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[Saizou] What Now, Mr. Left?

Sparkles of stars that are demon dust rise from a steady palm, coalescing into a shard of reflective glass in the shroud of nighttime.

The moon has rediscovered the joy of playing hide-and-seek with its cloud companions. In a corner of Shinjuku, a neat row of poorly-maintained lamps is the only source of illumination for a street sandwiched between two clusters of drab apartment buildings.

This dim, yellowish light is too faint to sufficiently send clear images from the window of a certain building into the mirror. Lilac eyes remain fixed on the smooth surface. Slim fingers tilt the glass shard slowly, until the observer is content with his view.

The still figure of the man in white and purple is relaxed against the edge of the wall, which shields him from the view of Lady Poison, one street away. This exact location is quite possibly the ideal observing platform, and he may just have delivered himself a kick for not chancing upon it earlier. But the man does no such thing.

Self-preservation, he theorizes, is the best way to prolong the window of time for his study.

Out of habit, his free hand finds its way into the pocket of his pants, where minute dust particles graze his fingertips. Light-coloured eyebrows lift in amusement as the man catches sight of flashing specks from the window.

Kudou Himiko springs into action within the shadows of her room, snatching her cell phone up and flipping it open. He sees the vague movement of her lips in the darkness, sees her give a curt nod. The call is over in less than a minute, and he watches on as the woman lets the mobile device fall to her side. She pinches and rubs her cheeks with the enthusiastic vehemence of a Lady in denial.

After all, Lady Poison is probably thirstier for his blood than ever.

Kagami Kyoji almost anticipates the wrath that Kudou Himiko will unleash on him at their next encounter. The woman is an endearing spitfire, and he now knows to be quicker on his feet when she engages the use of her Acceleration Perfume.

Lilac eyes begin to wander over the darkened vicinity of the neighbourhood, until a sudden movement from the space behind the window captures his attention like a cheetah nails its prey.

Mr. Left is pinned to the mattress by slender fingers around his neck.

The ghost of a wince flits over Kagami Kyoji’s countenance when a punch lands squarely on the bear’s torso. And another, when a fist connects with its head. He feels a calm sense of detachment, because Lady Poison will never be capable of dealing him a fatal blow.

But the observer is unable to deny his attraction. Nor will he deign to admit so himself.

In fact, the man refuses to do any such thing. Especially in the presence of Mido Ban. He does, however, acknowledge the possibility that the witches’ descendant may receive word of his brief visit.

Nevertheless, Mido Ban’s knowledge is one thing, and his actions as a result of that are another. The blond does not wish, in any way, to be on the receiving end of the Snake Bite.

A truck thunders by on the street below, and the observer continues to watch as Lady Poison looks up at the sound. Perhaps, he surmises, her irritation has driven the prospect of a transporting job out of her mind. But for the Lady to be distracted this much...

A sense of satisfaction brings the corners of his lips upwards by the slightest fraction.

Through the mirror, he sees the Lady as she turns her head away. A moment later, she springs off her bed, towards the cupboard in the far corner.

It is too dark in the room for the observer to make out the contents of Kudou Himiko’s wardrobe, though he is able to identify the light-coloured shapes of her shirt and shorts. She rummages about in the shadows.

Kagami Kyoji has the decency to avert his eyes when the woman draws her purple-and-green outfit from the cupboard, darkened by the hue of night.

Lady Poison glances warily around her room.

Out of the corner of his gaze, the man decides that he should award her the respect she so deserves. He lowers the reflective shard and lifts his eyes to the wraith-like clouds.
The moon has tired of its childish game. Its phantom servants are dispelled to the side, making way for the pearly glow that is cast on the city. Colours return to the observer, decking him in white and gold and purple.

Kagami Kyoji counts to thirty and raises the mirror in his hand.

In the next building, the shadows of Kudou Himiko’s room are two shades lighter. He sees the forest-green of her hair, and the violent purple of her clothes. Her hands dart across the knots of her form-fitting shirt.

With a flick of hair from her eyes, Lady Poison is ready to go.

She leans over her bed and sweeps the cell phone into her hand in one fluid movement. The observer is unsure of the shuttered expression that crosses her face as she sees the bear.

Mr. Left lies face-up on the mattress, its cowboy hat askance. Beady eyes stare unblinkingly at the ceiling; four sturdy limbs reach upwards for a comforting hug.

And she exits the room, leaving him none the wiser.

Disappointment creeps on the man, because the show is over. Vaguely, he wonders if he should tag along on her job.

But the chance of running right smack into Dr. Jackal augments the risk of ruining his study. There is no knowing if the Doctor still desires a rematch, or if he will let slip the observer’s presence. Kagami Kyoji decides against resuming his watch for tonight.

The man lowers his glass shard, pressing against the concrete wall to regain his balance as he prepares to leave.

Kudou Himiko reappears suddenly in the room, striding towards her bed.

He halts; his interest is piqued. Blond eyebrows arch when slender fingers grab the bear by its arm. The Lady reaches her rickety bedside table in a few strides and drops Mr. Left unceremoniously on its rear, turning sharply on her heels.

Her back is straight, her shoulders squared. She wears a guarded expression that he manages a glimpse of just before she disappears past the window. Colour retreats from the darkened room, as does she.

Perhaps she does not want his scent on her bed.

An amused smile quirks his lips; the man inclines his head. Not a second passes before spidery cracks spread across the surface of the reflective glass. It crumbles into glittering dust, which slowly piles in the middle of his palm. Tapered fingers close over the razor-sharp particles.

“You make my day, Lady Poison,” he murmurs.

Kagami Kyoji gives his confidant a mental salute and removes himself from the scene, leaving but a trace of demon dust behind.



December 2007

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