Ch. 20: "Torn"
Disclaimer: WK does not belong to me. Neither do the lyrics that proceed each chapter- they're taken from various songs from the "Queen of the Damned" soundtrack. Any songs from different sources will have a disclaimer at the bottom. Don't sue. =pp
I believe in people falling
I believe in people warring
I believe diseases coming
I believe that's why I'm running
For a man who was feared throughout the underworld of Tokyo for his terrible, merciless violence and his unsatiable bloodlust, Agammedo, Vampire Lord of Tokyo, was taking the incoming bad news with surprising calm.
His messengers shifted uncomfortably as they finished giving their news, looking up warily at their Master with nervous, shifty eyes. Around the walls, partially hidden in the shadows thrown by the sputtering wall torches, the fearsome Lord's "court"- his favored ones -looked on silently.
Agammedo lounged on his dias as he digested what his underlings had told him, idly toying with the strong leather leash in his fingers. The leash trailed down to the floor to where a young girl sat on the steps at his feet, her face devoid of expression and her eyes blank. She was marked all over her scantily clad body with nips and bites.
The Vampire Lord was not the tall, imposing figure one would expect him to be. He was stronger than most because of his age, but it was his powers and his fierce nature that had quickly shuffled him to the top of the foodchain. He was slender, and very pale. His face was flawless, his sinewy body devoid of scars- proof that he was Pureblood. He had been born a Vampire. His long, raven-dark hair was currently piled on top of his head in a loose bun to keep it off his neck. His eyes were slanted just slightly, and a glittering, icy blue. He was coldly beautiful, but there was no emotion or compassion in his dead heart. He was a man respected out of fear, a man with sick amusements and games who could switch from calm and thoughtful to murderous in the blink of an eye.
He had never lost a fight, and he had never left a mortal alive. Even the girl by his feet was more Halfling than human. Stuck in limbo, wavering between life and death, Vampirism and Humanity.
The sinuous Vampire ticked the facts off on his fingers as he spoke in a low, throaty voice, causing the messengers before him to tremble in trepidition. "The two fools who were sent after that White assassin have not returned, the small Black assassin seems to have escaped, his two cocky partners are presumed dead in the store explosion, and Lucifer has disappeared from the hospital with the girl. Am I forgetting anything?"
One of the Vampires before him shook his head jerkily, his throat too dry to speak.
"There are three of ours watching the rescue crews go through the rubble at the store," the one beside him said in a false confident voice. "They should report soon on the state of the two assassins."
"Ahhh.." Agammedo stretched luxouriously, seeming to ignore them for a moment as he gazed up at the ceiling with a tiny, eerie smile playing on his bloodless lips. "They think they are clever, these assassins," he murmured finally, smiling with cruel amusement. "They think they can escape. They think they can stop me..." He chuckled quietly, finally turning his piercing gaze on his messengers. "Very well. Inform me when you have found those of our prey who are missing- and get rid of those meddlesome Hunters."
"My Lord," the bold messenger said, raising a hand almost hesitantly, "what about the one the Traitor saved from being changed? I think we should go after him again.."
The lithe Vampire Lord was off the dias and in the taller man's face in a mighty bound. He wrapped strong, slender fingers around the gurgling Vampire's throat and lifted him easily into the air, snarling up at him, "Who gave you permission to think, maggotbrain? We go after Lucifer's little plaything only when I say so- is that clear?" He sent a fierce glare around at all assembled, ignoring the thrashing, wheezing Vampire he held in his grip. Everyone nodded quickly, no one daring to speak. "Good," he purred, and released the man's throat, dumping him uncerimoniously on the hard ground. He turned away from the coughing Vampire, clasping his hands behind his back as if nothing had happened, gazing at the Halfling sitting dully at the dias with hooded eyes. "That will be all," he murmured. "Leave me."
As they all filed out, silent and swift, he stepped back up to his dias, putting a head on the Halfling's towed head and grinning to himself. "If you think you can outsmart me, Lucifer, you are sadly mistaken," he said to nothing. He threw back his head and laughed, a sound that would have chilled the heart of any man, mortal or otherwise.
The two Vampire brothers whispered to each other as they skulked around the edges of the anxious crowd who had gathered to watch the rescue workers dig through the rubble of the destroyed store. The entire half of the store had collapsed at the explosion, and they were still digging for bodies. The flashing lights of the ambulances and patrol cars broke through the darkness of the evening, and the crowd shuffled and muttered, gossiping as people will do.
The two brothers were trying to casually edge their way closer when the person they were pushing past turned to grin impishly at them.
"Ain't you got no manners?" she asked brightly.
The two Vampires hesitated, their instincts hissing danger.
Then Talon was appearing like a wraith behind them, silently sliding a silver dagger into one of the creature's back, his gloved hand whipping up to cover his victim's mouth and muffle the startled scream.
"Wha-" the other Vampire gasped.
The girl who had spoken winked at him cheekily, jerking her arm forward in a swift movement, driving the silver tip of her cane into the gaping Vampire's middle. He stared at her in shock, then disappeared in a burst of black flames that died in seconds.
Talon wiped his glove distastefully off on the front of his trenchcoat as he turned away from the crowd, his partner stepping up beside him. Luckily no one had seen the quick kill that occured at the back of the throng. "Bastards," the tall man muttered, his nose wrinkling. "Trust a Vampire to reek even after death."
Tatiana was still grinning, twirling her cane expertly in one hand as she glanced towards the destruction that she and her teammate had witnessed hours ago. "Too easy," she smirked.
Talon ignored the comment, following her gaze towards the rescue workers. "Why would the bloodsuckers try to kill those two?" he said with a frown. "Aren't they working with the Vampires?"
Tatiana shrugged one shoulder. "You're askin' me like I care or know what the hell goes through a bloodsucker's mind," she snorted. "Anyway, those two gotta be dead. They didn't have a chance."
"Which means that makes it two times easier to find that albino," Talon agreed, lifting his watch to check the time in the flashing lights of a nearby police car. "It's already after ten," he grunted.
"Think we should go look for the Irishman?" Tatiana asked as she turned and followed her blond companion towards their car, tucking her cane easily under her arm.
"We'll check their home," Talon said quietly. "Try to catch the little one- the PK user -by surprise. They might both be home."
"This would be a hell of a lot easier if we had a bigger team," Tatiana grumbled, sliding into the passenger seat and tossing her cane into the back.
Talon didn't even look at her as he shut his own door behind him. "Well we're all there is," he reminded her sharply. "Deal with it."
Tatiana frowned at him, but didn't reply. Of course they were all there was, now.
The Vampires had killed the other Hunters who had tried to work on this case.
Turning her face forward, she remained silent as they pulled out of the parking lot and headed in the direction of Schwarz's home.
Ken wasn't the only one having trouble sleeping that night. He sat in the kitchen with Omi at the table, staring down into his cup of hot tea pensively.
Across from him, Omi blew on his own beverage, glancing towards the clock on the wall. "It's getting late," he sighed. "I thought Manx-san would be here by now. If she was going to be so late, she should have called."
"Mm," Ken grunted.
Omi sighed again, reaching up to rub wearily at his forehead. Aya had gone to sleep hours ago, and Yohji had gone to take a nap in Omi's room around eight. Omi and Ken had decided to let them sleep. It kept them from going for each others' throats. "I wonder if anything happened to Schwarz," Omi murmured, frowning slightly. "It's strange, though, that Yohji-kun would hear Schuldich. I thought only the other members of Schwarz could hear his thoughts."
Ken shook his head to indicate his ignorance, still gazing into his tea. Still lost in his own thoughts, he didn't see the door open silently until Omi gave a strangled gasp. He looked up quickly, his heart giving a little flip as a shadowed figure stepped into the kitchen.
Then Omi cried out, "NAGI!"
The younger boy rushed to the door and caught the slender assassin just as he collapsed. "Ken-kun," Omi said desperately, "help me!"
Ken hurried around the table, but hesitated as he looked down at the boy Omi was struggling to support. Why should he help Schwarz?
"Ken-kun," Omi said sharply, "this isn't the time for that! Now help me get him to the couch downstairs."
Ken frowned, then stepped forward and bent over, wrapping his arms around Nagi's slender, limp form and lifting him with a grunt of exertion. Omi hesitated, then hurried ahead of him to open the basement door, running downstairs to turn on the light. Ken followed slowly and carefully, then lay the pale boy down on the couch.
Omi was already digging a blanket out from the closet, holding his breath to hold back the smell of the two vampires crammed in the back. He shut the closet door hastily and rushed over, opening the blanket and draping it over his Schwarz lover, his face pale with fear. "Nagi," he murmured, touching the boy's cheek. "Nagi..."
Nagi's eyes fluttered open, and he looked up at Omi silently for a moment before giving a watery grin. "I'm OK," he whispered.
Ken could tell he wasn't. The boy was pale as hell, and now that they were in the light he could see the blood that was already beginning to seep slowly through the blanket. Omi saw it, too, and gave a strange noise in the back of his throat, yanking the blanket away to stare.
The young boy's body was riddled with gashes, scrapes, and horrible wounds. His clothes were tattered, and he was losing blood rapidly. "Nagi," Omi gasped, horrified, "what happened??"
Nagi closed his eyes wearily, his face waxen. "Explosion," he murmured. "They came... had to blow the house.... One of 'em.. got me." He gave a quiet, scornful laugh. "Got him back..though..."
Omi was gripping the pale boy's hand tightly in his own, his eyes wide with fear. "Just hold on," he said quickly. "We'll get you to a doctor. Don't speak."
Ken had been watching them, standing back respectfully, and he couldn't help but notice the frantic concern Omi was displaying, and the way Nagi was bravely trying to act as if he wasn't hurting, trying not to scare the older boy. Ken hesitated, then stepped forward after a moment, touching Omi's shoulder lightly. "Move," he said quietly when Omi looked up at him, blue eyes bright with unshed tears of grief. "Let me see what I can do."
Omi's face lit up with a sudden hope. "Ah-" he gasped. "You can- Heal him?" he grabbed Ken's sleeve desperately as the soccer player knelt by the couch.
Nagi was watching Ken almost warily out of the corner of his eye, his breathing labored and his mouth twisted with the pain he was trying to ignore. "You're..a Healer," he recalled. His voice was barely above a whisper, and his eyes were definately distrustful now. "Why would you... help me?"
Ken offered a mild scowl. "Didn't he tell you not to speak?" he demanded. He looked over the boy's torn body before placing his hands almost hesitantly on the narrow chest, letting his eyes slide closed as he reached for the smoldering Power inside himself. Nagi subsided, watching him. Omi clung to Ken's shoulder and watched them both anxiously.
Ken felt the familiar tingling in his palms, and then the soft heat that began to pour from his hands into the body beneath them. Nagi gave a startled gasp, and Omi made a worried noise, but Ken ignored them, concentrating fiercely as he continued to pour his power into the tattered boy. He knelt there for what felt like hours but couldn't have been more than a few minutes. Omi's gasp of surprise and delight caused him to open his eyes at last, and he lifted his hands, cutting off the flow of healing energy.
Nagi was trembling, breathing hard from the experience. His clothes were still ruined and blood-soaked, but the horrible wounds that had crisscrossed his body were gone, without so much as a scar or a bruise. He sat up slowly, and Omi moved quickly to help him. Nagi was staring down at his bared chest in barely veiled astonishment, and Omi laughed in happy relief.
Ken let himself fall onto his bottom, feeling suddenly exhausted. He was sweaty and felt as if he had just run a race. Wiping a hand across his brow, he looked up into the eyes of Schwarz's youngest member.
There was a something in those dark blue eyes that Ken had never thought he would ever see from one of Schwarz. Gratitude and.. respect. "Arigato," Nagi said calmly after a long moment, and Ken broke his gaze, shrugging a little uncomfortably.
"Daijabou, Nagi?" Omi was asking earnestly, and Nagi turned his face to give the other boy a small smile, his eyes softening.
"Aa," he assured him quietly. "I'm fine, Omi." He made as if to get to his feet. "I want to call Schuldich's cellphone," he explained when Omi tried to restrain him. "He isn't answering my mental calls."
Omi hurried over to the phone by his desk and picked up the receiver, handing it to his boyfriend. Nagi started to dial a number, then stopped, frowning. "There's no dial tone."
"Nani?" Omi reached for the phone and put it to his ear, eyes narrowing slightly in bewilderment. He looked towards Ken. "Ken-kun, did you pay the phone bill?"
Ken nodded. "Of course. Aya kept nagging me about it, remember?"
Omi handed the phone back to Nagi and headed for the phone cord that was stapled to the wall, winding its way up the wall towards the flower shop above. "Maybe mice...?" he started doubtfully, then groaned. "The phone jack's come out," he said over his shoulder, crouching down to plug it back in. "No wonder we haven't heard from Manx-san."
Ken sighed, getting to his feet. "It must have happened when Yohji heard Schuldich. Remember, they fell down the stairs."
Nagi looked up at him sharply. "What did you say?" he demanded.
The phone rang shrilly, and Nagi almost jumped, looking down at the phone in his lap. He hesitated, and it rang again. Picking it up, he handed it wordlessly to Ken.
Ken pushed the 'Talk' button and lifted the receiver to his ear. "Moshi moshi."
"Hidaka-san? This is Sakaguchi," the faintly familiar voice said. "We've been trying to reach this number for hours. Where have you been?"
"Ah- gomen," Ken said hastily, recognizing the voice and the name. Sakaguchi- that was a nurse at the hospital Aya's sister stayed. "The phone was unplugged, and we just noticed it. Is everything all right?"
"Could I speak to Fujimiya-san, please?" the nurse asked, evading the question. "It's an emergency."
Ken felt a cold knot of fear in his stomach, flicking a look towards Omi. The younger boy, seeing his friend's sudden anxiety, paused and gazed at him curiously.
"Ah, hai," Ken said after a moment. "Hold on a minute, I have to wake him up." He lowered the receiver, placing his palm over the mouthpiece. "Omi," he said quietly, "go wake up Aya."
Omi frowned. "But he needs his sleep. Who is it? Manx-san?" Nagi was watching them both silently with an expressionless face.
"Iie," Ken shook his head. "It's the hospital." He paused. "Go wake Aya up," he repeated softly. "Tell him it's an emergency."
Omi's eyes widened, but he turned and ran upstairs.
Nagi was frowning slightly, and Ken looked at him suspiciously. "Do you know anything about this?" he demanded.
Nagi said nothing for a moment, then gave a fluid shrug. "I'm not a mind reader. That's Schuldich's job."
Ken was about to demand an answer, but just then he heard footsteps. A moment later Aya came down the stairs, walking in long strides, his mouth a tight line. He took the phone wordlessly when Ken offered it and turned his back on them all. "Fujimiya," he said tonelessly, then was silent as he listened to the nurse.
Omi came over to sit beside Nagi, and the dark haired youth scooted over to make room. "I warned him you were here," Omi whispered to his companion. They were all watching Aya nervously, and Ken could tell the news was bad by the way Aya's body went incredibly tense, his voice flat as he asked questions.
Tonight, everything changes, his mind whispered to him calmly.
What is that supposed to mean? Ken wondered irritably, but then Aya hung up the phone, letting his hand drop limply by his side as he kept his back turned to the others. He was trembling, and Ken was alarmed, wondering suddenly if the stoic man was crying.
Aya turned abruptly to face Nagi, and Ken could see that Aya was not trembling with grief. He was shaking with pure rage.
His eyes flashed murder and his face was pale, teeth clenched. Omi shrank instinctively back against the couch, and Ken took a step forward, ready to restrain Aya if necessary. Nagi, however, was watching Aya calmly, as if he had almost expected the anger.
"You damned scum," Aya spat, his voice venemous. "What has that madman done with my sister?"
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