A/N: This collection is just what it sounds like, a random assortment of side stories for my "Ame no Murakumo ga Miteru" universe of Kannazuki no Miko fanfiction, things that aren't part of the main sequence of novellas but are complete stories, not humorous omakes (those, in turn, would wind up in the "Omake of the Godless Month" collection). It was my friend and honorary little sister Fuyu no Sora, definitely AmeMite's biggest fan, who suggested that I do something like this, so it seems appropriate that this fic be about a pair of siblings.
~X X X~
She wore white, did the tall, slim woman as she walked into the chaos of the Tokyo nightclub. She was handsome, rather than pretty, almost androgynous in her appearance rather than sexy or girlishly cute, and the effect of makeup lightly applied only emphasized that rather than distinguished her sex. Her ankle-length coat was buttoned from neck to waist, then flared open to reveal trousers and boots. She made no move to pay the cover charge, and the bouncer made no move to take it from her, even flinching away from the gaze of this stranger.
She thought it was only fair. After all, she wasn't there to drink, dance, or socialize, only for a business meeting that she hadn't chosen the venue for.
Inside the club, she found herself swallowed up as if plunging into an ocean of sound. Screaming, growled vocals about raiders dying for the glory of Odin shifted to a sorrowful, almost sobbing keyboard melody that mourned the bleak future when those fierce warriors would make their last stand on the plain of Vigrid. The woman had no interest in the music or the imagery, but the song by Viking metal band Hrist Valkyrie was one she knew well from the days before she'd moved to Tokyo and it made a nostalgic pang tug at her heart in accordance with the mood of the music.
The crowd in the nightclub, like the bouncer, gave the woman in white a wide berth. While her mint-green hair fit in with the atmosphere, the dominant color around her was black, broken up by blues, greens, reds, and pinks of neon brightness. Against that background, she stood out like a brilliant star, and like a star no one wanted to come too close lest they be burned.
She approved of and appreciated the attitude. It made it easier for her to work.
Her gaze flicked dismissively over the crowd from behind the thick lenses of her square-framed, silver-rimmed glasses. The one she was here to meet wouldn't be out among the general mass of celebrants. He would hold himself aloof, not even at a table but...yes, there. She had spotted the entrances to the private rooms.
Without hesitation, she crossed the club floor. Bodies reeled out of her way, on occasion colliding with others in their haste to remove themselves from her path. When she reached her goal, another bouncer stepped forward to bar her way, taking his job more seriously than did the one at the door. He was built broadly in the torso and narrow-hipped; obviously he worked with weights and was proud of the effect it caused since the black T-shirt he wore with the club's name on the front was a size too small, stretched across and molded to every plane and curve of his musculature.
The woman in white did not begrudge his presence. It would save her time and trouble.
"Private," he growled. His voice was swallowed by the music, the movement of his lips more informative than sound.
"Matou," she said, standing barely an inch away.
"I told you, it's private. Now—" He broke off as he started to lean in, use his size and weight to intimidate her, and felt the first sting of pain. His eyes dropped, looking beneath them, and saw the glints of light reflecting from the knife-blade in her palm, the needle-thin tip of which was pressed against his groin. "Room three," he finished quite differently than he had intended.
The bouncer stepped aside to let the woman in white pass. She flicked one quick glance in his direction as she passed him, making sure that he wasn't going to try anything foolish like attempt to grab her once her back was turned and her knife wasn't intimately associated with his privates. It was always so messy to have to provide object lessons to people who weren't really part of her job.
She stopped outside the correct door. It wasn't even locked; Matou Daigo was there to party, not do business. He slouched back on the padded leather sofa, half-reclining on a bottle-blonde in a red dress while a buxom girl straddled his thighs in a way that forced her black microskirt almost to her waist, pouring champagne into a glass held in his right hand.
His two bodyguards reacted at once to the woman's entry, recognizing her and her likely business with their master. They'd been waiting one on each side of the door, immediately flanking any newcomer, and reached beneath their suit jackets for weapons. The one on the woman's right produced a nine-millimeter handgun, marking him as the immediate problem; she stepped in towards his left and swept out with her knife. There was a gush of blood and a scream, and his severed thumb struck the carpet a moment faster than the dropped gun. Her foot came up and drove into his belly, kicking him over to crash into the soundproofed wall. There, he slumped to the floor, clutching his maimed hand and choking out moans with what little breath her kick had not driven from his body.
The second bodyguard had drawn a kaiken, a tanto dagger with no handguard so the sheath and hilt fit together as one. The weapon had been popular with women of the samurai class in the past, now favored by yakuza for its concealability. He came at the woman in white with a downward-slashing cut. She caught his wrist in her left hand and redirected the force of his swing through a vicious, torquing twist that broke bone and rent the ligaments in his elbow. At the same time, she raised her right foot and delivered a savage heel stamp to the side of his knee that left his leg buckling sideways in a direction that the human leg is not actually supposed to bend.
In less than fifteen seconds, both of Matou's bodyguards were left twitching on the rug.
The whore in the black dress screamed and hurled the champagne bottle at the intruder. More bewildered than anything, she moved her head to the left and let the impromptu missile sail by to shatter against the wall, then when the woman jumped for her with pointed nails like talons hit her on the side of the neck with the edge of her hand and dropped her like she'd been poleaxed. The second call girl just huddled in the corner of the couch, whimpering, as the woman in white pulled Matou up off the couch.
"Your oyabun has a message for you, Matou-san."
"No, please, no..." he babbled.
"Takamura-sama is very disappointed in your gambling habit, a shameful weakness. He is even more deeply disappointed that you have helped yourself to your collection accounts to fund your habit. Sadness consumes him that you have patronized Ayanokoji-gumi establishments with your wagers, in an attempt to conceal the depths of your misdeeds. Those are Takamura-sama's words." She paused, then added in a much less formal voice, "In my words, you little shit, you got caught dipping your hand in the till and using the Takamura-gumi's profits with our rivals, and now you're going to pay, which you already knew or your goons wouldn't have tried to jump me on sight."
"Please, please no, I'll give it back, I'll do anything!" he babbled in terror. Froth flecked his lips as he pleaded, "I've got a wife and two little girls, I—"
She cut off his contemptible whining with a knee to his groin, then dropped him to his floor, whimpering and curled around his pride and joy. She was reaching beneath her coat for her wakizashi, to finish the business, when a pulsing rock tune burst from her pocket, and her expression brightened.
"Sorry, I have to take this call; I'll be with you in a bit."
She took her cell phone out of her pocket and answered the ring.
"Hi, Tsu-nee!" Ohgami Shizuka's voice came through clearly. Tsukasa grinned, happy to hear from her little sister. "Is it a bad time?"
"Oh, no, I was just finishing up some business." She looked down at the moaning Matou, then rolled him over onto his back with her foot and stepped down onto his throat, exerting just enough pressure to allow for oxygen to breathe but not squeal. "Hey, keep it down," she snapped at him. "This is an important call."
"I'm not going to ask what kind of business. But you're doing okay, right?"
"Actually, I was promoted last month. I work directly for the boss now."
"Neat! Well, okay, kind of creepy, but I'll let Otousan and Okaasan nag you about finding a respectable job."
"So we've established that you're not nagging me about what you just nagged me about?" Tsukasa chuckled. She'd had more than one knock-down, drag-out fight with her parents over her lifestyle, but for some reason it never bugged her when her little sister worried about it.
"Idiot Tsu-nee. Anyway, I called for two reasons. One is to find out if you're coming back for my birthday next month."
"Am I welcome?"
"Otousan promises they won't bring up your job if you don't. And it's my birthday and I want all the people I care about there."
"All right, then, count me in. I can't let my Shi-kun down, right?"
"Darn straight. Oh, and speaking of straight and otherwise—"
"You met a boy?" Tsukasa almost squealed.
"Around here?" her sister snorted. "Not likely. Hey, if you happen to meet any cool badasses, you know, handsome, studly guys with a tough, sassy outside but a heart of gold, could you send one my way?"
Tsukasa glanced around the room at the sprawled forms.
"Sorry, most of the guys I meet at work are really kind of whiners and moaners, always crying over something. Besides, if I met someone cool like you describe, I'd keep him for myself."
"Have to keep up my rep, right? So what's the romance news, if you don't have a boyfriend?"
"It's Himemiya. Remember how I told you about how she was expecting some chick from her past life to show up?"
"Yeah, that was—oh, you're not serious!"
"Pinky swear serious. She'll be at the party so you can meet her. She's nice, but weirdly tough. Alice says she might even be better with a sword than Himemiya, if you can wrap your brain around it. But that's not the real news."
"Himemiya came out of the closet in a big way that very first day Himeko got here. It was all anyone could talk about for a week or so."
"Including you, I see, since you're talking about it," Tsukasa said smugly.
"Just because you're a professional bad guy does not make it okay to be a wiseass, Tsu-nee."
"Sure it does." Matou made a gurgling noise from beneath her boot. "Look, I've got to run; I've got a guy here just dying to talk to me. Thanks for the invite; I'll be sure to come. Tell the old man I said hi and give Okaasan a hug for me, okay?"
"Will do. I love you, Tsu-nee."
"Love you too, kiddo. Bye, now."
Tsukasa gave a happy sigh and dropped the phone back into her pocket. She took her foot off Matou's neck and he began to gasp and cough, sucking in air.
"Thanks for waiting. You know what, I'm in a really good mood right now, and I don't want to do something Shi-kun would be angry at me for, so I'm going to give you a special one-time offer. Bring the oyabun twice what you owe him with the biggest apology you can muster up—I'd suggest you start with fingers coming off—and we'll call it good. Mind you, I think you're not going to be trusted with anything more than a kid's lunch money worth of gumi funds, but hey, you're a liar, a cheat, a gambler, and a thief. Not to mention you've got seriously bad taste in women. Stay at home with your wife and kids."
"Twice what I—"
"If you like, I can kill you now, instead?"
"N-no! I'll-I'll find the money!"
"Good boy." She bent down and patted his cheek. "And by the way, if I do have to come back and talk to you tomorrow...well, do I really have to make the threat?"
Matou shook his head desperately.
"I'm so glad." Tsukasa preferred the ones who had enough imagination to come up with their own fears. They were much easier to intimidate than the sort who was too thick to imagine the consequences. "Bye, now."
She strolled out of the room, fishing out her cigarettes and lighter. The gold lighter was designed like a Chinese puzzle box; she had to manipulate five separate slides, levers, and tabs to get it to fire up. It had been a present from Shizuka, with the obvious subtext that if it was a pain in the butt to light one up every time, maybe she'd smoke less. Tsukasa used it anyway.
"Don't worry," she said with a grin as she passed the bouncer. "Nobody's dead." He actually looked at her in surprise, which...actually made her feel a little smug, honestly.
As she walked out into the cacophony of wild music and swaying bodies it occurred to her that the Takamura-gumi had connections to a number of agencies and companies in the music biz. Concert tickets with backstage passes for one of Shizuka's favorite bands might make for a nice birthday present.
~X X X~
A/N: Arrow mentioned her older sister Tsu-nee, who'd left home to pursue a career with the yakuza, in Chapter 3 of "The Seven Mysteries." A gumi is a yakuza clan or family. The two specific ones mentioned here are a shout-out to my own previous KnM story, "Sins in the Moonlight." And no, Chikane's mom did not get Tsukasa her job. ^_- By the way, the band's name is definitely a Valkyrie Profile shout-out, though indeed Hrist is the only one of the three sisters a real band might name themselves after since her name (in the English version of the game; it's Ahly in Japan) is actually taken from historical sources.
Incidentally, Tsu-nee's name is Tsukasa rather than Tsubasa because a couple of years back, when I actually thought her character up, I didn't know that "Tsubasa" could be a woman's name too. Your choice, really, if it works better this was, since, well, she's clearly not (ahem) exactly the same person...