There was a prompt knock to the large old-style wooden door. Then was the sound of a skirt's wrinkles being smoothed out. If it were any ordinary household, someone would've come to answer immediately after hearing that there was a potential guest awaiting their hospitality outside.
But even if they made her wait as much as they did, there wouldn't have been the commotion from the other side that followed her knock.
When the door finally opened to allow her inside, she was greeted by a face full of anything but warmth and hospitality. She sweat-dropped.
"Do I come at a bad time?" she managed to get out tentatively before her green-haired host spun on the spot on his heel, glaring at someone inside the house.
"Train, you useless bastard! At least take the bother to go answer the door after blackmailing me into cooking for you!"
The newly arrived woman huffed indignantly. He was quite a hypocrite—spewing nonsense about being a gentleman all the time but in his all-consuming ire with his partner he quite forgot his manners as well.
She let herself in the spacious living-room to find a mischievously grinning young man in his late twenties polishing a black and white gilded gun with an imbedded Latin number for "thirteen", the sign of bad luck that he symbolically delivered to all his enemies. The dark-haired male gave his fellow sweeper a cracked grin.
"Aw, sorry, Sven—I was busy playing with Hades. You don't want him angry with you, do you?" The oblivious rascal stated as if it was completely normal to talk about an inanimate object like his favourite gun as if it were a person, if even just among his closest friend friends who knew perfectly well how demented he was.
The newcomer face faulted after seating herself in one of the comfortable sofas.
"You realize you're talking about a gun, right?" Sven was just checking to make sure. He didn't want to be rash and go calling the guys with the pretty and tight white jackets for no reason.
"Now, now, Sven-chan, no need to be rude. And, anyway, weren't you doing something? Food doesn't cook itself, you know." That smug grin of his could probably set off even the most patient and composed man to walk this Earth when he made comments like that.
Sven's gun glinted malevolently in the gentle morning light from the closed window and an absolutely manic look had seized control of his features.
A girl on the other couch—who had looked deeply immersed in a book she was reading—broke the tense silence before the obvious oncoming storm by sniffing the air with a dainty nose.
"It smells like something's burning," she said impassively. The enraged man's anger drained visibly from his face as he rushed to check what was going on in the kitchen.
"Hi, Rinslet," the teenage girl acknowledged her at long last and she offered a greeting in return. Things were never really normal around those guys and sometimes it was just so amusing to just hang around and watch them.
"Oh, hey, Rins!" Train finally greeted her as well, giving his polish-work a critical once over before nodding his approval and turning his attention completely to his guest. "How's life lately? Haven't seen you in a while. We were starting to think you finally had yourself caught by someone." He laughed at his attempted joke as if it was even physically possible for her, the greatest thief-for-hire, to get caught by any government organization.
"Glad to see your idiotic mug again as well, Train." He protested with something but she ignored him completely, opting for the more intelligent conversationalist in the room when she heard the girl with the book ask her,
"You haven't been around much. Work?"
"Actually, yes, and I made some good money from that last one," Rinslet told the blonde girl with a wink. "And I see these fashion-challenged oafs haven't thought about your needs whatsoever, so tomorrow's going to be our latest shopping spree, Eve-chan!"
It was rare to see a smile on the younger girl's face and it felt like a blessing every time it was the things she said that brought it about.
"Hey, hey, Rins!" Train intruded upon their "girls only" moment with his excited chatter. "Did you bring me something? Sven forgot to buy milk again."
The woman glared at him and crossed her arms over her ample chest.
"Of course not. I've told you time and time again that I'm not going to comply with your stupid milk fetish."
And thus they proceeded on to fight in loud volumes over petty topics that they didn't seem to tire of bringing up in every row. Soon Sven's head poked in the room from the kitchen.
"Rins, you staying for breakfast?" he asked noncommittally, hoping for a negative answer because those two tended to be too loud too early in the morning. He hadn't even drunk his coffee properly, damn it! Couldn't they pipe down for at least a while? Didn't they have an ounce of mercy in their bodies for their poor cook? Literally poor too, thanks to a certain tomcat-like bastard, the green head thought with bubbling annoyance.
"Of course! It's my first chance to snack on some of your cooking in a while, Sven, and you really know how to spoil a girl." She laughed sassily, but, oddly enough—or maybe not, after being flattered so shamelessly,—the chef didn't have anything ready to say to reprimand her.
Instead, he just grumbled and went to the kitchen, trying to ignore the loud yells and conversation-would-bes from the two pompous individuals in his living room.
"That reminds me," the woman began, an evil glint in her eye as she fished for something in her skirt pocket. "Lookie what I've got myself."
She shoved a photograph in the gunman's grinning face so close he had trouble focusing it at first. When he did, his face drained of colour. Eve looked up from her book to examine the photo as well.
"Oh, it's from the carnival infiltration job," she said casually, as if it was depicting nothing worrisome or even remotely disgruntling.
An odd wide smile stretched Rins' face.
"Yes, it is. And I think, Train, that dresses suit you really well. Pink is definitely more your colour though." The thief-for-hire had a difficulty biting back on her laugh at the shell-shocked look on the Black Cat's face. "Just think of the faces of everyone in the underground world when they see the fearsome, unbeatable, invincible former eraser wearing this—!"
If possible, his face faulted even further.
"You wouldn't!" he ground out, almost imperceptibly. Forget pasts and reputations and images—a man had his dignity to keep! And this photo was definitely a blow his wouldn't survive.
"Watch me!" Rins said, her grin widening even further to the point it looked painful.
Train made a quick snatch for it but with her years of honing her reflexes Rinslet managed to escape his paws' clutches. She shook her finger at him in mock reproach, leaning against the solid built-in shelves with books in the wall next to her.
"Nuh uh, kitty—this stays with me." She rolled the photo in a small funnel which she proceeded to insert in her bra under the severely distressed gaze of the sweeper and the slightly amused one of the blond girl. She let out a roar of forced laughter and a winning grin. "What'cha gonna do; cry about it?"
Train's expression remained awe-stricken for a while longer before an equally impish smile seized him.
"No. My tactics are quite different than that—and much more efficient too."
Several minutes and not a single disturbingly loud sound later, Sven was starting to feel worried. Those two rarely kept quiet when they were put together in the same room and it usually didn't bode well when they did. The sacred silence with them around at all was a modern miracle in and of itself, almost enough to make a believer out of you.
Food finally prepared, he entered the living room again to see Train, back rested against the bookcase wall, watching Rinslet talking really enthusiastically to Eve while giving her a small package.
"I saw this book in some bookshop in Sapporo and thought of you so I decided, well, what the hell, might as well buy it for her! Here! I hope you like it!" Was his mind playing tricks on him? Or did he really see a very tiny, obviously suppressed smile tug the corners of his pale princess' mouth as she took the proffered pack gingerly?
"Thanks, Rinslet—I really appreciate it."
"You buy books for the princess every time you come over but never anything for me?" Train looked at her with that totally pathetic look of wide false-innocently gleaming eyes and held a hand over his heart. "I feel so neglected, Rins!"
Sven grunted. Train was being overly-dramatic. As he always was. But Rins… Rins, on the other hand, did not just brush him off like she usually did, instead turning to look at him and lock gazes for a short while before whipping her head away from him to look at her wrist-watch.
"Ah, man, how could I forget?! I have a meeting with an important client soon and it totally flew out of my mind." She didn't even bother to spare them a glance before almost jogging up to her discarded high-heels. "I'll see you guys again soon after business is taken care of, alright? See ya!" She waved at them and quickly shut the door behind her, her heels clicking loudly against the cold stone of the steps outside at her hurried strides.
The one-eyed man cocked a very curious eyebrow.
"Wasn't she staying for breakfast?" he asked somehow numbly, glancing at his companions for supportive piece of sanity.
"Yeah, but she bailed out so I get her share as well!" Train exclaimed a bit more exuberantly than usual, making the rising of Sven's brow so great that it almost disappeared in his hair-line.
As his fellow justice-enforcer continued to act just as weirdly throughout breakfast, he couldn't help but catch his female housemate's eye.
"Did something happen while I was in the kitchen? Anything that could turn him into… well, this?" He was close to freaking out; Eve could hear it in his voice.
Still, she couldn't treat any question with anything other than her usual blood-curdling sincerity.
Her eyes rolled to the white ceiling, fork placed thoughtfully on her chin as she contemplated her answer.
Something had definitely happened.
But how do you explain the Black Cat, who had previously shown no interest in engaging in any sort of closeness with anyone, approaching their thief friend out of the blue on a whimsical challenge?
How do you go on to tell his partner that the guy conceived a brain-dead plan of retrieving that photo from her brassier and, by the time he realized he had no proper diversion tactic at the ready, they were closer than they had been ever before?
How do you reason the temporary insanity that must have seized said cat to become so enticed by the closeness to actually kiss said thief senseless against the wall and then get so caught up in the act himself that he forgot all about the picture that could cost him his pride as a man?
Moreover, how do you explain yourself why Rinslet hadn't pushed him away the moment she knew what he was about to do as she wasn't exactly some weak woman who couldn't take care of herself? And then how do you proceed to put together why she'd kiss him back with just as much fervour?
It wasn't something you see every day. It was something that you could live your life and never even see, actually.
But how do you put all that, and the sight of two of your best friends entangled in so much passion together that they wouldn't let go of one another for minutes on end until they were both robbed of their breath, into words?
She—who had read hundreds of books in her years accompanying the duo on their adventures—couldn't. So she shook her head.
"No, nothing interesting."
Sven didn't look really convinced but obviously decided to let it go, nodding slowly, throwing a disturbed glance at his comrade over the table as the guy spouted nonsense about the various seafood dishes he'd treat himself to the next time they went out in town.
She didn't have enough words to describe it, but Eve would definitely take a leaf out of Rins' book. If it happened again, next time she'd have a camera at the ready and take a picture because it would be able to say all the things that flimsy pretty phrases couldn't.
She smiled brightly at Train, who gave her his thumbs up and promised to bring her a fried octopus tentacle next time as well.
Rinslet Walker was a woman who was the master of her own emotions. There was no way she could be easily embarrassed like that by some no-good prankster of a sweeper. She had just forgotten her appointment with a serious client and had made her exit a bit too fast so her heart was hammering against her rib cage but it would calm down soon, and the rush would pass.
She was subconsciously pressing her curled forefinger against her lips, trying to rid herself of the infuriating lingering feeling of his soft lips pressing lightly against hers, tender and pliant against one another while his tongue invaded her and fought for dominance in her mouth, all the while his built frame pressing into her body and casting that positively enraging warmth over her whole being, spreading from her lower navel to every inch of her.
Rinslet exhaled a bit shakily, composing herself perfectly like the strictly professional business-lady that she was though suddenly she forgot all about the client whose name or face she couldn't recall—had it even been there in the first place?—and all she could remember was the ever-encompassing warmth and the alluring smell of male cologne.
Against her wishes, as she strode along, her thoughts fluttered to that sneaky bastard again.
She'd always noticed his slight semblances with his namesake—his Cheshire cat-like grins, his mischievous mannerisms, his utter gullibility hiding his true abilities securely just like a predator luring out his prey—but she'd never before thought it possible that he'd be that much of a Black Cat until this day.
She didn't find it pressingly necessary to submerge the giggle when thinking that her kiss could make even the ever feared Train Heartnet purr in satisfaction.
A/N: Should have been a drabble and look how it came out. I hope you liked it though—I've read only two volumes of "Black Cat" so far but the idea for this little story just slapped me in the face and wouldn't let me continue reading the manga until I put it there, so, yeah…
Tell me what you thought about it and if you enjoyed the last scene that just seemed to pop out on its own. (Laughs) Thanks for the attention!