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 Two: The Entertainment Value of Fresh Blood
"Well," Omi glanced about the room, pulling nervously at the thick carpeting between his fingers. "I’m Omi Tsukiyono, this is Ken…" Omi paused mid-sentence when Akai made a motion to desist.
"I know who you are." He gestured to each man in turn. "Kritiker keeps their agents sufficiently informed."
"Kritiker gave you the files?" Aya straightened, his heel pressing painfully into Youji’s side. "I was led to believe that information was classified." His jaw was clenched, betraying his true feelings. There were things a man kept to himself, and Aya was not pleased about having his life story spread out that anyone might see.
"Such information is kept in the strictest of confidences, I assure you." The young man before them stood stalk straight, speaking as if he were reciting from a book. "Kritiker is…"
"Yeah, yeah, Kritiker sure is!" Ken agreed wholeheartedly with a sneer. He leapt up from his crouch beside Omi, his hands fisting at his side. "If you’re done stuffing us with all this pro-Kritiker shit, I’d just as soon be excused, sir." With a mocking salute, he took the stairs at an easy lope.
"Sorry about him." Omi apologized hastily, all to happy to have an excuse to leave. He hopped up the stairs after his boyfriend, leaving to both chastise and console the man.
"It’s been great! Really it has, Private, but it’s getting late and I really should be off to…" Following suit, Youji attempted to rise and leave. The heel in his side was suddenly in his lap, Aya’s calf securing him in his seat. "Ay~aa!" He whined, making no attempt to disguise his displeasure in front of their guest. "Let me go!" He pushed at his leg, but succeeded only in having the foot hover menacingly above sacred grounds.
"Sit." Aya’s was cool and commanding. "We’re not done here."
"I know we’re not done here." Youji quickly switched tactics. "But, really, Aya, in front of a guest?" He waggled his eyebrows suggestively, whether attempting to embarrass or seduce his way to freedom, one couldn’t be sure. Nevertheless, he failed miserably. Firm pressure was exerted through the heel. The lanky blonde writhed and wiggled in misery. "You’re only hurting yourself, Aya." He mumbled none too convincingly.
"I wasn’t aware there was much to hurt." Aya taunted.
"Achem." Their unfinished business cleared his throat, reestablishing his presence.
"You will be using our cover?" Aya’s attention returned, the redhead was all business. Youji squirmed beneath him.
"It has already been arranged." Akai agreed, his attention carefully focused on Aya’s face, rather than the blonde who was plucking at perfectly rounded toenails.
"You have previous experience?" Aya cocked his head to the side, attempting to subtly shake Youji off his foot. Accidentally kicked in the stomach, Youji ‘oof’-ed and turned to scowl at his teammate.
"You did that on purpose!" He accused before being seated again by the heavy foot.
"I am a most able agent." Both men were carefully ignoring the blonde. "As for the flowers, I’m sure I’ll pick it up quickly." His low, smooth tone leaked overconfidence.
"The shop opens at 10 tomorrow. Be there a half hour early." Aya ordered sharply. "You have a place to stay." It was a statement more than a question.
Taking the words as a dismissal, the young man gave a nod of acknowledgement before disappearing up the stairs. Only the slight flare of his nostrils betrayed his outlook on the situation.
"I don’t like him." Youji muttered, massaging the bare foot in his lap.
"You don’t have to like him." Aya retorted, lazing back in his chair to enjoy the attentions, at least for a little bit.
"But I don’t trust him." Youji countered. "If I’m going to depend on him during a mission, I need to trust him."
"You just have to wait. Did I automatically earn your trust?" Aya idly brushed his fingers through chestnut silk.
Youji traced the blue veins with the barest hint of a smile. "I’ve always lusted after you." He misinterpreted purposefully.
"I said trust." Aya jerked his foot away, frowning at the lost sensation.
"‘Course I trusted you." Youji lolled his head back in Aya’s lap to smile lazily.
"You’re an idiot." The younger man jerked to his feet, bumping the blonde in the process.
"I’ve got good instincts." He murmured in protest. Staggering to his feet, he used Aya for support.
"I’m sure you do." Aya frowned as long-fingered hands drifted off course. Feigning ignorance, he bent to gather the remains of their dinner, stacking cups and crumpling wrappers. The movement proved to be a mistake, as overeager hands made use of his prone position. "You’re insatiable!" He accused, suddenly angry, as he batted away his hands.
"You don’t even know if I’m insatiable!" Youji growled back, following the redhead as he stalked up the steps. "Maybe I wouldn’t be if you at least made attempt to sate me!" He grumbled, following the shorter man closely, his hands in the air for emphasis.
"You get sated enough, without me sating you!" Aya whipped around, his chin in the air to glare up. Even as the words tumbled out of his mouth, he realized how absurd he must sound. "Now go to bed!" He roared.
"I’m not tired!" Youji lunged for his keys, set on the counter by the door. A hand restrained him on his shoulder.
"You’re going to bed. And you’re not drinking." Aya’s voice was lowered, suddenly reasonable. "I don’t want you to get in anymore trouble with Kritiker than we’re already in."
"I didn’t know you cared." Youji sneered, dropping his keys. He jerked his shoulder free.
"I care about our team. No doubt Nobaria’s here as a plant. Don’t give him anything to report." He met Youji’s glare evenly, watching as emerald eyes squinted with hurt.
"Fine. I’m going." Youji pounded up the steps, snatching a pack of cigarettes on his way.
"Goodnight." Aya told the door as it slammed. "Goodnight, Omi." Aya turned to meet their youngest member’s worried gaze. The short blonde cracked his door farther, stepping out into the hall. Ken’s chainsaw of a snore floated out with him, and Omi shut the door so as not to wake him.
"Are you guys alright?" The boy inquired, pressing two fingers just above his breastplate in an oddly soothing gesture.
"We’re fine." Aya murmured. "Goodnight, Omi." He said again, before disappearing into his room down the hall. He was irritated and confused, and oddly pleased that Youji honored his request to stay in, but they really were fine.
"Really, Gran! He just ordered me out of there, like he had the right! And I swear Kudou, that’s Balinese, must have some sort of foot fetish!" Akai paced, clutching the hotel phone to his ear, winding the cord around him with each turn. "What is this! Are these really Kritiker’s best and brightest? There must be some kind of mistake!" He was awarded with appreciative tutting on the other side of the line. "They’re complete morons! Just a bunch of pretty boys that can throw around lethal toys! Plus," He confided his worries in a lower hiss, "they’re gay!
I don’t want to stay with them, what if they come after me? I really don’t want these people watching my back." He trailed off with a whimper.
"Now calm down, sweetums, just take a deep breath, there you go." The gravelly voice of the woman known as Gran crackled through the bad connection. "You’ll do wonderfully, I’m sure of it. You always make me proud, that’s why I chose you for the position." She tutted and soothed, plumping her agent’s ego with practiced ease. "And you know better than to judge a book by its cover. I know a certain little boy who many people underestimated, don’t I? They really are very good at what they do. Very professional on the job. In all these years, they’ve only failed once. And they’ve survived some very trying situations." Akai’s full lips were pressed into a pout, he not daring interrupt the old woman. "You should be proud to be part of the infamous White."
"They don’t trust me! This won’t work. What if they peak at me in the shower!" Real and irrational fears intermingled.
"Really, sweetums! Be a little open-minded. And you’re very trustworthy! They’d be fools not love you, just as you are!" He could almost hear her leathery skin as she rubbed her hands as was her habit. "Now why don’t you have some of that lovely tea I sent you, the one in the little brown with the blue ribbon, it’ll let you get a good night’s sleep, that’s my boy. You leave all this worrying to my Tadashi. He’ll take care of everything, you just play your part.
"You said you were meeting them tomorrow?" She inquired finally.
"Yeah, nine thirty." He answered sulkily. "They’re florists. Gay florist assassins, Gran!"
"I always did love Ikebana." The old woman mumbled, ignoring his rants. "I really must start again. Do you think next time you visit you might bring me some flowers from your lovely shop?"
"I don’t work there, Gran! It’s a front! If everything goes right I won’t be there long enough to bring you any damn flowers!"
"Yes, yes, it will be lovely, I’m sure. I especially love baby’s breath. So dainty they are! A daffodil, or maybe a carnation, submerged in baby’s breath. But I must be rambling, I am, aren’t I? You just have some of that tea and get some rest. I want to hear all about your new friends tomorrow. Ta!" Akai stared at the receiver as the line went dead.
"They’re not my friends. And even if I did make a damn arrangement, I’m sure as hell not visiting you." He informed the phone rebelliously. After another long moment he slammed the receiver into its cradle.
"Meow! Meow! Meow! Meo~crunch!" Youji inspected the remains of his alarm clock with sleepy eyes. The thing was flattened, and his hand was rapidly swelling from hitting the pointy metal ears. He shrugged, settling back in his pillows. It was no great loss. Omi had bought it for him the Christmas past. It had lasted a half-month, the expected lifetime of anything that attempted to wake him up. Letting his eyes droop, he basked in the knowledge that he had an excuse for being late, at least until his birthday, when, doubtlessly, he’d be gifted with another tacky clock.
"Get up, Youji! Aya will skin you alive if you’re not there before the new guy!" Ken burst through the door, glaring at the pile of blankets with limbs before the mess on his bedside table caught his interest. "Wow, poor Kitty." He stared in awe at the pile of bent metal, gears and cogs. As if too put on a show, a spring chose that moment to loose itself, propelling said Kitty’s muzzle a half foot in the air. Ken applauded appreciatively.
"Will you get out!" Youji roared, bolting upright in a flurry of fabric.
"Going!" Ken trailed off, only to be replaced by Omi a moment later.
"Oh no! The alarm clock!" He rushed into the room to inspect the damage, picking up the head rolling around the floor.
"Relax, relax. It’s just a clock." Youji edged him away from the heap.
"Of course it is." Omi smiled cheerily. "I saved the warranty!" He skipped out of the room, the very picture of innocence.
Youji grabbed the head and heaved it at the wall. "It is morning! I am awake! And the hour hasn’t even reached double digits!" He shouted the indignity. "Will everyone please, leave me alone!" Aya walked straight by, an eyebrow raised and his expression guarded. "Great!" Youji moaned.
"Friday’s and Saturday’s are the worst." Omi started on his tour, leading Akai through the shop with a guarded smile. "Along with Monday’s when guys have to apologize for being a jerk over the weekend." He laughed weakly, Akai forced a small smile as was expected. "We don’t do many organized events. Unless, of course, we’re, you know…" He glanced around the empty shop to see if anyone was listening, despite the fact that they had yet to open. Aya was setting out plants with Ken as Youji stocked the register with small bills for change. "We mostly depend on small frivolous purchases and our daily deliveries. We do stock a few restaurants weekly." He shrugged helplessly. "We close unexpectedly, a lot of the time we’re in the red."
Aya turned to glare at the pair. "But we manage to pull through. Kritiker covers our losses, but we’ve learned to manage pretty well on our own." Omi granted quickly. "You’ve probably seen the small greenhouse out back, but mostly we order from wholesalers. Ken tends to take care of the growing stuff and Youji’s glued to his chair by the cash register…"
"Aya does displays, the book keeping, and cares for the cuttings. I tend to work the floor." He grew more and more comfortable talking the short brunette, accustomed to Aya’s long periods of silence. "We’ll start you off doing basic stuff, working the floor, watering flowers. We all do arrangements, and you can try some if you want to, but we won’t expect you to do much this early in your career."
"Right." Akai stood perfectly still, awkward, and fitting in with the flowers more than the people. Ken put him out of his misery by thrusting a broom into his hands.
"Sweep." He said in a tight voice contradicting his normal demeanor. "It always needs done around here." He elaborated more lightly after being glared at by his young lover.
Akai took the broom and began to sweep in small, strong strokes. The shop settled into awkward silence as the five prepped for opening.
At ten o’clock they rolled the up the aluminum gate and opened their doors to the world. They then settled back into awkward silence, serving few customers throughout the day.
"You really make a business this way?" Akai asked after a sparse lunch crowd, if the three purchases really could be considered such.
"Just wait." Ken murmured cryptically. "Two thirty comes around, you’ll definitely be feeling different."
"Ah, their going to be so excited about fresh blood!" Youji cheered quietly, ending with an unsettling giggle.
"Oh my God!"
"Do you work here now!"
"I can’t believe it! They’re almost too much!"
"Wait, wait! I have my camera! Can I have a picture with you! I have all the others!"
"Look at those lips!" One girl sighed appreciatively. "And those eyes! So dark!"
"Tall, dark, and handsome. He’s so much darker than the others!" A girl fluttered.
"He’s only tall to you, Kimi, because you’re so short!" Her friend countered. "He can’t be more than five-six. And that’s with those boots." It was clear Akai hadn’t won over every fan-clubber, but he was far from ignored.
"He’s built to…" One of the braver females noted, poking and pinching here and there. "You work out?" She inquired. Akai opened his mouth, tripping over his oversized boots in an attempt to retreat.
"Maa, maa, girls. Are we forgetting why we’re here?" Youji redirected their attentions, his arms spread as he stepped out from behind the island.
"Youji! Of course we’re not forgetting you!" He was nearly tackled as a portion of the girls separated from the pack. Adeptly, he maneuvered them towards the refrigerated display cases where he could make pointed suggestions.
"Omi! Ken! Aya!" The respective clubs divided, swarming their idols. A fair portion of the girls remained with the newest florist.
"What’s your name?" Akai was glanced uncertainly between girls, squirming away from one adoring touch only to fall into another.
"What’s your favorite flower."
"I want to know your favorite color."
"Sign!" They shot demands at him without giving him time to answer.
"Akai! We could use you in the back!" Omi pointed to the door marked Personnel Only. The man practically leapt for it, raising his opinion of Omi substantially.
"Don’t be long!"
"We’ll be here when you get back!" Dashing through the door, the young brunette sank down on the floor, appreciating the quiet.
"We love you, Akai!" He groaned, his nostrils flaring. He hated this job.
"Did you see it! We love you, Akai! The guy was scared shitless." Youji chuckled appreciatively, clutching the long stem of his beer bottle.
"We were all like that in the beginning." Omi defended quickly. "They are overwhelming."
"Well, all but you, Yotan." Ken teased.
"I feel kind of bad for him." Omi pouted. "He seemed to really hate the attention."
"Aw, come on, even Aya got used to it." Youji countered. "And you can’t get any more…" Noticing Aya’s glare, he stumbled and righted himself. "Of a kind, friendly, forgiving guy than Aya…" He smiled weakly, wincing when the redhead took a menacing step forward. "Sorry!" He squeaked. Aya grumbled as he took a seat beside him.
"Awful, Gran, awful. Why couldn’t I have been put on another team?" Akai listened intently, pacing the familiar stretch of his room. "I don’t care if they’re the only lethal division. Make Tadashi make a new one!…No…no…I don’t care about experience!…Fine!" He glared at the receiver before placing it back to his ear. "I am not moving in there…Yes I said Omi wasn’t that bad, but the others…No, Gran…Yes, Gran…Right…Yes, bye." He hung up the phone with a growl. "Hag."
With a particularly strong scowl, the boy began throwing things haphazardly into a duffel bag. Five minutes later he was ready to go. Slinging the bag over one shoulder, he lifted a briefcase, taking great care with this package.
Making his way into the parking garage, he threw the bag into the back seat of the fully equipped Hummer. Before setting off, he carefully arranged the case, double and triple checking so it wouldn’t slide.
"So we’re really going to do this?" Youji fidgeted with a lit cigarette, oblivious to the normally calming affects of nicotine. "Do we have a fire extinguisher?" He asked the redhead beside him, looking equally ill at ease. He patted the red cylinder at his side, reading the tag on the instructions over and over again.
"I’m so glad you put such stock in my cooking skills." Ken grunted from in front of the stove.
"We’re just cautious." His boyfriend reminded him from the table, memorizing the simple recipe so he could point out mistakes along the way. "Last time, I had to replace the curtains after your night to cook. And that ugly mark ion the counter is from when you decided to make grilled cheese in the toaster."
"I learned my lesson!" The brunette sighed, turning on the heat and flipping the breasts onto the oiled frying pan. "No oils and fats in the toaster, now will you get off my case about it!" The pan began to smoke; Omi wisely bit his tongue. "Don’t forget, you’re making five."
"Yeah, yeah, five lemon and herb chicken, coming up. Wait, why five?" He did a mental recount. "These things are pretty big, I don’t think anyone’s going to eat two."
"Akai’s moving his stuff in tonight, I want to have enough incase he’s here for dinner." Omi replied obviously.
"He’s moving in?"
"Didn’t he tell you? He told me…" Omi shrugged. "I thought we could give him your old room. You don’t use it." He pointed out to his lover.
"I…but…I do use it. It’s my room!" He scowled, turning on the boy, hands on hips. "You can’t go giving away my things like that. It’s my decision, not yours. All my stuff is in that room!" He ranted, ignoring the sizzling as it got louder.
Youji widened his eyes, as if staring at the leaping flames would make them go out. Aya stepped forward and shoved the man out of the way. "If you’re not going to pay attention to it, turn the heat down!" He ordered, turning the flame to low and attempting flipping the patties. He scraped at them with a spatula, scowling as they refused to budge. Eventually they flipped free, blackened where the oil had burnt and caked.
"I am not eating that." Youji leaned over his shoulder, scraping at the dark coating with a fingernail.
"You don’t use it, and having a fifth roommate will lower everyone’s rent." Omi was standing now, prodding his boyfriend with a finger. "All your stuff is in my room anyway. Would you rather I gave him my room?" Ken opened his mouth to comment, but Omi snapped it shut for him. "No, you wouldn’t. Your room would hardly fit the bed, let alone my computer and all your crap!" His lower lip jutted out farther and farther in emphasis. "And now you ruined our dinner!" He accused, finally noticing Aya’s attempts to salvage the chicken.
"It’s not ruined, I hardly left it." Ken muttered, joining Youji in his scratching. "See, comes right off!" He showed first his finger, then the stretch of pink meat he’d unveiled.
"Its not cooked all the way through." Aya countered. "By the time its done, it will be ruined."
"Let’s go out!" Youji cheered, grabbing at his keys and Ken’s back pocket. "Ken-ken will pay, since he ruined our dinner." Deft fingers stole inside the pocket and retrieved the boy’s wallet. Flipping it open, he scowled at the contents. "You don’t keep enough cash on you," Youji protested, flipping through the bills.
"Gimme that!" The soccer player snatched the money and its holder back, stuffing the contents into his pocket. "We’ll go out, but I’m not paying. It’s Omi’s fault too!" He pointed an accusing finger.
"We should really wait here for Akai." Omi argued. "I told him he could move into your room, so you should move out your stuff first." Ken opened his mouth to protest once more. "If we’re going to go out, you’ll won’t want him going through your stuff when you’re gone." Ken loped up the stairs; giving the boy a pointed ‘this isn’t over’-look.
A/N (2): Thank you to anyone who reads and reviews.
-Misura: You got it in one! ^^
-Anime the Fallen Angel: Sorry if I don’t always make much sense, I hope there’s more Omi and Ken now to your liking.