Disclaimer: I do not own Black Lagoon or its characters.
Summary: When Rock's older brother is kidnapped, he ends up in Roanapur where the Japanese salaryman must negotiate for the life of his estranged sibling.
Ryouichi Okajima had been sitting in a windowless room underneath a single ceiling-hung light, unsure of the time or where he was.
There were a couple people around him, guards he assumed from they way they were armed, and they didn't seem too impressed with him.
Ryouichi was tall, handsome, a top college graduate, had a beautiful fiancée from a wealthy family, and had a job with the Japanese government. Prestigious and highly sought after actually. How then had he become a hostage for the Triad? The answer was simple: he had been assigned the task of 'Cultural Attaché' to Thailand to oversee Japanese interests. As a result, he had ended up kidnapped by the Triad for either ransom or state secrets. He figured it was the former since he hadn't been asked too many important questions.
"What's the boss gonna do with him?" one of the guards asked.
"If we're lucky, ransom his ass then cap 'em." the second one replied as he lit up a cigarette.
Ryouichi gulped. They were gonna kill him. He knew it. Just like that. BANG! One bullet and he would be gone as if his life had had no meaning at all.
Just then, there was a knock on the door.
"Who is it?" one of the guards asked.
"Shenhua! I bring Rock!" a female voice exclaimed.
"Heh! Guess this is your lucky day, government man!" the smoker-guard said as the first one opened the door.
Ryouichi looked up two see two people walk into the room. The first one was a sexy Taiwanese woman with long dark hair, wearing an ankle-length reddish-purple cheongsam, cut high over the thighs, and a loose long-sleeved jacket in white over her shoulders.
He couldn't see the second person, who he figured was a man from the pants and briefcase he carried, as one of the guards was blocking his view.
Just then another man walked in. He was about medium height, dressed in a long overcoat and a pair of expensive sunglasses over his eyes. Ryouichi realized that he was clearly the boss, judging from the way the other men were bowing and acting respectfully towards him.
It was then that the men parted, allowing Ryouichi to finally get a good glance at the man who had come in with the woman.
He nearly swallowed his tongue when he saw who it was.
"Is this the man?" Rokuro 'Rock' Okajima asked as he stepped up to Ryouichi, his expression one of indifference and calm.
"Yes. That is him." the Chinese boss, Mr Chang, said.
"Hmm. Can you leave us alone for a few minutes? I wish to speak to him in private." Rock asked.
The two guards and the woman looked at the man with the sunglasses questioningly, as if waiting for approval. They got it as the man shifted his head towards the door, telling them to get out.
"Two minutes." Chang said.
"Thank you." Rock replied before Chang left.
Rock pulled a chair over to Ryouichi and sat down.
"Hello, Ryouichi." Rock said.
"Rokuro! I... thank god you're here. Untie me, quick." Ryouichi said.
"What?" Rock asked, looking at him like he was insane.
"I said untie me!" he said, almost shouting.
"No." Rock said calmly.
"What? Damn it, Rokuro this is no time to be obstinate! Now untie me!" he said, a little louder.
"So that we can get out of here!"
"Are you on drugs or something? And what's with the one-word answers?"
"First of all, stop shouting, unless you want to get killed. Secondly, even if I were to untie you, which I won't do, you wouldn't get two feet out the door before Shenhua stuck you with a knife."
"The woman who was here a minute ago. She's very good with a knife, trust me." Rock explained. "Thirdly, just so you know, you're in Roanapur on the coast of Thailand. Even if by some miracle you made it out the building, you probably don't know the layout, which means you could get lost and end up getting caught again."
Ryouichi frowned at this.
"Lastly, unless you have another back-up team ready to get you out of here in the next 60 seconds, you're only way out... is me." Rock stated.
"You?" he asked.
"I'm here to negotiate for your release."
"I see. Wait! You said... 'another back-up team'. What does that mean?" Ryouichi asked.
"The Japanese government sent two five-man retrieval teams to rescue you. They've both been caught and unfortunately killed." Rock said.
Ryouichi paled. "How do you know they were here for me?"
"A third party tortured one of the survivors of the second group for information before killing them." Rock answered.
Ryouichi looked at his younger brother, who was obviously unfazed by all this.
"You seem awfully... calm about this." he said to Rock.
"I've been in Roanapur a lot longer than you have. Torture and violence is pretty much the norm here. Now... as to your release. Executive Director Saburo was contacted via a third party and has agreed to negotiate for you." Rock explained in an even tone.
"The Executive Director? You go straight to the top, don't you?"
"Better for you that we did." Rock said. "Now... with certain arrangements and concessions made to the interested parties in this event... you'll probably be out of here tomorrow."
"Really? That's good work."
"Yes, they're getting more efficient."
"I meant you."
Rock raised and eyebrow at that. Was his brother actually praising him? Couldn't be.
"Considering the casualties they've suffered already, I would have expected them to cut their losses." Rock said.
"Why didn't they?"
"A request came down from a family member that they do everything in their power to secure your release." Rock said, biting back the lump in his throat as he said that.
Ryouichi didn't catch it, but sensed that this 'family member' must have been his mother. She did worry about him so much. But that got the man to think.
"I didn't know you were still alive." Ryouichi said. "Mom and dad will be glad to hear that you are."
Rock sighed, almost upset at that. "Somehow... I doubt that."
Rock glared at his older brother.
"Our parents pressured the Executive Director of the Interior to negotiate for your release, something that Japan has a strict policy against. Before that they sent a five-man team to rescue you. This group was killed by the Triads. The second group they sent was killed by a branch of the Russian Mafia, known here as Hotel Moscow, and they were tortured for information regarding you. Ever since I got kidnapped, I've been given up for dead. No one even considering the possibility I was alive." Rock explained.
"That's not true!" Ryouichi snapped in their defense.
"Oh? Did mother or father even bat an eyelash when they heard that I was 'dead'? Did they ask for my body to be sent home for a proper burial? Did they even ask for details about what happened?"
Ryouichi opened his mouth to speak... and held it.
After several seconds, Rock spoke again.
"I thought so. I failed the entrance exam one time, and they don't care if I live or die."
Rock rose from his chair and closed his briefcase. "Rokuro Okajima is dead. I'm Rock now." he said as the door opened up.
It was early in the morning as Ryouichi was escorted from the safehouse to the airport. Outside the safehouse, he noticed Mr Change, Shenhua, and a half-dozen men with machine guns escort him to where a dark-skinned man in military fatigues and a tough, sexy-looking woman in a tank-top, cut-off shorts, and boots waiting. He noticed that his brother was standing next to the pair, casually talking to them. He was sure Rokuro was there to make sure things went smoothly.
"So... this guy?" Revy asked, an unlit cigarette in her mouth.
"Yes. We're to transport him to the airport and make the exchange." Rock said as Benny, a blond-haired glasses and Hawaiian-shirt wearing man, brought a large black van to stop in front of them.
"Alright, let's hit it." Dutch said as he opened the van's side doors.
However, the second he did, two children with pale blonde hair and dark European clothing jumped out of the van and stopped in front of Rock.
"Rock-san!" the girl with the long blond hair shouted, running up and hugging him around the waist.
"Ompff! Gretel, easy now!" Rock laughed as the boy joined in the hug.
While this scene shocked Ryouichi, what puzzled him more were the panicked, almost scared, looks on the faces of the Triad guards. Even Shenhua and Mr Chang backed away, drawing their weapons as if in defense.
These children scare them? Ryouichi wondered. Why?
"They were begging to see you again, Rock." Dutch said with a shrug.
"Well I missed you too." Rock said to the pair. "Now get in the van and let's get going."
"Yes, sir!" the pair said and got into the van.
While Revy pushed the somewhat confused Ryouichi into the van, he paused when he saw a group of European men suddenly came barreling down the street in a black sedan and open fire upon them.
"Look out!" Revy shouted as she pushed Ryouichi to the ground as the bullets flew around them.
"It's Alfonzo's men!" Mr Change shouted as he pulled his gun. "They're after us again!"
The Triads and Italian mafia exchanged gunfire quickly, taking down three of Chang's men who were out in the open, and one of Alfonzo's men who was hanging out the car window. Ryouichi shot his head up to see the two children who had gotten into the van before him leap out and attack.
Hansel pulled a wicked-looking black axe from out of his black coat and hurled it towards the sedan. The axe flew through the air and slammed into the front window, imbedding itself into the driver, causing the sedan to loose control and crash into the side of the safehouse.
The two surviving men got out of the back of the car and aimed their machine guns at the Triads. Suddenly, a hard blast was heard as one of the men had part of his chest blown out. The other man spun around as Gretel quickly dashed forward and fired off a round from her BAR, hitting his head.
With all of Alfonzo's men dead, the two children quickly ran back to Rock.
"Hansel! Gretel! Are you alright?" Rock asked.
"Yes, Rock!" Hansel said.
"Are you alright?" Gretel asked. "When we saw them shoot, we thought they might have hit you."
"I'm fine, Gretel. They didn't hit me." Rock said.
Ryouichi's eyebrows rose up, realizing that these two children, who were apparently trained killers, were concerned for Rock, even though other people were present.
"Is everyone else alright?" Rock asked.
"Yes." Mr Chang said. "You had better get to the airport. Sawyer is on her way for the clean-up."
"Right. Alright, Gretel, Hansel, into the van."
"Yes, Rock!" the pair said in unison and got back into the van.
Ryouichi just watched as the man he once knew as his little brother climbed in after them, before he was pushed in by the woman in the cut-offs. The dark-skinned man got in and closed the sliding side door, the woman getting into the passenger seat up front. With that, the pair were off to the airport.
The entire way to the airport Ryouichi had yet to take his eyes off of his brother, noticing how the girl, called Gretel, seemed to sleep as she rested against him. Rokuro just stroked her hair and let her sleep the whole way while the boy, Hansel, just stared out the window at the scenery.
To Ryouichi it was strange to see his little brother so affectionate to two children, who were both highly skilled killers, and treated them as if they were normal.
When they arrived at the airport, Benny drove them out onto the tarmac where two planes were just getting in.
Out of one of the planes emerged two women dressed in maid outfits.
"Oh Shit!" the woman, Revy he heard her called, spat. "It's that Glasses Bitch!"
"She has a name, Revy." Rock said as he gently woke Gretel from her nap.
"I know. Don't care." she spat as she flicked her cigarette out the window.
Rock shook his head and got out of the van.
"Rock-san!" the shorter maid shouted and waved.
Ryouichi noticed Rock walk over to the pair and began talking to them while Revy growled.
"Keep cool, Revy." Dutch said to her. "We don't need an incident right as we're about to get our payout."
"Fine!" she huffed. "Fricken Bloodhound of Florencia." Revy spat.
Bloodhound of Florencia? Ryouichi thought, remembering hearing that name before. His eyes went wide as he remembered. That's Rosarita DeCisneros, the terrorist! He thought, staring at the taller of the two women.
He then noticed that his brother was casually talking to them.
Rokuro knows her too? He gasped.
"So you're just here for training?" Rock asked.
"Yes. Master Garcia thought it would benefit us to 'train' in a place where there is considerable... 'danger', as he put it." Roberta said.
"Well then, I won't distract you from your training." Rock said to the pair.
"It was a nice distraction." Fabiola Iglesias said.
"Yes. A pleasure as always, Rock-san." Roberta said.
The pair bowed out and continued on their way. A few minutes later, a black limousine arrived.
The Black Lagoon crew got out of the van as a tall and serious-looking blonde woman in a business suit and large overcoat stepped out of the limo. Ryouichi quickly noticed the large scar that covered the right side of her face as she lit up a cigar. He also noticed that Hansel and Gretel stayed in the van with Benny. He had no way of knowing that the blonde-woman in question had issues with the children.
"Revy. Rock. How's our guest?" the woman asked as Revy and Rock approached her.
"Ready to go home." Revy answered.
"I expected to see Chang here."
"He was delayed. Alfonzo's men again." Rock said.
"Hmm." she said, noticing a green sedan arriving on the tarmac. "Here he is."
The group looked over and saw Mr Chang emerge from the sedan as Shenhua arrived in a green jeep that was pumping out rock music.
Dutch brought Ryouichi over to the group as the blonde-woman, Balalaika, finished her cigar and tossed it to Ryouichi's feet.
"Guess you'll be happy to go home, eh government man?" she asked.
"You won't see me much longer, Fry-F-" he started to say.
"Ouch!" he shouted as Rock had just hit him.
"Excuse me, won't you?" Rock said, grabbing Ryouichi by the collar and leading him off to the side.
"Jeez, Rokuro, why did you do that?"
"To save your life, you idiot!" Rock hissed. "That woman is Balalaika, leader of the Russian Mafia's branch here in Roanapur."
"Yes. Hotel Moscow. She's also one of the most dangerous women in the world. The last person who insulted her was buried in six separate coffins. And those were only the pieces they could find!" Rock explained.
Ryouichi's eyes widened at this as he walked back over to Balalaika.
"I apologize for his rude behavior." Rock said to the tall woman.
"Poor upbringing?" Balalaika asked.
"Something like that." he huffed, pulling out and lighting a cigarette.
Eventually the plane for Japan arrived, the pilot and crew bringing out the 'ransom' intended for Ryouichi. The exchange made, Ryouichi parted from his brother, taking a last look back before getting on the plane.
Once the plane doors had closed, Rock turned around and walked back towards the van.
"He's your brother, isn't he?" Dutch asked as soon as he collected his share of the ransom.
"Yeah." Rock huffed.
Revy looked at Rock and raised and eyebrow. What's wrong with him?
"So, where to now?" Benny asked.
"Benny... take Hansel and Gretel back to the office. They have studies to finish."
"But Rock!" the pair cried out.
Rock just gave them a lite smile, patting them on their heads, which quieted them.
"Please?" he asked them.
"Alright." Gretel said.
"Yes, sir." Hansel said.
"Alright." Benny said. "And where will you be going?"
"To get drunk!" Rock said.
Rock grabbed the beer and downed the whole bottle, not stopping until it was drained.
"Bad day?" Bao asked, mildly shocked.
"You could say that." Rock said as he softly slammed the beer bottle down on the bar.
Eventually, Revy came into the Yellow Flag Bar, looked around, and found Rock off to the side of the bar itself, just drinking.
"So... wanna talk?" Revy asked as she walked up to him.
Rock looked at her through his half-drunken state as he put down his fourth beer.
"About what?" Rock asked.
"Your brother." she said.
"No thanks. Had enough of that for one lifetime." he huffed as he popped open another beer.
"Rock!" she snapped softly as he gulped down half the bottle.
He looked at her out the corner of his eye, finishing his beer before answering.
"He's my parents favorite, alright?" Rock huffed. "Top in his class all through school, passed the entrance exam to college his first try, got a prestigious government job, the works."
"I'm the second son. Got passing grades in school, failed the college entrance exam my first try, parents never really spoke to me after that." he stated.
"Well... they might speak to you now that you got your older brother out of trouble." Revy offered.
"I kinda doubt it."
Rock looked at the woman. "Japan has a strict policy about not negotiating with terrorists, or to pay ransoms for kidnappings. My mother raised a big stink about getting Ryouichi back, but they never even asked for my body back when I was declared 'dead' months ago. They don't care about me. Period." he explained then popped another beer back.
While Revy could have said something about this, having no real family herself, she decided against it and just popped a beer back along with Rock.
After a couple hours just watching Rock drink himself silly, the female gunfighter helped the salary man back to the office and into his bed.
Rock had half-cried himself to sleep as Revy held him, gently rubbing his back to comfort him. While Rock wasn't really one for crying, and Revy wasn't one to give comfort, the whole situation kinda hit both of them hard.
Rocking being reminded that his family didn't care about him, Revy wondering what her life would have been like had she had a family.
Revy gently swept her hand across Rock's forehead as he laid back down on his futon, brushing the hair out of his face as she looked down at his sleeping form.
You do have a family, Rock. And they do care about you. she said as she gently rubbed his cheek with her rough fingers. We're your family now, Rock. And I won't ever let you forget that. She thought as she gently pressed her lips to his forehead before snuggling down against him.
Ryouichi's plane landed at Tokyo International Airport, where his mother, father, and boss met him.
"Oh! My son! You're alive!" Jun Okajima cried happy tears.
"Welcome home, son." Ken Okajima said with a smile.
"Mother! Father!" he said to them. "Thank you for all you did for me."
"Of course, son. Why wouldn't we?"
"I... I have to..."
"Is something wrong?" Executive Director Saburo asked.
"Did they mistreat you?" Jun asked.
"What? Uh, some, but..." Ryouichi started to say.
"Those bloody pigs!" Ken said.
"I swear they will pay for what they have done." Saburo said.
"No!" Ryouichi said.
"What?" the pair gasped.
"Mother, Father... Rokuro is alive!" he said.
The trio looked at him blankly for a few seconds before responding.
"Ro-Rokuro?" Jun asked.
"He's alive?" Ken asked.
"Yes. He was the one who made the arrangements to help get me released so quickly." Ryouichi said.
"He's... one of them?" Ken asked.
"Oh! The Shame! Our youngest child is a criminal!" Jun cried.
"Rock is not a criminal!" Ryouichi said.
"Rock?" Saburo asked.
"That is the name he goes by in Roanapur. He is apparently very well known. And respected." he explained.
"Respected by criminals. Feh!" Ken spat.
"Father!" Ryouichi shouted.
"Rokuro Okajima is dead to us!" Ken said.
"How can you say that?" he asked.
"Easily! He has been a disappointment all his life and this is how he chooses to live. Disgraceful!"
"It is obvious that he could not live up to your standards and choose to become one of them." Jun said.
"He is a criminal like them." Saburo stated.
"No. He is a potential ally." Ryouichi said.
"Rock isn't like them. He saved my life while I was there, and perhaps would have done so for the retrieval team you sent, had he known about them."
The trio looked at Ryouichi for a few seconds, shocked and in thought. As they contemplated what they had just been told, the young man wondered if he would ever see his younger brother again. He thought 'No', and yet held out hope.
This one was a rather quick chapter I wrote up just for the heck of writing. Not much I can say about this, except that after reading Rock's profile and finding out about his estranged family life, I figured that writing this would be a good way to... widen Rock's character and background.
Hopefully that's what I accomplished here. Also, it slightly ties into my other story, Assassins Keeper, which is basically a Rock/Hansel and Gretel story. Read that one too.