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Bounty
By Splash
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Completely... COMPLETELY AU (Hell, even "earth" isn't completely defined well here), and despite what the beginning sounds like, this is strictly TAKOUJI. That means Takuya coupled with Kouji. =3

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Young superstar, beautiful stage actress, wonderful voice, whimsical...at age 6 it's startling how famous one can be. However, she has gone missing. Rumour has it she was kidnapped since there was little reason to believe anything else of her sudden disappearance. Many more people say her memory was erased or the kidnapper did horrible things to her... stories of unimaginable proportions...

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" She was the talk of the town back then, and it's been almost ten years since her disappearance," the gruff man with his feet on his desk said. He knew he could be casual with his youthful client Takuya, whom he had known for quite some time. " I'd like you to search for her. The mayor is holding an extremely important event and we're more than certain her talents have improved quite a bit, even if she lost her memory or something. Last I knew, she's still in this town, but living under a different identity. I'll give you the rest of the information later. I'm not sure how she could hide from our computer search systems for ten years, but I'm positive your eagle eyes and talent of finding information can point her out in the raw. Here's a photo of her from ten years ago and what the computers predict what she looks like now."

Takuya, on the other side of the typical desk, took the photos from his employer and examined them. The picture from ten years ago was of a small child with black hair and a ponytail, with tiny yet defined sideburns. The child was wearing a rather girly pink dress, frills galore and laced in white.

The predicted picture had a clearly female figure lined in skintight black clothes, and her face was built like a model's; her blue eyes stood out more distinctly and sparkled, and her hair had grown out more, losing its childish bushy effect in trade for a more silky flow.

Indeed, she was pretty, even for a computer-enhanced picture, Takuya had to admit. Yet... no... it wouldn't happen. He hadn't been interested in a relationship since he could remember...

" Do you need her by a certain date?"

The man behind the desk pondered for a moment. " We need her by the end of two weeks after planning for the event is complete."

Takuya smirked. " You of all people should know I only need a few days or less for a city-ranged hunt."

" Ah, but... I want you to bring her back on her own will. She had quite the stubborn attitude ten years ago and I suspect adolescence only increased it. She won't want to come back without a fight if she's been gone for this long."

Takuya narrowed his eyes at the complication. He had finished his job with many unwilling loads (being missing persons) and had received pay without doing such a thing. " I'm a bounty hunter, not a counselor."

" Takuya, Takuya," the man wooed, " You've done talent searches for me before, haven't you? Just use those same methods of persuasion on this one."

Takuya looked at the pictures in his hands again. " Oh, well. I'll give it a shot. It's about time I got to meet someone my age..."

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With the date of "Izumi's" disappearance in hand and other scraps of data concerning the bounty, Takuya set to work immediately. He had access to all of the information from all of the townsfolk as could be recorded right on his computer.

A picture hovered on his screen, and all Takuya could do was smirk in satisfaction.

" Ten years of searching, bow down to my two hours," he said smuggly, scribbling the location on a scrap piece of paper, scrunching up the information paper he printed out about Izumi into his pocket, and trotting out of his room.

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" Eto... room 2916... Damn this complex is big..."

He peered at the 2nd floor room door at the very end of a loooooong hallway, wondering how he should greet his "prey."

Takuya had grown up an orphan in the not so large town he permanently resided in. His mother had died at birth and his father was long gone before that. The orphanage he spent his early days in burned down when he was 9 years old, but the orphanage was ignored by the town community, and he was the only survivor. However, he managed to find his way to the theatre he worked at now, which had a high reputation for young talents. He worked hard as backup parts for young boys and did much of the hefty work, when the manager discovered Takuya's talents as... a talent finder. He had to ability to see the potential in others, but lacked the ability to bring out that potential. That was something he was working on...

' This one will be different for sure... I can't just go right up and ask her to show off her talent since I have to presume she doesn't want to. Although, why she wouldn't is beyond what I know...' Takuya inspected the doorway, as if expecting to find some clue. ' Well, I have two weeks and I suppose the boss would look at me funny if I got her on the day I was assigned this. I'll go for a safe way... get to know her and then slide the persuasion in... she won't have a clue I'm a bounty hunter, and I'll get to know someone my age, and I'll get my payment.' Takuya grinned hugely to himself and made a cheesy laugh. ' Mega score!'

' I better tell my "get-to-know-her" plans to boss or he might blow my cover, too...' he added last minute before knocking on the door. 'Shoot. I still didn't think about what I was going to say first. Shit, shit, shit, shit...'


His mini nervous wreck was broken when he realized he had been waiting for several minutes without an answer, and it suddenly occured to him that this girl "Izumi" might not have even been home. Curiously, he turned the knob and was surprised to find that it turned with ease. Had she forgotten to lock the door when she left?

Carefully he opened the door, peering inside and calling, " Hello, is anyone home?"

The room was unlit, but one rather large window brought a clean square of light onto the floor, illuminating the objects surrounding it. Some clothes were sloppily scattered about in the corners, and some bird-watching books were sitting on top of them. Other than those and the mediocre beaten down bed, the room was empty. Well, at least he couldn't see anything else. He didn't see a switchlight to the side of the doorway like there should have been, so he stepped inside to find one. He saw what appeared to be a closet near the bed. Curiousity got to the better of him again, and he reached for the next knob...

The next thing he knew, he entered a black oblivion and lost all consciousness as something hit him in the back...

****

He woke up to the sound of low humming, and slowly roused. The room was still lit only by the window, although by the blazing red tint it seemed the sun was setting. But immediately, he knew... 'Someone's here after all.'

He forced himself not to make any sudden movements, and gradually squinted his eyes to see what was around him. Through his limited vision he could see a face... the figure was wearing a bandana, had black hair and a ponytail. ' It's Izumi. It has to be.'

Something didn't fit as he listened to the humming, but his brain wasn't functioning properly. Still, he had to "wake up" sooner or later. He stood up like he normally did when he woke up, almost with a start. It would probably kill his back in the future, but oh well...

" How did you find this place..."

Now that certainly stirred the nerves in Takuya's brain. That wasn't the voice of a typical female model... no female model has a voice that low... He took one quick look at the figure (who was also sitting in the bed, although leaning on the wall instead of the pillow), and confirmed his assumptions.

" You're a guy..."

The figure gave him a strange glance. " Did you expect something else?"

Takuya blinked hard, then inspected the stranger. His face was almost identical to the one in the prediction photo. But his body... damn, his sleek body...

Takuya didn't notice as the other burned scarlet in his cheeks for being stared at, in which he remarked harshly, " So how did you find this place?" It was more of an order than a question.

Immersed so much by this boy, Takuya almost gave up his cover and blurted out his occupation. " I... I'm just an orphan and I thought this place was empty..."

" An orphan..." the ponytailed boy looked sullen for a moment, but the expression was quickly replaced to one of disdain. " Well, this place is mine, and I can't allow strangers to go off free. Sorry, but I can't let you go with the memory of this..."

Takuya was unable to pay attention, completely confused at the boy's appearance. ' Izumi isn't supposed to have any siblings or cousins... he couldn't be anybody else... what's going on?'

All of a sudden, the needle of a syringe came into his view from the boy's hands. ' What the hell is he doing with that?'

He backed away on the bed in fear, having no idea what was in the syringe and not wanting to experience it. ' Maybe he'll take some pity on me... oh please...'

It seemed to work, since the boy stopped midway of injecting it into Takuya. " I can't do it. You're not like the bums I've encountered... Fine. I'll let you off the treatment on one condition."

Takuya could only wait for him to continue. " I don't want you to talk to anyone else, ever. You'll live with me from now on. Work with me at my workplace. It won't be bad, as long as you don't try to escape."

The brunette bounty hunter gasped. ' I've just been taken captive! What the hell! Oh, no... not without a fight... you've seen nothing out of me.'

" Once the sun sets completely there's not much to do except sleep, so might as well get our introductories done now. What's your name?"

Takuya hmphed. " Why should I tell you..."

The boy remained nonchalant. " I asked you first, that's why. But if you don't tell me your name then I guess I'll give you one. How about... Lizard Boy?"

" Like HELL!" Takuya growled. " I'd rather die than be called that."

" I can arrange that easily."

The bounty hunter sighed. " The name's Takuya."

" Good, that wasn't so hard, was it? My name's Kouji. Now let's get ready to sleep. We have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow, Takuya."

Takuya watched as Kouji crawled into the bed space next to him, still a stranger and puzzling. And Takuya suddenly realized... ' Things aren't going quite as planned... not at all...'

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Oh, hohoho! The strange plotholes will be solved as I have them laid out. =3 I would really love to know what people think of this so far. ^^

Splash
http://takouji.fateback.com