Author's Note: Inspired By: TRILLY-SAMA (like I'm gonna show this to anyone except for her) + the Butterfly Garden in Ocean Park, Hong Kong, where I spent a whole Goddamn day hopelessly trying to draw Hyperactive Flying Insects for Evil School Hell. For the uneducated reader, the terms One-Leaf, Two-Leaf, etc., are government ascertained degrees of magical power in human beings, where Four-Leaf is the most powerful and ordinary people don't have any at all. Ha ha. We suck.
DISCLAIMER: Fanfic, etc., etc., etc., Clover by Clamp, etc., etc. This fic wants crack. I don't have the money to pay for it. I know everyone's OOC.
Butterflies: the Pheremone Conspiracy
By Pygmalion Princess
"And the Three-Leaf?"
"Lan." The correction came fairly automatic. The smoothness of his interjection, and the blank stare that followed was all that saved Gingetsu from a great deal of paranoid scrutiny from one imminently powerful General Kou, the other participant in the holographic conference. Such were the phat skills that personified Gingetsu, Lieutenant Corporal and Kou's military subordinate. Traits such as frigid stoicism patentedly belonged to him, as much part of him as his massive shoulders and long limbs, and as was, to the extent of legal guardian, the potent dark-haired little boy under verbal speculation. Gingetsu continued flatly once the other man -- his superior, actually -- General Kou settled down. "Good. He said he put on two pounds."
"It doesn't show."
The corner of the General's mouth twitched, his digitised eyes acquiring the vaguest twinkle. Clearly he did not possess the control of motor and physical expression that the Lieutenant Colonel had long since perfected. "Excellent, excellent... and the ageing process?"The moment of what one would prefer to think was purely thoughtful silence stretched for a millisecond too long.
"As scheduled?" General Kou clarified somewhat hastily, relevant data beginning to scroll up the dark screen beside his transmitted image. Though it was, as usual, impossible to tell if the silver-haired man had rotated his eyes behind the opaque scopes worn like shades over them, one would think that Gingetsu found it unnecessary to look.
"Very well, then. I'll let you get back to work. You are dismissed."
General Kou's fingers reached the controls before the Lieutenant Coporal finished getting his hand up into an obligatory salute, and cut the feed. Gingetsu watched a sharpened spear of black spear the hologram neatly through the throat, while the other man was frozen in an instant of digitally preserved indignity, head turned and mouth round and open like a fish's in order to answer something someone had asked off-screen. Then the glowing contours of the hologram's body warped, melted into strands of discolored pixels, and fragmented into nothing.
Be as it may that going to work, doing... stuff... at work, and then coming home came off as a bit of a monotonous cycle, Gingetsu had acquired the habit of throwing a dash of color into normal, every-day life by picking different modes of transportation for the last stage!
The endless routine of every-day life was an obscenely monotonous cycle. However, the weather was rather nice that day, it was only sunset yet because of warming seasons, and the return trip was always much nicer than the outgoing. The descending sun took red brick walls and colored them bright crayon orange, then pasted the shifting silhouette of Gingetsu's homecoming figure onto them. It made pale skin look rather orange as well, tanned, and turn ashen locks to red-rusty gold. Nevertheless, he walked like a soldier because he was one, grave as a requiem despite the hysterical onset of spring around him:
Could Lan see this from the windows at home?
Droves of beautifully colored wings chased each other across the empty streets despite a verified lack of shrubbery. The atmosphere was a whispering chaos of pheremones -- which didn't, by the way, work on the one homo-sapien intruder into these rituals -- and twitching antennae, thoraxes and abdomens thrashing about between kicking wirey legs, seemingly quite disconnected with whatever sufficed as brains residing behind big, waxy insect eyes. Incidentally, little lust-crazed bodies were flattened in millions on the hood of the vehicle retreating to the military institution's garage, where employees would quit their jobs before touching the plaster of still-twitching corpses with ten-foot poles. It was empty of a driver, and on remote control, because its immortally solemn owner had decided to walk the remaining distance home.
The copulating swallowtails that smashed into his visor didn't faze him in the slightest.
Gingetsu could count the number of times he had broken down in tears in gratitude at anyone for...
Well, he could count the number of times he had been glad about the sheer impenetrability of the billions and billions of buckles and straps and zippers the government-issued uniforms offered, on one hand. It was a bit of a Herculean feat, getting ready in the morning, although he had steadily forced himself through the ins and outs of the various uniform-related trials ever since Lan had taken up knitting and constructed the biggest, pinkest set of pyjamas the world had ever laid eyes on. Or that the silver-haired recipient had ever processed through his visor, anyway. No doubt something unimaginably terrible would have happened if the audience had been a few persons larger, or if Gingetsu's subordinates -- say, Kazuhiko, chose to drop in unannounced one of these evenings or mornings. Then again, the younger boy's knitting work had come in handy with sealing up the seams of said uniform, when it had been discovered that rain coats of Gingetsu's appropriate size did not exist. Uh. Yeah.
Perhaps the pheremones were doing something funny with his head. The fact of the matter was, that overambitious bugs were excluded from Gingetsu's person as well as rain water thanks to a magic boy who didn't need super powers to accomplish the impossible.
As a warning message that had nothing to do with insect lovin' flared across the interior of Gingetsu's eyewear (he had deactivated that after the first fourteen collisions/near-inhalations or so), sweet birdsong was beginning to die along with dying rays lancing back across the sky toward its flaming source. A wee wrinkle appeared between rapidly re-silvering eyebrows as the man called up the details on what appeared to be a breach of security.
Lan noticed with some vague semblence of sadistic pleasure that Bagus was having some amount of trouble smashing his way through the furniture toward him, because the entire house was filled, top to bottom, attic to pantry and most certainly in the bedrooms, with a sensual sea of flying bugs. There were many couples, and threesomes, and various other more impossible combinations wedged in between the older man's eyelids and the lenses of his glasses. That would most certainly teach the bespectacled bastard something about crashing in unannounced while Lan was cooking dinner! When the door had splintered, the black-haired boy had, with characteristic forethought, instinctively conjured up a somewhat unnecessarily tricked out face mask, mostly just because his Phat Three-Leaf Powers (TM) required that anything he conjured up had to be technologically sophisticated, fitted out with various computer gimmicks, and thus admirably cyberpunk and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
He had not counted on a lonely Yamato Blue to entangle herself on the graceful wiring between the nodes on voice box to the mask, whilst in the throes of denied passion.
In the midst of disentangling his unwanted pursuer -- the smaller one -- from his mouth, Lan composed some vaguely sadistic lines for her as well.
Unfortunately, Bagus had gone red-eyed (and blind) with rage, effectively rendering the offending spectacles in question quite useless. He ripped them free of his face, spittle flying from his lips as he cast them and half of their insectoid occupants into the wall. Wheeling on his boots, the enraged man thundered over the couch toward the hapless boy, one arm whipping out quicker than a butterfly's wing to seize the struggling teenager by his slender waist. "Come here," he snapped irritably, dragging both boy and unrequited love off their tense standoff on the dining table.
The Three-Leaf crashed off the edge with a yell, silenced when Bagus sheathed his second laser sword and clapped his free hand over the boy's filter-screened mouth, tearing both mask and flapping insect off. She was crushed between his fingers, bleeding into his nails, and when her mutilated body drifted to the floor, she left the soft, pale powder that used to decorate her wings on Bagus' rough thumb. A moment later, the pigment was rubbed firmly into the soft skin of the boy's parted lips.
"She got what she wanted, and now," the older man's breath was humid and rather foul, felt clearly despite the delicate twirl of dancing wings between their faces. His fist was coming down from somewhere, and Lan's temple was in its arching trajectory. "you're going to play with me."
Long legs took Gingetsu around the corner, ignoring the crowd of females -- and some males he left fluttering behind him. The ridged soles of his boots slammed heavily into the disintegrated wood shards that had once been his home's handsome oak wood door, skidding grooves into the previously sleek-varnished floor of his house into the living room. Furniture was ripped and broken to pieces, never mind the massive insectoid orgy going on. The visor wired to his temples hailed urgent inquiries at the security system, only to receive error after error: everything was choked up with butterflies.
The flapping cloud of color fell away slightly, his path and velocity plowing neatly through the hallway where the silly bugs had gotten trapped thicker still, a lone figure in uniform, jaw set, brows vanished, face a shade or two paler than usual.
Under the slightly overenthusiastic weight of his shoulder, the boy's bedroom door split and tore part of the door frame out of the wall, a loud crack that rang through the agonized hum of the security system working overdrive to screen out the insectoid intrusion. The activation of heat and movement tracing popped up in ghostly neon across the inside of his visor, and then dissolved into the drifting dervish of pinpricks across the digital map of the room, and the next, bathrooms to garage, the cameras full of patterned wings and slender antennae. There was a single camera shot of a breaking door and cloudy gray eyes turning, surprised, away from the beautiful display outside the window, before the house flooded. Nothing. Nowhere. Bugs, bugs, flying bugs everywhere -- where the Hell could the Three-Leaf have gone?
Such a pretty thing. What a fool Bagus had been, wasting all his time over the moon about Kazuhiko, chopping the silly fellow's hand off and doing unspeakable things with it pretending in the dead of the night... Clearly avoiding Gingetsu's place had been a stupid thing. Nevertheless, he had realised the error in his ways, and now Lan was his, for as long as Bagus could keep him under.
The butterflies were a problem, of course, but it was early still. The silver-haired man always came home late, being the type he was, and the thief could let his hands wander, now, over the splendid repast laid out over the back seat of what had originally been his chosen getaway vehicle. Of course, weird natural phenomenoms as bug sex had refused to co-operate, making driving what distance he could unnecessarily hazardous and thus rendering his ride as convenient, if somewhat cramped quarters to indulge himself in. He was sprawled over the smaller black-haired boy's unconscious person, for lack of room. In the neck beneath the older man's mouth, Lan's pulse fluttered like another ghastly butterfly, only infinitely paler, warmer and just perhaps stronger.
It was quite possible that Bagus would end up breaking this one as well. If he did it right, it would be more interesting than Kazuhiko's hand.
His saliva shone thin and bright for a moment, winking red stars in the dying sunset in the tiny shadowed hollow of Lan's throat. A bruise was blooming purple like a morning glory on the boy's temple, and he smelled like vanilla, and between the frenetic shadows of passing butterflies outside the glass, Bagus caught the boy's tongue flicking unconsciously across the powdered edge of his upper
lip."Like that?" The boy's skin felt like heated silk under the harsh skin of the man's fingertips as he pushed the fragile golden clasps on the odd little fold-over of the dark cotton pyjamas open. Gingetsu bought his charge the oddest clothes. Then again, the army and that uniform...
Then again, Bagus' pants were beginning to feel rather uncomfortable as well. He splayed one hand over Lan's chest, balancing on the fragile cage of the young boy's ribs as he unzipped his fly. Much better. Oh?
His eyes narrowed, focusing sharply despite the lack of glasses, the dark glaze of lust mingling with curiosity at the sliver of green he had just glimpsed on the boy's skin beneath opened cloth. This was probably worth investigating; if it was anything, his boss would probably like to know, and it would certainly get him in the good graces of a few important persons -- particularly after Gingetsu was delivered. The origin of both little fish were still shady. Hooking his finger, the roughly sheared nail dragged a smooth line of red-flushed skin across the pale flesh of the boy's chest, stopping before it reached Lan's collar. He shed a kiss on the paling scratch mark, temporarily succumbing to the urge to wrap his tongue greasily over the smooth warmth when he noticed it tasted like blood. His whisper cooled it swiftly enough:
The butterfly pattern on the vehicle's windshield promptly fractured into a network of jagged white cracks, pieces of glass twisted against each other, barely held in position by imposed adhesives.
"Oh, fuck." And not the good way either. Bagus sat up, straddling the boy's thin legs and lunged for the door handle. Forget the Goddamn kid. Shit, shit, shit.
Whirring wings exploded inward with a shower of ripped glass.
The dark boot withdrawing quick as a viper, seen in the breath before fragile bug legs touched Bagus' face. The dark-haired man barely spotted the telltale coils of white-silver coalescing, solidifying into the graceful curve of the sword a scant instant before the sweet song of honed alloy being drawn accompanied by the sudden disappearance of half the vehicle's ceiling, directly above his head.
The sky full of butterflies looked like it was on fire.
A messy crash, shattering and rolling signified the landing of the removed chunk of vehicle in question. The metallic combination that had comprised the hard shell of the transport was still glowing orange with the heat of friction, the glass of the back and two side windows remained perfectly intact, just singed faintly black along the horizontal path of the blade that had bisected it. The other half of the ceiling, over the front seat creaked faintly as the silver-haired man stepped up, sword in hand as stubborn lances of solar gold flared bright across the shielded obscurity of Gingetsu's eyes.
A sneering rejoinder promptly curled up and died in the back of Bagus's throat.
The black-haired man's groping hand finally closed on the latch, a heavy yank followed by a heavier shove spilling him out onto his side, through a flitting pillow of insect lust. A disorganised heap across the pavement, he barely registered the the sidewalk burning his skin through the thin fabric of his shirt. He had shed his jacket before, and the open fly was the last thing on his mind. His fingers closed around the handle of one laser saber, a smirk twisting his lips an instant before he realised he had yanked his arm up and neither his hand nor the weapon hilt he had wrapped it around had moved an inch.
It flew off his hip, taking the laser weapon with it when the steel-armored toes of Gingetsu's boot connected meatily with his face. He flew over and around a few yards, landing on his face as a cry of protest escaping his lips along when a good deal of blood from his nose socket and the perfectly flat end of his wrist stump.
Bagus slammed one of five last existing fingertips into the little unit buried under cloth at his ribs, and permitted a nasty grin to bend the corners of his grimace slightly. He pointedly shifted his gaze back toward the ravaged vehicle, taking advantage of the millisecond's pause to get one shaky leg under him, sparing another to enjoy the look that shattered the chilled stoicism that usually masked Gingetsu's features.
Every good ride came with detonation materials.
Few people could fight like Bagus. Fewer still could fuck like him; and seeking his equal in obnoxiously cheesy escape routes was well-nigh impossible.
His head hurt. There was shouting, gentle flitting, "..." in his ears, and a pain on his head. Sitting up slowly, Lan ran slender fingers through the messy black locks strewn across his face, idly noting the raw sore on his unbuttoned upper chest. Squinty gray eyes blinked tentatively through the winged insects that swirled somnolently around him through windows sliced with remarkable precision in a car without half its top.
"Gingetsu?" Lan entertained a belated surge of nausea as he managed to crawl onto his feet on the cushioned seat, clapping a slim palm over his face once to clear the fuzz rather than the bugs from his vision. Bagus was darting off like chain lightning, except for one displaced hand, a weapon gushing scarlet onto the pavement, and a flattened nose on the tip of Gingetsu's boot.
It struck him with startling clarity, the condition of his ordinarily invincibly unperturbed guardian. The man's silver hair was a mess, presumably from a mad dash from somewhere to here, boots covered in mud and rucked up flesh come detached, and broken glass decorating his huge uniform like glitter. The bleeding sword blade almost thrummed in a grip so white-knuckled he could see the bones of Gingetsu's fist all the way from here. Monochromatic brows had lifted off to somewhere in the stratosphere, pale skin pinched, jaw stretched open in the midst of some weird, inarticulate expression of alarm, never mind the swathe of intimately arranged insects surrounding everything including his person.
Faded orange turned to blue at that moment, when the sun disappeared over the horizon.
Lan's gift called like a shot to the brain, the transport unit's system locked down, frozen, counting down in staunch refusal of the orders flashed at it over and over from Gingetsu's visor.
Sable lashes swept down, closing granite gray irises away behind them as the youth summoned his magic to his purposes. Cords slithered out of thin air, and translucent plastic closed like a tiara around his eyes. Electrodes dotted the side of his face, wires twisting and braiding in scarlet and black linking flesh to machine, chip-studded heads diving into their sockets on the robotic glove that leashed itself closed around his arm. The vehicle abruptly sprouted thick cables, tangling thick and black around has open
hand.Gingetsu's fear was etched clear as a still-glowing brand on the inside of his eyelids, emblazoned into his mind yet again when he opened his eyes to look, and blushed for all his angsty melodrama.
"The butterflies ate it."
Lan looked at his hands, which he felt, linked into each other on his lap, but couldn't see. The moon glowed big, fat and round in the sky, a piece of mint candy constantly blotted and de-blotted out by the butterflies at work even at night. Papery wings brushed his cheeks, kissed his lips coolly and diminutive legs stepped daintily over his eyelashes, clung to and hung from the tousled tips of his hair. It had been too far to walk home by the time the Three-Leaf Clover had abashedly delivered his line, and they had whiled the darkening hours away in silence. Though the man who sat with him in the relative shelter of the dissected car had rapidly resumed his facade of unflappable calm, the images of Gingetsu terrified, and then relieved -- for his sake were indellible in the boy's mind.
Well, those and various other images that one usually got whilst envisioning isolation in Spring, with an extraordinarily buff man in the back seat of an open-top car under in a warm velvet night full of stars, a full moon and lovemaking butterflies. But Lan hadn't quite seen those. Yet.
Moonlight frosted both their lashes and hair, but it stood out more on Gingetsu, who appeared to be staring inanimately out of the gaping hole where the windshield used to be. The man's hair must have been constructed out of spun metal: Lan never remembered it growing out of place even once, for the years that they had lived together. All of a sudden Lan's tongue felt like it had attached itself to the back of his throat in some ridiculous fit of embarrassment. But he was mistaken. He had managed, somehow, to cop a stray wing in between his lips.
"FBPPPT!" Gingetsu's hand collided with the space between his shoulderblades, effectively launching the hapless butterfly back out into the night. Blushing scarlet in the fist of gloom, Lan ran his hands through his hair a few more times. The older man's hand hadn't moved from his back, throwing a few more taps in for thoroughness' sake, but the visor appeared inconveniently pointed out the windshield-hole again.
"Those butterflies sure look like they're having fun!" Lan practically chirped.
Did his voice just crack?
"One flew in last time you tried to ta-aa--" Something apparently got jammed into the crevice of Gingetsu's mouth when he attempted to answer; one broad hand clapped over his face, before Lan gave him a corresponding smack in the back. "Fbbpt."
Bug launch two.
"Careful." The boy compressed his lips an instant before a wing tip grazed the corner of his mouth. Waiting warily a moment, gray eyes flicking suspiciously left and right, he cautiously continued. "I wonder what it's like."
"You're too young." It was quite possible that garbledness of that mumble was the product of some abstract attempt at keeping suicidal bugs away. Then again, the darkness of the silver-haired man's skin beneath the shadow of the gleaming visor was no doubt some odd color translated into monochrome courtesy of deep evening, and the onset of warmer weather had never bothered the older man before.When Lan picked up his legs and crossed them on the seat, his left knee accidentally pushed into the side Gingetsu's right thigh. The man kind of shifted.
"Oh, really?" He paused for insectoid traffic convenience, then blurted, "What are your criteria?" and promptly felt his face glowing like a light again, fingers threatening to pull each other from their sockets on his lap, under the burning scrutiny of his own eyes."Physical, emotional and legal maturity. Fft." Out went another ambitious bug.
Lan closed storm-hued eyes, taking a deep breath. "...ahh--fft!"
"..." Gingetsu broke out with a short cough, something metallic blue flashing away into the dark from his temporarily open mouth. The uniformed man rubbed his knuckles irately across his mouth, shifting in his seat again before mumbling from the back of his fist: "...," he reiterated.
"Why? What if -- about that love stuff? Thbppt." Narrow escape, that one.
"Exactly. Hn," long fingers fanned investigating bugs away from the Lieutenant Colonel's face, brows drawing together to form two dotted shadows between them, denoting a scowl where the silvery brows themselves were all but invisible at Lan's angle. "I do it like it doesn't mean anything."
"Can't you learn it th -- thht -- though? I m-m--nnshit," spitting out his first swear word ever, the dark-haired boy missed this astounding mark of manhood in his young life, because he was in the midst of doubling over in his seat and gagging thoroughly as Gingetsu's hand thwapped down helpfully on his back. The insect fell out a little wrinkly, a little more wet, but simply sat there and glared balefully at him for a few minutes with her wings held out to dry. The lightly callused hand spread on his back straightened his pyjamas methodically, then smoothed the rising goosebumps through the cloth with one deft stroke.
"Sorry." The admission came rather slowly, while moonlight illuminated and softened half of the man's features, and highlighting the same half of the scopes. "My less than brilliant ideas."
"I know. I mean. I'm sorry, I think we should st --" Lan paused carefully, feeling a drifting wing skim his lower lip. "--stop talking. And make the bugs stop flying into our mouths."
They weren't wings that touched his mouth next, though they were nearly as gentle despite the woeful tug the boy gave on uniform straps. Gingetsu's lips felt like pillows composed of silk, nearly wet, cool but warmed relatively swiftly to touch. The man's breath clouded over the reddened flesh of Lan's cheeks, nearly crisp with the mint if it weren't a little too sweet with something Kazuhiko had coerced him into eating for lunch.
And, of course, the butterflies finally left them the fuck alone. .. Literally.
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