"What happened?" Vicious asked as she walked up to him.

"I'm sorry. Someone shot me and then someone else took me back to her ship. They took the suitcase and one of the men tried to stop me from coming back to you. Apparently you knew him at one point in your life," Rei said and Vicious' gaze darkened.


"I believe that was his name."

"I'm surprised he let you go."

"I had nothing to do with your relationship to him. He had no right keeping me from you."

"You got hit in the arm?"

"Yes. I doesn't hurt like it did. I hope I didn't anger you. It wasn't my fault."

"I know that. You are okay, aren't you?"

"I'm fine. I'm just a little sore."

"Let me see it. I know about injuries."

She held her injured arm out to him and he ran his hands over it. She winced slightly as he touched her sore spot. He glanced at her and kissed her cheek. Perhaps there was more about her than the desire to make her do his bidding. He was acting more natural with her than he had ever acted with anyone else before. He thought that he had lost such feelings. If not lost then perhaps buried them. They had been buried ever since he started with the syndicate. He had learned that feelings such as passion only got in the way when dealing with the syndicate. He watched her abrasive movements, brought on from the sensation of pain and sighed. Why had she completely broken down his defenses?

"Thank you. I should be fine now," she said and drew away from him. She had felt his apprehension and she didn't want to compound the feeling. He watched her walk into the adjacent room and sighed. He heard the door lock behind her and sat down. How could it be? How could an almost complete stranger have such an effect on him? Twice he had tried to kill her and twice he had failed and now he had just helped her with her injury. Could it be? Could it be that she had somehow unlocked feelings that he had worked so hard to bury? He lit a cigarette and stared at the closed door. He wished he could figure out why he was experiencing these feelings.


Rei sat on the cot and stared at the bare walls. She knew that she had gotten involved in something that she would regret later but she couldn't help feel sorry for him. There was another side to him that he refused to show. For whatever reason, she wasn't sure. All she knew was that her presence was affecting that side which was why he had tried to kill her twice. Something within him had stopped her from being murdered twice but for what reason? It was true that she was growing fond of him but were the feelings mutual?

She sighed as she leaned back against the wall. It had happened so quickly. One minute she was searching through the trash looking for some sustenance and the next minute she was on a spaceship with an extremely important syndicate member. It seemed like a dream, but she wasn't complaining. Anything was better than the life she had been living. She glanced at the bag of clothes that sat next to the cot and smiled. Even though she was still unsure about his true intentions, she was positive about one thing. He was being nice, despite what the bounty hunter had told her. He had gone out of his way to care for her and she was deeply indebted to him for it.

There was a soft tap on the door and she looked up. She stood up and unlocked the door. She gazed out at Vicious, his dark eyes seemed to be vainly trying to hide an emotion that she had never seen before. His gray hair fell over his face, hiding his emotions even further. She stared at him, waiting for him to say something and he grinned slightly.

"It's funny. I've never been so confused before," he commented and she reached for his hand.

"Confused in what way?" Rei asked.

"Confused as to why my defenses are being broken through. I don't know you and yet somehow you've managed to break through the wall that encases my emotions."

"That's good, isn't it?"

"I don't know. To me it means that I've become soft."

"Maybe you built those defenses because you were afraid of being hurt again."


"Something must have happened to make you this way. Maybe you'd like to talk about it."

"Why should I burden you with my life? You have enough problems as it is."

"My presence has affected you somehow. I want to know why you've tried so hard to hide your sensitivity."

"Maybe I'll tell you someday."