Arana looked up as the door opened, and a familiar blond poked his head inside. “Hi,” she greeted. “Before you get worried, it’s just a graze. I didn’t even die.”
“From anyone else, that–” Drai stopped, scowling as the blond looked at him and blinked. “What? Haven’t you ever seen a purple people eater before?”
Arana stifled laughter.
“Um…” Christoph said with great articulation.
Svorak peered in around his lover’s shoulder. “Don’t you need a horn and wings or something?”
“You’re a cannibal?” Wolf could be heard asking from behind the two mercs.
“Actually, the line is ‘one eyed, one horned’, so maybe you should be purple,” Drai retorted.
The one-eyed merc looked down at the skin on his hand. “I don’t think the dye will show up as well,” he mused, then he smirked. “However, I do have a rather magnificent–”
Pale hands stifled the next few words before they emerged from his mouth. “And that’s enough out of you,” Christoph muttered, finally finding words for the situation.
Drai smirked. “Just wait. You drew on his face too. I wonder what he’ll do?” He snickered.
Arana rolled her eyes, and translated. “Shinigami gets even, apparently. We were in a dye factory on our job. He took advantage of the opportunity.”
“Where’s Medic?” the chemist asked looking about the room.
“Kitchen probably,” his lover guessed. “Hm, Wolf’s gone already. Oh yeah! I forgot.” He pushed Christoph in and closed the door behind them. “We saw Ruby in a dress!”
Arana perked. “Oh? She must have looked lovely!” she said wistfully (earning an odd look from Drai).
Grinning, Svorak nodded. “The girl was absolutely gorgeous. Red silk, the same exact shade of her hair. Gold trimmings too.” The man snorted. “Somehow, someone got her into heels.”
“Wish I coulda seen it,” Arana murmured. “Instead, I was getting shot at.” She pouted.
Drai coughed. “Least you got to laugh at my sorry ass, right?” he offered, not really wanting her to be depressed.
Too late. Arana heaved a sigh and hopped up finally. “I’m gonna hit the shower, I think. I’ll see you guys in a little while.”
The men watched as she slipped into the washroom and closed the door.
Christoph tilted his head in thought. His dark lover hummed. They both shared a look. Then they both looked at Drai.
“So, we have money,” the blond offered.
“And the Triad’s gave some of us suits,” Svorak added.
“Want to take her out to the opera?” the chemist finished.
Drai blinked at them. “The opera?” he echoed. And then his brain appeared to actually catch up with the present, and he smirk-smiled. “I think that’s a great idea. And you know, I know this nice little shop that sells her favorite kind of dress.”
“Do we gift her one or take her shopping for it though?” the dark merc asked, very much out of his depth.
“Mm, we surprise her with the tickets, then take her shopping,” Drai said, getting to his feet. “‘Cause frankly, I don’t know her favorite colors. She keeps changing them.”
“May as well bring the kids,” Christoph said. “Proper culture exposure. Besides, Wolf has the suit, and even if Ruby doesn’t have the dress anymore, we can afford to get her one.”
“Holy fuck,” Svorak swore amazed, eye wide. “Are we going out as a family?”
“Family?” Medic charged in through the door. “Someone’s pregnant?”
Drai nearly fell over in shock at the thought. Pregnant?! They could barely handle each other! “Are you mad?” he hissed, but was ignored.
“Uh… no.” The merc looked the doctor up and down. “Wanna go to the opera house with me? I gotta get tickets.”
The short medic blinked. “Opera?”
The Arab rubbed a hand over his face. “And I… have to get this fricking dye out…” He paused. Smirked. “So, you go get the tickets… and I’ll get clean. Ta!” And before anyone could protest, he was in the bathroom and locking it behind him.
“Don’t touch the supplies in there!” Medic yelled after him. “They need to stay sanitary!”
A beat passed, and then, “Nuh-uh, not while you’re purple. I feel like I’m looking at Barney.”
“You know… Maybe we should wait until Shinigami is done with the dye before going out in public,” Svorak said, looking down at the smears of faded ink on the bedspreads.
Christoph shrugged. “It’ll be at least a week until we go anyway. Ticket availability and shopping for two women being involved. We also need to get Medic a suit.”
“Won’t take me a week to get a suit,” the man huffed at the chemist.
“True,” the darker merc agreed, “but you aren’t getting a suit off the rack. The Triad is getting you fitted for one.”
“A flawless job, a fat paycheck, and apparently Ruby’s acidic charms regarding a certain Triad’s heir,” Christoph explained. “They offered to dress everyone in our team, free of charge.”
“Impressive,” Medic admitted.
There was a yelp from the bathroom, a thud and then an angry woman stalking out, covered in just a towel. She shoved through the men, expression black. “Not a word. Not one.” And she slammed the door out of the room shut. The bathroom door shut and locked, a chuckling echoing from inside.
“What just happened?” Svorak asked.
Medic only shook his head. “I don’t want to know.”
“You got the tickets?”
Svorak nodded. “You cleared things up with Shinigami?”
Drai nodded, relieved that he had managed to get most of the purple out. “Yeah, he said he’s not interested in Kitty’s wrath for ruining her evening, so he’ll wait out any further possible vengeance until afterwards.” He snorted. “Who wants to bet he won’t touch her?”
“No takers,” the merc grinned. “Good. Here are your tickets and here’s some money.” A thick wad of worn Benjamins landed in Drai’s hands. “If you need more, call me.”
“Good luck,” Christoph said smiling and pulled his partner away into the kitchen. Drai was left alone in the hall.
Drai blinked, then shook his head. “Alright. Here goes…” He turned in the direction he’d last seen Arana. “Heeeerrreee Kitty, Kitty, Kitty,” he called.
Her reaction was a dead give away. “I will gut you!”
“There you are.” He smirked and opened the door to the bathroom, peeking in. She was brushing her teeth. He allowed himself a moment to eye her, gaze sweeping down her body. “Man, those ancient Englishmen really knew how to make their ladies.”
Two dark brows lifted in the mirror as she met his gaze through it. “You get worse by the day, love,” she retorted. “Whaddya want? I have plans.”
He pouted. “What sort of plans?” he asked, eying her butt.
“Face, up here.” She then bent over and rinsed out her mouth, the tooth-brush, placed it aside and finally turned to face him. “I’m going to get a few things from the store. Was thinking about snatching Ruby and dragging her along. Haven’t had a girl’s day in a while…” She shook her head. “Well, if she’s interested.”
“You just wanna mother her,” Drai accused, and grinned at her sheepish look. “But anyway, how ‘bout you turn it into a bit of a shopping day, eh? We’ll have to prepare, you know.”
She blinked, and her eyes narrowed suspiciously. “Prepare for what?” she asked.
He hemmed and hawed for a moment, and when it looked like she was about to find the closest projectile, he lifted his hand and spread the tickets. “A gift, from your children.”
Brown eyes lowered to the tickets and just stared for a moment at them. “What…?”
“Opera, Kitty. Opera. Pay attention.”
She stepped over and took them from him, staring at them. He shifted nervously, unable to tell how she was going to react (the woman was impossible to predict, and he suspected bipolar). Then she looked at him, and he winced. “Don’t–don’t do that! Stop crying,” he complained.
She stepped up to him, and dragged him down into a kiss, interspersed with whispered “thank you”s.