An: Because I'm a mean, mean person. *_~
Crawford sat bone straight in the god-awful baroque silver leafed arm chair; the Swarovski crystals embedded in both the silver paint and the back of his neck. He just knew Hir Royal Bitchiness had put the damn things in hir office as a form of torment for him. He tried not to shift about or show any outward sign of his discomfort. Really, if he'd had his choice he'd have taken a full day of dealing with Persia and Koumyou over this hour long meeting any day of the week. He grimaced internally when she kicked hir long legs up and crossed the ankles on top of the heavy mahogany desk.
"So, two weeks and nothing. My you're starting to slip in your old age, aren't you Brad?" Kanzeon drawled, smoke ringing hir head as se tipped it back, long ebony curls falling out into the ether in heavy ringlets, hir elegant neck arched back and heavy eyelids coyly dropped to half mast as se glanced at him askew.
Se raised a long fingered hand and gently puffed on the end of hir carved ivory cigarette holder. The intake of nicotine laden air making hir ample breasts swell as se took a drag and held it. Se smirked at him, the look heavy with innuendo and uncrossed hir legs, then recrossed them delicately; hir skirt was basically nonexistent and blouse practically see through as they clung to hir body.
Crawford wanted to gag.
It wasn't that se wasn't a beautiful person; it was that se was a complete and utter lie and he hated people who could lie better than himself. Seriously, the first time se draped hirself over his shoulders, all but purring in his ear, he'd been flattered and flustered, and then he felt it. It being rather largely endowed and poking him in the ass as se'd rubbed herself along his back. Regardless of what other people might think, he wasn't that much of a prick to not know one when he was all but assaulted with it. Since that unfortunate day six years ago he'd tried to keep Jei with him at all times. Nothing like a crazed, blood thirsty, knife wielding, psychotic partner pacing the same room to keep a few libidos in check, that was for sure.
"They are doing the best they can, we have a few solid leads…" he flipped his notebook open and referred to Hakkai's neat efficient handwriting. "Looks like the Takatoris are involved in this after all. They're probably the ones that sent Schuldig after Aya a few years back as well. I've handed down orders for Omi and Ken to pull surveillance on the pharmaceuticals company and dreg up anything they can on the financials to try and locate them, but knowing those three, they are holed up somewhere pretty tight."
Kanzeon tipped hir chair back and waved a hand airily, "That's all fine and good, Brad, but what about out four little kittens? Schuldig has taken a rather keen interest in them if my sources are correct."
Crawford couldn't contain the grimace that furrowed his brow.
"Ah, and I see by your expression they are. When were you planning on informing me about the attempt on Gojyo's non-existent virtue? Before or after Hakkai pulled another Jack the Ripper on their asses? Hmm?"
Sparing a curse for Birman and Manx, both of whom he was sure snitched on him to the Principle from Hell, he sighed and folded away his notes, a sun-light starved finger pushing his glasses back up his nose irritably. "Gojyo's fine and Hakkai's…well, I've managed to enlist Sanzo's help in keeping him occupied here at the office."
Kanzeon snorted delicately, "You mean you threatened him." Se paused and then snapped the legs of hir chair down hard, hir elbows firmly planted on the desk as se smiled ruthlessly, "What, oh what, did you manage to get as leverage on my dearest nephew?"
Se seemed genuinely interested and more than a bit surprised that he'd found anything to hold over the…taciturn wasn't a strong enough word…close-mouthed repressive little git, yes, that would work; anyways, Sanzo.
"Sanzo found it prudent to take my advice and request Hakkai's assistance in finishing training Goku in the finer points of civility in the evenings he and Gojyo weren't otherwise engaged."
Kanzeon quirked an eyebrow, "What did you threaten the little prick with?"
"Oh, nothing at all. I merely pointed out that there is no reason, especially at his age, that Goku should still be sharing living quarters with him, that's all." Crawford folded his hands primly in his lap, a self-satisfied smirk toying with the edges of his thin lips as The All Mighty Ruler of the Free World, as se liked to call herself, cackled madly and pressed hir fingers to dark sapphire eyes, swiping at the tears of mirth glittering trapped in long lashes.
"That's absolute genius! Knowing you, you also said this within earshot of my darling Koumyou as well, didn't you?"
Crawford opened his hands in a gesture of 'who knows' and afforded himself a small victory smile when se pushed herself off of the desk and rose to stand. "I knew I put you in charge down there for a reason." Se murmured, walking around the heavy furniture. "You're almost as brilliantly manipulative as Schuldig. If I didn't know any better I'd say you two were related." Se hopped onto the front of the desk and slouched over, hir elbows on hir knees as hir blouse hung seductively open, hir face conveying innocence where he knew there to be none.
He stiffened noticeably and then cursed out loud, "Don't even joke about that!" he hissed savagely, getting up in a huff. It took hir cocking an eyebrow at him before he managed to rein in his temper and get himself back under control.
"Dear God, what would we do if that moron had my intelligence as well as Jei's bloody madness?" he shuddered and turned to head for the door. "I only came here to keep you informed of our progress and to make sure you knew that until this situation is solved, U Division and Special Circumstances will both be reporting to me. I'm not letting that weak-willed Persia screw things up because he couldn't handle a bit of bloodshed. Tomorrow we'll proceed with chumming the waters and see what red-haired freaks bite."
"Other than our own lovely little debauchees, you mean?" Se chuckled amused.
Crawford straightened his pristine white suit and adjusted his neck tie before turning on his heel, his notes trapped under his arm, and stomping from the penthouse. "Yes, well, on that note, goodbye."
He could hear Kanzeon's laugh all the way down the hall.
"Do you have to do that?" Ken blushed scarlet and averted his eyes from the couple.
Drawing back, his fingers still buried in Hakkai's thick hair, lips wet and swollen from the kiss they just shared, Gojyo smirked at the other member of their recon team and fluttered his eyes. "Aw, is widdle Kenken not getting enough at home or something? Omi, kid, I told you those pickled plums are for the uke, not you."
Hakkai tugged a laughing Gojyo out the van's sliding door just as an enraged Hideka tossed a stapler at his head. "I really don't know why you have to antagonize him so much. Between you and Yohji you'd think he was your little brother or something."
Gojyo looped a friendly arm over his shoulder and leaned on him heavily, the cool slide of his gun rubbing along his hip as he stepped impossibly closer. "Nah, but he's just so easy to mess with. Besides, dude needs to lighten the hell up about this. If Omi wasn't pounding his ass into the gym floor every once and a while I'd say the guy needs to get laid more often, but the kid's a right bastard when someone touches what he thinks is his."
"Sounds like Schuldig."
Gojyo stiffened beside him as they walked through the dark park across from Kizawa Pharmaceuticals. It wasn't very big, maybe half a block wide by two blocks long, but the dense tree lined walkways were perfect for that freak or his friends to troll through. Realistically he understood that they were playing back-up while Aya and Yohji basically called Schuldig out by breaking into the place, but it didn't help him feel any better knowing that there was even the slightest chance something could go wrong.
"We can't stay locked up in our rooms forever, Gojyo." He murmured softly, trailing finger tips down his lover's arm until they tangled with warm golden fingers.
"Why the hell not? I've got a fridge and take out menus from every decent 24 hour ramen shop in the city. We could bury ourselves under a stack of comforters and no one would know the difference." He grumbled sulkily.
Hakkai shook his head and looked up into the dark night sky, its blue-black void and the millions of tiny pinpricks of light being faded out by Tokyo's glamour. "I could only wish it were so easy, but staring at the walls gets tiring after awhile, trust me."
"'Kai…" hugging the man close he tried to think of something to say. Hakkai's voice was so pained sounding, so broken that nothing he thought of seemed appropriate.
*crackle* "Hey, anyone…" *crackle* "can you he…" *crackle crackle* "Movement…third fl…window…"
The two men stopped and turned back towards the supposedly empty building. Racing back towards the park's entrance they ground to a halt just within the tree line. Hakkai peeked around the edge of a gnarled Cyprus tree trunk and squinted up at the third floor, scanning the windows for any sign of movement.
"See anything?" his partner asked from behind him, one hand braced on Hakkai's shoulder, the other drawing out his gun.
"No not…wait. Yes, second window in on the left. There's a definite shadow, but I can't tell if it's our guys or theirs and put the gun away, it's too noisy."
"Noisy?" he squeaked incredulously.
"Yes, noisy. If we have to go in as backup I want to be as quiet as possible. Use your knives and the chain instead."
"And what the hell are you going to use? You don't even carry a weapon!"
"Shhh!" Hakkai hissed, shifting a bit closer to the walkway. Digging his fingers into the tree he held himself aloft and tugged emphatically at the edge of Gojyo's right pant leg.
"Shut. Up." He hissed, dragging one of Gojyo's knives from its hidden sheath, a sibilant edge to his voice that made Gojyo's blood run cold. This was not his sweet, slightly domineering partner, this was someone else entirely. This was the person he watched fighting Aya in the gym. This was the 'scary motherfucking psychopath' Sanzo had tossed on his desk with an evil glint in his violet eyes. This was the 'you will not die' man who took revenge for his sister's death all those years ago. This was Hakkai Cho and lord help whoever pissed him off once he got started.
Hakkai slid the knife between his belt and slacks, lodging the hilt in a belt loop and then levered himself up using Gojyo's bent knee as support. Taking a deep breath he pushed forward and disappeared behind a lamp post ten feet ahead, only to repeat the blinding motion twice more before reappearing beside the building's gate. He glanced back at Gojyo and nodded, standing watch as he ran from cover to cover, following as best he could. Damn but the man was fast!
Coming up beside him, his breathing slightly harried as he took a shuddering breath he heard Hakkai mutter into the transponder and frown. Green eyes glanced his way and then peeked over the edge of the wall, sighting in on the window again.
"Omi can't get a fix on Aya and Yohji, he doesn't think they're down, but he can't be positive. At the very least he's tracking three heat sources in there and that means someone else is prowling around."
"Shit. Okay, so what next, you want to try calling them again, or go play cat burglar and possibly piss off Aya and Yohji?" Gojyo asked slightly amused about having to bail out Yohji on his own mission.
"Don't get side tracked, Gojyo. If Schuldig is in there things could get very messy, very quickly. Keep your head in the game so I won't have to worry about you." Hakkai snapped, peering around the corner and fingering the hilt of the dagger.
Not liking how Hakkai had somehow managed to flip a switch and become all inhuman on him he grabbed the brunette and kissed him with a bruising intensity, not letting up until Hakkai whimpered and wrapped his arms around his neck. Drawing back he ran his fingers through dark hair and rested his forehead against Hakkai's.
"I know what the stakes are Hakkai, but don't forget that we're in this together. We watch each other's backs so neither of us can screw up, got it?"
Hakkai sucked in a quick breath and held it until sparks started to form in front of his eyes. Letting it go slowly he nodded. "You're right, of course. We go in together, you take high and I'll go low, keep your eyes open and mute your comm. until we have visual confirmation as to where everyone is."
"Which one of us was the cop again?" he joked lightly, twisting the dial on his ear piece just as Hakkai had ordered.
"Just don't do anything stupid or I swear I will drag your ass back and tie you to the damn bed posts."
"You and your lovely ideas…"
"Gojyo…" Hakkai muttered exasperated, taking his position by the gate, hand outstretched and pushing just enough to give them room to slip through.
Risking life and limb Gojyo squeezed Hakkai's shoulder briefly and pressed his shoulder to the crumbling brick façade of the wall, nodding when Hakkai glanced back and then slipped through the opening soundlessly. He waited until Hakkai rapped his knuckles on the metal bars quietly and then followed behind him.
Hakkai glanced up as Gojyo stepped to the other side of the gate and plastered himself against the wall. Fear welled up within him but he savagely stomped it down and ran the buildings blueprints through his mind, motioning towards the back and the access ladder that led to the roof with his chin. Gojyo gave him a thumbs up and he was off; skirting around a decorative planter and flowing into the shadows as effortlessly as Aya. He couldn't focus on his partner right now, he had to keep moving and trust that Gojyo understood his meaning.
He had to trust Gojyo no matter what.
There was a creak to the floorboards that Yohji didn't like. Not when he knew he wasn't moving and that Aya, as usual, was basically a statue on the other side of the room glancing down into the front yard. Trust his partner to ignore everything that wasn't expressly part of their mission. Yohji clutched the edge of his wires tighter in a gloved hand, the thin metal strands biting into the material and chaffing his hand. He eased up a bit and shifted just enough to put him between Aya and the door. The floors creaked once more and then fell silent. Yohji bent his knees and flicked a glance at his lover's back, just a split second's lack of attention, but it was enough.
An accounting ledger thicker than his fist hit him square in the chest, winding him and knocking his wires loose of his hand. They automatically retracted into his bracelet, but precious seconds were lost to his stupidity. He blinked away tears as his hair was roughly grabbed and jerked forward, going to his knees from the force of the pull. Glancing up he coughed raggedly and prayed Aya had stayed back, knowing it was a futile wish, he could already see the black katana swinging down towards the shock of orange hair and the flash of the gun's muzzle inches from his face.
He heard a scream echoing through the office and then nothing but the sound of blood rushing in his ears.