Kaita walked into his house unannounced and uninvited. He supposed he should have gotten accustomed to her impromptu visits, but he still found himself cursing the fact that he had bills to do and the only time Kaita would go through the trouble of picking the lock on the back door is when she needed immediate help with something, which would probably be of questionable legality.

"Aro," she said, grabbing his arm, "C'mon, I need your help. Don't ask questions, just help me."

Aro sighed, but did not struggle as he was led out the door to Kaita's car—a black, nondescript foreign knockoff that she had fixed up to go much faster than it was ever intended. He jumped in as Kaita started the engine.

Kaita looked more than slightly perturbed. Her platinum blonde hair was mussed and her bangs had since grown too long, framing her pale grey eyes, further paled by the dark circles underneath them. It had probably been days since she last had a decent sleep or meal, which meant she had found another trail.

Aro was the opposite. His dark auburn hair never seemed to outgrow the close-to-the-skull army cut from his earlier years, and his pale green eyes reflected pure ennui. A hundred different things raced through his mind; maybe the trip would help him sort some of them out.

He grabbed the side of the car door as Kaita took a sudden left turn and pulled into a low-class residential neighborhood. Aro could no longer hold back his questions.

"How are they connected?"

"Doesn't matter," she answered, opening the trunk and pulling out a steel baseball bat. She tossed it to him and pulled out a secondary bat of the same make. Muttering something under her breath, she closed the trunk and walked over to the passenger door. She reached in and handed him a painted mask, something he'd expect to see during Halloween. She donned a similar mask and walked up to the door of a house that bore the mark of one of the many gangs that controlled the surrounding areas. He was surprised to see that there were no windows near the door.

Sighing for a second time, he pulled the mask over his face and followed after the blonde. She signaled for him to remain silent, and then for him to stand behind her. Kaita knocked once or twice before deciding to just pound on the door. Aro heard yelling within the house for several moments before the door was opened just a few inches and the face of an angered man came into view.

"Hello," was Kaita's only word before throwing her weight into the door and throwing it completely open. In the process of doing such, the door must have hit the man on the nose, as it was now bleeding. Kaita didn't give him a chance to recover; she smashed the bat into his stomach, and then down over his head when he bent over his midsection.

To the left, there was another man who seemed higher than a kite and unsure as to whether what was occurring was actually happening. His shit-eating grin told Aro more than enough. The grin only lasted long enough for Kaita to get a good hit to his knee, which bent with the force and cracked.

Aro ignored the scene long enough to notice another man sitting at a couch and hastily trying to put a disassembled automatic weapon back together. Aro strode across the room and slammed his own bat down on one of the man's hands, shattering some of the bones and halting his work. The man screamed and pulled his hand to himself, and Aro brought his bat down onto his head, sending him across the couch.

"Is he still conscious?"

Aro looked over to see Kaita, covered in blood, standing in rather close proximity to him. He looked over to see that the tweaker she had attacked appeared to no longer have a face, or most of his head. He returned his gaze to her, and found that she was staring at him. "Well?"

The man on the couch coughed and spat in an answer before Aro could answer the question himself. Kaita walked over to him, grabbed him by the hair, and began dragging him off the couch and into the back room. She looked back at him. "Close and lock the door. I don't want any guests."

Aro closed and dead-bolted the door, and walked back into the room Kaita had disappeared into with him victim to find her sitting on her knees on his chest with the side of the baseball bat pressed into the man's throat. The room was completely empty, and realization slowly dawned on Aro.

"Why did we attack a drughouse?" he asked.

"This isn't a drughouse." Kaita didn't look away from her slowly suffocating victim. "Is it?" The man she was staring down feebly shook his head, still struggling. With each second that passed, his struggling became less and less forceful.

Aro felt the color drain from his face. "This is a weaponshack, isn't it?"

"About time you got it. I stopped following the advice of tweakers year ago." Kaita released a little of the weight off the man she was sitting on. "Are you ready to talk, now?" The man, who Aro was surprised was still conscious, nodded his head. Kaita removed the weight off of the bat, but didn't remove it from his neck. He coughed, sputtered, and gasped for air, though with Kaita on his chest it was unlikely he'd get much air even without the bat. "The owner is out for the day, right? So no business is to be expected?"

"Not at this time of day. If it was later, you'd be fucked."

Kaita shifted her weight on the bat a little as a threat. "I don't think you're in the position to threaten me, now are you?" She sat back again. "Do you know the name Sellina Asche?"

The man laughed lightly. "Everyone knows that name. You can't live in the underworld unless you know that name."

"Any idea where her recent prowls are?"

The man laughed again, though it seemed forced. "That's not something I know."

Kaita shifted her weight back on the bat, and made no move to ease it. "I know you know. Why do you think I came here? Where. The fuck. Is she?"

"Sh-she's down by… sh-shit… down by the club scene. It's a club called Gunsteel. She's there on Thursdays."

"Good." She leaned forward over the man, so her face was closer to his. "I want you to do one more thing for me. If anyone asks what happened, just say that someone was looking for their sister. Don't say our genders, don't say there were two of us, just say 'someone.' Can you do that for me? If you can't, I want you to tell me, so I can kill you."

The man nodded frantically, eager to get Kaita off of him. Kaita signaled Aro over, and he walked over and stood next to them, his bat ready to swing as Kaita stood up. "Don't follow us out," Aro stated, letting the statement trail into an unspoken threat.

They didn't remove the masks until they had climbed into Kaita's car and started down the road. When Kaita didn't turn back down the road they had started from, Aro asked, "Where are we going?"

"Landfill, we need to get rid of the masks and the bats."

Aro looked at her. Kaita's tank top was light in color, showing the blood from her assault. "Are you sure it's a good idea to be out in public?"

Kaita looked down briefly. "I have a jacket in my trunk. I'll wear that." There was a silence in the car for a few minutes before Kaita asked, "After this, do you want to get an early dinner, or something? I kind of want a hamburger right now."

Aro stared at her for a second before returning his gaze to the road. "You have the most fucked up ideas for a date, ever, out of all the people I have ever met."

Kaita chuckled lightly. "You go along with it every time."

"I have bills to pay."

"I'll cover the tab."

"I need to feed my cat."

"Bullshit. You don't have a cat."

"My lawn needs to be watered."

"What lawn? I haven't seen green, living plants anywhere near your house for two years."

"I need to take a shower."

"So do I. It's not stopping me. It's not like we have a reputation to uphold."

"My grandfather died."

"He died six months ago."

"Other grandfather."

"Didn't he beat you and stalk your grandmother for seven years?"


"Then why do you care? Stop making excuses."

Aro laughed. "Fine, but only if you buy me beer."