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10 June 2008 @ 12:38 pm
Fic for Brightdreamer  
Requested by: brightdreamer
Author: sailormac
Pairings/Characters: LaviXAllen
Rating: PG-PG-13
Warnings: Mild sex talk
Disclaimer: D. Gray-Man is property of Katsura Hoshino and Shonen Jump. These characters ain’t mine, I’m just borrowing them for a little while.
Author Notes: Requested by brightdreamer, beta'ed by dragonscholar

By Sailor Mac

“Allen? Are you okay?”

Lavi looked behind him at his friend, who had been walking progressively slower and slower ever since they wrapped up the mission in this small French town. The two were hustling across a moonlit cobblestone road at the moment.

Or, rather, Lavi was hustling. Allen was just kind of dragging. His cheeks were looking a little red, too, but that could be from the cold wind that was blowing all around them.

“Yes,” the younger boy said, a not-very-convincing smile crossing his face. “Just a bit tired, that’s all.”

“You look more than a bit tired,” the older boy said as they headed down the road toward the train station. “You better sleep on the train back!”

“Really, Lavi, I’m fine,” Allen said, waving a hand dismissively -- and falling another step behind.

Lavi trudged on, but couldn’t help looking back with concern. He wasn’t supposed to get involved, her knew. The members of the Black Order should be just ink on paper to him, just another piece of the Secret Histories to write down and move on . . .

But there was something about the way Allen Walker seemed to be slowing down bit by bit, like a music box that was winding down, that bothered him.

“Hey, when you get back, maybe I can bring you a pot of hot tea,” he said, giving Allen a big smile. “That should make you feel better, right?”

Allen didn’t say anything. He’d now fallen so far behind that Lavi wondered if he was still in earshot. Even Timcampy, perched atop his head, looked droopy.

“That’s it,” he said. “I’m havin’ the Panda take a look at you when we get back.”

“No, Lavi,” Allen said, his voice weaker than before, “I said that’s not . . .”

“Would you rather *Komui* do it?” Lavi said, leaping toward the other boy and leaning over with his face almost in Allen’s.

“ACK!” Allen said, standing up straight, a look of pure fear in his eyes.

Lavi nodded in satisfaction, and continued down to the station. The train was just pulling in, and he was more glad than ever of the Order’s private cabins. Allen needed a place to lie down, to rest comfortably, to be apart from noise and bother.

Almost as soon as they were seated, Allen stretched out on the seat and closed his eyes, his breathing sounding a bit harsh. Lavi sat opposite him, frowning. He’d seen Allen fall asleep on trains before -- which was usually followed by Lavi doodling on his face -- but not this fast.

“Hey,” he said out loud. Allen didn’t stir at all. “Looks to me like this is more than a standard *tired*, Bean Sprout.” Tentatively, he reached out and brushed his fingers over the boy’s forehead. “You’re burnin’ up. Bet if I put an egg on your head right now, it’d cook.”

He let his fingers linger where they were, brushing a lock of white hair away from Allen’s eyes. He could see the curse mark more closely now -- Bookman had said that was one sign that Allen might be the Destroyer of Time, nobody else had ever borne anything like it before.

Privately, Lavi thought the mark made Allen look cool. It was something dangerous-looking on an otherwise sweet and innocent face. It was just one thing that made Allen *interesting* -- more so than any other Exorcist Lavi had encountered.

He slowly withdrew the hand and sat back on his own seat, not taking his eyes off Allen’s face.

Just an interesting subject, that’s what he was. Just a sick Exorcist that he had to see to his mentor safely . . .

He very nearly convinced himself of it, too.

* * *

By the time they were back to the Order, Allen had awakened with a massive headache and a bout of chills. He still insisted he was all right to walk, but once they were in the boat, he lay down on the seat, Timcampy anxiously fluttering around him, as if worried about the boy.

“C’mon,” Lavi said as he pulled the boat up to the dock. “You’re gonna lean on me.”

“I’m okay,” Allen said, heaving himself to his feet -- but he was so unsteady he nearly fell down again.

“No, you’re not,” Lavi said, firmly, grabbing Allen’s arm and wrapping it around his shoulders. Allen sagged against him, saying nothing further.

Timcampy must have sent a transmission of Allen’s current state to headquarters, because when the elevator doors opened, the first thing Lavi saw was Komui, Bookman and several nurses, all standing at attention like a regiment. He would have saluted, but that would have meant dropping Allen.

“Didn’t think we were gonna get a welcoming committee,” he said.

“This isn’t a welcoming committee,” Komui said, with an extremely grave expression on his face. “This is a very serious matter.”

“You take that boy to the infirmary,” Bookman said, brusquely, pointing in the direction of the sick wing – as if Lavi needed to know where it was after having lived here as long as the damn Panda. “Now. He’s going to be quarantined.”

“Wait a second,” Lavi said, looking around. “What’s this about?”

“The region you were in recently had an influenza epidemic,” Komui said. “That’s why there were so many Akuma there -- most of them were made from local residents.”

“Oh, crap,” Lavi said, trying not to show the panic in his eyes. Dammit, he should have seen the symptoms. He and Bookman had been to far too many sites where there had been outbreaks of the disease – only the old man’s skill with the medical needles and the diet of the healthiest foods he’d insisted they both eat had kept them from being infected as well.

He remembered people staggering through the streets coughing, hospitals filled with the dying, undertakers unable to keep up with the dead . . . Small wonder that people said that influenza outbreaks were the Millennium Earl’s best friends -- in fact, rumors circulated from time to time that the Earl had *invented* the disease.

“That’s why we need to treat him immediately,” Bookman said. “If we do it now, he’ll be well within a week. If we don’t . . .”

“Let’s just get him to the infirmary,” Lavi said, flatly.

Lavi clenched his jaw and walked faster. At his side, Allen coughed, a dry, rattling noise.

He didn’t want to think of all those people letting out the same rattling coughs all around him in epidemic zones.

“Hang in there,” he said quietly enough so that nobody else could hear.

* * *

“Lavi?” Lenalee said, approaching him with her tray in the cafeteria. “What’s wrong with Allen-kun? I heard he was taken to the infirmary, but I didn’t hear anything else.”

Lavi had just been sitting by himself, staring down into his plate, clutching his glass, telling himself his lack of appetite was because he was tired from the mission.

“He has influenza,” he said, his voice nearly dull.

“Influenza?” A look of horror crossed her face.

“There was an epidemic in the place where we had our mission, and . . .”

“Is *that* what’s wrong with him?” said a voice behind them. Lavi turned, and Jerry was standing there, clutching a ladle.

Lavi nodded, gravely. “It came on him all of a sudden. He just seemed tired at the end of the mission, then . . .”

“Leave it to me!” the cook said, nearly leaping into the air, a positively gleeful expression crossing his face.

Lavi and Lenalee exchanged puzzled glances. This was the last thing they’d expected to hear.

“I have just the thing!” Jerry continued, rushing back toward his kitchen. “I’ll have him better in no time, you’ll see!”

The two of them watched him go, then Lenalee turned back to Lavi. “How is he doing?”

“He’s got a fever, and he’s coughing, and he’s weak, and . . . oh, crap.” He looked away, not wanting Lenalee to see the emotion rising on his face.

“Do you think I’ll be able to see him?” she said.

“I don’t know,” Lavi said, clenching his fist. “The Panda’s with him now, and after that . . . who knows?”

He wasn’t going to consider the possibilities of “who knows.” He *would* break down in front of Lenalee then.

* * *

Komui waited in the hall, pressed against the wall, waiting for Bookman to leave the room. The old man might have done a good job in the past healing people with his needles, but . . .

What Allen needed was a dose of modern medical science -- like the big pack he had strapped to his back, from which protruded a long, black wire attached to something that looked like an oversized meat probe.

“One zap from this,” Komui chuckled to himself, “and he’ll be good as new!”

Sure enough, the old man exited the room and headed down the hall in the opposite direction from Komui, and the supervisor made his move. He crept through the door, turning his pack on . . .

Only to have someone else slip in after him, bearing a huge, steaming kettle mounted on a wooden frame and hanging from a strap around his neck, like a street vendor.

“Hey!” Komui said. “What are you doing here?”

“I was going to ask you the same thing,” Jerry said. “You’re not going to use *that* on him, are you?”

“*This* is state-of-the-art medical science!” Komui said. “It’ll get the job done in a jiffy! And it *smells* a lot better than what you have!”

“*This* is natural herbal medicine!” Jerry said. “You know it works, because I’ve given it to *you*!”

“But this is a lot *faster!* Komui said, holding up the probe, which buzzed and crackled threateningly. “And it won’t make him want to *heave*!”

“No, but at least mine won’t be *painful!*” Jerry said.

And then, both men gave loud yelps and jumped, Komui zapping himself with the probe, Jerry spilling hot liquid all over himself, which made both of them yelp louder.

“Out!” said a gruff voice behind them. “Take your torture device and your poison sludge and get out of here!”

Jerry and Komui nearly knocked Bookman over in their rush to exit the room, not exactly wanting to be jabbed in the back with needles again. The old man nodded with satisfaction as their footsteps retreated.

“Good riddance!” he said, heading back toward the sleeping boy. He’d just begin his operation, and gone to get more needles. It was going to take awhile to balance his qui, and after that . . .

Allen was going to need peace and quiet, and someone looking after him. Preferably, someone who would intimidate anyone who tried to come after him with sickening-smelling potions or dangerous devices.

He knew he had no choice but to ask his apprentice. Unreliable as the boy could be, he at least had a passing familiarity with the way Bookman’s medicine worked, and his hammer could keep any idiots at bay.

Bookman himself was too old to deal with such things. And besides, the boy needed experience in matters other than keeping records, swinging that hammer at Akuma and flirting with every pretty thing in sight.

Sometimes, he thought, Lavi could be as big an idiot as the two would-be doctors.

* * *

“You want me to stay here all the time?” Lavi said, sitting on the chair next to Allen’s bed.

“Until he starts to get better,” Bookman said. “And before I forget . . .” His gnarled fingers shot out toward Lavi’s neck, and Lavi jumped and let out a yell as a needle pierced his skin.

“What the hell are ya doin? Didn’t think you were a vampire!”

“I’m boosting your immune system so you don’t get it,” the old man said.

“You never stabbed me in the *neck* to do that before!” Lavi said, wincing as the needle plunged deeper.

“I never had to have it work that fast before. I could have given both of you an immunity treatment before the mission if someone had thought to mention you were going in an epidemic zone.” He withdrew the needle, and Lavi yelled again. “I’ll check up on him later.”

Lavi watched his mentor go, and approached the bed, rubbing his neck. “This better work,” he said. “Damn Panda just ‘bout drove it clean through. I’m gonna leak next time I try to drink something.”

He sat next to the still-sleeping Allen, brushing the back of his hand over his face. “Still burnin’ up,” he said. “Wish I could do something about it. I don’t like seein’ you like this. You . . . hell, you deserve better.”

Allen’s eyes fluttered, and he stirred. “Lavi?” he said, then suddenly sat up, his body wracked with coughs.

“Hey, easy, now,” Lavi said, grasping Allen by the shoulders. “Just lie back, you’re gonna feel better eventually, I promise. The Panda may be a cranky old coot, but at least he’s good with this stuff.”

Allen looked at Lavi with bleary, watery eyes. “I’m cold,” he said. “I’m still so cold . . .”

Lavi took off his own jacket and lay it on top of Allen. “This any better?” he said.

“A little.” Allen clung to the jacket and pulled it up toward his head. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this before.”

“And hopefully, it’s not something you’re ever gonna feel again,” Lavi said, reaching for Allen’s hand. “How is your head?”

“Still hurts,” Allen said. “Not like before. Throat hurts. And I ache all over.” He turned his head toward the window. “Lavi . . . I hate this. I can’t stay in bed.”

“You’re gonna have to, Bean Sprout. Only way you’re gonna get better.”

“I have to be out there.” Allen raised his left hand toward the window, looking at his Innocence. “I keep thinking of all the Akuma who may be out there . . . their souls are trapped, and they’re suffering, and they need me to release them. I feel guilty lying here like this.”

Lavi swallowed hard. Of all the Exorcists he’d known during his time with the Order, none took their job quite as seriously as Allen. Many said they were the ones chosen by God, but Allen was the only one who truly seemed to regard what he did as a holy duty.

“You don’t have to feel guilty,” he said. “You’re helpin’ them right now by gettin’ better. “ He noticed Allen shifting around, trying to find a comfortable position and failing. “Maybe I should give you a back rub?”

“Mmm,” Allen just said in response, turning on his stomach.

Lavi’s eyes traveled down Allen’s body. His back sloped gracefully, his form much more toned and muscular than you’d expect from a boy his size and age. His hips were slender, and . . .

His eyes lit on the perfectly shaped bottom, the pajamas Allen was currently wearing clinging to it just enough to be tantalizing.

Lavi felt a stirring deep within him as he continued to stare at the firm flesh, wondering what it would feel like under his hands, or other parts of his body . . .

*What the hell am I thinking?* he thought. *He’s sick! And even if he wasn’t . . .*

He began to vigorously massage Allen’s upper back, pointedly not letting his hands venture much below his shoulders. “This oughta make you feel better,” he said, quickly. “Hell, when I’ve been sick, the damn Panda almost ground my bones into powder, but at least my muscles didn’t hurt anymore!”

“Have you ever been like this?” Allen said in a voice that was little more than a dreamy mumble.

“Few years ago, came down with the measles,” Lavi said, massaging across Allen’s shoulders and down his arms. “I looked like a polka-dotted sofa, and I was sicker than I’d ever been in my life. Thought I wasn’t gonna make it, but the Panda told me I was being dramatic. I told him that *he* should try having the spots and the fever.”

He reached Allen’s wrists and started massaging back upward. “He didn’t catch it from me. I don’t think he catches *anything*. Damn coot’s made of steel.”

“Mmmm, it feels good,” Allen said, his eyes drifting downward.

*Good*, Lavi thought. *He’s going to sleep. He needs it.*

He kept rubbing and massaging until Allen’s body relaxed, and his breathing became steady -- and even then, he didn’t quite stop, brushing his fingertips over his back again and again.

*Just helping, right?* he thought. *Just doing what I’m supposed to do to help the Panda’s technique work.*

But his fingers still lingered on Allen’s back and shoulders, and moved up to his hair.

* * *

He had dozed off in his chair, leaning over onto the bed. He was awakened by a sensation of being shaken. He raised his head, opening his eyes.

There was Allen, curled up in a ball and shivering in his sleep.

*Poor Bean Sprout, he really *is* suffering*, Lavi thought. He tried pulling the blankets higher, but Allen just shivered all the more.

The decision came to him in a flash. He’d been temporarily inoculated against the disease by Bookman. Allen was freezing. What he had to do was clear.

Lavi got under the covers, gathered Allen into his arms and pulled him against his body. Allen wrapped his arms around Lavi, clinging to him, and continued to shiver violently for a few long moments.

Then, he relaxed, still holding onto Lavi, his head pillowed on his chest. Lavi rested his cheek atop Allen’s hair, rubbing his back in small circles again.

This felt nice. This felt warm and peaceful and content and everything a Bookman wasn’t supposed to feel. And at the moment, he didn’t care.

And some part of him at the back of his mind was wondering what it would be like to sleep next to Allen like this every single night . . .

*That* part would have to be silenced, of course. Eventually. When this was all over.

He nuzzled Allen’s hair again, and started drifting off to sleep.

* * *

Allen was aware of the warmth most of all, as he started to slowly rise toward consciousness.

It was enveloping him completely, cutting through the chill caused by his fever. For a moment, he thought that the last several years had been something of a bad dream, and he was back home with Mana, snuggled in his lap.

He wrapped his arms around the body holding him and made a small sound of contentment, the pain in his head and his throat and all over his body seeming *less*, somehow.

Allen’s eyes (and, yes, he had two *normal* eyes, didn’t he, because the whole thing with Mana becoming an Akuma didn’t happen, Mana was right here with him) opened slowly, and he looked up at the person who’d been caring for him.

He nearly leapt off the bed. There was Lavi, holding onto him tightly, sound asleep.

Reality hit Allen in the face like a wet towel bundle filled with ice. He was at the Order, and he was with Lavi, and his friend was *holding him*.

And to Allen’s shock, he didn’t mind, either. At all.

“Hmm?” Lavi said, stirring a bit. “Y’up, Bean Sprout?”

“Mmm, I’m awake,” Allen said. He wasn’t budging from his current position. He had no desire to.

“Feelin’ any better?” Lavi reached out and touched Allen’s forehead, even though he could feel the boy’s body temperature all over him. Allen definitely seemed less feverish.

“A little,” Allen said, lowering his head to Lavi’s chest again. He was afraid if he got too far away from the other boy, the bone-shaking cold that had permeated his whole body before would come back with a vengeance.

“You scared the hell outa me back there, y’know,” Lavi said, smoothing the back of his hand over Allen’s hair. “When you couldn’t walk, and then they told me you had influenza . . . thought I was gonna lose you for a bit.”

Allen gave him a weak smile. “I’m not going anywhere, Lavi,” he said.

“You better not,” Lavi said. “I don’t wanna go off on long missions with anyone else.”

Allen raised his head, a small smile on his face. “Lavi, do you mean that?”

“Well, traveling with Yuu is no fun,” he said, quickly. “It’s just bitch, bitch, bitch the whole time. Lenalee’s much better, but her brother calls in on the golems every two minutes and that gets annoying. And Suman just plain doesn’t talk. Daisya . . . I’m not allowed to go on missions with anymore.”

“Why not?” Allen said, a look of interest in his eyes.

“Eh, long story,” Lavi said, stroking Allen’s hair again. “Let’s just say it involved some explosives and a couple of cute stableboys. Yuu was *really* grouchy after that one, probably ‘cause he was jealous that he wasn’t involved.”

Allen laughed, and then a fresh wave of coughs wracked his body. Lavi raised his head. “Allen? Allen, are you all right?”

“Yes,” Allen said, lying back down. “It’s just . . . it comes out of nowhere.”

“Is there anything I can get you to make you feel better?” Lavi said. “Anything at all?”

Allen closed his eyes, starting to drift off again. “Maybe some soup,” he said.

But before Lavi could ask him what kind, Allen was fully unconscious.

* * *

Jerry was just waiting for this. He knew that Lavi would come down eventually with a request for soup for Allen Walker. After all, sick people wanted soup, right?

Well, he was more than ready. He had pots simmering on every burner he had, with every kind of soup in his repertoire. And every one of them had his healing compound hidden inside.

*Komui isn’t going to get the better of me,* he thought. *I’ll have this boy cured before he even finishes oiling his latest invention!*

Sure enough, Lavi approached his window, looking a bit worn from having cared for the patient. “Hey,” he said. “Allen wants soup, but he didn’t say what kind . . .”

“Well, then, it’s your lucky day!” Jerry said, enthusiastically. “We’ve got chicken noodle! Clam chowder! Beef vegetable! Minestrone! Split pea! French onion! Tomato! Potato!”

“Um, isn’t that a bit much?” Lavi said, sweating a little.

“Not for Allen Walker, it isn’t!” the chef said, starting to load up little kettles with such lightning speed that his arms were a blur. “He may be sick, but he’s still a parasite-type!”

Lavi watched, open-mouthed, as the cook began to load up one of the hand carts the kitchen staff used with crock after crock. He couldn’t imagine even a healthy Allen eating all that.

“Really, it’s okay, he doesn’t need . . .”

“Take it, take it!” Jerry rammed the cart of crocks into Lavi’s stomach, making him give out an “oof!” and double over. “Go on, he’ll love it!”

Lavi decided if he didn’t get out of there, the chef would probably strap the cart to his hands and physically push him down the hall, so he hightailed it for the closest elevator. The scents wafting up to him were certainly appetizing enough -- maybe if Allen didn’t eat it all, he’d try some of it himself.

Little did he know that he was being watched.

*So that’s how Jerry wants it,* Komui thought. *Fine. I’ll find my own way to get to Allen Walker.*

* * *

Lavi arrived back in Allen’s room to find the other exorcist sitting up against the pillows. *Good*, he thought, *he’s up *and* upright!* “Look what I have for yooouuu!” he said in a singsong tone, pushing the cart into his room.

Allen’s eyes widened. “Lavi, you didn’t have to . . .” He suddenly doubled over with a fit of coughing. Lavi sat next to him and gently patted his back.

“Easy, easy,” he said. “You’ll feel better after you eat some of this.”

“What is all that?” Allen leaned against Lavi, eyes scanning the cart.

“It’s soup!” Lavi said. “Every kind Jerry knows how to make! Go on, try some!”

Allen took one of the crocks, lifted the lid -- this one was some kind of tomato-based soup, Lavi could tell from the aroma -- and took a sniff, at least as well as he could with his clogged sinuses. “It smells good,” he said. “Lavi, you didn’t have to get Jerry to do all this, really . . .”

“Aw, c’mon, you know how much he loves to cook,” Lavi said, ruffling Allen’s hair. “He’d stay up all night cookin’ if he wouldn’t land face-first in his pots. Besides, you’re worth it.”

Allen flushed bright red, and Lavi could tell it wasn’t just from his temperature. “Lavi, I’m so glad you’re taking care of me,” he said. “I . . . I don’t know if I’d feel better now without you.”

“Yeah? You’re feelin’ better?” Lavi said, brightening.

“A little,” Allen said, before spooning some of the soup into his mouth.

Lavi snuggled next to Allen, putting an arm around him. “I’m glad. Means the Panda’s needle thing is workin’. And when you’re just about over this thing, we’ll convince Komui that you need a few days off before you can go on assignments again.”

“But, Lavi . . .”

“But, nothin’. We’ll go away for a long weekend.”

“We?” Allen looked at him.

“Sure,” Lavi said. “I gotta be there to make sure you take care of yourself, right?” There was a part of Lavi’s brain that was telling him to stop, put on the brakes, that a Bookman should not be offering to go somewhere with a friend -- with more than a friend? -- for a few days.

He was going to ignore that part of his brain. At least for now. He knew it would probably come back to haunt him later, but he didn’t care.

“Thank you, Lavi,” Allen said, putting the soup crock on the nighttable and reaching for Lavi’s hand. They just sat there for a long moment, looking into each other’s eyes . . .

And then, there was a strange sound from the fireplace. Like a rain of pebbles falling down, landing on the floor.

Allen frowned, turning his head toward the sound. “Did you hear that?” he said.

“Hear what?” Lavi said. He followed Allen’s gaze, and saw the pebbles start to fall thicker and faster . . .

Then, there was a WHOOMPH noise, and a huge cloud of dust, and Komui was falling into the fireplace like some out-of-season Santa Claus. Only instead of a sack of presents, he had a rather scary-looking machine strapped to his back, covered with even more tubes and wires than before, the meat-like probe protruding from it.

“Jerry thinks he has the edge,” Komui said, getting to his feet and flipping a switch on the machine. “But I’m going to be the one to cure this boy!”

“Oh, CRAP!” Lavi shouted, grabbing the hammer from its holster and throwing it in the air. “Innocence, ACTIVATE!” When the expanded hammer landed in his hand, he shot a glance toward the window, which was open a crack. He turned the weapon, jamming the handle in the small opening and pushing it up, then planted the business end of the hammer on the ground and grabbed Allen with the other arm, just as Komui advanced on him, probe at the ready.

“EXTEND!” Lavi shouted, and the two shot out into the night sky, the sick boy clinging to him as he guided them upward, angling so that they’d end up in the observation room at the very top of the Order’s tower.

Lavi dropped them both to the floor and retracted his hammer, yanking off his jacket to give Allen something to lie on.

“We’ll be safe in here for now,” Lavi said. “Jeez, why did they decide to make you a test subject?” He sat next to Allen, putting his hammer back. “You okay?”

“I’m . . . “ Allen put a hand over his mouth, looking green around the gills. “Your landings . . .”

“Sorry ‘bout that,” Lavi said, clasping Allen’s hand again. “I’m gettin’ better, though! We didn’t really crash this time! Just bumped a little.”

“Lavi, did you mean what you said before?” Allen said, turning his head toward him. “About us going away together when I’m better?”

“Never meant anything more,” Lavi said, brushing Allen’s hair away from his face with the back of his hand.”

“I’m so glad,” Allen said, quietly. “’Cause I want to. A lot.” He turned his head so that his cheek was cupped in Lavi’s hand. “When it’s safe to go back down to my room, I’m going to rest as much a possible.”

“I’ll make sure you’re not bothered by . . .” He heard a commotion outside the door leading to the observatory, yelling voices, clanging metal . . .

“You’re not coming near him with that thing!” shouted one voice, tinged with a foreign accent.

“And you’re not making him eat that junk!” said the other. “He’s going to get better a lot faster if I can treat him!”

“Excuse me, Lavi,” Allen said, getting to his feet and starting to walk toward the door.

“Hey!” Lavi said, getting up and starting to follow him. “Allen! You’re supposed to rest, remember?”

Allen turned back to him with a smile, then coughed a little, sounding much less harsh than before. “I’ll rest after this,” he said. “I need to take care of this myself, Lavi.” He raised his left arm and said, “Innocence, activate!”

Lavi watched as the limb extended and mutated into the clawlike anti-Akuma weapon, and then Allen was throwing the door open, stepping into the hall.

“Allen-kun!” Komui said, raising the probe of his device.

“Allen!” Jerry said, pushing the cart of soup toward him.

But before either could get further, there was a blur of motion as Allen made two quick, downward slashes with his claw. The cart split in two, and the probe was severed from the machine.

“Oh, no!” Komui cried, grabbing the severed pieces of the tube and trying to tie them together. “My masterpiece!”

“My soup!” Jerry said, kneeling among the wreckage of the crockery, the smell of various soups -- with a slight herbal edge from his potion -- rising through the air.

“I don’t want any help getting better from either of you!” Allen said in his steeliest voice, the one usually used only for addressing associates of the Earl. “Jerry, if you want to help, bring me *normal* soup. Komui, just leave me in peace.”

“But-but-but how else are you going to get well?” said Komui, still frantically trying to peace his machine together.

“I have a *reason* to get well now,” Allen snapped. “That’s all I need.”

He fixed the two with his glare of death, his claw still upheld, until they both got the message. Komui sarted to help Jerry clean up his mess, and Allen knew the competition to cure him was over.

Allen headed back toward Lavi, looking exhausted, a wan little smile on his face. “It’s over,” he said. “I can recover in peace now.” He suddenly fell forward, and Lavi caught him.

“Easy, Allen,” he said. “You wanna rest up now, remember?”

No response from the boy in his arms but a sigh. Lavi held him tighter, resting his cheek on his hair.

He knew that Allen was going to be just fine, now.

* * *

“Never saw anything like it,” Bookman told Komui a little over a week later, as they sat in the cafeteria. “The boy just needed two more treatments and he was almost fully recovered.”

“You’re forgetting about the parasite-type Innocence,” Komui said. “A case of the flu like he had when he came here was almost enough to kill most people, but Allen not only survived, he healed.”

“I don’t know of any parasite-types that healed quite this fast,” Bookman retorted.

“Allen Walker seems to be an extraordinary case,” Komui said. “Besides, there’s another factor we need to consider.”

“Oh?” Bookman raised an eyebrow.

“He said he had a reason to get well,” Komui said. “I figured it was that he wanted to get back on the battlefield, but I didn’t want him to go out there too soon. Not after influenza. So when Lavi came to me with the idea of taking him away for a few days, I agreed to it.”

“He’d better make sure he doesn’t get sick again!” Bookman said.

“Hey, don’t worry about it, Panda,” Lavi said, coming into the room, a small suitcase in his hand. “Not like we’re goin’ off mountain climbing or anything like that. Just goin’ to make sure he lies on a warm beach for a few days.”

“Don’t let him go off after any Akuma yet!” Komui said. “If you suspect something, use Timcampy and call us!”

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Lavi said, waving a hand dismissively. “Seeya!”

He headed down to the boat docks, where Allen was already waiting, looking quite healthy considering what he’d been through. In fact, he looked more than healthy.

“Whoa,” Lavi said. “You’re *glowing*, Allen!”

“I am?” Allen stepped into the boat.

“Must be completely better,” Lavi said, stepping in after him.

“Well, I’m still kinda weak from time to time,” Allen said. “But we’re not going to be exerting ourselves much, are we?”

“Nope,” Lavi said, patting his suitcase. “Not much. Just enough.”

The two boys’ eyes caught and held. Lavi smiled slyly, Allen blushed.

Both of them knew very well about the phial of lubricating oil in the bottom of Lavi’s suitcase.
Countess Vixen von Rackenvixen_shtorat on June 10th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
Hehe, I'm not the requestor, but I wanted to comment anyway. :) The story is really cute! I love the Lavi/Allens cuddles, aww.
Brightdreamer (Mel): lavi/allen - holding handsbrightdreamer on June 11th, 2008 05:48 am (UTC)
Awww, thank you so much! ♥ This was sweet, funny, and adorable. I love the little details about Komui and Jerry trying to help too!