(A/N): Hello, readers! It's been a while, I'm sorry about that. I can't promise that I will continue to update consistently, but I promise to see this through to the end! In the mean time, thank you for reading and for all your kind words. Also, it has come to my attention that previous chapters have a lot of grammar mistakes. I will overlook them for now so I can focus on the rest of the story. Perhaps I will go back and fix them later. Thank you for reading!
The place was silent, taunting. Tamaki stayed curled up in a ball in the corner of the rickety room, not daring to make a move in case the man were to come back. He had lost track of how long he had been there, but light no longer shone through the ceiling. Being left alone, Tamaki had contemplated making a run for it. The walls looked weak enough, perhaps he could kick down one of them like in one of those western movies he was so enthralled with at a time. Maybe he could be sneaky like a ninja and outsmart his captor, but his lack of black clothes decided that for him. No, the only option in his mind was to make himself as little as possible and hope for rescue.
Soon enough, Tamaki could hear the door knob jiggle, and he immediately tensed up and prepared himself for the worse. The door opened, and the ever so normal looking man walked in, a plastic bag in hand. Tamaki eyed the bag wearily, but he couldn't tell what was inside.
"Get over here," the man spoke gruffly with little patience. Tamaki did the exact opposite, freezing up in dread and fear.
"I said," he spoke again, "get. Over. Here."
"Please..." Tamaki replied softly, not wanting to anger him even more. "Don't hurt me..." His voice trailed off as his captor let out a frustrated huff.
"I won't if you just come here!"
Tamaki was silent and shaking as he moved closer to the man, doing his best not to topple over with his tied up limbs.
As soon as he was a couple of feet closer, the man threw the bag in front of Tamaki. As a response, Tamaki shuddered to a stop and looked up at the man expectantly.
"Eat," is all he said to him. He still stood there, watching Tamaki as he moved to open the bag tossed at him.
Inside the bag was a water bottle, granola bar, and uncooked ramen. Even though Tamaki was still afraid to move, he was quite hungry. He had gone, for what he guessed, all day without eating. Slowly but surely, he reached into the bag with his tied hands, going for the water bottle. He sat himself up more and attempted to open it, but he couldn't quite get a grip.
His captor sighed in frustration. "You are quite incapable, aren't you? What, have you never had to open your own water before?" Despite the chastisement, he still bent over, took the bottle, opened it, and then handed it back to Tamaki.
Taking the water bottle from the man, Tamaki slowly brought it to his mouth for a drink. The cold water felt like heaven down his dry, scratchy throat, and he found himself being grateful to this man for granting him this kindness.
"Thank you," he spoke quietly, staring down at the shiny shoes the captor wore. "May I ask..." He took a deep breath, trying to keep his emotions under control. Like Kyoya would. Or even Takashi. Yes, Takashi was the most stoic of his friends. Kyoya, he reasoned, would have already found a way to escape. He wouldn't be in this silly situation in the first place.
"May I ask why I am here?"
Hearing this question, the man turned around from Tamaki and walked to the other end of the room. He gazed down at the blond, his eyes blank. "You really don't know, do you?"
Tamaki wanted to respond sarcastically No, how would I? Just beat me until I understand, but a part of him that sounded suspiciously like Kyoya kept him silent.
The man sighed once again and crossed his arms over himself, almost in a protective gesture. "Your father laid me off. I really need money right now, okay?" He spewed angrily, almost accusingly. "Not everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouths."
Taking another shaky drink from his water, Tamaki nodded. He did know that people lived with little money. He witnessed it first hand in the way Haruhi was so worried sometimes. She would fret over the littlest sale at the supermarket just so she could get just a couple cents off of something. Her face would pale over some of the extravagant displays the host club would pull off as well.
"Part of me can go without the money. I could make that bastard suffer as I do...after all, I have his son right in my clutches," the man spoke a little more quietly, almost to himself.
Tamaki seized up a bit after hearing this. He really didn't want to be hurt again, especially since he was still dealing with a killer head ache from before. "W-what do you need money for? I'm sure we can get you what you need. If it's a job you want, I'm sure we can arrange that too."
"I WANT YOU TO SHUT UP!" The man yelled in retort, recoiling into himself even more. "You wouldn't understand!"
Tamaki visibly flinched at his captors loud volume, spilling a little bit of the water over his hand. His eyes wide, he tried speaking again in an attempt to calm him. "I don't need to to get you what you want, do I?"
The man went silent at this. "Besides, the least you could do is tell me. How else could I fix this?"
The man relaxed a bit and turned towards Tamaki once more. He looked angry, but he made no move to harm Tamaki, not yet. After a few moments, he visibly softened, as if thinking of something fond to him.
"It's my daughter. She was diagnosed with Leukemia three months ago." His eyes stared off, as if looking into another place. "Because of such, I may have not have performed as well at work. But who could blame me?" He laughed without humor. "Since then, I have been laid off and I have no way to pay for my daughter's treatment."
Eyes hardening once again, he turned his attention back to Tamaki. "I bet you have no idea what it feels like, to watch someone you love suffer in illness, with absolutely nothing you can do!"
Tamaki blinked a few times in surprise. Yes, he did understand what that felt like, in some respects. He spent most of his childhood with a bedridden mother, with not much else he could do but try to cheer her up. He was lucky, though. He had the opportunity to help her out, to give her the financial aid she needed by agreeing to move to Japan. This man, whoever he was, did not have that option. His only option was to try and gain some control by kidnapping the Suoh heir and getting the proper funds that way. Tamaki could hardly blame him.
"I'm sorry," he spoke after a few long moments. "I'm sorry that's happening to you and your daughter. I can't even imagine how that must be."
"You don't!" He spoke triumphantly.
"You must have felt so betrayed, that my father could let you down at such an inopportune time...You must feel so helpless, that you felt the only thing that could make it right is to kidnap me and make him feel pain too."
Tamaki nervously looked up at his captor in case he made him angry, but all he did was stare into the middle distance. Tamaki took another drink of his water.
Perhaps he was being a fool, but Tamaki mustered his courage to try and convince this man to change. If he could care for a daughter, he could care for someone else's son, perhaps.
"It doesn't have to be this way, sir. You can have your money. But please, just let me go."
It was silent for many long minutes, and all the while Tamaki braced himself for the anger that was sure to come.
Soon enough, the man pulled himself from the wall and walked over to where Tamaki sat, stopping where he stood before. Only this time, he began to crouch down, uncomfortably close. He reached into his suit jacket pocket as he reached his other hand towards Tamaki. The water fell from Tamaki's hands, spilling all over himself in the process.
Tamaki tried to scoot away, his eyes tearing up in fear. He wasn't fast enough, however, and the captor was able to grab his jaw, his fingernails gouging painfully. He brought his face so close to Tamaki's, he could smell the man's breath. It smelled of sharp cinnamon, and Tamaki knew he could never smell that again without thinking of this moment.
As he did this, the captor slowly withdrew his hand from his pocket, bringing out a pocket knife. He brought it close to Tamaki's neck at switched it open, and it caught into his skin just enough to send a bead of blood down to his collar bone.
The man's eyes bore into Tamaki's, taunting and cold.
"You better not be lying. If you are, revenge will be what I settle for."
Tamaki swallowed painfully, staying as still as possible so he wouldn't be cut again.
The blade was slowly brought down to Tamaki's hands before being slashed in a downward motion, and Tamaki yelped in fear before realizing it was just used to cut his bonds. As his face was let go, he recoiled just as the captor cut his feet free as well.
Being too stunned and afraid to move, Tamaki breathed hard, trying to quell his fast beating heart. The man stood up once more and looked down at Tamaki in disdain.
Finding the courage to move, Tamaki went into the back corner again, finding it a safer option than under where his captors legs could reach. Luckily it was a frivolous precaution, as the man turned around and left after a few moments. Tamaki could hear the door lock and he was alone.
Everything was restless and everything felt wrong to Tamaki. Even if he was no longer tied up, he felt no safer. He reckoned that it would be a while before he ever felt safe again. As he sat curled into a ball, he sobbed in fear and defeat. Why was he still here? Was anyone looking for him, at all? He thought that he was probably being a liability for the Suoh corporation. His grandmother was probably even more disenchanted with him. Did his mother know that he was missing? It was a silly thought, but did anyone notice he was gone? These thoughts swam through his head to the point where he couldn't stop crying, couldn't even rest. He though of the host club, how he had let them down. Did they know how much he loved them, how much he needed them? Would he ever see them again?
No, if he could never see them again...he couldn't cope with that thought. He would see the host club again. He at least needed the hope that he would, for his own sake.
Eventually, Tamaki fell asleep, his mind filled with happy memories of his host club family. Honey, Mori, Hikaru, Kaoru, Kyoua, Haruhi...he would see them again. He would keep himself from sinking into despair at that thought.
A dark car drove through the streets of Tokyo slowly, surveying each house and apartment complex until it eventually came to a stop. Across the abandoned street sat a one level house, poorly kept and overgrown with weeds. Perhaps it may have been a nice, charming house at one point, but it had fallen victim to inattention.
"Aijima?" Spoke the car passenger's deep voice.
"I think this is the place, Tachibana. Did you receive the grievance report from the Suoh's?"
"Yes. A man just last week threw a fit right in the hotel lobby for being fired. There's video evidence."
"That's right," Aijima responded to Tachibana. He stroked his goatee in thought. "This is supposedly that man's address, but we are still waiting for more information on him. As soon as we get word from the chairman we are to investigate."
"Yes, sir!" Tachibana smiled, thinking of the triumph of having this case solved. The two of them were sent on sentry detail while Horita stayed with Kyoya Ootori. They were masters in this field, so they were given an exception from their usual guard job.
"Until then, let's watch...if there is anything amiss, we must intervene."
"We will get our Christmas bonus early this year."
With that, the two fell into silence, watching the house under the streetlights. If anything happened, they would be there. If it turned out they had the wrong guy and location, they would go to the right one. They were too determined to fail.