Disclaimer: I Do not own Guilty Gear or any of its awesome characters...

Guilty Gear: Shades of Affection

Chapter Two: Grey Noise

By Traingham

Ky Kiske and I-No did not have what others would have dared to call a normal relationship because to label that as what they shared would have been to assume that there was some semblance of stability present between them, which was fairly non-existent. Amongst the many times that they had engaged each other in combat, there were few moments far and in between that they ever took a moment to sit down and talk, less times when one of the two weren't seriously injured and even less when the moment wasn't spent making threats to each other of the further harm that would be inflicted if provoked to continue their duels. That would have brought the number of times in which they managed to conduct themselves civilly to about once, and that took place in a prison of sorts...one that Ky had personally imprisoned her within.

That being stated, it wasn't very hard to sympathize with Ky when one took a step back to view his situation. That I-NO, of all possible people familiar with him, would come upon him in his one moment of extreme vulnerability was the worst luck possible, and her fairly ambiguous nature toward him did not help matters in the slightest. If she had only taken the opportunity presented to her and smashed his skull in with her guitar it would have saved him the anxiety that presently plagued him. His body was still numb and unresponsive, neglecting to mention the small detail that his vision had yet to return to him. From every angle it just appeared hopeless to him. He was, as chilling as it seemed, at the woman's mercy. Not that she appeared ever eager to take advantage of his disability...well, not yet anyway.

"You don't sound very happy about this development." I-NO grumbled in what could have surprisingly been interpreted as genuine disappointment by the inflection in her voice. She stared down at Ky, awaiting a jab or retort from the motionless knight; the only indication of living being the occasional grunt of pain. Perhaps the only reason the red clad guitarist had not drawn much appreciation from the sight of him so defeated was due to the fact that it wasn't a result of her own handy work, with the irritating addition that Sol Badguy had done the deed serving as the stinger to it all. Just when she thought there was a person on the Earth capable of taking him down, he proves her wrong again.

So if not another...I-NO stroked her chin with a gloved hand, a devious grin working its way across her lovely lips. ...That gives me an idea for the future...yeah...

"I'm finding it"- I-NO pulled herself away from her scheming when she heard Ky's voice- "quite difficult to see something good coming of this chance meeting." Ky's voiced his sentiment on the matter in a slightly strained voice. To his credit he managed to sound as dignified as he ever did without letting the fear seep through his words.

I-NO cocked her hips to the side as she crossed her arms with a question of, "Meaning, blondie?"

"I don't exactly trust you, I-NO." He answered without any hesitation, which might have come on stronger if not for the fact that he was lying on the ground in tatters. He must have wanted to point at her with his right hand as he continued because she detected a twitch from his index finger. "To my knowledge it shouldn't be possible for us to be having this conversation." The witch must have caught on to his meaning quickly because he heard a faint giggle escape her, one of the disturbing variety that she was known for. The kind of giggle you heard just before the person standing over you proceeded to have their way with you. "Why aren't you at the Sacred Order?"

I-No took that moment to plant one of her boots on his back, indulging in a rare moment of gentleness by not applying enough weight to cut into his spine. "Don't insult me, Ky. I figured that you knew me better than that..."

He considered the meaning of her words carefully. Putting it that way, he could only come to one conclusion. "You could have escaped at anytime, is what you mean to tell me, correct?" I-NO had hoped that he would have been surprised, perhaps embarrassed that the order he was a knight under could be made so lightly of by the likes of one such as herself, but he ended up doing the surprising by reacting so naturally.

"What a dull reaction..." The red clad guitarist said with a pout. "You don't want this to be fun for me, do you?"

"Don't flatter yourself." Ky retorted, having her lean back if only for a moment. "I always found it odd that you were so relaxed in your cell, almost as if you hadn't felt confined in there to begin with. Your first night I remained beside your cell until morning broke and you made no attempt to break out even after being stripped of your most precious possessions. That alone aroused my suspicion, considering the sort of woman you are."

"Oh, how considerate of you to take my feelings into account." She removed her foot from his back and sat on top of him with a unchaste purr. "And you wonder why girls want you so bad." The discs in Ky's spine cracked audibly beneath her when she settled her weight upon him completely. Not that he made any note of it since he was particularly numb around that area.

"That still doesn't answer my question. Why did you leave your cell?"

"I got bored." I-NO answered him honestly as she dug the fingers of her right hand into his golden locks. The growl of displeasure that rumbled in his throat at being touched by her again only made the grin on her lovely lips crack wider, and she went on, "You stopped coming over to see me, punk. I got tired of waiting for you to show your face, so I decided to cut my little vacation short and get back to the business of things."

"That's fine." The fallen knight replied, irritating her with his unaffected tone. "Do you mind explaining why you're here then?"

"The same reason for why you're scrubbing the floor with your pretty face at the moment, mister knight." She replied, managing to suppress her own frustration from having failed to accomplish what she had intended. "Unfortunately for me, that shithead still hits like a fuckin' freight train, even after going head to head with you." Ky heard her let out a snort in a scornful way, furthering the hunch he was getting about her having a personal grudge with his rival. Her next words seemed to punctuate it for him, "Some assholes can only be so lucky before it gets downright annoying to watch."

Setting I-NO's personal feelings aside for the moment, something about what she had said caught Ky's attention. Going by her response that would have meant that she had been stealthily observing while he was having it out with Sol, which brought to reason two disturbing questions. First, had she been watching from the very beginning of the confrontation between them, or had she arrived on the scene of combat by the time they had already exchanged the first strikes? That would have lead to the second question weighing his mind, 'Had she been following him since he set out for the mission'? Had she kept him company those cold nights sleeping in the forest? The possible image of her watching him as he slept in the evening darkness chilled him like nothing else.

"You...your scheme was betting on the chance that we would injure each other, enough for you to simply drop in and finish us." He accused the red witch, his initial fears regarding her suspicious appearance resurfacing.

"Well it wasn't very original, I'll admit, but that was the general idea. If it makes you feel better I had my faith placed in you taking him down before I could do it myself."

"I'd appreciate it if you stopped now." Ky responded humorlessly, reaching the end of his patience with his tormentor. His body was still unresponsive, his thoughts were running in circles, and her incessant chatter about this and that was only serving to build up his frustration. Ky wanted to believe that what he was experiencing now was nothing more than a mere nightmare. He wanted to believe that in reality he was tossing about in one of the squeaky beds of a cheap inn that he and Baiken might have stopped at for the night, and that his partner would eventually come out of her own bed and slap him awake for disturbing her own sleep at any given moment, and yet here he still was, a prisoner to this crude witch and whatever devices she had planned for him. That I-NO spoke again brought down his willingness to believe that the nightmare would end soon.

"You're being awfully unfriendly, you know that?" She told him flatly, her playful mood apparently spoiled by his refusal to play along and humor her. "You lose a fight to Mr. Badguy and you're nothing more than a whiny little bitch afterward."

"It has nothing to do with that!" The fire in his chest finally exploded, resulting in a rather fierce retort. One that, she had been under the impression, was beyond him in his battered condition. For a moment she leaned away, caught off guard by the crisp hostility in his voice, but once that cleared she merely looked down on him with a frown. "You're after Sol, right? Then if you've no more business here, be on your way and leave me be! I'm in no condition to entertain you, nor do I wish to play the part!"

"Ky...shut up, would you?" To his puzzlement she did not respond with further abuse, but with a surprisingly cool temperament. It made the heat that welled in his chest fizzle like an extinguished match. "You're pretty dense, so I'll repeat what I said earlier. I'm here to take care of you."

"...What for? I've done nothing to earn your kindness."

"What can I say?" I-NO shrugged her shoulders. "Ky is my favorite, after all. Besides, you're gonna tell me that all the time we spent together in that prison cell never counted for anything? We had good times! Like that time you and I traveled into the past to solve the case of the mystery rapist-"

The knight furrowed his eyebrows at the mention of that particular incident, "I don't want to remember such a thing!" He cried out distressingly, improving the red clad guitarist's mood considerably as she recalled the end their misadventure.

"But it was such a twist!" She teased him mercilessly, wiggling her butt. "It certainly showed us a side of you that we don't get to see everyday."

"A side that I don't intend on revisiting anytime in the future-erm." I-NO felt the man beneath her flinch. "...I-NO...are you...sitting on me by any chance? I'm...curious."

His question made the woman form an 'O' with her lips as she rubbed her hands together mischievously, "Oooh, how nice. You're finally regaining the feeling in your body."

"...Get off of...me."

She ignored his weak demand, talking over him. "Since you're just about there, now would be the best time for me to bring you back to a hundred percent."

"What are you...talking about?" That perked Ky up, as he seemingly forgot all about her using him for a floor cushion. Now to highlight the reason why Ky Kiske would actively even think to remove her shapely behind from his back- aside from her sexually questionable tendencies- The red clad witch shared a particular physical characteristic with the lovable Dizzy, in that she weighed far more than her appearance would so deceptively belie, which made it rather uncomfortable when she sat on your spine of all place. That aside-

"I'm talking about making good on what I told you earlier." I-NO answered him confidently, though her tone was as playful as ever. Listening to her, it was hard for him to discern whether she fully intended to nurse him back to health, or if she had some nefarious scheme in mind. "When I'm done with you you'll be back to your usual irresistible self, mister knight. Of course, I will require payment if you desire my services."

"You mean this was a business transaction all along?"

"Sorry, it's part of the contract, babe." She replied smoothly. "If my services were free then you'd just abuse my assets." She giggled, sending shivers down his spine once more. "Although, I probably wouldn't be against such an interesting relationship."

"I'll pay the fee." Ky responded dejectedly, disappointing the witch when he showed no indication of being affected by her latest teasing. "I'll admit that I'm a little curious about how you intend to go about this. It never occurred to me that you could do more than destroy things with that precious guitar you love to swing around." He heaved a relieved sigh when he felt the weight of her body lift from his back, allowing him to recieve a respectable amount of oxygen into his lungs. That sigh was cut short when he felt I-NO turn him over onto his back and encircle him in her arms. She supported his upper back with one arm to keep him in a sitting position, resting her other hand on his bare chest...hmm...that was odd. Where was his jacket?

"So..." Ky cleared his throat, silently praying that he wasn't blushing with the way I-NO's hot breath tickled the inside of his right ear whenever she exhaled. "...Where do we go from here?"

"Well," The witch chuckled pleasantly, "You swallow some of my blood." Her answer got a predictably negative reaction from intended recipient, seeing as how he formed a perfect line with his lips without a word of response. "You don't like that, I take it."

"...Ehm..." Ky opened his mouth after a seemingly long period of consideration. "...That will help me...how?"

"My blood has its medical applications, believe it or not. How else do you think my body is able to take so much punishment from you brazen beasts?"

"When you put it that way it almost sounds like you're setting me up as some sort of villain."

"Anyway, you should be able to handle two or three swallows."

"Handle?" Ky questioned her use of the word. With the way she said it, it was almost sounded as if she meant to imply that there were some unfavorable side effects to the consumption of her blood, not that the possibility had not crossed his mind after she proposed the idea to him. On the outside she was toxic enough; He could only imagine how horrifying her insides were. "What do you mean by 'handle'? Is there something you're not telling me?"

"Not just anyone can drink my blood, you know." She told him matter-of-factly. "A regular person would die from the nano poisoning."

A sensible pause came before his next question, "...And what makes you so confident that it won't kill me? That is, if you don't mind my asking."

"Isn't it obvious?" She asked him expectantly, causing Ky to wonder if he might have missed an important detail somewhere down the road of his short and bizarre life. When he didn't offer her any of the answers that his mind painstakingly shuffled through for, she answered for him brightly, "We're highly compatible!"

"Th-That is not the explanation that I was looking for. I simply won't accept it-"

"And if you do die I'll just turn back time and try it again, and again-"

"-H-Hey now-"

"-And again, and again-"

"-You can't possibly be serious about that-"

"-And again until we get it right!" I-NO stroked his lips with her thumb gently, eliciting a quiet, startled gasp from him, and brought her hand underneath his chin to cup it roughly so he wouldn't be able to turn his head away. It wasn't at all unlike the way a person would prepare to force a kiss on an unwilling partner, and it was at that moment when it dawned on him. She was going to go through with it whether he gave her his consent or not!

"I-NAUGH!" He cried out. "STAUHP!"

"Ngh...Ahh..." The witch sighed pleasantly, likely from drawing blood from her own arm in preparation to transfer the blood into his mouth. The unmistakable copper scent of blood made Ky wrinkle his nose as she leaned in to kiss him, and- "Bottoms up."-She captured his lips with her own, holding his head in place to squash whatever weak resistance he could put up. He moaned helplessly when he felt her tongue invade his mouth accompanied by a splash of the copper tasting substance, and tried to tighten his throat in hopes of deterring the passage of entry, however, something odd happened.

"Ough?" Ky's right eye opened wide out of pure reflex. Something...something slimy had just forced its way down his throat, but what?

"Hmm, hm, mmmm." I-NO purred into his mouth, her cheeks burning scarlet as she continued to break his defenses.

"Ungh!" Ky faintly detected the feeling in his arms returning to him and took immediate advantage of his functional limbs, placing two trembling hands on her chest to separate himself from her, ignoring the soft, warm flesh that gently pressed through the spaces between his fingers as he pushed. He felt the slimy muscle in his throat retract for a moment, thinking that she was done violating him, but just as he began to relish the reprieve her tongue dived back in, shaking him to the core. It wasn't until I-NO took notice of his right eye rolling into the back of his head that she released him from her hold, letting him fall back to the floor with a thud. Ky laid there twitching, sucking in the oxygen into his lungs that she long deprived him of.

I-NO moaned in delight, licking her lips as she watched him come back to life. "That was delicious, Ky. I'm already dying for seconds."

Ky scrambled away from, coughing in between his words. "D-Don't you get near me! J-Just how long is that tongue of yours anyway?" He backed into the wall behind him and sat there, his chest rising and falling roughly with each gulp of air that he tasted. He paled considerably when he noticed the way her eyes dipped below his waist, almost predatory like.

"There are other ways to find out." She offered sinisterly.

"I-NO, I'm warning you! I'll bite it off!" He bared his teeth at her when she got on her hands and knees to crawl to him. "A-are you listening to me, woman?"

- [Guilty] {GG} [Gear] -

Sitting together across from each other at one of a few tables set on the outdoor patio of a small cafe, I-NO and Ky stared at each other, or rather I-NO stared unblinkingly at Ky as he managed his best at sipping his tea with a straight face. After scaring off the young waitress when she made a small, innocent comment about her scant attire, the red clad rocker spent the rest of her time sitting there smirking at her favorite toy as though she simply couldn't let go of some joke that had popped into her head. This, understandably, made the white knight a spot uncomfortable as one might have guessed. It was true that at his point he was more than capable of fending her off if she so much as reached for him from across the table right then and there, but that didn't necessarily mean that it didn't bother him to think what might take place if she succeeded in getting her mitts on him. If what took place earlier was any kind of indication, it would not have ended pleasantly for anyone but her.

Finding it difficult to concentrate with the most recent concern lingering at the surface of his thoughts, Ky gently set the tea cup in his right hand down on its plate and raised his head to meet his companion's unsettling green eyes. "Something bothers me, I-NO." His voice was casual when he spoke to the witch, surprising when one considered that this same woman violated him earlier today, but then again they shared a bizarre relationship; One that Sol and many of Ky's other friends and acquaintances would have undoubtedly disapproved of.

I-NO, naturally giddy to know just what was discomforting him as it just happened to be her favorite subject of interest, leaned forward eagerly with a playful, "Do tell, Mr. Kiske!"

"What happened to my jacket?" He took that moment to gesture at his current state of undress, which many of the women whom passed by the table discreetly admired with soft, melodic giggles. They made no prior stops after they took their leave of the old mansion so he still looked a bit like hell; half naked with scrapes here and there. "Did you..." He trailed off, narrowing his eyes at her uneasily.

"Don't encourage me." The witch cackled with a dangerous gleam in her eyes. "You were half naked when I came back to check on you." A grin cracked on her lovely face. "You know, I'm seeing a pattern here-"

"Don't arrive at conclusions like that!" Ky snapped at her, understanding all too well what she was implying through her lewd words.

"You didn't even allow me to finish." She whined childishly, crossing her arms to complete the image.

"There's no need for it." He grumbled, raising his hand to his face to pinch the bridge of his nose. "Anyway..." The white knight stood from his seat, visibly rousing I-NO when he pushed his chair underneath the table and adjusted the thunderseal at his side, "I must be on my way."

I-NO pushed back on her chair, her grin melting away into a slight frown. "H-Hey! Where are you running off to?" Apparently she wasn't to keen on the idea of losing his company.

"Disclosing that information to you would only ensure me more trouble in the near future." Ky shot her down without missing a beat. "What does it matter to you anyway? Shouldn't you be stalking Sol?"

"Hold up, bastard!" I-NO rose from her seat, drawing attention from the other customers who had managed to ignore them up to this point. "What about my compensation, dammit? You expect me to just let you walk away like nothing?"

"You practically forced yourself on me, woman!" Ky hissed, his shoulders tensing. "B-Besides, I can't waste anymore time idling around. I've someone I must meet."


"What does it matter to you?" Ky finally snapped at her, finding himself annoyed with the woman's odd nosiness. "Look, I-NO, I honestly don't know what sort of relationship it is we have at this point. Despite the many times in the past that you've tried to...bludgeon me to death with your guitar, I'm willing to believe that you're not a...complete monster." He saw the slight shift in her expression and added, "In fact, regardless of whether that unusual instance of kindness in my time of need was for your own gain alone, I'm grateful for your help." He offered her a respectable bow of his head. "You know, I'd like to think that we could be friends one day, I-NO. You may have your...bad points, many in fact, but I still find you charming in some strange sense."

I-NO blinked at him, expecting more, but-

"Well, that's all." And with that Ky Kiske turned away from her and walked away.

"Ky!" I-NO caught up to him before he could get far, wrapping her arms around him from behind and pressing herself against him. "Wait, wait, wait! C'mon, tell me who it is you're gonna meet!"

"Damn, you're persistent!" Ky growled, a blush creeping up on him from the feeling of her supple body against his back. "Leave-" He tried to jerk away out of her hold, but she held on tight. "-Me alone! Let me go, I-NO!"

"Tell me who it is, dammit!"

"BAIKEN!" Ky cried out, prying one of her arms off his chest before successfully shoving her away from him. "Are you satisfied?" He glared at her in irritation, or at least he tried to. For some reason, after hearing the name of the lovely samurai leave his mouth, I-NO's expression darkened considerably. He saw her left hand twitch for the neck of her guitar, and his hand rested on the pommel of the thunderseal out of reflex. "...What is it?" The temperature of his voice dropped quickly to neutral.

The dark expression vanished from the witch's face as if it had all been an illusion. "Don't look at me that way, Ky! It's just...why her, huh?"

"It's just a feeling...now...don't follow me, I-NO." He narrowed his eye fiercely, almost as if he knew that she was plotting something unfavorable. That was the only conclusion he could come to, seeing her expression earlier. She obviously didn't want him to meet with Baiken, but he simply couldn't think of a reason why that would be the case. "I'll see you whenever I see you." This time he took a few steps back with his eyes on fixed on her before turning around and taking his leave.

The crimson witch stared silently until he was a speck in the distance before spitting on the ground with a curse of, "Fuck...and after all the trouble I went through to separate them." She relaxed after he disappeared from her sight and stretched out with a yawn. "Well, it should be a while before he catches up with her again...that is unless she's searching for him too." She shrugged her shoulders. "Whatever, I'll just keep a close eyes on sweet little Ky. If he comes close to meeting with the hot bitch then I'll just veer him off course again." She turned and walked in the opposite direction, cackling to herself loudly the entire time.

"Friends, huh?" She exploded into full blown laughter. "What a dumb ass!"

To Be Continued...

On the next chapter:

"It's you! It's you! Oh, how lucky am I to run into you again!"

"Miss Kuradoberi? Oh dear..."

"C'mon, why don't you come with me? It's been a while, officer. I'll give you something good if you do!"

"Do I look like a child you can fool with promises of candy?"