Ta-dah! For the five year anniversary of this story (why have I kept with it this long, now?), I have posted yet another rewrite of it! This time, I'm trying to make it more coherent rather than just make it read more smoothly. Is this task possible with such a nonsensical plot!? I do not know!
Original posted 8/26/07...
Don't kill me, guys.
He never thought he could have misunderstood her. He knew what she was like. He loved her, and had at least thought she'd felt something for him. Lupin ignored what his friends said, and sometimes what his own head said. He could take the betrayals: using him, deceiving him, even being with other men. What he couldn't take was a broken promise, for which he had begged on his knees to get. Just once, he had wanted her to spend his birthday with him. It was the only day which truly revolved around him, and no media coverage could live up to it. Two weeks had gone by with no visits, no calls. The first thing he'd heard from her had been on TV, where she hung off the arm of some other guy.
It was too much. There was a point where resiliance wasn't enough to fight off heartbreak, and everything he'd had up until that point seemed to wilt and become joyless. He would usually turn to one of the hoards of beautiful women not to refuse him, but it wasn't what he truly wanted.
That was when he gave up.
But he knew that she hadn't been the only thing. She could drive him to ruin and he couldn't stay mad at her. It was everything. Lupin III was the greatest thief that had ever lived, and He had become the greatest thief that could never steal. He wasn't delusional about how great he was. He was sworn to be better than even his grand-daddy. He knew he could have the world in his palm if he wanted to. That was the problem, though. Nothing interested him anymore, not enough to risk his life to have. When he did find something to make a play for, he would lose it, choosing his life over his money, and drink away his sorrows in a cheap hotel room all over again.
Jigen and Goemon hadn't appreciated the change. He'd become too reckless trying to find the fun in keeping on. He'd worked them to the bone—if not with his crazy schemes, which made his past crazy schemes seemed sane, then with having to cover his ass whenever he went too far. They were still the only ones he could trust, but he couldn't blame them when he saw them losing trust in him, spending less time with him as friends. Perhaps they weren't anymore. He had more than a few good ideas as to what they thought of him.
The more Lupin thought about it, the less he had. He had some goodies stashed away. He'd stare at them and reminisce about good times past and had a hard time bringing himself to sell anything more just for another few nights of rich booze and well-dressed sleazy ladies. He was as close to penniless as he had ever been.
What had he gained, then? What did he have to call his own? Some quickly fading fame and a cop that had gone far past obsession? Were those things worth striving for? That wasn't worth his life's work and dedication. All of his years had been a wasted effort, for close to nothing.
He had tried to find other ways to bide his time. He tried to tell himself that he was a well-rounded human being and that there were other things. Nothing felt right, though. He always came up empty. It had been a while since he had started to make other considerations. He'd thought the idea ridiculous, yet it couldn't stop that niggling feeling in the back of his mind that maybe it wasn't. He was torn, unable to find the flower amongst the field of rotted grass. He had tried to plant that flower for himself, but every reason he could find felt empty.
Lupin came to a stop, raising his head to meet his old friend. From the ground, the building towered over him. It wasn't the largest or fanciest, but it had always seemed larger than life, looking over the people in the city with its crown-like roof and laughing.
He'd considered it for a while. The thought kept coming to mind: what would happen if Lupin III disappeared? The best thief to have ever existed, with more successful heists than years, taking his own life. The one thing he had never wanted was to be old and alone. Now, he was doomed to it. He didn't want to live that kind of life. Really, he wondered how he let himself get this far. Lupin smirked a little. He was going to take control. He was going to go out with a bang, the way a Lupin would. Maybe it wasn't how he wanted to be remembered, but he didn't care anymore as long as he wasn't forgotten.
Lupin dragged his feet like he was taking a walk through the park, the air rushing off his cheeks as he took in the familiar view. It was his favorite spot in New York, a spot he'd found as a child and had never been able to resist revisiting. He could see the whole city from the top of that building and nobody ever went up to bother him. He regretted never being able to take Fujiko, and never showing his only real friends.
He walked forward blindly, taken in by the cars waiting to move below, drowning in the deep orange light of the sun that was beginning to set washing over the city. When he caught his breath, looking down at his feet which had nearly reached the end with a grim smile, he realized for the first time that he wasn't alone. Another man sat slouched on the edge. The stranger hadn't noticed him either until that point and stared up in confusion. Embarrassed, the man rubbed at his face frantically, trying to remove the trails of fresh tears that stained his face.
Lupin raised an eyebrow, studying the man who now stood. The man was shorter than himself, had ripped muscles, and was wearing a sailor hat.