Notes: The characters aren't mine and the story is! This is just a short piece of slight AU randomness which I came up with after watching episodes 176, 177, and 178. Keep in mind that I remember the conversation that was had later in episode 178 about Sherry's escape; but for this story that conversation has been postponed. This ficlet is not to be taken terribly seriously; I just found the idea quite amusing. When I watched 178, I was fully expecting Gin to pass out from that drug. If he had, then Vodka would have had to have somehow gotten down from the roof with him and carried him to the car. LOL. Somehow I don't think Gin would have been too happy about that, either. And thanks to Aubrie for suggesting the blood loss idea. XD
If there was one thing Gin was, it was strong-willed. He had not become one of the Black Organization's most trusted and highest ranking assassins without utilizing a great deal of perserverance and skill. When he was sent out to eliminate an enemy, he did not quit until the job was done.
That was why two things were so highly frustrating to him right now. First, that he had still failed to kill the traitor Sherry. Somehow she had gotten away, with the aid of some mysterious young man, and he found himself feeling a mixture of emotions because of that. Annoyance, certainly, and anger. But also, he felt impressed to a certain extent that she was still managing to survive. It seemed that he had underestimated her, but he would make sure that it did not happen again.
He also wondered if he felt some small amount of jealousy over the fact that she had been rescued. He would most definitely like to know, at any rate, who had managed to get her away---considering her injuries. Had she found some sort of heroic knight to be at her beck and call? But no, Sherry was too independent for that. She would never want someone to protect her if she could do it herself---not that she would have been able to at the time, but that was beside the point. Gin supposed that her self-reliance was one of her qualities that he had always been intrigued by. But that did not excuse that she was a traitor. Because of that unfortunate fact, Gin had vowed to track her down until she had paid for her insubordination.
The second thing that he was upset about at the moment was that whatever sort of tranquilizing drug had been injected into his system was taking affect, in spite of his efforts to keep himself awake by shooting himself in the arm. It had worked long enough for him to follow Pisco down the chimney and to carry out the order to get rid of him, but as he started going back up the enclosed space dizziness started to come over him. He cursed the fact in his mind as he continued to struggle to escape what could be his prison or his tomb. Behind him he could hear shouts as the doors were thrown open and as people tried to contain the fire, and he cursed again as he slipped while trying to get a foothold.
He looked up through his wild bangs, seeing Vodka looking down at him uncertainly from the top of the chimney. They were still too far apart for Vodka to be able to offer any assistance, and knowing that he had an audience made Gin all the more determined to fight the drug that was taking hold of his senses and making him sluggish. The last thing he wanted was for Vodka to have to dive in to save him just because he had been unable to stay awake for another five minutes.
"Give me a minute," he growled, looking away and coughing from the smoke before pushing himself to again grab at the walls and uneven bricks as he began anew to scale the blasted smokeshaft.
"I don't think you have a minute!" Vodka replied nervously. If Gin was unable to climb up, he would either be caught by the police or else burn to death in the fire. Vodka doubted that there would even be anything that he could do about it. All the possible options made him edgy, and he had to hope that Gin knew what he was doing.
Gin ignored him now, throwing all of his concentration into making the ascent. The fire was still not out yet, and some of the flames leaped at the edge of his coat---only barely missing as he moved out of their reach. He forced himself to think only of climbing. By putting all other thoughts out of his mind, he found it much easier to get all the way up. That was how he always accomplished his goals---by thinking solely of them. Before he quite realized it himself, he was gripping the rim of the chimney and Vodka was helping him climb back out onto the roof.
"The police are going to be here any minute," the heavyset man announced apprehensively. "They're probably coming up the stairs."
Gin knew this was likely true, but that was not all. "They're also coming by helicopter!" he retorted, pointing to the skies where the sound of helicopter propellers could be clearly heard. Without waiting for a reply he stumbled over to the stairwell door and locked it, then crossed to the edge of the roof and began to climb over the edge to the ledge that he knew would be close by. On a normal day, this would not be a hard thing for him to do, but as it was he had to blink repeatedly in order to force the double vision away. Several times he swayed, nearly tumbling overboard.
Vodka ran over to the side, gawking at him. "What are you doing!" he gasped in disbelief. For a brief moment he wondered if Gin was quite sane at the moment or if the drug was making him want to do something absurd, such as to jump off the building.
"Don't ask questions, just follow me!" Gin shot back as he lowered himself onto the small platform. He inched along cautiously, gripping at the wall as he headed for the nearest window. Their only chance would be to go back inside and find a back exit. Naturally they could not think of climbing down the entire building. They would be seen by someone if they did not fall, and whether Gin wanted to admit it or not, he was not certain that he would even be able to last all the way down. He would force consciousness for as long as he could, but if he failed, it would be far better to pass out inside the nicely furnished hotel rather than outside on the ledge.
He could hear Vodka nervously coming up behind him, but he did not bother to look back. Instead he came up to the window and looked inside, finding the room deserted. The window was locked, but he was undeterred and broke it with his gun. Particles of glass flew about him, some digging into his hand, and he picked them out in annoyance as he climbed through the hole. He would not have bothered, save for the fact that he did not particularly want the pieces to go in further and end up in his bloodstream. That would certainly not help matters.
As Vodka approached the window, he eyed the broken glass with distaste. "Bro, I don't think I can get through that!" he exclaimed, and wondered for the umpteenth time if there was not another solution.
"Don't give me excuses!" Gin shot back. "Come on!" By now the pain in his arm and hand had numbed considerably and was barely noticeable beyond his desire to sleep. He staggered over to the door, gripping the knob tightly as he turned it and looked out into the hall. It was vacant, as far as he could see, and there were stairwells at both ends. That was convenient. He just would have to hope that the police were not smart enough to be in both of them. But was that a chance they could take?
He frowned, shutting the door again and looking around the room. After a moment he spied what he had been searching for---the ventilation grate near the ceiling. There was the chance that he could navigate through the system until coming to the stairwells and seeing if they were empty, but that could take a long time---time that they did not have. But, as he thought the situation over, he decided that most of the police would be busy trying to control the fire---at least until the fire department arrived. He doubted that there would be enough officers to be in both stairwells, if he and Vodka hurried. And he already knew which side went up to the roof, as only one did, so they would surely be safe if they went the other way. Vodka had finally braved the window after breaking away more of the glass around the edges, so Gin threw open the door again and ran into the hall, expecting his associate to follow.
It was lucky for them that Gin's prediction was correct and the north stairwell was devoid of police officers, or anyone else, for that matter. The two of them managed to reach the main floor without serious incident, and since it then opened up next to the rear exit, they quickly fled. They might have set off the fire alarm, Gin realized a moment later, but oh well, that was not anything to worry about. There was a fire in the building anyway, and the alarm had already gone off, so another siren should not make that much difference.
Now he wondered how he had ever managed to come all that way. It was hard to believe that all of that had taken place just in five minutes' time. It seemed like an endless blur. The burst of adrenaline he had experienced was passing, and as it faded away so did the last remaining portion of his strength. The drug was going to win after all, much to his displeasure. He grabbed at the wall in one vain attempt to stay upright as dizziness overwhelmed him.
"What's wrong, bro?" Vodka had been behind him and now had come around to look at him. Seeing the glazed look in his associate's eyes, he suddenly had the feeling that he knew the answer. "Is it the drug?" He still wondered who on earth had managed to shoot Gin. No one had been in sight. And actually, they did not know for certain if the drug was only a tranquilizer. It could be a poison.
Gin tried to make himself stand up straight, but he knew it was not going to work. Everything was going in and out of focus. He felt angry with himself for not being able to continue resisting the substance, even though he knew he had done well by fighting it all that he had. But what he despised most of all was that now he would have to show Vodka a weakness. He was going to pass out. He mumbled a curse before falling forward into the snow. From his self-inflicted wounds, crimson splattered against the white, natural carpet.
Vodka simply stared at his ally for a long moment, unable to digest what had just happened. In all the years they had known each other, he had never seen Gin swoon for any reason whatsoever. Part of him felt sure that Gin would get up in a minute, brushing away the snow and looking furious, but Gin did not move. It seemed almost unreal, and yet Vodka knew that the reason this happened now was because of the drug's effects.
The wail of a nearby siren brought him back to a realization of their present situation and danger. He knew that if they did not get out of there immediately, they would probably be captured by the police. He also knew that Gin would not be waking up any time soon. If they were going to escape, he, Vodka, would have to do something about it. He felt highly uncomfortable, but that could not be helped.
Quickly he bent down next to Gin and, remembering his thoughts about the possible poison, checked the other man's vitals signs. They were normal, and yet Gin looked oddly pale for someone who had just been struck with a sedative. As Vodka continued to examine him, the strangest thought came to him. For some reason, he could not help but wonder if the blood loss had also contributed to Gin losing consciousness. Gin was an assassin; he was wounded frequently and had learned to tolerate it, so Vodka dismissed the thought as idiocy. But still, if Gin had already been weakened from the drug, perhaps it was not that far-fetched of an idea. In any case, further speculation would have to wait.
Vodka started to lift Gin up, managing to get the tall blonde across his shoulders. He doubted that Gin would be grateful for the help when he woke up. Most likely he would feel humiliated over having to be assisted. But Vodka knew that Gin also would not want to be arrested, and he himself did not have any intention of leaving his associate behind, so they would have to make due with their feelings of discomfort over the situation.
The sirens were closer now. As Vodka reached the black Porsche, he hurriedly tossed Gin into the passenger seat and got the car keys out of his pocket before applying the seat belt, slamming the door, and going around to the driver's side. That was something else Gin did not like---for someone other than himself to drive the car without his permission. But that could not be helped either. If Vodka managed to get them back without damaging them or the vehicle, maybe he would be forgiven. Swiftly he placed the key in the ignition, revved the engine, and took off, leaving a spray of snow in their wake.
Gin did not know how long he had actually been asleep. Everything was so garbled in his mind as he began to regain consciousness. He could hear Sherry's gasps and screams of pain, over and over again, and her body falling into the snow. He heard the mysterious voice and felt the dart pricking into his back. He felt the sharp and pronounced pain of the bullet tearing into his arm as he forced himself to stay awake. But it seemed that his efforts had not continued to work, or he would not be emerging from this groggy state of slumber.
Slowly he opened his green eyes, peering through unruly blonde bangs as he tried to focus. It took him a moment to realize that he was laying on a couch in the Black Organization's hideout, but when this did fully dawn on him he wondered how it had come to pass. The last thing he recalled was fainting into the snow, while Vodka had been staring in shock. . . .
Ah, of course. Vodka must have brought him there, somehow. Gin raised himself up on the couch with his uninjured arm, surveying the room. He soon noticed Vodka on the other side, near the door, looking quite apprehensive. Their eyes met, and for a moment they simply stared at each other silently. At last Gin spoke.
"Did you have any trouble getting away from the police?"
Vodka shook his head. "I drove away before they saw us, bro," he answered.
Gin nodded, but continued to study him darkly. He knew it always made Vodka nervous, to be scrutinized in such a way. "Did you get the Porsche back in one piece?" he asked finally.
Now Vodka gave a quick nod. "The keys are right there, on the table," he said, and pointed to them.
Gin gave them a cursory glance before reaching and picking them up. As he replaced them in his pocket and withdrew a pack of cigarettes, Vodka spoke once more, hesitantly.
"The doctor said that the drug was just a strong sedative." He paused again, knowing that Gin would not like what else the physician had had to say. But upon seeing Gin looking at him expectantly, and realizing that the blonde knew that he was holding something back, he finally said the rest. "He . . . he also said that you'd lost a lot of blood. . . ."
Gin pulled out a cigarette, placed it between his teeth, and held a lighter to it. "Oh?" was all he said in reply, but Vodka could tell by the tone of his voice that he was indeed displeased.
"When you got hit, I know that you just wanted to hurry and shoot yourself before you could go under, and . . . well, you did it so fast that you shot yourself at an angle where you bled a lot. He thought you oughtta take it easy when you woke up." Vodka shifted, looking as though he would rather be anywhere else. Gin hated being told what to do, and he hated when other people tried to determine what would be best for him (even if they did know what would be). He was feeling quite calm at the moment, or so he seemed, but it would be just like him to suddenly draw his gun.
Gin blew a puff of smoke into the air. "I'm taking it easy," he retorted, and indicated that he was not going to talk further about the subject. He would be content to put the entire affair behind him---save for finding out the identity of Sherry's rescuer. That intrigued him to no end, and he was determined to learn the truth of the matter.
Vodka nodded slowly, feeling relieved that Gin apparently was not going to go completely berserk. He lingered in silence for a moment, watching him, and then turned to go. Gin did not stop him.