Author's Notes: There wasn't meant to be a sequel; this madness was supposed to have ended with a one shot. There will be no promise of a sequel to this.
Disclaimer: I do not own Black Lagoon.
How Rock Became a Man: Part Two
"I have a question I was hoping you could help me out with."
"So long as it's not about money or Revy, shoot."
Inside the cramped and sweltering office of the Lagoon Transport Company, the former Japanese salary man fidgeted with the writing pad in his lap as he reconsidered his course of action. His employer meanwhile was watching television, leaning back in his brown leather office chair with his hands resting behind his head and his boots on top of the desk.
"Well, what I wanted to ask was…"
"Wait, shut it for just a second." The bespectacled veteran sat forward in his seat. A few minutes later, after the titular hero succeeded in bringing down the enemy helicopter with nothing but a Swiss Army knife, rubber bands, and duct tape, Dutch chuckled heartily before settling back into his seat and popping open a can of beer. "I love it when MacGyver does his duct tape thing. Now, you were saying."
"Yes, I wanted to ask your advice on something that has been on my mind for a while."
"How do you date an aggressive woman who keeps a body count that's higher than Rambo's?"
The beer paused on the way to Dutch's lips; he turned to look at Rock. "I thought I said no questions about Revy; that's between you and her and I don't want any part of that."
"It's not about Revy, just… hypothetically speaking."
"Ok-ay…" If Dutch was curious he showed no sign of it; a man did not thrive in his line of work by asking unnecessary, potentially ruinous, shit-in-the-fan questions. "Then my answer is: you don't."
"What if you didn't have a choice?"
Dutch set down his can of beer, his brows knitting together in concern. "We are talking about a hypothetical situation here, aren't we?"
Rock lied. "Yeah."
"Right then, well, if I were in a position where I was trapped into a relationship with a female Hannibal Lecter, who would hunt me and down and make a banjo out of me if I tried to run, then I would just try to make the best of it. Is this hypothetical woman we're talking about good in the sack?"
Rock answered honestly this time. "I don't know, maybe."
"Then what have you got to complain about?"
For Rock, whose head began to hurt, the counseling session was heading in the utterly wrong direction. At that moment, the phone on Dutch's desk rang which the big man picked up after the first ring.
"Lagoon Company, Dutch speaking… A good day to you too, Ms. Balalaika… Yes, he's here… I got it, I'll let him know." He replaced the phone on the receiver. "Balalaika wants help with foreign subtitles on a new shipment of videos. She wants to see you at their compound at 6:00PM; dinner's on them."
Rock checked his watch and heaved a heavy sigh. "I guess I'd better go get ready then."
Dutch gave a small wave with the remote as the salary man stood to leave. "Don't work too hard, and give my regards to Boris; tell him that we'll go fishing sometime."
After Rock left, Dutch finished his beer and crumpled the can into a wad before reaching for another. He was half way into an old episode of Friends before Benny opened the door and walked in. "I just saw Rock leave. Was he feeling okay? He didn't look too good."
"Yeah, boy's acting strange, was just here asking me all sorts of weird shit."
"How to date a woman who's aggressive and kills people."
"Nah, said it was just a hypothetical question."
"Well, that description fits just about every woman Rock has come into contact with since he joined us, but I doubt any of them are the type to be interested in a dating relationship." Benny appeared to fall deep into thought before his eyes lit up. "… Except maybe Balalaika, who's been asking for Rock quite often lately, and we all know how much interest the Queen of the Russian Mob has shown him in the past…"
The pregnant silence that followed was soon shattered by the sound of bellowing laughter from both men. Dutch pounded the much-abused table with his fist several times before he caught his breath. "Good one, Benny Boy. I can see it right now, Rock and Balalaika sitting in a nice restaurant, sipping Merlot and talking about their favorite movies; you've cracked me up before, but this one takes the cake."
"Yeah seriously," Benny continued to chuckle as he took off his glasses and wiped away a tear. "And here's something even crazier; picture this… Balalaika in a dress."
This time, the pedestrians on the street two floors below raised their heads at the hysterical outburst from above.
Despite knowing better table manners from years of keeping up appearances in front of clients during meals, Rock could not help but turn in his seat to take in the crystal and velvet surroundings which he found himself in. Behind them, a picturesque French couple—who had no business in a hell hole like Roanapur but served to help illustrate the atmosphere—whispered elegant-sounding gibberish to each other, while a string quartet played in the far corner. "I didn't know the city had such a nice restaurant."
Balalaika swirled a glassful of $200 wine and smiled. "Where there's money to be made, venues will exist to satisfy the needs for conspicuous consumption."
"Thorstein Veblen,Theory of the Leisure Class?"
"Part of a complete Soviet education." The mob queen was dressed in a deep crimson one piece with a slit that trailed along her thigh up to her waist. "The suit looks good on you."
Rock smiled sheepishly as he straightened out the Versace. "Thank you; it's been a while since I wore one. Your dress is…" His gaze drifted to where the designer had intended male eyes to follow before he realized just who he was ogling, "very nice too."
The woman sitting across from him chuckled in a deep rich voice and his face turned a shade darker as the waiter arrived with two tiny cups of coffee. Learning his lesson from last time, he decided to ask the important questions before events got out of hand. "I don't mean to sound rude, Ms. Balalaika, but I really can't figure out the reason for all this; the suit, this nice dinner…"
"I understand that in America, it is customary for two people to go out on a date before they engage in intercourse." The former paratroop commander took a sip from the dainty cup and replaced the China on the tray. "Seeing how we skipped straight to the intercourse, consider this a makeup."
So it's true then, Rock thought to himself as he emptied his glass and poured himself another, I'm on a date with Balalaika; this wine, that risqué outfit of hers, it's not all an illusion in my mind caused by heatstroke or that stir fry Revy cooked last night. What the hell did she put in there anyways? Why didn't Dutch and Benny warn me? Whose turn was it to cook tonight? We're out of vinegar; I need to go shopping…
As his mind strayed away from the present through an unconscious train of denial, the sensation of something touching his leg brought him back into reality. His hands fisted into the table linen when what could only be Balalaika's foot began sliding up and down along the length of his dress pants. His next words came out strained as he loosened the tie around his neck. "Um… Ms. Balalaika, I thought uh… you wanted me to help you with some translating?"
She smiled serenely as her toe drew small circles against his knee. "That's right. I've reserved a room in the hotel upstairs, we can work there. There's… much to be done, so I hope you're prepared for an all-nighter."
Rock swallowed hard; he tried to picture Dutch in a Speedo, he tried to imagine Benny in a thong, he tried to recall all the times Revy beat his ass, anything repulsive and unpleasant to cool his blood and counteract the treacherous ways in which his body was responding to Balalaika's ministrations. The struggle between id and super-ego continued all the way into the suite, by which time his jacket and tie were discarded and his hands were acting on a will of their own, roving and slipping beneath the sheer fabric through the opening at her side.
With a monumental effort he summoned his remaining will power and protested. "Ms. Balalaika, I… we…"
She held a bottle of vodka in her hand, and before he could complete his sentence he found himself cut off as she pressed her lips to his and force fed him the liquor mouth to mouth.
Id prevailed, and super-ego died messily under a steam roller.
Thousands of miles away, lying on a recliner beneath the shade of a pool umbrella, eleven year old Garcia Loveless looked up from his copy of G. G. Marquez's One Thousand Years of Solitude. "Did you hear that, Roberta?"
Climbing out from the aqua-colored pool in a glistening white bikini, Roberta walked towards where her master was. "Hear what, young master?"
"That sound, like silk tearing. That was the sound of a man's last vestige of self-control breaking; the sound that's made when the beast residing every male snaps off the chains forged by society and emerges in his primitive state of nature, unleashing every suppressed desire accumulated over a lifetime from a culture that demands conformity, a career that quashes individuality, and an upbringing by distant parents who didn't read to their child enough."
Roberta nodded, understanding without effort everything the freaky-smart kid just said. When she reached for her glasses on the table, she felt his hand come to rest over hers.
"Leave them; you look better this way."
"… As you wish."