Title: Exchanging Hearts
Chapter: 1 of ?
Warnings: AU, slash, cross dressing? (not the type you're probably thinking...perverts) Don't know if this particular case is warning worthy.
Summary: In an alternate universe the Bladebreakers never won the World Championships in Moscow. Russia is a very different place and it's a race against time for the remaining BBA bladers to stop the Biovolt Corporation, The Demolition Boys and Kai.
Rei sighed, flicking his hair out of his face irritably.
'Stop that,' Mariah slapped his wrist, her bangles dangling dangerously close to his nose.
'Sorry mum,' Lee muttered on his behalf, ducking the towel she flung at him.
'You two are intolerable!' she huffed, a smirk painting her face as she tugged on Rei's hair extra viciously. He winced, but didn't object, knowing he probably deserved it.
'Are you almost done? Only it's been an hour and a half already and my butt's getting sore,' Lee whined from the couch in the room, fiddling with Galeon distractedly.
'Than get off it, Lee! No one's making you stay,' The pink haired girl didn't look up from where she was patiently braiding Rei's hair into thousands of little braids, 'Besides, I'm half done,' Lee grunted, making no move to get up.
'So what, it's going to take you another hour and a half. Geeze Mariah!' Lee rolled his eyes, earning another towel from his sister. Rei smiled fondly, flicking the bangs from his eyes again.
'Why are you braiding it anyway? Won't it just draw more attention to me?' Rei asked, looking down at his clasped hands as Mariah tilted his head forward to get at the hair underneath better.
'Not really. You'll have your hood up the whole time if Lee gets his way,' Lee nodded from the couch, where he was now crunching on an apple lazily.
'You had to leave my fringe out didn't you? That's the only reason I agreed to let you at my hair. I thought you'd finally find away to get the bloody things out of my face,' Rei muttered irritably.
'Well you need something to shadow your face don't you. Besides, your fringe frames your features so nicely. I don't see why you're complaining,' Lee crossed his eyes and stuck at his tongues and Rei stifled a giggle.
'Don't let Robert catch you pulling that face Lee. He may decide you're too immature to leave the base,' Mariah hadn't even looked up from her braiding and Rei had to stifle another laugh at the look on Lee's face.
'Robert's been so paranoid lately. It's not like they're going to come swooping down on us anytime soon. From what I hear, they're still spitting mad about the 'Acer Incident',' Rei smirked at the memory. Voltaire had tried to launch an attack on a seaside base of the BBA. 'Course it was funny when they finally figured out that Rei, Oliver and Michael had disengaged all the weaponry.
'I still don't see how you pulled that off Rei. Kenny reckoned he couldn't even have disengaged the main ship's weapon. Robert said the only way to stop it was to hold the crew at gun point,' Mariah muttered, her fingers pulling at his hair painfully. Rei could remember how pissed she'd been when he'd come back an hour after the others. She wouldn't let him out of her sight for the next two weeks and Oliver had to take his place on ration duty.
'Kenny gave me a crash course in disengaging weapons. Always choose the red wire,' Lee laughed, while Mariah scowled recognizing the risk in just pulling a random wire on a million dollar weapon.
'You can stop pulling my hair now Mariah,' Rei consoled after a moment, wincing as she wound a few strands around her fingers.
'I shouldn't let you out of my sight! You're worse than Tyson when it comes to this crap,' He was surprised to feel wet splashes against his scalp.
Rei gently extracted Mariah's fingers from his hair and spun around on the stool he was perched on, wrapping his arms around Mariah's waist gently. She in turn wrapped her arms around his head, sobbing into his braids.
'Why are we still here?' She sobbed her breath hitching.
'Nani?' He extracted his head from her grip, looking up at her tear stained face.
'There's no way Voltaire could find the village! And he could never get any troops into the valley. We don't fall under Chinese rule either! They couldn't make us fight. Why are we still here?' Neither Rei nor Lee answered for a long moment, until; finally, Rei spoke up quietly.
'You can leave,' He paused 'No one would think any less of you. It's fantastic you've stayed this long, but...I couldn't leave. Not this far into the game,' Mariah smiled sadly in understanding. He continued anyway, 'Tyson and Max and Kenny were devastated when K- He left. I just- I was angry,' Rei admitted. Lee smirked, still slouched on the couch lazily.
'Ah, but Rei, brother dearest. Neko-jin of our caliber do not get angry. We get even,' Lee and Mariah were smirking and Rei knew that they weren't going anywhere, anytime soon.
Mariah sniffled once more, extracting her arms from around Rei, wiping at her eyes and continuing to braid his hair diligently. The two males were content to let her act as if she hadn't sobbed her eyes out. She never did like crying in front of an audience. She liked to pretend to be strong like that. Rei smiled fondly.
'Does anyone know where Lee and Rei are?' Robert called out to the room in general. The bustling stopped momentarily for everyone to shrug before returning to whatever they'd been doing before. Robert sighed, rolling his eyes at Tyson and Max who were sword fighting with there ripcords in the corner of the room, out of the way. 'Where they should be,' Robert thought to himself, than scolded himself for being so temperamental.
'Oliver, could you go get them. If they don't hurry up, they'll be late. We can't afford drawing anymore suspicion to ourselves. We organized for the suppliers to have the stuff ready for one o'clock. It's quarter past twelve already!' Robert grouched.
'Okay, okay. I'm on it Robert,' Oliver grinned and skipped off, pausing only to throw a comment over his shoulder: 'Someone turn the heaters off, Roberts composure's melting,' He rolled his eyes as Enrique and Michael laughed from where they were piling boxes.
'Isn't there anywhere else those things can go?' He asked, coolly.
'Nope,' Michael chirped 'The Chief and Emily wanted to install them tonight,' Robert growled.
'Of all the times,' he muttered 'Emily!' He strode over to Emily, who was tapping away at a computer.
'Hai!' She called, acknowledging him, but not looking up from her screen.
'Emily, Lee and Rei are headed into Moscow in 15 minutes. They're probably going to be gone all afternoon. I'm going to have to ask you and Kenny to not install those new machines until tomorrow earliest. We need all surveillance units on them, as usual,'
'Can do, Robert. Don't stress so much. Michael and Enrique just had to get them out of the dining hall so that they could fit in the new tables,' Emily grinned smugly, before returning her attention to the hacked files she had on the screen. Robert made a mental note to check those out himself later.
'Thank you Emily,' He muttered, heading towards the door, intending on getting Lee and Rei himself.
The door opened before he could get to it though and he was confronted with two figures dressed in the regulation gray uniform all Russian civilians now wore. Color was a sign of status and status was something the Russians did not have anymore. Lee had his hair gathered into a short braid, the front part swept forward and over his eyes. Mariah had obviously coated him in powder, because he was now as pale as any native. Robert had to stop himself from rolling his eyes at the intricacy of what Mariah had done to Rei though. All of his hair cascaded down his back in tiny braids and he could see the newly arrived girl massaging her wrists carefully. Rei, too, had his bangs swept into his eyes.
The most distinct change, as it had been for the past many months, was Rei's attire. While Lee wore plain grey slacks and a long sleeved jumper and cloak, Rei wore a skirt and stockings in place of the slacks. Civilians weren't admitted into the market place without a woman. One of the many strange laws Biovolt had put in place after they had taken over Russia six months ago.
'Finally. Okay, move out. You're already late,' Lee just rolled his eyes, turning around and going back the way he had just come. Rei smiled fondly and followed his childhood friend, flicking his braids back and tucking them into the cloak carefully. Robert sighed and retrieved the microphones from Kenny, following Lee and Rei down the hall and up through the extensive underground base that now played home to the Russian based unit of the BBA Resistance.
The three traveled through the metal halls quickly, dodging the many other residences proficiently. They finally reached a fairly deserted corridor, which held nothing but two guards, a metal number pad and a huge reinforced blast door. Robert quickly handed Lee the discreet stud and a small silver cap that slid over the back tooth. Rei wore much the same, only he had two matching earrings. Robert helped him put in the earrings, words never being exchanged. The three of them had done this 54 times since the World Championships in November. They were well versed in the acts.
Russia had taken a step back in time.
At least, the majority of it, Lee thought bitterly. If you weren't with Biovolt they didn't want to know you past the point of controlling you. Voltaire had reincorporated horses as transportation, closing down public transport and banning cars. Now days, if you saw a car coming, you got out of the way quick smart. Voltaire had even gone to the point of forcing civilians to bow to the occupants of said vehicle. Oliver had almost gotten carted off to prison for not doing so. Robert had gone crazy at the French boy, but Oliver maintained that it was tyranny at its highest point. Lee chuckled fondly at the thought.
He looked up at the sound of clinking metal and was surprised to find himself at the small set of stables above ground. The 'base' as the BBA like to call it, was an old ranch in the Russian countryside. Everything was set like a normal house, bar the basement which held a touch pad on the underside of a hinged bucket. The key code was only known to the team captains: Robert, Lee, Michael and Rei. The key code opened a door in the wall, which led to the halls of the only safe place available to rebels against Biovolt. A normal family lived in the above ground house running the ranch and getting supplies. Obviously they couldn't buy for 300 plus people so Robert sent two of the bladers out every Thursday to the market place and Mr. Dickenson often sent food in less conspicuous disguises.
Lee began helping Rei saddle the horses and hooking the cart up to the back. Rei vaulted onto the bench before giving Lee a hand up, taking the reigns and guiding the horses down the long driveway. For now Rei would drive, but once they reached the boundaries of Moscow, Lee would take the reigns. Turned out, Voltaire Hiwatari, on top of being a maniac, was sexist, racist and homophobic. Not a nice man to say the least.
As Rei was appearing as a girl, much to his vexation, Lee had to act as his superior.
'So what's you're name?' Rei asked after a moment of silence, the rocking of the cart soothing they're frazzled nerves.
'Hmm,' Lee pondered, leaning back casually 'Silas,' Lee answered after a minute, grinning cheekily at his companion. Rei raised an eyebrow.
'Isn't that French?' Rei asked, grinning slightly.
'Don't know, I read it in a book,' Rei gasped.
'You read?' Lee glared at the younger boy. He glanced over at Rei after a moment of silence, before speaking up again.
'Silas Vernet,' Rei looked confused for a moment before smiling.
'Then I'll be……Sophie! Sophie Vernet,' Rei raised an eyebrow skeptically, 'we sound French,'
'That's the second time you've mentioned that,' Lee mocked earning a growl from Rei.
'What of our mother?' Lee changed the subject quickly 'What will her name be?'
They always had fun making names on the way to Moscow. It was a rare chance to imagine amongst the bleak reality of the past few months and a good way of taking there minds off what was coming.
'Bezu Vernet,' they continued the rest of the trip in much the same fashion until, finally, it came time for Lee to take the reigns and conversation died.
'11235 is approaching, sir,'
'Who is with him?'
'It appears to be 81321, sir,'
'Proceed as planned. Inform me when he approaches sector 2,'
A/N: Nee hee. Here you go InsaneWelshAngel! Tis' finally gracing the big screen! Woot, woot.