By Eternitys End
Normal disclaimers apply: I do not, nor do I claim to, hold any ownership over Weiss Kreuz or any of its parts. More’s the pity.
A/N (1): Reviews are much appreciated, whether here or directly to me at EternitysEnd @ eternitysend. cjb. net. I also encourage anyone to check out my website at http:// eternitysend. cjb. net. (Minus the spacing of course) Any and all submissions are welcome!
Chapter Three: The Reasonable Personification of a Lethal Weapons
"Ah, that was nice."
"I’m so I talked you into this."
"But we better pay and get back, we don’t want Akai-san to think we abandoned him."
"Or to have him snooping through our stuff while we’re gone."
"Ah, he doesn’t strike me as the type to go looking for trouble. All that military training made him stiffer than Aya, I’d bet."
"Ma, ma! Relax, stiff is good, stiff can be nice."
"Do you want coffee?"
Akai slammed his bag down on the neatly made up twin, scowling at the spic and span room around him. This had been the soccer player’s old room, for some reason, the guy didn’t strike him as the tidy type.
Running a hand over the dresser, he grimaced at the recently washed-waxy feel. Omi, probably. He kind of liked the kid. It was a shame he was pegged with such morons. He felt almost sympathetic, guilty that he was leading him on like this. But it really couldn’t be helped. And he had no qualms about using the other three oafs. They’d stood by and laughed at him in the shop today. Anger simmered inside him.
With a wrench, the zipper of his tote slid free, and Akai began tossing the contents into the open drawer. Realizing he was slightly out of control, and how Gran would skin him if she ever found out, he glanced at his briefcase by the open drawer. Oddly, the sight of the smooth polished leather reassured him. That, and the knowledge of its contents. Soon.
He hadn’t always been like this, so unbalanced, carefully teetering on the edge, with no telling when he'd slip. Or, at least, he didn’t think he had. But that was a long time ago. He’d been nothing but a child. Now he thrived off of the pent up frustration. He relished the few times he was allowed to let go. Taking deep breaths, he fell back on a military calm, sorting out his thoughts. All that would come later, for now he needed to take his place as a Weiss agent. He needed to settle so he’d be more effective in his placement.
He finished unpacking mechanically, his gaze always returning to the fine black case. Soon, was his mantra. He only had to put up with this lunacy for so long. They would be a help, not a hindrance, in the missions to come. He was only here to monitor their suspicions. And to kill. The little voice in the back of his head snickered. He’d be able to sate the bloodlust soon. Soon.
"Refills, coffee, dessert?" The waitress offered with a glance around the table. When they’d first arrived, she’d attempted plying them with her not-insubstantial charm. But despite the blonde’s eager response to trading flirts, she’d quickly learned her attempts were futile. On the one side of the booth, the small blonde was cuddled up beside the brunette, sharing bites and whispering sweet nothings, or something along those lines. The other pair, across from them, seethed and bickered, barely restraining the snarls like only familiar couples could. So, accepting her defeat, she retreated to the sidelines, watching and discussing the intricacies of their relationships with her friend Nancy.
Joining her friend after dropping the check, they crouched low and watched with amusement the impromptu tug-o-war between blonde and redhead. And although billing fights were fairly commonplace, usually between parent and grandparent or a group of old men, all wanting to foot the damn thing, red and blonde didn’t go through the typical offers.
"He ruined dinner, he should pay!" Blonde announced loudly, pointing an accusing finger, color rose in brunette’s cheeks as he sank low in his chair.
"Dinner wouldn’t cost this much. We go Dutch." Red was no-nonsense, careful to keep his tone and glare level. But although he appeared dominant in the relationship, the blonde seemed quite adept at whining his case.
"My money’s on red." Nancy whispered to their server, Cleao.
"I really think the blonde might make it." Cleao pointed out. "Red’s short tempered. He’ll give in just to shut him up." The girls watched solemnly. "Its funny that the brunette doesn’t jump in, I mean, he has an obvious interest in the outcome."
"Five dollars on the stricken short one finding a solution. He offers to pay, the others feel bad. Brunette and tall blonde go half-sies, red handles the tip." The voice came from behind them. The girls spun to find Tom, incredulous.
"No way." They argued. "You’re so on!"
"And its five each." Cleao hissed. The trio watched with rabid interest.
"No…" Nancy trailed off as the petite blonde interceded, unshed tears welling in his baby blues. "You set that up." She murmured in awe. After a hushed conversation, blonde and brunette appeared to split the bill. Red, incensed, threw down a tip and the four rose to leave.
"I didn’t set it up." Tom grinned, slinging an arm around Nancy as Cleao scurried over to the payment. "See what I do for you?" He murmured into her neck. Confused, Nancy shrugged him off.
"What?" She squeaked. He pointed to the four as they shrugged on their coats.
"See what I do for you?" The tall blonde was heard to say, slinging an arm around red.
"No. I don’t see." The redhead grumbled, shrugging him off. But as they were leaving, he slid his hand into the blonde’s, giving his boyfriend the briefest of smiles. The door swung shut behind them and the waitresses turned toward their bus boy.
Shrugging, he said, "What, they come here every time dinner’s ruined."
"Mou! Its so late. Akai-san probably thinks we’ve abandoned him." Omi moaned as they made their way to the car. Wrapped in Ken’s safe embrace he was well protected from the winter chill and his boyfriend was listening diligently, despite the fact that he didn’t have much to say. It couldn’t get much better.
"How come its Akai-san and not Akai-kun?" Ken snuggled closer. "And he is younger than you. Well, unless you count the number of birthdays as opposed to the number of months and years…" He trailed off frowning. "You turn five next year!" He teased, before turning back to his frown. "Oh." He murmured, looking pleased with himself. "He’s younger than you." He looked like the cat who not only ate the canary, but had just arranged for fresh canaries to be delivered to his doorstep daily at now extra cost. "Akai-chan." He snickered evilly. "Akachan." He laughed out right. "That is so great."
Omi frowned at him, attempting to hide his amusement. "Ken, you’re just mean."
Akai scowled in the mirror, displeased to see how he could just barely see his face. He wasn’t that short. But having toed off his shoes a moment ago, he was faced with this new problem. He couldn’t even see his chin. The fact that the mirror was angled slightly upward didn’t help matters. With a frustrated huff, he flung himself back onto the bed. And that was a mistake. He’d forgotten about the empty duffel. He dragged it out from under his lower back, tossing it on the floor beside him. His gaze automatically locked on the one sight that was guaranteed to soothe him.
He should find somewhere to put it. They probably had a safe somewhere to keep weapons that would be suspicious to innocent eyes. Not that he couldn’t deal with them in his own way. But Gran would be mad. And that would not be good. Not yet, at least.
The door swung open downstairs, catching his attention. Weiss was home. The note in the kitchen had said they’d gone to dinner. With a long-suffering sigh, he swung himself off the bed. It wasn’t that bad, kind of comfy really. He could live with it, even if that soccer player had slept on it. And who knows what else. Straightening his posture and toeing into his boots, he arranged himself in what he’d begun to think of as the Angora persona. Calm, detached, efficient. And if he came off as a bitter jerk, that was just fine by him. They had to deal with him, not like him.
Picking up his briefcase at the door, he descended the stairs to confront them. "He’s wearing shoes in the house!" Ken accused, always ready to point out his flaws.
"He didn’t know." Omi tutted at his elder. He turned to address the other brunette. "We like to keep our shoes downstairs, they’re fine in the kitchen, because there always seems to be potting soil around on the first floor and you get really dirty socks." He pulled at Ken’s pant leg, as the man had already gotten rid of his sneakers. His sock bottoms had already acquired a brown tinge. "It keeps the floor cleaner if you’ll just leave them by the stairs." He pointed out haphazard pile of boots and shoes in an open closet. "No one will steal them." He reassured with an easy smile.
"Right." Akai glanced from his boots to the men around him. He was reluctant to take them off in their company. The army issued footwear had hidden inserts, allowing him to appear a good deal taller than her really was. They’d tease, and doubtlessly peg him with a Napoleon complex. He couldn’t deal with that right now. Taking a deep breath, he glanced down at the case in his hands. "Do you have a vault or safe somewhere?" He aimed his request at Omi, who jumped to his feet and padded down the stairs to the mission room.
"I’d suggest keeping money and valuables in the bank," The others, curious, had followed them down. "But if your talking weapons." Omi cocked his head at the case. "This is the safest place for them. Pulling out a key ring and spinning the dial on the big gray cube, the door swung open.
"We’ll get you a key and the code is 9-34-77. Weiss on a touch tone phone." Omi and Youji made noises of objection. Aya looked disapproving. "Oh its not like we have valuables in here."
"No, just lethal weapons." Youji sniped.
"But I guess I’d rather keep whatever that is," Ken gestured to the briefcase. "Locked away if I can’t keep my bugnucks out all the time."
"You’re going to have to take it out of the box. And it would be helpful if we knew what you used." Everyone craned their necks to get a peak as Akai wordlessly set the case on the coffee table, opening it and carefully parting the overflowing silk inside.
"He’s going to smother people with silk." Youji slid behind Aya, using the excuse of seeing better to wrap his arms around his leader.
"They’re…" Aya trailed off, not sure what name to put to the wicked blades before them. "What exactly are they?" He asked, clearly intrigued.
Akai shrugged, petting the gleaming silver lovingly. "They don’t really have a name. I had a friend who was a weapons designer. He called them scythes, but that’s not quite appropriate."
A hush fell over the room as they examined the shiny pair. Both question mark-shaped blades tapered down to a needle fine point, thicker around the bend with a suspiciously jagged underside. At the base of each looped what appeared to be a line of inch-thick silver rope, looped neatly in a swath of silk. Upon closer inspection, the rope appeared to be tiny slivers of metal, linked together chain mail style to create a strong, malleable rope.
"Why are they different sized?" Aya asked, starting with specifics rather than a vague ‘what do they do?’ Akai stroked the weapons carefully, for once seemingly pleased to answer questions.
"The foot long," He indicated the larger, trailing a finger along the foremost bend. "Is pure power. I can’t get as much distance as the six inch," He indicated the smaller, "But it sinks deeper, and at an angle, so when disengaged, it will rip out an entire chunk of flesh, as opposed to a simple puncture." He explained in avid detail what they could do, his expression excited, completely taken with the violent pieces before him. "The six inch, as I said, can go farther distances. That’s why the line is longer. It can also be useful for grappling or reeling in a target. It won’t kill as quickly, but it’s useful nonetheless."
"They’re fishing hooks." Akai’s startled glance met an even, purple gaze. "Kritiker allowed you to register these?" He held a distinct frown as he examined the precious toys of their newest member. "Put them away." He ordered briefly. "And find me their registration. Humans, even the ones we hunt, aren’t on the same level as fish." And he walked off, trailing Youji behind him.
"Wow, an entire paragraph, along with voicing an opinion!" Youji attempted humor as he followed the redhead up the stairs. Toeing off his shoes, he followed up another set. "Aya! I didn’t know you had it in y…"
"Did you see those things?" Aya barely restrained a shutter. "He talked like they were his pride and joy. They aren’t made for a clean, quick death." He wrapped his arms around the blonde’s waist, pulling him down to sit on the bed with him. Youji startled, unused to Aya initiating anything.
"I told you I didn’t like him." Youji frowned, rubbing his chin over the shorter man’s hair. "I do have good instincts." Aya looked up at him, contained worry in his eyes. "He doesn’t belong with us. He’s cool and contained and perfectly trained, but he doesn’t belong with us. With what we stand for. He enjoys it. I thought the motto of Weiss was "Do what you have to, then torture yourself with the guilt of it." Once again, an attempt at humor failed.
"We don’t know for sure that he enjoys it. The problem might not be him." Aya nuzzled the blonde’s chin, feeling the slightest scratch of stubble.
"What do you mean, of course he’s the problem. He’s the psycho with scythe-slash-fishing hooks!" Youji attempted to initiate a kiss, only to lose interest at Aya’s next words.
"I’m saying that if Kritiker registered these things, we might have more to deal with than ‘the psycho with the scythe-slash-fishing hooks."
"You’re saying that the new Persia, or maybe even the entirety of Kritiker, has gone bad?" Unconsciously, they drew together.
"I knew that detective was in there somewhere." Aya complimented, looking up when he felt Youji stiffen.
"I do still have contacts…" Before the offer even left his mouth, Aya was shaking his head no.
"We’ve always been monitored. Probably more so now than ever. Until we have more to go on than suspicions and instincts, we should go business as usual. Just keep your eyes open. And I want good, legitimate reasons to accept a mission." He stopped further protest by tilting his head up, initiating a long, tender kiss.
"Can you believe his nerve! All of them! I mean, Omi’s still better than the rest, he’s a lot nicer. But he still was looking at me funny. Who are they to judge me?" Akai voiced his outrage very quietly, leaning against the glass of the phone booth down the street from the shop. "Shin!" He whined, louder.
"Don’t call me that." The familiar, arrogant bellow hissed through the phone. "And will you relax, you’re just making them suspicious. I knew we shouldn’t have let you take those damned fishing hooks."
"Oh, shut up! What am I supposed to call you, Tonkinese? That’d be a lot less suspicious. And you know I won’t use anything else. They don’t like being separated from me for long. As it is, I can’t see them until Omi gets me a key. They’ll be lonely. And the company in that safe is anything but good. I swear, that katana is seriously depressed. When this is over, I’m liberating them."
"For god’s sake, Akai! Will you stop talking about them like their people! They’re pieces of metal…"
"Fine, silver. They don’t have feelings! If one of the Weiss hears you talking like this, they’ll do more than look at you funny! You’re supposed to try to fit in!"
"I do fit in! And jeez, Shin! Its not like they have names. You think I’m some sort of loon? I’ve got them eating out of my hand, trust me. They may not like me, and I sure as hell don’t like them, but they haven’t done anything and they won’t. We’re just ‘adjusting’ as Omi put it. They do it with all new people. But that won’t stop us getting things done. The sooner I can prove myself in a mission, the sooner things will fall into place. You relax!" Realizing he was babbling, and not at all enforcing his claim of sanity, Akai stopped short.
He heard the sigh, and brightened at the news that followed it. "Fine, fine. I’ll be around tomorrow ‘bout lunch. We’ve got a nice safe mission for you, those freelance girls that caused Gran so much trouble. You’ll get them tomorrow night and earn that trust and approval you talk about so much. Now get back to the house before someone comes looking for you!" The line went dead and Akai stared at it a long moment before hanging up. A wicked smile, the curve of it uncannily resembling his precious blades, passed over his features. Soon was about to become now.
Youji awoke feeling warm and wonderful, an unusual feeling considering his distaste for cold, and how no matter how many blankets he piled on top of himself, the draft from his window always got to him. A particularly warm, slightly moist spot at the base of his ear led to greater understanding, and the strong arms wrapped around his waist confirmed his hopes.
No matter if they were fully clothed and nothing went past a few agonizing kisses, and no matter that it was hours before he normally woke up, he was happy. Shifting awkwardly, Youji turned, trying to retain contact without waking the redhead beside him. Unbearably dark lashes flickered open, baring deep purple eyes, sleep hazed and confused.
"Hey." Youji whispered softly, attempting to retain the moment, twining his arms around his lover. "Do you realize, this is the first time we’ve slept together." He smiled warmly, only to have the younger man wrench free of his arms, struggling to sit up.
"We didn’t sleep together." He said, obviously cross. "We just…slept." He frowned, not pleased with his level of coherency this early in the morning.
"That’s what I said." Youji mumbled, not letting his boyfriend’s mood ruin his own. "We slept. I liked it, we should do this again sometime." He maneuvered himself to splay across his lap, resembling a big, happy cat.
"You killed my arm." Aya accused, flopping the arm he’d been laying on up and down in demonstration. "You’re heavy." He pushed at the blonde on his lap.
"I’m not heavy." Youji pouted. "And I will not get a beer belly, or a receding hairline." He frowned, obviously still not over the implications of two days ago.
"You’re not fat. Or balding." Aya reassured, running a hand naturally over the head in question. "You’re perfectly fine." He found himself saying, and wondered briefly where it came from.
"Uhmm," The sound was suspiciously like a purr. "Not quite perfect." He flattered. "I’m not you." He was promptly shoved from his makeshift chair.
"Go get dressed."
Youji glanced down at himself. "I am dressed."
"In clean clothes." Aya clarified. "We have to open shop." Youji pouted.
"Its only seven. We’ve got hours before we have to get ready." Aya frowned at the obvious lack of conscience. Didn’t he know they had to have a proper breakfast, have the first displays ready, and be open, all by ten in the morning. "Oh, hush." Youji batted the redhead back onto the bed. "Don’t even think those thoughts. They’re evil." He slid his hands beneath the redheads shirt, loving the heat of his smooth skin. "We don’t get up until after Omi." Youji murmured into his ear, darting his tongue out between words. "He makes coffee." His hands slid up, taking the shirt with him.
The process was immediately put stopped, as Youji found himself on his back, beneath the redhead. "You have no concept of responsibility. You’re lazy beyond belief. And you find your way through life without any effort." Aya accused harshly before pillaging his mouth. "Do you have any idea how much I hate that?" He said more softly, coming up for air, then descending on the long stretch of tanned throat.
"Mmmnoo." Youji drawled, enjoying the attention. "Why don’t you show me." He wasn’t really paying attention to what was being said, but the basic intonations seemed familiar to him. He fell easily into the flirt, deciding, by the reaction he’d achieved; that what he’d said was fitting.
There was a knock on the door. Aya jerked upright, causing the air to woosh out of Youji’s lungs. "Aya, you’re heavy." He mumbled out, taking uncomfortable gulps of air. "We can just ignore it. They’ll go away." He whispered, the redhead proceeded to ignore him. Youji made faces of distress from beneath him.
"Aya, are you okay?" Omi inquired from the other side of the door.
"Yes." Aya barely managed to contain the growl.
"Okay, it’s just that you’re normally up by now. I wanted to know if you were sick or something, incase I needed to wake Youji to cover for you." He murmured through the door, before beginning to retreat.
"I’ll be out in a bit." Aya reassured, crawling off his blonde seat and raising an eyebrow at his over dramatic expressions of pain. Uncomfortable and disgruntled, Youji did his best in retaliation. Leaping for the door, he swung it open with a crash and pointed a finger as the little blonde spun in his tracks.
"You, little bishonen, had better work on your timing." And he stalked down the hall to his own room, leaving Aya to deal with explanations.
The day went surprisingly well, Aya and Youji painstakingly hostile, Omi apologetic, Ken oblivious and Akai in a suspiciously good mood. They made a half-decent profit and it went on as such until about a quarter past noon.
It started going down hill the second that well polished shoe stepped in the door. The florists all froze; tension beginning to trickle into the atmosphere. The strain compounded geometrically the moment Tonkinese flipped the open sign to closed, without so much as a by your leave from the shopkeepers themselves. And when he descended the steps without an invitation, thick file folder tucked under his thicker arm, Ken had to be forcibly restrained.
Silently, the five followed down the stairs.
"Well, boys, I supposed you’ve gotten to know each other by now." Tonkinese rumbled happily, patting at his stomach. "Don’t suppose you’d be interested in a mission, now, would you?"
A/N (2): Once again, for those who care, Akachan means baby. I definitely have too much fun with wordplay. I hope everyone likes how the story is developing, and I’d be immensely grateful if you’d be so kind as to review.
A/N (3): Thank you to anyone who reads and reviews.
-tmelange, Juun, ShimmeryAngelStone, MissyIrene: Thanks!
-Misura: I spent way too much time in our local Hello Kitty shop. I hope you like the latest scenes.
-Anime the Fallen Angel: A bit more action for you, both romantically and plot-wise, and plenty more to come.
-Shay: I hope I’ve developed Akai a little more. He does have a reason for being there, but I don’t want to give things away all at once.
I hope you all enjoyed the chapter!