"Kagetsu…may I have a word with you?" Sasha ground out before his old friend, the hand on the witch's shoulder clenching with the full knowledge of his nails and where they stood in between the words.

The witch looked up with a banal smile as if he expected everything his friend was going to say, and had already dismissed it as unimportant. Which he most likely already had.

Sasha knew the look on the witch's face, and drew back a little. "Kali? I'll be right back."

The boy nodded, sitting down and immediately folding his arms down to nap.

"Um…" Kiru paused in the sight of the two retreating figures, and looked around. Slowly, almost fearfully, Kiru drew back, uncomfortable in the silence left.

With firm grip of Kagetsu's oft unused shirt, Sasha pulled him resolutely to the back of the restaurant, through the kitchen, ignoring the squawking cook, and out the back door to a discreet alleyway. An overwhelming heat hit them, passed, and left only a lingering scent of saffron that clung to their skin. A cleaver thudded against the closed door, sentiments of the cook. He threw the witch, his friend, and his longest compatriot against the wall.

Kagetsu huffed as he could feel the bones of his spine reuniting themselves. The bits pulled together their loose strings and bunched, knitting back muscles that had snapped and sheared along with his spine. He drew out a cigarette and lit it as Sasha glared at him.

Only the non-existant breathing of the two, and the mutterings of the cook as he pulled the offending metal from the wooden door filled the air. A moment passed and Kagetsu held the tobacco filled smoke in his lungs, feeling the delicate filaments blacken and turn sour. The smoke that rolled out of his mouth was low and languid, spilling to the ground and covering the cement with a fine layer of white.

"So you're not only a bastard that has no taste, but you're a child abusing monster that doesn't keep his appointments as well." Kagetsu commented, too casual to be real.

"First at the house, then the café, and finally here." Sasha loomed over the witch, somehow less diminutive without his ruffles and lace. "What are you planning Kagetsu?"

Kagetsu tapped his cigarette against Sasha's shirt, playing ironic. "Oh? Why should I bother when you oversleep? For half a century. I'm sorry dick-face, but unlike you dead things who can't be bothered in all their angst and pretty-boying to bother to keep track of the fact that five decades are fifty years, and not mere numbers to be shrugged at, I have better things to do than wait for your ass to find your alarm clock."

"What does that have to do with Kali?" Sasha hissed.

"Ah, so at least we come to the subject of that illusive boy. Ignore the fact that his blood spilled so plentifully to break St. Sasha's fast, ignore that my godfather is more than mildly obsessed with his emptiness, that he's managed to get his school teachers convinced that he's a product of a broken home, and that he has some of his classmates pining over his miserable child look, wanting to play angel with him. And worst of all, the family is interested in him." Kagetsu spat, his fingers curling over the burning end of the cigarette. His back was beginning to sore, for the brick wall was cold and had many edges that were sharp and protruding to his re-knitted spine.

Sasha's eyes narrowed. "I'll keep them away."

"Like you kept the bees away?" Kagetsu said, with a little laugh. He was being cruel, yes, and fully aware of it, but it made him feel better. "At least I won't have to pick up the aftermath for this one."

Another slam against the wall, and this time retaliation. Kagetsu grabbed for the throat, his long nails, digging in to the dead flesh, hands that gripped white as the skin it sought to maim, and beat Sasha's head against a grayish-green dumpster. There was a reddish, blackish smear against the dumpster when he was done, a mess of pinkish gray matter and bone shards matting his friend's hair. The whole mess made a sucking, shriveling noise as it healed, and a moment as Sasha's ruptured eyes would focus. Kagetsu breathed as the tender ribs took a moment more to heal this time.

"He's not empty." He breathed out, his words punctuated by blood bubbles rising to his lips. He coughed once, and spat on his friend. "You want him because you want to fill him with yourself, and that, my sadistic friend, is impossible because he's not fucking empty." Kagetsu slumped over Sasha. "You stupid ego-run corpse."

Muscles strained as they made a mild effort to push off the witch. "…even Scythe noticed, didn't he?"

"…you talked to him?"

"A bit. I have a lot of time on my hands."

"Enough to listen to him rant on about the hole in my stomach?"

"No. I hung up."

"Then at the house? With the soup?"

"You didn't expect me to be Big-Sister Kagetsu after all this time, did you? Although it'd be horribly like you."

"Then why didn't you kill him while I was sleeping?"

"…Because he doesn't know he's doing it. Which is probably the most dangerous thing about it. Like a fucking moth beacon."


"…You wake up in the middle of a half-century nap to track down the most mundane human being ever, and spend half your time winning him over while living in his house, not to mention snacking on his blood. And you don't think that's a bit odd."

"Why not?"

"And you haven't fucked him yet."

"…Why not."

"Because of him, the family knows you're awake."

"But that's not what bothers you."

"…he's even affecting me."

"And that kid you had with you?"

"Formerly of the family, and Kali's school nurse. I used him to keep Kali alive. He'll be blind in less than a month. Possibly dead in less than that."

"You've gone domestic."


"What are you going to do?"

"Hell if I know. He's bait right now."

"…You left him alone with your bait?"


The backdoor does not slam as much as can be expected.