Angel Diskenth moved quietly, locks of her silver hair twisting down to fall into her focused blue eyes. It was midmorning and she was in a quiet part of town, sneaking about as if she would prefer to be hiding in some back alleyway. But such behavior was acceptable if not expected; the former spy had recently been converted to Sweeperism and was in the middle of the latest hunt for another ne'er-do-well that had been plaguing the streets.
She was currently hot on the trail of known bank robber Allen McAlester, a thirty-one year old father of two with a nasty habit of sticking up bank tellers while the kids were in school. He was crafty, and had successfully eluded every Sweepers that had set their eye on him... every Sweeper until Angel and her two partners Sven and Train had torn his wanted poster down from the wall in Annette's bar.
Sven had laid out the plan, as always... they were to split up; with Sven coming in from the right, Train covering them from the rooftops to the left, and the beautiful and crafty Angel sneaking up from behind to distract the intended target. She'd groaned at the time; it seemed like she always ended up as bait in one way or another. But Sven had simply grinned at her objection like usual and Train... Angel shook her head. She'd learned long ago that it wasn't smart to allow her thoughts to linger on the golden eyed young man while working.
The plan had already gone awry; McAlester had apparently been tipped off that Sweepers were after him once again. He was extra jittery, and Angel hadn't been able to get close enough to him thus far to fully initiate their capture plan. So she'd been skirting in shadows for the better part of the morning trying to catch him, and patience was running thin.
"We'll give it one more go," Sven had informed her via cell phone as they had shifted to their respected positions a quarter of an hour before. "If you can't lure him this time, then we switch to plan B... which is let Train chase after him like an idiot."
As amusing as it always was to watch the infamous Black Cat put a criminal in his place and potentially traumatize him for life, Angel knew such a thing would only contribute to Sven Vollfied's growing ulcer and tried her best to render such a thing unnecessary. So she operated at her sneakiest as she stooped down behind a small brick stair, a smile flitting across her lips as she peaked around to see the back of the robust McAlester. She shifted into a crouch, counting down the seconds before she would move forward and...
A tinny version of Beethoven's 5th filled the air. Angel's cell phone was ringing.
Predictably, Allen McAlester bolted, not even taking the time to look around himself for the source of the noise. Angel Diskenth cursed under her breath and snapped a hand to the black phone strapped to her hip as she stood, watching the fleeing criminal with a scowl.
"Alright! My favorite part!" she heard a man's voice distantly cackle, and Angel sweat dropped as she was able to watch a dark figure spring down from the rooftops and speed after McAlester, shouting childish insults. She detached her phone and flipped it open as a green haired man in a white suit stumbled free from an alleyway, pressing a hand to his head to keep his white hat on as he gave chase. Angel's eye twitched and she snapped the phone open, nestling it against her ear.
"Yes..?" she spoke, almost hoping it was a telemarketer she could get away with verbally decapitating. Sadly it wasn't, and Angel blinked sapphire eyes as the voice on the other end identified itself. "Um, yes, this is her... yes, adopted." She fell silent for a second, her eye beginning to twitch again as the voice continued. "Ah... yes... yes. I understand... yes. I'll be there as soon as I can. Thank you... goodbye."
Angel snapped the phone closed and stared down at it for a moment with a curiously blank expression. She had been blessed (or cursed, depending...) with experience in many different situations, but the voice on the other end had presented her with an odd set of circumstances that she had never had to deal with before. She supposed, as she clipped the phone back to her belt and began walking after her two partners, that it was ordinary enough; young women like herself probably delt with such issues frequently all around the world. But it was new and oddly normal for the former spy, and she shifted, slightly uncomfortable with the realization that she wasn't completely positive of how she should proceed.
So she decided to do what she always tried to do in sticky situations... make Train do it.
"Haha!" the crowing tones of Train Heartnet met her ears as she turned the corner. "I told you that you couldn't get away from me! Especially when you start screaming like- OW!" Like usual, Sven had cut his shorter partner off with a sharp blow to the back of the head. "Hey, what was that for..?!?" the dark haired man complained, a pouting expression on his face as Angel came to a halt at his side. "Angel! Sven hit me..!"
"I'll put you both in time out later." Angel replied dismissively, latching onto Train's arm. "Right now, you and I have somewhere to be..! Can you take care of the rest of this without this feline idiot, Sven..?"
"Sure..." the green haired Sweeper replied, catching his cigarette between two fingers and exhaling a stream of smoke. "But where are the two of you going..?"
"Dinner!" Train exclaimed happily, his tone ever-so-hopeful.
"No. It's still morning, remember?" Angel asked, turning and dragging the lanky young man away by his hand. "Thanks, Sven... I'll explain when we get back!"
"What?!? I'm not going if there's no food!" Train complained loudly, seeming to pay no mind to the fact that he was offering little physical resistance to being dragged away nor that Angel was completely ignoring him anyway.
Sven nodded, staring after the odd couple for a minute before turning to greet the police officer who had pulled over to discover the reason why Allen McAlester was passed out and drooling on the ground.
Train Heartnet cocked his head to the side curiously, large golden eyes blinking blankly up at the stern sign that cast a shadow over his face. A soft breeze made the blazing sun above him bearable, and a skeptical look drew itself across his features as he shaded his eyes with a hand, glancing at his blue eyed partner suspiciously.
"Sunrise Middle Academy, an institution of growth, maturity, and excellent education." He read out slowly. "Why are we here..?"
"Train," Angel said, slowly, patiently. "How many people live with us?"
"Easy, five!" Train replied brightly, counting them off on the fingers of his free hand. "You, me, Sven, Eve, and Maverick."
"Right. And where are Eve and Maverick right now?"
"In school." There was a short silence. "Ooooooooooooooooh... so this is where Maverick and the Princess go to school? Eh, what a dreary place... why are we here?"
"I got a call from the 'Disciplinary Dean' a few minutes ago." Angel replied with a small sigh, "Apparently... Maverick's in trouble. He got into a fight with some other boys... anyway, I have to come play mom." She shifted slightly.
"Ah..." Train smiled, lowering his hand and watching the slender beauty at his side. "So... why am I here?"
"Because you're my..." Angel stopped herself, biting her bottom lip hesitantly. "Ah... well... it's just this mom thing. I don't have much... experience with it. You know... picking the kid up, helping with homework... bring a good, normal mom." She shifted and scratched the back of her head. "You're here... well, I guess you're just moral support."
"Hmm..." Train stood silent for a second, then grinned and wrapped an arm around Angel's shoulders. "Well then, as your moral support I have to say you're a great mom. You just haven't had much time to practice, what with all that's been going on! So don't get yourself down, ok?" he chimed, smirking as a small kiss he pressed to the girl's temple turned the skin of her cheeks dark red. His hand slid down to rest firmly on her shoulders and he pushed Angel before him towards the main entrance, speaking cheerfully. "C'mon, Angel! Let's go find out what the little delinquent's done now..!"
Angel sighed heavily, but couldn't help but smile; this was so like Train. She shook him off and grasped the cool metal handle of the door, catching Train by his sleeve and tugging him into the air conditioned lobby after her. A cynical looking blonde receptionist raised her eyes and peered down her nose at the young couple.
"Can I help you..?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Yes. My name is Angel Diskenth and I was called about my son, Maverick." Angel said politely, shooting Train a 'stay silent or perish' look as they paused before the counter.
"I'm sorry... you're Maverick's mother..?" the receptionist said in surprise, the eyebrow rising to hide itself in her hairline. "You're far too young... then again, mistakes are the bread and butter of youth. Maybe next time you'll remember to use protection..?" she asked in a superior tone as she glanced back and forth between the twitching Angel and the blue faced Train.
"Maverick is adopted." Angel said shortly, trying her best to keep her embarrassment in check. She hated this issue whenever it was raised... but this was the first time it had ever been used to embarrass her. "Can I just see Maverick..?"
"That's alright, Miss. Baker." A mature man's voice interrupted, and Train and Angel turned to see a middle aged man with an easy smile plastered on his face. "Angel, was it? I'm Mr. Roberts, school Dean. I was the one who contacted you about Maverick; please follow me." His dark gray eyes darted to Train curiously. "I suppose you're the father, are you..?"
Angel and Train blinked in unison, sharing a look before turning their eyes back to the fatherly looking Dean. Angel found herself blushing once again and cursed in her mind; why was today turning out to be so embarrassing?!? Why was everyone so darn concerned with her love life?! What business was it of theirs anyway..?!?
"Well... if she's the mother, then I guess I must be, right?" Train replied with a goofy smile, resting an arm on Angel's shoulders casually.
"Ah... I guess so." The Dean said with a small nod, turning his back on the couple. "Well, follow me..."
"You... you're enjoying this, aren't you?" Angel hissed under her breath as Train cheerfully dragged her after the Dean.
"You know it!" Train replied cheekily as the Dean opened a side door to reveal a small office.
Two pairs of eyes swiveled to the door as it opened, and Angel sweat dropped as she recognized the two small forms sitting in stiff chairs against the wall. Jade green orbs tinted with amusement locked onto her own, and the 13 year old red head grinned up at his adopted mother sweetly as she moved into the room. His dark brown school uniform was scuffed and messy, and he'd carelessly removed his outer jacket and rolled it into a pillow for his head.
"Hiya, mom!" he spoke brightly, sitting up in his chair.
"Hello, Maverick." Angel replied, trying to hide her grin from the disapproving sight of the Dean. Her eyes trailed to the student next to her son and she blinked. "Huh..? Eve, you're here too..?"
The petite blonde leveled Angel with a stubborn look, her crimson eyes steady and determined. Her skin looked oddly pale against the pristine folds of her dark uniform, and she pushed golden locks from her eyes before replying.
"I'm not letting Maverick take the fall for me, Angel." Her voice was quiet but firm. "It's my fault he's here." Eve's eyes slowly moved to Train and she shot him a glare; she was never happy to see her rival for Sven's attention.
"Nah..." Maverick said breezily, thumbing his nose. "I got in a fight. Miss. Eve's just stubborn."
"I believe I should tell your mother what occurred, Maverick." The Dean said, taking a seat behind a mahogany desk and gesturing to Angel and Train to take the seats before it. He steepled his fingers and waited for them to settle themselves before continuing. "Just about an hour ago, Maverick was involved in a fight with several other boys who, according to witnesses, were insulting Eve." He said, gesturing to the blonde.
"Insulting Eve..?" Train blinked and looked at her. "You've been getting picked on at school, Princess? Why haven't you said anything..?"
"It's nothing serious; they never do anything. Just talk..." Eve said, her voice quieting even more as she glanced to the side, refusing to meet his gaze.
"They make fun of her because she's smarter then all of them put together." Maverick said with a scowl. "I tried being nice, Mom... honest! But one of the bigger guys said something inappropriate..." a dangerous glint entered those big green eyes.
"Yes... but what it was, he won't say." The Dean said, rolling his eyes.
"I don't have to say anything; it's all been taken care of, sir." Maverick said sweetly, having a hard time keeping the diabolical grin off of his lips.
Angel was fighting the same battle. Though she had been separated from her adopted son for a long period of time, his personality had miraculously remained unchanged; he was still the carefree, upbeat, smiling boy she remembered from before... but he was also the same street smart and violently-inclined terror that she had befriended on the streets. Smiling, sweet, polite... and extremely cruel if the occasion called for it. He'd always had a soft spot for girls... Eve especially. Angel took it as a given that whatever had been said about her had been something extreme if it had pushed the red head over the edge.
"So is this other kid getting punished..?" Train asked, leaning back in his chair.
"Ah... kids." the Dean corrected, coughing a bit. "There were six other boys... the youngest three years older then your son, Angel. They're all in the nurse's hall... recovering."
There was a moment of silence while everyone shared a mutual sweat drop.
"Are they all ok..?" Angel asked guardedly. She had made sure the green eyed boy was adapt at hand to hand combat... but she knew for a fact that he preferred throwing knives and other shadow techniques.
"Yes... bruised, but they'll live." The Dean said slowly. "Miss... Mrs. ... um..."
"Angel." The silver haired girl said with a sigh.
"Yes, Angel." The Dean continued. "Your son acted quiet recklessly. We do not tolerate such behavior at this institution."
"Ah... y-yes sir!" Angel said, looking up at the Dean with glistening eyes. "I'm not sure why Maverick would do such a thing... it's so out of character for him!" she exclaimed, crossing her fingers under the desk.
"I'm sorry, mom... I'm just brimming with misplaced aggression." Maverick said with a dramatic sigh. He blinked his large green eyes up at Eve when he noticed her 'I can't believe anyone could fall for this bologna' expression, goading her to play along. He took her sigh as victory and turned an apologetic expression to the Dean. "I'm really, really sorry for what I've done..!"
"It's all my fault!" Angel said, sniffing slightly. "I let him watch all of that violent television..!"
"Er... well..." the Dean cleared his throat, seeming caught off guard by the shifting tides of emotion in the room. "This isn't Maverick's first time in trouble, ma'am..." he paused, seeming to think for a long moment. "But... I suppose, since he was defending Miss. Eve..."
"I don't need defending. I can look after myself." Eve said quickly, her annoyed expression only growing when Maverick sent her a smile that was sweet and completely unapologetic.
"Yes... well... I suppose we can let him off on only mild punishment this time." the Dean said with a small sigh. "A week of detention, Maverick. And no more problems like this, alright?"
"I can't promise tha-..." Maverick started, but then caught Angel's eye and sighed. "Ah... yes sir."
The suddenly sweet matching smiles of both mother and son should have warned the Dean that he could expect trouble in the future. But, for the moment, he remained blissfully ignorant, returning their smiles before dismissing them.
The clock in the hall chimed eleven at night, and Angel yawned, stretching her arms lazily above her head. She was in her room, sprawled out across her bed with her blue eyes lazily watching the sports announcer on the television screen. She was dressed in shorts and an overlarge shirt, her silver hair left free to fall wherever it pleased.
"Kids..." Train said softly, hands laced behind his head and eyes to the ceiling. Angel blinked several times, knocked from her stupor by his voice. She twisted slightly to look back at the former assassin with a curious expression on her face. He was leaning against the headboard, jacket and shoes in a messy heap on the floor.
"I've always had... kinda a soft spot for kids, I guess." Train continued with a small smile, not looking at the silver haired girl. "Never could kill one... couldn't even pull the trigger when I saw there was a kid anywhere near my target. I'd just kinda... freeze up." He fell silent for a moment and Angel sat up, watching him closely. "Today was... kinda strange. I like Maverick... couldn't help but feel kinda proud of him. And he's not even my kid..."
"Hey... same here." Angel said with a soft smile. She tilted her head to the side as her eyes darted across his face. It made her feel warm inside to hear the man she once thought of as a cold blooded killer speaking in such a way. "It's hard not to like Maverick."
"Hey, I didn't for a little while there, when I thought you were going to..." Train stopped abruptly and tilted his head down to meet Angel's gaze. "Eh... anyway, it got me to thinking..."
"Miracle of all miracles!" Angel gasped with mock shock, laughing when the Black Cat made a face at her.
"Hey, I'm being serious, Angel..!"
"Alright..." Angel said, pulling her knees up under her chin and grinning playfully at him. "What were you thinking seriously about, Train..?"
"Maybe I won't tell you..!" Train said, sticking his tongue out at her. He instantly changed his mind though... there was no better way to get back at Angel for her teasing then to embarrass her. His grin turned crafty as he met her eyes. "But since I'm such a nice guy... I'll tell you that I was thinking about Maverick's little brother."
"Huh...?" Angel blinked. "Maverick doesn't have a little brother."
"Not yet... but we can change that." Train said cheerfully, laughing as he was able to watch the blush dart across her cheeks in the short silence that followed. "Haha! Since when are you so shy, Angel..?!"
"I'm not shy!" Angel objected through her blush. "Maybe I just don't want to have kids with you! Ever thought about that?"
"Nope." Train said with a sweet smile.
"Well, I don't." Angel said with a firm nod.
"Oh really..?" Train asked as he sat up.
"You sure about that?"
"Willing to bet on it..?"
"More then willing."
"A bottle of milk!"
"If I win our bet, you owe me a bottle of milk!"
"Um... I was just joking, Train..."
"Well, I'm not! What, think you won't be able to resist me..?"
"...of course I will!"
"You hesitated, Angel..!"
"Meh! Fine! You're on, Train Heartnet!"
"Good!" Train said, a mischievous sparkle in his eyes. "I expect the good milk too, not that dime kind."
"Sure, Train." Angel said, rolling her eyes. "Just let me know when you're ready to give u-"
Train sprang forward, tackling Angel with a slight growl. There was a grin on his lips as they fell to press firmly against the surprised young woman's in a playful but oddly intense kiss. Angel gasped against his lips as his momentum knocked her back... to tumble off of the bed and onto the floor in a mass of tangling limbs, wandering hands, and carelessly discarded clothing.
"I never give up, Angel."
Sven blinked, raising his single orange eye to glance around him at the loud thump that had broken his attention. His gaze landed on the door to Train and Angel's room and a cat-like grin curved his lips as he looked back to the machine gun he was modifying. Angel had either finally snapped and was currently killing Train, or... he stopped his thoughts with a knowing smirk.
Either way, he knew better then to go ask.
Let's see... I give this about a... 5/10. Total. Kinda. There are some things I wish now, in retrospect, that I had left out... like the TV joke that I didn't really get around to explaining in the UiL series. Maybe in the rewrite. *feels really dumb* Why do I do these things to myself, I ask you...? Who knows, some sort of stupidity impulse. *shifty eyes*
Let's see, what else... HA! See, all ye nonbelievers! I can too take a more direct approach in discussing 'adult content' things! I just choose not to! So there! XD *continues infantile cackling for a while* Sorry, just had to say that to someone... you know who you are! >.