Ch. 8: "Inferno"
Notes: Yes, I know the series ended differently. But you know me, I always gotta tweak the story line... =pp so I guess this is kinda AU. I mess a lot with the concept of the story. ^.^; Those with weak stomachs, don't proceed. *Sweatdrop*
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. Don't sue. =pp
I look at the cross
Then I look away
I give you the gun
Blow me away
While Schuldich was pinning Yohji to the desk in the computer room, Aya was busy opening each door he came across on the second floor, searching for his targets. He held his katana loosely but confidently in his right hand, pushing each door open slightly with his left palm and glancing inside briefly before moving on to the next. He moved quickly, a thread of unease twisting inside him after Omi's abrupt cry on the com. Someone else was here- Schwarz, more than likely, and he needed to kill the brothers before his nemesis appeared to stop him.
He heard a low whimper come from the next room and paused, gloved hand hovering over the doorknob. He adjusted his grip on his katana, fingers tightening on the hilt as he pressed his body against the door and slowly turned the knob, sliding the door open silently. A dim beam of light filtered through the crack in the door, landing on a bed against the wall. There was a man stretched on his stomach on top of the covers, snoring loudly. Aya recognized him from the pictures Omi had shown him on the disk. Ein.
He heard a muffled sob and eased the door open wider, peering towards the sound. There was another bed against the far wall, and another man- Jin -was sitting crosslegged on it, grinning widely, a camera in his hands. "That's right, honey, stand just like that..." he murmured, licking his lips, the camera whirring as he rapidly shot off three pictures.
Aya gritted his teeth and pushed the door open fully.
In the split second before he acted, he took in the sickening scene in a glance.
A little girl- she couldn't be much older than five or six -was huddling on a stool, her smudged face streaked with tears. She was trembling, staring wide eyed at the man on the bed who was taking her pictures. She was naked.
Jin looked up quickly as the door opened, his unshaven face angrily. "Damn it, Jose, I told you to keep watch ou-"
Aya sprang for him, his katana sweeping down in a deadly arc.
Jin screamed, his blood spattering the wall behind his bed. The little girl screamed in terror.
Ein shot up in bed, only barely awake. "Wha- who?" He saw Aya and his eyes widened. He lunged for his bedside table, jerking open the drawer and reaching inside for a gun.
Aya jumped onto Jin's bed, ignoring the body there, and sprang from it, moving his sword in a precise, sideways cut.
Ein screamed loudly as the blade cut deep into his side. He fell from the bed and rolled across the floor. Aya straightened and glared down at him before deciding the man wasn't going anywhere for awhile. He turned quickly as the little girl scrambled down from her stool and tottered hastily towards the door on little feet.
"No, wait-" Aya hurried to intercept her, seizing her arm in a gentle but firm grip. She wailed, struggling, and he knelt, putting the katana by his side. He took her arms and turned her to face him, trying to keep his normally cold voice gentle. "It's all right. I'm here to help. Daijabou ka?"
The little girl sniffled, staring at him fearfully as she trembled helplessly in his grasp. "Hold still," he said quietly, and released her, shrugging out of his trenchcoat. She stayed where she was, glancing longingly towards the door. Aya wrapped her in his coat, covering her small form, and pushed her curly bangs from her face. "It's all right," he repeated soothingly, swallowing back the bile of rage in the back of his throat. "I want you to wait outside the door. Don't go anywhere. I'm going to bring you home."
Desperate hope lighted in her eyes, and she grabbed a little fistful of his shirt as he started to rise. "You gonna take me to Mommy?" her lip trembled.
Aya hesitated, unwilling to remove her small hand from his shirt. "Aa," he said gruffly after a moment, gently pulling her hand away. "Wait outside."
She clutched the large coat to herself and ran out into the hall, the improvised 'blanket' flapping behind her.
Aya watched her go, then picked up his katana and rose, turning to look down at Ein, who was gurgling and spitting curses as he huddled on the ground, clutching his bleeding wound.
"You son of a bitch," Ein snarled, blood and spittle flecked on his lips. He was breathing raggedly. "You fucking bitch-!"
Aya's eyes were frosty as he stepped forward and raised his katana slowly over his head for the death blow.
"My my, Weiß, what a temper. I would never have thought you to be the sentimental type."
Aya whirled, eyes widening in recognition of the voice.
Brad Crawford stood blocking the light in the doorway, a faint smirk on his face, glasses flashing from the hallway light as he lifted his chin in greeting. "Feeling a little bloodthirsty tonight, Weiß? I saw that you all were going to come here tonight. nice try, though."
"You..." Aya clenched his teeth, facing the man and clutching his katana in a tight grip.
Crawford smiled fleetingly- coldly -at him, then reached into his jacket and drew out a gun. Aya tensed, already readying himself for a leap he knew he wouldn't finish.
Crawford pointed the gun forwards and calmly fired two shots.
Behind Aya, Ein gave a sharp, strangled cry, then slumped over onto his side, staring at the wall with unseeing eyes.
Aya glanced over his shoulder quickly in surprise, then looked warily back towards the American in the doorway.
Crawford shrugged as he lowered his handgun. "Hashikata decided they were getting a little too bold," he said calmly. "Demanding too much, and attracting too much attention. As usual, you do our jobs for us, Weiß." He smiled slightly, showing his white teeth.
Aya glared furiously at him, wanting desperately to leap at the man and slash him to kibbles and bits with his sword, but knowing he would be shot before he could carry out the move.
Crawford's eyes were mocking and cruel as he looked across at the crimson haired assassin, the corner of his mouth lifted ever so slightly, daring the younger man to come at him.
Aya suddenly felt like smacking himself.
Of course! If he couldn't get to Crawford with his sword...
He held up his left hand, fingers spread, palm towards the other man. He gritted his teeth and plunged his anger into the pool of power shifting softly through him.
Aya's arm erupted in flames.
Crawford's eyes widened slightly in surprise. "Didn't see this, did you?" Aya snarled.
Crawford was forced to leap aside as Aya drew back his hand, then jerked it forward, like throwing a baseball. An angry fireball flew from his palm, crashing into the wall and missing the American by inches. The fire licked hungrily at the wallpaper, and Crawford rolled on the floor before leaping to his feet quickly, only to duck hastily to avoid another fireball.
He hissed, smacking at his arm where a tongue of fire had caught his sleeve. Aya raised his arm for another throw, feeling a fierce thrill of triumph, and Crawford snapped up his gun.
Aya's eyes widened in horror. The fire was consuming the wall and had started to crawl into the hallway where he had told the little girl to wait. Crawford hesitated, flicking the briefest of glances towards the door, but kept the gun aimed at Aya.
Aya felt suddenly sick. Birman had told him to keep a tight leash on his Gift, or something like this would happen. He darted for the door, but Crawford intercepted him quickly, swinging his gun up to press it hard against Aya's temple at the same time Aya reached out and seized a fistful of his shirt.
They froze, staring at each other, breathing a little hard, their eyes narrowed.
Something like muffled respect flickered in Crawford's dark eyes, though his tone was amused. "Not bad, Weiß," he said calmly. "However, now that you've had your fun, we get to watch the house burn down. Front row seats."
The little girl screamed again.
"Let me go," Aya growled, glaring up at him fiercely. "That child is going to burn alive!"
Crawford shrugged dismissively. "That isn't my problem, Abysinnian. You should have thought of that before you used your Talent.
"Get out of my way!" Aya pushed at him desperately in an attempt to wriggle past. A split second later a long strip of wallpaper peeled from the wall, dipping towards Aya's unprotected back and burning merrily.
Aya had time for one short yelp of surprise as a strong arm wrapped around his shoulders, then the American was diving out the door, bringing Aya with him. Behind them, the fire went out of control, consuming the room and everything in it. Aya coughed hoarsely as he huddled against something firm, lying on the floor. The hallway was full of smoke, and fire was licking up the sides of the walls. He heard the little girl sobbing with fear and pushed himself up on his elbows.
He came eye to eye with Crawford, who was lying next to him, watching him calmly, his arm still around Aya's shoulders.
Aya yanked away and stumbled to his feet. "Don't touch me!" He looked around quickly for the child as Crawford rose slowly to his feet. He spotted her at last, huddled fearfully against another door, and hurried over. The edge of the long trenchcoat she had wrapped around her was on fire. He stamped it out hastily and moved his katana to his left hand, scooping her up in his free arm. He turned to stare in mute horror at the fire and took a deep breath, struggling with the power surging inside him, but the fire was out of control. He brought up his katana in warning as Crawford walked towards him.
"Still looking for a fight, Weiß?" The older man's smile was grim. He held up a hand. "Temporary truce, Abysinnian. You can burn alive if you like. I don't have time for this."
Aya hesitated, then sheathed his sword and got a firmer grip on the child, still watching the American suspiciously. Crawford calmly tucked his revolver back inside his coat and headed quickly for the stairs. Aya strode after him, reaching up to cover the child's mouth partially to keep out most of the smoke.
Aya paused, glancing back in the direction Yohji had gone, but Crawford reached out and grabbed his arm. "He's out, Weiß," he said firmly. "Now move or die."
Aya shook him off, glaring at him. "How would you know? And why should I trust you?"
Crawford started down the stairs again. "Schuldich told me. Believe what you will."
Aya ground his teeth and finally followed the older man, coughing a little at the smoke. He clutched the whimpering child tighter and wondered suddenly if Ken had gotten out yet or not.
Ken's hollow voice sounded too quiet in the cool basement. "What are you doing here?" he demanded, unable to tear his eyes from the insane Irishman seated on the bench.
Farfarello sat motionless, watching him with his single golden eye. "Here to save God's children, angel?" he breathed.
Ken swallowed hard and took a cautious step forward, clenching his fists and allowing his bugnuks to slide out from under his sleeves.
Farfarello's grip tightened just slightly on the child's hair, and the little boy whimpered fearfully. Ken froze. Farfarello's lips curved a little in a fiendish grin. "This one will bleed first," he promised.
"Don't," Ken said quickly, holding up his hands placatingly, his heart pounding. "Wait. What do you want? Just let the kid go."
Farfarello rose to his feet gracefully, keeping his grip on the little boy. He moved his free hand from behind his back to display his needle pointed dagger. He held it up, admiring it. "God cries hardest when the little children die," he said almost thoughtfully.
"Let him go," Ken said, his voice hitching in panic. No way could he stop the crazed madman. He was about to watch an innocent child be murdered in front of his very eyes, and the thought made him want to throw up. He reached desperately for any way to get the man to release his captive. If only his Gift was offensive! "Why would you want to kill him?" he asked quickly. "He isn't an innocent anymore. You know what the Adakashi brothers do to these children."
Farfarello looked down at the terrified child in his grip. "Then his blood will taste all the more sweeter to my bla-"
"Don't you hurt my niisan!!"
Ken turned quickly at the small cry.
A little girl tottered from the shadows by the wall, clenching tiny fists and glaring up at Farfarello with no trace of fear on her grubby face. She stumbled as she walked quickly towards them, but pushed herself right back up and continued towards the madman. Ken made a grab for her, and seized the back of her ragged dress.
"Let me go!" she hollered, waving her fists at him, glaring at Farfarello furiously, blue eyes welling with tears. "You let go of my niisan!"
"Stop it," Ken hissed, dragging her up against him. "Be still!" He glanced up at Farfarello.
The Irishman's eye had widened slightly, and he was staring at the little girl as if he was seeing a ghost. His grip on the boy loosened slightly. Then he blinked, as if shaking himself out of a daze. "You can watch me kill him," he said with a sneer. "And then you will be next."
"Don't you touch him!" the girl shrieked, enraged. She jabbed an accusing finger at him. "God will never forgive you!!"
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