Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over Flame of Recca.
Okay… it's been ages since I last updated. I was running out of ideas on what to do with the chapter. In short, I was having writer's block, a disease (if you may call it) that every writer wants to get rid of. Plus, I was scared of the virus found on (yeah there's a virus) so I kinda decided to stop writing this fic. I'm not gonna be posting it anyway due to the virus. But when I checked the site again, it seemed to be safe now (though I'm still not sure) so I'm back to writing again! So, here's the update.
Before I forget, I wanna thank the following people who reviewed the last chap: yanagi-chyan, Shenhui, malo, khryzle kawaii, Master Thief, longkang, mikaro, Wija-chama, SnowCharms, DR4GOlV, and Jomai.
And by the way, I'm sorry for the typos and errors you might possibly encounter cuz I'm so damn excited to post this chapter that I don't have time to proofread it. So yeah, sorry in advance.
Chapter 5 – Wretched Luck
"Well, that's what we want to know," Tokiya answered coolly, crossing her arms.
Fuuko looked down to the table broodingly. She shook her head a couple of times, appearing as if she didn't want to believe what she's thinking. No, she wouldn't do that. She promised she'd stay away from this.
Watching the actions of the lady in front of her, Emi asked, "Are you okay?"
Fuuko responded to the female teacher without facing her, "I think I know what's going on." She started to feel angry but she remained cool, not wanting to irritate the guests.
Tokiya turned to Fuuko and shot her an anxious stare. He wanted to say "You've finally done some thinking, monkey," though since it's the first time they met after so many years but he's not dumb enough to realize it's not the right time to be saying such things. "What is it?" he asked instead.
Ganko was walking along the streets as she held up an envelope and opened it, revealing several yen bills. I'm sorry one-san but I won't allow you carrying all the problems alone. She thought as she took note of how much she made for the day. It's not much but it would still help. She then placed it inside her bag before it could attract the eyes of any thief around.
It's been 3 days since she began working at a ramen shop, which was rather far from the school to keep away from her prying classmates. Gladly, the owner approved of her and agreed paying her daily on a minimum. She still wore the school uniform, keeping the illusion of her going to school daily so her sister wouldn't doubt her, which apparently worked. If Fuuko found out about this, Ganko was pretty sure her ass would be dead but she cared less as her intention was to help her elder sister.
Suddenly, a ring coming from her bag disturbed the eerie atmosphere, causing her to halt. The sound was of her cellphone, which was a birthday present given to her by Fuuko few days ago. When she was sleeping, Fuuko had slipped the phone secretly into Ganko's bag. The younger lady was very much surprised when she found out. Seriously, how could Nee-chan think of buying this stuff when she should be spending the money on more important stuff?
She slid her hand inside her bag and pulled the accessory that's attached to her phone. She glanced at the outside screen and bit her lip. Fuuko was calling and Ganko started to panic, getting a bit paranoid. Why the hell am I panicking? She thought and then sighed. "Relax, Ganko. Nee-chan is calling you because she just wants to know how you are doing. Don't worry; she hasn't found out about what you really are doing," she told herself inwardly but her mind kept telling her otherwise.
Nevertheless, she flipped the phone and brought it to her ear. "Hello," she greeted in a lively tone, masking her real emotions as she spoke. Smiling to herself, she thought, If I keep being like this, Nee-chan won't suspect a thing.
However, it turned out different from what she expected as Fuuko asked in a serious, intimidating manner, "Where are you?"
Ganko was taken aback, suddenly unable to speak. She began to stumble on her own words, which made her more suspicious. Pulling herself together, she finally responded with a lie, "I'm… on my way home from school."
"Tell me honestly, where are you?" Fuuko spoke more grimly.
Ganko felt like her heart was starting to pound fast like she's in a marathon or something. Her sister should've found out otherwise she wouldn't ask the same question twice. If she got home, she'd be dead meat for sure. Realizing there's no point in hiding, she let out a huge sigh and said truthfully, "Few blocks away from Otsuka Ramen, going home."
Unknown to her were 2 big treacherous-looking men moving stealthily towards her, carrying knives in their hands. When they were just few inches behind, Ganko sensed their presence and immediately turned around. "Who are you?" she asked roughly but one of the 2 men grappled her wrist before she could realize they're thieves and run away.
"Give me all your money and you'll be fine," the guy said and showing a knife to her face, threatening her.
Waving her arms vigorously, Ganko tried her best to struggle and escape but it was no good. Those 2 guys were too big for her to handle and she's not a great fighter unlike Fuuko, who can beat up even those who are thrice her size. She just ended up being grasped in the waist by the other guy. "Get your filthy hands off me!" she yelled out so she could be heard by anyone in the area but apparently, no one was around but the three of them.
"Hey dude, this girl is pretty. It would be a waste to let a girl this cute pass," one guy sneered as he touched the young lady's cheek.
"You're right," the other guy said and quickly scanned the area. "No one is around. This is a perfect chance," he said as his hand tightened its grip on Ganko's waist and both of them began drag her to a nearby vacant lot where the grass were nearly as tall as them so they wouldn't be discovered even if anyone passed.
"NO!!!!!!" Ganko screamed, tears flowing from her eyes nonstop, but her mouth was instantaneously tied off, quieting her down. She had never been so scared for her entire life, knowing that her sister would be there to protect her but this time, it's different as there's no one she could depend on but herself.
Trying to fight back as she was dragged, Ganko accidentally dropped her phone, leaving the line open between her and her sister.
Her eyes widening in shock, Fuuko felt her whole body tremble as she couldn't believe what she had just heard from the other line. All of Ganko's screams and those men's voices came from the receiver to her ear, telling her that her sister was in deep trouble.
"No, it can't be," she spoke, blinking incredulously, as she lowered her phone and closed it.
Perceiving a huge predicament arriving, both Emi and Tokiya faced the alarmed Fuuko and questioned in unison, "What?"
Seeming not to hear them, Fuuko abruptly stood up and headed toward the door, deciding impetuously. "I gotta go and save Ganko-chan!" she exclaimed, putting on her shoes hurriedly, and then rushed off.
Witnessing her hasty actions, Tokiya stood up and tailed her to the door. "Wait!" he called out, stopping her.
Fuuko turned around and said, "Hurry up, you two! Do you want to save Ganko-chan or what?"
As soon as he put on her shoes, Tokiya strode off the apartment room to Fuuko and so did Emi, forgetting their things. Momentarily gathering, Emi asked, "What's happening?"
"I don't know but I think Ganko-chan is being assaulted. She's somewhere near Otsuka Ramen when I called her. Anybody know where that place is?" Fuuko talked fast, her voice quivering.
Recognizing the small ramen shop, Tokiya answered, "I know where that is. Come on; I'll lead the way."
As darkness started to fill the skies, they ran as fast as they could but being at this rate, they certainly wouldn't rescue Ganko on time that they took a cab to Otsuka Ramen. Thank heavens the driver drove so fast and reached the place in less than 20 minutes and Tokiya was there to pay for the ride because Fuuko had no money. She snapped, creating another debt when she's already buried in mountainous amounts of debts, but ignored it for she should be thinking of more important things right now.
Not having any signs of Ganko, Fuuko became more startled. "Where the hell is she?!" she cried out as she turned her head, searching the area her sight could reach.
"Let's split up and search. We'll find her this way," Tokiya suggested and the three of them separated their ways, Fuuko heading to left, Emi to the right, and Tokiya to the road directing from the shop.
The street lamps lighting up the way, Tokiya investigated every corner he could see until suddenly he heard muffled sounds that came from his side. Turning around, he found a cellphone on the ground and picked it up. He examined it for a while and learned it was Ganko's, seeing the last received call, which was from Fuuko, flashed on the screen. Furthermore, he decided to take a look in the vacant lot where the sounds came from and made his way through, brushing the tall grass away.
On the other hand, as one guy clutched on Ganko's waist so she couldn't break off, the other brought a switch blade near her neck after he got all the money he found in her bag. "Now, I'll take the tie off your mouth but if you don't shut up, I won't hesitate to stab you," he warned, the blade almost touching her skin.
After the tie was removed, Ganko spat on the face of the man in front of her, making him drop the knife as he used both hands to wipe the spit that his eyes caught. She gathered all her strength and elbowed the man clutching her, causing him to loosen his grip and crouch a bit giving her a chance to break out.
Without picking up her things, she quickly ran off to the middle of the huge vacant lot, planning to hide from and lose them in the grass. However, they were fast enough to catch her, seizing both her arms. "You may have tricked us but you won't get away this time," said the guy crossly. She screamed her lungs out in distress and he cut her in the belly, giving her a huge wound, and pushed her to the ground.
Tokiya stopped on his tracks and looked around upon hearing a loud shriek. It must be Ganko. He thought and rushed off to where he presumed it came from until he witnessed the most dreadful thing. Ganko was lying on the ground, her clothes were dirty and tattered, a couple of bruises found on her face and limbs and a big blot of blood on her belly, revealing a large cut, and there were 2 guys doing malevolent acts on her.
"What the fuck are you doing?!" Tokiya shouted furiously, his eyes shooting glares, as he pushed the two guys off Ganko. Stooping down, he helped the girl up, and took off his coat, putting it over her shoulders, as she wept uncontrollably.
"Mi...ka…ga…mi..-ni..chan," she called, hiccups in between syllables, and looked to him helplessly.
The two felons scampered off shortly after they got up, not wanting to be captured. However, being a swift and skillful person, Tokiya managed to catch them. They are nothing compared to those people he had fought before. Confronting them, he smirked sardonically at them, "Where do you think you are going?"
Before they could get away, he landed a blow on their faces, making them fly at the great impact. And before they could get up, he lifted a leg and dropped it heavily on their shoulders, making them fall face first and crush on dirt. It didn't take long before he knocked them off without even breaking a single drop of sweat.
Leaving the two unconsciously lying on the ground, he walked to Ganko and crouched down. "Can you walk?" he patted her head gently.
Ganko nodded in response, despite the fact that the gash on her stomach kept stinging causing her inability to move. As she stood up, her vision started to blur and her mind seemed to swivel, feeling nauseous that she collapsed.
"Ganko?" he called, shaking her lightly, but gained no reaction. Deciding to stay here for a while, he carefully laid her down and dug into his pocket, pulling her phone that he had found earlier. Flipping the phone, he immediately searched for Fuuko's number in the phonebook and called.
"Fuuko, I've got Ganko," he spoke as soon as she picked up.
"Thank God," Fuuko said and took a deep breath in relief.
"Hurry up and come over here. And by the way, inform the police about this and get an ambulance. Ganko's hurt," he instructed, telling her their location.
"What happened to her?" she asked apprehensively.
"I'll tell you when you get here. Now, hurry!" he ordered and hung up before she could speak more to prevent the conversation from getting longer. He then took his own phone to call his fellow teacher but realized he didn't have her phone number. He checked Ganko's phonebook and gladly acquired Emi's number. He made another call and spoke the moment she did, "Emi-san, it's me, Mikagami," he started off and later on told her to come where he was.
He carried the unconscious Ganko out of the vacant lot to the open space on the streets to ease her breathing, the air freely circulating, because with all that grass in that vacant lot, breathing was a bit difficult for the grass blocked all the air. He laid her against the wall so she wouldn't fall and went back to take care of the guys that assaulted her.
As he dragged their unconscious bodies out to the streets, he saw Emi running toward him. She halted in front of him and gasped for air. "Where's Fuuko?" he asked.
"I haven't seen her along the way," she answered, "I came here as soon as I got your call." She then looked around and found Ganko. She approached her and sat down beside her. She studied the girl's unfortunate appearance and saw a huge wound on her belly. Cautiously, she touched the cut and became worried when she learned it was quite deep. "We need an ambulance," she told Tokiya who was laying the criminals against the post.
"I already told Fuuko to get one," he replied.
Emi couldn't help but get teary eyed at her student's current condition. To her, the girl was like the younger sister she never had that her heart melted, seeing her like this.
It took more than half an hour until they heard sirens coming from behind. Turning around, they saw an ambulance and a couple of police cars approaching them. Once the vehicles stopped, Fuuko stepped out of the car in which she had ridden first and the police officers followed bringing their guns up.
"Over here officers," Tokiya waved at them and they ran toward him. He instantly explained what he had witnessed to them and pointed at the suspects, who were at the moment regaining their consciousness but they were in handcuffs before they even knew it.
Fuuko trotted to Ganko and Emi once she saw them and looked at them in awe, "Oh God!" she clasped her hand over her mouth, couldn't believe the scene right before her eyes. Emi stood up and put a comforting hand on Fuuko's shoulder. "She's gonna be okay," Emi said as they watched the nurses place Ganko on a stretcher, bringing her into the ambulance.
Both ladies marched to ambulance and stepped in, followed by Tokiya who was done dealing with the police. At first, they were told that only one person was allowed to come in but Tokiya explained they were all the patient's relatives and they had no other ride but the ambulance. Gladly, the nurse was convinced and the trio jumped in.
As Fuuko held her sister's hand tightly and stared at her figure, Tokiya couldn't help but glance at his former teammate and then looked out the small window before it could turn into a stare. He fell into deep thoughts, his eyes on nothing in particular. Why the fuck did this have to happen when I'm finally reunited with my friends?
The traffic was not terrible and the cars along the way were pretty cooperative and gave way to the rushing ambulance that they got to the hospital sooner than expected. Nurses from the hospital pushed a gurney toward the emergency entrance where the ambulance was parked and the nurses inside the ambulance carried out the stretcher where Ganko's on and transferred her onto the gurney carefully.
They brought the patient into the emergency room quickly and Fuuko, Emi, and Tokiya were left in the waiting room. Tokiya sat on one of the benches and Emi sat few centimeters beside him, making him feel uncomfortable, but he didn't shrug her off for he didn't want to be rude at the moment. He looked at Fuuko who was sitting across them. Somehow, she appeared worried yet so upset that she gritted her teeth and clenched both her fists tightly that she could break her fingers any second if she wouldn't stop.
Waiting in a ward where Ganko was sleeping soundly in, keeping the space to them with a green curtain as a divider, Tokiya sat quietly on one of the chairs while Emi went off to the cafeteria to buy some coffee and Fuuko paced back and forth near the bed as if she's very much troubled. Her repetitive actions were slightly getting on his nerves that he got up to his feet and walked to her.
"What's the matter?" he asked in a cool demeanor instead.
The brown-haired lady paused and looked down to the floor. "I don't know what to do anymore," she replied in a grave tone and remained stiff, wallowing in self-pity. She felt her eyes begin to water but her disheveled bangs almost covered the top of her face, hiding all the tears that could've formed. She felt like a heavy weight was put on her shoulders and the whole world was against her. Of all the people on earth, why should she and her family suffer? If it wasn't for Ganko, she would've snapped out of it already.
Earlier that dusk when he was still in her apartment, he found out the current situation of her former comrade. She was dirt poor with large amounts of debts that her sister had a job to help on the funds. That's all she had said.
"If you're wondering about the hospital fees, then stop wondering. I'll take care of it," Tokiya told her to lessen her burdens even only a bit. Although he didn't seem to be the most helpful person, he would help his friends in times of need and this friend of his needed all the financial aid she could get.
"You really don't have to do that."
He nodded, "Consider it as a lifetime debt. You know, you may pay me anytime you can." He couldn't just give away money like that for he needed it too to sustain his necessities.
Fuuko broke into a narrow yet grateful smile, her eyes still fixed on the floor. There was silence though it wasn't really that silent because noise from other divisions filled up the whole ward until they heard a groan coming from the bed and found out Ganko was already awake.
Ganko blinked her eyes, adjusting to the light, and helped herself up as pushed against the bed with her hands. Leaning against the headboard, she looked around and saw her sister and her teacher. "Nee-chan, Mikagami-nichan," she spoke. She looked sore as hell but felt nothing for the anesthesia kept the wound from hurting so much and it wasn't gonna wear off until after few hours or so had passed.
"What the fuck is wrong with you? You had me worried sick," Fuuko started, raising her tone enough to express her anger but not to disturb the other patients. But before Ganko could even explain herself, Fuuko continued, "I expected you to leave all the problems to me but what did you do? You skipped school, got a job, and this. If you only did what I said, this probably wouldn't have happened."
Poor Ganko. She simply looked down in shame, couldn't face her older sister, her eyes ready to burst out in tears any minute.
However, Fuuko didn't stop. She kept on talking to the point of being irrational only to get Ganko realize that what she did was a wrong thing and she should never do that again. What she doesn't realize is that she's getting overboard.
Tokiya felt it's time for him to take action to shut her up otherwise it would go on for as long as she had anything more to say and he couldn't afford hearing more from her. And besides, he knew Ganko had just had a rough night and she had more than enough of Fuuko's blabber. He couldn't help but feel sorry for her. "Hey," he said, placing a hand on Fuuko's shoulder. "I know it's none of my business but could you be more sensitive?" He couldn't believe what he said just this second.
He needed not to say more when Fuuko decided to cut it out and sighed, "I'm sorry. I'll go to the doctor and ask if we're okay to leave." Wordlessly, she turned around and headed out the curtains to the door without noticing Emi who came in with 2 cups of coffee in her hands.
"Ganko-chan, you're finally awake. I'm glad," Emi said with a smile on her face. She then walked to Tokiya and handed him his coffee. She took a seat near the bed and then took a sip of her coffee.
It was Monday afternoon and classes for that day were finally over. Still, Tokiya saw no sight of Ganko and she'd been absent for 6 consecutive days already. She was absent for a whole week last week but it was okay because she had reasonable excuses but today was different. Her wound could have healed since it's been days already.
As he marched out the school gates, he wondered what's wrong again. Fuuko could've told him but he hadn't been hearing anything from her lately. Well, he didn't bother to call and ask since it's not his business anyway but he couldn't help but wonder what's happening. He kept telling himself to stop but his mind seemed to disobey him.
Not heading to the direction to his apartment, he turned to the opposite direction and made his way to Fuuko's apartment. Getting there, he climbed upstairs to the second floor and halted before a door with the number 11 on it. He gently knocked and patiently waited for someone to answer him.
However, he had been knocking for like half an hour now and no one opened the door for him. There's a window beside the door but there were blinds hanging onto it but he was able to peek into the small room because there were gaps in between. Apparently, all he could see were a table and some old appliances that seemed ready to break in the dimness. They're not home. He thought as he peeked intently.
"Excuse me," he suddenly heard a croaky voice belonging to an old woman from behind and turned around. "If you're looking for the Kirisawas, they don't live here anymore," the old lady added. She was quite small, reaching only up to his waist, yet she looked so powerful and cantankerous. He could tell she's the owner of the whole building.
"Really? Where did they go?" he asked in an indifferent manner but truthfully, he cared so much. They're his friends after all and his conscience would bother him for the rest of his life if he didn't do anything to help them.
"I don't know," the old lady answered, raising her eyebrow as if to ask 'why do you ask me as if I'm their keeper?', and walked away, leaving him.
He stood there in deep thought, thinking of where on earth they could possibly have gone to. He thought of the police station, the park, and even the church but he shook his head and realized they wouldn't go there. They would be searching for a new apartment instead.
He then rushed downstairs without second thought and ran off anywhere he could get his eyes on, hoping to find them. He felt his heart beat so fast but it wasn't because he's running. It's because he's so worried of what might happen.
It looked as if the ice man was no longer an ice man.
Yeah I know the attempted rape scene sucked. I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote it though I suck at writing that kind of scene but for some reason, the idea just fascinated me. And no, I'm not a freakin sadist just to let you know.
I think Mi-chan is so out of character here. Well, I tried my hardest to make him not ooc.
Ok. Review time! Please leave any comment (positive or negative, it doesn't matter) before you leave. Comments are like any other writer's vitamins so if you want to keep my brain healthy and completely functioning, give me vitamins. ;) Flames or anything extremely offensive won't be welcomed. Thanks for understanding.