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What is the Alternate Name for Group 14 of the periodic Table?

The Carbon group 0.055555555555556 5.6% [ 1 ]
The Silicon group 0.055555555555556 5.6% [ 1 ]
The Tetrels group 0.61111111111111 61.1% [ 11 ]
The Lead group 0.055555555555556 5.6% [ 1 ]
The Germanium group 0.11111111111111 11.1% [ 2 ]
The Tin group 0 0.0% [ 0 ]
The Tetrahedral group 0.055555555555556 5.6% [ 1 ]
The Diamond group 0.055555555555556 5.6% [ 1 ]
The Graphite group 0 0.0% [ 0 ]
Total Votes:[ 18 ]
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Dib protector of humans
Dash Baxter
I'm not posting spoilers, Rin will kill me.

Do It.
guess she's not doing it
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Damn right she's not doing it. Kola, if you post that I'm not sending you any more spoilers. You guys just have to wait, it won't be long. Just a few more scenes. Be patient.

It's not like you'd even know what was going on anyway.
When's the next update? gonk
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Lavi and Kanda had agreed that it would be best to unencrypt the drive at home and turn it in, along with a detailed report, in the morning, after a thorough study of the contents and a few copies. Lavi being a Bookman and Kanda just not trusting the Order worth a damn, they didn’t think that the information would be made available to them in its entirety by the higher-ups.

Lavi had fallen asleep while the program had been running, he had said he had an assignment in the morning, which left Kanda alone to study the contents in piece. Something he was grateful for, as the records revealed disturbing pieces of the Moyashi’s past.

The kid was a cocktail of disorders, Holt Oram syndrome, type 0 Glycogen Storage Disease, heart failure, recurrent post traumatic stress disorder with panic disorder and major depression. And it wasn’t like he didn’t get treatment. Everything from medication to a pace maker. Imipramine during a PTSD relapse, 50mg raised to 250mg over three weeks. It said they tried behaviorally oriented treatment to deal with phobic-avoidant behavior, but he didn't respond well to their techniques.

Phobic-avoidant? Of what? Avoiding anything that reminds him of whatever trauma he had was definitely cowardly in Kanda’s eyes. ‘Has to be bad if he keeps going to these sessions, every couple of months after a relapse he goes into counseling, stays a few visits, then breaks it off and doesn't go back.’ Well, he had the past 13 years in medical records, good place to look would be the beginning.

And look here, he pulled up a file near the very beginning. Car crash, he leaned back in satisfaction as he skimmed the report and all the charts he was becoming familiar with. Eleven years old. That'll do it. Run off the road by another car, slammed into a bridge abutment, crushed the entire drivers side, took the paramedics thirty minutes to arrive, his father was pronounced DOS, nasty mess to clean up. Allen was unconscious, bloodloss. So he was probably awake and aware for a while before the paramedics got to them. “Shitty thing to see at a young age.” He mumbled, he should know.

Shrapnel and a star shaped cookie cutter had to be surgically removed from the left side of his face. He lost sight in his left eye, he also suffered severe injuries to the chest, impaled from shoulder to hip by the wreckage.

Cookie cutter? Well it would explain the star shape. In fact…it explained it perfectly.

His first dosage of anidepresant had caused his heart failure, until that time no one had even known about his ventricle defect, or the cardiac conduction disease. ******** up his treatment was apparently a trend with his doctors, as the dosage had caused pulmonary hypertension and the failure of the left side of his heart. He had gotten his first pacemaker that day, and was dropped to 10 mg imipramine partnered with a therapeutic dosage of doxepin, followed up with serial electrocardiograms.

He went under again at the age of 15 for an independently designed pacemaker crafted by a private firm, one with an advanced blood battery. He made a notation of the name of the company for later study. He continued on through the years, following the frequent attempts at behavior therapy, the repeated failures. He had been taken off the therapeutic dosages after he had recovered from the heart failure and was put on the basic 50-250 he continued to present.

How did one recover from PTSD?

He remembered medication, useless therapy where they sat him with a shrink and spoke soothing things at him, the videos of horror movie deaths and dog fights, the crime scene stills and the trips to the slaughter house, rags stained in pig and cow blood, the headless chickens, bodies convulsing in his hands as the blood shot from the hose that had once been a neck, the severed head staring at him, eyes black and accusing. You killed me Yu, you killed me, you killed me, you killed me.

And as soon as the smell and sight of blood stopped sending him into ashen panic, when he could swallow back the nausea and push forward on legs slightly steadier than warm gelatin, he was thrust back into the Order. Back into the battle, where the smell of blood and death and city grime never washed out. Where every minute of his life was scheduled, down to his school clubs. Where he began the day with basic exercise and torture resistance before school and ended it with deductive reasoning and weapons training, before taking a shot of sedatives to make sure he slept properly for the next day’s schedule.

He knew that physicians must demonstrate warmth, empathy, and persistence to help someone through it, and be completely nonjudgmental. His shrink had been none of that. A paper face over an investigative and accusing sneer. He had spent three sessions with the usual therapy before he linked arms with the bastards in charge and decided the new tactic of frequent exposure would be the best course of action.

Zhu had been his rock, the one with the genuine interest in the incident, in the meaning of his fears and anxiety, the flashbacks, the illusions. He had drawn him out, had become a confident by means Kanda didn’t recognize or acknowledge at the time. One of the things he had done was to educate him on his attacks, so he could understand, recognize his symptoms, and deal with them appropriately.

He hated to admit it, but the exposer had been a great help in his coping, even if it had been extreme.

So, the question was… how far into this shithole did he want to dig?

There was no question he was interested now, and he did need something to keep his mind off the Daisya investigation. There was no way Tiedol would let him go back to Japan now, losing one ‘son’ just as he gained another, no they would need to hold together as a ‘family.’

And Cross did have ties to the Noah, so Allen would be a good ticket to at least fragments of information. Simply talking about the traveling he did as a teen with Cross would go a long way to pinpointing Akuma hotspots.

He thought back on the conversation in the car as they drove towards home.

“You know the story of the last time the Earl appeared?” Lavi had asked, breaking the silence that Kanda had actually been enjoying. “You know, why his last run faltered, and died off?”

“That one of the Noah's betrayed him and joined the Order,” Kanda answered, it was common knowledge. In fact it was basic Order History. “Almost took him down, the Earl killed the traitor and went under with the last surviving Noah for a while, restructured. It's why we know d**k about them now; they changed all their little nicknames.” Which was annoying, and the Order never failed to blame that one traitorous Noah for ruining their chance against the Earl. Forget that he gave them the chance to begin with.

“Yes, biblical to science, seven deadly and apostles to elemental and alchemical. It's a brain twister.”

“The point? Before I stab you with it.”

“Well” Lavi tapped a quick reppitition against the windowsill before grabbing the chicken stick and pressing his face against the glass, “he did something, sabotaged something really important, something the order can use, but got killed before he could pass the information.”


“So…The Noah's name was Neah,” he met Kanda’s eyes in a brief glance, “Neah Walker.

Kanda gripped the wheel, there were places where the cover had worn down by the constant gripping he seemed to do. “Don't tell me...”

“Allen Walker was adopted by the now deceased Mana Walker 15 years ago, making him the only surviving relative of Neah Walker.”


“You getting his importance now?”

“You mean to say that skinny little brat is related to the traitor Noah?”

“His only living relative, and the Earl keeps him very secured. We don't know if he's part of their group or not-”

“That's a given”

“No, listen: Neah betrayed them, there's no proof Allen is or is not part of the group, but there's the whatever-he-sabotaged element.” they hit a light and Kanda turned to look at him fully. “If he had information he may have passed it to his brother, who was with him at the time, who may have given it to his son. We don't know if he's involved with the Noah, for all we know Cross took him to keep him from being used by the Order. But he's important to them.”

“If they can be found by us...”

“Our jobs are to monitor Cross to see if he's betrayed us for the Noah, and if the Noah try for Allen, to get him out of harm’s way.” The light changed and they went on, it was a few moments before Kanda responded.

“Cross knows we're there.”

“Of course. He's a veteran Order member. I'm the only one he let's near him, because I'm Bookman.”

“If you had told me he was connected to the ******** Noah I would have been on the case.” Kanda snapped, rapping a fist against the side of Lavi’s head.”

“Ow, damn it. You needed to be on the case for me to tell you.” Lavi rubbed his temple.

“I'm not on it now.”

“No, now Allen is in the hospital and Daisya is dead.”

Well, he was right about that.

So Allen Walker was an important key to taking down the Earl? If, and it was a big unlikely if, he wasn’t already neck deep in the whole ******** thing already.

The records indicated small, cheap doctors and hospitals, no one who specialized in his particular disorders, rare as they were, and all in places two skips shy of the Third World. Then he hit fifteen and suddenly he had specialists and medication, that wasn’t a concoction of pesticide ridden herbal remedies and voodoo, and that spanking new experimental pacemaker with a battery that ran on his own life juices.

So what could have happened for this sudden stroke of luck, aside from being annexed into the Noah?

Well, he could always wheedle it out of him. If he decided to go the route of amateur therapist. After all, who better to win his trust then a guy who knew what he was going through?

He didn't quite understand how or why or what Allen Walker triggered inside him, but it was pissing him off and he had just about enough of it. The best way, he decided, was to drag the dark secrets the man hid out into the light, to upend them and pick through the scattering until every little price had been turned and examined. Everyone had their private trauma; he saw the faces of the victim every day, in every person he brushed against in his profession. No one was without their scars. Once he had unearthed the Moyashi's, he was sure whatever pull it had would fade.

So far, it was turning out to be…enlightening, but ultimately ordinary. He wasn’t the first one to have a parent die in front of him, making it a foster parent, or having birth defects, didn’t really change anything. Kanda had gone through worse long before his first ‘family’ had been slaughtered in front of him, and he had finished off the last one with his own hands.

Hot, sticky blood, cold white rooms, chemicals and copper in the air. That was what nightmares were made of. A car crash was nothing. He could forgive the Moyashi a lot of things, and in his opinion, since he hadn’t murdered the b*****d, he had, but this? He couldn’t forgive him such an…unimpressive trauma.

It was almost three, he saved his notes and added a copy of the records to his file, gave Lavi a casual glance, passed out on the couch, and decided he would get an early start on his morning routine, squeeze in a little time to drop by the hospital early morning.
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What was it like? Allen knew exactly what it was like to wake in a hospital with no memories, no clue, no one beside him to tell him it was all going to be all right.

Not since the car crash.

He hadn’t gone back to sleep since the nightmare. Had refused the sedatives pushed at him until they had to strap him down and stick it in him, he had tried to pull the IV out when the doctor went to slip it in there. Panic was an icy dagger poking and prodding and stabbing in his gut, they were drugging him up, keeping him down, keeping him locked away.

His breaths came in fast and shallow, eyes wide as he stared into the darkness. He had begged for lights, but they had spoken about light sensitivity. He could feel the stiffness of the neck brace as he tried to turn, his movements slow and sluggish, his limbs were so heavy he had to drag them across the sheets like a limp corpse.

He called Neah in his mind but there was no answer. Hadn’t been an answer for hours. Where was he? He couldn’t hear him, couldn’t feel him in his mind. Neah? Neah? He almost sobbed at the silence.

“Breath.” He gave a terrified look towards the doorway, where a shadow lurked. “Breath, deep and slow. In Out, do it.”

Even as he tried the air vacuumed into his lungs until he was gagging on it. When his vision blurred, when the nausea gurgled up in him, the man was beside him, holding his shoulders to keep him from falling off the bed as he was violently ill, hideously ill.

“******** kid, I thought they weren’t feeding you yet.” He looked up through the tears to see Cross leaning over the bed to hold him. “Lay down, stop fighting the drugs and go to sleep. You’re only hurting yourself.” Allen couldn’t even reply, simply slid boneless into oblivion. Cross was here, he wasn’t alone now. Not like the car crash.

No, not as bad as the car, nothing was bad as the car.

When he woke it was as though from a long horrible illness. Noone was in the room, had he imagined Cross? His body was still heavy and tender and difficult to move. Allen rubbed absently at the scar on his chest, twinging with the sharp, sweet, phantom pain of a severe injury too agonizing to be felt. Shock, they had called it. The body protecting itself from its own defenses.

He had felt it plenty in the weeks that followed the accident, though that too had been a kind of shock, Between the painkillers and the depression, he had felt very little that first few days. Yet, he had still felt. The loss that was so impossible to speak of, to describe. The cold doctors who informed him he was now all alone in the world again.

He had never been loved as Mana had loved him.

And he never hated as he hated that black hearted Order for taking him away.

They would pay for that, he promised himself, promised Mana every Christmas when he laid his offerings at the base of that simple stone cross. They would all pay.

They had to.

He only needed a moment alone, only a moment, within his mind. And so only for a moment he turned his face into the pillow and wept.

Kanda found him like that, the quiet, private sounds of his grief sobbed into the soft cotton. He felt, and it was ridiculous as he had seen so many people cry in his lifetime, but he felt immensely uncomfortable in this unexpected situation. He wasn't the kind to be brought up short be tears, and he wasn't going to offer any words of sympathy, he didn't think he had any anyway. But he could give him the benefit of not being an intruder into his moment of heartache. With a quiet breath he stepped back out into the hall, leaned against the door, and watched the activity of the hospital begin to shift and morph from night to day.

Hadn’t he just spent the past several hours discovering that under the expensive cloths and polished manners were scars?
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Cross had been there, that was real at least, and had in a moment of benevolence that made Allen's heart weep, he was still sane enough to know it was the drugs, snuck Timcampy into the room in his ever present coat. He could feel the silky ball of blonde as he shifted, curled up in the junction of his shoulder and scenting heavily enough that Allen could smell him over the chemicals.

It was comforting. Though he knew if the poor thing didn't calm down soon the whole room would smell of animal musk. He didn’t mind.

Cross knew how much Tim meant to him, since the day he had handed the white joey to him years ago, hardly bigger than his thumb and crabbing loud enough to terrify him. It had taken weeks of patience and boxes of Band-Aids for the chew marks, but they had bonded, and here they were inseparable.

He forced himself to sit up; Tim gave a sound of complaint and gripped with his sharp claws onto the bare skin of his shoulder. Allen would have reached for him, but his prosthetic was missing and he needed his long arm to hold himself upright, surveying the room. It was an ordinary looking hospital room, private single bed. A counter with sink, drawers, and cupboard, there was a curtain to the side of the sink that possibly led to a toilet. A window with its blinds drawn, he could see from the lines between the blades that it was still dark out. His bed was the typical convertible gurney, set in a slight incline to support his head, with an adjustable tray that would swing around to him or out of the way. Above him was an ancient bulky black TV suspended with metal frame. His finger was clamped and an IV dripped into him, the bandage was looking worn and the skin around it looked bruised, not flushed yet though, the attack would come later.

There were two hard plastic chairs with a stingy carpet to give the illusion of a cushion on its bowled seat, one of which had a neatly folded outfit and shoes. Someone had cleaned up the vomit, the scent of not-quite-cat-litter and cleaner still clung to the air.

On the attached tray to the left of the bed beside a plastic cup of water with a yellow bendy straw sat a toiletry kit and a small case of worn calf skin leather. The edges were frayed, the once yellow stitching was blackened with grime and coming loose, but it was cleaned and oiled and as sturdy as the day it was made, and within its confines were the most precious things he had ever owned. He sat up fully, tucked the pillow behind him, and swung the table around to his front. Picking up the little remote he adjusted the bed to his liking and opened the latch, tapping the case in his hand. Out slid a beautifully detailed antique deck of playing cards.

He thumbed the cards into his palm, felt the texture of the hand painted images on the stiff paper. They were a simple design, created in the days when railroad lines were just being laid and the casinos consisted of a few men traveling with the workers from place to place.

With a deep breath and the calming presence of Timcanpy running in an incomprehensible manner all over the bed, he began the therapeutic action of shuffling and dealing.
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Officer Mont and his partner stepped off the elevator with a casual air. So far their day had been going fairly well, beginning with a simple follow up with the victim of an assault. It wasn’t exactly an unusual occurrence for events like yesterday’s relay to produce various assault charges or hospitalizations. Though admittedly this particular incident was abnormal enough to have become an amusement among the members in his unit.

They passed the center ring and turned down the hallway that led to the patient’s rooms with a nod to the attendants working at the consoles. Someone, Mont saw, was standing at Allen Walker’s door.

“Well looky here, hey detective, what are you doing here?” LaForteza sidled up to the Asian man leaning casually against the door to their victim’s room. “I didn’t realize our powdery headcase needed a guard.”

Mont saw the flash of intent in the slanted blue eyes. LaForteza was a good cop, a bit of a douche but he was young enough, green enough, to get away with it. For now. He’d mellow, they always did or they didn’t last. Still, the kid should know to tell the difference between a sentry at rest and a poised snake.

“Back for a follow up Officers?” Kanda addressed them.

“Of course, see that’s what we do in an assault. We couldn’t get his statement before, what with all the goings on, but now we’re told he’s awake and lucid.” He rubbed his nose between his thumb and forefinger, glanced away, then back, big cocky smile still in place. “Seems to me an esteemed Detective such as yourself, Yu Kanda of the 107 precinct, New York, would have more important things to do than check up on a minor assault you didn’t find important enough to stick around for yesterday.”

“He’s a friend. I’m just visiting.” He didn’t blink those cold flat eyes. “Any reason you decided to check on my past employment, Officer?”

“A friend huh?” He tucked his hands under his armpits. “Yeah, I believe that. See, I’m wondering why someone would transfer from a cushy job in homicide up in the big apple to play Sherlock holms here in our citrus city.” He stepped up into Kanda’s face. “See when an odd looking foreign kid is attacked, unprovoked, by some random homeless guy? Gets me thinking. Especially when we can’t pull d**k together on him and the officer on scene goes off the grid for hours afterword.”

“My teammate went down yesterday, I told you.” Kanda’s hard eyes turned sharp and lethal. “Contact my superior if you want, I honestly don’t know why you couldn’t put together any information on him. Seems to me that’s a personal incompetency.”

“Oh?” His face twitched. “You think so?”

“Hadit.” Mont stepped up to the two of them. “Detective, is he awake?”

Kanda blinked his emotionless stare and turned his attention to the partner, dismissing LaForteza as a non-threat. From the narrowing of the younger officer’s eyes this did not sit well with him. “The nurse came out ten minutes ago, said he was taking a shower.”

“And you just decided to step out and, what, give him privacy?” LaForteza asked.

“He hasn’t seen me yet, he was…sleeping when I arrived.” Kanda stepped aside just a fraction, a lean and shift, and before they could go in knocked firmly on the door. More to take control then alert the Moyashi of their arrival. They may have the assault, but the kid was his. He made sure he was the first in the door.

Allen was sitting up in his bed when they entered, his eyes registered confusion, not displeased but certainly surprised. His hair was swept back, still damp from the shower, giving an unobstructed view of his face. There was strain in the corners of those shadowed eyes and the line of his mouth, but every bruise and blemish, the scar, was expertly brushed away beneath cosmetics. He was dressed in a needlessly formal long sleeved blouse pressed to knife sharp seams with red cord tying the collar closed in a perfect knot. He must be wearing a prosthetic, as his arms were both of average length. In his hands were a deck of cards; dealt out onto the tray was apparently a very interesting invisible poker game. “Enjoy your nap?” He sneered automatically, standing straight as a soldier in the doorway barring the others from entering.

“Kanda! How nice, did you come to see how I was? That’s very kind of you.” He said, while in his mind he was running through possibilities like mad. He was, according to the note Cross left in his bag, listed under a fake name. No one should know he was here, he was brought in by two officers after being attacked in the park, who attacked him and why was still being discovered. Why was Kanda here? How did the Order find him? He gathered the cards, shuffled, and began to deal for three onto the meal tray.

Kanda noted the faint musky smell, like an animal, and felt a bit of the tension in his shoulders ease just a fraction. It didn’t smell too much like hospital in here. “When I brought you in yesterday I figured it was serious, and here you are lounging around playing cards.” He sidled in, registering the not quite smothered surprise of the other. “Guess I could have just left you and you’d been fine. I’ll remember that next time you faint from terror.”

“I didn’t faint.” Allen couldn’t help but snap. “I got a concussion and passed out.” He didn’t even register the two others in the doorway.

“Yeah right. Next time one of your ex-boyfriends tries to off you, do me a favor and die somewhere I’m not obligated to rescue your sorry a**.” He smirked at the pursed lipped albino. “Or at least let me buy my s**t first, I’m out of tea.”

“How terrible. I’ll make sure to not be such a hassle should I ever again be viscously attacked so as not to inconvenience you.” He lost his concentration on the game and couldn’t remember which hand had what, nearly swore, and snatched up the cards to shuffle again.

“Mr. Walker?” LaForteza was tired of lurking in the entrance and strode forward before Kanda could retort, the albino’s head turned to him quick as a finger snap, eyes wide and startled. “I’m Officer LaForteza, My Partner Officer Mont, we’re here to ask you a few questions about the assault yesterday.”

Officer Mont was a gigantic man, he had to duck when he entered the doorway, with skin black as charred tree bark after a ravaging fire. His eyes and firmed mouth suggested he himself may have witnessed just what damage that blaze had done.

“It's a pleasure to meet you Officers." Allen offered his hand, watched the paper-white skin be swallowed in the man’s dark grip. For all the bigness and strength of it, the Officer held it gentle as a china doll. He was used to large men, Marie and his cousin Skin Bolic were both mountains, and both treated him as if he would shatter to billions under the slightest pressure like a blown glass figurine.

In this case, he felt it.

LaForteza was a different type, his shake was firm and quick, Allen had to stretch his fingers afterword. The gentleman Mana's death had created urged him to smile in polite greeting as the uniformed officer eased a hip onto the bed.

He was attractive in an average way, brown and brown Hispanic, the black uniform and utility belt adding a bulk to his athletic form. His smile was friendly, but just a little too familiar, too sure of his charm and welcome. Allen imagined he worked well with kids, but pissed anyone over the age of ten way the hell off.

“So can you remember anything from yesterday, about what happened?”

Kanda touched the pads of his fingers to his shoulder, a reserved comforting gesture, one so unnatural to the image the Asian man presented that Allen gave a long blink before he could acknowledge it. “I.. I don’t remember… no. I’m very sorry.”

“Well, that’s okay, you can just tell us what you do. The last thing you can recall?”

“The last thing? Well, I don’t know.” He tucked a tuft of drying hair that had fallen down into his vision behind his ear “It’s hard, you know. Remembering the last thing you remember? Have you ever actually tried that?”

“Honestly? I’ve never had memory loss, but just try anything you can.”

“Perhaps,” Officer Mont spoke in his pleasant rumble, “you can start with the beginning of your day, and go forward?”

“Well, yesterday is.. well I don’t know. It’s like going to sleep and waking up and someone says you slept through the day. It’s just not there, and it’s hard to really adjust to the fact that a whole day just…doesn’t exist to me. I remember that I was supposed to go to the Doctor’s office Sunday. I think, well I’m not sure but I think I remember getting up. I work at nights, so I sleep during the morning. But the doctor says I could be projecting, because I have a pretty usual morning routine.”

“What type of work do you do?”

“That’s irrelevant.” Kanda snapped.

He saw the steel glance the young officer sent over his shoulder and felt Kanda’s presence, like a guard, at his side. “I’ll be the judge of what’s relevant and not.”

“You have the guy, why not just ask him why he did it?”

“How I conduct my investigation is none of your concern, Detective.” His glare edged into a smirk. “Perhaps you should wait outside.”

“Like hell I’m-“

“Kanda.” Allen sighed the name, felt the man stiffen, saw LaForteza’s mouth twitch in triumph as he snapped his mouth shut and scowled. So that was what it was... Well he couldn't say he didn't appreciate the territorial possessiveness, he lifted his hand, just to ******** with them, and placed it over the one barely grazing his arm. Felt the fingers twitch at the contact, and press down more firmly. He suddenly realized he still smelled of his shower and wondered if Kanda noticed. “Officer, I’d appreciate it if my friend could stay.”

Mont answered before his partner could make an a** of himself. “Of course.”

Allen beamed in gratitude and took a breath. “I remember going to sleep at dawn yesterday, after doing some work, and waking up here. That’s all.”

“Do you recognize this man?” Mont took out a picture and Allen was staring into the dark face of an Indian. Kanda saw they had taken the cap off for the mug shot and noted the peculiar tattoo across his forehead, like eyes.

Allen genuinely did not recognize this man. “No, I’m sorry. I don’t know him.”

“Never seen him around? At the park, or maybe near your house or workplace?”

“No, I work mostly from home. To answer your earlier question I’m a composer, I write songs and musical scores for people. Mostly catchy jingles for commercials, though I do get jobs for background soundtracks in television and movies sometimes. I’m not exactly famous, but I make enough to live comfortably.”

“Could he maybe have been a fan, or a colleague? Someone who maybe had a grudge against you?”

“That would be hard, as I work under a pen name. My uncle’s name actually, Neah Walker, very few people have ever actually met me.”

“I see, have you received any threats? Anyone who was maybe hassling you about anything?”

“Officer, this is music. It’s nothing but passion and egos, I’d be surprised if someone didn’t threaten to string me up with piano wire. My agent alone threatens me every Thursday.” He laughed softly with a shake of his head. “No, even if any of them were serious threats, I’m too far down the totem to bother with, and too well hidden to find. My Uncle, you see, has been dead for thirty years. I’m just one of many ghost writers.”

“I see, still, I’ll need names of the people who you work with.”

“Officer, is it really necessary? It seems to me to be a random act. Many homeless are mentally disturbed with nowhere else to go and my…well I tend to provoke certain reactions in people.”

“This man is a British citizen.” LaForteza tapped the picture, caught the look in those silver eyes. “Several days ago he suddenly had a greencard, despite no paperwork being filled out, and boarded a plane and came here. Two days after he landed he attacks you, from the description he did it with full intent to cause serious harm.”

“Sometimes,” Mont spoke up, “people hide their intentions. Sometimes what we consider insignificant is, to another, a very serious matter. You can never really know what another person’s intent is.” He gave the young man a sad smile. “I’m sorry, but there’s a chance that someone, someone you know, may be trying to kill you.”

“I see.” Allen glanced at Kanda when the grip on his shoulder tightened. His face was impassive, but his eyes were hard and dangerous. How odd, was all he could think, and he wished he remembered yesterday so he could understand if this change was as sudden as it felt, or if something happened between them. The last he remembered of the man was at Jerry’s restaurant, scowling and walking away. “Yes I’ll…I’ll write what I can down. My Agent will know more.”

“Thankyou.” LaForteza said, and when Allen had scribbled everything he could down on the pad of papers passed to him he took it and tucked it into his pocket, pulled out a card. “If you remember anything, anything at all. Call me.”

“Yes Officer, I will.” And they were gone, and Allen was alone with Kanda.

“a*****e.” Kanda spat, throwing himself down in a plastic chair.

“Why do you say that?” He tucked the card into his toiletry case and picked Tim up from his lap, cradled him close. “They both seemed nice.”

“How do you survive with such crap judge of character?” he scoffed. “The b*****d is nothing but an arrogant bruiser, throwing his weight around.” He looked at Allen. “So, tell me what you know.”

“About what exactly?”

“About the freak that almost smeared your tiny brain all over the concrete.”

Allen made tunnels with his hands and let Tim run through them, “I honestly don’t know anything. I wasn’t holding back, or lying to them. I don’t remember anything at all from yesterday, and I don’t recognize that man.”

“And you have no idea why anyone would want to hurt you?”

“I…” His eyes flickered, broke contact to watch the pale furry animal weave between his hands in a dance. “No, honestly I don’t.”

A secret, he'd dig it up, but for now Kanda categorized it in his mental notes and let the subject drop. The silence lengthened, he rested his chin on his fist and watched as the rodent sized creature scampered up the stark white sleeve to crouch at the shoulder, shift its haunches, and launch itself at the curtains, arms and legs extended to reveal a connecting web of fur and skin, long tail out. It looked like a tiny, fuzzy kite.

Allen laughed when it latched onto the curtain and scuttled to the very top to perch in the folds and bark. “Yes, I saw you. Very impressive.” Then once again began to gather all his cards to shuffle. “So, is there a reason you’re still here? You don’t look particularly happy to be.” Kanda’s response was to tsk and scowl. “Well, might I ask what you meant earlier? When you said you brought me in?”

“What, not clear enough for your little brain?”

“Oh don’t be an a**. I don’t have any memory of yesterday at all and I was told those two cops brought me in.”

“As if! You would have died from brain damage in the van while that idiot tried to get that damn woman’s number.” On certain men, Allen realized, a sneer was not at all unattractive. “Your weak a** was attacked, I brought you here. Clear now?”

Allen’s soft smile slanted, “Tell me, do you have to work particularly hard at being a b*****d or does it just come naturally?” Kanda shrugged. “I see. Well thank you for that lengthy recounting of events.” He bat his lashes. “It’s all ever so clear now.”

“******** you.”

“Well if you want, but do lock the door first.”

Something hit him on the head, and he looked startled at the man sitting scowling at the door as Tim clung to his shirt where he fell. “Did, did you just throw Timcanpy at me?”

“che.” Quick as a viper he had a fist of Kanda’s hair, tugging him close. “Chikusho! Let go of me you ******** b*****d, I will ******** stab you in the ******** face.”

“You don’t throw my pet.” He snarled eyes slits of fury. “I don’t care what the ******** youtube videos say you can do with gliders, you don’t throw my ******** pet.”

“Kutabare Ama,” he grabbed Allen by the wrists and twisted, but instead of freedom he got harsher pulling for his efforts. “Mukatsuku, koro shite yaru!”

“Sonna koto shitta koto ja nai. You. Don’t. Throw. My. Pet.”

“Alright! ********!” when he was released he attempted to throw a punch but his fist was caught with the stupid prosthetic hand.

“Ah ah, be a good boy and sit the ******** down.” Allen smiled sweet as syrup.

“Baka na gaijin.”

“As you so eloquently put it two weeks ago, you’re a foreigner too. So, really, who does that apply to?”

“Ookiosewada.” He sneered.

Allen chose to not respond to that, and instead continued his shuffling.

The cards slid through fingers like liquid, Kanda would have been a little impressed with the grace the pale man could maneuver and arrange them, if he wasn’t seething, mumbling things like ‘Shinezu buso kuso’ and ‘Busaiku pakimono.” Which Allen heard and understood, but refused to answer.

Kanda began to breath, tugging at his skewed hair, a huge ******** mess, not even bothering to swallow or mutter the various things he felt at various points to say, openly just spitting them out. “Hine daikon, Tameguchi kitten ja ney o. Do digata ni kazana ho akeruzou, ki-sama o koroso.”

“Are you finished yet? You’re fogging up the room with all your intense hatred.”

“Shinde Kudesai.”

“Have you become completely incapable of switching languages, or do you honestly think I can’t understand everything you’re saying, because I’ll let you know. I speak it perfectly well,” he shrugged, “most dialects.”

“******** you.” Kanda snarled. “I remember you speaking it perfectly fine yesterday.”

“Oh?” Allen blinked at him. “So…well okay. Why were we speaking Japanese yesterday?”

“The ******** were we speaking it now for?”

“So we were…” he laughed suddenly. “Is this going to be a pattern with us, arguing like this?”

“Who the ******** cares?” he finally just tugged the damn hairband out and started finger combing his tangled hair.

“What brilliant wordplay you have, you must charm all the ladies.”

“As if.”

Once again the silence stretched on and okay, so this wasn’t exactly going the way he, half assed, planned. He had allowed that idiot of a cop to put his back up, and ******** but he hated hospitals, and then the henjin had to go and pull his hair. ******** kuso atama. So, step back, breathe, put it all away and do the job. Even if he wanted to storm out and never come back. ******** bitchy little a**-white b*****d freak.

Breath. Do the job.

"You got quick hands." He finally managed after several minutes and when he didn’t think he’d get a strange look, it seemed like the act of shuffling smoothed the Moyashi’s feathers. It was the only observation he could think of that didn’t want to come out as an irritated snap. He resisted adding ‘ama’ to the end, but it still echoed in his head.

“It helps me think." Allen said, dealing out a quick five card stud for his imaginary players. "Would you like to play?" He then added.

Kanda leaned over the side of the bed to reach the table, his hair sliding across one shoulder. "I'm not much for games." He tipped one of the facedown cards up with his thumb and spied the value. "I know bridge, but I didn't come here to embarrass myself over a handful of cards."

“Right, just came to insult me and milk your hero status? If you’re expecting a thank-you you probably should have waited for it before you pissed me off.”

“I came here to,” he stopped, breathed, and swallowed his insult. Sat back. “I came to check up on you.”

“Right. Did Lenalee make you?”

“No.” Allen stopped the game and stared at him with a soft expectant smile. He met it for a few minutes, then turned towards the door with a huff of irritation, ‘just spit it out. It won’t choke you.’ “********, I brought you here didn’t I? I came to see if you survived the night.” He could not believe he just said that. ******** s**t what the hell was this, some cheesy romance novel? He sucked in a slow breath through his nose, do the job. Just do the job. If he had to say corny s**t like that to stick close to the a*****e fine, suck it up, do it, and kill all witnesses.

“Really?” Allen’s smile shrank to a neutral line as he studied Kanda’s profile, the man refusing to meet his eyes. He felt a pleased little prickling in his gut and a corner of his mouth twitched, wanting to turn up, Brushing it all aside he curved his lips in a grateful crescent, “Thank you,” he slathered honey over the appreciation. Kanda turned back to him, eyes narrowed, mouth scowling. Allen tucked his hair behind his ear and swept his eyes back down to his game in a practiced subtly submissive gesture that gave his face a feminine angle and continued his game.

“Show it to me.”

Allen blinked up at him. “What?”

His companion held out a hand. “You’re arm. Let me see it.”

Allen instinctively clutched at the forearm of his prosthetic, keeping it close. “Why would you want to… I mean, I have no injuries on my arms.”

Kanda gave him an annoyed look. “I saw the damn thing yesterday Moyashi, so shut up and hand it over.”

“Mo- who’s a bea-”

“Beansprout, yes. You said that yesterday too.” He took the prosthetic in his hands and guided it away from the albino’s torso until it was outstretched towards him, undoing the buttons at the bottom and pushing it up, exposing purple colored ‘skin’. “I moves differently from yesterday.” He pulled the glove off.

“D-does it?” Suddenly this close Allen had no choice but to acknowledge the attraction that was both thrilling, dangerous and, he told himself, perfectly natural. He wouldn't go so far as to say it was harmless, not with the ties to the Order and the past twenty minutes of arguing, but so long as the electric tension between them stayed a humming undercurrent he saw no reason to push the man away. “I.. usually wear a different one to the doctor’s office.”

The other one was hard plastic with a rubber skin colored sleeve, mechanical workings visible at the joints. This one’s cosmetic covering was of pliable latex, like warm skin beneath his fingers. Kanda turned the hand over, palm up. Traced the ridges that allowed for free movement. It was the same purple of the Tribal tattoos he had seen covering the infant-like arm last night, he imagined the coloring helps preserve the natural appearance? The sleeve only rolled to the elbow.

The length of his family’s advancement in the fields of science and mechanics were proved upon his skin, as he could feel through the connections every brush of fingertips across his palm.

He turned his face away and breathed for a moment, feeling slightly dizzy. When he glanced back it was to be pierced by slanted blue eyes so deep they were almost black.

Kanda had seen him turn away out of his peripheral, and had glanced up in time for him to look back. Glass clear eyes gazed down at him with a strange emotion, and he felt something, a force in his gut not quite powerful enough for a punch, but stronger than a tug. ‘The scar would have distracted from it,’ he thought as he held the silver stare, if was visible.’

He had a sudden vision, an image in his mind so clear he mistook it a moment for one of his illusions. An image of them fighting, sparing, blocking, counteracting, knock out drag out no holds barred, throwing each-other off balance and when one of them pinned the other... his breath hitched. He realsed the hand and sat back, ramrod spined, in his chair. It was a sexy, perilous thought that aroused more than his competitive interest, and he squashed it under the heel of his control like the disgusting parasite it was.

“Seeing as you don’t look to be dying anytime soon.” he said as those distracting eyes blinked, “I’ll just go do some of that pesky crime fighting everyone is always yelling at me about.” He stood, felt his hair brush his neck and arms and swore. Digging his hair tie back out of his pocket, but as he gathered it all up and wound it around the tail, it snapped. His swears were fierce, hot, and Asian.

Allen could do nothing but laugh.

When he could finally settle and breathe, under the dark smoldering glare of one pissed of Japanese detective, he tugged at the knot of his necktie. “You know Kanda,” he ran the cord through his fingers, smoothing any winds or folds, “there are only certain lengths anything can go before it snaps under the pressure.”

“Yeah yeah, save your cultured British opinions for someone who’ll actually listen.” He turned to leave; Allen caught his wrist, pointed his index finger down and circled it. Kanda rolled his eyes and scoffed, but conceded and sat on the bed.

With a laugh Allen bit the ribbon and gathered all that dark hair in his hands.

It was an odd situation, his heart thundered in his ears and every sense was on high alert as if he was in the midst of a great battle. He breathed slow and deep through his nose, curled damp hands against his thighs, and refused to acknowledge the raised hairs on his arm of the adrenaline in his blood.

Allen was a warm, steady presence at his back as he tied the ribbon, hands brushing through his hair, skimming the top of his head, and every pulse point in his body throbbed. A sudden switch in the workings of his mind left him baffled and slightly off balance, he imagined what it would be like to have those deft, clever fingers somewhere other than his hair. If he turned, if he just angled his head up and they were face to face...

Allen finished and was leaning over him, up on his knees, an sassy grin on his lips as if he knew exactly what the Asian man had been thinking.

Kanda took a calming breath and all but tasted whatever it was Allen used on his slim pale body to get him to smell like a wholesome breakfast.

The change in his eyes was subtle, darkened, intensified in the moment, pupil expanding . Allen hadn't expected to see the spark of sexuality in those dark, seemingly emotionless eyes, but was pleased by it, even if he had enough makeup on his face to crack if he smiled too wide.

"You know Kanda, I've been thinking about doing something for near two weeks now." he smiled wider at the guarded uneasiness in those slanted blue eyes. "Might as well get it out of my system." and faster, shockingly faster than Kanda could counteract Allen wound the dark hair in his hand like a rope, yanked his head back, and kissed him.

Kanda's lips opened in shocked protest, his mind went blank, his mouth filled with tongue and taste and passion and for a breathless dizzying moment fire erupted inside him and swept through his blood like lava.

"Oh, I'm interrupting." a voice deadpanned from the doorway.

Allen broke away and looked up, irritation all over his face, at his former guardian and mentor Cross Marian. “What perfect timing, do you just smell pheromones like beasts?”

Kanda embarrassed himself by staggering away, all but running out the door and down to his car. The sticky heat of the outside slapped him like a damp rag and he had to take a gulp of air to find his breath. So used to the chill of the hospital. Only when he was unlocking the door with shaky, boneless hands did the clarity of what happened slam into him, and with it a black fury that rioted through his system.
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“That didn’t take you long at all,” Cross watched the man bolt with an amused brow raised, “that BookMan apprentice made him sound a bit more challenging.”

Allen thought so too, having expected anger, rejection, or simply no response at all. Instead he got to see a very interesting reaction to a very simple pleasure. He cradled his chin in his palm in contemplation at the empty doorway. “Please, if he wasn’t being forced here by the Order he’d have left several times over and never come back.” Was there anything so endearing as watching a strong man fumble?

“Heh, I don’t know about that.” Allen blinked from his musings and looked up at Cross, holding a small laptop the size of a thin paperback book. “Fii left you a little security camera when he came in last night.” He reclined in the seat Kanda had occupied moments ago. “I switched the memory card when I stopped by earlier, you might want to see something.”

Allen took the computer and settled back onto the bed.

Outside the room a tall handsome man with dark hair curling past his shoulders flirted with the nurses at the console station and watched his brutishly large relative storm after a fleeing Asian.
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Kanda glowered over the opened hood of his beat up little car, eyes dark as onyx and temperament positively rancid.

As if being assaulted by a deformed albino hospital patient wasn't absolutely horrible enough, and it was, it so was, his car had decided it couldn't take the embarrassment of being driven by someone who had been unable to deflect a sad sloppy inexperienced and all around nauseating excuse of a kiss from a deformed albino hospital patient suffering brain trauma which was the ONLY reason he hadn't kicked that ******** brain in, and killed itself. In the middle of interstate four.

******** perfect.

He stared angrily, not uselessly and certainly not helplessly, into the complex entanglement of grime covered wires and tubes and tank looking apparatuses he was sure did something important. He recognized the battery, it was all he recognized, as it was the rectangular thing he paid someone to change for him after having angrily stared at a wall of multiple different sizes and brands and voltages, again not useless or helplessly, or stupid which is what he always felt around the contents that made vehicles run, before grabbing the nearest wage earner by the collar.

It did not help that he was still stewing, how could he not be when his person had been unforgivably violated by such a disgusting creature, over the confusing actions of Allen Walker.

He liked knowing what he was up against, be it a kendo opponent, suspect, diabolical matrix monster looking mesh of machinery hidden beneath his hood, or polished looking assholes with intimacy issues. So far Allen had been as much an entangled mystery as the workings of his car. Who was he? The quick tongued, god why did that thought make his insides jolt, hellfire with the hard mouth and sharp eyes, the delicate refined doll who had pinked tea-rose at Lavi and Daisya's teasing, or the vulnerable child with the terrified eyes that haunted him through the night in a way the gruesome image his colleague's body hadn't?

He moistened his lips and scowled when he discovered a foreign taste there.

And so what if he had, for a brief moment, considered the softness of lips, it didn't give anyone the right to just kiss him. He considered murdering all kinds if people on a daily basis, he didn't expect anybody to go around killing them for him. It just meant he was human, he had thoughts like everyone else, he simply controlled them, not going around throwing themselves at the nearest uninterested person, especially ones they barely knew and ...

He braced his hands on the car and breathed.

Even he could tell this was affecting him a little too much.

And if it was, well it was just human nature, it was... Chemistry... It wasn't going to go anywhere.

It couldn't.

Because if he let it, it could ruin everything. Every file and note he had scraped up last night indicated Allen Walker discarded his lovers, and he was not going to be discarded, by anyone, especially not a mark.

And he was not thinking about sex with that scrawny little...

Breath in, hold, breath out.

The ache in his belly was not desire, not hunger, but stress, he was probably getting an ulcer, he had a pretty stressful few days.

Hell, he had a pretty stressful life.
Kanda's lips opened in shocked protest, his mind went blank, his mouth filled with tongue and taste and passion and for a breathless dizzying moment fire erupted inside him and swept through his blood like lava.

I'm telling you, you're making it all look more like AreKan than Yullen
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Kanda's lips opened in shocked protest, his mind went blank, his mouth filled with tongue and taste and passion and for a breathless dizzying moment fire erupted inside him and swept through his blood like lava.

I'm telling you, you're making it all look more like AreKan than Yullen

Shut up, It's an equal partnership.

Its not my fault Kanda's such a prude.
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Skin Bolic watched from the overpass as the angry Black Order soldier yelled on his phone at who he assumed was a tow truck or roadside service of some kind. He recognized the man from the security video, standing over Allen’s bed, taking pictures of him, touching him.

He shifted his piña colada sucker from one side of his mouth to the other, blue eyes darkening with intent.

It had been a while since he had an Order member’s blood on his hands, hot and wet and sticky. Tyki and the twins seemed to have all the fun these days, last night’s little spy incident attesting to that, and seeing one so solitary and alone like this called to his instincts, his memory, his rage. He hadn’t liked the way the man had stormed out of his little cousin’s hospital room, or the raging oaths promised out in the parking lot, and had decided to follow him, just to be sure he wasn’t planning anything funny. After all, what was an Order member doing in the room anyway, Allen was in under a fake name, and from what their intel described the Order had no idea where he was, and were going nuts because of it.

He had never agreed with the Earl’s decision to place him out as bait on a hook. He and Road and Cyril had argued and protested, but in the end you do not question the Earl.

One does not presume to question.

The knowledge that their sweet little fourteenth was always in the crosshairs of the Order stuck in his craw like black licorice jellybeans, tainting everything with its bitterness.

It wasn’t that he didn’t know how to get rid of a body either, unlike Tyki who left them where they lay, or JasDevi who dumped them wherever they could get away with it, or Cyril who liked to stage them in interesting storytelling ways, he knew how to make a person vanish. People disappeared in the Bayou all the time, the marsh and the mist, poisonous snakes, alligators cutting a line through the waters with whispers for ripples, Florida wasn’t all that different from the waters he called home.
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“Don’t toke in here, it’s a bloody hospital for Christ’s sake.”

“So, open a window.”

“I hate you so much.” Allen grumbled, but it was halfhearted, fingers curled around the tablet.

Tyki slapped a hand on Cross’ shoulder and pushed him towards the window. “We’ll just sit over here,” He cracked it open and reclined back against it, taking a drag as he watched his little cousin. Allen Walker wasn’t the kind to let his emotions show, he had a nasty little habit of slathering on that creamy little smile to cover whatever he was feeling at any given moment. Not to say reactions couldn’t be drawn out of him, one merely had to work a little at it.

So seeing him staring down at the thin pocket computer with a sweet little curve of the lips should have indicated he was hiding something, until he ran a finger down the dark line the Order member cut against the glow of the machines, standing over him, leaning down to him. He reached up to place the pads of fingers against the hidden scar marring his cheek, slowly, almost dreamily, as he watched the Asian man do the same. ‘whoops.’ Tyki thought to himself, ‘I hope that’s not what I think it is.’

"What's you're take on him Gorato?" He asked and Allen blinked dreamy eyes up at him.

With a sigh that was a little tired, a little regretful, and just a fraction schoolgirl-crush he set the tablet aside. "Proud, defiant, aloof, and absolutely delicious but most things are when you can't have them."

"Why not?."

Allen barked out an uncharacteristic laugh, one that reminded Cross of an unsympathetic, unapologetic child with hard eyes and bruises on his dirt smudged face. "Oh yes, let's complicate matters with useless entanglements."

Tyki felt a muscle tick. Allen Walker rarely made life easy for anyone, polite refinement or no. "Nasty word, entanglement." he blew smoke out the window. "Best to have someone loyal to you. Suman was a good pick, but his wants are with his family. Best to get him by the d**k and keep his everything focused on you."

"And you think Kanda is the best choice?" Allen gave him an amused incredulous look.

"He came to the hospital." Tyki indicated with his cigarette, the wispy tail of smoke danced like a bespelled snake. "Didn’t have to, could have dropped you off and been done with it. But he came, and watched you sleep." he took a drag. "Man like that, he doesn't watch his enemies sleep unless he plans to smother them."

Allen pictured Kanda in his hospital room, surly, bad tempered, go-to-hell Kanda with his dark, angry eyes, standing beside his bed, fingers tracing the hideous scar. Just like in the video.

"You like him."

"He's pleasing enough. I'd have to decide if it's worth it to keep him close, or make use of him and be done with it,"


He said "Very" with that same wistful sigh.

"You can't work together without thinking of ******** him," Cross laughed, almost mocking, "but if you ******** him, you can't work."

"Oh but I so want to." Allen flopped onto the hospital bed, ignoring the doctor’s order for his head. He felt fine. "Did you see him Tyki? Isn't he gorgeous?"

The Portuguese man shrugged, taking a drag from his cig, whatever they were giving the guy was making him uncharacteristically loose lipped, and just a tad silly. "More you're type then mine,"

Allen snorted a laugh that amused the two others. "Nowhere near my type and you know it, too gawky, and rude, and proud, stupid though, not brainless but so not the sharpest needle in the haystack. And he didn't even kiss me back." He pouted.

“You did kind of forced it on him.” Cross grinned at Allen’s stare. “I was in the doorway awhile.”

“Excuses.” He grumbled, and turned his gaze to the ceiling, hand roaming the bed for the soft touch of fur, he liked holding Tim when he thought. “I didn’t even get to see how good a kisser he really is, I mean yeah it was fun to catch him like that but nobody wants a,” He sat up when he didn’t find him. “You see Tim anywhere?”

Tyki swept the room with his eyes. “It is day out. Did he go to sleep?”

“Maybe. I don’t like him climbing into places in strange rooms though.” He lifted his pillow and shook out his blanket. “Hey, check the curtains for me?”

The two men exchanged a look; Allen was skilled at dodging questions, but changing the subject so swiftly, or forgetting conversations…

“He’s fine, he’ll come out.” Cross crushed his tab against the windowsill, heading back to the seat directly beside the albino, taking the clipboard off the wall as he passed. “What are they giving you exactly?”

“I don’t know. They don’t tell me.” He huffed and threw his pillow back on the bed, flopping down on it when he couldn’t find his suggie. He hated being awake in the morning. Tim was always asleep in the mornings, and the day stretched on so long, the sun wouldn’t be going back down for another thirteen hours. Thirteen. What was he supposed to do drugged up in a hospital for thirteen hours?

“Looks like painkillers and sedatives. They give you any antidepressants yet?”

“God I hope not. I’m already on like, fifteen.”

“You’re on two; I’ll make sure they know. I brought your prescription with me.”

“My hero.” He mumbled, face in the pillow, he sat up quickly and smiled at Tyki. “Play a game with me?” he held up the card deck.

“That’s my que.” He said, crushing his cigarette and moving towards the door followed by Allen’s ‘aww, no fun.’

“Coward.” Cross hissed at him.

“You play with him down to your ceroulas and see how often you want to face him in a game.” He patted the redhead’s back. “I’ll just go down to the cafeteria, Gorato, get you something to eat.”

“The doctor says I can’t eat anything after a seizure.”

“It’s been long enough, I’m sure you’re clear for a meal.”

“Okay, thanks. Can you get me a cake?”

He laughed. “Sim, com certeza I’ll get you a big cake.” And made his escape.
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Kanda wrenched open the door to his car and threw his jacket inside. ******** this, ******** them, ******** everyone, he was hot, he was running on no sleep, and every damn ‘professional’ he called to work on his car hadn’t even heard of Daihatsu motors, let alone knew how to fix an `05 Copen.

He finally tracked down a foreign car auto shop that knew a damn thing about Japanese motors outside of crotch rockets and the damn a*****e was so ******** chatty he damn near hung up on him with the suicidal thought that he’d fix it himself. He didn’t even have a ******** tire jack he was so inept with cars, so he persevered and confirmed his location so the guy could come tow his a** out of the heat.

With a swipe of the back of his hand across his forehead, ******** bangs, he was letting his hair grow out and damn if it got in his eyes if he was living in Florida even two more weeks he was getting rid of these ******** bangs. He grabbed Daisya’s stupid red ballcap with the crescent stars logo, the idiot had left in his car last week, and didn’t feel a damn thing when he slapped it on his head and pulled his hair through the back.

Several tow trucks came and went, and he felt himself grow edgier and edgier with every one that didn’t stop. A few would piss him off with false relief when they pulled up beside to ask if he needed a tow, no he had one, no they were coming, yes he knew it, no he didn’t need their help. ******** off. ******** you. ******** your truck. Go away before I shove that big ******** hook up your a** and tow you by your rectum with your own damn truck.

Then the stupid ******** finally came and he didn’t know if he was going to hug him or throttle him to hell and back. He needed some god damned sleep.

“You Kanda?” When one described someone as ‘scarecrow’ Kanda imagined this would be their intended image. He was tall, his limbs long brittle branches attached to the husk of a sapling tree, his wrinkles layering over themselves in pleats and folds were brown and weathered as tanned leather. He tipped an ancient straw cap up and peered at him through sharp clear green eyes with a center of gold circling the pupil, cat’s eyes.

“Just Kanda.” He gripped the withered age spotted hand offered to him and was surprised with the strength of the handshake.

“Ain’t that what I said?” He turned to look at the little car and scowled. “You d` this?”

He tucked his hands in his pockets, defensive. “It broke down.”

“Corse it did. Look at it. Thing’s lucky t` have limped on th`way it did. How long you had it?”

He had gotten it new as a teenager, a shiny black jewel gifted to him by the Order for being such a good little murdering b*****d. He’d put the first dent in it that day and ******** the wheel alignment by misjudging a turn and jumping a curb. “Little over five years.”

“An you beat it t`s**t. Good for you.”

Kanda felt his hackles rise and immediately liked this man more than the idiot he spoke with on the phone. “Just tow it to the ******** shop.”

“Watch your mouth wit me boy, I still know how t`take down a Jap when I need to.” He hooked the chain to the car and did his job. “Lucky you have me, nobody round here knows a damn thing about kei cars `specially Daihatsu’s, don’t exist to them `cept the s**t Toyota brings over sometimes, an those ain’t kei.”

“Figured that out.”

“Sure y’did.” He hitched his belt and Kanda was sure he was going to spit any second, he was the kind of American that chewed tobacco and spit, never did though, just rubbed his nose as he studied the car. “Want me t’do the body work too? Face like that needs a good body.”

Kanda looked at his car’s ‘face’. The Copen was one of those cars with wide headlight eyes and a smiling grill. “Just get it running, I don’t need any of the other s**t.” He opened the door and folded himself down into the seat.

“Suit yourself. We’ll talk more at the shop.” The old man slammed the door for him and headed up to his truck.

Yanking the cap off and tossing it back behind the seats he gripped the wheel and watched the wrinkled a*****e climb up into the cab with the sureness of a veteran. Yeah, he liked the man, and hoped he wouldn’t have to be dealing with anybody else.

This day was a total waste, but then so far all of them ended up that way when he interacted with Allen Walker. He didn’t think he actually accomplished anything, except to be thoroughly disgusted and molested. Well, he could at least get some sleep until they got to the shop. He grabbed his jacket to use as a pillow, jerking his hand back when a sound much like the cranking his car had sputtered as it died emitted from the folds.

“The ********?” he pulled it all the way into his lap and shook it, causing the cackling to get worse, finaly he found a lump and held the coat up so he could see.

The sound halted and a small round head poked out of one of his pockets, covered in golden blonde fur and topped with delicate pink almond shaped ears that perked in his direction. It blinked wide black eyes at him and sniffed with a heart shaped nose, before dismissing him with a chattering grumble and disappearing back into the dark abyss.

“Great. That’s just perfect.” He tossed the thing back into the passenger. Nothing he could do about the damn thing now with his car halfway in the grave. He’d return it to the Moyashi when it was fixed.

Adjusting the seat he leaned back and closed his eyes. Just a few minutes rest.

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