Title: Liquidating The Assets
Comments: Started off silly, descended into seriousness briefly (which was all Subaru's fault) and then got silly again. Which is good, because halcyon_libra and I both think that this fandom needs more crack.
“What did you say?” Fuuma glared at Kanoe’s cleavage, it being the only part of her he could see from where he was sitting. He suspected that it was sneaking out at night and gathering nutrients, because every time he saw her it seemed to have expanded.
“We’re broke,” the secretary said flatly, inspecting her clipboard again. “Broke. Bankrupt. No money. You don’t think a huge underground lair like this pays for itself, do you?”
“So where was the money coming from in the first place?” Fuuma asked, slouching back in his throne.
Kanoe rolled her eyes. “Satsuki.”
“Ah.” Satsuki had been sulking for a week or so after Fuuma had forbidden her to install cameras around their basement. Privacy, he had informed her icily. It seemed to be a concept foreign to the girl, and she hadn’t spoken to him since. “So what are you going to do?” he asked.
“Me? You’re the Dragon of Earth.” Kanoe pointed out. “You should take responsibility for financing your own apocalypse.”
Fuuma groaned. “Are you kidding?”
“Why don’t you just go and talk to Satsuki? Surely having cameras in here wouldn’t be that –”
“No,” said Fuuma from between clenched teeth. “I am not having her spy on me.”
“Kanoe, if you have any interest in keeping your limbs attached to your torso, I recommend that Satsuki is not given any opportunity to see what you and Yuuto get up to in your bedroom.”
She paled. “Oh.”
“Indeed.” Fuuma slouched down further. “Don’t you and Yuuto have money?” He waved a vague hand with a teenager’s ignorance as to money matters. “You know…salaries?”
“I don’t think so,” Kanoe said icily. “My salary pays for me.”
“Is Satsuki talking to us yet?” Yuuto entered and pulled off his jacket.
“Nope,” Fuuma said gloomily.
“What’s this, dissention in the ranks?” another voice said through the door. Fuuma shot a suspicious look at Kanoe.
“I called everyone here,” she said calmly, “to discuss the situation. Kusanagi ignored me, of course, but the Sakurazukamori decided to show some team spirit for once.”
“Great,” Fuuma muttered.
“Aren’t you pleased to see me, illustrious leader?” Seishirou smirked at him as he walked in. “I’m hurt.”
“Esctatic,” Fuuma said with enthusiastic sarcasm. “Kanoe, d’you want to get on with it? Kazuki’s asleep, and I doubt he’d be much help anyway.”
“Right.” Kanoe drew herself up. The cleavage somehow managed to grow yet another couple of inches. “The problem we face is a severe lack of funds. Does anyone have any bright ideas?”
“Why don’t we sell some of the stuff in here?” Seishirou said, eying the throne suggestively. “Looks expensive enough.”
“Not the throne,” Fuuma said in a firm voice, gripping the armrests possessively. “The throne stays.”
“Compensating for something, are we?”
“You wish, Sakurazuka,” Fuuma said sweetly.
Seishirou laughed. “I wouldn’t sleep with you if you paid me. Which you can’t, because you’re broke.”
“Shut up or I’ll sell your car.”
“No you won’t,” Seishirou said calmly, pulling out his lighter. “Mind if I smoke?”
“Yes. And why won’t I?”
Seishirou lit a cigarette anyway. “Because if you do, I’ll pull off your kneecaps and shove them down your throat.” He shot a bright smile at the Dragon of Earth. “Any other good ideas?”
“Nah, I’m all out.” Fuuma rested his chin on his hand despondently. “At this rate we’re going to have to let Yuuto use his pimping charisma and sell someone’s body for sex.”
“Are you volunteering?” Kanoe said, looking serious.
Fuuma spluttered and sat bolt upright. “What? No! I was kidding!”
“It’s a decent idea, though,” Yuuto said thoughtfully. “Lots of money, minimal effort.”
“Apart from the fact that one of us will be entering the noble profession of prostitution,” Fuuma said sarcastically. Then gave an evil smile and turned it on Kanoe. “Kanoe…”
“I already have a job,” she said hurriedly.
“You’d probably forget to take the money anyway,” he said, smiling innocently at her and ignoring the foul look this comment generated. “Pity. Your breasts alone could pull in quite a bit. Yuuto?”
“Pimp,” Yuuto said, looking a bit panicky. “That’s the extent of my contribution. What about Nataku? He’s pretty enough.”
“No-one is selling Kazuki,” Fuuma said darkly.
“Satsuki?” Kanoe suggested. There was a group pause. As pregnant pauses go, this one was well into its third trimester.
“Are you joking?” Fuuma said eventually. “How many clients would Beast be able to tear apart before we lost business altogether?”
“Point.” Yuuto winced. “Kakyou’s out for obvious reasons, Fuuma –”
“ – is not volunteering –”
“ – right, yes…” Nobody argued – Fuuma was tapping his fingers against the throne and smiling unpleasantly. “…so that leaves…”
Three pairs of eyes swung across to Seishirou, and the look on Fuuma’s face shifted from unpleasantly evil to bordering on satanic. The assassin was almost finished his cigarette and was listening to the conversation with an amused look on his face. As the pause stretched on – and this one was practically in the maternity ward – he dropped the cigarette butt and crushed it under his foot. Then he shrugged. “Yeah, okay.”
Seishirou inspected himself in the mirror, exceedingly amused. It had been worth all the bother of this ridiculous getup just to see the look on Fuuma’s face when he had volunteered. And it would be worth the hassle of wandering around the red light district for a night to see the young man’s expression when he saw the clothes that he had procured. Seishirou’s smile widened as he stepped backwards, balancing easily in the unfamiliar shoes – any assassin had a good sense of balance and control, or they didn’t last very long.
“Are you done?” Yuuto stuck his head into the room and immediately almost slammed it back against the wall in surprise. “What are you wearing?”
“Hooker clothes?” Seishirou said innocently. “D’you think I should lose the sunglasses? I don’t think they match…”
Yuuto looked like he was about to choke. “But…um….”
Yuuto wasn’t brave enough to keep going in the face of that smirk. He gave up. “Nothing. But could you, um, put your coat on?”
“But it’s so hot,” Seishirou said, the innocent look clashing horribly with the smirk. “I’d just be all sweaty…”
Yuuto went an interesting shade of red and jumped away from the door. “Right. Okay. Come on then.”
The look on Fuuma’s face as Seishirou walked into the throne room was more than worth it, the assassin decided. The Dragon of Earth’s hand stilled from where it was absently stroking Nataku’s hair and he stared at Seishirou with a mixture of horror and masochistic fascination.
“Daddy…” Nataku frowned. “Why is he wearing a skirt?”
“That’s a very good question.” Kanoe’s voice sounded a bit strangled. “Sakurazuka, when we said prostitution, we didn’t mean crossdressing.”
Seishirou ignored her and did an experimental twirl. Fuuma choked and stuffed his hand into his mouth.
“I’m fine – really – ” He gave up on shock and dissolved into tears of laughter.
Nataku looked dubious, but turned his attention back to the blithely strutting Seishirou, taking in the outfit with a child’s curiosity for the new and exciting. The assassin was wearing a tight black mesh shirt with silver threads running through it, and a black crop top underneath. His legs were covered with black fishnets that closely matched the shirt and a dark purple snakeskin miniskirt that looked as though it could have been painted on.
Seishirou absently lifted one foot to adjust the buckle on his silver stilettos and blew a kiss at Fuuma, who had just managed to stop laughing. The Dragon of Earth narrowed his eyes and flipped his middle finger at him.
“Very mature, illustrious leader,” Seishirou murmured, gingerly rubbing his eyes. His hand came away covered in glitter.
“Where did you –” Yuuto snapped his mouth shut. “No. I don’t want to know.”
At that moment Satsuki walked in. She stopped in the doorway and looked Seishirou up and down expressionlessly. He winked at her.
“The world,” she announced, “is going to hell.” Then she turned and left.
Fuuma cursed under his breath. “Satsuki, wait –“
The door slammed behind her, and Fuuma flopped back onto his throne. “Wonderful. We’ll be lucky if she ever decides to appear again.”
“No great loss,” Seishirou said airily. “I never liked her anyway.”
“No great loss?” Fuuma said, looking depressed. “That was our only chance of getting our funding back.”
“I don’t know why you’re complaining,” Seishirou pointed out. “I’m the one in the skirt.”
“By choice,” Fuuma shot back. “You could have worn leather shorts…or…something…” He trailed off, looking slightly uneasy and his cheeks flushing pink. “Um.”
“Remember that thing I said before?” Seishirou’s heels echoed loudly in the large room as he walked over to stand next to Fuuma’s throne, draping one mesh-clad arm around the young man’s neck.
To his credit, Fuuma didn’t even blink. “You wouldn’t sleep with me if I paid you?”
“Considering my new profession, I may amend that statement,” Seishirou purred, bringing his mouth closer and flicking his tongue over Fuuma’s ear. “But,” he breathed, “it would have to be a hell of a lot of money.”
“Fuck you, Sakurazuka,” Fuuma muttered, and instantly regretted it.
“Oh.” Seishirou let his hand wander down under Fuuma’s collar, thoroughly enjoying the odd looks they were receiving from the others in the room. “Wouldn’t you just love that.”
“Daddy…” Nataku began uneasily, inching away from the assassin.
“Looks like I’m scaring the children.” Seishirou stepped away.
“If you two are quite finished?” Yuuto said irritably.
“Just sampling the merchandise,” Fuuma deadpanned. Seishirou’s mouth twitched.
“Off you go, Sakurazuka,” Kanoe said, dripping mocking sarcasm. “Make us all proud.”
“Enjoy yourself,” Fuuma added coolly. “After all, you’re so good at screwing around with other people’s lives. I’m sure you’ll just love being screwed in return.”
“Crude, Monou.” Seishirou clicked his way over to the door. “Very crude.”
Yuuto sighed and pulled on his coat. “I guess we’ll see you all later.”
“Please don’t let him kill anyone, Yuuto,” Kanoe said.
The blond snorted. “Yeah, sure.”
“Good luck,” said Nataku suddenly, looking over at Yuuto. Everyone blinked.
“Thanks, kid.” Yuuto smiled wryly. “But I think I’m going to need more than luck.”
Seishirou’s head appeared around the door. “Shouldn’t you be wearing a fur coat, Kigai?”
Yuuto shot him a filthy look. “I rest my case.”
Seishirou was beginning to wonder if he should have worn the sunglasses after all. It might have made Yuuto less jumpy. The public servant was walking a few paces behind Seishirou, looking like he was holding a live snake.
“Hey, Kigai?” he said eventually. “Why don’t you go home? I think I can manage. It’s not like I’m going to get beaten up.” He smirked.
“I’m not here to protect you, Sakurazuka. I’m here to make sure you don’t bugger off with the money.”
“Touché.” Seishirou adjusted his skirt, which kept riding up. He had no idea why women had kept wearing the things after it had become acceptable for them to wear trousers. Then again, the loose ones that schoolgirls wore didn’t look quite so bad. “Though I don’t think I could pull off the schoolgirl look,” he murmured absently.
“Please tell me I heard that wrong.” Yuuto sounded faintly sick.
Seishirou was imagining Subaru in a schoolgirl outfit, and ignored him.
“Stop here.” Yuuto looked around. “All right, Sakurazuka. If you think you can get money without scaring the customers away, then go right ahead. And for God’s sake find an alley or something, because I’m not watching this.”
Yuuto watched Seishirou wander over to a car, and resisted the urge to bang his head against the nearest wall. The assassin was smiling, certainly, and it was seductive, sure, but it also screamed someone will die tonight and it won’t be me. He waited for the driver of the car to panic and drive away, but amazingly enough the window slid down. Purring, tinted, automatic windows – whoever this person was, they were certainly rich enough.
Seishirou leaned down a little and started talking, the same disturbing smile on his face. The red light above Yuuto’s head sparkled off the glitter on Seishirou’s eyes and the knife in his hand.
Yuuto cursed inventively, dug his nails into the palm of his hand and looked around for an escape route.
“Thank you.” Seishirou winked at the man in the car and straightened up, knife in one hand and a wad of hastily-assembled cash in the other. “Pleasure doing business with you.” The man gave him one more panicked glance and then the car roared away.
“What?” he said, noticing the look on Yuuto’s face.
“Are you insane?” Yuuto hissed.
“Of course not.” He held up the notes. “Money. Which is, I believe, what we came here for in the first place.”
“Yes, but –”
“Oh come on, Kigai.” Seishirou looked amused. “Do you think I had any intention of letting Fuuma pimp me out? This way he gets his money, you don’t have to watch anything that might scar your poor delicate eyes, and I get to laugh at everyone’s facial expressions and engage in some mild but enjoyable terrorism. Everyone wins.”
Yuuto couldn’t for the life of him think of a good way to reply to that. His gaze traveled from the impressively thick bundle of money in Seishirou’s hand, across the black mesh shirt and to the knife. It was a small knife, but very menacing. He suspected that he would feel a very pressing urge to hand over the contents of his wallet when confronted with that knife and Seishirou’s smile.
Small the knife was, but even so…
“Where on earth,” Yuuto said slowly, “were you keeping that?”
“Kigai,” Seishirou said, just as slowly. “I think you should leave.”
“What?” Yuuto looked up sharply. “I already said –”
“I think you should leave now.”
Yuuto followed Seishirou’s intent stare across the street, to the thin figure walking along the narrow footpath, white coat glowing dully under the lights. “Oh. I see.”
“Now, Kigai,” the assassin said absently, the dangerous smile back on his face and his gaze never flickering.
Yuuto recognised a lost cause when he saw one. He sighed and held out his hand. “Money,” he said firmly. Seishirou threw the wad at him with a contemptuous flick of his wrist.
“Give it to our illustrious leader, with my compliments, but tell him that I was…distracted.”
“I’m sure he’ll understand,” Yuuto said dryly. And Fuuma would, anyone who knew the Sakurazukamori would understand completely as soon as the word “Sumeragi” was uttered.
Seishirou only registered the fact that Yuuto was walking away on a very vague level. Most of his attention was focused on the young man across the street, who had stopped outside one particular establishment and appeared to be checking something against a small piece of paper. He folded the paper up and put it in his pocket, then opened the door of the building and stepped inside.
“Goodness me, Subaru-kun,” Seishirou murmured to himself. “Whatever are you doing in a place like this?” The assassin reached absently for his lighter, encountered snakeskin rather than trenchcoat, and his smile widened. This promised to be interesting.
Seishirou walked briskly across the road, taking note of the classy appearance of the establishment that Subaru has disappeared into and the neon flower that shone over the doorway. He took up position in the shadows a few metres from the door, crossed his arms, and waited.
Five business proposals, seven funny looks, two catcalls and one attempted mugging (that had left the would-be mugger with a broken nose and a nasty gash in his arm) later, Seishirou saw Subaru’s distinctive white trenchcoat appear at the door again. The Sumeragi bowed to someone inside the door and then started walking in the direction he had come from. He passed Seishirou without so much as a second glance.
“Not even a greeting, Subaru-kun?” Seishirou said quietly, pitching it to just be audible over the hum of distant traffic.
Subaru turned, very slowly, and watched without speaking as Seishirou stepped out of the shadow and into the odd mixture of red neon and pale spilled light from the streetlamps.
He blinked. Several times.
And then, to Seishirou’s surprise, he began to walk firmly towards the door of the brothel again. The assassin quickly stepped forward and took hold of his wrist just as his hand was raised to open the door.
“Where are you going?” he asked, annoyed at the young man’s lack of reaction.
“I am going,” said Subaru, perfectly calmly, “to ask Karen what she put in my tea. Because I’m not sure what kind of herbs produce hallucinations like this, but she shouldn’t be giving them to visitors.”
“You’re not hallucinating, Subaru-kun,” he said firmly.
“I beg to differ.” Subaru looked him up and down, a bemused look on his face.
“Does this feel like an illusion?” Seishirou held up Subaru’s wrist, still caught in his hand.
“Prove it,” Subaru said uneasily. “Because you’ll excuse me if I find something just a little odd about this situation.”
“Prove it…” Seishirou tipped his head consideringly, and then pulled Subaru towards him sharply. “All right then.” And before Subaru could speak or he could stop and reconsider, he kissed the younger man. Hard.
Subaru melted for a moment, then gasped and jerked away violently, pressing himself against the wall with fumbling hands and wild eyes.
“Was that real enough for you, Subaru-kun?” Seishirou asked idly, the wicked smile curving his lips.
“You…Seishirou-san…” Subaru leaned against the wall, shaking, one hand at his mouth. Much better. “You…” His eyes traveled up and down the outfit once again, and this time his face filled with incredulous horror. “Oh my God.” He covered his eyes with his hands.
Seishirou schooled his face back into a neutral expression. “I’ve decided to take up a second job, Subaru-kun,” he said solemnly. “Doing my part to raise funds for evil.”
“I see.” Subaru’s voice was muffled, coming from between his hands. “Look, I don’t suppose there’s any chance you’ll be gone when I take my hands away? Or wearing something else, perhaps? Even trying to kill me. I could cope with that.”
“I’m disappointed in you, Subaru-kun,” Seishirou said, taking a step closer. Subaru flinched as the wall stolidly failed to provide an escape path. “Such lovely merchandise before you and you’re being so very boring.”
Subaru choked at the word ‘merchandise’ and looked up despite himself. “I…” He trailed off helplessly, eyes darting to the glitter on Seishirou’s eyelids, and started to flush. “I don’t think I can afford it,” he said eventually, voice low.
“Oh, I wasn’t going to charge you,” Seishirou practically purred.
Subaru looked, if possible, even more panicked. He caught a glimpse of silver and found the knife outlined on the back of Seishirou’s wrist. He swallowed. “Seishirou-san,” he said warily, “are you trying to kill me or trying to seduce me?”
“Which would you prefer?” Seishirou asked carelessly.
The Sumeragi’s eyes flashed poison for a moment. “Neither.”
“Liar.” Seishirou smirked confidently and decided to change tactics. “Can I have a cigarette?”
Subaru regarded him flatly for a long moment, and then pulled a packet of cigarettes and a lighter out of his coat pocket. He lit one and passed it to the assassin with fingers that only shook a marginal amount.
“What were you doing here anyway, Subaru-kun?” Seishirou asked with interest.
“I was visiting a friend,” Subaru said, with as much dignity as he could scrape together. “Delivering a message from Kamui.”
“You realise, of course, that as an Angel I am compelled to torture the details of this message out of you,” Seishirou said lazily. “Will it be the rack or the hot irons?” He turned the full force of his smirk on the younger man. “Standing up or lying down?”
Subaru choked on a lungful of smoke from his own cigarette and started coughing violently.
“You haven’t commented on my outfit yet, you know.” Seishirou changed tack again, plucking at his shirt absently. “What do you think?”
Subaru’s coughing continued. Quite soon it began to sound suspiciously like laughter.
“It…you…” he spluttered. More coughing.
Seishirou frowned and tapped his foot irritably. This was not going at all to plan. Eventually he gave up and remembered that the best result had been gained by just kissing the damn boy, so he tried that again.
The coughing stopped abruptly, to be replaced by a faintly smug silence.
“This had better be good,” Fuuma snapped as Seishirou entered the room. He held up the bunch of money. “All very impressive for one minute’s work, but it’s not going to solve my problem.”
“I need the money back.”
“I’m not getting my paycheck till Thursday,” Seishirou said reasonably. “And I need to take Subaru-kun out to dinner.”
Fuuma’s jaw missed the floor by a couple of inches. “You must be joking.”
Seishirou walked over and plucked the money from his Kamui’s numb fingers. “No.”
“Car,” Fuuma gritted out.
“Kneecaps,” Seishirou reminded him.
“Kamui,” Fuuma shot back.
Seishirou shot backwards a couple of metres and slammed into the wall.
“…point,” he remarked after a few painful seconds, but he pocketed the money anyway.
“Why dinner?” Fuuma managed, still glaring ominously. “What happened to the killing and psychologically damaging him idea?”
“That was the the-apocalypse-is-nigh plan,” Seishirou said, looking the picture of sensible argument. “As I understand it, the apocalypse has been cancelled due to a lack of funds. This is the new plan.”
“...right,” Fuuma said weakly. “Does the new plan involve fishnets?”
“Not at present.” Seishirou smirked.
“Oh Christ.” Fuuma sank down in his throne and closed his eyes. “You know what? Screw you both.”
There was a pause.
Fuuma threw a cushion at his head.