu," Lavi laughs. "It's not Yuu without your expletive vocabulary."
"Quit making puns with my name," Kanda snaps, and Lavi only chews on his pancake and smiles wider.
Kanda knows most of the time he's an asshole, but this time he really can't bring himself to act like one.
He sets down the mug quietly. "Yeah. Thanks."
"Still want to talk about it?"
The look at Lavi give him makes him to want to say everything—and fuck, how did it all come to this? "I—no," he says softly. "I just…I just wanted, I mean, want, to be somewhere, you know?"
Inwardly he winces because that's probably the most pathetic thing he's ever admitted to anyone.
"That depends on where your 'somewhere' is, isn't it?" Lavi muses after some time. "For me, it's the coffeeshop. I think I've gotten far in life."
Kanda pauses, because he didn't really think about Lavi in his pre-coffeeshop days. The redhead had always seemed like the coffeeshop was it for him—and it was, and made him happy and Kanda had been jealous that there were people out there who could be.
"As compared to?"
"I was supposed to be a translator for the UN," Lavi says, and Kanda stares. "But it's so boring. I mean, international relations is cool and shit but there's gotta be more to just translating minutes of meetings every single day. Even my French Lit teach was more exciting and she was a 70 year old grandma."
"I can speak seven different languages," Lavi offers with a grin when only silence lingers.
"You're shitting me," Kanda states. "There's no way, no fucking way—"
"—that I can speak English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, and Latin? With complete fluency?"
"You can't speak Latin, Latin is a dead language," Kanda counters.
"Fallaces sunt rerum species."
"That was from a fucking movie."
"I knew you're a total geek, Yuu," Lavi chuckles. "For real," he rolls his eye. "I have a degree in Translation and Interpretation."
"You have a degree?" Kanda repeats like it's the most incredulous thing the world, and it's a miracle Lavi doesn't even look offend.
"I don't mean to brag—" it was obvious that he did, "Oxford. Masters. Full scholarship."
Kanda blinks—because there's no fucking way the guy who makes his coffee every morning is actually (a lot more) smarter than he is.
"How old are you?"
Lavi's smug smirk stretches wider. "Younger than you." At Kanda's flabbergasted expression—of which much delight was reveled in—he elaborates. "By two months," he concedes. "Lenalee told me about your birthday," he smiles. "Gramps wasn't happy when I quit, but, I've got a decent income to hold my own, so, he has no say."
"Huh," Kanda cocks an eyebrow. "So why coffee?"
"Coffeeshop romance," Lavi answers simply.
When nothing else is said, Kanda stares. "Are you seriously fucking with me?" he deadpans.
"And that I can orgasm you with coffee." It's a shit eating grin, one that the redhead has sent him once too many.
Kanda's glare sharpens and he stands up, causing the chair to screech.
"Joke!" Lavi cries when the lawyer advances towards him. "It was a—"
Kanda grabs Lavi by the collar—hard enough that the startled redhead is lifted out of his seat—and closes his mouth over the other's. Lavi makes a muffled noise out of surprise, and another one when Kanda corners him against the kitchen counter, kissing him deeper. Either it has been a while or that Lavi tastes really good, like his own blend of special coffee, or both, but Kanda doesn't let up until Lavi pushes at his chest to break the kiss, panting for air.
"Uh, wow, I, uh, wow," Lavi laughs weakly in between harsh breaths. "I was not expecting that."
"What were you expecting?" Kanda smirks just slightly, because for once Lavi looks speechless.
"More like this," Lavi says, and now Kanda finds himself pushed against the counter, with Lavi's arms trapping him.
Suddenly Kanda's aware of the two inches of height advantage Lavi has over him, and also how the redhead's body is ridiculously toned—close enough to his, at least. A hand creeps to slip up under the flimsy night shirt, skimming over his hip.
"What?" Kanda bites out when Lavi just keep staring at him.
"Maybe—maybe I shouldn't—I mean, are you consenting or—"
"Oh hell no," Kanda snorts. "I'm not a woman," he starts, eyes gleaming. "And I'm not a fucking virgin and I'm sure as hell not going to let you fuck me."
"That's rather misogynistic—" Lavi blinks rapidly, pausing. "W-what?" he looks rather deflated at the last line.
Kanda rolls his eyes and allows a smirk—one that he knows ups his sexual advantage a thousand fold (he's half ashamed to admit that he uses it—with great success—to get out of undesirable situations). That's all the warning Lavi gets before the space between them disappears.
Lavi's lips are slightly wet from their earlier kiss, but that doesn't stop Kanda from licking and sucking on them. Lavi responds immediately by parting his lips obediently to allow the other's tongue to slide in, one hand burying itself into that gorgeous length of hair, and the other pulling them flush together.
He doesn't realize that he's been manipulated to move backwards towards the bedroom as they're kissing until the back of his knees hit the bedframe. There isn't time to recollect his breath when he gets pushed down upon it because Kanda is over him mouthing at his throat, and the shaky moan he lets out when the sensitive patch of skin below his ear gets sucked upon is totally not his fault.
"Oh god, Yuu," he gasps when Kanda unabashedly cups his erection through his pants, and his back arches off the bed for more.
"If any fucking is to be done," Kanda says into his ear and there's only self satisfaction in his baritone behind it. "I'll be doing it."
Later when Kanda finds himself groggy in the evening in Lavi's bed, sticky and smelling like sweat and sex, he closes his eyes again and wishes his life was this instead of the work he has to complete before Monday.
He allows himself ten more minutes of starting at the tattoo Lavi has on his back before he gets up, changes and leave.
On Monday, Lavi smiles at him the same way every morning with his coffee in hand.
Kanda doesn't say thanks, but it seems like the redhead knows it anyway.
One week in and Kanda just wants to lose the bloody tobacco case. Except he never loses—with good reason, anyway. He always feels his soul drained by the time they're dismissed from court, the other part of the reason is that he doesn't have time to go to the coffeeshop in the mornings anymore. So he passes by once he done with work, even if it's a faster straight drive to home.
It's the fucking stupid coffee.
"Hmm, bad day?" Lavi smiles, though there is a crinkle of worry in his eye.
Kanda snorts and takes the cup that the redhead offers. It's a dark mocha this time, compete with tinge of nutty walnut and peppermint. The liquid slides smoothly down his throat, and he already feels lighter on his feet.
"Kanda-kun," Lenalee stares at him seriously, and he ignores it the best he can. "Dinner on Saturday at my house. It won't kill you."
"You just want to use me," Kanda says, and Lenalee splutters. "In case your psychotic brother beheads the Moyashi."
Lavi chuckles, because Allen and Lenalee have yet to break the news to her beloved brother about their current dating status, and the next dinner would introduce them both.
"I am not," she denies, though there is a guilty smile on her face. "Komui really misses you, you know."
"Leave me out of your mess."
Lenalee pouts, in the way that Kanda knows he will agree anyway, but the door of the coffeeshop swings open wide.
"Allen," she greets, eyes lighting up.
The excited youth barges in, slamming his hands on the table. "It's official," he breathes out, grinning. "I'm hired."
Kanda raises an eyebrow. "Then what were you for the past few months?"
"Oh, BaKanda. Hi," Allen smiles in that patronizing way of his. "I'm an associate now. The same level as you."
Lavi and Lenalee break out in appropriate congratulatory squeals.
Kanda looks at him. He waits a few moments, but he doesn't feel that bubble of jealousy up his chest. In fact, he finds that he doesn't really care, actually, even if it's ridiculously unfair. "You will never reach the same level as me."
"No one can reach the same level as you," Allen retorts smoothly with a grin. "Same level as the stick up your ass."
"Watch it, punk," Kanda sniffs.
But as Allen talks to Lenalee animatedly, he stands at the corner sipping his coffee, Lavi comes over to nudge him.
"I see a tiny crack there," the redhead informs him, tapping the side of his mouth. "Be careful, Yuu, if you don't want to smile. If you do, everyone will know that you care. Awwww."
Kanda sends the other a glare that just makes Lavi crack up in laughter. "Shut up."
"You can make me," Lavi winks. "Anytime. Anytime at all."
When it happens, Kanda realises it was probably inevitable.
Of course when it seems like his life outside of work is starting to be less shit—he manages to go through his Kendo katas twice a week now, and he's met up with Komui (not to say that dinner wasn't disastrous) and he lingers around in the coffeeshop till it's closing time when he gets off court early.
It's one of those rare days that he actually gets off work in the afternoon and decides to spend the rest of it in the coffeeshop—he doesn't even think its unnatural anymore—and discovers that the place is swamped. He thinks back to that article he's spotted in the paper this morning recommending this place—he had felt a tiny bit proud as his eyes skimmed over the words.
Lavi looks slightly worn out but his eye is gleaming when Kanda reaches the counter. "Please save me? I need to get the soy and Lenalee has to load the beans and I—"
Lenalee emerges from the counter carrying a heavy paper bag, melting into a smile when she sees him. "Kanda-kun, thank god—"
It's obvious that they need help and Kanda rolls his eyes. "I'm not wearing the apron."
"But I custom made one for you," Lavi pouts, patting his own. "I made the bunnies pop out, like those squishy soft toys—"
Yeah, no. "Burn it."
Lavi huffs in jest. "Thanks, anyway," he says, quickly kissing Kanda on the cheek before disappearing through the backdoors with a laugh.
Lenalee is giving him a look when he realises he's been staring into space.
"What?" he bites out, absolutely refusing to touch his face.
"Customer," she points, though the smirk on her face starts to get annoying.
He works the cash register (again) because there's no way he'll touch the coffee machine. It scares him a little to realize how easy this is—how Lavi moves around him as he serves up the coffee and how Lenalee makes small talk with him like they used to in their younger days and he actually feels comfortable and good and maybe, happy.
So of course that's when it happens.
"Yuu," Leverrier says, and Kanda snaps his head up with wide eyed horror. "I see why we're losing the case."
His fucking boss is staring at him, sharp eyes and a thin curled sneer on his lips.
"I'd thought you won't make the same mistake as Tokusa, but it clearly seems that I am wrong."
"Tell me, what are you doing here, hmm, on my time?" Leverrier goes on. "Is this your second job for extra income? Do you have debts to cover for yourself or your dead father? Did you really need to be a cashier at your local café, because I really can't imagine how much he," he sends a look to Lavi. "Can be paying you—above minimum wage at least?"
Lavi growls. "He's not—"
"Because if not," Leverrier ignores him completely. "I have to ask you what the fuck you are doing here."
Kanda is clenching his fists so tightly that his knuckles turn white. "I just—"
"Did you forget," Leverrier continues. "about our client? Did you forget that you are losing their case? Did you think I wouldn't be tracking how you're doing—did you honestly think I'd let just an associate take charge of that case without some control, did you?"
Kanda flinches, and Lavi's fingers smooth over his spine to ground him. Everyone is staring—the customers—fuck, so many customers, some that even Kanda recognizes—Lenalee and Lavi and they're all staring, fuck, this is so humiliating that Kanda can't even—
"It—it won't happen again, I—"
"Obviously I was wrong about your competency," Leverrier hisses. "You're pulled from the case, as well as the other one that you're clearly not making any progress in."
"But—" Kanda has never begged for anything in his life, and this is about the closest, ever. "You can't—"
"I just did," Leverrier states before he turns heel and walks out. "You may want to rethink your priorities before I fire you over the weekend."
There is pure silence in the shop and Kanda doesn't even know what to say for minutes. Lavi's hand rubs his spine and there is worry in his voice when he says, "Yuu?"
It's stupid, it's so fucking stupid—but all Kanda wants to do is to close his eyes and listen to Lavi's soothing voice saying his name over and name. He wants to turn around and grip Lavi tight, he wants to bury his face into Lavi's neck and breathe deeply in, the scent of warm coffee and spice and it's only because it's the only thing that would make him feel better, but—
"Fuck," he says instead. "Fuck."
He moves quickly, through the back door and into the kitchen away from those staring eyes and Lavi follows him.
"Yuu, calm down—"
"How the fuck am I supposed to calm down?" Kanda snarls.
"Don't," Kanda says, shaking visibly. "Don't. I shouldn't be here, I just, fuck, I—"
"That's not true," Lavi grabs him by the arms to look at him. "You know you have every right to be here," he says again. "He—he can't treat you like that, fuck, that's not—"
"That's not the fucking point!" Kanda spits. "That's not—fuck, I just wasted my entire fucking life—he pulled my case—"
"Why the hell are you so hung up about that?" Lavi demands. "Your boss can't just waddle in and—"
"Fuck, I was never supposed to be here!" Kanda yells. "I-I don't have time to be here, I never had time to be here, so why the fuck am I here when I—"
"Maybe because you like being here?" Lavi says quietly. "Maybe because it's better than killing yourself for a job that you so obviously hate—"
"I fucking knew I shouldn't have told you," Kanda hisses. "Don't throw it back in my face, you fucking asshole—"
"Actually," Lavi grinds his teeth together. "No. I haven't. I haven't once said anything since that time about how much you hate your job that I could see it on the first day I met you. I haven't said a single fucking thing about why you should quit your fucking job that makes you so miserable that all I want to do is to strangle you to see how fucking stupid—"
Kanda growls. "What the fuck is it to you, anyway?"
Lavi clicks his mouth shut for a few seconds. "I can't believe you sometimes," he says finally. The redhead cups his face gently, and Kanda freezes at the look in Lavi's eye. "Yuu," Lavi murmurs, and then he's kissing him tenderly.
Kanda forgets about Leverrier for that moment and sinks into it, because he's never felt anything like this before—like he could curl into Lavi and never let go. He makes a sound from the back of his throat that makes Lavi kiss him harder. He wants to keep kissing Lavi and he wants to be with Lavi and he wants everyday—every morning and every night and everything to be like this but he can't.
"I can't," He gasps, pulling back. "I-I can't do this, I—"
"You can," Lavi says, and his hand reaches to tuck a lock of hair that spills in front of Kanda's eyes. "You don't have to do this to yourself."
"I can't," Kanda repeats, and he's pulling away, ignoring the immediate burn in his chest. "I have to go."
Lavi calls after him even as he quickens his pace hastily, barging out of the front door, gaze locked on his shoes. "Yuu, just listen, for one fucking second, just—"
Kanda doesn't think anything can rival how shitty he felt in the aftermath of his foster father's death but it comes to a pretty close comparison.
He doesn't have much to do as Leverrier pretty much pulled his work and his colleagues whisper around him, making him feel shitter than he already does. The weekend arrives a day later and Kanda wastes half of it getting drunk and staring at the ceiling.
He can't bake because every single baking equipment reminds him of Lavi—and he doesn't even think he can step into the kitchen without feeling like throwing up. He can't bake and he can't work and so he spends a lot of hours flipping his phone open and close with his finger hovering over Lavi's number.
Allen calls at least thirty times before he gives up.
Lenalee calls at least fifty times before she gives up too.
Lavi doesn't call.
On Monday Kanda sits in his office and waits because there's going to be a meeting with Leverrier and Link in the afternoon and Kanda knows knows knows knows he's going to get fired. He tries to think of ways to counter that, thinks too hard that he feels a headache forming. When his door cracks open slightly, he doesn't even realize it until the person clears his throat.
Kanda squints. "Are you firing me?"
What else, right?
"You shouldn't do this just to do it," Link says.
Link doesn't smile but he inclines his head slightly and sees himself out just as quietly.
Kanda is still staring in confusion when the door opens again.
"Get out," he mutters immediately, but of course Allen disregards that and seats himself on Kanda's table.
"Kanda, why are you a lawyer?"
"As in, why are you practicing law?"
Kanda snorts, rubbing the bridge of his nose tiredly. "What kind of fucking stupid question is that?"
"A simple one, really," Allen replies, cocking an eyebrow. "For example, if you asked me—"
"No one asked—"
"—If you asked me," the British boy repeats more firmly with a glare. "I would tell you it's because law fascinates me. I like putting the arguments together and I like how I can deliver the case. Also," he grins. "I love the winning."
"Granted," he accedes. "We sometimes work for the least desirable people and it kills your moral code but," he smiles. "It's more about the act of practicing, personally. I love my job, Kanda. But it doesn't seem like you do."
Kanda doesn't even bother to sugarcoat his words. "I hate it," he agrees bitterly.
"So," Allen shrugs. "Why do you practice law? You don't have to be here, you know."
Kanda stares at him. Allen is just looking back at him flatly, and it lasts for approximately two quiet minutes before Kanda blinks.
He swallows. "…You're right," he murmurs in surprise.
He doesn't have to do this. He's never needed to do this. Ever.
"I'm always right," Allen nods, lips twitching into a smile.
"Don't lie to yourself, Moyashi," he returns, but there isn't much heart in it.
"I'll see you later, jerk," the younger pats him on the shoulder and leaves.
It only takes Kanda fifteen minutes to pack up his office—there isn't much anyway, most of the stuff are work things he never has to deal with again in his fucking life. He ignores the secretary when she insists that their boss is busy and flings the door of Leverrier's office wide open, with no fucks given.
"The appointment is at two—"
"Don't bother," Kanda grins—and it's almost a feral smile. "I fucking quit."
He doesn't go back to the coffeeshop immediately.
He spends two days at home with the feel of Mugen under his fingers and he slices the air with practiced strokes over and over again, until the first thing he sees when he closes his eyes is the colour of Lavi's hair and the smell of freshly brewed coffee.
He doesn't want to admit how much he misses the redhead until he finds himself standing in front of the coffee shop door in a casual jacket and jeans—not work clothes for once—an inevitable sigh passing out of his lips.
Lavi doesn't spot him just yet when he enters—the younger looks like he hasn't slept properly, hair patted hurriedly into his usual banana and Kanda has a million insults on his tongue on how much he hates the rows of coloured bands on his wrists.
Lenalee sees him first, and her hand automatically goes to tug at Lavi's sleeve.
Kanda almost laughs at the expression both of them give, the wide eyes, like both of them can't believe he's here. Then abruptly he remembers why he's here and he also remembers to be nervous as fuck.
"Can I get you something?" Lavi asks coolly once the shock wears off, straightening himself up.
"Tea," Kanda says, and it's ridiculous because he knows he won't get what he asks for.
Lavi stares at him for a moment, eye flicking at his clothes before a smile works at his lips. "We only serve coffees, darling."
"I quit my job," Kanda blurts. "And you, I—fuck, that's not what I wanted to say, fuck, I—"
He feels the heat rushing to his face even before he begins. Lavi, like the asshole he is, doesn't bother to hide the chuckles as he walks out from behind the counter so that Kanda is directly in front of him.
"I know I can speak seven languages, Yuu," he grins. "But I don't think even I can translate that."
"I quit my job," Kanda repeats more firmly, scowling. "And, I think I like you."
Lavi is honest to god speechless, because his mouth drops open, and the entire shop is staring and Lenalee is staring.
"Fuck," Kanda grinds out, because he knows he's blushing and he hates that. He really does. "Fuck, I don't—I don't usually, or ever, like people, I mean, everyone's so fucking stupid and annoying and so are you and your goddamn coffee. Fuck, I still hate coffee but I…I want to drink your coffee and this is so fucking stupid I can't believe I wanted you to call me because you're the only thing in my life that I…" he trails off because he really doesn't know what else to say.
The silence bleeds into his ears and Kanda doesn't know if this is more humiliating than the time with his fucking ex boss.
"Yuu," Lavi starts, and there's an underlay of laughter behind it. "You like me?"
Kanda refuses to answer the damn question.
Lavi takes his hand and brushes his knuckles with his thumb. Kanda ignores how ridiculously cheesy this is and also how hot his face is getting from the embarrassment, but Lavi smiles that breathtaking grin at him and he forgets how to breathe. He doesn't get to breathe either when Lavi kisses him.
For those long seconds, all he feels is Lavi's tongue in his mouth, Lavi's hands hugging his waist and Lavi's warm body pressing against his own. There's this clapping noise which Kanda thinks it's all in his head, but then when they break apart for air Kanda realises the entire café is applauding.
"What the fuck," Kanda mutters.
"There was a bet going on," Lavi explains, grinning like there's no tomorrow.
"What the fuck," Kanda repeats.
"For the record," Lavi laughs, holding him close. "You're antisocial, a workaholic and rude most of the time, and you suck immensely at making apology speeches. And," he says, gazing at him fondly. "I know I love you."
we'll journey to mars and visit the stars
finding your breakfast on Pluto
A/N: I did think of writing a really short epilogue but it probably won't happen, maybe because it took me so long just to complete this entire fic and it's not even that long anyway. I don't know if this should be considered M—I did consider (or actually planned to) write the explicit morning after scene but didn't in the end. I don't have an issue with who's pitching or catching or whatever; I think between them it is very versatile. (anyway this time they had mutual handjobs or smth) I like them both either way but in this particular time I wanted to practice seme!Kanda for Cantarella purposes.
In case you didn't figure out, but the tobacco client was actually Tyki ahahahaha /cackles mostly to self
Thank you all for reaching to the end!