LOVELESS (is the epic tale of a six-grade catboy and his stalker college boyfriend, and doesn't belong to me)
Word Count: 927
Characters: Ritsu, Nagisa
Note: I have kidnapped Ritsu-sensei and replaced him with someone more talkative.
"You horrible creature!"
"Bogarting is only for cigarettes," Ritsu said. He waved an arm in the general direction of the wires tangled on the floor. "These are office supplies."
Dr. Nagisa made a show of stomping her foot, a wasted gesture as Dr. Ritsu had yet to look up from his computer screen. "Don't argue definitions with me! Whether you call it bogarting or thieving or hoarding or whatever, I was using this converter!"
"Which is why it was in the spare parts room, I suppose."
Nagisa was cornered, but she managed a quick recovery. "That was temporary! Until I could put it to good use!"
"Hmmm" Ritsu said, as if he didn't much care.
"Better use than you," Nagisa said. "Whatever you're doing, it could not possible be as vital as the research I'm doing."
Ritsu didn't even reply, only took another long drag from the cigarette dangling from his mouth.
"Nothing to say? Because you know I'm right? In that case I'll just take this, since I need it more than you do." She reached for the converter, which was on and humming a little.
"I'm using that," Ritsu said.
Nagisa smiled sweetly, her hand an inch from the plug. "Weren't you listening? So am I. For important things."
With great deliberation, Ritsu closed the cover on his laptop. Finally. He brought one hand up to the cigarette in his mouth, looking on with a contemplative expression -- but, infuriatingly, still not at Nagisa.
"Your projects are a waste of time," he said.
Nagisa snorted. "Says the man whose "greatest work" is a failure. You know why, right?"
"No," Ritsu said, sounding bored. "But I suspect you're going to tell me." He still wouldn't look at her, but was instead admiring the wall to her left. Nagisa turned to look -- it was covered in framed blue butterflies. Supposedly he'd bought them. Nagisa could understand the urge to pin helpless creatures to a piece of Styrofoam, to watch them die; what she couldn't understand was Ritsu's clinical fascination with the corpses.
She shook herself back to the topic at hand. "Your toy Fighter does exactly as he pleases. 'Absolute obedience'? Don't make me laugh! He's like a lawyer, always twisting his orders around. In his last Battle-"
Ritsu ground out his cigarette. "I'll tell you a secret," he said, "if you agree to go away."
Nagisa huffed. "It had better be good."
"Soubi," he said, beginning with the obvious, "is the perfect fighter because he twists around the words and makes them work for him. To him, words, orders, are absolute. But he thinks within the system for a way to turn them to his advantage."
As Nagisa should already have known. This was basic. He was already regretting his offer -- telling this woman anything would be a waste of time.
"He's too independent," she said. "If it was me-"
"You would have failed. I know this, because I used to think I'd failed with Soubi." Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Nagisa perk up. No doubt she was interested by his mention of failure; such a petty woman. Ritsu decided to finish the story quickly. The sooner he finished, the sooner she'd be out of his office.
"I didn't know what I had, when I singled him out for intensive training. I thought I'd made a mistake, picking someone so strong-willed to break. No matter what I did, I couldn't get rid of his sense of self. The training program was never completed. In the end, I gave him away to someone who didn't deserve him."
Nagisa rolled her eyes. "Does this story have a point? Or are you going to wax poetic about Agatsuma Soubi until I agree that he's perfect just to make you stop?"
A petty and impatient woman. "Do you remember the Fighter I trained after Soubi?"
"I picked someone with less will. Then I completely eradicated it. No opinions. No desires. Technically proficient, a precise Word user, would follow orders without question. His Sacrifice was from a wealthy family and was used to ordering other people around. The pair was a complete success, but..."
Ritsu smiled fondly. "They were unstoppable in battle, but...poor Siegfried, he was much too literal. 'Go take a hike,' and he would actually take a hike. 'Bathe more often,' and he would camp out at the public baths for a week, to emerge looking like a prune. He was once arrested for stealing a kite. His sacrifice thought it was funny."
"What do kites have to do with anything?"
Ritsu just looked at her, until she flushed and murmured, "Never mind, I get it now."
Ritsu doubted it. But he was wasting enough of his time already; he wasn't going to waste even more explaining such a simple thing. He continued the story.
"One day, after a particularly hard battle, they argued. It's impossible to say what happened exactly. But one thing is clear: Siegfried was told to 'just go die,' so he bit off his tongue. He was dead within the minute, while his sacrifice looked on. The poor rich boy committed suicide soon after."
Nagisa looked a bit shocked at that. For once, she had no smart comment to contribute.
Ritsu leaned over and gently pried her fingers away from the power cord. "And that's why Soubi is my masterpiece. To have gone through the training I put him through, and still emerged with the will he has, well. It's a remarkable thing.
"Now go away."
On her way out the door, Dr. Nagisa turned to say: "You really are sick, you know that?"
"So I've heard."