ASSASSINS KEEPER

by Gunman

Disclaimer: I do not own Black Lagoon or it's characters, and still haven't seen the anime!

Summary: When Rock saves the lives of twin assassins Hansel and Gretel, the pair become indebted to him, swearing loyalty to him instead of Verrocchio.

Author's Notes: I'm sure everyone is aware of who the 'Twin Assassins' are and their history, but I thought it was rather tragic, so I decided to write up a story where they actually lived and became somewhat normal.

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Rokuro Okajima walked down the streets of Roanapur after another meeting with the local crime boss Balalaika. It had been about a job she wanted the Lagoon Traders to handle, and Rock had once again managed to get them a better rate than she intended to pay them.

He was heading back to the Lagoon Traders office when he noticed a pair of children running down an alleyway, followed by a group of men.

What the... Rock thought as curiosity got the better of him and followed the group down the alley.

Further down the alleyway, the two children with the pale hair and the dark clothes came to the end of the alley, nearly out of breath. The girl, whose hair was much longer, coughed a little.

"Aww. Didn't like the tear gas bomb we lobbed at you?" one of the men asked as the group of five men surrounded the pair.

"We told you not to run, but I guess you're a little hard of hearing." a second man said, moving to them with a metal pipe.

"You two will fetch a nice price on the black market. Even with your... mental problems." another man said as he eyed them maliciously.

"You say that like it's a learning disorder." the fourth man said.

"Let's just grab these kids and go! Before the gas wears off!" the slightly nervous looking fifth man said to the group.

"Yeah, let's..."

CLANG!

The man went down as a metal trash can hit him in the back of the head.

"What the..." the second man gasped as a blurry figure streaked past them and placed himself between himself and the two children.

"Back off, all of you!" Rock shouted.

"What?" the third man asked.

"Who the heck are you?" the first man asked.

"Who cares? Get the hell out of here! We've got business with these kids!" the fourth man said.

"I won't!" Rock shouted.

"Dude, if you knew what you were doing..." the third man said.

"I heard all I needed to know. You were planning to sell them! I won't allow that!" Rock shouted.

While Rock had never been a passionate man, and had only been in Roanapur a couple months, he'd never been oblivious to the plight of others, unlike the members of the Lagoon Traders. It was this somewhat honorable mind set that had placed him in his current predicament.

"Like you could stop us!" the first man grinned as he and his friends rushed forward.

Rock grimaced and rushed towards them.

Behind the rather one-sided fight, the twin children, who had been paying attention this entire time, looked up and watched as this strange man they didn't know come out of nowhere to defend them. Such a thing had never happened to them before, and as such there was a conflict within their young, yet unstable, minds.

Within a few seconds, said man had been knocked down and was unconscious.

The girl turned to the boy. "Brother, should we play now?"

The boy turned to the girl. "Yes, sister. Let's play."

"Stupid punk! What the hell were you thinking? Taking on four guys at once, without use of weapon or any back up?" the first man said.

"Not much skill either." the second man said.

"Yeah. All it did was... delay... us..." the third man said, going pale.

The four men paled as the two children grinned maliciously at them before leaping into the air.

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Rock blinked his eyes as he woke up in a room he didn't recognize, decorated rather elegantly he thought.

Weird. Where am I? He thought as he sat up.

"Good morning." a voice next to him said.

"Oh, good morning." Rock said, turning to face the boy from the alley. "You're... alright!" he suddenly gasped. "What happened? Where are those men?"

"Oh. They're dead." the boy said.

"Huh? Really?" Rock said, somewhat shocked.

"Yes. They were bad men and had to be punished."

Rock raised an eyebrow at that. He says it so casually. He thought. But how did they die? It doesn't make sense. I'm sure I didn't kill them. Could they have...

His thoughts were interrupted as a girl with long pale hair and tray of food in her hands walked into the room.

"You are awake." the girl said, setting the tray of food down.

"Yes." Rock said. "I'm Rokuro Okajima. But... everyone calls me Rock." he introduced himself.

"I am Hansel." the boy introduced.

"And I am Gretel." the girl introduced.

Rock nodded in response. "What happened? I was knocked out by those men and woke up here."

"Yes. We brought you back here after killing those men." Hansel said.

"What? You killed them?"

"Yes. It was fun!" the boy said.

"But... how?" Rock asked.

"That tear gas they threw at us made us weak. They would have captured us if you hadn't come and distracted them long enough for the gas to wear off." Gretel said.

"And you killed them" Rock stated in disbelief.

"Yes. It was fun!" the girl repeated as the boy had.

Fun? They think killing is fun? Rock thought with some mild horror. Even in Roanapur, they had child killers.

"We have to thank you for coming to help us." Hansel said.

"Yes. No one has ever done that for us before." Gretel said. "Why did you?"

"Why?" Rock repeated, as if the answer couldn't have been more obvious. "Because... it was the right thing to do." he said. "I couldn't just let them capture you to be sold in the slave trade." he said.

"You helped us... because you wanted to?" Hansel asked.

"Because... it was right?" Gretel asked.

"Yes." Rock replied, curious as to their expressions and confusion. It was as if they didn't truly understand the concept of right and wrong.

"Well then, we should thank you for helping us." Gretel said as she walked over to the Japanese salaryman, lifting the hem of her dress up to reveal her white panties.

"Ack! What are you doing?" Rock gasped, nearly jumping out of the bed.

Gretel looked confused. "Don't you want to have sex with me?"

"What?" Rock gasped. "What are you talking about? You're just a child!"

"But isn't that what men want? To have sex with children?"

"I'm not like that!" he shouted.

Suddenly, a knock on the door caught their attention.

"Hansel! Gretel! Are you in there?" an elderly male voice called out.

"We're coming, sir!" Hansel shouted, grabbing Gretel's arm to pull her to the door. He paused and turned back to Rock. "Don't go anywhere." he said in a hushed reply to the man.

The pair opened the door and went outside.

"Where have you two been?" the elderly man in the fine Italian suit, Verrocchio, asked them.

"We were playing, sir." Hansel said.

"Playing. I see." he mused, hoping it was none of his men. "Anyway, I have a special job for you tonight. There will be lots of people for you to kill."

"Goody!" Gretel squealed.

"There is a meeting taking place at 10:00 tonight at the Bougainvillea Trading Company. We need to make special preparations for this."

"Yes, sir." the pair said and followed him down the hallway.

Back inside the room, Rock had been listening to everything that had been said, and was shocked to say the least.

Those kids are... assassins? Rock thought.

He then noticed that the room he was in had a television, a VCR and a bunch of videos that were not marked. But they did have pale labels with the title 'Hansel and Gretel Through The Woods' on it. There was another tape labeled 'Hansel and Gretel In Bangkok' and another labeled 'Hansel and Gretel Going Down Under'.

Curious once again, Rock took the first tape and popped it into the VCR.

For the next six hours the salaryman was shocked, disgusted and horrified at what he was watching. The films he was watching were of Hansel and Gretel, but all of them paedophilic snuff films, with both children, younger than they were now, being forced to participate in them. He watched as they were brutally beaten, raped, and even forced to kill other children. What made it really bad, was that he was sure the death scenes were not fake. He'd been in Roanapur to know the difference.

He looked at his watch and gasped, realizing that it was already 9:45.

I have to hurry! Rock gasped as he ran from the building, oddly enough with no security around.

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The attack took place at the Bougainvillea Trading Company, during a meeting between Balalaika of Hotel Moscow and Mr Chang of the Triads.

Verrocchio had pulled in all of his men in order to take out the two most powerful criminal leaders in Roanapur. It was his intention that by doing this he could return the Italian mafia to it's former glory, making them both feared and respected as they once were years ago.

While his men were busy dealing with Balalaika and Chang's men, Verrocchio had sent Gretel to kill Balalaika with her M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, while Hansel went to kill Mr Chang with his wicked-looking single-bladed battle axe.

This was accomplished by the pair catching them off-guard, using their innocent-looking appearance and knocking their weapons away before knocking their legs out from under them. However right as they were about to kill the two leaders, Rock arrived.

"GRETEL! HANSEL!" Rock shouted.

"Huh?" Gretel gasped, lowering her gun from Balalaika's face.

"Wha?" Hansel gasped, lowering his axe from over Mr Chang's head.

Amidst the chaos, Gretel saw Rock running over to her and push the barrel of the BAR away from Balalaika's face.

For which the Russian woman is grateful.

"Don't do this, Gretel." Rock said softly to the girl. "Please." he pleaded.

"But... I have to do this." she said, her resolve in this instance shaken by the salaryman's appearance, as if his mere presence was having an unusual effect on her.

"No." he said, shaking his head gently. "You don't."

"I don't? But... this how people treat each other." she said.

"Sometimes. But not all people have to be killers. Especially not children who have been hurt like you have." he explained.

"You... know?" she asked.

"Yes. I know about how you two were treated and I'm sorry I couldn't have stopped it. But I'm asking you, now, please don't do this." he said, gently taking the large gun from her hands. The thing was unusually heavy. "Whoa! You're a strong girl." he said with a smile.

She smiled back.

He takes her hand and pulls her over to Hansel, setting, actually dropping, the BAR down and pulling him away from Mr Chang. The Chinese man pulls himself away and grabs his gun.

"That goes for you too, Hansel. You don't have to do this." Rock said to the boy.

"But Mr Verrocchio said..." Hansel started to say.

"Verrocchio is using you!" Rock snapped. "He's using you to hurt people just like those people who hurt you in those videos. Do you want that?" he asked.

"W-what?" Hansel asked.

"I said... do you want that? To become like the people who hurt you?" Rock asked again.

Hansel and Gretel looked at each other and then back to Rock.

"But...It's kill or be killed, isn't it?" the girl asked.

"That's what this world is about, right?" the boy asked.

"No. This world isn't all about killing. Yes, people do kill each other for a variety of reasons. But you shouldn't kill just because it's the only way. There are always other choices." Rock said.

"Other..." Gretel started to say.

"...choices?" Hansel finished.

"Tell me something: Did you like being hurt?" Rock asked.

The pair were silent, then after about a minute they slowly shook their heads, telling him 'No'.

"Then how about you put down those weapons and I take you two for some ice cream? Or maybe some pizza? My treat, what do you say?" he said with a smile.

"Ice cream?" Gretel asked, confused.

"Pizza?" Hansel asked, puzzled.

Oh boy! Rock thought. They don't even know what ice cream and pizza are.

"And afterwards... we service you." Gretel said.

"What?" Rock asked.

"Isn't that what you expect us to do for you? In return?" Hansel asked.

"What?" he asked, then remembering the things they were forced to do in those videos. "NO! I don't expect anything like that from you!"

The pair looked at him, clearly confused.

"I'm not that kind of person. I just... I just want to help you." he said to them.

While this was going on, Balalaika and Mr Chang were staring at Rock trying to convince the two preteen assassins not to kill any more. And for the most part, it seemed to be working.

However, Verrocchio, having come to see if his pre-teen assassins has completed the job, froze when he saw the salaryman casually talking to the pair.

What the hell is... impossible! How can this be? That man, he's... talking to them! What could he have said to them to make them stop killing? He wondered, but momentarily ignored it as he pulled his gun up and fired, nailing Rock in the shoulder.

"AAHHH!" Rock gasped, falling to the ground.

"ROCK!" Gretel shouted in shock.

"Hansel! Gretel!" Verrocchio shouted as he ran up to the pair, ignorant of any other presence. "What are you doing? Kill Balalaika and Chang before they..."

CLICK!

"Before they what, Verrocchio?" Mr Chang said, pointing his gun at the left side of Verrocchio's head.

CLICK!

"Before they grab a hold of their guns and turn them on you?" Balalaika asked, pointing her gun at the right side of Verrocchio's head.

"Rock? Rock!" Gretel said, nudging the unmoving Japanese man on the ground. "Rock?" she said, with tears in her eyes.

Hansel gripped his axe tighter, his teeth grinding against the other as he brought the axe up fiercely, slamming it into Verrocchio's crotch.

"AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!" the Italian boss groaned as he dropped his gun and doubled over onto the ground.

Balalaika and Mr Chang could only grimace at what had just happened.

Faster than they could see, Gretel leaped over to where her BAR was, grabbed it and ran back over to where Verrocchio was bleeding, unable to pee on himself considering where he was struck, as Gretel hefted her gun into his face, the older man looked into her face and took note of her angry and tear-stained expression.

She's... crying... for him? He thought, looking over at Rock's still unmoving body. But... why?

He never got to search for an answer, as Gretel pulled the trigger and blew his head off.

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Rock woke up a few hours later to find himself in a bed with Revy, Dutch and Benny around him.

"Bout time you woke up." Revy snapped.

"Lucky you woke up at all, what with what you've been through." Benny said.

Rock smiled, until he suddenly remembered something.

"Gretel! Hansel!" he shouted.

"Who? Them?" Dutch asked, thumbing behind himself.

Rock looked back and sighed, seeing Hansel and Gretel, minus their weapons, asleep against each other on the couch.

"What happened?" Rock asked the Lagoon crew.

"Well... after Verrocchio bit the big one, Balalaika called us in while her men got you patched up. She also says thank you, by the way, for saving her life." Dutch said.

"Mr Chang said the same thing." Revy said.

"She told us that those two turned on Verrocchio when they saw you get shot." Benny said.

"Must have made quite an impression on them, getting them to turn on their boss so quick." Revy said.

"She also said that they're your responsibility now." Dutch said.

"They are?" Rock asked.

"Yeah. Since they seemed to respond to you better than anyone else." the dark-skinned man said.

"Could barely peel them away from your side when we came to pick you up." Revy said.

"Insisted on coming." Benny stated.

"Balalaika also said that if these two ever come near her, they'll end up like Verrocchio." the female gunslinger said.

"Mr Chang said the same thing." the computer geek said.

Rock seemed to accept that. It was actually more reasonable than Balalaika and Mr Chang were known to be. Especially considering what the twin assassins would have done to them had Rock not arrived when he did. Of course, Rock's reasoning was that if he could control them, then they were not a threat, and maybe potentially useful later on.

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Considering the pair were trained as assassins, Rock didn't put much emphasis on their physical education. He schooled them in reading, writing, arithmetic, history, science, and anything else he figured they would need to know.

Benny used his computer skills to teach them world history as well as current events, Dutch taught them mechanics (like how to maintain the Black Lagoon and the Roadrunner), and Revy... well... Rock 'fired' her after she kept cursing like a drunken sailor in front of them.

He also tempered their psychotic behavior by making them watch various Disney movies like the Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Fantasia, Fantasia 2000, Lilo and Stitch, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Mulan, Hercules, Tarzan, Bambi, 101 Dalmations, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Valiant, Cars, and Monsters Inc.

He even used The Muppet Movies.

And Rock made sure they had variety in their diets, showing them what normal teenagers eat on a regular basis. Ice Cream seemed to be Gretel's new favorite while Hansel developed a taste for pizza.

The pair quickly latched onto Rock as if he were their own father, though they actually seemed to listen to his words and orders.

They still had their psychotic impulses, such as killing people, which Rock couldn't 'neutralize' completely, but he made sure that they only did so when they themselves were attacked, and not to initiate anything or for sheer pleasure. They were often referred to as Rock's personal bodyguards, since they were always by his side and he never sent them out to kill anyone.

Rock officially adopted the pair as his own children, the pair actually developing a sense of humor by calling Revy 'mom'. This was much to her chagrin, as well as Rock's.

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Author's Notes:

Hope everyone liked this story. Not much I can say about this only that it is probably a little quick. I'm sure I left a lot out of material for Rock to try and help the pairs change from psycho's to semi-normal children. However, a development like that could have turned into a multi-chapter story, but I decided to go with a simple one-shot for the sake of convenience.

And I still haven't seen the Black Lagoon anime, which actually makes me laugh at how I can just up and write these stories without the references and experience and such.

Anyway, leave me a review to let me know what you think.