[identity profile] bcmanx.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] theblackcross

Manx had led the way upstairs, quietly observing the banter in the kitchen before making herself known with a clearing of her throat. She looked between Ran and Aya and smiled softly.
"It's just about time."
She held out an arm, motioning for Aya to join her. She could clearly see the emotion welling up on Aya's face and her brave attempt to rein it in. Ran was simply a coiled ball of nerves - he looked ready to snap. He was never one to give his emotions the outlet they so desperately needed and Manx didn't expect that to change - even now.
Manx headed out onto the street, Aya's bag in her hand. Ran and Aya followed her a few moments later, Yohji and Ken tagging along after them. Manx stepped out to the curb as a non-descript black sedan rounded the corner, pulling up beside her. She leaned into the window to exchange pleasantries and a few hushed instructions in English. The driver exited the car to stand beside Manx.
She was a tall dark skinned woman, easily Yohji's height or a touch taller and built like a linebacker. Long blond micro dreadlocks swayed with her every movement while her piercingly ice blue eyes caught each of theirs with practiced casual assessment. It wasn't immediately clear but she sported a continuous pattern of fine tattoos along both of her bare arms which were only just visible against her dark skin.
Manx held her hand out to Aya.
"Aya, this is Thea. She is a very good friend. She will be accompanying you on your journey." Manx's eyes fell on Ran. "She holds my highest confidence. Aya couldn't be in better hands."
Thea stepped forward, catching Yohji's gaze, squaring her shoulders just a bit and offering the blond a quick little smirk as she looked between him and Ran. She offered Ran a small curt bow.
"She is your sister?" She offered the question in broken Japanese, the words difficult to understand through her thick Jamaican accent. Her eyes caught his, pausing a second as she was momentarily taken off guard by the color of his eyes. She barely glanced to Manx from the corner of her eyes, never truly making eye contact with the redhead. Manx chuckled softly to herself, seemingly unprovoked. "I will treat her as if she is my own blood."

Date: 2009-10-11 03:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] genuinelie.livejournal.com
Ran sucked in a breath. Any amount of preparation he could have done for this was not enough. He answered Thea "Yes," but his eyes were on his sister. His little sister, his only family, his past and his...


Thank God that her life was her own now. Yohji had called him selfish, and that was something he could no longer afford to be with Aya-chan. He smiled at her and it wasn't forced.

He turned his eyes to the foreigner, and there was a warning mixed in with the gratitutde. He nodded at Manx.

Date: 2009-10-11 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skyrat13.livejournal.com
Although most of his attention was on Ran, Yohji couldn't help finding his gaze almost magnetically riveted to Thea as she stepped out of the car. She was probably the most...interesting looking woman he had ever seen in Japan. He wasn't even sure if he'd seen her particular combination of coloring on television or in magazines, and he found himself helplessly noting that a not-so-distant incarnation of himself would unquestioningly have been intrigued to get to know her better. The thought was brief though. She was merely a momentary distraction before his thoughts went back to Ran and the tension of the situation. Her deliberate smirk did not escape Yohji's attention though. He could not tell if it was a disapproving or conspiratorial gesture, although it didn't especially concern him. He winked back and defiantly slid his arm around Ran's shoulder.
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Date: 2009-10-19 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aki-jade.livejournal.com
Schuldig drove passed the Koneko just in time to see a sleek black car pulling away. He arched an eyebrow, and a quick mental scan made it abundantly clear that Ran's... Abyssinian's... younger sister was being taken away. They were all trying to convince themselves that it was for the best, except for the leggy redhead.

She knew more.

A smirk curled on his lips as he pulled into an alley not too far away, digging deeper into Manx's mind. If anyone knew where the Fujimiya girl was going, it would be her. And that knowledge would give Schwarz some leverage when it came time for negotiations.
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Date: 2009-10-20 04:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] genuinelie.livejournal.com
[I was waiting for Yohji to post! Active group is active again...let's try to give people a chance to post!]

The car with his sister was gone, the street empty. Ran was left feeling unsettled, like there was something he was supposed to do that he hadn't done, like there were things he should have said to Aya-chan, like everything had happened too quickly.

This whole life, created because Takatori had chosen it for them. He was standing where he was right then because of that man, watching his sister leave him, the last of his family. The familiar, cold anger lit up again deep in his stomach. But Takatori was gone. He had no where to direct the energy anymore, except to make sure that others like that man were stopped. That in itself was a directionless task though, and he had little faith it would have a conclusion.

Omi's interruption broke into his thoughts. He closed his eyes briefly. Manx's voice brought him back, and he turned sharply on his heel and out of Yohji's grip to follow her inside.

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Date: 2009-10-26 04:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] genuinelie.livejournal.com
Ran narrowed his eyes at Ken's jilted advance, not missing that his teammate actually seemed to want to attack him, at least for a moment.

It made no sense.

He didn't like the conclusions he was coming to. He wondered if the others, Omi in particular, saw it.

No, scratch that. Manx in particular. His own assessments aside, he was still hesitant to want to involve Kritiker, even as peripherally with a handler like Manx. Not until they'd - he, Omi, Yohji - had a chance to talk about this together.

So Ken was off this mission - he would see to that.

The conclusion he didn't like more was that someone needed to be left to babysit him. Which only left two Weiss on the wild goose hunt of tracking down Schwarz.

Because - why? They were afraid whoever was holding Schwarz' leash would destroy Tokyo because of their interest in that lethal disk?

Because it seemed Kritiker tried to kill Sato. Sato hadn't tried to kill them. Sato had been in contact with Manx -

And if Kritiker itself was rotting...

Date: 2009-10-29 02:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skyrat13.livejournal.com
The beer had probably been a bad decision. Yohji wasn't usually one to put up with bullshit, and his tolerance for cageyness was at this point shot to hell. There was just too much of it going on. He was sick of all the secrecy, the guardedness, the being suspicious of each other.... The bolstering of mild alcohol was all it took to completely kill what little was left of his sense of discretion.

"Do you have something to say to me Ken?" He met Ken's pointed glance with a coolly level gaze of his own. The guilt he had been feeling just a few moments ago toward his friend and teammate was too easily eclipsed by irritation at the seemingly endless cycle of emotional turmoil. "If you do, you can say it. Or talk to me after the meeting. Whatever. I'll be upfront with you. I've always been upfront with you. I don't know what your fucking problem is."

He'd barely heard anything Manx said, he was so distracted by the ire riled up by Ken's visual accusation.

"Does us trusting you come in hand with an explanation to where you've been all this time?" He muttered with only a sideways glance. "A postcard might have been nice. Or something."
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Date: 2009-11-10 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ginnyvos.livejournal.com
Omi listened closely to the things Manx chose to reveal to them. If he was completely honest with himself, he'd suspected Sato was far from experienced from his very first visit. He hadn't been willing to be admit to the thought though, because if he did, he'd have to acknowledge that Kritiker was making mistakes. Strange mistakes.

Weiss was an experienced, possibly very dangerous and unpredictable team that had as much potential to be outstanding as it had to break apart. Omi knew that better than any other but he was sure Kritiker must be aware of it as well. They were definitely experienced enough to spot any mistakes on their handlers part – if they weren’t too busy with themselves and their private lives, Omi thought guiltily – and that had the potential to turn out very ugly very fast. If one thought like that, Kritiker might count itself lucky that it’d been others who’d sniffed out Sato’s weakness and not them.

He sighed. Painful as it was, Ken had a point. Everything pointed to Kritiker setting them up to fail. Or someone in Kritiker at least. Ken was right in that aspect as well. One person, one rat high enough up on the food chain was enough to bring down critical parts of Kritiker. Critical parts like team Weiss.

“Much as I hate to admit it, I think you’re right Ken…” He turned to his teammate, face completely serious and blue eyes intense. “I’d hate to think there is a rat inside of Kritiker but all the clues point that way…” he turned to Manx and gave her a sad but still serious look. “I hope your friends can help us out because I think it’s extremely important that we find him and make sure he – or she – does no further harm.”

Date: 2009-11-11 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] genuinelie.livejournal.com
Ran sneered, mostly at the idea that he'd trusted Sato enough to ask for Aya-chan's placement. He had trusted Kritiker to assign someone capable to their team, and this was a sick reminder that he had started disobeying his own rules.

He was caught between being grateful that he could slip back into being Ran - or at least mimicking him - so easily and horror at the knowledge that he had changed so much in such a short time since his sister had come to live with them. He had begun letting his guards down.

He didn't look at Yohji as he left the room, nevermind the game was up the second Yohji had thrown his arm around him outside as his sister left and Ran did nothing to stop him, despite Manx's presence. He watched Omi for clues to what the younger mastermind Weiss was thinking, but of course Omi came right out and said it.

And now that Kritiker again was keeping his sister, he would have no choice but to agree with Omi's suggestion. As much as he'd rather let the whole organization blow up once and for all, nothing that large lacked its own share of corruption and Ran had never intended to be part of it.

Unless of course Manx was truly in charge of the situation with his sister's placement. But she was too loyal, she would force him to help either way.

Ran's unhappiness showed disobediantly on his face in a dark glower.
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Date: 2009-11-25 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skyrat13.livejournal.com
[Yohji returns from calling Sato, Friday 1.10]

Although he had been a bit hurried in striding up the stairs, Yohji slowed down as he reached the top and did his best to look completely unconcerned as he re-entered the kitchen. He avoided looking directly at either Ran or Ken, and only let his eyes briefly graze over Omi. He turned his attention directly on Manx.

"He'll be here within an hour," he said. He sat down at the table and idly took a sip of the tea he had abandoned earlier.
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Date: 2009-11-25 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] genuinelie.livejournal.com
Fuck, that put Ran exactly where he didn't want to be - caught between chewing out Ken at long last for nearly killing Yohji and spelling out his suspicions that Omi was keeping him from being paired with the oldest assassin because of their relationship.

Ran met Ken's eyes evenly. He couldn't understand why Ken himself wanted to bring this up in front of Manx. He usually had a healthy amount of personal respect for the soccer player, but this was testing his assessment of his reasoning skills. "Do you really want to do this here and now, Hidaka? I want to hear Omi's reasons for keeping me here. There's too much that can go wrong on this one to skip over the details. I don't like the setup."

Date: 2009-11-25 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skyrat13.livejournal.com
"Woah, woah," Yohji started at the unexpected outburst. He looked at Ken and then at Aya. Leaned forward in his seat a little wondering if he was going to need to grab one of them to prevent a fight.

"I clearly missed something," he turned and shot Omi a hard questioning look. "Where's Ken going?"

He knew he wasn't going to like the answer. He honestly didn't want to hear about Ken going anywhere baring a psychiatrist’s office.
Edited Date: 2009-11-25 08:12 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-11-25 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ginnyvos.livejournal.com
Omi took a deep breath. A sharp pang of annoyance at the sheer unprofessional attitude of his teammates shot through him but he managed to suppress him. No matter how much they might act like they hadn't been professional assassins for the last years, he was not about to let them tempt him into going along.

After shooting both Ken and Ran a Look, he turned to Yohji. "After the things Manx just told us, I'm convinced that I need to stay here. I want Ran here to help me sort through all this since he is still severely injured-" he threw the man a hard look. How where they so good at forgetting the very existence of their bodies? "-and because I know he's sharp and good at keeping his cool in situations that require diplomacy. This means that Ken will go with you. He's also younger and probably less menacing than Ran. Ken is nice and has the ability to make people feel comfortable around him. I'm sorry, that's not one of your strongest suits, Ran, but something that is required for this mission. No violence will be required in this mission and I agree with Manx that you should stay in public places while you're meeting with Prodigy. Take him to a busy cafe for all I care. Manx has suggested not to bring any weapons at all, I think that should be up to Ken and you though. You're the ones going out there. She's right in saying that Prodigy might see you as less of a treat if you keep them concealed though."

He stared at each of them. He didn't see how there was a choice in this. Ran was injured and very protective of Yohji. That'd undoubtedly cause him to be more aggressive than necessary or called for.He'd be a liability rather than an aid to Yohji since they were both injured and neither could defend each other or themselves properly. If the man kept pushing, Omi wouldn't back away form using that against him.

He honestly believed that Ken could pull this off. He hoped that his teammate would clue into that and take a small measure of comfort from it...
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Date: 2009-11-27 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ginnyvos.livejournal.com
Omi nodded and turned to Ken with an apologetic expression. "I think that if Yohji doesn't want any weapons on this mission, you should heat that. Both of them might have a point… Prodigy might just be as twitchy as you guys are about this, especially if he was told beforehand. We don’t want to provoke him in anyway. We need your people skills on this one Ken, not your weapon skills. I for one remember all too well what he did back at the museum. I’m pretty sure that if he wanted to hurt you, no weapon is going to help any.” He shuddered.
“Just be you Ken, treat him like you would any sixteen year old kid. Ryuu is fifteen right? He should be a pretty good reference.” Ryuu was the oldest of Ken’s soccer kids. He was a gangly boy that had basically joined the gang through his younger brother. Omi knew Ken had always taken to the brothers and he hoped that if he reminded Ken of that, of something that made him so human and so… Kan, it’d help him deal.
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Date: 2009-11-28 02:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skyrat13.livejournal.com
Yohji rolled his eyes in frustration. Prodigy wasn't 'any sixteen year old kid.' Not by a fucking long shot. True, he wasn't the robotic monster Yohji had always perceived him to be....but comparing him to one of Ken's awkward soccer kids seemed like a bit of an optimistic stretch.

He was glad that at least Ran had the sense to acknowledge potential for disaster here.

He stood up abruptly, distantly concerned that Ken would just take off, not bothering to wait for him. He glanced towards the door, making certain that Ken was out of ear-shot before he turned and leveled a serious look at the room's remaining occupants.

"I just want to go on record saying that I think this is a really bad idea. Don't blame me if it blows up on us."

With Prodigy involved, it might actually blow up. He smirked painfully to himself as he stalked after Ken.

(Yohji exits to Friday 1.11)

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The Black Cross

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