I started to write a Black Lagoon fic a couple of years ago, but I don't really think it went so well, and at the time trying to write two stories was an energy killer. But I thought I'd try again, as I'm a big fan of the anime and the manga; hopefully I will stick with it this time, and hopefully people will like it. Also, I don't own Black Lagoon or any of its characters.

Forever Changed

Chapter I

Rock could make all the guess', all the assumptions and observations, he could come up with as many theories as he wanted – to unravel and explain the events of the last sixty hours – and he would still arrive in the bleak endless void of absolutely nowhere. However, one thing was now abundantly clear to him: the city of Roanapur would not survive the night.

The sun's glow, which was usually a mesmerising sight to behold in this corner of a globe, had ceased itself three hours ago, slowly sinking down into the horizon and from the eyes of the city. Now that the shrouding black had come again, a different kind of darkness was usually stirring, ready to greet the night, to awaken and take its rightful place in the streets of this unrestrained paradise of the damned.

They called Roanapur the city of the dead; most couldn't argue with such a title, and wouldn't even think of trying. Everyone knew this; the simple undying certainty that somewhere, somehow, a bullet lay in wait, with the name of some poor soul engraved upon it, eagerly biding its time until that fated union when someone else would meet a cruel and violent end. One was more or less a walking corpse every hour of every day, even when the sun shined brightest over the city, when most of the cold hard nature of such a place held its breath. It would slumber during the day's warm and roasting light, waiting for it's awakening when the sun fell away, when it could thrive again, when the real monsters came out to play.

The evening was now long gone, and Rock sat there, silently, on the deck of the Lagoon; his knees pulled in close to his pounding chest, his arms wrapped firmly around his legs as his body rocked back and forth. He fearfully took in the unbelievable sight before him, and his ravaged brain fought for a clue – a reason – why this day had turned out the way it had. The torpedo boat sat out at sea, perhaps a mile from the city of Roanapur; it bobbed and swayed lifelessly in the ocean as the water rippled and flowed around its battered hull. Sitting alone, as if waiting for something that would never come. At this very moment in time, Rock felt nothing but a bleak well of helplessness embracing him tightly, refusing to relent despite his inward please; his prayers so far remaining unanswered.

"I have to do something," he whispered.

He'd been sitting like this for some time; hopelessly wondering what his next move should be as the agonisingly slow minutes staggered by. All the while that lump in his throat wouldn't back down – wouldn't leave him for anything – as he tried in vain to fight his roaring panic back. Rock was usually calm, or at least he'd like to believe so, but with what he was now seeing, his emotional fortitude was dead in the dust.

The city was no longer as it should have been; the lights that once glowed from its many buildings were mostly out, and there was no sign of the usual nightly activity. The city had taken on a whole new mask, and it was one of complete and total insanity. Gunshots and explosions roared through the humid air as Roanapur was lit up with something else: fire. The city was now truly a city of the dead; flames danced freely throughout, bright and bursting waves of orange, writhing and screaming, carrying upwards from too many places to count. It was as if the apocalypse had finally arrived, condemning Roanapur's cut-throat populace with a powerful vengeance.

Rock could almost feel the searing heat from where he sat, could almost taste the blood being spilled as his once reluctant home melted away from the earth. His ears caught the bursting repeated pop of gunfire throughout the city, and as he sat there – alone and unsure of what had happened – he reached into his trouser pocket, retrieving his cigarette box and clumsily grasping a smoke from inside. His fingers trembled furiously as he brought the cigarette to his lips, lighting it and taking a long drag that would do nothing to cure his anxiety. It was all he could do at this moment, as he ran through his mind, going through his options as he struggled to keep a level head. Was there anything he could do? And even if there was, could he really venture back into that hellish nightmare again? Part of him wanted to head back, the part that knew his friends were still in there, somewhere in Roanapur within the rivers of blood and fire and smoke, his friends were there. But were they still breathing, or were they now sharing the corrupt and stained dirt with countless others?

He kept his place on the deck, motionless, speechless; time froze as his wide eyes remained fixed on the war zone. It almost seemed as if there had been no build up to the events of the last day, but Rock knew that wasn't truly the case. Things had been churning and brewing for a while, raising tensions reaching the point where all that the city needed was that one small catalyst – the match to the sea of gasoline – and then everything would go up in pillars of smoke and rapture. This was exactly what had happened, what he and everyone else were unable to prevent. But Rock had no idea who was responsible. Who had thrown the match to cast such a blaze?

Now all he could do was wait, and hope that the rest of the Lagoon Company was not lost. Fresh beads of sweat formed upon the previous drying anxiety across his wrinkled forehead. Three hole hours of counting the slow minutes as they dragged on. Staying put – despite his concern for his own life – truly was the greatest torment of all.

No! His brain cried out. They're not dead. Revy's with them, and she's not dead!

Three days ago…


Rock's eyes snapped open when he felt a brief sting, coming from something impacting against his gut. He looked up from where he lay on the top deck of the Lagoon, seeing a can of beer rolling to and fro over his stomach. Further to the right his blurry eyes caught the angry face of his partner; the space between her eyebrows wrinkled in a way that he'd seen a thousand times over.

"Were you even listening, dumb-ass?" she said, with a cigarette burning between her lips as she sat next to him.

"Sorry, Revy," he said, reaching for the can before it could tumble off of him. "What were you saying?"

The strong wind from the boat's movement caused dark strands of hair to blow in front of her face, but Rock could still make out the impatient roll of Revy's eyes. "You falling asleep again?"

"No, no, of course not," he replied. "Sorry, I was just thinking."

"So you were fuckin' ignoring me?"

Here we go.

"I wasn't ignoring you," he spoke fast, wanting to defuse Revy's oncoming wrath. "I was thinking about what you said, that's all."

He tried not to look at Revy as he sat up, but as he opened the can and took a large gulp he couldn't help but see her in the corner of his sleepy vision, folding her arms across her chest as she regarded him with a narrow eyed stare. "Ok then; what did I just say?"

Rock's eyes only widened for a second. Great, he thought. Now what? In truth he was still tired as hell from the night before, and had only just finished working off the hangover that plagued him for most of the morning; he must have been dozing when Revy was talking, so he didn't catch any of it. And now he was stuck with the dilemma of having to recall her words, words that he had a snowball's chance in hell of reciting.

"Err… you," he paused for a moment as she glared daggers at him, a sweat breaking out on his forehead as he fought for control of his brain, as well as his mouth. "You said that you… that you– "

"Ah save it dip-shit," Revy huffed.

"Ok, I fell asleep," he said, raising his hands in confession. "Three hours wasn't exactly what I had in mind."

He took another chilled mouthful of beer as his partner looked at him long and hard, and then after what seemed like an eternity, Rock felt some relief when he noticed the corners of her mouth curl upward. It was only slight, but it was better than nothing. "Well you will keep trying to upstage me, dumb-ass; if Dutch has to carry your drunken ass back to your apartment one more time, he might start charging you for the trouble."

Rock smiled at the thought, although the idea of his boss asking him to cough up some cash for his efforts wasn't so unrealistic, especially if he continued the way he was; the funny thing was that Revy was speaking as if she was the blinding exception to this rule, and that the booze couldn't touch her like it did him. He recalled more than once where she had collapsed from her seat at the bar – only minutes before he met the floor as well, but still. Funny how she can't remember her own puking stumbling episodes from previous nights, he thought.

The breeze from the Lagoon's eager movement brushed against Rock's face, helping to him wake fully as the sun held high with its white hot brilliance, rising over the clear blue of the ocean as they were on their way home from a small collection job. The humidity of the day was held back by the speed of the torpedo boat; coupled with the beverage in his hand, Rock was grateful for the cooling experience that it brought. The moment they reached the dock however, he'd be sweating like a pig again, as was the norm with living in a place like Roanapur.

Maybe Revy's right, he thought. Maybe I should change my outfit? But not that Hawaiian shirt, not a chance in hell I'm putting that thing on.

He'd been wearing the same kind of – what some people might call boring, dreary – clothing for most of his adult life, and in this part of the world his mostly white and tidy wardrobe was near impossible to keep clean during working hours. The problem was he had no idea what he could change into; he guessed that he could hit the market when they got back, but he was far from optimistic about the idea. He'd have to remember not to mention it to Revy, as she'd only get on his back about the Hawaiian shirt again, and that was the last thing he wanted to deal with. It had been well over a year since he'd joined the Lagoon and entered into his new life as a pirate within the vast expanse of the criminal underworld, and Revy had never let up about the damn shirt; Rock would wonder on occasion why she seemed so pissed off about him not wearing the thing, but simply put it down to her just being herself, wanting to get her own way. What else could it be?

He was brought out of his thoughts when Revy spoke again. "You better be ready for more is all I'm saying; we've got shots to knock down after we get back."

Rock groaned. "I might skip out on tonight."

"Oh no you don't bitch," Revy said, handing him the last half of her cigarette. "We're heading over there as soon as we get the fuck back."

Rock accepted the smoke before responding. "What about Mr Chang?"

"What about him?"

"He's going to want his package first,"

Revy rolled her eyes again. "We'll take care of it on the way; after that I'm done with this shit for the day. Dutch can bark and moan all he fuckin' wants; I swear he gets more and more like a moody old geezer every day."

Rock took a slow drag of the cigarette, feeling its strong flavour waft between the walls of his mouth, poring into his throat before letting it loose into a clear white cloud from between his lips. "I'm pretty sure we've got no more jobs today anyway."

"Well then," Revy said, punching Rock lightly on the shoulder. "You've got nothing to bitch about; as soon as we deliver Chang's package, it'll be the Yellowflag, you, me, drinking your ass under the table, again."

Rock shook his head, wondering if things would ever be any different. It wasn't that he really wanted to change his nightly activities; in truth he had nothing better to do anyway. But lately something else had been on his mind, plaguing him day in and day out; he hadn't mentioned it to anyone, and if he was really lucky no one would ever know, although that didn't mean it wasn't bothering him something terrible.

"Hey… Revy?" he said. Rock what are you doing you idiot? He thought to himself.

"Yeah?" she half-heartedly asked as she leaned back, resting her elbows on the deck.

Don't say a fucking word! Rock yelled inwardly at himself. She'll either laugh herself to death or knock your lights out.

"Oh, its nothing," he finally said.

With that, Rock looked away from her, but not quick enough that he didn't catch her frown. "Rock, what's with you today?"

"Don't worry about it," he replied. Please Revy; don't ask me.

"Don't worry about what?" Revy sat up again, clearly angered by Rock's indecision. "Spit it out; what did you w… " She trailed off, and Rock noticed her scrutinising him, as if just realising something.

"What's wrong?" he asked, inwardly panicking that she'd seen through him.

"You're not wearing your tie." She said, the sound of shock rolling out of her in a sizable quantity.

"My tie?" he said. Thank god, that was way too close!

He remembered leaving that part of his so called uniform back at his apartment before heading out for the job; the truth was he'd be feeling hotter than fire from the moment he woke up and thought that just for once he'd allow some oxygen to make contact with his neck. He had to admit, it didn't help a great deal, but it was a hell of a lot better than having it fastened around his throat all day.

"My fuckin' god!" Revy exclaimed with a sparkle in her eyes, grinning from ear to ear. "Does this mean your going to finally ditch that stupid office boy look? Do you even have any clothes a man might wear?"

Rock couldn't help an embarrassed chuckle at her question. "That's a little harsh; these are men's clothes."

Revy laughed. "If you say so stud."

"And I didn't say I was changing my outfit." Did she just call me Stud?

"Whatever dumb-ass," Revy replied, sighing. "Whatever happened to that Hawaiian shirt I bought you? You better not have thrown it the fuck away."

"Revy… that shirt… " Rock hated this, wondering if he could go at least a week without hearing about it. "We've been over that; I can't wear that thing."

Rock knew what was coming now; anyone who had spent at least five minutes with Revy would see this on the way. He expected the usually onslaught of yelling and curses, maybe even one of her cutlass wedged between his eyes. And then he saw it, and it was so unexpected that his slowly burning cigarette fell from his lips, flying away in the wind as Revy's eyes clouded over, in a way he'd never really seen.

The Lagoon's gunslinger looked away from him. "Ah, you'd look even more stupid in that thing anyway."

Rock couldn't believe the look he'd seen in her eyes before she shifted her gaze out towards the ocean. Shit! Did I just hurt her feelings? Whatever he'd done he didn't like it, and a swell of guilt filled him up at the silence of his friend, probably the closest person to him in his fast paced life of bullets and booze, of adrenaline and death. His mind now grasped for something – anything – that could turn the tables and, for a change, not make her mad at him.

"Hey Revy," when she didn't respond he continued. "Tell you what: we'll go head to head at the Yellowflag, and if you win I'll wear the shirt. What do you think?"

Revy stayed silent for the next few moments, with Rock eagerly awaiting a response; he began to worry when she didn't answer, and the seconds seemed to stretch out into a weary eternity as his friend stared ahead. His body almost turned to ice as time slowed to nothing. When she opened her mouth her voice was far lower than before, and something in it made Rock feel ten times worse. If he had a shell at this moment, he may very well have receded into it.

"I was just kidding Rock," she said without looking back at him, speaking in a drained sort of way. "You don't have to wear the dumb thing."

Rock's heart began to sink, even if he didn't truly understand what was happening. "Revy, I'm– "

In what seemed like an impossible blur of movement, Revy sprang to her feet, her expression now normal again. "I'm going to check in with Dutch. Don't fall asleep again; wouldn't want your dumb-ass to roll off the boat."

Rock's jaw could have landed in his lap as he sat there, watching as she turned and went below deck. "Revy? What the… "

She didn't respond as she swiftly disappeared from view, leaving Rock in wonder at what had just taken place. For the first time in months, Rock thought he'd actually crossed the line with her, but at the same time was monumentally taken back by the fact that a gun hadn't been pointed at his head. Whatever was going on with Revy, he knew it wasn't the usually mood swing into rage. Was she actually upset? No, she couldn't be. He didn't have the answers, and he was positive that he wouldn't be able to make her realise that he was sorry. But thinking about it he came back to one certainty: she did after all buy him the shirt, out of her own pocket no less, something that he'd never known her to do before.

Rock felt like a two ton shit whilst thinking about this; he and Revy had become closer as time went by, and in all truth she never really gave him a hard time anymore, on the contrary, he couldn't recall her speaking badly of him for some time. And I had to go and mess things up. Rock was certain that his way with people since entering Roanapur had advanced to a certain level, but he still managed, on occasion, to say the wrong thing around Revy. It wasn't just the issue with the shirt and he knew it; every now and then he simply brought something out of her that wasn't always healthy for him. He thought he would have learned by now. But still he couldn't get away from that look in her eyes, as if she were truly hurt from his comment, only to switch suddenly back to normal when he tried to talk to her. He couldn't imagine why this would have happened; it made even less sense than his continued presence in the city of the dead, and that was a scary thought.

Rock stayed out on the deck long enough to finish his beer; as soon as the can was empty he picked himself up, straightening his rumbled clothes. He decided that he'd try and smooth things over when they finished the drop-off; Revy would need time to cool off for a little while. Rock just hoped that it was long enough; he hated it when she was mad with him, now more than ever.

"Rock, get in here!" he heard Revy yell from inside the boat.

Rubbing his temple in anticipation of an ear-full from his partner, Rock headed towards the front hatch, only stopping when he caught sight of something. Looking back the way they'd come, he could just barely make out – maybe a mile back, maybe less – several small shapes, moving fast and seemingly gaining quit quickly. A faint panic injected into him at the sight, forcing him to move without looking back.

"Dutch!" Rock yelled as he speedily descended the ladder into the Lagoon.

Within a few nerve-rattling seconds Rock had made it inside the boat and was stumbling into the bridge; Dutch didn't look back from his seat at the controls, and Revy was standing next to him, her arms folded as she regarded Rock with serious impatience.

"Dutch," Rock said. "We've got trouble."

"The boats heading after us?" Dutch responded, as calmly as ever. "Yeah, Benny picked them up a couple of minutes ago."

"Why do you think I just called you, dummy?" Revy said, attaching a com-like to her ear.

Rock ignored her remark. "So what are we going to do?"

"Well if they ain't friendly then my cutlass' will indulge them," Revy said, grinning a feral grin. "Halleluiah, I was hoping for some action after this boring fuckin' job."

Dutch was mostly hidden from view by the back of his seat; a long trail of cigarette smoke swirled upward from the other side of the chair as the large man called out. "Benny boy, talk to me."

"The rate they're gaining, they'll be on us in two more minutes, Dutch." The voice of the Lagoon's computer wizard came over the ship's com-system loud and clear.

Rock heard Dutch blow smoke from his mouth again. "Just when it was looking to be an easy day. Revy– "

"Got it," she cut him off before heading towards the door, giving Rock a brief grin as her obviously excitement at the possible fight to come lit her eyes up like two candles, maniacally flickering. "It's gonna get bumpy Rocky, so try not to loose your breakfast."

"I didn't have any breakfast."

"You know what I mean, jack-ass."

Rock groaned. "Revy; you know this isn't my thing."

Revy stopped as she reached the door, regarded him with a strange boredom in her eyes. "Yeah, I'm reminded repeatedly. But don't worry; if you don't wet your pants I might buy you an ice cream when we're done. " And then she was out of sight, the sound of her chuckles carrying back to his ears alarmingly well.

Rock briefly thought back to his first brush with death with the Lagoon Company; he'd been scared witless – more scared than he could ever remember or even imagine – during that first shootout at the Yellowflag from that mercenary group Extra Order. How things had changed, he thought. It wasn't as if he was now this fearless person, but after so many near misses, he had grown somewhat used to their routine death matches with whatever killing machine came next, and as much as Revy might argue otherwise, Rock liked to think that he had learned to keep his cool quite well.

"There a problem, Rock?" he heard Dutch say.

Rock moved to the side of the main chair, looking out the window as he asked: "A problem? With what?"

"Well maybe you didn't notice but Revy seemed a little off when she came in here."

Rock didn't look at Dutch as he spoke, but this was something he didn't really want to talk about, if there was anything to discuss in the first place. "I didn't notice anything strange."

Dutch smiled in that all knowing way that Rock had seen before. "Well you don't need to be a student of the human animal to see that something's been bugging her for the past few weeks. I should probably ask; did something happen when you two were top side?"

Rock tried to speak, tried to say that nothing had happened; something had indeed happened, he just wasn't completely sure what it was. "Dutch– "

"If you don't want to tell me that's fine. But whatever's going on between you two can't get in the way right now."

"I'm not even sure what did happen, Dutch," Rock said. "We were talking and… I don't know. Things have been different for a while; probably since coming back from Japan."

He'd be lying if he were to say that he hadn't noticed certain aspects of his partner that were slightly out of character; their friendship – and that was what Rock considered it to be – was different somehow. She didn't get down on him half as much as she used to, aside from just a moment ago anyway, but then there was the way she looked when he made his revulsion at the shirt known once again, as if he really had struck a nerve with her. But how could that be possible, he wondered? She'd never really seemed hurt like that before, so why would that change now? What was really so different nowadays?

"Well Rock," Dutch said. "As much as I'd luv' to talk about this more, I think we've got bigger problems right now. If I were you I'd hold on to something; I don't think those guys are chasing us to announce that we've won a free holiday to Greece."

"No," Rock agreed. "Somehow, I doubt that too."

Revy tried to shake off the memories of her conversation with Rock; there was no way she wanted to give that subject any more thought, at least not now. She was pissed off enough with the ex-office jockey as it was without going over his last words again, although she wasn't entirely sure why she was so annoyed.

What do I care if he doesn't like the goddamn shirt? She thought. Just leave it alone for fuck sakes, no point in thinking about that shit now.

She went about shutting her mind down as the clock counted to the inevitable zero, to the moment when the bullets would begin to fly, and a smile crossed her lips as she headed for the hatch. She'd already grabbed what she needed and was now completely intent on satisfying that deep dripping hunger that came on the eave of every battle fought. It was a delicious sensation, the kind that even sex couldn't match.

Something told her that these guys coming after them meant business; who they were didn't really enter into the matter. She'd been waiting for some action and the open ocean gave her something different. It had been quite some time since she'd been involved in combat at sea, and she was looking forward to the experience of filling those fuckers full of holes.

She came out through the rear hatch, the wind whipping away at the back of her head as her eyes caught the small boats on the Lagoon's six, coming up fast. She lifted a pair of binoculars from around her neck and scanned the tightly knit group: five boats in total. As they got closer Revy caught the sight of men readying weapons, but couldn't tell what they were packing just yet. In any case it didn't make much of a difference to her. Five of them; way too fuckin' easy!

Revy kept her feet balanced on the last ladder bar, bringing her assault rifle to bare, the sun gleaming from its reflective metallic surface, flashing across her vision momentarily; it was an FNC model that she'd bought two months ago, and so far her new toy hadn't been properly tested, but today was that day, and all its specs gave nothing but compliments to its design. If it proved itself to be half as reliable as her Cutlass then she'd made a good purchase that day. Although these weren't the only surprises she had waiting for these bastards. If it's blood they want then its blood they'll get.

"Revy," Dutch's voice entered her earpiece. "How's it looking out there?"

"Five boats," she said, barely able to contain her excitement. "Maybe two men per craft, all carrying noise makers."

"Don't go firing off rounds just yet," Revy signed loudly at hearing this. "I'm serious; no killing until we know they've got it coming."

Revy ground her teeth. "Roger, boss-man."

Even if their pursuers were hostile, they were placed so close together that she could probably pull off the same stunt from last time: jumping from boat to boat and wiping out every last one of them one by one. With this thought enthusiastically locked in, she watched as the group came within fifty metres of the PT boat. Revy eye's darkened when something changed; the speedboats got a little closer before suddenly breaking up, spreading out to create a space of maybe twenty five feet of frothing water between each. It was at this moment that Revy felt a slight prickle of unease run down her back.

"Shit," she said, unhooking her binoculars and setting them aside. "Yep, they've got it coming. Dutch! They've spread out; get ready to rock the boat!"

Just after she spoke, her ears were deafened by the sudden whistle of bullets flying mere inches above her head, some twanging off of the railing surrounding the hatch. She ducked her head for a moment, grinning like a kid at Christmas as the fight was now on; keeping the stock of the rifle firmly against her shoulder, Revy calmly stared through the hail of bullets as she took aim at the lead boat, opening fire on the driver. The windshield erupted into tiny glistening shards as the boat veered off to the left, trying to avoid her shots, resulting in the gunman in the passenger seat falling backwards, two bloody holes appearing in his chest.

Revy smiled at the confirmed kill, but had to fight to keep her balance on the ladder when an explosion went off close to the Lagoon's left side, a bright shower of water blasted upward, the explosion barely missing the Lagoon and shaking her out of position. Revy cursed silently as she saw two of the boats drawing closer; the man holding a grenade launcher in the craft on the right caught her attention. If she didn't take that guy out now she'd be toast in a heartbeat. Laying down as much suppressing fire as she could, she then aimed for the one boat, hoping that she didn't take a bullet to the head before she could make an end of her prey. She kept the grenade launcher shit for brains in her sights, even as Dutch pulled the ship hard to starboard, and then she fired off three careful shots just as the man raised the launcher again; one went wide, one caught the guy in the throat, while the last made its mark directly centred in his forehead, sending him limp in his seat. A split second after that last kill, the entire boat went up in a display of fire and smoke, sending shards of shrapnel souring into the air as the other boats manoeuvred away from the blast; Revy ducked from return fire again, guessing that the launcher must have gone off as the guy collapsed in his seat. Unlucky for him, she thought merrily.

But a part of her wasn't enjoying this as much as usual; these guys weren't as stupid as she had first thought, their attack pattern suggesting some experience. Revy knew that if they were just a rag-tag bunch of scummy bandits then they'd be well and truly fucked by now, but from the moment they got within shooting range they had made their ability quite clear. But on the other hand if their aim was as good as hers then she might have been clocked in the head by now; the Lagoon wasn't as agile as the smaller pursuing craft, so maybe the henchmen weren't all that brilliant? Maybe it's whoever's leading them that knows a thing or two? Or maybe they're just getting lucky?

Revy cut the speculation out as she prepared the deal out death once again. She rose from her cover and let another hail of bullets fly, punching holes in the face of another driver and bringing the boat to slow down and fall behind. She was about take aim at another target when she felt a ripping pain shoot across her left shoulder; Revy roared in anger, not bothering to check her wound as she emptied the last of her magazine towards the closest boat, which swept to port, only catching a couple of hits in its hull. And then the enemy returned fire, seemingly from every remaining boat; three left, but already they were causing so much trouble. She could feel the thundering shots that the back of the Lagoon was taking; it was a tough boat, but by no means indestructible. If she didn't take them out soon, she and the others would be swimming home.

While ducking down and reloaded her rifle, Revy's eyes briefly went over her shoulder; it wasn't bleeding badly, more of a graze than anything. It wasn't anything that a quick stitch job couldn't fix.

"Rock!" she yelled. "Get your ass to the rear hatch and hand me the M-79."

"I'm coming," he responded in her ear.

She didn't wait to see him appear in the entryway; coming up again, Revy continued to fire, snarling as the boats furthest away fired back whilst the closest evaded her bullets, only taking minor damage. She was getting tired of this dancing around, so much so that she almost didn't see the man in the far left boat raising the RPG in her direction. Her gut curled in upon itself as she saw the bastard level Mr Sudden Doom with the torpedo boat.

"Dutch! Shake this bitch's fat ass already!"

The rocket propelled grenade shot towards the Lagoon, just as Dutch pulled from left to right like a madman. Revy watched, in almost slow motion as she continued to fight, continued to fire, as the world became a frightening blur from the Lagoon's frantic movements. A horrendous boom called out with an earthquake-like rumble as a watery blast went off somewhere to her right, sending a vibration through her entire body and shaking every inch of the ship. Revy's feet left the ladder, meeting nothing to thin air as she fell from the hatch entrance, plunging down and crashing to floor. She grunted loudly as she touched down, down onto a surprisingly soft yet bony surface.


"What the– " Revy shook her daze away, ignoring the ringing in her ears as she looked down to what she'd just fallen on.

Rock was lying beneath her, sprawled out and in obvious discomfort, one hand rubbing at his head, the other holding her grenade launcher with its strap of extra ammo. Although there was definite pain in his blood shot eyes, in his reddening face, she didn't think anything was broken. And despite the situation, the sight of him lying there like a crash mat was too hilarious for words.

Revy left her rifle on the floor and retrieved the launcher from him. "Thanks dumb-ass."

Without looking back, Revy left a bewildered and groaning Rock on the ground, heading back up the ladder; at the same time she ignored numerous bumps and scrapes from her fall. A wicked buzz encased her body as well as her brain as she emerged from the hatch again, the muscles in her arms pulling and tensing as she heaved herself up into the open.

When she took in the rear view once more, she was met with a surprise; only two boats could be seen. The third was nowhere to be found.

"Dutch," she said. "You got eyes on anything?"

Before her employer answered Revy already heard the metal ping of a machine pistol going off somewhere at the front of the ship. "I've got one trying to play chicken with me," Dutch replied. "This guy's eyes are bigger than his stomach."

Revy couldn't see the boat, its body being obscured by the protruding shell of the bridge. As the Lagoon shifted from side to side, Revy took aim with the M-79, leaping from the hatch and onto the large stretch of the top deck. Keeping her balance with the skill of a star athlete as she darted to the left, avoiding a shower of machinegun fire as she let loose with the launcher, taking out the rear left boat, creating a terrible ball of fire that continued onward as it's already demised occupants cooked within the inferno (Revy was comically reminded of a headless chicken, still trotting on after the infliction of it's decapitation) before coming to a flaming dead stop.

"What the… Revy! We've got a visitor." Dutch called into her ear just as she saw the boat – that had been at the nose of the ship – passing by to join it's one and only remaining partner at the Lagoon's back.

She didn't have time to pay attention to the two remaining boats; she'd caught Dutch's words too late, and spun on her heels to receive the full weight of a body slamming into her, knocking her to the ground, sucking the wind right out of her lungs. The grenade launcher rolled out of her hand, tumbling behind her as a huge stubble wearing man in an weathered blue boiler suit bared down on her; a long combat knife resting firmly in his hand as he brought it downward, aiming for her chest. Revy gasped angrily as she brought both hands up, grasping her attackers wrist and managing to cease the blade in its tracks, its tip hovering half in inch from its intended mark. She fought for breath as the attacker growled, balling his free hand up and throwing punches down at her. Revy shifted her head away to avoid the numerous blows, the last catching her on the side of the head, and her eyes widened when the sharp tip of metal dipped into the skin of her gut ever so slightly.

"Revy!" Dutch called into her earpiece. "What's going on out there girl?"

She didn't answer, couldn't answer. All the while her rage was working overtime to pry the knife away whilst trying to not have her lights knocked out from the continued barrage of blows, but the man was large – over twice her size – and the struggle was gradually gaining force in his favour as he puffed and yelled with his efforts. Revy picked up the harsh smell of cigars on his breath, and she knew that his knife was about to hit home and stay there.

Just when she thought her end had finally arrived, the Lagoon shifted sharp to the left, and the man who had nearly killed her tumbled off, landing on his back to her right. Revy didn't waste any time, with her teeth bared in a roaring eruption of anger, she swung her fist in a hammer-like blow to his throat. The resulting bulge of his eyes as he choked caused him to drop his knife, sending it clanging across the deck and into the ocean as Revy rolled onto him, now completely ignoring the bullets from the remaining adversaries as she straddled the bastard's stomach as he fought vainly for oxygen. Grasping the sides of his face with her fingers, she buried her thumbs in his eyes, and the brightness of the day was alight with the horrifying screams of the man as he released his terrible agony for all the world to hear. Blood gushed and oozed from his sockets, and even with that done, Revy was far from satisfied.

Releasing both her Cutlass from their holsters, she planted four bullets in his face, sending jets of scarlet spilling upward as his cries were permanently ended. The gun fire continued from the rear, and as Revy looked up – the crimson life from the dead man sprayed across her face – she saw that the shooting was only coming from the one boat; obviously the other one had lost its gunner when the piece of shit jumped aboard. Revy was done with his game now.

These cocksuckers are dead!

Raising her 92's, she leaped from the lifeless body and opened fire, running at full speed towards the boat that still posed a threat. She darted and ducked from oncoming bullets; all thought of failure, of death, of loosing, it was all gone now and all that remained in her hunter's brain was the kill. That was all that existed. She wouldn't stop until they were all corpses.

She sprinted to the back of the Lagoon, seeing that the firing speedboat was only ten feet behind; grinning like a bloodied shark, Revy leapt into the air, all the while continuing to fire. Her body rolled and turned as she effortlessly flew, like a bird, somersaulting through the air and creating a constellation of red holes through the driver and his gun-toting passenger, ending them both even before she landed hard in the back seat behind them. The adrenaline thrived within her and kept her moving; some part of her mind – right at the very back – would know that she'd feel the landing later, but right now she was moving, not caring, climbing over the dead bodies as the boat began to loose control. She jumped onto the front of the speedboat and leapt with everything she had, cutting the distance before the boat slowed and landing back on the deck of the Lagoon with a victorious grunt.

She rose from where she'd landed, laughing quietly as she reloaded her cutlass, her heart drumming with homicidal joy, staring down the remaining gun-less boat; she could see the fear in the driver's eyes as they bulged from their sockets, a mixture of terror and astonishment dancing within their watery surface.

"That's right fucker," she whispered, slipping two new mags into place and thumbing back the hammers. "Its just you and me now."

Rock's heart stopped for a moment – for just a brief instant of terrifying uncertainty – when Revy didn't answer Dutch; he held onto the back of the main seat in the bridge as Dutch pushed the Lagoon to its top speed. He couldn't see his employer's face right now, but he could feel the definite tension emanating from the larger man, steaming up from him in invisible clouds. But in Rock's case, he thought that if anyone cared to look at him right now they would see the anxiety ripping away at his sweating facial features.

"Revy?" Dutch called again. Not response.

And then they heard it: gunfire once again, and Rock was relieved when he recognised the sounds (he'd heard them more than enough times to know for certain) to be from Revy's Cutlass'. The fight wasn't over yet; Revy wasn't over yet. Though no matter how things were turning out up on the top deck, Rock had already made up his mind.

"I'm going to check on her," he said, turning away from the front of the bridge and heading for the door.

"Just keep your head down," Dutch said over his shoulder. "I don't need you full of goddamn holes."

Rock simply replied with a nod, not looking to see if Dutch had noticed or not, and then he ran for the forward hatch; even as he grasped the ladder and began his ascent, he could still hear firing. At one point he thought he heard Revy cry out, but it didn't sound like pain, more like a battle cry. Come, Revy, he thought nervously. Don't you dare get shot after everything you've survived.

"You fucking COWARD!" he heard her scream suddenly, and then more shooting.

Rock came up from the front hatchway to view Revy at the back of the deck, firing furiously at one boat, which was now retreating fast in the opposite direction. He felt a great heap of relief fall onto him when he saw this; it appeared that she'd come out victorious again. Rock almost smiled at the sight; she never ceased to amaze, especially when it came to the way of the gun, to making an end of all who crossed her. But it seemed that her last kill had eluded her, and was speeding further and further away.

"Revy," Rock called as he jumped down onto the deck, knowing now that it was safe to do so.

Revy turned her head back to him, and the fury he saw in her eyes from loosing her mark was all too clear, and scary; she holstered her Cutlass' as she shouted: "Rock, hand me that launcher over there!"

He saw it, and ran without hesitation, grimacing a little at the body he had to jump over to get to the weapon: a man with several bullet holes in his paling face, not to mention two small puddles of dark red where his eyes used to be. The sight was enough to make him want to vomit. He blocked out the gruesome image as he moved on by, grabbing the launcher off of the ground, and carrying it towards Revy as she stood there, looking out at the boat that was getting smaller and smaller; her obvious impatience causing her to shake, her fists clenching as she waited.

Rock was three feet behind her when the Lagoon rocked once again; he tried hard but couldn't keep his balance, and began falling forward. His panic rose as he struggled to fall in another direction, any direction would do except for the one he was heading in. Shit! No, no, nononono! He couldn't stop, and Revy turned around just in time to receive his full weight slam into her; the impact was enough to cease Rock's movement, but unfortunately knocked the enraged gunslinger off the boat.

"Rock! The motherf– " her words were cut off by the splash as her body plunging into the water.

"Revy!" Rock yelled as he regained his footing on the deck. Ah crap, she's going to fucking kill me!

Well that's chapter one finished, I hope you guys like this story so far; I will try and get a second chapter out as soon as I can.