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A Kiss and a Prayer

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A Kiss and a Prayer

 

Disclaimer: D. Gray-man belongs to Hoshino Katsura. I merely make her characters dance for my own amusement.

Also! Spoiler warnings if you’re not caught up to chapter 217, which hasn’t been officially released in English as of this writing.

 


 

 

Lenalee stepped softly down the corridor, trying not to make the floorboards squeak. Her sputtering candle lit the tired, splintering walls of the old inn. It had been a long and trying journey, but she hoped they were getting close. General Cross was a hard man to find, and Timcanpy had been leading them east for weeks. There’s only so much further east we can go, she thought with annoyance, before we run out of ‘east.’

She tiptoed quietly into their room, shielding her candle to avoid waking her comrades. She peeked around the folding screen that separated her bed from the others, trying to determine if her trip to the restroom had awakened anybody. You drank far too much tea, she chided herself. But it was cold here in Manchuria, and the tea had been hot. Five cups had probably been overdoing it, though.

Her fellow Order members appeared undisturbed at first glance. Lavi lay snoring softly in his bed, arms and legs akimbo. Bookman was wrapped warmly in his covers, only his prize ponytail peeking out the top. She stifled a giggle at Krory, who was asleep in his usual dramatic pose – ramrod straight with his arms crossed over his chest, a dour expression on his face. And Allen’s bed was…

Empty, except for Timcanpy curled up like a cat on the pillow.

Lenalee frowned. He had a habit of sneaking off on his own at night, and not always just for a midnight snack. She stared at her candle, trying to decide whether to just blow it out and crawl back in her very nice, very warm bed, or to try and find him.

She took half a step towards her bed, but sighed. She wouldn’t be able to sleep now anyways. Tossing her long hair over her shoulder, she tiptoed back into the hallway.

The kitchen was her first bet. He’d eaten enough for a small army at dinner that evening, but she knew he always had room for more. But when she padded inside, the room was deserted. Not even a saucer was out of place. Turning to leave, she glanced out the window and caught moonlight glinting off something pale. She smiled. He couldn’t hide that hair.

She left the candle inside. The moon was bright tonight, and illuminated the little garden the innkeeper had cultivated. She could clearly see Allen seated on a bench, looking out towards the snow-capped mountains that loomed beyond the little village. He appeared to be mumbling to himself.

“..on’t you just quit it…” she made out as she approached. “Allen?” she ventured, and he whipped around, looking chagrined, like she’d caught him doing something wrong. He had his hand clapped over his left eye.

Oh… this again. Lenalee thought sadly. She’d seen him like this once before, though he’d never let her see what was wrong with his eye, precisely. That night, he’d ended up comforting her instead. Lenalee felt a twinge of guilt at that. He’s always looking out for me, even at his own expense. He’s really too nice for his own good…

“L-Lenalee! What are you doing up?” Allen asked, a little too loudly. He cleared his throat. “You didn’t… have that dream again, did you?” he inquired, more quietly this time.

She shook her head and slid onto the bench beside him, though he looked uncomfortable at having her so close. “No, nothing like that.” She paused. “Does it hurt much?” she asked, reaching a hand out to touch his cheek.

He turned his face away with a weak laugh. “Not much. I-it’s… just hard to sleep like this.” He gave her a sheepish grin, but it was clear to see the pain etched on his face, just under the mask of politeness he always wore.

Lenalee narrowed her eyes and sighed. “You know, Allen, for someone who prides himself on his poker face, you’re a horrible liar.” His grin fell a little. “Those fake smiles of yours don’t fool me one bit.”

Allen looked down at his lap and let out a long breath. “I just… don’t want to bother you all with my problems. It’ll feel better in a bit. It always does.” The fingers of his right hand picked nervously at the hem of his jacket.

She placed a hand over his to still it, and he jerked his head back up in surprise. “Can’t you let your friends help a little, Allen? You always end up dealing with our problems. It’s alright to let us in. Please. I want to help.”

He regarded her seriously with his good eye, seeming to weigh the options in his head. Then, with a sigh, he lowered his left hand.

She hadn’t known what to expect, really, but she drew in a sharp breath at the sight of his cursed eye, swollen and red and angry, swinging wildly back and forth in its projected monocle. “Oh, Allen…

She reached a hand up to his face again, and this time he didn’t shy away, though he flinched slightly as she touched him. His scar felt hot under her fingers. The red eye pulsed and throbbed, and Allen let out a small hiss of pain, his eyes clamping shut.

“How often does it do this?” she asked quietly, tracing his scar up his face. The monocle had no physical substance, and her fingers passed through it harmlessly as she touched his eyelid. She could feel his real eye moving restlessly under her fingertips, in time with the twitching of the demon eye.

He took a moment to speak. “Not all the time. Maybe… once or twice a month?”

She watched the roving eye strain towards the horizon, then the sky, then to the ground below them. “Is it… looking for something?”

Allen winced as the eye pulsed again. “I think it wants me to… keep fighting. I think somewhere out there, it senses another soul that’s suffering, and it doesn’t want me to rest until… until they can,” he finished miserably.

She truly did hate this eye of his, she decided. What a horrible fate it must be, to be haunted by the pain of the souls attached to every akuma. It drove him to put himself in harm’s way, to push himself beyond his limit in every battle. And it still wasn’t enough for it.

To be honest, she felt humbled and a little shamed by Allen’s sympathy for the akuma. Although she knew that the souls that formed them were merely unwilling puppets of the Earl, whenever an akuma threatened her precious comrades or killed innocent people, she couldn’t help but hate them. It was petty, but she couldn’t see them the way Allen did. Allen saw their grief and torment every day, and felt for them. And even as much as he gave, his damned eye still wouldn’t let him rest.

She blinked away the moisture in her eyes. “It’s not fair.”

“Lenalee?” Allen said quizzically, opening his good eye.

“It’s not fair that you should have to suffer so much! You fight so hard.” She wanted to throw her arms around him. She wanted to do… something to make it better. Placing her other hand on his shoulder, she leaned up to his face.

Allen flushed brightly and pulled back. “L-Lenalee! What are y…”

He trailed off weakly as she pressed her lips softly to his eyelid, willing the fevered skin to cool under her touch. Allen went still, his hands gripping the edge of the bench. She bent her thoughts in prayer.

Lord, I know I don’t talk to you much. There’s still a lot of things I’m mad at you about. But if you could just listen, just once… please let him rest. He’s done so much for you. He fights every day. Can’t he be at peace for one night?

It wasn’t the most pious of prayers, but Lenalee felt the restless movement of his eye slowing. She pulled away and was greeted by two wide gray eyes in a scarlet face. His mouth hung open slightly.

She smiled. “Hah! It worked!”

Allen yanked his gaze up from her lips and blinked several times in surprise, only now seeming to register the difference. He put his hand to his cheek. “It… doesn’t hurt anymore. How did you do that?”

Lenalee was so relieved, she couldn’t help but giggle. It was cute to see him so flustered. Even the tips of his ears were pink! “Never underestimate the power of feminine wiles, Allen.”

Allen laughed nervously, not seeming to know how to respond to that. “Well, uh… Th-thank you, Lenalee. Really,” he said earnestly, though he was ducking his head in a futile attempt to hide his embarrassment.

Lenalee dusted off her long black dress and stood up, offering her hand. “So, do you think you can sleep now?”

Allen took her hand gingerly. “Yeah, I think so,” he mumbled as she led him back into the kitchen.

This time, Lenalee didn’t even notice the lie. For as she slept soundly in her bed, Allen Walker stared at the ceiling until morning, unable to think of anything but cool, soothing fingertips and soft lips.

 


 

 

Lenalee leaned against the rails of the ship and stared at the waves. They were so peaceful, sloshing back and forth lazily in the afternoon sun.

It was hard to deal with peace when she was used to battle. Looking back on the hectic, seemingly endless battles of the previous few months, Lenalee had thought she would never see a moment like this again – time when she could appreciate the beauty of the world, and all they fought for.

It was a brief respite, though. She was sure that once they arrived at the new headquarters and everyone was settled in, missions would start anew and she’d be plunged back into the chaotic world of battle again. It was nice, though – to get these occasional reminders of why the Black Order existed: so that ordinary citizens could enjoy moments like this every day.

Her inner reflection was interrupted by footsteps hurrying across the deck. “Lenalee! Have you seen Allen? I can’t find him anywhere,” said Johnny, stopping beside her to catch his breath.

“I haven’t seen him since dinner last night,” Lenalee replied. “Why?”

Johnny looked embarrassed. “Well, it’s just… it’s lunchtime, and he’s not there.”

Lenalee frowned. That was unusual.

Johnny continued. “And I didn’t see him at breakfast this morning, either. The ship’s cook asked after him, too.”

That decided it. Allen wouldn’t miss one meal, let alone two. “How about I help you look, then, Johnny? It’s not a big ship; he’s got to be somewhere.” Oh God, unless he fell overboard. Lenalee banished the thought quickly. He could easily get out of the water by invoking his Innocence. “How about we split up? I’ll take starboard, you take port side.”

Johnny looked thrilled, then confused. Lenalee smiled, pointing. “That side, Johnny.”

“Oh.” He blushed and then hurried off, straightening his glasses.

Lenalee began her own search. By now, I can probably just follow the sounds of his growling stomach. He wasn’t on deck, and he wasn’t in his cabin. She called softly at the other cabin doors, and out of habit, stopped by her own cabin to check on Komui.

He was curled up pitifully in his bunk, looking rather green. He clasped her hand and sniffed back tears of joy at the glass of cold water she gave him, proclaiming what a dear and loving sister she was. Lenalee rolled her eyes, but smiled.

“There’s lunch, brother, if you’re hungry,” she offered gently. Komui made a terrible gagging noise at the mere thought of food and Lenalee decided it was best to continue the search.

It really wasn’t a big ship, and after peeking into the crew’s sleeping quarters and the engine room, all that was left was the cargo hold.

She nearly tripped over him when she found him. He’d squeezed himself between two crates, his telltale white hair just visible behind the ropes stacked on top. Timcanpy was nestled inside a coil of rope, looking down on his master and fluttering his wings anxiously. Lenalee rushed over so quickly, she didn’t see his boots sticking out into the walkway. Allen let out a yelp of surprise when she stumbled over his foot.

“You know,” she said irritably as she recovered her balance, “if you’re going to hide from me, you should really get a hat.”

He laughed softly in response, but she could tell without even looking that it was a fake laugh. “Allen, what’s wrong?” She crouched down and saw the problem immediately. The demon eye spun madly in its frame, as if straining to escape. Allen’s eyes were squeezed tightly shut in pain, but he opened his good right eye as she knelt in front of him.

“Allen, why didn’t you say something? How long has it been like this?” she said with concern.

He didn’t answer, but his stomach growled loudly in reply.

“Since before breakfast,” she said accusingly, not phrasing it as a question. “Allen…”

“I didn’t want to bother anyone,” he mumbled, looking away guiltily. His hands clenched at his knees as the eye throbbed. His knuckles were white.

“It’s been half a day, Allen!” She didn’t mean to snap at him, but he could be so infuriatingly stubborn sometimes.

“We haven’t fought an akuma in a long time,” he muttered. “I guess it’s mad.”

That was true… since the Level 4 had attacked and the akuma egg had been destroyed, they ‘d seen very little action. Who knew how long it would take the Earl to rebuild his army?

Lenalee sighed. “But I could have fixed it earlier, if you’d just let me know instead of hiding and worrying everyone.” Allen snapped his head back to stare at her, his cheeks coloring. He hadn’t forgotten how she ‘fixed’ it before.

“Th-that’s not… you don’t know if that’ll even work again!” he stammered. He winced as the eye pulsed again.

Lenalee shrugged. “It’s not like it’ll hurt to try, right?”

“I… well…” He looked like he wanted to bolt, but he’d gone and boxed himself in, and she was blocking the only escape route.

“Do you hate it that much?” she asked sadly.

Allen’s good eye widened. “No!” he said urgently. “It’s not that, Lenalee.” His face turned several shades pinker, and he lowered his head, his voice going quieter. “It’s just… that you shouldn’t have to do something like that for me.”

“Allen…” Lenalee said tenderly, putting a hand under his chin and drawing his head up again. “I would kiss your eye a thousand times, if I thought that would make it leave you alone forever. But let’s settle for just once, for now.”

He gave her a look of desperation, one that clearly said ‘stop saying embarrassing things,’ but he nodded meekly and closed his eyes. She brushed his hair out of his face.

Without warning, the boat rocked sharply. Lenalee, already leaning in, stumbled forward with a squeak of dismay. Allen’s hands were suddenly on her waist, steadying her before they cracked foreheads.

They were practically nose to nose now, and Allen was staring at her with wide eyes. Her stomach did a sort of funny little flip-flop. Why am I getting so flustered about this? It’s not like it’s a real kiss. It’s just his eye.

She cleared her throat matter-of-factly, breaking the awkward silence. Allen’s eyes snapped closed once more. Lenalee brushed his hair away from his face again and kissed his eye gently, feeling the scar burning hot under her lips.

Please, God, please let this work again. He’s been fighting so hard. He nearly gave his life! He deserves a few moments of peace.

There was a beat, then Allen sighed – a sigh of relief. His shoulders relaxed. She pulled away and he opened his eyes, blinking a few times. His cheeks were still flushed, but he looked her in the eyes and smiled sheepishly. “I guess it does still work, after all. Thank you, Lenalee.” His eyes, though tired, shone with gratitude. Lenalee smiled back.

His stomach broke the silence with a particularly loud gurgle and Allen laughed nervously. “Do you think there’s any lunch left?” He made to stand up, but Lenalee, with a look of determination on her face, clapped both hands to the side of his head and made him sit still.

The pose almost made her laugh – it was a near-perfect reversal of that moment on the stairs in the ark, when he’d grabbed her face just like this to calm her down. She wondered if he remembered it, too.

“First, you have to promise me,” she said, assuming the same serious expression he had worn at that time, “that you’ll come straight to me the next time this happens. No sneaking off, no pretending nothing’s wrong. No more trying to handle all of the burden by yourself. I don’t even care if you have to wake me up, I want to help you.”

Allen fidgeted. “But…”

“No buts! Promise me, Allen.”

He let out a deep breath. “Okay. I promise, Lenalee.”

Satisfied, Lenalee let go of his face. “Lenalee…” Allen caught her hand. “If there’s ever anything I can do for you…to return the favor. Promise me you’ll tell me.”

Lenalee was about to reply that that wasn’t necessary, but suddenly Allen’s eyes went wide as he looked over her shoulder.

“Johnny!” he yelped, dropping her hand and clambering awkwardly to his feet. Lenalee whipped her head around. Johnny was several feet away, paused in mid-sneak, obviously trying to retreat from the scene quietly. He was bright red in the face.

“I-I’m sorry!” he stammered. “I-I didn’t find him on my side, so I thought I’d help with yours… I didn’t know you were…”

Oh God. What did he see? She felt her own face going red as she stood up. From where he was standing, with them crouched behind the crates, it must have looked like…

Allen had clearly reached the same conclusion. “Johnny, that wasn’t what it looked like, I swear! We weren’t…”

“It was his eye!” Lenalee interjected. “It hurts him sometimes, and I was just trying to… to fix it,” she finished lamely. Oh, God. Now she understood why Allen was so jumpy about it. It sounded so… embarrassing when she said it out loud. She hid her face in her hands as Allen continued to plead.

“It was just my eye! That’s all it was, Johnny, I promise!” Johnny nodded slowly, looking at least partly convinced. “But please… please don’t tell Komui anyways,” Allen added desperately. “He wouldn’t understand.”

Johnny looked back and forth between the two of them, clearly skeptical. “Your eye.”

Allen nodded vigorously, trying to look innocent. “It’s in the reports from Asia Branch and everything!” Johnny seemed to consider this. He was a strong believer in scientific reports.

Allen’s stomach growled again, and Johnny laughed, shaking his head. “Okay, fine. We’d better go eat lunch, then, now that we’re all together.”

Lenalee breathed a mental sigh of relief as she fell into step behind Johnny. She suspected Allen was doing the same. “You really won’t tell my brother, will you, Johnny?” she asked worriedly.

Johnny scratched his head. “I won’t tell! I like Allen in one piece. You don’t even want to know what his latest Komlin model can do.” Allen made a very small whimpering sound. Johnny cleared his throat. “But you know, I’d be more worried about the golem showing him.” He pointed behind Allen.

Allen stopped in his tracks and stared at Timcanpy, who fluttered innocently behind his master… recording everything he did.

Lenalee sighed. Oh God.

 


 

“Lenalee… whatever happens, I’m an exorcist.” He wrapped one arm around her, pulling her close. “Whatever road I may take… that won’t change.”

The tears began spilling down her cheeks as her knees gave out and they both sank to the grass. He held her for a moment longer, then stood to leave…

Hushed voices woke her from her dream. In her mind’s eye, she could still see the ark gate shattering into shards of light…

“Come on! You promised her!”

“Shhh! You’ll wake Marie!” came a voice from right beside her.

She knew that voice! She’d heard it only moments ago.

Lenalee sat bolt upright, fighting to free her arms from a tangle of blankets. “Allen!” she blurted out. “What are you…”

“Shhh!” whispered the voice. “It’s okay, Lenalee!”

It was him. The room was dark, but she could make out the gleam of Allen’s hair. He was turned away, anxiously watching her mission partner, Marie, for signs of stirring. His pose was tense, his muscles shaking. Satisfied that her outcry hadn’t awoken him, he turned back to her, giving her a pained smile.

She hadn’t seen him in four months. He looked… haggard. Tired. His hair hung in his face, clearly in need of a trim. But she couldn’t think of a more wonderful sight at the moment.

Then she noticed his hand pressed to his left eye, half hidden by his shaggy bangs. “Oh, Allen…” she whispered, and pulled at his wrist.

“I made you a promise, didn’t I? Even if I had to wake you up,” he said quietly, a little sadly, as he let her pull his hand away.

She barely stifled a shriek of horror. It had never been this bad before. The demon eye was huge, glowing as it pulsed steadily. His scar looked like it had splintered, extra lines of red curling out across the left side of his face.

“How long?” she whispered.

“Six days.” He spoke through gritted teeth.

Six DAYS?! God, it must be excruciating. She didn’t waste another second, taking his face in her hands and swooping up to press her lips to his eye. She almost forgot to utter a prayer, hoping the Lord would settle for an endless stream of thankyouthankyouthankyou…

Allen shifted, and her heart fluttered as he ghosted his hands up her sides, brushing her ribs before reaching around her in the barest of embraces. She felt the fevered skin cooling, felt the tension flood out of his shoulders. His breath poured out in a sigh.

When she moved her head away, he sagged against her, his head falling to her shoulder. “Thank you,” he breathed, his arms tightening around her ever so slightly.

She held him as he caught his breath. Her heart was pounding so hard, she was afraid it would wake Marie. He’d embraced her before, but not… like this. His hands slid up her back, one hand brushing the ends of her hair. She felt him curl it in his fingers.

He pulled away and eyed her hair, taking in the length and style of it. It was still only just long enough to put halfway up into her signature pigtails, but the loose ends were beginning to curl over her shoulders. When he’d left, it had only been a little past her chin.

Allen gave a genuine smile. “Huh… pigtails.” He tweaked one, letting it slide over his fingers. “I’d really missed your pigtails.” His smile faded a little. “I… I missed you, Lenalee.”

And then she was kissing him, desperately, fiercely, her hands twisting in the fabric of his shirt. Allen hesitated only a moment before wrapping his arms around her, pressing her closer as he returned her kiss with passion. She thought her heart might burst from pure bliss.

It was her who had to break away first, gasping for air. Allen made a small noise of disappointment in the back of his throat, catching himself from leaning in for more. They smiled shyly at each other, faces flushed.

Lenalee leaned her head against his chest, hearing his own heart pounding like hers. Had he wanted this as much as she had? She had so many questions racing through her mind. Mostly, she wanted to ask him if he would stay… but she already knew the answer to that. Central considered him a Noah. He’d be executed on sight if he returned with her. She settled on a different question.

“How are you even here? How did you find me?” She and Marie were on mission in southern France, hundreds of miles from where Kanda said they had last parted company.

Allen rubbed his hands absently up and down her back. “Johnny’s got this sort of… undetectable tracking golem he made. He got it to hunt yours down. I had to use an ark gate to get close to you, though.” He sighed. “I didn’t want to use the ark, but… Johnny made me.” He chuckled quietly. “He said it was either that or he’d try your, uh, ‘remedy’ himself.”

“Johnny’s still with you, then?” Kanda hadn’t been able to tell her much – Central watched them too closely for a real conversation – but he’d given her a few snippets of information after he’d returned to the Order. She knew he’d left Johnny with Allen, but that they’d both been in considerable danger. Kanda had failed to tell her from what, though.

Allen’s hands stopped on her back. “Um…” he said nervously. “He’s… actually here now.”

She jerked her head up and looked at him, confused. Allen turned red and flicked his eyes over her shoulder. She turned with dawning realization. Hadn’t she heard two voices earlier?

Johnny was kneeling by the wall, his hands clapped to his blushing cheeks and his mouth wide open in unabashed glee. There was a strange fluffy golem nesting in his ponytail.

Lenalee let out a shriek of embarrassment and scooted away from Allen, who hissed in apprehension. “Lenalee!” he warned. “Marie…”

“…has been awake for some time, thank you,” sounded a deep voice from across the room. Lenalee groaned. She should have known. He’d probably been awake from the moment they entered the room.

Allen and Johnny instantly started to their feet, edging towards the door.

“Relax, Walker,” Marie said evenly as he sat up. “I have no intention of turning you in. I would appreciate an explanation, however.”

Allen settled back down and, with no small amount of blushing and some enthusiastic interruptions from Johnny, explained the situation with his eye and Lenalee’s ‘remedy,’ as he called it.

Marie listened with interest, nodding. “And did your mouth suddenly go haywire, too?” It was hard to tell in the dark room, but Lenalee thought she could see a hint of a mischievous smile on Marie’s face. Damn his hearing. Why didn’t I just invite Rouvelier and the whole Order to watch, too?

Allen stammered, going red to the tips of his ears. “I, uh… that was just…”

“…that was just a long time coming,” Lenalee finished for him, reaching out and lacing her fingers through his. Allen stared at her hand, then at her. She gave him a smile and he returned it, looking hopeful.

Marie chuckled. “I’ll say. Lavi’s been taking bets since you joined the order, Allen.”

Lavi knew? Was I that obvious? Lenalee thought, trying to remember exactly when she’d starting thinking of Allen as… something more. It had just happened so gradually, even she’d hardly noticed. Or… maybe it was Allen that was obvious?

Marie’s face darkened. “Of course, I don’t think he’ll be able to pay out now.”

Allen, who had been sputtering indignantly, sobered immediately. “Lavi… is there any word on him and Bookman?”

Marie shook his head. “No trace of them. We know the Noah took them, but we don’t know where or even which ones took him. Krory and Chaojii have been looking for clues nonstop.”

“I could help…” Allen said plaintively. “ I could… try and sneak info from the Noah…”

“Absolutely not, Walker. You’ve got enough of your own problems to deal with,” Marie stated firmly. “Speaking of which… the Fourteenth. Have you beaten him yet?”

Lenalee watched Allen with interest, but he only hung his head.

“He’s… been trying,” said Johnny, his brow furrowed and his hands clutched in his lap. “But it’s been hard. Allen has to fight the akuma constantly, and then when he tries to rest, the Fourteenth…”

“…he takes over in my sleep. Johnny has to bind me at night so that I don’t hurt anyone,” Allen muttered bitterly. Lenalee squeezed his hand tightly, not knowing how to help.

“Is the Fourteenth that dangerous?” asked Marie.

“Yes,” came the answer instantly, but it was from Johnny, not Allen. Allen said nothing, but his hand trembled in Lenalee’s grip. Johnny, usually so peppy and full of life, stared at the floor sadly. Lenalee looked from one to the other. What had happened?

Allen gasped suddenly, his hand wrenching out of her grasp. She stared at him in alarm. His left eye was flashing between gray and red, black bleeding into his sclera.

“Johnny, we’ve been here too long! They’re closing in!” Allen said urgently, standing up. Lenalee leapt to her feet. Marie did the same.

“What? What’s happening?!” she cried.

The room was lit suddenly with a bluish-white light as an ark gate rose from the floor. Allen smiled sadly at her. Please, not this again… she thought.

“The akuma follow me constantly. They sense the Fourteenth. If I stay, you and Marie will be in danger.”

“No!” she cried, throwing her arms around him. “I’ll… I’ll go with you this time!”

“No.” Allen and Johnny both said in unison. Allen pulled her arms away gently, looking pained. “I can’t take you with me, Lenalee. It’s dangerous.” He shut his eyes. “I’m dangerous. I hurt Johnny. He could have died.”

“Not you! The Fourteenth!” Johnny clarified, vehemently.

“But I couldn’t stop him!” Allen retorted. “Lenalee… if you got hurt… I couldn’t…” He didn’t finish the thought, unable to say it.

Lenalee trembled. She knew she couldn’t go with him, anyways. She couldn’t leave her brother to deal with this war alone. She was going to have to watch him walk into the ark and leave her. Again. Sudden inspiration hit her.

“Then I want my favor,” she said decisively. Allen stared at her. She stared back evenly, setting her jaw. “The last time I healed your eye, you said I could ask for a favor.”

“Lenalee…” Allen said apprehensively, glancing at the gate.

“I want a kiss.” Allen’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “One for every time I’ve healed your eye. So you owe me two more.”

Allen blushed, flicking a glance at their audience, but didn’t argue. He took one step closer to her, lowering his head and brushing his fingers against her cheek. Johnny gave a tiny squeal of delight in the background. Marie promptly stole his glasses.

“No…” she whispered. “Not now.” Allen stopped, looking confused and a little disappointed. His lips were mere centimeters from hers, and she found it momentarily hard to focus on what she was saying. “Later. I want them later. The next time you see me.”

He smiled, understanding. “Later it is.” He lifted her hand to his face, brushing his lips across her knuckles. She blinked back the tears threatening to fill her eyes. She was going to be strong, for once.

Allen stepped back, towards the gate. Johnny set one foot through it, keeping one eye on Allen as he cleaned Marie’s fingerprints off his glasses.

“Marie… look after her for me, will you?” Allen asked.

A large, warm hand settled on her shoulder. “I always do. And I won’t tell Komui, either. I figure you have enough things chasing after you.”

Allen laughed at that. “And Lenalee…” He caught her eyes. “Until next time.” He stepped backwards, into the gate, keeping his gaze on her.

She hid her face in Marie’s shoulder as the gate broke into shards of light, leaving the room feeling darker than it had before. The tears she’d been fighting finally came rushing out.

But at least she knew he’d be back. That was enough for now.

 

 

Author’s Note: My silly little Allena drabble while I wait impatiently for the next chapter to be released. This is why I prefer to get into fandoms after the series is complete! *sigh*

Hopefully it’s clear enough in the telling, but these little vignettes are set between canon events in the manga. The first takes place after the flashback shown in Episode 62, but before the Suman incident. The second takes place between chapters 164 and 165 (en route to the new headquarters). The third is my own imagining of what happens after chapter 217.

Hope you enjoyed!