Setting: The Third Toutoh Empire *refer to Dolls Chapter 1

Pairing(s): Shouta M. & Masamune D. (Friends; non-YAOI)

Length: 2,182 words

A/N: I'd suggest reading a bit on Dolls for a better understanding of the fan fiction.

Italics are thoughts and/or things of importance; Bold phrases are spoken in English.


Chapter One.

Face-off

Introducing The Tokkei's top three brigades...

"Shit, shit, shit!" It was after the the ceremony that his defeat truly sunk into Masamune — he didn't think that he would be outdone by that 'man of legend' for the third consecutive year. Ever since the day that he swore that he would carve upon the Tokkei his own legend, he had set his eyes over and beyond Shouta Mikoshiba's pristine record and accomplishments. The wielder of the six swords was in no way happier when he saw his second in command mocking him. "Shut the fuck up, Sanada!"

"I'm sorry Captain, but it seems to me that you let Mikoshiba-donno get to you again." The vice-captain of the Third Brigade chuckled, with no regard to the ominous aura that was about to engulf him like raging wild fire. Despite his superior's warnings, he maintained a very good relationship with the First Brigade, including casual meetings over tea and meals too, if their often erratic schedules allowed.

Their third member was compelled to speak up, as things might soon make a nasty turn. "Masamune, calm down." Being the eldest of the three, Kojuro knew how to keep their captain's temper on a tight leash, even if only temporary, and of course, their youngest member's antics to a minimum. "And Yukimura, you know better than to-" Kojuro paled for some seconds before regaining his composure just as soon as it had left him. Of all the possible times... His mind started grinding frantically just as the cause of today's dispute came into view.

"Mikoshiba-donno!" Yukimura dashed off to give his warm regards to their superior. "Congratulations! I earnestly believe that you truly deserve the top spo-" He cut his speech just to evade the incoming unidentified flying object, namely, one of Masamune's six claws. He could only be relieved that the dragon's accuracy had been a little off, hence, he escaped with a mere graze on the cheek.

"Are you quite done?" Masamune hated how his subordinate fawned over someone other than himself. He approached the two men, only to be halted by an awkwardly warm hand. "What do you need?" He used his free hand to retrieve his sword that had implanted itself firmly onto the concrete wall.

Grinning would be of no use, Shouta figured, as his hand got swatted right off the bat. "Oh? That was some good aim right there, Masamune-kun~" He played with the smaller man's hair which only escalated the latter's mini tantrum. Of course, that being Shouta's actual goal.

Kojuro, obviously dismayed at their current situation, did not even make any attempt to get in between the two because he knew that Captain Mikoshiba's persistence will still win over despite everything. He decided to stay on standby, just in case things got out of hand, like they always did. Beside him was Yukimura, who was trying to engage the reserved Usaki in a conversation.

Masamune hissed between his gritted teeth, "Cut the sarcasm crap!" Rarely does anyone make a fool out of the dragon, but in the deepest recesses of Masamune's mind, he wondered how Shouta does it every time. Everything about the revered captain of the dolls just pisses him off.

Needless to say, a normal person would have blanched at Masamune's hoarse response. "I was just being honest." Shouta had responded in what you could call his usual tone - he is one that you could not brand normal. In fact, the dragon's anger only gave birth to a fit of laughter from the former.

"Captain Mikoshiba.." Usaki wouldn't get himself involved under normal circumstances, but seeing Masamune's hands violently twitching was not a very good sign. He thought better not to push his luck by calling on his captain for the second time, so he threw a sideways glance at their vice captain instead.

Seiju, who was farther back, was also keeping tabs on Masamune. He knew that Shouta's pestering couldn't — wouldn't — be tolerated by the hotheaded dragon for any time longer than a minute. 3.. 2.. 1.. "Stoppu~ Now, now Shouta-kun." He willed himself to pull his captain away just as soon as the makeshift timer inside his head ticked away, for it would be inconvenient to have Masamune erupt in the corridors of the headquarters. Although, he did find it a shame that he had to be the one to spoil the fun. "We're really sorry for the bother, dragon-kun."

"We'll be taking our leave then." Usaki bowed discreetly, before leaving to join his comrades.

Yukimura merely followed the First Brigade with his eyes. "There they go." He surely wasn't one to quell disappointment, but seeing that Masamune was in no way in a good mood, he decided to keep himself hushed, or else he'd surely get it. He let his captain's head cool for a bit before he asked, "So, who's our next assignment?"

In a heartbeat, Kojuro intervened and gave the specifics of their mission. "#1652, Shiratagi Nanoe."

Putting his sword back into its sheath, Masamune continued Kojuro's briefing. "We'll meet outside the abandoned factory in the 3rd district at 3 o'clock sharp," he paused, carefully retracing the information they received from the intelligence department. "#1652 was last spotted there." He turned briskly, his hands casually resting over the hilts of his swords. "That would be all."

"Execution in broad daylight again?" A question Yukimura had directed to Kojuro. He, after all, did not like the media attention they have been getting recently. Besides the fact that all the executions they've done so far have all been exposed to the public, their brigade was also notorious for their distinctive SOP: death via decapitation.

Kojuro sighed. "It can't be helped."

[ Enter the world of the DOLLS ]

The bar Masamune had been frequenting had long lost its appeal since he'd seen his self-proclaimed rival flirting, not that it was in Shouta Mikoshiba's character, with that female bartender who often served his drinks. Whether it had been intentional or not, Masamune did not care. He strode past the establishment and decided to skip the alcohol altogether.

His apartment's door opened with a bang. An alcohol-deprived Masamune was no better than a drunk one, save the fact that he has an unbelievably high tolerance for alcohol. He darted past his bed and went for the bookshelf where he was hiding his pack of cigarettes. Tch. How can I be out? The answer came as soon as the question did. He had a fleeting recollection of his brigade members' unannounced visit the other day and certainly, Yukimura was one who did not enjoy turning a blind eye to his superior's vices. That brat.

Truth be told, there was nothing more he could do. He sunk down into that worn-down recliner where sleep would often humor him, in hopes that it would work its usual magic. After all, the past few nights had gone sleepless. In his routine fashion, he folded his arms tersely, closed his eyes and played with what little awareness he still had. Shiratagi Nanoe. 46. Unemployed. Current place of residence: unknown. Charges: murder of a couple and sever injury to.. It didn't matter. His head will be rolling before the day ends. Time, 1:00 am.

The minute noises — the low humming from the refrigerator, the recurring ticks from a distant clock — all were making Masamune's attempts at sleep ineffective. Damn. He knew well enough how futile further attempts would be, so he gave up. He donned a fresh pair of jeans and that sweater that he hung outside to dry. He left his apartment at exactly 5:15 am.

He rubbed his unused right eye as his quivering lips gave way to a sigh, quite a deep one at that. He knew he should have taken a scarf with him, given the freezing early-morning breeze. And for once it hit the mark. He scowled at his memory of making a mockery of last night's weather forecast, noting further that he should place even the slightest shred of belief on the man-made contraptions that were supposed to predict something that occurred naturally. Right.

He walked aimlessly, passing some junctions cutting corners along the way. During its length, one thing in particular piqued his interest: the lack of, rather, the utter absence of pedestrians. He sniggered inwardly. Today wasn't the only instance when he had the streets to himself, but something was terribly amiss. It was a Monday, and for the streets to be empty at the ripe hour of six would be near impossible.

It was the pungent metallic smell that made him understand. It just wasn't his day.

His sense of duty tipped his awareness over as he headed for the source, vigilant as he was. Earlier, he phoned Yukimura, only to hear a clumsily mouthed 'Cap'n' over the receiver. He could have easily settled for Kojuro, but the chap was from the 4th District and for him to be able to respond to this matter of urgency was unthinkable. "Come over here Yukimura." His voice must have sounded nasally, as he was, by that time, covering his nose in order to fend off the smell of death that was invading his senses.

Finally, Yukimura managed to snap out of his daze, greatly credited to the unconcealed distress in Masamune's voice. "Landmark?" Keeping the phone clamped between his ears and shoulders was an effortless task as he snagged the closest clothing he could get his hands on. He heard a tensed up '7-11' from his phone and his quick wit served its purpose. Out of the 7-11s in the 2nd District, the closest to Masamune's flat was on the intersection of the Fukushima and Karasuma Streets. "Copy that."

It was fifteen minutes on. Masamune decided to make his move and this occurred to be one of the many wrong decisions he had made in the entirety of his years at service. It was entirely up to fate whether or not it would lead to something more disastrous.

The lingering scent of blood had become suffocating, much more than what he could normally stomach, but it was far too late to turn back. Reinforcement would arrive soon, he didn't know how soon, but it will. He broke his pace and started anew, this time with slower, steadier steps which now matched his strained breathing and the unyielding trickling of sweat.

Facing death eye to eye and facing the dead were two wholly different things. He only had his hand to suppress his growing need to throw up.

[ Enter the world of the DOLLS ]

"That wasn't very nice Shouta-kun." Seiju knew he shouldn't be the one to talk since he did enjoy Masamune's passing moment of torment. He let out a chuckle, in which Shouta soon joined in.

Usaki, on the other hand, did not pay even the slightest attention to the others' shallow merriment and instead, was glancing at them with weary eyes. He breathed out with such heaviness that even Seiju didn't fail to notice. Seeing the vice captain's bothered look only brought more unease. "This— This is nothing." He adjusted his glasses after dabbing a tear that was forming in the corner of his left eye.

Shouta only eyed their youngest member. "You do know that paying attention to your health is a necessity for us, right?" He made sure that he used the right words, or else the naturally dense Usagi* might misinterpret whatever he had to say. "Same goes for you." He didn't have to, but he said it anyway. Seiju shied away and managed nothing but a weak smile, making his guilt known.

"I apologize. I will—" He wasn't about to say something near the line of getting only two hours worth of sleep, not unless he wanted a lengthier lecture. "I shall bear this in mind."

Seiju's maternal instincts caved in as he went to Usaki's defense. "Don't be so hard on Chibisagi*, Shouta-kun. Every one of us is plagued by our own nightmares." His hand inadvertently clutched Usaki's left sleeve, causing the other to almost wince.

"Fine, I'll drop it this time." To say that Shouta was oblivious to the unintended accusation would be an overstatement. He lightly patted Seiju's shoulder, perhaps, as a silent apology. It would have been a shock if Seiju even returned the gesture, but he managed to, with a tinge of hesitation as he let his hand hover, and finally touch the hand which was now under his. It was either an it's fine or no need for an apology, but Shouta was content with not knowing.

It wasn't until seconds later that another peculiar character cut in. "Did I catch you guys at a bad time?" It was Igarashi Sakyou*, with his ever loyal paperwork tucked away in a folder. Although, the mass itself was unusually bursting.

Shouta chimed, "My, isn't that a haul, Igaguri*?"

The Intel Department staff merely tsked at the open insult to his name. "I've no time to cater to your jokes. I need you over at Director Mikami's office, pronto."

"What's with the rush?" Shouta grabbed the man by the shoulders, stopping him on his tracks.

"They got Kubou*."


Until the next update, my beautiful dolls.

Dokuganryu (one-eyed dragon) usually refers to Masamune as Captain of the Dolls/ Tokkei does to Shouta.

Tokkei is a shorthand for Tokubetsu Shikeishikkou Keimukan Butai (Special Executions Police Force).

Usagi* is a pet name for Toudou Usaki.

Chibisagi* is a play on 'chibi' and 'usagi' which mean 'little' and 'rabbit' respectively.

Igarashi Sakyou* is an Intelligence Department personnel, whom Shouta often addresses as Igaguri*, meaning chestnut in its burrs(?).

Kubou* refers to Ayane Kubou, a member of the all-female Second Brigade.

As I wouldn't want to pad this page with too much information, feel free to PM me with whatever questions you may have.

A little background on DOLLS (You can read it at either mangareader or animea):

It is set in the chaotic Toutoh Empire wherein crime rates are soaring. Due to this, the prison populace keeps escalating, hence the establishment of the RoT (Rationalization of a Trial) and subsequently, the Tokkei. The Tokkei carries out executions of criminals sentenced to death in groups of three, which they call a Brigade. All in all, there are 47 brigades which are then equally distributed among the 7 sectors of the Empire, the First Brigade being the best brigade there is.