The Lost Chapter
A WK fiction by Vikki
Disclaimer: Takehito Koyasu owns the characters in this fic, and portions of the plot line as well. I am only borrowing them for benign, non-profit uses. Please don't sue me, oh ye of the scary teeth!
Author's Notes: This fic takes place between the end of the series and the OAVs. Consider that spoilers will exist accordingly. Attempts will be made at plot. Be forewarned.
* * *
Chapter 1: And out of the depths …
He woke up coughing, eyes flying open to take in the world before he was quite ready.
"Kenken? You okay?" Youji's concerned features swam into view.
Ken managed to croak in reply before another coughing fit seized him, and this time he choked on water; he spit it up and tried to breathe again. His lungs were burning; they felt as if they were still filled with churning water; his chest was tight and hurt and a splitting headache was quickly making itself known, originating from the back of his skull. The world was too bright and it was spinning too fast; Ken's eyes slid closed again and he waited for the sickening twirling sensation to fade before making a second attempt at an answer. "I feel like shit." His voice was gritty. Blearily Ken tried to recall what had caused this misery.
Oh, yes. Fighting Schwartz … getting his head rammed repeatedly into a wall by the crazy Irishman; the entire place sinking into the water … damn. Ken could only recall the actual escape from the sinking building in bits and pieces; certainly how he had ended up here, on dry land, and with Youji was a nearly complete blank. Something about slinging Youji's arm over his shoulder. Ugh. It just hurt way too much to think.
Youji's gravelly laughter focused Ken's thoughts sharply again; the playboy coughed hard and rasped, "I do, too. Damn, is this what it's like when you've been smoking for forty years?"
Ken snorted and regretted it as his head announced its displeasure. "At the rate you're going …" Ken took a deep breath so he could finish the sentence. "… you're gonna find out."
Youji snickered again, and the sound was breathy; Youji had almost lost his voice. "Do me a favor, Ken, and keep your eyes open. If you faint you might not wake up, with that concussion of yours. You're damned lucky your brain isn't seeping through the cracks."
Ken groaned unhappily, but he obeyed. "Concussion …?" He automatically reached for where it hurt. At least that explained the headache. Now if only the world would stop being so bright …
His fingers met wet, sticky, matted hair. Youji's hand covered his own and drew it gently away. "Don't touch, Ken," he advised softly. "It's bloody. I'm halfway scared you're gonna die here in my arms, and after you saved my life, too …"
Ken couldn't really remember saving Youji, but he smirked nonetheless at Youji's blurred face. "I'm not gonna die on you, bastard. Like I'd do you the honor."
Youji snorted softly. "Right." But there was disbelief in his voice.
Ken decided to change the subject; if he had to be awake until the moment he died, he was not going to think about death. "Hey, where're Aya and Omi?" Suddenly he remembered that they were still in their assassination outfits. "I-I mean, Abyssini—"
"I know what you mean, Ken, and don't worry about it. Your bugnuks are long gone, so we don't look dangerous," Youji half-smiled. There were deep circles under his eyes.
After a second of contemplation, Ken remembered tossing the bugnuks in favor of being able to swim. "Oh," he rasped. There was a moment of silence. "So, where are they?"
"… I don't know."
Ken suddenly felt cold at the thought of losing Aya, but especially Omi, who was like a younger brother to Ken. If he thought back hard enough (oh, his aching head!), he could remember Omi fighting the kid with the weird psychic powers; Aya had disappeared chasing after Crawford to parts unknown. "Y-you don't think they're—"
"No," Youji said simply in his gravelly voice, looking down at Ken. "No. They're not dead."
Everything was starting to get fuzzy at the edges again. "We shouldn't be so fucking sentimental," he said to stave off unconsciousness. "We're assassins. You lose people on this job."
"… But not Omi and Aya," Youji said, finishing the unspoken part of Ken's vehement statement.
There was something wailing in the distance, but it was starting to be drowned out by the buzzing in Ken's ears. "H-hey, Youji," he began. "Youji, is this what it feels like to die?"
"Ken, just shut your fucking mouth and hang on tight," Youji advised harshly. "The ambulance is coming. You're gonna get care soon."
"I can't stay awake," Ken muttered, stretching his eyes as far open as he could only to find that the edges of his vision had darkened. "Ugh. Youji …"
"Ken, stop it! Pay attention to me."
"I can't really hear you." Ken let his eyes slide closed, and he grinned up at Youji. "I don't want to die, but if I do, tell Omi that he is the best kid brother anyone could ask for. And tell Aya he's still a cold bastard."
"This isn't funny, Ken! Ken? Hidaka, wake up!"
The wailing ambulance pulled up and loaded the slightly hysterical young man and his unconscious companion into the back of the vehicle for the ride back to the hospital.
* * *
When the world came back to him piece by piece, Omi found it an unwelcome addition to his life. The sand under his body was gritty and getting into every crevice of his waterlogged clothes. The lake lapped at Omi's feet; he'd lost a shoe. Something was dripping down onto his neck, and he could only hope it was water, too, and not blood. Everything ached like nothing he'd ever felt before – especially his head. He coughed up some water, spit it out, and rested. "Ugh …"
Eventually he was going to have to get up, he knew, and better sooner than later, because later he might not have had the strength to dredge himself up from the bank of this lake. He wasn't sure he had the strength now, either, but still.
Where was everyone?
There was a vague buzzing in Omi's ears, and he tried to place it for a while before giving up and chalking the sound up to what was likely a concussion. His head hurt. Oh, it hurt …
Focus. Everyone else. Right. He'd been thinking about them before the buzzing. Where were they? Not here, obviously. Omi thought back to Estet's building and tried to recall where everyone had been, but the only thing he was really clear on was that they had not been in the same room as him when the flooding had started. In fact, he couldn't remember anything at all from the moment that the youngest Schwartz member had let him fall some 12 feet to the ground and into six inches of grimy water.
He had absolutely no idea how he'd gotten up onto this bank, to be sure. He coughed again. Had anyone been killed by Schwartz? It was a possibility, of course, and a very strong possibility, given that Schwartz's powers far outweighed their skills. Omi held his breath briefly to keep back a choking sob. He couldn't have lost them …
Oh, this was so silly. He had to stop being sentimental and analyze the situation so he could get out of it. He had to help himself first, and then he could worry about everyone else. He forced back pain and anger and fear and tried to think objectively.
He had to get up.
Slowly, slowly, Omi planted his hands palm down in the sand to either side of his prone body, and then he started to curl his legs under himself. His left ankle immediately burst into blinding pain, and Omi wept unnoticeably under his plastered bangs, gritting his teeth and gasping for breath. How on earth had he gotten out of the sinking building in this condition—?
It was a pointless question, and at this point, Omi wasn't sure he wanted the answer, since all the possible explanations springing to mind involved help from Schwartz. And if Schwartz was somewhere nearby …
Well, he probably would have already been dead.
Slightly comforted by the idea, Omi pushed himself up into a sitting position with a final heave and rubbed his left leg, willing the pain in his ankle to go away. Willpower, however, just didn't seem to be enough; it throbbed mercilessly. Omi clutched his knee and took slow, deep breaths. Breathe, Omi, just breathe … surely there's a payphone somewhere nearby. You're not that far from Tokyo. Just take deep breaths and wait for the pain to subside …
"Well, if it isn't Weiss …"
Omi froze. Suddenly the pain in his ankle didn't matter so much any more …
Because that was Schwartz.
* * *
He was going to kill those Schwartz bastards.
Ran Fujimiya had spent 17 years of his life protecting his little sister. He loved her like he loved no one else, including his absentee parents or that girl Sakura who had taken to following him around. He had literally made a career out of assuring her wellbeing and taking vengeance on those that threatened it.
But where did he stand now?
Waterlogged, scraped, bruised, and cut, the man best known as Aya Fujimiya dredged himself out of the shallows of the lake that the building had disappeared into, his leather trench coat long gone, but his precious katana still miraculously strapped to his side. He rested only briefly on the banks, taking deep, controlled breaths, before starting up the sharp incline to the road, heedless of his injuries.
But his exhausted body had other ideas. Halfway up the slope he lost his footing and tumbled back to the bottom of the hill; with grit teeth and an intake of breath, Ran clutched his hand and cradled it unconsciously to his chest, looking around as if daring someone to say something about the acknowledgement of pain. When the silent surroundings did not reply, he carefully began to pry his glove off his hurt hand.
The tiny bones of the palm seemed to be broken. Cursing, Ran fingered the injury and regretted it when the pain came back tenfold. There was nothing he could do at the moment, though; with a growl, Ran stuffed his glove in his pocket and considered the incline again.
Dammit, this had all gone to pieces. Everything, literally; the building was sunk at the bottom of the lake, and Schwartz was nowhere to be found. The sneaky American bastard had made a timely escape just before the flooding began; Ran had made it out all right, but not before he could find out how the rest of his team had fared. And now they were scattered, too … or maybe dead.
Ah well. No skin off his nose. Although he admitted he would regret the loss (they were decent people, after all), losing them would be nothing compared to the loss of his sister. For indeed, the major question remained: had Sakura gotten Aya out of the building safely before it sunk under the water?
At the moment, Ran wasn't quite sure how to find out. The lake was huge, and Sakura could be anywhere with Aya. And frankly, his hand hurt like a motherfucker and he was pretty sure that he needed to get the katana slash across his chest bandaged before he lost too much blood.
Damn being mortal, anyway.
Ran took a few more deep breaths, then heaved to his feet and made his way up the incline again. He hadn't been beaten by the death of his parents, by his sister's coma, by Estet, or their hired assassins. He was certainly not going to lose to a stupid hill.
* * *
She couldn't believe it. It was just too impossible to believe. She'd been in a coma for a year, and now her brother was dead, saving her? What? Huh? It was …
It was just too impossible …
The girl sitting next to her in the back of the car could have been her twin sister, for how alike they looked. Her name was Sakura, and over the past few months she had made friends with Ran – whom she called 'Aya', for some strange reason. She seemed surprised when Aya informed her that the name 'Aya' was her own.
"I thought it was odd for him to be named something so feminine …" she had said.
How strange … what had happened over the past year?
"This must be hard to process," Sakura said, interrupting Aya's train of thought.
Aya looked up at the girl from her lap, blinking. "Ah … I just …" she frowned. "I can't believe it. I mean, it feels like it was only yesterday … really …"
And it did. The last thing Aya could remember seeing was the headlights of an oncoming car. She remembered Ran talking to her and being unable to reply …
And now Ran was dead?
"'No'?" Sakura cocked her head slightly.
"I just … my brother is dead?" Aya made it a question for the umpteenth time. Her brain couldn't seem to wrap around the concept. She knew she should feel sad, but all she felt was disbelief.
Sakura just squeezed her hand, looking sorrowful. "He was in that building that sunk under the water," she murmured. "He was fighting to save us both. I just don't see how he could have … well …" she stopped talking, choking on the words.
Aya stared at Sakura's tears, and then out over the water, where the remains of the building could be seen. "No …" she murmured again. "Not you, onii-chan … never you."
No, never careful, gentle Ran-nii-chan. He wouldn't fight, not really. He would protect, but never fight.
What had happened …?
What did it matter? He was dead now, dead, dead, dead, and she had to get used to that fact, and that she was suddenly 17 now, and that everything she had ever known was gone …
She didn't even realize it when her eyes started to stream with tears.
She barely noticed when Sakura took her into a gentle embrace and let her weep.
No. Never you.
* * *
Author's Notes: Geez, I never know what to say here. Um, squee? Hopefully this fic won't be super-duper-long. I just felt like writing some WK and this is what came out. I'm particularly unhappy with Ran's POV and Aya's POV, actually … Omi's makes me pretty happy. Ken's was kinda fun.
Stay tuned for shounen-ai-ness, because of course, this is WK and is not complete without yaoiliciousness inserted randomly where it has no place being. And for plot, I hope. After all, the goal of this story is to get the Weiss boys from their sorry, soggy state after Estet to their little mobile home in Kyoto … in the most interesting way possible.