Chapter IV: Restless
Disclaimer: DNAngel is the brainchild of Yukiru Sugisaki-san, not mine to own.
Why do you look at her?
What do you see in her?
More importantly -
What does she see in you?
It was that eerie glow of green again.
She swiped at it frantically, hoping somehow that it would all dissipate and leave her alone. But no matter how much she flailed her arms, the colour remained, tainting her surroundings. She opened her mouth, and found no voice. The overpowering, ubiquitous emerald light hung about her, heavy.
And she could not resist it.
Satoshi looked across from his desk to where Risa was seated, hunched over her table as she scribbled down answers periodically, pressing her pencil to her forehead at other times as though trying to squeeze out the appropriate answer. Satoshi himself had already completed the test ten minutes into their math period and had perused through his own paper at least twice.
"Time and time and time again…"
He looked at her, examining her features – the fine-tipped nose that suited her so well, the curvature of her cheek, the intense, bright eyes that bore straight into one's own, the wisps of auburn hair that framed her heart-shaped face so delicately even when she was angry. He had examined them before on the premise of needing a female specimen to assist his cause in capturing Dark. Ironically, the same female who had helped him was the one who had impeded on his mission. Both he and she had plunged into the depths of his trap.
And to say that was the only time his involvement with Dark had brought her harm would hardly be truthful.
"Why do you keep saving her?"
It wasn't Krad who spoke anymore; just the empty echo of his voice reverberating in his mind. Their conversation had long since ended.
He looked away from Risa, focusing now on Daisuke, who likewise was
struggling with his math paper. Satoshi was aware that the Niwa had
troubles of his own when it came to math, and it struck him that both
Daisuke and Risa were very alike in this aspect. He recalled briefly of
the time when Daisuke was head over heels in love with Risa.
"Why do you keep helping him?"
It had struck him strange then…but Satoshi wasn't sure if he could say the same now.
Daisuke was in many ways a friend to him, even after the discovery that Satoshi was in fact part of the police force and very much out to seal Dark for eternity. Daisuke knew the implications of being so near to what would seem the enemy, yet he not only chose to take this risk, he also offered friendship to his enemy. Satoshi could hardly begin to understand this, yet was struck by the boy's sincerity; he found himself defenceless to this notion of friendship and began to agree with it even.
"Certainly, you don't want that now…"
Satoshi gripped the edge of his paper as he thought about what having them as companions meant.
It meant that they were in danger of Krad as well – and this Satoshi had known from even before he stepped into this school. He had been highly aware of his status as a Hikari and he knew the only procedure to follow. The only way he could prevent them from suffering a similar fate as his mother. And that was why he proved to be a quiet, hostile boy for the greater part of his life.
"…do you Satoshi-sama?"
There was only one thing he could do.
o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oTwo white feathers.
White, and not black.
Risa let out a long, drawn-out exhalation as she closed her notebook on those two pure white feathers she had picked up not too long ago.
Hiwatari Satoshi had been avoiding her ever since that incident. She had meant to inquire of him about the feathers and, if he would open up a little, the state in which he had returned to the kitchen. Somehow, she found he had grown to be more withdrawn and perhaps even a little hostile.
The intrigue simply would not leave her alone. These feathers did not belong to Dark - or did they? Risa was dubious as to their relation to Dark, and if she was correct in her conclusion to the matter, then there had to be someone similar to Dark. Similar enough to own white wings, and perhaps even to a greater degree.
This someone would help her find the way to the mystery behind Dark. And this someone was related to Satoshi in some way, she was sure of it.
"Risa, whatever is the matter with you today?" Riku's impatient tone snapped her right out of her thoughts.
"Nothing." Risa put the notebook aside, idly picking up a piece of clothing carelessly flung on her bed. A frilly blue top, she noted curiously. Riku certainly was paying a little more heed to femininity.
"I think you should stop browsing through my closet for clothes."
"You're no help!"
If dates with the aforementioned boy were going to make her sister agitated and overwrought each time, Harada Risa swore she was going to break them up for her own sanity's sake. She sighed resignedly and picked herself off the bed. "It's just dinner at his house, Riku."
"You wouldn't say the same if you were going out with Dark." Riku loaded the last syllable with such contempt, reminding the girl of how much her twin abhorred the thief. Risa cringed a little at the acerbity in her tone. "The least you could do is help me out a little."
Riku strode over and sat on the bed. "I want to look...presentable. You understand that, right?"
Risa nodded. "Yes...I'm sorry Riku," she bit out guiltily. "I'm just tired, I suppose."
"Tired? Have you been sleeping well?"
Risa made a non-committal sound as she sifted through her wardrobe, choosing some apparel. Autumn colours suited Riku best, as her expert choice in garment was right, and so she picked out a few tops. Risa took her time, focusing on all the reds, browns and yellows, thinking only of drowning out that soft green glow that inundated most of her dreams.
"I'm fine, Riku. Just need to sleep earlier, I guess." She held out the clothing, trying to picture Riku in them. Yellow was a little too bright for dinner. Same with orange. Riku's hair blended into the red - scarlet, actually - which was not approved by Risa's sense of fashion.
"Bad dreams?" Riku persisted.
Risa let out another long exhalation as she drew the blouse she had been holding up away from her sister. "A little," she conceded, walking past various articles of clothing strewn across her bedroom floor to join Riku on the bed.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"Not really." She shivered involuntarily at the nature of her dreams. The ghostly voice that came in that eerie whisper, as though it floated with the wind, haunted her even now.
"You could always sleep in my bed."
How like an older sister, Risa thought as she leaned over to give her twin a tight tug. "Thanks Riku," she released the older girl to glance fondly at her. "Here," Risa said, holding up a brown top, "this should fit you perfectly. Be sure to dress warmly; it'll be cold tonight."
"What? Are you mothering me now?" Riku laughed as she took the cotton turtleneck from her sister. "You really are growing up quite a bit, Risa."
That statement earned her a pillow by the offended twin. "Hey, what's that supposed to mean?"
Riku emitted another giggle as her sister pouted unhappily. Whatever explanation which she had in mind for Risa did not surface, for at that moment their mother called for the older twin.
"Just a minute," Riku assured her as she exited the younger girl's room.
Left alone, the listless girl found herself picking up after her sister for once. There were many things running through her head even as she hung her clothes back in her cupboard. Risa knew she had recently stumbled across something. A secret. Behind that was a radically different Hiwatari Satoshi, she believed. Perhaps that was why he now avoided her.
But all that dodging only served to spur her interest.
There was something hidden that needed to be revealed, not just to sate her curiosity but also for the boy himself. Risa hardly relished the remembrance of the state in which he had returned, clothing torn and voice with a new edge - steeled and controlled, cold even. What was he hiding? And what sort of secret was it?
The fact that it was remotely related to the legendary thief made her all the more unrelenting to give up.
Yet the white feathers were not all to Satoshi's mystery. The ring. The green aura. The voice.
She could now recall her first encounter with the dazzling beauty of the gem, so captivating that she felt herself succumb wholly, completely to it. It certainly felt as though Risa was somehow connected to it. It wasn't just the mystery behind Satoshi, but it was one of her own as well.
Risa buried her face into a pillow. All this was just too garbled and confusing, convoluting her thoughts in a big mess with no start nor end.
"Risa?" Riku's voice snapped her back to reality. "Thanks, but I don't think I'll be needing this anymore."
The younger twin's eyes widened in surprise as she took the brown material. "Eh?"
"Niwa-kun called to say there was a family matter he had forgotten about. We called the dinner off." The disappointed edge in Riku's tone went without miss.
"But that's not fair, Riku!" Risa protested. "Niwa-kun should apologise."
"He did. Profusely," the redhead said.
"Well, is he going to make up for it?" If there was one thing Risa wanted to be assured on, it was that Niwa Daisuke would give her sister that happiness which all men professed to offer.
Riku gave her a wry smile. "Yes he did."
Risa snorted. "Well, I still think Niwa-kun should have chosen you over his family matter."
"You'll give your boyfriend such a difficult time," the older twin sighed. "Speaking of which, aren't you going out tonight?"
"Is there a reason for me to?"
This was strange. When it came to the legendary thief, Riku thought that Risa would have information first-hand, as compared to herself who did not care in the least for him. "Dark is scheduled to steal another artwork from the museum tonight."
At the name of the thief, Risa's ears were perked. "Dark-san? Tonight? How did you know?"
"It's on the news."
Dark, Risa thought. The one person she wanted to see at the moment for many reasons. Elation ran throughout her being as she began tearing a selection of clothes out of her closet.
"What time is it now, Riku?" she asked eagerly as she held out one outfit after another. "What time is he expected?"
"You have about thirty minutes to get there...but Risa, it's raining outside." Riku was promptly ignored as the younger girl shooed her out of the room in excitement.
With a speed that would put Clark Kent to shame, Risa dressed. After a long while of absence, her heart had indeed grown fonder for the phantom thief. And what with all the new encounters and revelations she had, Risa felt the need to meet her winged beloved even more so. There were questions hanging heavily on her mind, and if anyone had the answers it would be none other than the legend himself.
Risa was just out of the door, heart racing at the thought of finally seeing Dark again, when a sharp pain struck her clean out of consciousness. She felt herself trip over and fall. She might have cried out instinctively, or she might have remained silent - Risa could not tell. The only thing she could hear was that same voice, a little louder this time, calling out.
o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o"What? Are you still mourning over the loss of your date?"
"Mom could have told me earlier if she needed you."
Dark chuckled. "Sorry kid, but last-minute jobs are part of the life of a phantom thief."
He heard Daisuke groan again as he crawled through a thicket, loathing the mud that clung to him. Personally, Dark would have gone for style with Wiz, but Emiko's orders kept him to the ground until he found the secret entry route to where the artwork lay. "Riku will be so mad."
"Shush boy," Dark said, rather annoyed by this point of time. "I wanted to see her too."
Dinner dates called for the appropriate attire, the phantom thief mused to himself and he wondered exactly what Riku would have worn. A stunningly gorgeous dress which would make her look astoundingly ravishing? Or maybe the girl would choose something a little more modern and chic like a tube-top with a teensy skirt that -
Dark laughed out loud.
"Riku's not the sort!" Daisuke said rather indignantly, which make the legend snicker some more.
"Of course she wouldn't," he concurred, coming to a clearing near the museum. Daisuke had a point; Riku simply was not the kind to dress up in such an... interesting manner. "No girl in the right mind would at the thought of visiting her in-laws. What on earth were you thinking, boy?"
Daisuke started defensively. "Mom wanted to meet her."
Dark gave a derisive snort. "Mommy's boy."
"Right back at you, Dark," he heard the young boy say. "You do her bidding more than anyone."
"We share similar interests, Daisuke. I'd be more than willing to steal her artwork, and it is my occupation after all." A smooth comeback, the thief thought rather gleefully as the teenager now within him fell silent. He pitied the boy just a little. In his opinion, Daisuke needed a few more debating skills and learn how to win arguments. It was only to redhead's great benefit that the more understanding of the twins - toward Daisuke at least, because Dark knew of the great loathing Riku held for him, something he still took offense at - was his girlfriend. With Risa, Daisuke would grow into a common, hen-pecked husband - a thought Dark did not relish in.
Besides that, he himself held the girl's affections. Dark smiled at that thought.
"Quiet now, Daisuke, we're going in."
The trick to keeping his reputation going, Dark felt, was to always make a different entry into the scene, much like that of a play. Azumano Museum conveniently allowed him this pleasure; the building was full of secret pathways and corridors - a masterpiece in itself. The thief pondered briefly upon the sorts of complicated traps he believed the Commander had set up for him as he activated another cleverly disguised inlet to the museum.
The entrance led him into an antediluvian hall, lacking most of the modern structures the museum had. This was probably the holding place for newly arrived art pieces. After all, Emiko had mentioned that the masterpiece she wanted was recently delivered to the museum.
Drawing to a halt, the phantom thief took a quick survey of his surroundings, looking out for devices the Commander could have installed. Dark found it strange how there were no lasers - a favourite choice - or for that matter, security cameras. The guys who ran this museum were idiots! The thought of an easy triumph gave him no pleasure, especially coming from one as ingenious as the Hiwatari boy.
Disappointed at the lack of a challenge, the thief stepped forward to retrieve the object of interest. In his chagrin, Dark missed the metal click of a knife and it was all but too late when a wet substance swamped him.
This was ridiculous, Dark thought as he tried shrugging the slimy substance off. What he thought had been failure on part of the police force became an impasse for the thief. Ignoring the trap, he continued his pursuit when a whirring of air presented the blue-haired Commander.
"Sorry for the early intrusion." Satoshi didn't sound the least bit apologetic.
Dark quirked a brow, fairly unimpressed by the tactics employed. "You usually give me a little more time, Commander."
"You usually use the front entrance, Dark." Satoshi was wielding something in his hand, but Dark could tell little from the glimmer of light that reflected off it.
"That's not true!" he retorted, preparing to evade lest the Commander should do anything sudden - in past occasions, Dark had found that to be rather true. "What is this substance anyways?"
The thief ducked to the side as the boy lunged toward him. Leap was probably a better choice to describe Satoshi's movement. "Starch solution," he answered as he angled his leg for a swift kick.
"Starch solution?" How juvenile." Seeing an opening, Dark took a dash toward the treasure. Easy-peasy, he thought. Without all those clever gadgets, the Commander could never best him. "I thought you'd have a little more style."
The phantom thief caught the glinting of metal in front of him, and this time he was able to register the shape of the ring that hung from a chain, oscillating for a brief moment before the Commander's face appeared. Dark felt the whoosh of wind where Satoshi aimed at his abdomen, and doubled back, rolling away from the treasure. "We're going economic."
"I never imagined the police force to be impecunious." Propelling himself upward with the heel his hand, Dark performed two clean back-flips to the entrance. It was no good. The starch solution was affecting his ability for combat, and the feel of slime trickling to the roots of his beautiful hair agitated him. Daisuke would have a hard time cleaning up tonight, he thought. Emiko would be furious.
Back outside, Dark found the inclement weather to be of use as the rain washed away the discomfort from the starch solution. Putting two fingers to his mouth, he sent Wiz a whistle before engaging in battle with the Commander once again. The fact that his accomplice was a little long in the coming did nothing to waver his jauntiness as Dark avoided the boy-genius's assault.
"What is that thing you have there, Commander?" The rain was getting into both their eyes as it came in heavy pellets.
"You mean the ring?" Dark dodged yet another punch from the blue-haired boy, catching his wrist as it whizzed narrowly past his ear. The thief had planned on throwing the Commander effortlessly to the side, but that backfired when Satoshi caught his hand as leverage to deliver a knee into him. On reflex, he thrust a fist to the boy's side, and both of them fell.
Dark smirked as he got up first. "It looks like something good to steal."
"It is not for you to steal," Satoshi replied, brushing away the fringe which clung to his face.
It was difficult for either of them to fight in such a storm, and Dark no longer wished to battle in such gloomy atmosphere. The Commander, however, was more persistent. Within the boy, the thief knew, was someone even more insistent on fighting. The recollection of that fact made Dark even more keen to end this skirmish.
Cold and wet fingers were not ideal for whistling, but Dark tried it anyway.
"Looks like your feathered friend won't be here to help you escape this time, Dark."
By the time the thief had ended his call, Satoshi was no longer there. That silken voice, rich with an accent belonged not to the Commander, but instead to Dark's own antithesis.
As if to challenge that statement, a duplicate of Dark jumped out from the museum, precious bundle in hand. Krad turned in time to witness Wiz somersaulting past his head and successfully evade the ball of energy aimed at him. Dropping the package into the real Dark's hands, Wiz transformed into his true form to lift the thief up into the skies.
"I was beginning to worry about you," the phantom thief chided the creature once they were past the museum's rooftop. He urged Wiz to hurry along as the rain would soon hamper their progress. Krad would be a while in the coming since his wings needed time to sprout, which was a good thing since it meant the avoidance of direct confrontation with him.
If Krad had given chase, he was too slow for Daisuke arrived safely at the Niwa doorstep, sopping wet but still in one piece. The packaging of the art piece was beginning to disintegrate and had it been a painting, their efforts would have been in vain.
"Mom," he called out as he entered the Niwa residence. "Check the weather reports next time!"
o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oDark might have foreseen this, and the thief certainly had been very clever if that was the case, Krad thought as he halted his pursuit of the winged legend. The rain was beating down on him, exhausting his wings which now flapped laboriously, and the redhead boy who harboured his antithesis was safely home.
In his opinion, the blond didn't think causing public mayhem by intruding into the Niwa residence to battle Dark was an issue. However, his master begged to differ, and so did the Commissioner.
Dismal, Krad changed his course. Once again, he would have to wait till his next opportunity before he could have a satisfying go with Dark and inflict damage on his arch-enemy. According to the Commissioner, the time was coming soon, but his patience was quickly wearing thin with every night that passed.
The rain had stopped by the time Krad perched on the marble balustrade of the Harada balcony. Just beyond the glass panel that stood between him and the sleeping girl, he could see the younger twin tossing and turning in her sleep. A feisty sort of girl, he gathered from his daily observations. How...enjoyable.
Peeking out from the foot of her bed was an open notebook. Two white feathers were arrayed carelessly atop it. Krad smiled.
"Krad, what are you doing?" Satoshi's voice sounded from within.
"Need not sound so demanding, Satoshi-sama," the blond replied, reaching past his waist to pluck a feather from his wings. A gift of sorts. He supposed it was the least he could do for her. "I'm just taking a look."
"A look?" Krad could hear the underlying uncertainty in the boy's response. The heightened sense of caution about this girl which his master had also sickened him fairly.
"Yes, Satoshi-sama." He let the feather fall onto the porch of her balcony.
Krad smiled - a thin, wicked upturn of lips, baring his teeth deviously. Here was his prize-to-be, bathed - in his eyes - in rich emerald green. He could see it already, when the Lucile should come into activation.
Soon, freedom would be his and he would receive final liberation from this curse - something he had not tasted in over a century. The tip of his tongue traced his palate and ran across his teeth. Perhaps this was the sort of thrill his antithesis got from successfully stealing the artworks, a sort of exhiliration that raced right through your veins and Krad found himself wanting to break that glass barrier between them to snatch his reward.
He was like a cat. Krad felt like the feline which now approached its prey, sleeping and unaware, on tipped toes and with restrained ecstasy. And soon, his prey would be caught between vicious claws.
"I'm just taking a look, Satoshi-sama," he repeated, assuring the both of them that that was all he would do tonight. "A look at our Sacred Maiden. Yours and -" Krad lifted his gloved fingers to his lips to blow the sleeping girl a kiss "-mine."
FINALLY. I bet that's what's running through your minds as you see this chapter up. It's the same line running through mine as well. Well, after the long wait, the chapter's double the length. There is a little summary for the next chapter up on my author's page, but 'em, note that it may change because the plot is always having a little more added to it than necessary. Right, without further ado, here are a few notes:
a) Risa and the speed which would rival Clark Kent - physically impossible. Clark Kent, for those who aren't aware, is plain-clothes Superman - his true identity, that is to say.
b) The snippet - it's not Satoshi anymore, that's all I'll say. Any guesses?
c) Yes, Risa still loves Dark. Someone mentioned on the SatRisa forum that she believed Risa's feelings for him had always been true...I guess it still is. The difficult thing is bringing Sato-boy into the picture. Hm.
d) SatRisa - No interaction as of yet. The story's summary will come of relevance in the next chapter (loaded with angst!) and there will be lots and lots of Risa-somebody interactions.
e) Krad/Risa? - I hope you're not too alarmed. Uhh...we'll straighten this out later. But Krad/Risa sounds like the most interesting pairing to write so far. Actually, just Krad/anybody would be interesting, but I'm not one for shonen-ai or yaoi. So that leaves Krad/twin, or Krad/Towa, and if he were daring enough, Krad/Emiko :O Mymymymymy.
f) The fight scene - too short, I know. A first, actually. The Dark-Satoshi banter was easy enough to think up, but the fighting bit was a bit :X There should be a longer, more exciting, action-packed scene very much later in the story.
g) Body-sharing - I'm trying to figure this bit out. So uhm, I figured Dark and Daisuke are pretty open towards each other. So Daisuke would have caught those indecent thoughts about Riku. Krad and Satoshi, on the other hand, are more hostile toward one another, though they may probe from time to time to try and figure out what the other person is thinking.
h) Alas, there may be some spellos and grammos here and there. Feel free to notify me and pick this chapter apart. Thanks for all the reviews, especially to Malina Ran (I don't happen to know your ID, have you one?), and everyone else who's been reading my one-shots. Gotta love you guys, to the max!
Chapter completed: 8 November 2005
©Copyrighted by JadOo Enterprises 2005