Author's Note: Jet Set Radio/Future does not belong to me, and all chars are not mine, save for the original characters I created just for this piece of fiction. You might as well grab some popcorn/candy, possibly some liquids, and a comfy chair before you begin, because this is going to be one fucked up ride.
EDIT 10/21/2012: Thanks to a lot of fans still interested, this story is being REWRITTEN. Please keep in mind that I am not CHANGING anything, but I am adding TO it because I'm disappointed in the lack of description that I wrote almost six years ago. It will feel much more complete once I am done, now that I actually have a progress in mind. Again, thank you for your understanding, and thank you for your interest! You have no idea how much this means to me. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
Chapter 1: Spirit Within
Morning rays crept in from the window, its rays blinding. A grunt came from the figure under the covers, and his arm rose to shove the sheets aside as he sat up, letting a yawn overtake him. He'd hardly gotten any sleep at all thanks to the broadcasts from the higher-ranking police – otherwise known as the Rokkaku, a special team of the police force in Tokyo-to.
In the last three years, the Rokkaku had seized control of the city right under everyone's noses, including all of the graffiti gangs that kept the place "free". It was then that the gangs were forced to separate, having no other option than to flee. They didn't even have a chance to fight; the next thing they knew, they were being surrounded with nowhere to go.
Only a few were caught, while the others hid wherever they could, most merging beautifully into what a 'normie' did. Normies was the slang that the gang members used for normal people, and most were none too happy about the end result – the fact that they couldn't express their freedom in graffiti wherever they liked made some hateful, and lashed out wherever they could.
Getting caught the first time was a slap on the wrist and a hefty fine, most often given to kids who wanted to try it out and instead were urged to steer onto a safer path. The second time was a night in jail, so one could think about their actions. The third time you got beaten within an inch of your life, and left in the slammer until someone remembered you were there.
There were a lot who weren't seen again, who were caught after the third time.
What was truly in someone's soul could not be expressed – it was outlawed. One had to keep it inside, unable to do anything with it until it faded away.
A young adult sat up in his bed, muttering to himself as he reached up to run his fingers through his red hair. His eyes narrowed at the sun as he let out a curse. "Fuck… what time is it?" His hand reached over to grope blindly for his glasses, which he soon found and shoved them on messily in order to be able to see. He then rose from the bed to stumble into the bathroom, weaving through dirty clothes on the floor and not paying them any mind as he crawled tiredly into the shower. The water turned on with ease, and the redhead let it wash over his skin with a sigh.
Three years, The redhead thought to himself. Three long, fucking years. It still seemed like yesterday when the GG's had broken up, but he had to admit to even himself that getting back together just wasn't happening.
Even the other gangs that had opposed them weren't anywhere to be found; Love Shockers, Immortals, Noise Tanks, Rapid 99… none of them seemed like they even existed in the first place with the way the Rokkaku paraded themselves around in the city.
Even the former Captain Onishima and the current Captain Hayashi acted all buddy-buddy like they had been old pals forever, despite Onishima's demotion and Hayashi replacing his job. Hayashi might have been a tad more insane than Onishima and had a few thumbtacks short of a jar, but he got the job done where Onishima couldn't.
Tobe was sick of it. There was no Professor K, but this was a given – with no gangs, there would be no radio station, but the way even Professor K had just vanished and left the radio channel open to nothing but static didn't sit well with the twenty-year old.
"The hell went wrong…?" He muttered, raising his fist and slamming it into the wall, wincing at the fresh pain he'd caused. He'd been the one that was supposed to watch the damn group, but he'd fucked up and wasn't there when they needed him the most. Not only did he lose the gang, but he lost his best friend in the process.
He hadn't seen head nor hair of the kid, and the kid was the youngest and quite possibly the best that the GG's had, especially when they wanted to get into places that no one else seemed to be able to manage. He was the best liar, and came up with the most intriguing plans…
Heaving a sigh, the redhead rested his head against the wall of the shower, letting the droplets fall down, not caring that the water was scalding hot. He was numb to the pain now, just like he was numb to everything else.
His current job he'd landed in a short notice, as they were in dire demand of an errand boy. Tobe didn't have the heart to leave, but upon further thought, he really didn't care, due to the fact of just being numb to everything. He wasn't happy, but he wasn't sad, either. He just existed. His employer cut him a lot of slack, but Tobe found that walking to work just wasn't the same as skating, and he didn't get his normal high off of it.
Idly, at times, he would look to the side and imagine an old gang member was there, waving… but once he blinked, the image went away, leaving him to curse his mind for playing tricks on him.
Shutting off the water, Tobe grabbed a towel and rubbed his hair vigorously, pausing and cursing at himself for forgetting to use shampoo. He didn't feel like showering again, and shrugged it off, not deeming it worth it. Today was his day off, and he'd deal with it tomorrow.
Tobe jumped as the phone rang, a look of surprise crossing his face before he walked over to pick it up, his tone dull.
"Yo. Ya need me to work t'day, boss?" He winced, thinking of Yoyo when he'd said that word. He hadn't heard it from anyone but himself in so long, but he'd made it a habit simply to remember the best friend he had.
"Beat, right..?" The voice breathed over the phone, and the redhead instantly tensed, not recognizing the feminine voice at all. The only one who had his number was his boss, and it set Tobe on high alert. He hadn't been called that name in years, having gone by his real name for quite a while.
"If this is some kind of sick joke…" Tobe – Beat, he corrected himself – was shaking badly. Had the cops found him, after all these years, to jail him for something he did years ago? He cursed himself for being so stupid and not looking into the laws, but he didn't want anything to do with the police after the GG's had broken up.
"No joke." Muttered the voice, and the speaking stopped. Beat pressed his ear closer to the phone, trying to listen, only to hear the receiver laughing. His eyes widened in shock and rage.
"I've got work to do, so if you're quite done with this fucking prank call–"
"I assure you, Beat… this is very much worth your time. And if I were you, I'd skip work today. It just so happens that I know where your best friend is…" Freezing in place, Beat hissed into the phone.
"If you're fucking joking, I swear–"
"Downtown. Be there. You won't be disappointed." The phone clicked, and the receiver fell into a long beeping sound, clearly stating that the phone call had been disconnected. Clenching the phone tightly in his hand, Beat slammed the phone down on the receiver. He fumed silently at it, breathing hard. He tore his glasses off and threw them across the room, not bothering to look at where they'd landed.
"Fuck!" Collapsing to the floor, Beat clutched his head, his blue eyes wide with frustration and realization. It was a trap, he just knew it; there was no way someone would call about information unless it was some godawful way to get him cornered, or for some payback of god knew what.
Beat had to get out. Had to walk. He didn't dare use his blades, but as he stood up in thought, he paused at the door. His eyes shifted over to the closet, and his feet led him over to it, his hands opening the door of their own accord.
He felt like he was in a dream.
Leaning over to dig through a pile of junk, Beat found that his rollerblades were still there, buried treasure under other shit he didn't care about. He half fell, half sat on the ground, sliding his bare feet into the shoes, a slow smile crossing his face at the familiar feel of them.
They still fit.
Sliding it off for the moment, Beat whirled to the drawers and grabbed his old clothes, shoving them on messily, not caring that they were a little bit tighter fitting than they had been three years ago. He'd put on some muscle as well as some weight, but he figured he could take chances, just this once. Forgo all sense of responsibility and just let his soul fly free.
They wouldn't be expecting it.
Running to his skates, Beat took his time in putting them on, humming to himself happily as he reveled in the thought that his blades had been waiting for him all this time.
"Sorry, you know how it is…" He muttered to them as if they were long lost friends, shaking his head as he grinned wide. Talking to inanimate objects may have been insane in some eyes, but on the streets before the Rokkaku shit went down, your blades were your life. Going without them meant that you denied yourself the very meaning of freedom, denied yourself the ability to soar.
Standing in his skates, Beat turned his body slightly to test them out, sliding backwards, then forwards. He knew that with years of non-practice, one was bound to be bad, but he still had to skate. His soul yearned for it.
An hour later, Beat strode over to the window a bit clumsily, having gotten enough feel for them to be comfortable. He opened the window, climbing onto the sill and glancing down at the sturdy pipes that ran down to the streets, his mind made up.
He paused a moment, blinking at the blurry vision before remembering that he needed his glasses to see. In his excitement, he'd forgotten, and now retreated back into his room and searched another ten minutes until he found them. Beat shoved them back onto his face, climbing once again on his sill and putting one foot on the pipes.
The redhead thought about closing the window, then decided against it; it would make for a better entrance in case he needed to hide quickly, to get off the streets and back into his room and act like nothing had happened.
Honestly, he wasn't expecting the Rokkaku to be ready for something like this; they had gotten lazy as of late, considering that there were no rival gangs to help improve their infantry.
Blue eyes shifted over the slow traffic below, his lazy smirk returning with ease. He pushed himself from the windowsill onto the pipes, grinding down the rail until he reached the streets, gaining momentum. At the end of the pipes, he jumped, turning a 360 naturally, landing a bit wobbly but enough to stay upright on his feet.
It wasn't pretty, but he was now dancing to his own rhythm… soaring on air.