On the streets
The streets of Atlas were harsher than most people may realize. Of course if you only use the streets as a way to reach your destination than you may not notice this fact, or gloss over it, or just ignore it because it has no significance to you. There are those lucky people who don't have to live on the cold pavement, helpless against the cold. Those unfortunate souls sadly suffer in this Kingdom that praises itself for being the most technologically advanced in all of Remnant.
Two of these souls were children, a boy and a girl. Both the tender age of 8 years and yet already without a home, parents or anyone to rely on. No one but each other. They considered themselves siblings, despite their multiple differences, namely race. The boy was a Faunus while the girl was a human.
The very same children now where again about to pull of one of their biggest tricks in order to avoid a death by starvation. Both boy and girl were dressed fairly similar. A sturdy leather jacket for protection against climates. A set of jeans that have seen better days were worn alongside the jacket and footwear consisted of dirty sneakers. There were a few differences though. The girl wore a yellow hoodie beneath her jacket while the hoodie of the boy was red. The colour difference was visible in their gloves as well with the girls being yellow and the boys red. Another difference was the backpack the Faunus boy had on his back.
Looking into the window of a small convenience store, they formed their 'heist'.
"It's a human cashier." the girl noted. She already went to prepare herself. Taking her long blonde hair in her hands she made sure to make them look as dishevelled as possible. Removing one of her gloves she reached down into a puddle of muddy water and planted some of it on her face.
"Okay were doing the usual plan than. Make sure to get her attention away from me. Best case scenario, try to get her to leave the register." said the boy. He too started to prepare himself, ready to sneak in when his sister and partner in crime stepped into the store.
The plan was simple. Using the pity of the low-class civilians to get away with food and (best case scenario) money. They had done this plenty of times and it works best when the cashier is alone, distracted by something else beforehand and matches the species of the distractor. There was a certain sense of guilt connected with this act but what could they do? It was either that or starving. Or getting into an Orphanage.
They would NOT get into an Orphanage. Aside from the fact that Atlas Orphanages were not well cared for, there were no place for both Human and Faunus children. Separation was NOT an option. They were the last they had of their family.
With the last touches made on the girls appearance, she went to her brother one time.
"Ready when you are Yang."
And with that, the two went into action.
Walking towards the Register, Yang did her best to make a good 'bad' first impression. That's how it always was. Make yourself look miserable and eventually people will pity you enough that they try to play the Hero they could never hope to be in reality. If you really think about it, she and Adam were doing them a favour. They get to feel like someone useful and in return they didn't die.
Limping with her left leg, she slowly, oh so 'agonizingly' slowly approached the woman at the end. Her chestnut hair hang loosely out of a pony tail and brown eyes were pointed to the Magazine in her hands (something about new fashion tips or something) and showing signs of shutting down to sleep. Good circumstances. A sleep deprived person was always easier to fool. Her name tag read: "Sophie Mokka"
"E-Excuse me?" Yang said, her voice barely above a whisper. The stuttering was there for extra effect.
It did attract the attention of Sophie though. The woman looked up from her Magazine, at first annoyed. She clearly didn't want to be here. Her eyes softened though, when she made contact with the small girl in front of her. "Ähm…Hello kid?" She was hesitating. Good. She was nervous around her. Easy to manipulate.
Yang made a pause, grabbing her left arm to imply she was nervous and scared. Shaking a little in her place, she met her eyes, only slightly imitating being desperate. The pause was there for several seconds now, it was all a strategy. After some time the woman would…
"What's your name?"
…ask about her name.
"M-My name is Yellow. And… I… I don't know where I am." she added a little sniffle at the end of her sentence. Yellow wasn't the most original name but it will do.
Now Sophie was completely focused on her. This genuine worry mixed with pity reflected from her eyes.
Yang hated doing this. She hated everything about her life. She hated having to use these people. But it's not like there was any other way.
Sophie stepped out and kneeled next to Yang, getting a good look of her for the first time. The dirty water on her face was definitely paying off. She bit her lip, as if to think what to do. Then she asked her again. "Where are your parents?"
"I-I don't know." she didn't had to act the tear rolling down from her eye. Her parents where always a touchy subject. They never brought them up if it could be avoided. Sophie blinked once before reassuringly grabbing 'Yellows' shoulders.
"Don't worry. We call the police okay? We find your parents."
'Yellow' merely nodded with a whimper as Sophie led her to the backroom. From here on she would be seated on a chair usually for lunch breaks and Sophie would call the police, while likely giving her something to drink to calm her down.
It was really amazing how similar some people can be…
Adam watched from the outside how Yang entered the store. He used the time he had now to make one last check over everything in his head. The backpack was already in his hand. As soon as Yang was in the backroom, he would have around 40 seconds to charge in, breaking the register open, take a handful of Lien, storm out of their and maybe grab something to eat on the way out. There was a small stand with Protein bars right next to the cash desk. Grabbing some of these would do. From there on go into a different shop and buy something actual to eat.
Reaching out to the left pocket of his jacket he felt the pair of lock picks. He had become pretty good over time. It took him around 20 seconds nowadays to break something open. That left another 20 seconds to grab the Lien.
Reaching out to his right pocket Adam halted. Hesitating at first he still reached into it. His hands were touching the small pistol. Some time ago, the two of them broke into an abandoned House where the corpse of a Faunus was just sitting there by the wall. It was not an experience he or Yang liked to think of.
However the gun was usable and in a move Adam to this day doesn't completely understand, he swiftly grabbed it from the suicide scene and kept it since then. For a part, he knew that if the two of them ever get into real trouble, that small pistol would be the only thing keeping them alive. They treated it with as much care some may give a gift from the Heavens.
They never actually fired the pistol but it was always good to have an option… just in case.
Even if a part of Adam always had the worry that it may just be useless if they were attacked by people with Aura…
Now the woman finally turned backwards and lead Yang to the break room. As if it was the signal for a sprint Adam ran into the store.
They had already checked during their little 'scouting' if anyone else was in there and had waited until they were sure no one would arrive. Any camera that would record them wouldn't do any good at finding them. All they would record at best where kids wearing pullovers. Maybe some blonde hair coming out of Yang's hood but that's all.
He counted in his head to 40 to keep track of just how much time he had left.
Leaping over the table, he grabbed the lock pick and went to work. His heart was beating a little bit faster from the speed he needed to utilize.
The Faunus count was at 15 when the lock clicked open. A new record. He would celebrate later. With fast hands he grabbed a few of the bills. It wasn't really much. Apparently they didn't have much business. Well it was enough for the night.
25 seconds left. He all but threw the money into the bag, jumping over the table, not graceful but in a way it worked. A quick grab into the stand and a handful of protein bars joined the Lien. His count was at 20 now. Adam assumed he had enough, a part of him was getting greedy but that almost never ended well. One time it almost got them caught. Reminding himself that they had enough for now, Adam stormed out of the store as quickly as he came in. He hid behind a car parking on the side road and watched over the entrance. Sounds of shouting could be heard, cursing and throwing objects. The next thing he saw was his sister running out of the store, almost falling into the puddle she just used for her 'makeup'.
Like a flash the two of them joined again and disappeared into the night.
Adam should have grabbed a lighter.
He had time to spare. He could have easily grabbed one of these cheap fire makers, normally used to light a cigarette. But no. No he had to panic and run away to soon. And now the two suffered from it.
Finding an abandoned house on the outskirts seemed like a great idea. It really was considering the alternatives. Motels (almost) never let children rent a room alone. An empty house with several floors was the best thing the two had seen in days. That it was empty was all the better. It even had a fireplace! But of course their misfortune had to strike in some way or another. This time in form of their current lighter having run out of gas.
So here they were, on an old mattress from the first floor, right before a fireplace that may exist only to mock them in this moment.
Adam cleaned the pistol as he stared into the ashy remains inside what some may use to relax after a long day. He checked for the tenth time if it was really loaded. All the while he allowed himself to think back, a sudden nostalgia growing in him.
He thought back to a burning fire place, lit ablaze by his father. His mother made a plate full of cookies after a cold day of playing outside. All by himself. Always by himself.
His father cheered him up, let him play with his own set of bull horns a little before reading him a story about great heroes who were loved by the masses and striked down all evil.
A flash to a year later. He wasn't alone in the cold snow anymore. Yang was playing with him. They were laughing and playing. Making their own stories about being heroes that were lionized by all that was innocent. Now they were before the fireplace, a blanket wrapped around them with hot chocolate in cups that felt like they were made for their hands. He remembered how happy he felt as the flames caused the wood to crackle, warming him.
The fire grew larger.
It swallowed their house.
Humans were cursing, damning their existence.
They did it.
They killed them.
They left them to this hopeless life!
He could feel his anger grow. It grew and grew and almost became uncontainable. The idea to unload the pistol into the people that took their parents away seemed VERY appealing.
Adam had the urge to kill. To destroy. To make humanity pay for what they did to-.
A small snoring pulled him out of his thoughts. Yang was laying on the mattress next to him, having finally fallen asleep. The soft sounds that escaped her resting body filled his ears.
The anger, slowly but surely, started to fade away.
Adam put the pistol down, tugging her in a bit more with the jacket she used as a blanket, making sure not to wake her up by accident.
Softly, his fingers touched the scar that went across his eyes. It nearly robbed him of his eyes. By sheer luck the knife didn't cut to deep, leaving him still with the ability to see. Still… the Faunus managed to smile. In a way… it was a symbol.
He may not be able to become a hero for the people, lionized and worshipped, but he could be a hero for his sister.