Title: An Old Meeting Place
Characters: Legato, Cyclops, Zazie the Beast
Word Count: 557
Summary: Legato calls a meeting with a few of the Gung-Ho Guns.
Comments: Just a small ficlet written in response to a challenge.
Dominique didn’t like the look of the place. The town was old—that much was obvious from the dilapidated buildings collapsing in on themselves everywhere she looked—but this place...There was just something about it that seemed...off.
“You comin’ or what?”
Zazie the Beast was watching her from the doorway. He stepped inside when she followed, the door swinging shut behind him, thwacking loudly against Dominique’s hand. The din inside the establishment was more than enough to smother it.
Dominique followed him to the bar, pulled out a tall stool beside him, and sat somewhat uncomfortably on the shiny, poofy seat. Zazie’s legs swung childlike more than a foot above the polished floor, his eyes set eagerly on the crisply dressed barkeep as the man rushed up and down the bar in a flurry to serve. Soda and alcohol sloshed over the rims of the mugs; besides the occasional speckling of crumbs, the liquid seemed to be the only mess in the place.
“How do they keep it so clean?” she murmured, unnerved. Zazie tore his eyes away from a tin of sweets long enough to glance at her. He shrugged.
“Legato-sama likes it that way. They've seen what he does to people who don't listen to him, I suppose.”
Dominique swept her eye in a single lingering arc all around the room. She took in the gloating customers laughing over their half-empty plates, the stupid expression most of the children wore, the way the room glinted and sparkled with cleanliness—not a speck of sand anywhere!—and muttered, “He would, wouldn’t he?”
“They couldn’t scrub all the bloodstains outta the last place, so they rebuilt it, I think.” Zazie was staring thoughtfully at a spot on the unscuffed floor. “It’s the same one, just...newer. He made ‘em redo it. He hates blood, you know. So messy. And that sand irritates him too, after a while. It gets everywhere.”
“I’m well aware, Beast.” Dominique sighed and drummed her fingers on the countertop. Where was he? It wasn’t like him to be late, especially when he was planning to go over strategies, to relay information given to him by Knives himself. Dominique shuddered at the thought. She couldn’t imagine dealing with that monster all alone. The things he did...he wasn’t human. He couldn’t be.
Men were beginning to eye her from both ends of the counter. She pulled her hat lower over her metal eye and tried not to attract attention. She didn’t dare kill anyone without Legato’s permission; not if this was one of his favorite places. But honestly, what did he find so appealing about a breakfast bar?
“Here he is,” said Zazie suddenly, and nodded to Dominique’s other side. All around her the bar went quiet, like someone had simply twisted the volume knob down to zero. Then the hushed whispers started.
A porcelain clink on the counter beside her announced the arrival of a stack of pancakes. There was a flurry of movement; thick white cloth billowed out dramatically and then Legato was sitting beside her, grinning that unnerving, unhinged grin that only he could produce. He raised a silver fork in salute to Zazie, who nodded a greeting in return, then brought the utensil down to hover over the steaming food as he set eerie golden eyes on Dominique.
“Shall we begin, then?”