Spare Time

By Vikki

Disclaimer: Weiss does not belong to me. Takehito Koyasu (the lucky bastard!) is the guy with all the rights. I am only borrowing Omi, and I promise to return him in his original condition. Please do not sue!

Flame Policy: I have two assassins - count `em, two! - living in my house. You have been warned.

Author's notes: Spoilers for the art book. Remember those rice balls that Ken offers Aya in Weiss 2? Omi made them. Pure musing on Omi's thoughts follows. After all, Omi himself confessed to having `pulled an all-nighter'. At some point he made the rice balls. What was going on in that little bright head of his?

Oh - the ending is really corny. Just be forewarned.

* * *

It was about 2:30 a.m. when Omi Tsukiyono rubbed his eyes and blinked blearily at the last problem of his calculus homework. The homework seemed so pointless ... Omi was painfully aware that his career (he wanted to be a computer engineer) depended less on whether he could successfully complete this problem and more on a) whom he knew in the business world, and b) whether or not he survived long enough to get a job in the first place.

Omi closed the book and stood to stretch, yawning deeply and lifting his arms over his head as he arched his back. There was still history to study, and then order slips to sort for the next morning's deliveries. //Scratch that last one//, he thought, finally glancing at his alarm clock, //order slips for this morning.//

Oh, well. No one had said that cram school combined with two jobs would be easy.

The truth of the matter was that neither the flower shop nor his `night job' was ever very far from his mind. After all, he had been training to be an effective assassin since he was 12, and for all practical purposes, he was the manager of the Koneko no Sumu Ie. He had tried for a little while to shove the latter job off on Ken, but the 19-year-old was more of a child at heart than Omi himself, and things had very nearly ended in disaster when Ken had been in charge of keeping the accounts straight. Privately Omi suspected that Ken's passion for soccer was partially inspired by a certain ineptitude for anything non-physical. By his own confession, school had never been Ken's strong point.

On the other hand, Ken was fantastic on point for missions ...

Thinking about missions and Ken reminded Omi of the New Guy. Deciding to take a short mental break before poring over Oda Nobunaga's military campaign, Omi sat back down heavily and called up on his laptop the data profile he had compiled for Weiss' newest member.

The man's name was Ran Fujimiya. His family had been prominent members of the government before an explosion in their work building killed them one year ago. In fact, the mysterious explosion had been named for them - The Fujimiya Incident. Reiji Takatori was suspected for having something to do with it - he had been significantly advanced by their deaths - but there was no proof against him.

//Why hasn't Kritiker looked into that one?// Omi made a note to talk to Manx about the issue in private. After all, Weiss' job was to clean out the corruption in the government when no evidence could be used against them.

Back to Ran. The young man had lived quite normally up until the death of his parents. He went to public schools, worked hard, and attended a kendo club. According to the official records, Ran had completed his formal education in good standing, but had not accepted a scholarship to Tokyo University in favor of helping to put his little sister through a fancy, expensive private school. She was now in a coma - collateral damage from the explosion that killed Ran's parents.

So, Ran had effectively lost his entire family on one day, just one year ago. At about that time, Ran Fujimiya disappeared.

Of course, he hadn't really disappeared. This was where the official records ended and Kritiker's records began. Ran Fujimiya had become an Angel of Vengeance. He was good enough to keep from getting caught, but Omi had it from good sources that his amazing luck was partially the result of efforts on the part of Kritiker to keep him from exposing himself. In fact, for a short time he had been a part of another Kritiker-based assassin group - the Crashers...

There was no data to be found on Crashers. That group had officially never existed. Omi was relatively sure that the only evidence they had ever been was right here, on his computer. Hacking, after all, was his specialty, and he had been in the espionage business (a branch of assassin work, as far as he was concerned) for a long, long time.

But that had been half a year ago. And now, Ran Fujimiya was part of Weiss.

Omi shut down his laptop and looked at his history book for a long moment, fighting an inner battle. Finally Omi decided that he didn't really care what Oda Nobunaga had done before the Tokugawa Era - at least he didn't care at 3:00 a.m. - and it could wait until he had cleared his mind with a drink and a little cooking.

Cooking was not precisely Omi's passion. Omi liked to think he had no passions, but cooking was the closest he got. It was a good thing, too. Ken was able to fend for himself as long as there were noodles, rice, eggs, and soup broth around, but he was incapable of cooking anything more involved than okinomiyaki. Besides, he left a huge mess. Youji was a walking disaster area in the kitchen. The closest he had ever come to making a decent meal had been instant ramen, and he had managed to burn that, somehow. Omi was not at all sure what Youji did when Omi was not around to fix a meal. He probably ordered out.

Omi, on the other hand, was a genius in the kitchen, and everyone knew it. Omi had not yet discovered a meal he could not fix. It wasn't as if he had much time to fix food - meals were kept simple if only because of time constraints - but when Omi had the chance, he loved to experiment. And both Ken and Youji were perfectly happy to consume his experiments. (It was the main reason why Omi insisted that they share his monthly grocery bill - only about one-third of the food he purchased ever made it past his own teeth.)

Tonight, however, Omi did not really have time. He needed a simple meal to clear his head of the cobwebs resulting from hours of poring over calculus and physics problems. //Might as well make mizu. Ken will have to open shop, and he'll appreciate rice balls. Besides, then I'll have some leverage to force him to do my laundry!// Rummaging about in the little kitchen of his private apartment, Omi produced a pot and set some water to boil before searching for the sticky rice, seasoning, and pressed seaweed.

As Omi poured the sticky rice into the boiling water, he caught his mind wandering back to Ran Fujimiya. Their first meeting had been rough - nothing like when he and Ken had met Youji...

//Three minutes passed ... four minutes ... Ken wasn't where he was supposed to be. Omi instantly regretted failing to equip the team with radio contact for the routine mission. Always err on the side of caution, he told himself fiercely. After two-and-a-half years, you'd think I'd know that!

Omi signaled Youji with a wave of his hand, and instantly his teammate rejoined him. "What's taking Siberian so long?" the playboy demanded.

Omi shrugged, pulling together a plan to aid Ken from scratch. "I don't know. We have to assume an unexpected factor has entered the equation. Mission abort. Assume Siberian is in a hostile situation. We'll close in on his assailants with a pincer motion; I'll come from that direction, and you come from that one," he directed, pointing. Youji nodded and disappeared into the shadows. Omi shut the strongbox holding his explosives equipment, hid it quickly, and sneaked towards where Ken had disappeared.

The situation as viewed from above was indeed hostile. An instant's analysis told Omi that Ken was in real danger of being skewered on the katana of a young man with bright red hair and a leather trench coat. Ken had put up his claws and was holding the man off by sheer force for a moment; then his attacker leapt back, shouted something, and leapt high in the air, bringing his sword up to slash Ken down the chest.

Without thinking about it, Omi reached into his jacket, freed four shuriken, and leapt over the edge of the building. "Ken-kun! Look out!" He threw the shuriken all at once, though not aiming to kill. This man, violent as he was, was not a target. Killing him would be murder.

The tactic was successful. The man abandoned his attack in favor of crouching on the ground; Ken cried, "Omi!" gratefully, then shifted his gaze back to his assailant. The man prepared to attack again; Ken tensed, and so did Omi, before wires flew out of the shadows to my left and entangled the young man. Youji emerged, a triumphant smile on his face. "Again, Balinese saves the day," he smirked.//

Omi thoughtfully stirred the rice as he remembered the look on Ran's face when he had been caught, unable to move, by Youji's wires. His eyes were a fierce violet; they had burned with suppressed anger, hatred, and a touch of guilt. If looks could kill, Weiss would have been reduced to a smear on the pavement. He was also deathly pale, as only a ghost could be.

Then Birman had come.

//Birman dismissed Weiss with a nod. Omi held up two fingers for Ken and Youji to see - Escape Plan B, meet back at HQ - and threw an arm over his face to hide his features as he drew back into the shadows, effectively disappearing due to his dark clothes. But as he left he heard one word - Fujimiya - and he made a mental note to investigate.//

Omi checked the rice again, and found that it was fluffy and ready to be seasoned. He turned off the stove and moved the pot to the counter, then began to carefully sprinkle seasoning on, tasting it once in a while to check if it was still too bland.

Of course, that first meeting had been unusual. The next day Omi had come home from school to have Ken toss a brown envelope into his lap. "Manx says it's pertinent data on last night's ... er ... interruption," Ken had explained when Omi opened the envelope to find basic personal statistics about the attacker. "Kritiker has hired him as the newest member of Weiss, and we're supposed to expect him sometime this week. Jesus, Omi, he tried to kill me!"

"But he didn't," Omi had pointed out with a little smile. "I'm sure Kritiker has a good reason for this." In truth, though, Omi was agitated by the announcement.

//All I can do is make the best of this, and hope Ken and Youji do, too.//

It was two days later when Fujimiya appeared outside the Koneko no Sumu Ie in the late afternoon, looking far different from the violent man who had attacked Ken three nights before. He had been dressed in khakis, a sweater, and a brown trench coat. His eyes did not burn with anger - in fact, he looked confused. Everything would probably have gone all right if Ken had not appeared in the doorway when he did.

//"It's - it's you!" Ken stuttered as he pointed an accusing finger at Fujimiya. Fujimiya just looked back at Ken, bewildered but calm. Omi's insides seized into a ball and he watched apprehensively.

Ken immediately crossed the storage room and decked Fujimiya with a mean right cross. The redhead hit the ground and slid a short way before coming to a halt and glaring fiercely up at Ken. That murderous anger had reentered his eyes. Omi realized with dismay that he was laying right next to his katana.

Oblivious to the danger, Ken stood over his victim with a superior air for a moment, settling his baseball cap backward on his head. Then he leaned over, a friendly, normal Ken-smile spreading over his features. "That was for the other night. Peace?" he offered a hand to help Fujimiya up.

Fujimiya ignored the hand and went for his katana, just as Birman stepped on the weapon, keeping it firmly on the ground. The redhead turned the full force of his cruel gaze on the brunette; Birman merely smiled. "You can't kill your teammates, Fujimiya-san," she said coolly.

Fujimiya did not argue the point. Instead he leapt to his feet and punched a very surprised Ken full-force in the stomach. Insults ensued. Omi groaned, and wished Ken could think before he acted.//

Omi had left the shop shortly afterwards, ducking flying flowerpots, after unsuccessfully trying to get the two men to stop fighting. Honestly, why couldn't Ken keep his stupid fists to himself!? Briefly Omi wondered who had gotten the worse end of the fight; when he had left, it looked as if Ken was prevailing.

Omi shook his head at the rice ball he was shaping and carefully applied a strip of dried seaweed to its surface, laying it on the plate next to him. If the fight had been any sort of indication, getting along with the newest member of Weiss was going to be more trying than trying to incorporate Youji into the team. Omi never really wanted to go through that again. Youji was nice enough, but for three weeks straight he and Ken had clashed about everything, and his personal habits were nearly unbearable at first. Now everything was okay, but they had another person to get used to. Maybe Persia had a sadistic streak.

The rice balls were finally finished. Omi smiled at the perfect rice balls and basked in the satisfaction of having completed a task for an indulgent moment. He had made way too many for Ken to eat, so he would probably save a few for later -

//Wait. Fujimiya will be with him tomorrow.//

On his way back to his laptop, he passed the cloth-covered katana that belonged to Ran Fujimiya; Birman had given it to him `for safekeeping'.

Fujimiya would need that back. After all, he was part of the team.

Omi shook his head again, this time at himself. He had made too many rice balls, yes; but Ran Fujimiya would probably be hungry in the morning. Somebody had to hold out the peace branch offering so they could get past the fistfights. At least it was a step in the right direction.