Disclaimer: Hell Girl no mine.
Author's Note: Since Ai only responds to the messages she deems worthy of her time…
There was never a lack of work. Really, humans were such sad, pitiful, powerless creatures; there were days when over two dozen legitimate revenge requests made it to Ai's computer, each one more dire than the last. And while Ai didn't enjoy the busy times, that certainly didn't mean she could ignore the emails.
Strangely enough, however, that was exactly what she was doing.
"Ai?" The voice of an elderly woman drifted from the back of the house, her words tainted by confusion as her granddaughter sat motionless at the computer, gazing at the screen. "Don't you need to go…?"
"No Grandmother," the child returned flatly, still staring at the message.
Without warning, another message popped up; the machine chimed a second time.
A third; the chime. Then a fourth. A fifth. Messages began appearing rapidly, until the computer's bell became a long, continuous beeeeeeeep…
"What the—?" Behind her screen, Ai's grandmother seemed to falter. "What's going on, Ai?"
But Ai—much to her grandmother's shock—merely offered a small smile.
"Was that really necessary?"
Ichimokuren grinned widely at Hone-Onna, slipping his newly acquired cell phone into the back pocket of his pants. "Whatever are you talking about?" he asked pleasantly, hopping down the building's steps to join his companion on the sidewalk. All around the motley pair, the city's midnight landscape glowed in neon colors; the stripper they'd been stalking for their mistress continued her work in the shop next door.
The skeleton woman arched an eyebrow, unconvinced. "You were harassing the Young Lady, weren't you?"
"Not harassing," Moku corrected sweetly. "Just letting her know we were okay. You know, in case she was worried."
"Sure you were." Onna didn't think it was necessary to point out that she'd seen some of the things he'd been typing into the Hell Correspondence name-box, and none of it had been about their welfare. Actually, she didn't even want to repeat what some of it had been about…
But judging by the 'young man's' smirk, he knew that she knew. And he didn't care. Rather, he seemed to relish it.
"You're one sick bastard," Hone-Onna sighed, tossing her bangs with a flourish.
"It happens when you've been a voyeur for as long as I have," Moku chuckled, beaming. "And on that note…"
As he spoke, a large green eye blossomed on the other side of the seedy brick wall, its gaze fixed on the damned, shimmying woman. But while his eyes went back to work, Ichimokuren's mind remained on his texts… and the one response he'd gotten back:
Your message has been received.
At least he knew she was listening.