Author's note- The dialogue between 09 and Yukio in the third section was written by FuzzyUglyBunny. Thank ye! D

Chapter 2-Pride

"Boys will be boys, and so will some middle-aged men." -Kin Hubbard


So Kane wasn't leaving today.

Pity.

Yukio was already getting annoyed with his presence, the bastard was TALL, and he hated feeling the loom of his figure behind him as he was working on possible antidotes. The strength serum still hadn't finished and was just chilling in a refrigerator until it could be used, which wouldn't be until the late afternoon. Kane wasn't happy about it and was making that evident with his crossed arms and impatient expression as he paced the lab, occasionally glancing up toward Yukio, but mostly musing mentally to himself.

He needed to stay, both to get the potion he'd come for and to watch the scientist in case he came across the antidote. Yukio had told him that his potion wouldn't be ready until near evening, which had annoyed him and caused him to slam his hand down on a table, which earned him a glare and a shout from Yukio as to not attacking the lab tables that were supporting glass test material. Being told off had not made Kane any happier and he'd only barely managed to stalk off with a "fuck you" as opposed to breaking the younger man's neck.

"For fuck's sake, stop pacing, it's distracting," Came Yukio's irritated voice, and even though Kane couldn't see his face he clenched his jaw and stopped moving for a moment, not really knowing why he was listening to him, then resumed pacing.

"Hey, jackass," Yukio turned slightly, fixing his machine eye on the taller man, "I said stop pacing."

"What makes you think you have the right to tell me what to do?" Kane demanded, glaring back at him, as unnerving as the eye was.

"You're in my home and you'll listen to me," Yukio snapped back, and then turned his head sharply back to his work, ponytail flicking slightly.

"Not likely," Kane spat back, pacing again.

"For- Fuck's- Sake!" Yukio half-hissed, whirling on the spot to glare at Kane. "You're acting like a child. It's sickening."

"Fuck off!" Kane retorted immediately, not putting much thought into his reply.

"Get the hell out of my lab!"

Kane growled and clenched his jaw, stopped himself from answering and stalked out, steel door sliding shut behind him. Yukio turned back to his work with an irritated sigh, followed by a more frustrated one as he saw one of his chemicals had over boiled and spilled onto the stainless steel tabletop. Taking the beaker off the heat and grabbing a rag to clean up the spill, he wiped off the table, gritting his teeth for lack of a cigarette.


Kane walked stiffly down the hallway, eyes on the floor, extremely pissed. He'd just been told off and basically kicked out, and he'd actually obeyed the get out order, no less. He didn't know why, he just did. Now he felt like beating the pulp out of something, or someone, or at least finding something to do to take his mind off how seethingly angry he was.

He dropped onto the floor of the guest room Yukio had left him and launched into rapid pushups, mind immediately starting to calm down (after having thrown the vase on the side table against the wall). He stared at the carpeted floor and let the burn in his arms distract him as he counted in his head. One thing that always calmed him was training, the thought of getting stronger, a healthy burn. But he couldn't help thinking.

45, 46... stupid bastard... 52, 53, 54, goddamnit why does he think.... 61, 62, that he's such hot shit that he can push me around.... 66, 67... me of all people... 71, 72, stupid fucker...

He kept going until he reached a hundred and fifty, and then rolled onto his back, starting a chain of rapid sit-ups. His thoughts continued.

He was always so full of himself, so smug, so irritatingly calm. It was always about the damn equipment, all those stupid glass bottles and beakers, and it was always about how fucking genius he was, and it was always about how he was so sexy...

Wait, what?!

Kane froze halfway through a sit up. He'd imagined that thought. He must've. What the hell was that? He shook his head to eliminate it and continued on with his sit-ups, happier to let it pass as a figment of his imagination.

A hundred and thirty sit-ups later he was sitting cross-legged on the floor, letting his mind calm itself in meditation. He didn't like meditation, but it was vital to his training and he knew it. His eyes were closed, back straight against the wall, perfectly calm now. All frustrating thoughts had left his head. He was under control. He was-

"Mr Kane, Sir."

He was startled by a robotic-sounding voice and he jumped slightly, eyes flying open, a fist flying out to hit whatever the hell had destroyed his calm. He felt his hand whip by something cold, and knew he had been dodged, cursing it- whatever it was. He pushed himself to his feet, adjusting his slightly sweat-damped shirt, and focused on the strange floating thing in front of him, which had risen to meet his eye level again.

It seemed to be a small floating robot, about a foot high and foot and a half wide, excluding the metal arms, single jointed to bend toward the front with basic hands on the ends, each more complex pointed finger lined with black bands of rubber. The main body was round and silver, like a flattened sphere, on which there was a small rectangular display screen with rounded corners displaying pale blue lights that resembled two simple, circular eyes, that were no doubt on him. The body looked like it opened in a few places like hatches. It was simple looking, in the end, but Kane got the feeling it was more complicated.

"What the fuck is this?" he demanded, disgruntled once again by both being bothered and having missed when trying to hit it.

"Does not compute," it replied robotically, and the digital display caused the circles to blip to horizontal lines then back again, as if blinking. "Mr Mahasi requested I deliver a message to you, and he requested I quote him directly."

Did Yukio build this thing or something? "Whatever, what did he say?"

"He said," the robot began, "If you insist to continue breaking my belongings I'm going to fucking shove broken glass down your throat."

The robot was forced to flee as Kane hurled the nearest heavy object at it, which happened to be a lamp, which consequently smashed against the opposite wall next to the vase he'd shattered on his way in.

"Mr Mahasi will not be pleased!" The robot exclaimed in its mechanical voice, but managed to sound anxious, and whirred out of the room down the hall, lights representing eyes taking on the shapes of exclamation signs in alarm.

Kane growled, seething- how had the bastard known he'd broken something?! ... It was too far away to hear, and he definitely couldn't have seen... wait. His memory flickered back to the lab, the little room with the security screens.

He spotted the camera in the corner of the room, right at the ceiling, so small he could barely make it out.

But as the corresponding screen went to static in the security room, it was made evident that a well-placed fist could break it.


A moment later, Kane chucked the broken camera down at Yukio's feet, the wires tangled and shredded from being pulled out of the wall. Yukio turned his head slightly from the thick book he was looking at, sitting at the lab table, to look down at the broken machine.

"I like my privacy," Kane growled, and then turned stiffly to leave.

Yukio smiled thinly. "Mmm, so do I, but unfortunately 09's odds of a dimwitted ape causing an emergency shut down were considerably high."

The much calmer robot, anti-gravity field holding it aloft as it moved bottles of chemicals to a clean shelf, turned slightly and fixed its blue light-represented eyes on Yukio. "I don't recall calculating those odds, sir."

Yukio rolled his eyes. "It was a joke, 09."

The robot blinked. "Ah, I see. Very amusing, sir."

Yukio sighed. "Just finish your work, 09."

"Yes sir." The robot resumed carrying the flask to the open shelf against the wall.

The only thing that kept Kane from laughing at the scientist was the fact that he was still quite pissed. "09?" he asked, some of the growl leaving his voice.

"Actually, it's 64FW09." Yukio closed the book and stood, pushed the chair in and moved toward a cabinet to put the book away. "It's a prototype sentry bot I've developed."

"FW?" Kane repeated part of the name, "I suppose that stands for Fuckwit."

"Clever," Yukio sighed, rolling his eyes as he tucked the book into the shelf.

"So what does it do?" Kane asked, leaning against one of the lab tables, arms crossed over his chest. "You said it was a sentry bot. I don't see any weapons."

Yukio glanced toward 09 and waited for it to put the flash down. "09, offense mode, standby."

The robot spun in midair; its round blue-light eyes changed to red triangles pointed inward. The hatches on the top and sides opened- from the sides came two identical laser pointers that seemed to be able to rotate slightly, likely for precision aim. From the top, a large dual-shooter firearm came up, both barrels turning from left to right then coming to fix forward- probably some sort of laser shooters or phasers. The pointed-fingered hands opened, and from the palms of them there came two more laser barrels. The bot gave a slight whirring sound and stopped expanding.

He'd never admit it, but Kane was impressed.

How Yukio had managed to pack so much weaponry into such a small and deceivingly simple looking robot, he'd never know. But nor did he really care. The point was, he had. "Alright, I get your point," he finally said, side glancing. Yukio was showing off, and he knew it. Yukio likely knew it too.

"09, revert."

The bot was much faster at reversing the process and was back to its original state in seconds, calmly resuming its work as if nothing had happened.

"You must have a disgusting amount of free time," Kane commented offhandedly, "To be building your own robots." His jaw was clenched again.

Yukio seemed to ignore the comment. "If you'd like to train more often, I have a test room in the sublevels used for 09's previous models. Target practice, that sort of thing." He had paced over to check on a few simmering chemicals on the table, another part of his current antidote experiment.

"Sure." He wasn't going to say thank you, he didn't owe the bastard anything. His stupid robot had interrupted his meditation and just generally pissed him off. Pushing himself up slightly, he started to head toward the door. "Have fun with Fuckwit, don't bother me for the rest of the day, if you can help it." The door slid shut behind him and he was gone.

Yukio watched him go, and then looked back down to the chemicals, watching the tendrils of steam rising from the mixture over the burner. His mind flickered back to that security screen- it was broken now, but before, an occasional glance up through the glass window into the room had shown the scientist what Kane was doing. He'd stood there, he remembered, just watching him to pushups with insane stamina, non-stop, effortlessly.

He remembered feeling attracted to that.

Then he remembered shaking his head and going back to his work, trying to forget about it.


The rest of the day passed relatively smoothly- almost nothing else got broken, save for an empty glass Kane had thrown at 09 when he'd floated by on his way to the self-maintenance room. The result had been a very upset AI bot and an angry Yukio who repeated his broken glass threat once again.

Yukio found he was smoking more often. He needed it. Kane living in the lab was irritating and stressful. When he wasn't somewhere training, he got in the way and annoyed the hell out of him with his constant complaints. He was rude, blunt, and, well… distracting. The last thing Yukio needed was a distraction; he had to focus on his work.

Kane would have his own set of complaints. Yukio was irritatingly uptight and Kane had a feeling some of his little rules were restricting his rights. He only ever thought about work and got pissed whenever Kane left even the slightest mess anywhere.

And yet, the day went smoothly enough, and they managed not to yell at each other for about a period of 6 hours.

"Here's the potion," Yukio said, coming into the kitchen where Kane was sitting and having a drink. The bigger man looked up as he heard Yukio's voice, and eyed the bottle in his hand.

"You have to take it in doses, or it won't work," he instructed clearly, setting the bottle down in front of Kane. "Take a couple tablespoons in the morning and at night, and you should feel your physical endurance and strength start to increase within a couple days."

Kane observed the pale blue liquid in the bottle, lifting it to the light before setting it down again. "…'Kay, sure." He didn't really care how it worked or exactly what was in it, if it was going to make him stronger then he wanted it.

"You're welcome," Yu said offhandedly as he went to the counter to pour himself a glass of wine.


He could hardly see. It was dark, and it was warm- no, hot. Steaming hot. He could feel soft covers over his back, sliding over his skin, his hairline felt damp- there was a hand in his hair, stroking and clutching at random intervals, and it felt good, coupled with another slender hand sliding lower down his bare stomach.

He felt himself shiver even though the heat was so intense, then was vaguely aware that he wasn't in control anymore. He was being played with. He tried to force his eyes open, but they wouldn't, and his head dropped further down. He felt hot breath against his neck and then lips brushing against his ear, and a voice came in a low whisper.

"You're more mine than you'll ever know, Kane."

The whisper was familiar. Too familiar. And it was male.

Definitely male.

Kane woke with a start and nearly flew upright, breath coming in horrified gasps, realized he'd been dreaming, continued being horrified and pushed the covers off, quickly heading into the small washroom connected to his guest bedroom. He turned on the sink full blast and splashed frigid water over his face, then stared at himself in the mirror, dark brown eyes wide.

"…What the fuck is wrong with me?" he asked himself, looking down at the counter where his hands were tightly gripping the edge, the sound of the running water barely audible under the pounding in his ears.

He knew exactly who it had been in that dream, and he shook his head violently in denial, turning the tap off, breathing still uneven. He grabbed a facecloth from the rack over the counter and wiped his face dry, then his neck, which had taken some of the water as well. He shivered, trying to forget what his mind had conjured in his subconscious.

After a few minutes he slowly moved back toward the bed, and sat down, still stunned. He glanced toward the bottle, cork back in it and tablespoon beside it from when he'd taken his dose before going to bed, and wondered if that had anything to do with it- but no, after about ten or more times asking, Yukio had insisted the only side effect was some slight drowsiness and mild headaches.

He let himself lie back down, suddenly realizing how tired he was, and tried to wipe the entire incident from his mind as he drifted back to sleep.

He didn't sleep well.