A/N: Well, second chapter's a charm…we'll see about how this story is going then neh? So do read and review would you kindly?
Several years had passed since Garret had lost Hina…long gone was the black vest he wore then and in its place was a loose-fitting black overcoat with wide sleeves that made a soft metallic rattling sound as it was reinforced with steel scales in between the cloth for armor, although he was still shirtless under the coat, a wide and conical sedge shade was atop his head, and he also wore a slate grey hakama with a plated fauld covering the sides that covered a pair of lightly-plated boots. On his back was his zweihander, but in addition to that, he also carried a long two-handed solid iron rod with an octagonal shaft, a short sword at his right side, what appeared to be a handle dangling around on the strap of the fauld, and finally, he carried Hina's katana at his left side. The regulator that was to belong to her was now making his arm white as it stabilized the curse of Kazan—it would forever remind him of the dream he chose to uphold for the both of them and the day he lost her. He wondered what would have happened if he had chosen to bring the blind weed to Loton in order to sacrifice his sight for power…like he had originally wanted.
As he sat at the table in Siusha's bar, he took a sip of the high-quality beer she served. After Hina died, he began to frequent this bar rather often if only to drink away the memory of the way she died…if only he could have seen that icy bastard before he bit her there. "You really need to take a walk more often." Garret looked up at the tall and lanky man before him—his hair was silvery gray which contradicted his appearance of a man close to his thirties. The revolvers at his hips and the fact that he had a lit cigar in his mouth was enough to tell anyone that this gunner was a ranger even under that red jacket, black tank top, blue slacks, and black and white trainers.
"So says the man who frequents this place as often as I do."
"Hey, I'm not that bad now am I?"
"Are you kidding me? Ever since that day, I've successfully drunken your lightweight ass under the table at least ten times already during our drinking contests…and we weren't even drinking that elven drake champagne that Siusha's made…every time, we ordered her top-secret formula."
"Okay, okay, bad example. Although you really didn't have to rub it in with that lightweight bit…I swear, you drink alcohol as if it were water, and you're not even affected like normal people."
"So it would seem. What brings you here anyway Leon? After Hina died, I rarely see you anymore outside of work."
"I just got hired for a new job. Pays almost 300 gold an hour, and the boss said I could bring anyone in…said he really wants freelancers on this to beef up his entourage, and I kinda figured you'd want in."
"What kind of job?"
"Well we're doing a simple escort duty for some caravan as they make a trade in the Storm Pass region with the Bantu Tribe. After that, we're heading for the Aphelia area to see if there is any business there before heading to Elvenguard, West Coast, and back to Hendon Myre in that order."
"What's the name of your contractor?"
"I think it was Heimlich…Heinman…"
The look of reluctance was very clear on Garret's face…as if hoping the name he was about to utter was not true to his friend's case. "Was it Heinrich?"
"That's the name! Heinrich Von Ritter!"
Garret could not believe it…although he did not blame Leon for not knowing—he's never worked for the man before. He took a deep breath before letting out two words: "I'll pass."
The excitement upon Leon's face melted away into a confused frown. "Care to explain why you're turning down such a high-paying job?"
"I've worked for Heinrich before…man's a fucking racist against Slayers. He looks down on those of us who have been cursed by Kazan like we're the scourge to all that is good and pure to him. Anyway, I once took a job from him almost a year ago hunting down a bandit gang who had been terrorizing a village with a couple of other freelancers…bastard paid the other guys my cut, and I suspected that he hated Slayers then and there because of the way he glared at me the first time we met which explained why I never got paid. In anger, I simply left—I figured that he must've been pretty important judging by how much money he seemed to be paying, so in my eyes that asshole wasn't worth having a price on my head, and in retaliation, I decided that when I got back to the Slayer Camp, I'd warn everyone else not to take a job from him and hopefully put his name on the blacklist. No more than 45 feet away from the camp, I get ambushed by my colleagues on that mission…apparently they'd both been offered a bonus to assassinate me. After I killed them both, and searched their corpses for stuff I could use and sell, I promised myself that the next time I saw that bastard, I was going to throttle him."
"Man, and I thought I saw bad jobs…this one actually takes the cake. But why are you not getting your revenge now?"
"Because you need the money to find a way to get back to Empyrean and talk your brother out of the Kartels, and so if I join you on this job, it'll be hard for me to not kill the man on sight; the camp taken him off the bulletin board and have blacklisted him as a potential client, but if I kill him, there's likely to be a rather sizable price on my head…and yours for being associated with me."
"Awww…too bad…you actually convinced me to not take the job…eh, I suppose you're right—and I suppose it's no use to tell you about that rumor I heard among the members of the entourage."
"What sort of rumor?"
"Don't bother, you're not interested."
"Very well then…word on the street is that there's a dark elf somewhere in Aphelia that knows how to cure the Kazan Syndrome."
"You've got to be shitting me…"
"I kid you not…with my hand to any god listening up there. There may very well be hope for you and everyone else in the camp."
"Well that's interesting…I…"
Before he could finish his train of thought, Garret's eyes widened and his flow of blood had accelerated with fear upon hearing one sentence coming from outside the bar from the voice of what appeared to be a little girl roughly around ten years old: "Oh Gary-poo!"
It was then that only two words left his mouth silently: "Oh shit." Leon looked at his friend carefully—in the few years he had known the other man, he had never seen him this frightened in a while. Last time he did was when Hina was alive—and the two of them accidentally stumbled upon her in the middle of a bath during a mission in Garakqarak. "Garret what the…" Before he could finish his sentence, Garret grabbed his friend by the collar, and dragged him quickly through the bar and into the kitchen and slamming the door on their way out to the back alley—all within the span of five seconds. "Garret, what in the name of…"
Leon was hushed quickly as Garret began speaking in a desperate whisper. "Look, I'll take the fucking job alright? Just keep it down! I don't want HER to hear me!"
"You don't want who to hear you?"
"Why Garret…I didn't know you actually swung that way!"
Garret's eyes widened in shock…This cannot be happening! He'd spent the last few weeks dodging that voice, and now here she was. It was then that he slowly turned his head to see the sight he really didn't want to see…it was a little elf girl with long pink hair tied to the sides of her head, and wearing a tiny little hat on her head. She wore a black sports jacket with golden skull motifs attached to the bottom of the lapels and a white dress shirt underneath, a red skirt, and red stockings that went to a pair of black shoes. At her side was a trident that was her height, and it was being held by a pair of armored gloves and at the opposite side. Her red eyes were looking up at the two of them…in a rather awkward position with Garret and Leon being in excessively close proximity with each other.
"Who is this kid?"
Garret let out an angered sigh, and walked away with Leon with his skin a glowing red color that would put a strawberry to shame. "This little girl is Mira…and I've been unable to stay away from her for very long."
Mira had an unnaturally wide grin on her face…an unnaturally wide grin that hid many things behind it and luring her victims in with the sweet voice she was using. "Oh, but who said that you'll ever want to escape from me?"
Looking at the situation, Leon began to widen his grin…he was making choking sounds as he covered his mouth…but then he could no long resist it. He let out a loud laugh at his friend's situation. "Damn…I knew you were popular with the ladies Garret…but little girls too? You've got quite a bit of luck on you!"
"I'm telling you, she is like freakin' superglue! She's been stalking me ever since I saved her life almost a year ago. And let me tell you this; as of that day, I regret saving her life…she never leaves me alone!"
"I can see why! You're any girl's dream! You've even got kindergartners to chase after you!"
"Aw…but I really wanted in on that job as my Gary-poo!"
"No Mira…this is personal!"
Knowing that 'no' means 'no' as far as Garret was concerned, the look of shock was apparent on Mira's face…before it slowly started to stretch the frown on her face into an evil-looking smile that started closing her eyes. A smile that Garret was all-too-familiar with…oh hell no! No fucking way! She was going to do it! Leon watched in confusion as he watched the little girl suck in a deep breath and Garret beginning to panic. Before long, he was already in the middle of a pounce as she let it out…loudly!
"HEY EVERYONE! THERE'S TWO GUYS HERE THAT WANT TO…"
Before she could finish that sentence, Garret took his demon-possessed arm, and slapped it over Mira's mouth quickly…the look of fear was clear in his eyes as he looked around to check if anyone heard that and let out a sigh of relief upon finding that there were no listeners. With that, he looked her in the eye and steeled himself for what he was about to say—god knows what's going to happen when he lets her hear those words, but anything was better than her finishing that sentence! The pain and agony were very clear in his whisper. "Okay, you get to come! Just don't ever do that again! Ever!"
With that, Mira was filled with glee! Now she was on a job with the target of her stalking affections! Leon on the other hand was also relieved…he never thought that he'd ever see a girl like that take advantage of the 'child molesters are after me' act! As he thought on it, he began to actually feel sorry for Garret…to have to deal with a brat like that would be nothing short of torture. Garret however, simply reminded himself that this was to placate the girl's screeching voice so that she would not be screaming in his ear again…although now that he thought about it, he much rather would have been dealing with the inappropriate situations he tended to find himself with her. As he let out a sigh, he began to think to himself 'what have I done?'
A/N: Yes Garret, what have you done? The real romance will begin in the next chapter…assuming of course I get more reviews. If there are more reviews, then I'll also contemplate making a different path for Garret to follow…like the Asura path. In any case, I thank you readers for reading so far, if you have done so.
"Breeze" by Daisuke Ishiwatari from "Blazblue: Continuum Shift"—Garret enjoying his drink in Siusha's bar, and his conversation with Leon
"Comedy" by Daisuke Ishiwatari from "Blazblue: Continuum Shift"—Mira finds Garret and Leon