Disclaimer: Nope, don't own Get Backers.
"So that's the thing that's responsible for triggering the curse in Yamato and Himiko?" Ginji asked with puzzlement evident on his face.
"It looks like an ordinary gemstone to me."
The trees, along with various types of plants and shrubs, danced with the cool, whistling wind, birds sang or happily flew toward who-knows-where, the tides below the cliff roared with life, and the sun beamed at the direction of the duo—a bliss morning was definitely set for this particular day.
"Um…. Ban-chan, what are we doing here?" Ginji asked as he was stretching his fairly rusty limbs.
"Get rid of this before anyone gets a hold of it. It would be nice though to trade it for some money, but that would be idiotic. The witch would probably do anything to get it back." Ban was staring at the sea that was growling beneath him.
With that decision settled, Ban used his snakebite to crush the insipid gem that rested on his palm and scattered it along the direction of the wind. Some of the crushed particles swam with the forceful current of air, while others dove in the sea.
While Ginji stared at the stray bits of the orb, Ban again heard the persistent voice of a late, dear friend since the beginning of his little adventure with the painful past of the entire Kudo generation.
"I almost believed that you would trade it for cash."
"I may be greedy, but I'm definitely not stupid."
"So you are."
"What's up? Is there a problem?
"Nope, just wanted to say thanks for saving her."
"Jeez. It was a promise, okay? Besides, I already told you before, I owe her a lot. Like leaving her all confused and alone and not minding her once in a while, it was unfair for her."
"What the hell did you do to my friend? He's not as nice as you are."
"Ha ha very funny." Ban snorted at Yamato's sarcastic statement.
Hearing Ban's snort, Ginji turned his attention to his friend and asked, "Did you say something, Ban-chan?"
"Nothing." Suddenly, a phone ring sliced the calmness of the day. Ban swiftly yanked out his cellular phone from his pants' pocket and answered it after two rings.
"Ban, I have a client for you guys. Come over, quick." Hevn said with mild urgency.
"Another one of your clients that would inevitably lead us to dangerous missions, I see."
"Dangerous, yes. But pays a lot. Now get your butt down here before the client changes his mind if you don't retrieve it by the end of the day."
"What? Are you telling me that we have less than 24 hours to fetch something for this particular client? In case you haven't noticed, your missions always take us more than just a day. What the hell..."
Before he could have uttered another word, the blonde agent closed their conversation via phone.
Darn that conceited yet sexy woman! Oh well...
"Ginji, let's go."
"So, a billion-worth necklace is all we need to get back?"
"Yes, but the security is extremely tight and…"
"No need to worry, sir. Our slogan and promise to you is that we're efficient and nothing is impossible for the Get Backers, ne Ban-chan?" Ginji exclaimed with a wide grin.
"Absolutely. So, how much are we talking about after we return this precious item of yours?"
"Fifty percent of the cost of that jewelry."
Ban, Ginji, and Hevn gaped at the nervous man.
"Did I hear you correctly? As in 50 of the actual price of your necklace? And it's worth more than a billion yen?" Ban and Hevn's eyes were shining with amusement.
"Ye..yeah... so will you help me?"
"Of course! The Invincible Get Backers are on the case!" Ban abruptly stood up and shouted with a huge amount of optimism.
Unexpectedly, the Honky Tonk's door swung open and a certain lady of violet appeared in the doorway.
"Hi, Hevn-san. Hope I'm not too late now, am I?" Himiko asked with slight perkiness.
"You're just in time for your departure to the location of the whereabouts of the task, but I'm afraid you're late for hearing its details."
Before Lady Poison could have sent her apologies, Ban disrupted their exchange. "Why are you here?"
After hearing his inquiry, Himiko flushed at his remark. She wanted to hit him there for rudely interrupting her chat with Hevn, as well as asking her what she was doing there. It was as if he didn't want her to come along.
Instead of retorting, she passively replied, "Well, Hevn-san called and told me to join you guys in this certain job. She said that I would probably be needed for transportation after you fellows recover the needed article. But if you don't want me to join you, then it's fine with me. You are, by the way, the Invincible Get Backers, am I right? I'm sure you wouldn't need me. Besides, I still have loads of cash after my current assignment, so I can choose to bail out anytime I want, especially when one of you doesn't want me around." She crossed her arms, and waited for their reply.
Ban smirked at her speech. "You haven't changed a bit."
Himiko raised an eyebrow. "So? What's it to you?"
Ban leaned on the chair and stared at the ceiling. "Nothing. It's just that… I missed it." Before those words were able to register into anyone's minds, he immediately stood up from one of the booths and walked toward the door. He stopped at her side while facing the door, and Himiko facing the booths.
"Well? What are you guys waiting for? Let's go."
As soon as Ginji heard Ban's infuriated tone of voice, he jumped and ran toward Ban's side.
"Gomen, Ban-chan. I was lost for a while there. Let's go!" He then dashed out the door and waited for the couple to come out.
Ban jammed his hands into his pockets and walked slowly to the door. "Shall we?"
Returned to reality, Himiko whirled and faced the café's entrance. She then replied tentatively, "Ye… yes… Sure."
Suddenly the memory of the past stroked her once again. Recalling that particular portion of an unforgettable moment, a smile crept on her face. Before she could lose that specific minute of joy, she jogged to his side and slipped her arm around his other curved arm.
"Hey!" Ban was surprised by her unexpected action, but quickly diminished it. A grin was drawn on his face. "You're such a baby."
Himiko stuck her tongue out and laughed.
"Would you two stop fooling around and do your job?" Hevn didn't like ruining a heartfelt moment, but big money was at stake.
The couple ignored her comment and just strode toward the exit and out the door. They stopped for an instant, arm in arm, and basked in the warm sunshine.
"It sure feels like the old days, ne?" Himiko turned to face him and grinned.
"Yup." Ban looked at her and smiled.
"Sorry to interrupt, but I think that we have to go now."
Unknowingly, in another world, two individuals were smiling at the scene being played beneath them.
"What a sight."
"Finally my stubborn and cocky grandson is sincere about his feelings for a girl. I nearly thought that he would die alone."
"I guess so. But even if he were never interested in a woman, he would never be alone, as long as Ginji's by his side."
The lady sighed. "Yeah, he's a nice boy."
Ban's grandmother smirked. "It was obvious, especially when you winked at him."
Yamato just laughed. "I was kidding. Don't tell me you believed that I'm gay?"
"I've always thought that you are gay. I'm not even sure if I should believe otherwise."
Yamato chuckled. "I sure hope that from this day on, they'll ultimately have a bright future… together."
"Well, I choose to be hopeful about these things."
"Me too. They deserve it."
"Shush. They already got in the car. There they go." She sighed. "You know what would be great?"
"Is if we can have plush seats and popcorn right now. I can't tolerate standing in front of a magical screen all day long. It's killing my legs."
"It's certainly not impossible to do it now and here."
"I know. I was only seeking your approval."
"Okay then. Plush seats and popcorn it is."
Ban's grandmother chuckled. "Make the popcorn large. I'm getting a feeling that this is going to be a long day."
"Yeah, you're right."
In the world below them, the trio, at that moment, didn't seem to care for the necklace's worth. Ginji and Himiko kept laughing, concocting corny jokes while Ban was driving and smiling at the two's senseless yet humorous teasing, and reminiscing the good old days; it felt like time itself stopped and the job and money were, for a time, forgotten. Each other's company was enough to make them happy.
After suppressing her laughter when she came into a conclusion that if she continued, she would certainly die of lack of oxygen, Himiko gazed out the window and smiled. I wish this would never stop. I know you can here me, Aniki, and I want you to know that I'm having fun, so don't worry too much about me 'cuz I'm here with Ban and Ginji, ne?
She didn't expect an answer, but she knew that somehow that mental message was by now sent to her brother.
"Hai! It's show time." Ginji cried out.
"Be quiet, baka!" Ban whispered through clenched teeth. "You want the guards to catch us or blow our brains out?"
"Oooops. Gomen Ban-chan." Ginji whispered with puppy-dog eyes. "Let's go then, ne?"
"Sure." Before Ban got out of the car, he motioned Himiko to sit on the driver's seat since she would be the driver once they've regained the object.
Once settled on the seat, Ban said, "Stay al…"
Before he could continue, Himiko leaned forward, kissed him and said, "Stay alert and watch out for guards and so on. I know. You should be the one who's careful, you and Ginji. Now go."
Ban smiled and swiftly kissed her. "15 minutes max."
When Ban was out of sight, Himiko closed her eyes. Aniki, take care of him. Sure, he's quite unbeatable, but you'll never know. She then opened her eyes, one hand behind her back ready to pull out one of her potions, and scanned her surroundings. But she didn't stay wary for long. She had this feeling that everything would turn out fine, and for that reason, she didn't fight against it.