Summary: There was something off, but M-21 couldn't place his finger on what it was.

Written for lucathia_rykatu as a yuletide treat.


By Dark Ice Dragon

There was something off, but M-21 couldn't place his finger on what it was. Regis was sitting across the table from him, ignoring him in favour of doing his homework; Seira was over in the kitchen, making what seemed to be rice cakes from what M-21 could see; Frankenstein was in his lab, making yet another large batch of ramen; and as far as he was aware, Takio and Tao were out exploring the city.

Which left Rai.

M-21 frowned, the action tugging at his scar. He hadn't seen Rai since… he wasn't sure if he'd seen him at school either. So the last time he'd seen him had been nearly twelve hours ago.

"What is it?"

Blinking, M-21 belatedly realised that while he'd been musing, he'd been staring at Regis, who was now looking across his paper at him, pen poised over it, looking disinterestedly back.

"…Have you seen Rai?" He wasn't expecting an answer, but they were in the same class, after all.

Regis' gaze turned distant as he thought, placing the pen down gently. He then closed his eyes, his lips curling in to a smirk. "Heh. Can't keep an eye on a student? Isn't that your job?"

If he was reacting like that, then Rai had went to classes.

"I did see him walking away with someone after school had finished," Regis admitted grudgingly. "The man was wearing a large grey jacket and looked scruffy underneath." He sniffed. "He wasn't elegant in the slightest."

M-21 felt a little uneasy when he heard that, but he stifled that feeling. There wasn't anything that could harm Rai, so he didn't have to worry about it.

Frankenstein walked in at the moment, humming under his breath, a bowl of steaming ramen sitting perfectly in the centre of a tray held securely in his hands. He put the tray down on the table in front of M-21 before he looked around.

"Hm? Master isn't home yet? I told him I was going to try a new recipe." Frankenstein patted himself down before pulling out his mobile. A few presses of some buttons later, Frankenstein was holding the phone up to his ear. "I hope he comes home quickly," he fretted as he waited for Rai to pick up, pacing a little. "The ramen will grow even more, yes, but it will get colder as well, and then it won't be at the optimum temperature – ah, hello?"

"You're the guy who looks after this kid?" M-21 stiffened at the voice; it was a much older male, rough, sounding like the man had spent a lot of time smoking.

Frankenstein stopped pacing. He had his back to M-21, so he couldn't see what Frankenstein's expression was like. "Who is this?" His voice hadn't changed, sounding light and cheerful. Even though, M-21 could feel the dark aura starting to surround him, and he itched to move out of the blast radius.

"You don't need to know," the other man grunted. "You just get twenty-million won and meet me outside his school." The dial tone hummed in the silence.

M-21 and Regis shared a look. …Did they even have to do anything? This was Rai they were talking about.

There was a 'snap' as Frankenstein closed his mobile phone. Very deliberately, he slid the phone back into his pocket. He turned around slowly and smiled brightly at M-21 and Regis, head tilted and sparkling.

"I'll be right back. If you could set the table while I'm gone…?"

M-21 and Regis nodded, eyes wide.

"Thank you." Frankenstein headed for the door, not bothering to collect his jacket.

Takio and Tao had chosen that moment to return home; they took one look at Frankenstein and scrambled out of his way, yelping.

… No, they really didn't have to do anything.