Author's Note: I'm in the process of re-writing the story to include Revy's POV, as well as to incorporate other ideas that I didn't before. Furthermore, hopefully, this re-write will read more as a story than a bunch of random scenes without much explanation as to the why and how.


I. Tonic and Gin

Many miles and a sea away from the port city of Roanapur, sitting in some shitty bar in Tokyo's underbelly late at night, Revy took up her drink and downed it down in one gulp. Sliding the pathetically small glass the country of yellow monkeys called a shot toward the bartender and angrily ordering another, she couldn't keep her mind off their latest delivery due to the sorry excuse this place had for alcohol.

"Fuckin' hell," she griped, laying her head on the counter as she eyed her growing collection of shot glasses. They had to go back to that self-entitled, rich prick and his Cirque du Soleli of whores. Reason being, the package they'd delivered last time wasn't the one he needed, he'd said. A mistake, he called it. A priceless piece of fucking trash. One that, if they'd gotten it back, could have sold for probably even more cash to someone else, but no, the fucker said he'd burned it.

All because the sight of it disgusted him.

And, now, he wanted an old piece of cloth that smelled like dogshit and she'd sooo wanted to switch it out with some of Yolanda's underwear. Nobody would've been the wiser—especially their dumbass of a client—then they could've cashed in double, but Dutch had said no.

"Fuckin' Turk. He should just take his C4 and allahu akbar himself up the ass and blow. Save us the trouble."

"Well, there's no use getting upset about it now," Rock said, paying her bill and leaving a little extra. "It's time to go." He got up, tapping his watch. "He's waiting."

"... Fuckin' sorry excuse for a cave nigger..."

"Come on, Revy, cheer up." He put a hand on her shoulder. "He's paying us a lot of money. More than the first. If I know one thing about you,"—he flashed a winning smile—"it's that you never turn down a profit, no matter where it's from. Besides, you still have payments on your Beretta's, right?"

Revy shifted in her seat, no longer feeling the familiar weight from her Customs. Both were back in Roanapur, getting repaired from one skull-crackings too many—and the cost was straight-up robbery. Though, she couldn't complain since Prai was doing the work and not some nobody. The old fuck would never leave 'his babies' in such a shit condition and she was guaranteed them good-as-new soon as they got back. Just one of the many other reasons to leave this rock behind. Again.

She shrugged him off. "Fine," she said, pushing off her stool and already heading for the door, "but if he pulls that shit again he's getting it." Outside, she lit a smoke and waited for Rock to hail a cab, then slumped inside soon as one arrived and leaned her head against the window.

Watching Tokyo fly by, their destination was another ritzy—even by Nip standards—hotel in the heart of that one city she still didn't care to remember the name of. The last one had pissed her off, and just thinking about going to another of its kind that probably going to be even more ridiculous in size and scope sent her anger skyrocketing. It swelled until she felt Rock's gaze and her mood, already a barrel full of laughs, continued to plummet as a result. She knew what he was thinking, what he was going to say, but, if given the chance, even the slightest, she'd get their client right between the fucking eyes. Bang. Then she scowled, reminded of the fact that she no longer had her Customs, and sighed.

Now twirling her invisible pistol, she blew on the muzzle and took aim at the corner signs, pedestrians, cars, and whatever other target she could hit, knew she would, and took the shots. A kill every single time.

"That game was rigged, I fuckin' swear," she grumbled, remembering when they'd been here. In this country whose underground was rife with strife and struggle, just like every other shithole governments rarely acknowledged. Gangs, guns, and violence. Her mind went back to that time. If only she could experience that same sense of thrill. Of danger. But, she doubted there were any samurai who could cut bullets in half where they were headed, and, remembering those closing events of that job, there was a bigger reason why she was so out of sorts. More than usual, anyway. While their client was a shitbag and she missed her Customs, this was the main reason why her attitude was down the can. She knew it. Just didn't want to admit it. And as her foot began to tap in rhythm with her shots, she heard Rock clear his throat.

He nudged her. "Revy, you're scaring the driver."

Out the corner of her eye she saw him, tense in the rearview mirror, hunched over his steering wheel, eyes on the road but attention back at her, fearful of what she might do next. She holstered her imaginary weapon. Tallied her headcount as Rock apologized for her behavior, saying she wasn't accustomed to the culture, and didn't know how to properly conduct herself, or something, listening to him speak. Watching his hand motions. That oh-so-Japanese way of gesturing that she was basically retarded and couldn't help it, but then again she didn't fucking know Japanese and, frankly, could care less. Whatever he said, the driver seemed to relax and she was forced to endure the rest of the ride through Tokyo and then the highway in silence, arms crossed and in an even worse mood than before.

Years had passed since their last time visiting Japan, the two of them together, and while there was no doubt in her mind he wasn't going to run away to frolic with his people like some pansy—that drama was over and done with—what was, was the fact that they were here again. Where it all started. And, when they finally came to their desired exit she read the overhead sign and rolled her eyes.

"Welcome to Fuyuki, my ass."

"It's a lot better than Roanapur," Rock said, giving the driver some more directions. "The only disastrous thing to happen here was a gas leak ten years ago. Other than that, there's hardly been any crime, much less any shootouts in the streets and bars or anywhere else."

"Whoop-dee do, it's a fuckin' paradise." She tossed up her hands.

"The local Yakuza group is a relatively peaceful syndicate, compared to the Washimine and Kousa groups. When I asked, Balalaika said they're small time and not worth the trouble of taking over."

"They must be really pathetic."

"She still wants a presence in the area, so, if the opportunity presents itself, she wants for us to open negotiations as her official representatives."

"Didn't even bother sending one of her own guys? Jesus. Worse than pathetic."

"Which means we might get a second job here." He gave her a hard look. "Meaning Hotel Moscow's reputation is on us. If we screw up…"

She laughed him off. "Sis won't do anything. Not over guys like that."

They passed by a long stretch of high rise buildings before coming to their final destination in all its high-class golden bullshittery. As they left the cab she held onto the false hope that maybe, just maybe, the Yakuza in this city had a samurai who can cut bullets in half too. Something, anything more exciting than the pansy they were about to meet. She would even go so far as to wish for it.

And, now being escorted by a bellboy and shuffled into a fancy elevator, en route to the very top floor because rich fucks always wanted to best view—especially those with God Complexes—Revy ground her teeth as it was all she could do to keep from lashing out at the kid even though he'd done jackshit to deserve a busted lip. It was the only way, short of burning the whole fucking place down, to not lose her mind. To stop gnawing at the thought of the man beside her. That friendly, business-like demeanor he always wore on his person. A suit for his conscious to hide the rotten rags underneath. The damage Roanapur had done to him. What it was still doing.

Knowing nothing she could say would ever revert it. Would ever change him back to the way he was before. Before he had first come to realize that he was just another piece of shit like the rest of them. Before he'd finally seen his ivory tower come crashing down, forced to accept his lot in life, the curve-ball it'd thrown his sorry ass, and where he continued to stay. Where he continued to sink and where there were consequences the further down you went. Not that she wanted to change him back to the way he was before that time, but, once she thought that maybe… Maybe she could've been changed by him instead. A long time ago.

The elevator stopped. The doors opened, revealing a lavish abode. The only part of which she cared for was the mini-bar. Setting her eyes on it, Rock fixed his tie, smoothed down his hair, and checked his breath beside her.

"Shall we?"

"I'll be in the back, if you need me," she grumbled, shoving past the bellboy and going straight for the tonic and gin. Not that he would.

Helping herself to a bottle of Brunello she unscrewed the cork with the survival knife in her boot. Pouring a glass, it was dark as her heart and, taking a drink, held a certain spicy kick that set it briefly aflame. Though it still couldn't compare to the Yellow Flag's arsenal, at least it was better than those shitty shots from before, and, hearing Rock and their client greet each other she poured her second glass of what was bound to be a long rest of the night.