Searching for Teddy
Rating: PG-13 (for some language related dirt)
Summary: Sometimes a teddy is just a teddy, and sometimes things are just the way they look. Hiruma x Mamori
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situation created and owned by Inagaki Riichiro and Murata Yuusuke, and various publishers including but not limited to Shonen Jump and TV Tokyo. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Yet.
The object, by far, was the most dangerous thing that had ever passed into Hiruma's hand. More hazardous than his firearms, way more threatening than his supply of bazookas and army tanks. He was holding it with a thoughtful look on his face as if he was contemplating the future of mankind, and sometimes grunts could be heard escaping his lips. Beside him the Amefuto club manager was also looking at the object warily, fingers clutched around a notebook.
"Fucking manager," he called to her. "You're the expert on this. What do you think?"
She shook her head. "No, too small. Not enough room for the camera."
He put the object back on the shelf and picked another one. "This?"
"Blue? Bad taste," she replied. "Unless it's a favorite color." She made a gesture to check her notebook. "Nope," she said, shaking her head. "It's green."
"Then should we find a green one?"
"They don't come in green, I think."
"Fuck," he swore. "Why the hell it's so complicated?"
Mamori pointed at a bigger object to his left. "That one, Hiruma-kun. Try that one."
He glanced at it and said in disgust, "It has a fucking bow."
She looked at him. "That's the point."
"Bows are good," she persisted. "No bows means failure. Get it."
He grumbled, grabbed the object, and pushed it onto her. "Whaddya think?"
"Oh, it's special edition," she noticed, her face fell. "That usually means it's more expensive than most can afford."
"It won't pass," she said. "They won't believe it."
"Those fucking assholes don't deserve special edition," he drawled.
"Exactly. Hold on." She looked around the shop and went into the next aisle. "Hiruma-kun! I found it!"
"About time," he grumbled and sauntered towards her. "So?"
"It fits the profile. White, red plaid bows, and large enough. The beady eyes help too. He's very cute," said Mamori while carefully handling the object. "He'll do."
"Fucking jolly and all that shit. Now, can we go?"
They made their way to the counter, passing rows of look-alike items, and before Hiruma could whip his card-filled wallet out, the shopkeeper had let out a shrill cooing sound.
"Oooh, how romantic!" the balding middle-aged man said, clapping his hands. "A white teddy! Miss, you have a fine taste." He began punching the keys on his register with finely manicured fingers and beamed when he saw Hiruma taking one platinum card out of his wallet linings. "And apparently very lucky too!"
Mamori eyed the man politely. "Pardon me?"
The man waved her. "Ah, no need to hide such a good catch, eh? Your boyfriend here," he winked, "knows the price of keeping beautiful ladies entertained."
For a moment it seemed that the air in that very shop was all sucked in by one huge intake of breath. The vacuum didn't last very long, however, as Mamori found her voice again. "Yes, thank you," she managed. "That's very kind of you."
The shopkeeper didn't realize the itch on Hiruma's trigger finger as he continued to chat happily and wrap the huge teddy bear in soft cloth. "I notice every couple that enters my shop, you know, and I just knew it when I saw the two of you earlier. You took a lot of time to find the right one, and trust me I know that most guys are not comfortable in this kind of… place." The white teddy was now snuggled comfortably inside a big box. "Call it experience, but I can tell just by looking which couple lasts and which doesn't."
"And what can you tell about us?" Hiruma asked, his voice all of a sudden had become silkily eerie.
The man stopped whatever he was doing and smiled at them. "You'll last a long time."
The Deimon captain didn't say a thing again afterwards. He obligingly signed the receipt and received one vigorous handshake with disinterested face, but once in a while his glance darted back and forth to the big box in Mamori's arms. Of course this peaceful behavior didn't escape the manager's keen eyes. She would've thought that the shopkeeper's impudence might at least merit a round of shot or two from him, but the gun and the man handling it kept their silence.
It was not until they were out of the little shop that he opened his mouth.
"We're still going to dissect it." He pointed discreetly at the box.
Mamori suppressed a sigh. "Yes, Hiruma-kun."
"There are bigger, better ones in there, fucking manager."
She nodded. "I notice."
"And I can kill that guy the next time around."
"You will do no such thing," she said. "He was just trying to be friendly."
"No maiming either."
He waited exactly three seconds before letting out a snarl. "Fuck."
And with that none ever brought the matter up again. Not even when Jun Jun's Magical Teddyland was mysteriously burglarized one summer night and had its whole inventory raided. Not even when the next Sunday morning Mamori found an adult size teddy bear sitting at her porch with the largest, most ridiculous red bow around its neck.
She knew immediately who the culprit was from the smell of gunpowder around the teddy's singed fur, and at that instant decided that the shopkeeper had been right—they would, indeed, last a very long time.