The mission had been pretty simple and fast, actually, which had surprised both of them.
A couple of Akuma had been wreaking havoc in one of the farms around the little town, but Allen had found them in no time and they had managed to lure them out into the open field to destroy them as soon as possible.
And good thing they had, because as soon as they started walking back to the inn they were staying at, Lavi’s eye caught the group of people that were headed for the nice square they had walked past just hours before. They were laughing, with wide smiles on their faces, the chilly spring air making their cheeks turn pink, eyes shining. Their clothes weren't in the best condition, but they were clearly formal and elegant, if only mostly on the old side.
Lavi grinned widely and couldn't stop the skip in his steps. He knew what that meant. The question was, would Allen want to go?
In any other moment, he was sure that his companion slash best friend - slash love interest? Hopefully? - would follow him with few questions asked, but the white-haired boy'd had a rough couple of weeks and months and Lavi was doubtful for once. He could see clear as day the tired drop of his eyes and the darkness they hid, how his smiles were half-hearted at best and how he was… maybe isolating himself. Lavi couldn't stand for that.
"Hey, Allen," he began in a sing-song voice and his grin turned genuine when his companion raised his head to focus his exhausted silver eyes on him. Lavi hesitated again, but he was tired of seeing him so down, it made his heart hurt, as if it was squeezed between icy claws. "There's a festival in town. Do you wanna go?" Lavi could see the conflict in Allen's eyes so, before he could say no, he pressed, "there's gonna be food for sure."
"Okay," nodded Allen immediately and Lavi hid a laugh behind his scarf as he pretended to adjust it around his neck.
Lavi took control of their path and they got to their inn in no time to have a shower and change out of their uniforms, after Lavi pointed out to a mistrustful Allen that they had already took care of the few Akuma that were around just moments before. Allen was too tired to argue, so they ended up going out bundled up with thick coats and scarves as the sky turned darker and darker until they could see a few starts peeking out from the clouds.
It was always nice to get out of the uniform, if only because it reminded Lavi of who he really was, a Bookman before an Exorcist, but as the days passed and Lavi found himself getting closer to the people at the Order - and specially to the very same boy that was walking by his side - he started thinking in reverse and…
It was also nice to see Allen out of that uniform. It helped Lavi pretend that they were two normal boys, that their fates wouldn't be…
Allen closed his gloved left hand around his wrist and dragged him to one of the stalls. Lavi blinked, surprised that they had arrived at the square that quickly, and shook his head to get those depressing thoughts out of his head. Hadn't he said that they deserved a nice evening? That he wanted to see Allen shining like the sun he was again?
"Allen, slow down, the food will still be there, you don't need to dislocate my shoulder," laughed Lavi as Allen pulled on his arm again. Allen gave him a quick glance.
"I'm hungry," he said, as if it was obvious, which it probably was, taking into account that Allen was almost always hungry. Lavi was pretty sure that his stomach was already grumbling. And, if he was honest, the food smelled really good.
They finally reached the first stall and Allen’s focus became the food immediately. Lavi didn't exist at all. He would have felt offended if he didn't find it absolutely endearing.
As Allen pointed what foods he wanted to try to the poor shocked man, Lavi leaned against the wood and looked around at the cheerful people that walked around, food on their hands, sometimes wearing handmade accessories. Some of them wore flower crowns on their heads and Lavi wondered if Allen would wear it if he bought it for him. Maybe he could buy one for each of them.
He could hear music from someplace in the middle of the square and he grinned. He could dance. They could dance. He wanted to dance with Allen, even if his companion didn't know how. He was sure that Allen's usual grace would help him with that. He could probably be better at dancing than himself, in any case, because Lavi usually got too excited.
"Lavi, do you want anything?" asked Allen from his side and Lavi jumped. When he looked at Allen he suppressed a wide smile at the numerous packages of food Allen had in his arms.
"Nah, I think you have the food part of the festival covered," he said and Allen shrugged, taking another bite out of the bread in his hand.
Now that Allen had his food, it was Lavi’s turn to drag them around the other stalls. He cataloged every handmade item, making mental notes about their rural culture and the probable origins of the festival as Allen looked around, munching on his food, with a small smile on his face that made the escapade so worth it and made Lavi’s heart sing. But Lavi had another objective and that was to find those amazing flower crowns he'd seen all around. He wanted one. No, wait, he wanted two . He wanted to see Allen in one of those, one way or another.
"What exactly are you searching for?" Damn it, busted.
"Nothing!" he chirped. His plan wouldn't fail. He would get them matching flower crowns and they would dance under the stars and-
"Uh-uh, sure," smirked Allen and stuffed the last of his mountain of food in his mouth. Lavi looked away to avoid reaching out and whipping away the crumbs around his lips. "You know, I think the girl that makes those flowers crowns is around there."
"Oh, nice, thanks-" Lavi closed his mouth and turned around to frown at Allen. Allen smiled innocently.
"You're not exactly subtle," was Allen's amused reply and Lavi sighed. Then he paused.
"Wait, so you want a flower crown?" he asked, hopeful. Allen chuckled and Lavi felt a blush creeping up on his face.
"It would be a nice souvenir," he said simply and then his silver eyes glinted with the usual mischievousness that Lavi hadn't seen in a while. "I can also try to put it on Link."
"It would be funny to put it on Yuu too," snorted Lavi. Allen grimaced.
"No, he would destroy it, better not," he said. Then he whispered something that made Lavi turn beet red and turn away from him, “I think I wouldn’t let Link wear it, anyway. The flower crowns are our thing.”
Then he reached out and with no hesitation took Lavi’s hand and led them towards a large group of people that were surrounding a young girl that had numerous baskets full of flowers at her feet. Lavi took note of her immobile legs and her willowy built and how a young man stayed behind her, watchful gaze going around the people mingling around and pointing at the flower crown they wanted to buy.
Choosing one style was harder than Lavi thought, especially because he insisted on choosing the two crowns himself. He even turned Allen around, saying something that sounded like “it’s a surprise, you can’t look”. He had a heavy burden on his shoulders, because, what if he messed it up? What if Allen didn’t like it? Oh, no, what would Bookman say as soon as he came back to the Order seeing his apprentice - who shouldn’t be getting even closer to one of the most important people in the war - with matching flower crowns and-?
Lavi blinked at the two flower crowns held in front of his eye and then at the smiling girl that had her arm stretched to give him the two accessories. Lavi took note of the white and orange flowers - lillies, he was quite sure - and grinned. He gave her more coins than it was probably needed and skipped away with a wide smile before she could call him back.
Allen jumped when the light weight of the crown fell on his head and he immediately reached out with his gloved hand to take it off and take a look at it. Lavi couldn’t stop grinning as he placed his own on his head, just over his own bandana, and he watched as Allen smiled sweetly at the flowers before placing it back on his head with a flourish that made Lavi snort. Why was Allen so good at making him laugh? It wasn’t fair.
“Shall we dance?” he asked, stretching a hand to Allen, making a half-bow and grinning widely. Allen blinked in surprise at him.
“I didn’t know you could dance,” he said, honest surprise tinting his voice, and Lavi frowned at him, pouting.
“Of course I can, who do you take me for?” he said, but beamed when Allen took his hand and smiled.
“A disaster,” Allen was quick to reply and Lavi gasped, putting his free hand on his chest in mock offense.
“Okay, then, absolutely-not-a-disaster, do you know how to dance?” he asked, even as they fell into the usual position for it without an itch. That close from each other, Lavi could see the light freckles littered on Allen’s cheeks, the individual white eyelashes and, most importantly, the blush that colored his face as he turned his face away from him.
“I know the basics, but-” Allen’s voice became small and Lavi made them twirl to stop the conversation from going to a bad place. He grinned at Allen when he looked back up to glare at him.
“I’d say you’re a natural,” he nodded, completely confident, and Allen huffed out a laugh, leaning his forehead on Lavi’s shoulder.
Lavi turned his head up as soon as he caught the sweet smell that always seemed to follow Allen, letting his eye roam through the cloudy sky as he searched a few constellations, listing their names in his mind while he waited for his obvious blush to leave his cheeks and ears and the warm feeling spreading through his chest even though the night was actually quite chilly and cold and he could feel Allen looking at him, but he was quite sure that if he looked at him, at those eyes that were two silver suns, he wouldn’t be able to keep himself from kissing him and that wouldn’t do, he needed to remain impartial, no attachments-
Oh, fuck this.
Before he could hesitate again, he made sure that they were behind the tall pavilion and out of other people’s glances, before leaning down and pressing a quick kiss to Allen’s chopped and warm - so incredibly warm - lips. And then he turned his head away again, head pounding, blood rushing in his ears, and he was sure that he was doing a perfect impression of a tomato.
“Took you long enough,” was Allen’s soft whisper under a breathy laugh and Lavi turned his surprised eye at Allen, mouth open and gaping, completely forgetting about his monumental blush.
“You- you? You-” he stuttered and Allen’s breathy laugh got louder as his shoulders shook and he raised both his hands to Lavi’s shoulders.
“I’ve known for a while, maybe even before you understood it yourself,” he said, a good-natured smirk on his face. Lavi could only blink, but then Allen lowered his head, his longish hair obscuring his face from Lavi’s eyes, and Lavi could wail, no, no, bring his smile back- “I didn’t want to overstep, you know? Our situation is… quite special, isn’t it?”
“I don’t care about that,” he blurted out and Allen’s head shot up, surprise all over his face. Lavi frowned deeply. “I don’t care about that. I just wanna be with you as long as we can.”
Allen paused, blinked, completely speechless, and Lavi felt proud for a moment, because he’d left the always collected Allen speechless , how’s that Gramps? And then Allen smiled, the most bright smile Lavi had ever seen, and his eyes crinkled with it and his eyes were shining with the intensity of more than a million suns and it was blinding but Lavi didn’t care if that was the last thing he would be able to see in his entire life.
“That’s enough for me.”