Farfarello looked up from his colouring book with a growl shocking Schuldig who had been happily reading a very interesting yaoi doujinshi to see the white head bouncing up and down, "calm down, Far," Schuldig growled throwing his legs over the arm of the chair, Nagi looked up briefly from his game boy advance sp (tribal edition) and then frowned, and Crawford pointedly ignored him, looking for all the world that he had been swallowed by his broadsheet newspaper. He was merely a pair of hands holding the broadsheet on the table.
"I smell angels." the Berserker said quite clearly. "I smell angels."
"I smell dinner burning," Crawford said looking at Schuldig, over the Times who swore, got up and rescued his casserole. He was wearing an apron that proclaimed, "Kuss die koch."
"I bet Weiss never has to deal with this." Schuldig growled under his breath.
"They have Hidaka waxing lyrical over soccer." The broadsheet answered with nary a rustle to mark the presence of the man behind it. "At length."
"He's eating the crayons again." Nagi said looking up from his game-boy where he had gotten an all time high score on Mr Driller 2. His tone was completely calm. "And I am not eating that casserole if it has celery in it."
"It's just a little bit." Crawford answered from behind his paper. "I like celery."
"I bet Weiss never has to deal with this." Schuldig repeated.
"Weiss have a day job." The newspaper replied. "We don't and we get paid more than they do."
"He's covered in purple wax." Schuldig protested, "And now he won't want his dinner." He reached into a pocket for a packet of baby wipes. "I bet Weiss never has to deal with this." He said for the third time.
"Weiss have to deal with a shop full of obsessive teenage fan girls." The newspaper answered wryly.
"We know." Nagi and Schuldig answered a little wistfully.
Omi bounced into the shop like a sprite on sugar and plopped himself down on the back work table where Aya was creating another stunning masterpiece with nothing but two sprigs of Rowan, a Casablanca lily, some ivy and a length of antique lace. "Ayan, you will never guess what happened in school today."
"Hn," Aya said working out which of the three cut glass vases would best suit his masterpiece.
"The diamond cut," Omi said noticing his indecision. "Well, I was in the corridor when Matsuo was almost in a fight, and I was about to step in," he ignored Aya's cold gaze that suggested that it would be a bad thing for Omi to be caught fighting, "when the teacher came up and he confiscated Matsuo's computer game, something called Angel Sanctuary, and Matsuo burst out crying."
"I thought so to." Omi said, "its not like Matsuo at all, I mean first getting in a fight and then arguing with the teacher and chasing him down the hall and trying to steal it back from him. And I went online at lunch to see if I could get the game and I can't, I was beginning to think that I had read the name wrong, because it was in English, but I don't think I did. Maybe it's black market, or something. But Matsuo got sent home because of it, and he was really upset that he didn't get it back."
"Do you know what I like best about you, Ayan, you listen." He stood up, brushing off the loose soil from his trousers, "that's really nice, do you want me to put it in the window for you?"
"Hn." Aya said, wiping his hands off on his apron.
"What do you want me to price it as?"
"Three thousand yen." Aya said firmly, "No make it four."
"Okay," Omi said, "you might want to make yourself scarce, the fan girls won't be long behind me. You opened this morning, I'll finish the shift for you if you want."
"Hn." Aya said.
"Is that a yes hn, or a no hn?" Yohji asked. "I can never tell."
"Shi-ne, Kudoh." Aya answered.
"Three words," Yohji said clutching a September daisy to his chest. "Please excuse me whilst I die of happiness that our fearless leader graced me with three consecutive words."
"Shi-ne, doesn't count." Omi said in all seriousness.
"Yes," Ken said lifting his head from the bags of fertiliser.
"Baka, not Hidaka." Yohji told him, "You need to get your ears cleaned out."
"Hn." Aya said in agreement.
"I bet Schwartz never has to deal with this." Ken said moving a large bag of fertiliser in readiness for the invasion of fan girls that was looming. If he left it out they'd split it open and it would be a mess to clean up he didn't want to think about.
"They have other worries." Omi said, "imagine trying to feed Berserker, or trying to get Prodigy to eat his greens, or disengaging Crawford from the Times and put up with Schuldig's practical jokes."
"They still get paid more than we do and don't have to put up with..."
Aya jumping clear over the worktable cut Yohji off before he could finish. "Incoming!"
The door opened with a pleasant jingle and all four assassins assumed a defensible position as two teenage girls entered the shop. "Sugoii," the one with long fair blonde hair said to her friend, they wore dark blue dresses with a white sash at the neck. "There are four of them, they'll know what flowers to get."
If anything the combat positions grew stauncher. "Excuse me." The small dark haired one said adjusting her glasses. "We'd like to buy some flowers." He adjusted her glasses again. "Is this the Kitty in the House?"
"Yes." Yohji said warily.
"And it does sell flowers?" The blonde girl asked. She was pressing them for information.
"Yes." Yohji answered again.
"Then why are you all acting like we're about to..."
A happy jingle signalled the door opening and fifty girls between the age of thirteen and twenty piled into the shop, grabbing things, florists. Soil was thrown across the floor and the air was loud with screams and names. "BUY SOMETHING!" Aya yelled.
"Or leave." The girls chorused together. They were clutching their hearts and grinning.
"We'll come back." The blonde said preparing to go. "When it's not so busy."
"Gomen." Omi said cutting her off, "it's always like this in the afternoon. Can I help, I'm Tsukiyono Omi." He gave her his most kawaii smile causing one girl by the cash register to glower with jealousy. It was almost possible to see the dark mist around her.
"Tsukiyono-san, I'm Mudou Sara and this is my friend Saiki Ruri." The blonde said moving her thick blonde braid over her shoulder, slapping an encroaching fan girl in the face with it.
"Saiki-san, are your glasses broken, I have a screwdriver in the drawer, I could try and tighten them for you." He said. Yohji handed him the screwdriver.
"It's fine, Tsukiyono-san," the girl said with a pretty blush. "We just needed to get some flowers for Mudou-san's mother. It's her birthday today and we didn't know what kind of flowers she would like."
"Hai," Sara said with a sad smile, "and she's been so down lately, and everyone's been talking about how good the flowers from here are."
"How old?" Aya said, batting away two particularly attentive girls with a willow switch.
"She's thirty eight this year." Sara answered, trying not to be intimidated by him as two girls seemed to beam as he smacked them with the stick.
"How much?" He asked again. He gave the two girls his patented "shi-ne" glare, one looked slightly upset the other swooned and fell to the floor where the others stepped over her.
"We've got five thousand yen." Sara told him.
"Be right back." He said and used his elbows to make his way back to his workbench where he moved in a flurry of activity.
"Aya-kun makes the best arrangements." Omi said brightly, "He'll know exactly what to make her."
"Out of my way!" He bellowed several minutes later, the fan-girls parted like the red sea allowing him to walk through. He had made a rather fetching display of yellow roses, baby's breath, wisteria and lavender. "Here." He said, "three thousand yen."
"He must like you." One of the girls said, "he's talking." Sara flushed a little at the thought that this was Aya being verbose. She handed over the money and he handed over the flowers.
"She bought something." Aya said, and then with a frosty smile, he grated, "Please come again."
"See Aya," Omi said, "it's not that hard to say it." Omi at least was used to the Shi-ne glare.
Yohji was dancing around the shop with the broom to the j-pop that Omi had playing in the background. It wasn't so bad when it was just him and the chibi closing, Ken tended to make more mess than he cleaned up and Aya was happier counting the money and unless everything was up to his amazing levels of cleanliness his Shi-ne glare, which Yohji argued came in five strengths of vitriol, taking the skin from his back. "So, Omittchi," he said sweeping out under the racks, "what did you think of Sara-san?"
Omi blushed red to the roots of his hair. "She's joined Aya's fan club." He said quietly counting out the notes. "He had to make her flowers."
"Aya's good with flowers." Yohji said, "and she was a paying customer, besides, she's about your age."
"I go to school with her brother." Omi said, "and he's scary, he's always in trouble, and he hangs around with Kira, and both you and Aya said you'd break both my legs if I got involved with him." Yohji had his opinion of the boy, that he was the devil incarnate only being part of it. Kira was bad news and he was not letting his little Omittchi get involved with that, there would be women and booze and he'd be smoking. Yes best to keep the chibi away from that. It was one of the few things that Yohji and Aya had ever agreed on.
"In that case never mind." Yohji said, "so did you learn anything at school today?" It had been a unanimous decision on the part of the older boys of Weiss that Omi would go to an all boys school, it meant that there would be no awkward questions about girls to answer, because every time Yohji answered them he was treated to a full Shi-ne factor five and he could feel his skin blister.
"Not really, there was a bit of a fuss when Matsuo got sent home for fighting." Omi locked the cash drawer and lifted the spray bottle of detergent to wipe down the worktable.
"Matsuo?" Yohji asked. "He always seemed like such a nice boy."
"I know." Omi said, "he just went mad and started kicking at Sensei."
"In a fight with a teacher?" Yohji asked. "That's something I'd expect of Kira, not Matsuo."
"I know, its not the kind of thing you expect to see in the hallway either, even Kira has limits on how far he'll go." He tucked his hair behind his ear as he thought about it, "in school, at any rate. I can see why you want me to stay away from him, he's almost earmarked for the Yakuza, I wouldn't like having to kill a friend as Bombay, after what it did to KenKen."
"It's the only thing that Aya and I agree on." Yohji said standing the broom by the door. "That's reason enough, now come on, bishonen, lets get some dinner before Ken starts cooking and we all die of food poisoning."
There was a rattling at the shutter, and then a sturdy knock. "I wonder who that is?" Yohji said, "and it better not be who I think it might be, because if it is her, I'm out." He went to open the shutter.
"You can't be out if you open the door, Yotan." Omi replied, flustered by Yohji's strange logic. He opened the door and was pushed out of the way by a white blur with a man with bright orange hair being pulled by a leash. He ended up on his back with Schuldig between his legs and Farfarello was sniffing at Omi suspiciously.
"Sorry," Schuldig said getting up and dusting himself off, "he's been like this all day, I just took him out for a walk. This is not a raid, it's just walkies." Nevertheless his hand was quite near his luger.
Farfarello took a deep sniff. "I smell angels." He said quite clearly.
"No," Schuldig said, yanking on the leash, "you smell Weiss, now come on." He pulled on the leash again.
"Yotan," Omi said pulling his legs up unto the counter away from the strange Irishman that was intent on smelling him.
"Get out, before Aya comes down, this will be murder to explain."
"Angels." The mad Irishman repeated, "you smell of angels."
"I haven't changed my aftershave." Omi said, "I can't imagine why I'd smell of angels. Now shoo." He waved him away. Farfarello's gaze looked suspicious.
"If you don't mind me asking," Yohji said looking at the lead.
"Most people see him as a white Akita and for the most part it stops him running away." Schuldig answered with a shrug, "but he's been hyper all day, if I didn't know better I'd swear that Todt had been feeding him candy again, but," he lowered his eyebrows, "he even walked past a church in high mass."
Both Yohji and Omi blinked at that. "I know." Schuldig said, "He's been a holy terror all day."
"Hurting angels hurts god." The Irishman said sitting back, and started scratching at his ear with his foot. "You smell of angels." He repeated looking at Omi.
"Come on," Schuldig said pulling the lead again, "we're not going to get any further than this tonight, we'll get you some yummy potato bread and some bacon and I'll tuck you into bed with some Guinness and read you the story about the angel who went to war against god again."
Farfarello seemed to think about it. "Disobedient angels hurt god." He said.
"It's worse than owning a puppy." Schuldig told the two members of Weiss as he left the shop. "At least they don't talk back and you can stop them peeing on the carpet."
Yohji went to pull down the shutters when he saw a very familiar pair of white socks in the doorway. "No," he said, "no, I have a date, go away, we're closed for the evening."
"I have a key, Kudoh." Manx answered, making him pull the shutter back up, "and was that Schwartz I saw leaving here?"
"Sort of," Yohji answered letting the woman in at last, "the mad German was talking the loony Irishman for a walk and he wanted in so he could smell Omi, I'd love to explain it but I don't understand it myself."
Manx shook out on huge ringlet over her red suit. "Nothing about those four makes sense," she said, "besides this isn't a mission, I just want the tax returns. You are a tax refundable expense after all."
Yohji breathed a sigh of relief as Omi handed her the book. "They should be right Aya did them, and you know how he is about money." Omi told her, she nodded. She looked at Yohji, "don't you think you should start making yourself presentable for your date, I mean you only have a few hours and it's a lot of work to be undertaking."
Yohji tried his own impression of a Shi-ne glare, Manx laughed. "Why is it everyone pays attention when Aya does that?" He whined.
"Because he's Aya." Omi answered.
"Hn." Yohji answered, going up the stairs.
Aya had laid out the vegetables in their exact positions on the work surface as he polished the heavy knife on the whetstone. "Aya," Ken protested, "I'm hungry."
"Hn." He replied, he didn't want to dignify that with an answer. They were having vegetable stir-fry and that was that, and if the knives weren't sharp enough then Ken would have to wait. The wok was nice and hot, he started to chop the vegetables, quickly, efficiently, shredding them and dropping them in the wok.
"Hm," Yohji said leaning over him, "smells good."
"Hn." Aya answered stirring the vegetables quickly before pouring them into bowls with the lightest dash of soy sauce. He liked his vegetables mostly raw and that meant when he cooked they all ate them like that. He handed Yohji a bowl. "I thought you had a date." He told him.
"And I do," Yohji answered around a mouthful of baby sweet corn. "You know, Aya, you're a really good cook, you'll make someone a great wife one day." Expecting to be blessed with a full-factor-five Shi-ne glare Yohji was surprised to be stabbed in the rib with only a chopstick.
"Ha," Ken said waving his chop stick around, "that should teach you, never make any kind of comment about Aya within striking distance." He looked kind of smug about it too, "although I must say Aya," Aya braced himself for reaching, "compliment," Ken said noticing the shift in position, "this is really nice."
"Thank you." Aya answered.
"Ha, two words." A short sharp slap struck Ken around the back of the head.
"Actually, I wanted to talk to you." Yohji told Aya who raised a single red eyebrow in response even as he chewed on a piece of pepper. "About two things, one, there are too many dissolute influences in that school of Omi's." he even managed to look concerned at that, "especially that Kira boy, I swear I saw him at a club last week and when you mention him to Omi he doesn't want to become his friend in case he has to kill him." Aya's gaze remained impassive, "when that is hardly the first priority, that boy is the devil incarnate and there is no way to telling what he'll do to our little Omittchi."
"Omi can look after himself." Ken replied. "He knows better than to get involved with that boy." Then he realised what he said, "we sound like a bunch of old hens." He pulled a face, and then shuddered.
"So someone has to talk to him, and he listens to you." Yohji went on.
"And the second thing?" Aya asked.
"Do you want to come out with me tonight?"
"What's this, Yohji, are you asking our fearless leader out on a date?" Ken asked pushing his now empty bowl away and drinking some of his soda.
"No, I just noticed that seeing it's been ages since Aya went anywhere that he might want to come along."
"Hn," Aya replied.
"Is that a yes hn, or a no hn?" Ken asked, "Because I can never tell."
"I don't like crowds." Aya replied.
"Fine, it's just a quiet place, only holds about fifty or so, a nice friendly crowd, an old friend is playing live tonight and I said I'd go but I couldn't think of anyone else I'd rather go with." Aya rolled his eyes that suggested that he was going to go but really would rather have been disembowelled- with a spoon. "Besides no one else I know even likes poetry." Aya blinked at that. Yohji stuck his tongue out, and then doubled over as the chopstick stabbed him again. "It's a teahouse." He gasped.
"The trick," Ken said, slipping his bowl into the sink, "is to stay out of range."
Although Schuldig's apron looks rude it actually says kiss the cook in German.