This is the long awaited sequel to Hunting Dogs. If you haven't read that, you might consider going back and doing that first. You might get lost in this one otherwise. As always, I don't own any of these characters except for Volando Petra. If you want to use him, let me know.
Enjoy! Read and review please. I can't please everyone sono flames.
I realize that I might mention some places or things in this story that might be complete mysteries to other people. So I've included these notes to give everyone a clue.
Central Park - An enormous and very famous park in the middle of Manhattan Island, New York City. Its attractions include dozens of statues and small monuments, open carriage rides, and impeccable landscaping. Many paths for walking and cycling wind through the park's fields and glades. And it boasts a good sized lake as well with seasonal boating. This patch of nature in the middle of the big city is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
Lake District - A section of the small mountain range in Northern England. Named for the many alpine lakes that dot the landscape, this area is famous for its natural beauty. Hiking and fishing are common pass-times there with perfect places for both. For centuries, the district has been a refuge for European poets, writers, and artists who find themselves inspired by the stunning scenery.
Hunting Dogs 2: Fox and Hound
Amon leaned back in the shadows that sprawled across a concrete wall, listening to his team chattering over the coms.
"Hey, isn't the Higurashi shrine out this way?" Sakaki asked.
"Yeah, I've been meaning to send a letter back," Dojima commented.
"Inuyasha and Kagome won't be happy about us hunting in their territory," Michael said. "Didn't we agree…?"
"It can't be helped," Karasuma replied.
While the others wandered systematically along the suburban streets, Amon stood still. He wouldn't move until the witch was sighted. And Robin wouldn't move until he did. He could see her floating in the pool of light under a streetlamp on the next block. He couldn't help but be amazed again. Robin had a nose for a case like nobody else. She was the one who had pinpointed the center of the witch's territory in this neighborhood. The others wondered how they ever got along without her. Amon still remembered Kate. In fact, he couldn't forget her. But he'd rather have one Robin than a whole army of Kates. He'd never say that, of course. She knew it already anyway. After all that's happened, how could she not? She turned her head to look at him for a moment. He gave her a glance and she turned away again. She was a great hunter but sometimes she needed a little encouragement. It had been an easy decision to keep the jewel shards away from her. He'd have to get in touch with Kagome after this hunt and send the witch's shard off with her. Letting Kagome take the shards ensured that they would stay away. But it couldn't be easy for Robin. Knowing that he was still watching her. Knowing that he still had his hand on his gun.
"Is this guy dead or alive?" Sakaki asked.
"Dead, I think," Dojima replied.
"Was he famous?" Michael asked.
"No, not really," Dojima said.
"Did we know him?" Sakaki asked.
"Yes," Dojima said. "You've got sixteen left."
"Did he die within the last year?" Karasuma asked.
"Yes," Dojima said. "But I thought you weren't playing, Miho."
"I didn't think so either," Karasuma said. "But it's hard to focus for so long."
"It won't be much longer," Robin said.
"How do you know that?" Dojima asked.
"She doesn't, she's just guessing," Karasuma said.
"We'll wait as long as we have to," Amon said.
"So the guy's not famous but we know him and he died recently," Sakaki said.
"We know a lot of guys who died recently," Michael said.
"You've got fifteen questions left," Dojima said.
"Was he an important person?" Sakaki asked.
"To us he was," Dojima replied.
"I know who it is!" Michael laughed.
"Don't say it," Dojima said.
"And you're not sure if he's dead?" Michael asked.
"It's Zaizen," Sakaki practically squealed.
"He's dead," Robin said.
"You're sure?" Sakaki asked.
"I'm sure," Robin confirmed.
"Who's turn is it?" Dojima asked.
Robin turned and looked at Amon again. Shouldn't they call it a night? He glanced back again. No, they couldn't leave yet. It had been only an hour. He had staked out street corners for longer. He shifted his weight from one leg to the other. The witch was close. He could smell him.
"I see him," Sakaki said, suddenly serious.
"Where?" Karasuma demanded.
"He's going west down block 2."
"Stay with him," Amon said.
They moved smoothly around to cut off their quarry. He was surrounded before he knew it.
"It's definitely him," Karasuma said.
"Than what are we waiting for?" Sakaki asked, drawing his gun behind the witch's back.
"Take him fast. Don't let him use his shard," Amon said.
Two shots rang out in the dark street. Robin used her craft to destroy the body but she knew better than to touch the jewel shard that was left behind.
"It's mine," Dojima squealed and lunged to grab the shard. But another sound made her stop. A little plume of concrete dust rose from a newly made hole in the sidewalk. A sharpened stone peg lay on the ground a few inches from Dojima's frozen hand. Nobody moved, or even breathed. A moment later, another peg made impact with the concrete.
"Sniper," Amon hissed.
All five hunters dove for cover. Karasuma and Dojima ducked behind a mailbox. Sakaki flattened himself against a light pole. Amon and Robin threw themselves down behind a street railing, but not before Amon snatched up the shard from the ground. Another stone peg struck the mailbox with a deafening clang. Dojima yelped.
"Who's doing this?" Karasuma demanded when it got quiet again.
"It must be another witch," Sakaki said, trying to make himself as thin as possible behind the light pole.
"Michael," Amon commanded.
"You were right, Haruto," Michael's voice sounded comforting over the coms. "It's one of the shard-witches, Volando Petra. And… Oh my god, he's the last one on the list. Once he's gone, Amon and Robin are home free."
The words went through Robin and Amon like bullets. This was it, the mission's end. And then they could forget about the crazy mess that had been their lives for months. They could go back to what had been theirs before. Peace, or what seemed like peace in comparison. And all they had to do was bring down this sniper.
Amon turned his head and nodded to Robin. She pulled her glasses out of her pocket and slipped them over her emerald eyes. He was ready with his gun drawn. It was easy enough to pinpoint where the pegs were coming from. Petra wasn't even making an effort to hide. He was standing on a rooftop across the street in plain sight. He's overconfident, Amon thought. The jewel shard won't save him. The others were already returning fire but the witch was dodging every shot. Or they just missed… Amon couldn't help but have that thought as he signaled to Robin again. She wasn't always the best at taking orders, but tonight she was in rare form. The witch was moving pretty fast but Robin managed to hit close enough to knock him backwards out of sight on the roof. Amon was over the railing in half a second and Robin was right behind him. They could hear metallic skittering as Petra made his getaway down the fire escape at the back of the building. They had chased him down two blocks before they realized that the others weren't with them. Their colleagues had been slower to react and now they were sprinting to catch up. It didn't matter though. Amon knew that if he and Robin stopped to wait, Petra would get away. They couldn't afford to let that happen.