A/N: Kagayaki is the romanji for "radiance." I came across it while reading Shugo Chara! scanlations, liked the word, and wrote it down in a Notepad document for later use. For what exactly, I wasn't sure of then, but now I know.

Enjoy.

kagayaki

Once upon a time, Lavi wondered about Lenalee's smile.

It's not a detail he should've cared about as a bookman, but he wondered anyway, just because.

It's what he first noticed about her when he entered the Order: a gentle, close-lipped curl that still reaches her eyes. He remembers blinking a few times in surprise at its simple radiance. That's… a really nice smile, he thought.

But smiling like that didn't always come easy to her.

Many times he has seen her fall onto her knees to cry in despair for her fallen friends, trembling and sobbing as she struggled to keep herself together. Whenever he'd see her in such a state, he'd rush over and hold her. Many times he would do that and each of those times, he'd wonder. Why hadn't she detached herself from them yet? Doesn't she know that she could end up falling apart if she went on like this?

And it was during one of those times that he realizes that Lenalee's strength and vulnerability were one and the same.

He held her even tighter then.

Years later, Lavi finds it incredible that she can still smile like she did before. He's thankful she still can because she has a lot of people she's supporting with that smile. (Maybe he was one of them. Heck, maybe even Kanda.)

And he wonders again, randomly: where does that radiance come from?

Time passes, but the question still sits in the back of his head. It's while he's talking to Bookman one morning at headquarters that he sees her out of the corner of his eye and a bespectacled man comes in to hug her fondly from behind. And that's when it hits him.

Lavi smiles.