0 3 V I S I O N S
Everything changes with time; when I feel as if I'll lose myself in the scenery
I stop and stand still, close my eyes and remember your smile
Dear lover, it's you; footprints of days gone by, please don't disappear
"…Toki No Namida by UVERworld…"
They are always with me.
Fragments of the past, ghosts of my memories and pictures of times, I could always see them. When I open my eyes, hues of reds and blacks lay before my eyes. Even underneath these closed lids, I could see them. I could feel their presences. I could hear their voices.
They are everywhere.
Wherever I go, they accompany me. In the shadows, in the light, even in my isolation, they remained by my side. I tried to get rid of them, even tried to run away, and yet I know this would prove futile. Those ghosts, those visions and those voices, they are inside of me.
They are me.
I tried talking to those voices although I know it would question my sanity. They would say the same things. They would always tell me to join them, be with them. My mind would work on its own, ordering my own body to cut. End my life, they say. During those times when they whisper their desires, my mind and body would be theirs. I could just watch along, watching my life fluid pouring from the wound on my flesh
They order me to cut, see.
I never wanted to be like this. Sometimes, I cut not because they order me to but because I desire to. I cut not because I wanted to be with them but rather to stop these nightmares. Either way, they always win. Always had been, always will be.
There are times when I could actually feel my mother's cold embrace, tightening every second, depriving me of air I badly needed. I always knew they were mere illusions of mine, just like the cold dark eyes of my father and the red glimmer in my older brother's orbs. Sometimes, I would unconsciously stop breathing and would only realize it until I'm choking. I don't know why but it would happen when I'm too caught up with my world and past. Involuntary action, I might say.
When I look in front of the mirror, those lifeless dark eyes would stare back at me. I often wondered what happened to the young naïve boy who always looks up to his brother. Where did he go? Is he still within me? Those questions, those thoughts, ran in my mind most of the time…but would get shoved behind my mind. For reasons I don't know, they scare me.
Visions and illusions. They are all the ghost of my past. In this dark abyss I drown myself into, I could hear my own muffled cries and pleas. In those cold eyes, I see my real self. I could see what I had become and how empty I had been. In this eternal night, I never knew daylight.
Until that one fateful day when a light shone through.
He walked down the empty streets. It's past midnight already, and there are little or no people outside this time. Underneath his black leather coat, he didn't mind that his shirt and pants are stained with blood, despite the fact that he kept washing it over and over again. For one thing, it is not his own. But he didn't mind. He got pretty used to it, although he never liked how it's turning out.
One of the streetlights flickered one and off, casting shadows here and there. For a second, he thought that he saw his deceased father just behind the posts. But just like before, he knew it's a mere illusion. He continued walking silently.
He held a lit cigarette between his fingers, trying to drown away the metallic scent and copper like taste that lingered in his subconscious. When did these hallucinations start again? He sure as hell knew that he never took cocaine and any drugs. Boss would make sure of that.
Maybe it was the day he woke up after that certain event? When he opened his eyes and found himself in an unfamiliar room? Or how about the night after that? He is not sure but he did know that it is just a few nights after the event.
The event. Oh dear, his mind is certainly not going back to that topic. He did not want to nor did he desire to relish the past any longer. However, they kept coming back. And he can't do anything about it. So he endured them all, despite the visions, the whispers, the guilty conscience and the never ending cycle of death.
He turned around a familiar corner, where a few shops remained open despite how late the time is. A few streetlights are still working while some were busted out, making this part of town gloomier and dangerous than the rest.
He stopped just right in front of a certain rundown shop and went in. A familiar old man stood behind the desk, his round eyeglasses covering his eyes and with a kind smile on his face.
"Good evening, Ryou-san." Sasuke said in his signature monotone voice.
"No, no, Ichigo-kun," The old man said, clearly not informed what Sasuke's real name was. "It's early in the morning. Too early, I might say, hmm? Well, what do you need, boy?"
"A box of senzai, please. The same brand."
"For the little wife? Of course! Your overtime work must be angering her by now, hmm? No need to wait, boy. I'll get it for you."
It was strange that such old man could be capable of being cheery and active at two in the morning. But that is least of Sasuke's problem now. It took around two minutes before he was handed a white cellophane bag containing the box of senzai Sasuke assumed to be Hinata's favorite brand.
Sasuke walked away after giving the old man a polite bow. He walked to the opposite direction of the way he was supposed to go. It was already in his routine that he'll walk a few more minutes around before going back to their hideout. However, his paranoid senses caught on the swift rushing of the trees nearby, as opposed to its gentle swaying with the wind.
He continued walking, looking as if he didn't hear any of it. Nevertheless, his overly sensitive hearing heightened, trying to detect any unfamiliar and suspicious sounds in the background.
In the life that he had led till now, it had come to his (and her) knowledge that subtle change in the atmosphere, heavy tension in the air, shadows and such are signs that a certain mercenary must not ignore. Oblivious ones were killed because of these while some, although noticed and tried to locate where the enemies lie, died because of their lack in skills.
Feel. Locate. Anticipate. Then go for the kill. That had always been the rule. But there had been some exemptions.
For example, while trying to locate your foes, said enemy launched an attack before you could know where they are. In this situation, better know how many assailants are there, if you got enough bullets, throwing knives and such and know if you are in the position to fight.
Assess the situation first (and make it fast) then make your move. But if for any reason, you could not fight (too many enemies, not enough bullets or injured), try to plan a quick escape. But if this one last plan failed, try to find then eliminate the leader of the troupe then try to kill as many as you can. However, it would have been obvious that there is a ridiculously high possibility that you would annihilated in this last attempt, so be prepared to die.
These are mere examples of scenarios out of thousands that would might and might not happen in the battle field. Sasuke had been more than ready for more bizarre scenes. A shiny blade peeked from his long sleeves as he stopped in a field where no normal citizens would pass by and was set to his advantage. It took two seconds before a clash of metals was heard.
There are two masked assailants (he was blocking the two with his daggers). From what he could discerned, these three are awfully fast (based on their lean figures) and might have been professional killers. And they seem like they want it done with, fast. With a grunt, he kicked the one to his left, only to be avoided, shoved the other away and distanced himself.
The moment he landed on his feet, the two charged almost simultaneously. This put him to a lot of disadvantage, since he had to block and attack to people at the same time.
Quickly, he placed one of the daggers between his teeth, jumped and threw down shurikens at them. As soon as he threw the last batch, while they were quite busy avoiding them, he went just behind the one closest to him. Said attacker took a moment to realize that Sasuke was behind him before he got his neck slit.
Sasuke is fast, and he didn't have to deny it. However, he didn't realize that the other guy threw a throwing knife at him before he felt the numbing pain in his thigh. He let out a low growl of frustration before he turned around and threw his own batch of throwing knives. The first three missed but the fourth hit him on the head, killing him on the spot.
"Shit." He hissed, noticing the growing red stain on his pants.
He knew that his attackers are fast and skilled, but he got this strange thought that there is something else. As if something was planned. Who would even thought of hiring professional killers to kill them mercenaries? An opposing team? An enemy of their leader?
He rolled his pants carefully until the injured skin was exposed. He let out another low groan followed by a few strings of profanity at what he saw. How could he be so careless?
Not only was the wound deep and long but the sides are already turning bluish purple, a clear indication that poison was used. He took his belt rapidly and tightened it just above the wound so that the poison won't spread. It will take long before this is fully healed, he thought with a frown.
He took the bag of discarded senzai and hurried to their hideout.
The moment he entered their hideout, he felt the world close around him.
The bag of senzai fell to the floor.
The living room was in chaos. The sofa was torn and placed upside down, a slice in the middle where the cushion was coming out. The small television set was broken, glasses were shattered and lying everywhere. The lamps are broken and the whole house was dark save for the single ray of light that passed through a small partially opened window. Everything's a mess and he could hardly breathe.
He wished this is one of his sick delusions. He wished this is everything but reality. Hell, everything just as long as this is an illusion and that---god---where is Hinata?!
He hurried through the silent dark halls, his breath getting faster and faster every minute. Cold sweat broke in his flesh and he could hardly feel the pain in his thigh anymore. He felt numb. He staggered and he reached out to the wall blindly to regain his balance. Then he saw it. He smelled it. He felt it.
Fresh blood. That metallic copper-like scent. That slimy feeling. The remainder of death. He could feel it. He could even feel it pass his flesh through his bones. His own blood ran cold at the sight of the life liquid in his hands, knowing fully well who owned it. Cold clammy hands clenched his heart in its angry grip. He could feel it. He could sense it.
He ran, staggered, fell and ran all over again. His eyes went wide, his pupils constricted. He is slowly losing his grip on his sanity, slowly falling into the depths of senselessness. He could feel himself slipping as he tried to hold on. No, not now. Please, not now! She needs me!
He ran in the halls, feeling them growing longer and longer each passing minute. He opened doors, revealing darkened rooms. She's not there. His heart raced and he's afraid he's losing this inner battle of his while trying to find her. Please…not now…
A trail of her blood. The cold hand gripped his heart harder he was afraid he would cry out in pain. He ran faster, his face getting paler every second. He didn't even mind his neglected wound nor did he even realized that he is getting weaker with each passing moment.
Then she saw her.
Wounded. Bloody. Lying on her stomach while clutching the rag underneath her, as if in pain. He stopped. As if time had stopped. Please…let her be alive. Please, oh Kami-sama, please… He ran to her, his eyes widened in panic. Slowly and carefully, he turned her to face him.
"Hinata…" His voice quivered ever so slightly.
Although his face remained its passive look, his eyes betrayed him. He assessed her, almost automatically. She's still bleeding and if she's not brought to the nearest doctor quickly, she might die. Ignoring the pain in his thigh, he carried her. His careful worried eyes gazed at her face before she opened her eyes, a little dazed because of the pain.
"Shh, please. Don't talk anymore…"He muttered, silently begging for her to keep silent and just keep alive. A slight movement in her head meant 'no' and she continued. "I-information…i-important…"
He nodded slightly as he opened a hidden metal door. He walked down the dark staircase that will lead them to a secret basement. She struggled to keep conscious as the pain became more evident in her eyes. "Five…a-assassins…b-better t-than us…injured t-three…" She trailed off before she closed her eyes.
"Keep alive, Hinata." Please. There was the silent plea in his words as he ushered her inside their car with tinted windows. He moved to sit in the driver's seat before he caught on the last words she said.
A/N: There! I finally finished it! I'm very sorry for the late update and the…crappy writing skills. I'm under writer's block and I know I just have to finish this. Argh, go ahead and kill me. I'm also sorry for the crappy fight scenes. I'm not good with it so…sorry!
Many thanks to this people:
KakeruTenshi, Tekii no aru tenshi, winterkaguya,Anime-lover-44,ItaFearMe, kenshinlover2002,kawaiiitahina123,SilentKiller1,nadakesgurl,MoonIdiot, show.me.the.stars,DarkSmile, JustPassingBy, princezzme,Rahlia Indigo,shinokunlover56 especially to Archee-chan for the wonderful review! Thanks a lot, guys!
Reviews are food to soul! Thankies!