Fandom: D. Gray-Man
Pairing: Lavi/Lenalee Lee
Theme Set: Delta
Spoilers: Some sentences take place during canon events; most take place a few years in the future. As always: read at your own risk.
Disclaimer: D. Gray-Man is owned by Katsura Hoshino and affiliated corporations.
The air is heavy with dust and smells of old books and yellowed parchment, and Lavi pinches his nose hard to stop a sneeze, not wanting to give away his presence, determined to remain in the room with the others until he's sure Lenalee is okay.
He knows that apples are her favorite fruit, probably because they are Komui's, so as to get in good with both of them Lavi brings back from
Allen tells Lavi, "It's kind of weird watching you and Lenalee flirt. It's like the beginning of some crazy comedy show, what with Komui trying to kill you every day and Reever and the science department trying to..." - Lavi sputters indignantly and flaps his arms wildly - "...it's also kind of incestuous," Allen finishes with a big grin, running off before Lavi can pull out Ōzuchi Kozuchi.
All three boys crash into her room, and Lenalee shrieks in embarrassment (Lavi's gaze is makes her blush to her toes), mortification (Allen is horror-stricken) and fear (Kanda is murderous), frantically tightening the towel around her wet, shivering body as she points out the two large bugs crawling leisurely up the wall.
Lenalee is careful to always ask Lavi how he takes his coffee before preparing it despite knowing that he likes it with two sugar cubes and no cream because Komui is firmly entrenched in the belief that the only person's needs she should be attentive to are his.
Sometimes, when she wakes up, gasping and clawing at her throat, frantically trying to breathe through the terror that chokes her, a pair of hands reaches out from the darkness to calm her, and it will be many, many months before she is able to tell Lavi how much she appreciates him being there when her brother cannot.
When in a moment of weakness she confesses to Lavi that she despairs of ever finding a guy Komui would approve of, she thinks he is going to sympathize with her, but instead he tells her to elope with the guy and think nothing more of it – she sighs; her brother would never approve of Lavi.
Lenalee is startled when an arm reaches out from the slightly opened doors of the library, but her shock is replaced with a bone-deep weariness when Lavi, looking exhausted and despondent, asks, "Why does everyone think I'm going to break your heart?"
As always, it is Lavi's idea to break into the wine bar and have a few drinks – to celebrate Lenalee's return, of course – but it soon becomes apparent that perhaps there is more to this late-night binge than a mere celebration, as in the shadowed alcove of the parlor, Lavi's expression grows increasingly miserable.
Lenalee would never ask Lavi to choose between her and his Bookman duties; likewise, he would never ask her to choose between remaining by Komui's side or his.
The earth is drenched with blood, and she gags on the stench while clinging to his arm, seeking to grasp even the miniscule amount of comfort, knowing that nothing but death would erase this sight from her memory.
In the end, it comes down to what he wants to do and what he is supposed to do, and Lavi is slowly discovering that when it comes to Lenalee, the latter is often irrelevant.
As he stands in front of the mirror and prepares for the day, Lavi tells himself that he will not fall in love with Lenalee; not only will nothing good come from it (Komui is a scaaaaaaary big brother), but thinking of her in way beyond friendship will make it that much harder to fight by her side as a comrade.
Hi Ban's flames consume him, and he feels his grip on Ōzuchi Kozuchi loosening when suddenly he hears his name being called over and over through a hoarse and strangled voice – he tightens his grip and holds on; he refuses to lose this bet.
"Ask him to be a little more flexible with your time," grouses Lavi as he sits on the edge of Lenalee's bed, picking at lint on her comforter, "he gets to see you far more than I do."
Lenalee doesn't like riding on Lavi's hammer – her boots make flying graceful and effortless, almost as if she were dreaming – but she does so because it gives her one more reason to cling to him without arousing suspicion in their comrades.
Reever swipes Lavi's plate away before the young man can dig in to his meal, saying wearily, "I have to inspect all your food. Komui has decided you're too big of a threat to Lenalee's honor."
Lavi makes it his mission to become well-researched in reflexology after Lenalee complains one too many times about her aching feet.
After watching Lenalee laugh a bit too hard at one of Lavi's jokes, Reever turns to Bookman and says, "Does your apprentice have a death wish? At this point, Lavi’s digging his grave and composing his eulogy."
Lenalee's sudden obsession with all things green makes Kanda twitch, Allen grin, and Komui embark on a rampage through headquarters; try as he might, Komui is unable to find the green-eyed bandit that stole his precious Lenalee's heart.
Lenalee wants to knock Lavi across the head with hammer - why in the hell won't he just kiss her already?
Lavi doesn't tell Lenalee how hollow he feels when he is away at the
Komui's obsession with doing away with the red-headed menace has made him an opportunistic hunter, and the science department makes it their job to keep his prey out of his clutches, for while they love their dear supervisor, they also love his sister and her friend, and should they want to be together… well, their supervisor will have to live with it, but damn if they'll ever tell him that.
Lenalee hopes Komui would at least respect her privacy, but after finding yet another surveillance device in her room (put there to spy on her when Lavi is visiting headquarters), she decides to get back at her brother not with violence, but emotional torture – she locks him in the surveillance room and proceeds to make out full-throttle with an oblivious Lavi.
The blinding green light expands and brightens before thinning and dimming and disappearing – Lavi is at her side and she is in his arms before Bookman can grab a hold of his jacket sleeve.
In the first few days of Lavi's absence, Lenalee wanders around headquarters, lost in a haze of apprehension; it isn't until she receives a post card from Lavi telling her of some comical encounter that she returns to normal.
Kanda grabs him by the collar, yanks him behind a pillar, and suddenly Mugen is pressed against Lavi's throat, its metal crackling with Innocence as Kanda warns, "You make her cry, and I will make you bleed."
Krory's new teeth are sharper than Mugen, and Lavi sweats as the vampire pins him against a column, bares his teeth and says in a voice dripping with sugary persuasion, "I would hate to have to test these new teeth out so soon, Lavi. You better treat her well."
Over tea Miranda ventures to ask the old Bookman his thoughts on the situation, and in the long stretch of silence she frets that she might have overstepped some invisible boundary by asking such a personal question, but then the Bookman releases a defeated sigh and says, "His heart is too big – he will make Ms. Lenalee very happy."
It is in Lenalee's bed that Lavi finds something resembling peace.
Lavi's glass barely touches his lips before Reever swipes it away and hands him another, the older man cautioning him, "Now he's poisoning your drinks..." - in the room above them, something that sounds eerily similar to a boot connecting with the back of someone's head makes them wince - "...just have Allen or Kanda retrieve your drinks from now on, to be on the safe side. And for God’s sake, stop flirting with her in front of him!"
Lenalee is accustomed to Lavi's excited proclamations upon seeing a pretty girl, and though she would never admit it, not even upon threat of death, it bothers her that he never expressed the same reaction upon seeing her.
She buries her face in his hair and uses the rain to hide her tears, relieved that though he is unconscious he is alive and in her arms and has returned to her as he had promised.
Lenalee decides that when Lavi finally gathers enough courage to kiss her, she will have no regrets about kissing him back.
Miranda waves at Lenalee as the young girl passes by her to go to the library and says, “Lavi brought you some roses - they were beautiful - but your brother took them, saying that they were - hey, Lenalee! Where are you going?”
When Lavi asks if she has any secrets, Lenalee laughs and shakes her head, but inside she is a chaotic mess of wants and wishes, as an image unbidden pops into her head, one of a one-eyed red-head with a teasing grin – she's out of her seat and exiting the cafeteria before Allen can inquire of the blush on her cheeks.
Reever is once more forced to intercede on the children's behalf when Komui, drunk on brotherly love and homicidal rage, wrecks the cafeteria in an attempt to track down his "darling Lenalee and the one-eyed snake trying to defile her!"
Lavi doesn't dislike the snow; he just isn't eager to go out and play in it like Lenalee is, but he does so anyway because snowball fights give him every excuse to touch her without arousing Komui's sister-complex.
Once they're on solid ground, Allen whispers in her ear, "You've failed to convince us, Lenalee; you were blushing the entire time you rode with Lavi."
Lenalee loved the spring because with it came a bouquet of colors and a cacophony of sounds - the season was hope personified; Lavi loathed the spring because the thawing of the grounds and the melting of the lakes and rivers meant that it was time to leave his greatest source of comfort.
“I refuse to accept him! He is not stable enough for my precious sister…” - Reever and the rest of the science department start re-tolling the betting system - “…he will never lay a hand on my dear Lenalee!”
"Isn't it strange how Lavi and Lenalee are always missing at the same time?" wonders Allen aloud, and Kanda snaps, "Is it any of your business, beansprout?"
They both hate summer, not because it is too hot, but because the season is ripe for new journeys that often lead in separate directions.
It is Lavi's idea (Allen whispers in her ear that she is suddenly more eager to do something if Lavi suggests it) for the seven of them to get a tattoo (Lavi blackmails Kanda, and it is all she and Allen can do to not rush at Lavi and beg him to tell), and at first she is excited and happy with the gothic cross on her right shoulder blade, but Kanda reminds her through gritted teeth that tattoos are one of her brother's Big Taboos - when she returns to headquarters she is the first to volunteer to head the expedition to China.
The first thing Lavi wants to do upon awakening in the hospital is check on Lenalee, but Komui is there, an ugly, frightful, blabbering, slobbering, hysterical mess, and more than being called out by Allen for rushing to her side, he is afraid of being attacked by Komurin X.
The war stirs in Lavi a hurricane of conflicting emotions: it would be fucking great to see the Earl and his akuma destroyed – forever – but the cost of that destruction could very well be the people he has come to think of as family and the woman he has come to love.
Something inside him shatters when he sees her lying motionless inside the open coffin, and he jumps out of the canoe and into the icy black waters as emotions stronger than the current drowns out reason and makes his world go dark.
Komui doesn't like the way Lenalee's smile brightens upon welcoming Lavi; it is as if a light is switched on inside of her, its luminance blinding in its beauty.
Lenalee hated winter because the cold killed her beloved plants and made the grounds resemble a desolate wasteland; Lavi loved winter because the harsh snowstorms extended the time he could spend with her.
He attempts to keep his face a wooden mask of indifference, as is demanded of all Bookmen, when he asks her for permission to stay at her side, but it is infinitely harder than he thought it would be.