A/N: I have finally written the sixth chapter. Rejoice!
This was not an easy one to write, let me tell you that. I couldn't think of anything so this probably won't be all that good. But I needed to update so...
To all of those who reviewed, favorited and followed: I love you all. I wish that I could hug you guys. You're awesome!
I probably won't update for another month (sorry) because of school, which is the bane of my very existence. I also started writing two other fics, one of which I posted up here. SO yeah, don't expect quick updates.
And that's it. Thanks for listening/reading me!
Disclaimer: Cari-Chan does not own D. Gray-Man, Death Note, Fullmetal Alchemist, or Junjo Romantica or any of its characters (though I wish I did ((except for that last one))). Cari-Chan makes no profit off of this story.
Warnings: Some swearing, some FMA spoilers, and self-depreciating thoughts.
Lavi smiled as he took his seat in physics class. He didn't care much for the subject with all its complicated concepts and equations, but nothing could make him sad or miserable at the moment. Allen had forgiven him! Maybe the apology and the manga thing hadn't gone over as well as he had wanted it to have, but still! Allen and he had had that banter like the one in the library before The Event.
Yeah, Allen hadn't called him by his first name but at least they were on talking terms, which was good. And even though Allen had kinda/sorta shot down his bookstore adventure idea thing, Lavi was determined to make amends and hang out anyways. And, even better, he'd get to hang out with Allen after school!
He went through class with a dreamy smile. One or two of the other students shooting him an odd glance but who the hell cared about them?
Class, for once, seemed to fly by and before Lavi knew it, the day had ended.
When the final bell of the day blared, Lavi sprung from his seat and bolted towards the gym. It wasn't like Lavi had to be at the gym or anything. It was just that it was Allen's last class of the day and Lavi had another idea formulating in his mind.
Bookman heard his phone chirp and reached for it. Displayed on the screen was a text:
Goin 2 hang w/ a frnd. I'll be home 6. Cya l8r.
Bookman's eyebrows furrowed. Lavi usually specified which friend he would spend time with so it was odd for him not to say a name. No matter, Lavi was seventeen and could make his own decisions.
That didn't mean he wasn't curious, though
Allen hated gym class. Not that the class itself was bad. No, Allen was athletic enough to handle whatever the teachers threw his way. It was just that he had to dress out. That would mean taking off his hoodie and letting everyone see his hair, his covered up scar, and his arm. No way in hell was that happening.
Fortunately, the gym teacher was kind enough to let him keep his hoodie on. Allen didn't think that he would ever stop thanking her for letting him keep it. He still had to change into shorts ad sneakers, but as long as his top half was covered, Allen was just fine.
That, of course, didn't stop him from changing in the bathroom. It wasn't worth the risk.
So there he was, coming out of the bathroom stall after all the other students had left school for the day. He went to locate his gym locker, stuffing his shorts inside then putting on the lock. It was when he made a grab for his backpack that he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Beansprout!" Allen looked over his shoulder to see Bookman, of all people. "What's up, dude?"
Allen simply stared, letting the beansprout comment slide for the moment. "How did you know I was here?"
Bookman blinked. He blinked again. Then for a third time. "Uh… intuition?"
Allen's eyes narrowed, though the action itself was lost in the shade of his hood. "Try again."
Bookman seemed panicked for a moment before he straightened up and a sly grin slid onto his face. "Okay, okay, ya got me," Bookman put his hands up into a mock surrender pose. "I ain't telling the truth."
Allen cringed at the redhead's grammar. "Then why don't you start?"
"I'll tell you the truth," Bookman continued like Allen hadn't said anything, "but you gotta do something for me, first."
Allen was instantly wary. He didn't like owing people. Years of paying off of Cross' debts and bills had taught him not to let someone one up him. "Such as?"
"You gotta go to the bookstore with me," Bookman finished triumphantly.
Allen raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms. "Why?"
"We have to return your books," Bookman gestured towards Allen backpack. "You can come with me. No, you have to come with me. I won't accept any objections~!" Bookman sang out the last part.
Allen could honestly confess that he was completely dumbfounded. Had he been any less composed, his jaw would have dropped to the floor. "Excuse me? I don't have to do anything that I don't want to."
"True," Bookman was still wearing that shit eating grin, "but that's why I gave you incentive."
Allen was starting to get annoyed. "Why do you want me to go?"
"I already told you —"
"No, you did not," Allen cut off the junior. "The only thing that you told me was why were going to the bookstore. I want to know why you want me to go."
Bookman's mischievous smile was replaced with a more sheepish one. "Because I feel bad about screwing up and I don't want do it to again and I really want to hang out with you because I secretly think you're really cool?"
Allen felt like he couldn't move. Him, cool? Yeah, right. Even when he was with Mana, all of the other children regarded him as little more than a weirdo. He hadn't been cool then. He had never been cool. He wasn't cool and wasn't going to be. What was Bookman on about?
Allen was silent for a long time. "Why?" He almost felt like a parrot, asking the same question over and over.
Bookman shrugged. "Dunno. I just like you. Did you just forget what happened during lunch?"
"Like I could," Allen sighed. "I didn't think that you were serious."
"Um, dude, no," Bookman grimaced slightly, his eye scrunching up. "I don't lie about shit like that. I wouldn't pull such a dick move."
Allen mulled over his situation for a moment. Bookman seemed to be honest. It couldn't be too bad to go the bookstore, could it? It's not like he had anything better to do. Maybe he would actually take up Bookman's offer. That didn't mean he wouldn't be on his guard, though. No, his walls were staying up.
"Yeah, sure," Allen said, moving to sling his backpack over his shoulder. "Let's go."
"What?" Bookman looked surprised, his eye widening. "You're agreeing? Just like that?"
Allen rolled his eyes as he began to exit the locker room. "Do you want me to contradict you and not go?" His voice was dripping with sarcasm.
"Um, no," Bookman scrambled until he was walking next to Allen, "I just thought that you would put up more of a fight. Considering your other reactions."
"Are you complaining, Bookman?"
"Then shut up."
Bookman gave a sharp laugh at that. "Dude, you're hilarious. I don't see why you don't have any friends."
Allen felt himself stiffen and nearly faltered. This was not a subject that he wanted to get into. "So where is this bookstore?"
"S'not far," Bookman assured. "It's like, a ten minute-ish walk from the school."
Allen nodded. "I think that I know where you're talking about."
"Sweet!" Bookman grinned. "Usually I would challenge you to a race, but…"
Allen cocked his head to the side. "But what?"
"But you can run."
"Everyone can run, Bookman."
"Yeah, but you can run fast."
"Being fast is the point of running," Allen felt a smirk slide onto his face.
Bookman threw his head back and mock groaned. "Dammit, ya Brit. You know what I mean."
"I cannot say that I understand what you are trying to explain," the smirk had become a grin by this point, false innocence coloring his tone. "Please, could you enlighten me?"
Bookman started to guffaw, doubling over. Allen stopped walking to watch as the junior desperately tried to gasp for air. "It wasn't that funny."
"Says you," Bookman had managed to straighten up, a stray giggle escaping before he started to walk again. "I just find it hilarious that the kid who sits in the corner all by his lonesome self teasing me about how I can't describe his running speed."
Allen cracked a wry smile. "Well, surprise."
"I'll say," Bookman bounded ahead towards the doors of the school entrance. Swinging one open, he swept his arm. "Ladies first."
Allen snorted. "Then why don't you go on through?"
Bookman winked, though Allen supposed he could have just blinked. It was hard to tell with only one eye. "Because I ain't the lady. You are."
Allen crossed his arms. This deserved a harsher comeback. He had dealt with enough insults to his manhood, courtesy of Cross. "I knew it."
"You said you only liked ladies, didn't you?" Allen asked, feigning indifference. "And you said that you liked me so —"
"No!" Bookman yelled, understanding where this was going. "Look, I'll just go first, okay?" Bookman hastily went through the doors, standing outside of the school. "Better?"
"Much," Allen smiled, grabbing the closing door and stepping outside. They stood in silence for a moment. "Well? Aren't we going to go now?"
"Oh, right!" Bookman seemed to just realize this and latched onto Allen's arm. His right one, thankfully. "Follow me!"
Lavi was quite happy. He and Allen were currently scouring the surprisingly large section of manga for a new series. Allen looked at every book, making sure to carefully look over the summaries.
Now, Lavi was also bored. He honestly couldn't say that it was very exciting to watch Allen read the back of books. He decided that there was only one solution to this problem.
Lavi grabbed the nearest book and stared at the cover. If you can't beat them, join them. "Hey, Allen?"
"Hm?" The Brit looked up from the manga that he was holding. "Yes?"
"Have you read this one?" Lavi asked. "It's called 'Junjo Romantica.' Is it any good?"
Lavi watched Allen and saw the Brit immediately stiffen. Faster than he thought possible, Allen had snatched the book out of his hands and placed it back neatly on the shelf.
"Wha —?" Lavi was stunned by the sudden display.
"Let's go look in another section," Allen said, the words tumbling out of his mouth as he grabbed Lavi's arm and started to speed walk.
"Dude, why —?"
"Bookman," Allen's voice, low and serious, made Lavi stop talking, "never touch that book. Don't look at it. Don't even think about it. Forget the last minute ever happened."
"Um, okay?" Lavi was incredibly confused. A change of topic was in order. "Why do you call me Bookman?"
"That's your name, isn't it?" Allen released the junior's arm, no longer walking.
"My name is Lavi. Bookman is my last name."
Allen crossed his arms. "Bookman is your name, then."
"Dude, no," Lavi shook his head. "Just call me Lavi. Bookman is my Gramps."
"What's wrong with calling you by your last name?" Allen shot back.
"How would you like me calling you Walker?" Lavi asked.
"In all honesty, I wouldn't care."
"C'mon!" Lavi was getting frustrated. Blackmail seemed to be the only option. "If you don't call me Lavi then I won't tell you how I knew that you were in gym."
Allen sighed. "Why do you care so much?"
"All of my friends call me Lavi."
"Since when were we… friends?" Allen was obviously being cautious.
Crap. Now it was awkward. "I thought after what happened during lunch today, that we were, ya know?" Lavi tried to explain.
Allen sighed again, but this one seemed less agitated. "I suppose that you aren't completely wrong in your assumption."
"Oh thank god," Lavi breathed out. "I thought you were gonna get pissed for a second."
"Pissed?" Allen sounded confused. "Why would — wait, never mind. Anyway, I wouldn't get angry about you assuming something. That's ridiculous."
Lavi shrugged. "I don't know. One second we're messing with each other in the hallways, then you're being all defensive, and now you're acting like I haven't done anything wrong. I just don't know what to expect from you."
"You think that I'm bipolar." It was a statement, not a question.
"No," Lavi said at length, thinking of how to phrase it, "just a little scared of what people might think."
Neither of them said a word.
"Well," Allen looked incredibly uncomfortable, shifting from one foot to the other. "I'd say that this is awkward, but I'm afraid that I might make it worse."
"It's only awkward if you make it awkward," Lavi informed with a lazy grin. "Let's keep looking, 'kay?"
"Right," Allen glanced at the shelves. "I think I know what I'm going to get."
"Really?" Lavi was a bit surprised. "You're being so careful about this that I thought it would take us another hour or something."
Lavi supposed that the smack to his shoulder was well deserved.
"Hush," Allen grabbed a set of manga and turned it over in his hands. Lavi read the title. Soul Eater.
"What's that about?" Lavi questioned, genuinely interested.
"I'm not quite sure myself," Allen admitted. "I've heard that it's good but never really gotten around to reading it. Something about people who can transform into weapons. One of the characters is named Death the Kid. That's about all I know."
"Um, it sounds… cool?"
Allen gave a soft chuckle. "Most plotlines sound ridiculous until you actually start reading it."
"Like what?" Damn Allen and his cryptically engaging comments!
"Fullmetal Alchemist is a good example as any," Allen supplied. "Shouldn't we go to the register now?"
"Oh, right," Lavi started walking, Allen in tow. "So, Fullmetal Alchemist?"
"Yeah," Allen held his set to his chest. "It's about a teen named Edward and his brother Alphonse. Their mother dies and their father walked out on them so they try to bring her back to life with alchemy."
"Alchemy? You mean that thing that medieval con artists used, saying that they could make worthless rocks into gold?"
"Sort of," Allen seemed to be struggling to find an explanation. "It's more science based in the plot, though. An alchemist can take matter and transform it into something else but there are limitations. Like, you could transform a hunk of metal into a statue but you can't turn a wooden table into an army tank. The shape, state of matter, and atomic make up can be rearranged, but you can't make things out of thin air. That rule is defined as Equivalent Exchange in the series."
Lavi nodded, understanding what the Brit was trying to say. "So basically, the law of conservation of matter and energy is this… Equivalent Exchange."
"Pretty much," the two neared the checkout area, Lavi taking out the Death Note set that he needed to return. "Anyway, Ed and Al try to bring their mother back to life with alchemy. Human transmutation, bringing a human back to life in other words, is highly forbidden and impossible. Of course, Ed and Al don't know the last one, but they know that it's not easy. They try to bring Teresa back to life and they fail. Miserably."
"What happened next?" Lavi hardly registered exchanging the manga sets, completely enraptured by the story Allen was telling.
"A lot," Allen says cryptically, "but long story short, Ed loses his left leg. Al loses his entire body and Ed sacrifices his right arm to bind Al's soul to a body of armor. This happens when Ed is about eleven and Al is ten."
"What?" Lavi took the bag without thanking the clerk as they started to walk outside. "Dude, that's like, horrible."
"A lot main characters in action manga have a horrible backstory," Allen shrugged. "Well, at least most of the ones that I've read."
"But seriously? Two kids get… mutilated for trying to save their mom? That's sick."
"It gets better," Allen assured.
"It better," Lavi grumbled. "I wanna read it now and it would suck if there wasn't a happy ending."
"You want to read it?"
"Yeah. It sounds cool. Well, not the lose your limbs and body part, but the alchemy thing sounds interesting. I've gotta see if this place has it later."
"Ah," Allen started to cough into his sleeve, causing Lavi to look at him curiously. "I have the complete set of volumes. I can let you borrow them if you want to."
"Seriously?" Lavi grinned. "That's awesome dude!" And it was. Yeah, the book sounded like a good read, but right now Lavi was more interested in the fact that Allen was opening up a bit. "Hey, do you have the time?"
"Um, hold on a tick," Allen reached into the pocket of his jeans and produced a phone. "It's about two fifty. Why?"
"That means I got three hours to kill," Lavi answered. "Hey, wanna grab something to eat?"
"What, right now?"
"When else?" Lavi grinned. "Do you know any good places around here?"
"Well," Allen seemed hesitant, "there is one…"
"Then lead the way!"
"Allen!" Lavi watched as a dark skinned man (?) with pink hair held back in two braids practically tackled the freshman into a hug. A lot of weird looks would have been sent their way if the small restaurant had any patrons in it. Fortunately, there was no one. "How have you been? It's been too long!"
"It's only been a day, Jeryy," Allen managed to pull away from Jeryy's hug. Lavi could hear the smile in his voice.
"A day too long then!" He protested, turning his attention from Allen to Lavi. "Who's this?"
"A… friend from school," Allen said. "Lavi, this is Jeryy. He's the cook here. Jeryy, this is Lavi."
"It's nice to meet you, sweetie!"
Now, Lavi was all for hugs. He had nothing against them. But when an incredibly metrosexual man with pink hair that called him sweetie crushed him against said man's chest, Lavi was more than a little uncomfortable. While he was busy feeling abused, he saw Allen's shoulders shaking, snickering at his predicament.
"Jeryy, do you think that we could grab a seat?" Allen asked politely.
"Of course!" The cook let go of Lavi, the junior mentally cheering with relief. "Just call when you know what you want." With that, the man disappeared back into the kitchen.
"So," Allen said, acting casual, "you seemed to enjoy that hug."
"I feel like I've been violated," Lavi replied honestly.
Allen gave a short laugh. "Don't worry, you get used to it."
"I don't wanna get used to it."
The two students took a seat in one of the booths at Lavi's request. Once they were situated with their menus in hand, Lavi tried to start a conversation. "So, what do you usually get here?"
"Dango, most of the time," Allen put his own menu down.
"Dango?" Lavi glanced at his choices. "Wait, what the hell is this stuff?"
"This is a bunch of Asian stuff," Lavi explained. "I don't know what half of this stuff is. Scratch that, I don't know what any of this stuff is."
"Oh," Allen shrugged. "It is a Japanese restaurant. What did you expect?"
"I didn't know it was Japanese. That Jeryy guy doesn't look like a Jap."
"My point exactly."
Allen shrugged again. "Just get something."
"But I don't know what to —"
"Are you ready?" Lavi was cut off as Jeryy came back, a notepad and pen in hand.
"I'll take the dango," Allen told the cook politely.
"But I don't know —"
"And he'll take the yakiniku dish," Allen finished, completely ignoring the junior. "Thank you, Jeryy."
"No problem, hun!" Jeryy chirped happily. "I'll be back soon!"
"That's what I'm afraid of," Lavi mumbled under his breath as Jeryy skipped away. "Dude, what's yakiniku?"
"It's Japanese barbeque," Allen explained. "I don't like it as much as dango, but it's good."
"We'll see," Lavi cast a glance back towards the kitchen. "We'll see."
"Dude, that was amazing!" Lavi raved after they had left the small Japanese café. "Yakiniku is, like, the greatest food on the face of the face the planet. No, in the entire universe!"
"I told you it was good," Allen's lip quirked.
"You didn't tell me that it was that good. I'd let Jeryy hug me a million times if I could have eat that everyday."
"Now you're just being overdramatic."
"No I'm not!"
The two of them continued on like this, bantering playfully with the other as they walked through a small park. Lavi had still had time before the clock struck six (an hour and a half, to be exact) so the two had decided to wander around until then. It was quite enjoyable, to say the least.
"Hey," Allen said eventually, "you never did tell me how you knew I was in the gym."
Oh shit. Lavi thought that Allen would have forgotten by now. At the time, bribing the freshman had seemed like a great idea, but Lavi was regretting it now that he actually had to tell Allen.
"W-well, ya see," Lavi stammered, looking anywhere but Allen, "it's a funny story —"
"That's wonderful," Allen quipped dryly, "but I would like to have my question answered."
"I, uh, I have your school schedule," Lavi finally confessed.
"What?" Allen seemed baffled. "How?"
"I asked the school secretary, Reever, for it."
"… So I could know where you were?" Lavi flinched as he spoke.
Allen had stopped walking. "Are you stalking me?"
"No! Of course not!" Lavi waved his hands frantically. "I just wanted to know where you were so I could talk to you. That's why I was in the library yesterday. I was waiting for you to show up to you biology class."
"That…" Allen seemed to be searching for something to say, "that's really creepy, Lavi."
"I know," Lavi sighed, putting a hand on his forehead, "and I'm sorry about it. I swear that I'm not trying to creep on you. Look, I'll throw the schedule away, okay? It was stupid of me to even get it in the first place."
"You can say that again," Allen said. "God, Lavi. That's… I don't even have words for it. I'm not angry about it, just a little shocked."
"Yeah…" Lavi groaned. "I feel so stupid."
"You are," Allen's words made Lavi cringe, "but you aren't a bad person. Just please refrain from doing things like this in the future."
Lavi laughed somewhat shakily. "Don't worry, I think that I've learned my lesson."
"Right," Allen started to walk again. "I have to ask, is your hair naturally that red or did you dye it?"
Sensing the offer to escape the current conversation topic, Lavi matched his pace to Allen's. "It's naturally like this. Hair this awesome doesn't come out of a bottle."
Allen chuckled. "Just checking. Hey, you have to be home by six, right?"
"It's five forty-five right now. Assuming that you are going to walk home, you might want to get a move on."
"Shit!" Lavi glanced at his phone. Allen wasn't lying. "Gramps is gonna kill me!"
"Somehow I doubt that," Allen replied.
"You don't know him," Lavi jammed his phone back into his pocket. "I'll see you tomorrow!"
Lavi turned on his heel and sprinted like a madman, Allen's laughter ringing in his ears as the freshman watched him scramble.
Well, Lavi decided, if Gramps does kill me, it was totally worth it.
A/N: I had a hard time writing this chapter. Could you tell?
Allen calls Lavi 'Bookman' in order to detach himself to some level. He starts addressing Lavi by his first name when he feels more comfortable.
To those of you that don't know, Junjo Romantica is basically a gay porn manga. Personally, I haven't read it (I'm 15!) but I figured that it had enough of a reputation that some people would know what it is.
I know that Lavi's reaction to Jeryy is a little bit odd, but I think that this version of Lavi would be a bit freaked out by some random guy hugging him.
Yakiniku is Lavi's favorite food in the anime, in case anyone was wondering. I thought it was fitting for the situation.
Thank you all for reading. Without you guys, I don't think that I would have written this much. I love you all. Please review, follow, and favorite. It keeps me motivated!