beta-ed by forgottendiary
Disclaimer: I do not own Macross Frontier.
It wasn't a shabby place. As long as you ignored the intimidation it screamed within the closure of the establishment and the menacing looks given to you with a passion. Leon Mishima ignored the obvious glares directed at him and made his way to the table at the far corner. Those heated stares meant that they did not welcome the likes of Leon Mishima, a man that was obviously better than them—financially and beyond to their little hidey-ho. They were pathetic…and Leon relished on how he was so much superior to these lowlifes.
He found his seat and waited. Passing time, he observed the place. Muscled men that looked like oily pigs filled the tables, playing poker and guzzling down booze. Some were playing pool, others stuffing their dirty mouths with greasy undercooked morsels of meat. Leon snuffled in disgust—bad choice, cigarette smoke and the stench of vomit and sweat entered his nostrils. Leon reeled and pinched his nose while trying to clear his head.
He opened his eyes and found the person he was waiting for occupying the seat across him.
"Sorry to keep you waiting," was his companion's greeting. "I had to take care of a few errands." The smile given to Leon after that statement was malicious and malevolent. Leon, a man who thrived on information, didn't want to know what those errands were but a gut feeling told him it involved something nasty. Something he—the President's Aide—would not want to sully his hands with. Leon always left the dirty work to his people, it was convenient and easy. He didn't like dealing with messy business but clearly the person sitting before him thought otherwise.
"How goes the plan?" Leon asked in his silky business tone.
A smirk was his reply.
"It's going smoothly. I just finished working out a few bugs."
Who were the bugs you had to kill off? Leon wanted to ask, but bit his tongue. Details like that probably weren't all that important. As long as the plan was going to roll, insignificant details weren't much to ponder on. Keep your eyes on the prize.
His cohort pulled out a card and passed it to Leon over the dirty tabletop.
"That is your latest instruction. Do it well and we'll be a step closer to our goals."
Leon read it.
Michel frowned at the sight before him. He let out a sigh.
"Alto, you look like hell."
Alto snorted, "Nice to see you, too."
Michel shoved a hand into his hair and thought he had his work cut out for him. Alto was a mess. His place was a mess…and Michel was no cleaning lady. He watched his friend empty down a can of beer.
"Didn't I tell you to stop drinking?" He reprimanded, hands on his hips, face stamped with disapproval.
Alto looked at Michel. He chuckled.
"What's so funny?"
"You sound like a wife."
"You look like one, too."
He plopped down on the empty space of the couch next to Alto. Alto reached out for another can. Michel frowned but decided to give the nagging a break and snatched a can himself. They drank down like thirsty dogs.
Both were on their third cans when Michel spoke.
"Ozma's been asking for you again."
"Nosy git." He crunched up the can in his hand, as easy as crumpling a mere piece of paper. Michel continued.
"He wants to know when you're coming back."
Alto sighed with annoyance and threw the deformed can carelessly on the floor. "I already gave him my answer. It won't change no matter how many times he sends you to sic at me."
"That's what I keep telling him, but he thinks you're just in a phase and expects you to come around." Michel stretched out his legs and let out a yawn. "He's persistent, you're stubborn and I'm in the middle."
"Annoying is more like it."
"Hey, I'm just following orders here. Something you had a hard time doing."
Alto smiled wryly. He and Michel had been in the army, they had hit off as friends right off the bat. Sometimes he wondered how he became fast friends with him. Michel was a playboy, he loved to talk and interact with other people—especially the opposite sex. He was also one hell of a sniper. Alto was the complete opposite of his friend. The only thing they had in common was a sense of justice and duty.
They had fought together and worked side by side—that was until the incident. The incident that changed everything…Because of that, he quit the military—unable to forgive himself, unable to focus on what he was doing. All he had left was guilt and rage. He was hurting and raging…all because of one person.
Michel glanced at his watch. "Well, it's obvious you're not going to entertain any notion of going back."
His friend's smug smile sparkled, "Got a date tonight."
Alto rolled his eyes, "You haven't changed."
"Yeah, well so have you," Michel pointed a finger at him; "You wore that shirt yesterday."
"Love is coming your way!" Bobby let out a girly squeal, "Says so right here in your horoscope, girly." He tossed the glossy magazine on Sheryl's lap. Sheryl raised an amused brow and read out the small paragraph that got her make-up artist excited.
"Be prepared for change. Do not be afraid of new circumstances, rather conquer it. New interests and a potential lover are coming your way…" Sheryl smiled and tossed the magazine back at Bobby.
"Isn't this wonderful?" Bobby gushed, "You'll find your soul mate!"
Sheryl crossed her legs and looked into the vanity mirror. "I don't believe in fate printed on paper," she remarked to Bobby who pouted at that. "I make my own fate," She stared into a pair of determined eyes in the mirror. Unconsciously, she touched one of her earrings, her mother's earrings. It was the only memento she had of her. She had no pictures or memories. Only the glittering jewels hanging on each earlobe. It comforted Sheryl to think that her mother has always been with her just by wearing it.
Bobby planted a hand on his hip, "Music is great and all, sweetie…but wouldn't it be nice to find a nice boy?"
Sheryl dismissed such a thought with a wave of a hand. "I'm Sheryl. Sheryl Nome. I don't need any silly romance. I live as myself."
Bobby gnawed at his inner cheeks. "Sounds boring…but whatever makes you happy."
He set the magazine on the small glass table before taking place behind Sheryl to brush her luxurious hair.
"Looks like we'll be busy with the schedule Grace has set for you," Bobby said, fighting off a few stubborn knots, "your concert is scheduled in a few days and before that you'll have interviews and TV appearances to do. It's going to be hectic."
"I can handle it."
"My, how sassy... Where do you get such confidence?"
"It's obvious, isn't it?" Sheryl looked into the mirror once more, facing her proud reflection.
"It's because I'm Sheryl."