A DNAngel/XXXHolic Crossover fic, gods help me…
Attempt #1: Nine-Tenths of the Law vs. Attack of the Killer Lawn-Ornament
If you hadn't been looking for him, you wouldn't have known he wasn't there.
That is… you just might have seen something, but there wouldn't be anything visible when you looked, not a flicker, not a shadow; just the stirring of air from movement that might have been nothing but a figment of the imagination. Phantom Thieves were like that: Slippery When Met.
:…aaaagh; I don't believe you thought that last one… Dark, even for YOU that was awful.:
/Like you're one to talk/ answered the voice's host, slipping his lockpicks back into a pocket. /Lighten up already, will you, Daisuke? Nobody likes a whiner./
:Oh, right… like you didn't spend half of last night singing the English lyrics to 'Gilligan's Island' in the back of our head to drive me nuts just because I wouldn't go down and raid the 'fridge. When did YOU ever even see the show: The person who was currently in charge of their body pointedly ignored the comments and concentrated on moving through the darkened building without knocking anything over. He had flown in, allowed his wings to dematerialize in the usual way, slipped in through a convenient window (the lock had been even less of a challenge than most) and then headed confidently into the maze of hallways that lay beyond, searching for what the Niwa family's files indicated was known as 'the Treasure Room'.
In and of itself, the entire building could have been considered a 'treasure', at least of the architectural sort; and Dark appreciated good architecture. He particularly appreciated it when it had good rooftops, nice places for dramatic poses against the moon, and lots of protrusions and alcoves for ducking out of the way when you didn't want to pose dramatically. This one… had them all. If he were the sort to house-hunt, he'd have been thinking up ways to drive the owner out in a heartbeat.
:I dunno, Dark… if feels a little creepy to me. It's really black in here, isn't it: In the back of Dark's mind, Daisuke shifted uneasily and looked out from behind his other self's eyes.
The phantom thief sighed, peering around a corner and trying to decide just how far they were from their goal. /If you haven't figured out by now that I LIKE dark places, you've got a hole in your head./
There was a purely mental sigh. :…and you're IN it.:
Dark rolled his eyes; he hadn't just heard… something like a footstep, had he? Sharp senses honed by centuries of professional larceny raised their heads, listened—and settled back; no, there was nothing there. A blankness in the wall a little ways ahead beckoned— a doorway? He wouldn't have admitted it under even the most refined tortures, but he wasn't exactly certain just where he was (Dark wasn't lost, of course; allegedly-immortal and entirely sexy phantom thieves didn't GET lost. He was just slightly off-course). /Speak for yourself. Who's in charge right now, huh/
:…fine, see if I let you pick the next DVD we rent… No more pirate movies, no more ancient Jackie Chan.:
/HEY! It's MY turn next/ WAS it a doorway? It was; bingo. Their target supposedly lay about ten feet inside on a counter; stealthily, soundlessly, he flattened himself against a wall and eased the panel open…
Yeah, it really was sort of black in there. Didn't these people believe in night-lights?
It wasn't like this was the usual kind of heist, anyway. No notices sent to the police, not even to the local newspaper; for once Dark had to steal something 'incognito', as Daisuke's father called it, which rankled Dark's soul abominably. And why? All because the location of the target was marked in the files as 'Extremely Dangerous, Avoid Encounter With Owner', with seven checkmarks after it and half a dozen footnotes, all referencing nearly a hundred years of past incidents of attempted theft (not by Dark, of course) in which the would-be thief had been either found in several pieces… or never found at all, anywhere.
But Dark was still sulking; it was the principal of the thing.
The target itself wasn't much: a ceramic statue of a cat, curled up and sleeping, ornamented with delicate enamelwork and tiny inlaid jewels. It had been made to rest on the top of a shelf with its tail hanging down, probably by some Hikari that liked cats better than the rest of his family (the Hikaris had for the most part been dedicated ailurophobes so far as Dark could remember), and as it was, it was a pretty nice piece of artwork—
:Are we there yet? It's not just dark in here, Dark, it's getting cold. I don't like this.:
/Shuddup, Daisuke. Let's get this over with./
but it wasn't the sort of thing that you'd expect to warrant an 'extremely dangerous' flag in the files, was it?
Whatever. Dark scowled at the blackness beyond the door and slid inside—
When SomeThing steps on your head in the dark, you have several options available. You can:
1. Scream like a little girl.
2. Flail your arms violently.
3. Bite the hell out of their foot, and THEN begin over with Number One.
Watanuki opted for Choice Number One, with a healthy dose of Number Two. He screamed like a little girl AND flailed around violently; above him, the Thing that had attempted to flatten his brains yelped and fell over hard, adding assault and battery to the current charges of Scaring-The-Living-Shit-Out-of-Watanuki-san.
Of course, this was Yuuko-san's place. God alone knew what wandered around her hallways at night—
"YaaaaaiiiiiEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Watanuki floundered amidst his blankets, not even attempting to get away. "WAAAAAHHH!" the Thing yelped in outrage and panic, dancing across the boy's torso. "WHUF!" said Watanuki as the breath was stomped out of him; "#&!" sputtered the Thing, attempting to regain his balance…
…and then the light came on.
"What. Are. You. Doing. In. My. House?" It was not a sentence; each word came out all on its own, brandishing big sticks and looking surly. Blinking back spots from the sudden illumination, Dark wheeled on one foot ("Aaackkkmyribs—") and staggered a step or two back.
/whooooEEEEEBe still, my beating hormones/
She was tall and slender, like a willow; thick silky black hair clung in looping, graceful strands, and whatever she was wearing was paying far more attention to gravity than to staying put. Agate, changing eyes flashed as she advanced; Dark was vaguely aware of whatever he had stepped on scurrying out of the way as he attempted to pull up his most charming smile. "Ahh—"
"I ASKED you: What are you doing in my house?" A step closer, and a step, and another step… /Nice legs/… and she was holding something, but it didn't have a point or an edge so it wasn't important…..
:DARK! Helloooo, Earth calling Dark, she's got a:
/Holy shit/ murmured the Phantom Thief reverently to the voice that was yelling at him from behind his libido; /I don't think I've seen cleavage like that since women started wearing bras./
In the back of Dark's inherited brain, Daisuke was waving his arms and shouting, but the thief paid no attention whatsoever. "Ahhh, my apologies… and you would be the lady of the URF!" Something had abruptly collided with his stomach, something hard; he staggered backwards, registering as he flailed and fell over that the Something had been a—
/ what the hell IS that anyway/
Daisuke seemed to be stuck somewhere between panic and what would have been hysterical laughter if he hadn't been so freaked out. :…It's a……..plastic flamingo. It's a pink plastic flamingo. WHY is she poking us with a pink plastic flamingo:
/Good question./ Dark attempted to edge back from the weird object; this just was not right. Beautiful women wearing nothing much in particular (/good gods just black lace, YEAH/) didn't poke phantom thieves with lawn ornaments when broken in upon, they shot at them or tried to catch them or (preferably) dragged them off and molested them bodily. Plastic fauna were not normally a part of this picture, no matter what kind of bedroom calisthenics they might plan to—
Oh, but she was talking now, her voice sinking to a low, sultry purr that made the thief forget about the indignity of being given the bird. Dark had an excellent viewpoint from the floor as he listened…
"You're a phantom thief, aren't you? 'Dark Mousie', I believe?" SultryVoice-chan ran red-tipped fingers down the length of weapon, causing her visitor to swallow hard. "Yes, I've heard of you….. Well, well. Do you know what happens to people who break into my home, little thief?"
/Mmmm, no, but I have some suggestions…/ Dark gave her the best smile he could manage from his place on the floor and attempted to rise; however, Mister Flamingo seemed to have other ideas and poked him in the stomach again. /Hey/ "Err, no; what?" the Phantom Thief asked, edging away from the menacing plastic beak.
"Dreadful things," said SultryVoice-chan, smiling (or at least showing her teeth); inside Dark's head, Daisuke groaned and covered his eyes. The advancing lawn-ware drew back slightly; there was a faint, crackling sound, and the thief's eyes widened as the plastic began suddenly to glitter with sparks—
/OHshit, she's some sort of sorceress, evasive action NOW/
"Why's he got wings?"
There was a mutual moment of ; SultryVoice-chan blinked. "Wings? Watanuki?"
:Huh: Daisuke cautiously peered back through virtual fingers and out through Dark's eyes again. :Who's that, and how:
/ does he know about our wings? With put 'em away/
The tousle-haired, grouchy-looking teenager who fumbled for his glasses as he crawled from behind a piece of furniture in the corner had to be 'Watanuki', and considering the footprints on his t-shirt, he had also been Dark's what-the-hell-did-I-just-step-in, too. The boy was squinting at him, a started look on his face as his eyes focused beyond the thief's shoulders onto…
/Oh, great; he can see them, even when they're not there. Just wonderful, we've got some sort of psychic guard-dog here. Who the #&! designed this heist, anyway/ It had been Kosuke, hadn't it? What had Dark ever done to him (aside from take over his son's body and so forth, that is)?
:He's LOOKING at me: said Daisuke in horror and tried to hide. Being immaterial was suddenly not enough.
The grouchy-looking teenager blinked and attempted to edge backwards without making any overt moves. "Uh, Yuuko-san, he's got a spirit with him— some sort of redheaded kid. No wings, though….. uh….." 'Watanuki' or whoever he was paused uncertainly, one hand fumbling behind him for a door-handle. "Yuuko-san? Are they clients? Should I make some tea or something?"
"No," purred the black-haired woman, eyes narrowing. "They're not clients, they're thieves. And I," she said very softly, "do not like thieves, even ones with wings… especially when they disturb my sleep. Tea is not an option just now."
The plastic flamingo began to spark again, and for a piece of lawn art, it was looking extremely predatory. Despite the proddings of his hormones, Dark at last decided that getting the hell out of there just might be the better part of valor… especially considering how the tatami-mats on the floor were beginning to smoke under the rain of sparks….. "Look," he began, holding up his black-gloved hands with a careful I'm-charming-and-harmless,-see? smile, "Why don't we just start over? I promise, I mean no harm to so lovely a lady as yourself…"
"not that it would matter," he heard the grouchy teenager mutter from behind SultryVoice-chan.
/Uh-oh. Better work fast./ SultryVoice-chan brushed a long strand of hair back from her face, eyes glittering as she advanced. Inside Dark's borrowed head, Daisuke was beginning to compose his own epitaph. "…and I must admit that I'm not used to being menaced by—by, ah, lawn ornaments….. If you'd please point that a bit away from me, maybe we could sit down and talk for a few minutes?" Dark turned the smile up a notch, adding a few degrees of wistfulness to the charm. "I really am sorry that I've invaded your sleep; you'll give me the opportunity to make it up to you, won't you?"
The flamingo was beginning to glow. "And why would I want to do that" purred SultryVoice-chan as she moved forward, "—when you make such a good target?" She raised the menacing plastic bird, sighting along from feet to beak as if it were a shotgun.
/Goddammit/ Dark ducked, and just barely in time.
BLAM! Plaster exploded from the wall behind where the thief had been—'had been', because he was no longer within eyeshot (or birdshot, for that matter); rapid footsteps pounded down the hall, and there was a brief crash as the glass of one window parted company with its frame.
Yuuko-san raised the now-smoking bird head to her lips and delicately blew the cloud away. "You missed," said Watanuki from beneath the futon on the floor behind her; he had learned to duck quickly while in Yuuko-san's service. "You totally missed."
"Did I?" She blinked slowly, waving the flamingo in the air. Its head had now come to resemble a marshmallow halfway through the toasting process. "No; I hit exactly what I meant to hit."
"The wall?" Staggering to his feet, her assistant examined the cratered plaster. "This," muttered Watanuki irritably, "is the absolute LAST time I'm ever sleeping on your floor, plumbing disaster or no plumbing disaster."
Yuuko-san sniffed, piqued. "If I hadn't offered you a futon, you'd be wrapped up in a blanket on top of your living-room table right now, smelling raw sewage." She brushed a strand of hair out of her eyes. "It's only through the goodness of my heart that you had a dry place to sleep at all, Watanuki-kun; ah, the ingratitude of youth." She crossed her arms, hugging the plastic flamingo to her ample cleavage and lounging back against the doorway without much regard for whether or not her robe was closed (not that the flamingo minded).
"Yeah, yeah, whatever….." The boy flushed and ducked his head, fiddling with his glasses; they had become slightly bent at some point in the proceedings. "So what WAS that? The guy in the black leather and the redheaded spirit? Wings, they had wings—" He looked disturbed. "Don't try and tell me they were angels; I don't think angels'd dress like that." He rubbed at his bruised midsection. "Or sound like that, either… err. Would they?"
Yuuko-san looked smug. "What would you pay to find out, Watanuki-kun?"
"…..urgh; never mind." He avoided her gaze. "Anyway, it doesn't matter; they're gone."
"Yes. I suppose they are—" She glanced over one bare shoulder, back towards the Treasure Room. "—for now, at least."
And Yuuko smiled.
Outside, two blocks safely away and behind a handy brick chimney…..
"What the holy hell—" Dark asked the night air and the unseen passenger inside his mind "—was THAT all about?"
:You're asking ME? I'M not the big world-famous thief here.:
"Yeah, but you grew up reading the Niwa files on heist-locations; have you ever come across anything about a sorceress with a plastic flamingo fetish?"
:No. And I don't want to, ever again. Do we have to get that target? It's not like it's one of the Hikari's best pieces of work… I mean, a china cat statue: Daisuke sighed silently; all he wanted at this point was to go home, get control of his body, eat a late-night sandwich and crawl into bed. Somehow, though, he couldn't quite make himself believe that it was going to be that simple; Dark's pride had been wounded.
/Hell YES we have to get that target. I don't give a good Goddamn if it's a masterpiece or something that bit them and then ran away—it's still a Hikari artwork and it's still frikking MINE, Daisuke. Or it will be, when we go back tomorrow night./ Dark's eyes flashed dangerously. /It's the principle of the thing; if it's Hikari, it belongs to me by rights. Sort of. Close enough./ He shifted a little against the brickwork, summoning and then settling his wings into place. /And besides, I want to see how SultryVoice-chan looks when she's in a better mood. A woman with a body like THAT is a piece of art in her own right, and/ (Dark preened) / she just needs a little polish, the right kind of setting…/ (Dark crossed his arms and glowered thoughtfully) /…to give me exactly what I want…../
Daisuke groaned; he knew THAT tone: Dark was thinking with his hormones again. The problem was, as far as the ancient thief was concerned, Hikari artwork was just as erotically desirable as any beautiful woman; both combined were as irresistible as catnip to a cat. And it was this sort of thing, thought Daisuke, sweating, that made his nights way more uncomfortable than the average teenager's. Of course, Dark WAS the best at what he did. Whether this was a good thing or a bad thing sort of depended on the situation, if you were a Niwa.
Or a piece of Hikari art, for that matter.
Now the phantom thief's glower had taken on a less sulky air, shifting over into a glare and then into a gleam of predatory eyes; he loved a challenge. /Right. So what we'll do is go back tomorrow night and try another tactic, one that'll work better than tripping over flunkies' heads will. Trust me, Dai-chan, there's more than one way to skin—or steala cat./
And Dark smiled.
To be continued………
Ysabet's Notes: Okay, what posessed me to write this one? Dunno, I plead the fifth. There will be two more "attempts" as soon as I get 'em written; hope y'all like the fic, and please pardon my hair-tearing as I try to keep all parties in-characterit's harder in THIS fic than you might think.