There was nothing left to do but stare at each other evenly. The stares were relatively uninterperable. Perhaps they were sizing each other up for a fight. Perhaps they were questioning the other's sanity or their level of trustworthiness. Perhaps they were just looking at each other, each one reassuring themselves that they weren't the traitorous, fucked-up, evil one.
Finally, a bit quieter, Amon restated his previous words. "I would never betray a comrade."
Doujima lowered her brows and felt something inside her snap suddenly, dangerously; something inside of her that had been tethered down for a long time broke free and slithered away. "You are so full of shit." She laughed a little. "Oh, my God. You are so full of shit."
Amon looked at her evenly. "This is from the woman who has a made a living out of intentionally deceiving others?"
"Yes, it is." Yurika Doujima looked at the man in front of her, not afraid, not intimidated. Somewhere along the way she'd realized that if you didn't let him scare you, Amon's iron grip on the upper hand of situations could be pried away. "Never betray a comrade? Yes, Amon, I lie to people and tell all their secrets and am just generally nasty--I'm a spy. It's what I do. But you know what?"
Somewhere in the distance thunder rolled, and Amon was silent.
"I don't lie to myself about what I am or what I'm doing and why. I fuck people over for a living. I'll admit it." Her mouth was moving at a million miles an hour, eyes narrowed, somewhat amazed that he hadn't stopped her tirade either verbally or physically. "But you, what's your modus operandi?"
He looked at her blankly. His jaw twitched. He was fighting to keep control of something. "I'm a Hunter."
Doujima sneered. "You're a killer. You'll nab anyone they tell you to, get rid of anyone they want gone. Haven't you been nominated Hitman of the Month yet by those shadowy old bastards on SOLOMON's high council?"
Thunder was rolling again, mixing with the sound of a train rolling by on rickety tracks. Doujima stopped for a moment, watching Amon carefully--at this point, knowing what she knew of him from her own experience and from his reputation with HQ, she wouldn't be startled in the least if he up and killed her, right then and there, rather than deal with the moral quandary of his existence.
"You," she breathed, frowning. "Don't you--haven't you--ever just stopped? Haven't you ever stopped and thought about what those old bastards are making you do? What they're doing? Why they're doing it? What's really going on?" She inhaled sharply, all her words having come out in a big rush. The ozone smell of rain was in the air; the humidity was beginning to come in and the temperature was dropping. Either it was humidity or sweat from fear that was making her hair stick to her neck.
She figured she might be nuts. Doujima was standing in front of one of the most dangerous men in the entire SOLOMON organization, berating his moral and ethical character.
"They have their reasons," Amon replied after a moment, voice tight and controlled. "And I have mine. As does anyone and everyone who ever did anything that caused indignation and fear in others."
Yurika Doujima huffed in complete disbelief. "You're fucking insane. And heartless."
"Perhaps. And you cannot be trusted farther than you can be thrown. We all have our little flaws," he remarked, dryly, darkly. His voice sounded dangerous, and Doujima wondered how he could possibly explain killing her to HQ. They let Amon's leash run rather slack at times, but not so slack that he could get away with neatly putting her out of the picture due to irritation.
A thought crossed her semi-panicked mind without warning. "Do you know why they want her dead? Robin, I mean." She narrowed her eyes at him, sensing what could have almost been a slight change in Amon's demeanor. Perhaps she'd hit a soft spot in the armour--the only way to tell was to keep chipping at it. "And furthermore why do you want her dead?"
"She is growing too powerful," Amon replied immediately, in deadpan. It was as if he'd rehearsed this reply; gone over it a million times in his head. "Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die. She has done her job. I am doing mine."
Her eyes remained narrowed at him. Amon's mask had intensified; his voice was not its usual self--something was afoot. She had found the weak spot.
Amon was not giving her the whole picture.
"Oh really?" she queried, sarcastically. "I've known you for long enough, and I know your ways. If you were doing your job, Robin would be dead right now, and I'd have heard about it. But she's not. She's still alive, and you're letting her live."
Something in Amon's dark eyes flashed, momentarily. Doujima grabbed onto it and rode it for all it was worth.
"You know where she is, don't you?" Pieces of things in her mind were starting to click together, abruptly, and as the bigger picture began to manifest in her mind's eye she was startled. "You took her away from Raven's Flat, didn't you?" she murmured at him, almost accusingly. "You know where she is because you put her there. You dropped little hints so that Miho and Haruto would interrupt the attack on Robin's apartment." She looked at him in wonderment, shaking her head slightly. If she didn't know any better, she might have called the look on Amon's face, his posture, and his whole aura repetance.
"What the hell are you playing at here, Amon?" she asked him, lowly. A train was rolling close, again.
He stood there before her, gaze slightly lowered, hands at his sides in what seemed like an almost useless manner. He looked...confused, defeated. He looked like Doujima had never seen him before. "Something is not right," he said, quiet; a broken admittance.
Doujima went out on a limb. "You haven't killed her yet because you can't," she said. "She's only Robin--she's not what they say she is, whatever they're saying she is. Robin couldn't just go beserk and--"
Amon looked up at her with such quickness and ferocity in his eyes that Doujima was momentarily taken aback; her speech stopping dead in her throat. It was remarkable; watching Amon switch from being lost to completely in control. She sensed that, perhaps, it had been happening to him a lot lately. "I watched my own mother go beserk with the Craft," he said, simply, bluntly. "Do not tell me who won't or will lose themselves in the Craft because as far as I'm concerned, anyone and everyone possessed of it is a potential enemy--a potential threat. Above all else my job--my duty," Amon continued with a conviction in his voice that was almost frightening in its firmness, "is to eliminate threats to humankind in the form of out-of-control Craft users."
"Witches," he finished, and silence reigned between them.
The train passed them in the humid, chilly night; the din beside them was almost deafening and neither could have spoken to each other without yelling. Therefore Doujima waited with her mouth shut, collecting her thoughts.
"But where," she began, as soon as the train was a bit away and the noise had lessened, "does SOLOMON doctrine end and your own personal beliefs begin?" Something was happening to the man before her--he was not as black and white as she had thought. A double-agent within a double-agent; she and him were alike in that respect. She'd started to question the motives of her superiors and he'd started to gain a conscience. Funny what working for SOLOMON would do to a person's character.
"You're right. Something is not right, here," Doujima affirmed. "Something smells like a rat--and startlingly enough, it's not me. Also startlingly, it's not you, either." She sighed, closing her eyes. "And I've been smelling it ever since the day of the attack on Robin's apartment."
He glared at her, gritting his teeth. "You can't be trusted any further than you can be thrown."
Doujima's eyes snapped open at the touch of water on her cheek; it was starting to sprinkle lightly. "You let me in on this." Her tone was commanding, desperate. "I want to find out what's going on for myself."
He was looking at her, eyes burning into her in silence. It appeared as if Amon was attempting to peer into her soul, trying to see if she was worth rolling the dice on. Doujima exhaled, waiting; somewhere Robin was alive and strings were being pulled all over the place--Zaizen, Headquarters, Amon, herself--they were all pulling on strings to different pieces, and everything was one big mess.
"You can't kill Robin," she said to him, gently. "And neither can I." Their eyes met. "Let me in on it. You're going to need to know what SOLOMON's doing and what they plan on doing aside from their plans for Hunts and death--and I know all of that. Please." Doujima had reached a crucial point. She knew that if she simply sat back and watched the events unfold with her hands over her eyes and ears, ignoring everything that SOLOMON told her to ignore that she'd never forgive herself.
Something in Amon's eyes told her that he may have already passed the point where he didn't forgive himself.
"If you betray me," the baritone began; a warning, "I'll kill you. And I can kill you."
Doujima knew that he told her no lie. Honour among thieves, among scoundrels, among dirty-handed people such as themselves dictated that he could not lie to her about such a thing. He had, in a roundabout way, admitted that he could not kill Robin--but Doujima didn't think for one second that he would have any qualms about killing her if she betrayed him.
However: she had nothing to fear. Here came the point where she disengaged herself from SOLOMON's strings and started to pull on her own of her own will.
"I need to talk to Robin," Doujima stated, firmly, nodding. "I have before, but she needs to know the truth, now. I know you know where she is, and who she's with. We need to find them."
Amon shook his head, blinking a bit. The rain was coming down a bit harder, now; they were starting to get a little wet. "No. Not yet. They're going to come to me. I've been making it easy for them to find me--we won't know anything until everything comes full circle." His face hardened. "And that includes the outcome of Robin's fate."
The rain came down and Doujima felt her hair plastering to her face, as Amon's did likewise. The argument turned coversation was ending the way it had begun--the two staring at each other evenly, sizing one another up.
They had not been comrades before. But now they were--partners in the same secret little game.
And comrades were not to be betrayed.