Meme fic for redex. Scrap of pre-series Hiruma/Agon, wherein they hang around and shake down punks, and then Musashi gets jealous. Also, abrupt ending ahoy. Yeah.

Depredation

They wait around. This city is a jungle where it's dark, in the alleyways and the doorways, out of neon's stuttering glare and beyond the pale pools of street lights. All those in-between places where the city is wild, and there's always some pack of predators who think they've got big enough teeth, who think they're at the top of the food chain. Who keep thinking it right up until they're shown otherwise, faces pressed to wet pavement and babbled pleas for mercy, just take the cash, please, whatever, just please.

Hiruma is constantly amazed at how little it takes to break those tough-guy facades. Brittle like glass, like transparent plastic, not even sharp enough to cut when it shatters.

They don't talk much, no more than they have to. Hiruma chews gum, blows it into fluorescent bubbles out of the corner of his mouth and snaps it back in with a sharp pop. Agon doesn't do much of anything, doesn't fidget or pick at his sleeves or shove his hands in his pockets, and Hiruma thinks he's never met anyone as utterly confident in their own skin. It's something he has to respect about the guy, in spite of everything else that he doesn't. They don't talk, because they don't have anything to say; this is a matter of convenience, a mutually beneficial arrangement, they both know it and neither feels the need to pretend otherwise.

It's just a matter of patience, waiting and not talking and keeping their eyes on the shadows. Sooner or later they come, lambs to the slaughter in studded leather or slick street gear, super-cool hairdos and mach-speed trainers, steel-toed boots. Swaggering and shouting and they're always ready to make a victim, scenting weakness like a shark scents blood, and just as incapable of turning away. Little scurrying scavengers, snapping at the weak and helpless, and when Hiruma jerks his head in their direction Agon smiles his big-cat smile and goes over. Never hurries, just saunters across like he's out for an evening stroll, just stands there and waits for them to notice him. Waits for one of them to say "what?" or "fuck off, asshole" or "you want some of this?", and that's like a trigger for him, an excuse if he ever needed one, and he'll be tearing into the punks while Hiruma's still walking over after him.

Tonight it's a trio of uber-hip guys in tight pants, hair oiled and sleek as twenties mobsters. The kid they're hassling is probably younger than Hiruma, scrawny little fucker who was riding a bike until they pulled him off, and each of the guys has at least four inches and thirty pounds on him. They're bouncing him between them, back and forth like a pinball, laughing and not even demanding cash, just enjoying the power trip, and that's even worse. Agon grimaces when Hiruma nods at them, he's never interested unless there's a girl involved, stupid asshole, can't even see these guys are easy pickings. Hiruma rolls his eyes sarcastically and Agon sighs.

"Fine," he says, and pushes away from the wall where he was leaning, loose power in his limbs when he moves, smirking and cracking his knuckles. The guys glance up as he approaches and one of them grabs the kid, holds him in place while they contemplate this new intrusion. Agon is standing right over them now, eyeing them through his yellow-tinted shades and Hiruma thinks if those guys had one working brain cell between them they'd already be running. Instead they just stare at him, mouths agape, and the silence draws out until finally, finally, one of them says the magic words:

"What the fuck do you want?"

Agon grins.

"Thought you'd never ask."

---

Just for the record: this is not a public service. They do this for fun and profit, though which is more important differs depending on which of them you talk to. For the record, Hiruma is not public spirited, and Agon honestly doesn't know how to think about anyone besides himself. This is business, and it's personal. Showing these assholes just what their place in the world is? Well, that's more along the lines of a happy coincidence.

---

Sometimes they walk away, sometimes they crawl. Sometimes they don't move for several hours, especially if Agon's had a bad day. Hiruma doesn't think they've ever seriously injured anyone, not really seriously, though the blackmail material he collects probably counts as psychological torture.

Tonight, the guys walk, one of them with a limp where Hiruma kicked him in the kneecap. The kid is sort of pathetically, embarrassingly grateful, acts like they're vigilante heroes or something, like they scour the streets rescuing innocent victims from street thugs. Which, well, they do, Hiruma supposes, but for rather less than noble reasons. He doesn't think they're ready to start wearing capes and masks yet. Agon snarls the kid away and turns on Hiruma when he's fled.

"Man, I can't believe you! Those guys had hardly any cash, and there wasn't even a girl!"

Hiruma shrugs. Sure, there wasn't much ready cash, but he's got photos of those guys having their asses handed to them by a pair of middle schoolers, and more photos of them in compromising positions and states of undress, and all their personal details are safely tucked away in his wallet for inclusion in the Handbook. In his opinion, it's been a good night's work.

"I mean," Agon's still bitching, "If there'd been a girl, that would've been different - "

"So why didn't you just ask that kid for a blowjob? I'm sure he would have obliged, he was so grateful."

"Fuck you," Agon drawls, pissy but not particularly angry, and then he moves so quick even Hiruma's sharp eyes can't follow and Hiruma finds himself inexplicably pinned to a wall, Agon's hands clamped around his upper arms, and he grins in the dark and shoves a thigh up hard between Agon's.

The thing is, Agon despises him, because he thinks of Hiruma as weak, and is afraid of him, because he knows Hiruma is smarter than he is. Hiruma's not much bothered by this, because he's not too fond of Agon either; not because he's an egotistical asshole - nothing wrong with that, to Hiruma's thoughts - but because he's narrow-minded, too impressed with his own type of strength to realise there's any other kind. The thing is, they sort of hate each other, but somehow find themselves drawn to each other like bystanders to an accident scene, like their entire association is some fascinating mutual car crash.

And right now Agon is staring at him with annoyance and greed and a little self-disgust, and then he leans in too close and hisses, growls in Hiruma's ear,fucking trash, and Hiruma doesn't know if that means him or the guys they've just shaken down, and doesn't really care. And then Agon bites at his ear, his jaw, his throat, and it's okay. Here, in the dark, in this in-between place and this in-between time, this is okay, it doesn't count. Right now, in this moment that doesn't really exist, Hiruma can forget that Agon is an asshole, that they don't talk and they really don't like each other, and when Agon's teeth close on the side of his neck hard, hard enough to leave a mark, Hiruma just laughs, kekeke, and bites back harder.

---

Just for the record: this is not an act of affection. Neither of them is under any illusion that it is, that it's anything more than maybe something to do while they're waiting around and not talking to each other. That aside, it might as well not happen. In a way, it never does.

---

They go their separate ways, Hiruma to his hotel and Agon to wherever it is he goes. Back in his suite, Hiruma gets himself a soda from the mini-fridge, flicks the television on to an all-night news channel and sprawls out on the bed. It's nearly two a.m. and he still has to update the Handbook with the night's spoils, but fuck it, it can wait for tomorrow. Hiruma's tired and he's sore, and though he'd never admit something like that to another living soul he can admit it to himself.

He knows that tomorrow, at school, Musashi will watch when he transcribes tonight's notes. Musashi will scowl and shake his head and say: I don't know why you hang around with that guy. He will not look at the red-purple bruise on Hiruma's neck. Hiruma will grin wide at him, and say something about financial acumen, and pretend not to understand what Musashi really means when he says that. Because - off the record, of course - Hiruma doesn't know either.