cat scratch fever

Originally titled 'benediction darkness', being revised and reworked. Any and all critiques on style, characterization, plot, etc are greatly appreciated.

rating: R

pairings: very subtle Aya/Yohji

warnings: language, violence, implied adult situations, medical issues

disclaimer: I don't own WK. But here I go, anyway.

archiving: sure, just ask

note: events are between ep19 & 20 in the original series. Living conditions & character appearances match the manga. Street-names and honorifics remain in Japanese, one for setting and the other because I intensely dislike "Kenny" as a nickname. No offense to any Kennys reading.

...xxxXxxx...

prologue

"A high-impact, high-addiction derivative..."

The club was packed last night. All the little yakuza, bleached hair spiked, posing, parading, impressing their girlfriends. He'd waited by the bar for an hour, nursing a single beer, searching the crowd. This was her place. She was always there. She would be there again.

"Three, four-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as exstasy..."

Sweat and cigarette smoke and stale beer. A bass beat slamming into his skull. Streaming lights flipping from red to blue to purple. Shockwave strobes. And the people, all the people. An hour, and nothing. No sign, no word, no message.

"But when combined with an opiate-based derivative, the combination lessens reactions like severe muscle spasms, nausea, hot flashes..."

Five days, seventeen hours. Maybe forty-five minutes, too, if his guess is right in the length of time since he last glanced at a clock. Five days. Seventeen hours. Forty-five minutes. Stop this, man, you're driving yourself crazy for a freakin' kid. Pay attention to the stupid meeting. She's probably moved right along, anyway, and here you are. Pathetic.

"A small amount is unbelievably powerful and can be diluted up to one parts one thousand with no loss of effectiveness..."

Dirty, brown hands, nails bitten and rough. What a creature. Not even close to a girl. More like someone's off-cast notion of a girl left to run wild with a pack of boys. A cast-off notion dragged through the dirt, left to rot in a corner, shut away.

"Above a certain level, the effect is as physically addictive as cocaine or heroin..."

But there was a girl underneath it all. Peel back the sarcasm and old jeans. Unwrap the survival instinct and the unexpectedly delicate bra straps. Revel in the way she moaned and whimpered underneath him.

"Where exstasy does long-term psychological damage..."

Yeah. There was a girl under there. It took a little work. But the sounds she made, the way she knew instinctively to bring her legs up, crossing her ankles behind his shoulder blades, angling her body against his, letting him go so deep? Yeah. It was worth it.

"Strong manic-depressive symptoms showing up immediately after even one dose in subjects without a history of mental illness..."

The first time, she'd thrashed and moaned and called his name, and generally made a nuisance in his eardrums. The second time, she was quiet, hesitant, only a few whimpers escaping her lips. He had to ask her why she'd changed. He couldn't tell, and that alone amazed him. Delighted him. Intrigued him.

"The inclusion of the additives alters the design so different neuron receptors are triggered..."

He'd run his hands up her ribcage, marveling at the lean muscles shivering under her skin. Her hips no wider than his. Her thighs and calves strong. Her waist too boyish to be feminine. Her breasts just a little small. If she starved herself, she'd be no more than a boy with large eyes and smaller hands. But he'd dug past the dirt, pushed open the doors. That was a girl under there.

"The result is docile, passive reactions even in subjects with high antagonistic characteristics prior to testing..."

She finally admitted she hadn't expected sex to actually feel good. When she stopped playing the part, she was swept away, and took him right with her. Those little moans. Her soft purr. Her back, arching into him as he rubbed a thumb across her nipple, following it with his tongue.

"The drug has widespread potential use, from subduing opponents to authority forces..."

It was delicious. Addictive. Who needs a damn drug, he tells himself, scoffing at the business suits around him, nodding along with the lecture as though they understand any of the crap. He doesn't, and doesn't care; he only vaguely registers the lecture. His mind is on his plans for the night. He'll go back again tonight. Maybe swing by her work tomorrow. He could have anyone he wanted. He knew it, but he wanted her.

"Preliminary street releases have indicated potential secondary market as general drug use..."

Dirty fingers, dirty little paws that sifted through the city's refuse, searching for ways to make it better. If anyone could fix the holes in his mind, the broken places in his life, it would be someone unafraid of dirt. Unafraid of trash. Unafraid of the work required to dig down, under the layers, to find who was really down there. Yeah, to find what was there, not to need it, to use it, but to want it. Cherish it.

"A street nickname has already developed as the drug's reputation has spread quickly..."

She's his black hole, his empty space, his endless darkness.

"Black Cat..."

He'll be at the club tonight, waiting.