Title: Unlawful Appropriation
Fandom: Guilty Gear Overture
Pairing/Characters: Sol/Ky, Sin
Warning: AU, humor
Disclaimer: If I owned Overture, the entire thing would've made a bit more sense. XD
Notes: I am cheerfully ignoring anything in Overture that doesn't make sense for the purposes of this story. Yeah, that's a lot, I know. I've also not taken into account anything Ishiwatari might have come up with before his first cup of coffee to say in an interview. That rarely helps, anyway. XD I owe a lot to hours of fun conversation with twigcollins. And last but not least, credit for the original instigation of this particular AU goes to rallamajoop. I have tried to keep the similarities to a minimum, so please forgive me if something does show.
They never did manage to get much of anything done that night.
Ky was dead to the world almost as soon as his head hit the pillow, and Sol realized that he had forgotten Ky's ability to stretch the definition of things such as "food" and "rest" to their absolute limit. It was safe to assume that Ky's "nap" had lasted for about ten uneasy minutes, before he had jerked awake to continue slaving away at the goddamn desk. And if he was working all day, and still wasn't losing his edge, then that meant he had taken to skipping meals to fit in time for training.
Foolish boy, still driving himself so hard for nothing.
He barely even stirred when Sol removed his boots and the heavy ornaments, right along with the stupid princess tiara they had stuck him with. Would leave a permanent imprint on his forehead at this rate, the damn thing.
Ky curled into the warmth, an old reaction that he had never quite gotten rid of from the days when they had been freezing their asses off in the tents, and Sol had not been above taking advantage of it.
They awoke sometime closer to noon than morning, certainly nowhere near Ky's usual hour, and Sol only woke up because Ky did and tried to slip out of bed, undoubtedly to do more paperwork. Fortunately, Sol still had his specifically developed entrapment reflexes.
"Ngh," Ky said, clearly still half asleep if that was the only thing he could come up with. "Let go. I overslept."
"Stop pretending you can't understand what I'm saying."
"I think," Sol said thickly, voice muffled by Ky's neck. "There's a name for what you have. It's called 'being a workaholic'."
A sigh, and Ky relaxed against him. "We missed breakfast, too."
Sol lifted his head to glare at him blearily. "You're the king. You can have breakfast whenever you want."
Sol groaned and buried his face in his neck again. "Only you'd forget that, Kiske. Only you."
"I didn't forget," Ky said, annoyance creeping into his tone. "I just don't want—"
"If you're going to say one word about causing trouble, I'm going to hit you. I bet there's about twenty people around right now who'd fall all over themselves with happiness if you asked them to bring you a turkey sandwich. For fuck's sake, the brat is easier to teach than you."
Ky's lips twitched. "He's probably learned all kinds of horrible things by now."
"Heh, I'll have you know his core programming is still intact. Clean, eloquent, and polite to the ladies. Everything else… was fair game."
"I distinctly remember teaching him to be polite to people in general."
"Don't look at me. He has amazingly selective hearing."
"And while we're at it, I also take no responsibility for his fashion sense. He's committing those outfits all on his own."
"Of course," Ky nodded. "I bet it has nothing to do with the fact that you just gave him the money and sent him into a store. Where he got pounced on by a hyperactive teenage girl with a questionable sense of taste."
"According to him, several. And from their perspective, it's not so questionable," Sol said. He gave Ky a moment to mourn his son's lost innocence, before adding, "He's not turning out so bad, you know."
"Yeah. I'll have to apologize to him later. I didn't mean to cut things short yesterday."
Rolling over on his side, Sol waved his hand dismissively. "You were dead on your feet, and don't you think the brat didn't notice that, too. Why do you think he backed off like that?"
"I thought that was because we were, what was it? Oh yeah, 'being gross'."
"And here we didn't even get to be really gross."
"I'm sure that bit yesterday was already well within that realm," Sol said.
"Speaking of which, that was awfully gallant of you, letting me sleep last night," Ky teased, shifting closer. "I should reward you for that, shouldn't I."
"What, you're gonna be rewarding me with something I should've been getting anyway?" Sol asked, trying to suppress the pleasant shiver as Ky reached out to scratch the back of his head. It had been entirely too long.
"Hmm, keep complaining and I might decide to kick you out. And then you'd be missing out on all the gross things."
"That'd be a real shame," Sol murmured, and leaned in.
The sharp knock caused them to break apart mere minutes later, an aide's muffled voice sounding through the closed door, "Your Majesty? I am deeply sorry to trouble you, but it is an emergency..."
"No," Sol said decisively, and Ky kneed him in the stomach.
"Pardon, Your Highness?"
"I'll be there in a minute," Ky called, attempting to smother Sol with a pillow. When the aide's footsteps faded away, Sol shoved away the pillow, glaring at him balefully.
"Do you know how many cockblocks this makes?"
"Entirely too many, I'm sure," Ky replied, disentangling himself from his hold and the bedspread alike, and Sol was almost sure he could hear a hint of regret underneath the reproachful tone.
"You're bad for your own health. Not to mention my sanity."
"I'm sure whatever you are, it isn't and has never been 'sane'," Ky's voice rose from the depths of the walk-in closet as he rummaged around, changing out of his wrinkled clothes.
"I'll start a war. I'll go start a war and destroy the universe and it will be all your fault because I did not get any."
"Now that's just silly." Ky reappeared, running a comb through his hair in short, quick strokes. He looked around, before spotting the circlet carelessly hanging off the edge of the dresser. Sighing, he strode over, and when he pushed it into place, it suddenly seemed like a permanent fixture. Sol glared harder.
Stopping at the door, Ky turned back around. "For what it's worth... I'm really sorry."
The door opened and closed, leaving Sol to direct his curses into the pillow.
"You're grumpy," Sin observed, shifting the flagpole on his shoulder as they walked.
"Whatever gave you that idea," Sol growled, but truth be told, not getting laid (again) was actually one of his minor problems.
That visit had only made crystal clear what he had been suspecting for a long time—Ky wasn't taking care of himself, not sleeping properly, jumping up during breakfast (to which he had arrived late thanks to that 'emergency') to answer urgent calls and give instructions for something or other, all things that, in Sol's opinion, could have waited until he had at least gotten a cup of tea and one of the stupid French rolls.
It had only served to drive home the fact that Ky had once again been pushed into a mold he was expected to fill, and was working himself into the ground trying, and attempting to be absolutely perfect on top of that. And nobody saw it, nobody wanted to see it, or maybe they were just too damn respectful or too damn comfortable to speak up, and everyone just kept piling things on top of him until…
"Mom wasn't doing so well, huh," Sin prompted, apparently thinking along the same lines.
"You saw him. You saw his desk."
Sin's brow furrowed. "Why is he doing it if he doesn't like it?"
"It's complicated," Sol said. "Short version is that he's crazy."
"And the long version?"
Sol huffed. "I told you about that. About the war and how they called him a savior."
"He likes helping people. He likes it when everybody's happy. And if he has to do a metric shit-ton of stuff he doesn't like to get there, then that's what he's gonna do, because that's the way he is. And other people like taking advantage of that."
"I'd get mad," Sin said, chewing on his bottom lip thoughtfully.
"Oh, he does get mad—he'll just never show you until you prod him long enough."
"Kinda stupid? Yeah."
They walked in silence for a while.
"So," Sin finally said. "What's the plan?"
"So glad you asked."
The biggest challenge of the entire operation was finding a car, and then—since most cars were primitive relics that did not accommodate a driver's artistic passions—finding an old stereo system. Sol refused to do without one, though, because making history without a proper soundtrack was simply out of the question.
He was also the one who thought the car should be painted to resemble a flaming El Camino.
Sin had no idea what an El Camino was, but found spray-painting flame tongues along its sides to be ridiculously fun. Of course, he managed to get it all over himself, too, and then Sol, which might or might not have been an accident, but warranted a good ass-kicking, regardless, followed by a bath in which Sol lovingly attempted to drown him, and then they were set to go.
"Is this safe?" Sin asked, looking the car up and down.
"What do you take me for," Sol said. "Of course it isn't."
Sin grinned. "Awesome."
Sol took another drag on his cigarette and glanced over at Sin, who was standing on his head, doing push-ups and kicking a stone from foot to foot.
"...I'm still bored," Sin informed him.
"Yeah, well, I'm not exactly thrilled, either," Sol growled.
They were hiding in the bushes surrounding the parliamentary building, an ancient structure that looked and smelled like it had been built forever ago, with menacing gargoyles perching on its ledges and outcroppings, and Sol found its entire appearance oddly suited to its uses. The plan had been to wait until the current parliamentary session was over, grab Ky at the exit, and whisk him away into the night. Or something equally poetic.
The only setback to this plan was that the session was taking forever, and the night was now less of a poetic concept and more of an imminent reality.
"It's gonna be dark soon. How much longer is this gonna take?"
"Don't ask me."
"Why are we waiting out here, anyway?"
"Because it's the least likely method to cause problems, and—"
Sin flopped back onto his feet and gave him a weird look. "Since when have we ever cared about that."
Sol blinked, and extinguished his cigarette. "You know what? Screw this."
"Sweet. I call dibs on the guards!"
"All those in favor of the motion, rise."
The great room filled with the sounds of rustling robes and shuffling feet as the members rose from their bench seats, and Ky did not even need to wait for the head-count to know that the motion to grant further tax cuts to the elite had just been approved.
"...321, 322, 323. We have a majority, Your Highness."
It was on days like these that he earnestly wished to call down a bolt of divine lightning on the entire assembly of self-serving bastards.
"If there are no further concerns—"
The great oak doors on the far side of the hall burst open. To be more correct, they were wrenched from their hinges by a ball of fire and came hurtling towards the speaker's podium, the speaker throwing himself out of the way in a stunning display of presence of mind.
Oh, no. No.
"I have a concern," Sol Badguy proclaimed, holding the squirming announcer by the scruff of his neck. "You've been hogging my bed-mate. I'd like him back."
Stunned silence met his declaration, the nobles too shocked at the explosive entrance to do anything but gawk.
"Sol," Ky said very slowly. "What the hell are you doing here."
Sol dropped the announcer flat on his ass, who edged crablike away from the insane man with the flaming sword. "I just told you. I'm here to rescue you from yourself."
Sporadic murmurs were beginning to rise from the seats, some people shaking off their shock and looking back and forth between the madman and their king, who seemed to know this rude entrant.
"Did he say...?"
Ky grit his teeth, rising from his seat. "I have no idea what hit you on the head this morning, but I suggest you get the hell out of here before I beat your imbecilic ass out the door."
"Whoo, one point for me."
"One point for me. I made you swear. Another ten and I win a night with handcuffs."
The Furaiken activated with a sharp crackle, Ky stepping down from his elevated seat. "Alright, that's it. I hope you enjoyed your time on this Earth, because I will end you."
"Oh, great. I've been getting way too little in the way of action." Sol raised his sword.
"Help! Guards!" the shrill voice of a noblewoman arose from the back rows, and Ky wanted to smack his forehead. The last thing he needed was a couple of well-meaning guardsmen interfering in this disaster. He was trying for damage control, here.
"I'm sorry, ma'am. I'm afraid security is down for the moment. If you just stay in your seat, we'll have this sorted out in no time."
Sin lifted his hand and wriggled his fingers in greeting, the flag slung lackadaisically over his shoulder. "Hi, mom."
"What are you doing here?" Sol said. "I thought you called dibs on the guards."
"They were all lame. Just keeled over. And you were taking too long."
"Your mom's being unreasonable. We were just going to talk about it like civilized adults."
"Awesome. Can I—"
A ball of lightning hit him square in the chest, slamming him back against the wall.
"Siacre Isabel Nicetius. You are in so much trouble."
Sin peeled himself off the wall, leaving a sizable indentation, and shook off the dust. "Great! Come with us so you can punish me."
"Are you both insane?!" Ky shouted, at the end of his patience. He was going to murder Sol for dragging Sin into this.
They looked at each other. "Uh," Sin shrugged. "I guess that was a rhetorical question."
Ky leapt. He knew there was only a hell's chance of moving this out of the grand hall and somewhere where there were no innocent bystanders, but he had to put a stop to them before Sol came up with the crazy idea of actually taking hostages. As it was, Sol seemed to have no interest in anything besides a fight, and he wasn't pulling his punches—Fuenken clashing against Furaiken as if it were eight years ago and a thousand miles away.
"So nice to see you haven't lost your edge," Sol purred, grinning like a fiend. "I was afraid it might get boring."
"Mm, that's hot. I missed that, too."
A blast of fire forced Ky to dance out of range, the magic hitting the podium, long vacated by the frightened speaker, flaming fragments and splinters of wood raining down on their screaming audience. Sol followed after him with barely any delay, but was forced back by the array of lightning bolts sent to meet him. At the same time, Ky caught the blur of movement on the edge of his vision, a roundhouse kick sending Sin careening into the foremost bench.
More shrieking as the people scrambled out of the way, and Ky barely had time to spare either them or Sin any concern—damn those parental instincts—because Sol was closing in on him again.
"Ride the lightning!"
Ky managed to dodge the spell, mainly thanks to Sin's inadvertent advance warning—it seemed he still hadn't grown out of yelling out his moves, and he'd have to kill Sol again for not drilling it out of him properly. A kick caught him in the stomach, and he stumbled backwards, calling forth a wall of electricity to block the follow-up.
"Ow!" Sol complained, undoubtedly just for the sake of complaining, but Ky had no chance to right himself, a sound whack catching him in the back of the head.
"Sorry, mom!" Sin called, not even the least bit sorry, and Ky whirled, suppressing the rising nausea, a hit with the flat of the blade tearing the flag from Sin's grasp, and followed up by kicking his feet out from underneath him. The turnaround took too long, though—Sol simply diving under the edge of the Furaiken and sweeping Ky off the ground in a spectacular tackle.
The Furaiken went pinwheeling across the room, skewering a bust of Pallas Athena like an antique hors-d'œuvre.
"Wow," Sin said, struggling to his feet and grinning like a maniac despite his already fading black eye. "That was fun."
"Yeah," Sol agreed, slinging Ky over his shoulder as if he didn't weigh anything at all, walking over to pull the Furaiken from its target and toss it to Sin. "Now let's blow this joint."
By the time they reached the outside, the world's frantic spinning had slowed down significantly, and Ky considered his inability to focus properly not enough of a hindrance not to let Sol know exactly how he felt about being carried like a victory trophy.
"I hate you."
A punch on the back.
"Let me go."
Knee to the stomach.
"Put me down this instant."
A jolt, cut short by a wave of nausea, and he was forced to clap a hand in front of his mouth and swallow the bile.
"Easy there," Sol murmured, thoroughly unperturbed, shifting him off his shoulder and right into his arms. "Brat probably gave you a concussion."
He was still grinning, though, thoroughly enjoying the entire farce, and Ky took the opportunity to try and knock his teeth in. Sol didn't even dodge, and that kind of benevolence just made Ky angrier.
"I hate you."
"Hey guys, stop sapping around for a second and get a move on!" Sin called from up ahead, standing next to... was that a car?
"We're getting company!"
As if on cue, the sounds of galloping horses cut through the evening air, and all Ky could do was hope that they wouldn't try to rescue him—it would only end in broken bones.
Sol loaded him in the backseat like a damn invalid and climbed in after him, undoubtedly to make sure he wouldn't try to make a scene. As if he was in any condition right now. The door closed, and Ky experienced a moment of confusion. Something was wrong, but he couldn't say...
"Wait, who's driving the car?"
"This is your captain speaking. Please fasten your seatbelts, relax, and refrain from being gross in the backseat."
"I'm not letting a two-year-old drive!" Ky exclaimed, struggling to sit up despite his dizziness.
"Kinda late for that now," Sol said, and the car gave an experimental lurch.
"Does he even know how?"
"Eh, he's a quick study."
"We're doomed. We're so doomed."
"Now you're just being dramatic."
"I reserve the right to be dramatic when my two year old son is—ack!"
The car lurched again, knocking Ky back into Sol's lap, who seemed to think this was all highly amusing.
"Okay, I've got it figured out now! We're good to go!" Sin announced, just as the sound of hooves came to a stop, the knights probably confused at the sight of the battered El Camino.
Ky groaned. "Then for god's sake, go, and please don't hit the horses."
"Sure thing," Sin said. "Oh wait."
"What now," Sol growled.
"You fail," Ky murmured. "You both fail so hard at this it's not even funny."
"We forgot the best part!" Sin said, and hit the stereo button.
Then, he spun the wheel, floored the accelerator, and the car shot past the terrified horses and their riders to the smell of melting rubber and "Don't Stop Me Now" blasting from the speakers.
"How's the head?"
They had been forced to stop at a rundown motel, the car having run out of fuel half a mile from civilization—though said civilization amounted to a one-horse 120 people town just beyond the Illyurian border. Ah well, at least they had managed to cross the border at all. They'd have to move again in the morning, in case the Illyurians pulled their act together long enough to send out a unit or two in pursuit, but Sol suspected that the entire parliament, and possibly the palace, were in an uproar by now, everyone running around like headless chickens. Would teach them all to cling to someone shiny's coattails.
Ky was reclining on the bed, a wet cloth pressed to the back of his head to soothe the bump that had formed.
"It hates you. And I hate you, too."
"Hm, so you keep saying."
"I keep saying it because it's true. I swear if I weren't seeing two of you at the moment, I'd castrate you."
"That bad, huh," Sol murmured, the mattress dipping as he sat down to take a close look at the injury.
"You can stop sucking up, I'm not going to be disfigured," Ky hissed, voice dripping with sarcasm.
"Oh, come on," Sol said. "If you'd just come with us, this could've all been avoided. Though I'd have missed out on a good fight."
"It was unfair. Two against one."
"Well, we were trying to keep the collateral damage down."
"I'm amazed that there's room for consideration in your head, between the Gear cells and your idiocy." Ky leaned back, closing his eyes. "I can't even begin to imagine what must be going on right now. I'm not even sure I want to."
Sol shrugged. "Then don't. Ow."
Ky drew back his fist, trying his best to glare despite his vision still swimming in and out of focus. "I just. I can't believe this. Why. Why did you do this. Why do you always have to explode everything and offend everybody and god, they must be worried sick about me."
"They're worried sick about losing their shiny."
"That's ugly, that's just ugly. There are people back at the palace to whom I owe a lot. Without them—"
"I'd say they owe you just as much," Sol pointed out. "So you're even. And as for the 'why', well. You can't tell me you would've been ready to talk about this reasonably over tea. And you can't tell me you would've gotten out of there, you'd have just kept working your ass off in a job you hate, with people you hate—"
"I didn't hate my job."
"Were you happy?"
"Were you happy," Sol repeated, reaching out to pluck the wet cloth from Ky's fingers to continue bathing the bump. At least it wasn't bleeding. "Look me in the eye—well, okay, try to find my face and tell me you were happy filling out forms and answering requests for tax cuts on some rich slob's kid's pony farm, and arguing with morons and sinking into bed at three in the morning, lather, rinse, repeat, ad infinitum."
"I was doing other things, too. Good things."
"Sure you were," Sol admitted. "You got that country right out of a crisis—"
"And you kicked it right into the middle of a new one. Thank you."
"Really now," Sol said. "If they're that weak and complacent, then it's their own fault. If they've come to rely on you so much that they can't run the goddamn country without turning towards you, then that can only do them good. I think there was a famous Chinese guy who said, 'Give a starving man a fish, and he'll survive for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he'll survive for the rest of his life. And if he refuses to learn it, kick him in the fucking ocean'."
Ky pressed his knuckles against his forehead and sighed. Silence descended between them, and Sol could practically hear his mind working, mulling over all that had been said. Ky wasn't stupid, once he stopped being mad and started examining things logically. After a while, a deep sigh marked Ky's conceding defeat.
"Alright, fine," he mumbled. "Though that still leaves one thing open: What am I supposed to do now? I obviously can't go back, I can't return to my former job, in fact, I'll be lucky if I can even return to my former apartment, because in the matter of a few days, I'll be on the most wanted list when they start getting over their shock and start paying attention to your... your allegations—stop grinning—and that puts me in league with a wanted criminal turned terrorist—stop grinning, goddamnit. That's not an accomplishment!"
"You could always come along with us," Sol suggested, amused at the entire tirade.
Ky gave him a look. "And do what. Help you set things on fire?"
"Nah, you're too righteous for that. You do your savior thing, and you can spank us when we're bad."
"You know, if I can tell your flirting is horrible... then it's really, really horrible."
"I have to tune down my awesome so you get it."
"Brain-damaged, that's what you are."
"Hmm, probably," Sol murmured, leaning closer. The other side of himself was still all hyped up from the fight, and he thought he had really earned a reward this time. He had been very patient, after all.
"Oh for holy's sake, I've got a concussion, you animal," Ky said, swatting at him.
"And I'm still mad at you."
"You could at least pretend to listen, you know."
"Mrr," Sol said, nuzzling his temple.
The moment was effectively ruined when the door opened, Sin sticking his head in. "Hey mom, are you—Ack! Can't unsee!"
The door slammed shut again, leaving an embarrassed silence.
"…For someone so smart, he's an idiot," Sol said eventually.
"I'd say he takes after you, there."
"You're awfully docile about this," Ky observed.
"I'm sucking up, can't you tell?"
"Oh. Well, then. Keep going."
Summer in Tuscany meant thirty-three degrees of heat and unrelenting sun, inviting lethargy and midday naps—at least according to Sol, who had stretched out shamelessly across his lap and was pursuing aforementioned activities. Or non-activities, as it were.
Ky himself would have much preferred to be up and doing things, such as helping to rebuild the parts of the village that had fallen victim to a fire a mere day ago. It was just difficult to sit still when—
"Stop it," Sol muttered, eyes still closed and seemingly asleep. "Your thinking hurts my brain."
"You can't read my mind."
"Sure I can. 'Am I doing enough'. 'Shouldn't I go save that kitten from that tree'."
Ky sat up. "Which kitten?"
"Oh for fu—fudge," Sol said. "There is no kitten. I was using it as an example. Quite successfully, too. Seriously. You just saved that village from bandits. Give it a rest." He shifted a little. "If you're going to be self-sacrificing, you can always give me a massage or something."
"Or I could kick you off and you could get a crick in the neck from sleeping on the ground."
They stayed silent for a while, listening to the crickets chirping, before Ky picked up the conversation once more. "Where did Sin go, anyway?"
"Eh, who cares. Some ways over there." Sol waved his arm in the general direction of the plaza. "Just look for a twittering flock."
"He is going through puberty right now," Sol pointed out. "It's only natural. It's just weird to you because you skipped yours."
"I'm not worried about that. He knows how to behave himself."
"He's surprisingly chivalrous in that," Sol agreed. "When he's so utterly shameless in everything else."
"I can't imagine where he gets it from. I should probably go and put a stop to it. He's going to eat them out of house and home at this rate."
"Now you're exaggerating. Just look at them. They're all happy. The girls get something to coo and pet and giggle over. He gets attention and cherry pie. It's all good."
"...Well. He doesn't seem to be growing into an evil apocalyptic menace so far." Ky thought for a moment. "A menace, yes. Evil and apocalyptic, no."
"Yeah. Didn't do so bad there."
Ky nodded, gaze drifting towards the village fountain, where he could indeed make out a group of five or six girls, and a tousled blond head in the center. He shook his head, smiling to himself.
"You know," Sol said, lifting himself up on his elbows. "Your timing blows."
"This is the part where you're supposed to agree and kiss me."
"Oh. I guess I can do that," Ky said, and bridged the gap to Sol's surprised face.
A/N: Thank you all so much for sticking with me to the end. I had a lot of fun writing this story, so I hope it was the same for you reading it. C&C is, of course, most welcome. Now, on superfluous authorial blabbing:
1) I hope the fight scene didn't suck too badly. These things always look cool in my head, but I'm never sure when I translate them onto paper. XD;
2) Ky's calling Sol the equivalent of a bastard. XD Try looking up the literal translation.
3) El Caminos are cars that have a very distinctive body and long hood. Often, they are convertibles, too. You can see them a lot in old movies (1960s/1970s, especially), and often, they get spray-painted to look cooler. XD
4) "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen. It's an awesome song. 'nough said.
5) Having Ky work himself into the ground for the rest of his life is just about the saddest and most unfair thing ever, imo. At least with the police, he wasn't dying of boredom. And heaven knows Sol missed getting abused. XD
Sin: This is the life.
Ky: I don't see how being stuck with you two is an improvement. *cough*Even though I do.*cough*
Sol: I got... booty?