Author's Notes: I normally do not write such naughty fics, even for the sake of laughter, and apologize to those who have familiarized themselves with my past works. There is a moral lesson to be drawn from this fic however and it is my hope that by the end of the story the lesson will have become all but apparent. If not, then hopefully you were just too entertained to notice.
Disclaimer: I do not own Black Lagoon.
How Rock became a Man
The former Japanese salary man known as Rock forced his eyelids open, the light of day a blinding glare in spite of the half-shuttered window blinds. Of course, his name was not actually Rock, for his parents were neither fans of the American wrestler turned movie star nor deliberately cruel towards their newborn. He had a real name back in episode one, a Japanese one which everyone, including most viewers, had forgotten by the first commercial break. So now he was simply Rock, which was fine, because his real name was long, boring, and a pain to Romanize correctly. But I digress.
On this presumably beautiful morning, Rock awoke to the pleasant sensation of an ammunition dump cooking off in his head. Feeling as though his skull might split, he sat up with his hand pressed against his eyes (for they felt as if they would fall out of their sockets). His other hand groped against slippery bed sheets for support, knocking an empty shot glass over in the process. When he felt his vision had adjusted sufficiently to the brightness in the room, he withdrew his hand and took in his surroundings: Big bedroom with vaulted ceiling and classically styled furniture, glass encased bookshelves, dark wood and velvet, scents of cigar, perfume, and dregs of hard liquor, an expensive home theater system and a big screen television playing muted static. The environment seemed familiar; he could have sworn he knew the place, as there were only so few truly upscale locations in this sin city of sin cities. He also knew that he had the worse hangover of his life, and thus his memory—or any other function requiring his brain—couldn't be vouched for.
It was only then that he began to notice the critical details that normally one tries to take note of first when waking up with a hangover in a room not one's own: His clothes and that of another person's, flung about in a state which suggested the haste with which they were removed. In the far corner of the suite lay a shattered vase, an antique lamp had toppled and fell off the nightstand to his right, and the leg of an expensive sofa had broken off, telltale evidence of the vigor and radius of action of last night's activities.
And of course he was butt naked, bed sheets covering his private parts, protecting his decency and keeping this fic's content rating below M.
He hung his head (cringing as he did so) and sighed. So that was it; he'd gotten roaring drunk and hooked up with a random stranger. Rock was no saint; he understood that in this city, incidents such as these were more common and far less serious than real booboos like serial homicide and defecating in someone's backyard. Still, there remained in that heart of his a shred of moral decency, left over from the public school system and his mother's teachings to him as a child that all frowned on this sort of behavior. So he felt guilty; guilty for letting himself get out of control, for not remembering what happened, for breaking the expensive-looking furniture that may have belonged to the poor woman's grandmother. As he considered his apology and how he much he should compensate her, he finally turned to look at the woman who shared his bed, something any man in his situation would have done first but was put off in order to buy the author enough time to build suspense.
As the readers held their collective breaths and as his eyes widened in recognition, Rock petrified. For next to him, gold hair spilled over white sheets and face relaxed in an expression he never knew existed laid none other than Balalaika, ex-Soviet Special Forces commander, decorated war veteran, mob queen; Scariest Woman on The Planet in a story that was full of scary women.
And then Balalaika woke up.
Though his body was frozen like stone, Rock's head was clear as day, the exploding ammunition dump in his hung-over mind wiped out by blinding sobriety brought about by the sight of the woman who was stirring awake beside him. In between the images of his life flashing before his eyes, the small part of his brain not preoccupied with fear noticed that, with her hair down and her frown absent, Balalaika was not an unattractive woman. People's attentions, including his own, always focused on the scars that covered her face and her chest, but not on her firmly toned figure and two-colored irises; one blue and one green.
Nevertheless, these admiring thoughts were quickly extinguished when said eyes met his, and beautiful became intimidating. He figured that she kept a gun under her bed, and any minute now the usual Balailaka would come to her senses and put an end to him. But instead of reaching under her pillow, the ex-special forces commander reached instead for him and traced her fingertips across his bare chest, a languid smile on her face, causing a shiver to run through Rock's spine, an involuntary reaction out of both fear and pleasure.
"Good morning, Rock. Was it good for you too?"
Her voice was like a purr, and the shock of hearing the Scariest Woman on The Planet use that tone of voice regained him the use of his speech. "Ms. Balalaika, I, I… we…"
"Calm down. You're stuttering." With the sheets pulled up around her chest, Balalaika cut and lit herself a cigar, and soon the room was filled anew with the strong scent of burning tobacco, which only worsened the ill-feelings in Rock's stomach. Balalaika, meanwhile, seemed the perfect image of contentment, savoring a smoke after a night of tumultuous passion. "From the look on your face, I'd say that right now you're fearing for your life and you have no idea how we ended up like this. Am I right?"
Rock nodded and swallowed, the saliva hardly making its way down his parched throat. Balalaika blew a ring of smoke, one arm resting atop her knees. "Well you can relax. I'm not going to kill you anytime soon."
She smiled at him again, thoroughly unnerving him, and seeing that his words were stuck again, the Russian lady chuckled and pointed her cigar at the pitcher of water beside him, watching him as he gulped down the two glasses quickly.
"I hope that wasn't your first time or anything; I would hate to be burdened with guilt for deflowering you or other sentimental nonsense. Anyways, how we got here." Stubbing out her half-smoked cigar on a silver ashtray, the mob boss rose from bed and headed towards a closet, completely ignoring her own exposure and the color on her partner's face. "I had a shipment of videos from Japan that I needed to edit. Stale, dreadful stuff, what your country produces. In order to make the process go faster, I called you to help me with the editing."
"And I agreed to this?"
"I didn't tell you what we were doing until you got here, only that the pay would be good." After slipping into a crimson silk robe, Balalaika plopped down on a recliner and lit another Cuban. "The whole process took forever; it must have been past two when we started drinking. The quality of the videos was better than I expected though, if your reaction was anything to go by. Guess it depends on the audience after all."
Rock buried his face in his hands and shook his head as the memory of the events leading up to last night crept back into his mind. "Oh… oh crap, I'm so sorry…"
A look of irritation appeared on the mob boss' face for the first time that morning. "Sheesh, what happened to the man from last night? Or was it only because the last time I had one was in a tent in Afghanistan?"
Inside Rock's chest, his pride—or what was left of it—showed some signs of life and he managed to regain enough composure to ask the next all-important question. "What happens now?"
"No thanks, I'm not hungry."
"In that case you're free to go. Oh and don't worry about the furniture, wasn't like my grandmother gave it to me or anything."
Climbing out of bed, Rock went about the unsavory task of finding and putting on his clothes while trying to maintain his dignity, a task made all the more difficult by the fact that the various articles were impossibly dispersed throughout the large premises. The situation could not have been any worse.
He finally found his shoe behind the shower curtains in the bathroom. Properly attired except for a few missing buttons on his short-sleeved dress shirt, Rock felt comfortable enough to face the world again as he stood by the doorway, his hand behind his head as he looked sheepishly at the floor. "I don't know how I'll ever make this up to you, Miss. Balalaika.
"Seeing how we both benefited from last night, I'd say we're even. I'll be sure to call you next time I have need of your… editing skills."
Her tone of voice left no doubt in Rock's mind that it wasn't his editing skills that he'd be called for next time, and his face was aghast as she closed the door on him with a smile. As he made towards the exit of the building, he found himself the recipient of many respectful looks from the Hotel Moscow men he passed by. Sergeant Boris, the powerful second in command, even saluted him on the way out. As he walked home, he wondered how Dutch and the crew might react if he told them that he bedded Balalaika.
Then he decided that he never wanted to find out.
In Roanapur, it was the beginning of another beautiful day.