Title: Once In A Bloody Moon
Author: Amethyst Hunter
Rating: R (non-graphic violence)
Word count: 3020
Fandom/pairing: Get Backers/Yami no Matsuei/Hellsing crossover; Akabane/Muraki
Warnings/Spoilers: Minor ones for basic respective canons. WARNING: Character death.
Disclaimer: GB, Hellsing, and YnM don't belong to me, I just like to play with them.
Notes: Inspired partly by a springkink prompt ("formalities"/"do you care for some tea?"), partly by a previous GB/YnM crossover drabble done on request for a friend. Here's your encore. ;-)
- After thinking it over, I couldn't resist throwing Alucard in. The more the merrier when it comes to death 'gods' in the same room, I always say. XD
Summary: A chance encounter leads to a messy falling-out between Akabane and Muraki.
This was mildly interesting, but it was getting old fast. Worthwhile encounters only took place once in a bloody moon, and sadly, any potential this one might have held was evaporating like heat from spilled entrails. Akabane considered himself a man of action; being caught in a spider's webbing of invisible restraints did not suit his restless persona.
He had company, but at present that company was less than desirable. The man in white – perhaps he was some distant relation to Kagami-kun? He was wearing earrings, after all – prowled the medical room with the fierce assurance of one who is about to dine on fresh prey. In spite of his clean, neat attire, he reeked of the smell of old blood: not the kind of mystic ages long since past, but the kind denoting a habitual indulgence. This would not be his first killing.
Fortunately for Akabane, it was not his first death either. Where someone else might have panicked upon seeing that twisted light in the demon's eye that had laid sight upon the transporter's face during initial inspection of the capture, Akabane was not upset, merely annoyed. He had been hoping for something a little more flashier than a magician's runes. He knew people whose spellcasting powers could give his captor quite a nightmare – in more ways than one.
The white warlock had seemed ancient at first, but when viewed in fuller light was probably not much older than a local shopkeeper Akabane knew. It was the hair's deception, of course – metallic strands so pale they were nearly shock-white – but the face was curdled into a long-seated bitter ice that would have been more appropriate on an elder of advanced age. The scarring did not help; the man had obviously once been quite handsome, and still might be, but for the splash of mottled skin covering the left side of his face, where the monster's eye was set. He had had some work done, but it was not enough to completely repair whatever flame had once torched it.
The sight of that scarring was stirring up bits and pieces in Akabane's memory. He had heard of some oddities, mostly from word on the street but also from people he knew. If it was true, he was evidently in some prestigious company indeed.
Not that he particularly cared, or was impressed. His captor's incessant muttering to himself about dolls and ghosts and family obligations was beginning to get on his nerves. Clearly the man had issues.
He also lacked a sense of proper protocol. His first act upon taking control of Akabane's body had been to commit an act of molestation, undoing Akabane's coat, then his tie, and lastly his shirt, and bite and suck a rough path down his bare chest to the limits of his belt. He had gotten even more excited upon seeing part of the large scar that decorated his prey's own torso, and his smile was decidedly lustful. Akabane refrained from telling him that it would do no good to continue this pathetic attempt at seduction. He was exceedingly picky about his choice of bedmates, regardless of their gender, and doubtless his host would have been most put out to learn that Akabane wouldn't have bothered to even consider him for a contender. Manners were a vanishing treasure in this day and age of informal, uncouth behavior.
Also, he hated white. White suits brought to mind that insufferable Observer who skulked around the towers of Babylon City, spying on anything and everything for his own amusement, never following through on his empty-glass promises. Akabane disliked people that refused to play by the rules of his engagement.
Finally, after choosing the implements he intended to use, the witch doctor – and he had to be some sort of doctor, to have that kind of familiarity with surgical tools – approached Akabane once more. He was smiling, calmer now but no less smug in his perceived triumph. "I forget, it has been a while now since we met. Would you like some refreshment? I have tea brewing..."
Akabane shook his head, the only part of him that was able to move at the moment. "Thank you, but no. My mother taught me never to accept anything from strangers."
"It is the finest tea in all of the country. The owner of a well-respected establishment, a close friend of mine, taught me the secret recipe. I wouldn't think of offering anything of inferior quality to any guest of mine," his host sniffed, seemingly offended by some imagined slight.
"I'm certain it is quite nice," Akabane said, trying not to sound too bored and not entirely sure how well he succeeded. "But of late, I prefer coffee, and there is only one shop in town here that makes it the way that I like." He tried again to shift in his bonds – no such luck. "Do you have some business with me? I do have a schedule to keep, as I was rather in the middle of something before you came along."
The white warlock smiled silver malice. "I'm afraid you will not be keeping that appointment tonight, or any other night, for that matter. You see, I do have business with you. Very important business. You will be the most precious dollthing in my collection, my beautiful Shinigami, and only I will be your keeper."
An odd declaration, but at least it was a change from the usual braggadocio he encountered from opponents. Akabane raised a brow. "My. I've heard of attracting peculiar fan attention, but this seems a bit much, really. I am a Jackal, and jackals cannot be held in captivity. They must wander freely if they are to fulfill their destiny."
"But you already have, my magnificent reaper of death. Your destiny is to become mine," the silver-haired man said, laying out more tools from a drawer he had opened. They were scalpels of various sizes and models, all intended for the precise methods of autopsy. "You see, I have long sought one of your skill. It's quite remarkable, really. Only one other individual I've met has ever displayed a similar healing ability, but alas, he is presently beyond my reach."
"You could have simply asked me," Akabane said.
"I could have. But something tells me that you are not quite as cooperative as I'd like you to be, certainly not as docile as my former beloved was. Besides, questioning wouldn't have been as enjoyable." The white man grinned, looking all the more feral with that false eye glaring death through the fringe of his forelocks.
"Touche'." Akabane paused. "You are thinking to make up for your failure the first time around, is that it? Using me?"
The man stopped looking over his instruments. He was not smiling. A blink of the malevolent eye, and his face resumed its calm freeze. "Failure? Oh no. Merely a temporary setback, I assure you, my little blade. You are more than just a substitute. You will be the conduit to my ascension."
"I hate to puncture your delusions, but I have nothing to do with electricity. That happens to be my friend's department, so if you're looking to create sparks I suggest you seek him out instead. Though I should warn you that neither he nor his partner take any challenge so lightly as you seem to," Akabane added, thinking that it would truly be a lovely day if he had a front-row seat to Raitei's roast of this person. Idly he wondered if the man was an escaped mental patient: the porcelain Victorian doll he'd brought with him had a pedestal of honor upon the examining table, where it could view the entire room with indifferent study.
The silver-haired man looked confused for a moment, but his hesitation didn't last long. His puzzled expression smoothed itself back into the dominant command. "Challenge? Why do you think I took such precaution in restraining you, my pet?" He gestured to the unseen bonds that kept Akabane spread-eagled on his feet, helpless to flee or fight. "I made sure to keep an eye on you first before putting my plans into action." A rich, deep chuckle. "As you can see, I have been burned before. Much as I admire your handiwork and the zeal with which you undertake it, I won't make the same mistake twice."
"Ahhh. So you were the one. I don't suppose they ever bothered to rebuild after that abominable mess you made at the university." Akabane sighed. "I will thank you not to assume that just because I am unable to use my hands, I am incapable of harming you."
Silver flashed a razor smile. "Somehow I fail to feel the strike of fear into my heart at your words. We are, after all, kindred spirits in this dance of death. But, as in all things, one of us must lead and the other shall follow." He lifted the scalpel. "Shall we begin the operation...Doctor?"
Akabane sighed again, louder this time. "If we must."
The knife cut cleanly through pale skin and a spring of red ribbon burst through the severed flesh, but instead of spilling out onto the witch doctor's outstretched tongue it leapt forward and lashed a line around the man's neck. In the next second Akabane's would-be surgeon was gurgling outrage as the bloody whip swung him head over heels and slapped him face-first into the floor. Not content to stop at issuing this stinging rebuke, the tentacle picked him up again and cracked him against the top of the instrument table. The silver man's body, no longer white but dappled in red spots, arched in agony and collapsed in a useless heap where the bloodline dropped him before retreating into Akabane's chest, its exit wound resealing as neatly as if it had never been there.
Now freed from the spell due to the caster's lack of concentration, Akabane calmly buttoned up his shirt and coat, and fixed his tie, only then approaching and stooping to address his opponent. "Crucial attention to key details, my friend, is why I am the most feared transporter in all of Shinjuku and you flunked out of medical school on your first try."
The man in white and red glared up at him, but could only roll his head in helpless fury – the attack had broken his spinal cord and he'd bitten off his tongue when the bloody serpent had smashed him on the floor.
Akabane smiled satisfaction. "Now, if you will excuse me, I have a job that I was in the middle of before you so rudely interrupted me."
"But you forgot to sign your paper first," a rough voice chuckled from behind. "Class isn't dismissed till you finish your homework."
Lips pursed in thin annoyance, Akabane turned and raised a brow at the impossibly large man in red. "He isn't worthy of my signature. Don't you save your best for those who deserve it, Alucard?"
"Depends on how good they are and my mood at the time," came the fanged reply.
Another man, shorter than the both of them and with an earnest face set against soft brown hair and eyes even more purple than Akabane's, joined them. "Wow. I mean...just...wow. Tatsumi's not gonna like this..."
"Sure he will, kid. Means a lot less business your way, from what I hear. Tell the paper-pusher to pull the stick out of his ass and see the silver lining in the shadows," Alucard snickered.
"Alucard," Akabane said reproachfully. He smiled at the newcomer. "You won't get into trouble with your employer over this, I hope, Tsu-chan?"
"Nah, the chief's cool. It's just that I'll probably be buried up to my eyeballs in paperwork now and get my allowance cut again. And Hisoka's gonna rip me a new one over not taking him with me on this trip." He paused, eyeing the moaning man in blood-spattered white with obvious distaste. "Then again, all these emotions flying around would make him sick to his stomach, so I guess it's better that he's not here right now."
"Speaking of illness, I hope you remembered to try my advice about chewing your food more slowly to avoid gorging yourself inappropriately, Tsu-chan," Akabane told him fondly. "You're lucky you're a dead man, else you'd be a shocking candidate for type two diabetes."
"I know, I know, Kuroudo-kun," laughed Tsuzuki. "But I can't help it! Food tastes so good..." he whimpered.
Alucard nudged Akabane. "Maybe if the poor kid had a little more of it, he wouldn't stuff himself like a sushi roll every time he opens his mouth and goes on the 'see-food' diet," he muttered.
"It's hardly his fault," Akabane chastisted. "They don't pay him very well and that tyrant of an accountant refuses to consider anything above minimum wage. Seiichirou-san pinches his pennies until they squeal blood." He looked to Tsuzuki. "Tsu-chan, what did you do with your holiday bonus? Don't tell me you've spent it all already?"
Tsuzuki hung his head. "Groceries go fast, Kuroudo-kun. Plus I had my gift-shopping to do." He brightened momentarily. "Oh, that reminds me." He dug into the pockets of his mussed trenchcoat. "S'here somewhere..."
"I hope you brought enough for the rest of the class," Alucard drawled. "I'm hungry. Blowing the heads off of ghouls and exorcism-happy priests is more work than it looks like."
"Oh, Alucard, do shut up," Akabane said. He gave the scarlet-mirrored sunglasses a curious look. "I haven't seen you around lately. Is Integra-sama keeping you on a shorter leash these days?"
The vampire looked the transporter up and down with a snort. "You should talk. I'm not the one who just had a bite taken out of my ass by a pint-sized pixie."
Reminded of the unpleasant verbal whipping he'd endured yesterday at the perfume-scented hands of his fellow transporter, Akabane frowned. "We could take this outside, you know."
Alucard cackled. "We could. But you're still on duty, and I don't take excess metals with my blood. Like drinking hard well water – tastes like shit." He made a face and gestured at the warlock's body. "Since you're done with him, can I have the leftovers? I haven't had a good bite since this morning."
The man's eyes, real and false, widened and he made a high-pitched whine in the back of his throat. Evidently his powers did not extend to knowledge of strength the likes of Alucard's, despite the man's earlier boast of arcane prowess.
"Aha! Here it is. Your Christmas present," Tsuzuki said, pulling out a small wrapped package with a flourish and presenting it to Akabane.
"Be my guest," Akabane said to Alucard with a shrug.
"Perfect," the vampire announced, right before his red-cloaked form dissolved into the black ether of a pair of immaculately-replicated beasts. The hellhounds pounced on the shrieking, bloodied form and began to feed in earnest, quickly silencing the miserable howls of defeat.
Akabane sighed. "He really needs to practice a little self-discipline. If he didn't let his blood sugar get so out of control..."
Tsuzuki stared with him at the scene of the crime, looking distinctly green around the edges as he watched a revolting display of Alucard's gluttony. "Crazy vampire. He can have it! Give me a nice fat dripping cinnamon bun any day!"
Akabane took pity on him. "Don't look, Tsu-chan. It will only spoil your appetite." He began to unwrap the gift he'd been given. "A pocketwatch! Oh, how lovely. Thank you."
"I figured since you're always getting in trouble with Himiko-sama over showing up late for work, it might help you."
"Well, I don't know about that, but it is a very nice gift. I regret that I don't have yours with me at present, but perhaps this weekend - "
"Jackal?! Jackal?! Jackal, where are you!"
"Upstairs, Maguruma!" Akabane called out. He smiled at Tsuzuki as he tucked the present into his coat breastpocket. "Looks like I've been discovered at last. And you speak of tardiness," he chuckled good-naturedly.
"You gonna make any New Year's resolutions?" Tsuzuki asked.
Akabane shrugged. "What's the point? You always ask me to consider the same ones and I never follow through with them anyway."
"That's because you're too lazy, Kuroudo-kun," Tsuzuki scolded. "Thank Enma you don't work in my district. Hakushaku-sama would have me doing candle-duty for the rest of my afterlife!"
Akabane smiled unrepentant guilt and they both turned to see the source of the footsteps beating a path into the room. Maguruma halted well in his tracks before he plowed into the surging, boiling mass of Alucard-demon ripping the last of the meat off the now-glistening bones of his kill.
He looked at Akabane with a faint queasiness. "Do I want to know what happened?"
"I see. That him?" Maguruma asked, gesturing to the gruesome mess in the hellhounds' wake.
"Hokay then. You ready to go? Delivery's waiting and the engine's hot."
"I thought you'd never ask. You're a good man, Gouzou."
"I'll remind you of that the next time you ask me to stop the truck." Maguruma waited for Akabane with a pensive look, not missing the way his cohort spoke to what appeared to be an empty space as he bid it a friendly farewell. "I think I liked it better when you hung around those retriever punks instead of a couple of bogeymen."
"I heard that," one of the hellhounds growled.
Maguruma did a double-take as Akabane led him out of the room. "Did that dog just talk?"
"Not at all," Akabane replied smoothly, patting his arm and thinking that it was probably just as well Maguruma hadn't yet been formally introduced to his fellow graveyard shift associates. "Now let's hurry. If we finish early we might still have time to have coffee at Wan-san's shop with Midou-kun and Ginji-kun..."