Volt sat at the bar, staring into his glass that he had emptied an hour ago. He'd made a mistake. A horrible, horrendous, life-altering mistake. And it would nag at him forever. Sion had warned him. Kou had warned him. Dominique had encouraged him, but then again, she never had been the brightest bulb on the strand.

Volt watched as Barkeep went up to the jukebox. He knew what he would play. He played the same thing every night. 'I've Got You Under My Skin'. How depressingly appropriate. He couldn't help but wonder how his life had gotten so out of control. It all started when he was forced to go to Mikado with Sion and Kou to save Dominique. He knew "she'd" be there. But, it was still a shock to see "her" after what had happened between them. However, Volt had always been the type of person to forgive and forget. And so he had. But "she" couldn't. "She" was like cling wrap. Constantly stuck to him. And, he couldn't figure out if he hated that fact, or loved it.

Volt stared at the clock. Five minutes before three a.m. Fate would be closing up in just a couple of minutes. He didn't know what force had possessed him to stay nearly four hours after his shift had ended. But, he was still sitting on the same stool, staring into the same glass, worrying about the same problem. Four minutes to go. No one had come inside the bar in nearly an hour, but Barkeep always kept it open until three, regardless of the complaints he received from his Bouncers. And he had hired a new Bouncer. A female Bouncer. "Her". Thus adding to Volt's lack of normalcy. Why was he plagued by "her"? Why did "she" always have to work where he did? Why did Barkeep play this same song every night, over and over until they were all ready to leave?

The clock hand moved over another space. Three minutes. Kou had left hours earlier, complaining about Leann, L.U.K.I.S., and being under appreciated. Sion hadn't even worked that day, due to the fact that Dominique had found a stray puppy and insisted that he had to stay home and 'bond' with it. Sion could never say no to her, so Volt had agreed to take over his shift. A pushover. That was a good word to describe. Or, too kind for his own good. Either would work. He had never taken in a stray before, but that's exactly what he'd done. He'd taken "her" in without a second thought. It was almost like "she" had a power over him, the power to make him feel things. And quite frankly, that terrified him. But Volt was tough, and he kept these things locked deep inside. He wasn't as mean and cold as some people might perceive him. He just wasn't a 'people person'.

Two minutes. Two minutes and he'd be able to go home and sleep, which was something that had eluded him lately. And was it any wonder? He was a loner by nature. So when he had brought "her" into his domain, his whole world had shifted. Gone was the privacy and solidarity that he had grown so accustomed to. But, it wasn't all bad. "She" didn't whine like Dominique, and he thanked Heaven every day that "she" wasn't as domineering as Leann. "She" didn't make a fuss when he left the toilet seat up, nor did "she" throw a fit when he drank from the milk carton. "She" usually just took it from him with a smirk, and chugged. It was at times like that when he thought bachelorhood was overrated. And, it was thoughts like that that would lead him to the brink of insanity.

Just one minute until "she" waltzed through those doors and announced that "she" had done a masterful job of keeping Fate a safe place, and that "she" deserved a pay raise. It was the same deal every night. Except, when you were around "her", "she" brought a new meaning to the word 'unpredictable'. Volt never knew what would happen next, and that lack of control was a nuisance. He tried to resist "her" charms, but "she" was a master manipulator. "She" could get him to do practically anything, at anytime. And he knew that tonight would be no different.

" Okay Volt, you've warmed that seat long enough. Time to head home." Volt looked up, snapped out of his thoughts by the Boss' words. Here "she" comes...

" Well, that was the most boring four hours of my life. You really don't pay me enough. I don't even know WHY I bother coming to work. You ready to go Volt?" Echidna came up behind him, wrapped her arms around his neck, and pressed her cheek against his. She was wearing some intoxicating scent that made him think of exotic places. And that was how she always got him. Subtly. Echidna had snuck in without warning, and fixed herself into his life. And as far as he could tell, there wasn't a thing he could do about it.

" You go on ahead, I'll be home soon." Saying that sent chills up Volt's spine. He no longer had just his life. He had his life WITH Echidna.

" All right." Echidna disentangled herself from him and sauntered over towards the doors. She looked back once, winked at him, and left. With a heavy sigh, Volt got up and locked the doors behind her. He knew she would head straight home, climb into his bed, and fall asleep. The same thing she did every night. And then, he'd get home, climb into the same bed, turn off the lamp she always left on, and fall asleep. Somehow, that had become his normal life. Echidna had succeeded in getting underneath his skin. And Volt had to live with it, whether he liked it or not.


AUTHORS NOTE-

Cool. I ACTUALLY did a Bouncer one-shot. We need more Bouncer fanfics. Maybe I'll make another one. A LONG one. With all of the characters. Yeah, that sounds cool...

Melly