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Kindred Spirits

by Lorna Appleby and Keon Christensen

Katt stepped through the undergrowth of the wooden area of the big park in CAPOW. It as just one of these days were she just wanted to have little time of her own, were she could let her mind wander what paths it chose. She pushed a branch to the side and stepped over a rock, feeling the leaves of the branch brush over her back as it flipped back onto place. She walked past the low bushes while her mind began to wander. She was beginning to feel happy here in CAPOW, much like the happiness she had found in Furrhold and yet, nothing alike. She had found friends here that she had never dreamed of knowing.

Kimiko the coolheaded, but still cheerful woman, her and Katt had become quite close over the last month. Ahlen, Kimiko's younger alternate dimension brother, usually quite, but also sometimes a brushhead. Mai and Emiko, the DCD officer and her little sidekick from Genesis, they had also almost naturally accepted her into their mist with out a second doubt. Ryan, the big naturally cool looking, but warm hearted bounty hunter. Then there was Dracho'xian and Krokir, the demon sword and demon bird. Krokir, the strange man-headed bird, Katt had often found herself talking to it, through it couldn't talk she could see it understood what she was saying. Dracho'xian had almost become a brother for her, always doing his best to back her up, cheer her up if she was down, or just being a friend she could share her thoughts with. And then there was Dachend, the mysterious immortal man, of all the people in CAPOW she felt strangely drawn towards him in particular. Maybe it was his stern face, with it's sharp features. Although he was handsome, it didn't scare her like other handsome men did, maybe it was his black in black intriguing eyes, that just seemed to look into her and saw what she thoughts she held to herself in her hearts of hearts.

The strange friendship that the two had gotten, Katt had been told that Dachend hardly ever allowed anybody close to him, but he had almost continuously accept Katt as a friend. Katt smiled to herself, he didn't protect her and didn't look after her, didn't make demands of her, didn't expect anything of her. He had more than anyone accepted her for who she was. but still he was always there if she needed help, he was always straight with her, told her the truth, didn't make lies of his beliefs and feelings. She knew him in a way that she had a suspicion that even Dracho'xian didn't know him in. He was the only person other than Ryan she had ever talked to about her life back in Underhill before she had met the Kitsune, he was also the only person who knew the details and extent of the emotional scars she held from that time.

She stepped past a tree and noticed that she had walked into a little glade amidst the trees and in the middle of the glade, stood the very man her thoughts had been swirling about. Katt gripped her right arm at the elbow with the left and let out her breath as silent as she could. She had never been a great fighter herself, in fact she didn't like fighting at all. Not only due to Yeralanor's cruel teaching, but also to the fact that she didn't believe that fighting solved anything.

Yet, Dachend was so good that she couldn't help admire his skill and silently wishing that she had just a little of his prowess with a blade. She hoped one day she could gain enough courage to ask him to tutor her like Tenris was. While Tenris was good, Dachend was a natural. Right now the tall kenshi stood, moving with almost casual, elegant movement around. Eyes looked on a place on the ground, in concentration or meditation. A short blade in each hand, that moved around his body in quick fluent motions, seeming in a non-logic pattern. First now she noticed the petals that continuously dropped from the cherry tree he was moving under, slowly dropping through the air, the light white, with a faint touch of pink. A clear contrast against the green foliage of the wood and the blue of the sky. It was now that Katt realised what Dachend was striking at, what his strange swords pattern was aimed at. He was striking at the petals, hitting them all, some more than once, before they hit the ground. And Dachend wasn't even looking at them.

Katt stood for several minutes, staring at the strange, almost dance like movement in front of her, then in the middle of a turn Dachend stopped and slid the swords into the sheaths on his waist and let out a deep breath. He then lifted his head and said in his usual dry, sarcastic voice, but Katt noted that there was a strange touch of amusement to it "So how long are you planning to stand there gapping like a idiot?"

Katt blushed, he had know she had been there from the moment she had entered the glade "Idiot?" she teased back "I'm not the one practising out where I happen to know a certain elf walks on a daily basis."

"Yeah? What Elf would that be?"

"Gee, I wonder." Katt returned, mimicking Dachend's voice almost exactly. "Is there a reason you're here practising, trying to impress me maybe? Should I be touched? Should I cheer? Do a dance perhaps?"

The trademark grin of Dachend's formed, "You're co-ordinated enough to dance? When did that happen?"

"Oh, I give up." Katt threw her hands up in the air, her usual half top rising. "I'll grant you you're the most honest person I've ever met, but I refuse to stand here and play 20,000 questions to get a straight answer." Katt turned on her heel and stomped back through the trees. Of course, an elf stomping made as much noise as the average deer walking.

"I do believe you hit a nerve" Draco'xian offered, hovering beside a tree. "Perhaps you should go apologise."

"Perhaps." Dachend stood and watched where the young elf had flounced off. "Or, perhaps not."

He stood a moment and thought, contemplating with himself. He then drew his blades and stuck the middle finger through the hole in each of the blades. Then spinning them so fast that they appeared as blurs. With his foot he loped a piece of wood into the air, about the size of his thigh, as it descended to head level, he struck at it. The piece of wood dropped to the ground in five pieces. Dachend crouched and studied them shortly, Dracho'xian looked over his shoulder "Hmm, still a bit ragged at the side" the sword noted

"Yeah, but it's a cleaner cut" mused Dachend, then looked at the place Katt had disappeared, ending his thought aloud "maybe I should..."

Katt turned as she heard the footsteps coming through the undergrowth, even through Dachend was continuously making noise, it wasn't much more than a inexperienced person would take it as a passing animal or birds. She looked at the tall immortal as he sorta just appeared from behind a tree.

"Yo Katt, wait a sec" he said as he stepped through the undergrowth.

"Yes?" Katt asked, genuinely curious as Dachend's face offered nothing.

Dachend ran a hand through his short blond hair and said "Hey, what I said about that with you skill in dancing, if I stepped on a sour spot, I didn't mean to."

"That was one lame apology Dachend" groaned Dracho'xian from the back of the immortal's hand.

"Shaddup!" snapped Dachend.

Katt blinked and smiled "Don't tell me the great Dachend is apologising..?"

"No, He's making a pathetic _attempt_ to apologise" chuckled Dracho'xian.

Dachend knit his brows "Dracho'xian, one more peep out of you and..."

"I'll be quiet" snickered the eye.

Katt tried not to laugh "Dachend, the last thing I thought I'd ever hear out of you was your admitting to a mistake."

Dachend made his trademark sly smile and said "That's because I never make mistakes..." For some reason Dracho'xian suddenly started to cough violently "...when I do something, I do it because want to, thus no reason to apologise" he then shrugged "but I didn't want to tear up old wounds and I can guess that dance lessons as child wasn't that much fun. Sorry 'bout that Katt"

Katt was slightly taken back by this, as far as she knew Dachend had never apologised to anyone she had spoken to, not by his free will. She gave a little smile "It's okay, you couldn't know. Dance lessons were almost worse than Yeralanor's lessons" she leaned back at a tree, looking at the ground "Yeralanor's lessons, that was only him and me. But dancing lessons there was Jain-zar and all the other students..." she looked up at Dachend " can probably guess what that was like, when I tell you that Jain-zar was Yeralanor's sister"

Dachend cocked a eyebrow and made a expression like somebody had stepped on his toes "Psychological terror ala carte and humiliation on daily basis. Correct?"

Katt nodded eyes downcast "The worst part is," she murmured softly, "is I'm a *good* dancer." She looked up at the warrior, "And I'm a damn fine gymnast!" Another sigh. "Certainly am short and flat enough for it."

Dracho'xian and Dachend shared a quit glare, Dachend making a smug smile.

Katt not seeing who they both then quickly looked her up and down, and then shook their heads lightly. Dachend mused with a lopsided smile "Hmm, pity I didn't take time to beat the snot out of Yeralanor the last time we were at your place, it would be fun to see how he would like the tables turned"

Katt sighed "And what would that have proven?"

Dachend cocked a eyebrow at that "Hey lighten up Katt"

"Yeah..." intoned Dracho'xian "...your between friends now, me and Dach. We'll back you up if there's trouble with the stuckup jerkoffs from Underhill"

Dachend nodded "Yep, if they pick a fight, they won't know what hit them"

Katt smiled "that's sweet of both of you, but that would really get you into trouble, elves don't forgive easily"

"Ahhh come on Katt..." babbled Dracho'xian "...we're friends, comrades, amigos, dachingos, venner, buddies, we won't let you down.."

Dachend added with a sly smile as he leaned against a tree "Don't make more promises than you can break buddy"

Dracho'xian just rambled on "...they can break our fingers, dig our eyes out, boil us in oil, feed us beans, tickle us...."

Dachend grinned and said in his usual sarcastic voice "But not country western music, every man has his limits"

Katt giggled "Thanks guys" and tried to force a smile.

Dachend scratched his bare arm "Katt I know that the past hurts a lot, but it is the past and can't hurt you anymore"

Katt nodded with a sad expression "I know. I know it can't hurt me, but every time I turn around something reminds me, something brings it back. I mean, even at the pretty girl convention there was that High-Lord elf," Dachend guessed she was referring to Eric "Its just so hard to deal with.. I'm sorry, I shouldn't dump on you, I mean, you haven't had to deal with this stuff so I guess I shouldn't burden you." Katt started to turn away, embarrassed.

Dachend quickly lifted a hand and pointed at her "Now that's were your wrong, I got a pretty good idea of what it's like to live like th-" he stopped himself in midsentence.

Katt looked at him with a raised eyebrow "What do you mea -- sorry, I shouldn't ask, its none of my business."

Dachend sat a moment and Katt wasn't sure weather he was about jump her, yell or just turn and walk away. Then he crossed his arms and said eyes looked at her "Naaa, I brought it up. Besides, I guess you will probably understand what I'm talking about better than most"

Katt sat down on a tipped over tree, listening. Dachend stood a moment then said "I can't remember much about my childhood, guess it wasn't worth remembering" he looked up at Katt "Well you see, I was born with these black eyes, only difference was that I had small white glowing pupils back then, before I...." his face twisted slightly at some passing thought "Well doesn't matter anyway, but in the city I was born in, those eyes made my mere presence a bad omen to everybody I was near. So I was treated with as much love as an unwanted dog, the only thing that kept me alive was probably my father, not that he was that fond of me either. Maybe because my mother died giving birth to me.... I think...." Katt breath as silently as she could, the words just poured out of Dachend, she could sense that he had been holding them deep within for far longer than was healthy and she dared not to interrupt him "...well my father was quit a big man in the city, a shaman of some kind, but when I was about eight, he was given the choice of sending me away or go away himself, taking me with him... guess what he choose" Dachend looked at Katt with a humourless lopsided smile. He then continued "Well, I fled into the great forests on the other side of the small mountain that my city lay on the foot of, not that I expected to live long, but had learned that giving up was the first step to defeat, so I did my best to make a living out in the wild.

"Then I meet Karandras, a forestman. For some reason he took me under his wing, maybe my strange eyes or maybe he was just a nice fellow I guess. he learned me how to live of the forest, how to hunt, how to survive" Dachend looked at Katt

Katt just uttered "And then?" swallowed up by the story,

Dachend, much to his own surprise continued his tale "Karandras was the father I never had, to bad he died when I was about 13 or 14..."

Katt waited patiently for Dachend to continue. The tall man seemed happy to just reside in his own thoughts, finally with curiosity eating her alive she had to ask "how?"

"In a wrestling match with a 9 meter long river dragon" answered Dachend as if Katt had asked what the time was.

"What a horrible way to die.." said Katt.

Dachend made his sly smile "Not at all, Karandras was so old that I doubted that he would have reached the other side of that river alive anyway. So there floated the river dragon, there came Karandras, neither wanting to back an inch" Dachend grinned to himself as he remembered images and words he thought long since forgotten "just before the two threw themselves at each other, Karandras yelled to me *you stay out of this Dachend* and after about ten minutes of fighting in the water, the two of them drew their last breath in each other's arms... so to speak" Dachend noticed Katt's rather peculiar expression at the way he had described Karandras' death and added "My pseudo dad died like a warrior, he had lived a long a eventful life before he meet me and....." Dachend stopped a second to laugh to himself, then he smiled to Katt "In fact he a late evening, when I for the first time had fought a grey troll single-handed and nearly crapped my pants doing so, he told me that the most frightening way he could imagine dying was sleeping" Dachend looked at Katt confused expression, he added with his sly smile "You see, if he died sleeping he wouldn't know what happened"

"I know that every warrior wants to die in battle, but I've always thought it better to die with those you love around you." Katt hugged her knees and stared off at the trees. "I mean, before Dances rescued me and took me to Furrhold I thought I would be spending at least a thousand years in Underhill before I escaped. An eternity of pain, I thought I would go mad first, you know? Master -- Yeralanor that is, always talked about honour, dying in battle and being a hero and all that. All I could ever think about was 'what a waste.' But I've never been a very good warrior. I *like* sparing, I like the dance of the blades, but I just can't seem to learn anything. Tenris has been trying to help me, but I'm just a failure."

"You're not a failure!" Draco'xian contested

Dachend followed up with "Whose this Tenris?"

Katt looked back to the pair, "Oh, Tenris." she smiled softly, a fond smile that Dachend had never seen on her face before, he felt a slight pain he would not call jealousy. "Tenris is ah, a friend, I guess. He's a dimensional run away like me. His father is the ruler of the planet he's from, a real tyrannical bast - er, jerk, I found Tenris when the bounty hunters who were after him caught up." Katt shrugged, "You know how I feel about bullies, and several against one injured, unarmed man seems kind of unfair to me, so I interfered. After a few adventures and bumps on the road, Kimiko, Ahlen and I got Tenris back and now Tenris lives at the garage with me."

"Lives at the garage?" Dachend echoed, face completely expressionless.

Katt seemed not to notice, "Yeah, he's like my apprentice I guess. I'm teaching him how to fix all sorts of things, in exchange he cooks and cleans. Some times, when we both actually have the energy he tries to install swordplay into my head. He's an amazing swordsman -- Not as good as you of course!" she added hastily "But, then you're a little older than him." she offered a weak smile. "But, I'd say he's the third or fourth best swordsman I've ever seen."

"Whose the second? That kid Ahlen?"

"Hellfire's no!" Katt then suddenly looked around guiltily. "Ahlen's good for his age, but he's not great yet. I'm sure in a few years he'll be downright amazing.. No, the second best I've ever seen is Yeralanor.. And at duelling I would say he *is* the best I've seen."

"He's not better than Drach and I!" Draco'xian protested before his partner could.

Katt shrugged non-commitedly, obviously not wanting to get into an argument.

Dachend grinned, "Next time ole Yer and I meet, we'll see whose the better."

Katt shrugged and stood up, "Elf's answer to anything, outlive your enemy. And since Master -- er, Yeralanor is a few centuries older than me, I guess I don't have to be all that patient."

"How old *are* you?" Dachend asked bluntly.

Katt smiled an enigmatic smile, "Didn't anyone ever tell you not to ask a lady that?"

"Where's the lady?" Dachend countered.

"We are *not* back to this again, are we?" Draco'xian moaned.

"No," Katt sighed, "We're not. I'm afraid I'm really not up to the verbal baiting today."

"Hmmm" mused Dachend but didn't say anything, there was a long moment were, Katt just sat and looked at the forest and Dachend standing against the tree.

Katt had a feeling that his eyes were studying her, she looked at the ground, then asked a bit carefully "Dachend... how old are _you_ anyway"

Dachend cocked a eyebrow, a pretty fair question, for some reason he didn't mind answering. Normally, questions this personal were an invitation to a fight, but for some reason it was different with Katt. He thought a moment then said "A little over five hundred, give or take 10 years"

Katt looked surprised "You don't know your exact age? Elves are very formal about their age, knowing it down to days in some cases"

Dachend shook his head "Nobody ever bothered to tell me when I was born and I wasn't allowed to see my mothers tombstone, so I couldn't find out my birth date that way. Besides, what would the use be of that I have never held a birthday in my life. Okay been a guard to a couple, but that's not the same"

Katt looked at him, she knew when she was born. How horrible it had to been, being denied your birth "I'm sorry I asked" she said a bit meekly.

Knitting his brows "So am I."

Katt looked down "Sorry."

Dracho'xian growled "Cut her some slack Dachend, she couldn't know"

Dachend stood a moment, then said "Hey, no hard feelings Katt"

Katt looked up, the immortal looked at some far away place and sighed "Geez, I hate this..." Katt didn't want to interrupt him, afraid of earning another harsh answer "....some say that the greatest gift is to live for ever, not being able to die," he snorted "ha! If you ask me it's a freaking curse" Dachend stood a moment, while Katt studied him with thoughtful eyes, then he said "man? no birth, no death, no soul. I'm a good damn lost number" he stood a moment, then smiled his usual sly smile "must've done something really bad in a previous life"

"To age not at all, while friends around you age and wither like the flowers of the first spring. To watch again and again those you love die around you, to know time and time again the pain of loss and death, of life and love, to never know the peace for yourself." Katt said softly, not looking to the warrior.

"And how would *you* know?" Dachend almost snarled.

"I'm an elf." Katt answered simply.

They sat and stood like that for a long time, each lost his and her's inner most thoughts. Then Katt noticed that the shadows were getting long. "It's getting late, Tenris should have made dinner by now" she stood up and brushed of her jeans. "Hey Dachend, wanna ea-" she looked around.

There was no sign of the demon hunter, not a broken twine or moving branch. It was like the forest just had devoured him, the second she looked away. "Dachend?...." she said hesitating, the experience with the demons not that far away.

"See'ya around Katt" it came from some where out between the trees

"Bye.." mumbled Katt and began to head back to the garage.

* * *

Dachend wasn't quite sure what had brought him to the garage at this hour, the moon was mid-way in the sky and the stars were twinkling, not much was going on this night. He crept along the roof of the garage. He could hear swordplay inside. No sounds of metal biting flesh, someone was sparing. "BAKA!!" He heard Katt yell at some point, causing a smile to form on Dachend's face.

He peered in the skylight, a perfect view of the warehouse lay beneath him. All sorts of mechanical devices littered the floor, two half re-built mechs took up a majority of the room. He didn't spot Katt right off the bat, she was sneaking in some shadows, her opponent was easy to spot.

Tenris, it turned out was a human in his early to mid 20's with blonde hair that fell past his shoulders. Tiny braids were hidden amongst the locks with beads at the ends, green eyes flashed from underneath the bangs. The man had the muscular build of a light-swordsman and was currently wearing a pair of jeans and little else. What surprised Dachend the most was the human in question was very handsome, what was Katt, Miss I fear any male good looking doing with this man?!

Katt sprang from the shadows, with a double handed chop, Tenris whirled, deflecting the blow and sending a kick into Katt's midsection. The elf turned in mid-air and landed on her feet like her namesake. Dachend raised an eyebrow. He'd never seen the elf actually fight before, he'd just assumed she was as bad as she claimed.

Katt let go of her sword and it disappeared into thin air, with a jump she was out of the way of Tenris' blade and doing a somersault around one of the mech's rocket launchers. She sat momentarily on top then leaped off to land on the top of a work table. Resummoning the sword she turned to face her opponent.

The two sparred for close to an hour before Tenris gained the upperhand and Katt gave in. While he was a superior swordsman, Katt's speed and agility gave her the advantage against the slower human. Tenris sheathed his Katana and smiled. Dachend watched the blonde man say some words to Katt and then head off into the back living area. Katt sat down a little heavily on one of the bench's and looked tired.

"She's not nearly as bad as she said she is," Dracho'xian offered.

"Mm." Dachend replied.

"In fact, it makes you wonder, if she's supposed to be terrible, I wonder just how good that 'master' of hers is.." the sword continued.

"Chances are," Dachend replied, not removing his eyes from the Elven girl. "that he's not much better. Her actual swordwork is pretty bad for someone whose gotten as much training as she supposedly had. Bad teacher though. Her dexterity is what saves her butt. Her tenacity too."

"And we all know how much you hate tenacity!" Dracho'xian teased.

"Mm." Dachend responded.

"There's an elephant behind you." Dracho'xian tried.

"Tell him to wait his turn." Dachend said absently.

"Maybe he's looking for peanuts?"

"Maybe he's looking for a smart ass sword that never shuts up?" Dachend countered.

"Hmph. Maybe." Draco'xian decided now would be a good time to go back to reciting the alphabet to himself.

Katt stretched and yawned, and headed into the living quarters herself, Dachend remained on the roof, lost in his thoughts. An owl hooted somewhere nearby, the Wu didn't even move.

Nearly forty-five minutes later, Katt reappeared wearing cut-offs and a tank top, her hair still wet from a shower tidied away in a braid. She picked up a tool-box and approached one of the mechas. Popping the hatch she climbed in, legs hanging out over the edge as she worked on one of the upper control panels.

"Maybe you should stop staring and go talk to her?" Draco'xian finally suggested.

"Like you talk to Eva?" Dachend countered, and then realised the mistake of the comparison.

Either Draco'xian missed the opportunity or chose the path of diplomacy, "After all, it looks like she'll be up all night anyway.."

"Maybe, maybe not." Dachend continued to crouch on the rooftop, watching the elf work.

Suddenly he felt, something move, it's a wasn't a sound or sight or smell that gave them away, more their presence. Years of experience had given a Dachend a strange ability to just fell the presence of other people.

Quickly he drew a couple of meters away from the skylight and hid behind a ventilation shaft. Five shadows appeared over the roof edge, quickly, almost soundless they reached the skylight, Dachend studied them, they were top professional to be Peeping Toms.

One the men said "So this is the place that Katsuya said that Tenris was.."

One of the others nodded "Yep, his DNA file is registering on the scanners"

Another of the shadows looked at a fourth "Cain, what do you think of this?"

The fifth shadow sat a moment "Tenris is cool, if he doesn't see us coming there won't be a problem. The girl down there is another story, I don't recall there supposed to be a girl here" the other men pulled closer to the window and muttered amoung themselves.

Then one of them pulled a bit back "What the heck, look at her ears!"

One of the others muttered "She's a good damn elf!"

The third grinned "Heh, I have never done an elf before"

The fourth looked at the one called Cain "Hey what do we do about her boss?"

It took about two seconds for Cain to answer "The deal mentioned nothing about an Elf girl, when we have taken care of this Tenris I guess we can have some of her"

The first of the men chuckled "I wanna go first!"

"No way, you always go first!"

"So what Dagger? You're a sicko, you'd just cut her up to get the kicks"

"Shut up, we take care of Tenris first then we can take care of the girl" hissed Cain

"Real good care.." chuckled the third of the men.

A cloud drifted away from the moon and the roof of the garage was shortly shed in light, except the five men there were no one on the roof.

"Hey, were the hell is Jack, he's the one who's good at locks" mumbled Dagger and looked a the door, then turned to his comrade who was holding a rather big gun.

"Beats me, he was just behind me seconds ago" the group had split up in two groups each taking a side of the garage. The two mercenaries began to head back to find their comrade. Suddenly Dagger gave a slight yell and jumped a bit.

Hanging upside from the ladder leading to the roof, hung Jack, staring at them with the empty eyes of death. His face spread wide in terror. A thin line of blood dripped from his mouth.

Dagger gasped and stepped back, the other studied the corps "What the fuck?!" he the saw a silhouette against the light from the stars, standing several meters from them. He lifted his gun to shot, but Dagger pushed it aside and hissed "No they'll hear, I'll take him out. No sound" then he gripped a knife from his belt and flung it at the shadow. In response the shadow jabbed in the air with an arm, then a voice drifted through the air "You sacrifice speed and killing strength for silence, a poor trade" suddenly Dagger gave a hoarse gagging hiss, his comrade turned to look at his buddy crumble to the ground with his own dagger sticking from his left eye. He stared in horror and that was his mistake, thus he didn't see the shadow pounce forward.

Cain looked up, were was Hokai, he looked back and saw Hokai, wave to him from the corner of the building. Cain took a couple of steps more, then stopped. There was a very weak muffled yelp, almost instantly followed by small snaps and pops. Cain knew the sound of bones breaking when he heard them, quickly he drew out his small automatic gun, putting it on full auto, he neared the corner and turned it very carefully, he shortly looked at Hokai's mangled body, then he sensed the movement above him, and just as he looked a shadow blocked out the moon light and everything turned black.

Katt looked up from the mech's left arms, where she was trying to fix the main hydraulic oil pressure line. Hadn't that been a yell just before? She tensed listening as best she could, but she just couldn't hear anything over the Simon and Garfunkel she had blaring through the warehouse. She pulled the remote out of her pocket and hit "pause." She listened again. The night seemed absolutely silent. She shrugged and returned her attention to the mech, hitting play once again.

* * *

It had started to rain, Dachend liked it when it rained, the thick carpet of noise that laid itself around him and closed out the other world, it helped him relax.

"What?!" said Dachend and looked up, the raindrops tickling down his face, he threw a quick glare to the side, through the window beside him. nope, nothing in there.

Dracho'xian sighed and asked again "I said, for the second time, what do you think of her, then?"

Dachend blinked a few drops away and wiped his face with the back of his hand "Who? What are you talking about?"

The eye blinked "Ha, don't pretend you don't know who I am talking about"

Dachend glared at his friend that, for the moment had the form of a spear, a long wicked blade on one end and a barbed hook on the other end "No I don't, who?"

The eye rolled "Aahh sheesh, Katt! You dope"

Dachend cocked a eyebrow "What do I think of our little redhead elf mech girl?"

"Dohh! yeah, her!" taunted Dracho'xian.

Krokir who had been sitting on Dachend's shoulder asleep stirred and looked around with a "bwark" he yawed and ruffled his feathers, beating off some of the water. Dachend nudged him with his head "Krokir, search the block" the bird nodded and took of with a small shriek. He had heard one of the men mention Katsuya and he only knew one of that name, that could know and have interest in the boy Tenris. Katsuya blood claw, big Yakuza and inter-dimensional crime boss.

"So?" pushed Dracho'xian

Dachend ran a hand through his hair, driving some of the water out of it "Hmm not that it's your business anyway.."

"Oh, give me a break, you're just too friendly towards her and let to many of her small insults go past ya. If I know you right, and I do, some of the jokes she's plays on you, even Mai wouldn't get away with. Plus you sat over a hour and looked at her just two hours ago and finished off five guys flawless, just to make sure they didn't break in to her garage. So don't you tell me that there isn't something about her"

Dachend snorted "Ha don't be ridiculous, you freak"

"*hoooonk* wrong answer jerk, don't you be ridiculous Dach, there's something. today you just poured that story out on her, out of the blue. Plus you have been a lot more thoughtful than you usually are. Just like now, you almost always know it right before I ask about something, but just five minutes ago I had to ask twice before you even noticed" Dachend shrugged and looked through the window again, still no prey.

"I had my mind preoccupied."

Dracho'xian sniggered "Yeah right, her red hair, green jade eyes, small petite frame right?!"

Dachend shot a evil glare at Dracho'xian "No, not that you're any better yourself, damn hypocrite. Having wet dreams about innocent little Eva, jeez your such a dirty bastard, hitting on a girl that's way under age"

Dracho'xian growled "why you dirty, stup.... heh you trying to changing the subject" Dachend's face just went blank, offering nothing "you can't fool me buddy, we have shared almost all our secrets through the years and we know each other better than we know ourselves and I know that there is something with Katt and you, everybody else might miss it. But I can sense it in your eyes, the way you speak to her" Dachend still refrained from answering, his mind had submerged in thoughts again.

Dracho'xian was right, he did feel something for Katt, not like he had come to feel for some of the others, Emiko and Mai. Ahlen, a real annoying little pisser, but not enough that Dachend would hurt him, yet. then there was Kimiko, now she didn't like him and the feeling was mutual. Madoka, iron bitch of the world, but a friend and one the crew when it came down to it. Ryan, nice fellow, a bit soft, but a comrade you could trust. Jerry, Marie and Anne, he liked them, trusted them, to some degree and would back them up if they needed it. It was like that with most of the CAPOW crew, some he liked, some he wasn't quite sure why he hadn't beaten the living daylight out of yet. But with Katt it was for some reason different.

The rain drops ran from his hair down over his forehead and brow, down the ridge of his nose and down on his arms that he had crossed over his chest as he sat leaning against the wall. As the wind and water continuously beat against his body, obscuring the view. Dachend knew that Katt made a difference for him, he had once before stuck his neck out for her, that was with a big reward as promise. A reward he had refused, well most of it.

Much to his own wonder Dachend knew that he would put his life, immortal or not on the line for her again, no charge. Then again he really didn't hunt and kill for the money anyway, but still. He didn't owe her anything and still he was willing to back her up or jump to her rescue should the need arise.

No, he couldn't deny it.

He rested the spear-formed Dracho'xian on his shoulder and said slowly "Okay then, you stubborn shit, there is something about her."

Dracho'xian's eye smiled "Heh I knew it, she's not a bad girl to go after and her legs are nice"

Dachend grinned calmly "Yeah, her legs are pretty nice too."

The eye laughed a moment "Ah spring, makes the hearts beat faster. Was about time for you to fall in love Dachend" Dachend cocked a eyebrow

"I'm _not_ in love!"

The eye looked at him "Don't give me that Dachend"

"End of conversation." stated Dachend coldly.

"Hey excuse me.." Dracho'xian muttered

There was a moment were Dachend and Dracho'xian just sat in the rain, the beating carpet of sound just brushing over them, each lost in his own thoughts. Then Dracho'xian said, hesitating "You should give her a chance, I think you could be good for each other. You have been locking yourself up in that shell of yours for too long"

"Oh right, since when did you become the love doctor.."

"Dachend, you're changing the subject, again."

Dachend growled "Yeah maybe, but I still don't like the idea of, you know if...."

Dracho'xian ended his thought "Found your Sanjiyan, Dachend it has been over five hundred years now"

Dachend nodded "Yeah, it's been a long time, I hardly remember what she looks like anymore" he sighed "The thought of staying true to the love I once felt for her for all time is very romantic and sweet, but not very realistic. But she is and will always be my only way to regain my soul"

Dracho'xian then added a little off handed "Besides, it wouldn't be the first time either"

Dachend nodded solemnly "I know"

There was another moment of silence "Okay let me rephrase the question, do you feel attracted to Katt?" asked Dracho'xian.

This intrigued Dachend. Katt was so different from all the other woman he had been attracted to and some of them he had loved through his life. The most common factor was that they were of high burden, princesses, priestesses, warriors, amazons and all of some admirable beauty.

That was the factor that Katt didn't have and what made her attractive, by elf-standards she was pretty plain looking nothing special, but not that dried up monkey that her kind had marked her as, though.

She was friendly, happy, looked easy on life. Always the woman for a quick remark. Her fiery red hair, the cute features, her Elven ears and lively green eyes. All this added up to a strange, almost magic touch, that struck a note in Dachend that he had thought long gone. For some reason, when she was around, he felt at... at peace. A thing he rarely did, maybe also that was what made him fell a slight malice against Tenris.

His train of thought was cut short as the window beside him was light up, he peeked around the corner. A girl around 18 or so had entered the living room, Dachend cursed. He tightened his grip on the spear "The fuck isn't there" he snarled out into the air

Dracho'xian added in a mumble "Damn, it's only escort girl or something like that. Where the guy?"

Dachend grinned "Shall we ask the girl?"

The window exploded in a cloud of glass and the girl just had time to see a form come through it. The an iron lock was slammed around her wrist and she found herself being flung through the room.

With a shriek she landed on the floor, a spear digging into the floor beside her. Whimpering she tried to crawl away, a strong pair of hands grasped at her shoulders. As she tried to push her self up to look at her attacker, she found herself forced into the floor. The was as sharp *slick* and a pair of blades appeared beside her face.

"Where is Katsuya" came the question from above

"W-w-what do you want from me, p-please don't hurt me. I'm only seventeen" sobbed the girl, as an answer the blades were pressed against her neck, but not cutting through

"I ask the questions, you answer. You ask the questions, my sharp friend here will answer. Get it!!" hissed the voice

"Pleeee-eeeeaaa-aaaase!" cried the girl

"Where is Katsuya?" came the icy reply "I have asked twice, there will not be a third"

The girl whimpered and sobbed under the ironlock "I-I don't know" she whispered

"Then I don't need you"

"Nonononono, please wait, d-don't kill me" the pressure against her back grew stronger and she found it hard to breath

"Speak, while you have the breath"

"I-I-I know.... Katsuya, I'm.... his fa-favourite girl" sobbed the girl

"I don't give a shit about you relationship, his where abouts NOW!!"

"He'll kill me if I tell!" cried the girl

"I'll kill if you don't" came the calm reply.

The girl began to cry loudly "P-p-please, I do-on't want *sob* to die, I'm only seventeen, seventeen" there was a moment of silence where the girls crying was only broken my the rain from the outside.

Then a new voice entered the conversation "Hey Dachend, ease down. She's only a kid" there was another moment of silence then it came from above "if you tell me now, I'll let you live and Katsuya will no longer be a problem for you. Otherwise you can die painfully slow right here. Your choice"

"H-he'll be here any minute.. any minute now" the girl uttered through tears, the pressure got even harder and the girl thought her lungs would burst "is that true?" "yes, yes I swear that it's true. I was going to meet him here, it's the truth I swear"

"Kiko, you slot you talk to much!" bellowed a voice and Dachend instinctively jumped over behind a table. Quickly he looked over the edge and saw that Katsuya, stand in the door to the room, two bodyguards on each side of him "With what right do you invade my home?" asked the tall Japanese man.

Dachend grinned and focused his mind, concentrating the energy he needed for the beastmagic. "With what right do you send five shitheads to hunt a bounty on my turf?"

Katsuya stood a moment and then said "you mean Tenris I assume , are you aware how much the boy is worth, if brought alive to his father?"

Dachend stood up and stepped over the table "no, mind sharing the info?"

Katsuya stood a moment "Your own pick of seven of the girls in his harem and enough valuables to equal about 5 billion dollars" said the Yakuza.

Dachend stood a moment and thought, then said "Now there was a detail, I was unaware of. Is there a possibility that we could come to a agreement about a possible alliance in this case"

Katsuya smiled, Dachend knew that smile, reminded him of a snake. Katsuya glare to his bodyguards and then looked back at Dachend "Kneel and apologise of the ravage you have endured on my home and I will consider your proposal"

Dachend threw his sly smile "Sure jerkoff," small crackles of lightning ran over his right hand as he fell to a crouch, slamming his right had against the floor, yelling "Come out Tou-chou!!" the three deep, claw marks tore over the floor and reached Katsuya and his men in less than a second, Katsuya didn't even get time to realise that he had been made the fool.

Dachend stood up and wiped some of the blood of his face and kicked aside a severed arm, the raw wound were it a been cut off was still oozing fresh blood. Then he stepped over what was left of Katsuya's torso, that had almost been sliced in three pieces. He stopped shortly beside the girl that had long since fainted and lifted Dracho'xian over his head to impale her to the floor "Dachend no!!" yelled the spear,

Dachend stopped and groaned "reason" he knew the routine

"She knows the rules of the underworld. See nothing, hear nothing, say nothing, live longer" Dachend mumbled and then stepped over to the window, the raindrops beating against his face for a moment.

A shriek alerted him to Krokir's approach, he smiled to himself and thought -it could come in handy to know Tenris's whereabouts in a tight turn- aloud he said more to himself than Dracho'xian. "That's two you owe me Katt" with that he jumped out into the water filled air and dived for Krokir that was hovering several meters below.

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