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[ ooc: following the lead-ups, this is finally the actual canon update dream! Kanda has been updated to post-ch200; more ooc information here. ]

[ you
were always so far away
and I won't run away
like I used to do ]


~

::

At first it feels like a quick-reeled movie. Images and sounds change each other almost too fast to understand, although you might be able to recognize bits and pieces you might have seen in previous dreams. Quiet, damp darkness, water holes in the ground, laboratories and machines, all hooked up, tests and flesh-ripping simulations, the girl in a dress, broken memories, love, unfamiliar feel of longing, blood, betrayal, death, Innocence. Sky, people who are suddenly alright, the old man making you up a full normal name so that nobody suspects anything, human food, Exorcists and Akuma, fights and battles, more blood, more death, more new people, passing years. So many of them. And all the while, trying to remember "that person", foolish hope to find her and ask just who they were... The images become too blurry to make out, but finally it starts slowing down, and it's possible to tell a few scenes. Surprise assault, brains coming out of ears, darkness, and then he's face flat in his past which he'd love to deny and then the embodiment of that past is suddenly an Akuma, and all reason forgotten, he'll charge at it again and again despite the fact that his arm just flied off and his body starts breaking down, protesting the abuse as he's finally going all out for real. Destroy it. Destroy. Destroy. All that matters.

And as a deathblow coming down onto the demon is blocked by an almost-kid in a white suit, yelling something and just getting in the way, it stops.

"What is this?" It almost sounds like someone else is talking, it can't be Kanda's own voice saying those unfamiliar words. Only seeing red, he doesn't really see the brat nor his childhood-friend-turned-Akuma; merely obstacles that need to be destroyed in order to move on.

To survive.

To carry on looking for 'that person'. That's why you killed him back then in the first place, isn't it? It's all that matters. Everything else can be brushed off. Yet they still try to make conversation. They don't seem to want to believe their eyes. The machine-like responses they're getting. They're trying to smile. "What's with that face?"

"Move."

"Why would you --"

"GET. OUT. OF THE WAY." The guy in front of him is shielding the other, but Kanda must get there and kill, because that's the only way he'll be able to continue. Because it's impossible to think. Because when something is completely and utterly destroyed, he  can move on as if it never existed. Forget about it. Deny it.

And he attacks, no longer caring just which one is in front of him. The relics of the past he doesn't want to remember need to be destroyed. It's just that simple.

Someone's shouting that he's going to die, sublimating too much of his soul for excess power, but he doesn't really hear it, doesn't really pay it any mind. Just keeps charging, attacking the Akuma, that's right, it's a goddamned Akuma and it's his work to wipe it off the face of the motherfucking Earth. Why is there someone trying to stop him? Then you'll just have to end them both.

"USE IT ALL UP!" It's an Akuma's voice, not Alma's, as it keeps attacking right back, so much stronger than anything he's ever faced. "If you had died with me... those damned humans would have repented!" Flesh burning off his bones, he crumbles to the ground and yet moments later, regeneration already working, he gets up again. This needs to stop. He needs to end them. But the brat is there once again, trying to get in between him and the Akuma, yes, just a demon. Fine.

"Hand it over." Kanda's voice is anything but alive, croaking like a zombie's thanks to his throat still not fully restoring itself, but it's clear he means every word. Destroy it.

"...you're not thinking at all, are you? It hurts too much to think! Why are you running away, Kanda?!"

"What's your problem?" What the hell does this guy think he knows? The air around starts crackling, as Mugen releases its full power. Kanda's hair is probably standing up at this point, not that anyone cares at the moment. This guy, right in front of him, dares to think he has any right to lecture him. "Alma becoming an Akuma... destroying this branch. Making the Thirds into monsters..." If the Noah weren't coming looking for their brethren, none of that would have happened. Ever. This situation wouldn't be happening. "It's all your fault, isn't it? Someone who stayed with the Order... even though you're a goddamned Noah!" That's right. His fault. A Noah should have never stayed around like this, expecting things would just magically be alright. It's still so naive, isn't it? And all this mess... Alma... All of this. "IT'S ALL YOUR FUCKING FAULT!" If only the goddamn Noah brat didn't exist, none of this would have ever happened. "YOU BLASTED NOAH!"

"What do you know? You think just destroying Alma is going to solve everything?!"

And both of them clash, full force on, because if that idiot won't let Kanda to the goddamned Akuma he'll just have to go through, because he knows there are little people he wouldn't manage to slice in half, and... it's no surprise, is it? His blade goes right through the brat's gut.

There's hot blood running all over his hands, and slight flesh resistance as he tries to tug the blade free. All so real. It feels almost like an outlet, and even though he's still breathing through teeth, keeping it bared like an animal's, suddenly it feels like a red veil has just been lifted off his mind. What the fuck is happening?

"Look at Alma, carefully... Why is he making that expression?"

The voice next to his ear is suddenly familiar again; Beansprout? What the -- he turns and stares as the brat pushes himself away and collapses to the ground. The sword in his hand is all bloody and the kid is turning grey. Did... did I just --

"...beansprout?!"

Did he just... kill him? The fuck is this, the fuck is that. 

And that's when he finally sees the Akuma... no, the deformed friend of his, and stares as if it's the first time he's seeing him, unbelieving. Maybe even confused. Regret? Not quite. There's something else. What he's refused to see. "Alma..."

But Alma doesn't look more thrilled to see him than before. "This is the end, Yu. Die."

Before anything else can happen, though, Beansprout explodes with a huge blob of light and a creepy Noah grin, while Alma lands safely in Kanda's hands. If... if there's anything he can still do --

The creepy blob of light grows bigger and more creepy, and the ridiculous fat man suddenly looks as if something ridiculous just happened in his pants as he watches the Sprout twirl within the blob with gleaming eyes. And then the ridiculous fat man speaks.

"Thank you, Yu Kanda. Thanks to getting injured with your Innocence... the 14th has now been awakened!"

...wha-? I did it?

"Walker is now gone!"

"--the barrier has been breached!"

A mess. Mess of voices and sounds, and --

However, suddenly everything halts, almost if some other forces have interfiered with everything that is happening, and the blob of light dies out along with the gray shade of Noah skin on Beansprout, who is suddenly staring at Kanda and Alma as if there's no tomorrow and he has nothing more important to do.

"...what."

But Beansprout isn't in a hurry to explain himself and instead is staring somewhere above, where an Akuma's souls usually hover. "Alma... you're..."

"DON'T SAY IT!" Alma suddenly looks furious, and, still in Kanda's arms, he suddenly lights up. "I'm sorry..." It looks like Akuma's self-desctruction mode, but it's too sudden to really react in any way, and for a moment they just stand there, staring at each other. The smile on Alma's face is suddenly no longer that of demonic bloodthirst but full of sincere pain instead, pushing away, and Kanda tries to reach out for him, call out, even if he knows there's no time for it to really change anything --

"Why, Alma?!"

And there's just white light as everything explodes, followed by empty darkness.

No life left in him, Kanda just stands there for a moment as the dust sets before most of his body crumbling into pieces, falling flat on the ground and not getting up anymore, crackles all over his skin on the parts that didn't fall apart completely.

...but is there really no more life? Maybe slower than before, the spell once again starts its work. It's still dark and empty, but Kanda starts registering senses. It hurts, as badly as it did back during those experiments when he was a kid. The empty, breath-taking stinging tells him that he no longer has arms and one of his legs. He still can't move, can't breathe, can't open his eyes, but he can already hear. The empty silence... footsteps... sounds as if someone's crying, or two someones at that, and...

"I can't tell him..." Alma, it's Alma. He's still there, as well. What is he saying? "If Yu found out I was 'that person', then he would stop searching... as long as he was bound by the promise he made with 'that person', he is forever hers... forever..."

What? He... did he also have the memories of someone he couldn't remember? Did his happen to belong to...

A brief moment, a smile, a flicker of hair and the rustling of a long dress as she runs through the field of flowers; it all suddenly comes out in his mind. That's where he's seen that smile before. They just both happened to be chosen for that damned experiment, years after dying, and then meeting in such a way... All the while, the answers and the person he had been looking for were right there where he had killed it all with his own hands the very day he received his Innocence!

And now they're here.

"Yu... He's the one person I didn't want to lose..!!" Alma once again sounds more like Alma than her, but what does it matter? The soul he harbours is the same one, no matter if with the memories cleared a new self of a boy had been born, just like a sort of an Akuma. Like Kanda himself. Who he used to be wasn't 'Kanda', yet now... it's alright, isn't it? Whoever they used to be, whoever they are, it doesn't change the importance of it.

"Kanda's this way..." There's crunching as someone's walking closer, as if carrying something heavy.

And then the silence explodes again.

There's sickening gurgling, crashes, and when Kanda can finally contemplate his surroundings, all he can see is a giant blobby column of Dark Matter with half of Alma on top, as it seems he's already done for. And then everything is flying because someone just grabbed him, everything is too confusing and too tiring and too long overdue and he can only really think of one thing.

"Beansprout. That place of our first mission... nobody should be able to find us there."

He nods and lets go, and Kanda heads for Alma - or what's left of him, anyway. But it seems Walker has something more to say. "Kanda... Renee told me that if anyone could help Alma, it would be Kanda. I think the same."

Kanda snorts a little. Help... he's going to try, but he already knows there's just so much that can be done. Mugen's left in Beansprout's hand, but he doesn't care much. It just means it will be going back to the Order, like all Innocences should, and there's no need for Innocence where he's going. Alma wouldn't want it. After all, it's the very thing that ruined their lives, both of theirs, both of them - and especially the one before, right? And he can almost guess what Alma is going to ask of him, and it's better if someone like Walker doesn't know, but... He has to admit, he owes the kid for snapping him out of that madness like this, and he wouldn't be here now otherwise. So when he turns back, his expression actually does look almost like a normal smile. "Thank you... Allen Walker. You helped me here."

He falls right to Alma, or what's left of him, and no longer paying attention to anything else around, he wraps his arms around the blob of Dark Matter which still resembles his first friend who just happened to have been the person he's always been looking for, and holds that form close because that's all he can do right now. And he owes so much to him. "Let's run away, together this time. To a place where there is no Innocence nor Order." He knows this promise isn't one that could last anymore, because their time, or Alma's at least, is already over. But he's not going to break it. They're going there, now, even if it might only be their place of departure. Even dying on their own terms was never a freedom they could have, was it?

There are tears on Alma's face. That silly crybaby, he always was. "So you... heard what I said, huh?"

"I was there the whole time, idiot."

The column breaks and they fall, an Ark gate flashin open right under them. For the moment, Kanda can't even distrust Walker; the gate is going to take him and Alma to their last promised stop now. A place that knows no such tales of love and tragedy, no Innocence and no church.

"Hang on tight, Alma." There was no answer, however, and as he looked down, he realized that Alma had already turned to stone, a faint smile stuck on his face and  tears still rolling down. Did he fail even their last promise? All he had been looking for and all that he had destroyed himself, bundled up into a deformed rock in his hands. And, as everything turned white as the gate envelopped them, he didn't even notice a single tear escaping  his own eyes. Forever... it was a lie, too, wasn't it?

They hit the sandy floor with a crash, the gate over them exploding into billions of little pieces that slowly landed all around them like flaming snowflakes. For a moment, Kanda could only breathe, the remains of Alma still clutched in his arms. Matel. Just as he thought. The land where the monster of a human and the doll had found their eternal rest, abandoned by everyone and everything for centuries, would now become their resting place, as well. Away from everything that had to do with Innocence... He finally managed to let go and looked up. The gate was gone.

"..."

"Poor thing..." Alma, right next to him, was still capable of speech, even if he could no longer move. "Akuma, creations of Millenium Earl, can feel it... That child is a Noah." He tried to say something else, but the Dark Matter started stirring up again and all that came out was a strangled growl.

Kanda moved closer, after a moment of being unsure what to do cradling the remains so that Alma's head would rest on his arm. "Don't speak anymore."

"Yu... just watch... don't use Innocence..."

"I know." He was almost tempted to, now, believing the tales about the salvation of souls, but Mugen was left on the other side of the gate, almost as if especially for a situation like this. But it was Alma's wish, regardless. He owed him that much at least.

"Until my soul is crushed... I still can't forgive the Order, even now... I hate them so much I can hardly bear it. But I should sink into the mud... I killed many, even lending my power to the Earl... so much..."

As hard as it was, he understood. As well as the fact what he had become, right now. And yet, all of the sudden, he knew that he doesn't give a damn. It was just Alma, and he was regretting things that could not be changed anymore, and Kanda was there to make sure he could get at least a little more at peace than he was now. "...I know." And he really did, this time. "I know, so I'll see you off to the very end."

He leaned against a wall, pulling Alma closer to keep him within his hold even as he felt his strength finally draining out. The place seemed a little more alive than he last remembered; a few patches of grass stuck out where the rays of sunlight reached and a huge, fat black spider crawled behind a rock. It appears that the Ghost of Matel died, yet left something behind after all. His eyes were closing --

A sound of laughter. Forcing himself not to collapse, he looked up, just in time to see Alma and her, partly corporeal, walk away hand in hand, looking almost like a kid and a mother and it made him feel some sort of unfamiliar warmth. And the ground was covered in lotuses once again, blooming more than ever.

"I love you, Yu."

Whoever those words came from, didn't matter anymore. Almost mesmerized, he watched a pool of mud bubble between the lotus flowers, a bit of a splash in the middle. So he did sink into the mud, in the end... both of them, or maybe they were more one and the same than Kanda could ever manage. It didn't make a difference.

"Yeah."

The feel of longing had finally changed into something quiet, soft and no longer torturing, and he simply held the no longer alive form close, not even noticing having teared up again. This... at least he had finally fulfilled this promise. Their promise.

The lotus blossoms all slowly sunk and his consciousness flickered off.

When it returned, it was quite bright. He had no idea how much time passed like this; one thing he realized was... he was still alive. Despite of being there to see Alma off, ready to go with him, he was still there. As he shifted, the statue in his hands crumbled, the wind blowing at the dust. Almost mechanically, he took a handful of the ash and stuffed it into his surviving pocket, then simply leaned against the wall. He had no will nor strength to move; at least his body seemed to hold together now but it would likely take days until he could get up and walk - even if he did have any reason to. Everything was done, wasn't it? So why was he still here? What was he supposed to do, with the one thing that kept him moving forward revealed and gone?

A bleak memory of faces rised in his mind, slowly turning more fresh than those of the past he could never fully remember yet kept cherishing. Right. There were also those people. Lenalee, Lavi, Marie, Komui, old man Tiedoll, Jerry... the people he had already met as 'Yu Kanda'. And that guy... he owed Walker one, didn't he? All those people, part of something he's never considered before. Was this supposed to be another chance? It didn't make him feel any less empty. But maybe, eventually, he could manage to carry on. Maybe there was a little basis to build on... his life was now in his own hands, after all, wasn't it? He could do what he wanted.

All those guys... and Mugen... they were all back in that place, weren't they? He's always hated that place. But what it contained wasn't always bad. It was all that 'Yu Kanda' had now, wasn't it? Along with the life still within. It's not like all those years didn't mean anything; it did, he was merely preoccupied with the promise he had to fulfill. And now... now there was just that strange, tranquil sense of freedom. He could just do whatever... even see those people. Get his sword back. Ah, there was supposed to be an established gate somewhere... France, was it? Far away. But there is no rush. He's going to have all the time in the world now, because the search is finally over. Isn't that right, Alma? Until the day he joins you in nothingness...

Sinking into the mud as well, like a lotus flower, to sleep for a thousand years.

Such a silly tale...

And the world went dark again.

::

[Anyone who knows Kanda well enough would know he wouldn't be asleep at this time in the day; and that sleep is far from peaceful. It's almost as if it's some sort of a spell that both made him fall asleep and kept him that way until the very end of the dream. He's actually turning around, even making some strangled noise that sounds like a mix of growling and screaming at the point where he supposedly loses his limbs, just to fall silent once more as the dream moves on.]

[And by the end, the corners of his eyes might seem a little wet, even if he turns away the next moment, still unable to keep still like most people do when dreaming something intense, and then everything goes completely calm, Kanda's face suddenly losing all emotion it showed just a moment ago, but not getting the usual frown, either. The video flickers lightly, almost as if something not powerful enough to cause actual static just interrupted it.]

[There's perfect stillness for a few more moments, and then, with a sharp breath, the man's eyes fly wide open.]

[The feed cuts.]

Comments

(Deleted comment)
infiniillusion
Dec. 15th, 2011 05:13 pm (UTC)
[video]
[He might have shed a tear or two. Now you get to see what it takes to make him do at least that.]

[...great. Why do people keep watching it? He recognizes the voice, and he can't help but feel a little uncomfortable, because now it's almost like two Beansprouts know the whole thing. At the same time... it's not the worst thing that can happen. At least that type seems trustworthy enough.]

[And at least now he has enough strength to move again, having pushed himself to sit leaning against his bed, but he doesn't bother to set the Hitomi upright or anything. Once he does hit the response, it's only recording the ceiling - and silence. It takes a while more for him to speak.]

Hm.
(Deleted comment)
infiniillusion
Dec. 15th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
[video]
[There's no answer, as Kanda expects there to be something else. Why would anyone contact anyone just to say something like this? Words don't really mean anything. He's not quite in himself enough to get annoyed by it, but he does find it distantly confusing.]

[After a while, there's a quiet,]

Is that all?
(Deleted comment)
infiniillusion
Dec. 16th, 2011 08:32 am (UTC)
[video]
[He shrugs a little bit, although it can't be seen. The one thing he can understand he feels right now is tiredness.]

People ask questions. You didn't.

[He's glad.]

It's almost refreshing.

[So far only Lavi and this woman here didn't immediately try to butt in to personal things, and he can quite respect that.]
(Deleted comment)
infiniillusion
Dec. 16th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
[video]
[Right, also the little brat had been strangely understanding. But she's not 'people', so it doesn't count.]

[He answers the laugh with a quiet snort of his own, though he's still way too out of it to display any proper emotion besides blank distance. Still, he has to admit that maybe all these idiot and Beansprout types aren't that bad. While they do butt in sometimes, it usually turns out that it was needed then. And when it wouldn't help...they don't.]

[But he's not going to say that, even if he's no longer concerned about saving face. It's just not very natural to him, nor does it really matter.]

Good.

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