The blare of the alarm almost drowns out the pounding of Akira’s boots as he sprints down the corridor. He has two minutes, maybe three before the guards he’d lost on the third floor catch on that he’d gone down and not up - he needs an exit, and he needs it fast. His earpiece crackles as the rest of the infiltration team checks in, breathless but safe, and a band of tightness releases around his chest. He’d bought them enough time.
Now to see if he has enough of it. Getting caught at this stage would be - inconvenient, to say the least.
Akira pushes through the stairwell doorway and vaults over the railing. He lands in a crouch and straightens; he’s expecting at least one guard, left to block the way out, but there’s - no one. The stairwell is empty.
Sloppy; but it’s not like Akira is going to be giving security pointers. A door clangs open somewhere above him, and he’s out of time; Akira pushes through to the main floor, letting the door swing shut behind him.
The alarm echoes even more here, the vaulted ceilings taking the sound and magnifying it even in this rear corridor. Streetlight spills through the leaded windows as Akira kneels and listens by the entrance to the main hall. Boots thump and radios squawk on the other side of the door; that way is out, unless he wants to walk right into the arms of the police.
Akira turns and eyes the windows.
He runs his fingers over the seams; paint flakes off under his gloves. It’s old - like the building, like the security system should have been - and with the proper application of force...
There’s a tap on the other side of the glass, and Akira looks up into Ryuji’s grin. He’s doubled back; he shouldn’t have done that, he should have gotten out when he had the chance - but he’s hefting a crowbar and Akira’s in no position to argue. Maybe later, when they don’t have half of the Tokyo police force breathing down their necks - but for now he steps back as Ryuji wedges the crowbar in place and pulls, arms straining and face set in concentration.
The next several moments happen very fast.
A quiet snick reaches his ears over the alarm. Ryuji shouts, but it’s muffled by the lead-lined glass. There’s a sudden weight on his wrist where there shouldn’t be; he jerks away from it but doesn’t get very far, body turning as if his wrist is anchored, as if he’s -
His eyes flick from the cuff digging into his wrist to its mate, fastened securely just above the wrist of a familiar black glove, and up to the face of one Detective Goro Akechi, smiling serenely at him.
“Your road ends here, thief,” Akechi says mildly, but his eyes are glinting with barely suppressed satisfaction.
Akira has had a lot of fun playing with the Tokyo Police Department’s rising star, but he doesn’t have time for this.
He draws the knife strapped to his thigh and steps up close in one movement, pressing the blade to Akechi’s neck.
“The key, please,” he says, voice pitched to carry just between the two of them as the alarm continues to sound.
Akechi’s smile widens.
He reaches his free hand inside his jacket, and Akira presses the blade in a little harder, just in case it’s a trick - but when Akechi’s hand withdraws he’s holding a key, glinting silver in the moonlight.
Then he throws it, hard, over Akira’s shoulder. Akira can hear it tinkle on the ground somewhere behind him, even over the klaxon of the alarm.
He doesn’t have time for this.
The window frame crunches as Ryuji gets it open, and Akira makes his decision.
He reverses the knife and clubs Akechi across the temple; the detective’s eyes roll up and he sags into Akira’s waiting arms. He’s heavier than he looks, and Akira grunts as he drags him toward the window.
“Change of plans,” he says, accepting Ryuji’s waiting hand. “We’re taking him with us.”