Smoke rose up in the outskirts of town, veiling an alley far away from the main street. There where a person squatted down amidst the dirt and the grime of trashes and reeking sacks. A hand raise to his mouth. Fingers holding onto a thin roll, inhaling deep. The taste of ash thick in his mouth as he breathed out, long and drawn out, hanging on to the lingering choking feeling. A door behind him opened and a shook of dark lime green hair peeked out, “Miyuki?”
The man sitting on the ground tipped his head sideways, rags of brown hair teetering above his eyes, lapsing against the black rim of his glasses as he gazed at the newcomer. Glowing amber eyes met steely citrine ones. And the other snorted, shifted his weighted to his other foot and placed a hand on his hip and glared down at Kazuya, “It wasn't my fault. Don't let it out on me.”
Kazuya averted his eyes, stared back at the dark smudge on the opposite wall. Behind him, Kuramochi neared him, huffing an annoyed breath, probably realising he was ignored. His shoes crushing beneath rocks and litter as he ran his hands up and down his arms, nearing him, “Come inside. You'll freeze out here.”
Kazuya paid him no heed and puffed out another lungful amount of toxic fume, somewhat relishing in it as it left his lips.
Another voice perked him, deep and familiar. Kuramochi turned but Kazuya didn't move an inch, only sent an eye to the corner of his socket, watching Ryousuke lean on the door frame, a smile loitering like always on his lips and Kazuya turned away, inhaling deep.
Kuramochi hesitated, worry etched on his features. He sent one look back at Kazuya's crouching body. Citrine eyes especially lingering on his thin V-neck shirt and loose sweatpants. “Are you sure, Ryousuke?”
“Just leave him.”
“But he hasn't-”
“If he wants to stay out here, then let him.” Ryousuke reached for Kuramochi's arm, tugging him towards the door, “He can be as grumpy as he wants. After all,” he begun, tone light and toying, “It was his own fault. A single slip up on his part.”
Kuramochi threw one last glance over his shoulder, but Kazuya remained motionless. The door opened with a creak, a stripe of light illumed on the foul ground, lightening up the trash cans and greases. Flashing on the stained wall and half of Kazuya's face before the door slammed shut, and then, it was silent again.
The cigar tipped over his lips. As if in slow motion, he watched it fall, dropping into a puddle as if in slow motion. He stood up, stretching up his aching muscles and flipped his phone over. Fingers hovering over the key pad before they moved on autopilot. Clicking their way towards the message, he received months ago. Seven months, to be exact.
Next Target : Sawamura Eijun. 21 years old.
Sum : Negotiable.
Deadline : A week.
Shoving his fingers inside his pocket, he fished out his pack of cigarette and flamed another. The stick joggled between his lips, occasionally bobbing up and down as he bit hard. His gaze wandered upwards. There were the stars shone bright, easily noticeable around the dark blue.
He shone brighter, though.
Kazuya snickered and grinned crookedly. Somewhat loose; somewhat insane and dropped his phone, crashing against the pavement. The screen cracked. But the message was still on display. Just like Kazuya remembered.
A week, huh?
It certainly has been longer than that.
The butt's end alight, glowing blazing orange and a fading yellow as the grey tip continued to crumble between his shoes. A line of smoke waved into the air, flaring and mingling with the lingering fog around him.
It certainly has.
The room was silent when they stepped in. On the couch sat Shirasu. A deck of cards on his hands, he shuffled through. Separating them into halves, laying them on top each other and merged them together again. His brows were slightly creased and his lips jut out the tiniest bit. But he didn't say a word, kept his silence and continued mixing his cards. Youichi frowned.
If you're worried then say so.
He heard the light rustling of fabric and Ryousuke appeared into his line of vision, heading towards the sink and filled himself a glass of water. Isashiki's head followed him, momentarily gazing away from the magazine he was leaning into and crooked his head a little backwards, seeing past Tetsu's dark mob at Ryousuke with furrowed brows, but he too didn't utter a word. Instead threw a single glance at Youichi; fast and fleeting, as if nothing was wrong.
The green haired reflexively balled a fist but breathed out, long and deep and planted himself on the couch near Shirasu. Reminding himself to stay calm. They were all restless, aflutter. It wouldn't be good idea to throw a commotion just for feeling a little on edge.
A little on edge, he repeated and closed his eyes, that was all.
“He didn't come in?”
Youichi snapped his eyes open, staring right at Tetsuya's golden eyes and shook his head. “Didn't want to.”
“And you let him there?” Isashiki spoke up, eyes directed at Ryousuke as he spit out. “Just like that?”
“If he wants to stay there, then let him.” He smiled, placed the half empty cup on the counter with a clicking sound and leaned against the rim of the sink as he turned, arms crossed. “It's not like we can do anything else for him.”
“So, you'll let him have his will,” Isashiki said offhandedly. A light remark but still uncharacteristically quiet. “Rather than his life.”
His voice hovered among them and Youichi ducked his head. From the corner of his eyes he saw Shirasu's hands falter. A card slipped between his fingers and fell to the ground, close to the table's leg. But that was enough reaction for Isashiki, for he gritted out and kicked the table in front of him.
“You friggin funks!” he lashed out, “You're the type of guys I hate the most! Especially you! You, mugface!” he glowered at the back of Ryousuke's head, who ignored him and picked up his cup again.
“Wish you'll choke on that.” The tawny head muttered spitefully before pointing his finger at his next verbal victim. Youichi bit the inside of his cheek, knowing what's coming next but silently awaited his fate. “And Kuramochi! Don't bother talking to me.”
“Now, now,” A hand rested on his leg, fingers barely squeezing the tip of his knee before letting go but it was enough to calm him. Tetsu always could. “You know the rules, Jun. We only got each other.”
Isashiki tched and mumbled out a reply, spluttering incoherently but kept quiet after that, settled back onto the couch. Shoulders slouched and passive, he resumed flipping through the magazine. But, his murder intent still loitered in the air, though. Sharp and cutting.
It was no secret that Isashiki had been against to plot behind Miyuki. To swivel him back to this miserable life when he could've been out there and live his life to the fullest. Away from the blood, the screams and the resounding gunshots. But it never had been that easy. How could it be when they were constantly monitored? To think Miyuki made it this far, unknowingly even, gave Youichi the chills—and that's saying something.
“How did it start, anyway?”
Youichi tilted his head towards Shirasu side profile. The crease was gone but his lips were now parted and his fingers were trembling. Youichi followed Shirasu's gaze that led him to the floor. There were the card lay.
The third of Hearts. The law of life. Faith.
Youichi sent a glance back on Shirasu's hands and sure enough, there was—
“The six of Spades.” Ryousuke voice filled the room once more. “Adjustment, revaluation and reflection, was it?” He stepped forward, placed his arms on the edge of the couch, close to where Tetsu's neck was and gazed at Shirasu. Perfectly ignoring how the dark aura from Isashiki rose in spikes.
“Sixes deal with past actions.” the pink haired smiled, slim and gleaming. Youichi swallowed, knowing where this was heading. He looked back at Isashiki and noted alarmed that his hands were fisted and slightly trembling.. “A bit too late to mention it, don't you agree?”
There it goes. Youichi pushed the couch away with the back of his knees. Away from the fire that was about to explode from Isashiki.
“Don't act like you care!” he growled out, jumping to his feet. Ready to attack and kill.
But Tetsu stretched his arm out long, blocking Isashiki's way towards Ryousuke and mumbled a quiet, “Sit down.” before Tetsu gave Ryousuke a hard stare. “Don't set him up.”
“Why, I haven't done anything.”
“Like hell you haven't!” Isashiki started again, advancing onwards, pressing up against Tetsuya's arm and leaned forwards. “You—!”
“The three of Hearts. . .isn't that what we should be doing right now?” Shirasu spoke up again, cutting Isashiki's rant off and averting their attention. “Looking for new roads to take? A new direction?”
“Optimism and faith?” Tetsuya quickly caught on and pulled with both hands a still struggling Isashiki down next to him. “Why?”
“Just a feeling, really. But,” Shirasu scratched the back of his mob, slightly gazing away. “Here's something wrong. Something doesn't feel right.”
“Ah, you talking about me.”
The tone was light and yet Youichi could detect the sharp edge and hinted graveness in it. He turned his head toward the door where Miyuki stood. A hand still clutched onto the handle and posture definite- straight back and his chin crookedly tipped to their direction with a lopsided grin. But that was it. There was no fast retort. No cheekiness. No anything. Just plain nothing.
Exactly, what Miyuki was right now. Leftovers of scraped dust that once presented him tall and astute, rising above the high grass and leafs, above the skyscrapers close to the drawn-out blueness of skies, where he shone much of his falsified glory before he crumbled and crashed down, ending up to be this shallow walking human being he now was.
Youichi sighed deep and heavy, breaking the expanding stillness of his mates as Miyuki stepped further in, closed the door behind him with a soft click. The room, now devoid of any sound, followed Miyuki's ghost like movements as he darted with soft shoe brushes across the room, glided between the door and frame that led up to the staircase and flitted away. Probably up to his room. The smell of burned tar remained though, Youichi thought, pinching his nose.
“That thing being wrong,” Youichi begun, steering his head at Shirasu. “Is that him?” He pointed at the door Miyuki went through, and then motioned his hand at himself, “Or is it us?”
“It might be all of us too, y'know? Together, I mean.” Isashiki threw in, now calmed down. The palm of his hand propped against his cheek as he waved his other hand, eyes closed and lowered as he huffed out: “We haven't really been all that chummy with each other, lately.”
“And that's coming from you?” Ryousuke snorted, smile less sharp and more cunning.
“What, you tryna say something?” Isashiki barked, canting his head at him. A vein throbbed on his temple and Youichi blazingly noticed that Isashiki's fists were clenched. Again.
Besides him, Tetsu sighed. “Calm down, you two.”
“But is Kazuya really alright like that?” Youichi asked, getting them back on track. “He's been this way for about what? A month?”
“Almost two months.” Tetsuya spoke up, fingers interlinked in front of his face and elbows propped on the table. A look of pure concentration around him. “He doesn't seem to get better at all. Maybe he'll stay like that.”
Isashiki snorted, not at all satisfied. “I've told you we should have let them stay together.”
“Yeah, and then let him get killed by them, too.” Ryousuke went along, still smiling even after Isashiki's murder intent was still directed at him. How that was possible, Youichi honestly did not know. “We have told you, how many times now? We only got each other. Get into your head.”
“Exactly why you should've taken Miyuki's mental health into consideration.” He retorted back, “Look what happened to that poor sucker now. I can feel your love, alright.”
“Knock it off, already.” Tetsuya drawled firmly, raising a hand to rub his temple.
Opposite him, Youichi sighed, supporting his chin under his knuckles. “Jeez, I wonder how Chris ever got you to behave. It's a miracle, really, with the way you're always on each other.”
This seems to stop all chatter (or more like banter), just like he wanted.
Shirasu threw his cards on the table as if they bring disdain rather than Youichi's words. Next to him, Isashiki sprawled his feet on top of the table and rolled his head back on the edge of the couch, the whiteness of his eyes on full display as he retched and gurgled while he clutched his neck in a choke hold. Tetsu placed his head into his hands, giving Youichi a very reprimanding look.
“Don't remind us, please.” Shirasu voiced, quietly. “I don't want to remember him.”
“Revising a second love story is not what I need.” Isashiki scrunched his face, still sprawled wide on the small couch. “Or a second version of love gone bad.” Next to him, Tetsu mutely patted his back.
“True, we don't need more assassins taken down by some lovey dovey feelings.” Youichi added, thoughtfully. It was ridiculous, really. The amount of people infected with that spreading disease was close to insane. It messed with their heads, toyed with their thoughts and ultimately distracted them from their work which was absolutely lethal. The worst thing Youichi can imagine. And to think people voluntarily rejoice such feelings? Gross!
How Miyuki survived the last months was a real mystery to Youichi. Other companies like Yakushi already have him written up as a goner, similarly did Inashiro Industrial although they were more reluctant.
It was a matter of time until he'll take his life like Tanba did, Youichi thought brows furrowing, but with the way Miyuki right now is—slipping away and fading into the background of his safe sanctuary of his room, and shuffling between finishing jobs off flawlessly despite being lovesick, and sneaking away from their constant probing the questions about his well-being—he seemed absolutely fine. Alright, even.
Maybe he wasn't as affected as I thought.
But then, Youichi remembers how quiet and evasive he has become of their group and he thinks otherwise. Chris and Tanba weren't like that when the disease caught them. Tanba spent his time locked up his room, barely eating and yet still executed A classed missions and even at times S classed, gambling his life and toying with it as though it was worthless. While Chris. . .err let's just say it wasn't pretty.
Rather, gory and ruthless. Youichi still remembered it. The way he found him with his body parts twisted and shredded. Inner fillings ripped out and scatter across the lobby into the foyer. His blood splattered against walls, dripping on the floor where Chris head was placed on, wide eyed and mouth opened in shock and most of all dead. The typical trademark of them. Their work.
Youichi balled his hands. They didn't have to go that far. Falling in love was one thing (as disgusting as it was) but jeopardising them for that was just downright cruel. And with two of their main killers gone, along with Miyuki that was bound to follow, it really makes the citrine eyed wonder who it is going to hit next.
Will it be him? Shirasu? Or Isashiki? Surely it can't be Tetsuya nor Ryousuke. In all honesty, Youichi can't imagine them being sappy nor a blushing fidgeting mess. But the way it's going it's really unpredictable. As far as he know Tetsu can grab a pen and paper by tomorrow morning and construct a typical love-poem-like-letter or Ryousuke might bake a self-made chocolate for his lover in their small kitchen, singing “My Love,” all the way through to convey his undying love.
He cringed. That was something he didn't want to experience. But, as long as this disease wasn't countered by something, they were all destined to die of love sickness. Youichi sighed into his hands.
This wasn't what I imagined my life to be like.
“How did it start, anyway?” Isashiki said, frowning and deep in thought, breaking Youichi out of his thought. Not at all noticing the way Shirasu contorted his brows and demeanour darkened.
“A bit too late for that, don't you think.” Shirasu bit out.
“Huh?” Isashiki blinked, and then without warning, howled in pain. “What was that for!?”
He turned towards Tetsu who was rubbing his red turning hand, muttering “Your head is as hard as they say you're stubborn,” and then added: “A real hard-head,” at which Isashiki growled on.
“And you're oblivious, too.” Ryousuke supplied, throwing a sharp glance at Tetsuya. “A real knuckle-head.”
“What are you guys talking about?” Isashiki whirled his head from left to right, utterly confused.
If Youichi didn't know the loud mouth's vile habits and antics he would felt sorry for him, but no, since Isashiki thought Youichi's pillow would be a good combatant against Tetsu's snores, there was no freaking way he was going to stop this torture any time soon, instead he leaned back into his seat and enjoyed the show. Although it was short lived for Shirasu lunged a card at tawny haired. It grazed his cheeks, fell against the couch's surface and tumbled down. The face of Joker lay upwards. Sharp teeth lined into wicked grin on his clown-y face. Youichi stopped a shudder. If there was one thing he hates; it was freaking clowns.
Ryousuke was first to snort and mumbled out: “How fitting for you.”
But it was met with a quick “Shut up!” from Isashiki who still probably didn't get it. Youichi sniggered.
How stupid can you be?
“What are you snickering at, you dingo!”
“The Joker, Jun, is your card. Your personality.” Tetsu tried and failed.
Isashiki glowered at him, not at all happy. “Whaddya mean?”
“You,” Ryousuke pointed at Isashiki, speaking slow and drawn out, “Are a free spirit—untameable as much as you're foolish and reckless. Hence, the Joker. It's you.”
“I'm not a frigging clown! You uglymug!”
“No,” Youichi agreed, “But you sure as hell aren't mindful.”
“How did it start, anyway?” the lime green haired mimicked, barely suppressing his laughter, “Doesn't it sounds familiar?”
“Shut up!” Isashiki's cheeks tinted the faintest red as he growled, clearly remembering and tipped his head towards Shirasu in apology, “I'll listen to you next time, but not at those poltroons.” he crossed his arms, looking away as he still pressed on the matter, putting his point across the disapproving stares and the not so muffled laughter. “But, how did it? Miyuki was always that unreachable go getter. Always moving on his own pace. Never stopping for anybody. And then, boom! He turned to be that slucker.”
“Slacker,” Ryousuke corrected, “Or sucker. Don't just mix up words,” but he was totally ignored as Tetsuya commented too.
“Makes you wonder how he fell in love.”
“Shouldn't be possible.” Shirasu agreed.
“But it happened and not overnight, either,” they way Youichi saw it, it happened slowly but surely. As though it was inevitable. This seems to get the others attentions too.
“You know something.” Tetsu immediately stated, golden eyes aflame.
“Tell us everything.” Isashiki demanded, adjusting his seat on the couch, and grabbed a cushion from the table. “I want every single detail. Don't leave anything out.”
“I thought you didn't want anymore love stories.” Ryousuke said as he walked away and grabbed a blow form the cupboards. Probably about to prepare popcorns while Shirasu hopped up and placed a pot on the stove and got out chocolate bars from who-knows-where to fix their traditional hot beverage.
“Now then,” Tetsuya stated when they were finally settled. It took twenty minutes from them to arrange and then rearrange themselves into the perfect positions. Isashiki took the couch, shoving Tetsu away and lay on his stomach, stretched out with his arms hugging the pillow under his head. Whilst, Tetsuya went down without protests, sat on the floor with legs close to his chest, golden eyes solely focused on Youichi in anticipation.
The dark lime green haired sweated, shifted in the armchair he's been ushered onto by them. If he didn't know better, he'd say the whole thing reminds him of way overgrown boys waiting for their much sought after bed time story. He gazed at the other couch where Shirasu moved away from—to sit in front of him with legs stretched out and hands planted in his lap near Tetsu- and Ryousuke now sat himself sideways on. He too was staring at him, expectantly. Chin raised and smile a bit too cutting at the corners. Probably taking delight at Youichi's displeasure. Youichi held back a curse. You could've told them, too.
“Well,” He scratched his head and looked away from them, “I don't know much but—”
“Cut the crap, just tell us already.”
Youichi sent a glare at Isashiki's direction but continued anyway. “As far as I know it happened early spring. March. You know when he has gotten that message—”
“We know that. Stop preluding and tell us what we don't know.”
A vein throbbed slightly away from his knitted eyebrows, but Youichi forced himself to tranquillise. “Miyuki was doing his usual thing—”
“No, get to the point!”
Calm, Youichi, you need to stay calm.
“If you would just let me finish-”
“No, you're taking too long!” Isashiki rose from his position onto his knees and hurled his arm at him, pillow smacking his face. “Kuramochi! Tell us the beginning, the trigger, the friggin cause! I want the cause!”
Youichi blinked, citrine eyes wandering over his friends and lastly falling on the tawny haired as he slowly released his grasp on the cushion. “You mean. . .you don't know?”
Youichi rubbed his face as he was met by stifling silence. He could feel the smile from Ryousuke broadening, more gleaming and the lime green haired breathed out, long and deep.
Shirasu let out a small gasp, while two others eyes widened and Ryousuke stopped smiling. But before Youichi could dwell on why, he felt a chill breeze by the nape of his neck and shivered from what he thought was the cold. Youichi gazed back at the floor where he saw three pairs of eyes, glowering at him. Flashing deep crimson and blazing orange lighted up right behind them, along with a sizzling swirls yellow as their demeanour continued to darkened—err—afire.
A hand slammed on the table. “That bastard! How could he—umpf!"
Tetsu clasped his hand on Isashiki's mouth, full concentration directed at Youichi, with his golden eyes ablaze and glinting, he said, “Tell us every single ever so little detail. I want the whole thing. Without break.”
Youichi wasn't surprised. Rather, he expected outrageous reactions although Tetsuya did manage to astonish him. The way he lit up more bright and furious than the rest of them, reminded him who their leader actually was among them. During his daily, stressful life he tend to forget that, especially after a long day of work when the majority of them were making huge hassles of who get to eat the last cookie, the last chip, the last chocolate. The answer was obvious after all, he thought grinning wide:
“Stop smiling like a creep and start already!”
Youichi huffed and mumbled under his breath, readying himself. He remembered it clearly in his mind's eye as he begun to revive the memory bit by bit before piecing them together as a whole puzzle. As he done so, he readjusted his seat on the armchair until he matched them up in the right place. When he was finished, he took a deep breath, prepared himself to start anew.
“March. Early spring. Seven months ago. He received his next victim. Sawamura Eijun, as you already know. It was supposed to be the usual thing, you know; set them up and shoot them dead- the normal procedure,” he shrugged. “But you know, Kazuya was never like that. Never settled for simplicity. . .”
And now look where it got him.
Alright, so this is based on two stories I have written in summer, 2015.
The two being Long forgotten Life and its sequel, Perfect Mask. Both of them are discontinued.
Why? It messed up my mind.
I started out with ‘Perfect Mask’ then stopped and wrote is pre-sequel, ‘Long forgotten Life’. But then, I stop and write is its predecessor, ‘Inevitable Two’ to make sense of the two stories above, until I realised I couldn’t do it without writing ‘Dairy Entries’ (still not published).
But at that point, I had already thrown my hands up and thought, Enough is enough.
I took a break. A long one. I forgotten about this story completely, until today.
I combined LfL and PM to create this. It’s still unfinished but I might come back to it in future, when I can look at it without remembering the agony and frustration. It still hasn’t disappeared….two years later. XD
But if you don’t mind reading something unfinished, please go ahead!
I’ll be uploading the rest of the chapters as well!
Chapter 2: Chapter Two
Hope you Enjoy! :)
Bright light. So bright.
"I'll be going then." Chris halted on the doorstep. "Oh, and remember to lock the door. Don't let anybody in- even if it's Isashiki. He needs to learn not to lose his keys and-"
And so familiar.
"Alright, alright, he's got it by now," Tanba grinned, pushing the other out the door. "He'll be fine. Don't worry. How many times have we been doing this?"
When was it again?
"Alright we're off," Chris smiled and glanced behind him one more time. "You sure you'll be alright, Miyuki?"
He raised his drink in mute goodbye."I'll be fine."
Miyuki watched walk away from their house, lips sinking at the corner, his hand fell limp to his side.
How long has it been?
Smiles beckoned their face as they shoot thumbs up and waves of goodbyes until they disappeared from his line of sight.
Miyuki's side clenched as he mouthed his final goodbye.
For how long?
Long forgotten Life.
"Are you heading off now?"
Miyuki looked up and stashed his keys laying on the counter in his pocket, catching a mob of unruly, spiky lime green hair padding into the room and steal his cup of coffee placed on the table. He sighed. "That was mine, you know?"
Kuramochi yawned and rubbed his eyes, sipping merrily from the cup before tipping his head sideways to Miyuki. "Where ya going this early?"
"Gotta job to do." Miyuki casually threw over his shoulder as he walked to the metal door. "Breakfast is in the stove. Just reheat it. I trust you can do at leastthat." Miyuki raised a brow at a fuming Kuramochi, slightly smirking when the hobby wrestler spluttered and quickly ducked away. Barley escaping the cushion the citrine eyed threw after him and dashed for the door, heavy metal clanking behind him.
Damn, that brat. Kuramochi lowered his arms and huffed, annoyed when the door opened again and the head of a cheeky smiling Miyuki poked through.
"I won't be back until later. Let Isashiki order the takeaway today and makes sure to save me some."
Kuramochi snorted. Yeah, sure.
The door slammed shut and he continued to sip from his hot coffee, gazing outside the window that hovered above the sink and blinked. The sun hasn't even risen yet.
"Where did he go off to?" At the door stood a yawning Isashiki, still fresh with sleep.
"Work." Kuramochi mumbled out, lips capturing the cup and titling it. "Said something about you ordering lunch this time."
Isashiki stopped midway, glass still in his grasp as the tap continued to flow water, long since overfilling and slipping over the brim, wetting his hand. "He'll be away this long?" He gazed up, staring out into the dark. "Where exactly is he going?"
"Beats me. He didn't say."
Isashiki frowned. "Do the others know?"
Kuramochi frowned and bit the inside of his lips. "Don't think so. I caught him by surprise just now."
"If he doesn't come by six, we'll go looking for him." Isashiki turned the tap off and gulped the content in one go. "We can't have him running around for hours. Other groups might notice him and his big mouth."
"True. That moron just knows how to enrage strangers." The citrine eyed smiled before a frown took its place. "We can't risk to lose more people than we already have—!" Kuramochi's eyes bulged, a cold shiver rolling of his back, deep red scattered across his cheeks in mute anger as he shouted: "Did you just swipe you hands on me?!"
Roaring laughter bounced off the walls along with storming footsteps, slamming doors, crashing noises and screaming bodies.
"I couldn't find a tissue!"
Kazuya adjusted his gloves as he gazed at the rising sun. Streaks of yellow broke the rows of clouds still swarming in the partially dark sky enlightened the roads and building. He squinted passed the swirls of deep orange and flashing crimson, onto the horizon.
"Erm. . .sir?" Sapphire eyes peaked at him, glimpsing through tousled tresses framing her heart shaped face. She leaned over him, cheeks tinted bright red as curls of blond shocks cascaded over his shoulder pad. "What will your orders be?"
She tipped her pen on her notepad and bit her bottom lip. In his head he could hear Kuramochi whistling 'hot babe' as he glanced at her and then at her exposed cleavage before gazing at the giggling girls behind the counter, piecing the puzzle together rather quickly.
"Espresso," he drawled out, long and sensual. Knuckles brushing blond locks away from his leather jacket. The vernal women flush deeper and spluttered a squeaky reply and dashed away. He saw her signal something to her friends which made them in turn squeal (or more like screech like dying hyenas) but Kazuya smirked anyway, flipped his phone opened and checked the newest flights arrivals at Narita International Airport, but the airline he was looking for hasn't appeared on the screen yet.
Guess, I'll entertain myself a bit more.
Puffs of smoke entered his vision then, murking the lenses of his black rimmed glasses. Kazuya looked down and welcomed the sight of his coffee, but not the hand still holding it. The auburn eyed trailed her arm up, bypassed her packed chest and stared at her unbutton collar where her cherry neck peaked through before fully facing her with a raised eyebrow.
"I thought that, er, maybe..." She started off, wringing her hands on the small apron around her curved hips. Kazuya waited patiently, a bit humoured at her friends' vivid gestures and thumps up. "We could hang out, sometimes." She blurted out at, with eyes tightly shut, waiting for a reply that never came.
Kazuya's attention diverted to his flashing phone. He flipped it open, meeting various numbers popping up on his screen. He browsed through them. Clicking them away one after another until- bingo!- he smirked. There it was. The ten digits he memorised the day before shone right back at him with a green tick next to it.
He grabbed his helmet and pushed the chair back in. Sort of confused as to why the blond lady was still regarding him expectantly when quickly remembered. Kazuya reached for his Espresso and gulped the whole content in one go. His throat burned but he bit back a cough and spoke his thanks to the waitress, pressing his empty cup into her hands along with it.
Sapphire eyes flicked at him and then at the cup she held, slightly dimming in mute understanding as she took her retreat. From the corner of his eyes he saw her shoulders slouch in admitted defeat but Kazuya said it out loud anyway, throwing his reply over his shoulder and left the small café along with a dejected blond and enraged mob of friends in his wake. Kazuya sauntered back to his bike in his own leisure pace, somewhat shrugging as he thought:
Well, I'm not exactly interested.
With ease Kazuya swung his leg over the cycle and readjusted his gloves before pulling the front brake and booted its kickstand up, keys jingling in his hands as he swirled it into the ignition and fumbled with switch, roaring his machine to life. The sound muffled beneath his helmet, though, resembling lulling hums and vague rasps as he drove off, zooming through the deserted streets and highways as the sun continued rising. Stripes of faint pink and sun kissed yellow illuminated half his face shield and the expanding road in front of him as he reached the main road.
He halted at a junction, his machine lolling near the sidewalk as he waited. Numerous cars rushed by as Kazuya folded his arms neatly on the handlebars, looking out for a SSE 104, a black Jaguar- Takashima told him. Cold breezes sneaked inside his leather jacket and he zipped it close.
A dark fickle appeared in his peripheral vision and he snapped to attention, auburn eyes flashing at the yellow number plate and there it was, the SSE 104, in full glory rushing towards him.
Kazuya geared up, engine shrieking as the black car appeared blow the skyline and tightened his hand on the clutch, counting down to ten before following it. A distance of four cars was between as he occasionally ducked behind other cars or overtook them to maintain an appropriate spacing.
He veered towards his left, whooshing through the narrow road when something twinkled on the car's window. Sending an eye towards the corner of his socket, he pursued the trail and held his breath. A familiar sensation rippled in his chest and he accelerated, wind clashing at him as he slit through, squeezing his bike between the road and footway. Now on par with the black sedan, purposely throwing the sniper off track as his body blocked the passenger seat where most likely his target sat.
Kazuya's eyes widen as another car thrusted next to him. Skidded on the sidewalk and threw him completely off balance. The black Jaguar stepped down. Surging forward and cramming Kazuya in. Pushing it to the side were the other vehicle drove. His bike scraped by its car door, imprinting lengthy scratch nobody seemed to care about. His handles, whirled askew from the force. Seemed to be stuck too. Immovable.
Kazuya clutched his handles. Wedged it. Tried to righten them. But the next onslaught came and Kazuya's head banged against the van's side window. Eyes falling on a round face, owlish eyes and dark hair, white streaked- sitting on the driver's seat. Kazuya held his breath. Clenched fingers flattening against the grey car's broadside and he gritted his teeth at the throbbing ache.
The auburn eyed jerked his handles. Fingers howling in pulsating pain. But, it finally moved. Kazuya steered the handles to the right. Distancing himself from the white sedan that immediately followed. Closed him in.
The motorcycle wobbled in a dancing line. Kazuya shifted gears, clutched the lever and adjusted the handles. Trying to regain his lost balance. The van kept ramming into him, though. Shoving him to the right. Pressuring him to crush. To crumble.
The Jaguar next to him swerved left and for a moment Kazuya wondered if both cars were working together- if Kazuya swivelled right into their trap. The black car neared him more and more until Kazuya found himself completely sandwiched. There was no escape for him. No space to move in at all. To turn at all.
Is this how I'll die?
The black sedan, curved, rounded the corner. Kazuya's eyes widened. Click! Click! Click!
The brakes weren't working.
Eyes widening behind the face shield, he veered the bars instead. Diverting his direction. But even that turned out to be mistake.
The other car pushed into him. The rear of his cycle clashing against the van's front.
Launching him forwards. He skidded the last yards directly at the loitering Jaguar. Jamming onto its side profile. Crashing into it. His helmet banged against the car door. But he was still conscious- still alright. The air knocked out of him and he was struggling to breathe. But no more harm was done. Nothing major, Kazuya reassured himself. I'm still alright.
Breathing the deep, Kazuya glanced up. The van was swishing at him again. The car Kazuya was leaning onto, accelerated. On motion again too. And belatedly, Kazuya noticed his motorcycle was slanted, leaning onto the black Jaguar that was slipping away. Kazuya placed his foot on the ground. Tugging it upright with all his might but his cycle wouldn't straightened. Seconds ticked by and-
The van blew on him from behind and Kazuya fell forwards. Flying through the sky and made a weird style of somersaulting. His bike was right next to him. Dropping onto the street like a sunken stone while Kazuya still hovered. Descending in slow motion and-
The Jaguar rammed into him. Thrusting Kazuya's still landing body headlong across the road. He wavered. Faltered like a broken winged butterfly. Limps sticking and bending in crook angles as he slumped onto the ground with an air filling thud.
Kazuya still saw in blurs even after he hit the road. Swirls of pink and mismatched blue and fading yellow still glowed beneath his eyelids.
He felt himself seeping away. Dark greeting him and lulling him into a deep slumber he welcomed with opened arms.
The last words still lingered in the air even after Youichi was done. He roused from his seat and fetched himself a glass of water. Momentarily halting his story telling. His footsteps echoed in the silent room and Youichi cursed himself.
Maybe I should've left that part out.
He drank the content of his glass, eyes shifting towards his mates. Their heads were still ducked, directed at the ground. And for a moment Youichi felt bad.
I really should have left that part out. . .
But then again, Youichi only delivered what they were asking for. He glanced over at Isashiki's shaking fists that were mostly likely in need to hit something, judging on how tightly he clasped them together. Youichi gulped. He could only hope it wasn't him his fists were craving for.
"Did you had to bring that up?" he jumped when Isashiki raised his voice first, glowering an eye at him. "You could've left that part out."
"You wanted every detail." Youichi shrugged and tried his best to keep his voice nonchalant. "I don't see what the big deal is though, Miyuki survived after all."
"He did?" Shirasu perked up, letting out a deep breath as though he was holding it and smiled slow but relieved, straightening up. "I'm glad."
"Of course he did! You've seen him seconds ago, didn't you, you dumbo!" Isashiki barked loud as usual. Getting Tetsuya out of his stupor too who could only blink at the rising commotion. The tawny haired slapped a hand on his forehead. "Jeez, how stupid can you be?"
"You thought the same thing, didn't you?" Ryousuke joined in, peeking through the silhouette shade covering the window and Youichi snapped his head at him. When did he get there? "Just say you're relieve Miyuki made it too. After all, it did sounded pretty gruesome."
Isashiki huffed, arms crossing his chest. "Don't know what you're talking about."
Youichi sweated. Maybe he did underestimated their capability for handling gore.
"And then?" They turned towards Shirasu whose eyes were solely set on Youichi. "What happened then?"
"Yeah!" Isashiki yelled, evaporating the remaining gloominess that lurked its way in. "Why did you stop? Keep going!"
Youichi rolled his eyes and sat back down. Not believing himself for actually feeling bad for those-
"Well," he breathed out, settling his nerves. "From then on it went complicated. . ."
Long forgotten Life.
Mei took in a deep breath, steadying his shaking fingers, He squinted through the binocular in his hands, taking glimpses of Miyuki's surging body through the wind and snapped his head towards the white car instead, trying to get a glimpse of the driver and- he bit his tongue in pure concentration-and- bingo! Mei quickly memorised the man's feature—the fat, round face, the pair of owlish eyes and dark matted hair, white streaked.
What an odd hairstyle. Mei thought, wrinkling his nose. Directing the binocular back on the unmoving body. Mei toyed the idea of aiding him but then discarded the thought away- during work, they agreed to be strangers. Still, Mei flipped his phone open and dialled the hospital's number, eyes never leaving Miyuki's unconscious body. Mei shrugged. You should have just let me shoot him.
The blond grabbed the things he prepared beforehand and packed them back into his bag. Such a shame. He glanced at his new sniper rifle. I was so excited to test you out today. He sighed. Slightly dejected, Mei shuffled away but not before glancing down once more time. His eyebrow rose. How quick.
The ambulance has arrived.
"How is he?"
"Still unconscious. Sawamura couldn't take the shock." Kanemaru mumbled into his phone. "Your plan backfired. He just isn't made of it. He is too weak. Too sensitive."
"Of course! I told you to initiate an accident, not a murder." Eitoku reprimanded him. "I don't want you to worsen his condition."
Kanemaru rolled his eyes. A bit fed up that they wouldn't accept that the fact Sawamura just wasn't cut to harm people. It was his nature after all to be friendly. "Anyhow, we're lucky. The person I ran over seems to be indeed an innocent civilian. No direct ties available to underhand businesses."
"But?" Eitoku pressed, already sensing the bad news.
Kanemaru sighed and leaned against the wall. "He has a tattoo. Across his arm."
Kanemaru rubbed his neck. "I'm not sure. It looked like a snake and yet had wings. Dragon-like but surrounded by deep water. I've never seen this kind before."
It was surreal and exotic now that Kanemaru thought about it. The corrupt associations and businesses the blond had met so far did not have unique types of tattoos but rather particular ones that followed a certain trait, usually specific like animal types such as a boar or a toad or even sometimes objects like clouds and sponges- the likes but not unusual to that extent that it was unrecognisable.
"On second thought, he might not belong to any group at all. You know," Kanemaru shrugged, "Tattooed himself for fun."
Eitoku hummed from the other line. "Take a proper look next time. We need to be sure he's not an-" There was sudden rushes, hushed whispered and banging noises.
"Sir? He's not what? Sir?" No response. More rushes. Kanemaru waited, tapped his foot in irregular beats. His brows furrowed at the erratic buzzes of voices and scrambled papers gained on volume. "Sir? You still there?"
"Yes. Yes. I'm here." Eitoku's tone lowered and Kanemaru wondered whether it was more darker, or heavier than usual.
"Is something the matter? Something I missed?"
"No, you wouldn't have known. Say, you've met an assassin before, didn't you? Awhile ago, if I recall correctly, yes?" Eitoku didn't wait for a response. Kanemaru didn't mind it either, already used to the old man's ways, yet the increasing rustles from the other line disturbed him.
"Keep an eye on that guy, will you? Potentially he could turn out to be one as well, although the odds regarding that are slim." Eitoku's voice lit up again, but not as much as it did before. "However, If that turns out to be the case, get him far away from Eijun. Got it? Kill him for all I care but don't let him near Eijun."
Kanemaru snorted. You paranoid geezer. "I don't think he is. He wouldn't have let me crush him back then. I mean, what kind of killer does that? He should've fought for his life like the other one did- Azuma, was it I think."
"You're too naive. Only idiots would willingly tattoo themselves in this country." Eitoku reprimanded him and Kanemaru knew all to well why. A tattoo after all brought bad connotations to the one wearing it, especially if it was across an arm. "Keep an eye on him."
"Understood." Kanemaru sighed and leaned away from the wall. "Any news about the white sedan?"
"Yes, the team trailing it found it sunken in a lake. The car was empty."
"We might be dealing with a professional." Kanemaru scratched the back of his head. "Guess, I'll increase the security around Sawamura-" Kanemaru opened his mouth for several seconds before thinking better of it.
"Nothing, sir. I'll update if I find anything new," he ended the call and cursed.
I don't how much longer I can cover for you, Sawamura.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
Isashiki eyes trailed the motion of the pendulum wall clock when he stepped down from the stairs and poke his head through the door of the living room before stepping over to the interconnected kitchen, fingers drumming against the counter. "He didn't come home, did he?"
"Not yet." Citrine eyes gazed up from his magazine, raising a brow at Isashiki's attire. "Didn't you say you'll wait until six?"
"I am. Just got a mission." He ducked and rummaged through the shelf and cupboards. "Say, have you seen my Glock 19? I can't find it anywhere."
"I might have seen it somewhere." Youichi frowned in thought but could for the life of him not remember where he'd seen it last. "Have you asked Tetsuya, already?"
"He told me to ask you." Isashiki huffed. "Seems like I've got to go without."
"Why don't you take one of the other guns?"
"Don't like them." He stuffed his hands into his pocket and pulled his hood over. "When you find it placed it under my pillow."
Youichi rolled his eyes but nodded anyway. The door shut close and it was silent again.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
"Where is Jun?"
Youichi glanced up from his magazine, seeing Tetsu standing in front of the door with the missing Glock 19 in his hands. "Left already."
The leader eyes widened for a fraction before he ran back up the upstairs, curses falling from his lips as he slammed his bedroom door opened. Youichi blinked once and Tetsuya was downstairs again. Jacket and shoes on as he raced out like lightening. Youichi hid a grin. He knew how much the elder hated when any of them left their premises without protection.
He turned back to his magazine when the door slammed open again. Shirasu stood there, pale and wide eyed, faint blond hair slightly matted as he panted, doubled over his knees as he tried to regain his breath. "You won't. . .believe…what happened. . ."
Youichi waited patiently, folded his magazine and sat up, waiting for the other to continue but Shirasu only motioned towards his flashing phone and Kuramochi's eyes dilated, mouth gaping open as it had never before.
"Check out your phone." Shirasu urged then, demanding him to contradict his own phone. "Tell me yours blank- that mine is broken. Anything really, but this."
Kuramochi searched for his phone only to remember he left it upstairs. He jumped from the couch and sprinted his way up, taking three steps at a time before he barged into his room and grabbed his phone that was flashing bright red too. Kuramochi felt a chill. This was bad. Really bad. Really, really bad.
"M-Miyuki," Shirasu voiced then, appearing out of nowhere and suddenly standing outside his door motionlessly. "Did he-?" He stopped his sentence, seeing Kuramochi already shaking his head vigorously.
"No, no. He didn't came back. But it could be Isashiki, too. He left without his gun. Maybe Tetsuya came too late and he-"
"No, Isashiki always carries at least a knife with him. He should be fine. But Miyuki was missing since this morning. His missions never took this long."
"He never said what kind of mission it was. What if he was undercover?" Kuramochi could feel his temper raising but fought to remain calm. It was never good to be hasty nor anxious, or nervous, or-
"Who else could it be? Ryousuke seems so unlikely." Shirasu stopped, a chill passing over him and a moment later over Kuramochi too. "I haven't seen him all day. Do you think-?"
The blood drained from Kuramochi's face and he was already shaking his head again, seemingly lost on words regarding the matter.
"What's up with you guys?" A familiar voice chimed in near the door then. Bright pink all over the place as Ryousuke yawned and rubbed his eyes. "What's with this commotion?"
They look up seeing the missing pink haired gazing at them across the hall from his own room. Kuramochi held his flashing phone up for him to see. Something crossed over Ryousuke's face in a flash.
"Wait for me downstairs." Was all Ryousuke said as he went inside his room again, door closing behind him as quietly as he opened it.
Shirasu and Kuramochi exchange a look before darting their way downstairs, sitting themselves on the couch and fiddled with the hem of their shirt as they tried to calm their nerves and the queasy feeling inside them.
"It's happening all over again." Shirasu mumbled. "It was the same when Tanba died."
Kuramochi opened his mouth the same time Ryousuke appeared in the doorway, jacket on and keys hanging from his jacket pocket. His helmet dangling from his fingertips as he gazed at each of them. "I'll go and check what's happening in the Central. You go and warn Tetsu, Kuramochi. And you just came now Shirasu, right? Take a break and notify us when the Death Letter comes."
"It has already arrived." Shirasu rose the enveloped he held in his hand high and Kuramochi couldn't believe he hadn't noticed it until now. "I couldn't opened it. I didn't want to."
Ryousuke's eyes flashed as he took the unopened letter unbelievably and ripped it open.
"Already? They sent the letter, already?" Kuramochi's brows rose for fraction of second before they drew down. "They just can't wait to get rid of us, can they?"
"What's up with them, anyway?" Shirasu added brows ceasing. "They killing us off one by one without even telling us why."
"We should move out again." The green haired declared, turning his head towards Ryousuke. "In fact we should move out every month. They can't trail us that long. We don't have much luggage anyway."
"I think you're right. Moving out is our best option." Ryousuke pointed then out, showing them the opened letter. "Look, they didn't even bother to add a name. As things are standing now it could be any of us they're aiming at. It's best we'll leave. We can't afford to lose more people-" Ryousuke stopped, eyes travelling to the heavy metal doors. Kuramochi followed his lead and sharpened his ears. Far off in the distant he heard a sound. A rough voice. Loud mumblings or quiet shouts- a familiar voice that blared over the buzz of traffics and honking cars.
"Is that...Isashiki?" Kuramochi asked no-one particular but Shirasu answered anyway.
"Based on that voice, yes. But logically he shouldn't be here yet."
The door creaked open then. A mob of tawny haired came in followed by golden eyes. "What's going on?" Came Tetsu's direct questions as he close to door behind him.
"What with this gloominess?" Isashiki barked and opened the fridge for can of cola, gulping the whole content down in three mouths full, completely ignoring their confused stares until Ryousuke held out the paper for them to see and Shirasu held up his bright red flashing phone.
Tetsuya took the letter, reading through it with an Isashiki leaning right over his shoulder. "I see. We'll have our next victim, then."
Isashiki opened and closed his mouth like an electrocuted fish, dread covered his entire face as he glanced at Tetsuya who immediately caught on. "Where's Miyuki?"
"No, here yet." Shirasu rasp out strong but quiet but that was alone to get the leader to rush out again, Ryousuke followed close behind him, helmet on and keys jingling in hand, Isashiki cursed and turned to them.
"We're leaving. Get your stuff. You know how this stuff works." Isashiki directed, pulling out his phone and dialled a number he by now knew by heart.
"Get the place ready, Zono." He said when the other line picked up. "We'll be staying over for a while."
As quietly as he could Mei tiptoed across the hall, peeking from one corridor from another as he fluttered towards the elevator. Beads of sweat glided down his temple as he hid behind the leaves of potted plants scattered across the hallway. Squishing himself further against the wall as laughter filtered in the silence, overlapping voices nearing his hideout before faintly echoing away.
Relieved, he crawled out and flitted around the corner, taking two steps at a time as he hopped down the stairs. Feet barely contacting the broad surface whilst he moved in a cautious fashion and stretched his head out to the check the floor once he reached the bottom. Deciding it was safe to go, he sneaked away from the corner, out into the open where he was spotted.
"Where are you going?"
Mei halted in his steps, goosebumps crawling up his arms when he recognized the deep voice. "Out."
"Where to?" Harada stepped closer, moving away from the shadow across the room. "You better have a good reason, or else I can't let you go."
The blond huffed and headed for the double doors, grabbing his coat off the couch in passing, completely dropping his sneaking act.
"Where are you going?" Harada followed him out into the foyer.
"Don't need to know."
"You don't need to know." Mei turned and gazed at him pointedly. "Wherever I go-wherever I will go- has nothing to do with you. So, keep out of it."
"That's what you say." Carlos suddenly emerged, blocking the door with Shirakawa. "But our orders are different."
Mei rolled his eyes, patience running thin. "What orders?"
"You know which ones." The red haired rose a brow. "You were here at noon when we had a meeting."
Mei turned his head away. "I don't know what you're talking about."
Harada sighed. "We know about it too, you know."
He glanced at Harada from the corner of his eyes. "Know about what?"
"Him." Was his only firm reply before clearing his throat and clarifying: "We know about him and his condition."
"Critical condition." Carlos supplied and uncrossed his arms, placing them on his hips as he leaned forward. "Either way, we are forbidden to leave this building. Kunitomo's orders. You won't be able to see your friend."
"What friend?" Mei frowned. "I said I'll be out not-" He shook his head, silently reprimanding himself from falling in to Carlos stupid trap. "Move away from the door."
"Can't do. The maniac might be still be running around, looking for other assassins to kill. We need to wait until the situation's clears out."
Mei snorted and made a move forward. "Don't tell me you're scared of some punk."
"That 'punk' took out Miyuki." Harada stepped forwards, casting Mei in his shadow. "We can't take him lightly. Whether we like it or not, we have to wait until further orders are given. Until then we are to remain safe."
"From what?" His brows twitched as his temper flared. "Remain safe from what? What exactly? A car, that some psycho is whirling around the city?" He snorted. "Move away from the door before I make you."
They stared at each other down. Icy blue on deep onyx until the blond fell. Crashed against the latter. Carlos held him, smirking at Harada and his raised hand. "You didn't need to do that. I would've knocked him out, one way or another."
"We aren't meant to fight another." Was all Harada said as he turned around. "Bring him to the dark room. Make sure to lock the door."
"How harsh." Carlos grinned at the unconscious body before him. "Hey, Shirakawa! Gimme a hand- huh? where'd he go?" Carlos gazed around the empty foyer and back to the man in his arms. He sighed. Long and drawn out before carrying the limp up the stairs. "What a drag."
Just a gentle reminder.
Perfect Mask is set in the future.
Long forgotten Life is based on past events.
Long forgotten Life.
"Kanemaru! Stop it! Stop the damn car!" Eijun clutched the bottom of his seat. Nails digging into the material as he pressed himself deeper in to it, willing it him to swallow him whole. At least then, he wasn't forced to witness this.
Kanemaru tched and swerved. Sandwiching that rider that seemingly appeared from nowhere. Cornering between the other car. The suspicious car, Kanemaru named it, but Eijun could careless. His driver was murdering an innocent civilian.
Stop! Kanemaru. Stop!
"He'll die!Kanemaru! Can't you see he's—!" Eijun screeched from the top of his lungs and shut his eyes. Feeling his breakfast almost spiralled up his gullet. Pressing against the back of his mouth as they bend sharply. Slewing across the street. Tyres squeaking ear-splitting loud as they curved.
STOP IT ALREADY!
"Can't do." Was all Kanemaru said, diving further in, squishing him more in. "Now, lemme concentrate."
This isn't-! Ouch!
Eijun fell against the window, banging his head against the glass. Heard a dull clunk and bolted from his seat. Catching glimpses of a black curve. Eijun gasped. Squirmed into his seat and readjusted his seat belt. Pressing his nose against the pane, noticing a slight dent but kept his eyes mostly on the figure. Realising with a thump that the curve of the rider's helmet, and moving again. No. Eijun thought, stomach sinking as he gazed at the tanned hand, shifting the steering wheel. We're moving, again. He whirled his head back. Screamed and tugged at Kanemaru widely. Choking his driver with a firm clutch of the rim of his shirt. "Stop it, Kanemaru! I'm telling you! You hear me? I'm telling you!"
"Don't kill him!" Tears brimming at the corners of Eijun's eyes, blurring his vision and idly he noted the tingling of his nose but none of that mattered. At all. "IT'S AN ORDER!"
"Shut up!" Kanemaru growled, shoving Eijun's clammy hands away and jerked his collar back. "That hurts, you freak."
Don't do it!
Eijun stilled. Throat raw. Golden orbs ample in their sockets. Arms limp beside him. Breath on hold. Watching. Just watching. Trailing after the dark figure soaring through the sky. Looming over him. Surging through the wind. Gliding like a broken winged butterfly. Slowly descending. As though he was a feather weight. Light and airy. Drifting- drifting- drifting. Slicing through the air with limbs twisted. Bent. Jutted. Sort of curved into himself.
And it took one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight seconds for Eijun to snap. To trash into his seat. Lashing out. Swinging his arms and kicking his feet. Hitting below the car's drawer. Punching Kanemaru's face. Cracking his fingers against the dent. Screaming in his highest vocal range he'd ever managed. Spewing "No", "Don't" and "Stop it" over and over again like new mantra. Liquid salt curled deep into his lips and belatedly he noted his throat hurt hurt hurt hurt. Having a hard time believing that his chauffeur next to him might be an experienced serial killer- much less his friend.
STOP THE DAMNED CAR!
"Ow that hurts!" Kanemaru growled, pushing the brunette's face away with a hand, pressing him towards the window, creating distance between himself and Eijun's dangerous fists. "Stay there and don't move- ow! Sawamura!"
They collided, the cyclist zoomed, swishing through the air and Eijun shut his eyes, pressed hands to his ears.
I don't want to hear it! I don't want to hear it! I don't want to hear it! I don't-
Eijun screeched. I heard it!
Kanemarugritted his teeth as the next barrages of cries resounded from Eijun's mouth. Shrill and loud and Kanemaru cringed. "Shut up, already!"
But Eijun didn't listen. Rolled his eyes back instead. Whiteness appearing where his golden orbs should be. Flashes of hollow eyes, streaming blood and the unforgettable bright glow of a striped ambulances crossed his mind, with a lifeless body crashing down along with it. Bright swirls of colours printed on a pale hand met his eyes before his awareness faded. Blacking out. Only then noticing the irregular beating of his heart. The ache in his throat. The dots in his eyes. And then, he seeped away. Drifted away.
Far, far away.
Were Eijun first thought as he came to, snuggled closer and succumbed into the warmth that emitted from seemingly nowhere and yet was so so warm. Eijun purred, eyes still shut tightly.
He mumbled under his breath, sunk deeper into his arms sleeves, fabric rustling beneath his ears as he sighed contently, smacking his lips together and turned, facing the other direction.
Eijun muttered, brows furrowing as the sound continued resounding, echoing through the room, bouncing off the walls into his ears and Eijun cursed.
He reluctantly slit his eyes open, the tiniest bit, just enough to adjust to the bright blinding light, before he and closed them again, rubbed his burning eyelids with the back of his hands and blinked, once, twice, taking in his surroundings, meeting mesh of brown hair crowned with striking auburn and a familiar face along with it, laying on the bed, covers tucked under his chin.
Eijun eyes lingered at the mouth cap, stared at the variation of tubes, the bandages, the casts that seemed to be everywhere on him.
B e e p
Eijun gazed away, grave golden eyes looking at his right, there were the medical ventilator beeped and bleeped and for a moment Eijun wished he could make it stop. But he wouldn't dare to. No. Never. Because-
Eijun gulped and shuddered, arms rubbing up and down the length of his arms as he directed his eyes back to the cap fasted around Miyuki's mouth, gazing through the glass at jutted lips, taking comfort in steadily rise and fall of his chest. He was breathing. Miyuki was breathing.
He's alive, Eijun thought, calming his erratic beating heart. He really is alive.
He laughed. It sounded off around the edges- a bit broken, but Eijun didn't care and sat up straighter. Stretched his arms above his head and yawned, wide and loud. Hearing his muscles pop and bent backward, arching his back and smacked his lips together again, cringing at his morning breath. Trying to distract himself from troubled thoughts and nightmares much less of crashing bodies and-
Stop. Eijun interrupted breathing heavily through his nose. Enough.
He stood up, wobbling a bit, legs still stiff from sleeping on a plastic chair. He pushed himself away from the bed, chair screeching behind him.
Streaks of raising sunglow peeked through the curtain, squeezing through the open crack and brightening the small room as he began his daily routine stretches. Pushing the chair he's been sleeping in aside and created some space for himself and started with a simple Tuck, followed by the Candlestick.
By the time he performed an Arabesque, the door slammed open. A mob of blond hair towered at the entrance, glowering at Eijun as he neared him in ample steps. "What's gotten in to you?!"
Eijun huffed and went on all fours, readying himself for his Donkey Kick, sort of wishing Kanemaru stood closer, just enough for Eijun to give him a good boot. Maybe then, the blond would learn not to yell in a patient's room like that, especially not in this.
"What happened this time?" he opted instead, lowering his leg and raised the other up high.
Kanemaru gritted his teeth, lowered his shaking fists with every ounce of mental strength he had and aimed a single kick at Eijun's side. "Don't act like you don't know anything, you prick!"
Eijun toppled over and yelped, grunting at the blond as he sat back up, pointing at Kanemaru with his forefinger, eyes narrowing at him. "Don't just attack anybody. I could've banged my head against that thing."
Kanemaru tched and jerked his head against 'that thing' as though it doesn't matter and Eijun gasped. Loudly. "How could you-"
"Shut up! I'm-"
"-you monster! This victim of your brutality needs it to survive!"
"-and you don't even care at all even though-"
"Idiot, let me talk!"
"-it was you who- ow!" Eijun clutched the back of his head, bowing forwards as his fingers soothed the piercing pain. "What's wrong with you!"
"This wasn't what I came here for, sheesh!" Kanemaru huffed, ruffled his hair and glared, eyes burning holes through Eijun's head as he cleared his throat. "You- lil' dipstick- have been screaming my name across the whole hospital. I could hear you from thefrigging reception area! Do you want to tell the whole world you're here?!"
Eijun blinked. "I did what?"
"Don't act dumb. You've been shouting my name and 'Stop' all over. In fact, you've been saying 'don't do it' and 'it's an order'- oh,goodness. Don'ttell me you've been dreaming it again." Kanemaru scrubbed his face, brows harshly knitted as his face started to grimace, giving Eijun a strangled look as all anger seemed to deflate him.
Eijun blinked once, twice and grinned sheepishly. Not really understanding Kanemaru sudden mood change but welcomed it nonetheless. The blond stepped closer, closed the door behind him and sat himself on a chair near Eijun and the other noticed the sweat glistering on Kanemaru's face. How his chest heaved faster than usually and Eijun frowned. "You've been running here?"
"Tch. 'Course not, why would I?" He grunted, tapped another chair with the tip of his foot, plastic bag rustling in his grasp.
"I can take care of myself, you know?" Eijun puffed his chest out and held a fist over his heart. "Don't need to babysit me. Not matter what Dad and Grandfather says."
"I wasn't worried."
"But thank you for your concern, anyway." Eijun bowed deep and Kanemaru turned away, cheeks grazed the faintest pink as he muttered:
"Are you even listening, you doofus?" Kanemaru brows drew down as he crossed his arms. "I said, I wasn't worried."
Eijun hummed and sat back down on the floor, metres away from Kanemaru (and his legs could reach) and made his favourite position, a V-sit which was followed by an Arch and concluded with and Hollow. It was then when Eijun was finished and rubbed his hands on his trousers, Kanemaru shuffled through the plastic bag he placed near the chair's foot and got out a drink.
"If you want to keep those joints movin', why not join real sport?"
"That again?" Eijun rolled his eyes and puffed his cheeks slightly, lips bulging into a pout as he held his hand out. The other smirked and placed a can of Oolong tea on Eijun out stretched hands, slightly tipping his head at the occupied bed in front of him.
"Were you sleeping on his bed?"
Eijun crossed his arms. "Nope. I wasn't."
"Yeah," Kanemaru snorted. "Of course you weren't."
"I said I wasn't!" Eijun spluttered through his drink, sending drops of tea everywhere as he pointed at the unmade bed on the other side. There,where the sheets were still scattered across the bed, crumbled in his hasty way to get out. "Look!"
"I see you didn't." Said Kanemaru smirking, index finger playing with the tap as he slowly lifted and then pulled away. "Not at all."
"What?" He lifted a brow, a smile grazing at his lips. But to Eijun it looked more like a vicious grin. Dark and heavy.
"Stop agreeing with me." Eijun huffed out, crossing his arms. "You're not supposed to."
"Then just admit you slept on his bed." He paused and then- almost like an after thought- he added, "Again."
Eijun groaned and hid his face in his hands, mumbling into them that he never slept on his bed. How could that even be? They just met him hours before. Kanemaru snickered until the door creaked opened and a timid looking nurse stepped in. Gazing at the floor as she inquired for them to leave for Miyuki's check-up.
They loitered in the hallway, though. Waiting for the woman to come out and leave as she has done so for the last two weeks, whilst Kanemaru amused himself by tapping his feet to some beat only he could hear but Eijun hummed along anyway. Totally off beat and out of tune, but took it as mean to distract himself, to keep his mind off the half-dead person laying on the hospital bed or of light weights crashing down.
"Is this the room of Miyuki Kazuya?" Tousled blond hair and sharp azure eyes stared at him, haughtily smiling at them as pointed a thumb at the door Eijun stood opposite of.
Kanemaru frowned. "Yeah, but who are you?"
"An acquaintance of his, maybe?" Eijun supplied, tilting his head a little, studying the stranger that seemed to appear from nowhere (at least to Eijun). "Say, are you professional magician?"
"A what?" the stranger snickered. "Where did that came from?"
Eijun blushed but before he could reply Kanemaru jerked him away. "Ignore, this idiot." Was all he said to the stranger as he pulled Eijun behind him. "But, who're you? You've never answered my question."
"How rude of me." He grinned all cheeky and Kanemaru's brows were now twitching and Eijun knew what that means. It was bound to get dangerous (again). "Narumiya Mei's the name.
"You mean, that Narumiya Mei?"
"Yep, yep that's me." The blond said nodding his head, arms crossed, smile never faltering even when Kanemaru pointed his gun at him.
"Kane, you know him?" Eijun asked, eyebrows raised, peeking over Kanemaru's shoulder as he heard the latter breathe out through his nose, shoulders rolled back.
"I guess you could say that." Kanemaru looked at him hard. "What you're doing here?"
"Visiting somebody I know."
"That half dead guy there?" Kanemaru titled his head towards Miyuki's room, ignoring the way Sawamura gasped undeniably loud and glowered at him.
"He's like that because of you! If you'd listen to me and actually stopped that damn car— umpf"
"What's you're relation to him?" Kanemaru fasten his hand on Eijun's mouth and pushed him further back, gun still pointed at the blond.
"Why do you wanna know?" Narumiya grinned. "Scared I take him like I took your girlfriend the other day? Don't worry, that's not why I'm here for."
"So, that's how you know each other!" Eijun forced the grip away from his mouth. "You never told me you had a girlfriend though, Kanemaru."
"That's because I don't." Kanemaru's eye twitched. "I was undercover and that guy ruined it for me."
Narumiya shrugged. "It's not my problem that you can't do your job right."
"It's really kind of you to visit your friend today." Said Eijun suddenly popping up in front of Narumiya and shook his gloved hand rather vividly as he smiled up at him, ignoring how Kanemaru burned his back with the intensity of his glare but Sawamura could care less. He could deal with Kanemaru later. "I was worried Miyuki had nobody look after him as no-one came by to check up on him at all."
At that Narumiya leaned forward at first surprised and then uncomprehendingly disturbed. "No-one came? Not one person at all?" Sawamura watched amazed the way the blond's face twisted into faint astonishment and then to what appeared to be exaggerated incredulity.
"And he's been here—what, hours? And those asses didn't even bother to come by? Not even once?" Narumiya voiced out light and airy as if it was a new revelation to him and perhaps it was. Sawamura shifted sideways, trying to make out what it was that seemed to occur unbelievable to the other.
"Asses?" Kanemaru spoke up leaning against the wall, gun long since stashed away.
"His friends." Voice void and hollow Narumiya locked his gaze with him, staring Kanemaru deep in the eye. "Don't know where they are though. Haven't seen the for awhile."
"Perhaps, they have fallen out then." Eijun breathed out as though he wanted to keep that to himself but couldn't hold it in anymore. The smile on Eijun lip didn't quiet reach his eyes but it was a smile nonetheless. "I'll watch over him, then!"
"No, you won't." Kanemaru shook his head almost immediately. "We're leaving in a bit. There's no point in staying longer."
"What? He is—"
"—alright now." Kanemaru cut of Eijun rumblings. "This wasn't why we came to Japan. I'm not getting paid by wasting my time with you here."
"But- but-" Eijun spluttered before stressing out that it was Kanemaru's fault that Miyuki ended up like that in the first place. "Take responsibility!"
Kanemaru rubbed his neck before sighing. "A day." He compromised at last.
"Two days- no- three days. Give me three days. I'll come with no resistance then." Eijun amended.
"Three days, then. That's all I'm going to give you."
Eijun grinned bright and sunny before turning to the blond. "You heard that? I can stay for- what?"
Confused Eijun crooked his head everywhere but to no avail. The blond was gone. Wide eyed, Eijun looked at Kanemaru whose face hardened. The door opened then and the nurse stepped out, bangs foreshadowing her eyes. "You may enter again, sirs. I-if you still want to, that is."
Her voice fell over deaf ears as Eijun glanced at the ground, picking up a discarded card with the initials N.M printed in slanted gold letters, a number in bold underneath. Narumiya Mei, Eijun guessed and stuffed it in his pocket, walking inside Miyuki's room again without glancing back at Kanemaru, knowing the latter would follow moments later.
How have you been finding this so far?
Able to keep up, or is it getting confusing?
I'm all hears, everything is appreciated, really.
So you don't have to shy away from telling me :)
Chapter 5: Chapter Five
Heads up, there's only three chapters left until the story's plateau. So please, brace your hearts and steel your emotions. For now, I can only warn you about what's to come.
Long Forgotten Life.
"Where did Mei go?" Yabe yelled, slamming the doors behind him. "Carlos, where the hell did he go?"
"Don't know. I locked him in. I definitely did." Carlos repeated the same line for the fifteenth time in a row, glaring at Shirakawa's disbelievingly raised brow for the nth time now too.
"I really did! Why won't any of you believe me?" he moaned, ruffling his slicked back hair. "This wasn't how I wanted to spend my day..." Carlos continued to grumble and looked around once more. Damn Narumiya with his runaway genes. "What a child!"
"So grumbling and look for him!" Shirakawa shouted then, pointing a finger at the door. "Is your fault he escaped anyway."
"What was that?" Carlos turned to him as if to dare him. "Say that again!"
"If you had locked that door properly-"
He snorted and folded his arms behind his head. "If you'd actually stayed and helped me, you wouldn't even be complaining." Cause' I did lock him up "I used that triple lock we newly installed. There's noway I could get that wrong."
Shirakawa mumbled beneath his breathe but Carlos couldn't make out what exactly he was saying. Distances away he could hear Yabe slamming doors, yelling for Mei to come out.
"We couldn't find him!" The third search group that Captain Fukui led finally arrived at their meeting point which the living room represented. "Mei isn't in the West Wing."
"He wasn't in the East building, either." Tadano announced as his troupe came shortly after from the opposite direction and let his eyes roam over the crowd that has gathered already. "I take you guys weren't successful either."
"None of us." Carlos gritted his teeth. This wasn't good. Not good at all. "He shouldn't have been able to escape. Damn that guy. He just can't sit still."
"If Kunitomo finds out..." Somebody mumbled that Carlos didn't recognized yet the message was clear to him. It will be my fault. Mine and mine alone.
"Shirakawa, cover for me!" He said as he dashed forwards and turned behind to shout, "I'll go looking for him. I'll find him somehow."
"Find who?" Narumiya peeked his head through the door, before wholly stepping out, sipping from a can of orange juice. Carlos stopped right in front of him, almost tripped over him too if it hadn't been for his great balance.
"Where have you been?" Yabe surged forward, brushing with the faintest bump Carlos aside and towered over him, dark and menacing.
Narumiya blinked before slurping the remaining droplets of his juice exaggeratedly loud. "Why, I've been here all along."
"Where?" Yabe growled, clutched Narumiya's shoulder as the latter tried to move. "I'll break your shoulder if you lie again."
Narumiya rolled his eyes. "And why should I tell you? I'm a full fledged adult. I can do whatever I want." The blond kept a straight face, ignoring the way his shoulder blades cracked under the pressure of Yabe's hand.
"We had orders." Shirakawa voiced out then, arms crossed. "We told you not to leave the site."
"I'm fine, aren't I?" Narumiya voice sounded careless but the icy blue of his eyes dropped several degrees. "Nothing's gonna happen to me because of some loser."
"That 'loser' sent one of Seidou's best assassins to hospital, you moron!" Yabe amplified the pressure on the blond shoulder until Carlos knocked off Yabe's hand.
"We aren't meant to hurt another, Kouji."
"Let him." All eyes turned to Narumiya whose was face was void of any expressions. His words, though, carried severe levels of contempt. "Doesn't hurt anyway."
"Now, now, calm down everyone." Captain Fukui stepped in between them. "No need to cause a fight, Kouji. We all have been worried, haven't we?" When nobody replied and strangely avoided any sort of eye contact, he sighed, shoulders dropping as though to sink for a split of a second the unseen weight his title bore, before smiling brightly again, full of hope and compassion. "Mei you shouldn't have left- even if you think the man is puny. He hurt Miyuki. It's a fact we cannot ignore."
"No, he did not." The frost in Narumiya's eyes were colder than Antarctica itself. He stared down at Fukui, speaking with the same amount of iciness as though he meant to drill each character into their minds forever. "That idiot let that trash ran over him."
"You don't honestly believe that?" Carlos watched amused as Yabe canted his head at him, levelling a heated glare as he stepped forwards despite the Captain's pointed look. "We have seen the video. Miyuki was at mercy's hands."
"He stood no chance." Shirakawa agreed before mumbling quietly. "Can't even believe you wanted that noob in our organisation."
"He couldn't even deflect an accident." Tadano admitted uncomfortably. "That was one of the fundamentals we first learned."
But Narumiya heard none of it as he had already disappeared somewhere among the crowd within the seconds Carlos took his eyes of him.
"What's up with him?" Carlos muttered, stuffing his hands into his pocket. "He was acting all serious over nothing."
Shirakawa shrugged and turned away. "Don't know. All I know is you didn't lock the door."
"I did lock that door." When he was met with numerous disbelieving stares, he tried again, louder this time. "I really did lock the door!"
"You're lucky Kunitomo hasn't arrived yet." The Captain patted his back twice before he turned towards the rest, dismissing and thanking them for their help.
"But-but-" Carlos' voice lingered in the air as the people surrounding him moments prior dispatched without a single glance back at him. "...I really did."
"How come he's so involved?"
Wait, what? Kuramochi blinked. That wasn't in my memories.
"That Narumiya . . ." Isashiki said, brows knitted harshly. "How come he's more involved than any of us?"
"Why don't you ask him yourself?" Ryousuke said as he marched to the door and opened it, letting a familiar blond step in, scrunching up his face as he looked around him.
"Puh! In what kind of dumping ground do you guys live in? Aren't you feeling cramped at all?"
"You piece of-"
"Jun," Tetsuya rose, sent a lingering look on Isashiki before glancing at the newcomer. "Tea?"
Narumiya made a face. "Not from you. I wouldn't trust you."
"You shouldn't trust any of us," Shirasu spoke up, a dark air of malice around him. Youichi frowned. So, he hasn't forgotten. He stole a glance at Ryousuke, who didn't seem fazed in the slightest. Youichi shrugged. Guess it doesn't matter.
"So, why you're here?"
Narumiya rose his nose in the air, singing cheerily before flopping on the empty couch. "~No particular rea-son~"
"Tch, don't believe it."
The door opened then, shook of brown hair peeking through the gap before stepping out. Miyuki casted a fleeting glance at the blond, brows raised the tinniest fraction as he tipped his head slightly at him, fluttering into the cold. The metal door closed with a heavy thud.
Youichi's head shifted towards Ryousuke. He was near the window again, peeking through the blinds. Rays of lights flittered passed, staining the grey walls with thick yellow lines. The pink haired turned towards him again then. Mouth angled at the corners, background alight behind him and Youichi squinted his eyes, not quite believing what he was seeing.
"We'll proceed with Plan B. I'll update you for any changes." Ryousuke spoke, moving towards the door, ignoring the confused expressions building upon the others. "I'll leave the rest to you, Youichi."
Youichi swallowed, dread piling in his stomach but nodded nonetheless, after all this could be their goodbye. The door creaked and shut close. Alarmed expressions flashed across his mates, followed by worried glances. Youichi took a deep breath. Preparing himself for the worst.
"What's going on?" Shirasu wobbled out first, cheeks pale and wide eyed. "Is he going to die now, too?"
"Hahaha!" Isashiki howled unnaturally loud. Too forced and too unlike Isashiki's usual bark of laughter as he gave Shirasu a rather pointed look. "Why would that sucker? Think he fell head over heels for some girl?" He snorted, "Don't be stupid. There's no way Ryousuke will. That guy has an iron heart. He's the cruellest man alive."
"That's rather you." Tetsuya slipped in before gazing at Youichi. "He was speaking of a mission, wasn't he? You're on a mission."
Although it was said as a statement almost as a fact, there was still uncertainty shimmering in Tetsu's eyes, unspoken pleading that Youichi should agree with it. That Tetsu was right, that no-one was going to die, that they were only on a mission they can easily handle and complete.
Youichi bit his lips. I can't tell them. I can't. Not now.
"Kuramochi. Speak." Isashiki strode towards him, bumping a protesting Narumiya aside. "Are you on a mission? Yes or no."
"Well, uh, you see. . ." Youichi rubbed the back of his neck. This wasn't how things were supposed to the heavens for muddling up Plan A.
"Kazuya is." Narumiya spoke up, penetrating the tension that circulated around them easily. He folded his arms across his chest as his voice buzzed by, dripping of cold November's wind and harsh reality, "He is going to blow up the central system of Seidou and himself along with it."
"What?" Isashiki sounded incredulous but the disbelief was thicker in his voice. "Why would he do that?"
"You haven't noticed much have you?" Narumiya sighed, deep with fake remorse and turned away. Gazing towards the ceiling and mumbled in front of him, wading into his infamous monologue they all hated him for. "See? This is why Kazuya should've followed me to Inashiro—shit like this wouldn't happened."
"Cut the crap. Answer my questions." Isashiki's temple twitched.
"Why is Miyuki blowing himself up? Why did Ryousuke leave as though isn't coming back?" Shirasu pressed, sounding more and more confused and distorted as his face continuously shifted between the newcomer and Youichi.
"I see, you haven't finish telling them." Narumiya sighed undeniably loud and glanced at his wristwatch. "Don't you get anything done? You're lucky we've still have enough time for this." He gave the green haired a side glance. "Youchi-kun where'd you stop?"
Youichi grumbled at his comments, huffing it away with a sole eye roll: "My name is Youichi. You-i-chi. When will you get it?"
Narumiya waved a hand. "Where'd you stop?"
"Hospital." Kuramochi grit out, balling his fists. All previous guilty and sentimental feelings now forgotten. "When you showed your shit-face out of the blue."
"Only there?" The blond made a face. "What have you been doing all this time? Oh hold on- don't wanna know. Isashiki has probably been interrupting much."
"A hell of a lot."
The sighed exasperatingly loud, ignoring how Isashiki's eyes afire, blazing hot with the promise of murder. "I'll get the outline done, then. A rushed version of this—my version of events. You get down unto the details later. On our away, I mean."
Youichi could almost hear him thinking because we might die later. Narumiya leaned forwards then, voice a barely above a whisper as he murmured. "I'm only going to repeat this once, so listen close."
Sawamura Eijun, future heir of the Sawamura Corporation that was currently led by his father, Sawamura Eiji and supervised by his grandfather, Sawamura Eitoku.
It's a remote organisation many didn't know about, leading there to be little to no information to obtain. But one thing is definitely certain:
Through the rise of the company they acquired a great deal of competitors, rivals and even enemies. Traces appeared across countries on law firms, TV stations, Market commercials, everyday business, even recently underground organisations and probably even more that trail up all the way to Sawamura Corporation. How they were connected, Mei did not know. There was something suspicious and fishy about the SMC but that was not what Mei was interested in—
"One question." The room was silent when a gruff voice spoke up, drowning away Narumiya's words as Isashiki shot the blond an irritated look. "Who made you our story teller?"
"You're a crappy one." Shirasu spoke up, frowning. "Sorry, but I liked Kuramochi more."
Tetsu nodded. "He made it much more interesting."
"Yeah, I could envision the scenes myself."
"It was an outline! We got no time for the whole thing." Narumiya slapped his forehead in an exaggerated manner. "Am I speaking with idiots?"
Youichi lifted a haughty brow as he crossed his arms. "Shall I resume?"
"No, no, we're leaving." Narumiya stuffed his hands into his pockets, nose high in the air as he turned. "Whatever they don't understand now, they won't understand later. No point in trying."
"Hold it." Shirasu threw a card at the blond with trained precision. "Answer the questions, you never did."
Narumiya frowned. "Huh?"
"Miyuki. Bomb. Ryousuke. Leaving. Why." Shirasu breathed out, muttering under his breath: "You sure we're the idiots here?"
"You don't need to know that anymore." Narumiya gave him a cold look before pulling Youichi's arm. "C'mon we're going. Told you it's just going to be just us three."
Youichi uneasily glanced back. "But—"
They all looked at the door where Tetsuya was standing tall and astute, blocking the door as he stood before it, arms crossed. "Nobody is leaving until I know what's happening."
"Isn't that obvious?" Narumiya snorted, running out of patience. "Miyuki is going to die. Probably going to throw himself into the flames, too."
"Pfft, never. That dude is too conceited to let himself end like that."
"Isashiki is right. Miyuki isn't that type of person."
"You've no idea." They turned towards Youichi who had quieted down. "You didn't see. . .You didn't see what we have seen."
Tetsu tipped his head. "What have you seen?"
"Well. . ." Youichi bit the inside of his cheek. "Not much but I have seen. . ."
"What, Kuramochi, what?"
"I have seen. . ." Youichi scratched the back of his head, trying to recall what it had been that setted off the matter, what made them panic so frantically, but nothing came to mind. There was only this cold feeling. That horrible, horrible feeling that has him shaking all over.
"Kuramochi! Get to the damn point!" Isashiki slammed a fist on the table. "You have seen what?"
Youichi breathed sharply through his nose. "Them, I guess."
"I don't know it myself! He was just different. So awfullystrange!"
"What was, what was? Mochi be more specific. What happened exactly? I'm not understanding." Shirasu leaned forward with brows ceased and frowning. "I don't get it."
"You don't need to!" Narumiya cut in, now fully annoyed. "Kuramochi, just let us go before Carlos and Shirakawa are coming. You know what they'll do."
"I know, I know. But we need reinforcement." Youichi turned to face, Narumiya fully, staring him dead in the eye. "We can't just take the whole group by ourself. That's suicide."
"Well, there's nothing else to do. If your friends weren't such hooligans we might have already finished Phase A but nooo we did not and whose fault is that?" He gave Youichi a pointed look. "We have no other choice but to risk it,unless you think of something else and- Ow! WHAT WAS THAT FOR!"
Narumiya turned to face is assailant that turned out to be none other than Isashiki who is holding up his other fist now."Give me an explanation! I want an explanation for all this bullshit!"
"Miyuki's going to kill himself!" Narumiya gritted through his teeth before snapping out: "WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO KNOW?!"
"WHY IS HE KILLING HIMSELF THEN? TELL ME THE FRIGGIN' WHY!"
"ISN'T THAT OBVIOUS?" Narumiya's anger rose in spikes. Fists clenched tight and cheeks flushed the deepest crimson. He took a deep breath, shouting out an ear piercing: "YOU BETRAYED HIM."
A short silence.
"WHAT!? WHEN DID WE...!"
"Oh,don't deny it! I know what you've done and I mean all of you—including Youchi-kun and Ryousuke." Narumiya's eyes harden frosty ice blue. "Blackmailing and forcing him into killing. Suppressing and torturing him until the end of dawn. And most of all letting Kazuya see him dying. How cruel can you get? Why couldn't you just let him live without his memories? He was better off that way!"
"He didn't die." Shirasu said quietly, surprising the others. "Sawamura didn't die."
"But Kazuya thinks so." Narumiya countered as though it over ruled anything else. "At least he did until a month ago."
"Shirasu, you're now in this too?" Isashiki asked, brows continuing to deepen. "Am I the only one out on this?"
"No, I am quite lost too." Tetsu said turning to glance at Shirasu. "What's going on? Why conspiring against Miyuki?"
"I didn't. I was only on a mission given to me by Ochiai. I didn't know Sawamura was replacing the Head of their Corporation." Shirasu explained calmly.
"I was meant to shoot him dead. All of them actually. But," He swallowed. "Miyuki was there too and I wondered whether. . ." He trailed off.
"Whether you were supposed to kill him, too." Tetsuya finished for him before glancing at Youichi. "Wasn't Miyuki on a special mission then? I'm sure they said we won't see him for a while."
"He wasn't on a mission. He never was. They lied. They didn't want us to go looking for him in those months he was missing." Youichi muttered. "Those asses planned his death all along."
Aghast, Isashiki turned to Shirasu. "Did you pull the trigger?"
"No, I didn't. I blew up the place the moment Miyuki stepped out." Shirasu frowned. "Sawamura survived, though. I saw him leave through the back entrance with a blond yobbo-looking guy."
"But what was the blackmail and the torture all about?" Tetsuya asked. "I haven't seen him limping or scarred at all."
"Not physical torture. Psychological." Youichi answered. "We needed him to come back here. It was too dangerous for him to stay outside with all those people gunning for his head. Besides the Sea-Serpent was marked on his arm. Sawamura's guards would've kill him if they found out its meaning."
Isashiki snorted in disbelief. "Why would they? They don't know even what it's stands for. The percentage that they do is slim. Even close to zero."
"You're forgetting that Ochiai is on him. Who knows what he'll slip up in public to get him killed."
"He rammed his car into Kazuya in broad daylight as far as I remember. Ochiai got no sense of pride at all." Narumiya crossed his arms. "And if we don't get moving it's over for us too. They probably know what we're up to already."
"I still have other questions in mind I want an answers to but that is for later." Tetsu moved away from the door. "For now we're dealing with this mess."
"Wait! I need to get my stuff." Isashiki yelled, storming up the stairs closely followed up by Shirasu who shouted a quick"We'll be down in five," over his shoulder.
Narumiya sighed and dropped himself onto the couch again. "Hurry up or we'll leave you behind."
Chapter 6: Chapter Six
Hello, hello! How have you been? For the first time, in a loooong while, I had a break so I thought I should surprise you today with a new chapter!
Make yourselves comfortable and enjoy!
Long forgotten Life
"That's all for today Takashima-san." Kawakami placed the last stack of files on her desk. Rei leaned back, sighing as she placed her pen down and massaged her stiff neck. There had been unreasonably amount of paperwork lately that wouldn't cease regardless of the prolonged time she sat through them. He gave her an apologetic look before he shuffled out, door quietly shutting behind him.
She waited for a few moments before she pushed her chair back and glanced outside the window. The sun was at its highest point, swimming in the grand blue with yellow rays illuminating greyed pathway and blossoming trees and bushes. Rei gazed on the clock hanging on her wall and then back on the pile of paper waiting on her desk, biting her lip in thought before she resolutely grabbed her blazer.
Just like she thought the weather was nice enough for a brisk walk. She smiled contently when the birds chirped their song through the sudden gusts of wind blowing from left and right after she circled around the building, tugging her gloves further on as the wind perked up, colder now. Rei turned on her heels, ready to walk back up to her office and complete her remaining work when rapid footsteps crept up to her. Rei's hands flew inside her pocket, fastening on the metal grip of her gun as she whirled around, gun raised at two familiar looking faces.
"What are you guys doing?" Rei asked, lowering her gun and placed a hand on her hip, raising a delicate brow.
"There's something we need to talk to you about." Tetsuya answered eyes locked on her whilst the Ryousuke gazed around. She frowned and motioned them to follow her to her office in ample steps, noticing with a measured eye the tightness in Tetsu's face and shoulders and the unusual blankness on Ryousuke's face.
"How can I be of help?" She asked the moment she closed the door, not missing the way Tetsu stood in front of her and Ryousuke chose to lean on the door she just closed. Tetsuya stepped forwards, holding the Death Letter up. Rei took the letter and opened it, reading through the content with Tetsu's golden eyes on her until she handed it back. "It's a fraud."
"Are you sure?" Ryousuke spoke up behind her, stepping slightly into her peripheral vision. "The gave out the Ready Signal of our phones. We can be target at any time now."
Rei glanced at him sharply. "All of your phones?"
"No." Tetsuya answered. "Only Jun's and Shirasu's gave out the signal."
"Actually mine and Kuramochi's did too." Ryousuke added holding up his phone as evidence. "Something is definitely not right."
"How can that be?" Rei whispered and quickly walked over to her desk, unfastening the top drawer from her desk and pulled out a mini-sized iPad. Tetsuya and Ryousuke waited patiently for her to sort out her data and look at the points each group has gathered. As far as she knew Tetsu's group always earned enough points to reduce the chances of obtaining a purge. They shouldn't be given one. Although she was aware that people in Seidou had their conflicting emotions towards them. They were Seidou's best and almost never quiet exposed to the Death Letter unlike the rest of them but—
H aven't we taken care of that already?
Haven't they created more fairness by crossing out Tanba off their list? Surely, their animosity levels should have reduced greatly since then. So, why was it necessary for them to lose more people? Haven't they lost enough already? Rei frowned as she retyped her password. The screen brightened and Rei glared at message written across in bold writing.
Ryousuke and Tetsuya exchanged a glance when Rei shook her head and stood up from her chair, locking her iPad into her drawer again. "Sorry boys. I can't help you. They blocked me off the system."
"But isn't it your job to monitor?" Ryousuke canted his head to the side as his smile sharpened. "Why would they block you off?"
"That's what I'm going to find out now." Rei walked passed him and placed her hand on the door knob. "Stay low just in case. At least until I figure out what on earth is going on."
Ryousuke nodded and turned to Tetsuya who nodded right back at him. "We have one last question, Takashima-san."
"What is it, Tetsu?" She tilted her head at him, gazing at him over her shoulder.
"It's about Miyuki. He left for a mission this morning and hasn't returned since." Tetsuya said carefully, studying her face whilst he spoke. "We wondered whether you know something about this."
"Indeed I do. I've received a message about this." Rei smiled and waved for them to follow her as she locked the room of her office. "Kazuya was recently assigned on a special mission. I'm not permitted to inform you any more than this but just know you won't see him for awhile."
Rei lingered in the hallway until they disappeared under the flights of stairs before stalking off in the opposite direction and brushed passed the double doors leading up to the garden and pulled her phone out, quickly punching in the numbers before holding it up to her ear, with a fifth ring the other line picked up.
"Kataoka?" He hummed and she continued, her stern voice hovering above the rushing wind. "We might have an arising problem soon. . . "
Blurs of deep blue, hues of faint orange, pale yellow, ghastly white dotted before Kazuya's eyes, interlinking, weaving in and out, up and down until there was distinct difference in colouration, alternating embellishment that showed no classification of varying shades. His eyes fluttered shut for a moment, blinded by the too bright light and he breathed out, long and slowly, noticing that familiar odour tingled somewhere inside his nose.
He sneezed, breathing out, sharp and shallow that ignited an immediate coughing fit. Ready hands grabbed and steadied him, pulled him up higher and cushioned his back against something uncomfortably plushy. His eyes fluttered open, squinting at the face hovering before him through the dazzling haze until his eyelids wavered close.
"I'm glad you're wake." A voice blared against his ears. So loud. Groaning, he turned his head away. Shifty hands followed patting his cheek in in frantic taps. "Stay with me, Miyuki. Stay with me."
Another groan escape his lips, brows twitching in annoyance. Kazuya frowned at the person whose face he still couldn't make out. He squinted some more until the colours swimming in his vision reduced to nothing, swishing somewhere in the background until they finally faded away.
"Miyuki?" The person in front of him, stared him deep in the eye before retreating, pulling the mini torch away from his line of sight. "Do you remember what happened?"
The brunette stared around the room. The hospital room. He corrected himself as his eyes lingered moments longer on the drawn close curtains, white washed walls, polished floor and the pungent smell of disinfectants.
Why am I here?
"Do you remember what happened?" The same voiced asked again. He stared until his vision became clearer, finally able to identify some of the person's features. It was a woman. "Can you speak?" She tried again. When he didn't answer again, she glanced back. "How severe was his head damaged?"
"Not much as far as we know." The man behind her said, holding something akin to clipboard. "His helmet absorbed most of the shock during the collision."
Shock? Collision? He halted in mid motion, eyes still gazing at the dark coloured clipboard. What were they talking about?
"You had an accident." The woman from before clarified as though she heard his thoughts. "Do you remember anything?"
He became quiet as he tried to think. Seconds ticked by but the woman waited patiently. For what though, he didn't know. His mind appeared to be a gaping hole. Completely empty. Filled with nothing as though there was nothing. He shook his head. There was nothing. He remembered nothing.
The woman smiled and picked up some papers. "I'll be asking some quick questions. Bob your head for yes and shake it for no, okay?" She smiled and asked the first question.
"Do you remember your full name?"
"Can say it out loud?"
He shook his head.
The woman looked startled. "There aren't any problem with his trachea or his larynx, is there?"
The man behind her shook his head. "None."
She gazed back at him. "Do you know why you can't speak?"
A frowned perched between her eyebrows as she followed his gaze towards the desk next to his bed, gesturing repeatedly to the water filled jug with his brows as the rest of his body was just too tired to be moved. The woman gasped, red scattering across her nose as she poured the content into a cup, apologies already dripping from her lips. Annoyed, Kazuya reached to grab it, trying shifting his firmly locked muscles against the fatigue and belatedly noticed that he couldn't move them at all.
He glanced down, staring at the sling around his arm and the cast on his other, the many wraps and bandages around his wrists and fingers, the variation of tubes clammed on him. He eyes widened as he tried to move them in something similar to fascination and rising panic. How didn't he notice them before? The woman beside him cleared his throat and held the cup closer to him. He leaned back, eyes full of questions as he regarded her.
"Drink first." Was all she said as brought it closer. The clock above the men's head ticked on as he tired to think the best course of actions but ended up placing his lips on the rim anyway. He needed to hydrate himself first.
"I'll answer all your questions later, shall we resume first?"
"Your full name, please."
"Miyuki Kazuya, I think." He rasped out, throat still raw and hurting.
"Do you have any memories?" She added after a moment. "Anything that stands out in particular? From your childhood maybe? Or perhaps about your family?"
"None." Came the immediate reply.
The woman exchanged a worried look with the men loitering at the back until he jotted something down. "We'll have to do some scans. Maybe even some imaging tests." He suggested and walked towards the door. "I'll forward the information. Check his bandages. The Doctor doesn't like—"
The voices grew farther away from until there was an indestructible silence that lulled Kazuya back into sleep once more.
"Wakana!" The moment the door clicked close and her co-worker stepped out, a bundle of brown hair swept in and started screaming in the volume of a whisper as though Miyuki's room was a holy sanctuary with rules of conductions. "I heard he woke up already! Why didn't you tell me!?"
"What would've been the point?" Wakana mumbled and drew the curtain's of Miyuki's room close. "You'd only scream and distract me anyway. I can't have that."
"I would not!" Eijun huffed and crossed his arms, looking away from her to the side where caught a fleeting glance of Miyuki's face. His eyes widened. Eijun rushed towards him, glancing at the many bandages wrapped around him before narrowing his eyes at Wakana. "What did you do to him?! You mummified completely! He didn't look like this the last time I saw him."
Wakana shrugged. "He's fine despite his many injuries. I wouldn't worry too much."
"Injuries?" Eijun blanched. "Are they really bad injuries?"
"Not really." Wakana grabbed the clipboard hanging off bed and skimmed her eyes over it. Translating the medical words into simple everyday language for Eijun to understand. All in all Miyuki seemed to have many bruises, a fractured arm and leg, a broken collarbone, some broken fingers and an arm they had to relocate, a sprained wrist and a twisted ankle, not to mention some painful road rashes across his arms and lower back. "He might have a severe case of amnesia too but we cannot be sure until we do some tests. Stay away from him just in case."
"Why should I?" Eijun frowned as he looked at Miyuki sleeping soundlessly. "He seems harmless."
Wakana rolled her eyes. "For you everybody is harmless." She moved over to the Miyuki's bed and placing his casted arm under the cover before she raised the duvet up to his chin, covering him completely despite Eijun's protest not to touch him. Wakana brushed him of and administered Miyuki next set of painkillers. "Have you already forgotten? He's got a tattoo. He's dangerous."
Eijun puffed his cheek. "But you've got one too. We all have one, in fact."
"That's different and you know that." Wakana explained for the umpteenth time and dragged him out of the room. "That guy could be like the one that said he was your friend."
Eijun frowned. "The one who said he was my friend?"
"Are you forgetting everything nowadays?" Wakana glanced back at him sharply, muttering under her breath, "No wonder you're still so friendly towards strangers. . ."
"Shouldn't I be?" Eijun blinked, titling his head towards the side in mild questions as his friend shoved him out the room, shaking her head in mute exasperation as she locked Miyuki's door and stuffed the key into her pockets. Eijun frown deepened. "That's not necessary. Miyuki can barely—"
"Orders." She interrupted sharply and glared at him. "We can't trust anybody anymore. The rules have changed."
"Have they?" Eijun looked sceptical. "Why?"
"Because of the incident months ago." Wakana gave him a suspicious glance from side. "Are you sure you don't know anything? Nothing heard of your supposed friend, Azuma Kiyokuni?"
"I do. Gramps told me fell in front of a train." Eijun whispered as though he was still mourning over his death. "Even though I kept telling him all those years to stay behind the yellow line. He never listened, you know? Kept telling me to mind my own business. Gramps' saying 'he had it coming' and I'm starting to believe him too—ow!" Eijun yelped and clutched the back of his head. "What was that for!"
"For you being stupid!" She placed a hand on her hip as she stared down at him."Do you really believe that?"
"No!" Wakana placed a hand on her hips, glaring down at him as best as she could with their little height difference, "Azuma didn't die from a train. He fell from the roof, stupid. Kanemaru and Toujou somehow managed to push his huge body off. If they hadn't done that who knows what would've happened to—are you okay?" Wakana placed on bis shoulder, slightly squeezing it. "I know it's a lot to take in. The others couldn't believe it either. I mean, who could have known he was one of them? He got us all fooled. Even me."
"Of course, they couldn't believe it! Even I can't!" Eijun raised his eyes off the floor and only now could Wakana see the anger in them. "When did Kanemaru become such a murderer? Even pulling Toujou along with him and forcing gramps to lie to me like that. What on earth is just going with- Ow!" Eijun cried out. "Stop hitting me!"
"It's because you're so stupid. Where did you get all thus nonsense from?" Wakana massaged her forehead. "Azuma was an assassin. He was after your life and Kanemaru save it. You should be grateful."
Eijun snorted and waved his hand as if to brush her comment away. "A lie."
Wakana rolled her eyes. "Why else do you think the security around you has increased? Why do you think they shipped you off aboard for three years and let you return after he had been taken care of?"
Eijun continued to wave his hand. "You know the reason. It's because I keep failing the final exam. It was a punishment."
"It was convenient that you failed it. Anyhow," Wakana stressed. "Azuma made a fool out of us for several years. He could have killed you so many times. It's surprising that he didn't."
Eijun raised his nose higher in the air. "A lie. It's not true at all."
"You know what? Believe what you want. I can't be bothered with this." Wakana stormed off down the hall but not without shouting, "And stay away fromthat guy!" after her shoulder with a pointed finger.
Eijun grinned with fingers securely crossed behind his back. "Of course!"
"Here, here!" A deep voice hissed. "I said, I'm here!"
Jun turned, brows twitching as his eyes roamed the alley sixth time. "Where?"He gritted out between clenched teeth. "I can't see you!"
"Here!I'm down here!"
Jun glanced down, seeing a hand waving frantically underneath a shabby carton slanted on the wall. He walked towards, kicking the large piece of carton away, revealing a small window with gully like bars. "What're you doing down there!?" Jun hissed and squatted down, looking down at Maezono who chose to tched at that moment, spit flying right at his face.
"How long were you taking to get here?!" Zono hissed, squeezing his finger through the bars and pressed a folded paper into Jun's hand. "They'll close up at sunset. You got only twenty minutes.Now hurry up and get here!"
"I know. I know." Jun stashed the paper into his pocket, nodding at Maezono in mute goodbye as he bent down and settled the cover back to its place, muffling Zono's incredulity as he said, "I'll see you in ten."
He tugged his hood down further over his head, stepping out the alley and meeting swirls of fading pink and tinges of darking purplish bluishness that crossed over the sky with a fading shades of lurking yellow ragging underneath. Jun tched and glanced at the two guarding the entrance and motioned with a quick flick of his wrist for Shirasu and Kuramochi to follow him down the road.
"Did something happened?" Kuramochi asked, catching up to him with hands stuffed inside his pockets, a duffel bag slung across his shoulders. "We heard you shouting."
Jun shook his head before he glanced at them from the corner of his eyes and muttered a low, "Follow me."
In a blink of an eye Jun disappeared into the crowd, weaving passed and sidestepping oncoming pedestrians with increased speed until he rounded the corner and ran. Sprinting through alleys and climbing over walls as he occasionally jumped over railings onto the streets despite oncoming cars, despite the constant tumbling from his duffel bag. Kuramochi and Shirasu followed somewhere close behind him, Jun was sure. Shirasu had good eyes to trail Jun's movements even as he submerged himself inside the crowds whilst Kuramochi could overtake him in heartbeats.
Jun snickered, including more rapid twists and more sudden leg wrenching turns in his runaway before he slowed down and turned inside the alley of their favourite bakery, fishing out the piece of paper from his pocket and unfolded it, removing the lighter wrapped around it and skimmed over the note, memorising the numbers written in Maezono messy scrawl in seconds and burnt it down right after.
"What you doing?" Shirasu walked up to him as Kuramochi gazed over his shoulders, looking down at Jun's hands that was still holding on to the lighter.
"Busying myself since you were taking so long." Jun barked, glaring at them as he wheeled the metal with the side of his thumb, flicking on a bright burning flame of light. "Anyhow we've arrived."
"Here?" Kuramochi looked around him unimpressed, sniffing the air and crunching up his face. "This is where we'll stay?"
"No, dummy." Jun's lips curled up as his eyes darkened. "Not here. There."
Kuramochi's eyes widened as he followed Jun's index finger. He gulped. "There?" He asked meekly, gazing straight ahead at the manhole. "We'll be staying down there?"
Jun grinned, pulling up the cover as he pointed at the lime green haired. "Kuramochi! You'll go first."
Kuramochi's face grimaced in distaste but descended slowly without protest. Shirasu followed when Kuramochi's dyed hair vanished into the dark, jumping down without further ado too. Jun climbed down, placing the lid over the manhole carefully, trying to squish the weird feeling in his chest as his vision clouded in darkness.
I hope this goes well.
The underground passage was dark, reeking of pungent odours on the same par as landfill site. He groaned and covered up his nose with his sleeve as he dashed through the channel, glaring every now and then at the muddy stream running centimetres below him.
Kuramochi and Shirasu were behind him, hand raised over their nose as they sprinted to keep up with him. Jun bit back howls of laughter as he glimpsed at the strangled look on Kuramochi's face and ran faster to get out of here as fast as possible. He jumped across a narrow pale yellow almost ghastly light green flow of current and laughed when Kuramochi slipped on the grease strewn around the channel, almost falling head back into that discoloured water it if it hadn't been for Shirasu's reflexes. Jun howled and clutched his stomach for the rest of the way. But sort of calmed down when they climbed up a pair of ladders and met the earth again, hands crunching on twist and hard pebbles as they crawled out.
"A forest?" Kuramochi glanced around him before citrine eyes glared at Jun. "You want us to stay in a forest?"
"Don't be stupid." He adjusted the strap of his bag against his shoulders and walked off again, footsteps immediately following behind him. "We'll be staying over at Zono's team."
Kuramochi's stared at him, brows twitching. "Zono's place is three train stations away from ours."
"I know." Jun glanced at him from the corners of his eyes, from the way Kuramochi was looking he seemed to be taking great deal to control himself. "But it was precautionary. Our hair colours arises attention from others."
"We'll stand out like sore thumbs inside a train." Shirasu commented, pushing a twig aside. "We can't have that."
Jun grunted in approval and sidestepped a bush, walking across the yard towards the towering apartment site that was surrounded by white walls and black ragged metal bars. Jun stopped in front of the gate and rang the bell. Seconds passed until-
"Who's there?" a deep voice blared form the speakers right next to his.
"Turn it down a notch, will you?" he grumbled, rubbing his ear with his palm as his eyes narrowed at the device.
"Who is there?"
"It's Isashiki Jun and two others. Can't you see that from your window?" He glared towards their direction where he knew they were hiding behind. "Open the door."
Second passed. "Entry denied."
"Says who?" Jun challenged, brows furrowing as he canted his head at the mini camera perched on the wall meters above him. "Open the door when I tell you to."
Jun kicked the gate, hinges rattling against the force. "No, it's not! The sun hasn't set yet, you nitwit!"
"Isashiki," Kuramochi called out behind barely muffled laughter. "I don't think that's gonna help if—"
"Shaddap!" Jun growled back before he glowered at the camera. "Say those words again and," his eyes narrowed and glinted dangerously of painful promise."I'll slaughter each one of you."
Minutes passed. ". . . .Entry denied."
Jun pounced forwards, jumping up the gate despite Shirasu's and Kuramochi's best efforts to get him back down.
"Let me go." He growled, pulling against them and Kuramochi tightened his arms around his waist, feet long since off the floor as he tried to anchor him back down. Shirasu grunted, heels pressed on the ground as he leaned diagonally, clutching tight at Kuramochi's midsection as he tugged them back to earth with all his might but Jun was already halfway over. "I'll kill them!"
"You cannot!" Kuramochi stressed but fell on Shirasu as Jun fought himself free, crashing down the other side. A set of guards rushed over, shouting and raising their weapons at Jun as though he was wild monster.
Jun glanced up, a vein popping on the side of his forehead. "What're ya looking at?" He stood up, glaring at them as though their weapon poised no threat to his being.
"State your business?" A guard stepped forth, probably the leader of this unit.
"We've been invited by Maezono." Jun growled out, walking right up to his face. "Now move out of my way."
"Oh really," the guy drawled and raised his gun at Jun's chest, not moving an inch at all from his spot.
Jun's eyes were fierce and full of contempt, centimetres way form the guard's face as he snarled with glowing amber eyes, "Move. Away."
"Isashiki!" Kuramochi yelled, rattling the fence. "Shirasu's knocked out cold!"
"What?!" He whirled around, staring at the unmoving figure Kuramochi was shaking with his other. "How did that happened!?"
"He must've hit his head when I fell on him!"
Jun slapped his forehead, mumbling incoherently when a hand touched his shoulders.
"Isashiki?" the guard asked, lowering the gun. "Isashiki as in Isashiki Jun?"
"Yeah, so what?" He glared at him, but found that the guard's eyes were on the unconscious figure on the ground.
"The password." the guard looked at him, stepping closer. "I assume you know if what you've been saying was the truth."
Jun mentioned for him to step closer, whispering inside his ear the words written in Zono's messy handwriting he memorised minutes earlier. "Baseball-Is-My-Life."
The guard gave him nod, telling his men to lower the their weapons and to get a stretcher for Shirasu.
"Entry permitted." the annoying blared once more as the metal gate opened.
Jun snorted. So much trouble for a day.
Chapter 7: Chapter Seven
Hello guys, hope you're well.
I'm sad to say that this is the last chapter I've written back in 2015, so our journey ends here. As I have stated before I'll be working on Dairy Entries right now, so the back story gets covered at least. If you're interested, I have left a small teaser at the end, but if you're not, I'm pleased to be able to thank you for reading and your patience with me.
Thank you very much!
Long forgotten Life
"We trust you Miyuki. That's why we have chosen you."
"Know we won't force it on you."
(When did this begun?)
"But you're also the only one who can do it."
(How did this start?)
"I trust you, Miyuki."
(How long since that day?)
"We'll be there waiting for you."
(Since that heart wrenching guilt?)
"-you're one of those few people we can trust."
Kazuya's eyes snapped opened. Still hearing those voices loud and clearly inside his head despite being awake. He listened to it. Concentrated on it. Tried hard to identify those strangely acquainted rampaging voices that left him once more sleepless. Those names that vaguely floated inside his head and danced out of his reach each time he tried to grab them. To hold on to them. To decipher them. To figure out its meaning- its origins, its occasion. But it was no use. Nothing rang a bell. Nothing of it was recognisable. He sighed and closed his eyes, slowly breathing out from his nose.
His eyes flung open at the sudden noise, squinting through the dark as he looked around him but found nothing unusual. Maybe he'd imagine it. . .
The curtains flew open, fluttering through the wind. A figure climbed in, emerging from the curtain and crawled on all fours from the widow onto the floor in an animal-like manner. Kazuya was sure it in between the slick manner of leopard and the clumsiness of a frog. Before he could indulge further in his argument the stranger pumped his fist up, grinning from ear to ear as he whisper-like-shouted: "I made it!"
Kazuya quietly laugh. The stranger halted mid-pose, slowly turning his head at him, staring at Kazuya with bulging eyes as though he saw the worst thing that could've happened to him. Kazuya raised a brow at him. "I'm sure visiting hours were long over."
"Well, um, yeah. I know that." The stranger defiantly turned away, rubbing his neck as he looked at the wall across as he muttered grudgingly, "It's just I couldn't wait 'till tomorrow."
Kazuya's brows rose undeniably high, lips forming a small 'o' as he blinked slowly at the fidgeting stranger before a teasing grin spread out and his features softened. "Come again?"
Kazuya had many words for this. Absurd and stupidity were first on his list but he thought he could make more space for new words. Maybe terribly loud could fit in perfectly when Eijun whirled at him, eyes wider than before and mouth opened so wide the stranger looked almost scandalised, spluttering incoherently and gesturing over dramatically as his voice rose in octaves, almost ear splitting loud.
"There's nothing wrong in saying that! It's not like I was confessing or anything—not that I'm planning that either so don't get the wrong idea!" He huffed and crossed his arms. "I was merely worried. And because I'm such a kind and good hearted person, I thought I'd check up on you."
"S'nice thought." Kazuya yawned and gazed at him through the strands of his bangs. "Save it for someone else, though. You're only wasting your time here."
The stranger perked up, canting his head to the side in obvious confusion. "Am I?"
"Yeah, at least I think so. I don't know you, if you haven't notice." Kazuya pointed out, smirk softening a little at the corners. "There's no point to stay to a person like that. It's your moment to walk out of my life forever," he added with a touch of dramatic exaggeration.
"Why? I just stepped into it. It's a beginning for both of us." The stranger smiled brightly, moonlight falling on the side of his face. "But it's nice that you won't let me go."
"Won't let you go?" Kazuya said incredulous before he snickered, masking the warmth squeezing his heart. "Where did you get that from? I never remember saying that."
"You said 'forever'!" he spluttered indigently, pointing a finger at him. "What do you think that word means!?"
Expressive and vibrant will do too, perhaps temperamental even more so.
Kazuya laughed out loud. Tears brimmed in the corners of his eyes as he wheezed for breath. It was so easy to rile him it shouldn't be possible. The stranger huffed and dropped himself onto the chair next to the bed.
"What's your name?" Kazuya asked once he calmed and down and gazed at the stranger through his lashes.
The stranger gazed at him, eyes fasted on him for more than a few seconds before a look of determination crossed over his face. He raised a fist, holding it above his heart as he whispered and still somehow shouted, "Sawamura Eijun! 21 years old! Normally I'd say I'm pleased to make your acquaintance but I would be lying if I'd say that to you!"
"Oh, thank you!" Kazuya smiled softly at him. "How thoughtful of you."
"That wasn't a compliment!" Sawamura ruffled though his hair, scrunching up his face as he glared at Kazuya. "Jeez, what's up with your mentality?"
"What's up with yours?" Kazuya challenged. "Do you always introduce yourself like that?"
"Is that a problem?!" Sawamura stood up, hovering over him as he fisted his hands in sheer embarrassment. "I was taught this way!"
"Were you?" he drew his face back in scepticism, brows drawing down as amber eyes scrutinised Sawamura form head to toe.
"I was!" He covered his hands around his fully clothed body and twisted it away from Kazuya's prying eyes as though he could see right through him. Kazuya laughed again, vocal notes falling in raising as it echoed inside his little room.
Spontaneous and overly proud. Kazuya added to his mental list of things to place under his name until he noticed Sawamura's intense stare on him and blinked rather confused. He opened his mouth but Sawamura cut him off. "You never told me your name."
"I'm sure you know mine already, else you wouldn't be here in the first place." Kazuya dismissed but then turned to look at Sawamura pointedly. "Why are you here anyway? We just met, didn't we? You're not some figure of my past. Don't tell me you're some potential stalker. . ."
"What?! No! I'm not!" Sawamura was now blushing bright red but whether it was from anger or embarrassment Kazuya couldn't tell. He laughed anyway, so loud and excessive his throat begun to hurt. He pressed his face into the pillow, calming himself down as he regulated his breath. He was laughing too much, that he knew. But he couldn't help himself.
Sawamura Eijun. He mouthed his name and grinned into softness of his pillow, chuckles still flowing out from his mouth like running water as Kazuya felt a bit delirious from the dizziness Sawamura seemed to bring out from him.
"What are you?" Kazuya drawled, ignoring the explanation Sawamura acted out explicitly about how they came to know another but Kazuya was not particularly interested. "You're not some human, are you?"
Sawamura looked as though he was actually contemplating it. "I'm not sure myself. I have been told many times that I'm too stupid to be from planet Earth," he shrugged, grinning carelessly. "I guess, I'm undefinable."
"I believe you then," he breathed out, voice coming out thin and strained as he blinked away the blurriness. "You're an alien."
"Mm-hmm," Sawamura nodded with closed eyes and crossed his arms. "A super strong one."
"An idiotic one," Kazuya's eyes closed, mumbling out a faint,"Miyuki," before lazily opening up his eye a slit, "My name...it's Miyuki Kazuya."
There was some rustles but everything else submerged into darkness. Kazuya fell asleep.
"Was it really necessary to cause such a commotion?" Maezono grumbled, taking the steaming cup from Kawakami and gave Isashiki a pointed look. "The other members must have heard by now. Sheesh, what way to ruin my reputation."
"Shut it." The tawny haired threw the towel at him, plopping down the coach, splotching droplets from his wet hair all round him. "It's not my fault you've baboons for guards."
Zono hurled it right back, hitting Isashiki square on his face. "Dry yourself properly before you ruin my furniture too."
"Don't get mad, Zono." Kuramochi grinned, fingers securely gripping his cup as Shirasu adjusted the blanket Isashiki wrapped around between the two. "Isashiki is just like that, you know, hot-blooded."
Shirasu sipped from his tea, an empathetic smile grazing his lips. "With a flaring temper you shouldn't get close to."
"He explodes." Kuramochi agreed, nodding. "Like they show in those series when steams blows off from their ears."
"Very is easy to rile too. One wrong word and he is on your throat as though you insulted his momma."
"Or Tetsu's leadership skills." Kuramochi snickered. "He's very sensitive towards that, too."
Shirasu smiled secretive, shooting Isashiki a flighty glance. "I wonder, why." They snickered and Maezono gulped, certainly feeling the rise in temperature near him.
"Um, guys? I think you should stop." Kawakami squeaked out, holding the tray close to his chest for what Maezono though was protection. Isashiki's aura rose in spikes, glowing eyes continuing to darken crimson with yellow flames as they focused on the two laughing figures, waiting as though daring them to drop another bomb.
Kuramochi leaned closer, holding up a hand near his mouth, pretending to whisper into Shirasu's ear: "You wouldn't think he is," citrine eyes moved towards the end of its socket, landing for a second on Isashiki's face before mumbling. "You know, it."
Zono chuted away and turned up the volume, trying his best to listen to the news and ignore his surroundings. He was no part of it- wanted no part of it. He had nothing to do with it. Isashiki could murder them for all he cared.
Don't hate me for it, Tetsu. But I'm only saving myself.
After all it was common knowledge that once Isashiki got mad- he was mad. There was no helping it. Maezono could only hope he'd be spared from Isashiki's brutal hands.
And just like he thought, seconds later the tawny haired roared. Jumped up from his seat and pounced forwards, towel falling off and revealing his still dripping hair. Kuramochi tumbled off the couch whilst Shirasu rolled off, scrambling off the floor and running for their lives. Laughing way too loud as he chased them out of the room, into the hallways and probably across the whole house too, shouting and howling one vile word after the other as Isashiki hunted them down. The ruckus died out with a complete bang! Moments later he entered the room, hair whirled askew and face scrunched up in a tight scowl. Maezono gave him a suspicious side glance. "Whatddya do?"
"Let's just say it's bedtime for them." Isashiki flopped down and massaged his neck. "I'm beat."
"Ahem," Maezono gazed pointedly at the floor and tired eyes followed his gaze. Jun snorted.
"I never knew we had a second Miyuki." he said picking up the towel off the floor and placed it besides him, raising a brow at Zono. "Since when were you a neat freak?"
"We'll since I'm moved in here." he scrunched his face. "We can't all be gorillas."
"And that's coming from you." Isashiki punched his shoulder lightly before picking his cup back up from the table. "When are we going to speak business?"
"Whenever you want to." Kawakami spoke up, still holding onto the tray as he gazed outside through the blinds. "Though, I'd prefer it if you could wait a bit longer. The others will be arriving shortly."
Isashiki shook his head. "Nah, I don't want everybody to know."
"It's serious?" Zono frowned when Isashiki stared at him right in the eye before averting his gaze. "Shouldn't you confine to the higher ups, then?"
"No. Can't do." Jun's brows drew down as he gazed at the clock. That late? His brows furrowed. Tetsu and Ryousuke should've arrived already. He checked his phone. No message. No call. No anything. His brows sank deeper. "Say, how far is the central system from here."
"Ten minutes by car." Maezono canted his head at him, blinking owlishly as he gazed away from the TV screen. "Are you planning on heading there?"
He shook his head and looked out the window from his position, squinting passed lit up rows of ash-driven trees and naked twigs to the sandy entryway behind it. "They're just taking an awful long time."
"Sorry about that." a familiar voiced murmured, deep and warm as golden eyes fixed on him. "We ran into a little problem."
"Tetsu, here, forgot to fill up his tank." Ryousuke threw himself on the couch, breathing heavily. "We had to walk the distance."
Isashiki chocked from his drink before roaring, "You left your bikes' on the highway!?"
"No, of course not." Tetsu smiled and moved from the door to let Kawakami passed through, sitting himself on the couch. "We pushed it from the asphalt all the way here."
"You pushed it?!" Maezono widened comically, jaws slacked. "Why didn't you leave it there? We could have gotten it in the morning!"
"That's what I told him, too. But this stubborn git doesn't listen." Ryousuke muttered, breath finally even out. "We could've rode on mine together."
"Next time slap him real good right there." Jun chuted closer to Ryousuke, pointing at the back of Tetsu's head who was currently checking out his phone. "Just like this and he'll listen," he made an exaggeratedly long motion of whipping his arm back and lashed it forward, smacking Tetsuya with a rolled up newspaper. The phone flew out of Tetsu's hands, skidding onto the floor and away from him. A message on display.
Tetsu! It's Isashiki again! He—
"Traitors," Jun gritted between his teeth and deleted the message, glaring at the leader who mourned in pain and rubbed his head, daring him to do anything against his righteous deed.
Maezono whistled. "I'm glad I wasn't assigned to your group. Your craziness is going to get one of you killed someday."
"How do you know it hasn't already?" Ryousuke spoke up, sitting now upright, tone low and serious as an eye slid open, glowing red orbs shone through the dim lit room as he motioned towards the TV with his chin.
On the screen far off to the side, behind the pretty commentator, lay a bike.
A broken bike.
A familiar blue motorbike.
"What are you doing?"
Eijun looked up from his book, orange highlighter raised in mid air, "Studying?"
"I can see that. But why here?" Haruichi titled his head at the side, lips jutted out the tiniest bit as he adjusted the boxes under his arm, pushing with his foot another box around Eijun into the entryway of his room, "Isn't that a bit unconventional?"
Eijun brows furrowed in confusion.
"I haven't settled down yet," Haruichi placed the box on his coffee table and looked around as though he scrutinised his makeshift home. It was bare and blank, in Eijun's opinion and had only the basic necessities but was seemingly enough for Haruichi. "And as you can see it is not the best environment to be in."
Eijun canted his head to the side as Haruichi hid behind his bangs, not looking at all at Eijun as he pushed the boxes towards the corner of his room. "What makes you say that?" he said at last, still gazing at Haruichi.
"I have been at your home Eijun. I know it's nothing like this." Haruichi stilled for a moment before looking at him. "And I know you're not used to living like this, either."
Haruichi jumped, seeing Eijun rolling on his stomach, still sprawled on the floor and laughing openly at him. "What're you talking about!? I've been living like this for years! I could be called a veteran in every day living!"
Haruichi dropped a sweat before laughing quietly to himself. He turned back to sort out his boxes and Eijun smiled for seconds before registering his friend's exact words.
"Harucchi!" Eijun sprang up, looking very offended as he wagged his highlighter towards the window at the opposite end of the hall. "That's not my home! My home is right across the street! I don't live with them anymore!"
The pink head rolled his eyes and stepped passed Eijun who still sat in the hall right in front of his room and disappeared into the kitchen, muttering under his breath, "Whatever you say," before calling out to ask whether hot chocolate was fine for him.
Eijun stuffed his nose deeper into the book his grandfather gave him, trying to decipher the text into actual everyday language to no avail. He just didn't get it. He drove a hand through his hair and glared harder as though the words written onto the papers would bend their shapes for him enough to make sense to him.
"Don't get yourself a headache," Haruichi hovered above him before sitting next to him, settling the cups on the floor between them. "Just leave it if you don't understand it."
"I need to!" Eijun snapped his head at him, wide eyed as though he couldn't believe Haruichi would said that. "If I fail the test again, grandpa swore he'd send me off to Uganda."
"Then don't fail," he sipped off from his tea and gave Eijun a pointed stare. "I know you've been failing it on purpose anyway."
"With a good reason! You know I want to-"
"I know, I know- play baseball forever." Haruichi sounded exasperated. "You've been saying that since you knew how to hold a bat."
"Because it's true!"
"You will be twenty-two in two months, Eijun. Old enough to be expected to sustain a living for yourself," Haruichi watched quiet amused at Eijun's attempted to drown himself on his hot beverage to escape his lecture. The pink haired shook his shoulder. "Hey- listen, you're parents expect you to pursuit a respectable career. You can't stay a baseball maniac for the rest of your life."
"Wro-ong." Eijun gave him a look. "They want me to overtake their Corporation and you know I don't want that."
"You have to do something."
"No. That was high school. Time has passed. You have to move on. You can't do that for a living," he laughed when Eijun pouted into his drink before falling back, sprawling on the floor and gazing up at the artificial light coming from the light bulb, laughter still bubbling from his lips. "But perhaps you can-"
Eijun gazed down at him, eyes wide in such a manner Haruichi was sure he'd absorb any words like sponge does water, "What?" he breathed out, still staring at the pink as though he created a new world wonder.
"You could-" Haruichi halted, thought and then shook his head. "Forget it."
"What?" Eijun's brows drew down as though he had trouble understanding it.
"Nothing," the pink haired said stronger, emphasising each word. "Forget what I said. It means nothing."
Eijun squinted at him suspiciously and drank his hot chocolate and Haruichi couldn't help but smile sadly.
"There's nothing you could do," he muttered at last, watching the sun set through the small window far down the hall. "There's nothing either of us could do."
Chris' diary entries. Age nine.
(4) Papa came by today. I think Mama called him. She burst into my bedroom and hugged me really tight. I couldn't see but I think I felt her crying. I asked what's wrong- if those strange men came again and made her angry but she only shook her head and carried me off to Papa. I think I said something bad because Mama wouldn't look at me. She said I'll stay with him from now on and that everything will be fine. But I didn't believe it because Mama wasn't smiling at me anymore.
(5) Papa brought me to this big house today. It looked really old. But inside it looked so different. It was so modern. Papa said it was the building he was raised in and used to work in too. They would take good care of me. I think he said it was 'Seidou'. He said we have to wait for the Master to come in and see me but I don't want that. I don't want them to take care of me. I want to go home. I want to stay with Papa. No-
Stay. I don't want you to go. Papa don't go. Don't leave me here. Stay with me. Papa, please stay with me.