Disclaimer: Does anyone ever read these? Oh well. These characters are all mine. Yeah! And I'll sue your ass if you steal them. Kidding, although I do need the extra money. Hmmm… Shall I give you the warnings now? Why not? Yaoi, violence, language. Lots of language. Um…other things as well. Enjoy.


Chapter 3: Silence

His most esteemed self Mr. The Executive, Rayen thought, staring in rapt fascination as another cloudy drop slid down the bald expanse of skin, should go to the doctor and get that profuse sweating thing checked out. It couldn't possibly be healthy, all that water just pouring out. It wasn't particularly hot in the room, nor was it particularly cold. Extremities have no place in an office environment. The high rise office was kept at a temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, the air dry and scratchy from the constant recycling. Rayen was in this little cube of use and reuse because he had pulled an 'oops how clumsy of me' and got one of their clients killed. The child molesting fuck had taken one of the less 'trained' boys home and Rayen had 'clumsily' left his knives on the table next to where the boy was when he left to use the toilet. How dreadfully clumsy of him indeed. It had taken them three days to get the worst of the stains out. Lemonade out of lemons and all that jazz aside, the Carnival had gained a little brother with a newfound predilection for sharp objects. Rayen is teaching him how to not make so much mess.

Mr. The Executive has turned an interesting shade of red and the Rayen wants to suggest that he perhaps has too much salt in his diet but he keeps quiet.

´Raaaaaaayen.' Yuki singsonged 'Kazuki has finalised everything needed. You may dispose of Mr. Shelley by any method of your choosing.' A pause, then 'Kazuki says 'no stab wounds or bleeding to death…or asphyxiation. And for the love of God, remember suicides aren't fucking elaborate jobs. Simple and succinct.' On your way home, get us some food. Have fun.'

"…should expose the lot of you to the Government. That'll teach you to disobey my orders when I'm paying you." The red head blinked slowly, shifted his muscles ever so slightly and smiled.

"That's lucky then isn't it?" The intricately carved mahogany chair jumped slightly.

"What's lucky?" Flecks of spittle flew out the man's mouth. Rayen watched them land at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 10 o'clock.

"Contract has been terminated. Thank you for your patronage."

"What? You can't –" The chair flew up and thumped once, twice against the floor to ceiling window, cracking the glass. On the third try, the glass shattered and Rayen let the chair fall through in a shower of glittering shards. The executive's face drained of colour as he glanced to the broken window to the man smiling at him across the room. Change in air pressure, papers flying, careful now, don't do anything too elaborate.

"Goodbye Mr. Shelley."

Simple and succinct. He could do that.

Rayen stands outside the railway station, watching a street performer juggle three dragons in the air. Flashes of fire, ice, lightning. Sparks of red, white and black spinning around and around in the air. Valentine is standing next to him, holding a thick book. Rayen turns to him, shading his eyes against the sun reflecting off the ocean's surface. Valentine gives him a big smile and holds out the book.

'It's your birthday soon isn't it? Here's your birthday present. Don't open it until breakfast.' Rayen nods, reaching out to take the book.

"Hey Yuki, do you know anyone named Valentine?"

"Valentine?" Pause for thought, keys clicked furiously. "No. No one."

"Hnn…yeah. Neither do I."

Rayen watched Yuki stumble around in the dark alleyway, looking all nervous tension and sweating anxiety. All jacked up on Ice three hours before, feeling on top of the world and then this. Dark unmentionables chasing you, trying to eat your shadow, screaming voices, the box that just won't fucking close. Yuki stumbles across another group of addicts, huddling in a corner for warmth. Rayen tensed when it looked like one of them would go feral but Yuki gives his Smile and they all melt, shuffling over to give him room. Yuki stayed with them for two days, Rayen doing his big brother act and watching over him like a hawk. In two days, Yuki had managed to move them from the alley and away from the prying eyes of the army, gain their trust and take them to a 'dealer' who would slowly wean them off the crystals.

Of course, this wasn't out of the goodness of their hearts that they did this. The army had been watching this particular group of Ice addicts, waiting for just the right moment to 'persuade' them to join. The Carnival would often steal the better candidates right from the army's nose. To bring down a building, you have to make sure the foundations suck. Anarchy is a subjective term and despite popular belief, it required a whole shitload of organisation.

Yuki worked on the group for three months before Kazuki introduced himself to them. No one was exactly sure how many 'shows' the Carnival had, you knew who you dealt with and that was it. Compartmentalised knowledge meant that even if you were caught, the damage would be minimal. To the Carnival that is, not to your own physical and mental person. Everyone in the Carnival underwent endurance training. The trick was, you were told, to keep breathing. It didn't always work.

The new show was called Ice and they dealt with the drug runners. Anyone who was anyone knew that all the drugs that were available were in some way controlled by the government. Anyone who was anyone because without knowledge you're nobody, and if you're nobody, who'd care if you fell down dead?

"Stop being so fucking philosophical. It creeps me out." Yuki snapped, irritated because he hadn't been near anything electronic in the past three months.

"Got the technology munchies have we?" Rayen asked, absently adjusting Cheshire's grip on his knife.

"No we haven't you tosser."

"Petulance doesn't become you baby brother."

No answer, just as he suspected. Really, some people were just too easy. Light glinted on the blade as Cheshire threw it towards the mark. It hit home with a resounding thump, handle quivering from the force. Rayen gave a smirk as he walked over to pull it out.

Much too easy.

It's night time in the middle of winter and Rayen is huddled under his blanket. The soft yellow glow of the torch permeates the thin woollen material and casts long shadows in the room. Rayen opens the cover of the heavy book he received for his birthday.

The first chapter is called 'Learning how to breathe.'

Author's note: Ahaha. So, when I last updated this, dinosaurs roamed the fucking earth. Anyway, comments and the like are always, always appreciated.

Lot's of love to you all if you still remember this story and even more love if you review.