Chapter Two: Knives and Eyes
Fear tore through Madoka that that familiar bullet that had lodged through her ribcage those few years ago. Instead of being in the warzone she was in the halls of the military headquarters and instead of the blood pounding in her ears the loud sound of the alarms rung in her head.
She was in a daze for a moment until the hand she taken a few seconds ago was squeezing her own back in alarm before pulling her along. A familiar voice wracked her out of her daze as a few loose strands of red hair flashed in front of her eyes.
Madoka gasped and her voice shuddered. Before she knew it she was off and sprinting by Kyoko's side, her breath was ragged and the red of alarms flashed before her pink eyes. Using her spare hand she covered her ear but that didn't muffle the sound of the alarms.
Madoka could now hardly hear Kyoko's voice as she yelled. "Do you know where the nearest exit is?!"
If Madoka had a choice she wouldn't think about it and keep running, with terror the only thing that occupied her scarred mind. But within the back of her mind the answer came to her, because she knew that if they didn't get out soon then both her and Kyoko would die. She didn't want that.
"To your right up the hall!" Madoka heard that she sounded stressed and frightened and when she shouted to Kyoko her voice wavered. She caught a glimpse of Kyoko's eyes which showed no emotion except for a glint of concern before Kyoko pulled her along faster.
Panic tore through Kyoko when she heard the sound of heavy steps that were not hers or the nurses. She stole a glance behind her and her crimson eyes widened when she found what she expected. Soldiers. Rifles held in hand. Following General Ryoto they carried his orders to capture escapees. Kyoko wasn't sure why they were killed for treason but she was sure they got whipped. The redhead wondered why the General didn't just keep them alive because they needed more soldiers, but she had accepted that early on.
Kyoko let go of Madoka's hand and grabbed her wrist instead to get a better hold. Why she could hear the footsteps over the alarms she didn't know, but it was better to not think about that. Turning her head back to the front, Kyoko's face lit up in relief when she saw a corner in the hall.
With her boots skidding against the freshly clean floor, Kyoko turned the corner with Madoka as they raced towards the exit. It was a thick glass window big enough for both of them to get in at the same time. Kyoko's heart sunk when she saw it was bolted shut.
"Ha! You won't be able to escape Sakura!"
Kyoko growled when she heard the familiar frustrating voice of Arisaka Kubota. Of course he'd want her dead. He's probably wanted that from the beginning. But having the nurse dead had been his top priority for a while and she knew that.
Madoka's voice ripped Kyoko from her thoughts and she quickly responded. "What?!"
"We won't be able to get out! It's bolted!"
"I know that!" Kyoko almost screamed at her. The alarms were getting too loud and sounded much too familiar to the sounds she heard on the battlefield. With newfound courage – and what she thought was stupidity – she smirked at the window before her. The only exit. The only escape.
"But we'll make it!"
Kyoko heard Madoka's horrified gasp. "You don't mean-!"
"Yep!" Kyoko was sure that her companion was unsure and squeezed her wrist in reassurance. "Just trust me!"
The redhead glanced back to Madoka for a moment to find her hand onto Kyoko's arm and a pair of determined yet scared rosy pink eyes boring into her. "I will!"
Kyoko grinned for a small moment before pure dark willpower filled her expression and crimson eyes. The soldiers were gaining up close to them and the two were only just missing the bullets aimed at their legs to slow them down.
Clenching her teeth in frustration from her aching legs, Kyoko was just wondering how long the damn hallway was until she window was only a few meters away from her. With her other arm she pulled Madoka into a tight embrace, shocking the other girl.
Even with the light of the situation, Madoka still found a tint of pink that befell onto her pale cheeks when Kyoko pulled her close. "Kyoko-chan?!"
Kyoko stole a glance at her with determined eyes. "Jump with me!"
For a moment Madoka looked confused until a look of understanding filled her eyes and she nodded.
And with the two being just a few meters away from the window, they jumped.
The impact was something only Kyoko could take and she shielded Madoka from the blow as glass tumbled around them. She felt fresh cuts embed themselves into her skin and Madoka shrieked.
For a millisecond Kyoko's face lit up. We broke through!
But that moment was quickly diminished as she saw the many meters below her for a second before the two started to fall to the ground at full force.
With quick acting, Kyoko took the shaking Madoka and spun the two in mid-air so that Kyoko was the one facing the sky and Madoka could only see the redhead below her and not the frightful sight of the hard ground.
At least I'll receive most of the damage. Kyoko thought.
The impact was hard. Unbearable pain racked through Kyoko's back and she let out a scream as she felt of her bones in her left arm crack out of place. The cracking of bones in her leg made it rigid and unmovable.
The dust below them coated them at the agony trembled through Kyoko as Madoka shriek of terror ran through her ears. But even though it was a scream, it hadn't been a scream of pain. And Kyoko was relieved that Madoka hadn't broken any bones, just a few scratches from the glass and the fall.
But even though Kyoko was in horrible pain which almost forced her to black out, she knew they had to move.
"We need to… get out of here!" Kyoko rasped out, the vibration of her voice in her chest made her body hurt but she ignored it. When she moved the pain shot up her limbs but she refused to fuss over them as she pulled the concerned and bewildered Madoka along.
Kyoko spotted something that looked like trees in the distance and relief filled her. A forest. Even though her limbs were throbbing as was her head she knew that that they needed to keep running and they did.
For the next hour of sprinting Kyoko refused to look at Madoka. Not because she was angry at her, or because it hurt her to move. It was because she didn't want to see her pitying face staring back at her.
Once they reached the forest and found a place to stay for the night Madoka and Kyoko finally found the exhaustion and pain overwhelming and collapsed.
The agony hadn't died down when Kyoko woke. She winced when she felt something wrap around her leg along with a couple of sturdy sticks in similar lengths to keep her broken bones in place. The darkness was something Kyoko had gotten used to, but she felt the need to awaken from this one.
Kyoko's eyes slowly opened and her head throbbed. She saw the midnight blue sky which she thought was quite soothing yet the bright stars hurt her eyes, even though they were only little dots against a sea of blue.
For a moment Kyoko wondered why she didn't see the same peeling paint of the ceiling she had seen every night, until she remembered. The memories were processed through her mind like a broken blender and were played over and over again until the pain shot up and she was forced to sit up in a snapping like way, which she immediately regretted as her back was immediately caught in discomfort and she grinded her teeth together.
As Kyoko settled the pain boiled down ever so slightly but she found it troublesome to move from her current position. She turned her head away when she saw a familiar pink haired girl kneel down beside her.
"Don't move Kyoko-chan." Madoka's voice was soft yet reassuring; her face was graced with a small smile. "Make sure not to strain yourself. You broke your right wrist and left ankle from the fall and a couple of grazes from the glass. You lucky you're back didn't break."
Kyoko sighed and placed a hand on her sore leg. "Thanks for patching me up Madoka. You 'kay?"
Madoka nodded. "I got a few scratches and brushes but I'm fine other than that." The next movement was slow; she lowered her head as loose strands from her hair fell across to cover her eyes.
"Kyoko-chan, why did you put yourself below me in the fall? You might have gotten a broken back and not have been able to walk. You would have told me to run off without you and you would have been killed for treason. How… how could you? Don't you know…" Madoka spoke softly and her throat ached from how many tears she was holding back. She brushed her hand over Kyoko's and she felt the redhead tense under her fingers. She glanced up at Kyoko with saddened eyes, tears threatening to well over. "… How hard that would be for me?"
Kyoko gazed at Madoka was grief filled eyes. Ignoring the pain, she lifted a hand to brush a strand of Madoka's hair from her face but as she realised what she was about to do her hand faltered before falling back down onto her lap. Clenching her teeth together, Kyoko lowered her head and moved it away from Madoka's gaze.
"I'm sorry." Kyoko muttered, and Madoka's eyes widened as she released a tear from the brim of her eyes, it fell down her cheek slowly before dripping down her chin as Kyoko continued.
"But I don't regret doing it. I can take injuries better than you can. Even though it hurt, I can heal and still move. I know you, and if you had suffered the same injuries I had back then, then you wouldn't be able to run." The redhead said bitterly.
Madoka frowned. "Are you insulting me?"
Kyoko shrugged. "You can take it as in insult if you want to or not. It sounded harsh by my words, but I was being honest."
Madoka smiled faintly, even though her face was tear-stained. " Will you get better tomorrow?"
Kyoko turned her head to Madoka again and tested it out. She moved her right arm and only winced slightly. "How long have I been out for?" She asked.
"Around five hours give or take, I was only out for three. It's been a very stressful day and you needed rest, so I patched your wounds up while you were asleep." Madoka answered.
Kyoko smiled softly for a moment when she realised that Madoka had brought her first aid kit along with her. That's just like her. She pushed the thought aside and clenched her fist to test her strength. "I think that's enough time to heal. I'll be lucky if I'll be moving by tomorrow."
Madoka sat next to her and pulled her knees up to her chest before resting her chin on them. "That's good."
The two sat in silence for a while. There was no fire as the land was too wet to make one. And even if they did the military would find them anyway so there no choice. All those two had to live off were small flashlights and the light of the moon.
Kyoko stifled a gasp when she felt warmth against her side. She turned her head to see Madoka smiling at her faintly. "Is this alright Kyoko-chan? I'm cold."
Kyoko felt her cheeks heat up quickly and coughed which only made herself hurt more. "Do what you want."
Madoka giggled and snuggled in next to Kyoko, she rested her head on Kyoko's shoulder and sighed. "Kyoko-chan, you're warm."
Kyoko coughed again. "W-Whatever."
It was silent for a few moments until Madoka spoke up.
"What is it?"
Madoka's smile widened slightly. "You're very similar to Homura-chan."
Kyoko turned her head to her in surprise, almost in disgust. "Homura? I'm not anything like her."
"You're loads like her. You're protective of others yet you're cold to others and have a dark personality. But inside you're kind, soft and warm and nobody hates you for that. You may be stubborn and uncooperative at times but that's exactly like Homura-chan."
Kyoko frowned. "Are you insulting me?"
Madoka shrugged, her shoulders rubbing against Kyoko's side. "You can take it as in insult if you want to or not. It sounded harsh by my words, but I was being honest."
Kyoko stared for a few seconds before she let herself laugh slightly even though it ached. "You're mocking me aren't you?"
Madoka giggled. "You can take it as if I'm mocking you or not. It sounded harsh by my words, but I was being honest." She laughed when she repeated it.
Kyoko lightly punched Madoka in the arm. "Stop it."
The two were laughing for a while until the atmosphere felt strangely sober. The darkness was something they were both used to, but this time – even though they did have light – it felt particularly 'frightening' in a way. Kyoko wasn't scared of the dark; she just didn't like not knowing where things were in pitch black. But Kyoko felt that slip from her mind as she was reminded of Madoka leaning against her. Madoka's eyelids were lowered slightly so she gave off the expression of staring off into space. Kyoko frowned as something else formed in her mind apparent to their previous conversation.
She still doesn't know about it yet…
Madoka blinked as her eyes blinked fully, she moved her gaze to the redhead. "What is it?"
Kyoko placed a hand on Madoka's shoulder and pushed her away softly so that the two were sitting beside each other. Kyoko took a moment to hesitate before she spoke up again. "… It's about Homura."
Madoka – who had just settled into her new sitting spot with her knees to her chest – glanced at Kyoko with curious eyes. "Homura-chan? What about her?"
Kyoko clenched her fist slightly as she figured out to explain it. "Do you remember how she died?"
Madoka's gaze lowered slightly and her eyes glazed over slightly when she said it bitterly. "I was told that she was caught in a mine explosion with Mami-san." She looked up at Kyoko again. "Right?"
"Don't you find it weird that Homura and Mami – being the careful, skilled and cautious they were – wouldn't notice a mine under them? They've done it before."
Madoka's eyes narrowed ever so slightly, although not in accusation or suspicion, but in thought as she tried to work out a meaning in Kyoko's words. "Maybe it was a well hidden mine? I'm not sure but maybe they faltered in a way."
"They did." Kyoko said with a trace of bitterness in her tone. "Would you… would you believe me if I said it was Homura's fault both her and Mami died?"
Madoka's eyes held confusion and disbelief as she shuffled closer to the redhead. "Homura-chan's fault?"
Kyoko tensed up as the felt the warmness of the other girl get closer and she mentally begged for Madoka to go away. "Do you want me…" She took an audible gulp. "… To tell you what really happened?"
Madoka's eyebrows furrowed together and her forehead creased and unsureness wracked through her. What I was told didn't happen? She slowly nodded. "Yes."
Kyoko faced her head away from Madoka as her feathery bangs covered her eyes. "Homura and Mami were out in the front lines again but they were getting closer towards the edge of the boundaries. It wasn't until they were at least a few meters away when they noticed the mine underground in front of them."
Madoka's eyes widened slightly. "You mean they noticed it? Then how did they get caught in it?"
Kyoko fell silent for a few moments, her mind processing how to say it over and over again without giving it too harshly. "Homura noticed that you were on the field helping Sayaka and she freaked out when she saw an American Soldier closing in on you with his rifle."
A chill ran down Madoka's spine for a moment as a part of her figured what was coming but her mind refused to believe it. "What happened?"
Kyoko clenched her fists against her clothes and inhaled sharply before she spoke again. "Homura seemed to forget all her cautiousness and focussed only on saving you. She starting running towards you and knocked over Mami – who was too busy working her way around the mine to notice Homura."
Madoka's face paled and her body shook suddenly. "No…"
"Mami fell into the mine and set it off, and Homura wasn't fast enough and was killed in the explosion." Kyoko finished, lowering her head. "I saw the whole thing and I tried to help them but was held back by the Americans. After the battle Sayaka told you the smallest details, and she told me to keep them from you."
That small place in the forest fell silent as Madoka processed in her mind what happened. Her eyes filled with newfound tears as guilt wracked through her small frame. Once Kyoko heard Madoka's dry sobs she turned her head further away that instant, avoiding looking at Madoka's paled face and tear filled eyes.
Madoka put her face in her hands to muffle her despair filled sobs as her legs fell away from her chest. She shut her eyes tight and clenched her aching throat as she cried her heart out, the pinkette arched her back so that her head was facing the ground as she removed her hands from her face and clenched them against the ground.
Thoughts of guilt spun in her mind like blood during the battlefield as she clenched her teeth, the silver tears ran down her flushed face and all Kyoko knew she could do was place a comforting hand on the nurses shoulder.
It's my entire fault! My fault that she died! If I hadn't- then Homura-chan wouldn't have- It's all my fault! All of it is my fault!
Kyoko clenched her teeth but refused to cry as Madoka's sobs littered throughout the night and eventually into their sleep.
The next morning was bright. The sunlight filtered through the branches and leaves and landed on Kyoko and Madoka's sleeping faces. The spotty shadows formed by the trees landed on the ground with a fading effect. The light breeze rustled the leaves and caused the shadows to drift and change rhythmically with the movement of the leaves.
The light streamed through relentlessly which caused a restless Kyoko to slowly open her crimson eyes. There was yet another dull ache from her head, and a more noticeable pain in two of her limbs. Kyoko rigidly sat up, her movements were slow and cautious as she stretched her body with extra attention.
After Kyoko had gotten into a more comfortable position – which was having her legs crossed with her arms resting on them – she turned to the sleeping person next to her. Madoka 's body was positioned awkwardly on her side beside Kyoko, Kyoko assumed that Madoka had fallen asleep in her ached back position and had fallen to the side when her body had gone limp. Kyoko gazed at the sleeping nurse with almost sympathetic eyes. Of course that information was hard to take in and she knew that. Kyoko had fallen asleep before Madoka as the pain had overtaken her but the last thing she had heard was Madoka's soft sobs. Kyoko frowned when she realised that Madoka had probably cried herself to sleep.
Kyoko searched Madoka's face and easily found what she was looking for. Puffy eyes and a red tint in her skin. This confirmed her suspicions. But as Kyoko looked further she noticed other things. Madoka's face was also pale and she had bags under her eyes, her eyebrows were furrowed together ever so slightly in a form of distress. But Kyoko noticed that under all this the light that shined on the pink haired girl made her glow like she was an angel or something. Madoka inhaled deeply and turned her head slightly so that a few loose strands of her hair fell over her eyes as her face relaxed. Even though she wasn't smiling her usual bright and reassuring smile Madoka looked calm and at peace while she slept, she even looked-
Kyoko quickly turned her gaze away as she felt a familiar warmth spread up to her face. What's wrong with me? She thought.
Turning her gaze back to Madoka, Kyoko's face softened and without thinking she reached out her hand and brushed the strands of pink hair away from the nurse's face. Once she realised what she did she pulled her hand away and quickly calmed, Kyoko smiled softly and gazed at the sleeping girl.
Once Madoka starting to wake Kyoko quickly turned away. She stood while ignoring the pain in her ankle and started to fiddle with a button in her shirt which stood as a distraction. Kyoko heard a rustling of fallen leaves and realised that Madoka was getting up, she felt her face heat up again as she fiddled furiously with the button. Damn, did she notice?
It was silent for a moment and Kyoko assumed that Madoka had stopped moving, the blush faded from her face and something that resembled concern grew faintly inside her. Has something happened? Kyoko stepped around and faced her.
Madoka had her hands firmly against the ground for support while her arms were straightened. Her fringe fell across her face and her head was lowered so that her eyes weren't shown. After a moment she looked up at Kyoko with dull eyes and the redhead felt a chill travel down her spine. For a moment Madoka resembled a soulless ghost until the corners of her lips spiked up into a smile which Kyoko almost thought was lopsided.
"Good morning Kyoko-chan."
Kyoko grit her teeth together in a brief thought of frustration. "Morning." She replied, facing her gaze away.
Madoka got up, her movements seemed too slow and stiff and when she was standing up she walked over to Kyoko. She raised her hand slightly and softly touched Kyoko's bandaged wrist, she ran her finger over the pieces of wood and only heard Kyoko wince when her touch hardened.
"So does it still hurt Kyoko-chan?" Madoka asked innocently, smiling up at her.
"That's a pretty dumb question." Kyoko muttered her answer loud enough for her companion to hear. She glanced down at Madoka but refused to let her eyes show any kind of concern. "You 'kay?"
Madoka blinked, and lost her smile in the moment of surprise. After that she smiled brightly, which was different than she one she had shown before, it was real. "I'm fine Kyoko-chan, thank you for worrying about me."
Kyoko felt a strange feeling flutter up in her stomach but refused to become flustered over something so small. She closed her eyes and cleared her throat before staring Madoka down again with cold eyes.
"I know you're upset over what I told you, it's useless trying to fool me. After these years in the war you're like an open book to me."
The smile faded and Madoka looked slightly hurt before she smiled sadly. "Of course, I'm sorry Kyoko-chan." She giggled and poked a finger to her cheek. "My face must be really easy to read."
Kyoko shrugged. "Easier than Homura's." Once the name escaped her lips she mentally cursed herself. She glanced back at Madoka – whose face showed a tiny piece of sadness and reminiscence. "Sorry." The redhead muttered.
Madoka smiled warmly at Kyoko apologetically. "It's okay. You know…" Her eyes softened and her gaze fell from Kyoko to her own hands that were held to her chest. "You said that Homura-chan died trying to save me right?"
Kyoko tried to think of an answer carefully that wouldn't hurt the girl, but she gave up and eventually nodded in response.
Madoka let a soft chuckle escape her throat, and Kyoko couldn't tell if it was bitter, fake or happy as she continued speaking. "Of course, I can never forgive her now."
Kyoko's eyes widened ever so slightly at her companions suddenly harsh words. "What? Why?"
"Because she died trying to save me." Madoka spoke with a resentful and sad tone, and closed her eyes and smiled softly. "I can never forgive Homura-chan for that."
Kyoko lowered her head. "That's unlike you, Madoka." She whispered so Madoka couldn't hear her.
"And yet…" The smile disappeared from her lips and her eyebrows furrowed, showing hurt and sorrow. "… I can still forgive her now, because she was my best friend. She can still see me up there and is probably looking down on us now, with those beautiful eyes of hers. I still don't know… what to think… anymore…"
Kyoko frowned in sympathy before turning so she was beside Madoka. She gave Madoka a hard slap on the back which caused the smaller girl to stumble in surprise. The pink haired girl looked up at Kyoko with widened eyes.
Kyoko grinned, her fang glinting against the sun. "Don't worry Madoka! It's not your fault!"*
Madoka's eyes widened in wonder at the redhead's words. Her gears in her head started work again and she straightened up her back before smiling cheerfully at Kyoko.
The building was darkened by his very presence. The man walked calmly through the beige painted hallway, his black suit enveloping his body like a shadow. His hands were held behind his back and the only sound in the room were his footsteps that echoed across the hall way.
The man had unnaturally pale skin and clear sapphire coloured eyes, on his head was his strawberry blonde hair in which the parted fringe covered most of his left eye. His expression was what a person would call stoic, calm, powerful, dominant, superior, commanding, determined and cold. He was around middle age, with wrinkles that only just covered his face. Any normal person would say that he looked ghostly and dead, and say things like 'where has all his blood gone?'
His resounding footsteps stopped at the end of the hall. Below him was an old fashioned looking mat and far beside him was a swirling staircase. The end of the hall was particularly darkened. Red curtains were hanging on the wall in a rectangle shape, but there was no window behind it.
The man reached into the pocket of his pants and took out a lighter, with quick hands he flicked the flame on and lit a pair of candles on each side of the curtain. Taking a sharp inhale of air, he almost shakily placed his hands on the curtains and pulled them aside.
An old looking painting was in the man's way. In the painting stood a woman with long and curly black hair which hovered delicately in place. The hair had obviously been painted delicately with each stroke. The woman had kind brown eyes and a soft smile and her body posture made it look like she was spinning. She wore beautiful Japanese robes in which the patterns were swirled and coated in many different colours that made it look like a more lackluster version of the rainbow. Her feet were placed daintily like she was dancing on her toes in a ballerina type way. In her hand she held a tambourine and she was tapping it. The woman was surrounded by snow white flowers and emerald green grass, the blue sky was bright and vast with only the slight trace of fluffy white clouds. The sun shone down on her and it made her look like a glowing angel that was dancing happily through a field.
The man did not smile at the sight. Whenever he looked at the picture he had always felt this strange happy feeling pass through him upon seeing the beautiful woman but this time was different. This time he stared at it with cold eyes, eyes that were threatening to burst with hatred, disgust and bitterness. He did not feel particularly angry as he calmly stared into the eyes of the woman before him.
He really felt like ripping the painting up and throwing it to the ground, but he knew that wasn't an option. With yet another grimace befalling his pale lips, he raised his hand up and traced the woman's painted face with his finger. Once his hand started to tremble he pulled in back in a swift motion and clenched his fist in frustration.
It was a few minutes of silence later until he noticed something. He quickly closed one of the curtains that covered the painting. He took his gloves off before passing his tongue over his index finger and thumb and putting out the candles.
He closed his eyes calmly and took a step back, slipping his gloved back on and placing his hands by his sides. I guess if the guards aren't here today… He thought, sliding his hand into his pocket again. I'll deal with it myself.
The man held his breath so no sound was emitted from him as he once again heard the faint sound of footsteps and a smug sounding sound of affirmation, or maybe it was mocking.
He's underestimated me. The man thought in confirmation. Yes. It's a man.
The footsteps stopped, they were so close, at least a meter or two away. Even though it was dark, the man could see his long and intimidating shadow looming over him. But he was not threatened by his presence.
The man almost smirked when he heard the other spit out some Japanese, gruff, informal Japanese that was so disrespectful the man might have mistaken the other words for 'I've got ya bud' instead of 'I've finally found you, president.' It was lucky he could understand Japanese.
The president remained silent, and his hand didn't move from his pocket as the Japanese solider continued to speak.
"You haven't got your guards Johnson? Idiotic of you! Now you're completely defenceless against me! I didn't think it would actually be this easy!"
The man refrained himself from letting out a tired sigh. He'd heard this all before. Those Japanese soldiers finding him alone and being so stuck and foolish to think that he was defenceless against anything.
"If you keep on being this loud the guards will hear you you know?" He barely whispered, he could barely hear himself and couldn't feel the vibration in his throat.
It seemed the Japanese soldier didn't hear him either, as he was still spitting out nonsense. Until he finally became quiet for a moment and took a step forward. "Not even looking at your killer? Pathetic!" He cocked his gun.
And with a single swift movement, the president pulled out a pocket knife and flipped it open.
Johnson turned around and swung his knife, the blade collided with a bullet and with quick manoeuvring the wall ended up being pierced with a bullet hole.
The Japanese Soldier stared in awe at the man before him. Alexander Johnson. President of the United States of America. Bringer of the Wind War. A Trained Blade Warrior. Holding his blade in front of his fade, he turned in it a swift movement that caused his bright blue eye to glint against the light of the metal.
Alexander didn't smirk at the sight of the stunned Soldier. He had seen it many times before in the past four years and was honestly sick of it. He removed the knife from his face and held it at his side for a moment.
In the blink of an eye Alexander's face was inches away from the soldiers, the pieces of the cut open gun fell to the ground like paper. The Soldier felt fear tear through his body as he saw that familiar glint in the President's sapphire blue eye.
In a matter of seconds the Soldier fell to his knees, gasping for air and making sickening sounds as blood poured from the wound in his stomach. Alexander still had his hand held up in the air, and he eyed his pocketknife that was now lodged in the wall of the hallway opposite him. The wound of the knife went straight through his body and blood spurted out from both sides.
The Japanese Soldier's body eventually collapsed to the ground on his back, his hazel eyes were wide open with a sickening kind of fright which only made Alexander grimace in disgust. The president kneeled down and raised his hands over the Soldiers eyes.
"No." He stated. Pulling out another two knifes from his pocket, Alexander spun the knifes in mid-air before grabbing the handles with both blades face down. He forced the blades into the open eyes of the Soldier and watched with cold eyes as the blood poured out.
After a couple of seconds he pulled the knifes out along with the gouged eyeballs. Blood seeped out of the eyeball sockets like an endless waterfall, but Alexander was not overly disgusted with the sight.
Alexander stood and threw the knives behind him. They ended up lodged in the painting of that woman, the eyeballs that were on the knifes oozed blood onto the painting, coating one side of the snow white flowers with a deep thick red stain.
"You can live with that witch." He stated coldly before kneeling down softly and staring down at the eyeless soldier before him.
"You deserved that Soldier, for siding with the country that I absolutely despise. If you even born from that very country I would have killed you on the spot, even if you were a child or a woman. You didn't even give me anything for that kill except blood stains on my clothing." Alexander's words dripped with hatred and loathing, but they were coated in ice, an unbreakable ice.
Without closing the soldier's eyes, Alexander stood up and walked away. On the way he pulled his pocket knife from the wall and flipped it closed before slipping it into his pocket again.
And as Alexander left, a faint breeze passed through the building, and the other curtain of the painting was blown closed.
Alexander walked outside, taking in the fresh air and the sun which was sickening for him. He wanted to get back inside as quickly as possible but of course every didn't go the way he planned no matter how much he wanted it to.
The breeze felt cold on his face and his hair brushed his sapphire eyes. Alexander was reminded of the blood on his face and wiped it off absentmindedly, but wiping it off would not be as simple for his suit.
"Mr Johnson Sir!"
A familiar voice stirred Alexander from his sickening form of peace and he turned to see the General of the American Military, Ross Lawson beside him while he saluted.
Alexander sighed. "General Lawson haven't I told you there is no need for saluting me? I am not a member of the military and never will be."
General Lawson held his hands to his sides and smirked. "Course President." His smile disappeared once he noticed the oh-so-familiar substance on the President's clothes and his eyes narrowed. "What is that?"
The President followed his gaze and stated freely. "A Japanese Soldier came out and attacked me but an assassin of mine killed him, he was very close to me so I got blood stained on my clothes."
Ross looked wary for a moment before standing beside Alexander and sighing. "Whatever you say President Johnson. But has the Japanese Military lowered its defences or something? A lot of those damn Japanese seem to be getting through to you every day."
"Roughly every fortnight." Alexander corrected, clearing his throat. "Everybody wants to escape, but there hasn't been any death threats for General Matou yet have there?"
"Of course not, you know why don't you President?"
Alexander chuckled humourlessly. "Of course, everybody wants to kill the person who started the war don't they?"
General Lawson didn't respond to that comment. Any stray comment from anybody in the military that wasn't liked by the President could get them killed. "Do you think it's going to stop President?"
Alexander's smile disappeared as his eyes glanced at the General. "The War?" He closed his eyes in an expression of calmness. "If I want to stop it I will, but not until every single person in Japan is on their knees."
The way the President had said so lightly almost made it darkly humorous for Ross, but he frowned in place of it. "You say it so calmly." He chose his next words carefully. "You must be really ruthless then huh?"
The corners of Alexander's pale lips perked up slightly at that in the form of a smirk. "You can't get into the War without killing anybody right?"
Except the nurses and doctors. General Lawson had corrected to himself, the thought brought up the reason why he was there in the first place.
"What is it General Lawson?"
The General frowned and lowered his eyelids. "Two more Japanese members of the military have escaped."
Alexander was unsurprised. "Escaped through the headquarters again?"
"Yes sir, but I'm afraid it's more serious than that."
The President blinked and narrowed his eyes. "Did somebody different escape?"
Ross nodded. "A foolish American Soldier was searching for something special to him that was seemingly on the battlefield – a wedding ring or something – when he saw two people fall from the building of the headquarters. He recognised one as a nurse and the other as a soldier."
"What's so strange about that?"
"The Soldier seems to be skilled, he broke the nurse's fall and was running away from headquarters with broken bones. One of the other Soldiers heard something about them trying to stop the war."
The two fell silent, until Alexander let out a bellowing bitter laugh, doubling and clutching his stomach. The heaving sounds he made after were dry and he continued until he straightened up again, a determined smile planted onto his face and a glint in the only blue eye shown.
"Get the troops, they are to be killed on sight."
"That bastard needs to die." Kyoko muttered in frustration while a new bandage was wrapped around her wrist.
Ignoring the language, Madoka looked up at Kyoko curiously as she wove the bandage. "Who?"
"That damn Alexander Johnson guy." Kyoko answered, wincing as Madoka fixed the wood back into place on her arm.
"Remember don't overexert yourself, move your broken limbs as carefully as you can, and no more running." Madoka ordered her, ignoring Kyoko's answer for a moment. "You mean the Alexander Johnson-san who started the war?"
"Yeah him." Kyoko growled. "Also don't call him by honorifics, he'll kill on the spot if you say it to his face even if you are a girl."
Madoka glared slightly at the comment and Kyoko corrected herself.
"Woman I mean."
"That's better.… But would really kill me on the spot just because I'm Japanese?"
"Yep." Kyoko confirmed, and refused to say anything else as her stomach started to growl excessively. "Damn. Oi Madoka, you have any food?"
Madoka smiled and reached into the pocket of her coat. She pulled out a bag of apples. "I've kept these for a while."
Kyoko's mouth watered as she grabbed an apple and bit into it, savouring the sweet taste that filled her mouth. As she sighed Madoka giggled. "You're just like a little kid Kyoko-chan!"
"I'm not!" Kyoko glared, which only caused Madoka to laugh more because the redhead's cheeks were bulging.
Kyoko roughly bit into the apple again as Madoka re-bandaged her leg. Her crimson eyes scanned the land around her like a hawk. She didn't even wince this time when Madoka placed the wood on her leg.
Kyoko's eyes narrowed when she heard a rustling of leaves coming from near them. She placed a hand softly on Madoka's shoulder.
"Madoka." The redhead barely whispered. "Pack up everything quickly, we're leaving."
"What?" Madoka glanced up her as she wrapped the bandage up and stuffed into her first aid kit. "Why?"
"Just do it." Kyoko whispered harshly, grabbing equipment and putting it in the first aid it before roughly closing it and stuffing it in one of the large pockets of Madoka's coat.
Madoka nodded and helped Kyoko up before going over to pick discarded bandages up a few meters away.
Kyoko walked up beside her and picked it up for her before packing it into Madoka's pocket again. "Hurry up, we need to go now."
Madoka started to feel nervousness build up inside her as she shakily nodded. "Yeah."
Kyoko noticed the Madoka's hands start to shake and after a moment of feeling concerned she dismissed it. She narrowed her crimson eyes as she tried to find any glimpse of something in the forest.
But when she heard the rustling and the sound of something cutting the air Kyoko's eyes widened.
With a quick movement Kyoko pushed Madoka down while she dodged herself. Madoka hit the ground with a yelp and Kyoko crouched down, cursing when she felt a sting in her cheek and blood running down it.
Madoka turned around on the ground and looked up at Kyoko with concerned and panicking eyes. "What's wro-" Her blood froze when she saw a dagger lodged into a tree. Her face paled considerably and her eyes widened.
Kyoko stood up, wiping the blood from her face in the process and growled when pulling the knife from the trunk.
"Who's there?!" She demanded with a raised voice.
She received no answer, and Kyoko didn't care about being noticed, she knew that there were people here.
With a gasp at the voice, Kyoko hovered a hand over the gun which was help on her belt. When she was reminded of it for a moment she wondered why she hadn't used it earlier when she was running away from the soldiers in the headquarters, but the thought left her mind eventually.
For a few moments until out of the trees stepped out a boy. He looked around Kyoko's age and had spiky black hair and a dark grey eye patch was over his right eye. His left eye was emerald green and his skin was tanned, he wore a white long sleeved t-shirt with a Japanese character on the front as well as cargo pants that reached his ankles, where on his feet he wore sneakers. He held three daggers in one hand and a katana in the other.
"… General Lawson said to kill you two on the spot, but that wouldn't be much fun." His voice was laid thick with mocking, and a glimmer of order, with a trace of disappointment.
"You're a soldier." Kyoko growled. Working for the Americans? He looks Korean, and his clothes are wrong, he doesn't look very threatening. "Your General ordered you to kill me on the spot huh? So they noticed that we got out."
"Yes." He spoke. "It's funny really, the General thought that you were a man."
Kyoko raised an eyebrow at that.
"But you're a young woman, a pretty one too." He grinned widely and maliciously, tracing over his cheek lightly with one of this daggers. "I'm sorry for cutting you."
Kyoko rolled her eyes at the ridiculous scene, but she narrowed them again as the boy's eyes moved to Madoka.
"Cute nurse, it's a shame you'll both be dead in a few moments." He whispered before bowing gracefully. "Rivalle Hirotaka, Soldier of the American Military, or you could call me…" He glanced up at Kyoko with a sneering grin. "… An assassin."
Kyoko was unfazed, as she knew this was coming. "Rivalle…" Her tongue ran over the name. "That doesn't Korean, neither does your last name."
Rivalle laughed, his tone was once again laid on thick with mock, and Kyoko assumed he must have been this situation many times. "But of course it doesn't, my family is very confusing, what about yours?"
That struck a nerve. Kyoko clenched her teeth and her eyes narrowed dangerously. "My name or my family?" She spoke daringly, her hand still hovering over the gun.
Rivalle smiled curiously. "Your name of course. What is it?"
"Why should I tell you?"
The dark haired boy chuckled. "Do you want a deal?"
The redhead raised an eyebrow. "A deal? We work on opposite sides."
"Of course we are, but even if we do make a deal that doesn't mean that I won't kill you."
Kyoko glared as Rivalle let that cunning smile slip onto his face again. "What's the deal?" Kyoko asked.
"You tell me your name, I'll remember it of course, and I won't tell the Government that you're actually a woman."
Kyoko adorned a confused expression. "How will the government not knowing that I'm a girl help me at all?"
Rivalle looked surprised for a moment until he let out an uproar of laughter, clutching his stomach with his katana holding arm. "You're funny Soldier… But I meant-"
In an instant Rivalle's face was right beside Kyoko's, and he whispered into her hear. "The Soldier's will go easy on you if you're a woman."
Kyoko gasped before clenching her teeth and pulling out the gun. She jumped back when she heard Madoka's voice shrieking her name but ignored the urge to protect her when she eyed Rivalle. Kyoko raised the gun without hesitation with her finger over the trigger.
Rivalle chuckled again. "Lower that instrument." That earned a glare from the redhead as he continued to speak. "It's useless, you only have a limited number of bullets, but katana's last much longer."
Even though it was the truth, Kyoko didn't waver. The area was plunged into silence for a moment, with only the sound of Madoka's whimpers breaking the redhead's thoughts as Rivalle threw away his daggers and wielded his katana again.
It was only for a moment though.
Until the gunshot rung.
Rivalle ducked and sprung towards Kyoko, swinging his blade but Kyoko dodged and jumped up. She clutched a branch of a tree and continued to fire at Rivalle, who dodged the bullets like they were harmless flies before jumping up to Kyoko and aiming a kick at her stomach.
Acting quickly, Kyoko grabbed onto his oncoming foot and spun him into the air. Rivalle flipped and landed onto the ground onto for a moment before jumping up to Kyoko again, in which the redhead fired at him.
Kyoko's last bullet crashed into the ground loudly, she heard Madoka shriek as debris flew everywhere. She caught a glimpse of Rivalle's one emerald eye and a sharp pain appeared in her arm.
Cursing, Kyoko threw away her gun and dodged another swipe of Rivalle's katana. She jumped away and landed by Madoka's side, clutching her arm, in which the deep cut from Rivalle's blade had blood flowing from the wound and the same red substance dripping from Rivalle's katana.
Madoka clutched onto Kyoko's arm desperately, tears forming in her eyes. "Kyoko-chan are you hurt?!"
Kyoko growled and faced Rivalle, who was grinning in curiosity. "Is Kyoko your name?"
The redhead refused it and Rivalle chuckled, holding his blood-soaked blade up to his face. He saw his reflection in it, and his fingers ran over his eye patch which now held spots of Kyoko's blood. He frowned. "Oh, I see."
Kyoko felt a shiver run down her spine as Rivalle looked down at her with cold eyes. "You'll pay for getting my eye dirty Kyoko-san."
Before the redhead could react her foot slipped and a searing shot of pain was sent up her ankle as she remembered her broken leg. Kyoko clenched her jaw and bent down, clutching her leg. But as she looked up through a haze to look Rivalle in the eyes, she saw his previous coldness disappear in the form of a grin.
"Our deal is made! I'm feeling nice today so I won't kill you just yet. But…" His smile disappeared and his fingers ran over his eye patch again. "Since you made my eye dirty, I'll show you."
Rivalle gripped his eye patch and lifted it before opening both of his eyes, Madoka screamed in terror and clapped her hands over her mouth while Kyoko's eyes widened. The two were staring in horror at the empty eye socket before them before the eyelid closed and Rivalle covered it again.
Rivalle smiled again like it had never happened. "I'll keep our deal, if I report back to the military now, I'll be killed, so I won't go back until you two are dead. So consider yourself lucky."
Rivalle sheathed his katana before walking away, the smile had gone with face by then, and he jaw was clenched along with his fists.
After Rivalle had left Kyoko groaned when she stood up, causing Madoka to grab hold of her. "Kyoko-chan!"
Kyoko blinked, before glancing over and Madoka and smiled forcefully. "I know where to go Madoka."
Madoka half-gasped, eyes widening. "Where."
"The United States…" Kyoko felt her consciousness disappearing, and the smile faded away. "… Of America…"
Kyoko fell into the dark and even Madoka's voice couldn't wake her.
* Basically "Stop angsting!"
A/N: I hated the writing of the last scene, it just seems below my expectations :(
But I'd really like some constructive criticism!
Does Rivalle sound familiar to you?