Disclaimer: I do not own Gakuen Alice
Summary: Infamous Agent Black Cat has never failed a mission, he always comes back alive, and there's only one reason why. MxN For the NatsumeSeries Contest
"How do you do it?"
Natsume Hyuuga rolled a shoulder, and eyed his supervisor with his customary jaded expression. He was tired and sick and all he really needed was a good shower. There was blood underneath his finger nails, and dried on his black pants and he knew, for certain, that the next assignment wouldn't be too far off.
"How do I do what?"
Yuu Tobita had bags under his eyes, and guilt on his face, and exhaustion seeping from his pores. His glasses were slipping off of his nose, and stress was the most distinct feature on his face. His desk was in disarray, and he was rifling through a stack of papers, most likely mission reports and target descriptions. Photographs of a variety of gang members, and enemies of the Organization hung on the bulletin board behind him. Coffee cups lay strewn about the desk, underneath the desk, and on the carpet by Natsume's feet.
Yuu, affectionately known as Iinchou by members of the agency, sighed, and shook his head.
"You're my top agent, you have the highest number of missions completed, and although you've gotten pretty close, you always come back alive."
Natsume smiled wryly, as he placed his gun on Iinchou's desk, "Always looking a little worse for the wear, I can assure you."
Iinchou shook his head again, harried and sleep deprived. Natsume shoved his hand deep into his pockets, restless and really, truly, and desperately in need of a shower.
And a little something else, that Iinchou didn't need to know about.
"Any other missions Tobita?"
Iinchou looked up at Natsume, startled out of his cross examination of the mission report that lay on his desk. The poor man seemed unaware that Natsume was still standing in the room, and it took a minute of disoriented, repeated blinking before Iinchou shook his head so hard his glasses flew off of his face and next to the coffee cup by Natsume's foot.
"No, no you deserve a break, it's Mochu's turn for a mission anyway, and I can get Tsubasa to cover for you, he just got back from his honey moon."
Natsume bent over to pick up the glasses, and handed them over to Yuu with the smallest of grateful smiles, "Thanks Tobita."
Iinchou had already returned to perusing his mission reports, "Don't forget to stop by and get yourself checked out in the medical wing, Doctor Subaru Imai will take you immediately. Stop by Hotaru Imai's office and return any weapons, or devices she gave you so she can repair them."
Natsume was already heading out the door, so very happy that he finally had a break, "Will do,"
"Take a break, enjoy movie night."
Natsume flushed ever so slightly, but nodded. He didn't know that Yuu was capable of such slyness, but he supposed it made sense. It was always the quiet ones. And Yuu was, after all, a supervisor in the Alice Organization. It took some sense of deviousness to lead secret agents.
Outside, in the insipid white hallway, Natsume immediately made a beeline for the medical wing, hoping desperately that he wouldn't run into anymore obstacles or distractions.
Always so close
Agent Kokoroyomi was a member of the interrogation department, and a friend of Natsume's. He was good-natured, humorous at heart, and had a tendency to be a bit clueless at times. He was strolling toward Natsume, coming in from the opposite direction. It was hard to believe that cheerful Koko was a master at probing into a prisoner's mind.
"You lucky bastard, back from another mission?" Koko grinned at him, pausing and changing direction so that he could walk in step beside Natsume.
Natsume rolled his eyes, "Don't you have somewhere to be Koko?"
Koko chuckled, nearly giddy, "Nope, I am free, two day vacation, Kitsuneme's covering for me and I'm going to party until I pass out!"
Natsume shook his head in disbelief. Koko would be back with a killer hangover, and many stories, and the whole purpose of the vacation (to rest) would be counterproductive.
"How the hell do you do it?"
Natsume peered at Koko out of the corner of his eye. Koko had his full attention turned toward his friend and coworker; his eyes alight with something akin to curiosity and awe. Natsume sighed. Why was it that secret agents found it so difficult to specify with their questions?
"How the hell do I do what?"
"526 missions and counting, every single one of them completed, how is it that you're not dead?"
Natsume felt uncomfortable with Koko's admiration, mostly because the real reason wasn't as grandiose as everyone expected it to be, "I've come close to dying."
"But you never do," Koko pointed out.
Natsume shrugged, unsure of how to explain to Koko why it was he always came back, so he settled for an answer Koko would accept and understand.
"I guess I'm just that good."
Koko laughed, pleased with the answer and changed the subject, animatedly chatting about his plans for his two day vacation. When they finally arrived at the office of Doctor Imai (not to be confused with his younger sister, Hotaru), Natsume waved goodbye to Koko, and watched on in amusement as Koko sauntered away, whistling to himself drunkenly.
Upon entering the sterilized doctor's office Natsume spotted Doctor Imai, at his desk, mumbling to himself as he worked on the computer. He was the head of the medical division, the best of the best, and the only one ever allowed to treat Natsume.
Subaru looked up, but did not rise from his seat immediately, "Back safe and sound I see?"
Natsume shrugged, and leaned against the door, "As sound as I usually am."
"Scrapes, and bruises? Broken bones?" Subaru lifted himself out of his seat and made his way over to Natsume.
Natsume knew the drill and unbuttoned his white dress shirt. Subaru eyed him critically, each little bruise and cut held the threat of infection in the form of enemy poisons and toxins. He grabbed a bottle of antiseptic, and cotton and began work on cleaning and bandaging Natsume's wounds.
"How do you do it?"
Natsume was really starting to be irritated by the question. What was with the sudden interest in his abnormal success?
"How do I do what?"
"You know," Subaru commented poking, and prodding Natsume's arms and ribcage for any signs of irregular pain, or any sort anomalies in the bones, "I have the feeling that half of this blood isn't even yours."
Any normal person would have recoiled in disgust, but Natsume made a noncommittal grunt, reluctant to get into this conversation again.
"I'm a man of science Mr. Hyuuga," Subaru stepped back, satisfied that Natsume wasn't in any mortal danger, "and your accomplishments don't make any sense, you can come back to me with the most fatal of injuries, and I'll lose all hope, and you'll survive, you'll fight back all odds and survive and it doesn't make any sense at all."
Natsume hopped off the examination table, and buttoned his shirt, "I'm just lucky Doctor, I'm always just lucky."
Subaru studied Natsume through his glasses, and returned back to his computer, "I will see you after your next mission, Mr. Hyuuga."
Natsume was dismissed. He inclined his head toward the doctor, and hurriedly made his way out the door. He would have loved to step into his car and get out of the damned agency, but he still had to meet with Hotaru Imai and return all of her practical gadgets before he could taste freedom.
The technology wing was on the complete opposite end of the agency, and Natsume cursed under his breath as he started back the way he came in. Sometimes, he wished that the agency would splurge for some color instead of the bland white walls. It was really depressing, so cold and unnatural and unfeeling and after a mission those white, spotless walls could drive a man insane. He'd have to speak with Tobita about splurging for some paint. Maybe orange, or blue, or anything that wasn't white, they could take it out of his salary for all he cared.
The halls were quiet, which was an aberration in itself. The majority of secret agents were usually bustling through the hallways. Characters like Tsubasa Andou, or Koko, or Kitsuneme had the organization alive with their ridiculous antics, disturbing the peace, and lifting spirits, and what he really needed besides a shower right about now was a lift of spirits.
The thing about secret agents was that they could pretend all they wanted that they had lost the ability to feel and to care and to understand. Some, like Subaru and Hotaru hid behind facades of cool calculation. Others like Koko, and Kitsuneme tried to hide behind jokester exteriors, laughing their way through life. Tsubasa Andou liked to use his lazy ass personality as a way to soften any blows he might receive. Mochu tried to be abrasive and defensive, torn up over what he was asked to do every single day.
But every single one of them was aware, painfully aware of what it was they were doing.
Natsume knocked on the door reading Hotaru Imai, before he stepped inside. Ruka Nogi, his best friend since childhood, was having a heated discussion with Imai. Ruka stood a head taller than her, but Imai was far more intimidating. Although Ruka's face was passionate and livid, Hotaru was expressionless. She kept her ground, and her gaze was icy.
When they heard the creaking of the door opening, they stopped their arguing instantly. Ruka gave Natsume a half-hearted smile, but he was breathing heavily, clearly upset over something. Hotaru ambled over to Natsume, completely ignoring Ruka. Natsume arched an eyebrow at his best friend, but kept quiet. It was very rare to see Hotaru Imai's feathers ruffled over an argument.
Hotaru had a manila folder in her hand, with a list written on it in blue marker, "Earpiece 0741,"
Natsume rummaged through the pockets on the inside of his shirt and pulled out the earpiece he had used to listen in on conversations around him.
"Mini-computer hydra edition"
He pulled out the underwater minicomputer.
"Standard shotgun with muffling effect"
The list continued and Natsume handed over the inventions he had used in the current mission. Hotaru Imai was a genius in the art of spy technology, and she kept the entire organization supplied with devices of the highest quality. She made for an equally talented spy, and was known around the office as Agent Ice Queen. She had mastered the art of cunning very well, and knew how to hide her facial expression in such a way that no one ever knew what it was that she was really thinking. She also had a penchant for greed, and was, by far, the wealthiest woman in the agency, possibly in the country.
Once she was satisfied that he had returned everything he had taken, and once she marked off every object on the list she nodded.
"I will have your gear arranged by your next mission Hyuuga."
Natsume noticed Ruka scowling at her.
"I'll be looking forward to it."
He was almost done, almost done and then he could go home, take his shower, and…
Imai was smirking at him, a mischievous quirk of her lips, "Make sure she has fun tonight, or you might have a little accident with the shot gun next mission."
Natsume flushed, nodded vaguely , and with a slight wave at the smirking Imai, he left her office. Unfortunately, Ruka followed him out the door, clearly in search of someone to vent to.
"Natsume, you going home?"
Natsume stifled a groan, a shower and movie night, was that really too much to ask for? He was going to be late at this rate.
"I'll give you a ride," Ruka offered, "I need to talk to you about something anyway."
Natsume was pretty sure he knew what Ruka wanted to discuss, and he was pretty sure he really didn't want to hear about it now. But Ruka was his best friend. Ruka was always willing to lend an ear, and he'd feel guilty if he was to blow him off.
"Sure thing, Ruka."
As they made their way to the agency parking lot Ruka was already speaking a mile a minute, complaining about Imai. Ruka's relationship with Imai was a mixture of being lovers, enemies, and friends. It obviously frustrated Ruka, that he had to have fallen in love with such a complicated woman and though Natsume couldn't offer him much advice it was enough for Ruka that he listened.
As they entered Ruka's black Porsche, Natsume found himself eagerly anticipating his arrival back to his home. Ruka continued to fume over Imai, criticizing her personality, and her so called frigidity.
When Ruka finally pulled to a stop in front of Natsume's home, Natsume turned to his best friend.
"Ruka I'm about to give you the best advice on how to deal with Imai."
"How? How Natsume, cause I'm all ears."
"Tell her you love her."
Ruka's eyes had widened and he was blushing furiously, and sputtering incoherently. Natsume smirked, cheerfully thanked Ruka for the ride, and left his poor flustered friend.
Before he could ring the doorbell his girlfriend, Mikan Sakura had thrown the door open, and threw her arms around Natsume's neck.
"Finally, and I thought you were going to be late for movie night!"
Natsume smiled, and pressed his lips to hers. She pulled away, her nose scrunched up.
"You stink! Go take a shower! I won't start the movie without you."
He sniggered, and held her.
"Natsume, I'm serious you smell! Go shower!"
He twirled her around, and placed her on the ground. Heading up the stairs, he thought about his many successes and his once reason why.
He had someone to come home to, and so help him he would come home to her, no matter what the odds.
Name: Natsume Hyuuga
Occupation: Secret Agent
Reason why: Mikan Sakura
A/N: For the NatsumeSeries contest. Hope you liked it. Reviews would be lovely :)