Chapter 7- Aeris in Wonderland ?

Aeris was floating in a black void. Nothingness surrounds her.

'Where am I,' She questioned herself. She tries to remember the last thing that happened before she came here.

Flew home from the states. Took a taxi home. Plays the new game she bought. Sleeps with Leo- correction, Sleep on the couch right next to Leo, with nothing happened, because, eewwww.

On the other hand, now she knew that she's currently in the dreamland. But why there's nothing here? 'Because your heart is empty', she could hear what Leo might said.

Then, slowly she felt her body falls. Down and down, she sees green, and red, and white, and countless other colours spiraling around her, and for some reason, she felt happy.

After minutes of this ecstatic sensation, the colours began to dissipate, thus revealing a rather familiar landscape to the confused Aeris.

'Of course', she though. It's unmistakably the park. When she was young, she loved to sit on a bench with her parents, enjoying the view of the beautiful scenery with nothing on mind. And, indeed that's what our Aeris witnessed.

Although this dream is apparently the memory of the day where Aeris informally met a certain Grey Cat.

Aeris witnesses her dream counterpart curiously staring at a grey kitten about her age that standing upside down on his head.

'What are you doing?' dream-Aeris asked to the kitten.

'I cling on this inexplicably solid sky. If i release my grip, then I will fall to that bottomless abyss!'

'You're weird'

'Well, you better thank god for that fact. If I'm not weird, then I've ruled the earth'

'…' The dream-Aeris rendered speechless after hearing the grey kittens insane logic.

'What's your name, sky-inhabiter?' The Grey kitten asks dream-Aeris like an idiot he is.

Our Aeris can't help but to laugh at the memory. After that day, they wouldn't meet again for several years, in a school incident you readers must be familiar. And then, our Aeris-

"Hey you, dream-narrator guy, can't you shut up for a second? I'm trying to enjoy this memory here. What do you mean by 'reader' and who do you talking to anyway? Are you crazy or something?"

Uhhhh… Aeris, I guess it's time for you to wake up.

"What, hell no not yet! I've just getting used to-"


No Escape From Reality


Aeris groaned as she slowly opened her eyes. It took few seconds before her eyes adapt to the bright surroundings. She yawned as wide as she could (black-hole yawn, as Leo put it), before she realizes that Leo was absent from her side.

Cue Leo, head sticking from the kitchen, remarking at Aeris groggily, "Oh, h-hey Aeris, you're awake already? Come on, I made us some toasts"

Realizing that she's as hungry as a dozen zombies, Aeris stood up and walked to the kitchen, where Leo awaits at the table.

After a few minutes of eating in silence pass, Aeris noticed the awkward Leo, trying to avoid eye contact. With her woman intuition, she assumed that it's must be due to the whole sleep-on-my-lap thing. Not wanting her friend to feel scared, she asked at Leo "So, did you finished the campaign last night?", implying that she fell asleep before him.

"Wha? Oh, yes. I mean no. No, I didn't. I fell asleep not long after you. Heh-heh. Nothing's suspicious at all." Leo answered, trying to cover the yesterday's incident.

"Well, that's a shame. We've almost finished it" She smiled. Glancing at Leo, she saw him sighed in relief.

"At least now we know what we're up against." Leo said before taking a sip of coffee. His mood slightly happier now.

"Oh, and anyway, how's your work?" Aeris asked.

Leo spitted the coffee. So much for a nice start of a good day.

"Uh… Well…."

"Don't you say you're fired! Ha ha." Aeris remarked jokingly. After all, no matter how stupid Leo is, He's a janitor. What he could do to get himself fired?

"Actually, I kinda… uhhh… quit the job." Leo said guiltily.

"You WHAT?!" Aeris screamed. Unable to hold her rage at all.

"I-it's not my fault! The boss is a jerk! I-"

"But that doesn't mean you could just quit like that idiot! Remember how hard it is to find a job for you! How you're gonna pay your part the rent!" Aeris stood up slowly moving to Leo.

"H-hey, calm down, Aeris. I got a better job, if that make you feel better."

"No! You're lying!"

"I can prove it! Gimme your phone, I'll call my supervisor"

Aeris just stared at Leo for what seems like eternity. Silently resisting the urge to gouge Leo's eyeballs and shove them down his throat. While Leo is simply standing there and unable to move at all, for the fear of death prevents him from escaping. However he noticed some movement and slight grunting from his roommate, and for a while, he though she was going to explode. Leo instinctively raised his hand in self-defense and closes his eye as tight as possible, as if it's going to lessen the incoming pain.

But it turns out Aeris, not wanting to do any harm to her only friend, merely lets a small sigh and slowly pulls an iphone from her pocket. Leo, feeling that the pain has yet to come, slowly opened his eyes, only to see Aeris holding her phone.

"You better be telling truth, Leo. I've started this day and the days before on a good mood, and I don't want to ruin it now." Aeris stated in a calmer yet sadder tone while handing the phone to her roommate.

A small smile grows on Leo's lips as he took it.

"I won't disappoint you Alice, I promise."

Aeris was slightly taken aback. It's been a long time since Leo calls Aeris with her given name, hinting that Leo may be actually serious this time.

Leo Pressed Nadia's number, and put the phone on his ear. Few seconds later, Nadia's voice entered Leo's ear.

"Hello, International Contract Agen-"

"Hey, boss, it's Leo. Could you do me a little favor? My roommate wouldn't believe that I got a new job could you prove it to her? Wink, wink?" Leo said groggily, hoping that Nadia would play along.

"All Riiighhtt…. Say 'one' if you want me to say the truth, say 'two' if you want me to lie." Nadia said calmly. Every agents needs to cover their ID every once in a while, and this case wasn't the first one she handles.

"Uhh.. Two?"

"All right, give the phone to your roommate, agent Smile."

"Okay" Leo confirms as he hands the phone to Aeris.

"Two?" Aeris asked curiously.

"My boss asked how many people lived in our room. She's quite random at times. *chuckles*" Leo said, trying to justify his previous word.

Even though Aeris feels it somewhat strange, she only gave him a small nod before she put the phone on her ears.

"Hello?"

"Hello miss…"

"Aeris. That's what they all call me."

"Miss Aeris. I'm Nadia, direct supervisor of Mr. Leonardo. I see you have little problem to believe Mr. Leonardo's claim.

I could assure you the Mr. Leo, in fact, is really working as an customer support in 'Cleaning '. And his salary, I could promise you, will be more than his previous job. Is there's any other information you might want to know, Miss Aeris?" Nadia said her lies in surprisingly calm and smooth manner.

"No, that's enough. Thanks and sorry for taking your time." Aeris stated, apparently satisfied at Nadia's words.

"I'm merely doing my job, miss Aeris. Could you please give the phone back to Mr. Leonardo? I have some assignment for him."

"Indeed." Aeris said as she hands the phone back to Leo. "Leo, your boss got some appointment for you. I think I'm going to take a bath. Don't break my phone, 'kay?"

Leo, noticing Aeris' rather upbeat tone, can't help but to smile. He owes Nadia for saving his ass from devil's wrath here.

Leo waited until Aeris' figure completely disappears behind the bathroom door before answers Nadia.

"Hello?"

"Hello again, agent Smile. To put it simply, i need you to come to the HQ this afternoon. We have an assignment for you. More details at my office. Agent Roulette will pick you at 13.01" Nadia's tone reverts to her usual sharp tone.

"Of course."

"So, was that your girlfriend?"

"What? No i-"

"Fiancée?"

"She's just a roommate goddammit!" Leo yells as he cut the call.


"Do you really have to go to work after the trip? No free day or something?" Leo asked Aeris as she reached for the door handle.

"Well, job's a job. If I gained my boss trust, she may give me a raise, which mean more games." Aeris replied before she closes the door.

"Good point. Just be careful, okay?"

"Don't worry *winks* I'll be fine."


12.59, Leo checks his equipments.

His custom AMT Hardballer, check

The same necktie he used to strangle his previous targets, check

Actually, those are his only equipments. Gun safely holstered inside his suit (the safety's on now) and necktie worn like a, well, necktie.

He checked his watch again. 13.01. As if on cue, from the window, he sees Roulette's van speeding to his apartment.

"Good."

(a/n) Sorry for the long wait. I've been lacking ideas lately. This chapter doesn't seem much, but it's a buildup to a buildup to a big assassination.