The Purpose of a Heart
In 1945, on August 6th and 9th, America dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, in an attempt to end World War II, and getting what some considered 'revenge' for Pearl Harbor. Though the two bombs killed many people-most of whom had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor-it was still considered the best and least deadly way of ending the war once and for all. Sure enough, the war ended, and everyone said that there would never be another war like that one again.
Even though it ended over 50 years ago, that particular war was, in an unexpected way, about to invade people's lives again, changing some of them forever.
He was surrounded by darkness.
"Ow…damn, my head hurts." Bakura mumbled to himself. "What happened to me…?" He could feel some kind of hard floor under him, and that was when he realized his eyes were squeezed shut, which explained the lack of light. As he regained consciousness, his head just hurt worse. Blearily opening his eyes, he was met by a fuzzy vision of a ceiling above. The room was dim, but not totally dark and so there must be a window someplace. And it was then, as he gained his bearings, that he realized one more particular thing, this one more important than the others: his hands and ankles were tied.
Struggling to sit up, he eyed the knots that tied his feet together. They weren't your average knots, whoever had tied him up obviously wanted him incapacitated, as if knocking him out hadn't done the job.
"Where the hell am I?" Bakura grumbled. "And why am I here anyway? Dang, when I get my hands on whoever did this…" He groused for a few more minutes before balancing himself on his toes and pulling his tied arms under his legs, lithely bringing them in front and started messing with the ropes. The knots were good, but after some pulling, he had them undone. Standing, he smirked.
"I don't know who the nut is that attacked me, but they need to learn that I don't appreciate being tied up." The ropes on his hands would have to wait, he couldn't get them off, but now at least he could walk around.
Ignoring the pounding in his head, he tried turning the knob on the door, but it kept slipping out of his already sore fingers and anyway, it seemed to be locked. The room was pretty much empty, he couldn't figure out what it was supposed to be used for. The light in the room was coming in from under the door, but when he tried to look under the door, the thick mat of carpet outside blocked his view. Obviously he wouldn't get any clues there.
With a sigh he sat back down, leaning against the wall.
"I guess I'll just wait it out then." He said aloud. "Someone's gotta come and look for me soon, I mean, any self-respecting kidnapper normally comes to check on his victims."
Of course, the question of who had kidnapped him came back to his mind with that. All he'd been doing, the last he remembered, was going for a walk. He'd been thinking about going home to eat lunch, walking down Fifth Street; he knew that for sure because that was the same street that had the apartment building of…someone…on it. Someone that Bakura found himself thinking about often and it only made him want to kick something out of pure frustration. He often thought about that person without wanting to. And he'd been so deep in thought, trying not to think about the person he was thinking about, that obviously someone had been able to easily jump him. This didn't cheer him up much.
Suddenly, the lock in the door clicked, and it swung open. Bakura stared, surprised, into the face of a man with very short brown hair and brown eyes. He looked like a common person, if it weren't for his extremely muscular build, which was unnaturally proportioned and rather grotesque. Bakura was sorely tempted to mention the guy should lay off steroids, but thought better of it, seeing the pistol the man had in his waistband, and the wired look of a drug-addict in his eyes.
The stranger noticed Bakura's free feet and grinned. "Well Bakura, crafty little sucker, aren't you? You probably think you're so clever."
Bakura scowled and raised an eyebrow. "Who the hell are you and how do you know my name?"
"Everyone knows you, Bakura."
"Oh?" The eyebrow raised higher.
"Of course, after all, didn't you recently win that shooting tournament?"
Bakura thought back. Well, it was true that he had recently won such a tournament. He'd been bored and so he'd taken his Uzi down to the shooting range to pick up some polish and gotten talked into the contest after some moron had challenged him. And, incidentally, won in a big way, but he couldn't figure out what that had to do with this guy. Anyway, it hadn't been any big deal. All he'd won was a ribbon, no money at all, so if this was a jealous competitor, then the guy really needed to get his priorities straight.
"Well, yeah, that would be me." Bakura finally answered shifting his arms uncomfortably. The rope was irritating his wrists. "So you know who I am, great. Who are you?"
"Since it'll benefit us both to know, my name is Blair."
"Do you come with a last name?" Bakura asked.
"No one cares about last names in this business." The guy called Blair answered. "And anyway, we're not going to be in company for long."
"That's good." Bakura spit, thoroughly annoyed. "I can't stand idiotic muscle-heads with macho guy names like Blair that don't have last names."
"You might do well not to cop an attitude with me." Blair said, his smirk fading. Bakura set his jaw.
"Well, excuse me mister sunshine, but I think I've rather got a right to cop an attitude right now, seeing that you conked me over the head, kidnapped me, tied me up, left me in this insanely dusty room, and you did all that before I got to have lunch."
"You think you're funny, don't you?"
"Well, no. Personally, I don't find any of this all that funny." Bakura replied calmly. "So how about you untie me, let me go home, and we never see each other again?"
"I'm afraid it won't work that way." Blair said, folding his arms. "You can't be allowed to go home. My boss wants a word with you, and has a very generous offer you'd be a fool not to go along with."
Bakura said nothing, but now his eyebrow was raised so high it vanished into his spiky bangs. What the hell was this guy talking about? Perhaps he was insane, maybe this was an asylum and the guy was an escaped inmate.
"Your boss?" He finally asked.
"Yes, my boss. Soon to be your boss too."
"Listen, dude, I don't know if anyone told you or not, but no one controls me." Bakura said with a short laugh. "I have no boss. I'm master of myself. Besides, I'm not interested in whatever offer he might have. So I'll just be going-"
"You'll be going to see my boss." Blair said suddenly, clipping a chain over the rope that bound Bakura's hands.
"Geez, someone needs a good sedative." Bakura muttered. Blair yanked the chain and Bakura nearly fell over from the pull.
"You're coming with me. This way."
Bakura huffed and resentfully allowed himself to be dragged out of the room, into a long hallway. Blair took a right and pulled him along several doors. There was a funny smell in the hallway, sort of an office-perfumey-soapy-business smell. It seemed that they were inside your average office building. He stopped at a door at the far end and knocked.
Opening the door, Bakura was pulled along into a large office. At a desk sat another man, probably middle aged, but this guy was no where near as muscular as Blair was. His hair was light blond, and eyes were blue. He looked American. Still, there was something very powerful in his gaze-as if he had power and he knew it. Bakura couldn't help but admire the guy a bit.
"Ah, Blair. So you were obviously successful."
"Very good, you can just leave him with me to discuss business."
"Yes Sir." Blair bowed quickly and, letting go of the chain, backed out of the room and closed the door. Bakura frowned in confusion. The man at the desk looked American but spoke with no hint of an accent. He stood up to greet Bakura.
"Well now, Touzokuou Bakura, I've heard a good many things about you."
"Yeah, apparently a lot of people have." Bakura grumbled.
"Well come here, sit down. We can't conduct business with you half-way across the room."
Bakura walked over and sat. The man opened a desk drawer and pulled out a good sized knife, bringing it down and slicing the ropes off of Bakura's wrists. Surprised, Bakura pulled his hands back and rubbed the raw skin.
"Um…thanks." he said, as the stranger put the knife away.
"You're welcome. You must excuse Blair, he's fond of gathering his captives, and I can't say anything against it if the man enjoys his job."
"So you paid him to hit me over the head?" Bakura asked, no longer liking the blond-haired "boss".
"Yes, I did. I had to get you here somehow."
"Speaking of which, where is "here" anyway?"
"That's none of your concern."
"Tch. That's all anyone tells me around here. It's none of my concern. If you guys want something from me, you might at least tell me what I'm not supposed to be concerned about."
The man motioned toward the window. "You're welcome to have a look outside if it'll ease your mind, but I don't think it'll help you."
Bakura eyed him in suspicion and pushed the blinds aside. All he saw were a lot of trees. And, far off in the distance, a glow. Such as one that might indicate a city. "Where the hell are we?"
"We're outside of Domino, don't worry your spiky white-haired head about it." The man said mildly. "This is my office building. Five stories tall, including an elevator, gym, dining hall…all the luxuries one could need. And no other people around to bother me. Most people believe this area to be off-limits to trespassing because of poison gas."
"You built an office building out in the middle of the mountains?" Bakura laughed. "I'm starting to think this is an asylum. Both Blair and you seem rather unhinged. Who builds a freaking office building in the mountains?"
"Someone that likes his privacy, that's who." The man answered coolly.
Bakura shrugged. "Suit yourself." He returned to the chair and leaned back in it. "So…why am I here in your nature retreat, exactly? I doubt you brought me here just to show off the view."
"I have an offer for you, Bakura."
"That's nice. But I don't take offers from nameless strangers." Bakura replied, just as coolly.
"You can refer to me as Boss, same as all the others. Or Master, if you're really into that sort of thing."
"Yeah, well, I've got a problem with that-" Bakura stopped dead as the man produced a large rifle from someplace under the desk. To Bakura's eye, it looked like a Smith and Wesson. He blinked down the barrel with some approval. Well, at least this guy had good taste in firearms.
"You'll call me one or the other." The man said, his tone instructing that Bakura had no choice. Bakura shrugged.
"Awright. I respect the firepower, Boss, Master, One-or-the-Other." Bakura replied, purposely throwing in the jab.
"Good, now we can get down to business." He returned the gun to its hiding place and opened another drawer, spreading four pictures over the desk. "See these people here?"
Bakura glanced over them. "And your point of showing me these is…?"
"You, Bakura, are going to be an assassin for me, and these four people live in Domino. You will kill them." Bakura furrowed his brow in surprise.
"Why the hell am I going to do that? Can't you kill them yourself, you're the one waving the gun around."
"You recently won a very prestigious shooting contest, with a sub-machine gun nonetheless. Those can be hard to aim. I need someone as good as you to kill for me. I am skilled with the gun myself, but I have this tendency to make such a mess of it. You, on the other hand, are a clean shooter, and could easily commit the crimes without being caught."
"Look, I appreciate that you like my shooting, that's great." Bakura said, standing up. "And it's real nice of you and your fan club to try to recruit me. But I don't kill people unless they piss me off, okay? I don't know these people, and I've got no reason to hurt them. Besides, I'm a thief at heart. Not a killer."
The Smith and Wesson returned to the man's hand, and he pointed it directly at Bakura, the barrel touching the collar of his shirt. "Have a seat, Bakura."
Bakura sighed and sat back down. "Okay, okay. Listen, what if I didn't want to take your job? What if I decided to decline?"
"Let me ask you something, Bakura. Do you have any friends? Family? Wife?"
Bakura blinked guardedly. "What's it to you?"
"Well, I'm offering you a choice. You kill the people I tell you to kill, or I'll kill the people close to you."
"I don't have-" Bakura began, when the Boss reached under his desk again and Bakura closed his mouth, expecting the gun to come back out, but all the man produced from the drawer was a single photograph and a wallet that looked very familiar. "Hey, that's mine!"
"Maybe you'd like to tell me who this person is." He said with a smug sort of grin, holding the picture up. Bakura felt his heart drop to someplace around his feet.
"N-no one. He's no one-" Bakura cursed the human nature known as blushing, as he could feel the redness spreading over his face.
"We don't carry pictures of people around in our wallets if they're not important to us. And judging from your reaction, I'd say this person does mean something to you. What's his name?"
"None of your business." Bakura snapped.
"Well, if that's the case, I'll just dispatch Blair to kill our mystery friend here…since he doesn't mean anything to you-"
"No! Wait-" Bakura found himself standing. "Okay, fine. His name is Yami. Yami Mutou.He's a friend of mine. Happy now?"
"No, I'm not. Where does he live?"
"Fifth street." Bakura said shortly.
"Excellent." The Boss arched an eyebrow. "So, is he important to you? You seem to be blushing. How amusing, someone so seemingly coldhearted, here you are with a picture of your boyfriend in your wallet, how sweet."
"Get to the point!" Bakura nearly shouted, having had just about enough of this mental torture.
"Just getting a feel for your weaknesses." The man said calmly. "And I've found just the one I needed."
Bakura silently eyed him.
"You see Bakura, people live and die only because of motivations. We live because we've got a reason to. Well, the only reason we die is because we've got a reason to die. And we'd kill if we had the motivation, wouldn't we? That's how the world works, everything is based on how much we're willing to do. And everyone has at least one thing, the thing they'd live, die, or kill for. So I just needed to find the thing that motivates you."
The white-haired boy was still silent, piercing eyes watching the boss warily.
"Do I see a look of defiance?" The boss asked with obvious fake surprise.
"Gee, I wonder." Venom dripped from the words as Bakura bit them off. It was bad enough that he'd been deprived of lunch, conked on the head, tied up, and threatened with a gun-even if it had been a nice gun-but he'd had quite about enough of this psycho's interest in Yami. The one stupid person in the whole world that Bakura would secretly admit some…discomfort…around, and the "Boss" just HAD to make a big deal out of it, didn't he? What was this, the Drive-Bakura-Insane Festival? If it was, so far everyone had been celebrating spectacularly. He half expected to hear fireworks being shot off any moment.
"Hmm." The Boss answered mildly, studying a photograph, obviously the one of Yami, before tossing it onto the desk. "Well, you're welcome to have this back, since you seem so attached-"
Bakura snatched the picture and stuffed it in his pocket, fuming.
"You can keep it, that way you know to stay in line. After all, one false move, and that picture will be all you'll have left of your boyfriend-"
"HE'S NOT- MY DAMN- BOYFRIEND!" Bakura roared, feeling the rope of his patience snap. "Okay, I get it! If I try to tell the police about you wanting these people dead and wanting me to kill them, you'll kill Yami. YOU CAN STOP CROWING ABOUT IT ALREADY! Now can I go home?!"
"I hate to ruin your theory, but you're wrong on one account." The Boss replied. "This is your home now. I'll walk you to your room."
"I can't just go missing, you know, people will wonder."
"Let them wonder. You can't leave this place Bakura, now that you work for me. Like all my other employees, you will live here, we'll provide you with food and medical attention if you need it. You are, of course, free to go wandering around the building as you like, but you're not to be leaving it unless it's on assignment."
Bakura wasn't crazy about being confined to the five-story building, but had since decided it would be wise not to argue. So he tried a different tactic:
"I have an apartment you know, the manager won't like it when I don't pay my rent-"
"Your manager has been paid off to keep quiet. Any other questions?"
Bakura scowled. "Okay, what about my Uzi? It's the only gun I like to use and if you want me to shoot-"
The Boss hefted a briefcase-like object onto his desk.
"We've already retrieved it from your apartment." He said, clicking it open to reveal that all the parts of the gun were there. Closing the case, he slid it across to Bakura. "Here you go. If you'd like any other things from your place, I'll gladly send someone to pick them up. Is there anything?"
"No." Bakura mumbled shortly, grabbing the handle of the case and setting it protectively beside his feet. "Not right now."
"Excellent, now, as I said, I'll walk you to your room. I'm sure you'll find this place very comfortable. Only my employees live here, and I've got every luxury for you to enjoy. I'm rather pleased really, it's been so long since I had a decent shooter. Oh, and Bakura, I've got cameras all over this building. If you decide to betray me, I'll find out." He smiled benignly.
Betrayal? Could that be what this was all about? Bakura caught a funny look in the man's eyes when he said that. But since Boss didn't seem to want to reveal why those people were to die, Bakura didn't see himself much in the position to argue. He wondered how long it would take for the other people he knew to wonder why he'd gone missing. He wondered if any of them would care…particularly if Yami would care, but he said nothing about it aloud as they walked along the hall and stopped in front of a door that the Boss opened with a key.
"Here's your room Bakura, make yourself comfortable." He said with a smile that was sickeningly friendly, holding out the key as if he were offering Bakura the keys to a new car.
"Whatever." Bakura muttered under his breath, slamming the door behind him.
Two Weeks Later:
"At some point last night, American college student Cynthia Manson was murdered in her apartment by an unknown gunman. Shell casings indicate that the murderer used some type of sub-machine gun. Officials are hard at work on the case, yet as of this afternoon, no leads have turned up as to the motive or whereabouts of her killer. Anyone with information is encouraged to call our anonymous hotline…"
"You did a good job, Bakura." Bakura looked up from the small TV to see Blair leaning against his door frame.
"Oh? You care?"
"I sure do, since I only get part ofmy paycheck if you do a good job in your business. The Boss is exceptionally pleased. I doubt he's ever had as good an assassin as you've proved to be."
"Am I supposed to be proud or something?" Bakura grumbled.
"You better be, kid. You've got a talent for killing." Blair waved and walked off, slamming the door behind him. Bakura returned his eyes to the TV. On the screen, Cynthia's parents were shown outside their house in America, crying. Bakura wrapped his arms around his legs and lowered his chin to rest on his knees. He hadn't known this Cynthia Manson, he didn't know why she deserved to die, and although it surprised him, he felt bad about what he'd done. Beside the set lay his Uzi and his eyes fell on his beloved gun.
"Maybe I don't want that talent anymore." He said quietly, and reached into his pocket to pull out a rumpled photograph. It was the one of Yami that the Boss had given him back. He gazed at it.
"What's the point?" he muttered. "Why am I bothering to do this? I'm just a common murderer now, I killed that girl and I didn't even know her. She never did anything to be punished for. Even if I keep Yami from getting hurt and I get out of here, he'll never like a good-for-nothing killer. He already thinks I'm a psychotic evil spirit. Well…okay, so I am a psychotic evil spirit…but still, now that I've become a murderer, Yami'll never like me. I shouldn't bother protecting him."
He narrowed his eyes and sighed. "Oh, who the hell am I kidding? I'd do anything for that friendship-loving, honor-obsessed, good-of-mankind freak, and I know it. Even if he ended up hating me. Even if I never saw him again. I'd still do anything. Damn emotions! I don't understand myself. There's no point having a 'heart' if no one will believe I have one. I'm not sure I even have one. But still…Yami's one of the only things I'd do this for…"
The door opened and someone behind him said, "Very touching."
Bakura shot his head up to see his Boss standing in the door, holding an envelope.
"What the hell do you want now?!" Bakura snarled, annoyed at having been caught spilling his deepest secret to himself.
"Manners, Bakura. I have your paycheck, except here we pay in cash. As promised, it was 100000 yen for the first killing. Your money is in here, you're welcome to do what you want with it. You did quite well, a raisewill be in order. If you think you need more, be sure to tell me. And I can always set up a bank account for you, if you'd like." He set the envelope on the small table beside the door and left, closing the door with an ominous thump.
Bakura ignored the envelope and averted his eyes back to his picture for a moment with a sorry look. Getting up, he switched the TV off and carefully he set the photograph under his pillow. Suspicious, he made sure his door was locked, before turning out the lights and getting into bed; pulling the sheets over him to block out the view of his room, wishing he could just block out everything that way.
To Be Continued…
Ha! A new story for a coming new year. This one should be pretty interesting if everything goes as planned. I hope you'll all enjoy it! It's part mystery, part action, part romance, part drama, part humour, part…well, a lot of random things. And it's going to only get more and more jumbled, as my fics usually do. ::niko::
So, some important things to know before you get too attached, just in case you need to stop: First, the "Boss" is an OC. He's no one from the show, he's just going to be the creepy villain. Every good fic needs a creepy villain, and like my other villains, this guy is pretty deep. Blair, too, is a creepy villain. (A creepy villain that I don't like.) Second, this fic is set in Japan in its customary place. I'm just using the English names. I like the English names. This isn't a crime. Third, the obvious main pairing is shounen-ai, and flaming won't change that. Please just don't flame in general. It's rude, annoying, and disheartening to authors. And SHOULD be punishable by death. ::grumbles::
So yes-Bakura has a 'crush' on Yami, if you will. Haha, he's so cute! (Bakura's crush I mean, that's what's cute. Well, Yami and Bakura are both cute in and of themselves, but that wasn't the point.) I'm a bit worried about OOC-ness on Bakura's part, but for the most, I like him this way so even if it is OOC, I'm keeping him this way. Those who don't like it, stuff it and go find a different fic. Those familiar with my way of writing Bakura and like it, you all will be happy, because he's pretty much the same as I usually write him. That's right! The smart-mouth, destruction-happy, and ever lovable guy with the wicked sense of humour has returned to my writing and this time, he's got a whole fic dedicated to him. Oh boy.
I think 100000 yen turns into roughly $1000. I'm not sure though. Just go with it. I heard that things with a bunch of zeros can be very roughly translated from yen to dollars by knocking off two zeros.
Okay, now here's the real surprise. In order to save document space-and my own pride-I'm going to write short Author's Notes and short replies. This is my New Year's Resolution. ::collective group gasp:: Yes, we'll see just how long this proposition lasts, won't we? You read it right here, I'm going to keep the AN's and replies to a minimum. Well…I'm gonna try. ::laugh:: But really, things were getting ridiculous before. My last fic was looking at three-page long AN's and the fic itself very much suffered for it. The end was rather sloppy, and I'm determined not to do that with this one.
I'm off to work on Chapter 2! ::yawns:: Well, maybe a nap first, I was up late working on this one night. Oyasumi.