It was a good feeling, Konishi reflected, to finally have her perfect plans amount to something. The position of Conductor, no less.

And to think it had all come about so simply; a battle with a pair of foolish, reckless, inexperienced young boys and a barrier. A deal with the only man who hadn't been idiotic enough to trust her, and daggers in the backs of the two who had.

She'd considered siding with the Composer, erasing Minamimoto. She'd even considered erasing the two. Leaving loose ends lying around seemed... untidy. Unprofessional. Unlike her. However, she wasn't a fool; they were in worse shape than her, as was expected, but that insolent pair of Players had clung to existence like starving dogs to bones, and tearing them away had been no mean feat... So, as always, she simply made the logical decision. Really, it could barely have been considered betrayal.

So Konishi sided with him. The renegade, the 'free spirit' who had lost what little claim to humanity he had. It was reasonable, she told herself. He'd been far from erased...

Though, it would be lying to say there was nothing else. Perhaps it was the ferocious, almost animal look of passion in his eyes. The will to live, technicalities aside. Or the unfamiliar strength he'd gained, a ship carved from some alien metal fighting the sea and winning.

There was cold logic, and there were reasonable guesses, and then there were moments where, no matter who you were, you followed your heart and let your head complain later. It would have surprised that primate of a Player to learn that even the Iron Maiden herself succumbed to such moments.

'Heart'. An odd choice of words, perhaps. Implying warmth, hope, love, rather than the words that brought upon images of shadows, ice, cold words and a colder mind. Not warmth. Not hope. And most certainly not love.

Ambition, she told herself. Endless ambition. Your own ambition, something no-one else could own, because in the end, who could you really rely on but yourself?

Minamimoto certainly hadn't relied on her. When shadows snapped out at the Composer like a whip, shredding that bland smile into momentary shock, incomprehension, the man's expression wasn't of gratitude. Pure surprise. As if a helpless mouse waiting for a snake's killing strike suddenly found it being driven off by a hawk, a fellow predator. But that was a ridiculous image, really; Minamimoto had never been prey, whatever the Composer deceived himself into thinking, quite the opposite, in fact. A feature him and herself shared. Clever hawks hide their talons, after all.

His surprise was justified, and the manic laughter after that probably even more so. Konishi never knew if she was the force that turned that particular battle: it was something, by some unspoken consent, they left undiscussed. They'd left quite a few things undiscussed, and in a way, that was justified, too. The future is built upon the past, but who gives the foundations of a demolished house a second thought? They were building something brilliant themselves without consulting the history books. History had never suited either of them.

"Our new Shibuya has room for two variables only," he'd told her, with that brilliantly mad smile. "Flawless calculations-"

"-and beauty." She finished for him. Konishi noticed a tinge of a madness she recognised all too well in her laughter, but for some reason, the fact he'd said "Our" seemed more important than that. 'Our Shibuya.' All vexing chimps, infuriatingly powerful teenagers and believers in loyalty, stay far away or prepare to be removed from our calculations. I wouldn't count on us giving you a second warning.

My first fic on this site, so if you have the time please leave a review. :)