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17 June 2008 @ 10:53 am
Fic for musician_cheyne part two  
Note: Fic was too long, so I split it in two parts. For part one, click here.

for revenge part two
by ketchupblood

for musician_cheyne


The frost crunched under his foot when he walked to town, just a few days later. Daisya wondered vaguely if they were going to stay in the clearing all through winter. Not that he didn't think it would be exciting, just that it might be a little cold and that might be hard on the old man. To be honest, he didn't really want to, not really. It sounded terribly uncomfortable and generally not fun, all around. He was still bemoaning his future as a frozen icicle—he had seen a comic with a frozen icicle man once—when footsteps just ahead of him forced him to look up. A boy, one of the friends that he had made in town. Not Rick, or Mark, or Peter... John, that was it. Daisya tapped himself on the head. At least he remembered this time. He had a horrible time with names.

John ran closer and Daisya could see a ball at his feet. "Hey, Daisya!"

He ducked just in time for the soccer ball to whir over his head.

"Hey! No fair, I wasn't ready yet!" He over his shoulder as he ran to get the ball. He overcame it quickly and stopped it with one foot. "Cheater!"

"Then you should have gotten ready sooner." John laughed. "Can you stay to play today?"

"'Course." Daisya kicked the ball back as hard as he could. "Don't you have school or something, though?"

"Why don't you?" John stopped it. "Momma says that only idiots don't go to school."

"Sucks for you," Daisya shouted. He ran closer. "Hey, is anyone else skipping with you?"

"Nope." The boy grinned. "They got caught before they could get away."

"Poor bastards." Daisya tucked the money into a pocket. Neither Kanda nor Froi Tiedoll would care if he was a little late. "Hey John, you gonna kick the ball or just stand there?"

"What, you ready now?" John smirked and kicked.

Daisya laughed. He ran to meet the ball and kicked it right back. John got to the ball and sent it far to the right and Daisya had to sprint to get to it. He kicked it viciously, even further to his left and John's right. It went right past John and into the meadow. Daisya smirked and John stuck his tongue out.

There was no goal in this game. There weren't enough people playing to really warrant any goals and the only objective was to kick the ball just out of reach. It wasn't hard and the two of them both spent more time chasing the ball down and trying to find it in the brush than they did actually kicking it back and forth. Even so, they ended up two very sweaty messes collapsed on the ground next to each other.

"Hey," Daisya asked between gulps of air, "Have you ever seen a deer?"

"Duh." John's breathing was just as heavy. "There are too many to miss."

"My master—"

"Whoa, you're an apprentice?"

"Yeah, wha'd you think?"

"What do you guys do?" John asked incredulously. "You just sit in that tiny clearing all the time."



"So, the old man said that Kanda's like a deer—"

"No way. He's way to angry to be a deer."

"I know! I think the old man's just crazy, but anyways, he says that he is and that he'll run away if we push him too hard—"

"Nah, if he was a deer he'd have run off before you could get close enough to push."

"So we should stay far away, then, right?"

"I just told you, he's not a freaking deer!" John rolled his eyes and punched Daisya in the shoulder. The effort made him breath harder. "Ugh, do you have water with you?"

"No, why would I?"

"Don't want to walk to the well."

"Lazy ass." Daisya rolled onto his stomach and plucked a grass out of the ground.

"Your fault."

"No, it's yours."

"Stupid, your aim was awful."

"What the—" Daisya glared at him. "No, you just sucked at getting the ball."

"Because your aim—"

"So, if he's not a deer, what is he?"



"Oh. I don't know. I only met him a few times, remember?"

"Yeah, but..."

"I don't know."

"Well, guess or something."

"That's stupid."

"I don't care. Just do it."

"Um. I don't know, I guess he'd be the cranky old donkey or something."

"Oh." Daisya thought about that and it seemed to fit Kanda pretty well. "So... I should..."

"I always bring our donkey an apple and sometimes it puts it in a better mood."


"I told you. Cranky."

"What if he's an angry cranky donkey?"


"No, seriously."


"Gee, thanks." Daisya rolled his eyes and threw a handful of grass at John. "You're just bunches of help, aren't you?"

John pulled some grass out of the ground and tossed them at Daisya. "No problem, no problem."


The next time Froi Tiedoll told the boys to stay in the clearing was on a Thursday. Daisya had been three steps into the forest towards the town when Froi Tiedoll grabbed his arm and pulled him back. "Not today. We have enough bread to last until tomorrow."

Daisya pouted. "Do we have meat too? Because just bread is boring and—"

"It's not necessary."

Daisya looked up at him and resigned himself to obedience. It was one of those days, then. Froi Tiedoll was always too preoccupied to teach on those days so there was never anything to do. He would have played with his soccer ball but the last time he had done that, he had kicked it right into the woods and he still hadn't found it yet. As he thought about it, he sighed. There was supposed to be a game in town today too. Robbie's team versus John's. He had been looking forward to it for a while. The two of them had had a rivalry going on for as long as Daisya could tell, and it had promised to be at least amusing for that if not for actual skill.

Daisya fell back onto his blankets and wondered what he should do, then. It was too nice a day to just go back to sleep, but after spending the previous afternoon with his Charity Bell, he didn't think that he could spend another minute practicing with it without driving himself insane with the ringing. In the end, he picked himself up off the makeshift bed and placed himself right in the middle of the clearing, cross-legged and bored.

Froi Tiedoll paced around the clearing once, twice, three times, Daisya stopped counting. Just as he was about to start up again, though, Froi Tiedoll walked away with just a stern backward glance towards Daisya. Daisya nodded glumly as Froi Tiedoll left, giving up any hope that he could sneak away.

Kanda didn't stop practicing to watch Froi Tiedoll go.

Daisya watched him without any interest. Kanda hadn't changed his practice routine since Daisya first saw him do it, though his strokes did come faster and surer now, he compensated for what would have been a shorter practice by doing more strokes.

Froi Tiedoll came back. Kanda didn't look up.

Daisya watched Froi Tiedoll pace again. His steps were rapid and he held himself stiffly. His eyes darted around at random sounds in the woods. Daisya fell onto his back. He wished he knew why Froi Tiedoll got like this all the time. It was disconcerting; they hadn't run into very many Akuma before, but when they had Froi Tiedoll had always finished them off easily.

A fanciful part of Daisya's mind imagined hideous monsters that challenged even the Generals' strengths that was chasing them all over the place because it had to stop them from completing a great quest that would render the Earl of the Millennium completely helpless. He let himself wander in that daydream for a while, mentally going through all of Europe to escape it and then finally, the three of them would stop and they would fight and have an epic battle before beating the Akuma.

Then the practical part of his mind—the scared part—reasoned that it was probably just the circumstance. They were close to a village and they hadn't done anything in months. It was probably just nerves, which Daisya supposed even the truly great got. Or maybe Froi Tiedoll just thought that seeing any Akuma—that part stuck firmly in his mind, that it was definitely Akuma that made Froi Tiedoll nervous—would be like a sudden noise to the deer.

It didn't work, Daisya thought, hiding them here. Kanda was still as tense as all hell anyways.

The sun rose directly overhead and Daisya went to the day old bread to yank off a piece. Kanda finished a sequence of attacks and eyed him with annoyance. Daisya ignored him and shoved some in his mouth. It tasted stale.

"I wonder who won..." he muttered to himself after he swallowed. This was stupid. He should have been able to go to town. It wasn't like Akuma were going to come after, not with Froi Tiedoll there.

"We are in a war," Kanda muttered. Daisya looked up at him, more than a bit surprised that someone had answered, "And all you can think about is what team won some stupid game?"

Daisya realized that Kanda hadn't meant for anyone to hear any more than he had. That didn't change the fact that Daisya heard, though, and he had to banish the image of the Charity Bell sitting unused in storage. "What?" He waved his bread in Kanda's direction, angry at himself for not being dedicated enough, angry at Kanda for pointing it out, frustrated at Froi Tiedoll for not letting him just go, and maybe a little guilty for being angry when he knew it was for the best. "This war? You mean between you and your imaginary enemy or something?"

"You should take this more seriously." Kanda had said. His hand was tightly clenched around his sword. "You obvious don't know what war is but war is not game."

Daisya scowled. "War isn't standing around and swinging your stupid sword around like an idiot, either."

"Better than live to eat," Kanda shot back.

"If you don't enjoy living, then why bother?" Daisya asked. "If you're just going to live because I don't know, but if you don't know why you're living then you might as well just be an Akuma."

"I," Kanda said through gritted teeth, "am not an Akuma."

"I didn't mean it literally, idiot." Daisya got the uncomfortable feeling that Kanda could barely hold himself back from rushing forward with his sword to attack, but he refused to move.

Kanda didn't answer him with anything but a glare. He started practicing again, more tense than before and strikes faster and angrier.

Daisya stalked back to where he had been sitting before. Froi Tiedoll must have been listening, because he stopped pacing and looked Daisya in the eye. He motioned for Daisya to follow him onto the path. Daisya obeyed sulkily, kicking the branches in his way instead of stepping over them.

"Daisya," he began once he judged that they were out of earshot from the clearing. "You shouldn't—"

"He's not a stupid deer," Daisya told him. "People aren't deer."

Froi Tiedoll looked like he wanted to say something, but he didn't. There was a silence, then, "Some live for revenge."

Daisya grabbed a bun. "So?"

"It is all that keeps him going," Froi Tiedoll said. "Be patient."

"Why should I?" Daisya glared at him. "If he just wants to live so he can kill someone then he's just like the Akuma, isn't he? Why shouldn't we just kill him now, then?"

"Daisya." Froi Tiedoll's voice was stern for the first time since Daisya had met him. "You know better than that."

"Well, why the hell can he lecture me, then?" Daisya asked. "That's what he wants, isn't it?"

"He's hurting right now. It's the only way he knows to cope."

"The hell he is. What's he hurting from? We haven't left this place in months and he only ever talks to you anyways."


"I bet he's just stupid and angry and you just don't know it," Daisya continued. "He probably thinks that he's fighting some great big enemy whenever he practices and that's why it's oh so important and—"


"What?" Daisya snapped.

"Don't say things you don't mean." Froi Tiedoll put a hand on his shoulder. "You're a good kid, but you can't understand what he feels like and why he acts like he does. You're lucky, Daisya."

"I meant it," Daisya said sullenly.

"No, you didn't." Froi Tiedoll said firmly. "You know better."

"How can I know better when you don't tell me?"

"You're smart, that's how."

"Then why can't I understand what he feels, huh?" Daisya felt a small spark of pride at being able to pull Froi Tiedoll's argument apart.

"That's different," Froi Tiedoll said softly. "He has been crushed underfoot and he has had to pick himself up and put those crushed shards of himself back together in order to survive."

"What?" Daisya asked incredulously.

"He was hurt."

"You said that already."

"And revenge is the glue that holds him together now."

"Said that too," Daisya said, annoyed.


"Fine. I'll shut up, happy?"

Froi Tiedoll continued, "It's easy to glue something together, but to get rid of that glue without hurting anything anymore takes time. Don't rush him."

"Or what?" Daisya rolled his eyes. "It's not like he's trying to forget revenge now or anything."

Froi Tiedoll started to say something but Daisya cut him off.

"He just keeps practicing like he wants to kill something anyways. All time's going to do is he's going to pour more glue on. Then what?" Daisya crossed his arms and felt smug about his answer.

Sadness filled Froi Tiedoll's eyes. "I don't know."

It took a moment for that to sink in. "Then why are just leaving him alone?"

"He needs to choose."

"You only pretend to care, don't you?" Daisya exclaimed. "You don't care if he decides to hurt anything or not, as long as he fights Akuma."

"You know that isn't true."

"Then why won't you do anything?"

"If it is his choice, then I can't stop him."

"Only if you don't try!" Daisya pushed Tiedoll's hand away.

"It's not my choice to make."

Daisya glared at him and turned to go back to the clearing, anger still burning hot, but now it was tempered by determination. Kanda could have every right to choose the path he would go on but choosing without knowing the alternatives was no choice at all.

When he got back, Kanda sat at the base of a tree with his sword shoved point first into the ground next to him. He was breathing heavily and he looked up when Daisya walked towards him. Daisya met his gaze for a second and looked away. Kanda kept glaring at him. Daisya couldn't bring himself to say anything.


"Hey, Kanda," Daisya whispered. He gingerly shoved his head out of the pile of blankets that he had been buried under. It was dark out. Froi Tiedoll was already snoring softly on one side of Daisya.

"What?" Kanda's voice was muffled. He didn't venture out into the cold, choosing instead to stay in the warm blankets.

"Why do you care so much about fighting?"

"That's stupid question," Kanda murmured.

"Whatever. Why?" Daisya asked again.

"Why do you care?"

"I just... I thought that if we're going to work together, I should know," Daisya fumbled through his explanation.

"I do not." The pile of blankets shifted and Kanda forced his way out to look at Daisya.

"But you—"

"I need to do something and to do something I need to fight and I need to fight well."


They looked at each other for a moment.

"What do you need to do?"

"It's none your business." Kanda pulled his blankets up to cover most of his face, though his eyes were still uncovered. "What about you?"


"Why do you fight?"

"You don't see me fighting all the goddamn time," Daisya muttered.

"But you will," Kanda said plainly. "You are exorcist."

Daisya didn't know how to answer him. Kanda exhaled disgustedly and disappeared under his blankets.


The weather grew frigid as the weeks passed by. Froi Tiedoll didn't say anything, but Daisya could tell that they would be leaving soon. He couldn't say what Froi Tiedoll was waiting for, but he doubted that the old man wanted to stay out in the open when the really heavy snows started falling. The daily walks to town had grown far less pleasant, too. At times, even the prospect of food was barely enough to get Daisya to pull himself away from the fire they would build up every morning and shove his arms and legs into layers and layers of cotton to trek through the light dusting of snow that covered the brown and dead leaves. Kanda didn't seem to have the quite same aversion to cold; when he did go with Daisya, he went in just his jacket and didn't move quickly to keep himself warm.

"Aren't you cold?" Daisya asked the question every time, but he still didn't believe Kanda's answer.


"Really?" Daisya jumped onto a log and balanced there.

"If I was cold, I would say that." Kanda glanced at him. "Get off there and hurry up."

Daisya rolled his eyes. "Fine, whatever."

He jumped off the log and caught up with Kanda, who was walking slowly anyways. They walked in a silence familiar from weeks of not being able to communicate. After they passed the pine tree that marked the halfway point, Daisya pulled out his bell and spun it on a finger. It did very little to dispel the silence—only a quick clink every few seconds—and it wasn't meant to. The forest was quiet. There were a few cheeps from birds that were late in leaving, but many of the animals had already gone to sleep for the winter or gone to visit warmer places.

They left the forest not too long later. Daisya dropped his ball to the ground and kicked it along. It jingled as it rolled over the uneven ground. Now it was too quiet for a bustling village, though Daisya didn't notice. He just knew that something felt different that day. He was startled when Kanda pulled his sword out of its sheathe and started running, but he kicked his ball up into his hand and ran along. When they could smell the smoke, he nearly froze, but Kanda was still running so Daisya ran too. Kanda's sword glowed with the same blue that it did when he practiced. Daisya swore and gripped his bell tighter.

They sprinted towards the village. Kanda was calm, Kanda was always calm, and Daisya hated him for it. He didn't notice how pale Kanda was or how Kanda's hand trembled just slightly. All he knew was that Kanda ran steadily while he followed, stumbling over the ground that he had gotten to know so well. He didn't want to see this, he didn't want to know what happened. Daisya could feel his heart beating, though he didn't know exactly why. If there was a fire, he hoped that—

They could see the village.

It was nearly flattened. The buildings had been blown to pieces and the people that they could see were all burned beyond recognition, only charred skin and blackened bones. Daisya couldn't feel his legs and he collapsed onto his knees. He tried to close his eyes, but they refused to obey him and scoured his surroundings instead, taking in the planks of splintered wood that used to be houses and the cloth covered corpses that he used to greet every day. His head felt dizzy and he gulped down breath after breath but still no oxygen seemed to reach his brain. It was all he could do to keep from bending over and retching everything that wasn't in his stomach out onto the floor.

Kanda stood just in front of him, frozen in place. Daisya tried to get up, tried to pull Kanda away so they could get back to Froi Tiedoll, but his legs refused to move and Kanda threw his sword down and broke into a run again, sprinting to where the inn once stood. He dove right into the pile of rubble to grab a charred wooden plank and throw it aside. Daisya watched him, his mind as frozen as his body. They should leave, he thought. They needed to go. They should leave.

Nothing else moved. The town was removed from time and the only thing that remained were the memories. Daisya's mind broke free of its confused repetitions to assault him with memories of what the town should still be. There, there stood the town hall and that pile, that had been the house where that pretty girl with the cruel eyes who always waved at him used to live. The lady in that house used to keep a small garden; she had told him about it once and showed him her ripe tomato plants. She had even given him some to take back. The man over there used to give candy out on Saturdays and that had been the only reason Daisya could keep track of days. The boys who lived in that house, the one with the little red door that was now charred brown, and in that one, the one with the dinner table still almost intact and the soup spilled onto the floor along with shards of bowls and a soup ladle, they had always invited him to play.

"What are you doing?" Kanda shouted at him. Daisya's head jerked over towards him. "Hurry up and help!"

Daisya's legs obeyed Kanda's orders before his mind could even comprehend them. They carried him to where Kanda was digging and he mindlessly joined in, tossing aside plank after plank of burnt wood. It was easy, just grab and throw. Grab one, throw it away. Grab one... A dismembered hand, fingernails caked in blood and a ring still on the ring finger. Daisya lost control of his stomach and he was on his hands and knees on the ground, trying to empty his already empty stomach. Kanda turned to see what he was doing, about to rebuke him, and ran over. He ignored Daisya and pushed aside everything around the hand until he found the cold arm, then the torso—and he wouldn't give up, because there was still a chance, just a chance, his wild eyes knew that there was always a chance—then the head. It was the innkeeper, his eyes wide open and clouded over, forehead slashed open.

Kanda muttered angrily in Japanese. Daisya stared at the dead man, fixed to the spot, unable to even retch any more.

"Stop staring!" Kanda demanded. "Can't help him! Need... find survivors..."

Daisya looked at him. Kanda's voice had trembled and Daisya realized that Kanda wasn't dealing with this any better than he was. "K-Kanda. We should just go back." Daisya tried to stand up but his legs couldn't hold him. "The old man... he'll know what to do, right?"

"What if they still alive?" Kanda insisted. "We have to... we have to help..."

"Come on." Daisya forced his legs to hold his weight and nearly fell again. "We need to go."

"We can't!" Kanda shouted. His eyes were wild, Daisya thought that he wasn't even seeing this village anymore.

"What can we do?" Daisya shouted back. "We can't—"

Kanda's stiffened and he immediately started running, back up the hill. Daisya swore and turned to chase after him, cursing him for just leaving Daisya behind in this mess. Before he could take three steps, Kanda had already stopped on top of the hill and was scooping something off the ground. A fourth step forward and Kanda was running back.

"What are you doing?" Kanda screamed at him. "Move!"

Daisya stared at him. "Why are—"

Then he saw the Akuma. There were several of them, in a ring around the town like carrion crow around a corpse. They laughed, a shrill sound that shook him to the bone and stole any thoughts that he may have had. His legs stiffened and he couldn't even fall to the ground.

He stood there while Kanda ran past him, the sword that he had run to pick up in his hands and glowing again. Daisya watched as Kanda hacked at the Akuma right in front of him. It took three cuts to finish it, Kanda's undeveloped body moving faster than Daisya would have thought possible. Daisya vaguely thought that the practicing had worked, after all. It was odd, how that was all that he could think.

The Akuma kept laughing and Daisya wished they would stop. They moved closer to him, then drifted past him towards Kanda. Daisya's body turned to stare and he tried to get it to move, just, reach into his pocket and—no, it wasn't there, it was in his hand, he had never let go—get the Charity Bell.

"Aren't you exorcist?" Kanda slashed his sword through a second Akuma. Another took its place around him. "Attack!"

"I can't." Daisya whispered.

Kanda ran back towards him, sword drawn. Daisya still couldn't move, and Kanda ran past him to attack behind him. "It doesn't matter whether you can," he growled. "Just do or you're dead."

"I can't!" Daisya shouted.

"I don't care!" Kanda's sword made a clear sound as it cut through the Akuma and Daisya could hear a thick thunk as it got to work on a fourth. "Just fight!"

Daisya turned to face him, to tell him that he couldn't, but Kanda's back was to him and, even as he ran to attack, Daisya could see him tremble. There was a large gash on his shoulder and blood stained the cloth around it.

Daisya's hand tightened around his bell and he begged God, if He was watching, to make this work. He held it out and the Akuma ignored him to go to Kanda. "Ring," he whispered. Then he dropped it and, in one practiced motion that was more instinct than anything, kicked it straight at the Akuma nearest to him. He was amazed how well he could still aim and he almost laughed. He could barely walk, but he could kick straight.

The bell rang as it went, and to Daisya's ears it was louder than the Akuma's laughter. It hit the Akuma squarely and bounced off. Daisya's eyes widened. "No," he breathed. No, it had to work. It had to work.

The bell rang louder, lying there on the ground, and the Akuma started to shake, faster and faster. Daisya watched wide-eyed and willed it to not stop. The Akuma stopped laughing. Kanda finished another one and was running to get to the last one around them. The Akuma in front of Daisya exploded in a shower of metallic dust. Daisya ran towards his bell, instinct carrying him again, because his mind didn't know what to do. He grabbed it and looked up again, terrified that he wouldn't be able to do it again and, at the same time, almost eager to try.

No Akuma remained. Kanda was standing a few meters away from him, breathing hard. He looked surprised. Daisya gave him a weak smile and Kanda collapsed.


By the time they got to the edge of the forest, Froi Tiedoll was already running out to find them. They had moved slowly; Daisya, whose legs could barely carry his own weight, supporting Kanda, who trembled as he stared off into nowhere and kept his head held high. Daisya saw Froi Tiedoll and tried to lift a hand to wave, but his hands were keeping Kanda up and Kanda sagged forward towards the ground once he let go. Froi Tiedoll's eyes widened in shock and he hurried forward to catch the boy.

Once Daisya was sure that Froi Tiedoll had a good hold on Kanda, he let go and let Froi Tiedoll maneuver Kanda onto his back. Froi Tiedoll looked at him, his eyes grieved, and asked, "How many were there?"

Daisya grabbed hold of his sleeve, feeling the terror wane ever so slowly. He was with a general now. They should be safe. "I don't know," he said softly.

"Did anyone survive?"

"I don't..." Daisya thought of Kanda, desperately searching the ruins. "I don't think so."

They went back to the clearing slowly. Daisya went as fast as he could but his legs felt too weak to carry him for very long and he had to push himself just to make it to the forest. He felt tired and the prospect of trekking through the uneven forest floor and the cold, wet snow didn't sound at all pleasant.

"I'm sorry." Froi Tiedoll interrupted his thoughts. "I should have sensed the—"

"Huh?" Daisya smiled weakly and gripped Froi Tiedoll's sleeve tighter. "I-I'm fine. I can walk."

Froi Tiedoll shook his head. "I'm glad, then."


When they finally got back, Froi Tiedoll let them both sleep while he packed. They were leaving right away, he said. The Earl wanted them. He had thought that they were safe from—that the Akuma they had sensed before were only searching for the Heart—but he was wrong. They would pack and leave the next day, he said.

Daisya wasn't listening, though. He crawled under his blankets and wrapped them tightly around himself, needing the comfort more than the warmth. He wouldn't get out for the rest of the day and couldn't sleep that night. He lay there silently and tried very hard not to think. Froi Tiedoll had tucked Kanda in next to him after putting something on his wounds and Daisya could hear Kanda breathing evenly, asleep.


The next day, things almost returned to normal. The sun rose like it always did and it was as cold as it had been for a week. Daisya heard Kanda get up but he himself refused to get out of bed until the sun was up in the sky and it felt marginally warmer. His stomach growled loudly and he ignored it.

"You're up." Froi Tiedoll smiled at him.

Daisya smiled back weakly. "Hey, where are we going now?" Normal. This was just normal. Daisya had almost forgotten the previous morning, had almost managed to block it out. This was just another day.

"We'll go to Paris for a bit, then we'll see." Froi Tiedoll handed him a pack of dried rations—the type that they always ate when they couldn't find any other food.

Daisya shook his head. "I'm not hungry."

"Eat it." Froi Tiedoll pressed it into his hand. "It'll be good for you."

Daisya stared at it dimly. Froi Tiedoll watched him and didn't leave, so he obediently picked out a few raisins and put them in his mouth. They were good, he found. He must have been more hungry than he thought. He finished them quickly and Froi Tiedoll left him to finish packing up the blankets. Daisya wondered what he was supposed to do with himself. Kanda was practicing again and, logically, Daisya knew that that was a smart thing to do.

He couldn't bring himself to pull the Charity Bell out of his pocket, though. Instead, he just watched Kanda practice. He was listless, Daisya thought. His strokes came fast and he looked worn out. Daisya wondered how long he had been going. It couldn't have been very long, he decided. Froi Tiedoll would have stopped him if he had practiced too much.

The sun rose slowly and Daisya felt his eyelids get heavier. Kanda was still practicing and Froi Tiedoll was still packing. He supposed it didn't really matter if he slept for just a little while. As he dozed off, his hand found its way inside his pocket to wrap around the bell.


When he woke, it was dark. Someone—he suspected Froi Tiedoll—had wrapped a blanket around him to stave off the cold. His back was uncomfortably warm so he turned around only to be blinded by the campfire.

"Finally awake?" Froi Tiedoll asked kindly.

Daisya moaned. "It's too bright."

"Then turn around again," he said reasonably.

"Then it's too warm," Daisya complained.

"Well, choose which is worse."

Daisya opted to pull the blanket over his head. "Where's Kanda?" he asked. He hadn't seen Kanda around the fire. Then again, he had only glanced quickly before the relatively bright light had blinded him.

Froi Tiedoll's answer was slow in coming. "He's still..."

Daisya poked his head out of the blanket. "How long has it been?" he muttered.

Froi Tiedoll shook his head. "It's how he copes."

"Idiot." Daisya pushed the blankets aside clumsily and forced himself up on his feet. "He's an idiot."

Froi Tiedoll laughed sadly. "Yes, he is."

Daisya walked towards where Kanda practiced, his footing unsteady. "You should take a break," he commented.

"It is not... business of yours what... I do." Kanda's voice was tired. His strokes came sluggishly slow too, Daisya thought.

"Yeah, well if I have to carry you again, it's my business."

The sword swings stopped. Kanda breathed heavily. "Do you even understand what happened?"

Daisya didn't say anything. Kanda had stopped practicing and that was the only reason he had climbed out of his warm blanket. He didn't care beyond that and he was too tired to really think of an answer. He turned to go back.

"They are dead." Kanda grabbed his shirt. "Do you understand? They died and it does not matter what you do because you can't never bring them back!"

Daisya gave Kanda a weak push, which did absolutely nothing. His body felt so heavy. "Then how does it help them for you to practice yourself to death?"

"I can kill their killers!" Kanda shouted. "I can to get their revenge!"

Daisya grabbed his hands and forced them to let go of his shirt. "Not if you die from exhaustion first. I'm going back to sleep."

He walked back, any kind intentions he initially had lost in fatigue.


Two finders showed up the next day with horses and a small wagon for them to carry their things on. Daisya woke up just in time to see them leave and to help load their things onto the wagon. Kanda didn't wake until they had gotten to the point of pondering just how they were going to tie a sleeping boy on top of a jumble of bags without rearranging anything.

Daisya grinned at him and teased him about sleeping in so late. Kanda steadfastly ignored him. Daisya laughed. "Don't be so embarrassed about sleeping in, Kanda."

Kanda stared at him in disbelief, still too tired to be properly angry. "That is all you think about?"

Daisya looked him in the eye. "Remember how I never told you why I want to fight?"

Kanda nodded once, quickly.

"I didn't want to then."

"Then why did you—"

"I want to now." Daisya stepped onto the wagon. "Those things shouldn't exist."

Kanda nodded curtly.

"But you can't let them define you," Daisya continued quietly. "Their existence is why we have to do what we do, but it doesn't mean we have to be only what they force us to be."

Kanda looked at him. He didn't agree, but he didn't argue either. Daisya extended a hand to help him onto the cart and Kanda accepted quietly.


musician_cheyne: Allen ~ D. Gray Man ~ by breakfastgirlmusician_cheyne on June 17th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
Ah wow, this story was so beautiful! You did a fantastic job with character development - most especially with Daisya, who went from being immature and careless to realizing why it was important to fight. I also felt very sympathetic towards Kanda, who obviously had something horrible happen to him... and the line about him fighting to kill the village's killer was brilliant. This was just great. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it. ^______^
Ketchupketchupblood on June 18th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
You can't believe how relieved I am to know that you liked it. I've never written Daisya before and, as a manga-centric type of fan, I'd only kind of skimmed through his six panels of fame. Thank you so much for liking it, I guess. xD