Fandom: Ai no Kusabi
Pairing: Raoul Am/Katze
Rating: PG13 at first, R later
Summary: Post AnK: Katze and Raoul contemplate their lives while Katze leaves for a new world and Raoul takes his place as leader of the Syndicate. Little do they know that in the future their lives will intersect and things will never be the same.
Disclaimer: AnK characters and places belong to Rieko Yoshihara. Special thanks to my beta LadyFeather. This is cross posted on my LJ and A03
Note: It's cold, windy and soon to be rainy here in NorCal. Time for an update I think!
The space liner Starward Breeze was a beautiful ship. She had been built to transport her passengers in luxury and style. Her decks were made of highly polished hardwood, the furniture of the finest velvet with gold accents. Her staff, dressed in white uniforms with navy blue accents smiled and served with enthusiasm and professionalism. Her clientele ran the gamut from high ranking Federation officials to vid stars, executives and Amoi’s elite. Her engines were state of the art and the trip to Caledonia would be smooth and swift, their expected arrival just 4 days.
Katze hadn’t originally thought to board such an extravagant ship for his voyage. It was, after all, a ship for the elite of society and he, as an ex-furniture, certainly didn’t feel like he was part of that crowd. However, he had the money and certainly could dress the part. Besides, she was the only ship that was leaving for his chosen destination for the next month and he was ready to leave. To justify the extravagance, he convinced himself that since he was embarking on a new life then he might as well do something completely different from what the old Katze would have done. The Starward Breeze it was.
He boarded quietly, the staff smiling and trying to pamper him. Although the rest of his luggage had been delivered to his stateroom, he clutched his carry-on bag and insisted he could carry it himself. After a bit of a tussle with a persistent purser, he was delivered to his stateroom where he could finally relax. He looked around the luxurious room and sat down heavily on the velvet couch. This was it. He was really going. Katze sighed and pulled out a cigarette. As he lit it he thought about last night’s drinks with Alex. It had been fun and he lost himself in laughing and drinking and playing darts. He had gotten more than a little tipsy and Alex had escorted him to his apartment so he ‘didn’t get lost’. As Katze turned to open the door Alex suddenly spun him around and planted a big kiss on his lips and squeezed his ass. He then said “Bye Boss. Keep in touch!” and walked off quickly down the street. Katze had stared at him in astonishment. He had never known Alex had such feelings for him. He started to call after him but thought better of it. No reason to start something now when he was leaving. That would only complicate things. But still, he couldn’t help thinking about it.
Speaking of complicated things, what the heck was going on with that Blondie. Raoul had called him to discuss things that, really, didn’t warrant a personal call. They could have been answered through messages and to be perfectly honest didn’t even require answers at all. And it wasn’t just that the Blondie insisted on calling, he would extend the calls as if he was trying to keep Katze on the line just to talk. Katze couldn’t understand why. It was almost like Raoul was trying to get to know him but that didn’t make any sense at all. He was somewhat mollified that the Blondie admitted to remembering him although again, what difference did it make? Katze was leaving and wouldn’t be seeing Raoul Am anytime soon. It confused him and…well, honestly it made strange feelings arise in him. If he didn’t know better he would think that Raoul Am was interested in him personally. He chuckled at that thought. Raoul Am was far too uptight and proper a Blondie to ever want to have a relationship with an ex-furniture such as himself. Iason aside, Blondies just did not do that. When Iason had taken Riki to bed, Raoul made it his mission to frequently tell Iason what a mistake he was making, how he was soiling his reputation, how disgusting the thought of touching that mongrel flesh was. Well, whatever it seemed like Raoul was doing it didn’t matter now.
Katze settled back in the comfortable couch and stared out the plasglass windows of his suite into the blackness beyond. The distant stars winked at him in invitation. He blew a stream of smoke and watched as the ventilation system captured it and drew it away. He stared out into the blackness of space until he felt the engines start and the powerful ship readied to leave the floating space port. Putting out the cigarette he leaned his head back on the plush couch and relaxed. The past week had been stressful with so much to do and he was exhausted. Katze sighed and closed his eyes. His past was behind him and his future was ahead. When the great ship began to move Katze was past noticing. He was asleep.
K K K K K K K K K
Seated in the elegantly decorated conference room in the shining crystal and steel Eos tower, Raoul toyed with a loose thread on one of his pristine white gloves (he must get it fixed immediately) while he listened to the Federation Minister for Science and Development Jonathan James discuss a new technology that he felt might be of benefit to the citizens of Amoi. Planetary Medical Devices or PMD was a hot bed of cutting edge technology in medical reconstruction and genome manipulation for the Federation Worlds. Although this was not new technology for Raoul, the leading biomedical scientist of Amoi, the techniques that had been developed could possibly benefit and compliment his research.
As Minister James finished speaking Raoul looked up from the data slate in front of him and focused his brilliant green eyes on the man.
“Although my own research in this field is quite extensive, I am not one to dismiss other ideas that may be beneficial to our own technology.” He scanned through a few pages of the proposal on the slate and looked up again. “I will review the data and perhaps in future I might be interested in speaking with this Doctor…” Raoul looked down at the tablet. “Kane.”
Minister James smiled with delight, his blue eyes twinkling brightly. “Thank you Excellency. I am sure Dr. Kane will be more than pleased to discuss his research with you. He was most adamant that I bring it up during my visit.” He paused briefly then continued, “If your duties bring you to Caledonia, I will be happy to arrange a tour of the facilities and make introductions. Your predecessor always found our lovely world quite relaxing”
Raoul nodded and rose, indicating the conclusion of the meeting.
The Minister rose as well and bowed respectfully. “Thank you so much for taking the time to see me.”
As the Federation Minister followed Raoul’s assistant out of the conference room, Raoul noted the time and scanned through the proposal once more. Intriguing, he thought. Although there were several ideas that matched his research, there were a few points that were new and interesting. Raoul was convinced he could have developed those ideas before the Federation scientists had he had been allowed to continue his research instead of taking up his new role.
Before Iason died, he had spent a greater portion of each day counselling his friend and protecting him from those who might have taken advantage of their leader’s infatuation with the mongrel. After Iason’s death, he had little or no time to himself as he answered the numerous demands from Jupiter and his office. He was still involved with everything that went on in the labs through frequent updates from his former subordinates but missed the many hours he used to spend immersed in the solitude of his own work.
The more he looked at the data, the more his interest in the Federation tech increased. As he headed through the complex towards his office, an idea began to take shape. Certainly it would be in the best interest of Tanagura to have every advantage to keep the populace healthy and happy. Although the Blondies and other Elites were genetically engineered to withstand disease and slow the aging process, the general citizenry in Midas was only human after all and still subject to illnesses and accidents. Any benefits he could offer them would surely aid in their well-being and secure their fidelity to the Elites.
He smiled to himself as he entered his spacious office. He would speak with Jupiter as soon as time permitted and make his plans. As he started to sit at behind his large desk, he heard a soft knock at the door. Rising, he said “Come in” and his assistant opened the door to reveal Orphe Zavi. Raoul nodded to his assistant, then walked around his desk to greet the other Blondie who had arrived for their lunch date.
“Hello Orphe” Raoul said. “Thank you for joining me.”
“My pleasure.” Orphe said with a smile. “Are you about ready? I find myself quite peckish.”
Raoul nodded and flipped a wayward strand of hair out of his eye. Orphe always seemed to be ‘quite peckish’
They had never been close despite each being one of the thirteen. While Orphe supervised the parties and maintained the security of the gleaming tower the Blondies and their fellow elites worked in and called home, Raoul spent his time in the labs creating the beautiful and exotic pets that the Elites craved. Iason’s death changed their dynamic, though, and as Raoul became the leader of the Syndicate, Jupiter ordered Orphe to step up to second in command. Despite their differences in the past, in working together they were starting to become friends
“Ah, I fear the weight of office has made me slower. I do apologize to my esteemed associate. However, one must admit that you’ll most likely live.” Orphe returned Raoul’s smile with a grin.
“Perhaps.” He said sweeping his hand towards the office door. “After you.”
They walked in companionable silence until they reached the elevators. As he raised his hand to push the button, Raoul noticed the loose thread on his glove. He pushed the up button that would take them to their apartments instead of the down button that would take them to lunch. Orphe raised an eyebrow at the motion. Raoul turned to him apologetically.
“I’m afraid I must stop by my residence before we attend to our lunch my friend. I must have a change of glove first. I would hate to offend our brethren by appearing less than perfect.”
Orphe nodded and looked down at his com which had started to buzz. “Of course, Raoul.” He looked at the sender and indicated Raoul should enter the elevator without him. “I must take this. I’ll meet you in the lobby.”
Raoul agreed as he entered the elevator. As it rose, he considered the invitation from the Federation Minister. Things in Tanagura and Midas had been running quite smoothly lately. Even the Ceres mongrels were behaving themselves. Perhaps a short trip could be arranged if Orphe would consider running things until Raoul returned. He knew it would take some delicate negotiating to convince Jupiter to let him go but he was sure he would be successful. He just had to think on it for a little while.
A little while later, glove successfully changed out for a fresh one, Raoul joined Orphe in the lobby and they made their way to the waiting aircar. Their boots echoed on the marble floor as they walked and sunlight streaming through the high tinted glass ceiling bathed their hair and bodies in multicolored light. Along the way they passed several Elites who bowed respectfully to the pair. Each Elite’s pet followed demurely behind them on their leashes, jeweled collars sparkling around their throats. These were pets Raoul himself had created. As they passed, each pet looked up coyly at them through long eyelashes, their lips pouting just so and their hips swaying suggestively in the clinging ethereal outfits. Raoul was quite pleased at the perfection he saw in those slight creatures yet his mind drifted to another lovely creature he had no hand in making. He wondered if the mongrel had made it to his new home wherever it was. He wasn’t sure why he thought of Katze just then or why he would compare the redhead to one of his perfect pets.
As the aircar arrived, both Blondies settled in their seats. Raoul adjusted his sleeves and smoothed his white gloves. He thought again of the Federation Minister’s proposal. If he was to visit he needed help with his plan.
“I have a favor to ask of you Orphe”. He said quietly. Orphe nodded and looked at him in question.
“Of course, Raoul. Whatever your need just ask.”
Raoul nodded, ordering his mind and composing his thoughts. He hoped Orphe still meant that when he heard the favor.
“I have decided to take a trip.” Raoul began. “And I need your help with the planning. Here is what I would like you to do”.
As the planning began, the aircar swept away towards the restaurant.