A/N: I wrote a very personal mini-update on why I haven't been updating or even actively writing (or reading) in general. Please check it out. It felt good to say it. It's at the very top of my profile.
I really enjoyed writing this and I hope you'll enjoy reading this. I think especially anyone who held DGM as close to your heart as I once have.
On with the story!
Day 9: Hanging Out With Friends
A person like Ellen doesn't necessarily want to be disturbed when it comes to her relationship with food, especially the hours after a tedious, demanding, and very emotionally draining mission. It's inevitable however that when living at the Black Order, whenever she invites herself to the cafeteria, her existence is immediately announced to what seemed like the entirety of the organization. One by one, they all come crashing in...
"What a coincidence, Ellen! My break just started." Johnny said as soon as he miraculously spotted her behind her heaps upon heaps of stacked plates. "Just came back from a mission, I see?" Knowing that she only eats that much when she had overexerted herself.
Gulping down the last of the plate she started only a second ago, and although exhausted, Ellen quickly flashed a grin accentuating the food residue. "I did, I apologize but I was hoping to be able to eat in pea-"
"Johnny, you should have told me you were going to the cafeteria, I could've persuaded Jeryy to give us both an extra plate of our favourite foods. Wait for me next time, will ya?"
Peace. I was going to say peace. Ellen thought quietly to herself, concealing it with a smiling greeting. "Hi, Jiji..." She trailed off.
"I just got here, Jiji. You can still do that for me, and Ellen?" Johnny said that last part slightly as a query exclusive to Ellen, knowing that she might take more regardless of her current satiated appetite had it been her favourite dish as well.
"No, I'm fi-" The ending of her sentence would've kept the two scientists shocked had she not been interrupted by a fourth party.
Marie hadn't said a word as his immediate presence alone did more than words could ever dream of doing for him in declaring that he was near. "Hello." He began as he carried a chess table in one arm and the bag of chess pieces in the other.
Jiji and Johnny discarded their initial shock at Ellen's unfinished answer for a warm beam of their white teeth towards their long time exorcist friend. "Marie!"
"I just finished lunch, would you like to play some chess?" Marie politely asked, setting up the game in a small area of the table that was untouched by Ellen's meal.
Ellen, seeing that Marie had already begun setting up, said yes, cleaning up what remained of her very satisfying love session with lunch break, wheeling her clutter to the disposal and setting herself back down in the middle of things. There was no doubt that despite Marie's blindness, he would be competent enough to leave Ellen and company feeling challenged in the board game.
"Could I join in too, Allen and Marie?" Krory sheepishly requested, much to the instant acceptance from Allen, Marie, Johnny, and Jiji.
A keen ear, red-headed fellow heard the chatter in the distance and ran off towards it, abandoning what was previously being done and leaving his partner in the process of that previously shared activity agitated as per usual. Him recognizing the voices and soon the faces too as they came into view. "Oh, Krory-kins! I wanna verse ya in a game of chess!"
"You think you have time for that, Lavi?" Bookman asked his successor redundantly, coming up behind him steadily.
"Of course." Krory said with a small smile, tears brimming in his eyes.
Ellen smirked. "That's if we'll allow you to, Lavi."
"Course ya will, Ellen. Why wouldn't you?"
Ellen playfully scoffed at that, willing herself to ignore him from then on.
"W-what's going on over here?" Nervously, a brunette woman curiously asked, begrudgingly allowing herself to remain hopeful she wouldn't mess up this particular interaction.
"Miranda!" Lavi acknowledged, putting his arm over her shoulder. "We're starting a game of chess. Loser has to give up one plate of their food to the winner."
"We never agreed to that." Marie softly interjected. "There's no stakes to this game, it's just a calming game of chess with friends to put our minds on track towards the simpler things in life."
Marie had said that to Miranda before her hyperventilating had started, knowing the woman all too well before she could even begin to process what was told to her.
"Thank goodness." Miranda breathed, appreciative.
Marie smiled towards her, before turning his attention back to the board game. "Who wants to play first?"
"This is great! I've never seen so many exorcists here in one place before. This whole set up looks very inviting." Reever exclaimed, ecstatic.
Johnny nervously fixed his glasses, Jiji gulping loudly as they both observed their cheery supervisor come out of the blue.
"Reever, are you mad at us?" Johnny started.
"For what?" Reever inquired, raising a brow.
"That we're spending our lunch break like this?" Jiji finished for Johnny.
"It's not my body I'm destroying by allowing it to run on nothing but freshly made coffee for 16 hours a day." Reever replied, voice pitch unnervingly high as he said that.
That was when Johnny and Jiji's suspicions were confirmed. Their downtrodden expressions being concealed as they both bowed their heads out of shame. Yet immediately after Lavi had declared he was going to play chess with Marie first, the two promptly jumped to protest Lavi instead and each other over who actually got to go first.
Marie rubbed at the back of his head. "It's not that big of a deal, we'll take turns."
"Hn." Sounded a just above audible man as he stopped his passing by to witness the scene of all the people he cared enough to know at least the faces and names of, all gathering around in a corner of the cafeteria to play chess. Everyone in turn looked towards him.
Ellen was the first to break the shocked silence. "Great. Are you here to watch?"
"Che." Kanda firmly crossed his arm, standing locked in place, towering over everyone sitting due to a frustratingly stubborn pride.
She couldn't help the rolling of her eyes, her silent and slow growing want of peace skyrocketing as soon as he had shown up. Maybe if she'd just shun him...
The sound of an exaggerated moan echoed in the distance as more footsteps approached the cafeteria table. "This is absolutely precious! Would you look at this, Reever? Even my darling Kanda is around to enjoy the deliciousness of this get together. It's a wonderful thing to live for, no?" Komui brightly boasted, clasped hands held to his cheek.
Kanda refused him the dignity of a response.
"Reever, you're here too? Who's supposed to be doing my paperwork then?"
Reever exhaled heavily, the vein in his temple throbbing. "You!"
Komui waved his hand passively. "No, no. I'm a very busy man who can't even find the time to do such a thing. Why else would I have you as my assistant?"
"Assistant?!" Reever shouted angrily.
"Busy doing what?!" Jiji loudly interjected in unison with Reever's exclamation.
"Sciencey things, you see." Komui stated dismissively, an agitating smirk plastered on his lips.
"WE'RE ALL DOING SCIENCEY THINGS!" Jiji and Reever squawked impossibly irritated.
"Brother? Are you giving the science division a hard time again?" Liang suddenly questioned, knowing the answer. He crossed his arms as he came to a halt, coming within the sights of everyone. He immediately greeted them all a "hello" or "welcome home", loving the warm responses that were returned to him as his eyes closed to develop his euphoric smile further. Liang's presence caught everyone's notice right away, but it seemed he had tunnel vision as the last person he greeted was Ellen, unknowingly allowing her to consume all of his attention then.
"Welcome home, Ellen."
"I'm home." Ellen responded to him bashfully.
"How was your mission?" Liang smiled sweetly, seemingly oblivious to the sudden change in her bearings.
"It was decent. I came back two hours ago-"
"Big dick!" Chirped a spry and shrill sounding young boy with teal coloured hair following an indignant looking Emilia Galmar, his guardian. "Are you avoiding me because I know your secret? My dad said that if you have one that huge, that should be the first thing you tell people, especially girls. But I don't know why girls are more important there, them being annoying is honestly the only thing that makes them so special to me."
Liang gasped, his hand instantaneously gripping onto his mouth as his face changed to a cardinal red. "Timothy!" A muffled Liang squealed, overwhelmed with the abrupt change in tone.
"You little perverted twerp! That was uncalled for! Apologize right now!" Emilia shouted, pinching his ear tightly to which Timothy's yelp pierced through the room they all gathered in, Emilia feeling extreme second hand embarrassment from the whole scenario evident by her heated expression. Knowing full well how responsible she was for him in the first place as his tutor and temporary guardian.
"What was that?" Komui's menacing rhetoric once again changing the tone of the room, his protective side coming out at the sound of his little brother seemingly being sexually harassed.
"Oh fuck no! I'm out of here!" Timothy shouted, running away from the scene with an searing elongated ear and Komui hot on his trails, not caring too much for the screaming Emilia screeching behind him about the fact that Timothy was still just a child.
"Oi! You have time to kill, literally! What's your excuse now, Chief?" Jiji antagonized.
Reever sobered up from the chaos happening around him, as usual, to add on to that. "Yeah, do your paperwork!"
Watching Reever and Jiji chase with Emilia after Komui who was in his own right hunting down an evasive Timothy Hearst, Johnny watched in awe before coming to a realisation. "Murder doesn't solve anything, you guys! Please stop this already!"
They were gone within a blink of the eye, leaving Lavi with the perfect opportunity to finally say something after what felt like an eternity of having his lips involuntarily sewed shut. "Now that the chatty Cathys are gone, we can finally play some chess, am I right guys and gals?"
Ellen made a exasperated noise at Lavi's statement, finding not even slightly humorous irony in it.
"It takes so long for you all to play a quiet game of chess? Despicable." Kanda chided before beginning to walk off elsewhere.
"Kanda, don't go!" Liang pleaded sitting down. Although, he didn't know that they actually were going to play chess before Kanda had unintentionally told him.
Liang's desperate plea brought the attention back onto him, and that was the perfect opportunity for Lavi to start the grilling session. "So you're flashing kids your goods now, huh, Liang?" Lavi asked mischievously, now that Komui was gone.
Kanda bashed his sheathed katana against the back of Lavi's head before he even had the chance of them leaving his hearing distance, hoping to knock him out cold. Putting his katana back in place at his hip, he continued on to elsewhere. "This is why..."
"Language, Lavi." Bookman quietly reprimanded, observing the unofficial lunch party.
Liang's eyes bulged out from his sockets. "Lavi! Absolutely not!" His teeth started to grind as a strong heat started to simmer over his head, the intensity of the emotions he was feeling provoking the ones surrounding him to scoot a couple inches away. "The little pervert is gonna get it next time I see him! It's going to be worse than brother's!" Liang pummeled his fist into his open palm, beyond riled up to start something now. Being the conservative person he was, he didn't have the will to bring himself to let such an occurrence go.
"Calm down, Liang." Ellen insisted, touching a finger to his knuckles. "Timothy will probably know better in the future as surely Komui and Emilia will have had their way with him by now."
Liang perked up at the sound of Ellen's voice, his gaze blessed by the sight of her as his lips parted and eyes widened an inch out of pleasant surprise, his eyes softening then despite his embarrassment that Ellen had witnessed the entire situation. "You're right..."
Ellen smirked, self assured. "I usually am, when it comes to you."
Before Lavi could even interject with a wisecrack after regaining consciousness, someone else came...
"Why am I not surprised? You have a track record of involving yourself in time wasting activities." Howard Link sharply cut in, stiff as a board when approaching the remaining members of the assemble with her clothing looking as prim and proper as ever.
"Eating, having that disturbed by my friends, and then honestly enjoying the idea of almost playing chess with them aren't time wasting activities, Link." Ellen stated matter of factually.
"That dilemma involving the demeaning of Mister Lee tells me otherwise." Link retorted.
"I'm fine." Liang kept that short, barely giving her a snide smirk.
"Having your peace disturbed? You mean we were annoying you, Ellen?" Marie asked concerned.
"I'm so sorry, Ellen! I didn't mean to!" Krory cried out.
"Oh dear, I'm such a fool, I should've known I was annoying you. When am I never annoying someone? Why do I exist?" Miranda swiftly started discouraged.
"No, Miranda, you weren't annoying me. Lavi's the one who should be asking that."
"Hey! Out of all the noise polluting people that came to you for entertainment, clown, you're pointing the finger at me? Not cool." Lavi exclaimed defensively.
"Actually, very cool... Ask anyone. Your presence alone just pisses people off."
"You're mean, Ellen." Lavi pouted, crossing his arms over his chest.
Liang abruptly laughed, the bellowing sound echoing throughout the cafeteria.
When he opened his eyes, he was able to see the warm expressions - excluding Link's as she was too dignified to entertain the idea of seriously associating herself with them on less than professional terms - on those closest to him, those expressions seemingly directed at him.
Those same expressions being so very contagious, Liang exhaling softly before saying, "Going out on those missions has more upsides than downs after all. Right, Ellen?"
Ellen couldn't help but to agree. Feeling absolutely fulfilled and yet she couldn't help but feel like he meant that in a way that wasn't regarding the food.
A/N: I feel like such a dick including Komui after Liang and Ellen had their little shit talking session about him, it was still very shady how they talked about him. Technically though, Komui's a male in this so that conversation actually didn't happen in this dimension.
It felt very fulfilling writing this. I'm finishing this challenge this year. Just you watch!
Thanks for reading!