Chapter 11: Vintage Vineyard

Lagoon company was standing on the docks beside their torpedo boat about to depart for their mission. Rock was a little quiet prior to their departure. His friends were well aware of the cause of this. Dutch had hoped his old friend would make it through his imminent battle. He was familiar with the caliber of the Bloodhound. He knew he wouldn't be much help even if he had stayed. He could dance, but he had two hands to handle the advanced psycho people he came across. Now knowing Rock was that same type of crazy he was a little reassured that he'd come out alright. Though not unscathed, he couldn't be that proficient could he?

Benny on the other hand wished for his new friend's safety. He also hoped he didn't leave the city in shambles. Based off some of the stories Rock had told he was the real deal. 'If anybody could deal with that crazy chick it's him.' Benny thought, he then glanced at Revy who was getting a little irritated for some odd reason. 'And her, definitely Revy.' Benny added through thought.

"Maybe if Rock would've just drank like he normally does then he could forget this shit!" Revy snarled, Rock bore a small smile while shaking his head at Revy. Dutch knew that was his cue to give the two some privacy. He bumped Benny with his arm.

"Benny help me out with checking the radar would ya?" Dutch asked, Benny turned to him and nodded. Dutch looked back to Rock who was watching what he was doing. Which he was grateful for, it made things easier on him and Dutch. "Rock, I promise you, if you're not in that damn office by the time I come back. And I mean alive and functioning, then I'll be sure to find you and break you." Dutch said with a smirk on his face. Rock couldn't help the chuckle that escaped from his throat.

"I'll be sure to keep that in mind Boss." Rock said, Dutch nodded while Benny gave a smile.

"Yeah Rock, we got to have somebody that can handle Revy." Benny said playfully, Revy gritted her teeth as she looked over her shoulder to Benny.

"What was that, pussy?!" Revy growled with her fists clenched. Benny then grabbed Dutch's shoulder pointing toward the boat.

"Radar check right? Isn't that what we're doing Dutch?" Benny said hurriedly as he pulled Dutch along. Revy watched as they left then exhaled and hand on her head.

"Man, Benny's been begging for a bullet latel-hmph" Revy spoke but was interrupted by Rock's lips. Blood rushed to her cheeks as they locked lips for a moment before Rock pulled back. Revy then looked down as she covertly looked around to see if anybody saw. "What the hell are you doing dumbass you want everyone to-" Revy stopped when she saw Rock's face which was stoic.

"You need to stop worrying Rebecca, I'll be fine I promised you didn't I?" Rock asked as he looked out to the ocean. Revy folded her arms, shaking her head.

"That doesn't make me feel any better about it idiot." They then locked eyes, "I wished you'd just come with us. If the bitch attacks on the job then we'll deal with her together." Revy stated how she felt about the whole ordeal.

"I won't put you guys at risk when it doesn't have anything to do with you all." Rock said firmly, Revy scoffed before waving him off.

"Oh come on Rock, we kidnapped you, if it wasn't for us then you wouldn't have to worry about this shit." Revy shot back, Rock shook his head.

"Because I let you guys, you think I couldn't have gotten away if I wanted to? Plus all of this would have happened either way. Me going with you guys only sped up the process." Rock countered her, Revy shrugged unfolding her arms.

"Whatever you say 'Lycan', your so strong." Revy spoke with sarcasm, Rock's eyes then turned serious.

"I'm going to be right here Revy when you come back I promise." Rock reinstated, Revy nodded placing a chaste kiss on his lips. She let their foreheads rest against each other.

"You better, I'd hate to bring you back to life just to kill your sorry ass again." She said seriously, she then turned around and went to the boat. Rock knew that was that, he'd see her when she came back for now he had a problem to take care of. As he walked back toward the office his pager went off. He checked it to see a message that said "Church" Rock knew it had to be Eda. He wondered what she needed and how she got his pager. He then turned a different direction as he began for the Rip-off Church.

Minutes had passed until he came up the hill, once he reached the clearing he saw Eda on the deck. She was in her nun attire chewing a piece of bubble gum. Rock walked up taking note of the look on her face told him she knew something. With his hands in his pockets he stopped at the steps looking up at the secret CIA agent.

"You know you could've just called a taxi right? You're wearing a black turtle neck and pants. It's not exactly cold out here Rock." Eda spoke as she blew a bubble, it popped when Rock gave a small grin.

"I wasn't too far, plus I could use the exercise." Rock said playfully, Eda smirks while tilting her head to the side checking him out.

"Oh please, I can see those muscles of yours through your shirt." Eda said licking her lips hungrily, Rock felt his cheeks get hot as he scratched the back of his head.

"Anyway Eda," Rock spoke, he then looked her in the eyes with a firm look on his face. "What do you know about this. I know you know what's coming." Eda groaned as she leaned against the railing.

"Yeah I know, your bringing that crazy bitch here. Your becoming too much of a hassle Rock." Eda commented, Rock shook his head as he began coming up the steps.

"I didn't think they would come after me, especially sending her. Whatever is going on it's got to be serious." Rock spoke as he stopped at the second to first step. Eda looked at him and nodded.

"I can't really tell you anything useful, I only know of the Bloodhound because that's high level shit." Eda informed him, Rock glanced at her.

"Do you know how they got her to do it? Because that doesn't sound like Roberta at all." Rock asked, Eda was little surprised.

"You know her personally?" Eda asked, Rock shrugged his shoulders.

"I wouldn't say I know her personally, but I've had the opportunity to work with her. If anything I got from her is that she's real honorable. I saved her life once, I doubt she'd repay the favor by trying to kill me." Rock explained, Eda nodded in understanding.

"Yeah, well I don't have a clue, but somebody knows I could do some digging if you want." Eda suggested, Rock shook his head putting a hand up.

"No it'll be alright, she'll be here any moment now anyway." Rock said looking over his shoulder toward the horizon.

"I'll help as best I can, we can take her here with Sister Yolanda, Rico, me and you we'll blast her back to Cuba." Eda said determined, Rock shook his head.

"No, I'm not dragging anybody in this, if you were to get hurt because of me I wouldn't forgive myself." Rock said clenching his fist, he didn't like these circumstances. He knew he had to get to the bottom of this one way or another.

"Oh your so sweet Romeo, maybe after I'm subdued by the big bad Bloodhound you swoop in and save me." Eda spoke as she placed the back of her hand on her forehead. Rock grinned as he rolled his eyes. "Then you proceed to take me up to your room and fuck me til I cry." She said a lot rougher, Rock tried to stifle a blush and play it cool as he looked at Eda.

"That'll probably be the last time I have sex once Revy finds out." Rock deadpanned, Eda then raised an eyebrow.

"Oh so you and little miss Two-hands huh? I never would've thought-"

"Don't go there either, cause it isn't like that." Rock lied, he didn't want to lie but he didn't want a bullet in him either. Eda scoffed waving him off.

"Oh come on, I haven't seen Two-hands jealous over anyone. Then once you show up she seems a little bit lighter if you get what I mean. Even then! Don't you stay with her Romeo? Now if you expect for me to believe sex deprived Revy and drought season you are in the same room and not screwing each other's brains out then-"

"You'll believe it, because we're not doing anything." Rock said interrupting her, 'Damn, need to talk to her about that, I didn't think it was that obvious.' Rock thought as he looked away.

"Well you don't have to admit it, but just know that I know Romeo." Eda said with a smirk, Rock sighed as he heard the door open catching their attention. Sister Yolanda stepped out, Rock hadn't met her personally but had heard about her. She had on the same Nun attire Eda had with an eye patch covering her. Rock gave a bow of his head out of respect.

"Hello you must be Sister Yolanda." Rock greeted the Nun, who looked him up and down.

"And you must be Rock the one I've heard so much about..." Sister Yolanda spoke, her and Rock both eyeing Eda who was confused.

"What?..." Eda asked shrugging, they then looked back to each other.

"I hope it wasn't anything to vulgar." Rock spoke a sheepish grin on his face. Sister Yolanda's facial features turned grim.

"You're a top secret assassin that the US want back." She stated, Rock didn't look surprise he had expected her to know. However what he didn't know was whether she was CIA or not.

"You with Eda huh?" He asked giving a nod toward the woman. Sister Yolanda then gave a grin before chuckling.

"No I run my own business and Eda you were right he is easy on the eyes." Rock then blushed embarrassed, he'd always thought Sister Yolanda was the real deal. Every time Revy or Eda talked about her she seemed like the type to never joke. "Oh lighten up Assassin, Eda has told me of your predicament. I know of place where you could take the fight. Because it's definitely not going to be here." Sister Yolanda said, Eda rolled her eyes behind her glasses.

"Are we gonna actually help the poor guy or...?" Eda asked, Sister Yolanda shook her head.

"He won't let us, I can see it in his eyes." Yolanda remarked as she turned toward Eda.

"What's that got to do with what we do?" Eda shot back, Sister Yolanda thumbed toward Rock. Who wore a calm, cool and stern face.

"You're right but it's best we do what he says, I'm not as young as you all anyway. It's not like I'll be able to keep up." Sister Yolanda spoke, Eda growler before pointing at Rock.

"Well you better come back alive or me and Two-hands will bring your ass back to life and send you right back to hell." Eda warned him, Rock grinned to reassure her.

"Come on why can't anybody have faith in me." Rock said as soon as the words left his mouth he heard it. "She's here" His eyes widened slightly as he looked over his shoulder. They then narrowed as he locked on to the sound of the propellers. There in the distance, was the bird that carried Roberta. Eda and Yolanda saw what he was looking at as well. "Where's that place you spoke of?" Rock asked hurriedly, Sister Yolanda then pointed toward the right.

"It's the docks but where the cargo is. There's so many containers that your type of fight could go on and go unnoticed." Sister Yolanda told him, Rock nodded then turning to Eda.

"If you want to help could you just keep watch for us. It might take longer than I think."

"Of course, hold on a sec." Eda replied before going back into the church. Rock watched as the helicopter grew closer and closer.

"You seem worried." Sister Yolanda spoke, a statement rather than a question.

"I couldn't lie and say I'm not, I don't want to kill her." Rock said struggling with what he was going to do.

"And that sweetheart is how you'll get yourself killed. It's either you or her, do you think she has any second thoughts on killing you?" Rock nodded in understanding, she was right.

"They're probably holding something over her head." Rock spoke, Sister Yolanda nodded as Eda came back out with two walkie talkies.

"Most likely but that has nothing to do with your situation." Sister Yolanda spoke, Rock faced her as Eda handed him a radio. "The fact is she's here to kill you with nothing holding her back. You, are trying your best for it not to come to that when in the end it's inevitable." Sister Yolanda said the helicopter began to descend on the docks. "For a twisted assassin you sure do have a lot of compassion."

"They took everything from me, it's really all I have left." Rock said in a low tone his hair covering his eyes.

"Well God bless you Rock." Sister Yolanda said before she departed back into the church. Eda and Rock looked at each other.

"If anything gets out of hand let me know and I'll let you know if anything is happening outside." Eda told him as he put the walkie talkie on his belt.

"Got ya, now let's head down there before she starts ripping into the city to find me." Rock said as they went down the stairs.

By the docks, the helicopter descended until it was a couple feet above the port. Brown boots touched the deck as the Bloodhound looked around. She then raised a hand and the bird went on back into the sky. Roberta was in her uniform, her umbrella closed and in her hand. Her sniper rifle strapped to her back she began walking toward the city. Once at the beginning of the city she waited. She knew that who she was dealing with was no mere amateur. The Lycan knew she was here, taking in consideration his caring soul. She was aware she didn't have to dig into the city to get his attention. She already had it, on her way here she would've set up on a roof top. Then proceed to snipe him from afar. But given their past she would honor him with a face to face match. It was the least she could do for him, it also wasn't like he would have made it that easy for her anyway.

She had seen Lycan in action his ferociousness and tenacity were unrivaled. She had seen him take a bullet at point blank range and continue to move as if it was a mere bruise. She had her hands full yes but she knew that failure wasn't an option. The young Master's life was at stake and although she owed Lycan her life. She had to be selfish. A few more minutes passed as she thought that maybe she had to go on the hunt but a car rounded the corner fast. She confirmed it to be a 1965 Pontiac GTO. It raced toward her before turning sideways and coming to a halt. She watched as the passenger door opened. Lycan emerging from it his eyes dead set on her.

Rock closed the door behind him and Eda drove off towards the cargo area. Rock and Roberta stared at each other for a few moments. Feeling each other out, Rock taking note of her umbrella and sniper rifle on her back. Two sashes full of ammo he assumed and her military uniform she wore back then. Rock had his MK and his Smith on his belt behind his waist. His combat knife was strapped to his sleeve.

"Funny how life is huh?... I'd thought I'd never see you again." Rock said breaking the silence between them. Roberta regarded him for a moment before nodding.

"Yes, I had thought so too..." She replied quietly, Rock didn't want to beat around the bush any longer and decided to cut to the chase.

"What are they doing to you Roberta?" Rock asked with a frown on his face, she's only in this mess because of him.

"Does it matter Lycan? The fact is that I'm here to kill you. Nothing you say or do will change that." Roberta said coldly, Rock growled under his breath gripping his MK tightly.

"It's does matter because I could help, you're only doing this because of me. I'll help in anyway I can to get you out of it!" Rock exclaimed, everyone was pretty much telling him the same thing. He just couldn't standby and take a life when he didn't have to.

"I admire your graciousness Lycan, however..." Roberta then pointed her umbrella at Rock who didn't blink at the action. "You'll soon be six feet under if you keep that energy with me." But before she shot Lycan put up a hand.

"Stop, there's a place we can go unbothered, it's not to far we can walk to get there." Rock informed her, Roberta nodded solemnly, Rock then gave her sad look. "Roberta for what it's worth, I'm sorry." Rock said as they began walking toward the cargo bay.

"I never took you as one to be cocky..." Roberta spoke as they walked through the docks. Rock shook his head opening his pack and popping a cigarette in his mouth.

"No, I'm sorry for whatever they're doing to you to make you do this." Rock said before taking a long drag of his cigarette. Roberta thought over his words as he blew out smoke.

"They threatened to harm someone special to me if I didn't kill you Lycan. I'm sorry too, because I won't be holding back. I'm pretty sure you know that since it's you or him I'm choosing him every time." Rock nodded in understanding, he would kill anybody to if it meant protecting Revy. Rock then thought about that for a moment. Letting it register in his mind that he would have no one else to live for. 'Anybody...'

"It's Rock Roberta you know that and you know I don't blame you. I'd do the same thing if I was in your situation. However if you'd just let me help then all would end well-"

"We don't live in some fantasy realm where there are happy endings Lycan. People die, I'm not willing to take that chance with the only person I have left." Roberta said sternly, Rock knew she was passionate about whoever the guy was. She never raised her voice in that matter, Rock then lowered his eyes as he took in another drag.

"... I only have one person left too Roberta, you think I'm going to let you take me away from her?" Rock said coldly as they entered the cargo bay. Roberta and him eyed Eda who was in the GTO parked by the front.

"Then we'll see who loves their special person the most then..." Roberta whispered as she stopped, Rock kept walking about several paces forward before stopping. He turned around with a straight face.

"I wish you luck" Rock spoke, the Bloodhound then raised her umbrella quickly.

"You'll be the one needing it." She said fiercely her umbrella shot like a shotgun. Rock dodged to the side as he missed the bullet. He rebounded quickly aiming his MK. He shot a couple rounds before jumping out of the way of another bullet. Roberta opened her umbrella it serving as shield from Rock's bullets.

Rock stood in shock as he realized he would have to rethink his tactics. He moved with a keen sense of awareness as Roberta prepared to shoot another time. He predicted her shots as he moved to the left and right running up to her. Once close enough he tried grabbing the umbrella but the Bloodhound was faster. Her fist connecting with his jaw sending him to the ground. Rock put out a hand to push himself from the ground just before a bullet pierced the cement. Rock turned his body so that he was upright before aiming his MK. Roberta took evasive action dodging the fire intended for her. Rock landed on the ground for a brief second before getting up and taking off into the maze of the containers. Roberta growled her displeasure as she took out her sniper rifle.

"There's no use running Lycan, you're going to die a lot quicker if you don't fight back." The Bloodhound muttered to herself as she looked to the tops of the containers.

Rock ran and got behind one of the containers, he peered from behind it his eyes scanning the area. He figured he had bought himself some time. He checked his mag then his mind raced on how he could immobilize her. He hadn't wanted to take her life so he had to knock her out somehow. His thoughts were cut short by a singe of pain across his right shoulder. He immediately ran out of the direction of fire. He sat back down once he thought himself in the clear. He grabbed his shoulder and could feel that it was just a flesh wound. He gritted his teeth, he didn't like being shot. 'They're right I won't last long like this. I don't want to do this but she won't take me away from her.' Rock thought as he looked at the blood on his hand. Rock narrowed his eyes as memories surfaced.

~Flashback~

"Lycan... You want to eat right..." General Iso spoke, Rock was on his knees his hand covered in his own blood. He was badly beaten and naked, he was close to loosing his sanity. He watched as General Iso held out a watch. A watch that Rock had come to know well. One half was white and the other half was black. Iso pushes the button on top with his thumb causing the the clock to tick. It was hypnosis, Rock watched as the clocked ticked getting closer to the black side. "Then kill them Lycan... show them what you can do..." Iso commanded, when the long hand reached the black Rock's pupils dilated his eye color darkening as he began to chuckle. The SF units shook their heads looking down at the poor human.

"Sir he's broken, just like the other six. We need to toss him." One of them spoke, General Iso began to snicker along with Rock. He began to get up with the Springfield hanging loosely from his hand.

"Survive" Was all that General Iso said before Rock's face turned even.

~End Flashback~

A sinister smile broke onto Rock's face, he felt his reason leave him. He had let himself succumb to his Lycan behavior. He stood up slowly as he smelled the air. There were times when the Lycan would trigger himself in bleak situations. However when the situation called for it Rock would turn it on himself. They made sure that damned clock was embedded in his memory. However he was grateful in most situations whenever things got sticky. Didn't stop him from hating becoming the Lycan. The detached and animal like him that they wanted him to be.

The Bloodhound had the Lycan in her sights as she kneeled down watching him. She saw him smile, she was wondering why. She hesitated only for a second then he took off. Her eyes widened at how fast he moved. He was coming straight for the container she was on. She put the sniper rifle back on her back before looking down with her umbrella. 'How in the hell is he going to get up here?' She thought for the ladder was on the side. He continued to run in top speed as he jumped up and scaled the container with ease. The Bloodhound hadn't anticipated that but was ready nonetheless. She aimed her umbrella but found it kicked out of her hand as Lycan came up. He followed up his attack with three punches to her gut and another swift kick to her face sending her off the container.

Roberta broke her fall by barrel rolling on the ground. A couple scuff marks here and there, she wiped her mouth and glared at Lycan who stood at the top. He was looking down at her with a cold grin. She saw her umbrella a couple of feet away from her. Though while she was looking at it she was shocked when Lycan crushed it by landing on it. She cut her eyes at him, 'He's fast, I can't let my guard down.' Roberta thought as she took out her sniper rifle again. Lycan cocked his head to the side, he brought his MK up and began to spray out a barrage of bullets. Roberta cursed under her breath, she wouldn't be able to dodge all of them in time. She slid on the ground two bullets grazing her abdomen and thigh.

After sustaining her minor injuries she went to get up and run. However she then found herself face to face with Lycan. Who head butted her causing her to fall back on her butt. Roberta growled she wouldn't be bested like this. She got up swiped Lycan's legs from under him and pounced on him. Lycan now on the ground caught the Bloodhound by her throat. She growled as she took out a knife from her satchel and stabbed him in the shoulder where his flesh wound was. Lycan remained as he was ignoring the pain. The Bloodhound hadn't been surprised however. This wasn't the first time she seen Lycan in this matter. She then twisted the blade inside of him and didn't get any reaction from the beast.

Lycan then tossed her off of him, the knife still in his shoulder. The Bloodhound gathered herself quickly watching as he stood. He observed the knife in his shoulder mechanically. He then proceeded to grab it and pull it out. Making a sickening sound while blood spurted from it. He then tossed the knife up in the air before catching it and throwing it at Roberta. She grabbed the blade midair before holding it out in front of her defensively.

"Hello there, can we stop this senseless violence for a few moments please." A smooth voice called out to the two whose eyes were trained on each other.