Kanda was on his way home from town, grumbling to himself as he walked along the road. "Damn women need to stay out of our business."
He'd left Allen, who was sick with a cold, at home, and had gone to trade their surplus of vegetables from the garden with the townspeople for other goods they were in need of. Everywhere he went he'd had to listen to "How's Allen doing, dear?" "Are you two eating right?" "I know a good home remedy that'll help him feel better." "Why don't you let me braid your hair. I think it would look just lovely!" and so on. It'd been so much easier to take on a horde of Akuma than to have to deal with those nosy women.
Talking about his garden was quite another thing, though. He'd learned a lot about the climate, the soil, what was best for planting and when, and found himself drawn into deep conversations before he knew it, so at least his time wasn't completely wasted. He continued to mutter under his breath, however, as he turned down the lane leading to their house, only to stop short when he reached home as he took in the sight before him.
Allen was sitting on the bench in front of their house with his eyes closed, wearing his heaviest sweater with a blanket draped across his legs. It was what was laying on top of the blanket that caused a slight twitch to start at the corner of Kanda's mouth as he watched Allen absentmindedly stroking the fur of a black and white cat. The cat opened its eyes and raised its head, giving Kanda a look of '…and you are?' Perfectly content with its current situation as Allen's hand moved up to its head and began scratching behind the ears the cat began to purr.
Kanda's twitch had by now turned into a scowl. He walked over to Allen and growled out a low "Moyashi…"
Allen opened his eyes and looked up at Kanda, greeting him with a soft smile and "Welcome home."
"What are you doing out here, idiot? You're supposed to be in bed, or had you forgotten that you're sick."
Removing his hand from the cat Allen covered his mouth and coughed a few times. "I'm well aware that I'm still sick, Baka, but I heard this cat outside and it sounded so pitiful I wanted to check to see if it was alright. It looked hungry so I brought out a saucer of milk and the weather is nicer today so I was just keeping it company while it ate and…I guess I fell asleep. Eheh… Next thing I knew it was in my lap and…" Allen coughed some more and grinned at Kanda, knowing full well what was going through his partner's mind.
"No, what?" Allen said, feigning ignorance.
"You know damn well 'what'. We're not keeping it, so you can just forget it."
"But Kanda, it's already adopted us," Allen said, starting to sound adamant.
Kanda knew he'd already lost this one but he kept up the argument anyway, stubborn as he was.
"It's adopted you, not us. You get attached to anything that looks your way. It's a wonder we don't live with a fuckin' zoo by now."
As Allen gazed at Kanda the cat joined in, and with two pairs of eyes staring at him imploringly it was all he could do to hold his ground. He'd stayed longer than expected in town and the sun was low in the sky. He could feel the chill in the air.
"It's getting late so put the cat down and get inside before you get any worse."
As if proving Kanda's point Allen started coughing again. It was a deep, rattling sound and his body shook as he tried to control it. The cat looked up at him with what would be called concern if it was human, and then jumped to the ground, turned around and sat facing him. Allen was red in the face and Kanda sat next to him on the bench, rubbing his back until the coughing subsided.
"C'mon, inside with you," Kanda murmured as he slid his arm around Allen's waist and pulled him to his feet. He walked him to the front door, holding it open as Allen went in, but Allen slowly turned around and gestured for the cat to follow. Kanda rolled his eyes and glanced at the cat, giving a quick jerk of his head as if to say 'Well, get a move on, then', and the cat gracefully padded across the threshold and into its new home.
The bag of necessities he'd picked up in town was dropped off in the entryway and then Kanda helped Allen to bed, getting him comfortable and pulling the covers over him, all the while telling him in no uncertain terms to "stay put this time until you feel better, otherwise I'll tie you to the damn bed."
All he got was a sassy retort of "sounds kinky" and a grin.
"I swear, you're the only one I know that can be sick and horny at the same time."
"Doesn't take much. All I need is one look at you and it's more than enough to set me off," and Allen chuckled, only to be cut off by another round of coughing.
"Stupid sprout, you're not getting any anytime soon so shut up and rest," and as Kanda was walking out the door he passed the cat walking in. He turned and watched as it leapt lightly on the bed and settled down next to Allen, curling into a ball with its tail wrapped around itself. Allen absently started stroking the cat's fur again until he fell asleep and Kanda quietly closed the door. He went back to the entryway to pick up the bag of goods and took it into their kitchen to put some of the items away. Then he made himself some tea and sat at the table to think about this new turn of events.
They'd had occasional visits from their friends but, as a rule, Kanda preferred to be left alone with Allen. He didn't like change all that much but now, with this new intruder in their lives, he wasn't sure what to do. He could ask around town to see if anyone there would be willing to take the cat in but Allen seemed inclined to keep the thing. Oh, there had been strays that came and went since they'd moved here but it would never amount to anything.
He could certainly appreciate the fluidity and economy of motion a feline possessed, having learned to move in a similar way on the battlefield. And an animal's finely tuned instincts were something to be admired. He knew that first hand from all his meditation and training sessions. It wasn't that he didn't have some sort of grudging respect for the thing but to have it live with them…well, he just didn't know how to feel about that.
Allen was probably coming up with names for it already, and it'd constantly be underfoot, demanding attention and food. It better be housebroken because he sure as hell wouldn't be cleaning up any messes, and where would it sleep? Kanda's mind wandered back to the image of the cat sleeping soundly next to Allen right then and…shit, no way is it sleeping with us. What would happen to their sex life?!
He could just picture the idiot Moyashi fawning all over it, dividing his attentions between the cat and Kanda and…wait a minute, he wasn't feeling jealous over a damn cat, was he? This was ridiculous. "My head hurts," he muttered. Time for some meditation to turn it all off.
Kanda moved silently through the bedroom to change into his work-out clothes and on the way back out took another look at the two currently occupying the bed. The cat was black and white. Like Allen and him.
Black and white. Like splotches of ink.
He did not just think of a name for it. Shaking his head Kanda left the room and retired to his own space for some well-deserved, in his opinion, downtime.
When Kanda finished his meditation he left the room, stopping by the bedroom to check on Allen, who was still fast asleep. He went to the kitchen and began the prep for dinner, pulling out the meat and vegetables he'd need. He chopped up the produce first and then the meat, dropping it into the heated pot along with onions and seasonings and cooked it until it was brown. He added some broth and the vegetables, stirred it a few times and covered it and turned down the heat to simmer. Then he fixed himself a cup of tea and sat at the table to read the newspaper while he waited.
Having been engrossed in reading an article he lost track of time until he heard Allen coughing again, so he checked on the dinner, which looked like it was about done, and turned off the heat to let it sit for a while. He poured a glass of water and grabbed the medicine he'd bought in town and a spoon and walked back to the bedroom.
Allen was sitting up in bed, with the cat once again making itself comfortable in his lap. Allen's face brightened as Kanda walked in. "Morning."
"More like evening," and Kanda placed the medicine and the glass on the nightstand and went to pull the drapes aside a little so Allen could look out the window at the black sky outside.
"Oh, I guess I'm still kinda outta it. What's that?" Allen gestured with a nod at the bottle on the table.
"Some cough medicine the chemist recommended and the doctor said he'd make a house call to check you over if you're not better soon."
"I'm sorry to worry you, and I really appreciate you going to town to take care of things."
"Just hurry up and get better so I don't have to go alone."
"Are the ladies coming on to you, Baka?" Allen chuckled.
"Those women are horrible. Always invading my personal space; and speaking of space…" Kanda gave the cat a quick look.
"We might have a little lady on our hands."
"Oh? Well, I'll take your word for it. Checking cat parts is not really my thing. So…" What are you going to do with her? He left the question unspoken but Allen picked up on what he was getting at.
"I'd like to keep her, if it's alright with you."
"Doesn't seem like I have much say in the matter."
"Of course you do. I just think we've been living here long enough that it might be nice to expand our little family."
"Well, it's not like we can't afford to keep her." It wasn't as if Kanda hadn't already been considering the implications of adding another to their household, but there was still one more thing nagging at him that he just couldn't let go of.
"But we don't know how old she is. She's definitely not a kitten. What are you going to do when she dies? You're just setting yourself up for more pain."
"I know that, but the time we'll have with her will be worth it."
"So what happens if we die first? What's gonna happen to her then?"
"I'm sure someone in town will take her in."
"Which is what we should've done in the first place."
"This isn't really about the cat, is it?"
"We're living on borrowed time here, Allen. Developing feelings for something else is not something I want to do. It's bad enough when I think about you leaving me."
"Stop doing that to yourself, Kanda. Let's just think about what we've got right now, okay? Please?"
"I just don't want to see you get hurt anymore. You've been through enough," he murmured.
"And so have you." Allen tugged on Kanda's hand, squeezing it reassuringly. "It'll be alright."
Kanda sighed and nodded his head. "Fine, but first things first. You should take some of that medicine and maybe eat something if you feel up to it."
Only then did Allen notice the lovely smells wafting through the air from the kitchen. "You made dinner? Is it ready?" Allen was beginning to salivate.
"Yeah, should be." He picked up the spoon and bottle and handed them to Allen. "Now take your medicine like a good, little Moyashi, and I'll go dish up the food," smirking at him before leaving for the kitchen.
When Allen entered the kitchen, followed close behind by the cat, he found the table already laid with bowls of stew and a plate of sliced bread with butter to go with it. Kanda looked up at him, then down at the cat, and said, "You think she'd eat this?"
"I don't see why not." He crouched low next to the cat and in a pleasant voice said, "What do you think, honey? Kanda slaved over a hot stove just for us. You'd like some, right?"
"If you start talking to her in baby talk I will kick you out of the house," giving Allen a menacing look before taking out another plate and spooning some stew on it, spreading it out and blowing on it to cool it down some before placing it on the floor. The cat moved quickly to the food, sniffing it and tentatively licked it. After deciding that it was passable she started to eat.
"Well, I guess that answers that question," Allen said as he pulled out a chair to sit and began buttering a piece of bread. Kanda was already sitting down and starting on his own dinner. He'd grown used to this type of food ever since they'd moved here. Whatever was available was what everyone ate, but he still longed for a good plate of soba.
Talking around a mouthful of food Allen said, "I'm glad you agreed to let the town's handyman help you fix the shed."
"It was a bigger job than I'd anticipated. We ended up practically rebuilding the whole thing."
"Well, that's one less thing to worry about and I daresay it was a lot easier on you," Allen offered optimistically, trying to divert Kanda from thinking too much about having to ask someone to help him. It was something they'd both had to adjust to and it hit Kanda worse than it had Allen.
Trying to keep the conversation light Allen said, "So, if we're keeping her," with a nod to the cat, who was currently oblivious to everything except what was on that plate, "what should we name her?"
"I thought you would've already come up with something by now," Kanda replied as he poured them both some more tea.
"I've run through a bunch of names but none of them feels right." Allen looked at Kanda, hoping for a little help, but not expecting too much, given the man's stubborn nature. He was pleasantly surprised, though, when Kanda answered almost immediately.
"As in Sumi-e, like the ink."
"Ink, hmm…oh, since she's black and white."
"Yeah, her fur looks like ink splotches…but you probably think that just sounds dumb…" and his voice trailed off.
"I like it! A pretty name for a pretty lady, right, Sumi?"
The cat gazed up at Allen, long since finished licking her plate clean and seemed to be thinking about it. She moved towards Allen's leg and brushed up against it, purring all the while. She sprawled out on the floor and proceeded to lick her paws, and then started to wash her face before continuing on through the rest of her grooming.
"I think she approves. You came up with that name pretty fast. You were thinking about it before now, weren't you?" Allen grinned at Kanda.
And that was all Allen could get out of him for the rest of the night.
By the following week, after a house call from the doctor and Kanda's constant fussing, Allen was over his cold and they decided to take Sumi into town to the local vet for a check up. She was well behaved and everyone they met fell in love with her, particularly the children who could be a bit rough at times in their enthusiasm but she took it all in her stride. This left Allen and Kanda with the impression that should anything happen to them at least Sumi would have no trouble finding a new home.
On the way back she'd dart off the road from time to time when something would catch her eye and they'd stop to wait for her.
While they were waiting Kanda seemed preoccupied and Allen finally asked, "What's on your mind?"
"Have you noticed that when you're with me the women get even more giddy than usual? Do you ever wonder if they know about us? Suspect what we are to each other?"
"Probably. Women's intuition and all that, I guess."
"So…do you think they'd say anything to their husbands? They can be awfully chatty." Kanda was scuffing his feet through the dirt on the ground, clearly uneasy.
"I don't think so. They seem to like to keep secrets among themselves, like their own private little club. Where are you going with this?"
"It's just this article I was reading in the paper. You know, they imprison men in these times for what we're doing. We need to be careful."
"We are careful with how we act in front of others, but I really don't think these people care all that much about what goes on in the big city. They seem to be sort of protective of us, like we're one of them. I wouldn't worry about it all that much," Allen said with a smile on his face and a light touch to Kanda's arm.
They turned around when they heard a rustling of leaves as Sumi reappeared, licking her lips when she did, looking to have found a little treat for herself. Allen's hand slid down to Kanda's and their fingers wove together as they walked the rest of the way home with Sumi running circles around them before she settled into a steady pace, easily keeping up with the two men.
The chill in the air was becoming more pronounced and there were mornings when there was frost on the lawn, so over the next couple of weeks they made even more trips to town to stock up on supplies they'd need to make it through the winter. Upon returning home after the last trip they'd need to make Kanda went off to his room to meditate for a while before dinner and Allen sat himself down at his desk in his study to read some letters he'd just picked up at the post office.
Sumi was walking around on top of the desk until she pounced on a pencil and began rolling it back and forth with her paws. Allen watched her in amusement. It was so easy for her to entertain herself. Any little thing would do, and sometimes even things that seemed only visible to her. When the clock struck 6:00 he pushed away from the desk and stretched his arms over his head before standing and pushing the chair back.
"Time to start dinner, girl," he said as he scratched her lightly under her chin. Both he and Kanda talked to her as if she could understand what they were saying. In all probability she could, even if the only way she could answer back right now was to rub her nose against his hand before bounding down to the floor and leading the way out the door.
Instinctively she knew that what Allen was referring to meant food and she streaked off to the kitchen ahead of him. But when he didn't follow right away she peered around the corner down the hallway to see him standing by a door that had, until now, been previously closed to her. Curiosity getting the better of her, she walked back towards him as he silently opened the door just a crack and peeked inside the room. He smiled and then glanced her way, and instead of closing the door left it open a bit. As he passed her on his way to the kitchen he whispered, "He'll still be a while."
She watched him walk away, an inner conflict brewing inside her, because he was going to fix food, but that door was still open. What to do, what to do? She chose the door and crept inside to investigate this new addition to her territory.
The first thing she saw was Kanda sitting cross-legged on a mat in the middle of the floor looking like he was taking a nap because his eyes were closed. There wasn't much else in the room besides a few plants and she instantly felt at ease. The energy she sensed from Kanda was very calm, this space he occupied very serene, and she circled around the room a few times before finally lying down next to him. She folded her legs underneath her body and mimicked him by closing her eyes.
When the clock struck 7:00 Kanda slowly came out of his meditative state and sensed a presence in the room. He opened his eyes and glanced to his side and there was Sumi looking like a miniature sphinx. He smiled. The last time he'd checked she wasn't able to open doors. Yet. It had to be…"Moyashi," as he stared at the door still ajar. At the sound of his voice Sumi opened her eyes and unfolded herself, slowly stretching before climbing onto his lap. She placed her paws on his chest, her claws getting stuck in the material of his shirt, and he carefully pulled her off, holding her in one arm as he stood and exited the room.
The smell of dinner drew him to the kitchen where Allen looked like he was just now finishing up and Sumi began to squirm and meow. Kanda let her down and she ran to Allen, pawing at his leg.
"Okay honey, I'll have yours ready in a minute."
"Apparently, someone must've accidentally left the door to my room open."
Allen was grinning with a twinkle in his eye. "Did you two have a pleasant time?"
"She reads the situation well. She was a good girl so you better have something nice for her to eat because she deserves it," the implication in his voice clear as he took his place at the table.
"Heheh…ahem. Okay, here you go." Allen had barely placed Sumi's plate on the floor when she began to eat with relish. He looked at her lovingly as he sat down to his own meal.
They fell into an easy silence, leisurely enjoying their dinner, and when Kanda was finished he said, "You know, I've been thinking about cutting my hair."
Allen's fork clattered onto his empty plate when he dropped it in surprise. "What brought this on?"
"What…you're not gonna say you'll kill me if I do?"
"No…well, if that's what you want, but, why?"
"It'll be easier to care for. I'm getting tired of messing with it."
"Those women might finally leave me alone. Every time I go into town they're hounding me to let them do my hair and I'm sick of it and…what? Why're you laughing?"
"Ah, sorry, it's just the thought of someone intimidating you," and Allen continued to chuckle despite himself.
"You have no idea how damn persistent they are! Besides, less time with the hair means more time for you. I thought that might make you happy, but if you're against it…"
"Oh no, I'm all for it, if it's what you really want." Allen looked thoughtful for a moment. "You know, Kanda, you've changed somewhat since we moved here. Oh, don't give me that look, I mean in a good way. You've opened up more. It makes me happy," he murmured.
"Yeah, yeah, we're all happy here. You, me, her," giving a nod to Sumi who was watching them both now that she was done eating, "but you're still a big sap, Moyashi."
"Admit it, Baka, you wouldn't have me any other way," Allen said with a laugh.
"I wouldn't recognize you otherwise, fool." He got up and began to collect the dishes. "Let's clean up this mess."
They moved to the living room after they finished in the kitchen. Allen was sitting on the floor with his back to the sofa playing with his cards. Sumi kept swatting at them and was particularly fascinated when Allen shuffled the deck. Kanda sat on the sofa reading the paper and would occasionally get up to stoke the fire some more.
When Sumi got tired of playing with the cards she jumped up on the sofa and climbed to her favorite place, balancing on top of the back. She worked her way over behind Kanda and laid her head on his shoulder with her tail wrapped around his neck, lightly flicking his cheek with it from time to time. He'd bat it away only to have it return because Sumi was enjoying the game. When she got tired of that she jumped down into the middle of what he was reading and climbed up to get in his face, licking his cheek.
"Hey, watch it with the sandpaper, will ya? Allen…"
"Nope, she's clearly decided you're worthy of her affections so you'll have to deal with it." He grinned before stifling a yawn. "As for me, I think I'll turn in. You coming?"
"I'll be there in a bit. I'm gonna finish this article first and take a bath. Don't bother to wait up."
"Okay." Allen turned around and moved up to kiss Kanda on the forehead and gave Sumi a light peck, also, which caused her purr to deepen. Then he headed off down the hall to the bathroom to wash up before climbing into bed.
When he was done with his reading Kanda locked up for the night and stopped to stoke the fire in the living room one more time. He glanced at the sofa where Sumi was curled up and covered her lightly with a throw before scratching behind her ears. When she twitched slightly it made him smile and then he went off to take his bath, stopping briefly to look in on Allen who seemed like he was already asleep.
But when he emerged from the bath Allen was standing in the doorway with a blanket hanging loosely from his shoulders. His breath hitched for a moment. The drapes were open, allowing the light of the full moon to shine through their bedroom, and it illuminated Allen's pale hair, making him look almost ethereal. The only way to describe it in Kanda's mind was, "Beautiful."
When he uttered the word without realizing it Allen smiled and said, "You're the beautiful one here, silly."
Coming back to his senses Kanda said, "I've heard that so many times from others I'm numb to it now. The only time it matters is when I hear it from you."
Allen's eyes softened and he reached for the towel draped around Kanda's neck, pulling it up over his head, lightly rubbing his hair dry, all the while sneaking little appreciative looks at Kanda's naked upper torso. The man's body hadn't lost anything over the years, being still firm and well defined.
None of this was lost on Kanda, but before he could comment Allen's hands dropped the towel to the floor and took hold of Kanda's, drawing him into the bedroom as he whispered breathily, "Come to bed."
Allen walked backwards until his legs touched the bed and he sat and scooted further up on it as Kanda moved along with him. When they hit the headboard Kanda's eyes began undressing Allen before he did the same with his clothes. Since Kanda was only wearing his pants it was easy enough to dispose of those and then Allen's arms were wrapped around him and they were kissing each other fervently.
When Allen broke the kiss and turned around, pressing his back against Kanda's chest, it was evident what he wanted and Kanda was eager to comply. Allen was on his knees, his right hand on the wall for balance and leverage, and he slid his left around behind Kanda and began to massage Kanda's ass which brought a groan from his lover's lips.
Kanda's hands were all over him then, sliding one up to Allen's nipples, tweaking and pinching and pulling on them one after the other, while the other moved down Allen's chest, over his growing erection and under it to gently fondle his balls, causing Allen to gasp with pleasure.
They took their time when they made love these days, nothing as rough as what they used to do. Kneeling like he was, Kanda knew his knees would ache in the morning, but he didn't mind so much anymore that if he asked it of him Allen was more than happy to rub them for him.
Allen was taking special care now not to aggravate his left arm any more than necessary, especially because he'd never hear the end of it from Kanda, so he took it easy as he kneaded the soft flesh of Kanda's ass, but he had a hard time controlling himself because the sounds coming from the man's mouth were just so goddamn sexy.
By now Kanda had moved his one hand from the nipples back down towards Allen's entrance and began fingering him, readying him for his cock. Allen moaned and slid back a little so Kanda's fingers could reach deeper inside him to find that one spot that drove him crazy. And when he hit it Allen was completely undone, panting and begging unapologetically.
Kanda grinned as he listened to Allen's pleas and it furthered his desire so he pulled out his fingers, much to Allen's dismay, only to replace them with his engorged cock, much to Allen's delight as Kanda pushed in. The overwhelming sensation of filling and being filled hadn't lessened with the years. In fact it had only grown as they became more adept in their lovemaking, overcoming their impairments to continue giving each other the pleasure they both still craved.
And it gave Kanda no end of satisfaction that he was the one causing Allen Walker to be cursing like a sailor right now as he moved inside him. Allen was bending forward to let Kanda fill him more, his pants coming faster as Kanda stroked his throbbing member. Allen slid back and forth in time with Kanda's movements, his climax creeping up on him as the warmth in his groin grew.
Kanda could feel how close Allen was and held himself back as he drove him further to the brink, and then he plunged deep inside Allen, hitting home over and over as Allen arched his back, crying out as he came, his head dropping back onto Kanda's shoulder. Kanda's hand turned Allen's face towards him and his mouth covered the other's, putting all the lust he was feeling into a passionate kiss.
As Allen's aftermath washed over him in waves, Kanda's other hand never left his cock until he'd milked it dry. Allen bent over completely and Kanda's hands moved to Allen's ass as he let himself fully indulge in satisfying himself. He was so close and he could never get enough of the intensity of this feeling right before he came, made even more so when he gazed at his lover, all sweaty and spent.
Allen lifted his head slightly, looking back at Kanda with glazed over eyes that were filled with so much love that that was more than enough to cause Kanda to give in to the euphoria of his climax, filling Allen with all the love he felt. Allen made no move to collapse onto the bed until he was sure Kanda was sated and then they lowered themselves down, Kanda turning Allen around to face him and wrapping him in his arms while whispering the three words that always brought tears to Allen's eyes and Allen whispered back "I love you, too" before reaching for the blankets to cover them as they slowly sank into a deep sleep.
When Kanda woke in the morning he felt something warm and wet in his nether regions so he lifted the blanket only to see Allen, with smiling eyes and mouth full, but not with food.
"Mornin'," Allen managed to mumble around the cock still in his mouth.
"What are you doing?" Kanda asked with a glint in his eyes.
Allen sat up a little, letting go of Kanda's cock causing the man to grunt with displeasure. "I'd thought that was obvious, unless you want me to stop."
Kanda took only a split second before answering, "Don't you dare," and he gasped as Allen went down on him for a second time.
"Ah, fuck, watch the teeth!"
Allen ignored him and took his time licking away at the hardened shaft like it was a favorite piece of candy, running his tongue up to the top, paying particular attention to the slit before circling the head with his tongue, slowly increasing the pressure as he started to suck on the tip, making little humming sounds as he did so. Kanda uttered a hiss as he grabbed at Allen's hair, tugging on it and pushed his head back down.
Allen was still hungry for this man, even after last night, and morning sex was always so nice when they first woke, being all warm and cozy and wrapped around each other. It had a hazy, lazy feel to it, even when they were seriously getting into it.
Listening once again to Kanda's low, sexy voice, as he groaned from Allen's ministrations, made his own erection grow and throb, mirroring the way Kanda's cock was responding to his persistent sucking.
When Kanda spread his legs wider Allen added his fingers to the mix, sliding them inside, brushing against his prostate teasingly as his other hand groped Kanda's ass. Kanda clenched his teeth, his grip on Allen's hair tightening, his toes curling at the touch. His breath was coming hard now. That Allen had brought him this close to coming so soon was a testament to his lover's skill, something they'd both perfected over many intimate sessions.
Allen had taken Kanda in deep enough to avoid the gag reflex, so when Kanda moaned, "Allen…I'm…," Allen was prepared for the warm liquid rush as it burst into his mouth, swallowing it all down. He lifted his head up, wiping away the excess as Kanda sank into the bed, but Allen was still hard and Kanda definitely wouldn't say no to more so he murmured, "You gonna finish?"
Allen grinned and said, "Thought you'd never ask," and after he lifted Kanda's legs he proceeded to do just that.
When Kanda woke the next time there was a pressure on his chest. "Unh…move it, Allen. You're head's heavy."
"Hmm? What'd you say," Allen mumbled, the sound coming from next to Kanda.
Kanda opened his eyes to stare straight into Sumi's eyes as she lay curled up on top of him. She gave a big yawn before rolling off to the side and stretched out her limbs, but this was too close to the edge for her liking so she climbed back over Kanda, "Oof," and Allen, "Ouch! Watch the claws," to claim a bigger portion of the bed all to herself.
Now that they were both awake, no thanks to the cat, they got up, shivering a bit in the cool air. Allen went to start the bathwater, for they were in dire need of washing up, while Kanda removed the cat from the bed, which was met with a mild protest, so he could change the sheets.
He walked briskly to the living room with Sumi on his heels and started the fire once more in the fireplace. The cat waited until he had a good blaze going and then took up her customary place on the rug in front of the hearth, deeming this an acceptable substitute for the warmth of the bed.
Kanda hurried back to the bath to find it ready and waiting with Allen already immersed in their clawfoot tub which had ample space for both of them. He lowered himself with a sigh into the warm water, Allen moving over to make room for him, and then beckoned for Allen who leaned up against him at one end of the tub.
After soaking for a while they took turns soaping and rinsing each other off, giving special attention to certain areas, which ended up in another round of kissing and roaming hands, massaging and leisurely pleasuring each other. They reluctantly left their watery haven when Allen's stomach began to complain, and after drying off and dressing they went to make breakfast, but by this time it was more like lunch. Sumi joined them when the smells from the kitchen enticed her away from the warmth of the fire. All in all, it turned out to be a very enjoyable way to start their day.
It was a sunny, but cold afternoon, and after going outside for a while to check on the plants that were still thriving and taking Sumi with them for a walk in the brisk air, Allen and Kanda opted to spend the rest of the day indoors. The slow pace with which their day had begun informed everything they did. It was one of those quiet, peaceful, uneventful days that allowed the mind and body to rest.
Allen was at one end of the sofa with his legs stretched out, Kanda at the other end doing likewise, their entangled legs meeting in the middle. Sumi roamed back and forth between the two of them, gracing one with her presence before climbing on top of the other.
Presently she was sprawled on Kanda's chest once again but he wasn't bothering to move her. He figured she'd grow tired of him and move on to Allen eventually, anyway.
"I don't mind the cold all that much when it's a day like this, but sometimes I wonder if we should've bought a house in a warmer climate," Allen said.
"Like where?" Kanda was presently dangling a cat tail toy over Sumi's head, amusing himself by teasing her a little.
"Hmm…what about the Caribbean?"
"We'd just sweat a lot."
"Yeah, I guess living in a warmer place all the time would have its drawbacks. How about we go on holiday, then? A lot of people go to the seaside for a break."
"In the winter? You've got to be joking."
"Not now, of course, but maybe later on. We could spend some time together some place different. We don't have to go very far."
Kanda made a face. "Haven't we already done enough traveling for at least 10 lifetimes?"
"That was our job. We had to, and I don't recall any of that being very pleasant. This would be because we want to. There's a big difference."
"We can't leave just like that. Who's gonna take care of the house? And the gardens will still need tending. And now we've got this one." Kanda gently rubbed Sumi's belly. "Seems more trouble than it's worth."
Allen waved his hand dismissively. "We can make arrangements for all of that. There's plenty of people we've become friends with in town that I'm sure would be happy to help. We could go visit Lenalee and Lavi, since they're always the ones to come see us."
"Not my idea of a holiday."
"Honestly, Kanda, you've become quite the homebody."
"I'll think about it. I just don't want to be in some unfamiliar place if something should happen to us," he murmured, staring at the bright blaze in their fireplace.
"I don't think we have to worry about that anytime soon," Allen said softly.
Kanda looked back at Allen. "You don't know that."
"Well…there are some things I do know," Allen said, as he shifted from his position and moved towards Kanda across the sofa.
"Yeah? Like what?" Kanda smirked, catching Allen's drift.
Sumi jumped down to the floor, and after taking a look at the two of them decided to head off to the kitchen to look for leftovers. Really…these humans of hers could be so incomprehensible at times.
Allen climbed on top of Kanda and nuzzled his face into the crook of his neck. "Like the fact that we're both still alive."
"And that we're still relatively healthy." Allen nudged closer to Kanda's ear.
"And that I love you." It came out in a low whisper and Kanda turned to gaze at Allen, who was so close now Kanda's pulse quickened from the look in his eyes.
Allen touched their lips together in a soft, slow kiss, with Kanda muttering around it, "Not in front of the cat."
"I don't see any cat. She seems to sense when we need our space," Allen said before starting to lick Kanda's neck.
"She probably has more sense than you and me combined." Kanda said, his breath quickening. "Mmm…so...you want to do it here?"
"Why not? We've done it here before," Allen said as he unbuttoned Kanda's shirt and licked his way down his chest.
"Not exactly the most comfortable place, but I'll take what I can get," he chuckled as he wrapped his arms around Allen, pulling him back up for an even slower, deeper kiss.
By now Sumi had made her way to the bedroom and taken up residence on the bed, which had long since been forgotten by her humans. They could scrunch up on the sofa and play their little games for all she cared. Didn't make much sense but at least they seemed to be in a good mood. And she liked it when they were in a good mood. Meant more attention and food for her, after all.
As long as she had a warm bed, good food and all of their undying affections that's all she asked for. She gave a big yawn and settled herself down for a long nap as the sounds of their play gradually escalated. She wished they'd be a little more quiet about it, but who was she to complain? She thought she'd done pretty well in getting them to take her in. They were much better than any of the others she'd lived with. Yes, she'd done very well, indeed.
As winter deepened it meant Christmas and Allen's birthday were nearing, which also meant they'd be having company. The thought of this, coupled with the fact that there was less work for him to do outside, made Kanda's grumbling increase by the day, so that by the time the holidays rolled around he'd become almost impossible to live with. Allen, of course, was long used to his partner's idiosyncrasies, and busied himself by readying their guest room and cleaning the house thoroughly, employing Kanda to help him when he finally became fed up with listening to the man's constant bitching about nothing in particular.
The day of Christmas eve, Lenalee, Lavi, their children and Komui descended on them and the chaos began. Kanda was in the kitchen, threatening to go live in the shed for the duration of their stay, while the 'brats' ran screaming around the house chasing after Sumi, who hadn't had a chance yet to form her strategies on how to handle these new humans. She decided her best bet was to warm up to their mama, so she made a beeline for Lenalee, and gave herself credit for making yet another wise decision.
The children needed another way to expend their energies now, and since their favorite target was in their favorite place, Kanda was on the receiving end of the rampaging hellions. He resorted to his usual way of dealing with this by grabbing Lavi and spewing death threats at him which was, of course, useless.
Meanwhile, Allen was in the living room helping Komui arrange the many presents they'd brought with them underneath the Christmas tree which he'd somehow managed to get decorated before anyone had arrived. When he couldn't take the noise anymore he glanced at Lenalee sitting in a chair nearby with Sumi in her lap. She rolled her eyes in sympathy and Allen stomped into the kitchen, shouting "Enough!", effectively shutting everyone up.
The silence was broken by the loud rumbling of his stomach. Lenalee and Komui, who had followed Allen, laughed along with everyone at Allen's embarrassment and they all set to making food. It was quite an accomplishment that everything went smoothly, given how many people were in the kitchen. Allen was particularly eager to sample the delicacies which Jerry had sent with Komui, and when it was ready they took their plates to the living room, because the kitchen table wasn't large enough to fit them all. Silence descended once again, punctuated by the occasional burp or sigh of contentment. Lots of good food made for a happy Allen and he went back for seconds and thirds, with Kanda nodding his approval at the sprout's improved appetite.
When they finished eating they took the kids outside to let them run, taking advantage of the light since it grew dark early these days. The little ones chased each other all around the property with Lavi joining in. As Lenalee watched her three children play she shook her head and smiled. Back in front of the house Komui was sitting on the bench with Allen and Kanda.
"Aren't they the most precious things you've even seen?" Komui said fondly, looking every inch the doting uncle he'd become. Kanda made a noise that sounded like he was choking.
Allen cleared his throat. "Well, they certainly are very lively, but I'm not surprised, given who their father is."
"I guess it worked out for the best. I've never seen Lenalee so happy, even when it was just the two of us," and Komui sighed in resignation.
Not wanting to listen to any more of Komui's sap, Kanda stood and made his way to the door. "I'm gonna get started on the clean up." Allen gave him a look that said 'You traitor', but Kanda just smirked and went in the house. Sumi was in the kitchen sprawled out on the floor taking a little nap and she looked up at him when he walked in. "You're the smart one, girl. Nice and quiet in here." He bent down and stroked her fur and she licked his hand a few times before resuming her snooze and he began washing the dishes.
When the sun sank low the temperature dropped rapidly and they all flocked inside. After a light supper they gathered in the living room. The children were allowed to open one present each, which turned out to be toys, and Komui sat in the corner playing with them. Lenalee and Lavi were curled up on the sofa, the fire crackling softly in the fireplace, and Allen and Kanda pushed their armchairs together in another corner. The hectic pace of the day had left everyone feeling tired, yet content, and the children were the first to nod off.
Allen had set out cots in the guest room for the kids and they were put to bed. Bidding Allen and Kanda goodnight, Lenalee and Lavi joined their children. Komui stretched out on the sofa and was soon fast asleep, oblivious to the furball that was making a bed out of him. Allen covered them both with a blanket, locked up for the night, and retired to their bedroom. Kanda was already in bed and Allen crawled in next to him, tucking them both in. To say that they were exhausted would've been an understatement. Seeing their friends was always nice but having them stay over could be a tiring thing. It was satisfying in another way, though, in that it helped remind them just how much they truly treasured their peace and quiet.
Come Christmas morning Kanda was the first to wake. Allen was nestled up so close to him that even with the slightest of movements he woke. Looking a little disoriented at first, because it was dark in their room, Allen asked, "Is it morning?"
"Yeah, but it's still early. I don't think anyone else is up yet." Kanda adjusted himself to get a better look at his partner.
Allen stirred a little more at the movement, smiling at the man and said, "Merry Christmas, Kanda."
"Happy Birthday, Allen." Kanda kissed him gently on the forehead, on the tip of his nose and then closed his mouth over Allen's in a full-bodied kiss.
Allen slid his tongue against Kanda's lips, lapping at them while wrapping one leg over his hip, digging his heel into his lover's lower back, coaxing his body closer. Kanda laced fingers through Allen's hair while other fingers went searching under the covers, running down Allen's chest, over his taut stomach muscles, until they reached their goal of a slowly hardening cock. He was rewarded with a low moan of pleasure from Allen and his tongue delved deep into Allen's mouth as Allen grasped the back of Kanda's head, encouraging more of this.
When he reluctantly broke away gasping for air Allen murmured, "Maybe we shouldn't while the others are here."
"Only if you can't keep your voice down," and Kanda tugged teasingly on Allen's cock.
"Ah…fuck. Damn you," Allen barely hissing this in Kanda's ear as his hand roamed for retribution. When he found the solid warmth of Kanda's cock he began stroking lightly and Kanda thrust into his hand, unable to stop a guttural moan issuing from his mouth.
"Now who's the noisy one." Allen's voice had a delicious deviousness.
A loud crash jolted them out of their play.
"Well, shit." Kanda untangled himself from Allen and sat up, pushing his hair back off his face. "What the fuck are they up to now?"
"This early and they're already wrecking the house," Allen groaned. They got up and grabbed the nearest thing to dress quickly. They saw the kids run out of the kitchen and into the living room, stopping to look in at their guilty faces a moment before walking into the mess of broken dishes on the floor with Lavi at work trying to clean up the pieces mixed in with what probably had been breakfast.
"Oh, hey guys, mornin'." Lavi grinned sheepishly at the two men standing in the doorway, daggers in their eyes as they stared at him.
Sumi came around the corner, awakened by the noise, but was quickly scooped up by Allen before she could go any further. He didn't want her to accidentally step on something until they could get it all cleared away.
"Lavi…" Kanda growled.
"Ah, this, well, the kids woke up early. You know how kids are." 'Apparently not', he thought from the looks on their faces. "Just wanted to make them a little something to tide them over 'til everyone else got up and they were foolin' around and then this…happened…heh. Won't take me a minute to clean up here."
"Tch. Baka Usagi. No sense going back to bed now. Sun'll be up soon." Kanda went to the broom closet and got out the mop, a broom and the dustpan. Allen fished out some old rags from a bottom drawer, wet them in the sink and handed them to Lavi. By this time Lenalee and Komui had finally roused and were in the kitchen, too, helping with the clean up. When everything was back in order the kids were allowed back in and making breakfast was begun in earnest. The sky had been gradually lightening this whole time and sunlight was beaming in through the kitchen window by the time they finally got to enjoy their meal.
After breakfast they opened presents and everyone took turns using the one bathroom to wash up. It was almost noon when they were all ready and they bundled up for the walk to town to wish all their friends there a Merry Christmas. Sumi had been disappearing sporadically since the invasion of her home, and there was no use trying to find her if she wanted to remain hidden, so they left without her. The air was cold, yet fresh, and it invigorated their spirits, making the bad start to the day melt away in the sunshine.
The town was bustling with Christmas cheer, people strolling along, warmly greeting them and wishing them happy holidays everywhere they went. Since it was afternoon they had missed the church service. No one was disappointed, however, having had quite enough to do with the Church for this lifetime, thank you very much. There was still a play and choral performance at the schoolhouse and thinking that the kids might enjoy this they took seats in the back of one of the larger classrooms. After the play began Kanda ditched, heading for the pub. What he really wanted was a drink.
When the performance was almost finished Allen slipped out to go find Kanda. Knowing full well where he'd gone, he entered the pub and spotted the man in the corner with his beer. His cheeks had a slight reddish tint and he was looking quite content with all the world.
Sitting down next to him, Allen said, "You're drunk."
"Nope. Just needed something to take the edge off. You know, we've got one smart cat."
"By that, you mean the fact that she's been hiding God-knows-where or sleeping almost the whole time since our company arrived?"
"Yep. When we get home I'm gonna go lock myself in the bedroom 'til they leave."
"You will do no such thing. You're going to be joining us for Christmas dinner, like a good little Baka."
"And what if I don't want to?"
"Then I will deny you," Allen said with a devilish grin.
Kanda glared at him. "You wouldn't."
"Oh, but I would."
Allen scooted a little closer to Kanda and whispered mischievously, "I love you."
"Tch…evil." Scowling, Kanda turned his head away.
They met up with the others outside the pub. Lenalee walked quickly towards Kanda, almost getting inside his personal space as he instinctively took a step back.
"I don't believe this! Leaving us to go off and get drunk!"
"I'm not drunk!" The pleasant buzz he had going disappeared in the face of this onslaught, along with the laughter and squealing of the brats as they ran around the town square with some new friends they'd made. "And there's something I've been meaning to say to you about those brats."
"Oh? And just what would you have to say to me about my children, hmm?" Hands on her hips, her icy stare enough to freeze over all the fires of hell.
Kanda glared right back at her for just an instant, but then sighed. "It can wait. Some other time."
"Wimp," the whispered dig coming from Allen as he chuckled.
"Spawn of satan," remembering Allen's earlier threat.
"Really. The two of you haven't changed at all. You're both still so immature."
"We are not!"
"We are not!"
Glaring at Lenalee, then each other, before looking away in opposite directions.
"Ah, how I've missed this. I'm feeling so nostalgic!"
"Brother! Don't encourage them!"
Lavi rounded up the kids and they all headed home, the tension in the air too thick for Lavi's liking, but he just sighed inwardly, knowing that if he tried to break it they'd all turn on him. It would blow over soon enough.
When they got home Kanda made for the bathroom, shutting the door quietly before splashing cold water on his face. He leaned on the sink, staring at his reflection and shook his head. He'd need to smooth this over with Allen. Opening the door he caught sight of him standing in the hallway as he looked into the kitchen. He walked up behind him, wrapping him in a hug. Allen tried to shrug him off but Kanda just tightened the hug, resting his head against Allen's.
"Don't try to sweet talk me." Allen was still tense in his arms so Kanda loosened the hug, turning him around and gently pushed him up against the wall. Kanda touched their foreheads together before he quietly said, "That was dumb of me. Sorry."
This time it was Allen who reached around Kanda and pulled him into a hug. "It's okay. We were so used to being surrounded by constant chaos, but it's different now. It gets to me, too."
"Looks like the lovebirds have made up," Lavi said with a chuckle, as he peeked around the corner.
"Shut up, Usagi." Kanda gave him a withering glare.
"Don't start again." Allen pulled him close and cut off any retort by clamping his mouth over Kanda's.
Lavi wolf-whistled, but Lenalee pulled him away before he could say anything else. "C'mon, you. I need some help in the kitchen if we're going to eat anytime soon," leaving Allen and Kanda alone, for which they were very grateful.
Dinner went well. Sumi mysteriously appeared when there was food involved and she didn't mind so much letting the children play with her now, since they were a lot less hyper than when they'd first arrived. Between the effects of the fresh air from their walk and being sufficiently stuffed to the gills, it was all anyone could do to move from their places as they lounged around the living room, and one by one they began to doze off. Parents sleepily said goodnight and carried their children off to bed and Komui took up residence on the sofa with Sumi.
Allen and Kanda welcomed the long neglected comfort of their bed and snuggled down, much too tired to continue any of the play they'd started this morning. They would save that for after their guests had departed.
Everyone gathered in the kitchen the next morning. Lenalee, the kids and Komui were seated at the table while the guys stood at the counter finishing their breakfast. The lure of eating in the living room was strong, but Komui had arranged for a ride to pick them up late morning and they didn't want to become too comfortable.
"I bet you guys are gonna miss us when we're gone," Lavi said brightly.
"Don't flatter yourself, Usagi." Kanda smirked at him. He was in a good mood today because this meant they'd be getting back to their calm lifestyle.
"Aww, Yuu, don't be mean," Lavi continued on, undaunted by Kanda's snide remark. "Miranda wanted to come along this time, too, but Marie convinced her that maybe sometime later would be better. He said to ask you if spring would be alright, and they could help you out with the planting."
'Thank God for Marie's insight', Kanda thought. The big man knew how much Kanda disliked his space to be crowded and was well aware of just how small their house could be when filled with visitors. "Yeah, that'll work. Allen?"
"No problem. I'll drop them an invite. They're always welcome to visit, and we haven't seen them in a while. The last time Miranda seemed to be a lot more mellow compared to how she used to be. Probably from being around Marie so much," Allen chuckled, "but she was still a little on the clumsy side."
They all laughed at that as they began clearing up after breakfast. It didn't take too long to have everything packed away again, ready for the next phase of their travels and when the ride arrived in front of the house they all helped load the luggage in.
"Thanks for having us," Lenalee said, hugging Allen and then Kanda. Sumi had followed them outside to see what all the fuss was about and Lenalee picked her up, gently stroking her fur. "I'm glad you took her in. I think she's a good influence on the two of you," handing her over to Allen.
"Where to from here?" Allen asked.
"We'll be making the rounds of our friends, and maybe some day you might consider doing the same." Komui smiled, but not really holding out any hope. He knew how reluctant Allen and Kanda were to leave what they called home now. He couldn't blame them. It really was a beautiful place and wasn't about to press the matter any further.
But Kanda surprised him when he said, "If Allen wants to go then who am I to say no," getting a few shocked expressions, "but I'd have to go with him just to make sure he doesn't get lost."
"Kanda! I've gotten better!" Allen protested with a pout, everyone laughing at Allen's expense as they climbed into the cab.
There was much waving and calling out goodbyes as the cab pulled away and drove down the lane to the main road, and after they were out of sight Kanda let out a big sigh of relief.
"Glad that's over with," he said as they walked back inside and made for the sofa, hitting it with a thump before stretching out his long legs. Allen sat at the other end with Sumi in his lap, just watching Kanda. The man did look a bit worn out, probably frazzled from all the commotion. Allen began rubbing Kanda's feet and Sumi jumped down to go amuse herself. Again. If cats could roll their eyes that's what she'd be doing as she left the room.
Kanda quirked an eyebrow at the touch and smiled at the gesture. "You know, maybe a holiday wouldn't be such a bad idea after all."
Allen looked a little stunned at the sudden suggestion. "But I thought you didn't want to go anywhere this time of year."
"But that's just it. This is the dormant season and there's not much to do right now. If we go it should be before I have to start planting again. Any ideas?"
"Well, I'm all for it. I'll see what's available and we can make arrangements with a few people in town. This could be fun." Allen smiled as he continued to rub Kanda's feet.
"Mmm…that feels nice. How about the knees next?" Kanda said suggestively.
"Sure, but don't expect me to stop at the knees." Allen grinned back at him.
"Whatever you want, Moyashi."
"Then I expect this'll take a while, Baka," and Allen slid his hands up Kanda's legs.
"I was hoping you'd say that."
They spent New Year's day quietly at home, and soon after Allen started receiving replies to inquiries he'd sent about possible places for them to stay. It was a good thing, too, because Kanda had grown restless again, having taken to pacing the house with the lack of anything useful to do.
Kanda was leaning against Allen's chair in his study, looking over his shoulder as Allen was seated at his desk, sorting through the correspondence.
"Looks like there's plenty of places to choose from, it being the off season, and there's no need for us to make reservations, either. How about southwest England? It should be at least a little warmer than here."
"Mmm…warmer sounds good."
"Well, not that much warmer," Allen chuckled. "We could also go to France. It's not that much further," and he looked up at Kanda.
"Nope, let's stay in country. There's probably not that much difference in the weather between here and France anyway." Allen set those papers aside and picked up the ones that were left.
"So, maybe Devonshire or Cornwall. There's some pretty seaside towns down that way."
"Whatever you say. Let's just get going."
"Geez, you're so impatient. We have to go to town to arrange a few things first."
"Now's as good a time as any." Kanda straightened himself up and turned to leave. Allen chuckled again and pushed back from his desk. Now that Kanda had a purpose there'd be no stopping him.
And so they ended up in town, talking to the local handyman about looking after the house. His wife was all for taking Sumi in and her children were excited about having the cat stay with them. Sumi got along well with these kids, so all that was left was for them to get someone to drive them to the train station.
Sumi knew something was going on as she watched her humans bustling around the house, and her suspicions were confirmed when she saw the packed bags sitting by the door. When the driver arrived they needed no help with the luggage, since they were traveling light, and then they headed to town, stopping by to drop off the spare set of keys and Sumi. She gave them a look like 'What's up?' and both men stooped down, petting her gently, their voices calm and reassuring. She nudged them back, purring softly, and then set off to acquaint herself with her new surroundings.
Everyone chuckled at the ease with which she adapted to the situation. The children were already playing with her, showing her to their rooms where she would probably be spending most of her time, other than the kitchen, of course.
Reaching the train station Allen tipped their driver while Kanda went to buy tickets. They had a bit of a wait until the train arrived, but the weather was holding up nicely. By the time they boarded to begin their trip they were feeling a little of the excitement that comes with doing something out of the ordinary. Finding an empty compartment they got themselves comfortable as the train started chugging along, and then they were on their way.
When they reached the south they traveled from town to town, only staying one day in each place. Just the act of being on the move again brought back many memories, but now they weren't answerable to anyone but themselves and could do as they pleased. When they entered a quaint seaside town they asked for directions to the nearest hotel and booked two adjoining rooms. The manager apologized when he informed them they'd have to share the bath in-between, but they assured him that wouldn't be a problem.
After they were unpacked Allen and Kanda set out for a walk, needing to stretch their legs. The lack of exercise with all the riding they'd been doing had taken its toll, as they were accustomed to walking everywhere they needed to go at home. They made their way down to the quay and watched as the fishermen were returning with the day's catch.
Even though it was tied back in a low ponytail the wind kept whipping Kanda's hair against his face. "Damn hair," he muttered gruffly. He loosened his coat to stuff his hair inside to tack it down. Allen tugged on his arm, indicating that maybe they should get out of the wind. It was almost tea time and Allen could do with a nice cuppa.
It was going on a week since they'd started their trip, and after having a look around the town they were tempted to linger here a little longer. The laid-back atmosphere of the place reminded them of home so Allen had gone downstairs to discuss with the manager the possibility of extending their stay. Meanwhile Kanda was upstairs in their unused room laying out newspapers in the middle of the floor. He'd just put a chair on top of them and picked up a pair of scissors when Allen walked back in.
"What's going on?" Allen asked, somehow already knowing the answer.
"Cutting my hair. I'm gonna need your help."
"Oh…okay," was all Allen managed to get out.
Kanda made the initial cut and handed the scissors to Allen, who flinched a bit as he took them. The motion wasn't lost on Kanda, but he said nothing as he sat down. "Trim it up a bit for me, will you?"
"Sure." Allen's voice sounded small and distant.
'I should've given him more notice', he thought as Allen began snipping away at the ends. Kanda knew how much Allen loved his hair, but ever since he'd first brought up the subject nothing had been mentioned after that. He'd assumed Allen was still okay with it because they were usually so in tune with each other but that, apparently, was not the case all of the time, and he silently cursed himself for being so insensitive.
When Allen was finished he just stood there, staring at Kanda's hair, now just below shoulder length. He glanced down at the floor at the strands strewn everywhere and felt weak in the knees. He placed his hands on Kanda's shoulders to steady himself and leaned over, resting his forehead against the top of Kanda's head.
"Allen?" The only answer was a slight sniffling sound. Kanda turned and pulled Allen around and down onto his lap. Their foreheads touched as he said softly, "Hey…why're you crying?"
"…m'not crying," Allen mumbled.
"Doesn't look that way to me." Kanda reached up to cup Allen's face, running his thumbs under his eyes to wipe away the tears dripping down. "Talk to me, Allen."
It was a moment before Allen trusted himself to speak. "Sorry, I was a little shocked, I guess. Your hair holds a lot of memories, as silly as that sounds," and he offered a weak smile.
"It's just hair. It'll grow back." Kanda tried to keep his tone light, even though he felt like a sinking stone.
"I hope you didn't do this just for me," Allen said as he ran his fingers through the shortened locks.
"I told you I wanted to keep those women out of my hair; quite literally it turned out," Kanda smiled as he ran his hands down Allen's sides, leaving them to rest lightly at his waist, "and…I'm sorry." Allen looked at him questioningly. "This was a bit abrupt. I should have said something."
"No…that's…you did say something. I just forgot about it, what with Christmas and all, but I'm not really surprised. I know how you get when you make up your mind. I remember you said something about making me happy, but it should be what you want, too. I'm afraid I pushed you into this because I've been suggesting we do all kinds of different things, and I think you've been changing because of it…but more so than me." He looked away from Kanda for a moment, a pained expression on his face. "I've seen people grow apart when things like that happen, when one changes and the other doesn't. They end up like strangers, just living an empty life together...and I can't stand the thought of that."
Kanda let out a long sigh. "I hated it when that Noah was taking you over. I felt like I was losing you…and now I have you back just the way you should be." Kanda pulled Allen closer to him, so close that their lips brushed lightly against each other. "I wouldn't have done this if I didn't really want to, and you're fine just the way you are," he whispered, "and that's something that's never going to change," sealing his words with a firm, yet gentle kiss.
When they finally pulled apart Kanda shifted a bit. "Unh…"
"Oh, sorry." Allen moved to stand, realizing his position.
"Legs feel a little numb, that's all."
Allen got up, but Kanda caught his arm before he moved too far away, and Allen pulled him off the chair into his arms. They were at an almost even height. Allen had been steadily growing, since his Innocence wasn't eating away at his body anymore, and Kanda liked being able to look Allen straight in the eye. He reached up and ran his fingers through Allen's hair, threading them all the way through.
"Our hair's about the same length now," Allen said, and he started to chuckle.
"What's so funny?"
"Just…one time I came home and you were sleeping at the kitchen table. I remember thinking it would be funny if our hair was the same color. You don't have too far to go with that, Baka."
"Stupid sprout," he grumbled, but smiled in spite of himself.
"We should probably clear this away. Don't want to leave it for housekeeping." Allen began rolling up the newspaper as Kanda moved the chair and came back to help him finish the job. Allen went to drop it in the trash can, but stopped, his fingers gripping the paper tightly. He felt Kanda's hand on his shoulder and looked at him.
"It'll grow back," Kanda repeated, his hand warm and comforting. Allen nodded and let go of the memories in his hands, ready to make new ones.
They went out for dinner later, picking a small, out of the way restaurant which served ample portions of good, plain food. The staff was delighted with Allen's appetite, which had increased; a side benefit from all the travel, being at the seaside and breathing fresh air. Kanda had long since finished his dinner and was sipping his tea, watching as Allen continued to stuff his face. He smiled, remembering the way Allen used to be. When Allen had finally had enough he sat back and let out a satisfied sigh, grinning at the smile on Kanda's face.
After dinner they walked leisurely down the streets, stopping to look through the shop windows until Allen tugged on Kanda's elbow, pulling him into a chemist's. Allen was always searching for new ointments or salves he could use to ease the aches and pains of Kanda's joints, so while he looked over their selection Kanda browsed through the store. One display caught his eye, and he smirked while he filled a bag and discreetly paid for it without Allen's knowledge. Having found something new he could try out, Allen made his purchase and they left to continue their walk back to the hotel.
Kanda rustled through the bag and held up a candy in front of Allen's face, which was met with a big smile. Allen closed his eyes and opened his mouth, the picture of a baby bird demanding its food. Kanda chuckled as he put the candy in Allen's mouth, letting his fingers linger as Allen sucked on them suggestively, licking each finger in succession before letting go with a pop. He rolled the candy around in his mouth until it dissolved, at which point he opened his mouth again, ready for the next one.
Kanda kept toying with him, holding each piece in such a way that Allen had to move progressively closer to Kanda to get it. They carried on in this manner all the way back to the hotel, keeping their actions to a minimum whenever they passed by people. Upon reaching the front desk they collected their keys and went upstairs to their room. The hotel staff probably knew that only one room was in use, but never said anything because these were paying customers, after all, and they weren't about to question the source of their income.
After doffing their coats and shoes Allen went to the window, gazing out over the sea. He could still hear the soft sounds of the waves, though the window was closed, and it was very soothing. Coupled with Kanda's arms around him the effect was even more pronounced and he leaned into the warm body behind him. Kanda had been limping slightly on their walk back so Allen made an offer to try the new lotion he'd just bought, which was met with ready approval.
Kanda lay back on the bed as Allen worked on removing Kanda's lower garments. All of them. 'Well, that's different', he thought, his lips curling into a smirk. Allen merely smiled at him as he spread some lotion on his hands. His attempt at massage the day after Christmas hadn't gone very far since Kanda had become impatient and it'd ended in their usual fooling around. Judging from Kanda's earlier teasing behavior, Allen knew what the man wanted and he'd decided to give him much more than he expected.
He began with one knee, his fingers moving in circular motions on both sides, sliding them slowly up above and then down below. He switched to the other knee and performed the same movements, loosening up the area surrounding each knee. Then he ran his hands down both shins and around the ankles before slipping off the bed. Kneeling on the floor he took each foot in turn, rubbing the heels, the arch, the ball of the foot until he reached the toes, pulling gently on one after the other, but when he started to lick them Kanda's eyes widened with surprise. Allen's mouth sucking lightly on his toes was an erotic sight to see and Kanda was growing hard very quickly. Allen glanced up and smiled, pleased at this reaction.
His hands slid under Kanda's legs to his calves and he moved back up to the knees. "Turn over, please," was his murmured request, and after Kanda flipped to his front Allen massaged the backs of his thighs up to his buttocks, where he took his time kneading the soft flesh. Kanda let out a groan of pleasure at the touch. Allen stopped for a moment to pour more lotion on his hands and he began again, this time with Kanda's lower back, digging his thumbs in while using his fingers to work the sides. He made his way methodically up Kanda's back, sliding under his shirt as he went. Kanda helped him out by pulling his shirt off over his head and then sank back onto the bed as Allen continued on up to the shoulders, rolling the tense muscles with his fingers until he felt them relax.
Allen leaned down and licked the contour of Kanda's ear, requesting him to turn over once again. When he had Kanda on his back Allen gazed into dark blue eyes on fire with lust, and his fingers traced the slightly parted lips before he lowered himself to lick them with his tongue. Kanda's tongue met his and his lips closed on it, sucking Allen's tongue into his mouth. His arms wrapped around Allen, and with their lips pressed together they hungrily kissed one another.
But Allen was far from finished with his sensual foreplay. He sat up and pushed back, straddling Kanda hips, exposing the now fully erect cock. Allen had a wicked gleam in his eye, giving Kanda the shivers. He peeled off his own shirt, unbuckled his belt and unzipped his pants. Kanda tried to reach up to help, but Allen gently pushed his hands away. He climbed off the bed for only as long as it took for him to remove the rest of his clothing. Reaching for the lotion he coated his hands again and took his seat on top of Kanda's thighs, but instead of taking hold of Kanda's cock, like the man expected, Allen began leisurely stroking himself in full view of his lover and Kanda licked his lips as he watched.
Allen moaned, softly, deliberately, teasing Kanda with his shameless display. Having worked Kanda up into a sweat, Allen continued to pleasure himself as he slid back onto the bed between Kanda's legs. Then both hands were on Kanda's hips as Allen's tongue ran up and down the now twitching shaft. He licked the pre-cum off of the slit, making Kanda gasp and clench the sheets, and engulfed it with his mouth. Kanda cried out, quickly covering his mouth, biting down on his hand. Allen's sucking increased until he felt it begin to thicken, at which point he let go, only to hear a hiss escape from Kanda's mouth.
Even if it was a private room, this was still a public place, and they had learned from many missions spent together on the road to keep their voices down. The forbidden nature of their actions only added a level of excitement, fueling the desire within them.
Allen moved back to straddle Kanda's hips and ran his hand up behind his lover's head. Kanda's hair spread out on the pillow, exposing his neck, inviting Allen to suck on the soft flesh. Allen moved closer and Kanda moaned quietly at the warmth of Allen's lips and tongue and rolled his hips against him, the friction of their cocks rubbing together inciting a delirious urgency to their play. Kanda slid his hand between them and stroked them both as Allen pressed his body closer, sucking harder on Kanda's neck, pulling him with him as he sat up.
While Kanda continued to stroke them Allen reached his hand behind himself and slipped his fingers up his ass, stretching the muscles, groaning at the sensation as Kanda's fingers joined his. He wanted more, needed to feel Kanda inside him, filling him completely.
"Fuck me…please…" he begged as he pushed himself up to give his lover room to enter him.
Kanda lined his cock up and penetrated the opening slowly at first, giving Allen time to adjust, and then he rocked Allen back onto the bed and plunged in deep, smothering him in kisses, covering his mouth with his own to stifle their cries. Allen's legs wrapped around his waist and Kanda gripped his hips tightly as his thrusts became faster. Allen clawed desperately at Kanda's back, needing something, anything to hold onto as Kanda kept hitting the spot that made him lose his mind and he came as hard as ever, warmth spreading across his stomach, dripping down his sides. Kanda was right behind him with a few more well placed thrusts, his whole body trembling as the blissful waves washed over him and he rolled them on the sheets so that Allen was back on top.
Allen was shaking, his emotions running high and out of control from the intensity of their lovemaking, acutely aware of how alive he felt.
"It's not fair," his voice was muffled against Kanda's chest. "Why can't we have more time?" he whispered. "Why?" It was something that silently ate away at the both of them, every single day, and Kanda never felt more vulnerable and human than he did in moments like these while Allen shook against him. Kanda pulled him closer, wishing he could crawl inside Allen's heart and mind and soothe all his fears, and calm the anxiety ridden beating of Allen's heart.
"Everybody dies," he said softly. Allen stiffened against him. "But that's not gonna happen anytime soon," reminding Allen of his own words, spoken not that long ago, and reinforcing Kanda's belief in those words at the same time.
Allen looked up in recognition and started to chuckle. "I can't even take my own advice. When did I get so stupid?"
"Uh, do you really want me to answer that?" and Allen burst out laughing.
He rolled off Kanda onto his back, wiping away his tears of mirth as he continued to laugh. Kanda's low, throaty chuckle joined in and they stayed like that for a while, holding hands until the laughter died down.
Allen turned his head to gaze at his partner and Kanda moved over to curl up next to him, his arm slung loosely across Allen's chest. Allen nuzzled into Kanda's hair, smelling of sweat and soap, inhaling the unique scent that was Kanda, reminding him of flowers and earth and…
"I wanna go home, Baka."
Kanda nestled comfortably against Allen, pulling him on his side, holding him close. "Yeah, let's go home."
The next morning found Allen with a practically numb left arm. Kanda was massaging it using some of the leftover lotion, trying to get some life back into the limb, and for once wasn't berating Allen for overdoing it. It looked like they weren't going to be leaving for home today. Allen would need to rest up first. Maybe a few more days would do it and Kanda could use the extra time, also. Allen had worked him up into such a state last night he was aching all over. They both had a tendency to go overboard when it came to wanting to please their partner.
A slight twinge shot up Allen's arm, making him wince.
Kanda stopped momentarily. "Am I hurting you?"
"It got some feeling back just then. That's a good thing, right?"
Kanda shook his head and resumed rubbing the arm. "We're such idiots. All we do is wreck ourselves."
"Yeah, we're a real mess, but I kinda have a hard time controlling myself," resigned to the fix he was in, yet again.
Kanda concurred with Allen's statement, nodding his head with a smirk on his lips. "I like to fuck you senseless, too," which brought a big smile to Allen's face. "Maybe we should try meditating together."
"Oh, now that'd be interesting," Allen chuckled, "but I wouldn't wanna intrude on your space."
"Well, I'll just have to come harass you in your study to make up for it," Kanda said with a sly smile.
Allen laughed lightly. "I really don't think that'd be the same thing," and they fell silent as Kanda went on working the arm. After a while Allen could move it in small circles and was able to make a fist. This was encouraging, but Kanda still insisted he stay in and went out to bring back food for the both of them, stopping by the front desk to tell the manager that Allen was feeling poorly and that they'd need a few more days.
He was told that they were welcome to stay as long as they liked, and if there was anything they needed they had but to ask. They spent the rest of the day in their room, with Allen mostly lying in bed and Kanda practicing his meditation in a space he'd cleared away in the corner.
The next day they went out. Allen had his arm in a makeshift sling to remind him to take it easy on it, and between that and Kanda's ever present limp, they looked like a couple of old soldiers just back from the war which, in fact, they were, but none of these people would ever be the wiser to just how many sacrifices had been made on their behalf.
They walked along the streets, a light breeze lifting Kanda's hair, making it dance around his face. Allen glanced over from time to time. It never ceased to amaze him that after all these years this beautiful man still loved him as much as Allen did him. When the wind picked up Kanda took shelter in an alleyway, retrieving a tie from his coat, and pulled his hair back, a few errant strands falling out of the ponytail. Allen reached over and tucked them behind Kanda's ears, and since they were out of the public's sight he leaned in to place a light kiss on Kanda's cheek which was returned with a more firm one planted on Allen's lips. Then they continued on with their stroll to hunt down a suitable place that could fill Allen's now growling stomach.
Since they were feeling well rested by the following day, they decided to check out. The manager thanked them for their custom, and they told him that should any of their friends need a recommendation for a peaceful getaway they'd be sure to let them know about this place. A cab was arranged to pick them up and take them to the station, and once they were settled into a comfortable compartment in the rear of the train car they let out a sigh, glad to finally be on their way. Allen had his arm back in the sling and Kanda said, "Glad to see you're being sensible, for once."
"I'm always sensible." Sitting across the compartment Allen grinned at him, and prodded Kanda's foot with his.
"Since when?" One eyebrow raised.
"Since forever, Mr. Reckless." Prod, prod.
"You're the reckless one." The other eyebrow raised, foot prodding him back.
"Heh, maybe Lenalee was right."
"That we're both still immature." Allen chuckled.
"Hmph. Speak for yourself. Maybe it's true what they say about opposites attract." A smirk starting to form.
"That's not what Marie told me." Allen grinned away.
"Tch. He's got a big mouth." Kanda moved across the compartment to sit next to Allen who laid his head on Kanda's shoulder. "It's gonna be a long ride."
"But at least we're going home," Allen murmured.
"Yeah," and leaning against one another they soon dozed off to the steady clack-clack-clack rhythm of the train.
By the time they disembarked they were travel weary. Allen's arm had started to pain him from disuse and Kanda was just one big ball of ache. The train station was located in the town one over from theirs so they had some ways to go yet. Picking up their luggage they went to look for a cab. When they pulled up in front of the handyman's house to get Sumi they were more than ready to just get the cat and go. Hearing the sounds of children laughing and giggling, Allen knocked on the door. With no immediate answer he knocked once again and this time they were greeted by the man's wife, a big smile on her face at seeing them. Her mouth quickly dropped open in surprise, though, when she took a closer look at Kanda.
"What…did you do?!"
Behind her, seated around the kitchen table, were a few of her friends. They'd come to visit and had been having a card party it seemed, but after hearing the shock in their friend's voice they all rose as one and flocked to the door, gasping as they took in the state of Kanda's hair.
"Whatever possessed you to do such a thing?!"
"This is what comes from going on holiday!"
"You are going to grow it back, right?!"
Kanda was inching away as they quickly closed in on him, trying to touch his hair. Allen was quietly chuckling at their fussing as he interjected, "Ladies, ladies, please," trying to be helpful until he heard loud meows coming from within.
Kanda gave him a look of 'Don't you dare leave me' and growled, "Moyashi…" but Allen was already gently pushing past the throng at the door. Sumi jumped up into his arms, rubbing her face affectionately against his, madly purring away.
"Did you miss us, girl?" cradling her next to him and stroking her fur as he walked back to the door. Kanda managed to extricate himself from the gaggling horde as Allen politely said, "Sorry to break up your fun," Kanda shot him a deadly look, "but we're really tired and just want to get home."
"Of course you do, dear. Let me get you your keys," and the woman took but a moment before she was back, handing the spare keys over and shooing her friends back to the table.
"Thanks once again for everything. We'll be back once we've rested up," Allen called out and waved as they walked back to their waiting cab. Once inside Kanda slouched against the seat, his arms crossed over his chest, glaring out the window. Allen just smiled and played with Sumi, leaving Kanda to fume silently. When they reached home Sumi leapt down and ran towards the door, and as they walked after her Kanda muttered something unintelligible.
"Hmm? What was that?" Allen asked.
"I'm never leaving the house."
"Heh. Looks like the situation just got worse."
"Never. Leaving. The house."
Allen unlocked the front door, letting Sumi run in ahead. Dropping their bags in the entryway they removed their shoes and hung their coats on the pegs on the wall. Allen took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
"It's good to be home."
"Hmm…it's cold in here. I'm gonna light the fire."
"And I'll fix us some tea." They set off in opposite directions to their self-appointed tasks, and when the tea was ready Allen brought it into the living room. Kanda had just sat down when Allen handed him his cup. "Thanks," he said, leaning back and taking a sip.
Allen placed a small plate of treats for Sumi on the floor for her to munch on and sat next to Kanda on the sofa. With their legs stretched out to the fireplace they warmed their feet and drank their tea in silence. They got so comfortable neither of them wanted to move until Kanda's head fell against Allen's, shaking them out of their torpor.
Allen got up to return their dishes to the kitchen but stopped before he got out the door, clucking his tongue in dismay. They'd been gone for close to two weeks now and the dust was beginning to show on the furniture. Kanda glanced at Allen, wondering what he was looking at, but when he realized why Allen was making a face he said, "Don't even think about it."
"It can wait. I'll help you clean later. Let's just sleep, okay?"
Allen sighed. "If you say so, but I'm holding you to it." Allen took the dishes to the kitchen and let Sumi out to play for a while. After they'd changed the sheets on the bed Allen went to collect her and locked up. She bunked down in front of the hearth and he crawled into bed, rolling over to wrap himself around Kanda. They were so wiped out from the long trip back they sank into a deep sleep for the rest of that day and didn't wake until it was well into the next. When Sumi began making demands for food they got up, but as soon as they were done taking care of her and ate something themselves they climbed right back into bed.
From the sleep of the dead they blinked themselves back to consciousness the next morning. Kanda went to fill the tub and Allen fed Sumi before letting her outside again while they bathed. They lay in the tub for what felt like an eternity, letting the hot water soak all their aches away until their skin started to wrinkle. As they were drying each other off, Kanda wrapped his towel around Allen, pulling his warm body up against his still damp one. Allen pushed him gently up against the sink.
Between light kisses over Kanda's face and neck, Allen murmured, "This is how we end up making a mess of ourselves."
"Mmhm…" kissing the top of Allen's head, pushing it further down his chest.
Allen's hands glided across Kanda's back. "But not here." He grabbed a bottle of lotion from the medicine cabinet and pulled Kanda with him to the bedroom, lowering him onto the bed. While Kanda scooted to the edge, Allen spread some lotion over his fingers and kneeled down, lifting Kanda's legs to hang over his shoulders. "Comfy?" he asked, with a twinkle in his eye.
"Heh…yeah…mmm," as Allen went down on him, his mouth working languidly over the hardening shaft before taking it in. Kanda gazed down at him, propping himself up on his elbows, watching as Allen's head moved slowly from top to bottom.
Allen's fingers slipped inside and Kanda adjusted himself so Allen could reach deeper, fingertips stimulating the gland, making Kanda's breath come faster. His head rolled back as Allen's bobbed up and down, taking more of Kanda in each time, teeth barely grazing the sensitive skin, fingers rubbing with more force. Kanda dug his heels into Allen's back, coming closer, Allen sucking harder on the cock, drawing it deeper, feeling it thicken as Kanda gasped, "Ah…ah…fuck!" and warm liquid flowed down his throat as Kanda's whole body shuddered.
Allen continued to suck slowly as the cock softened, his tongue playing over it until his lover was fully sated, and he stood, letting Kanda's legs drop down as he leaned over him, kissing him softly. Kanda licked the leftover from Allen's lips, feeling the hard erection against his leg. Allen coated his cock with lotion, moving in when he was ready and pushed Kanda's legs up. "Not hurting your knees, am I?"
"They're fine." Kanda wrapped his legs around Allen and reached for him, pulling him down as Allen easily slid inside him, the muscles surrounding the opening already quite pliant. They rocked back and forth, Kanda arching himself up to meet Allen's thrusts as he went deeper and deeper inside, goosebumps covering their damp skin exposed to the cool air. Kanda dug his heels in again as Allen grasped his hips, thrusting harder, faster, kissing Kanda messily on the mouth, trailing his tongue over his ear. Kanda buried his face in Allen's hair, his arms wrapped around his lover as Allen breathed harder next to his ear, his climax coming on fast and he moved his hands up behind Kanda's head, pulling him into a deep kiss as he spilled inside him, moaning into his mouth with the sheer bliss of it all.
Moving up the bed Allen flopped down on top of Kanda, still kissing him lazily. Kanda opened his eyes and gazed up into silver, chuckling softly. "It's good to be home."
"Yes, it certainly is," Allen admitted with a smile, and they just laid there, catching their breath before moving once again.
When they heard Sumi calling them they reluctantly got up. It was getting chilly anyway, what with being naked on top of the covers, and the only way they were going to get any warmer was to crawl back under, but that didn't seem likely to happen anytime soon. Allen pulled on some pants and threw on a shirt and went to let her in while Kanda cleaned himself up in the bathroom, joining them in the kitchen while Allen put together some breakfast. Afterwards, as Kanda was standing at the sink, staring out the window as he washed the dishes, his gaze turned to the garden. He wiped his hands off on the dish towel and started to walk out of the kitchen, but Allen had been watching him closely this whole time and was hot on his heels.
"Where do you think you're going?"
"Out, to have a closer look at the gardens."
"Nope. You're gonna help me clean, like you said."
"We haven't even been here. What's there to clean?"
"There's dust everywhere, and I even saw some cobwebs," grabbing Kanda by the arm and dragging him to where they kept their cleaning supplies. Allen dumped a few into Kanda's arms, and as he walked away he called back over his shoulder, "You can start with the bathroom."
Kanda just stood in the hall for a minute, staring as Allen disappeared around the corner, contemplating having stir-fried sprout for dinner, before he stalked off to the bath to begin scrubbing out the tub.
Hours later, after much sweeping, mopping, scrubbing and dusting, they were going around closing the windows and doors they'd left open to air out the house while they were cleaning. Allen was wondering out loud if maybe they should've washed the windows while they were at it when Kanda came up behind him and clamped a hand over his mouth.
"That's enough. You keep this up you're gonna wreck your arm again." He pulled a chair out from the kitchen table. "Sit," and plunked Allen down on it. "Stay," pointing a threatening finger at him. "I'm gonna make some tea."
"We have biscuits, too," Allen offered, humming happily to himself at the prospects of food.
Sumi, who had done another mysterious disappearing act while they were cleaning, jumped up into Allen's lap, placing her paws on the table, also anticipating being fed.
Kanda turned around, only to see Sumi, too. "I'm surrounded by gluttons," he sighed, placing the biscuit tin on the table. He made her a plate and she leapt to the floor as he put it down. With no hesitation she began to eat away.
As they were finishing their tea Kanda noticed Allen rubbing his left arm.
"Your arm hurting?"
"Yeah, it was fine while we were working but it's starting to spasm now."
"You should go soak in the tub. The warm water would probably help. I'll clean up here, so go on," waving him away.
Allen got up and walked around the table. "Thanks," he said, kissing the top of Kanda's head before leaving the kitchen. By the time he left the bath his arm was feeling a lot better. Looking down the hall he smiled at the gently flickering firelight coming from the living room, so he dressed in some loose night clothes and went to join Kanda on the sofa, sitting against the arm on one end. Sumi was in Kanda's lap and he was scratching her behind the ears, looking like he was deep in thought.
Allen usually left him alone when he was like this, but his curiosity got the better of him. "Penny for your thoughts," he said, as he poked Kanda's leg with his toes.
Coming out of his musing Kanda turned towards Allen, bringing his legs up on the sofa, dislodging Sumi's resting place, but she landed gracefully on the floor and went to lie down near the fire.
"Only a penny?" a slight smirk playing on his lips.
"How much more would you want?" grinning back.
"We can discuss that later," smirk widening, "but I was just thinking about how much to plant this year. We had a lot of surplus from the last harvest. It's good to have something to trade in town, but I don't want it to become unmanageable."
"It wouldn't if you'd let me help."
"And mess up your arm even more?"
"I do have two arms, you know."
"You'd just overuse your good one and end up with two bad ones…and stop pouting at me."
"I'm not pouting," pouting anyway.
Kanda chuckled and moved over to lie down in Allen's lap, looking up at him. "I was also thinking about a greenhouse. Maybe. It'd be a different way of gardening, though, and I'd have to find out more about it first. I don't know how involved it'd be to build one."
"You could ask Johnny or Reever. Give 'em something to do with all the free time they have now. They'd probably be more than happy to help." Allen chuckled when he thought about the enthusiastic response they'd have to something like this.
"Oh, I'm sure they would, but I don't know if I could take all the insanity that'd come with it," sighing quietly. So much had been going on lately. Sometimes, he wished things could be like they used to be; nice and simple.
But some changes weren't that bad, he thought, as he watched Sumi curled around herself, sound asleep on the hearth rug. He turned over and Allen slid down next to him, one arm under Kanda's head. Allen combed his fingers through Kanda's hair, twirling the ends of a lock around one finger, bringing it to his lips. "I'm starting to get used to your hair like this."
"Mmm…at least I can still tie it back when I need to."
"But I like it better when you leave it down," kissing Kanda's cheek.
"So you can play with it," one hand running down Allen's side, coming to rest on his hip.
"Of course," pushing the hair off Kanda's forehead, kissing it lightly.
"You're hopeless…and why do I even bother listening to you?" moving his hand to Allen's back, working his way under his shirt.
"Well, I could stop coming up with any more bright ideas," hand moving through Kanda's hair to the nape of his neck, pulling him in for a ghost of a kiss.
"But you wouldn't be you if you didn't," he murmured, making the kiss firm and real.
"Then I guess things are fine just the way they are," whispering as he slid his hand down, pressing it into the small of Kanda's back.
"...whatever," chuckling and snuggling closer, slipping his tongue between Allen's lips, and they melted together. As long as they could stay like this they could handle anything that came their way.