(Allen)

He knows, he's seen the marks... I was too late to stop him...

God! What had I even been thinking in the first place?! Why did I do that? Why did I try? Why did I think this would ever go over smoothly?!

He had looked so handsome all night, he was always a hot-ugh- I don't know, he's just Kanda with his silky hair and he's in dress clothes, he had loosened his tie for goodness sake!

What had I been thinking?

Stupid question. STUPID! STUPID! STUPID! Just like me!

...

I know what I was thinking.

I was thinking, for a moment, that I might actually have something go my way for once. I forgot about my life, my bruises, my pain. I forgot I had something to hide from him, and all I could see was his big dumb handsome face, all I could feel was his lips, and his hands, and the blood rushing around in my veins. I had let reality go, left it behind because I'm an idiot, because I must secretly hate myself on the inside.

And now I have no choice since he's seen them, he knows something, for sure, is not right.

If he leaves I'll just have to let go, I'll just have to deal with the freshness of being unprepared, the ache that will come with the early retirement of our love.

The thought of Kanda showing me to the door nearly shattered my heart, added to my fears of the look on his face when he found out, how mad he would be at me for keeping this from him.

Would he kick me out? Would he yell at me?

Something deep inside me pipped up with a single frightening 'What if he hits you?' but I brushed it away immediately. It was something I knew Kanda would never do, not when he wasn't joking, not without hurting himself in the process.

I really had hoped that I would have more time with him... we were even- we were about to have the wonderful night that I had been hoping for. The date had been going so well, I had been having such a good time... and I just had to mess it all up.

I might as well just let him end it all.

"The-The truth is... is they came f-from my uncle." I finally admitted to him after a long tension filled silence, my voice embarrassingly broken, torn down. I hated sounding like this in front of him, it showed my weakness, my sharp edges, and I loathed it.

"My uncle C-Cross... ever since the accident he's been drowning himself in liquor. A-At first he'd just stumble home drunk, he would pass out wherever he wanted to, he was just hurting himself for a long time. But after a while... I-I think i-it started to get to him. I'm still alive, they are dead, and I know he blames me for what happened... He gets really drunk now and when I go home, he's up waiting for me, pissed off and ready to pick a fight."

I turned to Kanda, since I might take all the pain at once, face my fears head on, might as well look him in the eye when I told him the truth about how I'm really just a cracked mess of a human being. I could see he was listening to my every word intently as I met his fiery cobalt eyes, my own probably sad, undoubtedly full of unbridled pain as I admitted it was my ass of an uncle who had been leaving me the most broken lately.

At least, he had been, up until this...

Now I guess it would be Kanda's turn to hurt me.

Does everyone get a turn to swing a bat at my heart in this life?

"I-It's been getting worse lately, h-he used to pass out before I got home, but he's been getting worse Kanda... these are all from him... the one on my cheek awhile ago had been from him too."

"Why didn't you tell me this before Allen?" He growled, frowning deeply, taking one of my hands in both of his, holding onto it protectively.

"He's- He's a sick man Kanda, it's the alcohol that makes him do it, h-he forgets..."

Forgets he wasn't the only one who lost some one that day...

"My-my families gone too..."

That last part, whispering it into the world, it was like a new knife in the old wound and because of the pain I could feel a fresh wave of tears approaching me, threatening to spill over.

"Allen." Kanda said seriously, eyes still full of flames, but my imagination was making them seem softer than before.

"That... that bastard, I-I'll kill him for this... for hurting you."

I shook my head stubbornly, using my free hand to wipe the tears from my eyes before they could roll down my wet cheeks, looking down in shame from him seeing my current state.

I know he cares, anyone with an ounce of heart would care, but this is not something he should be fixing, not something he should deal with. He can spare me the kind words.

"Please don't Kanda, don't hate him for this, I don't hate him."

"But Allen look what he's done to you!"

"He's a sick man Kanda! He's poisoned his own mind!... He-He scares me, and sometimes I'm worried he'll do something drastic, that he would hurt me in a way that wouldn't heal, but he's still my uncle. He was just too weak to deal with the pain, with the reality, so he lets out his anger on me... and I'm so weak I suffer under it, I can't stop it."

I just wanted to be home, curled up under the sheets, behind the door that's been protecting me from Cross. My chest tight, aching, because I wanted that door's protection, only now from Kanda, from the words he was about to throw at me.

Because I didn't want to be thrown away just yet.

"Che. You are not weak!"

"Spare me your pity Kanda! Keep your fucking arguments! I AM weak! I AM nothing! Don't you get it now!?"

I ripped my hand from his, jumping up off the couch, away from the searing warmth that had enveloped and loved me not moments before, not bothering to watch his reaction to it all. I was too scared, a little chicken shit who couldn't look their boyfriend in the eye as he was left behind, couldn't bare being tossed to the side again without a say.

"I'm broken and there is nothing that will ever fix me Kanda! I've been destroyed! I'm a mess!"

The tears had stopped but all I could see anyway was the tan colored carpet and my sock covered feet, my shoes abandoned ever since I walked into the apartment, and my throat was starting to scratch from my yelling and crying.

"I'm not worth it!"

For a split second I considered just running, booking it to the nearest bus stop and letting it take me to the end of its route, catching a ride to nowhere with no one. I wanted to be a coward, I wanted to be one so badly, but for Kanda's sake I would be strong for this. I'll use the last of my strength on this. On him.

Because I think I love him. So at least I'll walk away with that.

"How dare you." He growled, sounding unsurprisingly angry.

I knew he would be mad that I didn't tell him sooner, he shouldn't be mixed up in all of this, he's stressed about his schooling, finding his place in the world... he shouldn't have to deal with me too.

He doesn't have too.

"How dare you say those things about yourself."

I understand he- wait-

"Has this really been going on this long? Long enough for you to believe all that bullshit?"

What is he even saying right now?

"You think every word of that is true, don't you? For fuck sake Allen! Don't listen to that dick head's drunken word vomit! You should know better than that!"

What the hell is he even saying right now?

"The idea... the thought that- that he would do something like this to you! He's all... you where so young when that happened! And look! Look at yourself Allen! This is not something you can brush off! This is abuse!"

My body had locked itself up with each word, I was stuck in place with nothing but my neck muscles in working order, and even they felt wobbly, like they would snap under the weight if I held my head too high.

Slowly I risked snapping my neck, turning my gaze up to him, only to see that he wasn't even looking at me anymore. He had one hand buried in his hair, his heated eyes glaring at nothing in particular off to the side, his features scrunched in thoughtful anger. He looked like he was about to punch a wall, like he was contemplating all the different angles he could attack at, and both his hands had balled into fists squeezed tightly enough that they were shaking. I frowned thinking of his bruised fist, remembering that he never got the chance to put something on it to help, wishing that his injury was priority right now, not my brokenness.

What is he even saying? Is he...? Is he mad at me for not telling him or what? He wants me to leave doesn't he? He... He...

He couldn't like me that much that he'd keep all of this? Right?

I'm not worth it, I'm nothing, I'm... I'm...

Something from deep inside whispered a memory into my ear, reminded me of what he'd said the day I came crying to him with that bruise across my cheek, told me about how serious he had looked when he had said he wanted to protect me.

Was he protecting me still even now? Even when there's nothing left for him to protect? Like a loyal dog who's owner has died, does he sit at my grave and growl at the people who pass by? ... How could I even think that? How could I have even thought to compare him to a dog when Kanda's one of the few decent human beings I know?

"I know Kanda, don't you think I understand? I know my situation, and I know the risks that come with walking through the front door at the end of the day. I've dreaded it every night, after every date we've had! I dread it now at this very moment because I know that no matter what I'll have to go home eventually and when I do there's a chance he will be up waiting for me! I understand Kanda! Why don't you?!"

He had looked back to me as I spoke, he's eyes never dimming their fires, his frown and fists never loosening, never relaxing.

"That-that bastard! Why have you never told-?!"

"BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT YOU TO KNOW!"

I screamed it at his thick skull from the top of my lungs, knowing that he was just prolonging the inevitable, that he had to be.

If he wants to know it all so badly then I'll tell him the painful stinging truth.

"I didn't want you to know, Kanda! Because your a smart and handsome person who could have whoever you wanted and I'm just this broken pile of shards that is going to blow away in the wind someday! I'm a nothing that will have nothing, be nothing, and had planned on leaving nothing behind because of that! You don't need this in your life! You don't need ME in your life! I'm just a weight on you! Something to hold you down!"

More tears flooded my eyes and I quickly wiped them away, I could see Kanda's mouth drop open, his lips beginning to form more of those assurances that everything would be okay, and as much as I wanted to fall into them, I just couldn't. I couldn't stop now that I'd started.

"I was hoping to get some good memories before you found out... I was hoping to give you more than just my first kiss and a few months of secretly making out in the storage room. I wanted my first time- my only time to be with you. I didn't tell you because I wanted something pleasant I could look back on, something happy to keep myself sane for the rest of my life, I wanted to have a memory I could actually cherish." I paused a moment to breath, to swallow the lump that threatened to crack my voice before continuing to drill my point into his stubborn as steel head, "I thought that once you could see how really fucked up I am you would realize you could do better, that you don't need this in your life, and would pack your shit! I understand that you don't need this, but I didn't want it to end suddenly, I wanted time to come to terms with how I feel and how I'll feel about eventually having those feelings stomped on! But it's too late for that because now you know about my home life, you know how useless I am! So just throw me away already! There's nothing left for you to protect!"

I couldn't see his reaction, my eyes where too blurred with tears, and when I blinked them away I could feel them heavily roll across my skin.

"You can't save me, Kanda."

And when, after a long time, he didn't say anything, I decided it was time I take my leave.

"I... I understand that, you don't need this, I'm-I'll just go-"

I barely made it three steps before he was in the way of my path, standing tall and protectively before me, and it killed me -yet thrilled my heart- that he wasn't just letting me go.

How could he still stand in my way? I'm nothing. Can give him nothing.

"Damn it Moyashi!" He yelled loud enough to make me flinch back instinctively, "Where the hell do you think your going? Why are you so intent on leaving? Why?"

"Because I'm use-"

"But your not! Not to me!"

Feeling my traitorous heart flutter from the tone in his voice, I quickly wiped at my off and on shower of tears, wondering how he could see me now and still say something like that. Those words are so uncharacteristic of him, to admit such a feeling existed in him, he never would admit his feelings.

"For fuck-sake Allen! What can I say to get you to stay, to show you you have some god damn worth in this world?!"

I was too busy trying not to just breakdown on the floor to answer him, realizing my arms where too wet to help the water in my eyes, pulling the blanket that still miraculously hung on my shoulders tighter around me.

And then I heard him sigh deeply, heard the familiar annoyance he held himself with, and I knew it was any second now. He was getting tired, tired of fighting me, and any moment he'd say the words... he'd let me go.

I couldn't help but hold my breath.

"Allen, I..."

Closing my eyes, I had to look away, look to the ground. I hated this.

I hated it with all the love left in my heart.

"Allen... shit Allen."

Suddenly I was enveloped by his strong arms, my teary face once again mushed against his strong chest, his grip so tight it forced out all the air that I'd been holding in.

"I don't care Allen, I don't care about any of that shit, don't you see that?"

I could barely gulp, barely suck in a shake breath.

"You say all that garbage about being useless, worthless, when your not anything close, your so far from those things Allen."

I just stood frozen, shocked that he was not only holding me with all his strength but also because his voice shook like leafs falling in the wind, a mixture of anger and... was that... sadness? hurt? leaking from Kanda's lips?

"Don't go back to that shit-hole if you hate it so much you, you damn fool, don't deal with the bastards bullshit. Stay with me, live here, I'll even go pick up your stuff, you'll never have to see him again. You could live here with me."

"What- Kanda- Why would you-"

"Because I love you! I love you baka! Why can't you see that?!"

When my heart stopped I thought I had died, when my lungs refused to take in air I thought I had suffocated, and when his grip ever impossibly tightened I thought I had gone to some sort of twisted heaven.

Kanda... Kanda loved me? No, but I'm so useless, so worthless, how could he love someone so pathetic?

"I've loved you since high school... and even back then it took me forever to realize it. But god damn it, I love you Allen Walker, and there is no fucking way your walking out that door or going back to that monster while I do."

"But-... But I'm so-"

"Those are lies. And you know it."

His tone was harsh, but it held more hurtful feelings then I'd ever seen or heard Kanda express. In all the years we'd know each other, never had Kanda sounded quiet like this, this hurt, this heart breaking. It wretched at my heart, sent razors across my heart strings to hear him sound like this, to be in so much agony he expressed it.

"Tell me how you really feel Allen."

Slowly I raised my arms to his chest, his grip loosening slightly, just slightly, almost as if he was scared I'd bolt out of his arms if he gave me the chance.

Knowing me, if I wasn't so stunned, I probably would have.

But I was more concerned with seeing his face at the moment, reaching up to brush back a long strand of his raven colored hair, my silver eyes more surprised then they had ever been in my short life as they found his cobalt orbs.

My breath was taken even further by the sight of his trembling blue eyes, a single tear leaking from them for the first time, his heart racing beneath the hand that still rested on his chest.

I had never seen Kanda cry before.

Kanda didn't cry, not when he was injured, not at special events or with forever goodbyes, not even when in tenth grade he got nailed in the junk while playing soccer against the twelve graders.

Kanda was a big tough guy, he never showed more than distaste, or annoyance, and even though he did have his soft moments, they where rare and far in between.

Never ever had Yu Kanda cried.

Yet here we are, my own face streaked with the tears of self-hatred and thought-to-be upcoming sorrows, watching silently as a single tear ripped itself from the corner of the mans eye only to gently speed it's way down towards me.

"Ka-Kanda?" I almost whispered, not exactly sure how to handle him, never hearing him sound so much like he wanted to break.

Why would he cry for me?

"I... I love you Allen."

The words where croaked out of his throat, croaked, like he was breaking down from the inside out.

"I'm sorry... I'm sorry I haven't been able to protect you from all of this, but if you give me the chance, I can try again. I'll protect you this time."

My mind was so baffled by ever word he said that all it could do was scream at me, scream at me to tell him how I felt about him, tell him that I wanted nothing more then to live the rest of my life in this small apartment with him and his shitty attitude by my side.

"What-? What are you saying Yu?"

He shook his head, taking his grasp away without warning, stepping back from me.

"If you love me, then stay with me... I want you Allen, I want you to live here with me, to tell me how you feel."

"I don't... why should I believe you? Believe you'll hold onto me? to us?"

Why would you hold onto such a worthless thing like me?

"Because I love you."

That time they felt like a stab wound, but really I deserved it for questioning the truth in anything he told me. Why would he lie? Why else would he cry if everything he was saying was the truth?

Kanda loved me, Kanda refused to let me go, offered to make it all better.

Everything I'd ever wanted.

All in his offered hand.

"Kanda... Kanda..." I mumbled feeling a fresh stream of tears bubble, but this time they came from a well of relief inside me that I had never before reached, never been able to tap into.

I rushed into his arms, the blanket slipping from my thin shoulders, but I didn't care. I was too busy wrapping my own arms tightly around him.

"Kanda I... I love you too." I told him desperately, clinging to him, the words flying from me in a serious of gut wrenching sobs.

"I love- I love you Kanda... I love you so much."

"Then stay."

I turned my gaze up to him, seeing the begging in his eyes, the desperation.

And for the first time in a long time, in such a long fucking time, I truly felt like I was worth something to someone.

I felt like I had a purpose.

Like I was loved.

"Stay if you really mean that Allen."

I felt his warm gentle embrace as I took in a deep shaky breath, I myself not believing what I was about to say to him, because really I had never imagined it would turn out like this. I could feel his worried gaze, feel his love, its weight, its... its reality.

"I... I'll stay Kanda, I promise, I'll stay with you."