?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
09 October 2008 @ 09:24 pm
Oofuri, AU fic 2  
Title: Investing in Chaos is Fashionable
Series: Ookiku Furikabutte
Character: Everyone.
Disclaimers: Standard Disclaimers Apply.
Notes: This comes before this fanfic. Oofuri vampire AU fanfic! Also, (very) long. Could not have been written without ficcentricity's constant squeeing, and terrorism at work.





“Could you just listen to me?” Hanai demands as he intently glares at a screen, wishing Tajima can feel his frustration from so far away but also sure that there are really some things in this world that are just not possible.

But I do listen to you!” Tajima chirps back, all teeth and claws and dead, bloody things hanging from his battle gear. The small vampire is already three streets away from where he should be, five dead targets ahead of the agreed time.

“No, you don’t,” Hanai grounds out, tapping rapidly at the keyboard to make the satellite feed catch up with his ward. “Four of them at the next alley. Do not engage. I repeat, do—”

I’m on it!

See?

He is about to list down the three hundred different ways Tajima had not listened to him today, but another transmission interrupts him. “Hanai, situation on the infestation at the docks?” He types in a key, turns his attention to five other screens laid out before him. Izumi and Mizutani downtown, Sakaeguchi and Suyama in the east, and Abe and Mihashi near the waterfront. Another key and the last screen virtually blips up nearer, and a motion with his hand makes it zoom out to include the surrounding area in its scope.

“Area clear. Move up to the west. Mihashi can handle the targets there.”

Roger that.

“Anyway, Tajima,” he resumes, beckoning the screen with his partner on it closer. “Can’t you do as I tell you to, at least just a few times a day?!” He’s not on the field and it bites, to be stuck in HQ, but that doesn’t give Tajima the right to brush off his instructions every time. Tajima does not need his assistance in missions, but Hanai is still his handler and partner, and damnit, even if Tajima’s the best fighter in the Organization, he’s still not invincible.

But you’re not here,” Tajima protests, and Hanai feels a pang at that. “It’s really different when you’re on the field, you know!

“I know,” Hanai snaps, tapping in several keys and keeping an eye on Mihashi’s screen. The newbie looks like he’s doing well enough, Abe’s sniper assistance aside. Momokan has never been wrong with her recruits, and Hanai knows that the boy is safe under their best scout. Still, another pair of eyes shouldn’t hurt. Several of their members have already grown fond of him, Tajima included.

“When you’re done mucking around there,” he says, rather severely, “Go up twelve alleys.”

What’s there, Hanai!

“Food.”

------

Take the northwest route to the city limits and join Izumi and Mizutani. They’ll need assistance, soon.

“Roger,” Sakaeguchi says with a small smile in Suyama’s direction, tilting his head as the other agent cleans the cut on his arm. His partner rips a packet of gauze open with his teeth, sets about wiping the blood way from the wound.

Tell me if you can’t make it. That cut looks nasty.

“I’m fine, Hanai.”

“Will you be all right?” Suyama asks when Sakaeguchi takes his visor and transmitter off. “This isn’t serious, but you might want Nishihiro to see it, anyway…”

He grins and flexes his hand. “It’s fine, see? We need to assist Izumi and Mizutani near the borders. Another assignment should be okay.” It amuses him how attentive his former-trainee can be. A year ago, he had been the one dressing Suyama’s wounds up after their battles. These days, Suyama spends as much time protecting him as he does fulfilling their missions.

“What’s funny?”

“Nothing.” Sakaeguchi pats the other man’s shoulder as he gets to his feet. “We should go, though. You ready?”

Suyama shakes his head and carefully deposits the med kit back with his gear. “I should be the one asking you that.”

“I’m great! Anyway, Izumi needs us. I don’t think Mizutani’s gotten used to being a vampire yet… I mean, it’s only been a week!”

“Izumi is number one,” he points out, following after his partner.

“Number one among the humans,” Sakaeguchi retorts, breaking into an easy run. Suyama is running next to him, deliberately keeping two steps behind. Watching his back for attackers. He wonders if maybe Suyama would be less paranoid if either of them were vampires, but it’s really hard for him to imagine.

------

Mizutani thinks this being a vampire thing isn’t very different from being human, not really, although these days, he can’t seem to eat anything but raw beef. It’s vaguely gross, but eating it cooked makes him feel sick and it’s terrible to waste food, so.

He knows he’s lucky he has the chance to ease into it, though. He remembers Abe telling him, during that short (and mostly-terrible) time they were partners, that Haruna’s turning had been sudden and painful. No wonder the guy had left the Organization, right?

So far, he’s gotten past the preliminary transformations without much woe. Developed a penchant for raw meat, check. Mouth full of tiny fangs, check. Very strong and very sharp nails that grow incredibly fast, check. Suddenly being able to get beaten up more without any repercussions to his health, check. Super strength, check. Better senses, check. Sorta. Being unable to watch baseball games in daylight, check. Mizutani still bemoans that last one.

“Pay attention, Mizutani!” Izumi mutters, fighting… something, three floors down. Is that tiny thing really a vampire?

“Man, this infestation is getting really bad!” he comments, fiddling with his visor and accidentally resetting it before getting the system back up. “I wonder if the Org really managed to evacuate everyone in the city like they said they did. For all we know, there’re still humans just waiting to get turned somewhere here, right?”

Izumi ducks his attacker and uses the opportunity to decapitate it. “What I need, please?”

“Oh, right!” he says apologetically, scanning the area. “This was Abe’s job, you know!”

“We’re not a trio anymore, in case you haven’t noticed,” Izumi tells him wryly, pulling himself up a fire escape to join him on the ledge, his long, flat hunting knife strapped to a hip.

“Of course I have! I heard he and Mihashi’s number five among the pairs now.”

Izumi raises an eyebrow at that. “You really keep track of the ranks, huh? Give me the visor.”

“It’s interesting!” Mizutani says excitedly as he hands his visor over and scoots back to give his partner more space on the ledge. “I bet Abe and Mihashi can overtake Hanai and Tajima at number one. But that means we’ll get bumped down, na?”

“Being number four is fine,” he mumbles absently, tapping at a virtual keyboard. “Although at the rate that you are now, we’ll probably get bumped down lower.”

“That’s mean! I’m getting used to fighting like this, okay! Even Mihashi said he had trouble moving around at first.”

“If you say so,” Izumi replies, obviously indulging him. Mizutani pouts. At least Mihashi understands, being only a couple of months ahead in this vampire thing than he is.

“I’ll be a better agent, you’ll see!”

His partner grins at him, then, and reaches over to rub the back of his neck. “Don’t pout. You’re not used to fangs yet, right? Wouldn’t want to injure yourself now, would we?”

“Izumiii!”

Izumi ruffles his hair before turning back to the visor. Mizutani personally thinks that it’s broken, or Abe-cursed, considering that it refuses to work in his hands. “We have ten minutes to rest before a new group comes. Suyama and Sakaeguchi are on their way to assist us. I’d rather if you sat this one out, though.”

“Okay!” Mizutani agrees agreeably.

------

“Tajima, please remain within a kilometer’s radius of where you are now. Hanai’s on his way to join you.”

Whoa, really?!

“We got wind of information that a large group of vampires are making their way to the city. Since many of our top agents are already in the vicinity, we thought it would be better to eliminate them inside than risk our men outside.”

That makes awesome sense! So who’s coming? Is it Haruna?

Nishihiro smiles in amusement, and answers the agent. “Fortunately, no. Some other big guy, though? Hard to beat, but I’m sure you can do it if you’re with your partner.” There’s a hint to that that Nishihiro is sure Tajima doesn’t get, but at least he tried.

Okay!” And Tajima cuts the connection. The screen shows that the young vampire has already engaged in another fight, and Nishihiro turns the visuals to their men outside.

“Oki, how are the medic teams?” he asks after ordering a temporary evacuation of their men from the west entrance to the city.

“Deployed with escort. ETA 0300.”

“Thank you.”

The manual of the controls lies open between them, but he hasn’t had to look at it today yet. They’re getting used to this, taking over for Hanai when the latter has to join his partner on the field. Hanai has been asking them to substitute for him more often, lately, and Nishihiro can’t blame the man for pining for the outside. So he takes up the job on top of commanding his own medic team, because Abe won’t, refuses to go back to his position, even at the expense of turning Hanai, one of their best agents, into a glorified housewife. Nishihiro understands that, too. Having a partner on the field while sitting in HQ is something that most agents can’t tolerate, but to have the field partner get turned into one of the strongest vampires of their generation… Abe has been active on the field ever since.

“Nishihiro, tea.”

“Oh! Thanks.”

It’s a good thing his second-in-command is Oki, because while Hanai and Abe can handle operations and the network on their lonesome on a regular basis, Nishihiro does not have the technical expertise for it, and sometimes has difficulty catching up, strategy-wise. But between them, the two medical research heads can manage.

“I was thinking of sending the rookie medics as backup later on. They might not get any action, but it’ll still be experience for them.”

He blinks, takes a sip of the tea. “They’ve been getting antsy from not getting a chance on the field?”

“Pretty much. They might feel more, ah… utilized, this way.”

Nishihiro beams up at him. “Good idea,” he says, and finally pulls the manual to himself; perhaps there is something in the systems that he can borrow for the medical team communications.

------

The way Mihashi fights is completely different from Haruna, Abe finds, and he will never admit this to anyone, but it’s gratifying to note. Mihashi moves with the awkwardness that comes with being unused to one’s own body, but Abe is certain that a year of fighting down the line and Mihashi will smoothen out. He can already see it, the effective way Mihashi uses energy, movements small but just enough for what needs to be done.

On the other hand, Haruna has always brimmed with power, even as a human. His movements had always been forceful, with the dangerous, energetic, attractive kind of grace that only started making sense when he turned into a bloodsucker. When Haruna walked, Abe used to imagine dust rise from Haruna’s path at the weight of the power.

Abe prefers Mihashi’s style, and not for the reason that Mizutani always tells everyone (“Because anything is better than Haruna!”). Abe likes his partner because Mihashi knows how to use his energy, even if it’s done unconsciously. Mihashi is still raw, still doesn’t know when to back off and when to keep on attacking, doesn’t actually have the experience for it, but Abe will change that, one day, eventually. The younger vampire is the effective and efficient machine that Haruna will never be, and while his qualities as a vampire is almost negligible, it’s enough to give him a distinct advantage in the battlefield.

“A-a-abe-kun…”

Abe doesn’t like Mihashi, though. Mihashi is his weapon, a vampire for him to use. It just so happens that Mihashi has unfortunate habits that never fail to remind Abe that his partner is painfully human despite the vampirism. It’s irritating.

“What?”

“Are you all right?” he asks plaintively, nervously gesturing at the shallow scrapes on Abe’s arm from when a vampire tried to drag him off earlier.

“It’s nothing. Go take some of those blood pills before the next wave comes. The dispatch just came in from Nishihiro. We’re to sortie with Izumi and Mizutani and prepare for contact with a group of twelve vampires coming into the city.”

“But---”

He turned his head to glare at his ward, annoyance flaring. “When I tell you to do something, the only thing I want to hear from you is a yes. I hate it the most when agents don’t do as I say.”

There is shock in Mihashi’s eyes, and tears Abe pretends he doesn’t see. “Y-yes, Abe-kun.”

“We’re going to support the other teams this time. Let’s get there early and find good spots to set up.”

“Yes!”

With Abe’s strategies and Mihashi’s control, he is sure they can beat any vampire that will come their way.


------

Haruna misses Takaya, somewhat, just a tiny, small bit (who’d miss a prickly, mouthy brat like his old partner, anyway?). Sometimes Haruna thinks he should visit HQ just to catch up and stuff, but the people from the Organization have been pretty intent on hunting him down lately and it’s becoming harder and harder to do his business without one agent or another harping on him and trying to off with his head. It’s not like Haruna’s eating important people, and he kills just as many feral vampires as the Organization’s best members anyway, so why should it matter?

But he misses Takaya. They had been good partners, even if Takaya mostly stayed in the HQ, watching over him through that satellite or something. When Takaya went on the field, Haruna never had to worry about someone swiping at his back because Takaya sniped them all down. Well, not that he had anything to worry about when Takaya was in the HQ in the first place, because man, the kid could be so fucking obsessed.

They had a lot of fights about that. Haruna had never been very tolerant of being told what to do, and, well, Takaya had always been compulsively, painstakingly anal about the stuff that needed to be done, so there, they fought a lot.

Life would be both harder and easier with Takaya around again, though. Haruna has Akimaru to nag at him now, and Akimaru doesn’t pull punches and hits him when he goes astray, but there’s nothing quite like teasing Takaya to bits. And while Akimaru is also an excellent partner, the other vampire also tends to fight next to Haruna, which sometimes puts him in Haruna’s path. ALSO, Akimaru doesn’t have any remorse for stealing his kills, the ass. There’s Kaguyan, too, but he tends to go with the other vampires of their gang, so even if Haruna wants to bug him, Kaguyan is usually off with the other leaders, so bleah.

Sometimes, Haruna wonders if perhaps he should bite Takaya and turn him into a vampire, too. Then they can be partners longer and have shenanigans and rule the vampire world. But Haruna thinks that Takaya with fangs and all those other nice things that comes with being a vampire is a little terrifying, if a little amusing, and dismisses the thought for another day of self-terrorism.

“Haruna!” Akimaru is nagging again. Haruna gives him a mournful look and pretends to wipe his ears clean.

“HARUNA!”

“Whaaat?” he grumbles, hopping down from the broken-down ledge he had been perched on. Akimaru grabs him by the scruff of his shirt as soon as he’s within reach and starts dragging him to their makeshift base.

“Infestation in a city a few miles from here. Ookawa said to check it out. There might be food.”

“And there might not be,” he grumbles again. “Feral vampires are pretty much half-dead and taste bad, anyhow.”

“A lot of them are newly turned, though. And a new, large group just entered the city.”

“I don’t waaant to!” Haruna says irritably, but lets his partner (caretaker) pull him along.

“You’re right,” Akimaru declares unexpectedly, making Haruna perk up in curiosity. “We shouldn’t go. The place is crawling with the top agents from the Organization. I bet we’ll just keep on running into them if we go.”

“Are there?” And Haruna knows that Akimaru is just baiting him, can see it in the blond’s eyes, but Haruna also knows that Akimaru never lies to him. “Let’s go!”

“Why must you be so simple-minded?” Akimaru demands. He takes off after the faster vampire, already halfway through the street. “Oi! Haruna! Wrong direction!”

------

“How far can you see?”

“I don’t know how to measure it,” Mihashi answers a little helplessly, looking around the area as Abe sets up three rifles on the rooftop next to him, all facing in different directions. “I can see the medical vans coming from there.”

Abe glances at where Mihashi is pointing, sees nothing, and adjusts his visor. “You can read the print on those vans?”

“Yes.”

“Not bad. A lot of people will be fighting here today. I want you to watch over everyone from this point and tell me when someone needs firepower.”

“Yes!” And Mihashi plants himself on top of the water drum nearby.

It’s almost amusing. “Testing the line. Mihashi, can you hear me?”

“Yes!”

“Don’t forget to watch your own back. Take the flyers down as soon as you see them, or we’ll be easy targets.”

“Yes, Abe-kun!”

“Heeeeeeey! Mihaaashiii!” Tajima. Abe feels his eyebrow twitch when Tajima suddenly pops up from the side of the building, and resumes checking his weapons over. An arsenal of guns and a few knives, and Abe regrets not being able to use them on the small vampire excitedly flailing about. He looks over the edge to see Hanai eight storeys below, glaring up at him.

Will you please shoot my partner down and toss his body over to me?” Hanai’s voice pops in his ear. Hanai being on the field means that Abe is back on networking and tracking duties, though he’d have to pass some of the work to Nishihiro. Still, he sees a long night ahead of him. Three blocks away, Abe can see Kano and Oda making their way to his building. The sniper withdraws from the edge and pushes his rifle into place.

“Waste of bullets,” he remembers to answer after a moment.

You always say that, Abe!” Mizutani chirps; he peers over the ledge again to see his former partners looking up from a window below him. How long have they been there, he wonders. Izumi looks bored. Most people mistake him for a vampire, with the way he moves.

“And that saying is the only reason why I haven’t murdered you yet. Get off my line, Mizutani.”

Mean!” And then Mizutani yells up at him. “We’re only trying to keep you company, you know! Mihashi deserves to spend some time with nice people once in a while, too!”

Clearly, you think that stupid is nice,” Izumi’s voice filters in. Abe can hear Mizutani’s whine from where he is.

Mihashi is suddenly next to him, tugging at his sleeve. Abe flips his visor down, scans the area, and finds their targets.

“Target sighted,” he says, opening his line. The silence is almost deafening, but appreciated. “Shall we call the guests over?”

Tajima gives an enthusiastic ‘Let me! Let me!’ and roars out a challenge.

------

Forty minutes into the battle and there still doesn’t seem to be an end to it. Tajima’s challenge had called the new invaders over, but it had also attracted the attention of the small fry they have been trying to exterminate until now. The only consolation they have is that the new attendees are just as interested in maiming the local pests as they are in eating the agents.

The locals are easy to dispatch. Abe’s taken to focusing on them, because while the stronger vampires are more important targets, they can dodge his bullets half the time and he doesn’t want to waste his shots.

Abe, help!” Mizutani is dragging Oda’s prone form to the side while trying to keep a vampire at bay. Behind them, an enraged Kano is running another vampire through with a sword.

He gets rid of that one and the others trying to take advantage. “Nishihiro--”

I’ve already sent someone to fetch Oda. Escorts are agents Nakazawa and Jin. Please provide cover fire if necessary. Agent Kano is to remain on the field. Also, Agents Kawai, Takase, Shimazaki and Yamanoi have just come back to the country. Should I send them in?

“How long?”

One hundred and fifty minutes.

It’s not worth it, but judging by the rate they’re going… “Send them over. They better have bullets with them.”

Nakazawa has supplies for you.

“Great. Thanks.”

“Abe-kun, flyers!”

He doesn’t look up, but he taps his visor to see. There’s a small, winged shadow hovering over them. It doesn’t seem like too much of a threat, though Abe can’t be sure. “Do you think you can handle it?”

“I think so.”

“Good. Izumi, we might need you. Get Nakazawa to give you a lift, if necessary.” He can already see Nakazawa’s form in the distance, watching the progress of the van on the road under him. And then he returns to assisting Hanai, who’s been cornered into an alley with five vampires on his tail. He shoots one, two, misses on the third, but it’s enough to get Hanai out of trouble.

There’s a crash behind him, and the sound of Mihashi crying out as he barrels into some empty drums. Abe misses his target and freezes.

“Takaya~” The new presence that joins them on the rooftop is so stifling Abe recognizes it immediately. He shrugs off his earlier tension and shoots at a vampire after Sakaeguchi: he hits it at the shoulder, but the point is to slow it down, and Suyama finishes the job by breaking its neck.

“Takaya, oi! Don’t ignore me!” The sniper slips a handgun from its holster at his side before getting to his feet and turning to his caller. His hand feels weak (from the recoil, nothing else), but the gun is a comforting, if useless weight.

“Haruna,” Abe says, voice clipped, and the name leaves a bad taste in this mouth. Another vampire, winged and blond, is perched on the water tank Mihashi had been using as his post.

“Hey! How’s it going? It’s been what, six months since I’ve run into you!” Haruna is still as cheerful as ever. Abe thinks that nothing really changed with the man’s personality when he was turned. Too bad. Mihashi dashes over to him from where he picked himself up from the corner. Abe notes that he looks a little bruised, but there are no other injuries.

“The least you can do is answer, you know! Is that any way to treat an old partner?”

Mihashi gives him an anxious look, and Abe starts in surprise when the smaller man steps in front of him, protective and possessive at the same time.

How presumptuous, yet oddly appropriate.

“Haa? So this kid is your new partner now?”

“Yes,” he answers curtly, before bringing his hand up over Mihashi’s shoulder and shooting at Haruna’s forehead. The vampire dodges, as expected, but Mihashi is ready and meets him halfway, manages to wrap his arms around Haruna’s waist, and it’s so stupid and idiotic and crazy that Abe nearly misses his next shot. Blood explodes from Haruna’s wrist, and Izumi is there to pull Mihashi away before Haruna can even begin to rip him apart.

“The hell are you doing?!” Haruna demands, cradling his arm to his chest. The man had always been sensitive to injuries to his person. Still, Haruna is a powerful vampire and Abe can see the wound healing already.

“Why are you here?” he counters, evenly matching Haruna’s gaze. He wants to see how Mihashi is doing, but Izumi is there so his partner should be fine. There’s a slight flap of wings and the soft thud of a landing behind him.

“Abe, I, uh, have your stuff,” Nakazawa says sleepily, and drops the duffel bag of equipment on the ground. “Should I take the flyer on?”

“Not yet. He’s not doing anything.”

Haruna, tired of being ignored, speaks up. “Rio, right~? Haha, you finally grew wings!”

“I had my wings before you left the Organization,” Nakazawa replies disinterestedly. Abe assumes that Rio probably knows it, that Haruna always pops up in random places just to be bothersome, and isn’t very concerned. But with Rio, it is a little hard to tell. The vampire has become more and more lethargic as his wings grow out of his arms, and the only thing that can really get a reaction out of him these days is Takase.

“Why are you here?” Abe repeats, because it’s an important question. He needs to know if he can afford to ignore Haruna in favour of going back to his job, or if Haruna is here to make trouble.

“We need to eat and we heard the vampires around today are fresh!”

Mihashi squeaks in horror. Izumi pats him on the shoulder before grabbing Nakazawa and pushing them both off the roof. The flyer squawks but Abe hears wings unfold. Izumi has better things to do, and unlike Abe, runs into Haruna more often. He hears that Izumi has tried arresting Haruna several times, but at the end of the day, Izumi is still human and Haruna is not.

“Izumin is still the same as always, huh.”

“I have a job to do. Go eat if you want, but keep your hands away from our agents or I swear I’ll blow your head off.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

“I won’t watch your back,” Abe says, turning back to his rifle and lowering himself to his stomach. Mihashi still has his hackles raised, but otherwise makes no move to leave Abe’s side.

“Pshaw, I have Akimaru for that now.” The only sign of the two vampires leaving is the flutter of cloth and the flap of wings. Abe tightens his grip on the rifle and shoots.

------

Things go from bad to worse in the next hour.

Haruna is powerful, probably the strongest vampire in the city right now, but he is also reckless. The cry of challenge he had issued earlier had attracted most of the vampires still hiding out in the area (and even some from outside the border), so even if he’s cutting down swathes, they are also coming in large waves.

It’s no effort on Haruna’s part to keep up, but many of the agents are human and even the vampires are having trouble coping by now. Abe’s hand is numb; his only breaks are when he reloads the rifles.

“Abe-kun, Shuu-chan is--”

“I’m on it,” Abe replies, gritting his teeth as he pinpoints where Kano is with his visor, adjusts his position, aims, and fires. His assistance comes in the nick of time, and Kano beheads the vampire before it can try to escape. “Nishihiro, reinforcements?”

Kawai and company are due in half an hour.

“Too long. Oda?”

Is already on his way back.

“Good.” Abe pauses, takes a moment to watch Daichi break a vampire in half. “What are the agents at the entrance doing? How many agents have been taken out?”

Keeping more vampires from coming in. Holding the fort, so to speak. Haruna’s cry reached… rather far. As for agents, none. The ones the medics took off the field are well enough to return.

“I’m going to send Mihashi below to help with the fighting. I want you to watch the area for agents who need my help. Can Oki watch over Mihashi for me?”

All right, you can count on us.

Mihashi is crouching down next to him, listening to the line. From what Abe can see, he doesn’t like what he heard. “But… but… Who’ll watch over you?”

“I’m fine on my own. Stay near this building; if I need assistance, I’ll call you immediately.” Akimaru and Nakazawa are taking care of the flyers, and aside from Haruna, no vampires have actually laid a foot on Abe’s rooftop. It’s risky for a non-fighter like him to be alone, but they’re undermanned as it is. “Nakazawa.”

Yeaaah?

“I need more ammo. Pick up some bombs while you’re at it.”

Okey. Sure.” And Nakazawa is gone, flying off to the border. Abe is tempted to give Akimaru and Haruna instructions, but he has to remember that Haruna is no longer a member of the Organization, and is in fact one of their targets. Still… he would have a lot of uses for them.

Akimaru hovers over him, bobbing up and down with the beat of his wings. Abe pauses his assault to look up at him, pulling his visor up. “Yes?”

“I’ll protect you,” Akimaru announces with a grin. “So don’t worry about yourself.”

Abe wants to bite out that he’s not worried for himself, not at all, but instead asks, “Why?”

“You were Haruna’s partner. He talks about you a lot. Wouldn’t want to make him sad.”

“I see. A little sappy for a vampire, aren’t you?” he retorts, already back to his duty. But he appreciates the protection, even if Akimaru is not someone he can trust. Vampires aren’t really trustworthy, he tells himself, even as he follows Mihashi with the scope.

------

Abe is exhausted by the fourth hour, but they are progressing from swarmed five to one, to crowded at three to one. Barely any new vampires are coming anymore, and the arrival of Kawai’s team had balanced the sides better.

“Mihashi?” he asks as he lets go of his rifle and painfully cracks his fingers. He is already scanning the area for his partner before the reply comes.

I’m with Tajima and Hanai-kun,” is the soft reply.

“Aa. Join Mizutani and Izumi in the next block. They need you more.”

Yes.

Nishihiro comes up on the line. “Abe, check your east side. An odd mass of vampires is making its way to you from air.

So Abe checks it. Akimaru is already making his way to the new arrivals; Abe takes a pair of old-fashioned binoculars from his duffel to see what the newcomers are about: a dozen flyers, each one carrying a few other vampires, all flying in a closed formation and steadily making for the battlefield.

Well. This is new. Vampires weren’t usually this cooperative with each other, unless this new group isn’t made up of ferals?

“Nakazawa, assist Akimaru. I’ll start shooting as soon as they’re within range.”

Don’t shoot us too, k?” Rio replied, a small dot in the distance. Abe watches as the two flyers intercept the enemy vamps. One, two, three fall off the mass, but the formation doesn’t give and the mass is still making its way forward at an alarming rate. Nakazawa throws a vampire off his back, falters and flies a little to the side, clearly favouring his left arm.

“Nakazawa?”

Damn bugger clawed a hole through my wing. I need a few minutes to heal u--ACK! I’m being tailed! I repeat, I’m being tailed! Shoot it!” One of the flyers has detached itself from the group to chase after Rio, clearly seeing him as easy prey. Abe thinks the vampire is being pretty damn smart, for a feral.

“Don’t flail around uselessly, you idiot,” the sniper barks out. “You’re too far away, bring him closer to me!” The enemy flyer is almost on top of Nakazawa at this point, though, and if the agent’s other wing gets damaged, the only way he is going is down and it won’t be a ride he’ll survive, not from that height.

Akimaru charges through the air, armed with—

“Nakazawa?”

Holy shit! That dude just threw a vampire at the one on my tail! Like a cannon ball!

He snaps out of his surprise, positions a rifle in the direction of the mass. “I’m glad you’re awake and all, but get the hell down on the ground now and find shelter!”

Oh. Oh yeah!” Abe hears a loud ‘THANKS, MAN!’ from Nakazawa, and Akimaru does a sort of wave midair. He thinks Haruna and his companion are kind of insane, but are also admittedly skilled. There are bigger things to worry about, though, like the remainder of the still-large mass. If all those vampires join the battle, they’ll be back to a clear disadvantage. Not to mention that all those flyers will require Abe to retreat to ground-level and seek his team’s protection. A sniper without vantage point is half-useless, and since he’s hardly a fighter…

Abe doesn’t like being deadweight.

The mass is coming closer, just nearly in his range. As soon as they’re within sniping distance, Abe starts shooting at the flyers, aiming for the arms and their wings. It’s difficult to shoot something beating up and down, though, and the distance isn’t helping. A few vampires fall off, damaged by the bullets, but he and Akimaru can only do so much.

Like hell he’s retreating downstairs.

“Mihashi, Mizutani, come on up and assist me. Incoming flyers and some others,” he instructs when it becomes clear that the flyers intend to land on his rooftop. He’d ask Izumi to join them, too, but the ground agents can’t afford to lose skilled fighters.

“Takaya,” Akimaru says as he lands on the ledge near Abe. “You should go down and let us handle this.”

“No,” he mutters, still shooting at the fast-approaching swarm. “My place is here. The agents are scattered all over, and grounding me will make me next to useless. I need to stay. Anyway, they can’t afford to have any more of these pests down there. We have to hold them up here.”

“Suit yourself. A lot of people won’t be happy if you get hurt, though.”

“I’ll try not to. Don’t get hurt either.”

“As if I would!”

“Incoming.”

Mihashi and Mizutani get to the rooftop just as the first vampires jump off their carriers. Abe has his handgun out at ready, shooting a vampire in the forehead before the creature even hits the roof. Mihashi is on the first one that reaches the ground before Abe can react; Mizutani throws a barrel on another one and leaps at it, kicking its head to the ground with a sickening thud. Akimaru has long since gone back into the air, ripping apart as many flyers as he can – Abe vaguely notes that he holds himself well even against that many attackers, and thinks that Haruna has acquired a good partner.

“Abe-kun!”

Abe ducks to avoid getting his face clawed off and shoots the vampire by the neck thrice. Another one charges for him, and manages to get close enough that Abe can’t turn his arm to shoot it properly; he unsheathes his knife and aims for its forehead. As expected, it dodges (easily, at that) and Abe empties his magazine into its chest. Mizutani is next to him in the next second, fighting off the pests as Abe changes clips.

“You really should start training more, Abe!”

“You’re one to talk!” he yells out over the din of snarls, roars, and the occasional grunts. He shoots a vampire through the eye before it can bite Mizutani, and ducks a second one aiming for his head. “Why are they after me!”

“Because you’re the only human here?!” Mizutani yells out, his hands full with several of the enemies surrounding him. Mihashi takes his place, already looking bloodied from the long night. A vampire crashes through the air and into the two about to jump them – Akimaru roars overhead, sending a headless corpse flying for another target.

Maybe Abe should look into recruiting Haruna and his crew back.

“Nishihiro, situation below?”

Haruna is already on his way up! Abe, get out of there!

“I’m fi--” Something manages to claw his visor off – Abe looks up at fangs before instincts kick in and he brings his arm up just as the creature makes for his neck. His arm bursts in pain as the claws cut through it.

“Abe-kun!” Mihashi cries out, just as Mizutani yells, “Abe, you idiot!”

Abe retaliates by shoving his handgun into the monster’s mouth and pulling the trigger.

And then three things happen at once: Haruna comes thundering in from side of the building, someone shouts his name, and a long claw goes through his chest. He only manages to stay conscious as Haruna rips every vampire apart in his rage before blacking out, the taste of blood in his mouth and numbness spreading from his chest.

------

“He’s fine, Mihashi,” Hanai says wearily as the young vampire curls up on the hospital bench, knees pressed tight to his chest. Mihashi is covered up in bandages from the long battle, but looks none the worse for wear. He does, however, look like he could use some sleep.

“I’ll wait.”

“At least rest a bit. There’s a room for you across the hall.” He glances at Abe’s form tucked under the sheets on the bed next to them, makes sure that the machines are doing their job properly, reads the numbers, and sighs. A punctured lung and deep lacerations. Hanai knows that there are a million ways that things could have been worse.

“I—I failed him,” Mihashi says with a hiccup, frantically wiping his eyes. “I’m his partner. I’m s-supposed to protect him. But…”

If there’s one thing Hanai has learned through the year that he’s been commander of his team, it’s how to say the right things when needed. He practices it the most often with Mihashi, and for good reason. “What matters is that Abe’s alive. You can protect him better next time. But I think he’ll be pissed off if he finds out that his partner hasn’t been resting and recovering properly.”

“I’ll… do my… best.” A sob. Hanai feels awkward, but he loosely hugs the smaller man for a second before prodding him off the bench.

He puts his hand on Mihashi’s head. “Good. Now go get some sleep. I’ll have the nurse get you when he wakes up.”

“Okay.”

Hanai pauses, then ruffles Mihashi’s hair. “You may not think so, but I think you did a pretty good job of protecting Abe. Now go.”

He watches as Mihashi painfully gets to his feet and shuffles off to the door. The younger agent gives Abe another nervous stare before hiccupping again and scampering off. Hanai heaves another breath.

“Abe, I know you’re awake.”

“Nggrh,” Abe replies.

“The machines say so. How are you feeling?”

“Like crap,” is the coherent answer. “What happened?”

“Nishihiro’s team came to take you for treatment as soon as you went down. We finished the fight after three hours and came here for pretty much the same and to see you. It’s been… about two hours since we came in.”

The scout’s eyes blink open, and stares blearily at him. “Three hours…? How did it go?”

“Six casualties from our side. None from our team, though. The higher ups are sending in a party to check if the city’s been flushed clean of the ferals, but so far, it looks like all of them came out of the woodwork during the fight.” Hanai smiles a little when he notices Abe looking around. “Mihashi is fine.”

“I didn’t ask.” But the relief is there, even if Abe doesn’t know it. Hanai internally rolls his eyes at the silliness of it all.

“Sure. Haruna and Akimaru also left soon after the fight ended. He said to say hi. We weren’t able to catch him, as usual.”

“As if you would.”

“Well, Tajima tried. Little guy was tired, though. I think this is the longest battle he’s had since he joined us,” he said, letting a little fondness through because Tajima is nowhere in the room. He’s also rambling, just a little, because it’s something he can do in Abe’s presence, let his guard down and stop being the commander. “I think you should consider training, though. You really need to know how to defend yourself properly when attacked at close range. Being the best scout in the Organization won’t do you any good if they come in too close for you to shoot them.”

He arranges Abe’s sheets for him, and smiles ruefully when he sees that Abe’s already asleep.


------

Abe first saw Mihashi on a Sunday morning, when he was walking into the cafeteria for breakfast, with Izumi trailing sleepily behind him and Mizutani whining up a storm at missing another baseball game, again. Mihashi had been sitting alone in one corner of the long table, wearing an overly large sweater and trying to wrestle with the huge steak on his plate. That was how Abe had been able to tell that the boy was a vampire – no one else ate steak in the mornings, and the plate was half bloody anyway.

Mihashi had looked around a little nervously then, put the knife down on the table, and proceeded to discreetly cut the steak into pieces with a sharp claw. This in itself wasn’t anything special; some of their vampire agents considered themselves too dignified to bite off parts of their meat and liked cutting them up. What Abe noticed was that the portions were all evenly cut, in equal slices. He had been so fascinated he walked into Hanai, making their commander spill hot chocolate all over the smaller Tajima in the line in front of him.

The good thing was that Izumi had been too sleepy to laugh. Mizutani, on the other hand, had laughed at Hanai.


When Hanai apologetically asked him, three days later, if he would agree to being the new boy’s partner, Abe had said yes immediately. Hanai was so surprised he asked if Abe and Mizutani had another fight, and won’t Abe reconsider? Abe said no, he just thought it was time to move on.

He didn’t realize that he had agreed to be the partner of probably the most annoying little brat in the whole Organization. And
then Izumi really laughed at him.



~End~


------
5:30PM 10/09/2008
I CAN'T BELIEVE I WROTE SOMETHING SO LONG. D:

[Edit] I have to clarify that I was only able to spit out this much because I have no Internet at work anymore. T_T Extreme boredom!! I AM NOT USUALLY THIS TL;DR LENGHTY.

[Edit2] factorielle is amazing~!

[Edit3] pikakao also drew art for it here!
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
baby, you're my forever girlficcentricity on October 9th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
omg i ship it!♥♥♥♥
S-sparkly fangs \o/

but Abe will never blame Izumi for using his former partner as a punching bag.

MY LOVE FOR THE SNARKBUDDIES, let me show you it!!
(Deleted comment)
baby, you're my forever girlficcentricity on October 9th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
Re: omg i ship it!
Rereading♥♥

Izumi has been here a lot lately, and he suspects Haruna drops by at the end of bad nights, just in case his former partner shows up.

Stalker Haruna is my favorite Haruna. XDDDD
(Deleted comment)
Re: omg i ship it! - colon_d on October 9th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: omg i ship it! - ficcentricity on October 9th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
.Yukeh. ( ̄‿ ̄)ノ: \o/yukitsu on October 9th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
Re: IN THE END I DIDN'T WAIT AND THIS IS MY ANSWER
asdhasjkdasdh asdklja jlsdkhas

asjkhdjkashdjkas
kjlashdask

I AM EXTREMELY HAPPY AND ALSO FLATTERED. \o/ *is so glad she's still AWAKE homg*

I SHIP IT.

(Deleted comment)
.Yukeh. ( ̄‿ ̄)ノ: BAAAWyukitsu on October 9th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
Re: IN THE END I DIDN'T WAIT AND THIS IS MY ANSWER
Haruna is grinning, taking obvious pride in startling an exhausted, off-his-guard human, and that says more about him than any of Abe's half-answers to Mizutani ever could.

I LOVE THIS OKEY.

HAHAHA, I KNOW, but I like seeing them interact here, okey!! Izumiiiin~~~ SNARKBUDDY~~~ MIZUTANI LOVES YOU MUCHLY ~~~
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - yukitsu on October 9th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - yukitsu on October 9th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
LMC: XDkiwimangoodness on October 12th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC)
Re: IN THE END I DIDN'T WAIT AND THIS IS MY ANSWER
I CAN'T HELP BUT SHIP IT, TOO. Their interaction is so appeaaaaaaaaaaling wtff ; ;

Snarkbuddies~ ♥♥♥
(Deleted comment)
baby, you're my forever girl: » romance is a science。ficcentricity on October 13th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Re: I'M TOTALLY WORKING HARD OKEY.
AKJSHDKJASHDD THIS FIC IS SO SEXY.

THE ONLY THING IT NEEDS IS SEXYTIMES!





...CAN WE HAS SEXYTIMES? :D
(Deleted comment)
Re: I'M TOTALLY WORKING HARD OKEY. - ficcentricity on October 13th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
is a YUKEH!colon_d on October 13th, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
Re: I'M TOTALLY WORKING HARD OKEY.
asdjkashdjkasd

Ilu!!!! ♥

Haruna is being dirty, baiting Izumin like that with Mizutani. It's not Mizutani's fault that he's weak even as a vamp, okey! :< .... I APPROVE!!!
(Deleted comment)
Re: I&amp;#39;M TOTALLY WORKING HARD OKEY. - colon_d on October 13th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)