A/N

I apologize beforehand if this……doesn't make any sense, or if it isn't very good for a Kiddy Grade fanfic; it is, after all, my first attempt at Kiddy Grade fan fiction.

Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to the anime/manga 'Kiddy Grade'………except for Cesario, Armblast/Armbrust and the cool duo of Sinistra and Dextera. Really. (In my dreams!)


Camaraderie

"What – " the red-haired man dodged the heavy punch that was aimed at his torso, " – has managed to get you so – ", pausing; he ducked, preventing the well-placed kick from hitting him, before leaping to his feet and directing a punch at his opponent. " – worked up now?"

The brunette scowled as his fist hit her arm –not that it was a hard punch, but because he had managed to hit her while she was yet to get her punches and kicks to connect after her first-minute cheap shot.

"Nothing," she growled, before charging at him again, dishing out a series of kicks and punches with lightning-like speed. Not too surprised by this sudden onslaught, the tall man dodged and ducked as best as he could.

Even as he avoided being hit, his eyes were alert for any opening in the brunette's defense which he could use to his advantage. The opening presented itself during the briefest of seconds that his opponent paused to send a powerful kick at him. Dodging the kick, he sped forward before the brunette could regain her balance.

Slipping behind her he twisted an arm lightly behind her back, causing her to whirl around with a low growl. Using his free hand to catch the fist that was aimed at his face, he pushed forward, sending the two of them to the ground.

"Looks like this duel is over," he commented, as he knelt over the girl. He allowed a small smirk to form on his lips as he saw the glare on the girl's face. As his eyes traveled to the cross on the front of her dress, –the more revealing part of her clothing- he decided it was time for him to move.

Shaking his head, he released his grip on her arms and stood up, heading towards a corner of the otherwise empty room.

Sitting up once he moved away, the girl stared balefully at her hands before sighing. "One day, Dextera, one day……" she grumbled, wincing a little as she rubbed her wrist. "Aw man, this is going to leave a bruise…"

Dextera raised his eyebrows as sat back down next to her, throwing her a towel as he did so. Wiping his face with his towel, he watched as the brunette did the same. "Surely a little bruise means nothing to you, Éclair?"

Glaring amber eyes immediately turned to his auburn ones. "Of course it doesn't!" she exclaimed, hotly, tugging at the hem of her red outfit.

Dextera nodded, satisfied. "Good. I was beginning to wonder if you were suddenly becoming weak……" He was forced to look back at the girl when she groaned and flopped back on to the ground, covering her face with the towel he had thrown her. Somewhat surprised at her lack of reaction yet choosing to ignore it, he glanced back across the room where he had discarded his jacket -so as to be able to move better during the mock-duel and to spare the item of clothing any damage.

"Am I?"

"Hmm?" He gingerly touched the small of his back through his white shirt, where the brunette's heeled shoe had connected during the first minute of their mock-duel. When he had stepped away to take his jacket off –which, to him, was a cheap shot on the girl's part. He could tell that that would leave a bruise.

"Am I?" He glanced sideways at the girl, who had pulled the towel off her face and was staring at him. "Do you think I am?"

"Do I think you are what?"

"Weak." Dextera blinked in surprise.

"Do I think you – " he stopped. "Why? Did someone say you were weak?" He caught the annoyed expression that flashed quickly across the younger girl's face and understood immediately. "What happened with Alv this time?"

The annoyed expression returned to the brunette's face, together with a rather harsh scowl.

"She…said that I'm weak…" she muttered.

"And what prompted her to say that?" The scowl deepened.

"Because."

"Because?"

"Yes, because!" exclaimed the brunette, throwing her arms up in frustration. "Because I was unnerved at the sight of the maimed corpses and spilt blood that we were met with during our earlier mission. Our earlier joint mission."

Dextera shook his head slowly, blowing away the strand of red-hair that had fallen into his eyes as he did so. "And you let that get to you?"

"Well duh!" The girl glared malevolently up at the ceiling of the training-room they were in. "How can I not let it get to me? I mean…just because I'm an ES Member doesn't mean that I have to get used to the sight of seeing the dead, does it?"

"No, it doesn't," admitted Dextera.

"And fine, so I do kill people during missions –but only…well, if it's really necessary, you know? It's not like I randomly charge into buildings or whatever and start killing off people just for the heck of it!"

"…Of course not…"

"So why is it such a big deal that I don't like the sight of…the dead?"

"It's not," corrected Dextera.

"Why does it make me be categorized as 'weak'?"

"It doesn't." Amber eyes were torn away from the ceiling, and onto him.

"Then why the hell did Alv say I'm 'weak' just because I cringed and did whatnot at the sight of the corpses?" asked the brunette, frowning. "Am I supposed to……to be like her and Dvergr? Am I supposed to enjoy such things? To…" there was a slight pause, "enjoy the sight of the dead?"

Auburn eyes rose immediately to meet hers and she was able to take in the serious expression on the red-head's face as he turned his face towards her.

"Do you want to?" She blinked.

"What?"

"Do you want to…enjoy the sight of the dead? To be perfectly alright while looking at a scene of mass murder?" The brunette shook her head violently.

"No! How could you say that? Of course I don't want to –"

"-Then I do not see why you are making such a big deal out of this. Honestly."

"But…but – " Dextera shook his head.

"We may all be ES Members, Éclair, but we're all different from each other. Some of us have killed so much that…we don't feel affected by the sight of such carnage; some of us have killed so much that we start to…enjoy it; and then, some of us kill only because we have no other choice –not because we want to." He paused. "You shouldn't have to change who you are merely because you want other people to hold you in high regard."

He shook his head again. "No; it does not matter what others think of you. As long as you like who you are…as long as you are not disgusted with yourself, nothing else matters." He closed his eyes. "And also if those who are important to you like you for who you are, I guess…"

Éclair stared at him, the frown slowly leaving her face, although she was still troubled.

"I…guess you're right, but – "

"-Besides, I am sure that Alv has said many more…insulting things to you, since the two of you were introduced to each other. I do not see why you should let something as…petty as this affect you so much." He stood up as he finished speaking, throwing the towel around his neck. Turning slightly, he held his hand out to the C-Class ES Member, who was still looking somewhat troubled.

"Huh?" She stared at his extended hand for a moment. "Oh." She let him pull her to her feet.

"Just ignore whatever she tells you, Éclair; you know she does it to get a reaction from you," said Dextera over his shoulder, as he reached out to pick up his jacket.

Éclair stared at her feet for a moment, the towel gripped in her hands. "Yeah……" she mumbled, "You're right…" Her answer didn't even sound convincing to herself.

With his jacket folded over his arm, Dextera headed towards the door. "You should hurry up and have your shower," he said, casually. "Or you'll be late for your shift."

He smirked as he was rewarded with a loud groan.

"Dammit…" muttered the girl, before straightening the red dress she wore on missions and when she was working, except of course when she was working at the reception. "It's unfair………" she moaned, trudging towards Dextera, and then trudging past him as he held the door open for her. "How come you guys never have to do any actual work around here?"

Dextera raised his eyebrows. "Well," he started. "It would be because I –along with Sinistra, if that was whom you were referring to when you said 'you guys'- am an S-Class ES Member, which means that, unlike you, we have more important – " he deftly caught the towel that was carelessly flung at him.

"Oh shut up," grumbled Éclair, before walking out of the room and practically stomping down the corridor. Shaking his head, Dextera closed the door to the training room behind him and followed her, heading towards the separate locker-rooms that were on the floor below.


"Aren't you forgetting something?" he called out, as he walked down the stairs and stopped just outside the men's locker room. A minute later, the door to the women's locker room opened, and Éclair trudged out, heading towards him with a hand held out. Dextera cocked an eyebrow at her.

"Can I…please have my towel back?" She caught it as it was thrown at her. "Thanks." Before closing the door to the locker-room behind her, she paused. "Dextera?"

He turned to glance at her. "Yes?"

"Thanks," said Éclair, staring at her feet. "For…well, you know…" The red-haired male shrugged, seeing her discomfort.

"No problem," he said. "Now go and have that shower, or you'll really get late for your shift." Raising her eyes, Éclair made to glare at him, but found herself staring at a closed door. Shaking her head she walked into the women's locker room, a small smile gracing her lips as she closed the door behind her.

Thank-you Dextera, she thought absently as she opened her locker, for being there…and for understanding.


A/N

The idea for this –as in, for Dextera and Éclair training- sprung from a screen-cap that I saw on the net, where an Éclair-clone was fighting Dextera. After seeing that, I just couldn't stop imagining the two of them as 'training-partners' as it were. That way, some of Dextera's wisdom could rub off on Éclair. Hehe.

I'm not too sure if I'll continue this, or leave it as a one-shot; I do have an idea or two for continuing this and making it a multi-chaptered fic, but…I don't know.

Oh well. Reviews will be gladly accepted, so please take the time to drop in a comment –so I can know if I'm going about this the right way.

See ya!

Siriusgirl1