A Different Shade of Green

AN: Hope ya'll enjoy.

Chapter Nine:

Verde's impression of the other six of the 'seven strongest'?

He hated Luce. The bitch would pay for her actions against him. During missions the woman was beyond damned useless (and he concluded that even if she hadn't been pregnant she would still be useless). And that's all he could be bothered to say on the subject.

While he felt the smallest amount of pity (somewhere deep, deep, deep, down in the darkest recesses of his heart…maybe) for Skull for being a civilian drug into the mafia, he really felt that if the teen (yes, he had done his research and Skull was about nineteen) wanted to last long in the situation he was in, the boy really ought to learn how to keep his mouth shut and his head down. Skull wasn't earning himself any favors by constantly annoying Reborn (and everyone else for that matter).

So far Lal-Mirch was a soldier through and through, and while he could appreciate her ability to follow orders and make snap decisions when necessary, her over aggressiveness was rather off-putting.

Fon was actually a pleasant person to be around. The martial artist often was drinking tea and over all generating a gentle and calm aura. But he had discovered when Fon snapped, it was like seeing one of his Veela cousins lose it (complete and utter chaos that you wanted to stay far, far away from.) And though the Chinese man was annoyed at first about Verde's lack of presence, he didn't stay that way very long (but that could have had something to do with the very expensive collection of herbal tea Verde had had sent to the man. It never hurt to be on the good side of someone who could kill you bare handed).

As far as Verde was concerned Viper was even more cold hearted than people had ever accused him of being. The only thing on their mind was money, money, money, and more money (they had actually taped a bill on the computer screen of how much they were charging Verde for making them wait. After he had observed the mist for a week, to note their preferences, instead of paying the bill, he sent Viper the deed to twenty percent of the shares in a dairy that Verde had bought once he had become pregnant (the company made the best strawberry milk, which he had observed Viper had a great liking for)). As Viper had never brought up his bill again and the fridge had since been filled with strawberry milk he reasonably assumed Viper had accepted that as a form of payment.

Reborn…well, there were a lot of mixed feelings concerning Reborn. He loved the man, however, he was still, still, inexplicably angry at him. And the rage only continued to burn as Verde watched him flirt with the pregnant sky that the missions required the sun to be around. A sky Verde very much (as previously stated) despised. Yet seeing Reborn, day after day, even through a computer screen forced Verde to see what he had lost, and made his longing for Reborn to flourish (and then he would catch him flirting with Luce again and that just made the cycle restart).

But his father had had a point. It wasn't like him to avoid a problem or make an assumption without testing the hypothesis.

And if there had ever been anything Verde had learned in life (besides never betting against Uncle George) it was that he should always stay true to himself: his experimenting, word-keeping, suspicious, never-trusting, isolationist - self.

He decided to attend (which had absolutely nothing to do with the threatening letter -warning- he had received from Luce saying that he had to show up to the next meeting, pregnant or not. Again with the 'You're smart, you'll figure something out' witching) in his normal appearance (made possible by his father giving him a charmed amulet to hide his protruding stomach) just to see how Reborn would react. Why? some might ask, hadn't he done this before. Well, to be perfectly honest, it was simple: he didn't want to.

He had never much been a people person or one to enjoy being among others, so his pregnancy had given him the perfect excuse to avoid human contact so that "no one would see the pregnant male"...yeah right. He might have been bored but that didn't mean he wished to subject himself to frolicking with the masses, and even his father couldn't fault this excuse to get away from human contact -pity it would only last two months longer.

Anyway, the next meeting with his 'equals' he would be attending as himself...glamoured of course. It would be interesting to see Reborn's reaction to his male self.

"Let's get this party started!" the lackey exclaimed much to the annoyance of the others around him.

Fon hummed in his normal mild-mannered way. "Yes, I agree with Skull-"

"For once." Lal-Mirch said bitingly.

"-We need to head off soon. If we wish to make it to the summit by the appointed time." Fon continued as if he had never been interrupted, even as Skull yelled, "Hey!" at Lal-Mirch's remark.

"Mou- we are wasting time; thus money. Someone will compensate me if this continues." Viper said from under their hood.

"Now, now." Luce said soothingly. She was nearly due and looked gorgeous, to Reborn, even though she looked ready to pop. He vaguely imagined if it were Midori in that same state...but quickly shook that thought. The two women were nothing alike. Where Luce was warm, calm, cheery, and open...Midori had been frosty, hard, and a dynamite of a woman, with a no-nonsense attitude. Midori was the kind of woman who let nothing stand in her way and she was the type with the power and drive to kick anyone or anything out of her path to accomplish her goals. He honestly couldn't fathom the image of her allowing herself to become so vulnerable as to be pregnant.

But the idea...was so appealing. Not that it would ever come true, especially with him, as he had no idea what had caused her to up and disappear and no idea as to where she could possibly be.

He returned his thoughts to the matter at hand.

"Why are we still waiting?" His question grabbed everyone's attention without effort.

Luce opened her mouth to speak, but someone beat her to it.

"I believe that would be because of me." Said a deadpan voice.

Reborn was stunned, but hide it impeccably well.

"Verde! You made it!" Luce exclaimed excitedly completely ignoring the cold, vicious look the man in question was sending her.

Reborn was ignoring it too, he really couldn't get over the fact that the man looked exactly like a male version of Midori.

"Midori..." Reborn said to himself, so very quietly, and yet somehow, the green haired man heard his words.

"That would be a different shade of green." Quipped the man, as he pushed up his glasses, exactly how Midori had the habit of doing

"Mou- Pay up for making me wait." Viper said, breaking up the staring contest that had begun between Reborn and the man Luce addressed as Verde. The final member to their seven person group.

"Well," Luce said happily, willfully ignoring the sudden tension, yet very much aware of the whys about it. "Now that we're all here, let's head up the mountain. We wouldn't want to be late for destiny after all."

And like dogs, Verde thought with a sneer, we follow her up a bloody mountain, no questions asked.