|Bad Luck Strikes at Midnight
Author: ReneeDenim PM
Kristen Lusk is a Sweeper, and it's a secret from her parents. With her and her partner, Sven, there hasn't been a job they failed. Until Black Cat came, they're annoyed with eachother, but when Black Cat becomes a Sweeper, Kristen has second thoughts about him. Love will bloom for Kristen and Train in this series from the anime and parts from the manga.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Train H. - Chapters: 19 - Words: 55,002 - Reviews: 33 - Favs: 34 - Follows: 29 - Updated: 05-06-13 - Published: 12-31-12 - id: 8859908
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I sat anxiously at the dinner table with my mom, dad, and two younger sisters Megan and Emma. I kept eyeing the clock that hung over the window, six twenty seven. If this didn't finish fast enough I'd fall behind. I ate quickly, hoping that I'd be done in a short time so that I could finally leave.
"Honey," mom said. She had long auburn hair and hazel eyes. She was absolutely beautiful. "Slow down a bit or you might choke." I slowed down, but only a little bit. "You're growing up so fast, so fast that you don't want to spend time with your parents." She blubbered.
"So then," my dad started. He had short black hair and brown eyes. He was handsome, totally handsome. "How do you kids feel about playing a bit of clue after dinner?" he asked. My sisters groaned in disagreement. Megan, the second youngest looked like dad since they both had olive skin and dark hair while Emma, the youngest, looked a lot like mom with her red hair and hazel eyes. I, on the other hand, was completely different with long blonde hair and blue eyes. Dad didn't want to take no for an answer at Clue so I groaned at the thought of a game now, I didn't have time.
"I'm done," I say.
"No you're not," Mom said. "Sit back down we are having family time."
I groan; I was running out of time. I had to do something or I'd fall behind. I think hard about the possible escape acts, when Megan tapped me from under the table. I looked at her; she made a motion to her stomach. I knew what she was trying to say; play sick. I clutched my stomach and breathed heavier than I usually do.
"Kristen?" Dad asked. "Are you ok?"
"I feel sick," I say. Then I leap out of my chair and into the nearby bathroom where I pretend to vomit. I'm good at acting, my drama teacher would agree. And it worked just as I hoped.
"Oh, Kristen," Mom said as I came out of the bathroom. "I'm sorry honey, go upstairs and rest, ok?" I nod, cleaned my plate, and then walked upstairs still clutching my stomach. "Will you be able to go to school on Monday?" she asked.
"Yeah," I say. My parents had a business trip that would last for a few days so I'd be alone with my sisters. Megan reassured them that I'd feel better tomorrow if I rested now. Thank you Megan, unlike the rest of my family; she and Emma knew what I had to do. I ran to my room, shut the door, and locked it. I went straight to my closet and pulled out a black tote bag. Inside it contained my toothbrush, toothpaste, clothes, you know; the usual stuff you'd bring on a trip. There was a knock at the door. I kicked the tote bag under my bed and unlocked the door. Megan was there with Emma.
"Can we come in?" Emma asked. I opened the door for them to come in. "Nice acting by the way." She commented. "Very believable, I almost bought it until Megan told me." For a seven old, she was very mature for her age. Megan was twelve and was also very mature. I was the oldest standing at sixteen.
"Are you leaving tonight?" Megan asked.
"Yep," I say, pulling out my bag. "Duty calls."
"I wish I could be like you," Emma said wistfully. "Having a double life,"
"You don't want a double life," I say, packing an evening gown and heels into the bag. "You'd have to lie to mom and dad."
"And you promise that you'll tell them when you graduate college?" Megan demanded. I nodded. College was still years away, and after that; I could finally tell them my secret.
"Will you two be ok being alone until Sunday night?" I ask.
Megan shot her hand out at me. "Can we order pizza and a movie on Saturday?" I rolled my eyes and reached for my bank. I withdrew fifty dollars and handed it to her.
"Just don't just eat pizza," I say. "At least order from Subway at least once."
"Hey, relax," Emma said. "We've done this before,"
I pointed a finger at Emma. "And make sure you finish your homework for Monday." I say. Emma nodded. I looked at both of them. "You two know the drills; so repeat them to me."
Emma sighed. "Do your chores and homework, eat healthy meals and get to bed on time, feed the dog and cats, look both ways when crossing the streets if you go to the store, don't over spend the money in the blue box, and don't answer the doors to strangers and take messages."
"Don't use the knives or stove, always wear a helmet when riding bikes." Megan said.
"Use the First Aid kit in mom's office and call 911 in case of a real emergency." Emma added.
"And if mom and or dad calls, tell them that you're in the shower if they ask." Megan finished.
I smiled at them and handed them an extra five dollars. "And be careful," I say. I was so proud of them; I know I seemed overprotective, but I do this every so often. So they're left home alone for a few days.
"You have to be careful too," Emma said hugging me. "Please come back,"
I hugged both of them. "I promise I'll come back." I released them just as I heard the garage door open from under me. Mom and dad were leaving for their business trip.
"We still have time," Megan said. "Why don't we watch a movie for a while?"
"I'd like that," I say, grabbing my tote bag and following my two sisters downstairs into the TV room. They popped in the Hunger Games and for forty five minutes we watched a girl from a futuristic world of North America fight to the death against twenty four other kids. Sometimes I'd make a comment like that if Lord of the Rings had no violence it'd be the world's shortest movie, or that if Twilight didn't have violence it'd basically be a movie about two kids making out for an hour. The night was filled with laughter and girls on fire. I had to leave when a knock came at the front door.
On the other side of the door was a tall, skinny man with short brown hair, a white suit and hat, and an eye patch over his left eye. He smiled at the sight of us.
"Uncle Sven!" Emma said, hugging his leg. Sven Vollfied wasn't our uncle, but the girls kind of adopted him when he became my business partner.
"How's it going?" Sven asked. Emma released his leg and went on about her a plus in Spelling.
"Make sure you protect our sister," Megan said, looking straight into his eyes. "Promise," The two of them pinky promised.
"I'll protect her with my life." Sven promised. Then he looked at me. "You ready?" he asked.
"I was born ready," I say, handing him my tote bag. He put it in the back seat.
"Bye Kristen," Megan said, waving to me as I climbed into Sven's black car. "Come home safely!"
I waved back at my sisters. "I will, I promise,"
"We love you!" Emma called as we pulled away from the house.
"I love you too," I say as we drive down the street. My name is Kristen Walker, I'm sixteen years old, I'm from Meridian Idaho, and I'm a Sweeper or a kind of bounty hunter. I've been in this business since I was fifteen five months ago and I've been with Sven for about four months now. This is who I am, and this is why I can't tell my parents until I'm an official adult. I mean, would you tell your parents that you were a bounty hunter and were secretly going off with some stranger across the world hunting down dangerous criminals? I don't even want to think about their reaction.
For a while, we sat in silence as we drove through the Meridian farm lands. Then finally Sven spoke up.
"I got your gun polished, press the seventh button." He said. "It's in the suitcase, third button." I reached into the backseat and pulled Sven's suitcase over to me. It was a steel suitcase with a dozen buttons near the lid. It could fire sleeping gas, a net, a machine gun, plus it could hide my gun from airport security. I pressed the seventh button, inside was my gun, a small black Austria. Engraved on the side was the Japanese Kanji symbol for my nickname; black knight.
"Wow, Sven," I say, turning my beautiful weapon over to inspect it. "Thanks a ton!"
"Aw, don't mention it," He said smiling. "I am a gentleman remember?"
"I remember," I say, putting the gun back in the case and putting it back in the back seat. "So, who are we going after this time?" I ask.
Sven passed me a flyer; it had a picture of a man with blonde hair and red highlights and he had a muscular build. "This is Lib Tyrant," Sven said as we drove through the Boise area. "He's the new governor of Florence Italy."
I inspected the flyer. "He's a gangster?" I ask. "Then how the heck did he become a Governor?"
"Drug dealership, blackmail, and murder, I'm still not quite sure." Sven said. "But we're not the only ones targeting him,"
"Chronos," I said. "Those bastards have no business whatsoever to intrude." Chronos are a group of assassins who killed for power. They had no justice; they'd kill a child if it was part of their mission.
"Who are they sending?" I ask.
"Not quite sure, but I know that it's one of the numbers, if you don't want to do it now we can turn around." The numbers were the real bad guys. They were supposed to be the tough guys, the really well trained guys.
"Well," I say. "We can't let a thing like that stop us; I mean did you even look at this thing?" I pointed to the bounty. "If we pull this off we get two million dollars in cash!"
Sven smiled. "I like that spunk of yours, just stay with me when we get to Lib's mansion." Then we pulled over into the airport parking lot. I retrieved my bag from the back and handed Sven his suitcase.
"I've always wanted to see Italy." I say. "So let's roll," We walked into the airport, it was huge. We walked through security without a hick. I took a seat in one of the waiting seats and called the house. Megan answered.
"Hello, Megan." I say.
"Kristen?!" she asked.
Megan called for Emma and they were both on the phone.
"Are you at the airport?" Emma asked.
"I am; we're heading to Florence, Italy."
"Florence," Megan echoed. "Lucky, can you bring us something?" she begged.
"I'll see what I can find," I say. "But it can't be something that mom and dad will notice."
"So scratch off t-shirts, coffee cups, and any toys." Megan said.
"Hey, how does a really good recipe for Italian food, or maybe a Euro that I can hide?" Emma asked.
"Maybe," I say. "So, are you two ok?"
"Kristen, we're fine!" Megan cried. "We've done this for months, just enjoy Italy."
"Just don't look at any Italian boys." Emma said.
I turned around; people were starting to head through the gate. "I've got to go, I'll call you when I get to Florence."
"Sounds good to me," Megan said.
"See you Kristen." Emma said.
"Bye," I hung up. Sven was smiling at me.
"You are such a good sister." He said.
"Am I?" I ask as we go through the gates and down the ramp into the plane. We sat in our seats and buckled up. I powered off my phone.
"I'm serious," he said. "You always make sure that you call your sisters before we get into the air, you always make sure they know the drills of being alone, I'm serious; you are a great sister."
"Thanks," I say. The air started pulling out into the air. In just seconds, we were flying overhead. "What time is it in Italy?"
"Well right now its six fifty four so it's three in the afternoon, almost four." Sven said. I nodded and gazed out the window; I loved flying, it was so exhilarating seeing the houses, cars, people shrink into ant sized. And I loved being high and moving, I've always wanted to fly. This is one of the good things about being a Sweeper; you get paid a whole lot, and the society who posts all these jobs pay for your trip whether it's by train, by boat, by plane, or by bus. I've only been on a plane twice, but as a Sweeper I've been in a plane three times.
I put my iPod ear buds in my ears and was about to switch on my iPod when I remembered something. "Hey, Sven," I say.
"Yeah," he asked.
"Wake me when we arrive at our stop," I say. "And, do you know which number we'll be facing?"
He was quiet for a moment; did he know? "I don't know," he said. I knew it.
"Figures," I say switching on my iPod. I drifted to sleep listening to my book about a girl falling in love with an angel, a celestial being.
I was awoken by Sven's tap; he said that we were about one hour from landing in Florence. A flight attendant asked if we wanted dinner. I told her that I had already eaten, but a cup of orange juice and a bag of chips would settle for me.
"I brought a couple hundred dollars for the trip." I say as I indulge in my chips.
"Oh, good," Sven said, sipping a beer. "I can't afford meals since I couldn't really complete missions alone. I hope that we can complete this mission because if we don't complete this mission, I'll be broke."
"Maybe if you'd known last year that your constant smoking would've made you gone broke," I start.
"I've been trying the packs." He rolled up his shirt sleeve to reveal the medicine that is supposed to help him quit. As far as I know, it's been working like a charm. "They're working pretty well." Sven had to quit smoking when he realized that he was getting a sixteen year old partner.
"I'm proud of you," I say handing him five hundred dollars. "This'll get you a decent meal and a room in a hotel for about three nights."
Sven's face lit up. "Oh my god, thanks kid! You're the best partner I've ever had in a long time!"
"I know, I'm no Lloyd," I say sheepishly.
"Lloyd would've loved you," he said. Lloyd was Sven's first partner a few years ago. They were the best of friends; but Lloyd died for Sven. He took a bullet to the chest for Sven, that's how Sven got the eye patch; Lloyd's last gift to Sven was the ability to see just a few seconds into the future through his left eye, but it'd always leave him drained of energy. Sven hardly ever talked about Lloyd.
"Anyway," I say trying to switch subjects. "I'm excited to see Florence, what's it like?"
"I know it's a quaint little town," Sven said. "Very sunny, you'll like it."
"Good," I say. "I'm tired, I'm going to sleep some more."
"Ok," Sven said. I drifted off to sleep again looking out the plane window, seeing clouds drift past the window.
I had the strangest dream; I was following a black cat with gold eyes endlessly. Sven woke me up, we were in Italy. We exited the plane slowly and to the suitcase drop off. It wasn't hard finding Sven's but it took a while to find mine.
"I'll call a hotel," Sven said.
"Okay," I checked my phone, good bars here. My parents pay for long distance so I was about to call Megan again.
"You realize that it's eleven in the morning here now," Sven said holding the phone in one hand.
"So back home it's like two in the morning." Sven said.
"Oh," I shut my phone. "I'll just call them later."
"A cab is coming in ten minutes." Sven said. "After we go to the hotel we'll go eat some Italian food."
"I'd like that," I say.
"In the meantime," Sven added. "Why don't you go over to that machine and get our cash exchanged for Euros."
I nodded and walked over to exchange. It took a few seconds and I decided to buy an Italian to English dictionary, I even bought Sven a newspaper, he already spoke nine languages while I only spoke three; English, Spanish, and Japanese. I asked the man for a translated version of the paper, he gave it to me and froze in my steps once I read the headline. It read; 'Pastier in Rome killed last night, Black Cat taking Italy by Storm'.
I passed the paper to Sven and he grimaced once he read the headline.
"This is not good," He said.
"What?" I ask while skimming the dictionary.
"Black Cat is a Chrono, one of the numbers." Sven explained. "If he's here in Italy, we might run into him here."
"Ouch," I say. "Which number?"
"Well that's convenient." I say sarcastically. "Don't worry Sven, I trust you to watch me plus, I know how to block bullets with my 'you know what'."
"I know," he said. "I'll make sure that you're safe, I promised your sisters." I smiled, Sven was like an older brother to me, and I looked up to him, a bit.
"Oh," Sven said. "The cab is here, ready to go?"
"Yeah," I say. We walked outside to the waiting cab. We put our suitcases in the trunk and we were off. Florence was absolutely packed, there must be a parade going on. "What's the celebration for?" I ask.
"It's for our new governor, Lib Tyrant," the cabby said. "He's made a promise to make this society great."
Sven mouthed the words; 'not really' to me, and then he looked back at the cabby. I almost burst out laughing at his expression but I bit my tongue.