#01 – Ring

It was custom to indicating marriage—and Canaan blushed somewhat by the cultural misunderstanding as Maria poked the small, gold nose piercing placed in her palm with undisguised confusion.

#02 - Hero

"Canaan will save me," she insisted unwaveringly, calmly as if to reassure her confounded kidnapper, letting the blood from her lovely mouth drip from between her words, "She always does."

#03 - Memory

Two years were akin to an untouched whiteboard in Maria's Ōsawa's mind… only her time spent with that serene Middle Eastern girl on the street had made a beautiful and glaring scarlet mark to it.

#04 - Box

If her screaming, blonde companion did not get down from the top of that crumbling staircase in the next ten seconds… Canaan planned on binding her little arms and legs… and unceremoniously shutting her in the nicest and roomiest suitcase she could locate in the hotel until this mission was deemed over.

#05 - Run

"Shouldn't we be running?" Canaan asked her, urgently tugging on the lithe arm in her grasp—adrenaline subsiding as Maria failed in hiding her smile, "…Canaan… are you afraid of haunted houses?"

#06 - Hurricane

When the assassin moves towards her goal, she becomes an intangible flurry of loose fabric, silver locks, and glistening, caramel-colored skin.

#07 - Wings

If Maria's nature was to pure white angel wings, then Canaan worried what her accomplishments amounted her own nature to.

#08 - Cold

As they entered their shitty, drafty apartment bedroom in Shanghai, they both knew calling maintenance could wait until morning—one blanket was enough.

#09 - Red

Maria didn't bleed crimson in Canaan's besieged senses like others might have… when she did bleed… it was a sickeningly glimmering yellow.

#10 - Drink

When Canaan did not question the see-through, ribbed cup of alcohol pressed into her hands by Alphard, her lover began to take note of her blatant carelessness.

#11 - Midnight

"If you do not come back here by midnight, safe and sound, Canaan; you can kiss our dinner date tomorrow goodbye."

#12 - Temptation

Her teeth just itched to rip the ribboned pendant apart; away from Maria's goddess-like throat.

#13 - View

Yun Yun scowled with a revolted expression at a passing female couple on the boardwalk who held hands—"Isn't that terrible? How can people like that do that in public? Don't they have any manners?"—She turned to ask her companions, blinking perplexed as her "best-friend" struggled to contain Canaan's right hand going for her Beretta Px4 Type G semi-automatic.

#14 – Music

Neither knew the other was musically inclined; the discovery was one balmy afternoon with Canaan murmuring the lyrics along to the same melody of Maria's fingertips playing across gilded piano keys.

#15 - Silk

The texture of the skin-tight, damasked fabric rubbed her skin, and the only reason she did not tear the dress from her body was the lustful, golden gaze trained on her.

#16 - Cover

Maria often wondered why Canaan hid her arm tattoo with that tattered piece of cloth—the tattoo was so remarkably crafted that she thought it should be admired more so than regarded with qualms.

#17 - Promise

Each kiss between them further cemented that so much more was to come; Maria grinned with a sultry air as she slinked over the tanned, prone body responding to her careful touches on her hipbones.

#18 - Dream

On those rare nights she did sleep and did dream—when she violently dreamed of Maria—the camera-girl always had a lavender, flower-shaped bruise on the middle of her lower back.

#19 - Candle

Canaan's fingertips pinched out the flame of the wick by their bed and they never lost their burning warmth or intent as they pinched more gently one of Maria's nipples during their lovemaking.

#20 - Talent

Maria did not sincerely believe her superiors when they praised her for awards she received for her black and white photographs, but her heart fluttered with pride when Canaan smiled thoughtfully.

#21 - Silence

She laid half-sprawled on the futon, her long and golden hair cloaking her the sides of her face; in the doorway, Canaan felt her own breathing stop at the sight of a small puddle of blood gathering where Maria's chest met the floor panels.

#22 - Journey

"The ride there is half the fun, don't you know?" Maria chirped from her end of the train compartment's mismatched-patterned seat, gripping her companion's limp hand on her leg in excitement.

#23 – Fire

To be with Canaan was to ask an arsonist to drip your hand in gasoline and light your cigarette being held with that same hand—not a creative metaphor admittedly—but the thought of not being with Canaan was not any better.

#24 - Strength

"When I lost my gun, they dog-piled me. Twelve of their guys."—"Oh, Canaan, that sounds so scary! How did you escape?"—"…?...I threw them off me…"—"…oh."

#25 - Mask

An Unbloom's mascot head rolled at Maria's feet; when she reached down for it curiously— her hand was slapped roughly—"Don't touch that," Canaan said, growling.

#26 - Ice

To be with Maria was to allow that most defenseless spot inside her to freeze with a sudden and unexplained fear; for Maria's safety; for Maria's mental state; whenever Maria was at risk for gruesome danger—not one of the sanest positions to put herself in as a professional hired gun—but to be without Maria hurt something far more deeper and more precious inside her.

#27 - Fall

The light, urgent flutter of softly lotioned hands traveling up her slim, muscular torso—"Where did you get this scar from, Canaan?"

#28 – Forgotten

"I don't remember."

#29 - Dance

Sexy Secret Canaan's Been Hiding #1: The ability to perform the perfect belly dance routine (apparently picking it up from imitating neighbors across the sky-line through a open bedroom window).

#30 - Body

In the reflection of the full-length mirror, the golden-haired girl frowned painstakingly at her naked body, lifting her hands to cradle her small, pale breasts and then dropping her hands—repeating the action, repeating the action—until her observing lover could feel the space between her long, limber legs moisten and throb achingly.

#31 – Sacred

Maria is her goddess who descended down into living flesh (flushing embarrassed and eventually kicking her away with a whine as Canaan's lips gently caress the flat of her pink, freckled foot).

#32 – Farewells

"It wouldn't be forever..." Maria would tell herself over and over on the ride back to Japan, sniffling, sweeping the backs of her hands across her trembling eyelids.

#33 - World

Haggling with cranky merchants over new ammo and folding stocks on sniper rifles; long nights she had free to be spent at the cheapest laundrymat to rinse the half-dried gore from her slacks—all of that had been Canaan's world for nine years; thankfully, that mind-numbing cycle had been broken with the occasional—afternoon shopping trip for a new halter top (the last one unsalvageable) with her beaming, skipping companion; stall at the front door to the apartment as her blonde lover thrusts a brown paper bag at her chest and complains that it took her all morning to bake it properly 'so you better enjoy it'.

#34 – Formal

In the office, Mino-san told her that the reception was going to be a strictly black tie and dress affair, and Maria made the immediate assumption that Canaan would decline the invite to join her.

#35 – Fever

"The red ribbon of fate is in your hair, Canaan… When did that happen when I was away?"—and her silvery-haired nurse for the evening figures that the babbling will lull once the exhaustion sets in.

#36 – Laugh

"What a twit. Your haircut is so…" Liang Qi snickers at Maria's downfallen expression, "ugly, you—" and blinks alarmed as a steel barrel of a handgun is immediately pressed into one of her eye sockets.

#37 - Lies

As Canaan stepped limping through, cradling her broken left arm to her side, the rest of the survivors of the subway wreck looked up at her, some with gratitude, one in furious tears; Maria came at her with a scowl, beating her fists feebly against the other girl's chest—"YOU PROMISED! YOU PROMISED ME YOU WOULDN'T GET HURT!"

#38 - Forever

It didn't exist—Maria softly snored in her sleep while half curled in the blankets and Canaan laid the back of her hand to her cheek—but if forever was possible, this moment would be nice.

#39 - Overwhelmed

Sexy Secret Canaan's Been Hiding #2: The ability to tie a sturdy knot into a cherry stem with her tongue… fifteen times in a single night.

#40 - Whisper

"I wonder who is uke in this relationship, you or me?"—"…Did you say something, Maria?"—"N-no, nothing."

#41 – Wait

Her dad's mantra for the earlier part of her life had been: "patience was a virtue and something to strive for" and Maria tried to keep this in mind as her lover gave her a wordless, apologetic smile, and dropped out the second-story window for another mercenary errand.

#42 – Talk

Maria let out a stifled peal of laughter behind her hands when the back of a silvery head hit the underside of leveled coffee table they laid under—"Damn it, I can't do anything right," the girl straddling above her muttered, rubbing at the growing bruise—"You are so adorable, Canaan," Maria insisted cheerfully, tugging playfully at the neck-zipper of her maroon halter.

#43 - Search

"I've found what I've been looking for, Siam—" she announced to the ghostly projection of her mentor in the mirror, smiling with him as Canaan glanced over her shoulder fondly at Maria who struggled to balance on one foot to slip on her left shoe, and toppled out of sight with an ungraceful squawk and THUMP! that shook the floor panels.

#44 - Hope

Hatred was blue—and there was so much blue in this world; yellow was always a welcoming sight in the streets of Shanghai, that irrepressible essence of that girl's sun light living on and on.

#45 - Eclipse

She reached for the thick book with a black cover, fascinated by the stark contrast of the photograph of the red, severed ribbon on its front, and shrieked, jumping back when a bullet lodged itself into the book's center; Canaan tucked her smoking weapon back into its holster with a satisfied expression—"Canaan, that was a library book!"

#46 – Gravity

The plunge left her breathless; being caught safely in Canaan's arms left her with a crick in her neck the next day, but Maria was always thankful for inevitable and magnetic pull towards the other girl.

#47 – Highway

They rode in heavy silence with Canaan's spayed fingers tight to the steering wheel.

#48 - Unknown

Sexy Secret Canaan's Been Hiding #3: The ability to cook an excellent thyme and lemon-pan fried trout dinner; when it came to seafood for Maria's well-being—sometimes food was better than sex.

#49 - Lock

Tanned, calloused fingers twist around the strawberry-blonde ahoge; Maria let out a half-surprised and half-aroused squeak.

#50 - Breathe

Her lips twitched as she exhaled apprehensively; "I love you... I have for a long time-"; and those lips parted slightly in wonder as Canaan hugged her; "I... know, Maria."




MONTHS. THIS TOOK LITERALLY MONTHS AND MONTHS TO FINISH. ARRRRGH. BUT WORTH IT. And disclaimer time… Canaan isn't mine yadda spoilers. If there are Canaan shippers floating around… YAAAAY… My claim has been taken off LJ but NO1CURRR cause I'm sharing here anyway!