|A Little Thieving Magic
Author: wingedknightzero PM
My name is Annika and I am a member of the Police Force. All my life, I had known who and what I wanted to be. When Carmelita Fox offered me a job at Interpol, I couldn't refuse. It was the best thing that could happen to me. And then, he showed up...Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Sly C. & Carmelita F. - Chapters: 23 - Words: 43,551 - Reviews: 37 - Favs: 38 - Follows: 26 - Updated: 02-17-13 - Published: 06-07-11 - id: 7061753
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
We arrived at the island a few days later. Bentley made sure go over every detail of the job during briefing. He didn't spare anything. He made sure to go over escape routes should the job go wrong, explicit instructions to each of us for our own specific jobs… It took hours for him to explain everything to us. As the others cleared a path for Sly to the vault, I would shadow him all the way there, taking a different route but reaching the same destination. I was even given a new whip to work with for this mission. The plan was well thought out by our genius but, I couldn't help but have a horrible feeling about it. I had that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I couldn't shake. I ignored it and went back to preparing for the task at hand.
Before the mission started, Sly came to me. He was very serious today. He knew everything and everyone was on the line. He was completely focused on this. His inheritance and our lives hung in the balance and he felt the weight of it today.
"How are you feeling?" he asked me.
"Nervous," I said honestly. "I have this bad feeling but, I don't want to believe that we can't succeed. We have to succeed. We just have to."
He nodded to me. "Annika, I understand if you want to back out now-"
"No way," I interrupted him. "I've come too far to give up now. Just to be clear, had it been anyone else that asked me to pull a job like this, I would've said no. I did this for you and only you. I'm here to back you up no matter what. Okay?"
He smiled. "I'm counting on you to have my back in this."
"You have nothing to worry about then."
He chuckled then went to the upper deck.
I wanted to say so much to him. I wanted to tell him how I felt before anything crazy happened. I wanted so much to be with him… Even if he felt as much as he did for Carmelita… How could he ever hope to have a relationship with her when his job conflicted with hers so much? At least with me he could still do what he loved and what he was born to be. But I digress… He would never know how I feel. I'd hate to put that on him when it was obviously not thought about or wanted…
I followed him to the upper deck then made our way to the shore of Kaine Island. We took out some thugs then I took the high ground so I could follow him without making it conspicuous. Bentley radioed us as soon as we got to our places.
"This is it guys. The gang's assembled and in position. For the rest of the operation, you, Sly, are 'the ball'. Annika is 'the shadow' respectively."
"Roger Bentley. I'm starting my approach." Sly said. "Getting over these fortress walls shouldn't be a problem. We're running six by six here, make sure everyone's in sync."
"I hear that. Artillery, are you sure you can make that shot?"
"I endeavor not to miss," Panda King said.
"Excellent. Radio control?"
"In position," Penelope called in.
"I'm pumped!" Same old Murray.
"Showtime baby!" Dimitri answered.
The guru replied in his aboriginal language.
"Let's do this thing," I said.
"Alright, it's the crime of the century and the ball's in motion!"
That was our cue to go. I followed Sly all the way through, taking care of some guards while the team cleared other obstacles away. I met Sly at a giant vent.
"Ball requesting door via Agent Monarch, over."
"Launching… Stand clear."
A firework shot through the sky and hit the vent door, blasting it to pieces. We ran in to find ourselves above M's lab. Dimitri shot through the glass to dismantle the lasers blocking our way then we made it on top of the elevator. We overheard the security code and quickly left the elevator to make it across to the vault. Sly put in the code to power down everything then went to see the vault. He put his cane in the slot in the front. As it was starting to open, a laser came from nowhere and closed it again.
"Cooper!" M cried. "No… You must be Sly Cooper, the new keeper of the cane. How I've longed for this."
"This vault belongs to the Cooper family," Sly said defiantly. "You're trespassing."
"No my naïve boy, you're trespassing. I've got the deed to this island. This fortress is mine. Everything here IS MINE. Which now includes the key to the vault. Hand over the cane."
"Sorry pal, family heirloom. Buy a knock-off at the gift shop."
Just as I thought that he would attack us, Bentley shot M with one of his darts from another roof. I didn't think I could ever be so happy to see that turtle.
"Quick! Let's regroup with the others!" He called to us. "Follow me!"
Sly pulled me forward and let me go first. M shot at us the whole way down. We made it through the flooded lab and through the tunnel before it completely collapsed behind us. The boat was just up ahead. We could make it…
Suddenly M dropped out of nowhere with a gargantuan mutant thing. It grabbed Bentley and flung him around a bit.
"No!" I screamed. "We have to do something!"
"It's no use!" Bentley cried. "Save yourselves!"
I watched as Sly lifted his cane into the air. "If he wants to eat… EAT THIS!"
He threw his cane and it landed in the beast's mouth, propping it open and letting go of Bentley. It stopped for a moment but then flung the cane from its mouth. The beast went straight for Sly and grabbed him. With its other hand, it flung it into me and pinned me against a rock face. I watched in horror as the monster was squeezing Sly to death. I couldn't get away to help him. I couldn't get out of the beast's grip in order to get to Sly. Poor Bentley was in a panic on what to do. How could this possibly be the end for us? There's so much I haven't done yet… I haven't met Bill face-to-face, I wanted to see Kaylita again… Most of all, I wanted to tell Sly how I felt about him. Regardless of how he felt about me, I wanted to at least let him know that I cared about him. Let him know that I loved him…
All seemed lost until I heard a shock pistol go off and saw some of the Interpol ape cops flying overhead. I managed to look over to see a small platform boat maneuvering itself in front of the monster. Carmelita and Kaylita aimed for the monster and began shooting away. The beast let go of me to fight back but kept a tight grip on Sly. Sly looked like he was out cold. The beast finally let him go and threw him into the ground. It chased after the sisters while me and the others checked on him. I propped his head up and held him. Bentley immediately came over to check his vitals.
"He's still breathing…?" Bentley sounded like he wasn't sure for a moment. "He's alive! Hang in there pal! You're going to be okay! We'll get you back to the ship and patch you up. Dimitri, help Annika with Sly. We have to get him to safety."
Dimitri silently helped me with carrying Sly back to the ship. I'm so happy the sisters came when they did. Otherwise… I tried not to think of what could've happened…
We got him to the ship and below deck. We laid him down and I went to place his head in my lap so he could be more comfortable. Bentley looked him over.
"He's suffered a major concussion I think," he said to me. "He's going to have to rest for awhile. There's nothing more we can do until he wakes up."
"Bentley, you have to get his cane," I said softly. "Please. Do all you can to get it back. It's what he would want…"
He nodded to me. "We will. Are you alright, Annika?"
"Yeah. I'm fine…"
He wheeled over and examined me anyway. As soon as he touched my ribs, I yelped in pain.
"That's what I thought. You're going to have to let me look at it."
I let Sly go long enough for Bentley to look at my ribs. An enormous splay of black and blue spread across the left side of me. I didn't really notice the soreness until I saw the proof for myself. It hurt to move. Even the slightest motion pained me. Bentley wrapped me to limit my movement so I wouldn't hurt as much. Still…
"There," he said as he finished up. "There's no way you're doing anything else on this job. This injury is going to hinder you and keep you from using your full potential. You'll have to sit this one out."
I nodded at the grim news. No more helping Sly in this… No more being beside him through this job…
I scooted back to Sly and put his head back on my lap. I even removed his hat so I could gently stroke his forehead.
"I understand…" I murmured solemnly.
Just before Bentley went back topside, he turned back to me.
"Will you be alright with him?"
I nodded. "Yes. I'll be fine."
"We'll work on getting his cane back, Annika. I promise."
I nodded again to him and off he went.
I sat quietly, looking at Sly as he rested on my lap. He looked so… vulnerable… He was so adorable this way. Knowing the circumstances as they were, the moment was ruined by the guilt that tore at me. Our carelessness led to this… It had to have been that… It had to… Or at least mine… I let him get hurt by that beast and M when I should've been protecting him.
"I'm so sorry…" I whispered. "I should've worked harder to protect you… That was my job. I was supposed to have your back…"
He shifted a little as he slowly came awake. He flinched as he moved, I'm assuming from the aches in places I'm sure he didn't know he had. He gripped his head.
"Where am I?" he asked groggily.
"We're below in the ship," I answered. "Dimitri, Bentley, and I got you down here safely. Bentley said that you have a concussion and should rest for awhile. They're working on getting your cane as we speak."
He looked up at me. "Are you alright?"
"I have bruising on my ribs. But I am alive." I met his gaze and teared up a little. "I've let you down Sly… I'm so sorry… Had I been more attentive… If it wasn't for the sisters…" I couldn't finish any of my sentences.
He raised a gloved hand to my cheek and smiled at me. My heart melted at the forgiveness in his eyes. He wiped at a tear that escaped me.
"This isn't your fault, Annika. We underestimated Dr. M. Believe me, it won't happen again. I promise you." He sat up slowly to gain his bearings then turned to me, offering his hand to me. "Will you still stand by me, Annika? Will you finish this with me?"
I froze at his request. Of course I would. I would do anything for him. Anything he asked of me and it would be his. How could I possibly tell him no? My only worry was for his safety. If he got hurt again…
"But… Bentley…" I said.
"I feel fine," he argued. "I need my cane back. I can only hope that they've found it."
He got up quickly and went topside.
"Wait Sly!" I cried.
I struggled to my feet and tried to follow him. My aching ribs protested at my movements in trying to make it back to him. When I finally made it to them, it looked like they just completed a small job to help with the bigger one at hand.
"With the guided missiles off-line we've got a chance at air superiority," I heard Bentley say.
"I'm in," Sly said. "I've rested long enough."
"This is my legacy we're fighting for. You think I want to sit this one out?"
"Would you two wait a second?" I asked them as I painfully made it to them. I was panting a little from trying to work through the aching. "Now that I'm finally up here… Can we slow down a second and actually think this through?"
Sly stopped a moment to look at me. "It took you that long to follow me?"
"Of course it did. I told you that I-"
Before I could finish my sentence, he pulled me to him and started to tug at my top.
"What the hell are you doing? Let go of me!"
He lifted it up to see the stiff wrap that Bentley put on me.
"You said that you had bruising," he accused.
"I do," I argued. "Trust me. Take it off and you'll see how awesome it looks."
He turned to Bentley. "It isn't just bruising is it? Tell me."
Bentley looked a little reluctant to tell him the whole truth. Eventually he gave in.
"Dr. M's beast did a number on her," Bentley told him. "It's concentrated in the same area but, her ribs are not only bruised but some may be fractured. We wouldn't know for sure unless we saw an actual doctor but…"
Sly turned back to me and looked at my bandage. "Why didn't you say something?" he asked me. "Why didn't you tell me that you were in pain?"
"I… It wasn't important at the time…" I answered honestly. "I didn't think about it. I was more worried about you than myself. You have a job to finish after all…"
He let go of my shirt and moved to my hand.
"Annika… Had I known…"
"Please don't," I interrupted. "Finish this once and for all. We'll talk after it's over. I promise you." I looked up at him. "Go do your thing like you always do, Sly. I'll be fine here for now."
He looked like he was going to tell me no but then sighed and let go of my hand. He turned to Bentley.
"Let's get this show on the road."
"Understood. The biplane launcher, although untested, should get you aloft," Bentley explained. "It's gonna be tough up there."
"It'll be tougher down here watching others fight my battles for me." Sly cast a quick glance to me then went to the plane and got himself in the air. In no time Sly took down the turrets. Then Dr. M came out of the water in a giant, flying whale thing and shot at Sly. When Sly's plane went down, he used his glider to make it to the flying thing to confront M. I lost sight of him after that.
"I can't see him," I murmured.
"He's fine, Annika," Bentley assured me. He then answered his com. "Yeah pal?" A pause. "Okay. Be right up partner." He turned to me. "Come on. We're going with Sly into the vault. We're going to the van with Murray."
I slowly made my way to the van with Murray and Bentley. Murray radioed to Sly. Something about the Panda King giving the van a boost? Oh geez…
Suddenly the van shot up into the air and managed to land on the vault platform. Bentley and I were pretty freaked out.
"We are NEVER doing that again," Bentley said.
"Agreed," I told them. "Never again."
Sly followed us in and we all climbed out of the van and dropped to this enormous platform. A single tightrope led to another door. I'm assuming it went into the gauntlet that would test Sly's skills as a Cooper thief. All of us were in awe.
"This place is amazing!" Bentley cried.
"Yeah," Murray agreed. "It's got to be like… A hundred years old!"
"An archeological marvel!" Bentley continued.
"It is… Something…" I said quietly, trying to look around without causing more harm to myself.
"I'm glad you guys are impressed," Sly said. "'Cause it looks like I'll have to go on from here alone."
"Do it, Sly," Bentley told him. "This place was built for you. We'll hold down the fort here."
Sly cast a glance to me then walked over. "Annika, I-"
"Not this time, Sly. You know I'm in no condition to follow you. If the circumstances were different, you know I would go with you without a thought. Besides… This place wasn't meant for me. Go."
"I said go you idiot. I promised you that we would talk after this. I plan on keeping that promise. I have a lot that I want to tell you."
He pulled me into a hug and kissed my forehead, making my heart seem to skip a beat.
"I'll be back."
I reluctantly let go of him and watched as he entered gauntlet. My heart seemed to feel empty and that nagging feeling that I had at the beginning of the mission came back. Something made me feel like he wasn't coming back even though he said he would… I couldn't believe that. He said he would come back. He had to.
I was turning back to Murray and Bentley, missing over half their conversation, when Murray went to go help Bentley from being attacked by goons.
"Dr. M's goons? They must have forced the door after we opened the lock!"
I whirled around to find more lackeys coming in. There was no way I would be able to defend myself well enough with my injury. As if sensing my distress, Murray came and lifted me up to keep them from me.
"Don't' worry, Annika. You're safe with me," he assured me. "I'm going to hand you over to Bentley while I beat some skulls in."
I simply nodded and let him do his thing. In the middle of his fighting, he handed me to Bentley like he said he would then went back to doing his thing. As soon as the goons were gone, Bentley and I went back to meet with Murray. Then Dr. M dropped in.
"Ah Murray," he said, "You're much stronger than McSweeney ever was."
"That's right plug head! I'm like a semi truck with its brakes cut!"
"I don't have time to get into a screaming match with a caveman such as yourself," M scoffed.
Bentley rose to the challenge. "Then lock horns with me. I think you'll find that I'm a better match."
"I have no fight with you Bentley. You and I are the same."
"I gather that you were the technical specialist working with Sly's father?"
"You knew Sly's dad?" Murray piped up.
"Quiet Caveman, the adults are talking," M answered him then turned his attention back to Bentley. "That's right Bentley, I know the pain you suffer working under your inferior."
"It's no secret, I'm smarter than the other guys. But there's more to it than that."
"Like what?" M laughed.
Bentley's answer was so sincere. It almost made me jealous of his and Sly's friendship.
"Brotherhood? That's just what he wants you to think. It's just a tool to keep you in line."
"You're wrong. It's what keeps us happy and alive. It's Why I'm going to stop you."
"Me too," Murray said.
I struggled through the pain to get into stance. "And I as well."
M gave me a once over. "You… You were with Cooper at the vault. I didn't really pay attention before… Where have I seen you?"
"Not I, Dr. M. You probably notice the resemblance between me and my late mother, Crim Reeves. I am her only daughter, Scarlett Reeves."
He laughed out loud at that. "Incredible. You look almost exactly like her. Let me guess… You're now in love with this Cooper. That's the only reason that you would be around and doing this heist. Am I right?"
I saw red at that moment. I grabbed my whip and lashed it on his arm as he tried to cover his face. My pain forgotten, all I could think about it how much I wanted to put him in his place. How dare he laugh at me and make me look like a fool.
"Fine 'Cooper Gang'. I tried," M said as I held him with my whip.
Murray attacked M and kept him at bay for Bentley and I.
"Annika, you have to go help Sly and make sure he's safe," Bentley told me. "I know you're hurt but-"
"You can count on me," I interrupted. I went on and went into the Cooper Vault, in hopes of saving Sly before it was too late.