Dear Readers:

I apologize for the lengthy amount of time between updates. To be honest, I'm just lazy. I hope that this length, and plot, and humor, or whatever you like! is amusing and/or pleasing to you readers.

I can't guarantee that I will update regularly, but I can try.

Obviously, contact O.Y.F. if you have any questions, comments or suggestions! We will be happy to receive them, and hopefully, will reply ASAP.

Well. Excuse this pointless rambling, and please, let the madness begin.

~:-:~

Chapter Seven

Kamijou Riku. He was not someone to be reckoned with; although small, he could fell many men twice his size. They did not appoint him as the captain of the Third Brigade for nothing. However, not many people who worked closely alongside this man could stand him. He would simply say something, and one immediately knew that it was the most sarcastic, negative complimentary-insult that would ever be uttered to their face. When Kamijou smiled at you, he would do so in the most demeaning way possible. His eerie green cat-eye and his bright, cerulean left eye dissuaded many from talking to him, simply because it made his appearance frightening. And, despite the modern beliefs and times, despite the fact that the whole of Japan was in the quaternary sector of development and thus, very logically minded, ingrained within everyone's subconscious was the thought that 'this-man-is-cursed'.

Aizawa Rami. As captain of the Second Brigade, the one comprised solely of women, her attitude was as blunt as a wooden mallet to your face. Her striking looks and professionalism made her a favorite among the higher-ups, and the younger trainees secretly (mind you, secretly) had pictures of her tucked into their wallets. Living by rules and regulations, Aizawa was raised as a proper and strong-willed woman; her stubbornness was ingrained in her blood, while her good looks further propelled the general consensus that she was near perfect—as long as you were in her good favor.

Aizawa and Kamijou, alike in nearly every way—successful, charming, and bright in the most incongruent way possible; these two opposites who hated each other for merely existing—were unfortunately placed on investigation duty… out of uniform. Together.

Out of work, Rami was meticulously dressed, a woman of high standing and good breeding. She was in heels and a pencil skirt, as well as her favorite pea coat: a fashionable article and an in-season grey. Her beret was set carefully on top of her curls at a fashionably jaunty angle.

Riku, also, was carefully dressed, although approachably. A calculated casual look, he was in a clean—scrupulously clean—track jacket and slim, cautiously distressed jeans. He had settled his beanie onto his head, taking care not to muss his hair, smirking gently at an insignificant spot behind Aizawa.

After a few moments of sitting at the same table at the same café and staring at the same spot behind each others' heads, Kamijou's eyes flickered over Aizawa's coat—and he smirked.

"The only way I can describe that wonderful jacket is like this: It is like uncolored and untreated silly putty—an unspeakably wretched color, utterly useless and possessing a rancid odor." He smiled sweetly as her fair face grew scarlet. "It suits you perfectly."

Patrons' heads jerked up as a sharp clatter sounded through the café; china teetered precariously on the edge of the cheap cotton lace tablecloth of the captains' table.

"I've had quite enough of your stupid words and sweet smiles! You… You're a living hypocrite!" Aizawa's blonde curls bounced furiously over her shoulders as she leaned over the table, jabbing her finger into the other captain's chest. Her blue eyes flashed with rage and annoyance. "We have a miss—"

"Dear, please, you're making a scene," Kamijou intercepted smoothly. To Aizawa's utmost horror and revulsion, his warm, calloused hand settled gently on her cheek. "You must be tired," he continued soothingly, crooning. "I think you're overworked. Why don't we head back? Get some rest?" The hand traveled to her elbow, leading her shell-shocked brain no choice but to follow clumsily after him. Sighs were heard throughout the café at this perfect gentleman; glares were directed to boyfriends who should "watch-and-learn-and-can't-you-act-more-like-him?"

Kamijou still smiled sweetly, whispering to her as they walked out of the building: "Would you keep your big mouth shut for once? You basically blew our cover, if our target was here. And now we have to go back."

"Shut up!" The woman's voice quickly rose once more. "You shouldn't be talking about this in public!"
"I could say the same, dear," Kamijou said, just as sweet as all his previous words, but conveying much more malice…if the grip on her elbow was anything to go by. "And please, go easier on the make-up. I can feel the grime on my fingers even now."

~:-:~

Usaki glanced to his left, then his right.

Captain Mikoshiba Shouta and Vice-Captain Shikibu Seiju glared at everything and anything but each other.

It was a rare right, and the blonde had no idea how it had begun. He supposed that even Seiju, with his limitless patience, ran out of kindness sometimes.

It was apparent that when Seiju bottled up his annoyance over a long period of time, it explodes. Violently.

Usaki, with his impervious barrier of unattatchment, was not caught up in the blast, but Shouta had tried calming the long-haired man down—like stopping an exploding volcano with a single ice cube.

All the blonde knew was that Shouta had said something that struck a nerve in the long-haired man.

"You're overreacting, Seiju," the captain said suddenly, voice strangely meek.

"Oh, enough of this!" The vice-captain threw his hands up into the air, a sign of utter exasperation. "I don't care what I am, but honestly! You couldn't have been less sensitive!"

"I didn't mean anything by what I said—" Shouta began.

"Then why'd you say it?" Snapped Seiju. "You could have easily not said what you did say!"

"…What the hell did I say, anyway?"

"Ugh! You men," was all the furious male could manage before crossing his arms and glaring at the opposite wall of the break room.

No matter how oblivious he was, Usaki could not shake the oddness of the accusation.

"I don't think you can really—"

"Don't you start again! I can say what I like!"

"But we're all men—"

"You didn't even let me finish what I was going to say! So it came out weird!"

"You stopped talking after making that strange comment!"

"You kept on talking, and I completely—"

"Ah, Captain, Vice-Captain…" Muttered the blonde who had kept silent thus far. Both men whirled on him, and he almost flinched. Almost.

"What do you need, Usaki-kun?" Seiju asked sweetly. The captain rolled his eyes.

"You are both on my lap. Could you, by any chance, get off?" Usaki inquired formally, suffocated between the two men who were using his legs as debate podiums. They throbbed dully from the random punches his seniors had dealt in order to punctuate their statements.

Shouta and Seiju shot to the far ends of the couch (when had they been sitting on the same couch, anyway?) and glared at one another.

"It's your fault that Usaki-kun got hurt!"

"Don't start this again! It was your fault anyway!"

"Ah, Captain, Vice-Captain…" Muttered the blonde once more. The quickly escalating argument faded as the two older brigade members turned to the youngest yet again. "You are both at fault," he deadpanned, standing up and clearing the coffee table of the partially finished obento boxes. "And you haven't finished your lunch," Usaki stated factually, glancing at his captain. He placed the box and the chopsticks into the brunette's hands and continued to clear the table.

Shouta and Seiju stared at the quietly active teen in dawdling increments of realization.

Toudou Usaki had finally grown sick of their bickering. And this was his way of making his displeasure known.

For some strange reason, it greatly amused both of the senior members. Shouta picked up his chopsticks and began to eat. Seiju touched his fingers briefly to his chest ("I'm sorry") and smiled when the brunette reciprocated the action.

When Seiju began to help the blonde clear the table, however, Usaki shook his head firmly and turned to his colleagues expectantly.

Expectant for what?

Shouta blinked slowly, then sighed, his face turning slightly pink. "Ah. It was nothing. Quite a stupid thing."

"Well, he told me that the broccoli was a little overcooked…" Seiju trailed off. After all, that was really all there was to it.

They flinched at the unimpressed expression on the blonde's features.

"That's it?" Spoken rather testily, especially for the blonde.

"That…was it," Seiju said, realizing just how mundane the argument was.

"I see." Short. Cold. Very official. Very formal. 'I see'. The most frightening phrase, the phrase containing the most promise of pain that the captains had ever experienced from the blonde.

Another expectant look, this time directed at the brunette.

Shouta glanced at his mostly empty box, picked up the chopsticks and began to eat once more. He grimaced in Seiju's direction under the piercing stare of those blue-gray eyes of the nineteen year-old.

"They're not overcooked anymore, Seiju."

~:-:~

Shouta had finally finished his obento under the watchful eyes of his comrades. Usaki had taken it upon himself to clean up, even though Seiju had insisted to help.

The First Division was truly on hold; waiting for lab results, waiting for the call to go into the normal world and blend in. There was absolutely nothing to do. The blonde decided to see if anything else had called on his cell.

No hospital, no junk mail, no telemarketers. No missed calls.

Sometimes, Usaki wondered what it was like to be not invisible.

He made his way to his desk, rifling through random papers that had been placed on its surface in the past twenty-three and a half hours.

As Usaki sifted through his pile of papers, he found a folder lying innocently wedged between papers; he stared at it like you would a wild animal.

Snatching it and tucking it underneath his leather jacket, he placed the rest of the papers in the recycling bin and headed to the bathroom for privacy.

The paper inside the folder was folded neatly into three sections lengthwise; an uncommon way to fold a paper, making the shorter side a third of its original size. The paper was all perfect lines and clean edges. It unfolded uneasily, and Usaki couldn't help but note that these perfect lines were creased only once with a perfect nail; there was no reopening the paper when it had been folded.

You know, it'd be so easy to just do without that doctor.

A wave of nausea swept over the teenager. He gasped for the air that couldn't reach his lungs, and he gripped the edge of the sink desperately. Tempted to do exactly as Shouta had done—crumple it and throw it in the trash—Usaki found another slip of paper in the folder, folded into perfect, lengthwise thirds and creased only once.

Please, don't throw me away anymore. I'm only here to help you.

I'm only trying to make your desires known to your own, conscious, self.

Doing his best to keep a cold, impassive façade fixated to his face, the blonde placed the contents back in the folder, placed the folder back under his jacket, and headed to the break room once more. He pulled a single surgical glove out of his jeans pocket and discreetly slipped it on his hand. Suddenly, nothing could be trusted. And it was standard procedure anyway.

Usaki swept his hand through the trash bin. The captain and vice-captain had left at the same time he did, and they had only left ten minutes ago.

The paper that the captain had thrown away was gone. There was no doubt in the blonde's mind that the person was part of the Tokkei now. The staff wouldn't dare rifle through the trash of the Tokkei. They would be discharged immediately, maybe even sent overseas if the information was sensitive enough, and if the Tokkei were stupid enough not to shred the documents. Prison was too crowded, and they weren't eligible for execution.

Knowing that, no one would want to trade the relatively safe and secure job of working in the Tokkei for a personal tidbit from the Tokkei.

"Toudou-san?"

The blonde whirled violently, eyes narrowed and uneasy. He almost collided with the smaller, calmer man with two different colored eyes—Kamijou.

"Kamijou-sempai," he said easily, the professional face slipping back into place.

The other man was still in his street clothes; meticulous jeans and hair, with the perfect beanie and track jacket. Kamijou pretended to look abashed, pulling on his jacket and looking up at the teen through lidded eyes and thick lashes.

"Were you, by any chance, Usaki-kun," the other blonde purred, pacing quietly around the nineteen year-old. He was like a cat staking out its meal, fully in control and patiently waiting for its victim to make a single wrong move. "Usaki-kun, were you looking through the trash? You realize what trouble you could get into for doing such a thing. Ah, but," he said with a slight pout, "since you're in the First Brigade, you could get away with such things." The door of the break room flew open and hit the wall, forcing both Tokkei to look up.

"Kamijou," interrupted a darker voice. As Mikoshiba stepped into the room, Kamijou did not look surprised, and seemed to have even expected it.

"Ah, beloved captain of the Tokkei! So glad to see you!"

"What are you talking to Usaki about?"

"I'm sure you heard it all. Temper, temper! And here I thought that sifting through trash was bad—and here you are, the Captain of all the Tokkei, eavesdropping o little old me! Oh, but my last statement was wrong. The First Brigade—and it's captain— can get away with everything. Even murdering their captain, even killing their companion, even—"

"You bastard—"

"Kamijou-sempai, please," Usaki intervened swiftly. "I won't go through the trash again. I just misplaced a paper. My apologies; it shall not happen again."

"Hmph! You think that since you're in the First Brigade that simply apologizing is enough! I'm sure the Head would let this go if you said 'I'm sorry'—"

"Please," the blonde interrupted, suddenly bowing beyond a ninety degree angle, stopping all the words ready to spew from the Third Brigade Captain's mouth. "Please, I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience, and I assure you that it is nothing of importance."

The other blonde's sneer slowly melted into a cold smile and he chuckled; a false sound of mirth, the greatest form of irony there is. "That is a most proper position for you, Usaki-kun." Before he could continue, Mikoshiba stepped in front of Usaki.

"He's already apologized, Kamijou. Beat it." His eyes flashed warningly, his thick lashes darkening his expression.

"Of course," chirped the other captain cheerily, as if he were accepting a cordial invitation to a birthday party. "I realize. Usaki-kun, do stand up."

The blonde did so haltingly, his eyes narrowing as the green-blue-eyed captain held out a hand.

"I believe that handshakes, in the Western world, stand for everything. Agreements, contracts, forgiveness, comradeship, goodbye…Even when giving something back, it's cordial to shake hands. Please, do."

Mikoshiba seemed as if he wanted to slice the sly man's hand off, or preferably blow it to pieces, but settled for growling low in his throat.

"My, what a feral sound, Captain. It sounds almost threatening," laughed the small man. "Usaki-kun, it's rude to leave me without a handshake if I'm offering one!"

The blonde took the hand carefully as if it would burn him, shook the hand with the proper firmness, but almost jumped when something slipped into his palm. The blondes locked eyes for a moment—one impassive, the other, laughing quietly. When Usaki tried to let go, Kamijou continued to keep a firm, and warning, grip on his hand.

"Remember, Usaki-kun, a handshake means many things. We'll say that this handshake was a thanks from you to me. Trust me, you will thank me in the very, very end." As the handshake was released, Usaki resisted the overwhelming urge to wipe his hand on his jeans.

Kamijou sauntered towards the door, his step effeminate and light; almost flirtatious. Then, he looked back over his shoulder to the other blonde and gave him a brilliantly synthetic smile. "I believe you were looking for that, am I right?"

The door shut behind him quietly; Usaki thought he had never heard anything louder in his life.

~:-:~

An author's note will be attatched to the beginning and end of each chapter, and for any suggestions or questions, please do not hesitate to review or PM O.Y.. I will get to you ASAP.

Thank you, again, for your indulgence.

:-Kaida-: