Author: Tristripe (Tri)
Pairing: Tsume/Toboe…maybe more with other characters
Spoilers: The end of Wolf's Rain
Disclaimer: I don't own the anime or the characters…try to sue me and I will never write again.
Warning: Oh boy…yaoi, underage sex, mentions of ncs, drug use, prostitution, gangs, death, and I think I've got the worst of it.
A/N: This beginning is where Wolf's Rain ended, focusing mainly Toboe and his inevitable meeting with the jaded Tsume. I might add in the other characters, but as of yet I am not ready to take on an epic, so for now, it's just the two of them. I have never written anything remotely yaoi before, and this is a step for me since the story deals with a lot of uncomfortable issues, especially since Toboe IS underage. While I was outlining this story things like "statutory rape" kept on echoing in my head :shudders: but after finishing the anime I just HAD to write something. Why did I make it so dark? After seeing the atmosphere of the ending, well, it just clicked. I hope it clicks you peeps too.
Also please take into consideration that I do not have anyone who proofreads me stuff. If anyone is willing to do that, PLEASE, just contact me at I hate it when people say my grammar sucks -.-'
ONE : Blaming The Rain
It was as if the heavens were trying to drown the world. The rain was a constant drilling sound, beating down upon the heads of the masses who walked about their business, bouncing off of umbrellas, drenching exposed heads, and riveted down like cataracts along the sides of buildings. There wasn't a single area left dry, from the main bustling streets to the small alleys that hid in the shadows of the tall looming structures with their flashing neon lights and large billboards. Speeding cars sent waves of dirt water splashing on unsuspecting passerbies, leaving them sopping, muddy, and cursing at no one in particular. There were a few of the unfortunate victims who would stand stiff, gazing up dejectedly to the gray skies, as if by standing there the downpour would wash away the filth that was slowly seeping through their clothes to their vulnerable skin.
Every evening, weathermen spoke of a sunshine filled morning, yet for seven straight days their predictions had been pitifully wrong. At first, people had been amused by the amount of rain being dumped on them, shrugging their shoulders and moving on. By the third day they were disgruntled, tired of the dark wetness of the atmosphere. And on the fifth day they started looking to the skies, commenting on the ozone, global warming, and shifting seasons. The crazies with their cardboard boxes had crawled out of their holes, carrying around signs with dreadfully misspelled warnings such as, "THE END OF THE WORLD IS NEAR", and "THERE WILL BE NO NOAH TO SAVE US".
It was these crazies that made Toboe nervous as he walked to and from school. There was something dangerously wild in their bloodshot eyes when he passed them. He could feel them watching his every step, smiling insidiously and flashing him their decayed teeth. There were a few who shifted away from him, as if they saw some kind of creature instead of a drenched undersized teenager.
Shifting his bag back slightly, Toboe picked up his pace as he passed by a particularly raving bearded man who reeked of urine and other unpleasantness. A strong wind pulled at the umbrella he was gripping in his cold hand, and nearly dislodged the large hat that hid his auburn head. With a wet snort, he stopped and was readjusting the head garment when a soft-pitched sound caught his attention. Startled, he looked down and found a wet white ball with large eyes staring up at him.
It was small kitten in a saturated box.
Damp, it meowed.
Leaning over so that his umbrella now covered the small animal, he crouched down and hesitantly reached for it. When he saw that the kitten was not going to claw him in a panic, he smiled and gently picked it up, cradling it against his chest.
It was then he heard his name being called, like someone had come and tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention. Shivering, he looked over, only seeing the normal crowds of people walking down the sidewalks and across congested street. Somewhere in the distance, he could hear the loud engine of a motorcycle, and the sound of running feet coming right at him.
The boy barely had time to look up at the person calling him when his arm was abruptly seized and he was wrenched to his feet. He caught a glimpse of wicked green eyes, and wild ill-made dreadlocks before he was yanked into a full blown run, his arm trapped in the iron grip of the other, his umbrella dropped and forgotten on the sidewalk. The kitten let out a shriek and dug it's little sharp claws though his jacket and into his skin making him wince. Toboe tripped on his unlaced sneakers, but his arm was jarred upward, forcing him to keep pace.
"Gats!" he cried out desperately, "you're going to break my arm!" But he was ignored and nearly bit his tongue when he was yanked suddenly into an alley, their pounding feet echoing on the grime smeared brick walls. He was prepared for the next two twists, but slammed into the his kidnapper when he abruptly stopped.
Toboe fell to his knees, gasping for breath, one arm still held captive, the other now mauled by a petrified cat. He let the animal got, staring blearily at the numerous claw and teeth marks that were bleeding slightly, then down at the kitten that was hissing at his whooping assailant.
The other was a tall thin boy, too tall for the baby face he had, and too thin for the clothes that seemed to sag on him. He was pale, with green eyes, long red dirty hair that he himself had put into dreadlocks, and the stereotypical freckles that covered his face. He too was breathing heavily, but his cheeks were flushed with excitement and energy, his whole posture spoke of confidence and bravado.
Toboe scowled up at the boy and tried to wiggle his arm free. "Gats," he snapped, "let go!"
Gats looked down at him as if he had not realized he had been there, and released his arm. Toboe held the limb close, blearily wondering how he was going to explain the new bruises that were already forming. Pulling his jacket up, he clenched his teeth at the purple and blue finger marks on his wrist and forearm. "You owe me a new umbrella," he glared up at the taller boy.
Shrugging, Gats threw his back against a filthy wall and slid down, grinning. "Soon, I can pay back everything of yours that I lost." He looked down beside Toboe to the kitten and groaned, "Don't tell me you're taking in another stray!"
Toboe sighed, and picked up the agitated kitten, unzipping his jacket half way and settling it down in the makeshift pouch. This seemed to calm the young animal, and Toboe couldn't help but smile as the kitten made itself comfortable against his stomach.
The other boy rolled his eyes at this display in disgust, and reached to the back of his pants and pulled out a magazine. Toboe narrowed his eyes at this and said, "You stole another comic? Why'd you have to drag me along? I promised Granny that I wouldn't be caught stealing again."
"What that prune doesn't know won't hurt her," groused Gats, opening the magazine and shoving into Toboe's face. "And besides, this isn't a comic!"
Toboe drew back from the pictures that his nose was nearly touching, eyes widening when he found himself looking two naked blond women sprawled over each other. Gats laughed uproariously, snapping the porn magazine away. "You should see your face! What? Was that too much for your virgin eyes?"
Toboe looked away, knowing that he was blushing to his ears, humiliated. "Do I even want to know why you stole porn?"
"That's what I was saying," Gats became even more excited, grabbing Toboe's already bruised arm and leaning close, "Listen, I've been speaking to some guys, and they've put in a good word about us to the Fang! They said that to get in, all we needed to do steal something."
"And why porn?" asked Toboe, trying to pull away from his more aggressive friend.
"Think about it!" said Gats; "Nobody's supposed to be selling porn to minors. Its harder than snitching a normal comic."
Toboe gave up trying to escape the other's grasp, "And how would anybody know that you didn't take it from your dad's bathroom collection?"
Gats grinned even wider, "They were watching. They gave me a choice on what to steal, and pointed out the place. We're in, Toboe!" He shook him in exhilaration.
" 'We' what?" snapped Toboe, "I didn't steal anything, you did. I have nothing to do with this other than eventually getting arrested for mere association or conspiring with a criminal…whatever. Now let go, I'm getting drenched." He yanked at his arm.
Something dangerous flashed in Gats eyes, and Toboe found himself slammed into the brick wall, pinned by the shoulders by Gats larger hands and a knee shoved between his legs, pressing dangerously close to his groin. He stiffened, looking up fearfully at the other boy.
"Dammit Toboe!" hissed Gats, digging his fingers into his shoulders. "You're always like this! I just got us into the Fang! The Fang, Toboe! We can make the big bucks by just doing a few deliveries for them. I can get you another stupid umbrella; you can save up to put that prune in a retirement home so you wouldn't have to work in a shitty place. I can get that motorcycle, and we can leave this city and go to the country. You've always wanted to go to the country."
Toboe looked away, unable to meet the desperation in his friend's eyes. "Let go," he said, "I don't want anything to do with this."
Gats slammed him again into the wall again, knocking his hat off, and jarring the kitten in his jacket. It howled and scrambled out of its warm pouch, escaping away from them. Above there was a distant rumbling of thunder, and Gats tightened his grip, his nails piercing through the boy's jacket and breaking skin. Toboe started to thrash at this, snapping his hands forward and managing to push the larger boy back from the humiliating hold he had him in. "I said," Toboe could barely speak through his clenched teeth, "let go."
Gats pulled back a bit, but did not move away enough for Toboe to shift out compromising position they were in. "Look," he said, sounding as if it was hard to keep his temper, "I'm sorry about getting all rough, but I know you want this! You just piss the crap out of me when you try to be all goody and shit, cause you're not."
Toboe wrapped his arms around himself and looked away again. "The last thing I want, Gats, is to get hooked up with a gang. Granny is too old to take care of herself, and I can't do anything to help her if I get locked up in Juvie. I can't do that to her, Gats."
"You can't do much for her with the way you are right now!" argued Gats, "I mean, you're just fourteen, and it took you months trying to get that pizza job. And what about your pay, huh? Barely four dollars. Yeah, Toboe, four dollars an hour can do a lot for the prune." He leaned closer, and his voice softened. He reached up and gently fingered a stand of Toboe's hair. "And what about what we talked about…about us…"
"You said you'd wait!" interrupted Toboe, shying away from the touch.
Gats' hand clenched into a fist and his slammed it into the wall beside the boy's head, "And I am, but you keep changing the subject whenever I mention it to you! It's like I'm going to hurt you or something."
"You DO hurt me," snapped Toboe, "every single time I don't do something you want me to."
The other boy pulled back, stung by Toboe's comment. "Its not like I mean to," he said sincerely. "And its not like I hit you or anything, I'd never do that to you."
Toboe did know this. His friend's affection to him was sincere. Gats had taken on the job of protector to Toboe since the fifth grade, when some older kids due to his waif-like stature and almost yellowish eyes had maliciously bullied him. Gats had taken one look at him and grinning commented on the 'coolness' of his eyes. They had become inseparable, skipping school, shoplifting, and basically making hooligans of themselves. Even when Toboe had gotten caught stealing shoes, Gats had turned himself in, and both had suffered through thirty hours of community service together.
However, things had changed in the last year. Among them was Granny's condition that forced Toboe into finding a job. He could see her slowly deteriorating as the months dragged on, and he was helpless to stop it. Gats had been unhappy about the low pay he was receiving, and no matter how hard he looked had not been able to find any job that would hire Toboe. Most of the time they only saw each other at school, but Friday evenings and Saturdays were dedicated to getting money.
But then nearly a month ago Gats had confessed to Toboe that his feelings for him went beyond friendship, but Toboe was not ready for this revelation. He had nearly gone into hysterics when Gats pushed the subject, forcing the older boy to promise to wait or else loose Toboe completely. It was strain on both of them, for Gats' self control and Toboe's guilt and fear of the whole thing. It was then that Toboe noticed how Gats' touch had become more forceful, more violent. Whenever the older boy touched him Toboe found himself bruised and trying futilely to come up with excuses to pacify Granny. Never did he tell her the source of the marks, but she had commented once that the person responsible must be extremely angry about something.
It was true, Gats never hit him, but whenever he touched him he did it with such force. It seemed that if he did not hold on with all his might, then….
"Its like…" Gats was looking away, some of the shorter red dreadlocks falling over his downcast eyes, "its like you're running away. Like…you're going somewhere that I can't go. You're going to leave me."
"But I'm not going anywhere," protested Toboe. "I mean, where could I go…and why would I go if I'm fine with where I am now."
The older boy snapped his gaze up. "And are you 'fine'?" he asked sharply. "You live below the poverty line, Toboe. One day Granny is going to fall down and break a hip or something and all that money you've made won't even pay half the bill. Don't be selfish, especially after everything I've done to get us this far with the Fang."
Toboe stared at the other in disbelief, and then snapped out, shoving Gats so hard that the boy fell backwards. Standing up, Toboe shouted, "You're the one who's being selfish!" then turned away with full intentions to leave.
It was then Gats tackled him from behind, sending him skidding to the wet ground and cracking his cheek. Toboe shoved up and swung his arm back, but the other grabbed his arm and twisted it backwards harshly. Gats was on him then, keeping him in place with his heavier body and painful hold. Toboe attempted to wiggle but shuddered when he felt Gats' mouth on the back of his neck. All instincts told him to fight back, to get the other off him and as far away from his person as possible, but something held him in his place, prone under the other and submissive.
For a moment the only sound was the rain beating down on them.
"Fine," whispered Gats into his neck, "I am selfish. The Fang said they needed two kids to be their go-boys, so I offered the both of us. If you back out they'll look at me as unreliable, and I won't get in."
Toboe could feel the other boy's growing erection poking his back and felt his stomach twist in fear. "It's not my problem."
Gats slowly lifted himself away from the smaller boy's neck, and his voice was so forlorn when he spoke that Toboe nearly did not recognize it. "How did things end up like this?" Then he let go, standing up and stepping back. Toboe sat, massaging his arm, unwilling to look up at his friend and the bulge he knew that was there. He heard Gats shuffling through his pockets, the sound of a lighter, then the inhalation of a cigarette. "You're bleeding."
Bringing his hand up, Toboe winced when he touched his skinned cheek, his fingertips coming away red that was quickly washed away by the rain.
"Tell the prune that I pushed you too hard and you fell. That way you don't have to lie. You suck at it, y'know. Actually, forget it. I'll go with you and talk for myself. Haven't seen the prune for some time now anyway."
There was a howling hiss, and then suddenly the white kitten was in front of him, held by the scruff of its neck by Gats. It let out a gurgled meow; unhappy with the hold it was in. "Here's your stray. You going to name her?"
Toboe gently took it from Gats, amused when the kitten went directly into his jacket. "Her?" he inquired curiously.
"She's a chick," Gats pointed out, and Toboe looked up at the boy leaning over him, eyes gentle, a lit cigarette dangling from his lips. It barely glowed, the fires dulled in the rain.
He smiled slightly, liking Gats like this, and replied, "Ame."
The other boy blinked green eyes, "Rain?"
Toboe stood, picking his sodden hat in the process and shoving it in one of his pockets. The two then made their way out of the dark alley, and back to the bustling streets. A few people paused on their way to gawk at Toboe's face and muddied clothes, but none said anything. This made him wish for his hat, but there was not way to he was going to put it back on. He'd have to endure with the stares till he got home and cleaned himself up.
Gats strong grip on his shoulder startled him out of his thoughts. "Toboe! Check that out! A Harley Davidson!"
Looking to where the other boy was pointing, Toboe's eyes widened at the tall man sitting languidly atop of a black motorcycle waiting for the red light to turn green. He was in complete black leather, from his polished boots to the dark gloves that gripped the handlebars with ease. He could not see the man's face through the helmet, but Toboe could guess the face that was hidden behind the mask. A strong face, that was not afraid of anything.
The grip on his shoulder tightened as Gats exclaimed, "One day that will be us, Toboe! I'll take you far away from this shit hole. Just watch me!"
A strong face…that would never let anything hold him down.
TO BE CONTINUED…
A/N: Eek, that was unexpected. Gats was only supposed to be a minor character, but he sort of took over this chapter. While I was writing, I started feeling sorry for him, cause he's really deluded, and I have met a lot of people like that. :sighs: Ah well, I hope you enjoyed the chapter, and please leave comments and questions…they make me feel good v.