It was late morning and Kanda Yuu stood in front of his house surveying his flower garden. Well, to be fair, it was their house. He’d lived there with Allen Walker since the war ended, and everyone who survived had gone their own way trying to make some semblance of a normal life for themselves.
Kanda and Allen had taken a house in the English countryside. It was large enough so they’d both had their own space to keep from getting on each other’s nerves, but small enough so they wouldn’t be overwhelmed with the upkeep.
The first thing Kanda had done was to make a flower garden in the front yard and a small vegetable patch in the back. He approved of the British passion for creating green, growing spaces, and because of his talents both were flourishing. He’d just finished weeding the front and was going to continue with harvesting the vegetables until his knees had begun to ache.
“Damn this getting old shit,” he muttered, and went inside to take a break for a bit before carrying on with his gardening.
Sitting at the kitchen table with his head laying on top of his folded arms Kanda sighed. Since his ability to regenerate had deteriorated his body was subject to all the aches and pains and ills other people normally experienced. He knew this would happen but it still irritated him. Which only made the pain worse. Which irritated him even more. It was one of the reasons why he’d claimed one room solely for himself to continue his practice of meditation. The calm he attained when in that state was needed more than ever these days.
‘I’ll just rest here for a few minutes’, he thought and he closed his eyes, but before he knew it he had fallen into a light sleep.
Walking down the main road which connected their town with the next Allen was finally on his way home. He’d left soon after he and Kanda had finished breakfast, carrying with him extra vegetables from the garden to share with some of the townspeople he’d befriended.
Allen made the rounds to all the usual places, refusing to accept payment for the produce, but ultimately being defeated by the generosity of these kind country folk.
His last stop was the post office to mail a letter, and he picked up one from Lenalee which had just arrived. He stuffed it into his pocket on the way out the door and stopped to watch the postmaster’s children playing across the street. When they spotted Allen they descended on him, laughing and begging for a show, to which he happily obliged.
Allen’s acrobatic skills had declined over the years they’d been living here, his body having suffered much abuse because of the Innocence. He could do some good magic tricks but had to limit his sleight of hand due to less feeling in his left arm. But the children were happy nonetheless and a crowd of locals gathered around as well, cheering him on. This ability to still be able to entertain people and brighten their day always made Allen grateful that he was still alive.
When Allen’s stomach began to growl he politely excused himself with a sheepish grin and set off towards home. Pulling out the letter, he started to read as he walked. This road was a straight shot with only one turn off to their house so there was no chance of him getting lost, and before he knew it he was home.
After kicking off his shoes in the hallway he entered the kitchen. Kanda was asleep at the table and Allen quietly walked over to him, reaching out a hand to rest on top of his head, feeling the softness of his hair and brushed his hand down through the salt-and-pepper locks he was so familiar with. It didn’t matter that Kanda’s hair was graying. Even if it went all white, Kanda Yuu would always be beautiful in Allen’s eyes. He smiled to himself when the thought of them having matching hair color popped into his head.
Kanda stirred under his touch, opening his eyes and stretching before he sat up straight.
“Took you long enough. Those brats rope you into another show?”
“Honestly, Kanda, can’t you be a little nicer? Yes, the children enjoyed it quite a bit. I wish you’d come with me sometime.”
“There’s work that needs doing here.”
Not wanting to get into it any further Allen changed the subject. “We got a letter from Lenalee. She and Lavi want to visit because it’s been so long.”
Kanda scowled. “Great. That’s all I need. The stupid Rabbit, and his noisy brats running around the house, calling me uncle. When the hell did I become an uncle?”
Allen chuckled. “Ah…I think Lenalee might have mentioned to them that she always felt you were like a brother to her.”
“Damn that woman. When they get here I’m gonna have words with her. And I’m gonna set those brats straight. Always wanting me to play with them, all up in my face and pulling my hair.”
“I pull your hair and you don’t seem to mind.”
“That’s different.” Kanda turned his head away quickly so Allen wouldn’t see the look on his face, but Allen caught it anyway and smiled.
Pushing away from the table, Kanda stood up and started to walk towards the door. “I need to get the harvesting done. The weather’s changing faster than I expected.”
Allen noticed as he walked away that he was limping slightly. “You should take the fold up stool in the closet with you. I got it for you because I thought it might help.”
Kanda stopped in the doorway, his hand on the frame. “It’ll just get in the way…” and looking back toward Allen he murmured, “…but thanks anyway.” And then he was out the door.
When Allen heard the screen door slam he sighed. “Guess I should get started on lunch. This will take a while,” and his stomach growled again in agreement. So he rolled up his sleeves and gathered the ingredients he’d need. They usually took turns fixing meals, and he had already taken care of breakfast, but with getting the harvest done a priority Allen didn’t mind doing lunch, too.
He just needed to be careful when preparing food because his left eye wasn’t what it used to be. The scar over it had faded with time and he could still see, but his vision was impaired and he had to watch that he didn’t cut or burn himself when he was cooking. By the time he was finished Kanda was back inside and cleaned up. As they ate they listened to the sounds of nature outside their quiet home. This was how they had always wished it to be, and neither of them took it for granted.
After cleaning up from lunch Allen and Kanda went to their own rooms, Kanda to practice meditation, and Allen to his small study where he sat at his desk writing back to Lenalee and also where he continued with his correspondence to friends he still kept in touch with. It comforted him to know how well his former battle comrades were doing in their lives.
The afternoon slowly moved into evening and they emerged from their spaces to prepare the dinner, making good use of the vegetables Kanda had recently harvested. He had also planted herbs which came in handy to enhance the flavor of whatever dishes they made. Any way you looked at it it seemed like an ideal life, but there was an underlying feeling of unease they were both constantly aware of which showed itself from time to time.
Sitting on the sofa later in front of the fireplace Kanda had his eyes closed while Allen was resting his head on his companion’s shoulder.
“I’m going into town tomorrow to mail a reply to Lenalee. Maybe you’d like to come with me.”
“I already told you I’ve got work to do. The shed’s got some holes in the roof that need patching.”
“There’s a handyman in town who does work like that. We could ask him to fix it.”
“Why would I ask someone else to do what I can?”
“Because that’s his job, and he’s really nice. Why won’t you let anyone help you? I understand you don’t feel comfortable around other people, Kanda. You have your space and I have mine. But this is also about us. This is our home, and not just this house and the land around it but also the countryside and the town, the people living there. I want to share everything with you. When I was walking home today the weather was so nice and I wished you were there with me.”
“What you’re talking about is having a life, what normal people do. We’re not normal, Allen. We don’t get to have a future. Hell, we may not even have a tomorrow.”
“That’s exactly why I want to spend as much of it with you as possible. While we still can.” He sighed. “Just think about it, okay? I’m a little tired so I think I’ll turn in.”
Allen stood and began to walk away but stopped when he felt Kanda’s hand tugging on his shirt and he looked over his shoulder. “Kanda?”
Allen turned around and quietly sat back down.
Kanda let out a sigh. “It’s important to you, right?”
“Then I’ll go. But don’t expect me to do all the socializing things.” Kanda narrowed his eyes.
This made Allen smile. “Thank you.”
Kanda looked away and muttered, “My knees ache.”
“What? When did this start? Does it hurt to walk?”
“No, I can manage that. Just today…it’s just this damn body,” he grumped.
“We have ointment I got at the chemist’s. I could rub some on your knees. Maybe it’d help.”
Allen stood and held out his hand. “C’mon then. Let’s go to bed.”
Reclining on the bed with his head propped up on the pillows Kanda was starting to relax. Allen had just finished rubbing his knees and they were beginning to feel better. Maybe he would give the fold up stool a try since the sprout went to all the trouble to get it. 'Better than just letting it collect dust', he shrugged. Allen came back from the bathroom after washing his hands and climbed on the bed, pulling the blanket over them and settling against Kanda.
The weather was pleasant and there was a soft breeze blowing through the open windows. This time of day was always their favorite and Allen snuggled closer to Kanda, wrapping one arm around his waist and raising his head to kiss his lover’s cheek. Kanda returned the kiss, planting one on Allen’s lips instead, and they slid down the bed to curl around each other, the kiss becoming more heated every minute until Allen flinched, pulling back with an “Unh.”
“What is it?” Kanda asked, and then realized Allen was laying on his bad arm, so he slowly turned them over to their other side.
“Idiot. Tell me when it hurts.”
“Ah, sorry. I wasn’t paying attention. It’s all your fault anyway,” and Allen grinned.
“And just how is this my fault, Moyashi?”
“Because of the way you were kissing me, BaKanda!”
They stared at each other for a minute, and then Allen started to laugh and Kanda smirked because they hadn’t called each other those names in quite some time now, and their bickering was probably the most normal and constant thing they’d ever had in their lives.
“We’ll just have to take it easy then,” and Kanda pulled Allen back to him.
“Are you sure about going with me tomorrow?”
“I said I’d go, and we have more than enough left over from the harvest, which you probably wouldn’t have a problem finishing off, but you haven’t been eating as much lately,” and Kanda gave Allen a knowing look.
“I guess my body doesn’t need as much anymore. I kinda miss it though, all that good food,” Allen said wistfully.
“No sense thinking about that now. In fact, just stop thinking and c’mere,” and Kanda ran his hand down Allen’s back, their bodies melding together as they continued where they’d left off with the kiss.
Such was the life they had now, never knowing when their time would be up, but until then they would do the best they could to live it to the fullest together.