author's note: This is the beginning of another brand new idea I had in my mind for a year (and it took me roughly about seven months to actually have the guts to write its first chapter. Bravo, bravo.) Before you'd go ahead and start reading, I'd like to explain an important component of this fic; y'know, there's this number beside the chapter title (three digits, in this chapter's case, it is '000').
The number denotes the point of view that the chapter is written in; 000 represents Len's point of view, while 050 represents Rin's. That's just about it; I'm only writing things from the two of their viewpoints.
Don't ask why the random numbers; I just took some random numbers because I thought number-playing would be fun. Weehoo.
Disclaimer: Not mine, don't sue.
(#1; mighty oaks from little acorns grow — 000)
Brooklyn, New york, USA.
Location: Maple Café
Date: 10 February 20XX, Tuesday
The café was richly furnished with a wide variety of chairs and tables that looked extremely pleasing to the eyes—finely polished furniture that had exotic intricate designs carved on them, beautifully painted walls with a soothing and warm color scheme that matched all of the furniture, and squeaky clean floor tiles that seemed to glitter from afar—it was far more than perfect.
It was different. Different from all the other café down the road, across the streets—all the café there didn't look that special because all they had were pieces of useless wooden pricks they deemed as "furniture", and chairs that creaked every time a customer sits on them—it would be an utter disgrace to deem those places as a proper café.
That was what Kagamine Len thought of this café. True, it might be a little too harsh for him to outright criticize those café brutally, but what he had stated were facts. It wasn't as though he had criticized them because he abhorred competition; those were merely his true thoughts.
A couple of whistling and whispers caught his attention, and he looked up abruptly at the bunch of women occupying the seats of the café. They were acting sneakily, whispering into one another's ears and giggling softly amongst themselves. By the looks of the blushes on their faces when they noticed him looking at them, Len could come to a conclusion that the women were hyperventiling over him.
He had charms, he'd admit. Of course he had them—he was a good looker, with a well-toned body and flawless tanned skinned that looked irresistible. His eyes were large and his features were distinctive and he had a glib tongue that uttered words that could easily seduce a woman into his bed.
One might very well accuse him of being a Casanova, because he really did possess all the qualities of a playboy. And he was very successful at that, mind you.
But he wasn't that type of man, per se. He might flirt with women once in a while, occasionally brushing his fingers or skin against theirs, but never would he go to the extent of toying with a woman's feelings.
Unless if his job calls for it, then yes, he'd bring himself to go to that extent.
His lips curled and he smirked, turning away from the women that squealed in delight when he did so. With steps as graceful and as stealthy as a cat's, he brought himself over to the counter, placing down the tray he was holding onto the surface of the table.
Then, he felt a presence approaching him and it didn't take him long to realize that it was his emerald-haired female companion.
She stared at the crowd for a while, then scoffed and turned away from them, expressing her apparent dislike for the bunch of ladies that were drooling over Len. This earned a chuckle from Len—he knew how Gumi was like, and how possessive she was, even if he really didn't like her in that way. He just didn't see her the same way she saw him.
"Pfft," Gumi mumbled, pouting like a silly five-year old, "And there you go, another bunch of crackpots who'd waste their time in this café because of your great presence here!"
"At least I know that I don't need to hire anymore of those lazy workers that give out flyers or pamphlets," Len breathed out, smiling lazily. He started humming a strange tune, one that seemed to have originated from a children's folklore, and poured himself some Earl's gray tea with the pot of kettle on the table, and the small porcelain cup beside it.
"Here." He offered Gumi the cup. "I suppose you would like a sip to appease that anger of yours?"
"Hah!" She exclaimed loudly, drawing attention from the bunch of ladies that were still sitting down there, now with magazines in their hands. They looked pretentious, and fact was, they were just pretending to read because Gumi and Len could see them occasionally looking to the side, to where Len was situated at.
And they could tell that Gumi was fuming mad. Well, who wouldn't? She had a dark face, a deathly aura, and horns of a devil himself. She looked extremely infuriated.
"Tea doesn't make me any less angry, Len," Gumi muttered, exaggerating the pout on her face by sulking even more. To some men, it might be attractive or even seductive, because the way Gumi pouted her delicious pink-tinted lips, was, well, very… unique. She looked good while sulking; there was no denying it.
But Len didn't feel anything. He knew she was trying to seduce him or to flirt with him and at least get him to respond to her but it really wasn't having its effects on him.
"Ah," Len uttered politely, offering her a mock bow that caused her face to turn beet-red immediately. The women behind started squealing again. "Then, what do I have to do to have the honor of being forgiven by you, your highness?"
"He's so hot!"
"My gosh… He's like my prince charming, I swear! That girl's so lucky!"
He could hear the vague sounds of the women gasping, and screaming with excitement. Of course, he paid no heed to those words because he had been hearing them almost everyday. There were tons of women complimenting him and his polite manners when they'd patronize the café.
But Gumi… Gumi couldn't turn a blind eye to all of this. And yes, he was right, for Gumi's face turned as red as the Lambert cherries inside the countryside's farms. If she had looked furious before, then she looked absolutely deranged now. Her eyes were bloodshot with fury and her lips were quivering with anger. If looks could kill, then yes, she'd have managed to murder a lion or a tigress with that look of hers.
She whirled around, and Len braced himself for the impact.
"You are all just girls! Kids! What do you know, huh?" She screamed over the counter, her eyes looking as though they would pop out any moment, "Go back and get another wannabe man to look at; Len's mine! Stare at him once more, and I shall gorge your eyes out of those murky depths of your sockets!"
The ladies flinched, Len noticed. They looked offended and hurt, as if they were disappointed to find him associated with a tigress like her. Nevertheless, they continued to whisper amongst themselves before packing up their belongings and scurrying out of the café like heaps of mice.
Len frowned. He didn't bother to correct Gumi about him being her's; he'd already done so in the past but she'd just continue teasing him with that like there's no tomorrow. Not that he minded anyway; Gumi was in no way a stranger to him. Well, maybe not as close as what people would call "friends", but close enough to sit down and chat over a cup of tea.
He watched with amusement flickering in his eyes as Gumi stomped to the place where the women were sitting at just now, and cleared the bunches of cups and plates on the table. Her hands looked as though they were ready to punch anyone in the face or crush an elephant… really, Len didn't get why she was so upset over this.
"Well." He picked up the cup of tea on the table. Luckily for him, it was still piping hot; teas were only meant to be savored when hot. He brought the tea to his lips and took a sip from it. "I thought teas would bring me good favor, but I suppose it isn't the case now, Miss Gumi?"
"Obviously not, Len!" Gumi exclaimed, now walking back to where the basin was. She dumped all of the cups inside and let the water run down from the tap, glaring at the cups as though they had done something in their previous lives to offend her. "Did you even see how they were looking at you? They were looking at you as though they wanted to bed you!"
Len raised his brows. Now, this was interesting. 'Bed'? It was a… very interesting way to put things, but yes, he did saw how those women were looking at him, and no, he did not think that way. They were merely looking at him in a daze, as though they were infatuated with him, but his mind did not wander that far to think about them wanting to be in bed with him.
"That's crass," Len whispered haughtily, taking another sip of the tea. It didn't taste as warm as it felt like it should. "Normally I'd think those words would only be aimed at a woman, not a man like me."
"I'm just saying." Gumi closed the tap and walked back to the table with a tablecloth, vigorously scrubbing the dirt and grime stuck on the surface of the table. It didn't come out as easily as it should.
"I wonder what those women do," She complained, "Using the forks and spoons as though they'd never seen one before! They haven't even had the courtesy to remove the bits and pieces of junk on the table!"
"I thought that was your job." Len sighed.
"Heck, it is, but who the hell leaves such a mess behind after eating at such a high-class café?" Gumi retorted, giving up at the last bit of grime left on the table. She clicked her tongue with an annoyed look on her face, and made her way back to the basin.
"Maybe it isn't as high class as we think it to be." Len chuckled.
"Ah, quit it, Len," Gumi smirked, stopping in her tracks with the tablecloth in her hand. She scooted closer to Len, purposely letting her skin come into contact with his. He didn't flinch or move away; he didn't resist, but he wasn't amused by it either. "Stop trying to act modest, oh you pretentious man!"
Now, she was the first one that he had come across to actually openly accuse him of being pretentious. Not that he was offended or anything, though. He just didn't expect a girl to see through him that easily. True, he was pretentious, but that was only during times he had to pretend. Times like when he was running his part-time job.
"You haven't appeased me, you sly man!" Gumi uttered, moving away from him and back to the basin. She threw the cloth inside it and allowed the tap to run freely once more. The sound of the water gushing out from the hole destroyed the silence within the atmosphere.
Len smiled. He knew what she was hinting at, oh yes he did. "Dinner then, tonight? I suppose you'll want to have dinner down at my place?"
"You'll whip up a few dishes for me!" Gumi shouted gleefully from the basin as though she was afraid that the sound of the water would muffle her voice. "I want you to cook personally! No takeaways or anything!"
Just when Len was about to give her an affirmative answer and also tease her about how she was behaving like a desperate girl wanting to buy a candy at the provision shop, he could feel the familiar ring tone and vibrations of his cell phone in his pocket. With a frown, he picked it up reluctantly.
"Yes, this is Kagamine Len of the Maple café. How may I help you, sir?"
The other line was unclear. It was buzzing, and the voice was slightly distorted, but Len could recognize that rough, masculine voice anywhere.
"Tonight. You have a new job waiting for you."
He smiled. "Good. I was hoping you'd say that."
Behind him, Gumi's ears twitched. She could sense the seriousness in his tone, and the way he spoke was… it was different. It wasn't like Len; it didn't sound like him at all. She quickly closed the tap and pretended to continue cleaning the dishes even though they were already done, secretly trying to eavesdrop on his conversation.
She wanted to know what they were talking about. Recently, he'd been getting those mysterious calls… No, ever since she knew him, he'd have those phone calls. They were irritating, to say the least. They were destroying her hopes of furthering her relationship with him!
Of course, Len wasn't dumb. Len wasn't a moron; he wasn't an idiot. He knew she was eavesdropping on him, and hence, he began to speak as though the person on the other line was another customer who wanted a delivery, even going to the extent of recording down his address after pretending to ask for it and idly writing down a nonexistent one.
"Ah. Yes, yes. I shall have them delivered tonight."
Gumi swiftly turned away her head from him when he stopped talking with the other person. Well, it did sound like he was doing some business transaction, but then again, she could be wrong. She was always wrong. Len didn't trust her. He didn't even tell her what he was doing and why there were that many unknown calls for him.
She didn't expect him to trust her, of course. She was the one with that one-sided love crap thingy. She loved him as a man, yes, but he didn't see her as a proper woman. He was deceptive, treating her like she was a princess, a queen, and he didn't even push her aside at times when she hinted to him that she wanted to be more than just friends, but she knew that deep down in his heart, he was just being prudent. He didn't want to show his real thoughts or real feelings towards her.
He… He was pretending. He was pretentious.
He was afraid. But, of what?
Gumi had to know. So, she did the next best thing she could do—to probe.
With a sly look on her face, she put a false front and acted like an innocent child who had lost her way in the forest.
"Len, what was that all about?"
"Oh?" Len grinned, whipping around to look at her. "Well, it was a call meant for me to request for delivery service. I suppose we've gotten a pretty good reputation now, haven't we?"
Gumi sighed. This was no answer. She wasn't a dummy; she knew that he was lying. Don't ask how, because it was just her instincts. "I suppose. But why don't you let me do the delivery service instead? I can handle it pretty well."
"Why," Len muttered, "I have no reason to let a lady do the runs for the café, do I? Such a chore should only be left for the men! We don't want to have your hands calloused, do we?"
He wasn't giving her an answer. He was running away from the topic. Excuses, excuses… she knew. Ah, but he was such a sweet-talker, such a polite gentleman… it was impossible to not fall for a perfect man like him!
"I think the dinner would have to be postponed," Len said, "I apologize."
Gumi did not bother to retort against him.
She knew that deep down, there was a different meaning behind his apology.
Date: 10 February 20XX, Tuesday
The lights were dim. The candles were lit and the luminous flames were dancing amidst the darkness, casting a shadow on the walls. The hallway was large and empty, and it was spookily quiet. Not a sound was uttered or heard along this corridor.
Kagamine Len walked along the pathway, his steps as light as a feather. He had already changed into another pair of appropriate attire; instead of wearing the black vest over his white dress shirt like just now, he had a dark coat over his shirt that reached his knees, and a pair of gloves that fit his hands snuggly. If anything, he looked extremely different.
He came to a halt in front of an ancient painting, the Le Wagon de troisième classe. If he could recall, this was a painting done by the painter, Honoré Daumier. Of course, he had no fascination with paintings and art or literature, but he definitely had a fascination with its worth.
With nimble movements, he moved to where the nearest candle was—to the far right of the wall. He wrapped his fingers around the kinara attached to the wall, and tilted it slightly.
The painting began to move. It moved to the left, and the sounds that resembled walls crumbling seemed to echo in the silence. In place of where the painting should be, was a bright passageway; the walls were white, and it seemed to lead to a never-ending place… it was in a complete contrast to the ground that Len was standing onto right now.
He made his way through the passageway, and continued his way inside, surveying his surroundings as if he were new here.
It didn't take long for him to reach his destination.
At the end of the passageway was a metallic door that seemed foolproof; it looked as though it wouldn't be destroyed no matter how many bullets went through it's surface. Beside it, though, was a communication device of some sort, with a few buttons with numerical values on it.
Len didn't even have to do anything. The door opened on its own.
And he stepped inside, yes he did. It was empty, save for a few computers and a white sofa that sat on the middle of the spacious room. On the walls, however, were different types of guns, all strapped properly in its rightful positions. There was a rifle, a shotgun, an M25, and others that Len couldn't be bothered to look at.
"Hi." That familiar masculine voice, the same as the one who made the phone call, caused Len to look up. Indeed, it was him; there was no mistaking the hues of those bright strands of hair that were was smooth and as silky as a ballerina's. Nobody else could have the audacity to dye their hair in such a ridiculous hue of lavender, especially when one was going to be seen in public. That was just outright attention-seeking.
Len resisted the urge to break into fits of unceremonious laughter when he heard him with a greeting that sounded too… formal… for such an event.
"Well," The man, dressed in a white coat, uttered, "You sure took your own sweet time to get here."
"Believe me when I said I did try my best," Len replied calmly, "As soon as I got the phone call, I rushed out of work and got here. Needless to say, I… almost… encountered some difficulties along the way."
After he had left his workplace, the persistent girl Gumi had tailed him through the city, thinking that he'd be ignorant enough not to notice anything amiss. However, unfortunately for her, he was fairly experienced in that area since he was used to being tailed by people—especially by policemen—and hence he was able to spot her and lose her quickly with his stealthy moves and his knowledge of the routes in the city.
Of course, he'd be able to guess how infuriated she would be after what he'd done… she would be able to know that he already knew she was tailing him and she'd start whining about how he was trying to hide secrets from her again.
The man cringed at that. "I believe you're referring to your employee?"
"That's not important, Gakupo. I think we have better things to focus on."
"And you're right." Gakupo thinned his lips, folding his arms neatly across his chest. His tone immediately turned serious, and he walked over to where one of the laptops was. Len followed him from behind, making a mental note to keep his personal affairs out of his mind right now—he didn't want to think about explaining to Gumi, or anything for that matter.
"So, what's in for us this time?" Len questioned, watching as the screen flickered.
"Well," Gakupo chimed in, typing a code of some sort into the system. He was fast, Len noticed, but he wasn't as fast as him. Not that he was bragging, but nobody could be better than him at doing jobs like this particular one. He was a professional. He didn't have mixed feelings about this job of his; he enjoyed it even more than that other job of his, which was quite a chore—to be honest, Len hated managing a café because it took a lot of work, but he had to do so, to have an alibi in case of an emergency.
"What's this?" Len asked as images of an entrancing jewel popped up on the screen. It was captivating beyond words; the workmanship was splendid, with the jewel in the form of a tear drop, and every single detail engraved on its golden surface made it look extremely expensive and special; there was no doubt that this was a rare catch, a rare find.
"As you can see, it's a jewel," Gakupo explained, biting his lips, "I know what you are thinking, and yes. You are correct. This jewel is worth more than you can ever imagine because it's extremely rare; only the nobles are told to have seen it. Even rare treasure hunters haven't had proof for its existence yet… nobody knows where it is located in the world—it could be anywhere, London, Japan, or even France.
"It is titled 'Crown's tears'. According to legends, it is formed after a Royal Consort, who had been cast out of the palace by the king, cried for her loss of power. I don't know the exact details, and I couldn't care less, honestly, but that's what I heard. And that's what the client wants… apparently."
"Hmm." Len pursed his lips to think. "So the client wants us to look for the jewel and to get it for him? What's in for us?"
"Money, I guess. He's got a hell load of money. Not to mention that his influence on the yakuzas in Japan is heavy… it would be good for us to get on his good side."
"What?" Len said, incredulous, "Why?"
"It's good for us to form allies with the Mafia or any organizations that may be of help to us," Gakupo explained, "That way, when we get into trouble, we have help coming to our way. We won't be left in the cold. Just a thought."
"We don't need help; Goodness gracious, Gakupo, we are assassins! Assassins like us don't need help because we could never be caught, not by the state or the police for that matter!"
Gakupo clicked his tongue, feeling annoyed. "You can never be too sure, buddy."
"Anyway, why are we stealing stuff? I thought we were supposed to assassinate people. That's our job."
"Yes," Gakupo chirped, "But remember, assassins have no attachment for anything in life. It is our duty to do the things that is best for our own sake; we don't give a damn about other people, including their lives, if you ask me. As long as there are advantages for us, then why not? This job's easy.
"Besides, you don't even have to locate the jewel. The client's got the information for us, apparently. He's stupid enough to make a loss by giving us less work and paying us with more money. What a fool. Judging by your skills, I'd bet that you could complete this job in less then… I'd say… fifteen minutes."
Len looked pleased. He was sold; the idea actually sounded sound and logical to him.
A devious smirk appeared on his face. "Consider it done."
Tomorrow was going to be a long night.
(what you think may not be the truth)
author's note: End of chapter one. I've already got four of these chapters done, but I'll check them for safety measures (cough) and keep them under the 'T' rating. For now, I'll complete up till chapter eight or so before I publish the next chapter; the juice is flowing into my mind! My mind is actually very much sane right now! Yoohoo! And I actually know what I'm doing for the first time in my life! I know where this story's going!
That reminds me... I haven't updated "The Red Spade" and I apologize for procrastinating! It's just that... my mind has been blank as of late, and I actually have plans in stored for TRS (I had a plansheet which i created for TRS and it actually covered up to chapter 18 or so) but i cannot bring myself to start writing the next chapter!
Of course, that fic is like my baby - I love it, and I will never abandon it. I will get the next chapter sorted out and published within the next few weeks or so... but meanwhile, keep a lookout for Silent Masquerade; i throw my muses inside this fic, so who knows what might happen? -cackles-
side note: So you know, there's this... erm... game... AND IT'S "THE LEGEND OF ZELDA : SKYWARD SWORD" BUT WHY IS IT TAKING SUCH A LONG TIME TO BE RELEASED JDSHFKJNWELJC
I swear, my inner self is craving for another exciting game... ME WANTS POKEMON BACK, AND INTO THE WII AT THAT BECAUSE THAT'S THE ONLY SYSTEM I HAVE! Ooh, the nostalgia... Okay, time to watch Ultraman.
While we're at it, care to review? Heh heh, I'd love to hear your thoughts. And I'll even start a poll to see if people want Silent Masquerade or TRS on their priority list - the one that'll be completed first.