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Corporate Is Calling

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Corporate Is Calling

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Balalaika had made him an offer. Even without knowing the extent of Hotel Moscow's influence, Rock knew opportunities like that didn't come around everyday.

The old him would have scrambled for it. The old him would've bowed a dozen times and given thanks ten times more. The old him, after all, had been satisfied with scraps and offal from the big players.

But Hotel Moscow, for all its prestige, did not have Revy.

And this new Rokuro Okajima -- Rock, as he was now known... though he was strange and new and altogether different and though he didn't know much, he nonetheless knew:

Without her, he would not be.

-

Following Revy then, whether it was to Roanapur or to a downed submarine to even back to Japan, became the most natural thing for Rock.

-

Revy was not the touchy-feely sort by nature. The closest they had come to physical intimacy after nearly two years of contact had been that cigarette lighting in the back of Wassup's car.

Exactly once, she had reached out to cover his eyes.

Rock couldn't even remember the context, for how it all blurred away at the feel of her skin against his face.

He'd wanted this for a long, long time. Remade though he had been by her, he was still a man, and it was man's most fundamental quality to want.

Yes, he wanted her touch.

But not like this.

Not when she was seeking to shelter him from the harshness of their world. It was infuriating, and he wrenched it away after a second too long (a second too soon).

Great, he thought, as he caught a flicker of hurt in her eyes. She must think I hate her. But the firefight was still going strong and he and Benny were soon herded by Dutch into the comparative safety of their rig.

Revy came back later. Like with most things, they didn't bring the subject up again.

-

Once, while he was waiting for Ludovico to let him in so he could inspect the parts the Company had been tasked with hauling, he contemplated how Revy might have done in corporate.

At first, the very thought was laughable. His brain nearly overheated trying to picture her in a business suit, all starched collar and ironed suit and neatly-trimmed nails.

The Revy of this wayward fantasy might not have had tattoos or guns or a mass grave to her name, but her teeth were still dagger-sharp and her smile a dead man walking.

It was so frustrating, Rock thought, as the two of them -- because this was clearly the Lagoon Company's way of fostering intercorporate fraternal relations (back in Japan, they would've just been told to jug a liter of hard alcohol and call it a night) -- were led to the Italian mobster's office. The setting didn't matter, Revy would always claw her way to the top and shine brighter than the rest.

-

It went without saying that working for the Lagoon Company was not at all like working for a corporation.

Yet at the same time, the fist clenching teeth grinding frustration that came from dealing with the higher ups in corporate was still present.

In this case, it came in the form of Revy. Revy, who had pulled him out of the white collar world in the first place. Revy, who had opened his eyes and made him realise there were a hundred thousand more possibilities than the ones he'd been fed all his life.

Revy -- who had turned Rokuro Okajima into Rock.

The sole silver lining of this miserable situation was that she was equally furious with him.

-

Unlike in corporate -- where disputes would be resolved behind closed doors, most often without the lower-ranking party present -- the friction between the two of them that had been steadily building over the course of three nail bitingly long years exploded at the dead end of an alleyway.

Revy was at once up in his face, her own features twisted into a snarl that would put his most fearsome managers to shame.

"You need to understand," she growled out, "That this is none of your goddamn business, Rock. So keep your fucking nose out of it, okay?"

"Your business is company business," Rock countered, because he was too much a coward, still too much Rokuro Okajima, to say your business is my business. "Not only did you trash another bar, but -- "

"But nothing!" Revy snapped. She fixed her glare on a couple passerby that were reckless enough to stare. They quickly hurried off.

"So will the bill for the bar be coming out of your tab?" Rock countered. It wasn't the first bar Revy had trashed. He doubted it would be the last. But it was the first time there hadn't been so much as a firefight for it; just Revy pushing herself up from her seat after a couple choice words were whispered into her ear and unloading nine out of ten mags on the unfortunate barkeep.

"Whatever," Revy snorted, giving him a dismissive wave. "C'mon, let's head back."

Rock stood his ground.

Revy got twenty paces out before she turned around to see he wasn't following. She was too far for him to make out what she said, but he could see the intensified scowl on her face from a knot away.

"I said," she repeated, "Let's head back."

"Not until you tell me what that was all about," Rock answered.

He remembered a similar screaming match with the upper brass at the NHK. Back then, Rokuro's temerity had been awarded with a 5% increase in wages.

Rock's temerity, on the other hand, only earned him a sock to the stomach.

Rock crumbled with a groan; still not much of a fighter. He had dignity enough not to kick or shout or pound his fists as Revy just... heaved him onto her shoulder.

"Stupid sentimental white collared businessman..." she muttered, as if he couldn't hear.

-

The worst part about being punched in the stomach and then being hauled back to base like a sack of potatoes... well, besides the indignity of the situation, was that his dick decided it liked that sort of thing.

Rokuro Okajima would have never been turned on so.

But Rock... not so much.

Revy had to feel it. She just had to. Rock could practically feel it, pressed up against her side. Right where her...

He bit his lip and gave thanks to Revy's choice in weaponry. The shoulder holsters so favoured by the Lagoon Company's gunman were now aptly preventing said gunman from feeling his erection.

-

Revy hauled him back and set him down. And then, because even Rock could feel the flush on his cheeks, she made a cooing noise which, when paired with the sickly condescending look from her eyes, would have made Rokuro Okajima wet himself.

"Aww," Revy sneered, "Is the little Japanese businessman all tired out?"

Rock, instead, threw a punch of his own.

He might not have understood everything, but he could tell when he was being patronized. When high and mighty Revy deemed him in need of her protection. And though the fact that she was willing to demolish a bar for him never failed to set his veins ablaze, it was -- as was everything, even back in corporate -- good, but not nearly enough.

The punch that he threw at her was a weak punch, the sort of punch Rokuro Okajima would've never dared throw, and Revy took it with nary a scoff.

But she didn't feint or parry, much less retaliate, and so Rock pushed his advantage in a way Rokuro would have never dared. Instead of following up with another punch or kick, he brought both hands forward. Revy tensed, as if she wasn't sure whether a potential headbutt would be more painful.

Instead of a headbutt however, Rock captured her lips -- her wide-open mouth -- in a kiss.

-

Revy gave a muffled cry of surprise, which Rock dimly heard, and then he was grinding his left incisor into her lip, hard enough to draw blood.

The sharp coppery tang of blood -- of Revy's blood -- on his tongue was enough to either pull him back or completely overwhelm him. Rokuro would've been disgusted. Rokuro might've even thrown up.

But Rock... Rock only pulled back and forced his own (most likely bloodstained) lips into his well-practiced what-have-you grin.

"You motherfucker," Revy swore, reaching up with two fingers to sample her flesh wound. "You actually bit me!"

And then she tackled him to the ground, narrowly missing the couch, and Rock felt her lips on top of his once more as she returned the favour with interest.

In between kisses -- most of which were the sort of touches Rokuro would have enjoyed -- Rock could've sworn he heard 'about damn time'.

"Was that -- " he gasped out when Revy drew her tongue out and away, "You or me?"

Revy laughed, harsh and broken, the only way he had ever heard her laugh, and damn if the sound didn't go straight to his cock, before kissing him again, this time grinding her hips against his.

"It was us, idiot," she answered between, rasped about between ever more frantic kisses.