Lessons in Life

By Tanzy

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by people who are not me. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Ginji receives lessons on how to properly grope someone.

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Ginji hated the rain; it was the kind of thing that could ruin a day, a week, or even a life. However, despite several misfortunes and setbacks, the day was starting to look up. Nearly losing the vintage turntables they'd been sent to retrieve, getting waylaid by the police for speeding and being unable to find Hevn and her delivery van; it was all water under the bridge. Ginji's world had turned red.

His positive opinion of his current situation was entirely a result of the fact that he'd slipped on the wet pavement, gone sprawling on his back and discovered he had a perfect view straight up Hevn's skirt. Who knew red lace panties could perk up one's day so well?

And what a perk it is, was the last thought Ginji managed before Hevn's heeled shoe connected with his face and he revised his opinion. That hadn't been so much a perk as the tantalizing ray of sunshine between storms. Then the second wave of rain unleashed its fury.

Ginji still hated the rain.

"Hey!" Ban protested as he staggered slightly under the weight of the box they'd stashed the merchandise in. "Stop that or I want a guarantee of our fee!" The box landed with a heavy thud in the back of the van. Hevn's foot let up slightly and Ginji blearily wondered if he'd ever be able to breathe through his nose again. He understood now why women wore shoes with spikes for heels; the damn things were dangerous weapons.

"Ginji's got one of the pieces for this damn machine on him! You're paying for it if it's broken," Ban groused.

Hevn snorted to herself and stepped back, letting Ginji sit up. Rubbing his face gingerly, Ginji tried to decide if he should be annoyed or glad at how Ban had rescued him. He tried to say something and ended up groaning inarticulately instead.

"Saa, be a little more subtle next time you try that, eh?" Ban said a little less loudly as he squatted down to pluck the turntable's needle out of Ginji's vest. His fingers delved into his friend's clothes with ease and he pulled the plastic bag out, having learned long ago where Ginji tended to stash things in his clothes. The fair-haired young man started to get up again, then gave up, thumping back onto the pavement with another groan. Ginji slowly realized he was lying in a puddle. He really, really hated the rain.

"Here you go," Ban said as he stood back up and flicked the bag towards Hevn. He had pulled out and lit a cigarette before Hevn even caught it. She held it up and scowled.

"The needle is broken. This is coming out of your fee."

"You're the one who broke it -- it's not coming out of our fee," Ban replied smugly.

"Fine, then you owe me 40,000¥ for the eyeful your partner just got," Hevn's smirk grew even wider.

"W, what?" Ban demanded, his cigarette nearly falling out of his mouth. "That's more than the needle would have paid, even if it is an antique!" Hevn's only response was a slight raise of an eyebrow as she crossed her arms. "Fine, fine, we won't make you pay for the needle," he grumbled at last. Hevn grinned and dropped the small package down into her cleavage before getting into her van.

"Bye bye!" Hevn's voice was all sweet falsehood as she waved from the passenger window of the retreating vehicle.

"Damn bitch! She sure as hell isn't worth 40,000¥," Ban growled as he turned back around. "Get your lazy ass up, Ginji."

"Ban-chaaaaaaan," Ginji moaned from behind his hands, "I think Hevn broke my face."

"Hn, probably." Ban grinned and squatted down next to his partner. "Lemme see." Ginji's eyes squinted open as his hands were gently pulled away from his face. Ban let out a quiet laugh, "Looks like she got you good."

He stood up and offered a hand up to Ginji. Pulling his friend up, Ban slung a companionable arm around Ginji's waist as he felt the other man lean on his shoulder.

"Do we have to go look for more work today?" Ginji asked. "We just had a kind of well-paying job, it's raining and I'm cold."

"Nah, you'd probably scare away any potential customers with that face anyway," Ban replied. "Let's just go back to the apartment." They continued on in silence for several moments before Ban turned his head and caught Ginji's eye.

"So was it worth it?" he asked with a grin.

"Of course!" Ginji said, grinning wholeheartedly.

They started making their way through the rain back to where they'd left the 360 parked. Their clothes were already thoroughly wet, so there was little point in hurrying.

"So what kind were they?" Ban took another pull on his cigarette.

"Red lace thong," Ginji answered with a mock-serious expression.

"Well, you know what they say about women who wear panties like that," Ban said with a grin.

"Hevn is nice! Surely she's not like that." Ginji shook his head, but he was smiling. Then winced as he realized the mark on his face was probably turning a color similar as her underwear. Ban waved his hand at Ginji in exasperation, showing without words that he'd been joking.

"Her boobs are pretty damn nice too," Ban said after a moment, looking as if he were giving the idea some serious thought. "They're really nice and firm." He made some weighing gestures in front of his chest that caused Ginji to laugh and nod in agreement.

As the two rounded the corner they spotted a police officer writing out a ticket on a car several spots up from the 360. They bolted at the same instant, running for the car as fast as they could. Ban reached the car just as the officer started to walk towards them with his glasses gleaming evilly. Leaping into the car, Ban shoved his keys into the ignition and turned it on as fast as he could. Ginji leapt into the car just as Ban let out the parking break and hurriedly backed out of their spot. The pair waved serenely to the cop as they drove off.

"Whew, that was close," Ginji said with a happy sigh as he relaxed into his seat. Ban spared a glance over towards his friend as he drove back towards their apartment and smiled around his cigarette.

"You know what would make the Get Backers perfect? If you had boobs, we'd be the best partners ever."

"Ban-chaaaaaaaaaaaan!" Ginji's happy expression crumbled dramatically and his lower lip trembled violently as he wailed. "How can you say such a thing? I thought we already were the best partners ever!"

"All I'm saying is if you had a nice set of boobs it'd just make it better," Ban explained with an even wider grin. "Because then I could feel you up all I wanted without having to worry about getting beat up."

Ginji sulked dramatically for several seconds before muttering, "I'd beat you up if you tried to feel me up." Ban just snickered as Ginji continued to sulk.

The silence continued for several more minutes until Ban finally rolled his eyes. "Fine, fine. You're just fine without boobs." Ginji didn't look up, so Ban continued, "Besides, things would probably be weird if you had boobs."

Ginji continued to pointedly stare out the passenger window until Ban finally muttered, "You're perfect the way you are, I wouldn't have it any other way."

"You're the best, Ban-chan!" Ginji launched himself across the small space of the cramped car and latched onto Ban.

"Augh! Damnit, get off me, I can't drive with you on top of me!"

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They parked several blocks away from the apartment complex they were staying in and got out of the car. The rain was continuing to steadily pour down as Ban turned off the 360's engine. Ginji bolted from the car and towards the overhang on the sidewalk in a futile attempt avoid the rain. Ban glared at the rain as he got out of the car and ground out his cigarette stub into the pavement.

The two quickly made their way towards their apartment, darting from overhang to overhand. When they got close to the building's entrance they paused for a second to look around for any signs of their landlord. They'd skimped on last month's rent and had been avoiding the old man since. Ban wouldn't have been surprised if they'd come back to find the locks changed. But the door to their tiny apartment opened easily enough and they disappeared inside.

"I got first shower!" Ginji cried as he bolted for their single bathroom.

"Like hell you do, bastard," Ban countered, and leapt forward to block the other man. There was a brief struggle as they both tried to strip and be the first to jump into the small shower stall. Ban was struggling to peel his wet jeans off when Ginji gave a cry of victory and vanished into the shower.

"Bastard and his oversized clothes," Ban growled under his breath as he finished peeling off the rest of his wet clothes. The shower started running as Ban grabbed one of the two towels and stalked back out into the living room. The apartment was as hot and stuffy as normal: what the day's rain had taken away in temperature it had made up for in humidity. Tightening the towel wrapped around his waist, Ban made his way through the tiny apartment to open all the windows. Since the place only had a bathroom, a kitchen and bedroom, there weren't that many windows to open.

Ban paused at the last window to stare outside at the bleary cityscape as his mind went back to the conversation they'd had with their last employer. The man couldn't have been more than forty but he seemed world-weary enough to be eighty.

"It's the ones you're close with you have to be most wary of," the man had said when he'd given them the retrieval information. "My son knows nothing of my passions and yet he hired thieves to steal my late wife's legacy from me." It was almost laughable that the son had felt the same way about his father.

Ban had pretended not to notice Ginji watching him out of the corner of his eye most of the way back from the son's club. He could tell his friend was itching for some kind of personal contact as reassurance after hearing the old man's story. They both were far too familiar with personal betrayal.

Ban leaned against the windowsill and picked up the pack of cigarettes lying on the ledge. Lighting up another one, his gaze flickered back towards the bathroom where he could hear Ginji humming to himself. They knew far too much about each other's personal issues, the two of them were closer than most families or lovers. Or at least, Ban might have worried they knew each other too intimately if he thought for a second that Ginji would ever betray him. But that was inconceivable, so at least with Ginji there wasn't a worry of sharing too much of himself.

Ban heard the water shut off but didn't move from his spot at the window; his partner normally took forever to get out of the shower. True to form, it wasn't until several minutes later that Ginji emerged, clad in a similar towel and made a beeline for his pile of clothes.

"Did you leave any hot water for me?" Ban asked as he turned around.

"Hmm, I don't know, the water was starting to get kind of cold when I got out," Ginji said with a completely innocent expression.

"You bastard, don't say things like that with such an innocent expression!" Ban yelled in annoyance as he stomped into the bathroom. While the water wasn't cold, it was by no means hot either, and Ban grumbled to himself through most of his shower. When he reemerged from the bathroom, Ginji was already in curled up on the couch in boxers and a shirt, reading a magazine they'd lifted from a store's recycle bin.

Ban pulled on his worn-out gray pajamas and deposited himself onto the other end of their couch. The couch still smelled musty, just like it had when they'd stolen it from a junk pile. Several vigorous cleanings hadn't been able to get rid of the smell, but they weren't in any position to be choosy about their furniture.

Ban closed his eyes and relaxed to the sound of the rain and Ginji's quiet laughter as he read a particularly funny story.

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When Ban opened his eyes again it was almost dark and Ginji was curled up next to him on the couch. Not that Ban really expected him to be anywhere else; the couch was the only piece of furniture they had in the apartment. He looked down and realized that Ginji was awake and staring out at the rain. Ban frowned to himself and quickly tried to think of something to distract Ginji from the weather.

He always gets like this whenever the weather goes bad, Ban thought with a silent sigh.

Sometimes Ban would wonder with a half smile what Ginji would do if he weren't there to keep him company. Ban was pretty sure he didn't want to find out.

Ban sat up and made a production of yawning loudly and stretching.

Ginji looked up and smiled at him. "Have a nice nap?"

"Yeah, I dreamed you'd been turned into a girl and had one nice set of tits," Ban replied with a grin, making up the dream as he spoke.

"I think you should be the one who gets turned into a girl and grows boobs," Ginji replied with a pout. "I bet you'd make a pretty hot chick."

"I'd kill you if you tried to feel me up," Ban said with an evil grin. "No one fools around with Mido Ban-sama and gets away with it."

"I think I'd probably get killed no matter who I tried to feel up," Ginji replied with a self-depreciating grin.

"Nonsense, all it takes is a little practice," Ban insisted. "It all depends on how you approach the target."

"I've never really tried to do it before," Ginji grinned uncomfortably, almost as if he were slightly embarrassed.

"Okay, get up, I'll just have to show you," Ban said as he pushed Ginji off the couch. The blond man fell onto the floor with a squawk and bounced back up a second later. He eyed his friend suspiciously as Ban got up from the couch and pushed his glasses back up his nose.

"Turn around," Ban said and motioned with his hands. "The main trick is to approach your target without being noticed." As Ginji started to turn around Ban stepped forward quickly to bring himself flush with Ginji's back.

Ginji squirmed uncomfortably. He could feel Ban's breath on the back of his neck and it tickled.

"G, Ginji! Stop squirming like that!" Ban gasped. Ginji just squirmed more as the gasp sent his skin crawling. Suddenly Ban's hands were on Ginji's hips, forcing the blond to stop moving. "I said stop squirming, you bastard. Stop it or I'm gonna throw you down onto the ground and beat the shit out of you, you got it?"

"But Ban-chan!" Ginji whined, "You're breathing down my neck and it tickles!"

"That's the whole point," Ban's voice was suddenly right next to Ginji's ear as he leaned in. With a small grin, he exhaled into his friend's ear. "You get your target nice and distracted first." He continued to breathe softly into Ginji's ear, causing the other man to bite his lip uncertainly. When his lips were almost touching Ginji's skin he continued, "That gives you the opening to attack." Ban's hands left their place on the other man's hips and slid quickly upwards. His hands came to rest on Ginji's chest, where his breasts would have been if he'd been so endowed.

"W, what do you next, Ban-chan?" Ginji said, his voice trembling slightly as Ban's fingers scraped across his pectorals.

"Generally I turn and run like hell," Ban said with a grin as he gave Ginji another squeeze and let go. Ginji broke into helpless giggles as he turned around.

"Maybe that explains why you keep getting beat up so much," Ginji replied, his eyes twinkling.

"And I suppose you can do better?" Ban replied with a glare. Ginji pounced on Ban and sent both of them tumbling back onto the couch.

"Of course, Ban-chan," Ginji said with a happy grin as he firmly planted both his hands on Ban's chest. Ban just laughed as Ginji collapsed down on top of him and slid sideways towards the back of the couch.

Ban lay back and watched the rain continue to pour outside as he scratched Ginji's head absently. You can't betray something that gives your life meaning, he thought as he looked down at Ginji's head resting in his chest.