Author's Note: Don't ask me. I don't know. It popped into my mind and wouldn't leave me alone. A lot of things have been doing that lately....*sighs* Anyway, here you go. Kiv/Touma bonding (no, not like that.....).

Touma: *reading fic* I don't like guns. I got SHOT at in New York!! Why would I EVER go to the gun range??

Socks: Because Kivrin pestered you relentlessly and you love her as a sister and it would just break her little heart if you didn't go with her just once and...

Touma: *feeling guilty* Okay, okay, okay....Just Once!! Never ever again!! *folds his arms stubbornly*

Socks: It's only the one time. Anyway, it's not as if I turn you into the rabid gun nut Kiv is. I think I make it pretty clear you don't like guns and you're only going for her sake.

Touma: But I enjoy it!

Socks: You enjoy spending time with Kivrin and you grudgingly admit it wasn't as bad as you thought it was. That's ALL!!! Yeesh...calm down.....




"Come said you owed me a favor, and I'm calling on it now."

"No, No, No, and in case you didn't hear me clearly, NO!!"

"Stop quoting Gold Digger and come ON," Kiv told her bondmate, grabbing him by the arm and hauling. Months ago, this wouldn't have worked at all; even after all the training, she was still only barely managing to drag him along behind her.

"Well, it was the wedding issue..." Seeing that she had called her stubbornness into play, he brought his own out. "Kivrin, I do NOT want to go to the gun range!!"

"Touma." Uh oh. She'd switched tactics. He didn't need the bond to tell him that. Her voice was the voice of a teacher trying to be patient with a recalcitrant student. "You've done me the....immense favor," her voice said she only partially considered it such, "of teaching me how to shoot a bow and arrow. I'm only returning it."

"You don't need to trouble yourself. In fact, that is One favor you will NEVER have to worry about repaying me for..."

"Wrong, but thanks for playing." Another tactic switch was coming...he could sense it in the split second pause. Then she was looking up at him pleadingly, almost pitifully. "Please, Touma?? I just want you to try it so that maybe you can see what I see in it. So that we could have something else to do together. Please? For me?"

Damnit, she'd hit the one thing he couldn't resist. She was his only family now, and she was playing the part of the Little-Sister-Who-Just-Wants-to-Spend-Time-with-the-Older-Brother-She-Idolizes perfectly. Nevermind that he knew she didn't idolize him exactly; nevermind the fact they weren't really siblings. It worked all the same.

"Fine, fine. Just this once."

"YAY!!" She actually jumped in the air and hugged him; playing the part all the way. Play-acting or not, he hugged her back. She was, after all, his family. Besides, it was probably the only good part of this entire outing.

"I'll go get my things and we can go. I know a really good outdoor range nearby, and the weather's so nice..." And she was off, dashing up the stairs in girlish glee. He shook his head. He thought he'd end up regretting this.



He may not have wanted to come, but he was immensely glad when they arrived. Kiv had insisted on driving, since she knew the way; the only thing was, Kiv drove like a pack of youja were chasing her. She always buckled up, and she drove responsibly...just at high speed. Thank goodness she remembered to drive on the LEFT side.

He unbuckled the seatbelt and nearly jumped out of the "Toaster Oven on Wheels" that was Kiv's car. She merely stepped out serenely, almost as if she were disappointed to be there so soon. She retrieved her tote bag from the back seat and slung it over one shoulder.

"Come on. We can't kill cardboard standin' round here. Lock your door."

"I KNOW!! I mean, you tell me that Every Single Time We Go ANYWHERE....I think I figured it out by now."

*Note: I did not intend to put a title of a very good yaoi fic in just happened. Really, I swear on my Gunsmith Cats watch.

"Sorry. Habit. C'mon." She grinned and headed for the large main building. He followed at a somewhat nervous distance. He was fairly certain no one would mistake him for a target, but...

She pushed open one of the doors and strode up to the counter. A couple of young men, not much older than Touma by the looks of things, were busy on the other side, facing away from the counter.

"Hey boys, who do I need to kill to get some attention around here?" Kiv asked jovially. Touma winced. All these guns made him nervous. Any idiot could shoot a gun, and you always heard about accidental shootings...he wasn't sure if there was any residue of Tenku left to protect him should a gun accidentally go off in his direction.

The two turned around and grinned. "Well if isn't Kiv-Chan?!" Kiv-Chan? Touma ignored the brotherly instinct to suddenly interrogate the man.

"If it isn't, someone's done a damn good cosplay of me. I'm bringing in a first-timer, guys," she informed them, slapping a hand down on Touma's arm. It stung at first, but then her hand squeezed his arm reassuringly. He would've smiled at her but he was now under the scrutiny of the two counter-thugs.

"Your boyfriend or something?"

"Doesn't seem like your type."

"And who is my type?"she replied. "You two??" Oh Kamisama, I hope not...

"Well, quite possibly," one said, leaning on the counter to look her in the eyes. "I mean, a girl like You hangin' 'round someone who doesn't even know how to handle a gun..."

"Yes, I'm sure you could teach him all about handling things..." She grinned, making it clear she wasn't necessarily referring to guns. The other counter-thug laughed while the first turned red.

"He's family," she explained, nodding to Touma. That made him feel immensely happy. "And I've dragged him out here, practically kidnapped him, to show him the joys of target shooting, so let's make him feel welcome, 'kay?"

The second counter-thug smiled at Touma. "Hey, family of Kiv-Chan's is always welcome here. I'm guessin' you don't have any ears or eyes??"

"Nani?" He looked at Kiv for translation.

"He means ear and eye protection. You pull trigger, gun go BOOM!, shoot fire."

"Thank you. What was that, 'Gun Shooting for Idiots'?"

"No, that was 'Gun Shooting for Touma'." But she smiled to take some of the sting out of it. The second counter-thug, who seemed to be a fairly decent guy after all, still don't know about that first guy though... handed him a pair of what looked like old fashioned stereo headphones and a pair of safety goggles. Those, at least, he was used to.

"What're you packin' today?" the first counter-thug asked Kiv. She grinned like a kid able to show off her new toys and unzipped her tote. She pulled out three oddly shaped leather cases.

"Well, for starters, I've got..." she unzipped one of them and pulled out a revolver. It looked straight out of the American Western movies. "...this lovely Colt single action .38 revolver."

"Very nice," the decent guy commented. "I've always loved revolvers."

Kiv nodded, smiling. She was obviously very proud of that gun. She put it back in the case and unzipped a second. This looked more like the guns in the modern action movies.

"Second, a Glock 9 mm."

"The ugly, square, plastic gun," the thug replied disdainfully.

"Yes," Kiv sighed, looking at the gun sadly, "it's not much to look at, but it gets the job done. And the plastics make it lighter." He nodded at that as she returned the gun to its case and opened the last one.

"And finally, a nice Luger .22," she commented. For some reason, this gun reminded him of something out of the old spy flicks. In any case, it was certainly not a revolver, so he guessed it was sort of like the previous gun.

"Nice selection, Kiv-Chan. You need ammo or did you bring your own?" the decent guy asked.

"You know me: Always Prepared. You got a couple of open slots for us?" as she slid some money over the counter.

He nodded. "Not much business today. People wanna go huntin' on a day like this, not target shootin'."

She nodded. "Yeah, well, if I did that, I'd have a couple people at home to face down, and it's not really my thing anyway." No kidding...Seiji'd have her hung out to dry if she even contemplated going hunting...

"So anyway," the counter-thug picked up where his co-worker had left off, "take your pick. No one out there right now. You know where the targets are." Of course. We would've heard gun shots if there had been other people here. You've been worrying yourself over nothing...what a great genius you are, Touma my boy.

"Thanks guys. You're a couple of regular princes, as always." She bent, picked up the bag and headed through another set of doors.

There were a few tables along the outside wall of the shop and there were concrete and cinder block stalls facing a long stretch of grass. At the far end, some 40 yards away, was a large, steep hill. The stalls had ceilings over them and stood on concrete, but it was nothing but open air and earth for the rest of the range. Occasional thin plywood planks stood in pairs going back towards the hill; large black clips were clamped onto them.

Kiv sat her bag on one of the tables, pulled out a towel and the three cases she'd produced before. She spread the towel out and opened each of the cases. Gently, as though each could shatter if jarred too hard, she set each gun on the towel. She reached underneath the table to a pile of cardboard targets. They were rectangular and each had the black silhouette of a man on it with white lines outlining various areas.

She took two targets and went downrange. When she was about 12 yards out, she stopped and clipped the targets to the plywood planks.

"Okay, now let's learn a little about guns and the range first," she told Touma as she approached.

"First of all, on the range, you're always supposed to have your eyes and ears on. No one's here right now so it's not a big deal, but normally we wouldn't be allowed out here without them. Go ahead, put 'em on. You'll still be able to hear me."

Touma did as he was instructed. He could still hear her, but she sounded faded, and he was sure she was raising her voice.

"Alright now then, the very first thing you do when you pick up a gun is Check the Chamber." She picked up the revolver and pushed the chamber out to show it was empty. "Now semi-autos store bullets in a clip or magazine." She held one up as an example; naturally it was empty. "However, they can also store a bullet in the chamber." Picking up the Glock, such an unusual sounding name she pulled the top part back. It slid, apparently, and revealed the empty barrel chamber. She checked the other gun and put it back down.

"Okay, so they're empty. Now before we load them, let me finish with the safety rules. Always point a loaded gun downrange, not down at the ground." She stomped on the concrete ground of the stall areas. "Bullets bounce on this stuff. They don't bounce on dirt. And, of course," she looked him dead in the eyes. "Never, ever, ever point a gun at anything you don't intend to Kill." She put emphasis on the word, and he nodded solemnly. "Okay, now we don't just load these guns up and leave them sitting here. We load it, shoot the ammo we've loaded, then reload or pick another gun. Okay? We'll start with the revolver."

She showed him how to load the chambers; easy enough. He'd seen that much in the movies. She clicked the chamber back into place and, pointing the gun downrange, walked with him to one of the many empty stalls.

"Okay, now to shoot this gun, you have to pull the hammer back first, you know, cock it." She did so. "You line the target up between these sights along the top here...and gently squeeze the trigger." She did and there was a bang that made him jump slightly as a hole appeared in the area of the silhouette that would've been the heart of a real man. "It should always surprise you when the gun goes off."

"It did!"

She smiled. "I mean when you're shooting. Here." She handed him the gun and he took it warily. His hands shook just a little with the knowledge that all it took was a squeeze and he could kill someone. Archery was so much more deliberate, seemed to take so much more skill; it was unlikely you could accidentally kill someone with a bow and arrow. But this...

She guided his arms up. "Keep your arms straight. No, no, don't lock your elbows, just keep them straight out. Cock the gun, now aim and gently squeeze....uh...not quite that gently, we'll be here til next week..."

He squeezed, the gun jumped and sent a jolt through his forearms. A hole appeared above the target's left shoulder. He tried again and grazed the target's neck. He was aiming for the heart each time, but he was missing terribly. Again. He got the arm. At least he'd hit the silhouette fully this time. Again, and he hit just a little higher on the arm.

Kiv stepped up next to him, reached a calming hand up to his shoulder. "Don't be so nervous. You won't kill anyone here. There's no one around," she reminded him gently. "Concentrate. Just concentrate on aiming, on hitting that one spot." Her voice slipped into a rhythm that he recognized, words that he recognized, because he had used similar with her.

"See only the target. Become an extension of the gun, let it become an extension of you. You are a means to releasing the bullet, to hitting the target. Nothing and no one exists outside of you and the gun and the target...."

He was completely shocked when the gun went off, the jolt went through him, and...he couldn't find where he'd hit.

"Did I miss the target entirely this time??" he asked despondently.

Kiv grinned at him. "No. You hit the same hole I did. Exactly the same." She seemed beyond proud.



After that, Touma had to admit he had a good time. The semi-automatics were okay, but not as much fun as the revolver had been, once he'd gotten the hang of it. Kiv had made a show of catching a bullet casing that was ejected from the semi-autos. She had to bounce it from hand to hand to cool it off, but she did catch it. She gave it to him as a present, a souvenir.

"Wait, we have one more souvenir." They'd gone through a couple of targets, but Kiv went and fetched the first one. "They just throw them out want it?"

He paused and then nodded. She grinned and started packing up. "I could show you how to clean the guns when we get home, but I doubt you wanna know that. It's not as much fun."

"Cleaning?" He made a face and she laughed. They went back inside the building and Touma returned the borrowed "ears" and "eyes." The guys behind the counter waved and told them both to come back sometime. They referred to Touma as "Dead-Eye." He only grinned and flashed them them a victory sign as Kiv headed for the car.

"Well," she said, as she started up the car, "I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. I knew you'd like it once you tried it."

He shrugged. "It wasn't bad. I still prefer archery." Kiv laughed. "Nani?"

"I said the same thing. After I finally learned how to hit the bullseye on a regular basis. You asked me if I liked it now and I recall saying, 'It wasn't bad. I still prefer target shooting.'" She grinned at him quickly as she sped through the streets.

He returned the grin. "The point is, I doubt I'll ever enjoy it anywhere near as much as you do, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be."

She nodded. "Thank you for trying it. It..." she paused, "it means a lot to me to be able to spend time with you. I'm not so close to my own family, physically or emotionally. You're really my family now. My own brothers never cared much about trying anything I liked. So....I just wanted to thank you for that."

He knew it had been hard for her to say. She didn't like talking about her emotions. He wondered why she hadn't used the bond; words seemed to come easier to them both there. But he knew. There was something about saying it, and hearing it said that the bond just couldn't duplicate. He smiled.


"Maybe sometime we could just drive around, and talk," she suggested as she turned a sharp corner at breakneck speed.

"I'm not sure if you're more dangerous with a car or with a gun."

"Oh ha ha. Have I killed anyone with either?"

"Have you tried?"

"Not yet, but you're tempting me..." He gave a mental sigh and an audible laugh. The occasional warm fuzzy moments were nice, but this was the way he really liked things. Just like brother and sister. Like family.