Title: A Dish Best Served Cold

Author: Amethyst Hunter

Rating: PG-13 (language, implied m/m)

Warnings/Spoilers: None

Disclaimer: GB is not ownethed by me. How sad, yes?

Notes: Got the idea for this from oversleeping yesterday morning and being late for work. Since it was a craptastic day overall I figured I may as well get something good out of it. Dedicated to AbstractConcept because she rocks out loud (and writes fantastic Ban/Akabane).

Summary: Ban plays a practical joke on Akabane, who decides that one good turn deserves another...!


Ban grinned to himself as he tiptoed around the room. It wasn't often he could be bothered to drag his sleep-starved body out of a nice warm cozy bed, but today was special. For today he planned to implement his delightfully twisted idea.

He looked down at the peaceful slender form curled under the covers. Jet-dark hair, long and soft and tousled from sleep (and other things) spilled over the pillow like black satin. Thick lashes the same shade dusted pale skin, and the tip of an elegant nose peeked out from underneath the blanket. Such a deceptively innocent picture - one that Ban couldn't wait to spoil.

He crept up to his sleeping lover's side, drew a deep breath, and grabbed Akabane by the shoulders, shaking roughly while yelling.


Akabane jolted awake with a gasp and Ban barely had enough time to backpedal before he was eviscerated by the dozens of scalpels that reflexively ejected from the other man's hands. Akabane sat up and blinked wildly, hair a mess of wicked tangles that he shoved out of his eyes. "Goodness! What time is it?"

"Never mind that now, Jackal! Hurry up, come on, you gotta get going!" Ignoring the knives dappling the ceiling and wall like so much shiny tinsel, Ban dragged him half-stumbling out of bed, pushing him towards the bathroom. "Boy are you in trouble, you were out like a light, you slept in so long you're gonna be really late if you don't get a move on!"

"Oh dear," Akabane fretted, still dazed from the sudden wake-up call. He fumbled with his cup and toothbrush, trying awkwardly to spread the paste on the bristles in a rush. While he was doing that Ban was jumping around the room, grabbing clothes in an armful and tossing them at his bewildered lover.

"C'mon, let's go let's go let's go!" he barked, clapping his hands. "You don't even have time to eat breakfast, you gotta hurry up Jackal! I'll grab you some toast or something on the way out, but come on, you gotta move!"

Akabane tripped over his feet in his race to catch the clothes Ban was throwing at him, hurriedly struggling partway into his trousers with a foamy toothbrush jammed between his teeth. God, how Ban wished he had a camera handy to capture this moment.

"C'mere, Jackal, I'll do you up, just finish brushing those pearly whites!" He finished yanking up his lover's pants, grinning like a fiend inside when he heard a muted yelp after pulling them into place just a little too snugly. Akabane rushed to finish his toothbrushing and leaned over the sink, spitting out a glob of foam and rinsing his mouth while Ban did up the zipper, buttons and belt.

He slapped Jackal hard on the ass and propelled him, hairbrush and all, into the kitchen. Akabane had one sock halfway on and the other still dangled from his hand. Confused, he looked at Ban and said, "I don't remember the alarm ever going off..."

"Never mind that, Jackal! You don't wanna miss your job, do you? You might have fun today! Places to go, people to kill! J's to write! Go! Fight! Win! Move! Move! Move! Move! Move!" Ban bounced around him, heaving shirt, tie, hat and coat at him all in a bundle. "Come on come on hurry! The client's probably wondering where the hell you are!"

Akabane groggily pulled on the shirt, fumbling with the buttons on it while Ban whipped the tie around his collar and quickly arranged it in a loose knot. "They can't have been waiting that long," he mumbled, purple eyes misted with a combination of leftover drowsiness and startled wakefulness.

"Better safe than sorry, now MOVE your skinny ass!" Ban said, grabbing the hat and plopping it at an odd angle over his boyfriend's head. Akabane was still struggling with his shirt, trying to tuck the tails into his trousers, and he scrambled to keep the hat from slipping off his head with one hand.

"Gloves! My gloves! Oh, Midou-kun - "

"One step ahead of ya!" Ban flung the gloves at him. Akabane caught one and the other landed across the brim of his hat while he was attempting to drag on his coat. Uttering soft whines and growls under his breath in alternative bursts, he pulled them on and whirled around, looking for his footwear. As if on cue, one black boot sailed across the room towards him. Akabane barely caught it before the second almost crashed into his face.

"Midou-kun! The vase!"

"Screw the vase! We'll buy another!" Ban hurried a still hopping and half-shod transporter towards the door of their apartment, cramming several hot pieces of slightly burnt and buttered toast into one white-sheathed hand. "Gogogogogogogogogo! Slice me a few B's for Ban while you're at it! If you see Fudou be sure to tell him I said to go fuck himself and then kill him for me!" He grabbed Akabane's head and forced the other man to him for a quick, hard kiss. "Happy hunting!"

"Why hasn't Maguruma called to pick me up like he always does?" Akabane mumbled as he toddled off with coattails dragging down the hall, balancing a boot, a half-dangling white glove, and the toast.

Ban stood back in the doorway, grinning like a madman. He caught a puzzled, sleepy brown eye peeking out from the opposite apartment door across the hallway and motioned to Ginji to keep quiet and watch. Wait for it...

Akabane suddenly froze. The sound of the boot dropping from his hand echoed in the cold silence. One could practically see the light switch flicking on overhead.

The Jackal turned around, slowly. Purple eyes widened. "It's Saturday...I don't have a job today..."

Ban toppled over in a fit of loud, snorting laughter.

Akabane gave an indignant hiss and crushed the toast in his hand. "You. Tricked me!"

Ban was too busy laughing his ass off to formulate a cohesive reply.

Unlike his lover's, Akabane's fury seldom expressed itself with the kind of vitriolic rage Ban was capable of. This storm gathered subtly, manifesting as narrowed eyes and thinning lips, stoking its strike in a starched posture and curving claws. It was, however, no less lethal, and in the coiling tension scalpels abruptly emerged with a telltale snick.

The door across from Ban immediately slapped shut and clicked its lock into place. Ban pounded the wall with his fist. "You fell for it! You sucker, Jackal!"

Akabane slammed a curtain of ice over his expression, regaining as much of his composure as he could. He glared at Ban and bit off the rest of his words with cold, precise sharpness as he began to step slowly, deliberately, back toward the apartment. "That. Was. Not. Amusing. Midou. Kun."

"Oh yes it was! You were running around here like - like a chicken with its head cut off!" Ban roared with laughter. It was going to cost him some good sex for the next couple of nights, but seeing Akabane in such a state of panicky (as panicky as he ever got, anyway) disarray had been well worth it.

His demented machinations were about to cost him something else as well. Even as he spoke Ban was shifting to one side in a blur of motion and charging Akabane before the first knife could cut through the air. He pounced on the other man and pinned him to the floor, trapping his wrists so that he couldn't use his hands. Akabane glared steely violet up at him.

"Ah, come on. You know that was priceless," Ban cajoled, still blinking tears of laughter out of his eyes.

"Why is it that whenever you play pranks, it's entertaining, but when I do it, it's considered bad taste?" Akabane complained.

"Because your practical jokes have a high body count," Ban said.

Akabane pouted. "So?"

"So, why are we arguing over this when we could be having more fun doing this?" Ban said as he leered at his lover and lightly rocked his hips against the other man's.

Akabane wasn't about to relent. "I would like an apology for such a rude awakening," he said, unsmiling.

"Why should I bother when we both know I'm not sorry in the first place?" Ban retorted. "That was the funniest thing I've seen since Ginji accidentally electrocuted the monkey-trainer at Madoka's New Year's Eve party!"

"I'm so pleased you find amusement at my expense," Akabane replied, ice frosting his tone. "I will see this debt paid, Midou-kun, or - "

"Or else what?" Ban smirked knowingly at him. "We both know you've got it good. A warm hearth here, someone to play with in bed and battle, good coffee down the block at Paul's...J-ing me would make all the fun stuff go away, and we wouldn't want that, would we?"

An annoyed sigh came from Akabane. "I suppose not," he conceded, permitting a kiss from Ban this time. "But I shall warn you now, Midou-kun. I always keep my promises."

"And that's why I keep you around, Jackal. Because you're a man of your word," Ban said with a smug grin, as he bent in to nip at Akabane's neck. "I believe last night you promised me a little downstairs action?"

"So I did." The sudden sunshine in Akabane's smile didn't quite reach his eyes, if Ban wasn't immediately distracted by the imminent prospect of getting laid to see it. But long fingers, now freed, were reaching for his belt buckle and zipper as the two of them rolled over into an upright position, and a dark head was bowing towards his groin, and so Ban failed to notice the calculating gleam in Akabane's expression...


Two weeks later...

"Are you going to tell him yet?" Gouzou Maguruma asked as three transporters, himself included, sat at the Honky Tonk's front counter awaiting a call from a prospective client while watching the man outside rant and rave to no one in particular.

"No, don't," Himiko said, sipping at her coffee with a decided smirk. "This is rather amusing. In a vulgar sort of way, I guess. Besides, serves him right for all the times he's come crying to me for help on a job and stiffed me on the money. I still haven't forgiven him for making me drag that annoying Riko girl around on my motorcycle."

In the middle, Akabane Kuroudo sat quietly, hands folded around a piping-hot cup of coffee from which he lightly drank. "I told him," he sighed, with mock regret. Such a shame, it really was an interesting little vehicle. But business was business. "I always keep my promises."

Outside, there was a groan of metal as the post of a street lamp was suddenly made to bend double in a way its maker had never intended, courtesy of the fist planted squarely in its center. "WHERE IN THE BLUE-BLAZING FUCK OF ALL WITCH-EATING GERMANY IS MY GODDAMN CAR?!" Ban Midou screamed at the space of empty pavement where there ought to be a parked Subaru.

To Akabane, Maguruma said, "Think it'll take him long to figure out that it's been towed by a semi?"

"About as long as it will to figure out that it's right beneath his nose - or, in this case, perhaps I should say above it, and not at any of the usual impound lots," Akabane replied smoothly, a touch of richly wicked satisfaction dripping from his voice. "I must say, it was a touch of pure genius, don't you think, having it parked on top of this café's roof with that crane?"

Maguruma shrugged. "Guy owed me a favor." He gave Akabane a wary look. "I was never involved in this if your boyfriend ever gets to wondering. Just so you know."

"Naturally, I would inform Midou-kun that it is very easy to confuse one large truck with another," Akabane assured him.

"Aren't you worried that Paul will get upset with you for putting a car on top of his shop?" Himiko asked her black-clad cohort. "From what I hear, he doesn't exactly do handstands whenever Ban and Ginji trash this place."

"Not to worry. You see, although the vehicle in question belongs to Midou-kun, the building belongs to Wan-san. In the event any damages are incurred from Midou-kun's attempting to retrieve - or should I say, 'get back' - his car, Wan-san stands to collect a good deal of money in addition to the tab our dear Midou-kun owes. In order to settle his debts, Midou-kun will have to take on extra retrieval work. Thus, he will remain too occupied to have time to carry out any more irksome pranks against certain people," Akabane finished with an evil chuckle.

"Ban-san will have to get a part-time job!" Natsumi piped up from the far side of the counter where she was industriously wiping down clean dishes. "Master's always saying that pride never fills an empty stomach."

Akabane nodded his agreement. "Quite right." His slender brows momentarily crinkled into a petite frown. "Though upon reflection, I do somewhat regret ruining the upholstery with my signature. But still, it is a meager expense compared to others, and I will certainly compensate Midou-kun for the inconvenience."

Himiko shook her head. "I've got to hand it to you, Doctor Jackal. Now we know of another reason never to cross you."

Akabane smiled and tapped the rim of his cup with a scalpel. "What can I say, Lady Poison? Revenge is a dish best served cold. Yes?"

"Yes," Himiko said, returning his smile as they gently clinked their cups together in a toast and watched Ban put yet another dent in the abused light post.