Rating: PG-13/low R-ish
Word Count: 919
Disclaimer: I own neither D.Gray-Man nor the characters therein.
The first indication Lavi had that he was not a proper bookman was when he bit his fingernails to the quick and bled over his log. Bookman sighed and muttered and said there was nothing to be nervous about; they were there to observe.
That was, coincidentally, the day they met Kanda.
It's part of the personality, Lavi told himself. I'm just being sprightly. Annoying. Just doing my part. That's what he told Bookman, too, and Bookman nodded and ignored him and didn't give it another thought.
Lavi, however, couldn't stop thinking about it. Because while poking Kanda in the side and calling him Yuu-chan might have been part of the act, winding Kanda up to see when he'd snap was most definitely not, but Lavi couldn't - wouldn't - stop.
The first time Lavi had a mission without Bookman, it was to go support Kanda who was hunting down some Akuma.
"Did you come to rescue me?" Kanda asked when Lavi found him, left arm broken, trying to retie the bloody bandage around his leg with his teeth. The sneer, Lavi thought, was uncalled for, but he hadn't expected any less of Kanda.
"I hasten to your aid like a knight in shining armor," Lavi said, and ripped a long strip from his extra shirt. Kanda glared, but let him tie it, and when he fell asleep, he snuggled into Lavi's jacket, burying his nose in the collar and taking deep, deep breaths, the frown smoothing slowly from his face. Lavi had to bite his cheek to keep from laughing, but it hurt him, too, and that was not a part of his chosen personality.
The third indication Lavi had that he would be unfit for a bookman came on Kanda's seventeenth birthday, when they were passing the night at an inn and Kanda didn't know his drink was alcoholic. Kanda Yuu had a low tolerance of alcohol and became virtually incapacitated after two screwdrivers, a fact which Lavi noted faithfully in his logbook. That Kanda was unable to negotiate stairs in his condition and slept afterwards for eleven hours was also carefully jotted down.
But Lavi did not write down the way Kanda's breath felt on Lavi's neck when he had slumped over at the table, or the way his waist felt when Lavi wrapped his arm around it to help him up the stairs, firm from hours and hours of sit ups but squishy from the padding of the shirt and the belt and the coat that covered it. And holding Kanda's hair back when he vomited, kneading it between his fingers and pretending he wasn't, or the look Kanda gave him afterwards - that, too, he did not write down. Lavi told himself they were irrelevant details that could not be put objectively to paper. Bookman, of course, would have disapproved; but Lavi never told him.
Four months after the Noah attacked the castle, Lavi waited in Komui's office for word on Allen's trial. Out of the last eight hundred cases of heresy tried by the Council, there were four acquittals.
Lenalee was sitting cross-legged on Komui's desk and biting her nails. Kanda was pacing around the walkway. He passed by Komui's door every two minutes and fourteen seconds precisely, and he always glanced into the room, at the telephone on Komui's desk. Of those four acquittals, two were later retried and convicted.
Lavi's stomach had knots in it, dozens and dozens of tightly-wound knots that made him think he couldn't stand another minute without knowing.
It took him two minutes and eighteen seconds to notice Kanda was not passing by any more.
Kanda was sitting outside the door, knees to his chin, back straight against the wall. He looked pale.
Kanda didn't look up, but he didn't tell Lavi to leave him, either. Lavi backed against the wall and dropped down next to him. Their shoulders were touching.
All those convicted of heresy were executed.
Allen will be fine, Lavi wanted to say. But he didn't, because it would comfort neither of them, and the odds were stacked against Allen two hundred to one. Instead he reached into Kanda's lap and laced his fingers around Kanda's. Kanda tensed but didn't shy away. His grip was so hard both their knuckles were white. I'm too involved, thought Lavi. Bookmen don't have relationships. Not like this.
But he couldn't bring himself to let go of Kanda's hand.
When Lavi was nineteen, he broke his leg after being attacked by a dozen akuma and barely made it back to the town he had been staying in. When Kanda arrived to take him back, Lavi was at the inn, scribbling in his notebook, leg in a splint.
"Did you come to rescue me?" Lavi asked. I won't do this again, he thought. This is not going to happen again, he thought, and his resolve was firm.
Kanda said nothing, but locked the door and walked over, and then his lips were on Lavi's neck and his hands on Lavi's chest and Lavi's resolve wavered and died on his lips, and he dropped the notebook to the floor before Kanda crushed it.
This will be the last time we do this, he told himself, and I will put this aside and be a proper bookman. Then Kanda lowered his head and swept his tongue over Lavi's nipple, and Lavi moaned and arched into it. This will be the last time we do this, he told himself, and knew it was a lie.