DISCLAIMER: I don't own Lupin III… But I do own my Lupin IV universe… Yay for fanfics!
Hello again, dear friends, and welcome,
To the forth and probably last installment of this long-running fanfic. I hope everyone had a happy New Year, just as I hope everyone enjoys this latest chapter in the lives of the new Lupin gang. It's almost strange—When this story started in June 2003, Yukiko was only seven. Now she's about twenty-nine… Sorry I'm being sentimental… Well, I hope you all enjoy! Bye, and see you all around! One, and by the way, please review!
A Year and a Half Later: Sister Christian
Fun Fact of Boredom: The Lupin III soundtrack, over the years, has been very jazz-heavy. Hence, this is why Odori's name comes from an album of the same name by the jazz band Hiroshima. It's my form of homage.
'It's been a long time,
But now I'm coming back home,
I've been away, now,
Oh how I've been alone'
—The Beatles, 'Wait'
"Why don't you ask them to leave, then?" the innkeeper's wife asked her husband as both viewed the seedy duo who sat the darkened bar of the inn. The duo was apparently Asian, and the tall man, dressed in a navy blue gi, carried two swords with him. The shorter woman, who dressed in a white suit and fedora, carried at least one gun on her, from what they could see. Both were quiet, and caused virtually no disturbance, but the innkeeper and his wife knew who they were. They were the infamous thieves, Toshiro Ishikawa and Yukiko Jigen, and they were on their second bottle of hard liquor. This seemingly had no effect upon the seasoned alcoholics, but both were a danger, the Russians knew.
"I'd rather call the police… These two are a couple of bastards, from what I hear. They're both menaces…." replied the innkeeper, "I'll be back."
"I think he spotted us," Toshiro whispered as he sipped his vodka. "I think he's gone to call the police…"
"Good; about time we saw some action!" Yukiko said with a smile, quickly finished her alcohol and slamming the glass upon the table. She spun around in her seat, and smiled at the dead crowd in the bar.
"Let's get out of here before things get out of control. I don't know about you, but I know how violent those cops can be here!" Toshiro instructed her, taking her by the hand and running up the stairs into their room. It was a small, shabby room, and very chilly. He quickly went to packing while Yukiko sighed and begrudgingly began to pack her belongings as well.
"Why the hell are you being so cautious?" Yukiko asked irritably. "You usually aren't this irritable."
"I got a note today, from a farmer who I guess knew me… That, or he knew what I looked like from police reports…. Maybe he was a Lupin lackey, hell I don't know… But there's one thing I'm sure of…" replied Toshiro as he slipped his backpack over his shoulders and looked back at her. "It's from Ryo."
"Ryo? How'd she know where we are?" asked Yukiko as she too slipped her backpack over her shoulders. Toshiro opened the window to their inn room and looked downward at his yellow Vespa. He quickly had his attentions diverted to the ever approaching police vehicles, however.
"Come on, we'll figure that out later!" Toshiro jumped out of the room, and landed upon the ground, which was a two story downward jump. Yukiko soon followed, and promptly fell as she made contact with the ground. As she lifted herself off of the ground, the police officers stopped, and drew their weapons.
"Hands up!" yelled one officer in broken English. Both slowly did this action, and Yukiko leaned inward to Toshiro.
"You wanna handle this?" asked Yukiko, looking over at Toshiro, who had also raised his hands.
"You're letting me handle the bloodshed? It must be my birthday!" Toshiro gasped in mock surprise.
"Just get on already," Yukiko grumbled. Toshiro complied, and hopped onto his bike quickly. Yukiko soon followed, and fired at the officers who shot at them. Toshiro removed one of his swords, and cut through the line of officers, his Vespa climbing on of the cruisers and falling down again as it finished its ride over the roof of the car. The duo sped off, their destination a small airport.
"She told us to meet up with her in Japan after we find everyone else… Ally's going to meet us in Korea…." said Toshiro as he dismounted his bike, "I found a guy who'll fly us to Hawaii, so we can pick up Heiji. Little guy's still on that damn island…"
"Jeeze, I'm glad you told me this ahead of time…" Yukiko grumbled, "What's new, though?" she shot Toshiro a glare, which he readily returned, "What, don't give me that look! Geeze, you're acting like where're married!" Yukiko sighed.
"Does almost count?" Toshiro retorted.
"Smart ass…." said Yukiko tiredly as both walked into the small airport, Toshiro with his swords and bike and her with her gun and no one caring.
"Ouch! That seagull just bit me!" Yukiko yelped, jumping in pain. "I thought you were the bird man! Why didn't he go biting you!?"
"Maybe he thought you were his mommy. You are dressed in all white, like he is," Toshiro chuckled. It was the morning and although it had been a long flight the jet lag had yet to take its affect upon them. The strange pair walked along the beach after hearing word that this was where Heiji spent his Saturday mornings. It was surprising to both, for the Heiji they knew hated sunlight. But then again, they had not seen him since their parting almost a year and a half ago.
"Hey, that guy's Japanese. Maybe he talks to Heiji," said Yukiko, nudging Toshiro in the direction of the one beached surfer. Toshiro nodded, and approached the young man, who looked strikingly familiar.
"Excuse me, have you seen my brother? His name's Heiji—He looks a lot like me, except with black hair instead of red and, well, he's a little shorter, and sort of husky if you catch my drift," said Toshiro. "Oh, and he also wears glasses."
"Why'd you keep it red? I thought you hated that," asked the young man in a familiar voice. Toshiro gasped in shock. It was Heiji, but, it wasn't Heiji. This young man was about forty pounds lighter, and wore no glasses. He was reasonably shorter though, and spoke like Heiji.
"Heiji?" Toshiro choked in disbelief.
"The one and only," said Heiji with a smirk.
"You're—Well, you're not--"
"Yeah. I just started swimming out here one day and, well, you see the results," Heiji laughed. "I've been waiting for you guys to show up—That Yukiko back there? Well, she looks exactly the same. I expected to see her pregnant or carrying a kid or something!"
"Eh, no… If that were so, it'd be immaculate," replied Toshiro uneasily.
"Huh? How long has it been since you two—"
"Any clue why?" Heiji inquired.
"Um… We had a scare, and we thought she had gotten pregnant. Ever since then she's been making excuses in order not to sleep with me," replied Toshiro tiredly. "It's better not to talk about it around her. It only brings up arguments…"
"Okay," Heiji nodded in understanding. "You guys want a drink? I've got some stuff at my place… Well, it's technically not mine… I share it with a client of mine, but he's out for a few months."
"That's very generous of you, Heiji," Toshiro said, and motioned for Yukiko to follow. She quickly caught up to the two, and Heiji led them to a nearby beach house. Both Yukiko and Toshiro agreed that the view was gorgeous as they waited on the front porch while Heiji opened the door. He led them in, and excused himself while he went to go take a shower and change.
"It's beautiful out there," Toshiro said as he looked out of a window at the beach scenery.
"Sure as hell nicer than Northern Europe… Place does nothing but rain!" Yukiko added, opening the window. She removed a cigarette from her jacket, and stuck her head out of the window while she smoked it. She kept her hand outside of the establishment while she held the cigarette in her hand, and allowed Toshiro to lean in and kiss her.
"Where're probably going to stay overnight here," Toshiro started.
"Hey, great! Luau!" said Yukiko cheerily.
Toshiro sighed tiredly, "Yeah… Sure… Luau…. I'm going to see what he keeps in the fridge…"
"That one was close…" Yukiko said to herself as she took yet another drag of her cigarette out of the window.
A Cagliostro church:
"Where's the groom?" the priest asked the mother of the bride. Carmen di Cagliostro stood at the altar, dressed in a white bridal gown and carrying a bouquet of flowers, while next to her was an emptied space where her future husband should have stood. But Allen Jigen had gone AWOL yet again.
"Oh, dear… Not a sixth time, Ally," Clarisse said sadly to herself with a shake of the head.
"I'm sure he'll show if we just give him another five minutes! He promised he wouldn't do this again, Mother!" said Carmen passionately. There was a long pause, and Carmen threw down her bouquet, "I'll go find him… I know where he his…"
She ran down the steps of the altar, and out of the church, and out of the castle grounds. She found Ally in his usual spot by a lake, sitting upon a bench, thinking deeply to himself. He was dressed in a full tuxedo, and his hair had been slicked back tightly, giving him an appearance much like his father.
Carmen seated herself next to Ally and looked at him understandingly, "You just couldn't do it, could you?"
"I'm sorry," Ally said quietly. "I just… I don't know what my problem is! I just think of everything, and I chicken out! It's not because I don't love you, I do! It's just that I freak out when I see those people…. And I get nervous… Me! Who fought killers, who nearly got himself cared and didn't give a damn! I'm… I'm scared!"
"It's all right, I understand," said Carmen with a reassuring smile, taking his hand in hers. "Allen, don't worry. Eventually we'll get married…"
"Yeah, when I'm forty," Ally snorted. "I'll be just like my dad…"
"It is something scary, but you're not alone, remember," said Carmen happily. Her smile fell as she watched his expression, however, "There's something else on your mind, isn't there?"
"I got a letter today… From my sister…" Ally started, and removed the said letter from a jacket pocket, "She says Fuji needs help, and, well, she's still my friend, and Ryo is my sister, but I—"
"Then go," Carmen cut him off quickly, "I'll wait here for you until then. Maybe… Maybe this will give you the opportunity to think some things over. They need you there."
"But I'm needed here, too!" said Ally.
"I'll be all right," Carmen reassured him. "Just go to your sister. It's probably urgent if she called you away."
"Yeah, must be… She's having the entire gang assemble!" said Ally. He rose from the bench, and leaned downward to kiss Carmen. "I'll come home safely, I promise."
"I know," she replied quietly. "Have a good time, as well."
"It'd be better with you, but you aren't meant for those things," Ally answered.
Seoul, Korea, a Few Days Later, in an Airport:
"Heiji, what the hell happened to you!? You look terrific!" said Ally in shock as he laid eyes upon Heiji, "I thought you were your brother, for a few seconds! Good thing I realized my mistake, though, or I would've been punching the wrong guy!"
"Punching?" Toshiro frowned, and groaned after Ally delivered a hard swing to his left shoulder. "Nice to see you too, Ally…"
"So, where's Odori?" asked Ally, "I would've figured she would've jumped at the chance to shed blood…"
"She refused to come, so we're here to fetch her ass," replied Heiji as he helped Ally lift his luggage, "I hope you brought the Romeo with you… Sitting with these two in a taxi is less than fun…"
"What the hell does that mean!?" Yukiko and Toshiro snapped in unison.
"I'm going to pick it up now," replied Ally, holding the keys to the red vehicle upward. The three met Ally out front, and all climbed into the Alpha Romeo (Toshiro had left his Vespa at the hotel) and drove to the dojo where they heard Odori was staying and teaching young pupils.
"Just like old times!" said Yukiko happily, "You guys have no idea how much I missed this!"
"Good to know someone's happy to have their ass drug away from their life…" Ally grumbled as he floored the gas of the automobile.
They arrived at the cleanly dojo twenty minutes after departing from the front of the airport. Heiji, who was the most fluent in Korean, walked up to the door, and explained the situation. He seemed stunned at what the doorman said, and waved his three friends into the building.
"What's wrong, Heiji?" asked Toshiro quietly as the doorman left to go fetch Odori.
"You aren't going to believe this, Toshiro," said Heiji with a shake of the head.
"Going to believe—Holy crap…" he muttered as Odori walked out of one of the training centers, still carrying a bokken.
"I figured you all would be showing up… I would have come with you, but I have a few clans angry with me," said Odori, "I'll grab Zantetsuken, my bags, and we'll be off."
"Are you sure you're okay to travel in your condition?" Yukiko choked in disbelief.
"Yes. I'm strong," replied Odori with a nod.
"Not you… The baby…" Heiji interjected, pointing to Odori's enlarged stomach.
Odori looked downward at her stomach, back upward at Heiji, and then down at her stomach, "The baby is strong as well."
"How… How far along are you?" Ally asked.
"Five months," Odori answered.
"Boy or girl?" asked Toshiro.
"They can't tell yet, although I pray nightly for a son," responded Odori. "I have no desire to name him Goemon, however, Toshiro. I'll leave that up to you."
"Hey, what about me!?" snapped Heiji.
"Hm… I would make a jab at you, Heiji, but I choose not to. You look good, by the way," replied Odori.
"Who's the father?" asked Toshiro.
Odori paused, "I'll get my bags. When are we leaving?"
"Here, we'll help!" said Heiji, taking Toshiro by the gi sleeve and leading his brother into one of the back rooms with Odori.
"Why do I think they're going to be two mother hens to Odori, and it's going to annoy the hell out of her?" Yukiko asked Ally.
"I can carry something! I'm not helpless!" snapped Odori out of the sight of the Jigen siblings.
"What, you're already carrying our nephew!" Toshiro retorted.
"I'm carrying my damn sword, at least! I worked hard enough to earn it!" snapped Odori, "Heiji, put my sword down!"
"Odori, quit acting like a brat and get in the car," sighed Heiji tiredly.
"This is gonna be a longgggg flight to Japan…" Ally said to his sister tiredly.
A Driving Range in Tokyo, Japan:
"Very good, now ease in…. Ease in…" said the placid driving instructor quietly to her student, "Very good… Now let's work on backing out…" she said, looking away and rolling her eyes. Ryo Jigen had never been so bored in her life. Something caught her eye on the driving range, however. It was a red car, and a yellow motorcycle. It was her Lupin gang members! Ryo immediately burst from the vehicle and ran out to them.
"What do I do about the car!?" screamed the student.
"Keep it! It's a gift!" replied Ryo. She turned back, and waved to Ally, "Hey, over here!"
"There she is… And as lovely as ever! Ryo, what's up?" asked Heiji as Ally brought the car to a screeching halt.
"Take me to a bar, I need a drink! These kids have been boring the hell out of me for the past year!" said Ryo quickly as she hopped into the driver's seat, scooting Ally over. She glanced in her rearview, and then looked back at Odori. "Odori, um…. You're very… Pregnant…"
"Really? What a revelation," replied Odori in a deadpan tone.
"Okay, Ryo, what's the scoop, eh?" asked Ally.
"Heiji, you look good," said Ryo with a smile, "You lose some weight?"
"Was I really that heavy?" Heiji inquired.
"Anyway… Going back to Ally's question…" Ryo started, "Fuji needs help… She sent me a note?"
"From where?" Ally inquired.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you…" Ryo chuckled, "Let's just say she picked out a good hiding spot… She's in the last place we would suspect…"
"Oh, God, she isn't dead, is she?" asked Ally.
"Nah, that's one of the first places I'd suspect her to be in…" responded Ryo.
Saint Lucia of the Light Convent, Rome:
"May we please speak with Sister Francis?" Ryo asked the mother superior sweetly as the others stood behind her in the cathedral uncomfortably.
"The Sister? Whatever for?" asked Mother Superior.
"Her brother is in trouble," replied Ryo. "It's quite urgent."
"I see! Well, I'll be right back with her, then!" said the nun, rushing into the batch to fetch Sister Francis.
"I still don't know why we're here…." said Yukiko as she shifted from foot to foot and looked about the forebodingly darkened church. "God almighty these places give me the creeps…"
"I kind of don't know how you got in here, Yukiko… I thought demons were barred out of churches," said Ryo with mock surprise.
"Eh heh heh… You're just lucky I can't say anything to you in here," snapped Yukiko.
The two discontinued their talking, and all fell dead as Sister Francis entered. This was, no doubt, Fujiko Lupin, or, as she was better known, Lupin the Fourth…It was apparent not only through her face, but through her bust. All gaped in shock at the sight of the benign Fuji, who smiled at them warmly.
"Greetings…. I'm glad I could join you…" said Fuji serenely.
"Knock off the act. You're a virgin and I'm Matt Dillon," snapped Ryo in a whisper. "What's going on, Fuji?"
"I haven't seen any action in a year. All of the priests here are either really dedicated or only like one another, if you catch my drift," Fuji whispered confidentially to Ryo, "I am going to be so happy to get outta here… They make me wear a sports bra so I won't distract the male students…"
"Well, what are you waiting for?" asked Ryo quietly.
"There's a reason I'm here, Ryo-san," said Fuji, "And they're standing outside right now…"
"Huh?" Ryo turned her head, and watched as the stained glass windows were smashed out by bullets. Some praying nuns scattered or ran out of the cathedral, but Fuji jumped onto the altar and began to fire her Walther P-38, which she kept hidden beneath her long skirt.
"Hey, save some for me!" Yukiko laughed, and drew her own weapon, and fired it out the busted window.
Odori ran forward and drew Zantetsuken, and disabled several intruders as they approached. The attackers were dressed in 19th century Western European military uniforms, which would have been considered unusual by the group had they discontinued shooting and stabbing long enough.
"Dori, be careful!" Heiji shouted as he slapped one of the attackers on the face with his laptop, "Hey, there's an escape!" he called, and led them out through an exit in the back, towards the prayer garden. Heiji was first to jump the fence, and Odori nearly sliced off Toshiro's head as he attempted to lift her over.
"Thank you, but I'm not helpless," snapped Odori, who then preceded to jump the fence. Toshiro looked at Heiji, shrugged, and then climbed over the fence. The others soon followed, and Ryo and Toshiro disappeared, but soon returned with the Alpha Romeo and Vespa.
"Aw, Baby, Mommy missed ya!" Fuji said, briefly hugging the vehicle before jumping in next to Ryo. She ripped off the habit as Ryo pressed upon the gas, the unknown assailants now following in 30's era vehicles. She took a cigarette from Ryo's purse, lit it, and sat back calmly in the midst of gunfire Ally and Yukiko exchanged with their followers. "Okay, first thing I'm gonna do when I get to a hotel is go on a shopping spree, get drunk, find a male hooker, and shack up for the night!"
"Please tell me you didn't get us all together so we could just help you get lucky…" said Ryo with an annoyed snap as she made a sharp turn, nearly running Toshiro off of the road.
"Nah, it's more important than that," replied Fuji, "Hey, wanna go steal some crap? I haven't smelt that sweet smell of Chanel No.5 in what feels like years!"
"I guess you'll tell me what's going on afterwards, then…" sighed Ryo. She shuddered as one of her rearview mirrors was shot out, and she glared, "That lousy son of a bitch…" She turned around, and Fuji quickly took hold of the wheel in order to keep them from driving off of the road while Ryo fired her gun, busting out one of their tires and sending them falling into a ditch.
"Bastards…" Ryo mumbled as she turned back around and took the wheel once more, "I'll show them… Deface an antique like the Romeo…"
Later that Evening, an Italian Club:
"So? Just do it and take him for all he's worth!" Ryo laughed.
"It isn't that simple, Ryo-san!" Fuji said worriedly. It was hard for Fuji to look worried in between the two handsome Italian men she had picked up some time during the evening, "It's really starting to freak me out!"
"So, some guy wants to marry Lupin the Fourth? You just tell him no," Ryo shrugged. "I've done it lots of times!"
"You don't think I friggin' tried that already!?" Fuji yelled, grabbing her alcoholic beverage and taking a swig of it after speaking. "That's why I went into hiding! I sent a polite letter calmly refusing the offer, and they sent one back saying they were going to send me home to my parents in pieces!"
"Jeeze, Fuji, I didn't know you could get shaken so easily…" Ryo admitted.
"Listen, it just smells of raw fish, if you ask me and…" Fuji trailed off, and Ryo turned her head to see what the young Lupin had set her eyes upon. It was Heiji, who was walking towards the bar. Ryo turned back to Fuji, and looked at her questioningly.
"Someone certainly changed…" said Fuji with a smile. "Ke hee hee… Mommy likey…"
"You really are a shallow perv," Ryo sighed in disgust. "And here I was thinking a year and a convent would've changed you! But you haven't budged in terms of personality an inch!"
"What!?" Fuji snapped, "Ryoko, it was like a prison in there! If it felt good, you couldn't do it! Their idea of fun was Bible Bingo, okay!? I called numbers!"
"Still doesn't mean you're getting into his pants…" said Ryo as she took a sip of her brightly colored alcoholic drink. "He still remembers when you turned him down, and trust me, he's just like his dad. He doesn't forget that sort of stuff easily…"
Fuji smirked, "Ah, we'll see… I'll just work my charms!"
"Now you've got me scared… What are you doing now?" asked Ryo as she watched Fuji remove a piece of paper from her pocket and begin to write.
"Sending a letter to a couple of dear friends of mine…" answered Fuji nonchalantly.
Interpol H.Q., Paris, France, a few days later:
"Hey, LeBlanc, Boss wants to see you," said an Interpol worker with a sly smirk as he opened the door to Leo LeBlanc's office. Leo sighed heavily and laid down his file, and rose from the table. He knew what the smirk meant; it was well known by this time that he was the bitch of the boss, Cecilia. He passed a photograph as he went to open the door; it was one of him and Max. He missed Zenigata… It had been a year and a half since the Lupin gang had disassembled, and Zenigata had left. He pushed his way out, and numbly walked down the corridor to Cecilia's office. He gave another heavy sigh, undid his tie, removed his jacket, and began to unbutton his shirt as he opened her office door.
"You wanted to see me?" asked Leo, looking downward at the ground. He flushed as he looked upward and saw several prominent officers staring back at him, and he quickly began to dress once again, "Um, yes, Chief?"
"Inspector LeBlanc, we received a note from Lupin," Cecilia started in a professional tone while her eyes shot daggers at Leo, "Apparently she's at her old tricks again… This time in a small province near Germany…"
"Really!?" Leo gasped excitedly. So Fuji was all right! Leo smiled widely at the thought of chasing her once again.
"And Inspector Diaz from Brazil and Inspector Cole from England will be overseeing it… So I suggest you hand them your files," Cecilia added. "I believe you still have them in your office…"
"Wait, shouldn't I be going?" Leo asked.
"Well, you know as well as I do that you're much too valuable an asset here…" said Cecilia with a smile.
"Of course…" Leo gave a sideways glance, "I'll go get those files… Chief, why don't you come down with me? They're heavy," Cecilia complied, and followed Leo down to his office, where he promptly slammed the door behind her. "You know I want that case!"
"But what would I do without you?" Cecilia asked with a smirk as she laid a hand upon Leo's face, "I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to you… Plus, I know you're going to ask to have Zenigata assigned to the case once again, and that's out of the question…"
"Why did Max leave?" asked Leo. "And why do I know you had a lot to do with it?"
Cecilia grabbed Leo by the tie, and bent him downward to her level, "Because he was too close to you… And you know what they say about office romances…"
"Yeah, I do," Leo smirked suddenly, and leaned in and kissed her.
"That's my boy…" Cecilia said quietly, "What do you say? I'll send some inspectors out to give a tour, and we've got some time to ourselves…"
"Sounds good," Leo responded.
Needless to say, several inspectors led the visiting officials around, and half an hour later, Leo was whistling to himself as he re-buttoned his shirt, and this drew upon Cecilia's curiosity.
"What are you so cheery about, LeBlanc?" Cecilia inquired.
"Well, you know I'm in here alone, and, well, I've gotten into technology a little bit recently…" Leo walked back over to the computer, and began to type away, "That includes a video recorder, which I switched on while you were busy with me…" he seated himself in front of the computer, and then rolled away to show Cecilia the film. Much to her horror, it was the events of the past half hour. Leo smiled widely and stopped the film, and leaned upon his desk, "Now, I'm sure you don't want some of those visiting officials to see this, now would you? You could lose your job! It'd be in all of the papers!"
"You little rat bastard!" Cecilia hissed through gritted teeth, "You bloody tricked me, you little BASTARD!"
"Yep," Leo smiled, "…Well?"
"Fine, you win," Cecilia grumbled.
"And Max is on the case with me," Leo added.
"You son of a bitch… I hope you two have fun together!" Cecilia said. She opened Leo's door, and shouted to her secretary, "Margaret! Get a hold of that blond Asian in Romania! He's on the Lupin case… With Inspector Lu--I mean LeBlanc…" She gave another glare in Leo's direction before she left, and Leo leaned back in his chair, smiled, and waited.
A Paris, France Airport, a Few Days Later:
"Where is he?" Leo wondered as he paced back and forth nervously. The airplane continued to filter out, and Leo smiled as he watched a familiar 'blond idiot' walk out of the long hall and trip as he did so. He excused himself, but accidentally knocked over a young woman in the process, and he excused himself once again hurriedly.
"Same idiot…" Leo sighed with a shake of the head, "Hey, Max!" he called.
"Leo!" Max ran towards his friend, and lifted Leo up as he embraced him. This was some feat, considering Leo was still almost four inches taller. "You look exactly the same! How are you!?"
"Great! How about yourself!?" asked Leo happily, "Here, let me help you with your bags! What have you been up to?"
"Hey, I should ask you the same!" Max laughed as he allowed Leo to take his carryon, "How in the hell did you talk Cecilia into letting us back on the case?"
"Blackmail!" replied Leo cheerily, "I made a Paris Hilton-esque video of us, and threatened to show it to her boss!"
"Why… You little… I'm so proud of you!" Max put Leo in a seemingly playful headlock, but Leo did not see the fun in choking, which Zenigata was causing him to do.
Later, Leo's Apartment:
"How're things with Jake?" Leo asked from his kitchen. He had busied himself fixing a drink for Max while Max looked about Leo's apartment, which had undergone serious renovations, which included many pictures of his family.
"Eh, sorta rocky…" Max replied hesitantly, "He had a kid get sick and had to leave the company… He left it to a total bastard…"
"Oh, so he didn't leave her for you?"
"Nope, but she found out! I've never had someone drive across town and wake me up in the middle of the night just so they could spit in my face," Max sighed heavily.
"Sorry to hear that… Well, were you seeing anyone else right now?" asked Leo as he walked out of the kitchen with their drinks. Max gratefully took his drink and watched as Leo seated himself in a chair opposite of himself in the living room.
"Nah, too much trouble… And how about yourself?"
"Nope," Leo replied. "Not as of today, that is… Someone accidentally let that Cecilia file leak onto the internet, and now it's spreading through Napster quicker than a rumor spreads through bloggers…"
"…You really are like your dad, you know…"
"You are what you try not to be," Leo shrugged, "But the most I've stolen in years is a few packets of complimentary Sweet 'n Low… And that's only because I was low…"
"Hey, I've got an idea!" said Max cheerfully. "Is that one place downtown still open? We can head over there before we leave for Germany in the morning!"
"Which place?" asked Leo.
"Um… You still have that thing with women, don't you?"
"Yeah," said Leo with a roll of the eyes. "Believe me, it kills my social life! Cecilia's made me even more neurotic, if anything else…"
"Well, I've got a great club for you then!" said Max cheerfully.
"…It's a gay club, isn't it!?" Leo snapped after a pause.
"Work with me, LeBlanc," sighed Max.
"You had a whole double life while you lived here!" Leo said with a disbelieving laugh.
"Well… I heard from a guy, who heard from a guy, who had some free passes that worked their way to me…" said Max flippantly.
"Well, I… You know I'm not really…." Leo scratched the back of his head in worry. "The last time I went into one of those clubs, I almost had some big guy carry me away…"
"Hey, we'll wait until Germany, then… They have better clubs than France, anyway! No offense," said Max with a well meaning smile. "It's just that my sister lived in Germany when she went to college… She knows all of the great places!"
"Sounds great," said Leo with a twitch of a smile. "Hey, I'm gonna turn in… I'm exhausted…"
"All right. Good night, LeBlanc," said Max to Leo as Leo walked into his bedroom.
Leo trudged into his room, and leaned after his door after closing it, "What the hell is it with me where I have both men and women wanting me? Is it because I'm a Lupin? Jesus, Dad wasn't kidding when he talked about magnetism… I just didn't know my magnet was attractive on both sides! Oi, this is gonna be hard… He's home one day and he's asking me out to clubs… Maybe I'm just reading too much into it, and I need to sleep… Yeah, that's it… I need sleep… Sleep, yeah…"
Meanwhile, in Italy, in a Hotel Room:
Odori was exhausted, and had passed out in the women's room. Ryo was facing off against Yukiko in a video game, and Fuji was nowhere to be seen. She did appear moments later, standing crestfallen in the doorway, "That's no way to treat a lady!" Fuji yelled angrily out in the hall.
"Start acting like a lady and I'll treat you like one!" Heiji shouted in return. The sound of a door slamming down the hall moments later.
"I take it someone's not getting lucky?" Ryo chuckled, "Ha! Beat that score, Yukiko!"
"You and your damn racing games… Let's play a first-person shooter, and see who wins that!"
"Oh, here's one we oughta like…" Ryo said, pulling out a video game from the pouch.
"Yeah? What's it called?" asked Yukiko.
"Lupin III: Legend of the Sorcerer King… More American merchandise Lupin didn't give the okay to…" said Ryo absently.
"He was a wanted criminal; you think he really would've shown up in court to stop them?" Yukiko snorted. "Plus, let's face it, he's always been an egomaniac and loves the attention…"
"They made Dad's nose look so pointy!" said Ryo to herself. "Daddy was never incredibly photogenic…"
"I'm gonna take a nap!" Fuji announced, "Jeeze… Dori gained a lot of weight!"
"That's because she's pregnant, Fujiko," Ryo said with a heavy sigh. "I… I know that you have a brain somewhere… I just don't where it is sometimes, Fuji…"
"No, I'm lying," Ryo mumbled. "I'm makin' it allll up, Fuji…"
"She shouldn't be sleeping on the floor, then!" Fuji said, "Dori-chan… Wakey wakey…"
"Stick 'chan' on my name again and I'll filet you…" Odori grumbled.
"Sleep on the bed! You'll hurt your back on a tatami mat!" Fuji chided, "Here, we'll share mine, okay?" Fuji announced, and fluffed the pillows to her bed. "Heiji's dead wrong if he thinks I can't be nice!"
"Oh, he knows you can be nice… He just thinks you incapable of not being a whore…" replied Ryo.
Yukiko laughed, and went to light a cigarette, but Fuji quickly ran over and threw the lit cigarette in Ryo's glass of water. Yukiko looked upward at Fuji, stunned, "Hey, what gives!?" she demanded.
"No smoking around her… You want to kill your lungs, do it in the fresh air! Then hopefully you'll void out some of the harm you're doing to yourself!" snapped Fuji.
Ryo, at this time, reached for her glass of water, and spat it out after taking a sip of it, "What… What the hell!? There's a cigarette butt in here!"
"Hey, she did it!" Yukiko shouted, pointing to Fuji.
The men's room:
"You hear someone yelling?" asked Ally.
"Nope," Toshiro and Heiji answered in unison. Heiji was at the table, working with his laptop and equipment, while Ally resigned to polishing his sniper rifle. Jigen glanced upward as he noticed Toshiro rise from his bed, and he realized Ishikawa was preparing for bed. He blinked in surprise as Toshiro let his gi top fall onto the bed, allowing the presence of a bullet wound near his right shoulder blade be made apparent.
"Toshiro, where'd you get that?" asked Ally.
"Hm? Oh, that… It's nothing…" replied Toshiro, "Just gets a little sore…"
"That bullet got lodged in you, didn't it? And that's damn big puncture…" Ally mumbled, "You didn't have that before…"
"Um… Things got a little hairy in Portugal…" Toshiro started, "Some men looking for La Blanca Diabla tracked her down, and… I took the bullet for her…"
"Why'd you do something like that?" asked Ally.
"Because he loves her," said Heiji from his quiet corner, "Anyone have a Phillips head screwdriver?"
"…A what?" Toshiro asked with confusion.
"Never mind… I'll use the flathead…" Heiji sighed tiredly. "How soon before you think Max and Leo are going to be on our tails?"
"Not soon enough, if you ask me!" said Ally with a laugh as he looked downward at his rifle cheerily. "Hey, did anyone happen to notice if there were any squirrels around?"
"There's a park three blocks away," Toshiro replied.
"Excellent…." Ally smiled, and looked out at the night sky.
"You see a pair of laughing eyes… And suddenly you're sighing sighs… You're thinking nothing's wrong you string along boy then snap…" Toshiro sang in a mumble to himself as he continued to prepare for bed. "Those eyes, those sighs, they're part of the tender trap…"
"If you're going to sing show tunes the entire time I may go back to wanting to kill you horribly again, Toshiro," said Ally quietly.
"Ha ha… Get some sleep, Jigen…. The inspectors are going to be after us soon, and we don't want you to get injured," said Toshiro with a smirk. "Carmen will want you home in one piece, after all…."
"Yeah… Good night, Goemon," Ally yawned, and laid his rifle under his pillow, as he usually did.