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Title: Monochrome
Author: vr2lbast
Pairing(s)/Characters: Ken Hidaka and Chloe
Rating: PG-13
Summary: While on a stake-out, Ken muses about London in the rain and his teammates.
Warnings: Side B era. May contain spoilers.
Author’s Notes: Prompt: Black and White
Disclaimer: Weiss Kreuz is the creation of Koyasu Takehito and the production of Project Weiss. The characters, settings, and events herein are used without permission for fan entertainment purposes only.

At night the world was black and white.

Not really, of course. Omi would have argued him down about the full range of tones and shades available in the layered textures of darkness and he would have been right, too. The night was actually blues and greens and touches of reds so muddied and dim that they only seemed black, or grey, or white – if they were pale and the moon hit them just right. But Omi had never seen London in the rain.

Then again, Chloe had and would probably argue the point anyway. Chloe was an asshole that way.

Whatever. Ken had pretty much learned to dismiss anything Chloe said to him unless he felt like scrapping. Chloe wasn't here anyway. The city was, and so was the rain – light and almost a drizzle, really. It washed away what little colour the night usually held and reduced the world to a black and white photograph.

No, it was too blurry with damp to be a photograph. A watercolour maybe. All in shades of grey.

A monochrome.

Yeah, that. Although Ken couldn't remember for the life of him who had used the word artistically or why they had been talking to him about art in the first place. He didn't think it was Omi. Maybe Chloe was spouting off one day and he'd overheard. Maybe it was Yuki. Or Aya. Aya had never struck him as the artsy type, and Ken had picked up rumours that he was maybe not half as sophisticated when he started out as he liked to pretend he was now, but he was pretty smart with language and the correct names of things.

Ken's lexicon of terms was pretty specialized. It involved sports and flowers, one willingly learned and one not so much. And the word 'lexicon' of course. He liked that word. He liked a lot of 'big' words, but couldn't be bothered to go looking for them in the middle of a conversation. He just kept a few favourites close at hand and used them to scare people. Yohji, now… Yohji had been really good with words.

Come to think of it, he was also the one who had used 'monochrome'.

It had surprised Ken at first to learn that Yohji was a fair hand when it came to sketching and painting. Nothing professional, but he'd learned the techniques. He said he'd taken a lot of art classes before joining Weiss. Apparently it was a great way to meet girls.

Ken figured the kind of girls that hung around in art classes a lot were not the kind of girls he wanted to spend a lot of time with. Then again, Yohji hadn't wanted to spend a lot of time with them either. Just a little time was enough. One night, maybe. Or a few hours in the afternoon.

Not that he would have to go looking for girls anymore. Lucky dog.

Ken's headset crackled.

"See anything?" came Michel's voice, slightly tinny.

"Nah, it's quiet here," Ken told him. "Not even the usual night time crowd. It's like a painting. A monochrome watercolour," he added, almost as an afterthought.

Michel giggled. Michel was never thrown by something clever coming out of Ken's mouth. Michel was almost never thrown by anything. It was quite possible that Michel was a space elf.

"Well, buzz if you need anything. Free and I can get there in less than two minutes. Chloe should be coming around to relieve you soon, so you can grab something to eat and get warm."

"Yeah, sure. Thanks," Ken said. Leave it to Michel to worry about everyone's welfare while on the job. That was probably why he seemed to direct missions so often. Yuki was a great organizer, but was usually too busy making the arrangements to actually give the orders. Aya was a good planner and sometimes took over, but Ken felt that, after Koua, he might not be happy holding the responsibility for everyone's lives in his hands. He knew Chloe didn't. Michel was already responsible for Free, in a way, so a few more people couldn't hurt, he supposed.

Anyway, it was good that relief was coming. Whether Michel's worry was silly or not didn't matter; Ken really was hungry and the chill of the rain was starting to eat away at him. He'd kill for a bowl of noodles in broth. He'd probably have to settle for tea and a sandwich.

He kind wished Chloe wasn't spotting him though. Ken new he'd be glad for the relief, but he really wasn't in the mood to put up with Chloe's attitude right now. Maybe after he'd eaten and warmed up a bit, but not at the moment. Hell, if he was really lucky, the target might show up before Chloe did. Then Ken could kill him and they could all go home.

No such luck. Chloe emerged from the dark and the rain, his coat all but glowing white.

"Michel thinks you're in danger of drowning," Chloe said. He paused for a moment. "You look it."

"Oh fuck off."

"Are you saying you don't want to eat? Because I would be more than happy to go back to the warm, dry hotel room, small and dumpy as it is."

Ken snorted, but said nothing else, because he did want to eat and Chloe was very likely to do exactly as threatened.

"It's been pretty quiet," he said instead. "I hope you brought a book." He cast a brief glance skyward. "And an umbrella."

"I'm sure I'll be fine. I'm not as easily bored as you. Although, if you are in need of a distraction…"

Chloe snaked a white-clad arm around Ken's neck and dragged him forward, planting a kiss firmly on Ken's lips. Need and greed came alive and Ken tried to pull Chloe closer, but Chloe pushed him away suddenly and straightened his coat.

"The rest will have to wait until after the mission, won't it?" he said with more than a hint of malice.

Ken started to swear and checked himself as his headset crackled to life.

"Is Chloe there yet, Ken?" Michel said.

Ken rubbed the corner of his mouth and thumbed the button for his mic. "Yeah, he's here," he said, keeping a wary eye on Chloe who endeavoured to look innocent.

From the other end, Ken heard Michel sigh in relief. "That's good. He wasn't answering for a moment. Can you get him to check his headset for me?"

"Yeah, sure," Ken said and turned to Chloe. "Michel wants you to check in," he said, not bothering to hide his annoyance.

"Hello, Michel?" Chloe said, ignoring Ken entirely. "Yes, yes… it's fine. I was in a bit of a tangle. Yes, he's on his way. Nothing better than a hot meal after a cold shower. Yes, I meant the rain." He winked at Ken, knowing he could say nothing with Michel on the line. "I'll let you know if I see him."

"I fucking hate you," Ken said once the lines of communication were closed.

"No, you fucking hate that you fucking love me," Chloe returned, leaning close to whisper it in Ken's ear. He took the opportunity to nibble its rim as well. Ken shoved him away.

"If it's after the mission for me, it's after the mission for you too," Ken said. "Get to work."

Chloe smirked, but settled into the nook best suited for observing the street below while keeping off the worst of the rain.

Ken slouched off, saying nothing more. It wouldn't have done any good and would only have kept him hanging around long enough for Chloe to take a shot at his very visible discomfort. Damn the bastard and damn the target too for not showing up early. He really hadn't wanted to deal with Chloe's attitude tonight and now the best he could hope for was to wind down before getting to the hotel room or that he would have a little privacy before anyone else wandered in.

Chloe had known that, just as he had known that Michel would call and interrupt if Chloe didn't answer him. Chloe was an asshole that way.

When Ken reached the nearby hotel, he cast a glance toward the rooftop where Chloe was perched in silent observation. From this distance, the brilliant white of Chloe's coat was invisible, a smudge, greyed by the rain, in the monochrome painting of the city.

Ken sighed and went inside.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
I’m not very familiar with Side B, so I don’t feel that I can give as complete a comment as I would like, but I loved your style. I think you captured Ken and Yohji very well (and I’m willing to bet you did a good job on the others too, I just wouldn’t know.) It had a nice balance of being slightly funny but also serious.
Jan. 7th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
Nice! I liked Ken's observations about girls ;-).
Jan. 8th, 2009 03:30 am (UTC)
It was quite possible that Michel was a space elf. So true. I liked Ken's thoughts on everyone; nicely sketched, and well chosen. The relationship between Ken and Chloe is also filled in nicely with just a few strokes. I really liked them together. Nice little bits like Ken rubbed the corner of his mouth and thumbed the button for his mic. Very enjoyable.
Jan. 12th, 2009 02:06 pm (UTC)
Bwa-ha-ha! Poor Ken. Chloe is evil. I really love seeing Side B characters used to such good effect. I think they're hard to get a handle on from just what the manga gives us.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )