by Maya Tawi and Viridian5
As Ken ran into the kitchen, Yohji asked, "Whereís the fire?"
"I walked in on Aya at a bad time."
Well, well. "How bad?"
"Topless bad. I didnít mind to! I mean, mean to!"
Unwilling to just imagine the scene, Yohji grabbed his arm before he could take off again. "Címon, you just saw the holy of holies. How were they? You have to tell."
Ken smiled. "They were spectacular."
"Thank you," Aya said from the doorway, fully dressed, unfortunately. "I hope they were worth dying for." Even as a woman he had a deep voice, and it had a huskiness to it that did things to a guy, even as Aya made threats. Sometimes especially as he made threats.
"Shit. Gotta go, Yohji. Aya, it was an accident! I didnít know you were in there like that!" Ken yelled back on his way outside. Running as he tried to explain seemed like a good choice on Kenís part.
Aya greeted Yohji with a terse nod as he followed Ken at a dangerous looking walk. Yohji nodded back, struggling to keep a straight face. Alone in the kitchen, he imagined what Ken had seen, smiled, and lit up a cigarette.
With parking almost impossible downtown, Aya was taking the train instead of his car, which turned out to be a mistake. Heíd thought that it would be less crowded at this time of day, but heíd been wrong. Standing, compressed and encased by the hot, intruding bodies of strangers, he tried to think of other things to get him through the ride. Tranquil flowers, killing his enemies, killing the people pressing against him--
That did not just happen.
The man behind him was... rubbing against him in a very distinctive way. Heíd heard that things like this happened on the train, but heíd never expected to be a recipient of it. As if the errand he had to run hadnít already made him even more resentful to be a woman, he had to put up with this shit?
Aya looked over his shoulder and said, "Stop that." He couldnít even turn around.
The bastard had a smug look on his face. "I canít help it. Itís too tight in here, and I have nowhere else to go." And rubbed again, this time accompanying the humping with a hand on Ayaís hip. Ayaís height prevented the man from thrusting against quite the area he wanted, forcing him to content himself with Ayaís thighs, but the infringement remained.
Son of a bitch. This couldnít be allowed to continue.
Aya put his hand back, searching, and the man made noises like a happy pig, backing off a little to allow better access, murmuring encouragement. The moron. Once Aya found his target, he grabbed and squeezed hard. The man made a pained sound that combined a squeal and a grunt.
"Iím sorry," Aya said softly. "I canít help it. My hand has nowhere else to go."
"You... bitch," he wheezed, and Aya responded by tightening his grip, feeling clothed flesh compress within his fist in ways it wasnít meant to.
He kept the grip until he saw his stop, then let go and hip-checked the man away so he could squeeze through the press of humanity to the door. Looking back, he saw that his molesterís face had turned very unhealthy colors, and only the people packed around him kept him upright. Aya might have done him permanent damage.
He could always hope.
Aya perched on the edge of his bunk and gave the pile of packages a baleful look. The packages sat placidly, as inanimate objects were wont to do.
He took a deep breath. He killed people for a living. He could handle this.
With great care, Aya inspected each package in turn, comparing the features of their contents, reading the instructions when such were listed. His mind absorbed and catalogued the clinical, occasionally fanciful words. Applicators. Wings. Flexi-wings. Liners. Weave. Super. Super-plus. Distancing words and ridiculous euphemisms.
After a momentís consideration, he set the boxes of tampons aside. They seemed like they would be easier to move with, but he didnít think he could face them just yet.
That still left him with a large selection of maxi-pads to choose from. Aya stared at them for a long moment. Then he buried his face in his hands.
He probably should have made his selection in the drugstore and saved himself some yen, but he hadnít wanted to linger, not with Schuldig apparently taking an interest in him. Just the thought of Schuldig catching him shopping for feminine hygiene products made him shudder. Their last encounter had been humiliating enough; Aya certainly didnít intend to give the telepath any more ammunition. So heíd just grabbed one of each package on the shelf. The cashier had given him a strange look, but Ayaís death glare kept her mouth shut.
He was getting a lot of mileage out of that particular glare lately.
At least the train ride back had been uneventful. Maybe carrying these products had changed his aura to Ďpremenstrual womaní, keeping the perverts at bay.
Footsteps outside the door snapped his head back up, and he threw a blanket over the packages just as Omi poked his head into the room. "Aya?"
"Weíre having dinner now. Are you coming?"
"In a minute," Aya said.
Omi grinned at him and ducked back out of sight.
Aya sighed and, after a moment, uncovered the packages. He stared at them again, feeling helpless.
Manx had said about a week. That had been a few days ago. The likelihood of him becoming male again, permanently, before the deadline was seeming more and more remote.
Aya sighed again and said flatly, "I hate my life."
He was, he thought, getting a lot of mileage out of that too.
"Heís handling it pretty well," Yohji said through a mouthful of curry rice, as Omi slid back into his seat. "I mean, Iím surprised. I wouldíve expected him to fall on his katana by now."
Omi smiled, an expression that, on anyone less utterly wholesome-looking, Yohji would have called a smirk. "What?" Yohji asked.
Omi shrugged, still smiling. "Thatís what he said youíd do, if it happened to you."
Ken snickered. Yohji cocked an eyebrow and said archly, "Did he?"
Yohji pondered the idea. "I donít know. A change could be fun." He grinned. "Iíd finally have a shot at all the hot dykes in Shinjuku."
Omi choked on his fish. Yohji watched narrowly as Ken pounded him on the back.
"What?" Omi asked nervously, once he could breathe again. "Why are you looking at me like that?"
Yohji smiled. "Something you wanna tell us, kid?"
Kenís eyes darted back and forth between them. "Iím not sure I should be hearing this."
"Thereís nothing to hear," Omi insisted, his voice higher-pitched than usual. "I mean--"
"Yes?" Yohji purred.
Omiís eyes went wide with relief. "Aya!"
Yohji and Ken turned. Aya stood in the doorway, looking uncannily like a rabbit caught in headlights.
Yohji turned back to Omi. "This isnít over," he warned.
Omi smiled nervously.
Aya shook his head. "Youíre all crazy."
"Aya, you havenít been as effective a fighter lately, so Iím thinking that maybe we can utilize you in a different way," Manx said.
As if he didnít already have enough reason to feel bitchy today. "How so?" he growled.
"Seduction of the target."
Yohji apparently found that hilarious. "Are you serious? I can just see his technique. It would probably be a blunt, impatient," Yohji changed his voice to approximate Ayaís irritated voice, girl version, "ĎDo you want to fuck or not? I have things to do.í"
"You donít want to try me on that. Nobody would want me right now," Aya said as he rubbed his stomach. Nothing helped the cramps, and he felt swollen and grotesque. The breasts felt bigger too, which shouldnít have been possible.
"I think youíd be surprised," Manx said.
It was good to have an excuse aside from ĎIíd rather dieí for refusing to try a seduction attempt. "Do you remember our private conversation?"
"Yes." Then her expression changed. "Oh."
At least she hadnít forced him to spell out his grotesque and disgusting situation in front of his teammates. "Iím going to fight instead. Trust me, I want to kill things with my bare hands right now." Heíd also like to rip out his gut right now, but killing people was a more attainable goal.
"Like thatís anything new?" Yohji asked.
"You donít want to know," Aya growled. He was bleeding, and wearing what felt like a diaper so he wouldnít stain anything. Making others bleed seemed only fair.
He ended up killing a small army of bodyguards, which made him feel better mentally even if it didnít do anything for his physical torment. If he stabbed and hacked a bit more viciously than usual, none of his teammates complained.
A psychiatrist might have something to say about the glee he took in wielding his phallic weapon, but heíd just kill the psychiatrist too.
Having... it also made him feel colder, so he wore his manís leather jacket as he watered flowers in the trailer. The jacket still smelled the way he should. Working inside, out of sight, let him contribute without putting him under schoolgirl scrutiny. Tending the plants always made him feel a bit calmer too.
"Aya!" Ken yelled from outside.
What could possibly have gone wrong out there? Aya went to the door, only to have it open just as he reached for the doorknob. "Ran!" his sister shouted gleefully, then she took a closer look at him. "Oh my--"
"Iím fine!" he answered as he pulled her inside and closed the door.
"Is this why you didnít want to talk to me? You could have told me about yourself!"
She looked hurt. Of course she looked hurt. She also looked stunned.
She also looked beautifully, vibrantly alive.
"I didnít choose this for myself!" Aya protested, when he realized what she meant. She thought he... wanted to be a woman? Maybe he had stayed away from her too long.
"Someone did this to you?" she asked, sounding horrified and angry.
"We donít know what happened. Maybe itís a psychic power or magic or something."
Now she looked angrier. "Iím 18, Ran. You canít lie that stupidly to me."
"Iím not lying. We donít know what happened. And I would think that your own experiences would make you less likely to immediately dismiss such things out of hand."
"Youíre... right," she said after a moment, looking abashed. "Youíre--"
"I know. I am. Totally."
She hugged him, then recoiled. "Those are--"
He disgusted her. Of course. He disgusted himself. "This is the kind of thing I stayed away from you over." Almost a lie. He had many reasons to stay away. More truthfully, he continued, "My life is insane, and I didnít want that touching you."
But then she hugged him tighter. "Iím sorry. It was just such a shock to feel them. And Iím jealous."
"Because youíre--" She made a gesture with her hands suggesting a big, somewhat heavy bounty.
She couldnít be serious. He said, "Their size makes it much worse. Youíre beautiful just the way you are." Unlike some people.
"Ran, youíre beautiful too. I love you no matter what you look like, though." She almost seemed to smirk at that, then sobered again. "Or what you do for a living. Sakura told me about it."
She already knew and... accepted him?
He put his arms around her and hugged back. "I was ashamed. I couldnít see you."
"Youíre an idiot."
She accepted him. He answered, "Youíre not the first person to suggest that."
"Youíre an idiot with no taste. You still dress like a boy."
"Iím sure you can guess why."
"A sloppy boy."
"Iím not sloppy." He wore new boots and a perfectly serviceable T-shirt and new pair of pants. The moderately expensive leather jacket looked better on his natural frame, but it hardly looked sloppy.
"Iím taking you shopping." Her eyes sparkled, suddenly mischievous. "I always wanted a sister to shop with."
He groaned inwardly. "I have to stop thinking that life canít get any more horrible. Aya, I bought things for myself."
"And Iím sure theyíre as close to boy things as you could get them."
"Except for the limitations the breasts impose, yes, and can you blame me?"
"Iím taking you out." She pulled on his arm and started to drag him.
She couldnít know that that phrase usually had more sinister connotations for him. Then again, a shopping trip in which his sister tried to feminize him more sounded fairly sinister. "Aya...."
She beamed at him. "Do you love me?"
"Not right now."
She just put more strength into her dragging as she said, "I know you donít mean that."
"At least let me leave a note for the others."
She let him, since she knew sheíd won.
"Stop staring at me," Aya ordered, then immediately regretted it. Heíd fought and almost died for his sister. He shouldnít snap at her. Her stare just felt so intense at such close range, and he couldnít get away from it while driving.
Luckily, she didnít take offense. "Sorry," she said with an apologetic smile. "Itís just... really weird."
"Youíre telling me?"
"Can I touch them?"
Out of the corner of his eye he saw Aya blush. "Sorry," she said. "Thatís kind of inappropriate, isnít it?"
"Just a bit," he said dryly.
"Itís just-- Ran, what happened?"
He sighed. "I donít know," he said, for what felt like the thousandth time. "I was in the middle of a--" He hesitated, and reminded himself that she knew, and she accepted.
They were going to have to have a long talk about that sometime soon. Preferably sometime when he didnít have breasts.
"A fight," he finished, and tensed, but Aya-chan didnít react. "And, well. I stood up, and I was... like this."
"Hmm? Do you have any thoughts about it?"
"No, sorry. It was just a considering Ďhmm.í But Iím sure youíll figure out whatís going on."
"I just hope Iím not an old woman by the time I do."
Aya sipped her soda through a straw and sighed. "I canít believe how hard it is to find shirts for you."
At least he wasnít the only one. "The breasts are the problem. Theyíre so big that they get in the way of the rest of anything fitting me."
She smirked. "The breasts?"
"Theyíre not my breasts."
"Some people would disagree."
Aya leaned back in his chair. "Some people donít know what theyíre talking about."
"Iím sure we can find something. We havenít yet, but we will."
Shopping with his sister hadnít been so bad, since sheíd concerned herself more with the way things looked on and fit him than with making him girly, but heíd been glad to hear her call a refreshment break. Shopping wore him down. Thus, heíd be even gladder to call an end to it.
"But you donít have to go back yet, right?" She put her hand over his, then twined their fingers.
Aya said, "I donít have to go back yet," through the lump in his throat. "But I donít know how long weíll be in Tokyo."
"Iíll enjoy the time we have. Iím not giving you any excuses. There wonít be any staying away from me for my own good." She looked down at his hand. "I want to do your nails."
He could get whiplash from listening to her. "Thatís why you want me to stick around?"
"Idiot. No. But I also want to do your nails."
"No way in--" Well.... "What color?" If it made her happy, why not?
"Dark red, I think. Youíre so pale that light colors would get lost on you anyway, so a dark red would be nice and dramatic. It would match your hair."
"I may not know a lot about female nail polishing rituals, but I donít think they try to match their nails to their hair."
She smiled. "Most people donít have your hair."
"And what are you doing with dark red?"
"Donít be such a big brother. I can wear red polish without attracting the wrong kind of boys. Thereís a whole modern world out there."
"Light pink is a nice shade for you."
"Thatís a little girl color!"
At that rather inopportune moment, a stranger stopped at their table, some boy. "Iím Yutaka."
Why should Aya care? But instead of being that blatant, he answered with "Yes?"
Yutaka put on what he must have thought was his most charming look and proceeded to address Ayaís breasts instead of his face, something a lot of men had been doing lately. "Iím wondering if youíre doing anything tonight."
This could not be happening.
Aya stared at the boy, wondering how best to extricate himself from the situation. If his sister hadnít been here, he would have just punched the guy and had it over with, but he had sisterly standards to live up to. So instead he answered, "Iím already taken," and stroked Ayaís hand. Her eyes twinkled at him. It looked like she was struggling not to laugh.
"I was counting on that," Yutaka answered with a smarmy smile.
The urge to punch him grew. Aya countered with a chilly "And Iím wearing our boyfriendís jacket. He gets possessive about the two of us." If he couldnít use violence, heíd hide behind someone who could.
After all, he couldnít lose face when the face wasnít even his.
Aya gave him the full death glare. "Go. Away."
"He should be arriving in," Aya made a show of looking at his watch, "ten minutes. As much fun as it might be to watch him kick your ass across the floor, it would draw attention and disrupt other peopleís lives. Go. Away."
"Bitch." But he walked away. Under other circumstances, Aya might have gone after him and tried to teach him some manners, futile as that attempt might have been.
"Iím part of a threesome with a man and my brother whoís currently in a womanís body?" Aya asked, her eyes glinting with amusement.
"I told you my life was crazy."
"Come home with me."
She smacked his wrist. "Iím not saying that as part of an act, and you know it."
"I canít go in through the front door looking like this. The Tomoes will ask questions." More questions than they already had.
"Sakura told me how she found you on her balcony. You had to get up there somehow."
He raised an eyebrow. "Is that a challenge?"
"Does it have to be?"
Climbing up to the roof turned out to be a joy as well as a challenge. He didnít have as much reach as he had last time, but his new body didnít fail him either, proving to be as strong and agile as it needed to be. Ayaís bedroom didnít have a balcony, so heíd have to walk along the roof and climb through her open window, where Aya cheered him on quietly, trying not to attract the attention of her guardians downstairs. He walked the roofís edge easily, perfectly balanced, then pulled himself in through the window.
Only to be nearly knocked back out, taking her with him, when Aya leapt on him and hugged him. If not for his instinctive reach and death grip on the window frame, they would have flown outside and off the roof. She blushed as he pulled them both back in.
"Sorry," she said. "But that was great!"
"I hope I havenít given you any ideas."
"Right." He tried to tell himself that she would have been roof-walking soon no matter what he did.
She sat him down in front of a vanity table and mirror. "Hands," she commanded.
He didnít look too closely at his face that wasnít his face in the mirror. "And?"
"Give íem to me, Ran. Donít make me get rough with you."
He set his hands down flat on the table and smiled as she scrutinized them, then searched for the right bottle of polish. She looked so adorably focused as she neatly applied red to his nails. But his hands looked even more foreign now.
"Now makeup," she said.
Give in on one little thing.... "That wasnít part of the deal."
"Please, Ran? Pleeeeease?"
"Címon. Itíll be cool. Besides, you canít fend me off with wet polish on. Youíd smudge."
As much as he loved her, he didnít need this. "I feel like some kind of doll."
She put her arms around his neck. "Every girl wants a sister once in a while. Me too, and I figure I should take advantage while you still are one, because I know youíll figure out how to get back to your usual self."
He leaned back into her embrace but asked softly, "You think you have me wrapped around your finger, donít you?"
She finger combed his hair. "If I turned into a guy, Iíd be trying all kinds of things."
"Iím afraid to speculate about that."
"When did you get this pierced?" she asked.
Heíd pierced his left ear to put her earring through it, to remind himself that he had to sacrifice his life and morals to avenge her and their parents. "A while ago. You can make me up."
"Yeah? Are you okay, Ran?"
"The past is past. Iím okay."
"All right." She obviously didnít believe him but must have decided to play along. "You want to go natural or dramatic?"
"Natural? How can makeup look natural?"
"Itís just used to define your face a little further and not call attention to itself."
"But itís there."
"Okay. Dramatic it is. I think it suits you better anyway. You always were such a drama queen."
"Was not." He sighed. "You know that I love you more than life itself... but if you tell anyone about this, I will have to kill you."
With her standing in front of him focusing on his face, he couldnít see his reflection. Probably for the best. At least the lip-gloss tasted nice, though she yelled at him for licking his lips. The applicator wand felt strange as she swept it above his eyes.
"Make this face," she said and demonstrated.
"You look like a fish."
"It makes it easier to apply eyeliner. Really."
"You just want me to look like an idiot."
"No, thatís just a nice side effect."
He did the fish face. Yes, she had him wrapped around her finger.
Once she finished smudging the liner under his eye, she moved out of the way so he could see himself. He looked... looked like a beautiful woman preparing for a night out. The dark smokiness did suit him. If he had to be a woman, this would be how heíd make himself up.
If he had to be a woman.
"I could have done a better job with the liner," he had to say.
Aya laughed. "What?"
"Iíve had to line my eyes for an assignment now and then." Talking about that took his mind off of what he looked like.
"Oh, youíre so edgy."
"Enough about me."
"We barely started with you!"
"Tell me about yourself. I really want to know."
"Iím sure your life is much more exciting."
"Okay, but Iíll stop if I notice your eyes glazing."
As they sprawled on her bed, she told him about her friends, schoolwork, and life. It was all so mundane, special only for being her mundane life, and thus wonderful.
"Any boyfriends?" he asked.
"Iíll never tell. You just want to know so you can beat them up. Oh, I just had a horrible thought. Theyíll see you and ask you out."
"Iím way out of their league," he answered. Aya suddenly threw herself at him and clung to his shoulder. He pulled her in for a hug. "Whatís wrong? Aya, donít cry. Please." Not knowing what had upset her only made it worse.
"Iím sorry," she sniffled. "Itís just... this is the way it should have been."
Except for him being female, but that was nitpicking. He knew what she meant. "Donít apologize. Iím glad you came to see me today."
"I realized that you wouldnít come to me. Sakura told me that you were heroes, but I know you well enough to realize that youíre ashamed of what you do. ĎI donít deserve to be loved,í she told me you said. So it was up to me." She sniffled again. "Iíve been trying to see all the new things as an adventure, and that works a lot of the time, but sometimes I just want to curl into a ball and cry over everything Iíve lost. Or turn back time to when life made sense. But you must know what thatís like."
"Then you should cry. You deserve time to mourn."
"They died two years ago."
"You lost those two years. Itís fresh to you. Now is your time. You lost the whole life you had. Youíre living with people you didnít even know prior to... what had happened to you." He felt guilty about letting the Tomoes house her, but WeiŖís small trailer wasnít an appropriate place for a young woman.
"You had your life torn away too."
Having her here, warm and conscious against him, crying into his shirt, made something that had been knotted for a long time inside him ease. He kissed the top of her head. "I love you, Aya. That brought me through." That and the hate and the vengeance and the ice....
She had one hand in his hair and one clenched against his back under his jacket. "Donít let this be the last time we see each other. Swear it to me, Ran."
He felt warm and cared for. "It wonít be."
"Aya!" a woman called from downstairs, and his head whipped up at the sound of his name.
Aya smiled at him. "You really have been using my name for the last few years. Thatís really kind of... uh...."
"Sick and wrong?"
"Sweet. But sick and wrong too. I donít want you to go."
"I have to go?" Of course he did, eventually, but now?
"That was Mrs. Tomoe. I better go downstairs." She rubbed her eyes. "See you again soon?"
She kissed the tip of his nose. "Love you."
"Love you too."
He went out the window, walked the roof again, and slid down the side of the house to the lawn. He finally had the knack of this body. It felt wonderful. In the window, Aya made clapping motions with her hands, and he bowed showily to her.
When the trailer door opened, Yohji reached for the wire in his watch and Omi picked up some cutlery from the kitchen table, but only an unarmed pretty woman walked in. No, not a stranger, Aya. Had to be with that hair. But Aya had a soft, dreamy smile on his face--Aya smiling!--and his eyes partially shut and makeup on? How did that happen? The soft, dark shadow and liner gave him an air of feminine mystery. The slick looking gloss on his lips called attention to his mouth and invited kisses.
At least it wasnít a full grin on Ayaís face. That might have killed Yohji.
Aya was a woman. Heíd known that and seen it, but somehow the makeup finally brought it home.
Ken and Omi also stared. Yohji hoped he didnít look that stupidly stunned, but he probably did.
Aya opened her-- his eyes and noticed them staring. "What?" he asked as his face settled into his more accustomed still, somewhat sullen stone.
The weirdest thing about the transformation-- okay, aside from the very fact it had happened and the lovely size of those breasts-- was seeing Ayaís facial expressions and stances being done by a woman. It was blatantly Aya in that body.
Did Aya have nail polish on?
"We have a mission tonight," Omi said quietly. This situation had to be doing a number on the kidís head. Hell, it was doing a number on Yohjiís head.
Aya was beautiful.
"Thank you. Iíll change."
Not long after Aya entered the bathroom, they heard a thud. Ken asked, "Wanna bet that Aya just noticed that he still has makeup on?"
Damn. Heíd walked past them looking like this. No wonder theyíd looked shell-shocked. They would never let him hear the end of it.
He still had some makeup remover wipes, so he started to obliterate the pretty woman in fast strokes. The face that looked back at him in the mirror afterward more resembled his own, though traces of eyeliner clung. Heíd already licked off most of the gloss, but his lips continued to look darker than usual anyway.
Heíd changed. He was different on the inside, literally. If he returned to his true self, could he possibly be the same Aya heíd been? Probably not.
He walked out of the bathroom to get away from his reflection.
Gathering an outfit together for the mission, Aya stopped at one of the shirts heíd bought, the one with the black-painted zippers in strategic places. Why not? Theyíd already seen him in makeup tonight. Once he finished dressing, he slipped black gloves over his foreign hands, hiding the red polish he couldnít bring himself to take off. His white coat looked incongruous over all the black, but it expressed him somehow.
When Aya walked out to meet them, Yohji said, "You didnít have to take it off on our account."
"It wasnít appropriate," Aya answered.
Ken stared at his chest. "And that is?"
"Iím expressing myself."
"Please, express yourself more often," Yohji said, smiling.
"If you guys are done admiring Ayaís outfit, can we get going?" Omi asked with a sigh. Omi had been looking sad and more worried lately, and Aya regretted his part in that.
They left the trailer in silence, ready to kill.
Aya cut a swathe through the minions. The last one gaped at him, a deadly lapse in concentration, since it made it easier for Aya to cut him down. The hallway cleared, Aya stopped a moment to orient himself and felt something slightly off, slightly wrong. He looked down to see that a flap of his shirt had come loose, leaving his neck and the right side of his upper chest bare, revealing his white sports bra. That would explain the manís distraction, especially if he thought heíd get a more revealing look than was actually coming. Only one thing could complete this moment.
"Hey, Aya, I told you that might work," Yohji said as he approached, with a smile that Aya should slit his throat for.
And now the moment was perfect.
Aya zipped his shirt back up. He decided to never wear it out again.
"Your breasts pulled it down?" Yohji asked. "They canít be restrained!" Fortunately, incoming gunfire shut him up.
Aya had to refasten that flap three more times during the mission, and each time it came down his kill turned out to be far easier than it would have been otherwise. He had to give this some thought. Surely it didnít demean him if the sight of his new chest could turn some opponents into slow, drooling idiots. Though he wouldnít be able to use this as a weapon around Yohji, whoíd become more and more flustered, and thus useless, as the night went on. One time Omi had to smack him back to sense.
Aya probably shouldnít have taken quite so much satisfaction from seeing that.
It amazed Yohji how Aya could take the fun out of anything. Aya should have been mortally embarrassed by the way his shirt kept falling open, yet after the initial blush and sigh he seemed to have resigned himself to it. Worse than resigned himself to it, decided to treat it like a kind of weapon, while being so damned practical and... coy about it. Meanwhile, Yohji kept getting distracted by those glimpses of pale skin and paler undergarment. Which was actually still kind of fun, but in a sweatier and less lighthearted way.
How could Aya match that tight black zippered thing with a plain white bra? And why was it so sexy that way?
Yohji didnít know anymore if he was superimposing sex over the new body or whether Aya really was more sexual as a woman. He could swear that Aya as a woman had a bit of a... strut while on their missions that heíd never shown as a man, though Yohji had initially chalked it up to Aya having to learn a different way of walking with no blueprints. Surely he didnít know what he was doing to people who watched him.... At least that had been Yohjiís thinking then. Before, thereíd been no question that heíd been letting his dirty mind run away with him, but now? He thought that Ayaís prey saw it too-- the sex and violence twined together in one dangerous, beautiful, fucked-up package-- and they froze for a moment, making it easier for Aya to kill them.
Aya had transformed into something of a walking wet dream for Yohji, and that was dangerous. And really unfair.
Omi watched Aya over dinner and worried. Aya had been so happy to see his sister yesterday, but that high had faded almost as soon as heíd returned to the trailer, and now he looked wan and unwell, as he had for the last few days. Would it have been different if he hadnít been expected to go on a mission right after visiting with his sister? Not that it made that much difference now, when nothing could be done about it.
They knew nothing about the causes and effects of Ayaís transformation. It might be affecting his health. He could be ill as well as depressed. Omi had noticed that Aya slept more as a woman. Something had to be done.
Yohji and Ken kept talking on as they ate, seeing nothing wrong, and Omi didnít entirely blame them for it, since Aya being quiet and deep in his own thoughts wasnít unusual. But too many times Omi felt as if he didnít live in the same world they did.
Eventually Yohji and Ken left the table, and only Omi and Aya remained, with Aya eating well though slowly and Omi thinking of a way to start a conversation. Aya finally looked at him and said, "Youíve been staring at me for fifteen minutes. Whatís wrong?"
Omi wanted to say, "You are, and I want to help you," but settled on, "You donít look well, Aya, and I wanted to ask you how you felt."
Ayaís mouth twitched. "I look terrible?"
"You look beautiful--" damn, he hadnít meant to say that and in such a fervent way, "--but worn out."
"You donít really want to know."
Aya sighed. "Iím bleeding," he said quietly. "I feel disgusting."
Omi felt a stab of panic. "Youíre--" Then he saw the other possibility. "Oh." Aya really was a woman, inside and out. That was.... "That must be scary." It scared him just thinking about it.
"I knew it was coming but... seeing it... was still very disturbing."
"Yeah." Understatement. Omi didnít want to think about it, but he had asked and was determined to see it through. "How long do you have on it?"
"Todayís the fourth day. Since itís tapering off, I think Iím nearly done."
The fourth day? "We had no idea!"
"Iíd prefer it if Yohji and Ken remained ignorant."
Something about the look on Ayaís face.... "You expected me to walk away and stop bothering you if you told me."
"It didnít work."
"I know your tricks."
Aya raised an eyebrow. "I commonly use my period as a means to disgust men into leaving me be?"
"You commonly use misdirection."
"I never realized."
Aya nearly smiled. It may have been a near Aya smile and thus barely a curve of his lips, but it counted.
"Is there anything I can do to help you?" Omi asked.
"I donít think so. I may be the only one who can help myself, but I donít know how to do it. Still, thank you for the offer." Aya stood.
As Aya started to walk away, Omi said, "Anything you need, Iím here for you."
Omi sighed, knowing that Aya really didnít know. Or if he did know, he wouldnít call on Omi for it.
Over at last. No more bleeding, cold flashes, or bulky, uncomfortable undergarments. He felt more like himself again now. Actually, he felt more like his woman self, but heíd learned to settle. Aya had been half-afraid that it would never stop, since he was hardly a normal woman.
He was hardly a woman at all.
How did they do this every month?
At least maybe now heíd get a break from the incessant parade of sex hormones heíd faced.
"Have you stopped--"
Manx frowned. "It hasnít ended yet?"
"Yes, itís over, no, Iím not going to seduce anybody," Aya said. "I have work to do."
Manx surveyed the room with raised eyebrows. "I think the flowers can wait, donít you?"
Aya fiddled with an arrangement and said nothing. In truth, there was nothing for him to do in the shop-- heíd watered all the potted plants already, changed the water for the cut ones, and perfected every arrangement to his satisfaction. Even the financial records were all up to date.
He was bored, but not bored enough to argue with Manx about whoring himself out to their targets.
She seemed determined to press the issue, however. "We donít have enough female agents to go around. And one with your skills... Aya, if youíd just--"
"No," he repeated, still staring at the flowers. It seemed the safest response.
"What, itís beneath you?" Manx demanded, a hint of anger creeping into her voice. "Youíll kill, but youíll be chaste about it?"
Aya snorted. "Manx. I canít seduce anyone."
She narrowed her eyes. "Youíre a quick learner, though, arenít you? But I suppose youíd rather risk your teammatesí lives than compromise your virtue."
"ĎRisk their lives,í" Aya echoed, glaring at her. The words he didnít say hung in the air between them. They already risked their lives, all of them, for Kritiker; Aya had no say in that.
She met his glare steadily. "If you could get your targets to trust you, how much less dangerous would it be for the others? You could keep them out of the line of fire just by showing a little skin."
Aya turned away. "Thatís not my responsibility."
"Youíre team leader. It is your responsibility."
"I wonít do it," he said, with as much finality as he could. His voice had dropped to something approaching his lower male register, his usual deadly, donít-fuck-with-me voice, and he felt Manx pause behind him, re-evaluating the situation.
After a moment, she said coldly, "Your prerogative."
"And we meet again. You know, a man might think he was being followed."
Aya took a deep breath, shifting his stance. He was well armed this time. He was dangerous. He really wanted to kill something.
Schuldig was going to die.
He kept his mind carefully blank as he turned slowly, right hand resting on the hilt of his katana. Schuldigís eyes met his, their expression fading from gleeful to vaguely puzzled. In one swift movement, Aya drew his blade and attacked--
And ended up with his back against the wall, ears ringing from the smack of his head against brick, his own katana pressed to his throat.
Aya closed his eyes. Manx had been right, about this one thing at least. He couldnít fight like this, not against a truly capable enemy. Ordinary bodyguards and minions were one thing, but Schwarz was... far from ordinary. And now he would die for his arrogance.
At least heíd seen his sister one last time....
A sudden heat rushed through him as he felt a body moving close. Warily he opened his eyes.
Schuldig was watching him with his ever-present smirk. "So eager to die?"
Aya bared his teeth. "Get it over with," he growled.
"Oh, no." Schuldig pressed closer, one hand trailing down Ayaís... breasts; the other hand still held the katana against his throat. "I think this time weíll take it slow."
And then, as Ayaís eyes widened in shock and horror, Schuldigís hand moved inexorably downwards, settling between Ayaís legs, covering the part of him that was undeniably her.
"Not your type," Aya gasped, brandishing the words like a cross before a vampire, his only possible defense. This could not be happening. It could not.
Schuldig smiled. "Funny thing about that," he purred. "For many people, sex is largely intellectual. For a telepath, well. You can only imagine."
He pressed closer. Aya gulped.
"Knowing intellectually that youíre a boy, trapped inside this... admittedly shapely body...." Schuldig let his voice trail off, hands caressing the aforementioned shapes.
Aya just stared at him, panic-stricken, his body reacting automatically to the attentions. There was no precedent for this sort of situation. He had no idea how to react. Trapped by oneís mortal enemy, who seemed intent on wrenching sensations out of his borrowed body that heíd never even dreamed he could experience....
"Iím... not a boy," he choked out, and even managed to sound slightly indignant.
"Well, no." Schuldig smiled. "Not at the moment."
"Thatís not-- oh...."
Schuldigís hand slid back between Ayaís legs and began to expertly manipulate his new anatomy. Aya whimpered. His hips began to roll of their own accord.
Glittering blue eyes pinned him like a butterfly; he gazed back, helpless, as the telepath murmured, "Delicious...."
Aya closed his eyes again, a chalky, metallic taste pricking at the back of his mouth. He was close to something, he knew, rising, rising, almost there....
And the hand withdrew, and Schuldig smiled and said, "Was it good for you?", and then he was gone. Breathing hard, stunned on one level and utterly resigned on another, Aya tried to reclaim his scattered thoughts.
If Aya had still been a man, the level of sexual frustration heíd faced since his transformation would have killed him long ago.
This was ridiculous and humiliating and couldnít be borne any longer. As he was now, he was a liability to the team. He had to train harder and regain his old skill level. Then heíd slice off Schuldigís cock and balls before killing him. It would be apt, and maybe the German wouldnít find the situation so funny then.
As Aya approached the kitchen for breakfast, he heard Yohji say, "Maybe youíll call me crazy-- oh, shut up-- but Ayaís more fun as a woman."
Aya stopped. Eavesdropping would be wrong. It would be wrong, but he intended to do it anyway.
"You just think the sceneryís improved," Ken said.
"Yeah, heís a pretty woman, but heís more fun too. We rib him, he ribs back. I canít say that heís pleasant, but heís more approachable."
"Are you saying that becoming a woman made him more like heís one of the guys?" Omi asked.
"I think my brain just fried," Ken said.
Aya tried to figure out how he felt about Yohjiís assertion. Aside from hurt. Damned hormones. Like it mattered what people thought of him. And of course Yohji liked him better as a woman. It had nothing to do with him as a person.
Aya schooled his face to stillness and made far more noise than usual as he walked to the kitchen. They all sat straighter and tried to look innocent. If he hadnít heard them talking, their reaction when he walked in would have worried him.
He shook his head and started making breakfast. He needed fortification for another day working alone in the trailer. Amazing how solitude could suddenly wear on him when he had no choice in it. Right now, solitude wouldnít help because it would give him time to think about last night. He may have been outclassed physically, but he still hadnít fought as hard as he could have, especially after Schuldig had his hand in place....
Flowers, he told himself decisively. Flowers were a good thing to think about.
Flowers didnít have fucking hands.
Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven | Part Eight | Part Nine | Part Ten
E-mail the authors:
Maya Tawi - firstname.lastname@example.org
Viridian5 - Viridian5@aol.com
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The Green Room version 3.0 (Viridian5's fanfiction)