Akira: This is my second attempt to write these characters, since my dears Jasper and Aleksy absolutely refused to do as I told them before…(mutters) Goddamned ungrateful muses…(glares pointedly at the two guys, who are snogging in the corner)

Jasper: (looks up from kissing Aleksy) Don't look at me! Being an assassin is a lot better than being a goody-goody Interplanetary Police Officer, you know. I have more weapons. (devious grin)

Aleksy: Plus, now I get to jump Jas within three hours of meeting him, instead of having to wait three weeks! (grins suggestively at the Persian) That was just too difficult a thing to ask of me, Akira.

Akira: But…but…I had this whole alternate world history set out…and…and…I wrote a two-page historical prologue…and god damn it, I wrote four parts to the story!

Aleksy: Don't look at me. It's not my fault you got yourself so worked up about that hellish United Commonwealths of Macedon farce.

Akira: Hellish??? Farce???

Jasper: And we were both supposed to die? That was your downfall right there. We'd rather avoid that, if you please…makes it impossible to get by customs.

Aleksy: (perking up) Did I ever tell you about the time I got stuck at the Damascus airport for twenty-three hours without my luggage?

Jasper: I was there, you git. And you call yourself a genius.

Akira: C'mon, guys, you didn't think the Empire version was that bad, did you?

Aleksy: …

Jasper: …

Aleksy: Well, Akira, just be glad we agreed to work with you at all. We could be upstairs in our hotel suite right now, raiding the minibar, watching cable, licking chocolate syrup off each other...(looks lustfully at Jasper) Bed's got silk sheets, too.

Jasper: (returns the lustful stare, in full force) And there's a Jacuzzi.

Akira: (mutters, disgruntled) Horndogs.

(Jasper and Aleksy return to their activities in the corner)

Aleksy: Ooooh, yes!!! Jasper!!!

Akira: (giggles nervously, trying to ignore the sexcapade in the corner) Well, let's see, disclaimer! Er, claimer! I own it all – Jasper and Aleksy are my very own lovely muses, who make out constantly in the back of my mind and cause me to write delicious yaoi. This is the start of what may be a series – Jasper and Aleksy globetrotting, getting into scrapes, shagging in airplane bathrooms, you get the drift. (wink) Oh, and I'll be glad to let you use and abuse the dears, if you just ask via email: [email protected], or AIM: AkutenshiAki. Thanks!

Life's Just Not Complete Without An Adventure (working title)

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By Akira Ichijouji

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Part 1 – Where Jasper Gets Whiny and Jessamine Gets Furious

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"You've got to be kidding, right?" Jasper Kaveh looked pleadingly at his employer, who shook her head. "Please tell me you're kidding…"

"Not a joke, Jass, not a joke." Jessamine shook her head again, a tad condescendingly, at the man who was at least one and a half heads taller than she, but acted like such a child most of the time.

"Mina…" Jasper whined, flashing her his documented "kitten eyes".

"Nope, nope, Jasper, you lucky bastard, you've been hired to kill the man who is making the venerable Mr. Kansbar's life miserable, and you're going to do it, and you're going to like it."

"But Mina, I always get the nutcases! Why can't Ksathra take care of it this time?"

"Ksathra is on assignment. You are free. You are going to do it. You are Hashashin[1], and while you are here, you will do as I say." Jessamine accented each "you" with a sharp jab to Jasper's chest with one finger.

"Come on, Mina! Look at this guy's file! There's not even a picture! And he thinks he's a descendent of Alexander the Great, for crying out loud!"

Jessamine shrugged. "Why not?"

Jasper smacked his forehead. "Because Alexander didn't have any surviving children?"

"You never know." Jessamine stared tiredly at the worn file folder in her hands.

"Will you stop taking this guy's side? We're trying to kill him!" Jasper was almost in hysterics, now, black hair coming out of its loose, untied braid at an alarming rate.

"Jasper! Calm down. It's not that big of a deal! You probably won't even have to talk to the fucking guy – one shot from the top of a building across the street as he comes out of a party should do it!"

"But Mina…we don't even know what he looks like…I'm going to have to scout around…and Mina, there's just so much psychology…"

Jessamine felt a splitting migraine coming on. Arguments with Jasper always ended up this way – him being stubborn as fucking hell and she about ready to skewer him soundly with a blunt machete.

"Psychology my ass. You go in, you find out who he is, you shoot him, gut him, poison him, whatever makes you happy. Anything else is completely optional and most likely unnecessary. Now just pack your bags and get in the fucking car," Jessamine said slowly and carefully, with anger just dripping and freezing from every word. The raven-haired man hesitated, lips still in a pout. "GO!!!" she yelled, flinging her arms over her head.

Jasper retreated hastily, heading for his rooms to pack his bag. Jessamine covered her chocolate eyes with both hands, shaking her head. Jasper – such an asshole. Why the hell did she hire him in the first place?

Oh yeah, I forgot, he's pretty much the best fucking sharpshooter in the world. He can shoot out a moving car tire from three-hundred meters, with one eye closed and one hand tied behind his back. Jessamine pushed her hands tiredly through her short, coarse, black hair, feeling the static spark through every strand. Goddamned dry desert…murder on my hair…

The petite Persian woman heard the back door close, and a few minutes later heard a car engine start and tires squealing in the drive.

At least Jasper actually went this time.

Jasper was, actually, a nice guy. He was willing to help with pretty much anything that needed to be done (Except his own job, Jessamine thought wearily), would actually listen to you when you talk about your problems, and would never ogle her or the other female Hashashins if they had to walk around the house in towels. She never asked him about the whole men issue, but that was by far his business alone. He was probably too intellectual to make a perfect assassin, but he was smart, being familiar and deadly with almost any weapon one could name, and had a sort of sixth-sense when it came to possible danger.

Figures the long-haired bastard would be so picky and so whiny about things.

Of course, guys never really mature until they hit their late thirties. He's still got fifteen years to go, at least. The black-haired woman growled to herself. I'm never hiring right out of university again.

Jessamine held her head in her hands. "I need a long, hot, bubble bath, some aspirin, and some sleeping pills. And I could care less about whether it kills me or not."

She made her way into the bathroom, closed the door, and turned on the tap.

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End Part 1: To Be Continued…

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[1] – The Hashashin were a violent group of Shi'a Muslims, from which we get the English word "assassin". (Say it fast.) Jessamine chose that name for her company of killers because it's native to the area and she thought it sounded neat. Jessamine's Hashashin are completely devoid of religious affiliation (as a group, anyway – what they practice individually is up to them).