Written for a prompt I found over at dgmkinkmeme forever ago; this fic has been half-done for almost as long, and I only recently found and unearthed and finished it up. I didn’t exactly stick with the prompt because…my strange little mind had ideas of its own where the plot should go, I guess, and while I do love Lavi/Lena, I love Kanda/Lena also, and everything must be angst when love is involved especially when it's Lavi, etc. etc.
So, er. …ENJOY…?
[Lavi, Lenalee, Kanda. ‘Writing Her A Happy Ending’]
To say that Lavi went ‘deadly still’ on hearing what the girl sitting across from him had said would be underrating the activity of the dead. They would have looked downright hyperactive compared to him, and they probably had more going on in their heads than what he had at that moment, too.
He opened his mouth, hesitated, closed it, swallowed hard, then opened it to try again.
“Leh…Lenalee, are ya sure?” Other than that initial falter, the words came out more smoothly, and much more steadily than he’d thought they would, a fact for which he was grateful: on hearing it, some of the tension had eased from the girl’s face and her (for now) slight frame.
Some, but certainly not all, and her expression remained serious as she bowed her head, her arms rising unconsciously to encircle her midriff as she nodded. “Yes, Lavi…I’m sure.”
There had only been one time.
It had happened right after the war finally ended--right after they’d lost Allen (for real this time), after all the Innocence had joined together and then shattered into a thousand million microscopic pieces as what was left of Allen Walker had plunged it straight into the Millennium Earl’s heart, killing their nemesis and destroying all his “children” along with him, Allen included--and it was more of an accident than anything.
She’d been wandering around the new Headquarters in a daze for over a week by then, eyes perpetually downturned, the slight limp in her step emphasized by how slowly those steps came. She was like a ghost that hadn’t fully managed to leave its body behind, and even in the midst of the mingled sadness and weary happiness and all the pain that come with their victory, it hurt to see the once irrepressibly lively girl reduced to nothing more than a near-lifeless shade. Nothing he’d done, nothing anyone had done, could snap her out of it; then one night, Lavi had caught her crying on the floor in Allen’s old room, clutching one of his old uniform coats to her chest, using it to muffle her sobs. Finding her that way had made him ache in a place and in a way that he knew a Bookman wasn’t supposed to, but at that moment he would have done anything to comfort her, even if it was the wrong thing to do for more than one reason.
He had crossed the room in an instant, kicking the door closed behind him and swiftly doubling back to lock it, and then he was pulling her against him and wrapping his arms around her, tear-dampened uniform and all.
At first he had just held her, rubbing her back, stroking her hair, murmuring comforting little nothings; but when none of it seemed to help, when she just kept crying, maybe even cried harder, he’d grown desperate and before he knew it he was kissing her. That she had responded to, surprisingly enough, her tears slowing as she kissed him back just as desperately. It was too much--too much emotion, too much of a warm, welcome sensation, too much of the beautiful, broken girl he’d fallen in love with even though he was strictly forbidden from doing so--too much to resist.
He hadn’t been able to stop himself from pushing things a little farther, just a little farther. Kissing turned into caressing turned into picking her up and carrying her across the room to lay her out on Allen’s bed, their jackets and her hair-ties and his scarf and boots coming off in a flurry. She didn’t protest any of it, just moaned into his mouth and kissed him harder as his hands slipped up under her shirt to cup her breasts, her own hands still clutching that old uniform of Allen’s that had somehow ended up pinned between their bodies. When Lavi’s hips pressed down against hers, Lenalee arched against him, and when his fingers skimmed up her thighs and beneath her skirt and hesitated just as they hooked themselves into her panties, she gasped and squirmed and broke from their kiss to say yes keep going don’t stop please.
Hearing her beg like that had undone him completely, every last scrap of self-control sent spinning away by those breathless words. Before he knew it he’d torn away her underwear and his pants were sagging around his knees and those amazing legs of hers were wrapping around him tightly as he buried himself inside her.
She kept her eyes closed the whole time and she never let go of that uniform, and she said the wrong name as she came, but it was the name she needed to say and it had sounded every bit the farewell that it was. Lavi didn’t begrudge her a thing, didn’t care that he’d simply been in the right place at the right time and that she’d used him without a thought as to what it (or she) might have meant to him.
He didn’t pull out for a long while, even after their breathing and heartbeats had steadied, his mind a whirl as he’d thought about--really thought about--what he’d just done. All that thinking burned away the temporary calm, slowly-sated euphoria of that sort of after, cutting through his contentment and relief at actually being able to do something for Lenalee, at finally eliciting a genuine response and earning a flicker of life, some sort of above-the-surface-level reaction. But after he’d thought about it--really thought about it--it left him feeling drained and weary and apprehensive and almost blindingly angry at himself for letting things go too far—
And right then, while he was in the middle of giving himself a mental lynching for taking advantage of her and allowing his true feelings to show, she’d opened her eyes and given him a smile that had so much of the old Lenalee in it. He’d gone statue-still, his single green eye wide as she brushed those delicate, beautiful fingers over his face, unable to look away from the curve of her mouth as she murmured his name, gently, just once.
Nothing more, nothing other than the name she’d always known him by that wasn’t really his at all, no explanations or excuses or embarrassment. Just a ghost of a smile and a shade of a whisper before she let her eyes fall closed once more.
Lavi had continued to stare at her, his heart a heavy weight in his chest, his lungs suddenly strainingly tight in their cage of bone. Swallowing hard, he pushed a too-long-held breath and the dull fire that accompanied it from his lungs, drawing in the dank, cool air that filled the HQ. He had nothing to lose, he’d known that then, and he’d already given himself away in so many more ways than one; and so he let his eye ease shut as well, pulling Lenalee close against him, holding her tight against his body, like a drowning man clutching at the wreckage of a ship lost in icy waters--with a desperate sort of hope directly alongside a dour sense of resignation. What would be, would be. She didn’t protest that either, her arms slipping around him unhesitantly, her half-clothed form melding against him, fitting itself into his perfectly, Allen’s coat sliding over the side of the bed and onto the floor unheeded.
Both had been out cold within minutes, sleeping deeply, restfully, and well for the first time in weeks, months, years: the first time either could remember doing so in what felt like ages.
After that she’d been back to her old self, more or less. The limp was still there, and there was a perpetual sadness, a soft trace of sorrow edging her eyes, but no longer was she a mere spectre of her former self. She was awake and alive, and she had finally let go and said her farewells to the one who wasn’t. She was cheerful and feisty and openly compassionate and Lenalee once more.
…But she hadn’t come to Lavi again, hadn’t asked for a repeat of that night, and he was too nervous about the whole thing to go to her, or even bring it up. He didn’t want to force himself on her, and while he admitted that he had it bad enough that he wouldn’t’ve minded simply filling all the cracks Allen had left in her heart, ultimately he couldn’t give her what she wanted, what she deserved. He wasn’t allowed, no matter how much he might want to—
“…Uhhh…are ya sure you’re sure?”
“Yes, Lavi! I…I’ve been getting sick for over a week now, and two weeks ago, when I should’ve had…I…I didn’t.”
—which made their current situation particularly delicate, not to mention dangerous.
“Oh man, your brother’s gonna kill me,” he groaned, though Komui Lee wasn’t the one he was really worried about.
If Bookman found out—if Bookman found out—
“What are we going to do, Lavi?” she asked in an anxious half-whisper.
“You’re gonna keep it, of course,” he said without hesitation, giving her a bright smile that looked far more confident than he truly felt. Though things might get a little tricky… “But, well…Bookmen aren’t...really…allowed t’have kids, ya know.” Lenalee frowned a bit at that, but Lavi cut her off before she could say anything about it, taking her hand and giving it a gentle squeeze. “But don’t worry about that, Lenalee. I’ll make sure both of ya are safe. I’ve gotta plan. Just trust me.”
Judging by the look on the swordsman’s face when Lavi walked into the dojo and interrupted his meditation, Kanda already had at least a vague idea of what was coming. Seeing Lavi wearing that stupid, forced-cheerful and semi-hopeful expression was never a good sign--he knew that damn rabbit was either going to tell him something important or ask him for a favour, and that either way he wasn’t going to like it.
Keeping a cautious distance between them, Lavi casually (quietly, quickly) explained the situation.
Kanda didn’t like it. At all.
“HOW COULD YOU DO SOMETHING SO STUPID?!”
The swordsman was so angry that his first, reflexive reaction had been to lash out with feet and fists rather than his sword (just a regular katana now, since Mugen was gone forever, but the blade was still sharp and it was no less deadly in Kanda’s skilled hands). Lavi supposed that he should consider himself lucky on that count, but it was really pretty hard to be grateful about any kind of attack from Kanda--especially when he was well and truly royally pissed.
And royally pissed he most certainly was: within two minutes, Lavi had four cracked ribs, three jammed fingers, a sprained wrist, a broken clavicle—
—And a partridge in a pear tree, the Junior Bookman thought to himself rather blearily as the other former Exorcist punctuated another ferocious flurry of blows by almost effortlessly slinging Lavi across the room to crash into the far wall, ensuring that the redhead would have bruises all down his spine for at least the next week. Still, despite Kanda’s clear lack of restraint, Lavi didn’t protest or plead or indulge in any of his usual lighthearted banter; he just took the hits as they came and forced himself back up onto his feet after they knocked him down or laid him out. He also didn’t make any effort to fight back, and he didn’t really avoid any of the blows either. Instead, he deflected them just enough make sure they wouldn’t seriously injure or kill him. Because when it came down to it, Lavi didn’t doubt that he deserved a beating for letting himself get into this situation in the first place, plus Lenalee and Kanda had sort of grown up together, or at least known each other since they were pretty young. If that didn’t give Kanda the right to let loose with a few well-placed punches, then nothing did.
…And, well…considering the size and weight of that favour that Lavi knew he still had to ask of Kanda, he doubly deserved every hit he took.
The merciless beat-down (and then even more vicious verbal reaming-out) went on for almost ten minutes straight; then with a final kick to the Junior Bookman’s already-cracked ribs, followed by a grimly satisfied sort of half-snarled huff, Kanda turned on his heel and stalked towards the door.
Kanda didn’t make a habit of responding when people called him by his first name, but something in Lavi’s tone gave him pause. He turned his head just enough to catch the prone figure crumpled on the floor behind him out of the corner of his eye.
“Watch out for Lenalee. In case something happens to me.”
The swordsman’s dark eyes narrowed sharply at that, because regardless of what had been said, he knew that Lavi actually meant when Bookman finds out.
Not if. When.
And while perhaps Kanda wasn’t the most intelligent person around when it came to book-related knowledge, he was very much the logical and tactically calculating sort, which meant that he was smart about things when it really mattered. It was perfectly plain to him that Lavi had already written himself off as a lost cause, and reasonably so. That Bookman was a canny, far-too-clever little panda-bastard, and he was coldly, clinically brutal and emotionless in a way that someone tetchy and hot-tempered like Kanda, for all his belligerence and implacable battle-viciousness, could never have been. There was an eeriness about him that regularly left Kanda’s sense of self-preservation tingling in a red-alert alarm, and the way that the old man had so easily stolen his hair-tie on a dozen occasions just made that uncomfortable warning prickle even worse.
In addition, Lavi had spent more time with that twisted little goblin than anyone. So if Lavi believed that the old bastard would kill him when he found out, Kanda had not the slightest doubt that he would.
And that, the dark-haired swordsman decided, was unacceptable.
Kanda was silent for the space of a dozen heartbeats, then he gruffly said, “…I’ll say that I’m the father.”
Lavi blinked in surprise, but Kanda’s expression was the same irritated scowl as always, without a hint of any sort of emotional turmoil. His scowl deepened as he met Lavi’s eyes once more, and the Junior Bookman felt a bit of a jolt, an edgy not-quite-fear at the intensity in that gaze.
So of course, his response was irreverence and a purposefully needling wisecrack to go with the huge, sloppy (fake) grin plastered across his face. “Wooooow, Yuu! Ya must really care about me a lot more’n I thought if you’re willin’ t’do somethin’ like that for me!”
“Shut the hell up, dumbass! You know I’m not doing it for you,” the dark-haired swordsman snapped, his upper lip briefly curling away from his teeth. “I just don’t want her to have to suffer any more than she already has.” And after what happened with Allen, if you were torn out of her world as well, she might never recover. Kanda didn’t say that aloud, any of it, but the grim set of his mouth coupled with the slight easing of the lines between his eyes told Lavi that he was definitely thinking it.
“Komui’ll make ya marry her, ya know,” the Bookman commented mildly, sounding surprisingly subdued, especially for him. “If he doesn’t manage to kill ya first, that is.”
“I know,” the swordsman replied calmly, seemingly unperturbed by the idea.
“Ya really don’t mind? I never took ya for the domestic type, Yuu!”
Kanda spitted him with a viciously narrow-eyed sideways glare, but though his jaw clenched and his knuckles flared white on his sword’s hilt, he didn’t otherwise respond. “Why would I mind,” he said flatly a moment later.
“Oh, just ‘cause it’s a pret~ty difficult situation to put yourself in. Havin’ t’fight off Komui an’ at least three full armies of his Komlins, dealin’ with Lenalee’s fanclub, bein’ weighed down by the ol’ ball-and-chain…not t’mention havin’ t’help raise a kid that isn’t even your own…”
“None of that will be difficult for me,” Kanda said with no small measure of arrogance. “The child won’t be mine, but it will still be Lenalee’s. And I won’t just stand by and let anything or anyone else that’s precious to her be hurt. We—all of us—have already lost way too damn much to that stupid war.” The swordsman’s voice was rising, and there was an angry glitter in his eyes that gave Lavi pause. “And I’ve had it up to here with just taking things as they come! I’m done with letting anyone take anything else from me or the people I care about! They’ll do it over my dead body, or not at all!”
For a moment Kanda bristled, as if daring someone to suddenly appear and take him up on that challenge then and there; then abruptly, he seemed to switch tracks, though the gleam in his eyes didn’t fade--it just shifted to a more predatory glint. “Besides,” he said with a decidedly cunning smirk, “I don’t have any reason to mind. She’ll be married to me. So I’ll have plenty of time to have kids of my own.”
For a half-second, Lavi was rendered genuinely speechless. Mostly because it was so totally unexpected, hearing Kanda speaking so glibly about marrying Lenalee and about becoming a father and about having kids of his own (and oh God, the world couldn’t be ready for a flood of mini-Kandas, not now, not ever). But also because…well, Bookman or not, Lavi couldn’t wholly deny the sharp, unpleasant pang of jealousy that blossomed just slightly left-of-center in his chest at the thought of some other guy getting to have and keep Lenalee all for himself, even if it was some cold fish like Kanda. Maybe especially because it was some cold fish like Kanda.
After another half-second, Lavi had figured out just what to say to get a least a minor sort of revenge.
“Heeeeeeey Yuu…whatcha gonna do if the kid has red hair?”
Thinking back on that moment, Lavi more than half-believed that he’d actually heard some of the blood vessel’s in Kanda’s face pop.
In a flash, the Japanese swordsman was behind him. “Then I’ll throttle it to keep it from growing up into another stupid rabbit!” he snarled, kicking Lavi hard enough to send him sailing out the dojo’s open door.
All things considered, Lavi wasn’t really hurt all that badly, but he still dropped by the medical wing just to be safe. There was no sense in acting tough or playing hero anymore, and if Lenalee saw him looking like he had immediately post-Kanda-talk, she’d undoubtedly add a few more bruises of her own to his collection before dragging him off to get patched up.
A half-hour of sitting alone in the cold, largely-empty and dimly-lit and therefore fairly spooky operating theatre they were working on turning into a regular waiting room had given him plenty of time to think things over, though. And now, as he aimlessly wandered the hallways of the Headquarters, the Junior Bookman finally admitted to himself that maybe he wasn’t so sure about how things were proceeding. This was at least half his fault, which meant it--no, not it, he or she--was half his responsibility as well. He’d never planned on being a father, never ever ever, and doubted he’d be any good at it anyway, but that was what was happening, ready and willing or not. It wasn’t like Lenalee was any more ready to be a mother, really, but she wasn’t trying to figure out a way to get out of having to learn.
And really…leaving her with Kanda? That rankled for more than one reason, but Lavi wasn’t sure Lenalee would even accept the idea. Lavi knew Lenalee could handle Kanda, and that she was one of the few who could, but that wasn’t the only important factor in a healthy, working relationship. While the swordsman wasn’t truly as indifferent as he pretended to be, he was still pretty standoffish, and he’d probably never do everything she deserved, like cuddle with her at night or kiss her in front of anyone and everyone whenever she wanted him to or hold her hand when they walked down the street or tell her he loved her and that she was beautiful and amazing and perfect and all those sweet nothings women liked and needed to hear to really be happy.
Lavi slowed, absently picking at the bandage on his cheek as he paused at the top of a flight of stairs, lost in thought.
Maybe…maybe he’d been worrying over nothing. Maybe it would be all right. Maybe if he told Bookman that it was an accident, that he had just been having a little fun with Lenalee, that he didn’t really care about the girl, and that he hadn’t expected any unforeseen consequences, then maybe the old panda wouldn’t kill him. Maybe the arrangement with Kanda wasn’t really necessary after all. Maybe…he could have both Lenalee and his life as a Bookman.
…Yeah. And maybe General Winters Socalo would tap-dance on the tables in the mess hall while wearing a tiara and a pink tutu. Right. That was nearly as unlikely as Kanda cheerfully greeting everyone he met with bear-hugs, or Komui giving up his coffee and horrible experiments and overprotective obsession with his sister.
With a sigh Lavi started forward again, clattering down the stairs and half-heartedly heading towards the mess hall. He needed to stop overthinking things, probably just stop thinking period, because none of this really mattered until he’d talked to Lenalee—
Coming around a corner, he suddenly checked himself, scrambling and sliding backwards to press himself against the wall before easing forward again to peek around the corner.
There, at the far end of the hallway, stood Lenalee, with Kanda beside her. Lavi couldn’t hear what they were talking about from where he was, and lip-reading was really difficult from the side, but Lenalee’s expansive, cheerful smile was plain to see, as was the lack of annoyance on Kanda’s face as he listened to her. In fact, the Bookman thought, peering around the corner in an attempt to see more clearly, if he didn’t know better, he’d think that there was a strange, unusual sort of softness in the Japanese swordsman’s face as he looked down at the dark-haired girl…
Lavi watched as Lenalee moved towards the stairs leading down into the mess hall, her head still turned as she looked at Kanda over her shoulder instead of watching where she was going. Her foot landed oddly on the edge of the top stair, and Lavi’s breath caught in his throat as she wavered visibly, struggling to regain her balance. She’d just started to lose her impromptu battle with gravity when Kanda’s hand shot out and caught her by the arm, the movement so fast it seemed blurred even to the Junior Bookman’s eye. There was nothing especially gentle in the way Kanda hauled her against him, away from the stairway, but the tightness of the skin around his eyes and the way his jaw had clenched said worlds about the soft spot the Japanese swordsman had for his childhood friend.
…But there was no overlooking the light, tentative touch of Kanda’s hand on her stomach as they bent their heads just a little closer together--once again foiling any possible attempts at lip-reading, darn them--or the way he hadn’t really released his hold on the her.
And that touch, that hesitant brush and press of fingertips, was what convinced Lavi once and for all to let Kanda go through with it.
Repressed as hell and ten thousand miles into Denial Country as Kanda was, a Bookman still Saw Things, which meant that he Knew Things. And Lavi Knew that Kanda loved Lenalee.
Which gave Lavi exactly zero plausible reasons to reject Kanda’s offer.
After all, he also Knew that his feelings for her were (as always) decidedly one-sided--she might be carrying his child, but that was only out of pure happenstance, it wasn’t like Lenalee was in love with him--and at least he could be sure that Kanda would be good to her. The Japanese swordsman would definitely take care of her, and protect her, and provide for her. Once they were married, he’d probably hold her close at night, too. And once or twice, when they were alone, Kanda might even tell her that she was beautiful and that he loved her.
Lavi smiled to himself ruefully and wondered why he hadn’t noticed before. Probably, he thought, it was because he hadn’t wanted to notice.
Standing there watching them together, he realised that despite the fact that they were only a few meters off, easily within speaking distance, in his heart it somehow felt like they were a thousand miles away. Almost like he didn’t belong with them anymore, like he was a stranger. Like he was on the outside looking in.
Just like he was supposed to be.
- "Writing Her A Happy Ending" - Lavi/Lenalee, Kanda/Lenalee (D.Gray-Man)