The alarm echoes throughout the halls. Marble remains untouched as soft, quick steps are made with haste across the tiled roof, all while the guards are sent into a frenzy searching for the slightest trace of blue hair.
"The crystal should be right beneath you, Six. Watch your step."
"Yeah, yeah, I got it Queen," he adjusts his headset, looking through his monitor to find the spot Sirius had marked for him. Suddenly, a bright 'X' appears across the roof, and he smirks as he fishes a small box out of his pocket.
He presses the button atop the box, watching as it unfolds to form a drone that begins to circle the marked spot, a small laser shooting out from beneath it and gently eroding the tiles.
Eventually a small hole in the roof carves itself out, and Six slowly removes the circle of tiles and tosses it off to the side, grabbing the drone and pressing the button once more before shoving the box back into his pocket. He puts his backpack down, swiftly turning and rummaging through its contents, only to pull out a grappling hook.
With a quick turn, he throws the hook onto a small pole nearby and tugs the rope twice to check for sturdiness, before he makes his routined descent into the museum.
This one is different, Six notes, looking around at the surroundings. He presses a button on his earpiece, watching carefully as his monitor highlights every security measure, every object that he must avoid— and he smiles.
He's a second away from extracting the bracelet from its disarmed display, when he hears soft footsteps echoing through the halls.
A man with wine red hair and golden eyes stands before him. From what he can see, lit by the moonlight streaming in through the hole in the roof, the man is wearing a long white coat, and has an array of equipment hanging from his utility belt. They seem like medical tools— odd, for a supposed spy.
"Didn't Ten mention something about one of his spies overhearing Jabberwock and his plans to hire a new spy team? An external one?"
"He did, didn't he? Now that I think about it, you're right Jack."
"I suppose you're one of those new spies that Jabberwock hired to do his bidding, huh?" Six stays suspended in the air, rope tied tightly around his ankle and arm and he stands back up, merely lingering above his target.
"Yes, and I suppose you're one of those thieves I got hired to thwart, huh?" The man replies back, and the aforementioned thief finds a small smirk quirking the corners of his lips upwards.
Six narrows his eyes, bright yellow lines outlining the man before him through his monitor, and he waits for information on the man to pop up.
He stays hanging— waiting, waiting, waiting—
But no information comes up.
"I'm sorry Six, I can't pull up any information on this guy! He's had everything kept under some super tight locks!"
"We wouldn't be the best spies in the world if our information could be accessed by the most notorious thieves in the world, now would we?" The man smiles softly, whipping out six darts that sit between his fingers. The needles are attached to capsules filled with blue liquid, and he immediately registers it as tranquilizing fluid. "We have a reputation, y'know."
"Oh no, I expected as much," Six slowly begins to unwrap himself from his rope, gently descending to the ground as he watches the spy's every move. "Of course, the same could be said for us."
"Six, be careful."
"Always am, King!" The thief smirks before jumping, picking three small smoke bombs from his belt and ripping the pins off the tops before smashing them to the ground. Instantly, the room is shrouded in smoke, and he watches through his monitor as the man struggles to gain his bearings.
Six jumps up onto the display, careful not to shatter the glass that covered the bracelet, before grinning in pure delight as he watched the spy stumble around in the smoke.
Suddenly, a dart comes shooting his way, and he bends over backwards, the needle barely scraping across the tip of his nose.
When Six regains his balance, the fog has lifted, and all he sees before him is the spy, wearing a small, knowing smirk.
"I've heard all about you, Six." Dart after dart is thrown with dangerous precision, and Six barely escapes each one as he leaps around the room to avoid the deathly needles. "About how you're the stealthiest there is— the best thief there is in Cradle."
"Oh, you flatter me," Six grins as he dodges yet another dart, before finally snatching his card guns from the back of his belt and shooting two cards towards the incoming darts. They slice straight through the aluminum. "But I'm just a humble Robin Hood, rich to poor, all that jazz."
"Of course, of course," the man replies, and their little dance continues as they banter beneath the pale moonlight. The man shoots darts and Six gracefully evades.
"You've got some talent, good Sir," Six backflips onto a nearby display, gloves brushing across the front of the plastic cover, "How much are they paying you?"
"A good amount," the man replies, but something seems slightly different in his tone. His next dart is fired and Six can hear it slicing through the air— but it lands right next to his face, in the wall.
Suddenly, he can see a string he didn't notice before, and a figure comes flying towards him within seconds, only to stop right before him— inches away from his face.
"You're good," the man's lips are lusciously pink, and Six feels his heartbeat speed up just a little (it's the adrenaline, it's the adrenaline, it's the—)
"Queen, he's heating up—"
"Oh~ I think our top thief has a lil' crush!"
"Oh for God's sake, just come home Six."
"T-Thank you for the flattery, but I really should get going," Six stammers as he raises his knee in between the spy's legs, spinning the barrel of his gun and shooting a card with a wire attached to it straight into the glass cover that protected the crystal. A spiderweb crack forms around the card, and Six smiles.
He flies over, gripping the suspended rope as he throws himself inches higher. With a hand grasping the rope, he taps his foot on the surface of the display, and the glass cover shatters immediately. With a swift flip, he snatches the crystal and pockets it with a smile.
"See you around, Mister Spy," Six smirks as he tugs on the rope, and suddenly he's shooting straight upwards, the rope retracting back into the hook, and within seconds he's back on the roof and kicking the circle of tiles back into its place.
There's a flurry of movement as he rushes to shove all his equipment back into his backpack, and he double checks if the crystal is on him before beginning his delayed escape.
He takes two steps forward when he comes to a jerking halt and tumbles forward, ankle crushed beneath his tangled limbs and weight. There's a numbing pain gathering around his left ankle now— red, swelling— and as he sits up with a groan, he sees the spy standing before him.
"Of course, of course— of course he of all people would get stuck in some stupid soap opera of a heist—"
"Queen, he'll be fine."
"If you're gonna capture me and take me to Jabberwock, you can," he smirks as he attempts to stand, only to collapse as a searing hot pain spreads like wildfire through his right ankle. He grips the flesh, nails digging into his skin, teeth gnawing at his bottom lip— he's desperate to hide his pain, desperate to maintain some image of strength and dignity.
He's expecting something to happen; a tranquilizer shot maybe, perhaps a quick knock to the head, a bag of chloroform for a silent and sweet knockout.
But instead, the doctor remains wordless as he kneels down and gently pries Six's hand from his ankle, gingerly pressing the swelling flesh and watching the thief carefully for each flinch.
"Is this some new form of torture?" Six is on the verge of tears, because after several years of a perfect, unharmed record— he trips and sprains his ankle during a crucial mission. "Watch the enemy cry in pain?"
The man doesn't reply, golden eyes narrowed and filled with unshakable concentration as he begins to take an array of medical equipment out of his belt. An ice pack, a roll of bandages, a tube of cream.
Six only watches in silence as the man begins to wrap his ankle in bandages after applying the cream and positioning the ice pack, and once the man isdone, he looks up with a shy smile.
"A week should be enough time for someone as strong as you to heal," his voice is shaky (he's… nervous?) but his smile is sincere, and Six feels the tips of his ears begin to heat.
Beneath the full moonlight, Six can see the sparkle in the spy's eyes, each curl in his mop of hair, the sweetness of his smile. Maybe it's just the adrenaline, the fear— but Six feels his heart speed up once more.
"Why did you help me?" He stumbles backwards, slowly standing as he gently rolls his ankle in circles. Sure enough, the ice pack helps the pain, and he's confident that he can make it home. "I'm the enemy."
"I'm a doctor," the supposed doctor turns his gaze to the side, and if Six didn't know better, he'd have thought that the man was blushing, "It's merely my duty."
"O-Oh… Well, um, thanks…" Six stammers to a halt when he realises he doesn't know the slightest thing about the man before him, let alone his code name.
"It's Kyle," the man stammers, before his eyes widen in realisation, "I-I mean! I'm S-Seven."
What kind of top spy tells the enemy their real name? Six huffs to himself, before adjusting his bag strap with a smile. Each step he takes backwards, the more he sees of Kyle, who's gently bathing beneath the moonlight. The stars illuminate the sky, and when Kyle turns back to Six with a shy smile, Six forgets all about the mission.
"I'm Arden— S-Six! I'm Six! Though, of course you knew that already," Arden laughs it off casually, heart beating loudly in his ears— he can already hear the lectures from Sirius— before stumbling backwards as quick as possible and attempting to make a quick escape. "See you around."
As the spy watches the thief flee, half limping with a crystal wrapped tightly in his palm, a warmth begins to spur within his chest as he stands alone beneath the endless night sky.