Kanda counted to ten with his eyes closed before opening them slowly and sighing. “What?”
“You know how uhm, you know when…” clearing his throat and fighting the blush that threatened to crawl up his face, Lavi looked at anything but Kanda.
“Stop wasting my time idiot,” was the disgusted response. Kanda shifted and Lavi panicked, thinking the swordsman was really going to go to sleep and ignore him.
“Wait! Yuu, wait listen!” He took two steps closer to the bed, swallowed hard, and took a big step back. “I…” he began. Kanda didn’t move, so he took it as a sign to continue. “Remember when we were kids?”
The figure didn’t budge. Lavi frowned and poked at a shoulder. “Oi Yuu, don’t go to sleep. I’ve got something important to say.”
A hand deftly slapped his away and Kanda sat upright, glaring at him. “Can’t it wait?”
Lavi beamed in the face of that glare. “Remember that time when we sneaked some pills into the coffee machine?”
“You sneaked pills into the coffee machine,” Kanda corrected him coldly.
“Yeah, and Yuu you stood guard for me-”
“You were pulling my hair and I couldn’t leave.”
“- and we ran away together-”
“I was dragged.”
“- and then we had a good laugh about it-”
Kanda’s eyes narrowed perceptibly, “I was yelling at you idiot.”
Lavi’s smile was fond as he regarded his annoyed companion. “We made such a good team Yuu.”
“There was no ‘we’, it was just ‘you’ who involved ‘me’ all the time.”
“But we had fun didn’t we?”
There was a snarl and Kanda violently lay back down, throwing the covers over his head. “Get lost.”
“Yuu!” Lavi tugged at the sheets. “I haven’t finished what I was saying!”
“I don’t want to hear the rest of it.”
“Come on Yuu,” he begged, shaking the figure. “It’s really important.”
Kanda ignored. He tried to ignore at least. But Lavi was shaking him so hard there was no way in hell he was going to be able to get his sleep till he heard the idiot out.
“If I listen, will you shut up?” he snapped.
“Of course!” the bookman apprentice nodded eagerly, “but…”
“But what?” with every word Kanda could feel his patience wearing thin.
“But if you listen, and I shut up, then what will you listen to?”
“Would you like me to shut you up so you can see?”
“Ah, no that’s fine,” Lavi quickly moved to the other end of the bed. “Anyway, the reason we- I slipped the pills in that time,” he quickly amended at a threatening look, “was so Komui and River would be so out of it that they wouldn’t notice if we followed them.”
“I was there,” was the sarcastic reply.
“And then we followed them to a club where they had all these really shiny lights and loud funky music,” he continued, “and the moment they got in, we caught them uhm… doing… you know...” Lavi’s eyes darted about uncomfortably.
Kanda stared at him unimpressed. “They kissed.”
Trying to keep his calm and control the raging blush at the same time, Lavi gave an indignant squawk. “They weren’t just kissing!” he protested, “They were really… really getting into it!”
“Why are you embarrassed,” was Kanda’s deadpan question, “you’re not even a virgin.”
Lavi gaped. “Y-Yuu! How can you say that?!”
“Only stating facts,” he smirked, “don’t be shy now.”
“W-where did you get that idea?!”
“Well,” the smile on the brunette’s face was cruel, “what about all that porn under your bed?”
“Just because I wank off doesn’t mean I’m not a virgin!”
Kanda raised an eyebrow. “Would you like to say it louder?”
Indignant, and feeling completely made fun of, Lavi sighed and hung his head. “What I want to say Yuu,” he began in a serious voice, “is that we never got to dance.” He glanced up to look at his friend, and laughed, “Don’t look so shocked. Isn’t that what people do at clubs? Drink and dance?”
“I know that!” Kanda replied vehemently, “What makes you think I wanted to dance?!”
“Not even with me?”
“Especially not with you!”
“Allen might,” Lavi commented casually, “he’s usually up for a little fun.”
“Then go! Do I look like the beansprout to you?” He raised a hand to strike the redhead.
“I wanted it to be you,” Lavi admitted, “for old times’ sake.”
The hand wavered. Kanda looked aside. “That was in the past. It doesn’t matter now.”
“I’m going to bed. Show yourself out.” Give it up already.
“Good night Yuu,” his voice was steady, “I’ll see you tomorrow.” I won’t give up.
“Good morning Kanda-kun,” Lenalee smiled as the swordsman strode past her.
“’Morning,” he responded curtly, hardly sparing a glance.
The smile fell away. Did they have another fight?
“Yuu~” Lavi slid easily into the seat next to the grumpy brunette, who had a whole table all to himself. “Have you thought about what I said?”
“There was nothing to think over,” he said plainly.
Lavi feigned a hurt expression. “And after all the effort I spent trying to convince you!”
“I had trouble getting used to the silence after I kicked you out, pity.”
“I had trouble getting used to not being with you after you kicked me out too.”
Kanda’s left eye twitched.
“Well, we can talk about this later, breakfast is getting cold!” the redhead exclaimed cheerfully.
Over at the other table, Lenalee was watching them, more than a little concerned.
"Lavi!” Allen grinned as his friend came running up, “What’s going on?”
Scratching his head, Lavi smiled sheepishly at the exorcist. “I need a favour.”
“EHHHHHH?!” Lenalee’s eyes were wide as Allen told her what Lavi had requested.
“Shh!” Allen frantically motioned at her to keep it low – someone might overhear. “You’re too loud Lenalee-san!”
“Sorry,” she flushed, “I just wasn’t expecting to hear that.”
“Will you help?” the white-haired exorcist asked, “It won’t work if you don’t agree.”
“It’s a little bit strange,” Lenalee conceded, “but it sounds fun. I’ll tell oniisan then we can get ready with the preparations.”
“You’re the best Lenalee-san!”
Kanda wondered, as he walked through the halls after just returning from a mission, why there were balloons and sparkly decorations on the walls. It couldn’t be a birthday – he’d lived there long enough to know when birthdays were celebrated; most probably Komui had decided on throwing a party so that he could have an excuse to get drunk and grope River in public. Or get groped. It didn’t matter. He wasn’t going.
He flinched inwardly at the voice, but maintained his exterior composure.
Lavi stood before him, just outside his room door, arms held out as if in greeting. “Welcome back.”
“I was obviously not gone long enough if you’re still here,” he told the other boy coldly as he unlocked his room door and entered.
“Don’t say that,” Lavi followed him in, “I heard you completed your mission so I waited for you. Congratulations.”
Kanda sniffed. He started to unbutton his soiled cloak. “What do you want?”
Lavi leaned against the wall next to the window, watching the other’s movements. He didn’t reply right away, but took time to survey the swordsman. Kanda was hardly scratched, his cloak dirty from dust and travel. There were no blood stains. It had been an easy kill.
“You make it sound like I always want something,” he finally spoke.
Carefully placing Mugen next to the bed, Kanda snorted. “It’s because you always want something.”
Lavi smiled, “You’re right. You’ve seen the decorations I’m sure?”
“I’m not going,” he said bluntly.
“Everyone’s going,” Lavi told him, “you have to go.”
“I’m not going,” Kanda repeated.
“You have to go, Komui said so.”
His head snapping around to stare at the taller boy in surprise, Kanda nearly forgot how to breathe at the look in Lavi’s eyes.
“We’re going, Yuu,” his voice was firm, “me, and you.”
This time Yuu, for sure.
Everyone was behaving incredibly stupidly. Why did they look at him as if they knew something he didn’t? Why did Lenalee offer to do up his hair ? Why did the beansprout think it was okay to give him useless tips on how to attend a dance? Why was River telling him it was normal to feel nervous before such an… event? Why did Komui make it so that everyone had to go to that bloody thing?!
Kanda was frustrated. It seemed as if the whole division was against him on this matter. He had an inkling that a certain bookman’s apprentice might have something to do with it, but couldn’t be completely sure. Lavi had been behaving normal enough the past week. Things were a little tense sometimes, but then again, that was how it had always been between them. If he ever got hold of a lead that tied Lavi to this, the idiot would be dead before he could even say ‘Sayonara’. He would slay him so fast the idiot wouldn’t know what hit him. It would be sudden, it would be dramatic. There would be no goodbyes.
Kanda spun around, hands already at his hilt, body ready for attack. Lavi held his hands up in that universal peace gesture and said, “I mean no harm.”
Collecting himself, Kanda straightened and somewhat reluctantly, removed his hold of Mugen’s hilt. “Don’t sneak up like that.”
The expression the taller boy gave him was one of puzzlement. “But I’ve been calling your name the past few minutes.” He stepped closer, “Are you all right, Yuu?”
Kanda slapped Lavi’s hand away when he tried to feel his forehead. “Don’t touch me. I’m fine.”
Lavi regarded him carefully for a while. Kanda stared resolutely back, haughty and proud. As usual it was the redhead who gave in.
“So, have you decided?” he changed the topic smoothly.
Eyebrows furrowed together as Kanda tried to make sense of the question. So many people had been asking him that, he couldn’t remember what the original question was.
“There is nothing to decide.” He decided to go with the best answer.
The smile directed at him was unsettling. He hadn’t really expected his answer to be right, but from Lavi’s reaction, it appeared to be the correct one. That usually meant he was going to regret his words.
“Its fine,” Lavi’s voice was warm and cheerful, “and you’re right. There is nothing to decide. I wonder why I was so worried all this time.” He winked, “See you tomorrow night then Yuu. I’ll come by your room.”
Kanda was about to protest but Lavi had already gone.
Kanda scowled at his reflection in the mirror. Lenalee and Komui had both explicitly told him it was a semi-formal dress event so he had thrown on a pair of dress pants and a turtleneck. Lenalee had, for the fifth time, offered to do up his hair – as if he was a girl! He was tempted to tell her to tend to her own unruly tresses before offering others, but he could never be so cruel to her. She was the one that least got on his nerves, and he respected her for that. But letting her treat him like he wasn’t a man- never!
The knock on his door was expected, but he was still surprised when it came. Two firm knocks, and Lavi strode in. He was wearing something similar to Kanda, so Kanda thought he must have gotten the dress code right when he noticed the expression on Lavi’s face.
“What?” he demanded, feeling just a little worried.
Lavi scratched his head the way he always did when he was about to say something stupid. “Actually I was hoping you’d be wearing a dress, since Lenalee-chan said she’d be taking care of your hair tonight.”
Mugen was in his hands in an instant, and it was only by chance (and a lot of experience) that Lavi dodged the blade.
“Calm down, Yuu!” he yelled as he leaped to avoid another blow, “I was only joking!”
“Yuu, stop it! We’ve got no time for this!”
Kanda froze, and turned icy blue eyes on the offending subject. “But there’s time to joke?” he asked coldly.
“I’m sorry,” Lavi sounded like he meant it, “so let’s go.”
Ignoring his better judgement, Kanda complied.
It was an explosion. The moment the doors to the great hall were turned, there was an explosion of colours and Kanda swore he saw stars for a split second at the enthusiastic greeting. Lavi’s hand on the small of his back snapped him back to his senses and he shoved the other away. He managed a few steps then was assaulted by the loudest music he’d ever heard. The song had just started and he was standing right next to the woofer.
“Yuu?” Lavi looked concerned as he led him away.
Kanda shrugged off his help, striding to the one corner where it wasn’t choke-full of people. What the hell was this? Was everyone actually present?
“Kanda-kun!” Komui was waving just a little too enthusiastically. He must’ve had some to drink already.
“You came,” River greeted when they came within distance.
Kanda stared out at nothing. “I had no choice.”
“Well, now that you’re here, how about-” he was cut off when Komui scrambled onto a table and started calling for attention.
“Hear ye, hear ye!” he hollered drunkenly, “Our two stars have finally arrived! Let’s all have a toast and then we can-” eyes going wide, Komui stopped his speech abruptly. “I-“ he managed weakly, “I need to use the bathroom.” He barely landed safely on his feet before he was off at a dead sprint. River was not far behind.
Kanda turned to Lavi. “Did you…?”
Lavi’s smile was mischievous, and something else. “It was close. I had no guard with me this time.”
They fell silent, Kanda wishing he could just go already, and Lavi wishing he could just say it already. He tried.
Both boys turned to see Allen walking up to them with a big grin on his face.
“What do you want beansprout?” was Kanda’s typical provocation.
“Ah Kanda,” Allen smiled up at the swordsman, “you really came.”
“Yep,” Lavi bragged, slinging an arm around Kanda’s shoulders, “in person. What did I tell you?” He winked mischievously at Allen.
“Don’t touch me!” Kanda tried to throw off the offending arm, but Lavi’s grip tightened. “Let go!”
“Ah Yuu,” the redhead said conversationally, “I’m parched. Let’s get a drink before we get down and bogey.” Firmly, he led his friend away.
He turned around at Lenalee’s voice. “They’ll be fine, Lenalee-san. They just need a little push, that’s all.”
“All right,” the smile she gave was sweet, “will you dance with me?”
Kanda stood stiffly next to the punch, stubbornly pretending the arm around him wasn’t really there. Lavi was enthusiastically drinking from a bottle of strong liquor, determined to get drunk. He would need to be, with what he had planned.
“Want a drink?” he offered the nearly empty bottle to the glowering swordsman.
Sighing, he gulped down the last bit before throwing it carelessly over his shoulder. “Come on Yuu, its disco night.”
“Then where is the disco ball,” Kanda replied flatly, obstinately avoiding eye contact.
“If I knew you wanted it, I would’ve asked Lenalee-chan to get it,” Lavi sighed again, “lighten up Yuu.”
“I don’t appreciate such… events,” the distaste was evident in his voice.
“This isn’t your first time,” the taller boy reminded him, “and it’s only your second. You’ve got to give these things a chance. They grow on you.” He stared at the expressionless face, “Unless you’ve gone without me.”
Kanda rolled his eyes, “As if I would.”
Lavi laughed and pulled the other boy closer, “I knew it! You’re so sweet, Yuu.”
The sharp elbow in his ribs forced the breath out of his lungs. Kanda scowled at the gasping boy. “Shut up. I didn’t mean it like that dumbass.”
“Joking Yuu, joking.” Lavi straightened up, then slowly, almost hesitantly, held out a hand. “Will you dance with me?”
“Go to hell.” His voice was pure venom. “Don’t treat me like a girl!”
Lavi resolutely held his hand out, “I’ve never thought of you as a girl.” He looked straight into Kanda’s eyes, “Will you dance with me?” he repeated, expression solemn, nearly grave.
“No.” Kanda was equally firm in his resolve.
“If you’re afraid of what people will think,” Lavi told him, “you don’t have to worry. Everyone knows.”
“Everyone knows?” Kanda shoved him away, “Everyone knows about what?!” he demanded angrily, a feeling of dread creeping up over him.
Lavi was serious. His very posture showed how serious he was, and his eyes, for once, had lost the teasing glint that was perpetually there. “About us Yuu. They know.”
“What is there to know? There is nothing to know! There is no us!” he was shaking, trembling with anger. Anger and a little bit of fear. “You’re delusional. Don’t make things up and drag me into it!”
“Yuu,” there was a dangerous lilt to his voice, and Lavi’s eyes narrowed. “don’t say things you’ll regret.”
“You’re the one who should be afraid,” Kanda shot back, “saying stupid things like that – do you think I’ll forgive you?”
“No,” Lavi had backed Kanda into a corner, and the swordsman’s eyes went wide at the realisation that he had no means to escape. “But you’ll thank me, once you realised I’m right.”
“Thank you?” Kanda was adamant, proud to the very end despite his unfavourable position. “Why would-” his words died as a warm mouth descended on his own and hands gripped tightly to his shoulders to hold him still.
“Umphuhfff!” he protested angrily, violently thrashing in Lavi’s hold. When he realised it was futile, he bit down hard on the plundering tongue in his mouth.
“OWW!” Lavi snapped his head back, one hand flying up to his mouth.
Kanda raised his head in challenge, eyes daring the other to try that again. Lavi glared back, awkwardly testing his injured tongue, one hand still having a death grip on Kanda’s shoulder.
“I’ll bite it off next time,” Kanda promised.
“We’ll see about that,” Lavi’s voice was slurred, restricted by his throbbing tongue, but, ignoring the pain, he leant forward and sunk his teeth into Kanda’s right ear.
“ARGHHH!” the brunette cried out in both pain and shock. “What the hell are you doing?!” Lavi didn’t let up, so he tried to push the other away. “Stop it!”
Feeling somewhat guilty, Lavi did ease up a little, licking at the lobe in a semblance of apology. Kanda had started trembling. Knowing he was responsible, he wrapped his arms around the distraught exorcist.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, “please don’t hate me.”
Kanda barked a shaky laugh. “I’ve always hated you. I can’t hate you any more than I already do.”
“Yuu…” he pulled back slightly so he could look into the other’s eyes. “I just want to dance. With you.” Seeing Kanda open his mouth to protest, he shook his head in warning, “If you dance with me, just this once, I promise I’ll leave you alone.”
The look Kanda gave him was appraising and sceptical at the same time. “… just one dance?” he asked, voice wavering with uncertainty.
“One dance,” he confirmed.
“… one dance then.”
Lavi buried his face into that silky soft hair he loved. “Thanks Yuu.”
One dance – and my only chance. Lavi hoped the next song would be appropriate.
It wasn’t. Of all songs, it had to be a silly techno piece. The very sort that Kanda hated most. Cursing his luck, Lavi led the way to the dance floor. The crowd parted readily for them, and he received well-wishes that were whispered so Kanda wouldn’t overhear.
“One dance,” Kanda reminded him as he stood stiffly amidst the gyrating bodies.
“One dance,” he smiled gently at the other, before taking hold of his hands and swinging him around.
“Wha-” Kanda looked as if his eyes were going to pop out of his head, “w-wait!”
Lavi laughed, and swung him even higher.
“Lavi!” Kanda was screeching, unable to mask his fright, “Lavi put me down!”
He only winked at the other and stuck his tongue out. “You agreed to one dance. Don’t complain now Yuu.”
“This isn’t dancing!” his voice was starting to get a little breathy and he was starting to feel a little dizzy.
“It’s not,” Lavi agreed amiably, “but it’s fun.”
“I-” Kanda was starting to turn a little green, so Lavi slowed down to a stop. He had to support the swordsman who was swaying on his feet.
“You all right Yuu?” he asked innocently.
A flash of anger and the nausea was gone. “What the hell was that?!”
Lavi laughed and leaned in for a light peck on his cheek. “You looked so cute like that.”
Turning red, both from anger and embarrassment, Kanda aimed a punch for the idiot’s face. “I agreed to a dance! That wasn’t a dance!”
“Fine, fine,” Lavi caught the fist easily, “I’ll dance properly now.”
Sniffing in indignation, Kanda allowed Lavi to take his hand – and jerk him around.
“What the hell?!”
“It’s techno Yuu,” Lavi informed him, “you don’t expect us to do a slow waltz to this beat do you?”
“This is stupid! Can’t we wait for a different song?”
Lavi’s face brightened at the words. “This doesn’t count?”
“No. Now let go of my arm.”
Lavi obeyed, eager to please.
“I’ll choose the song,” Kanda told him.
“If you want to,” he beamed at the shorter boy who was rubbing his abused arm. Anything Yuu, anything you want.
Techno songs probably weren’t as evil as he thought.
Startled, Lavi looked at Kanda in confusion. He had been thinking up ways on how to make the next dance work, and trying to guess what sort of song Kanda would choose that he’d completely forgotten that the object of his thoughts had been next to him all along.
“The song,” Kanda motioned irritably at the dance floor.
Lavi cocked his head to the side, a teasing smile slowly making its way across his face. “A love song Yuu?”
Kanda averted his eyes, “Shut up. It’s the only song I know how to dance to.”
As Lavi spaced out again wondering who in the world had taught Kanda to dance to a love song (and feeling very jealous at the same time), Kanda grabbed his hand and pulled him forward.
“Hurry up. I want to get it over with.”
He didn’t complain when Lavi’s fingers intertwined with his own.
Kanda didn’t want to open his eyes. It was nice and warm, standing just like that. He didn’t have to hold himself up – his whole body propped against Lavi’s strong frame. He didn’t even mind the circling motions Lavi was making in the small of his back. Or the hand that kept slipping lower and lower…
Without opening his eyes, he caught the wandering hand and returned it to its original position on his waist.
Lavi chuckled, warm and throaty. The action sent nice ripples which Kanda felt. Unconsciously (or not) he snuggled deeper into that firm chest.
“Yuu…” Lavi whispered, insistent on getting Kanda to open his eyes and look at him.
“What?” he mumbled into Lavi’s shoulder.
“Look at me.”
Surprised at the request, Kanda did as he was asked.
Lavi’s smile was tender, and his hand stopped its soothing motions on Kanda’s back to tuck some strands behind an ear. “Was this so bad?”
Not about to admit he was wrong, Kanda scoffed. “I still hate dancing and stupid things like this.” His eyes darted away to the side. “It’s like some stupid match-making session. Everyone acts like they’re…” he swallowed, “never mind.”
“Everyone acts like they’re in love?” Lavi repeated patiently, “Is that what you want to say?”
“Yes. No. Whatever,” Kanda looked away.
Lavi caressed a cheek fondly. “It’s the music, Yuu. It sets the pace.”
“And when it ends, everything goes away.” Kanda was unsuccessful at hiding the bitterness in his voice.
Refraining himself from asking if something like that had happened before, Lavi instead said, “But we don’t need music do we?” He gripped Kanda’s chin tightly to make the other turn and face him. “Even without music, we have a pace.”
Kanda blinked at him, not understanding.
“We don’t need music to know we’re in love, right?” Lavi explained, a teasing tone creeping into his voice.
“Idiot!” he tried to shove the other off him, “Stop saying things like that!”
Lavi was quick to grab at him, stilling his movements. “I only say it because it’s true,” he told Kanda, “and I’ll keep saying it until you admit it’s true.”
“It’s not true you-” Kanda gritted his teeth, “if I admit it, will you stop saying it?”
“Maybe,” the teasing tone was back.
“That’s not good enough.”
“Fine. I promise.”
“Then…” Kanda’s throat was tight, and his feet had gone cold. “I admit it.”
“Admit what?” Lavi was determined to hear a confession.
Kanda grinded his teeth and told himself to bear with the idiot. “I admit that I-” this was harder than he thought. I can do this.
“That you what, Yuu?” Lavi’s hold on him was so tight it was starting to hurt. You can do this.
“I love you,” Kanda whispered, so softly Lavi had to duck his head to catch it. He would’ve missed it, but he had been waiting so long to hear those words that he needed to hear so badly.
“You know,” his voice was unsteady, and he had to clear his throat before he could continue. “You know I’ve always loved you.”
“Idiot,” Kanda’s voice was gruff, like he was trying not to cry, “I was the one who had to admit, not you.”
“It wasn’t an admission,” Lavi embraced the swordsman, “it was a confession.”
He laughed softly, “Really Yuu, you should know the difference.” He barely deflected the punch directed to his guts. I just needed to hear that.
As if he’d read Lavi’s thoughts, Kanda asked, “You would go to all this trouble?”
“Nothing is trouble when it comes to you.” He nipped at Kanda’s lips playfully.
“You’re such an idiot.”
Lavi wished Kanda sounded more affectionate when he called him that, but decided that was asking too much at once. Perhaps one day… “You’re not very smart yourself, Kanda Yuu,” his voice was mocking, “you agreed to one dance.”
“On a condition,” Kanda pointed out, starting to feel offended.
“You agreed to one dance,” Lavi repeated for emphasis, “and you ended up giving yourself to me.” He smirked, “Well, not that I’m complaining.”
Definitely feeling offended now, Kanda stomped down hard on Lavi’s foot. Satisfied at the resulting yelp of pain, he growled, low and threatening. “I did no such thing.”
Cursing under his breath, Lavi took awhile to compose himself. “You will soon.”
Was the moron actually leering at him? Disgusted, he stomped down on the same foot, relishing in the even louder cry of pain. “We’ll see about that.”
“After this dance,” Lavi promised, eyes narrowed in challenge.
“After this dance,” Kanda agreed.
This was not just a dance.
This was their dance.