SPIRAL Suri no Kizuna
All That You Can't Get Over
The more he thought about it, the more things were getting confusing. She'd left days ago somewhere to handle one of her special jobs, promising to return soon. Now she was saying she'd left clues on how to find her. The only thing that came to mind now was what kind of job was she doing that would make her want to run.
Something that will prolong our separation? Something that will compromise our relationship? Is that why she slept with me? Was it really our last chance to be together? Did she mean any of those words…
Madoka stood over her brother looking worried. "Ayumu, that call… is Hiyono-chan okay? I mean, is she in danger?"
He leaned his chin against his hand. "She's a tough girl. She can take care of herself." he said idly, "That girl doesn't cry or anything. She's really manly."
"That's not a very nice thing to say about the person you're in love with."
"I never said I was. And the more I think about it, it seemed like it was an act to me. I mean, she'd always manipulated me in the past and this time she must've conjured up some fake tears to get me to do what I did…"
Madoka sighed, "Honestly, you're a mean boy. I think she really cares about you."
"In her own twisted way. She's only caused me trouble since the day we met. And then she makes me wait."
"Now you're the one who's suddenly sounding feminine. Won't you please toughen up? We can't do all the work you know."
Ayumu felt caught off guard for a moment and opened his mouth but couldn't argue back. He glared out the window, grumbling to himself. What's that supposed to mean??
Just then the door flew open. "There's my family!" Kiyotaka stood in the doorway with a large bento box and a bouquet of flowers, which he handed to Madoka. "These are for you."
She simply grabbed the bouquet and started hitting him with it. "Do you think this will make things better!?" She tossed it to the side and stormed out of the room. The brothers watched on, looking stunned.
"…I better go after her."
"Yeah, you should, Aniki."
Ayumu watched his brother put down the bento while staring at the poor bouquet lying destitute on the floor. He then dashed out the door, closing it behind him. Toughen up and go after her. Is that the way to go? What if it's all in vain? What if it's not the way I want it to turn out? What if, what if…?
At that exact moment, Eyes Rutherford switched on his flashlight. Yuizaki Hiyono's apartment was just as he'd left it, only now it felt colder since no one had been living there for a while now. The table which they found the computer had collected dust and he could see where the stack of notebooks was, as though they had been waiting there for someone.
Just then, a light flashed in his eyes. "Rutherford, I thought you'd been here." Kousuke stood before him, still wearing his convenient store uniform (black button down shirt with neon blue stripes on the side).
Eyes couldn't help but glare at him. "You lied to me. There was something in those notebooks, wasn't there?"
Kousuke shrugged. "There might be something. It's just you lied first so it was only fair. You found something on those tapes, didn't you? Why didn't you tell us? We're working together!"
Eyes crossed his arms, his face very tense. "Because… I found out that Kirie was involved."
Kousuke's face tinted red. "Oh… you and Kirie, huh?"
"We broke up six months ago, but I didn't feel like seeing her for a long while. The whole situation was… bad." He stopped short, his contorted face wanting rest. Kousuke gave him a friendly pat on the shoulder and finally he let it go with a long exhale of breath.
"Anyways, Kirie put that virus on the computer and broke in here before, as a favor to Yuizaki Hiyono. Though, I still think that all of this was planted here for someone else… What did you learn?"
"Those notebooks definitely are clues to what Jouchan is up to and I'm not sure why they were just here for someone to read if they're so top secret. Generally, they're about… umm… ah…" Kousuke paused, rubbing his temples. "That's weird. My mind's a blank. I just read 'em this morning."
"Kirie said the same thing. There are some kind of subliminal messages written those books and a trigger that makes you forget it. I'm sure if we investigate further we can figure out just where she is and what she's doing. Better yet if Rio can fix that computer and access the files…"
"You know, Rutherford, it really does seem easy after all. It's like Jouchan wanted someone to find all this stuff."
"The reason for that," Eyes sighed taking on last look around the room, "is what I'm most worried about. What is she planning to do if she wants to be caught?"
At her apartment, Ryoko waved to her old comrade once the connection had been made and her face appeared on the television screen. "How are you Rio? How's America?"
"It's great! You should come down with a visit! I miss you all!" Though she was still short in height, she'd grown a bit over the span of 2 years and her hair – though still in high pigtails – was much longer. She was happy to see Ryoko, but Rio couldn't help but frown. "Where's Eyes-kun?"
"Oh, he and Kousuke aren't here."
"Booo, how disappointing! I guess we can get started on cleaning up this computer. I'm not particularly good at it. I actually learned a bit from Hiyono-san. She gave me an excellent program that does such in these cases."
"How fitting!" Ryoko laughed, "This is Hiyono's computer. It's almost as though this was all planned out."
As they worked, the two girls talked about normal things girls talked about. Rio was very curious about Ryoko and Kousuke's living situation, but Ryoko insisted that they were nothing more than close friends.
"Besides Kousuke is always joking around. I can't take him seriously."
"But didn't he give up killing for you? You know he feels strongly for you. You should give him a chance."
"What about you, Rio? Did you tell Rutherford yet that you liked him?"
Rio let out a sigh. "Actually I heard about him and Kirie-san. I thought about it for a while and decided to move on."
"Wow, you're really growing up!"
"Of course I have to! I'll be going to University next year!" she said, sticking out her tongue, "But it was hard… giving up on someone you loved."
Meanwhile, Kousuke sat on the train, thinking about his recent parting with Eyes outside the apartment mansion. He suddenly covered his face and groaned. I'm an idiot…
"So no more secrets. We're working together, right?" he had said. Eyes shuffled his feet and stared off into space. He gave the pale young man a good wallop on the back. "Come on! We're both BLADE CHILDREN!"
Eyes pushed away. "That's the problem. We're BLADE CHILDREN. Our lives are constantly in danger and extremely limited. What's the point of…interacting? Look at Narumi Ayumu. He was our hope to having normal and free lives. Yet, even though he's lasted this long, it's only a matter of time before he ends up like Mizuhiro, and…"
Kousuke cut him off. "This is still about Kanone."
"I'm not saying you have to do the same as me. Truthfully I thought you could take care of everyone in my place."
"Didn't Kanone leave that to you!"
Eyes looked up as his fuming comrade approached him with fists clenched. He stood awaiting a hit, but at the last moment Kousuke pulled him into his arms. The two of them stood there in the lamplight, hugging. He suddenly pushed away.
"S-S-Sorry!!" he gasped, waving his hands, "I don't know what came over me…!"
Eyes said nothing. He just turned and walked away. Kousuke dropped his arms to his sides and watched the figure grow more distance between them.
I know I've been obsessive lately but why did I do that…? Seriously, what's wrong with me? Why can't I just let it go?
He unlocked the door to his apartment and took off his shoes. He paused to smell some delicious aroma coming from inside. When he got in, the table was set and there was Ryoko bringing lasagna out from the oven.
"What's going on here?" he stammered as she had him sit down at the table, "You cook?!"
"Of course I do! Anyway, I'm sorry I got angry at you before. I shouldn't have yelled at you. This is my way of apologizing."
"Thanks, it looks good." he said, watching her heap a serving on his plate. "I'm sorry too. I got a bit carried away. I didn't really think I could get this competitive with Rutherford."
"Yeah, I was surprised how serious you were. I won't doubt you for a while."
The two of them sat down and started to eat dinner, while talking about the computer. Rio had succeeded in removing the virus and they uncovered some database. "It's strange. You've got to look at it."
"Yeah, after dinner okay?"
So after dinner, they went towards the setup in the living room. Rio had long disconnected but promised to meet up with them later that night with everyone. Walking towards it, Ryoko tripped on one of the cords and found her self falling.
"Aah!!" She collided not with floor but a warm fast beating chest. She opened her eyes and found herself lying on top of Kousuke. "Oh! I'm sorry!"
"It's okay," he laughed, "I don't mind. He paused to see the look in her face had changed. She then reached over and took off his glasses, staring into his face more closely. "Ryoko?"
Next thing he knew, she leaned over and kissed him. It didn't take long for her to notice he wasn't kissing back. When she moved away to see what was wrong, he hid his eyes, then apologized.
"No, it's okay… I mean, I should've… it was stupid of me…" she stammered, "What was I thinking? Of course I should've known you were joking around with me. Couldn't have been serious…"
Even though she laughed about it, tears were rolling down her face. Kousuke put on his glasses and took a moment to wipe some away, but when she grasped his hand with hers, he stopped and pulled away. They both looked down at the floor and said nothing.
After an awkward moment had passed, he stood and turned towards the door. "Call up Kiyotaka. We have to meet him tonight and tell him everything we know."
She stared at his back and tearfully nodded. She then reached for the telephone. Kousuke looked over his shoulder once before stepping outside the apartment. He covered his face with his hands.
What the hell am I doing…?
Meanwhile, Kiyotaka caught Madoka in the long hallway before the parking garage. "Let me go!" she yelled as he held onto her wrists. "I hate you!!"
"No you don't." His voice was calm and hands firm. When he saw an opening he leaned over and kissed her. She fought him at first, but slowly she sunk into it and found herself up against the wall. "Madoka," he sputtered breathlessly in her ear, "I have to have you now."
"Shut up," she replied while pressing her body against his, "We can't do it here in a hallway, a hospital no less."
"How about the car? There are tinted windows. Or a love hotel?" He touched her cheek and smiled. "Remember that time we did it at the station, in the Chief's office."
"How can I forget? We just finished that big homicide case and you didn't want to go home, so you decided to get started on a new case."
"But you wouldn't me." he said lifting an eyebrow. "I was always so busy being Narumi Kiyotaka I didn't take notice of the people and things around me. But that night I think that was the first time I saw you, in the moonlight, so beautiful…"
She caught him off with another kiss, her hands running through his long brown hair. When he pulled away for air, she suddenly blurted out, "Let's have a baby."
He stopped. "Huh?" They stared at each other for a moment before sharing a smile and going to kiss once more. "Yeah, let's do it." He said softly, "I love you, Madoka."
And then his cell phone range. He ignored it at first, but the ring tone continued endlessly. She broke the embrace and turned away. He understood entirely.
"Hai, this is Narumi." He said, receiver in hand, "Got it. I'll be there soon." Hanging up he looked over at the back of his wife. He reached for her but stopped himself. Without another word, he took off into the parking garage.
When she made it back to the hospital ward, she went directly to her younger brother and threw her arms around him, letting the tears run freely. That terrible man…
Narumi Kiyotaka arrived at the hospital the following morning. Despite a lack of sleep he swiftly went to his brother's ward to see the young man sitting up in bed as though he'd been waiting. "Aniki," he uttered, glaring towards him, "Where've you been?"
In the cushion chair at his bedside, Madoka was in a deep sleep. Kiyotaka pulled the blanket up to cover her arms and paused to gaze into her peaceful face. "I'm sorry…" he whispered into her hair before planting a kiss on the top of her head.
"She was up all night. She even cried. Do you know what you are doing to her? She told me she's going to leave you, you know!"
Even though Ayumu was angry he was curious by the orange folder in his brother's hands. Kiyotaka noticed and stepped forward. "I'll share with you the results from my meeting. Let's go somewhere else to talk about Yuizaki Hiyono."
So, the two of them found their way up to the roof, Ayumu refusing to have his brother help with his wheelchair, wheeling himself with defiance. "What do you know, Aniki?" he said, while panting from exhaustion.
"First," Kiyotaka held up one finger, "What do you know about her? And I don't mean what you feel - what do you know?"
"You tell me. She took my heart and saved my life. You might've hired her to do so, but she did it so well nonetheless. And yet, all she has are secrets for me. In truth, I know nothing."
"Some secrets are best kept as secrets. Do you really want to know?" he asked once more. Ayumu gave him a slight nod. He leaned against the fence, staring into the sunrise.
"The facts are the facts. She belongs to a private company that distributes agents for special jobs. The work they do goes behind the scenes and beyond the law. Some of its unmentionable – from cover ups to murder, infiltration to influence, whatever the bidder wants."
"Sounds like a twisted genie of the lamp for people who have money to throw around. Well we do live in a capitalist world. I'm sure the demand is quite strong…"
"Yeah, actually they're quite famous underground for their efficiency, and that's why I had hired her for you. The owner of this company was a fan of mine and so he recommended her as one of his best agents. The owner is said to have raised each and every one of his agents himself. You can say he is their father and they are his children to do his will. For me she worked as a spy. In Germany, she assisted in a political cover-up. And now she's in New York, trying to botch a controversial research debut."
"How do you know she's in New York?"
I've been looking into it, little brother, with aid from the BLADE CHILDREN. Actually, your girl left us some very helpful clues, as well as access to her main computer. We already know so much, she'd have to kill us all…"
Kiyotaka then gave an orange folder to him, which he stared at without opening. "She wanted to be found out. I'm sure she's planning to leave … "
"Ayumu," His brother put his hands on his shoulders and looked him in the eye. "She's a spy, a seductress and an assassin. How much do you still want her? How far are you willing to go to save her?"
"Whatever it takes."
As he said this, Ayumu stood up and faced his brother. The look received was of the same determination at their previous face-off far in the distant mountains. Kiyotaka knew there was no turning back now.
"We need a plan."
"Yeah. No kidding."
The two Narumi brothers stared off at the waking city, already thinking up the next move.
End of Chapter 6