If You Give Mouse A Cookie
Zero fought yawning as he replaced the clip on Bloody Rose, a watchful eye gleaming over him and the rock he was hiding behind. A grin spread across pale lips behind a half faced mask and Zero's hunter senses were suddenly screaming at him.
The hunter looked up at the shadow that had been watching him and nodded, giving the shadow conformation to lunge deeper into the dark cave and make sure the pair still had their cover. Suddenly, the quick flash of a light and both boys were surrounded. But the enemy didn't see the shadow that was still hiding deep in the narrow hallway.
"Pretty foolish of you to come up here by yourself, Kiryu," Liah said as she walked up, and Zero shook his head. "I'm not here alone, Liah. I have the strength of a thousand men with me."
Liah snorted. "Where's your legion, then? Your army?" she asked, and Zero smirked, "I never said I had an army."
The shadow that had been waiting patiently took his cue and dove at Liah. Liah stepped aside at the last second, barely dodging sharp claws, and the shadow grinned behind his mask. He grabbed at her wrist and twisted her arm high behind her back, making her cry out. Zero held his gun up at her as the shadow searched and disarmed her, and Zero suddenly tensed, his senses screaming again. "Kaneki!" he called to his partner, "we're not alone!"
Kaneki turned and saw a cloud of black swarming at them. He instinctly growled, and let go of Liah only to handle the owner of the cloud. Zero held Liah at gunpoint as he muttered quickly into his comm., and looked up to find what his partner was planning.
Kaneki swiftly dodged through the cloud and leaped at the owner, pinning him to the ground. Plush cotton folded under his fingers as laughter erupted from behind him.
"You fell for it, ghoulie. You gotta be smarter than that," Liah giggled, and Kaneki felt a swift force knock him over and send him into spiraling black.
Zero growled and bared his fangs at Liah, who simply smiled charmingly back. "It's over, Kiryu, your little pet was knocked into next Tuesday, and you will be too." Zero suddenly felt a sharp pain at his left thigh as something thick sank into his leg and he was out in an instant.
Zero rolled over onto his left and woke up with a yelp, his hand instinctly going for his thigh where he had felt the source of the pain. He groaned as he felt bandages around his thigh, and muttered angrily to himself as memories flooded his mind from the earlier fight. He didn't panic, however; he heard a familiar voice standing outside the door, and when he looked over, saw Kaneki Ken comfortably asleep in the bed across from him. The teen seemed to be back to his normal state; instead of pale hair brushing the pillow, his hair was jet black and spread evenly around his jaw and cheeks, partially played on the pillow.
Zero heard the click of a phone outside, and flinched. If that was Lieutenant hanging up from a frustrating phone call like he thought it would be, he was in a load of trouble.
Instead, a friendlier face entered the room, and Zero sighed with relief as he was met face to face with Touthu, the Lieutenant's right hand soldier and childhood best friend. He was also a lot less likely to kill Zero for screwing up such a simple mission.
Touthu sat at the edge of Zero's bed, slipping his phone into his calf pocket. He was still wearing most of his uniform, but he was down to his black tee with the words 'I'm a Starbucks kinda guy' written across his chest, and the green, two-tailed mermaid insignia below 'guy'. His black hair that was normally lazily splayed across his face was now properly fixed and brushed out, probably because Lieutenant had gotten him to sit still long enough to do it for him. Zero had to admit, he looked really good. Really…
"you okay, Zero?" he asked, and Zero quickly stepped out of his thoughts to smile and nod. "Fine. What about-"
"Kaneki is fine. He just got hit with a serum that made him turn back human again…we're not sure if this has anything to do with the work Aogiri has been doing lately with their little 'ghoul' experiments, but he might not be able to become a ghoul for a while; at least not until we can figure out what's going on. So he's gonna stay with you and Mouse for a while, okay?"
Zero nodded solemnly. He watched Touthu get up and leave the room before he stole a worried glance at Kaneki, wondering how he might react to not being able to go ghoul again. And if he did lose his abilities, he might even get kicked out of the academy and end up having to become a regular soldier…or worse…
Kaneki stirred and woke up groggily, starting Zero. He sat up and yawned, stretching a bit as he laughed softly. "Guess we'll be roommates for a while, huh?" he said, and Zero smiled a bit sheepishly. "Yeah, guess so…" he replied, but both boys grew quiet when they saw a black mass bolt out of the bathroom. Both watched silently, almost curiously, as the blur then dove under the covers of Zero's bed, and the now small bump edged closer to Zero's lap, bumping occasionally into him. Zero lifted the covers, picking up the ball of fur. "Mouse, you can't play cat right now. It's rude when somebody else in here, okay?" Mouse mewed in response, and put his paw over Zero's mouth. Zero gave him a sarcastic look, but Mouse simply jumped out of Zero's arms to fall on his back to the bed.
Kaneki raised an eyebrow and Zero sighed. "He's hungry. He has certain little tricks he does to tell me what he wants. Like when he wants me to leave him alone he'll put his paw on my mouth."
"actually, I get a lot of fur in my mouth."
Mouse mewed again and Kaneki got up, leaving into the kitchen. Mouse rolled over on his side to watch as Kaneki came back, his hands cupped together as if he was holding a lot of something in them. He smiled at Mouse and held out his hands, which had a small pile of cookies neatly arrayed on his palms. Mouse licked and nipped at the cookies, but couldn't get them into his mouth. Zero then took one of the cookies and broke it into smaller pieces, and Mouse happily ate the cookie bits, his tail flicking. Kaneki followed suit, crumbling the cookies into smaller pieces in his hands so Mouse could eat the pieces straight from his palm.
A smile spread across Kaneki's face as Mouse's small, rough tongue licked his hand in an attempt to finish the cookies down to the last crumb. Zero pet Mouse lightly, making the kitten purr. He chuckled, "if you give Mouse a cookie."