Disclaim or Die: Read Or Die, Read Or Dream, and R.O.D-the-TV is copyrighted by and the property of Hideyuki Kurata, Akitaro Yamada, Studio Deen/SME, Sony, and currently licensed by Manga Entertainment, Geneon, and VIZ Media.

For the Love of Paper

Maggie never really liked Sonny Wong, and her sisters felt the exact same way.  Anita didn't like him because he was just "some big, dumb jerk who thinks he can get the job done just by being a one man wrecking crew."  Michelle merely tilted her head, hand pinching her own cheek, and muttered, "Scary..."

But they didn't like him for the same reasons she did.

Anita couldn't tell because she never had an affinity for books.  Big Sis probably felt it, but didn't really pay much mind to it.

Sonny Wong was the strongest paper master that Dokusensha had, but it was only because of the brute strength and efficiency with which he performed his tasks.  Never sociable, he got on by being dark and intimidating; he definitely had the power to back that image up.  For the first few times that the Paper Sisters Detective Agency encountered Dokusensha and its hulking enforcer, it somewhat bothered Maggie that she never felt a book on his person.  Even underneath that bulky coat of his.  All she could feel was the slight shivering of the reams of sheets lining the insides of the coat.

It wasn't until she first saw him in action that Maggie disliked him, possibly come even close to despising him as she can get.

She now knew why she felt the paper shiver.  It trembled in fear of him, of his power as he forced the paper to his will.

When he worked - oh, when he worked - Maggie could almost hear the unbearable screaming of the sheaves as they were forced into his commands.

Her concentration was sharp enough that the paper's pain didn't distract her.

The relationship between paper and paper master worked because there was mutual love between the two.  They served each other and did their best for each other because of this love.

Maybe that was how things started with Sonny, but the power must have corrupted him.  Or maybe he was created as an experiment in some Dokusensha lab where he lost his sanity, his mind and desires becoming warped and twisted (that is, if the rumours were true).  Perhaps it was always about the power.

It wasn't until she had to go head to head with him that she understood why the paper stayed with him.

When he grabbed the jaws of her snake familiar and molded them into twin lances, that was when Maggie felt it.

It overwhelmed her, almost to the point of sickness.

Whatever love was between Sonny and paper, it was tainted by fear and violence.

It was an abusive relationship.  Whatever he could get his hands on, he was so overwhelming and so willful that paper couldn't help but bow and obey.  He loved the power that came from bending the paper to his will.  He used paper to kill, to destroy - the opposite of paper's desires.  To serve his own ends and to never serve it.  To take and never give as paper did.

All the other paper masters had a mutual understanding with paper: they could come and go - sheets would fly away and readers would need to put down their books once in a while - but they will always return to each other.

There was a reason why he was called "The Recycler" - he never wasted a sheet.  He made the paper stay, stay by him always and leave by his terms only.  So paper he took stayed by his side, clinging to him despite the hurt because paper loved all - unwilling to abandon him for paper never truly abandoned anyone.

The love of paper is all-encompassing and reassuring.  Those who truly love and are loved become the strongest, but this had to be the first case where love was unrequited but it still persisted.  The love of paper is also fickle and destructive.

When he died (and Maggie was very sure that he was dead), she still felt some of the paper sheets shiver and let themselves be pulled under the oil with him out of some perverted loyalty.  Some were relieved, but fearful and lost.  It took almost all of her concentration to coax and gather the floaters to come to her and help her build a gondola.

Maggie would have to ask Yomiko about the history of other paper masters when she returned with Nenene.  She had to see if there were any past Sonny Wongs.

For the paper's sake, she feared was that there would be another one in the future.

Author's Notes: Here's a more serious one-shot.  While the character of Sonny Wong is really cool in the R.O.D universe, it never did sit well with me that he was one of the most powerful paper masters Dokusensha has had, and yet he doesn't display any feelings for books.  Okay, so he may be all business and we never got to see his behaviour off-screen, but this here fic is my theory for why he is so powerful without being around books.  Since he's such a closed off character (figuratively and literally), Maggie was the best proxy to use to examine him.  It's not just because she shared the most screen time with him (although that was part of my reasoning), but also because of her quiet and introverted nature.  I think that there are things she ponders about, but she's very private and keeps them to herself because she doesn't want to trouble her sisters with them.