Author: Visions PM
AU. Spider-centric. Machi goes on a 'date'. “Hmph, so chivalry still exists, after all.”Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Chapters: 9 - Words: 26,094 - Reviews: 71 - Favs: 33 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 10-05-03 - Published: 07-28-03 - id: 1449522
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Oy, haven't written in a long time. Ah, well… I'm afraid I have abandoned my old stories. Never fear though, I have a new obsession! Woo-hoo! *victory sign* And here is the product of that new madness. Not many HisokaxMachi stories out there, but I think the couple's interesting. It's got potential. So here goes nothing. Drama, angst, romance, humor (not that much; this is more serious)… Reviews greatly appreciated.
He asked her, smiling lightly as always, "Do you always play with them like that?"
Funny how such a quiet voice could shatter the silence so loudly and at the same time, destroy her concentration.
Her fingers stopped their movements. She had been thinking about the chain-user and Pakunoda's death. And the threads had been dancing in mid-air, twirling like serpents enchanted by some strange melody. Some soundless tune that seemed to surface every time she found herself lost in thought…
Now, the strings of Nen faded abruptly as she cursed herself for not paying attention, for losing her focus and letting the threads obey foolish whims.
"Why can't you just keep silent?" she retorted, not bothering to hide her irritation.
"You seemed to be distracted. I've never seen you let your threads… dance like that," he finished off-handedly. It was an euphemism. A mocking euphemism for "your guard is off, my dear" and his comment veiled a subtle snicker.
She bristled, annoyed. Once again, she scolded herself for not being more alert. No doubt the bastard clown had long noticed her unconscious display of silly twirling and had been waiting for the opportunity to bring it up.
"Fool," she muttered under her breath.
She glared at him openly but in the split second she let her eyes wander away, he managed to close the distance.
"I'm afraid I'm only a clown," he corrected, whispering into her ear.
Machi didn't allow herself to be surprised by the feel of his breathe upon her skin. It bothered her, though, how vulnerable she was to him at the present moment. Despite how much she hated him, she had already acknowledged that he was the superior fighter. And with that acceptance came caution. Her never-failing instinct told her that he would as soon as kill her as fancy her. And so, she didn't care much for his apparent fascination. In fact, she didn't care at all.
Still, caution also brought with it a certain degree of tolerance. She would have to put up with the taunting joker. For now, at least.
"…But I suppose that insult was only meant for yourself, no?"
Slowly, she turned her head and shot him an icy glare. "You're the only fool I see," she told him harshly.
Of course, respect was a whole different matter.
His lips curled upward in a pleased smirk. For a long time, he stared at her. Like a predator calmly analyzing its prey before striking. Finally, cocking his head to one side, he stated, "Why are you afraid of me, Machi-san."
She felt distinctly insulted. Even slightly confused. Which of her actions had given him THAT impression – the one that she wanted least to give? Was it her carefully maintained mask of calm distaste? Her dismissing yet acidic remarks? How in the world had she failed?
Perhaps I didn't call him "fool" enough times, she thought sarcastically in an attempt to find an acceptable answer.
Finally, she became angry. His words had aroused in her an overwhelming sense of indignation. She wanted to erase the arrogance lurking in his features, to mar them, to watch his body dangle helplessly, hundreds and hundreds of feet up in the air, and then to watch it fall to a horribly mutilating death…
"I'm not," she decided to tell him with a defiant calm that seemed to only amuse him further.
I'm NOT afraid.
He arched an eyebrow thoughtfully, "What if I decided that I wanted to kill you right here and now?"
She had been ready to use her threads the moment he had neared. Now they visibly appeared on her fingers, which were tense and poised. Swiftly, one of her hands reached forward to clamp around his neck.
"I'm not afraid of anyone," she hissed coldly, stressing the last word.
"That's what I like about you, Machi-san. You're a good actress," he chuckled even when she tightened her grip, "Just what I would expect of Henka Nen user."
She kept her face an emotionless mask. But the frustration within was growing steadily. For one thing, she could not figure him out. There was an air about him that was enigmatic. Though she was not partial to puzzles, she could not deny that she sometimes wondered about this one. Of course, she never bothered to satisfy her curiosity on any level. No matter how much his eyes enticed her to try, she never attempted to know more than his name.
The reason was simple enough. It wasn't worth it, neither the effort nor the risk. He managed to capture so well the essence of the thing that he enjoyed most that any desire to find out more about the card-carrying killer were quelled by…. She preferred to call what she felt toward him uncertainties. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction of recognizing them as otherwise.
Everything about him was dangerous and playing with him was like playing with Death.
Then again, sometimes it couldn't be avoided. Like now. When it was just the two of them on guard duty and the rest of the Genrei Ryodan were either in their rooms taking a break or out on business.
"Hisoka-san… There's something you should know about me…" her lips moved almost imperceptibly. Her voice was neutral as was the norm but also suddenly, deceivingly delicate.
She knew that he wasn't the least bit thrown by her abrupt change in behavior. No, the look in his mocking eyes was expectant as was the waiting grin on his face. Well then, she wasn't one to disappoint. Her tone resumed its hard, unforgiving quality as she delivered the last half of her two-part speech, "But I'm not here to entertain you."
At the same time, she tried to crush his windpipe.
"…Machi-chan, that's not… the proper way… to show affection…" the clown told her cheerfully in between breaths.
The fact that he was still taking in air only encouraged her further.
"Machi-san, let him go."
She turned at the voice, which was casual but full of authority. Reluctantly, she released her hold, "Gomen, Dancho."
The man dressed in black shot a disapproving look to Hisoka, who calmly ignored the silent chatisement, "I know how he enjoys provoking you," turning back, he smiled at her kindly but firmly, "But we can't allow fighting among the Ryodan. Especially not now."
Machi scowled but said nothing. She could not defy the Dancho, after all.
"Call the others," Kuroro said, "We're having a meeting in five minutes in the main room."
"I'll be waiting then," the leader of the Ryodan began to walk away. Before he left the room, however, he paused and addressed the clown sitting impassively in the corner, "And don't bother Machi-san anymore."
"Dancho, that won't be necessary," she spoke up sharply, "I can handle him."
"I'm only trying to save you some inconvenience in the future."
"It won't be necessary," she repeated. She carefully kept her gaze on the ground as she refused his aid. She couldn't let him see how indignant she was at his offer although her cheeks were burning with the heat of shame.
"Hai, as you wish then," Kuroro murmured before exiting.
His absence both relieved and unsettled her. She didn't want Hisoka to think that she needed to hide behind the Dancho to deal with him. She didn't need that kind of protection. She could take care of herself. Heaven knew she had shed enough blood to prove it.
Yet, here they were again. Alone together.
Her lip curled in distaste.
Hisoka's sudden giggling broke the unnerving silence but it only served to increase her irritation. "My, my," he remarked in an upbeat tone, clapping his hands as if he had just been entertained, "That was quite the show. You really are a wonderful actress."
"I wasn't acting. I can handle you by myself," she retorted, preparing to carry out Kuroro's orders and gather the other Ryodan members.
"Oh, really?" he blocked her way with a confident but curious smile, "I'd really love to see you try."
"Don't you ever learn?" she muttered icily, tensing.
"What can I say?" his eyes twinkled at her. He was obviously enjoying her deepening bad mood, "I'm a fool."
She frowned, "Move."
He leaned forward until their faces were only centimeters apart and she could see the unsettling desire in his eyes. His voice was husky in its challenge, which was delivered slowly and seductively, "Make me."
She didn't bother to respond. Instead, she pulled back her arm and attempted to bash his face in. To her displeasure, though, he managed to catch her fist. Then, in a movement too swift to be seen, he had twisted her arm behind her back and forced her against the wall.
"Then again, perhaps not so much the fool as one would originally think," once again, her skin experienced the feel of his breath. But it was not so much the proximity nor her vulnerable position that frightened her but the victory inherent in his voice.
He let go of her arm and she turned around cautiously.
"Have you learned anything yet, my dear Machi?" he asked offhandedly, "Never assume anything about me except," he said the next part as if telling a crucial secret, "that I'm dangerous. That's lesson number one."
She narrowed her eyes at his words but kept quiet.
He paused as if having an afterthought and then grinned, "But I suppose you already knew that, didn't you?"
She waited for more but he only continued to chuckle to himself.
"If that's all…" Machi said with disdain, moving forward to leave.
Big mistake. The strength with which she was slammed back against the wall caught her off-guard. Blood trickled down the corner of her mouth. She looked down to see Hisoka's hands clamped tightly on her shoulders. If a fight was what he wanted… Fists clenching, she gazed back up insolently into his amused expression.
"Lesson number two…" the dangerous joker whispered, "This is how one shows proper affection…"
And quicker than could be detected by the eye, he proceeded to demonstrate.
Machi's eyes widened in absolute horror as his lips made contact with hers. Powerfully, they claimed her own with an ease that she would not have expected of a killer but with a strength and hint of possessiveness that did not surprise her. For a moment, she remained immobile, shocked at his daring and at the failure of her own defenses. And though she would never admit it, shocked by the sensual warmth of his skin as well.
She paid dearly for her distraction. Hisoka, taking advantage of her stunned state, fully exploited it. Taking advantage of her apparent confusion, he carefully pried open her lips and deepened the kiss.
The feeling of his tongue moving expertly around her mouth and the moan that escaped unbidden by the both of them brought Machi back to her senses. Reality was jarring. Instantly repulsed by the situation, she kneeled him in the groin with all the force she could muster.
It was enough, to her relief, to cause Hisoka to break away. The clown, half-gasping from pain, half-panting from pleasure, fell to the floor laughing. The room vibrated with the sound as Machi, disgusted by her own inability to resist, could only watch as the deadly joker was consumed with humor.
"Damn you," she spat vindictively.
"Arigatou," he replied sweetly.
Propping himself up with one elbow, Hisoka studied the bristling beauty with interest. Yet though her Nen was flashing with barely restrained rage… though her words were edged with venom… her face still remained remarkably undecipherable.
The only sign that she was more disturbed the usual was the slight trembling of her shoulders as she fought to keep a hold on her temper.
She glared at him, golden eyes fierce with hatred. Then, as if figuring out what he most desired from her, the furious light in them faded. With the haughtiness of nobility, she sneered at him before smiling placidly to herself. Turning heel, she ended their rendevouz by walking determinedly out the doors without granting him the satisfaction of another insult.
Hisoka sighed as she departed, somewhat disappointed. He withdrew a card from his deck and placed it to his lips. "Ahh, Machi-chan… I must admit, you're quite the Ice Queen," he remarked fondly to the empty room.
Twirling the card in his fingers and watching the light strike it to reveal the defiant face of the Queen of Hearts, he smirked to himself, "Then again, melting the ice and making it boil is half the fun."