DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters or the songs or whatever else I use in this fiction piece. Just go with it guys, okay? It's just for fun.
Last chapter—Maybe…. Hope you guys have liked it, because this is the chapter where all of the loose ends come together; hopefully. I'm glad you all have enjoyed this story, and I thank you for all of the input. I'm still looking for ideas to put in the possible sequel, so if any cross your mind, post them for me. Well, let's keep it going.
Day Eleven: Promises
I don't know why you say goodbye I say hello,'
--The Beatles 'Hello Goodbye'
Goemon had finally finished getting the banner to hold up above the doorway and stepped down to look at his handiwork. Everything was set. Amaya had gone to find a video recorder while Fujiko laid the finishing touches on the table. Jigen was nowhere to be seen, Yukiko was made to stay in her room, and Lupin sat on the couch, continually looking at his watch and back at the hotel door.
"Where's Jigen gone off to?" Fujiko inquired, leaning on the back of the couch.
"He's sulking in his room," Lupin replied, "He never liked to say goodbye, anyway. Especially to people he actually liked," he rose and stood, and walked towards Yukiko's door, "I have to get Yuki to do one last small favor for me." He said. He opened the one bedroom door, and found Yukiko looking downward sullenly, her packed bags around her, "Hey, Yukiko. I have one more spy job for you." He said, putting his hands on his waist.
"Really!?" Yukiko looked upward happily.
"Sure. Follow me," he said, opening the door that led one into the adjoining bedroom, "Okay, here's the plan." He leaned downward and whispered his plan to her, and she looked up at Lupin curiously, "Just trust me on this one, Yuki." Lupin said, smiling. He pulled something out of his pocket, and passed it to Yukiko, and she ran off into the bedroom. Lupin closed the door behind her and smiled. He heard a knock on the front door and hummed to himself as he walked into the living room and opened the door, only to come face-to-face with Zenigata.
"What the hell is this, Lupin!?" Zenigata snapped angrily.
"Aw, Pops! Welcome to the first ever Lupin the Third Charity Ball! I'm doing more charity than usual, and I ought to have a ball doing it. So, come on in, take your coat off, get some cake…. Our cameraman ought to be here any moment," Lupin replied, putting an arm around Zenigata and leading him in.
"Don't touch me!" Zenigata growled, jumping away from Lupin, "I don't know what you're up to, but it can't be any good."
"Pops, I'm so disappointed in you!" Lupin sighed heavily, "Part of this celebration is for you, too."
"What are you up to?" Zenigata inquired with heavy suspicion. Zenigata looked over and noticed the unusually cold look that Goemon gave him, and turned his attention back to Lupin, "I have a warrant for—"
"I'm back!" Amaya said as she opened the door of the hotel, "I found my—" She stopped dead as she saw Zenigata on the couch, and Zenigata sat there, speechless. Lupin quickly grabbed the video camera and began to roll film. More stunned silence.
"Toshiko…" Zenigata said, rising, "Are you her?"
"Yes," Amaya nodded, "I—I have proof. You gave this to me when I was little, for my third birthday. It was my last birthday that you came to," she said, removing an emerald pendant from around her neck and passing it to Zenigata.
He looked downward at the necklace. Indeed he had given this to his daughter, and she did look exactly like his ex-wife. He looked upward again, in shock. He reached forward and embraced Amaya, and she did the same. Lupin closed up on this and smiled, "Spielberg, eat your heart out!" he chuckled.
Amaya drew back, and put the necklace back around her neck. "What—What are you doing here?!" Zenigata stuttered, still in shock.
"Well…" Amaya bit her lip and looked over at Goemon, "I… Um… Goemon and I… We're… I've been dating him, and, um…."
"WHAT!?" Zenigata shrieked, losing his balance and falling onto the ground.
"Hi, Dad," Goemon said from his corner with a smirk.
"Oh, God! Dad, are you all right!?" Amaya asked, helping Zenigata back onto the couch.
Zenigata looked over at Amaya wearily, "This—Is this a joke?"
"No," Amaya shook her head and sat next to her father, "I—I—"
"Does that mean you're working with them?" Zenigata asked.
"Yeah," Amaya shook her head, "Sorry to be a disappointment."
"You're the disappointment? I'm the one who was never around," Zenigata replied quietly. He looked over at Amaya, and saw that she was upset. He stood, put on a stern face, and walked over to Goemon. He pointed a finger at the samurai, and began to speak, "If she gets hurt, I'll make sure you never see the light of day again. That goes for all of you."
Amaya shot her head upward in surprise and stood, and walked over to Zenigata and Goemon. Zenigata gave a small shudder as Amaya grabbed onto Goemon's hand, but he soon recovered, "Well, at least I know you're with people who know how to look after their friends."
"Okay, now a close up of the happy family!" Lupin said, sticking the camera in between the three.
"Go away, Lupin!" the three yelled, pushing him away. Lupin grumbled and set he camera up on a tripod and walked back over to the bedroom. He opened the door slightly and poked his head in.
"Yuki, are you almost done?" Lupin asked in a whisper.
"Yep!" Yukiko said happily, walking to the door.
"Now, we have a surprise for you," Lupin said, leading Yukiko out of the room and closing the door behind her. Yukiko let out a gasp of surprise and looked upward at Lupin, and then at the living room. She took a step back towards the door as she saw Zenigata, and Lupin saw this, "Don't worry. Pops is one of us for a few hours."
"Uh… Sure… I guess…" Zenigata grumbled, tilting his hat downward a little. Lupin led Yukiko over to the table, and they stopped midway as they heard an angry scream from the bedroom.
"What the hell was that?" Fujiko asked in horror.
"A little goodbye present from Yukiko," Lupin replied casually, "Well, Yuki, what do you say we get over to the table?" Lupin pulled out a folded sheet of paper his pocket and handed it to Goemon, "Hey, would you mind replacing that drab banner with this one?"
"What's wrong with mine?" Amaya demanded.
"Nothing!" Lupin replied uneasily as he saw the very Zenigata-like glare Amaya gave him, "It's just—Just trust me, guys."
"Sometimes I think we trust you too much for our own good…" Goemon muttered as he took the banner from Lupin and went to replacing it.
"Lupin, do we—What if Yukiko's father doesn't show?" Fujiko asked.
"Fuji, he'll show. Trust me," Lupin replied in a smile, "Oh, come on, don't look so sad, Yuki!" he said, looking down at the little girl. He picked her up, and noticed she had begun to cry a little, "It's okay. Look, I'm always good with my promises, and I promise this guy will take great care of you. I know. Just trust me, Yuki. I wouldn't put you with anyone I knew would be mean to you."
"You promise?" Yukiko asked, wiping some of her tears away.
"Thief's honor," Lupin answered.
The door opened, and all tensed, but then calmed as they saw it was only a very irate Jigen, "Who the Goddamned hell put gum in my beard!? Which of you bastards did—Zenigata!"
"Who are you?" Zenigata inquired. Jigen had been forced to shave off his beard, so Zenigata did not recognize him. The presence of glasses did not help him to register Jigen, either.
"I'm Jigen, dammit! Are you going blind, old man!?" Jigen snapped, throwing a towel he had been using to clean up the nicks he had suffered while shaving, "Why the hell are you here, anyway!?"
"Lupin staged all of this," Zenigata answered, "What the hell happened to you?"
"A lot," Jigen admitted, "Lupin, what's going on?"
"Well, Yukiko, aren't you going to say hello to your daddy?" Lupin inquired. All looked at Lupin in shocked, Jigen perhaps most shocked of all.
"What?" Jigen asked in a dull mutter. He soon regained himself, and began to speak in a more aggressive tone, "Ha ha—Very funny, Lupin."
Lupin sat Yukiko down and walked towards Jigen, and removed the photograph, "This is the picture that Yukiko had on her when she first came to us. If I'm not mistaken, that's a clean-shaven version of you with Sakura Yazuki, alias Yoko Sakamoto. It doesn't matter. Yoko's just Sakura's alias."
"What!?" Jigen shot his head upward, and then looked down at the picture. It certainly was Sakura and he, but could this all be true?
"That picture was taken in front of the Osaka zoo, and, when we went, I believe you noticed the remodeling in the front. That was the first clue. My second hint that this was for real was her great shooting skill. Only a member of the Jigen family would be able to shoot like that at such an early age. I needed some good strong evidence to prove my case," Lupin explained.
"You knew all along!?" Fujiko yelped.
Goemon stepped down from the ladder, and looked at the new banner, which read, WELCOME HOME YUKIKO, "I'll be damned…" He muttered, and then turned his attention back to his main interest at the moment. He jumped off of the ladder, landing next to Jigen, and drew his sword, aiming it towards Jigen's neck, "How could you leave them like that!? Explain yourself!"
"I didn't know! Now get that thing the hell away from me!" Jigen snarled, pushing Goemon's sword away, "She can't be! It's impossible, Lupin! She doesn't even look like me!"
"You can look at the eyes and facial shape and tell," said Lupin, "You know what? I'm willing to bet the reason Yukiko came to us is her mother knew you worked for me."
"But why didn't she come to me, then!? Why didn't Sakura come sooner!?" Jigen snapped.
"She probably couldn't find you, and when she finally did, it was too late," Lupin responded hesitantly, as if he were afraid to add something to this statement.
"What do you mean?" asked Jigen.
"I checked around, and, Sakura, or Yoko, died of cancer few months ago," Lupin replied quietly, "I'm really sorry about that, Jigen…."
Jigen looked downward, and nodded, "Wow…" he rubbed his eyes and looked upward at Lupin. He then looked at Yukiko, and realized that she indeed did look like a mixture of Sakura and himself. Why had he never noticed this?, "Why… Why the hell didn't you tell me sooner? Why'd you make us all think she was leaving!?"
"Because eleven days ago, if someone came to any of us with a kid, what would we have done? I know you probably would've denied and denied having a kid, Jigen, and don't tell me you wouldn't have done any different. I did it so everyone could bond with her a little while before we made a final decision," Lupin replied. A smile spread across his face, "Plus I'm a sucker for a happy ending and a ham for glitzy showbiz crap like this."
Jigen looked downward at Yukiko, and took a step forward, and kneeled down in front of her. Yukiko stepped forward, paused, and then ran to him. Jigen could hear her start to cry, and tried to comfort her as best he knew how.
He rose, and watched as Zenigata pulled a paper from his coat pocket, "I know this is bad timing, but we found bullets from your gun at the skating rink, Jigen. You fired that gun that killed Kenji and his buddies. This is an arrest warrant for you."
"Dad!" Amaya gasped in horror, as did the others.
Jigen took a few steps forward towards Zenigata, and surprised all with what he said, "If you're going to cuff me, prove to me that you at least have some sort of a sense of dignity and respect for a fellow parent and do it outside, not in front of my kid," Jigen grumbled angrily through gritted teeth.
Zenigata looked Jigen straight in the eye, and sighed heavily, "This is unbelievable…" he muttered as he tore the warrant in half and threw it into the wastepaper basket, "If anyone asks, I never saw you guys, and you caught the first plane out of Osaka. I don't want to ruin my reputation."
"My question is 'what reputation'? But, I'll admit, that was really something, Zenigata," Lupin said in surprise, "Now why don't we get a smile together, guys!?" he jumped back in front of the camera and zoomed in towards Jigen and Zenigata.
"Lupin!" Jigen and Zenigata growled in unison.
Lupin cowered back in response, "Damn… What a couple of grouches… They'd make a better couple than Fujiko and me… And speaking of my little jewel of the Nile, there's still one tiny surprise left for the evening! Damn, I should get my own talk show!" Lupin chuckled to himself.
"Oh my God! You didn't get my parents, did you!?" Fujiko asked in alarm.
"Heck no!" Lupin replied a little too cheerily, "But it is dealing with you, Fujicakes. Now, I know that I can be a real bastard—"
"Cheers to that…" Zenigata muttered.
Lupin shot his head in Zenigata's direction, and then turned his attention back to Fujiko, "Like I was saying…. I can be a real bastard, but that doesn't mean I want to have a little bastard as a kid." Fujiko watched in shock as Lupin removed a small black box from his pocket and opened it, "Well, what do you say?"
"Is that eight karat?" Fujiko gasped.
"That's my girl," Lupin said with a smile, embracing Fujiko.
"What the hell just happened?" Jigen inquired.
"I think the boy became a man," Goemon said. They then watched as Fujiko kicked Lupin in the shin for trying to move his hands from her back to lower regions of her body. "But… Then again, I might be wrong…" Goemon added as he looked downward at a pained Lupin.
"Wait, is she…" Zenigata trailed off, not wanting to finish a sentence that might confirm his worst fears.
"Uh-huh," Jigen, Goemon, and Amaya replied.
"Well I'll be damned…" Zenigata muttered. He smiled and spoke to Amaya, "Well, at least I know I won't be a grandfather anytime soon, huh!? I know Goemon would never do anything that pervert would without being married!" Zenigata added, slapping Goemon on the back. All remained silent and looked at one another, deciding on who would break the news to Zenigata. Zenigata looked at Goemon's expression, and his reassuring smile soon turned to rage, "Why you!? You bastard, you took advantage of my daughter, didn't you!"
"Forgot something in the car," Goemon said quickly, beginning to back away out of the hotel.
"Get your ass back here!" Zenigata yelled, beginning to chase after Goemon with his trademark handcuffs.
"They say it takes a village to raise a child…" said Amaya to Jigen as he continued to look over at Yukiko with a sense of awe.
"And, unfortunately, my kid's going to be brought up by village idiots…" Jigen added as he heard a car alarm go off outside and the distinct screaming of Zenigata.
Later that night, when Zenigata and Goemon had been rounded up and agreed to another truce, Yukiko began to open her 'induction' gifts. All looked in horror sans Jigen as they saw what her father had gotten her. A Walther P-38 with plenty of bullets. Jigen looked on proudly as he watched Yukiko load the gun like a professional. All of the others ducked under their chairs for cover.
"Only you would give a kid a gift like a gun, Jigen!" Fujiko yelled angrily as she sat back in her chair.
"It's a family tradition," Jigen justified and then shrugged, "Besides, she's good with that sort of gun. She fires that type better than Lupin." Lupin growled at this, and Zenigata found it amusing.
"What are you going to get her for her birthday? A Magnum?" Fujiko snapped.
"No, I was thinking more along the lines of a Glock," Jigen replied sarcastically as he lit another cigarette and smiled.
After the gifts, and cake, Zenigata decided it was his time to leave. He could only act hospitable around Lupin and his gang for so long. Amaya escorted him to the hotel door, and handed him his coat, "Thanks, Dad." Amaya said with a smile.
"No problem, To—ur—Amaya…" Zenigata replied happily, "I don't have a Goddamned clue what I'm going to do know that my kid's joined up with Lupin, but I'll figure something out. You know, they may be a bunch of lowlifes, but they're a skilled bunch of lowlifes, and you have to be pretty damned good to get into this circle. I guess I am proud of you, in a way."
"I love you too, Dad," Amaya said, embracing her father.
Zenigata put his hat on as he stood back, "Does your mother know you're dating a bandit yet?"
"No. You can tell her that," Amaya replied.
"Gladly," Zenigata said happily, "I'll definitely be seeing you around, Amaya. Make sure they take good care of you, especially Goemon. If anything happens to you—"
"Dad, I know. Don't worry, I can take care of myself," Amaya replied.
"I know; you had to. And I'm sorry for it," Zenigata said.
"It's okay. You can make it up to the grandkids," Amaya answered. This caught Zenigata off guard, but he soon recovered and nervously laughed as he exited.
Amaya closed the door behind her and let out a heavy, yet contented, sigh. Her father wasn't happy with what she now did, but he was proud of her all the same, and he loved her. That was all that counted. He loved her. And so did Goemon, who accepted her heritage and her family and stayed with her all the same. She found more kindness in one week than see had in her entire life, she realized as she walked back towards the living room. She the others at the living room table, and seated herself next to Goemon. Lupin was slowly becoming drunk, she noted with a small chuckle, and Fujiko continually slapped him away from her, like one would a child. What kind of crazy family had she joined?
Jigen was with his daughter on his knee at another chair. Neither said anything, but their expressions seemed to sum everything up. Both were still in some form of shock, but were also showing signs of acceptance to the new situation. Jigen knew his life had just become ten times harder, but his fears seemed to quell themselves when he looked downward at Yukiko. She had long hair, just like her mother, and was about her skin tone. He still couldn't believe Sakura was dead, though. He wondered what life would have been like if he hadn't left Sakura, but Yukiko soon interrupted this path of thought with a gentle kick at his knee. She wanted to watch Dirty Harry again. Jigen obliged, and lifted her up, and then walked over to the television with her. At least she had a good taste in movies.
Fujiko fought off Lupin time and time again all while with the feeling that she could hardly believe that she was going to actually marry him. What was even more surprising to her was the baby. What a kick in the head that had been. She had come to terms with the fact that she would never be a perfect mother, but she would not be an awful one, either. Besides, she realized, she already had a child. He was the drunken one in the red jacket who currently now took another drink of his sangria. He could be annoying at times, certainly, but he was also very endearing. Fujiko smiled, but this was brief. She groaned as Lupin fell out of his chair and began to laugh to himself.
Goemon opened one eye and saw Lupin lying down on the ground. Why he had bothered to stay with the group sometimes was even a mystery to him. But now he did have a reason, he realized as he looked over at Amaya laughing at Lupin's antics. Being related to Zenigata was a small price to pay for marrying someone like her, even if she preferred upgrading her computer to meditating. Besides, Zenigata was not that bad once he calmed himself down. What worried him was what would happen if he and Amaya married. No doubt both the law-abiding Zenigata clam and his thieving friends would be there. The thought made him someone ill, and he decided to keep concentrated on the current moment. It was better for his health that way.
Lupin got himself off from the floor with help from Fujiko and looked around at the room contentedly. Everything had gone off without a hitch. Well, not everything. He had not planned for Yukiko, Amaya, little Lupin, Jigen's visual problems, Zenigata's new relation to Goemon, or his marriage to Fujiko. But this all had happened for a reason, Lupin admitted to himself. What reason, he did not know. Perhaps God had a vicious sense of humor, and enjoyed seeing Lupin and his friends get in and out of tight squeezes. It was certainly an interesting life to lead, but he would not trade it for any great treasure, he realized as he looked around once more. The room began to spin, and Lupin ran towards the bathroom to vomit.
"Dammit, Lupin!" Fujiko yelled as she ran after him towards the bathroom.
"So, this is my new family?" Yukiko asked Jigen as she looked back at the group.
"Yeah. Sorry, kid," Jigen responded, lifting his hat upward.
"Don't be," Yukiko turned back to him, "They're all really cool. I think I'm going to like it here…" she sat back and watched the movie with her father, both drowning out the yells of Fujiko and Lupin.
So, what'd you guys think? Love it, hate it? I hope you at least liked it. Want a sequel? Questions, comments? Anything you would want to see in a possible sequel? I'm open to all suggestions as is. Thanks for reading through all of it, and have a good night.
--J. Lucy Daisuke