Summary: She's an officer and a lady. He's an assassin and a gentleman. A collection of moments that bring them close to something like friendship... and closer to something like love. Misaki Kirihara x November 11.

Disclaimer: I do hereby disclaim all rights and responsibilities for the characters in this collection of moments... especially for the one who ends up surprised. I doff my cap to Tensai Okamura, who's responsible for the memorable characters in Darker than Black.

Author's Note: This string of drabbles was begun shortly after watching the first season of the Darker than Black anime. After all was said and done, this was the ship to float my boat. Since they've been written for a drabble community, installments will be short; however, they'll work together, offering a sort of progression.

Introductions and Impressions

- 1 -

Section Chief Misaki Kirihara gazed steadily at Jack Simon, assessing the British agent before giving her full attention to the briefing. Cooperation with international organizations was par for the course when one worked in the Foreign Affairs Division, but she had a sneaking suspicion that this assignment would prove more troublesome than most. The blond man's manners were too calculated for her tastes, and the careless ease with which he wore his three-piece suit had her mentally profiling him. Spoiled. Flashy. Smug.

He turned to her with an affable smile. "I'm in your hands, Misaki."

Her eyes widened at the blatant familiarity of his address. This was not the clumsy mistake of an inept foreigner. His was a willful breach of custom. "The name's Kirihara," she corrected sharply.

Agent Simon's blue eyes sparkled with amusement. "Of course," he replied, offering an apologetic bow and gesturing for her to precede him through the door. As she passed, he murmured, "...Misaki."

- 2 -

It didn't take long to size up Misaki Kirihara. She was very neat in clothing, hair, and figure. Behind her glasses, intelligence shone in serious brown eyes, and she obviously garnered the loyalty and respect of the officers under her command. He pegged her as a prude who lived for her job, and nearly yawned over the insipid waste of her duty-bound existence.

However, all that really mattered was the fact that she was capable... and predictable. The last thing November 11 needed was to worry about a willful streak on the part of his official escort. This game would be played by his rules, and as much fun as it was to ruffle Misaki's feathers, if she interfered with his mission, he wouldn't hesitate to eliminate her.

- 3 -

"You're a contractor?" Kirihara asked dazedly. Taking in the carnage and Jack Simon's companions, she amended, "Both of you?"

"Very good," he applauded, slowly closing the distance between them. "These two are April and July, and I am known as November 11."

"November 11," she echoed, her gaze straying to the dark-skinned woman with vibrant blue hair and the small, grey-eyed boy holding her hand.

He smirked and lowered his sunglasses, studying the police officer's face, not wanting to miss the change. How many times had he seen it? Shock. Fear. Loathing. I've shown you my true colors; show me yours. The surprise was there, glazing Kirihara's eyes for one unguarded moment, but then the gears of her mind were turning, and she snapped to attention, flinging orders at her subordinates. And so, the surprise was his. Is she a fool? Even her supervisor had cringed before him. In a calculated move, November 11 eased into Misaki Kirihara's personal space and quietly announced, "I could kill you, you know."

A shadow of fear flickered briefly across her face before grim determination displaced it. "What good would that do you?" she challenged fiercely.

Not such a fool after all. She understood how contractors operated—always rationally. He was satisfied with her acknowledgment of the threat he posed; lucky for her, his was an empty one. With a congenial smile, November 11 backed down. "Just kidding!"

End Note: This set of drabbles was written for the Live Journal community fanfic(underscore)bake-off, a multi-fandom drabble contest that limits all entries to 100-300 words. Their Secret Ingredient for May 2010 was Willful, and the above drabbles are 159, 128, and 234 words respectively. Posted on May 23, 2010.