Ch. 7: "Leap of Faith"
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
When the moon is right
Looking up into a neon sky
Child in me takes over
It's been too long
Since the last time that I tried to fly
"He knew about Ryo."
Birman looked up from where she was jotting notes in her little notebook, arching an eyebrow at Ken over her reading glasses. "Come again?"
"He found Omi's memories of Ryo," Ken said, watching her carefully. "He acted surprised- like he knew the guy."
Birman's expression didn't change. She lowered her eyes back to her notebook and continued to write. "Hm."
Aya glanced at the woman out of the corner of his eye from where he was watering a pot of tulips.
"Why would Schuldich know Ryo?" Yohji demanded, lounging just outside the door, cigarette dangling from his lips. "I thought Manx said he works for Kritiker."
Birman sighed quietly and lowered the notebook to her lap, reaching up to remove her delicate glasses. She looked up at the expectant men and shook her head with a small little smile. "You're not going to leave me alone about this, are you?"
"Nope," Omi said cheerfully.
Birman chuckled. "Truth is, I know very little about the man. Persia used to be very secretive about him. I've only met Ryo once or twice personally. If anyone knows why Schwarz would know about Ryo, it's Manx." She turned her dark eyes on Omi, face serious once more. "As for your Gift... Like I said, you're a Possesser. That is a very dangerous Gift, Bombay. Like Aya's, you must be careful not to use it in haste. Your Gift will work better on someone with a weaker willpower; unfortunately, the men who make up Schwarz aren't so weak minded. Control over them could last only minutes."
"What about on Farfarello?" Ken asked, frowning. "He's mad; does that mean he'd be easy to Possess, or harder?"
Birman pursed her lips. "Good question. I don't know the answer." She rose to her feet. "I'd like to stay longer, but I've got to get back to the office. Let me know if anything else crops up." She glanced towards Yohji. "And let me know when you figure out what your Gift is. Ken says you think it has something to do with your feet. Maybe you have the inhuman speed of Schuldich. Try doing things you'd normally do with your feet or legs; go running, kick something... Try to figure it out."
Yohji rolled his eyes and said nothing. Ken frowned at him. The older man's skeptism was beginning to get on his nerves big time.
"In the meantime," Birman said briskly, "you have another mission. A 'normal' one." She flipped through the pages of her notebook, eyes skimming for the information she was looking for. "Manx couldn't come in today, so I'll just brief you quickly. This mission wouldn't be too difficult except for one key point: Hashikata has a small business deal with the men you'll be going to kill. Schwarz could be watching them."
Aya set his watering can aside and wiped his hands off on his apron, looking at her emotionlessly. "What's the mission?" he asked bluntly.
Birman's painted nail trailed down the page as she spoke. "The men you're after are brothers: Jin and Ein Adakashi. They sell child pornography. Your mission is to kill them, destroy all their files, and get any children out that they might have confined on the premises." She reached into her pocket and drew out a disk, holding it out to Omi. Omi wordlessly took it, a sick look on his face. "The blueprints for their home are here- it's where they do all their work. You'll also find information and pictures of the brothers."
Yohji's lip curled in disgust. "Fucking bastard sickos," he muttered. He flexed his hand as if envisioning choking someone. "I'm in."
"Me, too," Ken said quietly, feeling his blood boil just at the thought. Aya nodded silently.
"Good." Birman folded her glasses and slid them into her breast pocket. "They should be home tonight. You can do it then. Make sure you destroy every file: pictures, computer files, paperwork, etcetera." She rose to her feet, flashing a brief, humorless smile. "Put a good hit in for me, will you? Ja." She sauntered off.
"Ch'..." Ken shuddered, running a hand through his hair. "I hate assholes like that. This will be one mission I'll be glad to complete."
Aya was looking at his hand thoughtfully.
"Looks like someone's eager to try out their Gift," Omi said lightly, and smiled.
Aya glanced up at him and closed his hand in a tight fist. He didn't need to reply. His actions spoke much louder than words.
"Is everyone in position?"
Ken reached up to push the headpiece closer to his ear at Omi's quiet whisper. "This is Siberian- I'm ready."
"Balinese ready," Yohji's voice said a moment later, followed by Aya's cold tones.
"Stand by," Omi murmured. Over the com Ken could hear the faint clacking of keys as Omi typed swiftly on his laptop. "I'm disabling the burglar alarms now."
Ken waited, shifting his weight uncomfortably as he crouched in the bushes by the back door. This was going to be pathetically easy. The Adakashi brothers hadn't even bothered to hire any lawn guards. Easy.
Unless Schwarz made an appearance.
Ken got to his feet quickly at Omi's voice and sprinted across the lawn to the back door. He slid a wire into the keyhole and jiggled it for a few moments. He was soon rewarded with a loud click, and eased the door open cautiously.
"I'm inside," he whispered, slipping into the dark hallway and closing the door behind him.
"They have a bodyguard somewhere in the house," Omi warned. "Be careful."
"Yeah yeah," Ken muttered, walking stealthily down the hall. From the other side of the house he heard the front door open.
"I'm in," Aya said curtly over the com.
"Ditto," Yohji added. "That window was a pain in the ass. I'm on the second floor."
Ken looked around carefully, opening every door on the bottom floor. He passed Aya as the crimson haired assassin headed for the stairs. Ken opened the closet door under the staircase and peered inside, flicking on his flashlight. He was supposed to find the basement that had been in the blueprints in case the Adakashi brothers were keeping children there. He reached into the small closet space, knocking quietly on the wood. It didn't sound hollow, so he closed it and continued his search.
He gave a little jump as there was a thud from upstairs. He held his breath, heart pounding as he strained his ears, hoping the noise hadn't alerted the brothers.
"Bodyguard's taken care of," Aya said calmly into the com. "Balinese, have you found the brothers yet?"
"Not yet," Yohji muttered back. "I think I found their computer room, though. I'm destroying the files. You find the two sickos."
"Ryoukai," Aya murmured back, and the line fell silent again.
Ken took a deep breath and moved on to the living room, moving the beam of his flashlight over the room. He sneered at his lavish surroundings. Evidentally porn sellers made a nice amount of money.
He moved around the room slowly, tapping at the walls and peering behind the furniture.
What about the fireplace?
He paused, squinting towards the large fireplace on the other side of the room. Hm. Good idea. Funny that the thought had occured to him so abruptly. Shrugging it off, he walked quickly over to the fireplace, running his hand along the marble mantleplace and up and down the sides, looking for a hidden switch. He crouched and pushed at the logs to move them aside and nearly jumped out of his skin when the back wall of the fireplace slid ponderously back with a low grating sound. The logs were fake. He let out a slow breath. "Found the basement," he whispered into the com. "I'm going in."
"Good work," Omi responded. "Aya, what abou-- HEY!"
Ken halted in the middle of ducking through the dark opening. "Omi?" There was no response. After a second the line went dead, fuzzing in his ear. "Shit," he hissed, jerking the useless headset off and tucking it into his belt. He scrambled under the low entrance and into a narrow, stone corridor that sloped sharply downwards.
He hurried down it at a quick jog, bugnuks held at the ready. Finally the floor evened out and he stepped up to a large door. He reached out, cupping the thick padlock that secured the door in his palm. He frowned darkly. Well something was behind that door. But no damn lock was going to keep him out. He reached into the small pack on his back and brought out the bolt cutters Yohji had suggested he bring. Breathing a silent thanks to the older man, he settled the big blades around the padlock and clamped the handles together hard.
SNAP! The broken lock clattered to the ground with a ringing sound. Ken shifted the big shears to his left hand and pushed the heavy door open with a grunt. He stepped into a large, cool room, dimmly lit by a single bulb swaying from the ceiling. Blinking, he fished out his flashlight and clicked it on, sweeping the room with the small beam.
He heard the rattle of chains and a small whimper and felt naseau curl in his gut like smoke. His light landed on a huddled mass of rags on the opposite wall and he turned his head at another sound off to his left. He needed more light...
He turned quickly, travelling his flashlight down the wall behind him until he found what he was looking for. A large old fashioned heater, the small tongue of flame at the bottom nearly gone, was pushed close to the wall. He set his flashlight aside and knelt, turning the small dial carefully, giving the fire more fuel. He backed off as the fire grew and waited for the heater to get warm. It began to glow, and as it grew hotter, it threw a dull red light on the room.
Then he turned slowly, almost dreading what he would see.
What he wasn't expecting to see was a man sitting calmly on a rough bench, fingers threaded through the hair of a whimpering little boy, holding his head back almost far enough to snap his neck. Ken's heart leapt into his throat.
Farfarello stared back at him with his single glowing eye.
Yohji rifled through the papers on the desk, the little lamp on its edge the only light in the room. He held two disks clenched in his teeth as his eyes ran quickly over the names and information on the paperwork he was flipping through. Birman had said to destroy everything, but he was sorely tempted to keep the papers he held now. It listed the names, numbers, and addresses of every customer the Adakashi brothers had ever had. He skimmed the list, looking for a particular name, and grinned tightly around the disks in his mouth. Hashikata. Go figure. The 'business deal' he had with the brothers was simply that he bought their products. Now he was really looking forward to meeting the man.
And removing his head for him.
"Actually," a flippant voice said from behind him, "Hashikata funds their projects more than he actually buys their little videos and pictures."
Yohji whirled with a gasped curse, the disks falling from his open mouth.
Someone flicked on the overhead light and he blinked hard, reaching up quickly to shade his eyes, baring his teeth in recognition as he made out the figure lounging against the doorframe. "Schuldich," he snarled.
The German flashed him a cocky grin, arms crossed as he leaned insolently in the doorway, blocking Yohji's escape. "Naughty boy," he tsked. "Didn't your mother ever teach you not to look through peoples' things? Oh, and-" he lifted a finger, raising his eyebrows in mock seriousness. "In case you didn't know, breaking and entering is against the law. By the way, your little soccer buddy should be having a nice little meeting with Farfie right about now. I told him where the kiddos are kept. Hopefully Farf will be thoughtful enough to send your little friend back in manageable bite-sized pieces..."
Yohji's groping hand encountered a heavy paperweight and he seized it. "Go to hell," he growled, and hurled it at the other man.
Schuldich dodged, and the paperweight missed him just barely. Then the lithe man was leaping forward, grinning madly.
Yohji gurgled in surprise as the man's fingers wrapped tightly around his throat, slamming him against the desk. Papers fluttered everywhere. Shit! He was so damn fast! He reached up and tried to wrench the strong hands away, struggling as the German leaned his weight into him, pinning him.
Schuldich's eyes were hooded, his smile amused. "Not that we care if you chop up the shithead brothers," he said conversationally, "but now you've gone and spoiled everything. Think you've got some proof against Hashitaka now, do you? Baaad kitten."
Yohji jerked his knee up in an attempt to catch Schuldich in the groin, but the other man was too tightly pressed to him. He could barely move- or breathe. He gasped for air, closing his eyes tightly and clawing at the other man's wrists frantically. He was going to black out...
Schuldich's hot breath fell on his ear and his heart gave a violent jump of surprise. "Kirei.." Schuldich purred, leaning against him even more heavily. "I always enjoy seeing you look so helpless, Kudou." He chuckled throatily.
Yohji felt his face flush with more than the need for air. "H-hentai," he said in a choking voice, trying unsucessfully to twist his head aside.
Schuldich laughed and released him suddenly with a little push, his hand sliding in and out of Yohji's pocket with the slickness of a pickpocket. He took a step back and lifted Yohji's zippo lighter, grinning. He flicked it on and watched as Yohji coughed, hands to his bruised throat.
"Maa," Schuldich said cheerfully, "time to clean up house."
Yohji's eyes widened in horror as Schuldich let go of the lighter, and suddenly things seemed to be moving in slow motion.
He snatched up a handful of papers and turned to the window as the lighter hit the lush carpet and bounced. He was putting his hands on the windowframe and actually launching himself out when the flames caught. He heard Schuldich curse behind him in German as he realized Yohji was getting away with the evidence.
Then Yohji was tumbling out of the window, landing hard on the roof of the second floor. He heard Schuldich's foot hit the windowsill and turned to look over his shoulder at the flames beginning to spread. Schulich was balancing on the windowsill, preparing to jump for him.
Then life abruptly sped back up.
Yohji scrambled to his feet, scraping his palms on the rough surface as he broke into a run.
"What's the rush, Kudou?" came Schuldich's taunting call from behind. Yohji sped up, racing across the rooftop, sparing a quick glance over his shoulder and breathing raggedly. The German was closing in fast, eyes flashing in triumph.
Yohji looked quickly back to the front, clenching the precious papers in one fist as he ran, knowing even as he did so that it was hopeless. There was no escape. There was a small explosion as the fire touched something flammable in the office, and in the light of it he could see the edge of the roof up ahead.
Set a little to the side of the building, low to the ground, he could see the roof of the shed, but there was no way he could make that jump. It was simply too far. At least twenty feet.
He heard the scrape of a shoe against the roof, and the audible snick of a knife snapping open-- Schuldich was right behind him.
Yohji gave a desperate cry as he reached the edge of the roof and launched himself into the air, knowing even as he did so that it was hopeless.
Then something strange happened.
The second he pushed off from the roof edge, he felt.. something shift in him. Something hot and powerful. As his body sailed the length between the two buildings, he felt suddenly weightless- almost as if he could fly. A strange thrill went through his body.
He landed hard on the shed's roof and lost his balance, tumbling across its surface with a grunt. Panting, he pushed himself to his hands and knees, his arms shaking, and looked up.
Schuldich was standing on the main house roof, staring across at him incredulously.
Yohji took in a shuddering breath of disbelief.
He had just made a twenty foot leap as if it was nothing.
Well well Schuldich's dry voice was a brush against his mind. So the Playboy finds his Talent.
Schuldich grinned suddenly, his face shadowed from the fire behind him. "Ja, then, Weiß," he called across tauntingly. "Go running back to your little weed shop. But I don't think you'll be needing those."
Yohji gasped as the papers were suddenly plucked from his hands by an invisible hand. He snatched at them, but they shredded into miniscule pieces before his very eyes. He whirled around, looking down onto the lawn below.
Nagi looked up at him solemnly, reaching up to let a few pieces of paper land on his palm. He closed his fist over them and gave a small smile. Omi was crumpled at his feet, unconscious.
Nagi ignored him, glancing towards Schuldich, and the German's body was lifted slowly to the ground. Schuldich stepped up beside Nagi and grinned up at Yohji, offering a sarcastic salute and a smile. "Gute nacht, Weiß," he called up cheerfully. Then he turned to follow Nagi into the shadows, laughing mockingly.
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