Disclaimer: Not mine! Gravity's!

A/N: I thought about making Conversations with a Poring multiple chapters, but realized that the tone is super different and the rating'll go up a bit, so this'll have to stand on its own.

And so Loki, the legendary Assassin Cross of Sunset, became known as "that Assassin Cross with the poring". He didn't mind the title and the occasional jeers. As long as he could continue being an assassin, nothing fazed him.

His days were brighter now, and he always carried a small supply of apples in his inventory.

But his colleagues thought him weak now.

They thought him unworthy of the Assassin Cross Guild.

"He is not qualified to take on assassination jobs," they whispered behind his back. "We should kick him out of the Guild."

Behind his back, but he heard them all the same. The Assassin Cross Guild did not simply "kick out" members. Once initiated, an assassin would know too much information, too many spy networks, too many scandalous secrets, to ever be permitted to leave.

So he began sleeping with a katar by his bedside.

Assassination attempts came frequently now,

A poisonous substance slipped into his drink. He was able to detoxify it quickly enough.

Finely ground glass embedded in his food. His sharp eyes spotted them before he ate.

Knocked into a room and locked in with an angeling. He had been able to defeat it, and the poring had been safe since it was still a monster.

Now he knew the guild was getting desperate. He knew that they would begin to resort to more violent, less subtle methods of assassination.

In the dark of night, he heard someone with careful fingers picking apart his lock. Silently, he stood up, fingering the katar in his hand. His room had no windows, so there was no need to fear an ambush from behind. Rubbing a small amount of deadly poison onto the blade of his katar, he turned to his poring. "Stay back, and out of sight. There's probably more than one of them."

He cloaked.

The door opened without a sound. "They must have oiled the hinges," he thought. Whoever who was trying to kill him was very careful.

Standing there was a solitary high wizard.

"Probably hired," he thought. "But he can't be aloneā€¦there must be at least one or two assassins behind him, cloaked to throw me off guard."

The wizard walked into the room. Seeing no one, he raised his arms and brought forth a thundering lord of vermilion from the skies, destroying his room and sending a ghostly moonlight through every corner, illuminating the room. A small pink blob hid behind the remains of a pillow. Poring!

This wizard had instacast, he realized. He silently cursed himself for not wearing his unfrozen cloak. He should have expected them to pull something like this.

He darted forward, and killed the wizard with two strikes. In the space between the two, however, the wizard found time to raise his hands and summon a storm gust.

And he froze.

Two figures appeared out of nowhere. One grinned at him and stepped over the fallen wizard in the doorway.

"Well, well. Long have I waited for this day. The day I get to strike you down with my own two hands."

Go ahead, he thought angrily. Break this prison of ice and cold and set me free. Free to plunge this katar into your heart.

"You've gone soft ever since that poring came into your life," the assassin sneered. "But I know better than to strike you when you're frozen. Nothing will happen, and the ice will shatter. No, I think I'll have my friend here shatter the ice, so I can strike the killing blow the moment you unfreeze. Fenrir!"

The assassin ghosted across the floor to stand next to him. "Yes?"

"Shatter the ice!" the first assassin commanded. "And I will strike the killing blow."

He realized there would be no escape from this one. When the ice shattered, there would be a split second of momentary paralysis before he would be able to strike. And in that split second, he was vulnerable. He stared straight at his attacker, refusing to close his eyes, refusing to wince.

Shards of ice flew everywhere.

He watched impassively as the blade approached his heart. His own katar came up, but he knew he would be a fraction too late, a split second too slow. He only hoped that the poring had run away, to safer fields, where it could live happily ever after.

His hope was destroyed as the poring took the blade for him. There were no sad goodbyes, no dying moments. It was all too quick and too fast, all motion and blur, and the broken pieces of his pet lay on the floor before him. No, not even his pet, he hadn't even bothered to ever give it an unripe apple.

And suddenly he realized he could move.

With a growl of rage, he leapt forward.

The assassin was cleaning off his dagger, muttering, "Stupid poring got in my way. Now the blade's sticky." He saw the attack and made to block the katar, but stumbled and tripped over the high wizard's body.

Loki swooped down, the moon casting an eerie shadow off his cloak, and finished the first assassin off.

The other one, Fenrir, would have cloaked by now. Doing the same, Loki swathed himself in shadows and waited.

Time passed.

The moon slowly inched its way across the sky. The seconds passed, stretching into agonizing minutes, hours.

A Muka whistled, a deafening sound in the otherwise complete absence of it.

The silence continued.

The floorboards creaked. The open door slid ajar by a millimeter.

He pounced. Sinking his katar into nothing, he felt a solid weight beneath his blade and knew he had succeeded. Materializing out of thin air, Fenrir turned, his back bleeding from the stab wound.

"Not fatal," he hissed. Fenrir lunged at him with a sonic blow, but missed. Startled, he found that he could no longer move. His limbs felt heavy and leaden, and he collapsed where he stood.

Loki waggled the blade before Fenrir's glazed eyes. "Poison."

Nudging the dying man aside with his foot, took his weapons and headgear, and fled into the night.

A/N: Oh no! Poor Poring :(