Fate's Magnitude

That day was supposed to be a normal one. Kanda had got up, done his usual morning routine and left his apartment at the centre of the town with a cup of steaming coffee in hand. He usually managed to drink it until he reached the lobby because he used the stairs and lived on the 27th floor.

The sun was shining above him as he exited the building and went to his studio. He had a few photos he needed to edit and today he did not feel like doing this demanding task at home. He had to do it today unless he wanted to anger his agent once more. The last time Kanda had missed a deadline his agent had given him an earful. After all, one did not become and stay a successful photographer if they constantly missed their deadlines and did not heed warning coming from reasonable people.

As Kanda was walking and mulling over ways he could alter the photos and turned the corner, he crashed into someone. His reflexes were quick and he managed to balance himself and catch the person he had bumped into. He heard the girl thank him and apologize for not watching where she was going. Before she left Kanda caught a glimpse of beautiful violet eyes, dark gems which gleamed in the vulnerable sunlight that barely shined through the gray clouds. She was wearing a rose coloured scarf which the wind had decided to dance with right in front of Kanda's nose. Unconsciously he inhaled her scent and gasped – it was mesmerizing lavender which made his senses tingle.

Suddenly she was gone. Kanda blinked, panicked and rushed to turn the corner. She was nowhere in sight. He cursed his luck. He was just about to try searching for her, despite his common sense's warning, when his phone rang. Cursing once more, he fished the device out of his pocket, looked at the caller ID, closed his eyes and sighed before answering. Needless to say, his agent was not pleased that it was already noon and he had yet to receive an edited photo for tomorrow's exhibition.

The sun was setting when he exited the studio; having finished enhancing four out of the required seven photos. The exhibition was tomorrow night and he still did not know which his eighth one was going to be. Kanda ran a hand through his locks. The theme was happiness and he had managed to make seven beautiful, according to his agent, Lavi, photos which would 'definitely make him even more famous'. However, Kanda did not care about the fact that his popularity rate skyrocketed. He only took pictures because that was the only time when he felt at peace. He could capture moments with just one click and make them part of infinity.

The wind blew around him once more, making Kanda stop to adjust his coat so that his neck was covered. He narrowed his eyes when he saw the park nearby. It was nearing October and some of the leaves had already adopted a wonderful golden-like hue. Kanda's eyes followed the dance the falling leaves made and wished he could be as light as a leave. In that moment he wished he return to the way he was before when there no deadlines, when he just took photos and left them the way they were; when he used the original versions to bring people and himself joy.

Kanda's eyes absentmindedly traced the trees and the path they made which was now covered with freshly fallen golden feathers of soon-to-vanish children of nature. They reached the horizon and soon turned back only to have a strangely familiar rose colour filter in the corner. Kanda followed the fabric until it connected to a neck and a suspiciously familiar dark-coloured hair. The pale skin of the girl the hair belonged to was like the first snow during winter – it glistened so brightly that Kanda thought he might go blind. He felt his eyes glisten once she laughed with her eyes closed.

At that moment a string inside Kanda tightened and he felt himself picking up his camera, looking through the lens and adjusting it until he heard the soft click, signaling that a new shot had been taken. He then lowered the camera and continued to look at her as she walked down the path. She soon opened her eyes and smiled at the person next to her. It was a boy with white-coloured hair. Normally, if Kanda was not enchanted, he would have bristled at the odd colour. Now, however, all he could do was watch, observe the way her facial expressions changed, marvel at the way the fading sunlight made her hair colour seem to have lighter shades at a few places. Her laughter was like a soft melody in the background which faded far too quickly in order for Kanda to enliven every chord the sound had struck inside his heart.

That day Kanda returned home, turned on his laptop and uploaded the photos he had taken that day. He only looked at one of them and stood, too shell-shocked to attempt to do anything. His eyes remained frozen as he watched her – her smile was partially covered by her hand, but the way her eyes had crinkled made it obvious that she was gleeful. The fading sunlight illuminated her so breathtakingly that it made her seem like an ethereal being. The leaves seemed to dance in the background, making a semi-halo appear around her frame.

Kanda's hand hovered over the mouse, moving the list of editing programs he had installed recently, his eyes scanning for the perfect one to use. He desperately searched his brain for anything to change, even if it was just a small fraction, he would still notice it. He would still know. However, after one hour of hopeless research and attempts at changing the photo in his mind, Kanda stopped his movements. He contemplated his next course of action for a while before starting to work on his other photos. He was done at about 2 a.m., having drunk his third cup of coffee. With blurry eyes Kanda managed to open his e-mail and send the other four photos he had chosen for the exhibit tomorrow to his agent.

The next morning Kanda was woken by the ringing of his phone. He was pondering on the consequences of answering it, but decided against it. He needed the extra sleep. So he simply grabbed it, turned it off and went back to sleep. Needless to say, Lavi was not pleased and chose to send the photos to the curator anyway without checking in with Kanda one last time about whether he really wished to include the picture with the girl in the exhibition.

Two days passed since the city saw the picture of the girl. At first it started with innocent requests from other art galleries for more photos of her. Next was the sudden interest of advertisement companies asking for the model's name. Finally, journalists began ringing on Lavi's phone requesting interviews with the mysterious girl and the famous photographer Yuu Kanda. There were various speculations about their relationship, but with Lavi's and his excellent colleagues' help the rumours died down soon and Kanda was free to return to his semi-quiet lifestyle once more.

The second time he saw her was when he was walking by the largest and most beautiful fountain in the park. The girl was sitting on one of the benches, strangely not admiring the view of the spraying water. Instead she had her chin rested on her hand. Her face was not covered by the scarf anymore and Kanda could clearly see her face or rather half of it. Nonetheless, he was still left speechless by the sheer physical beauty this girl was gifted with. Even though her expression was empty and her eyes were not shining, she still compelled other people to look at her. Kanda was not surprised to find other boys' and some girls' gazes on her.

Her face was covered by the shadow the tree cast, but still it somehow fit her contemplative expression. Kanda sighed. He tried to look and walk away, but once again he was enchanted by this perplexing angel. His hands reached for his camera, his gray eyes looked through the lens as his fingers expertly adjusted it and soon he heard the familiar click. The photo was taken. The damage had been done. There was no turning back now.

Kanda was back at his apartment once more and he ended up searching for way to alter the photo. This time he found the some of the filters he used made the experience different, more artificial. With a deep sigh he closed the program he was using and turned off his laptop. He rested his chin in his hands. Kanda soon covered his face with them and found himself laughing bitterly. He could not believe that he had come across her once more, taken a picture of her and managed to escape without her noticing. And to top it all off the photo looked best without any changes once more.

He sent the picture to Lavi in the morning. Kanda did not include other ones. After all, as much as he wished to deny it, the pictures of this girl were one of his best thus far. Also, even though he tried to deny it. Kanda knew that the public wished to see more of her because, strangely enough, they, too, had been entranced by her.

The third time he saw her was during November. The first snow for the year had fallen and Kanda was taking a stroll around the city, taking various pictures of buildings, people, and nature, but he had yet to find one which would meet all of his requirements. Just when he was thinking of calling it quits, he saw her. She was kneeling in front of a small light brown dog. The canine's chin and underside were covered in white and he had a dark brown spot right above his right eye. It seemed to be quite content with the way the girl was scratching him behind his right ear. She, too, was gleeful, beaming at the small creature. Her eyes were open and she smiled at the dog as it licked her outstretched palm.

Just as that happened Kanda took the photo. No one noticed, again, and he somehow managed to escape undetected as well. As he ran back to his apartment, Kanda could not shake the strange flutter inside his chest as his mind replayed the scene of her smiling. Even when the strings inside him tightened and he could not help but smile as he looked at the three photos he had taken of her, Kanda still ignored the strange feelings and warning bells that were squeezing his heart.

He sent the picture to Lavi again and his popularity soared once more. Kanda was becoming the target of the media once more and as much as Lavi warned him not to take more pictures of the girl because he could no longer put an end to the rumours, this did not stop Kanda from taking more pictures of her.

The fourth time he saw her broke him. Literally. He had been casually walking deeper into the forest in order to find inspiration again. He was not supposed to meet any people here, but, unfortunately, he did. He stopped dead in his tracks once he heard an all too familiar laughter. This time, however, it sounded stranger, softer, and breathier. She was giggling.

His eyes widened. She had a blush staining her cheeks and her eyes were glowing with a flame he did not recognize. The smile on her face was slightly warmer, she had lost the scarf and her hands were tangled in the dark jumpsuit of her companion. Kanda's eyes narrowed once he laid eyes on the odd-haired boy. Something flashed through his body when he saw the way he was holding her. One had was caressing her cheek as the other wrapped around her waist.

His eyes widened when the two started leaning in and closed their eyes. He felt something being ripped from his chest. Kanda's eyes glistened once his heart started burning when he breathed. The pain was similar to having your myocardium scratched with a needle. However, despite the pain, Kanda smiled sadly as he recognized the scenery. This was the place he had come to when he first skipped school with his only girl friend. They had made out under the same trees, only it was not spring, but autumn and red leaves were falling over them and not rose petals.

With a deep sigh he grabbed his camera and with shaking hands managed to take a decent by his standards, but flawless by Lavi's picture. That day when he went home he did not waste time checking the adjustments of the photo or trying out different changes. He sent it directly to Lavi along with a few others he had edited for the next exhibition. Needless to say, Kanda was swarmed with heartfelt reactions from fans and the media wished to question him about the boy in the photo that was obviously holding someone that had been deemed 'his'. Lavi managed to silence them with a few blackmails and threats. His agent truly was a genius sometimes and Kanda, although, rarely genuinely appreciated Lavi's presence in his life. Before he went to sleep that night Kanda made a mental note to say that truth to Lavi more often. Damn. This bloody feeling was turning him into a softie.

The last time he saw her was six months later, almost a year after their initial meeting. She was sitting on a bench, crying her eyes out. There were not many, if any, people around and Kanda felt his heart clench at the sight of her. This scene did not suit well with him so he decided to do something he should have done long ago. He approached her. Once he was before her he offered her a handkerchief

At first she was startled, but soon accepted it. She thanked him and motioned for Kanda to sit down next to her which he did. He was silent, while she wiped away her tears, but still some of them continued to leak out once in a while, but she paid them no heed. Instead, she asked, "What is the famous photographer Kanda Yuu doing here so late?"

Kanda's eyes widened before he managed to choke out, "Since when have you known?"

"Since the 'thinking girl' photo. I think it was the second one you took of me." She explained.

"Oh." Kanda let out before he asked, "Why didn't you say anything?"

The girl laughed as she wiped her eyes once more, "What could I have said? Stop taking photos of me or else I will sue you?" She then laughed once more, making Kanda's heart flutter, much to his dismay, before she added, "I probably should have reacted differently, but, honestly, I was glad someone like you found me worthy of their time. I was flattered when I saw that you had taken so many pictured of me and had actually displayed them in art galleries."

Kanda sighed in relief before he replied, "Thank you for not taking any drastic measures. Also, don't underestimate yourself. You are…you are beautiful."

The girl blushed before she smiled genuinely and said, "Thank you, but I fear you are being delusional. I am not beautiful, Kanda. Your art is."

Kanda was quick to deny it when she started rummaging through her purse. She pulled out a small album out of it and showed him the pictures of her. As he flicked through them he could not help but frown. She looked…normal on them. She was not ugly, but there was nothing spectacular about them.

He did not know what to say afterwards so he settled on the simple question, "Is something wrong? You were crying earlier?"

She scrunched up her nose before she answered, "My boyfriend broke up with me. He said he no longer felt chemistry between us. He was my first so…you could say I was head over heels for him. Still am, actually." She then laughed bitterly before mumbling, "I must sound pathetic."

"No, you do not." Kanda responded, making her turn to him. He was astonished when he noticed that her eyes were red and puffy. Her cheeks were wet and her eyes were glistening with obvious sadness. She wore a curious expression, prompting him to elaborate, which he did, "It is normal to feel this way. I was devastated when my first love broke up with me. We all have to face it one day."

"Unfortunately." She muttered. She then looked ahead and seemed to have zoned out. However, she did not miss Kanda's question, "Would you mind if I asked you about your name?"

She turned to him and seemed to be contemplating whether to answer or not. She then smiled and said, "Alright, but I'll tell you my name under one condition."

"Which is?" Kanda enquired, falling right into life's trap.

"Take a picture of me. A final one before I leave this place." She requested, bewildering further. However, Kanda stifled his curiosity and merely nodded.

There in autumn's fading sunlight he took the final picture of her. She was smiling as tears were streaming down her cheeks. The wind was playing with her hair as the sun illuminated her form, creating a gentle halo. Kanda was mesmerized by the picture. Even when she was crying, she was beautiful.

Having thanked him, the girl started gathering her belongings. Kanda seemed hesitant at first, but soon handed her his camera. She was startled, then looked at him questioningly before he sighed and explained, "Keep it. This is my gift to you in exchange for everything you have given me."

Inside he added: Capture the memories at the new place, while remembering a part of the old one; while remembering me.

A tear of happiness and gratitude rolled down her cheek as she cradled the camera in her hands and embraced him, murmuring, "Thank you." She then dashed off. He basked in the scent of lavender as she faded from him, not missing the yell, "By the way, my name's Lenalee."

Lenalee. What a beautiful name.

He never saw her again after that. However, as Kanda's life continued to spin and he found happiness and love, he never forgot the girl that managed to ignite inside him the inspirational fire which every artist desperately sought throughout their life, but few succeeded in finding and taming it.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.