“Mornin,’ gorgeous!” A boisterous voice rose above the idle chatter of Finders in the Black Order mess hall.
Lenalee glanced up at Lavi, rolling her eyes as he clinked his plate of breakfast down next to Kanda, across the table from her. “Mornin,’ Lavi.”
Lavi plopped carelessly into his seat, nearly elbowing Kanda in the head, who glowered silently over his tea and scooted further away. Lavi failed to notice. “Hey,” he said around a mouthful of eggs, “where’s Allen? Isn’t he usually the first one here?”
“And the last to leave,” Lenalee added with a chuckle. She glanced around the other tables. “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him yet.” It wasn’t like Allen to miss a meal, especially one made by Jerry.
Lavi craned his head over at the kitchens. “There he is!” A wall of dishes was moving slowly their way, a head of white hair barely visible over the top. Timcanpy perched on the highest plate, sausage links disappearing into his golden mouth. Howard Link walked stiffly beside the odd display, looking stern, as usual.
A faint murmur of conversation followed in his wake as the teetering pile of plates passed other tables. A few women giggled. Lavi raised an eyebrow, sipping his coffee… and then spit out a mouthful with a laugh as Allen passed him.
“God, what is it, laundry day? What the hell are you wearing?!” Lavi howled as Allen came around to Lenalee’s side of the table. Now she could see what people were murmuring about. Her spoon stopped, halfway to her mouth.
Allen wasn’t in his standard uniform. Instead, he wore a pair of loose, low slung trousers, and an oddly cropped shirt that barely covered his chest, leaving his stomach exposed. Lenalee stared. Had Allen always been that muscular?
Allen groaned as he began setting his plates down next to Lenalee. “Don’t get me started. I had my uniform all set out for the next day, and then somebody,” he paused as he slammed down the plate with Timcanpy on it, leaving the golem to flutter angrily into the air, “went and knocked over the water basin all over my stuff.” He punctuated each line with another plate, glaring at his golden golem. “This was the only clean thing I had.”
“I offered you some of my clothes…” Link interjected.
“Crow robes. Noooo, thank you,” said Allen, making a face that sent Miranda, further down the table, into giggles.
Lavi snickered into his eggs. “Where did you get that getup, anyways?”
Color was rising a bit in Allen’s cheeks as he finally unloaded all his plates and sat down. “When I was in Asia Branch. Look, could you drop it? It’s just clothes!” He tore into a roll.
“Well, your ‘just clothes’ are getting you shamelessly ogled.” Lavi observed snidely, motioning with his spoon.
For a moment, Lenalee thought he meant her. She realized with a start that she was still staring, with her spoon hanging in the air. Hurriedly, she stuck her spoon in her mouth and snapped her attention back to her plate.
But Lavi was pointing at a nearby table, full of female Finders whispering and craning their necks. Allen peered almost fearfully over his shoulder at them. The women broke into giggles, elbowing each other.
Belatedly, Lenalee realized that the bite of breakfast had long since fallen off her spoon. She felt incredibly stupid. Please let no one have seen that.
She glanced up and caught Lavi grinning devilishly at her. Damn it. Of course, he would notice. Her cheeks burned and she lowered her head, trying to concentrate on her oatmeal instead of the boy next to her. Unfortunately, at this angle, she had an uninterrupted view of his lean abs.
Lavi’s foot nudged hers under the table. She resolved to make him her first sparring partner in training today, and kick him in the shins.
“Geez… at least I don’t have a mission today.” Allen buried his head in his meal, ears red.
“Shame,” Lavi said. “Imagine if we ran into the Noah. Bet Road’d love to see you in that.”
Allen chucked a roll at his head, glaring. Lavi dodged it smoothly. “But really, Walker, you’ve gotta leave some for us. You’re stealing away all of mine and Kanda’s fans!” Lavi looked like he’d never had this much fun at breakfast.
Kanda growled, displeased to be thrust into the conversation. “I do not have fans.”
“Not anymore, you don’t,” Lavi teased, eyes flashing. “See, Allen, look how upset he is!”
“I -” Allen paused to inhale a slice of ham, “- am going to kill you in training today.”
“Not if I kill him first, moyashi,” snarled Kanda, before huffing away with his dishes.
“Gee, I’m so popular today,” Lavi said, with perhaps a faint note of worry in his voice. “Well, I think our morning training session is going to have a lot of extra observers. Maybe I can win back some of my fans.”
Allen groaned into his plate of eggs. “Please shut up.”
Finished with breakfast, Lenalee stood and grabbed her dishes, being sure to avoid looking at Allen. At least Lavi’s needling had kept Allen from noticing her staring.
As she passed the end of the table, she gave Timcanpy a covert scratch under the chin. I’m not going to be able to focus in training today, she mused. But not bad, Tim. Not bad at all.
“Hey,” she heard Lavi ask as she walked away. “Think Asia Branch could get me one of those uniforms, too?”
Author's note: Had a bunch of stories in my head that were too short to work even as a one-shot, but might work as a collection. Updates will be sporadic and scattered throughout the DGM timeline.
Lavi is very fun to write.