Disclaimer: I do not own Black Cat.

Author's Note: My first attempt at Black Cat fanfiction, so I apologize if the characters are OOC. Manga-based, sometime after the series. And yes, it's SephixRins, because that pairing is made of awesome and doesn't get enough fan love.

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Milk

"Why do you hate me so much, Rinslet?"

Rinslet doesn't even grace Sephiria with a reply; just gives her a nasty look before turning back to her fridge, yanking it open and cursing her luck that members of the Chronos Numbers are capable of getting into a locked apartment. Then again, considering who she's dealing with, she shouldn't be surprised.

"Rinslet?"

Defense blue eyes meet neutral purple. "Do I need a reason?"

Sephiria blinks before smiling, a small, calm smile that makes Rinslet want to break something. "No, I suppose you don't," she says.

Rinslet grits her teeth, forces herself to relax, and sighs. She turns back to her fridge; she might not like the woman, but she's not cruel enough to throw her outside when she came to visit.

"Do you want some milk? It's all I've got at the moment."

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Sephiria continues to visit, though Rinslet doesn't know why she does or how she even enters in the first place without unlocking the door or opening a window. It drives the thief-for-hire insane. "How do you do that?" she finally asks one day, when she can't stand not knowing.

Sephiria blinks at her, lowering her glass. "Do what?" Unknown to her, a small milk mustache graces her upper lip.

"Come into my apartment without any sign of forced entry. I've checked everything and I never see any signs that you came in at all. It drives me nuts."

The Commander of the Chronos Numbers blinks again, and for a moment Rinslet sees a flash of the girl she might have been as she shrugs, a movement that she still manages to make dignified and calm. "Do you really want to know?" she asks, smiling slightly, and her eyes narrow playfully.

Rinslet stares, and at that moment she's gripped by an amazing, almost paralyzing fear that if she knows how Sephiria gets in, then she'll stop coming. If she knows how the woman visits and why, then the blonde will see no further reason to continue her unusual visits.

"Rinslet?"

The pink-haired girl swallows.

"No. I don't want to know."

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Rinslet stocks the fridge with milk out of habit now, though Sephiria never takes a bottle for herself until the other woman comes home. It's an odd thing, really; she always imagined she'd stock milk for Train, not his former boss. What's even odder is that though her strong dislike of Sephiria continues to endure, it's balanced out by something… something that isn't quite hatred. Something she can't really put her finger on.

She snaps back to Earth as Sephiria waves a bottle of milk in her face. "Eh?"

"I was asking if I could take one." Sephiria's voice is amused, and her eyes gleam playfully. "My throat's a little sore."

"Oh, fine, go ahead. Just get it out of my face." Sephiria raises a brow before her eyes become mischievous, and the next thing Rinslet knows a bottle of cold milk is pressed against her cheek. She screams like a little girl and hurtles halfway across the room, pressing up against her door as Sephiria's laughter rings in her ears. "What the hell, Sephiria?!" she roars, but the older woman is too busy laughing to reply.

Rinslet wants to be angry, but seeing Sephiria laugh, she feels all her anger drain away. Her shoulders slump slightly as a belated realization hits her; she clears her throat. "Hey."

Sephiria's laughter fades away into giggles, and she quickly swallows them. "Yes, Rinslet?"

"The reason I hated you so much?" Rinslet looks away. "You reminded me of my mother."

Sephiria's eyes soften slightly. She can tell just from how Rinslet talks that her mother is dead. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring back bad memories."

"I hated my mother."

A long pause; Sephiria's gaze becomes understanding, and much to Rinslet's everlasting relief, she doesn't move to embrace her. After a moment, the leader of the Chronos Numbers pops the cap and takes a long drink of milk. "I see," she says at last.

"… Sephiria?"

"Yes?"

"Call me Rins. Everyone else does."

Sephiria slowly lowers her bottle, meeting Rinslet's gaze. Both of them note how she used 'hated'. Past tense to describe her feelings.

"Does this mean we're friends?"

Rinslet smirks. "Were we ever friends in the first place?"

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"Rinslet."

The woman in question twitches. She's just returned from one hell of a job, worn out and quite dead to the world as she lays facedown on her sofa. She just wants to die in peace, dammit. Unfortunately, Sephiria isn't giving her that option. "Rinslet," she repeats, and gently pokes the girl's shoulder. Rinslet moans, not even opening her eyes. "Go'way," she pleads, burying her face into the pillow.

Poke. Poke, poke.

"Rinslet."

A slight tone of pleading has entered Sephiria's voice as it becomes obvious the thief won't stir, and she keeps poking. In some dark corner of her mind, Rinslet is amused at how much the Commander sounds like a kid.

Poke, poke. Poke.

A deep, dark corner.

Rinslet lifts her face from the pillow and glares. "What?" she snaps.

Sephiria meets her gaze earnestly. "You're out of milk," she says.

Rinslet stares.

"You stirred me from my deathbed for milk?"

Sephiria just nods.

"Milk."

Sephiria nods again.

"Since when have you been addicted to milk?"

Sephiria continues looking at her earnestly. Rinslet curses before sitting up. "Fine, fine," she groans. "I'll go get some more milk. Stay put, I'll be right back." She swings her legs off the couch and stands, stretching. She grabs her keys and opens the door, pausing on the way out. "Hey, Sephiria?"

"Yes?"

"Didn't I tell you this already?" Rinslet grins. "Call me Rins. Everyone else does."

She closes the door, leaving Sephiria alone with her thoughts.

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Sephiria is gone when Rinslet comes back.

At first she thinks nothing of it, stocking her fridge with milk without even focusing on it before heading off to take a shower. Sephiria is a Chronos Number, and they get called away all the time; it isn't the first time Sephiria's had to leave without notice.

She doesn't return the next day. Rinslet isn't worried. Sephiria often goes days without visiting, though the most she's ever been gone is three or four.

Five days pass. She doesn't return.

After the first week, Rinslet begins to worry.

After two weeks, she becomes frantic. She has no way of contacting Sephiria, and her interaction with Jenos gives her no new information as to why the older woman has up and vanished.

After a month, Rinslet begins to wonder if Sephiria is dead and no one wants to tell her.

The milk is untouched in her fridge, patiently waiting for the day Sephiria returns.

But now, Rinslet wonders if Sephiria will ever return at all.

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Six months pass, and Rinslet forces herself to accept that Sephiria is, at worst, dead. At best, for some reason or another, she no longer plans to visit. She ignores the dull ache in her chest, the pain she feels when she breathes, the milk that still sits untouched in her fridge.

Many people have left Rinslet alone before, more people than she can count.

Sephiria's abandonment hurts more than any of them.

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At the end of the sixth month, Rinslet unlocks her door with a sigh, absently running a hand through her hair and wondering what she'll make for dinner.

All thought processes cease to exist when she sees Sephiria Arks sitting at her table, an unopened bottle of milk in front of her as she stares quietly at her hands. She doesn't even stir at Rinslet's arrival, seeming to be lost in deep thought. She looks up, blinks, and her eyes clear. "Rinslet."

The next instant she yelps and ducks as a bottle of milk comes flying at her, shattering against the wall. Rinslet gives her no breathing room, letting bottles fly as quickly as she can grab them, but Sephiria has impressive reflexes, bolting into the safety of the living room, a blur of gold and purple as she seeks refuge from the assault of bottled dairy products. "You're not getting away that easily!" Rinslet screams, worked to a fury, and chases the Commander.

Only to pause and blink, lowering her bottle as she realizes the room is completely empty. "What the—"

She sees the blur of movement and turns, but Sephiria is faster than she is, tackling her midsection and pinning her to the couch. One hand closes tightly on Rinslet's wrists, pinning her down, while the other grabs her shoulder to keep her still. The bottle of milk rolls gently off the couch to the floor with a dull thud. "Some greeting," Sephiria murmurs.

Rinslet glares up at her. "Let me up," she says quietly, eyes flashing. "Let me up so I can kill you."

"You're mad. I expected as much." Sephiria's voice is annoyingly calm. "If you'd just give me a chance to explain—"

"No. No way." Rinslet begins to squirm now, fighting to break free from Sephiria's grip. "You just disappear and waltz back in here like you didn't do anything wrong, I'm not giving you a damn chance to explain!"

"Rins—"

"Don't you 'Rinslet' me! I thought you were dead!" The tears fall against her will as her voice cracks. "I thought you had died, dammit! No one knew where you were or why you'd left, and you sure as hell didn't tell me anything! So don't you dare start with 'Rinslet' when I've been worried sick about for you six fucking months!"

Sephiria blinks; her eyes soften slightly before she releases Rinslet's wrists, clearly willing to accept any of the younger woman's fury. "Actually, I was going to call you Rins," she sighs out. "But I can go back to Rinslet if you like."

Rinslet stares up at her; she curses, grinds her jaw, and yanks the older woman down into a tight hug, crushing her against her body so they're practically molded together. "This is why I hate you so much," she whispers. "Because you always find a way to make me not hate you."

Sephiria laughs softly. "Rins, that's highly illogical."

"Shut up, it's your own damn fault." Rinslet sighs before loosening her grip on Sephiria, letting the older woman prop up on her elbows. "Now hurry up and tell me where you've been before my good mood fades."

The Commander blinks, hesitates; she clears her throat. "Well, ah, interesting story, actually."

Rinslet raises a brow and crosses her arms over her chest, still waiting. Sephiria cringes slightly. "You're not going to just accept that?" she asks weakly.

"Hell no. Explanation, Sephiria, and make it a good one."

The Commander winces again and nods meekly, like a scolded puppy, before sighing. "I had to get away," she says at last. "From you." She hesitates again, swallows. "You're… you're like milk to me, Rins."

Rinslet blinks. "Milk?"

Sephiria nods slowly.

Rinslet frowns, confused. How on Earth is she like milk? Milk is a liquid, and she's solid last she checked. Not to mention milk is something to drink, and Rinslet is damn sure no one can drink her unless…

Her brain freezes.

Hold on. Wait a minute.

Milk. Sephiria is addicted to milk.

And if Sephiria says that Rinslet is like milk to her, then that means that Sephiria is addicted to her.

And the only way Sephiria can be addicted to her is if…

"… Is that your way of saying you've fallen for me?" Rinslet asks quietly.

Sephiria closes her eyes and chews her bottom lip, accepting the inevitable; she nods again, bracing for the worst possible outcome. She feels Rinslet pull her down again and winces.

Only to go limp as Rinslet's lips press against hers, soft and warm, amazingly gentle; her eyes snap open in shock, glaze over, and close again as she tentatively returns the kiss. After several seconds Rinslet pulls away, smirking as Sephiria slowly opens her eyes. "Well?" she whispers. "Was that as good as milk?"

Sephiria blinks before she smiles and settles against Rinslet with a sigh, closing her eyes again as the younger woman pulls her closer. "It was better."

The End

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Don't ask me what inspired this, because I honestly don't know. I just started typing and had seven pages written in the span of five minutes. I realize milk is really more of Train's drink, but hey, Sephiria could like the stuff too without anyone knowing.

Read and review, please!