The Price You Pay
Summary: When Chronos Number Jenos Hazard learns a secret about sweeper Kevin McDougall, he wants answers – and payment for his silence. What does he want from Kevin? Just a simple kiss...
Warnings: Kevin is portrayed as a female. Slight nudity. First attempt at writing a Black Cat story.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Anime Black Cat or any associated characters.
AN: Hello again. Previously, there were no plans on continuing this fic, but once again, my irritating muse decided to kick me in the head and order me to write. Yes, my muse seems intent on getting me to continue as many supposedly finished stories as possible.
My muse is evil...
Thank you very much; CleverPhoenix and Mullein for reviewing the last chapter.
Any comments or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Don't be afraid to review and let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy reading.
A week has passed since her last encounter with that ever infuriating Jenos Hazard and Kevin found that she was getting twitchy. So far, he seemed to have kept his end of the bargain about not telling anyone about her true gender as no one seemed to be looking at her in a strange way. And she mildly wondered if he had forgotten about her.
Which would be a right blow to her ego; she hadn't forgotten about him at all. Especially not that kiss they shared. It still made her heart skip a beat whenever she found herself thinking about it, how it felt to be in his arms, how much she felt like a woman and not a sweeper.
And he kissed her again. He kissed her twice in one night. And promised to do it again whenever he felt that he had to be reminded about their deal.
If the only way to shut the Chronos Number up was to kiss him, then she'd do it.
But then she would scold herself violently within her head, telling herself that Jenos was only messing with her. She was a sweeper, not the type to be swept away into a guy's embraced and kissed senseless (Let's ignore the fact that that actually happened). As if someone as sexy and unbelievably charming as Jenos would ever, ever be interested in someone like her; especially with some as talented and beautiful as Rinslet to attract his attention.
She really had to get over him. He was not interested in her, particularly the way she seemed to be interested in him.
Wait, no, she was not interested in him. Her hormones just decided that being female was wonderful and forced her to feel an attraction toward him, which was all.
The days following their agreement, she had expected him to make a few obnoxious appearances, making crude comments about her secret and leaving her undeniably frazzled, but she hadn't seen hide nor hair of Jenos anyway.
Maybe he was honouring his side of the deal after all.
Still, for a reason she could not fully fathom at this moment in time, she felt a sense of concern. No one had seen from Jenos for a while now.
Typical egotistical moron, taking off and letting others worry endlessly over him. He didn't deserve her concern, but dammit, he won't leave her thoughts.
She...she just wished that she knew what Jenos was playing at so she could develop a strategy to get him off her back and to get him out of her thoughts for good. But right now, she felt as if she was floundering in an endless sea of confusion.
Kevin vehemently insisted that she was only mildly attracted to him; she couldn't see him as the perfect boyfriend material for her.
So why was she constantly thinking about him?
"Egotistical jackass," Kevin muttered as she sighed heavily and rested her chin in the palm of her hand as she leaned her elbow on the table in front of her.
"Something wrong?" Selphy asked her from her position on the right side of her. "What did Rivar do this time?"
"Hey!" Came the disgruntled voice of Rivar from the other side of her, the spiky haired sweeper bristling with a sense of indignity.
Hearing her two companions caused Kevin to abandon her thoughts and to abruptly realize where she was. She was in the bar of Miss Annette, the undisputed 'mother' of the sweepers as she had been one herself many years ago, but was now retired. She had met up with a few of her fellow sweepers to enjoy a drink while they discussed previous bounties and what they should do for future ones.
The bar was pretty packed, even Rinslet was here, speaking with Annette behind the counter and typing hastily on a laptop. What she was working on, Kevin could only speculate. She was always working toward something.
"I didn't do anything!" Rivar continued to protest as he slammed his hand on the table to show his disapproval before quieting down to look at Kevin with a slightly confused and sheepish look. "...Did I?"
Kevin found herself smiling at him and shook her head. "No, it's not you, Rivar," she said as she straightened her posture and ran a hand through her hair, mentally scolding herself for once again letting her thoughts of Jenos consume her. "Sorry, I guess I'm just in a bit of a bad mood."
Rivar looked relieved that it whatever was bothering her wasn't his fault and settled back down into his seat. "What's bothering you?"
Another sigh passed her lips as she thought about how to respond. She can't tell her two close friends what was really bothering her as she had to tell them everything – including her true gender, why she was hiding, how Jenos found out, why he broke into her apartment, why he kissed her and why it was affecting her so much.
Truthfully, she can't tell them why it was affecting her as she didn't know why herself.
"It's complicated," Kevin finally answered, more to herself than to anyone else.
Suddenly, she stiffened in her seat when she felt a presence appear just behind her and the atmosphere of the room change. Before she could turn about to see who was standing behind her so close, easily invading her personal space, she felt a large and warm hand clasp her shoulder that caused a shiver to race down her spine when a sense of familiarity followed.
Jerking her head back to look over her shoulder that the hand was holding, Kevin found herself gazing into the familiar face of a certain dark green-haired assassin. He was grinning down at her, his eyes holding a sense of amusement within their depths.
"J-Jenos?" Kevin found herself stuttering in surprise, but also with a sense of relief. He didn't appear to have any injuries, so she was concerned for nothing. Not that she'd ever let him know that she was worrying about him; she'd rather shoot herself than allow that smug grin to appear on his lips once again.
"Hey there," Jenos said casually, easily gaining everyone's attention, yet seemed to be focusing solely on her. "Long time no see."
Kevin felt her stomach tightened for an inexplicable reason. It had been an entire week since she even heard from him and he just turned up out of the blue, looking as casual and handsome as ever. She wanted so badly to climb to her feet and demand to know where the hell he's been all this time.
But she had to think rationally. He was a grown man and an assassin; he could do whatever the hell he wanted. And it wasn't like there was any sort of spark between them. She had no reason to demand anything from him.
Still, since he knew so much about her, it was only fair that she wanted to know something from him in return, right?
"Jenos?" Rinslet's voice interrupted their unintentionally staring match as she practically marched her way over to Jenos. She had her hands curled into fists by her side and her brow was creased. "What are you doing here?"
To the untrained eye she appeared annoyed, but Kevin knew that she was worried about Jenos as well. It was uncommon for Jenos to take off for a week without at least ringing Rinslet in attempt to get her to go on a date with him in some form or another.
Upon turning his gaze to the purple-haired female, Jenos moved his hand from Kevin's shoulder rather quickly and swept his way over to Rinslet, taking one of her hands in his and kissing the back of it. "I'm here to have a nice romantic chat with my number one lady," he said in a very charming voice that was enough to receive a blush from the talented thief.
However, Rinslet wasn't the type to fall for his charms so easily (unlike Kevin, it seemed) and immediately tore her hand out of his grip as her eyebrow gave a twitch. "Get a grip, Romeo," she all but snorted at him. "Where have you been?"
"I was on a secret and dangerous mission," Jenos replied dramatically. "So bleak were my trails that it was the thought of you that kept me going."
Rinslet once again gave a mirthless snort. "Oh, please..."
Kevin watched the exchange and found, alarmingly, that she was gritting her teeth in annoyance, so tightly that her jaw was starting to hurt. Giving her head a quick shake in an attempt to clear it, she slumped back into her seat and pinched the bridge of her nose. "Idiot assassin."
Yes, she had wanted a sign of what Jenos' true intentions were toward her, and now it was obvious; she was just something for him to play mind games with when Rinslet turned him down one too many times.
Now that she knew, it should be easy to get over him and move on, right?
So, why the hell did she feel like her heart was removed him her chest?
Kevin found herself pulled from her musing of confusion once again by another presence, this one calmer and stiller than any of the others and she recognized it immediately to belong to none other than a certain Bio-weapon. She felt a bit of her irritation disappear and sat up properly in her seat.
"Oh, hello Eve-kun," Kevin greeted with a small, yet genuine smile when the small blonde-haired girl slipped into a seat that was vacant next to her. "How are you?"
"I'm fine, thank you," Eve replied in her usual monotone voice, yet Kevin knew that the young girl seemed pleased to have some company.
"That's good," Kevin said as she turned and gave Eve her full attention, trying her best to ignore the impending bar fight between Rivar, Selphy (when did they leave, anyway?) and a few other unknown Sweepers. "How are Sven and Train? Why aren't they here as well?"
Eve's eyes narrowed slightly. "They are on a trail of a bounty."
Kevin tilted her head to the side in question. That was odd; Eve was rarely separated from Sven, especially during a bounty. "And they didn't take you with them?"
"They were fearful of my safety," Eve replied as she lowered her gaze to the table in front of them. "The target had targeted young girls and assaulted them previously."
Ah, that made sense. Sven worried constantly about Eve, even though it was obvious she could take care of herself and others if necessary.
"I see. Better safe than sorry, Eve-kun," Kevin said with a warm and understanding smile. "I know you want to help them, but if one of them was in danger, I'm sure you would insist they stay somewhere safe as well, right?"
Eve paused for a moment before replying in a soft voice. "...Yes."
"It just means you care for them," Kevin explained as Eve lifted her gaze from the table to look at her unblinkingly. "Just like they care for you."
"You are right," Eve said as a small smile of her own appeared on her lips and she seemed pleased with what she heard.
Kevin felt pleased as well. Not many people could get Eve to smile like that and she felt privilege to be one of the very few Eve had allowed into her heart. She was really a sweet girl; though blunt at the best of times.
Still, she was sweet.
"Kevin-san, you seemed troubled."
Kevin found herself blinking at Eve's sudden statement. "Huh?"
This time it was Eve to tilt her head to the side in question. "Is there something bothering you?"
"...It's nothing to be concerned about, Eve-kun," Kevin replied after a moment of thought with a tight grin. "I just have a headache."
"Isn't that usually the woman's line?"
Immediately bristling in her seat, Kevin snapped around to note that Jenos was now sitting on the other vacant chair next to her. Of course, as casually and inhumanely relaxed as usual. He had this lopsided grin on his lips, his hair prefect as he leaned his chin on his hand, his elbow in the table as he looked at her with an almost sensual look in his gaze.
Oh, could he be any more irritating?
"What?" Kevin snapped at him without meaning to. "I suppose you would know. I bet you get that line all the time."
"Are you kidding?" Jenos scoffed, seemingly unaffected by her moody abruptness. Actually, in fact, he looked amused by it. "The ladies can't get enough of me."
"Really?" Kevin said dryly. "From what I've heard, Miss Rinslet keeps knocking you back, am I right?"
"Alas, that's true," Jenos said as he gave yet another dramatic sigh before leering at her with a knowing look. "But I like them feisty, as you know."
Kevin felt herself stiffen in her seat and desperately willed a blush from appearing. "Why would I know something like that?" she asked quickly.
"Hmm?" Jenos hummed as he raised an eyebrow toward his hairline to show a sense of amusement. "Oh, you were there when that sexy little minx took a couple of pot shots at me."
Sexy little minx? Oh, now she knew he was mocking her.
"That only happened because you're a pervert!" Kevin spluttered loudly as a blush raged across her cheeks.
"There's nothing wrong with admiring the female body," Jenos stated as he gave a careless shrug.
Kevin had to take a moment to compose herself; shutting her eyes, breathing deeply through her nose and then through her mouth. She opened them a moment later and felt a smile tug at the corners of her mouth. "Try telling that to Miss Rinslet."
"Hmm?" Jenos muttered before stiffening in his own seat and slowly turned around; his gaze immediately filled the sight of Rinslet glaring practically murderously at him.
"What was that?" she asked in a low voice.
"Kidding!" Jenos immediately exclaimed as he jumped to his feet and waved his hands in front of him in a peace like gesture. "We're only kidding! Right, Kevin?"
"Really?" Rinslet asked with a tone full of scepticism and turned her sharp gaze in Kevin's direction, raising a questioning eyebrow at her to explain further. "Kevin?"
Oh, this was too good to pass up. It was far too funny how Jenos was scared of Rinslet when she was mad.
"He snuck into a defenceless young woman's house-" Kevin started to explain happily, ignoring the look of disbelief on Jenos' face.
"I wouldn't say she was defenceless," Jenos muttered under his breath as he looked off to the side.
Kevin ignored him, despite feeling a sense of smugness that he didn't see her as defenceless. "-by cracking open a window while she was having a shower."
"Hey, the window was already open!" Jenos unhelpfully protested.
"He then confronted her while she was only dressed in a towel," Kevin finished off, casting a quick glance in Jenos' direction, a look that said that she was still annoyed that he saw her in the shower.
But Jenos had this contemplative expression on his face, almost as if he was recalling the memory of their unconventional meeting.
Kevin felt the blush return to her features. Pervert.
However, that thoughtful look soon disappeared when Rinslet spun on her heel and turned to him, an enraged look on her face. She then started hitting him on the head with her fists, in a rather comical manner. A mere thief bashing the crap out of a dangerous assassin? Priceless! There was never a camera around when you needed one, was there?
"He did what?! Jenos, I can't believe you! How could you do something like this?! I've lost all faith in you, you deranged, egotistical pervert! Jenos Hazard, you're a total jerk!"
Kevin couldn't help but chuckle softly to herself when Rinslet grew tired of pounding Jenos and huffed away, swiftly picking up her laptop and storming upstairs where the bedrooms were.
Picking himself up off the floor, Jenos dusted himself off and cast a look of minor annoyance in Kevin's direction. Wait, was he pouting at her? "That wasn't very nice."
Kevin gave a careless shrug. "Think of it as payback."
"Payback for what?" Jenos asked with a smirk as he dropped himself into a chair that had been moved impeccably closer to hers.
"You know what," Kevin whispered to him when she felt sets of eyes all peering in their direction and she could definitely feel Eve's stare at the back of her head, her gaze filled with justified curiosity.
"No, I don't," Jenos replied as he gave her an irritatingly oblivious expression before leaning forward and whispering huskily into her ear. "Enlighten me."
The blush that immediately sprung to her cheeks caused Kevin to lose any retort that was sitting on the edge of her tongue. "Er..."
"I really don't know why you're annoyed with me; after all, you enjoyed it too, didn't you?" Jenos continued, seemingly unconcerned that the whole bar area had gone silent and they were now the centre of attention.
Kevin could not deny that comment. She did enjoy the kiss. What she wasn't enjoying was the way he was playing with her to amuse himself when Rinslet wasn't available.
"I...Stop messing around with me, Jenos," she said with only a light quiver in her voice, seemingly to spite her. "I'm not in the mood."
"What, don't have the balls to-?"
Jenos didn't even have the chance to finish that sentence as Kevin had moved quickly and stuck her gun under his chin, much like she did in her bathroom all those days ago. But this time, Jenos looked genuinely surprised by her movement, not amused like before.
"Technically, no I don't," she hissed at him as she narrowed her gaze threateningly. "And if you keep this shit up, neither will you."
Stunned silence fell over the bar.
Kevin immediately realized that she had lost all sense of control and abruptly pushed away from Jenos, who still looked undeniably stunned, and climbed to her feet. She felt lost and somewhat dazed, her heart beating rapidly in her chest as she fought the urge to scream out in frustration. She could feel eyes all staring at her from every corner of the room, making her feel self-conscious.
"Sorry," she muttered with embarrassment and quickly made her way to the exit.
"Hey, wait! Where are you going?"
Funny, that sounded like Jenos' voice, but with a sense of concern. Nah, it wouldn't have been him. There was no way he'd be worried about her, right?