Go, Or Go Ahead
"Siberian, do it now!"
"Before he lapses again! Do it now!"
Ken looked at Knight, the handsome blonde cradling Ran's unconscious body. He then stared down at the face of the young man who was once his former employer, ex-teammate, and best friend.
Blood was caked in Persia's silvery hair; an unusual color, given his age. His navy trenchcoat had slashes, rents and rips in it, delivered from expertly sharpened weapons."Ken-kun, please. End it." Mamoru pleaded, tears threatening to fall from his large blue eyes.
"Omi, I'm sorry."
The younger man nodded and closed his eyes, anticipating the final blow of their fight. It was pointless to try and defend against something that he wanted as well. With a tortured growl, Ken raised his bugnuks before burying them into Mamoru's chest. Blood seeped through the head of Kritiker's suit, quickly spreading across his torso. He smiled, blood beginning to drip from the corner of his mouth. He wanted to thank Ken, but no sound left his mouth. A peaceful expression on his face, Mamoru closed his eyes.
Ken choked back a sob and dropped to his knees.
Mamoru Takatori was dead. It was over.
Aya Fujimiya fought with herself to keep awake as her professor rattled the lecture on in even, coma-inducing tones. 'Been there, done that,' She thought sleepily. Looking around at the sleeping students, she could see she wasn't the only one to fall victim to the professor's utterly captivating lesson. In a last ditch effort to remain conscious Aya dug her pen cap into her palm. It hurt, sure, but the slight pain kept her alert.
"So do I have any volunteers? Anyone?"
In her struggle to remain awake, Aya hadn't been able to keep her attention on the lecture. 'Please don't call me… please don't call me…' She thought desperately, studying the small, circular red mark forming on her pale hand.
Correcting her posture and pushing her dark bangs out of her royal purple eyes, Aya tried to look like she had been paying attention. "Yes, professor?"
"You would be the perfect candidate for this little project. I want a five-page paper on nursing in an ICU environment. You will be assigned to shadow a nurse at the Magic Bus hospital for a week. I want the paper on the twenty-seventh."
'Fucking Hell mother shit eating bastard!' She screamed mentally. Plastering a not-even-close-to-sincere grin on her face, Aya nodded. "Understood, sir."
A low voice crackled over a comm. unit. "She's moving."
"Acknowledged. Keep her in sight." Nagi Naoe replied.
He really hated being on this college campus, Nagi decided. There were far too many people, and human interaction was never really his strongest suit. A job is a job, however; and Aya Fujimiya was his job. Checking his itinerary, Nagi noted that Aya was heading to the library to study, then to her dorm for the rest of the night. He had her routine down so thoroughly that he could follow the girl in his sleep.
'Sleep,' Nagi thought; that was something he hadn't quite gotten enough of since he was assigned to this particular target. He supposed it made sense in Aya's case. Were he in a coma for over two years, Nagi didn't think he'd want to sleep much either. So Nagi made fast friends with the coffee maker in the dorm room where he was currently situated, posing as a student.
Nagi imagined his former co-workers had infinitely more exciting jobs. He hadn't seen Crawford or Schuldig since that run-in with Rosenkreuz. He didn't exactly miss them, but sometimes he wondered if they were even still alive. 'They must be,' he thought. 'If they can make it out of a building collapsing on itself into the ocean, they could certainly make it out of a fire… right?'
The cracking noise of the comm. unit took Nagi from his thoughts. "She's moving again."
"Location?" Nagi asked.
"She seems to be heading towards the dorms."
"Keep your eyes on her until she gets inside. I'll be by to relieve you soon."
"Goodnight, Aya-chan," Nagi said as he stood up and headed for the door.
"Angora is moving out."
"Good," said the figure at the desk. "And the target?"
"In her dorm room, sir."
Mamoru Takatori nodded, pleased with the results. Running the organization known as Kritiker had proved to be tough, and he still hadn't quite gotten the gist of things, but when things went right, they were very right. Missions he sent his agents on these days involved less killing, though Kritiker still had lethal units. "Have Angora set up a video feed. I want her dorm under visual surveillance."
"The room and phone are already bugged, Persia, sir."
Mamoru's eyes narrowed slightly. "Maybe you didn't understand me the first time."
His subordinate, a tall and professional-looking woman looked incredulously at him. Persia had never taken this sort of tone before. Something seemed off. Deciding not to question him further, she followed through with his orders. "Angora's received orders, sir."
Mamoru seemed placated. "That's better." He leaned back in his leather chair and opened the link set up to observe the target. He placed his hand on the computer screen with the sleeping girl's delicate features on it. "Goodnight, Aya-chan," he said quietly.
Two men sat at a small table outside of a coffee shop in Seattle. Neither of them uttered a word. They seemed an odd pair to be sharing an afternoon coffee; the taller one, with his clean-cut appearance and no nonsense attitude, and his companion with his shocking head of tawny hair and laid-back demeanor.
The red head smirked. He was a telepath, calling himself 'Schuldig'. It meant "guilty" in his native tongue. Why he called himself such a thing was anyone's guess; and Schuldig liked to make people guess. He viewed everything as a game, and people as his playthings.
His counterpart seemed irritated. For the first time since they sat down, he spoke, "What do you find so entertaining?"
Schuldig reached across the small table and grabbed the older man's coffee, and with a wink, he drank some of it. 'Black. Leave it to Brad,' he thought. Having long finished his own drink, he resorted to taking an occasional sip from the other man's. "I feel a bit antsy, and the most wonderful idea popped into my fucked up little head." He replied, eyeing the dark haired man sitting across from him. Purposefully, he ran his finger along the rim of the coffee cup.
The tall man pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. He already knew Schuldig wanted to shoot the woman who had been eyeing him since they sat down, right out here on the sidewalk where everyone could see. He saw this unfold two days ago in a Vision. Bradley Crawford was a precognitive. "Don't, Schuldig." It wasn't a request.
"I didn't even tell you what I wanted to do." Schuldig complained, shoving the coffee away. 'Bitch keeps looking at you.'
"I said 'don't'." Crawford's voice took on a threatening edge.
The younger man folded his arms and slouched in his seat, almost looking as if he could slide right onto the ground with the fluidity of his movements. Even while sulking, the telepath had a near inhuman grace to him. "You never let me have fun anymore, Bradley. You must've skipped over turning thirty and went right to fucking eighty."
Crawford's eyes narrowed. This was a challenge if he ever heard one. "Get up."
Confused blue eyes stared back at him. "What?"
Standing up, he said it again, "Get. Up." Crawford hated to repeat himself. He began to walk away.
In an instant, Schuldig was shaking. As Crawford got further away, a torrent of voices entered the telepath's head, thoughts that weren't his own. "Where the Hell are you going?"
"You can follow me if you like." Crawford said simply. He knew Schuldig would get up and all but run to him.
Which he did. "Asshole. You know I fucking hate it when you do that." Schuldig rubbed at his temples as the thoughts of those around him began to deaden.
Crawford smirked. Everything was a game to him, as well. And he enjoyed winning.
As the pair walked, Crawford pulled his gun from its holster and shot the woman who'd been not - so - discreetly checking him out. No one else noticed, as the silencer was on. 'Feel better, Schuldig?'
Schuldig smiled. He did feel better
Ken hated airplanes. Having to dress like a stewardess once before might have had something to do with it, but he also hated flying because of the sheer boredom of it. All he could do is sit in his seat and watch "My Best Friend's Wedding" for the seventh time, read, or stare out the window. Out of these options, Ken couldn't decide which was the worst; he hated to watch films in English (it's not his best language, after all), not very many books could hold his interest, and if he looked out the window, he was liable to either get sick or freak out. So he nudged the passenger seated beside him. Again.
The blonde Kriptonbrand member called Chloe looked up from his book at his partner. "What do you want now, Ken?" He'd been on the same page for the past twenty minutes. Ken was really trying his already paper-thin patience.
The brunette tried his best to look apologetic. "I'm bored. Wanna talk?"
"I want to read, but I doubt that is going to happen, seated next to you, so sure. Let's talk." Chloe closed his book loudly and set it in his lap. Taking off his reading glasses, he looked at Ken. "What," he all but bit out, "would you like to talk about?"
Ken paused. "I dunno."
Seated a few rows behind his teammates, a boy with dark hair and glasses sat, playing his Game Boy with the sound turned all the way down. He only moved slightly when he avoided a book behind hurled in his direction. Ken and Chloe were having yet another fight, he supposed, judging from the shouting and flying objects. "How you were able to deal with him on a daily basis is beyond me." Yuki said, looking across the aisle at Ran. The redheaded assassin seemed engrossed with the Julia Roberts in-flight movie.
Tearing his attention from the film, Ran shrugged, non-committal. "You get used to Ken after a while."
Yuki frowned. He wasn't sure he'd ever be used to the hotheaded Japanese man. He'd never see someone fly off the handle as much as Ken did. Plus there was the fact that Ken and Ran spent a lot of time together. They may have worked together in the past, but mere co-workers don't look at each other the way that they do. The lingering touches were a clue, too. And the time he accidentally spied on them having sex. Yes, Yuki had a tiny crush on Ran. Big deal. Yuki frowned.
Ran arched an eyebrow at the boy. "Are you feeling alright?"
"Yeah." Yuki said quietly.
It was at that moment that Ran had decided to separate Ken and Chloe. The rose that managed to lodge itself in his armrest may or may not have had something to do with it.
Yuki sighed. It was going to be a long flight back to England.
The hospital lobby was quiet, except for the muted tones of the phone ringing every few moments. The building smelled of disinfectants and carpet cleaner. Aya approached the desk and waited for the receptionist to notice her. The woman looked up at the young girl and held a finger up at her, indicating her to wait a moment. Aya found this gesture to be a bit rude, but decided not to say anything. When the woman was finally off of the phone, she looked at Aya, uninterested. "What can I help you with?" she asked. Clearly, she didn't want to be here today.
Aya pulled out a card. "I'm supposed to be shadowing someone named," she squinted, looking at the card. She had needed glasses for some time, but didn't want to bother Ran with telling him. "Asuka Itou," she finished. "I'm doing a research paper on nursing and I-"
The receptionist paged Asuka to the lobby before Aya could finish talking. A few minutes later, a nurse with long black hair and friendly brown eyes approached Aya.
"Are you Aya Fujimiya?" She asked politely. Aya nodded. "I'm Asuka Itou, you'll be following me around for a bit. Let me first give you a tour of the hospital, then we can take things from there."
Aya smiled. At least the nurse was nice.
Nagi couldn't shake the feeling that he was being followed. Disguised as an orderly, he blended in perfectly in the large hospital's sterile hallways. From his vantage point, he could watch Aya carefully as she shadowed Nurse Itou. By all means, he should have been practically invisible… however, it seemed like someone was watching him.
'That can't be, though,' he thought. 'I was more than careful in making sure no one knew I was following her today.'
He hadn't been assigned a mission since last night, and Nagi was starting to worry. Usually, he was assigned to Aya around the clock, but this morning, things seemed off…
"Angora reporting for duty, Persia, sir." Nagi said, upon entering the office of Mamoru Takatori.
Mamoru looked up from the files on his desk and smiled slightly at the telekinetic. "Angora, I didn't hear you come in." The Kritiker head put the files aside and folded his hands neatly on the desk. "I called you in here to let you know that plans have changed. I'll be having a different agent monitor Aya Fujimiya from now on. You're temporarily relieved of your duties."
Nagi was stunned. "Sir?" He couldn't comprehend what he was hearing. "Is there any reason why I am being retracted from this mission?"
Persia heaved a sigh. "Angora," he started, "here in Kritiker, it is important for our agents to have no ties to the outside world. You're legally dead, remember?"
"Along with not existing in the outside world, you can't have personal ties to any mission you've been assigned to." Mamoru continued. "It's been brought to my attention that you've become somewhat attached to Aya Fujimiya. Therefore, I am removing you from the surveillance mission. It wouldn't do to have you watching over her, feeling as you do."
Nagi wanted to deny it, but he couldn't. "I… I see." It seemed like a bad cliché to him, all of a sudden; falling for the girl he was assigned to protect. "My new mission, then?"
Mamoru briefly looked through the files on his desk. "Well, at the present time, I have nothing for an agent of your caliber. Why don't you take a short vacation?"
"You're sure, sir?"
Mamoru nodded. "You will be notified when you need to return to service, Angora. You are dismissed."
Nagi bowed and left the office…
Mission or not, Nagi wanted to know Aya was safe. Whoever had been assigned to her couldn't possibly replace him. 'I'm the best agent in the damn organization,' he thought bitterly. Something was wrong.
He felt cold metal pressed against the back of his neck.
"Don't you fucking move."
His suspicions confirmed, Nagi complied.
After an excruciating 10-hour flight, the six members of Kriptonbrand climbed out of the taxi-van and unlocked the doors to the Kitten's House flower shop.
"You have gotta be shitting me." Ken said quietly, looking over the shop's interior. He rushed downstairs.
Potted plants were smashed all over the linoleum floor, the scent of dead flowers lingered in the air, and there was broken glass where display cases used to be. The assassin team carefully surveyed the area.
"There's blood on the floor here." Free said quietly, knelt down beside the counter. He held an arm out protectively near Michel, not wanting the boy to step in it.
Chloe looked up from where he was standing, near the smashed plants. "You can tell from the prints here in the soil that there was definitely a struggle, see?" Sure enough, there were scuffle marks in the soil. He went around the back to the stairs that lead upstairs to the apartment they all shared.
Michel squeaked. Where he stood, at one of the arrangement tables, there were strands of hair. "I only know one person with hair like this," he said worriedly.
"Mihirogi…" Ran said quietly, examining the hair from over Michel's shoulder.
Chloe rushed down the stairs, expression worried. He nearly collided with Ken, who was on his way up the stairs. "Kurumi's nowhere in the house."
"…I found Mihirogi downstairs." Ken said quietly. He held up a manila folder, bloodied handprints decorating it. "I guess she came here with a mission and someone must've been waiting for her. Staples have been torn from the folder, so whoever the target was- they came here for us."
"Someone contact KR." Ran ordered. Free nodded and went to do just that. "No one let your guard down. Whoever it was could still be inside."
"I don't like this," Michel said worriedly as he grabbed Ken's arm. Ken frowned and put a reassuring hand around the smaller boy's shoulders. He didn't like this either.
-to be continued-
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