I have other stuff I really should be working on, but I've been in love with Eyeshield 21 for way too long to have not written anything for it. The overall pairing here is HiruSena, but there will be hints of other pairings thrown in for a little flavor. This is a major AU, so don't expect much to make sense canonically. Please give me constructive criticism if you see anything that needs work.

I own nothing. Really.

"So? So? Who's your new partner?" A pair of pale arms looped around a young man's neck. Dark curls pressed against his cheek and the girl leaned forward to snag the envelope out of his limp hands. Letting out a surprised sound that could only be classified as a squeak, the man struggled to keep the letter out of her grasp.

"S-Suzuna-chan, stop!" Finding her grip, as well as her curiosity, inescapable, the young man gave up with only that futile exclamation. The letter was tugged out of his hands and the victorious Suzuna pushed herself up by his shoulders to sit on the back of the bench behind him.

Turning the still-sealed envelope over in her hands, the younger agent gave her companion a poke in the back of the head, "You still haven't opened it? Jeez, Sena! C'mon!" She began to eagerly tear at the flap, and then paused. Blinking, she looked down at the slumped shoulders and bowed head currently between her knees.

Giving him a gentler prod in the back of the head, she sighed, "You don't seem too happy about being reassigned, Sena..." The prod turned to a light pat when Sena sighed as well.

"I was partnered with Riku for a long time, and now he's moved on to R&D..." The brunet trailed off sadly. Suzuna gave him another comforting pat on the head.

"You gotta look on the bright side of things, you know!" She handed him the partially opened envelope with a cheerful grin, "Maybe you'll get paired with your buddy Monta."

Sena smiled weakly in return and accepted it, "I was hoping so, but I found out that he was teamed up with Honjou Taka-san from the west division..." He fiddled with the torn corner nervously, his hesitancy beginning to irritate Suzuna. The girl swung her leg over the back of the bench and slid down to sit next to Sena. Wrapping her arms around her folded knees, she settled into a comfortable "Sena-Watching" position. The brunet fidgeted.

He hemmed.

He hawed.

He picked at a loose thread on his sleeve.


Sena gave a startled while, jumping away in surprise, before hanging his head and mumbling a pitiful, "Yes, Suzuna-chan..." Working with the corner that Suzuna had already shredded, the young man slowly tore through the top of the envelope. With trembling hands, he pulled out the simple folded sheet of paper inside.

Sitting on her knees to get a better look, Suzuna read aloud over her friend's shoulder, "Partner reassignment for 021, 'Kobayakawa Sena' (Former partner: 029, 'Kaitani Riku')"

"...New Partner: 001, 'Hiruma Youichi'" Sena finished reading, hiding the time, date, and location of his first meeting from Suzuna's view. Showing her his new partner's name may have been too much as it was, and he didn't want to expose her to any sort of other risks. That's why these partner reassignments were printed as opposed to digital. Hardly anyone remembered how to tamper with a written letter anymore.

'Partner reassignment for 001, "Hiruma Youichi" (Former partner: 002, "Kongo Agon")...' The edges of the paper crinkled slightly, the only sign that the man holding the sheet remembered his former partner, 'New Partner: 021, "Kobayakawa Sena"'

After glancing at the time and place for the meeting, the blond crumpled the page and dropped it in an ashtray, flicking out a Zippo shortly thereafter. The edges of the paper blackened and shriveled up, smoke drifting up in lazy ringlets to join the smoggy air above. He snapped the lighter shut just as the bartender turned to him.

Hiruma tapped the side of his glass with a sharp nail, prompting the barkeep to refill the glass, "I've got a new partner, fucking old man." Pouring a measured amount of amber liquid into the glass, the bartender made a disinterested sound.

"Aren't you the least bit curious, old man?" He rested the rim of the glass against his lip, waiting for a response with a cocky grin.

The bartender didn't look up, choosing instead of polish the glossy wooden surface in front of him, "I'm not curious about anything, Hiruma."

'...Because curiosity can get you killed.' The unspoken words hung silently between the two. It was conventional wisdom, really. No one was curious nowadays, after all.

Hiruma grinned wider and knocked back his drink, "That smart, fucking old man." He set his now empty tumbler down with a pleased expression, "Real fucking smart." The paper was smoldering now, though there was still bleached white showing through the patches of dingy gray. Before Hiruma could reach forward with his lighter again, the bartender struck a wooden match and dropped it into the tray.

Watching the paper flare up once more, the dark-haired man spoke in a soft, gravelly voice, "No one should be curious about anything." Hiruma regarded the man with a level stare.

"You're damn right, Musashi."


A café? The super-secret meeting place was a café? Sena stood nervously outside the door for a moment, earning himself a confused look from the man behind the counter. As the brunet hesitated, the man made his way to the entrance. Just as he reached for the old-fashioned door knob, the door slammed open and tall blond went lunging out to greet the agent. Before the wild-haired man could drag Sena inside, another employee of comparable height pulled the blond back. Turned to Sena with a frown, he nodded, "Please come in. The back lounge is free."

Sena swallowed hard and nodded in response, slipping past the overexcited blond and his stone-faced companion. Numbers 071 and 041 ran the meeting area, but the brunet had no idea that it was disguised as a café. Reflecting quietly on his own carefully constructed and painfully polite demeanor, Sena thought that the two other agents, 071 and 041, had completely unbelievable personalities. 071 had too much character while 041 seemed to have none at all. Perhaps that was why they were delegated to running the meeting area, rather than taking actual missions. All sorts of strange characters inhabited cafés, after all.

Slipping through the dimly lit coffee shop unnoticed, he had been trained to be inconspicuous, Sena made his way to the private room in the back. The hinges squealed in protest as he slowly opened the wooden door, and the brunet flinched. Why did this have to be a classical café? Normal doors were much more convenient than these wooden antiques!

After getting over his minor door issue, Sena peered nervously into the room beyond. The chief was standing with his back to the door, staring intently at an impressionist painting on the wall. Scanning the room quickly revealed no other presence, leading Sena to believe that he had arrived first. Stepping briskly past that damnable door, the brunet was startled when it slammed behind him. In one fluid motion, he turned and raised his weapon, pointing it at the man behind the door. The blond standing there grinned widely, displaying rows of sharp teeth. Sena felt a faint pressure against his temple that made his blood run cold.

A pistol pressed lightly right above his ear.

"That's enough." The chief snapped out, "001, 021, put your weapons away!" The older man turned, his lined face twisted into a sharp frown. 001 lowered his weapon almost carelessly, twirling the old-fashioned SOCOM before holstering it. Sena lowered his weapon more cautiously, slipping his own DL-44 in its holster as well. He stared intently into the blond's green eyes, knowing that there could have been a horrible bloody mess all over the carpets only moments ago had the chief not called them off. After a terse order to sit down, the two took a seat on opposite couches. A glass table with a muted news report being projected on it sat between them, and the chief settled in an arm chair adjacent to the pair.

A strained silence fell over the small group. Pointing a gun at your new partner wasn't always the best way to start things off. After letting both agents get reasonably uncomfortable, the older man looked up.

"You're partners now. Get to know each other." He stood, "You'll receive your missions through normal methods." Taking quick strides around the back of Sena's couch, he left without another word.

Silence reigned once again, broken only when the blond rolled his eyes, "Normal methods? They never use normal methods. We'll probably get our first assignment by a fucking carrier pigeon." He reclined into the plush sofa, "Hey, fucking shrimp..."

"I am 021. My street name is Kobayakawa Sena." He bowed his head politely, "May I have your name?"

There was a thunk as the blond across from him propped one foot up on the table, "001, Hiruma Youichi. These fucking street names are ridiculous, you know." He eyed the brunet across from his with a calculating gaze, fingers loosely wrapped around a slim, leather-bound paper book, "021. 'Polite type,' with a specialty in espionage and the best speed in the Academy. Poor physical strength, average stamina, and slightly above average grades." He took a glimpse at the page he had marked, "Former partners...040, 029...Never broken a rule, never forgot to hand in a report, never even stuck your gum under a desk. Interesting..." The looked up with a mildly intrigued expression, "You worked in HR?"

"Yes, sir." Sena ducked his head, mentally reviewing what he had gathered from his connection in Human Resources, '001. "Dangerous type," specialty in reconnaissance and persuasion. Average speed, average physical strength, and high stamina. IQ and academic grades off the charts.' The brunet chanced a glance up at his new partner and was met with an unreadable expression, 'Former partners: 002, 077, and a mysterious black smudge.' A wide grin spread across Hiruma's pointed features, 'Know for violent and reckless actions during missions, as well as extensive knowledge of sensitive topics. Various sources claim that 001 is some sort of "demon" due to his violent tendencies and attitude. Currently under supervision as a potential threat to The Cause.'

"So, fucking midget...Any idea why they teamed a straight-laced, clean-slate boy like yourself up with the likes of me?"

Hiruma's amused voice cut through Sena's internal monologue, and the young man jumped in surprise. He shook his head frantically, shyly refusing to meet the other agent's gaze. It was better to be on the devil's good side, after all. The blond chuckled wickedly, "They want you to spy on me." He leaned forward and grinned, "Which I'm sure you've already started. Your friend in HR? She doesn't cover up her tracks too well."

Sena's eyes widened marginally, and he focused more intensely on his knees. He'd have to check up on Karin-san later. Leaving a careless trail like that was completely stupid, and potentially dangerous in their line of work. Anyone found snooping about for information, any information, could be labeled as a threat to The Cause and arrested...Someone as sweet and gentle as Karin-san didn't deserve that.

"I cleaned up for her."

This made Sena look up. The blond continued nonchalantly, "She's too good at what she does; too valuable to waste...So are you, it would seem." Hiruma didn't elaborate, but instead held up his little book. With the words "Devil's Handbook" written boldly across the front and the private information it apparently contained, the obvious conclusion was that this was some sort of blackmail.

First the single-minded Shin and now this. Sena rubbed his eyes tiredly. Why did he always wind up in these situations?

Five pages is a good start for me. This is mostly a test to see how people react to this story before I do something crazy and post it on LJ.

Review, if you would be so kind!